Alastair Lorne Campbell of Airds was born on 11 July 1937 at London, England. He is a former Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms in Ordinary, Islay Herald of Arms Extraordinary, military officer, historian, author, and distinguished member of Clan Campbell. He is the son of Brigadier Lorne Maclaine Campbell of Airds, V.C. and Amy Muriel Jordan Campbell. He married Mary Ann Campbell-Preston, daughter of Lt.-Col. George Patrick Campbell-Preston and Frances Olivia Grenfell, in 1960.
Alastair Lorne Campbell of Airds was well qualified to write the A History of Clan Campbell for the Clan Campbell Education Foundation. In addition to his distinguished career as a soldier, historian, heraldist, and author, he and his father both married Campbells and eight of the last twelve generations in the male line of his family have done the same.
- 1958-1960: saw active service in Cypress.
- 1906-1961: Instructor at the Regimental Depot, Stirling, Scotland.
- 1961: last posting in Nigeria as Chief Instructor of the Infantry Wing at the Nigerian Military Training College.
- 1963: Retired from the regular army and joined the Wine Trade in the family firm.
- 1970: Became Managing director of family wine trade business.
- He was an officer in the Territorial Army in the TA Battalion of the 60th Rifles, then in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Green Jackets.
- 1973: Marketing Manager in Scotland for the Wines & Spirits Division of the Scottish and Newcastle Breweries Group.
- 1974: Marketing Director of Wines & Spirits Division of the Scottish and Newcastle Breweries Group.
- 1975: Member of the Queen's Body Guard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers, and joint author of the official history of that body.
- 1978: Managing Director of Wines & Spirits Division of the Scottish and Newcastle Breweries Group.
- 1980: Senior Steward of the Argyllshire Gathering; also 1988, and is a Trustee of that body.
- 1985: Published 'Campbell Tartan' the definitive work on all the Campbell tartans.
- 1985: Archivist of manuscript collection at Inveraray Castle (funded by Campbell-related Americans); Chief Executive of the Clan Campbell traveling the world as representative of the Chief of Clan Campbell.
- 1987: Appointed Her Majesty's Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms and a Member of the Court of the Lord Lyon.
- He is an Officer of the Order of St. John and Chapter Member of the Scottish Priory where he holds the appointment of Swordbearer.
- He is a Council Member for the National Trust for Scotland and holds an Honorary Research Fellowship in history from Aberdeen University.
- 1997: Commissioned to write A History of Clan Campbell, completed the final volume in 2003.
- 2008-2014: Served as Islay Herald of Arms Extraordinary.
After a career in the regular army and in the wine trade he went to work for his chief, the 12th Duke of Argyll, at Inveraray Castle, where as well as being Chief Executive of the Clan he was in charge of the remarkable Argyll Archives for thirteen years. In 1985 he was appointed Her Majesty's Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms at the Court of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms. He has previously written official histories of the Highland Society of London, Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Regiment and of the Queen's Body Guard for Scotland (The Royal Company of Archers) (co-author) as well as The Life and Troubled Times of Sir Donald Campbell of Ardnamurchan (1991) in The Society for West Highlands and Islands Historical Research series.
Alastair Lorne Campbell of Airds has published articles around the world on such subjects as heraldry, Highland history, genealogy, tartan and the Highland Regiments and is in constant demand as a lecturer. He is a past Council Member of the National Trust for Scotland, the Scottish Records Society and a member of Chapter for the Order of St. John in Scotland. In 1996 he was awarded an honorary Research Fellowship in history by University of Aberdeen. He is Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Tartan to the Lord Lyon.
Highland Clans Series - YouTube - Episode 4 - Clan Campbell (3 /3) BBC series, "Highland Clans," hosted by Paul Murton
A Closer Look at West Highland Heraldry - by Alastair Campbell of Airds - Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms (Later Islay Herald Extraordinary)
The Scottish Clans by Alastair Campbell of Airds - Unicorn Pursuivant of Arms (Later Islay Herald Extraordinary)