Alexander Trotter CVO 1939-2022
Major Alexander Trotter of Charterhall was the highly respected Lord Lieutenant of Berwickshire from 2000-2014.
His life was varied and interesting. Before his appointment, he had a career in the Royal Scots Greys where he commanded a troop of Conqueror and Centurion tanks, alongside taking their Pipe Band on an American tour, including performances at the Hollywood Bowl. His leisure time was equally diverse, involving sailing in the summer, skiing in winter and racing Formula 3 cars and go-karts. He learnt to fly helicopters, skied for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games, competed in equestrian sports and later in life was Master of Berwickshire Foxhounds and owned several successful point-to-pointers.
After retiring from the Army in 1968 he studied business, became a stockbroker, and forged a new career in property. He married Julia and with their three children, Henry, Edward and Rupert, settled into family life at Charterhall. His priority was to modernise the estate he inherited, make Charterhall viable and develop new ventures to support his family home. Apart from many business interests, he was involved in the Scottish Landowners Federation, was appointed to the Nature Conservancy Council and became Chairman of the Scottish Committee until 1992. During this time he was involved in a politically sensitive transition to Scottish Natural Heritage.
Like his father before him, he was a member of Berwickshire County Council, chairing the Roads Committee. He was a member, and latterly an officer of the Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland (The Royal Company of Archers) from 1969 and formed part of the ceremonial guard for the lying in state of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002.
Alexander Trotter’s involvement in many aspects of public life, as well as his depth of knowledge of the County of Berwickshire, the people, places and traditions, made him an ideal choice to succeed Major General Sir John Swinton as Lord Lieutenant in 2000. He undertook many Royal duties including visits by the late Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Princess Royal, and the Dukes of York and Wessex. In advance of these visits, Lieutenancy meetings, always chaired with quiet determination, were a masterclass in meticulous planning, and Alexander’s priority was always to make sure that royal visitors met those who contributed most to Berwickshire life.
He embraced the role alongside his other passions – a lifelong supporter of Christchurch Duns and Fogo Church, opening Charterhall’s beautiful gardens every year, horse trails, hunter trials and similar equestrian events. At Mortonhall, he developed a Paths for All scheme, a precursor to wider public access rights in Scotland. He fought to save the endangered Grey Partridge and his efforts were acknowledged by a regional award from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Alexander Trotter was a true countryman. He led a fulfilled life in the army, in sport, in public life, in business, and most importantly as the head of a loving family. He is survived by his wife Julia, their sons Henry, Edward and Rupert, and five grandchildren.