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Former royal equerry died following fall, inquest hears
A FORMER personal attendant to the Royal Family and usher to the Queen for nearly 20 years died days after he suffered a fall, an inquest heard.
Former Equerry to His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, Major Nigel Chamberlayne-Macdonald OBE, pictured, fell on to a carpeted floor while on holiday with his wife Penelope but did not think he had suffered any injury.
However, just 24 hours later, after walking his dogs, the 86-year-old complained of a worsening headache and was admitted to neuro intensive care at Southampton General Hospital.
A scan revealed that the major, who owned Cranbury Park estate in Otterbourne, had suffered “catastrophic” bleeding on the brain and he died in hospital on August 15, two days after his fall.
Southampton Coroner’s Court heard how the bleed was exacerbated by the fact that he was on blood thinning therapy due to his high risk of a stroke.
Deputy Coroner Gordon Denson said that the cause of death was due to the subdural haematoma and ruled that Major Chamberlayne-Macdonald died an accidental death.
Major Chamberlayne-Macdonald had been Equerry to HRH 1st Duke of Gloucester between 1954 and 1955 and also became his assistant private secretary. He gained the rank of major in the service of the Scots Guards.
He was a scion of the Bosville Macdonald Baronets and was owner of one of Scotland’s biggest and most famous estates – the 80sq mile Knoydart estate.
Son of Sir Alexander Somerled Angus Bosville Macdonald of Sleat, 16th Baronet, he assumed the surname of Chamberlayne in 1958 after his marriage to Penelope, daughter of Tankerville Chamberlayne, of Cranbury Park.
He also held the position of Gentlemen Usher to the Queen from 1979 to 1997 and High Sheriff of Hampshire in 1974.
He leaves four children, Alexander, Diana, Countess of Linsay, Frances and Tom. His funeral was held at St Matthew’s Church, in Otterbourne.
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