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31 December, 2010

2010 Peer of the Year:
Arthur Valerian Wellesley,
8th Duke of Wellington

We could think of no better way to celebrate New Year's Eve than to proclaim the availability of a great man, great hero, and great benefactor: the 8th Duke of Wellington and our 2010 Peer of the Year!!!

Born in 1915 (2 July), this 95-year-old nobleman (pictured below) is the oldest living duke in the realm.  If the fates smile upon him, His Grace will pass the 97-year age record of the late 7th Duke of Grafton and would then be poised to become the first centenarian duke.

His Grace is ranked 5th in his seniority of succession to the ducal title (January 1972) and holds approximately a dozen other domestic and foreign titles.  Additionally, he owns a 7,000-acre Hampshire estate, a purported 20,000 acres in Belgium and Spain, and is estimated to be worth as much as ₤50 million.  His Grace is a veteran of World War II and had a long and decorated Army career, winning the Military Cross and attaining the rank of Brigadier.

His Grace was recently widowed, having regrettably lost his wife of almost 67 years on 1 November, 2010.  His Grace and Her Grace were the longest married ducal couple (from length of marriage, as opposed to from when he succeeded to the dukedom).  Together they had five children, including His Grace’s heir, The Marquess of Douro; 10 grandchildren, including Lord Douro’s heir, The Earl of Mornington; and an estimated 4 great-grandchildren, including Lord Mornington’s heir, Viscount Wellesley and his twin sister.

The Duke of Wellington holds many records in the ducal world.  Not only is he the oldest and, until recently, the longest married, but he also ties for the most children (five) and has the most sons (four).  His noble family is also the only one to have three direct heirs in the line of succession.  Lastly, he is the premier duke in the peerage of the United Kingdom.

As a widower of advanced age, it is unknown whether or not His Grace would welcome a romantic entanglement; however, His Grace is reported to be of robust health, and it would not be the first time that such has happened.  For example, The Duke of Beaufort married for the second time in 2000 at the age of 71, The Duke of Marlborough married for the fourth time in 2008 at the age of 82, and The Marquess of Queensbury married for the third time in 2000 as a recent father at approximately age 70.

What competition would the Duke of Wellington face, should he take up a romantic campaign?  Suitors of such high esteem are the favored few: HRH The Prince Andrew, Duke of York (50, divorced) and The Duke of Fife (81, divorced).

His Grace The Duke of Wellington

Park Corner House, Heckfield, Hook, Hampshire RG27 0LJ
Stratfield Saye House, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG27 0AS
Tel:  01256 882218
Apsley House, 149 Piccadilly, London W1V 9FA


23 December, 2010

Ten Lords-a-Leaping

As we celebrate the holiday season and the year also draws to a close, let us take time to briefly celebrate our top Ten Lords-a-Leaping – peers who have all leapt into the realms of engagement, marriage, divorce, or fatherhood in 2010.

# 1 HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, 28, second in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom and 15 other independent states.  First in any elite listing and at the top of our Lords-a-Leaping is the elder son of The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.  Prince William announced his long-awaited engagement to girlfriend Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton, 28, on 23 November, 2010.  The much-publicized royal wedding will be held on 29 April, 2011.

# 2 The Duke of Hamilton (16th) and Brandon (13th), Alexander Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 32.  This Scottish double-duke announced his engagement to Sophie Ann Rutherford, 34, in March 2010.

#3 The Viscount Ipswich, Henry Oliver Charles Fitzroy, 32, heir of his grandfather, the 11th Duke of Grafton, since the death of Lord Ipswich’s father, The Earl of Euston.  Lord Ipswich was married to Olivia Margaret M. Sladen, 32, on 14 August, 2010 at Snowshill, Gloucestershire.

# 4 The Marquess of Bowmont & Cessford, Charles Robert George Innes-Ker, 29, heir to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe.  Lord Bowmont became engaged on 1 December, 2010 to The Hon. Charlotte Susanna Aitken.

# 5 The Earl of Cardigan, David Michael James Brudenell-Bruce, 58, heir to the 8th Marquess of Ailesbury.  After 18 bitter months, the Earl and Countess of Cardigan have this month finalized their divorce and ended their 28-year marriage.  Lord Cardigan is expected to become engaged to his American girlfriend, Ms. Joanne Hill, 44, at some time in the future.

# 6 The Earl Spencer, Charles Edward Maurice Spencer, 46.  The 9th Earl Spencer recently broke off his engagement to Bianca, Lady Eliot.  Lady Eliot, a 34-year-old widow, would have been his third wife.  Instead, his attention may turn to the wedding of his nephew, Prince William (see #1 above).

# 7 The Earl of Pembroke (18th), William Alexander Sidney Herbert, 32.  On 29 May, 2010, Lord Pembroke, who is also the 15th Earl of Montgomery and is worth over ₤150 million, married his long-time girlfriend Victoria “Tori” Bullough, 24.  The couple is already expecting their first child, a “honeymoon baby.”

# 8 The Viscount Raynham, Thomas Charles Townshend, 33, heir to the 8th Marquess Townshend.  Lord Raynham succeeded to his courtesy title earlier this year, upon his grandfather’s death and his father’s succession to the marquessate.  A busy year, in August 2010 the young viscount also became engaged to Miss Octavia Legge of Kingsclere, Hampshire.

# 9 The Earl of Mornington, Arthur Gerald Wellesley, 32, grandson and heir of the heir apparent of the 8th Duke of Wellington.  Lord Mornington and the Countess of Mornington welcomed twins in 2010, Lady Mae Madeleine Wellesley and Arthur Darcy Wellesley, Viscount Wellesley, who should one day also become The Duke of Wellington.

#10 The Earl of Mount Charles, Alexander Burton Conyngham, 35, heir apparent of the 8th Marquess Conyngham.  Lord Mount Charles and the Countess of Mount Charles welcomed a son in 2010, Rory Conyngham, Viscount Slane, who should one day also become The Marquess Conyngham.

18 December, 2010

Earl of the Hour:
Henry Miles Fitzalan-Howard,
Earl of Arundel

Born in 1987 (3 December), this 23-year-old nobleman (pictured below) is the eldest son and heir of the Duke of Norfolk, England’s senior duke, from whom he will one day inherit nine other titles and property worth as much as ₤100 million, including Arundel Castle.

Known as “Henry Arundel,” Lord Arundel is an economics student at Bristol University but is best recognized for his presence on the Formula racing circuit, including a 2007 third place finish in the Formula BMW UK.  He raced for Räikkönen Robertson Racing in 2008 and Carlin Motorsport in 2009.

The young earl also enjoys skiing, hiking, and climbing, primarily in Austria.  He is a fan of Oasis and Coldplay, and admires Roger Federer for his mental strength.  Lord Arundel has two single, younger brothers, The Lord Thomas Fitzalan-Howard (18) and The Lord Philip Fitzalan-Howard (14).

"Henry Arundel"

Arundel Castle


Arundel Castle, Arundel, Sussex BN18 9AB


12 December, 2010

Earl of the Hour:
Robert Somerset, Earl of Glamorgan

Born in 1989 (20 January), this 21-year-old nobleman (no photo available) is the grandson of the Duke of Beaufort and the elder son of his heir, Henry John Fitzroy Somerset, Earl of Worcester.

The present Duke of Beaufort (11th) and his progeny are among the dwindling descendants in the male line of the House of Lancaster from the House Plantagenet.  The Earl of Worcester is a musician, farmer, and surveyor and is married to environmentalist and former actress Tracy-Louise Ward (sister of actress Rachel Ward), with whom he has three children.

As the elder son of The Lord Worcester, The Lord Glamorgan stands to one day inherit up to ₤200 million of property and investments, including the magnificent Badminton Estate, home of the world-famous Badminton Horse Trials and the site where the game of badminton was invented.

Little is publicized about the young earl, who is known as “Bobby Worcester” and is presumably finishing his education.  One day soon, he will be considered one of England’s most eligible bachelors.  He has one brother, The Lord Alexander “Xan” Somerset, who is approximately 15 and therefore also single.

Badminton House
Badminton House, West Front


Badminton House, Badminton, Gloucestershire GL9 1DB


Wikipedia -,_11th_Duke_of_Beaufort &                 

05 December, 2010

Viscount of the Week:
Henry Oliver Charles Fitzroy,
Viscount Ipswich

Punctuating our regular profiles of single peers, we must occasionally celebrate the marriage of one who has been formally or informally on our radar.  Convention not being what it was and divorce rates being what they are, we in no way lessen our best wishes and felicitations for a newly-married peer and his bride.  Should their love falter, we would note the returning availability of this peer; however, should their union triumph, we would equally rejoice in the birth of an heir!

The subject of our post today was born in 1978 (6 April).  This 32-year-old nobleman (no photo available) is the heir apparent to the Duke of Grafton, his grandfather, upon whose death he will inherit other titles; a vast, possibly as much as 20,000-acre estate in Norfolk that includes Euston Hall; and a singular art collection.

Lord Ipswich has not so far assumed the more senior courtesy title of the Earl of Euston, which was vacated when his father passed away in October of 2009.  Known as "Harry," Lord Ipswich was educated at Edinburgh University.  He plays the guitar and has been a radio personality in the United States.

Until recently, he was considered to be one of England’s most eligible bachelors.  His engagement to Olivia Margaret M. Sladen, 32 (born 1978), of Snowshill, Gloucestershire was announced this past April.  Their wedding is presumed to have taken place on 14 August, 2010 at Snowshill according to the local Village News.

Viscount Ipswich has no brothers, making his uncle, The Lord Charles Patrick Hugh Fitzroy, his presumptive successor.  The Lord Charles Fitzroy is married with two teenage sons, The Lord Nicholas “Nico” Fitzroy and The Lord George Fitzroy.


6 Vicarage Gdns, London W8 4AH
Euston Hall, Euston, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 2QW
Tel:  01842 753282


North Cotswolds Village News -