Richard, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch and 12th Duke of Queensberry, is a distant kinsman of Sir Walter Scott and his forebear, the 4th Duke, was Scott’s close personal friend and supporter.  

The Duke has family homes in Drumlanrig in Dumfriesshire, and at Bowhill near Selkirk, a short distance from Sir Walter’s home Abbotsford. Married with four children, he is involved in management of the historic family estate businesses, heritage properties and art collections. He was made a KBE in 2000 and has held many notable public appointments. For ten years he was President of the National Trust for Scotland.

His wife Elizabeth, the Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry, is co-founder and co-patron of the Prize and has been a Judge since its inception.  In 2015 she set up the Young Walter Scott Prize, awarding young writers of historical fiction with a travel grant and bringing them into the Walter Scott Prize network.

The Duke and Duchess’ vision for a book prize to honour the achievements and reputation of Sir Walter Scott was realised with Alistair Moffat in 2009, at an infamous meeting conducted at Bowhill partly from the boot of Alistair’s car, as the locks had frozen in the sub-zero temperatures. Organisation of the Prize and its annual ceremony has been a far more auspicious affair since then.