Scots aristocrat in court over alleged threats on grouse moor

Duntreath Castle. Picture: JP
Duntreath Castle. Picture: JP
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The arisocratic great-grandson Edward VII’s mistress Alice Keppel has been ordered to appear in court next month, charged with behaving threateningly on a moor.

Dru Edmonstone, whose grouse-shooting family have owned the historic Duntreath Castle Estate, near Blanefield, west Stirlingshire, since they were gifted it by King Robert III in 1435, is accused of “behaving in a threatening or abusive manner likely to cause a reasonable person to suffer fear and alarm” in that he did “act in an aggressive manner, shout, swear, and utter threats of violence”.

The incident is said to have taken place on moorland at Cuilts Brae, Blanefield, near his home, Ardoch House, Cuilts Road, also Blanefield, on September 29.

Edmonstone, 44, is also charged with wasting police time by falsely alleging that a man with a shotgun was threatening to rob people on the West Highland Way the same day.

The charge alleges he did told Elaine Hall, a Police Scotland call handler at the force’s Bilston Glen service centre in Midlothian, that an armed man was present, forcing police officers to investigate the incident, which turned out not to be true.

The case, at Stirling Sheriff Court, has been continued without plea until November 18.

Duntreath Castle is a well-known as a shooting estate.

It is the ancestral home, in unbroken succession, of the Edmonstone family, who were granted the lands by King Robert III as a wedding gift for his grand-daughter.

Sir Archibald, 82, the 7th baronet of Duntreath, inherited the castle at the age of 22 and it has become a popular setting for weddings, seminars, private parties and corporate events.

In 1998 the castle played host to the Grouse Ball in aid of the Game Conservancy Trust.

Tatler magazine reported at the time that “it was more like a large country house party than a ball, a tartan-clad evening where the 400 guests reeled the night away... a convivial and relaxed affair, which meant that the next day the grouse on the moor were thoroughly safe from the attentions of the guests”.

Sir Archibald’s grandmother Alice Keppel was Edward VII’s mistress and great-grandmother of Prince Charles’s second wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Edmonstone Baronetcy was a title created on May 20, 1774 for Archibald Edmonstone, who had been a Tory MP for Dunbartonshire and Ayr Burghs.

The 6000-acre estate of Duntreath lies on both sides of the Blane Valley 12 miles north of the Glasgow.

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