Monday, May 29, 2023

Possible claimant to the throne at the time of Charles III’s coronation?

Simon Abney-Hastings, 48, the son of an Australian farmer, may have seemed like an unexpected guest at the coronation of Charles III. However, he would be the only person present at Westminster Abbey who would have any reason to think he was disputing his title with the king.

It all begins with the controversial research of Michael Jones, a British medieval historian. About twenty years earlier, he had discovered a document in the cathedral of Rouen which in his eyes proved that King Edward IV (who reigned from 1461 to 1483) was illegitimate. This thesis is controversial.

According to the historian, during the five weeks that Edward was conceived, his father was actually 100 miles away from his wife, Cecily Neville, Duchess of York. Therefore, argue the medievalists, Edward was not the true heir to the throne and the line of succession must have been through George, Edward’s younger brother, the Duke of Clarence, a direct ancestor of Simon Abney-Hastings.

golden spurs

While the family do not own any land or stately homes in the UK, they have inherited the Scottish title of Earl of Loudoun because of their ancestry. Simon Abney-Hastings’ father, Michael, left the UK for Australia in 1960. Michael inherited the title from his mother, the 13th Countess of Loudoun, in 2002 and passed it on her death in 2012 to Simon, who is the 15th Earl.

In recognition of the family heritage, Simon Abney-Hastings is among the thirteen guests at the coronation because there is evidence that his ancestors played a special role in previous coronations. On Twitter, Earle said he was “delighted and sincerely honored” to take on the same role as his ancestor on May 6.

Traditionally, the Counts of Loudoun have worn golden spurs during coronations since the 12th century. Made of gold, leather and velvet, these represent the emperor’s role as head of the armed forces. They are offered during the ceremony. Formerly, spurs were attached to the feet of the new emperor. More recently, they are worn only up to the sovereign’s heels before being placed on the altar.

“Michael Eyre”

Twenty years ago the unexpected implications of the discovery at Rouen Cathedral were brought to the attention of the Abney-Hastings family. The documentary crew visited Michael Abney-Hastings at his home in Australia in 2004 for a program entitled “The New British Monarch”.

Thus the family learned that new research supported that Edward IV was illegitimate, meaning that he was the “rightful King of England”. Michael Abney-Hastings replied that he was “aware of the distant connection to the royal Plantagenet dynasty”, but said he was “surprised” to learn that he could be King Michael I.

His lawyer and private secretary Terence Guthridge told AFP that Simon Abney-Hastings, who lives in Australia, the country of which he is a citizen, has no claims. He has always been an “enthusiastic and loyal supporter” of Queen Elizabeth II and her son: “they send each other birthday or Christmas cards every year”.

read this also

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