Diplomat and captain of industry. Born in Scotland, the son of a clergyman, Wilson was educated at Glenalmond and Keble College (Oxford). He entered the Foreign Service in 1958 after completing his national service. He spent the majority of his career in the Far East and rose to become the penultimate British Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong (1987-92).
Wilson served as Chairman of the Perth-based utility company Scottish Hydro Electric plc (which became Scottish and Southern Energy) between 1993 and 2000. He was appointed Chairman of the Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland (2002) and Master of Peterhouse (Cambridge) in the same year.
Wilson was created a life peer in 1992 and a Knight of the Thistle in 2000. He gained honorary degrees from the University of Aberdeen (1990), the University of Sydney (1991), University of Abertay (1994) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1996). He was appointed a Vice President of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (1996) and Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen (1997). Wilson was also appointed a Board Member of the British Council (1993) and Member of Committee of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Wilson maintains houses in Cambridge, Edinburgh and his family home at Tillyorn (W Aberdeenshire).