Alexander Charles Robert Sutherland, styled Lord Strathnaver, son and heir of the 25th Earl of Sutherland, and heir to the Dunrobin Castle estate, the most northerly stately home in Scotland, has died tragically. He was 40.
Lord Strathnaver was found at the bottom of 30ft cliffs at Thurso East, near the ruined 19th century Thurso Castle in Caithness. Thurso Lifeboat was launched at 11.30pm on Saturday 3 September, 2022, after reports of a person on the rocks.
A friend said that Lord Strathnaver, who would have celebrated his 41st birthday next month, had been attending the Tunes in the Dunes music festival at Dunnet - mainland Britain's most northerly point - at the weekend. A keen surfer, he also had a house a few miles away at Thurso East, which is a top UK surfing location.
Lord Strathnaver's cousin, Jamie Sutherland Janson, who went to fight against the Islamic State and Levant [Isil] in Syria, took his own life in September, 2019, months after returning from Syria. He was 44.
Lord Strathnaver was born 1 October, 1981, the only son of the 25th Earl of Sutherland [Peerage of Scotland created in 1235] [born 7 January, 1947], and his second wife, the former Gillian Murray. The Earl is Chief of the Clan Sutherland.
His father, the 25th holder of the peerage, succeeded to the titles on the death of his mother, who was 24th Countess of Sutherland in her own right, 9 December, 2019. The Countess left an estate of £18m. The Earldom of Sutherland is one of Scotland's senior earldoms, and the family homes are the magnificent Dunrobin Castle, and the House of Tongue, at Golspie.
Lord Strathnaver was the Earl of Sutherland's only son. The 25th Earl has two daughters from his first marriage in 1968, to Eileen Elizabeth Baker [born Florida, 1943], daughter of Richard Wheeler Baker, of Princeton, New Jersey, which ended in divorce in 1980. The are Lady Rachel Elizabeth Sutherland [born 10 Aug, 1970], and Lady Rosemary Millicent Sutherland [born 10 Sept, 1972]. The Earl also leaves a daughter from his second marriage in 1980, to the current Countess, the former Gillian Murray, Lady Elizabeth Murray St Clair Costin [born 24 April, 1984].
Lord Strathnaver was unmarried. The heir to the peerages is now his eldest half-sister, Lady Rachel, 52.
Lord Strathnavar's younger sister, Lady Elizabeth, is married to Romanian Yacov Costin [born Dec 1971], and they have a son, Isaac Sutherland, born in 2015, a future possessor of the family honours.