Today, we encountered an article by the Daily Mail, written at the end of last month that said they expected the Duchess Of Cambridge’s father to be granted a title, they said in specific, the title of Earl of Bucklebury.
This article was then perpetuated by the usual gossip sources before surfacing on some [usually] reputable royal websites. This wild speculation from the Daily Mail is flawed from the start. They say that because there hasn’t been a grandfather of a future King or Queen without a title for 1,000 years – which is probably true, but what they fail to mention that, in the last few hundred years at the very least, the title has never been issued as a result of their daughter marrying into the Royal Family. These have all been outstanding peerages, with a history and establishment.
There hasn’t been an Earl created since 1984, for ex-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan (Earl Of Stockton) – since 1999, most hereditary peers have been abolished from the House Of Lords too! Now, the only titles that are created are for Life Peerages (at the rank of Baron/Baroness) which are not hereditary. Having said that, there’s every chance he could be made a life peer (making him Michael, Baron Middleton).
Other than Life Peerages, Royal Peerages are also created at most ranks but seeing as Michael Middleton isn’t royal, this won’t be happening.
Now we’re not ever ruling out Michael Middleton being given a peerage but given that the suggestion of Earl of Bucklebury has never existed, this further complicates things.
Another point worth picking up on in the article is the reference to what would happen to this supposed peerage after Michael dies. It says it would pass to Catherine as eldest child. Wrong. Peerages, only in about one or two cases, pass to female children. Moreover this wouldn’t happen because there is a male child, James, who would succeed to the title. Even if James wasn’t there, the fight would still be between Catherine and Pippa as there is no Primogeniture among women, so all have equal right of succession. As a result of this, the title would go into abeyance and nobody would succeed to it. So either way, Kate would never get the title – nor want it one can imagine. As a Royal Duchess, she holds the highest ranking title already!
All of this argument does add up to say that the chance of Michael being given a peerage any time soon is extremely unlikely, though there’s nothing stopping him being made a KCVO in the Royal Victorian order (which would give him the title of Sir Michael and his wife the title of Lady Middleton).