Saturday, 3 October 2009

At the road’s end: Alastair Aird (1931-2009), Queen Mother’s Private Secretary

Sir Alastair Aird, who was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s last Private Secretary, died on Wednesday. Born in India on 14 January 1931, Aird joined the Queen Mother’s Household as Assistant Private Secretary in 1964, becoming Comptroller a decade later. The Queen Mother was known for her unwillingness to allow her courtiers to retire - even if they grew old they tended to be much younger than her. She therefore kept on Sir Martin Gilliat as her Private Secretary even when his health left him unable to carry out his duties properly and it was only when Gilliat died in 1993 that Sir Alastair rose to the position of Private Secretary, which ke kept until the Queen Mother’s death in 2002. He was appointed to the honorary position as an Extra Equerry to Queen Elizabeth II the following year and had received the Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in 1997.

The Daily Telegraph’s obituary:

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