The Arms of the Earl of Antrim are defined by the Lyon Court as follows:
"Quarterly, 1st, Argent, a lion rampant Gules, armed and holding in his dexter paw a thistle slipped Or; 2nd, Azure a dexter hand couped at the wrist fessways Argent holding a cross-crosslet fitched paleways Gules; 3rd, Or, in the sea proper a galley with her oars disposed saltireways Sable; 4th, Parted per fess waved Argent and Vert, in the centre a salmon naiant proper. Above the Shield a Helmet answerable to his high quality over the same a Marquess Coronet with a Mantle Gules doubled Ermine and torse of his colours is set for his Crest a hand erected the fist thereof being closed proper. Supported on the dexter by a savage wreathed about the head and middle with laurel and on the sinister by a falcon proper armed, jessed and belled Or. Motto in an Escrol above all VIS CONJUNCTA FORTIOR."
Along the northeast coast of Ireland lies County Antrim, a wild, beautiful place, with natural wonders along the rugged shores. It is here the family draws its heritage from days of Sorley Boy and the title eventually bestowed.
The Earl of Antrim, Alexander Randal Mark MacDonnell, was born February 3, 1935. His father was the 13th Earl of Antrim KBE.
His mother, Angela Christina, was a professional sculptor. She studied privately in Brussels and the British School in Rome. She held the distinction of being one of the youngest sculptors ever to exhibit at the Royal Academy. Also exhibiting in England and Ireland, her work was collected privately and by institutions. She also passed her talent and love of art to her sons. She died in 1984.
The Earl attended Downside, a well known Catholic boarding school in England. He went on to Oxford, studying history, then to Ruskin College (at Oxford) with a diploma in art. Melding the two fields, he went on to study art restoration in London under Professor Ruhemann at the National Gallery.
1969-71 found then Viscount Dunluce as Restorer at the Ulster Museum, on to the Tate Gallery 1965-1975. He was Keeper of Conservation 1975-95. Director of Collection Services was added to his duties from 1990-95.
While the family uses their ancestral estate in Glenarm, the Earl still retains the original castle, Dunluce. It is leased to the governing authorities for tourist management. There is some restoration construction at this time, and happily, with Earl's supervision, the historic integrity of the architecture can be maintained.
He has two daughters and a son, the present Viscount Dunluce, Randal, by a previous marriage. Randal works in London and is an active presence at Glenarm.
The Earl met the former Elizabeth Sacher, daughter of the late Michael Moses Sacher, and married in 1977. She restored art until she became allergic to the chemicals necessary to her work. The Countess now uses her talents to restore dollhouses. They have a daughter. The Earl has also been involved in other pursuits: Director of Ulster Television 1982-2000; Chairman, Northern Salmon Company, Ltd.; Member of the Executive Committee of the City and Guilds Art School. He enjoys painting and vintage cars.
Sir Ian of Sleat notes he was privileged to announce the addition of the Earl of Antrim to the High Council of Clan Donald several years ago at Glencoe.