The Earl and Countess of March have been the victims of a terrifying robbery, after being attacked at their estate on Wednesday, where they were forced to hand over £700,000 worth of valuable family heirlooms.
The raid occurred at the couple’s historic Goodwood Estate, where Lord March was hit on the head with a “blunt instrument”. This reportedly occurred after Lady March disturbed the intruder who had broken in through an upstairs window using a ladder.
The couple were forced to open a safe, and the intruder escaped with over £700,000 worth of family heirlooms. This includes a £400,000 diamond tiara and emerald ring, given by Charles II to his mistress, Louise de Kerouaille.
Before the intruder left the estate, they tied up the injured Lord March, 61, and Lady March, 54 so they could not call emergency services.
They were not found until hours later when a member of staff arrived for work in the morning, and having discovered them dialed 999.
The Earl described the couple’s ordeal as “challenging” after Sussex Police disclosed the details of the attack. They have appealed to the public for help in identifying the perpetrator, the items stolen and any accomplices who may have been involved.
The raid took place at 4:30am at Goodwood House in West Sussex.
Detective Inspector Till Sanderson said: “This was a frightening ordeal and I pay tribute to the courage of Lord and Lady March.
“They are devastated at the loss of these treasured items, many of which are irreplaceable. We are making a nationwide appeal in a bid for information and to trace stolen jewellery. Forensic teams are working with detectives to investigate the circumstances and we are appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity during that night up until 7am or in the previous week to contact us.
“We are doing all we can try to trace the stolen treasures, liaising with auction houses, stately homes, dealers and those with specialist knowledge.”
Lord March, 61, is well known in the sporting world as the founder of the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival motoring events.
A 26-year-old man from Hampshire has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and has been bailed until next month, however, the investigation is still ongoing.