"The Man Who Should Have Been King"
By Randy Seale - June 30, 2012
Michael Edward Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun (July 22, 1942 – June 30, 2012) was a British Australian, who is most noted because of the documentary Britain's Real Monarch, which alleged he was the rightful monarch of England instead of Queen Elizabeth II. He was born in England and educated at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire. He emigrated to Australia in 1960 and two years later settled in Jerilderie, New South Wales, where he lived out life as a rice farmer and family man.
He succeeded to the titles of the 15th Lord Campbell of Loudoun [Scotland, 1601], 14th Earl of Loudoun [S., 1633], 14th Lord Tarrinzean and Mauchline [S., 1633], at the death of his mother Barbara Huddleston Abney-Hastings, 13th Countess of Loudon on November 1, 2002. He was styled as Lord Mauchline between 1960 (when his grandmother Edith Maud Rawdon-Hastings, 12th Countess of Loudoun passed away) and 2002.
The Earldom is descended from Sir Matthew Campbell of Loudoun, Sheriff of Ayr, (b.1510-d.1593) his son and heir, Hugh Campbell, 1st Lord Campbell of Loudoun (created June 30, 1601) and his heir, John Campbell, 2nd Lord Campbell of Loudoun later 1st Earl of Loudoun. The Lordship of Campbell of Loudoun has been held by the Earls of Loudoun since the Earldom's creation May 12, 1633. Campbell of Loudoun is one of the three major cadet branches of Clan Campbell. The Campbell of Loudoun arms are "Gyronny of eight Ermine and Gules" (below left). The Loudoun Crest is "An Eagle with two necks displayed Gules in Flames of Fire proper" with the moto "I Byde My Tyme"(below right).
The 14th Earl made international headlines in 2004 when Britain’s Channel Four documentary team conducted extensive research into the monarchy and concluded his ancestors were cheated out of the crown in the 15th century. Hastings was a descendant of the House of York, which famously battled the House of Lancaster for the rights to the British crown in the 15th century during the War of the Roses. The claim for Abney-Hastings as heir to the English throne relates to his descent from George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, tied in with the alleged biological illegitimacy of Edward IV of England.
Michael Abney-Hastings was born in Sussex, England, to Captain Walter Strickland Lord and Barbara Abney-Hastings, 13th Countess of Loudoun. He was given the name Michael Edward Lord at birth in 1942. In 1946 his name was legally changed by Deed Poll to Michael Edward Abney-Hastings. However, he grew up in his mother's home in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, England, a town where one of his family's castles, Ashby de la Zouch Castle, is located.
Michael "Mike" Hastings showed little interest in pursuing his claim to the monarchy in a 2005 Agence France-Presse interview, citing the intense public scrutiny endured by the royals. He joked that his claim to the crown could prove lucrative if confirmed. "I reckon I might send Lizzie (Queen Elizabeth II) a bill for back rent. The old girl's family have been living in my bloody castle for the last 500 years," he said.
Mike Hastings was a councillor of the Jerilderie Shire, first elected in 2004 and then re-elected in 2008. With over 48 years in Jerilderie, he became a solid citizen, serving as chairman of the local historical society - and perhaps the greatest indication that he had became a dinky-di Aussie, he was appointed a life member of the Jerilderie (Australian rules) Football Club.
The 14th Earl of Loudoun married his wife Noelene Margaret McCormick in 1969. His wife, whom he described as "a fiery Australian with red hair", died in 2002 before the BBC crew arrived on his doorstep. She would not have been impressed. "She would have told me to bloody well behave myself and not get carried away by all this." Together they had two sons and three daughters.
The Lady Amanda Louise Abney-Hastings (born 1969)
The Lady Lisa Maree Abney-Hastings (born 1971) (died 2012)
Simon Michael Abney-Hastings, now 15th Earl of Loudoun (born 1974)
The Lady Rebecca Lee Abney-Hastings (born 1974)
The Hon. Marcus William Abney-Hastings (born 1981)
The late 14th Earl of Loudoun's eldest son Simon Michael Abney-Hastings was known as The Honourable Simon Abney-Hastings from his birth in 1974 until 2002 when his father became the 14th Earl. He then held the courtesy title Lord Mauchline from 2002 until his father's death. He then succeeded his father as the 15th Earl of Loudoun. Simon Abney-Hastings, 15th Earl of Loudoun is an Australian citizen. He is a bachelor working for a fabrics company in the Victorian city of Wangaratta. The 15th Earl's heir presumptive is his younger brother, The Hon. Marcus William Abney-Hastings, now styled as Lord Mauchline.
The 14th Earl of Loudoun had been battling a debilitating illness and had been in and out of the hospital in the lead-up to his death. The Earl of Loudoun’s funeral was held at 11am on Thursday July 5, 2012 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Jerilderie.
Watch the full 49 minute documentary of "The Man Who Should Have Been King" here: Britain's Real Monarch
The Clan Campbell Society (North America) and members of Clan Campbell worldwide extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the late Earl's family for their loss. - Ne Obliviscaris -