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.
The Daily Mail - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1193774/Earl-Cardigans-messy-marriage-comes-end.html; http://www.dailymail.co. uk/femail/article-1313503/Earl-Spencer-calls-wedding-Bianca-Eliot-whirlwind-engagement.html
Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Herbert,_18th_Earl_of_Pembroke; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Wellesley,_Earl_of_Mornington; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Conyngham,_8th_Marquess_Conyngham; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_William_of_Wales; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Middleton