Documentary goes behind the appointment of new chieftain to Clan Buchanan

A documentary on the appointment of a new chieftain to one of Scotland’s largest clans after more than 300 years will be shown on the BBC Scotland.

John Michael Baillie-Hamilton Buchanan was appointed chief of the Buchanan clan in a ceremony near Callander last year.

The last Buchanan chief, John Buchanan, died in 1681 without a male heir. His successor was identified following years of genealogy research by the late Hugh Peskett.

Meet the Clan, which airs on 8 August, follows the events leading up to the ceremony.

It was attended by Buchanan descendants from countries across the world  and featured a stone ‘throne’, coronet, and swords – all specially commissioned for the event – a pipers’ procession and a medieval-style fanfare.

As well as documenting the investiture, this new documentary, follows the new Chief in the period running up to the ceremony, meeting members of the clan.

And it reveals how Scottish clan heritage is attracting adherents from across the globe.

In Mexico City clan descendant Pedro Buchanan has created a new brand of drink in honour of his Scottish heritage and tartan-mad enthusiasts are seen hailing ‘The Buchanan’ at Highland Games, packed with celebrating Americans, in New Hampshire.

‘British, Scottish people don’t’ get terribly excited by it…But Americans are absolutely mad about it,’ Mike says in the documentary.

The programme features Highland Games in Scotland at Balloch as well as their grand counterparts in the US. 

But it also goes behind the scenes at the family’s castle on the Cambusmore Estate, in Perthshire, as Mike’s wife Lady Paula delves into the family history to create the framework for the event. 

With elements from the past, blended with some more modern innovations, the Buchanans believe they may have produced a template for other clan chief inaugurations.

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Plus, don’t miss the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.