It is sad news that Prince Charles has learned. This Monday, March 22, the son of Queen Elizabeth II lost one of his close friends, John Crichton-Stuart. At only 62 years old, the former pilot was swept away by a devastating illness. In a statement released to announce his death, his relatives described him as “a devoted husband, father, brother, uncle, son and grandfather beloved by all.” They also spoke of his “indomitable spirit and energy”, “his immense warmth and the love with which he surrounded his family”. “His heart was firmly attached to his roots on the Isle of Bute, where he spent most of his time,” concluded those close to John Crichton-Stuart. The former sportsman was also the 7th Marquess of Bute, a small Scottish island where he lived for many years in his family’s castle. Before that, he was a Formula 1 driver in 1986, when he partnered with Ayrton Senna.
During his career, John Crichton-Stuart also offered himself the luxury of winning the prestigious 24 hours of Le Mans. After a few years behind the wheel, he retired from racing to run the family estates, his father having fallen ill. To replenish the coffers, the Marquis for a time wanted to part with an exceptional residence: Dumfries House. This historic house in East Ayrshire, 48 km from Glasgow, was built in the 18th century by the famous architect Robert Adam and his brothers, John and James. An exceptional monument which he wanted to part with. But just weeks before the scheduled auction date, the plight of Dumfries House caught the attention of the Prince of Wales, a tireless and fearless advocate of British heritage. To save this property, he led a consortium of organizations and individuals.
Prince Charles saved the estate
On the wire, Prince Charles managed to prevent the auction of this house. Thanks in particular to one of its foundations, the son of Elizabeth II bought this property for the modest sum of 45 million pounds sterling for the nation and to put online what “the best British craftsmanship” . For years, therefore, the Prince of Wales has been busy renovating the interior and exterior of Dumfries House, where exceptional furniture is to be found. Happiness for John Chrichton-Stuart, who had reluctantly decided to part with it. The two men gradually became friends. On the private side, the Marquis de Bute first married Carolyn Waddell, in 1984, with whom he had two daughters and a son. Divorced, he married in 1999 to Serena Wendell, with whom he had a daughter. After the announcement of his death, it was his son, John Bryson Crichton-Stuart, Earl of Dumfries, who inherited his aristocratic title.
Prince Charles © Agency