What is being billed as the society wedding of the year will have a Highland connection, when Pippa Middleton marries James Matthews on a Berkshire estate on Saturday.

She is the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge whose husband Prince William is second in line to the throne. Hedge fund millionaire James Matthews is the groom and his family has also attracted headlines by his brother appearing in the reality television series Made in Chelsea.

But his father David Matthews, the Yorkshire businessman who set up the Eden Rock hotel in St. Barths in the Caribbean in 1995, acquired the 10,000 acre Glen Affric estate in 2008. His family had no prior connection to the glen to the west of Loch Ness, which is widely regarded as one of the country's most beautiful and declared a National Nature Reserve over 60 years ago.

The glen was part of the lands of Clan Chisholm and the Lovat Frasers but is now mostly owned by the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS).

The Herald:

According to FCS, when shooting became fashionable, Sir Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, the first Lord Tweedmouth, who was a rich Liberal MP, took a long lease on shooting rights over much of Glen Affric in 1846, paying £3,000 per year for the privilege: about £130,000 in today’s money.

He liked the place so much he later bought the estate at Guisachan (Gaelic for ‘the place of the pines’), near Plodda Falls. He built a new mansion house there, as well as the hunting lodge in Glen Affric itself for the weekends.

The Duke and Duchess (later Queen Mary) of York were reported as having visited in 1897 being driven round by Lady Tweedmouth who had been born Lady Fanny Spencer-Churchill. Her nephew future prime minister Winston Churchill came to Glen Affric in 1901, and was said to have amused himself learning how to drive a car.

Now Mr Matthews offers luxury holidays in the Victorian Lodge, including chauffeur driven private transfers from and to Inverness airport. Ther is range of activities including shooting, salmon and trout fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, sailing, hiking, clay pigeon shooting, bird watching and pony trekking.

It has been reported that having bought the estate Mr Matthews can call himself Laird of Glen Affric, which he could pass to his son meaning his wife Pippa would eventually become Lady Glen Affric.

However the Lord Lyon of Scotland who has jurisdiction over all heraldic business in Scotland, appears to cast some doubt on this:

"The term ‘laird’ has generally been applied to the owner of an estate, sometimes by the owner himself or, more commonly, by those living and working on the estate. It is a description rather than a title, and is not appropriate for the owner of a normal residential property, far less the owner of a small souvenir plot of land. It goes without saying that the term ‘laird’ is not synonymous with that of ‘lord’ or ‘lady’."

Meanwhile arrangements continue for the nuptials at St Mark’s Church on the Englefield Estate, owned by millionaire Richard Benyon who has been Tory MP for Newbury since 2005 and a former junior minister in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He was reportedly one of the richest members of the House of Commons.

There have been claims that local villagers living nearby have been offered £1,000 for the use of their parking area, but they had been urged not to accept because of the security risk.