Mac Domhnaill - Macdonald of Macdonald
Right Honourable Godfrey James Macdonald of Macdonald, 8th Lord Macdonald,
Chief of the Name and Arms of Macdonald, High Chief of Clan Donald and 34th hereditary Chief of Clan Donald, descends
directly from the ancient Kings and Lords of the Isles.
Lord Macdonald was born on 28th
November 1947, the same year that the Lord Lyon, King of Arms
granted the undifferenced arms of Macdonald of Macdonald to his
father, Alexander Godfrey, making his father the first High Chief of
Clan Donald is the largest and oldest of all the Highland clans, and
the only one to have a High Chief and subsidiary Chiefs in their own
right. Previously, based on an agreement made in 1911 between the
Chiefs of Clan Donald, precedence at a Clan Donald function was
based, for each occasion, on a toss of a coin, for the
much-contested rôle of presiding Chief. However, today as High
Chief, Lord Macdonald chairs the High Council of Clan Donald Chiefs,
composed of the Chiefs of Clanranald, Glengarry, Sleat, and Antrim.
Lord Macdonald, like his father before him, was educated at Eton,
where he was a contemporary of Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat. In 1970,
his father, who was born in 1909, died suddenly. This caused Lord
Macdonald to cut short his developing career as an accountant in
Edinburgh and return to Skye to take charge of his enormous
inheritance of a 45,000 acre estate and four hotels. Unfortunately,
the situation was under colossal pressure from anciently engaged
debt, so a major reconstruction had to be entered into with the
cooperation of his trustees.
To formally unite Clan Donald, the High Council of Clan Donald
Chiefs was formed in 1971, with Sir Iain Moncrieffe of that Ilk,
Albany Herald and an advocate, as the Council's adviser. The first
act of the new Council was to form the Clan Donald Lands Trust, into
which Lord Macdonald's inheritance of land was transferred, with the
intention that the sum of £210,000 would be raised from within the
Clan and paid at a later date to Lord Macdonald's trustees in
settlement for the land. Although the fund-raising drive received
much sympathetic encouragement, little actual money was raised.
Fortunately, however, land values on Skye grew dramatically at the
same time, enabling half the estate to be sold for a sufficient sum
to retire the entire debt, with the result that the Clan Donald
Lands Trust has the current 20,000 acres on Skye free of debt; land
which is still held in trust for all clansfolk.
Lord Macdonald is married to the internationally known writer,
journalist, cook, and cookery demonstrator, Claire Macdonald (nèe
Catlow). Lord and Lady Macdonald reside at Kinloch Lodge, one of his
family's ancestral homes, which for over three decades Lord and Lady
Macdonald have run as a small, internationally acclaimed hotel.
Lord and Lady Macdonald have four children. Alexandra, the eldest,
is married to Baron Guttenberg and lives in Austria with their son
Jo. Isabella, the second born, is married to Mr Tom Eveling.
Isabella and Tom live on Skye with their son Billy and assist in the
management of Kinloch Lodge. Meriel, the youngest daughter is
currently living in London.
Hugo, Lord and Lady Macdonald's youngest child and the heir to the
High Chiefship, attended Eton and has recently graduated from
Trinity College, Cambridge with a first class degree in Middle
Eastern History. He spent the traditional "gap year" in India, and
plans a career in Journalism.
Lord and Lady Macdonald play an active part in the life of their
local community. Lord Macdonald was for many years involved in all
aspects of local government. He is a Justice of the Peace and a
Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Inverness-shire.
Lord Macdonald also has a sister, The Hon. Janet Ann Macdonald of
Macdonald, and a brother, The Hon. Alexander Donald Archibald
Macdonald of Macdonald.
Sloinneadh: Gorraidh Seumais
mac Alasdair Gorraidh mhic Gorraidh Eòghann 'ic Ragnhaill 'ic Gorraidh
Uilleam 'ic Gorraidh 'ic Alasdair 'ic Alasdair 'ic Seumais 'ic
Domhnaill Breac 'ic Seumais Mhor 'ic Domhnaill Gorm Og 'ic
Gilleasbuig Cleirich 'ic Domhnaill 'ic Domhnaill Gorm 'ic Domhnaill
Gruamach 'ic Domhnaill Gallach 'ic Uisdean 'ic Alasdair 'ic
Domhnaill 'ic Eoin 'ic Aonghais Og 'ic Aonghais Mhor 'ic Domhnaill 'ic
Ragnhaill 'ic Somhairle.