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Friends & Patrons

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How to get more involved with us...

Please help us to help our castle by becoming a Friend or a Patron of the Castle of Mey Friends and Patrons are very important members of the Castle of Mey community. They help us to preserve and maintain the castle and develop the gardens and farm, thereby ensuring that The Queen Mother's vision for this part of Scotland is kept alive for future generations.

By becoming a Friend or a Patron you will be supporting a truly worthy cause. Your membership will be valid for a year from the date of joining, during which time you will be able to enjoy several benefits.

As a Friend, these benefits include...

  • A free copy of the castle guide worth £9.50
  • Free entry to the castle, garden and grounds whenever they are open to the public.
  • A complimentary copy of the Friends' annual newsletter.
  • An invitation to the Friends' drinks party at the Visitor Centre in August (by request and on a first come first served basis as numbers are limited)*

As a Patron, you will enjoy all the above benefits plus...

  • An invitation to an evening reception hosted by the Trustees, in either London or Scotland.*
  • A private tour of the Castle and Gardens of Mey (by request and at a mutually convenient time),
  • A special rate to stay at The Captain's House, the Trust's rental property near the castle, overlooking the Pentland Firth.

*Please note this event is currently postponed in 2022

Friends Annual Membership

Individual : £25.00
Joint : £35.00
Family (for two adults and up to four children under 16 years) : £50.00

Patrons Annual Membership

Individual : £225.00
Joint : £300.00
Family (for two adults and up to four children under 16 years) : £350.00

How to become a Friend or a Patron

Becoming a Friend or a Patron of the Castle of Mey couldn't be easier.

You can either join at the castle shop or if you prefer, you can telephone during normal office hours. Alternatively you can contact us by email at You may also wish to consider buying membership as a gift for family and friends. This is a wonderful way to introduce them to a very special part of Scotland's heritage.


Honorary Patrons

Among the many supporters of the Castle of Mey are the following Honorary Patrons:

HE Dr Mahfouz bin Mahfouz 
Alan Titchmarsh MBE DL
Lady Elizabeth Anson 
Kinnaird Estate 
Susan Hampshire 
Ken Bruce 
Kirsty King 
Justerini and Brooks


HE Dr Mahfouz bin Mahfouz CBE (Hon) FRSA FSA Scot

His Excellency Dr Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz is an international businessman and philanthropist living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in the United Kingdom. In recent years he was elected as a Foundation Fellow of Pembroke College, University of Oxford, which fellowship includes His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. He was admitted the first Bredon Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. He was also elected a Member of the Vice-Chancellor's Circle of the University of Oxford and the Vice-Chancellor's Circle of the University of Cambridge. He is a Life Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He has a great interest in the culture and history of Scotland, hence his valued support for The Castle and Gardens of Mey. He was awarded an Honorary CBE by Her Majesty The Queen. And appointed a Community Patron and Ambassador of The Prince’s Foundation by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay.

Alan Titchmarsh MBE DL 

Alan Titchmarsh is a gardener, writer and broadcaster best known for programmes such as Ground Force and The Chelsea Flower Show.  He has also presented the BBC Proms and hosts the Saturday breakfast show on Classic FM.  His own chat show The Alan Titchmarsh Show ran for eight years on ITV and he currently presents Love Your Garden and Secrets of the National Trust on Channel 5. He has written more than fifty gardening books, three volumes of autobiography, several books on royalty including The Queen’s Houses and ten novels, all of which have made the Sunday Times Best-seller list.  A firm believer in variety being the spice of life, Alan has flown a Spitfire, performed on the West End stage in The Wind in the Willows and ridden with The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery – once.  He compered the Royal Windsor Diamond Jubilee Pageant in 2012, Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Windsor in 2016 and has presented several documentaries about the royal family.  He was made MBE in the Millennium New Year Honours List and is a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire and Chancellor of the University of Winchester. From 2008-9 he was High Sheriff of the Isle of Wight. Alan lives with his wife Alison in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and has two daughters and four grandchildren.  He sleeps well.

 ‘The Castle of Mey is, without a shadow of a doubt, my favourite Royal Garden. It thrives, thanks to the great love and attention it is given, in spite of the elements in its most northerly position on the British mainland. Visiting the Castle of Mey the first thing that strikes you is that this is a much-loved home, vibrant with happy memories. It is everyone's idea of a magical fairytale castle. As Honorary Patron of the Friends of the Castle of Mey I take great pride in being part of the Friends who ensure that the Castle of Mey retains its unique and special atmosphere - as if The Queen Mother has just stepped out.’

Lady Elizabeth Anson

Lady Elizabeth Anson became an Honorary Patron of the Castle Mey in 2006. Lady Elizabeth is the daughter of the late Viscount Anson and the late HH Princess Anne of Denmark. She is a cousin of The Queen, a niece of the late Queen Mother, and the late King George VI was her Godfather. She had one brother, the late Earl of Lichfield. Lady Elizabeth was educated in England and France. She married Sir Geoffrey Shakerley on 27 July 1972 in Westminster Abbey, and Princess Anne was her bridesmaid. Lady Elizabeth and Sir Geoffrey have one daughter.

Lady Elizabeth Anson ran Party Planners, the first and longest running such company which has built up a reputation over the years for the organisation of events from tea parties to large dances, weddings and corporate events.

"I am very honoured to be an honorary patron to the Friends of the Castle of Mey.  Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was a woman of tremendous foresight, and it was her idea to place the Castle of Mey in trust well before she died.

She would have wanted the castle to be maintained to her own high standards and expectations, as it was so close to her heart.

It was always her aim to encourage the public to enjoy the Castle of Mey and the surrounding region of Caithness. She always enjoyed the natural beauty of the surrounding area, her home at the Castle of Mey and the community."

The Trust were saddened to hear about the passing of Lady Elizabeth Anson, in November 2020, who aided the Trust tremendously over the years.

Kinnaird Estate

Kinnaird became an Honorary Patron of the Castle of Mey in 2006 and was delighted to host the launch of the Friends of the Castle of Mey at the Chelsea Flower Show on 22 May in its garden, (A Highland Retreat). Kinnaird has a long association with the Castle of Mey and the Trustees over the years and boasts its own spectacular gardens and scenery in Perthshire.

One of Scotland's most unique hotels, Kinnaird sits in the beautiful wooded valley of the Tay. Once a family home, Kinnaird remains in the Ward family today. Under the careful direction of Mrs Constance Ward, her General Manager, James Payne, a warm and welcoming atmosphere awaits you from the loyal and attentive staff who genuinely care about the comfort of their guests.

A small intimate house set on its on 7,000 acres sporting estate. Not only does it offer a wide range of sporting opportunities, but perhaps more importantly, it ensures that guests have complete privacy. The house which dates back to the 1770s, has been furnished almost entirely with fine and rare pieces of antique furniture, china and pictures. Accommodation consists of nine bedrooms, individually decorated, two stylish cottages situated in the Courtyard, just few minutes walk from the main house and a further four comfortable cottages situated around the estate.

With three lochs and five miles of the River Tay running through the estate, the salmon fishing and outdoor pursuits offered to guests are excellent. For further information visit or call +44 (0) 1796 482440 and remember to mention you are a Friend or Patron.

Susan Hampshire

Susan was one of the first supporters to join the Friends of the Castle of Mey and helped launch the Friends of the Castle of Mey at the Chelsea Flower Show on 22 May 2006.

"This is a project very dear to my heart, as I love Scotland (and have had so many happy years living and working there). I am very proud to become an Honorary Patron of the Friends of the Castle of Mey.

When the late Queen Mother saw the Castle for the very first time it was a ruin and she felt passionately that it should be saved, as it was a part of Scotland's heritage.

It would be wonderful, for her memory and for Scotland, if you too would become a Friend of the Castle of Mey, to help restore this stunning castle and gardens, so dear to her heart."

Ken Bruce

Ken Bruce, who presents the mid-morning show on BBC Radio 2, was born in Glasgow. He began his broadcasting career with the Hospital Broadcasting Service in Glasgow and went on to become a staff announcer for BBC Scotland. This led to his own daily afternoon show and involvement in a wide range of current affairs programmes, concerts and commercial voice-overs.

Ken became a supporter of the Friends of the Castle of Mey through his love of Scotland. Ken says:

"I am delighted to be involved with supporting the Castle of Mey. This fine building is in a strikingly beautiful part of the country, and I hope many people will be encouraged to experience the special qualities the castle and the area, have to offer."

Kirsty King

A key member of the Ground Force team, Kirsty King started as the horticultural researcher on the show and is now one of the four presenters.

She was raised in Perthshire, Scotland, and became interested in gardening in her early teens. At eighteen she moved south to study horticulture at Writtle Agricultural College in Chelmsford, Essex. After graduating, Kirsty worked for a landscaping company in East Sussex for two years. Her work involved running a team of landscapers, building show-home gardens, and designing private gardens as well as general garden maintenance.

"I am immensely proud of my Scottish heritage and feel privileged to be asked to join the Friends of the Castle of Mey. Many beautiful and historic buildings and gardens lie in Scotland and it is hugely important to ensure they are kept in the best possible condition.

I can't wait to bring my young children up to visit the castle and grounds and tell them the many stories of the owners and the exciting tales that surround the building and the beautiful countryside. A real treasure to visit, cherish and remember."

Justerini and Brooks

Justerini and Brooks are very kindly supporting the Castle of Mey this year by supplying the champagne and fine wines for all the Friends of the Castle of Mey events.