Born in 1935, His Grace was known as Earl of Kincardine until 1954 and Marquess of Graham between 1954 and 1992. He is a Southern Rhodesia-born hereditary peer of the Peerage of Scotland and a British Conservative Party politician.
The Duke, who is also Chief of the Clan Graham, took his seat in the House of Lords on his father’s death in 1992. He is one of two dukes to have re-entered the House (of the 24 non-royal dukes eligible) following the House of Lords Act 1999, having been one of the 92 peers chosen or elected by the others sitting.
The other duke in the upper house, among the 92 is the Duke of Norfolk, who did not technically have to stand for election as his right to sit is deemed automatic as he holds the Royal Office of Earl Marshal.
The Duke of Montrose was a shadow minister for the Scotland Office before the 2010 General Election. He has also spent some time in China promoting renewable energy and environmental measures, and he is a fluent speaker of Mandarin.
The title Duke of Montrose was awarded to His Grace’s ancestor James Graham, 4th Marquess of Montrose, in 1707 as a reward for his support of the Act of Union while Lord President of the Scottish Privy Council.
He was Lord High Admiral of Scotland from 1705-06, Keeper of the Privy Seal of Scotland from 1709-13 and Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland from 1716-33. He was also a Lord of the Regency for Great Britain in 1714 upon the death of Queen Anne and served a short stint as Secretary of State for Scotland in the ministry of Lord Townshend.
The Grahams had been Lords in the Nobility of Scotland since 1445, rising to earls in 1503 and marquesses in 1644. The heir apparent to the dukedom is James Graham, Marquess of Graham (b. 1973), elder son of the 8th Duke.