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Tuesday May 16, 1978

I feel like being brief. But, no. Went to the library with Jac qt lunchtime and took out 'Royal Flash' by George MacDonald Fraser. Can't imagine why. It isn't my usual read.

Christine phoned to say bye for a week. She leaves for Jersey tomorrow (I think).

Natalia Phillips, the 19 year-old granddaughter of the late Lady Zia Wernher, is to marry the Duke of Westminster's heir, Earl Grosvenor, in October.

The Lord High Constable of Scotland, Lady Erroll, died today aged 52. The holder of this title is the first subject by birth after the Royal Family, having the right to take place before every other hereditary honour, which was allowed to the 18th Earl on the visit of George IV to Scotland, and to the 20th Earl on the visit of Edward VII in 1903, and of George V, in 1911, and to the poor dead countess herself on the state visit of Elizabeth II, in St Giles Cathedral in 1953, when, however, the Sword of State was borne on her behalf by her deputy, Lord Home.

The Countess of Erroll also presided, through her deputy, over the Court of the Verge, or Constabulary Court, and her jurisdiction is, or was, supreme in all matters of assault or riot within four miles of the Queen's person when in Scotland; which with the other rights and privileges was preserved to the Lord High Constable or Great Constable both by the Treaty of Union (1707) and the Act for the Abolition of Heritable Jurisdictions in 1747. Lord Hay, the heir to all this, who now becomes Earl of Erroll, is 30. Goodnight.


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