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28 December, 2011

Ten Lords-a-Leaping -- 2011

As we dim the lights on 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 2011.

This year, we have several repeat honorees – how could we ignore them?  They have been very busy gentlemen, indeed…

# 1 HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, 29, second in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom and 15 other independent states.  He topped our 2010 list for his long-awaited engagement to the former Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton, also 29 (until next month), now HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.  The elder son of The Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, tops our list yet again for his internationally celebrated marriage.  Just before the wedding on 29 April, 2011, Prince William was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, and Baron Carrickfergus.

# 2 The Duke of Hamilton (16th) and Brandon (13th), Alexander Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 33.  This Scottish double-duke and the Premier Peer of Scotland was profiled previously for his engagement.  On 7 May, 2011, His Grace was married to Sophie Ann Rutherford, 35.

# 3 The Duke of Grafton (12th), Henry Oliver Charles Fitzroy, 33.  His Grace succeeded his 92-year-old grandfather to the dukedom on 7 April, 2011, since his father, The Earl of Euston, predeceased his grandfather in 2009.  His Grace, formerly known as Viscount Ipswich, was honoured in our listing last year for his engagement and marriage to Olivia Margaret M. Sladen, now The Duchess of Grafton, 33.

# 4 The Duke of Norfolk (18th), Edward William Fitzalan-Howard, 55.  His Grace, England’s Premier Duke (and Earl), is our first new addition to the Ten Lords-a-Leaping list.  He and his wife announced their separation in April 2011, after 24 years of marriage and five children.  Their separation is rumoured to be permanent, with their Catholic faith serving as an impediment to divorce.  There are purportedly no significant others impatiently pressing them towards a church annulment and/or action in the courts.  While we extend our condolences to them both during this difficult time, as a separated man, His Grace is now eligible and a “Single Peer.”

# 5 The Marquess of Bowmont & Cessford, Charles Robert George Innes-Ker, 30, heir to the 10th Duke of Roxburghe.  Lord Bowmont, listed previously for his 2010 engagement, was married on 22 July, 2011 to The Hon. Charlotte Susanna Aitken, 29, the elder daughter of Lord Beaverbrook.  The Marchioness of Bowmont & Cessford is the second of the 1st Baron Beaverbrook’s descendants to be slated as a future duchess, as Lady Bowmont’s cousin, The Countess of Mornington, should one day be The Duchess of Wellington.  She is married to the present duke’s grandson (heir of the heir).

# 6 The Earl of Cardigan, David Michael James Brudenell-Bruce, 59, heir to the 8th Marquess of Ailesbury.  Profiled in 2010 for his divorce from his wife of 25 years, Lord Cardigan remarried in May 2011.  Lady Cardigan, an American real estate developer, was the former Ms. Joanne Hill, 46, whom he met in therapy in Arizona.  She has a son from her previous marriage, and the earl has two from his, including his heir, Viscount Savernake (b. 11 February, 1982, single).  Lord Cardigan’s famous kinsman led the Charge of the Light Brigade, which would certainly have gotten him on our Ten Lords-a-Leaping List in 1854, had we been publishing at that time.

# 7 The Earl Spencer, Charles Edward Maurice Spencer, 47.  The 9th Earl Spencer made our list in 2010 for his engagement to Lady Bianca Eliot and for breaking off that same engagement later in the year.  This year, we celebrate Lord Spencer’s marriage to Canadian philanthropist, Karen Gordon, on 18 June 2011 at Althorp House.  The Countess Spencer, 39, is the earl’s third wife, and he is her second husband.

# 8 The Earl of Pembroke (18th) and Earl of Montgomery (15th), William Alexander Sidney Herbert, 33.  Lord Pembroke was celebrated last year for his marriage to his long-time girlfriend, Victoria "Tori" Bullough, 26.  On 3 April, 2011, he and The Countess of Pembroke welcomed their first child, Lady Alexandra Eloise Ekaterina Herbert.  As they have only the one daughter at present, Lord Pembroke’s heir presumptive remains The Earl of Carnarvon, who colourfully is the inheritor of “King Tut’s Curse,” uncle to royal insider Jakie James “Jake” Warren, and the real-life owner of the estate we know as Downton Abbey.

# 9 The Viscount Raynham, Thomas Charles Townshend, 34, heir to the 8th Marquess Townshend.  Lord Raynham, listed in 2010 for succeeding to his courtesy title and becoming engaged, married interior designer Octavia Legge, 31, of Kingsclere, Hampshire at St. Mary’s Church on 4 September, 2011.  Lord Raynham is reported to work for Knight Frank.

#10 The Viscount Lascelles, Alexander Edgar Lascelles, 31, heir apparent of the 8th Earl of Harewood.  On 11 July, 2011, Lord Lascelles succeeded to his courtesy title, his father having succeeded his paternal grandfather as the 8th Earl of Harewood.  The 7th Earl of Harewood was a son of Princess Mary, Princess Royal, and a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II.  Lord Lascelles is approximately 52nd in line to the British throne, as a result of the family connection.

The Earl and Countess of Pembroke

The Viscount and Viscountess Raynham


11 November, 2011

Launch of the Lustrum: Opens its URL for Commoner RSVP, Blog, & Book Review

Today marked the long-awaited launch of our affiliate site, is a free, upscale, private, online dating site designed to promote Peer-Commoner matches.  This is our mission and the next logical step to what we have begun with The Single Peer!

The Commoners are presently invited to RSVP on and create their preliminary profiles, with opportunities to also create an extended profile in the coming weeks and with the Peers registering in the second wave of registrations.  The first 1,000 Commoners to RSVP will be guaranteed Free Lifetime Access to the site and discounts on any future premium services.  Please, say that we sent you!

In addition to the premiere of Commoner registration, The Godmother Blog launched today with its inaugural post, celebrating the 30th birthday of HRH Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, the only bachelor prince among the heirs to the 10 ruling houses of Europe.  The Godmother Blog will provide feature articles about royalty and the aristocracy, including news about dashing, aristocratic men; women who have successfully married them; and other useful tips for dating or peer research.

Also launching today was The Godmother Book Review with its discussion of The Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, The Queen, and the King’s Mother.  This selection not only ties in with the Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg blog post through its biography of Jacquetta of Luxembourg, but it also reintroduces us to the “Kate Middleton” of the 15th Century, Elizabeth Woodville, and thirdly profiles Margaret Beaufort, the mother behind the throne of King Henry VII.  You can expect to see more reviews of books related to royalty and aristocracy, particularly about women who have married into these circles or have been rulers in their own right.

And don’t think that’s all!  We are working with our developers on still more exciting and free features.  Keep checking in with us to take advantage of them as they are rolled out, including two international profiles with photos, Peer and Commoner searches, email, live online community chat, message boards, polls, royalty/peerage news, research links, and more!  And, if you’re married or not interesting in dating, some of these many features, like blogs, and reviews, can still be enjoyed by un-profiled site guests.

We thank you for the support you have shown already through your referrals, your registrations, and your interest in the launch.  Our mission is ultimately to bring you and The Single Peer of your dreams closer to the meaningful relationship that you may be seeking, entertaining you and providing support all the way.

See you there!

The Single Peer


Godmother –
The Godmother Blog –
The Godmother Book Review –

10 October, 2011

Development of the Decade:
The Single Peer’s First Anniversary
and Launch of

Today marks the first anniversary of the founding of The Single Peer blog on 10/10/2010.

The support of our many blog readers, FaceBook friends, Twitter followers, and referral partners has warmed my heart throughout this year.  You have read; you have laughed; you have cried; you have commented; you have corrected (when I make a typo); you have “liked”; you have followed; you have mentioned; you have tweeted/retweeted; you have texted; you have joined; you have subscribed to feeds; you have Skyped; you have interviewed; and you have emailed.  It’s been a terrific ride!

Following the lives and romantic adventures of The Single Peer, under whatever name he was being profiled each posting, has hopefully brought entertainment into your lives.  In the coming year, however, my goal is also to be proactive in bringing you and The Single Peer of your dreams closer to the meaningful relationship that you may be seeking.

This blogger can’t think of a better way to celebrate our first anniversary and the start of our second year at The Single Peer than to also announce the pending launch of our affiliate site, is a free, upscale, private, online dating site designed to promote Peer-Commoner matches.  This is our mission and the next logical step to what we have begun with The Single Peer!

Our thoughts?  Even the most high-born gentleman can sometimes use a little help navigating the dating scene.  In many countries, aristocrats and royals are listed in peerage publications, but such listings are often very impersonal.  They do not scratch the surface of profiling these men to those who would like to actually get to know them. will provide an opportunity for Peers to round out cookie-cutter peerage directory listings and also search through profiles of eligible Commoners in complete privacy.  No paparazzi.  No spam.  No groupies.  Ever.  Just direct access to view and contact their kind of gal.

And what of the womenfolk?  Back in the day, the society pages and debutante register were places where Commoners of good family could shine, but such opportunities have unfortunately gone mostly by the wayside. will provide Commoners with what they need to showcase themselves to eligible, high-born gentlemen and empower them with the most complete information available about Peers of interest, compiled from respected peerage publications, online encyclopedias, social media, society confidants, and incorporating any edits the Peers themselves may make.  Tired of turning down dates with plumbers who message you on other dating sites?  All site users will affirm that they are single and of age, and Peers must be invited to the site or will undergo a verification process to confirm their identity.

In addition to two free international profiles with photos, will provide site users with free Peer and Commoner searches, email, live online community chat, message boards, polls, featured blog articles, book reviews, royalty/peerage news, research links, and more!  And, if you’re not interesting in dating, some of these many features, like polls, blogs, and reviews, can still be enjoyed by un-profiled site guests.

The launch will be a phased registration process.  The Commoners are invite to RSVP on and create their preliminary profiles as of the primary launch date, with the Peers registering in the second wave.  The first 1,000 Commoners to RSVP will be guaranteed free lifetime access to the site and discounts on any future premium services.  Please, say that we sent you!

We hope for your support and encouragement as we embark on this exciting venture, and we cannot be more grateful for the relationships we have begun to build with you in the past year on The Single Peer.

In the spirit of The Single Peer, and with respect for its tradition, will open its URL for RSVP by Commoners and review by site guests on 11/11/2011 at 11:11:11 GMT/UTC.

See you there!

The Single Peer


Godmother –

07 August, 2011

Offspring of the Hour:
Jakie James Warren,
Nephew of the 8th Earl of Carnarvon

Born in 1986 (21 August), this almost 25-year-old (photo below) with a Welsh heritage is not a peer himself, but, as a descendant of a peer, his lineage and connections make him well worthy of a profile here.

Known as “Jake” Warren, this young gentleman was a godson of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.  Jake’s mother, The Lady Carolyn Warren, is the daughter of the late 7th Earl of Carnarvon (Her Majesty’s friend and former racing club manager), and she is the sister of the present earl, George Reginald Oliver Molyneux Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon.  The Lord Carnarvon (also spelled Caernarfon) is additionally the presumptive heir to the earldom of Pembroke and the earldom of Montgomery.

Blessed with fine looks and good prospects, Jake Warren seems not to have been touched by King Tut’s curse, although he is also descended from the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who funded the dig of Tutankhamen’s tomb, only to die suddenly and famously after the discovery of the mummy.  Jake perhaps instead takes after his luckier father, John Frederick Rufus "Johnny" Warren, who rose from humble beginnings in Essex and landed his lady at the expense of suitor Prince Andrew.  Johnny now manages Her Majesty’s racing club in his late father-in-law’s place.

Family connections aside, well-placed friends also abound for Jake Warren.  Jake attended Ludgrove and Eton with Prince Harry.  A royal wedding guest and insider, his name has been linked with many a high profile lady.  Jake is also close friends and business partners with Guy Pelly.  In fact, “Pell” has been dating Jake’s sister, Susanna, on and off for years.  Jake and Guy run a members’ bar, The Birdcage, in the Royal Enclosure garden during the Saturday of Royal Ascot.  Look to see Jake there in June of 2012.  Additionally, Jake is a Senior Account Executive at a London sports agency, Pitch.

Jake has a younger brother, Alexander Edward Warren (born 1994), who will no doubt be on our radar in the next few years.


The Priory, Moulton, Newmarket, Suffolk, England


Jake Warren with Princess Eugenie of York at Royal Ascot


19 July, 2011

Duke of the Day:
Edward William Fitzalan-Howard,
18th Duke of Norfolk

In April 2011, after almost twenty-four years of marriage, the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk announced they were pursuing a trial separation.  Although, no intention to divorce has been published or other love interests named, this action on their part has caused much speculation that the couple intend their separation to be permanent.  As such, His Grace is, whether temporarily or permanently, a single peer and deserving of a profile here.  Subsequent events will naturally be of great interest to this blogger.  If a divorce follows, it will potentially be the first for this great line in hundreds of years.

Born in 1956 (2 December), this 54-year-old nobleman (pictured below, center) is England’s senior duke and the holder of nine other titles and property (West Sussex, London) worth as much as ₤100 million, including Arundel Castle.  The Duke of Norfolk additionally serves as Earl Marshal, Hereditary Marshal of England, and Chief Butler of England.  He is also the most senior lay member of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain.

His Grace attended Ampleforth College and Lincoln College, Oxford.  He was a Cub Scout in his youth and a race car driver, a passion shared by his eldest son and heir, “Henry Arundel.”  His Grace’s marriage to Her Grace produced five children, including The Lord Thomas Fitzalan-Howard (19; born 14 March, 1992), The Lord Philip Fitzalan-Howard (15; born 14 July, 1996), and the afore-mentioned Henry Fitzalan-Howard, Earl of Arundel (born 3 December, 1987), who was profiled by The Single Peer last year:


Arundel Castle, Arundel, Sussex BN18 9AB


Arundel Castle -

06 March, 2011

Duke of the Day:
HRH The Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, Duke of York

Born in 1960 (19 February), this 51-year-old duke and royal prince (pictured below) is the second son and third child of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  The Duke of York is fourth in the line of succession to the throne of the United Kingdom and 15 other independent states.

HRH Prince Andrew was created Duke of York, Earl of Inverness, and Baron Killyleagh upon his marriage in 1986 to Sarah Ferguson.  Divorced from Sarah, Duchess of York, in 1996, the Duke of York has two daughters from that marriage, HRH The Princess Beatrice and HRH The Princess Eugenie.  However, as he currently has no sons, he has no heir to the dukedom of York.  Interestingly, since the first creation of the title in the year 1385, there has never been a Duke of York succeeded lifelong by his son.  The dukes have either become king (e.g. Henry VIII, George V, George VI), died without a male heir (e.g. Richard of Shrewsbury), or had a male heir who became king upon the death of an uncle (e.g. Edward IV).

The present Duke of York is unarguably one of the most eligible men in the world.  Among dukes, only the Duke of Wellington (95; widowed) and Duke of Fife (81; divorced) are currently unmarried.  Not only is the Duke of York substantially younger and more suitable than the other two, but he is also the only unmarried Duke who is also a royal prince.  Additionally, he and the Duke of Leinster (62; married) are the only dukes without living male heirs.  In fact, with the impending marriage of his nephew, HRH The Prince William of Wales (28), the Duke of York’s supremacy as a suitor is trumped only by that of another nephew, HRH The Prince Henry “Harry” of Wales (26), third in the line of succession – and admittedly not a likely direct romantic competitor.

Educated at the Royal Naval College, the Duke of York served for 22 years in the Royal Navy, primarily as a helicopter pilot, and served in the Falklands War.  Today, he supports many charities and carries out official duties on behalf of the Royal Family.  Since 2001, he has also served as UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, meeting with world leaders and heads of state and speaking at conferences, such as the World Economic Forum.  This has sometimes been a controversial role.

A devoted father, the Duke of York is known to spend considerable time with his two daughters and is on good terms with his former wife, including her in family outings to the extent it is feasible and rescuing her from brushes with impropriety and financial misfortune.  Although it is not thought likely that he will remarry, one can never tell.  We will not discount the possibility of a new wife in the Duke of York’s future or the birth of a son and heir to the dukedom of York, an addition to the line of succession.

HRH The Duke of York


Buckingham Palace, London SW1 1AA


21 February, 2011

Earl of the Hour:
Charles Edward Maurice Spencer,
9th Earl Spencer

Born in 1964 (20 May), this 46-year-old earl (pictured below) is the younger brother of the late Diana, Princess of Wales and uncle to HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales (28; born 21 June, 1982), heir of the heir apparent to the throne, and HRH Prince Henry “Harry” Charles Albert David of Wales (26; born 15 September, 1984).

Earl Spencer was educated at Eton and Oxford, is the holder of five noble titles, including the earldom, and is worth an estimated ₤100 million.  A man with a past, the notorious earl is twice divorced (1997; 2009) in heavily publicized proceedings, with both wives making allegations of infidelity.  His third wife is slated to be Canadian divorcée Karen Gordon (38; née Villeneuve).  The couple announced their engagement on 15 February, 2011, and the wedding is to take place at Earl Spencer’s estate at Althorp on 18 June, 2011.

Until the "I do" is final, however, he is still a "single peer," and, particularly in Earl Spencer’s case, one can’t really blame us for profiling him.  Perhaps the 3rd-and-a-half time's a charm?  Earl Spencer’s engagement and subsequent split in the same year from prospective third wife Bianca, Lady Eliot, earned him the #6 ranking on The Single Peer's 2010 Ten Lords-a-Leaping list.

Earl Spencer has written a number of books related to his family’s history and estate.  He has been a TV news correspondent and has been involved in numerous charitable and humanitarian endeavors, an interest he has in common with Mrs. Gordon.  There is some speculation as to whether the couple will live at Althorp or in California, which would facilitate Mrs. Gordon’s work as founder and CEO of Whole Child International.  Earl Spencer lived in South Africa for many years with his first wife and their children, so this is not out of the question.

Earl Spencer has six children from his two previous marriages, including two sons, who will likely be in much demand when they come of age, given their breeding, wealth, and connections to the Royal Family.  Earl Spencer’s two sons are his heir apparent, The Right Hon. Louis Frederick John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (16; born 14 March, 1994), and The Hon. Edmund Charles Spencer (7; born 6 October, 2003).

Earl Spencer


Althorp Park, Great Brington, Northamptonshire NN7 4HG

Spencer House, St James's, London SW1 (leased out)