If you want to give your own name a royal flair, you can buy a title of nobility in Scotland. But the new aristocrats shouldn’t pride themselves on it too much.
WHow about a Scottish title of nobility? If you want to become a lord or lady, you don’t have to marry an aristocrat or dig deep into your pocket: An industry has emerged in Scotland that sells nobility titles: The company Highland Titles has – at least on paper – around a quarter of a million people from Australia to Canada until Russia was raised to the nobility. The company Scottish Barony Titles also has classy name additions on offer.
For the equivalent of just 34 euros, anyone can buy a certificate from Highland Titles that appoints them lord of one square foot (929 square centimeters) of land in the Scottish Highlands. Managing director Peter Bevis says the proceeds will benefit nature reserves. “Everyone here enjoys the fact that they are ‘little landlords’ of a square foot,” he says. They were under no illusions: “They do not pretend to be great landowners or rivals of the great clan chiefs in Scotland.”
However, critics emphasize that the certificates have no legal basis. Andy Wightman is an expert on land reform and says, “In Scotland you cannot legally own a square foot of land.”
But many lords and ladies by the grace of Highland Titles emphasize that the title is worth the money. At a meeting of would-be aristocrats in Glencoe, West Scotland, in June, the 73-year-old Steven Scholte from the Netherlands said: “It’s a pleasure to be part of a community of nice people who want to create a better world.” Victoria Zohner from Canada Alberta enthuses, “This is definitely not a waste of money. Just coming here and doing the tour was amazing. ”The customer review has been automatically translated from German.
Caress for the ego and business benefits
Local business people are also positive about the influx of tourists who want to inspect “their” country: “They bring a lot of sales to the area,” says David Cooper, owner of Crafts & Things in Glencoe. “If you want to call yourself Lord or Lady – that is your business.”
Elizabeth Roads has had a different experience. She watches over the Scottish coat of arms register Court of the Lord Lyon and says that some owners of a souvenir parcel believed they were truly ennobled: “We had people who assumed that they could call themselves Lord and get a coat of arms – that is not the case. You cannot buy a lordship – there is no legal status for a souvenir title. “
The situation is different when it comes to acquiring a baronate: these titles were originally bestowed by the Scottish kings and were associated with vast estates. But in 2004 the Scottish Parliament decoupled the title from land ownership as part of a land reform – after all, half of the land belonged to less than 500 people.
Brian Hamilton is a partner in the Scottish Barony Titles company and currently has two baronates near Aberdeen and Dundee on offer for EUR 96,000 each. According to him, the Baronate McDonald was sold in the late 1990s – at that time the demand was one million pounds (1.1 million euros today). Hamilton is currently negotiating with a buyer in China.
He can understand the desire for a title. “Why does someone buy a Ferrari? Some people just want to feel good. Some want to cement their connection with Scotland, others suggest it will help them in business – although I am not convinced of it. But why should I dissuade them? “