Thu July 12, 2012 12:00am
KNOCKABOUT Collingwood fan Simon Abney-Hastings could challenge Prince Charles to become the next king of England.
Wangaratta man Simon Abney-Hastings is considered by some historians the rightful heir to the English throne.
But the textile worker says he is more at home in his three-bedroom weatherboard than he would be in the 1000-room Windsor Castle.
And he prefers a bourbon and coke and a barbie to tea and scones served on a silver tray.
The 37-year-old son of a "Ten Pound Pom" is the new 15th Earl of Loudoun, who happens to be related to Queen Elizabeth.
And, in what would be a right royal controversy, he's wondering whether to knock on the door at Buckingham Palace to ask for the realm to be returned to his side of the family.
With the funeral of his father, Michael, in NSW last week, Mr Abney-Hastings can lay claim to be next in line to the throne.
The happy bachelor is a direct descendant of England's House of York, whose squabbles with the House of Lancaster became known as the Wars of the Roses and were dramatised by William Shakespeare.
A few years ago, noted historian Dr Michael Jones claimed the Abney-Hastings family should occupy the throne instead of Queen Elizabeth, because the alleged illegitimate birth of Edward IV made void the legitimacy of his descendants.
Mr Abney-Hastings takes the status of his newly inherited honorary title and links to royalty very seriously, even though mates take the mickey out of him by addressing him as "Your Lordship".
He calls himself a "reluctant royal", prefers a cap on his head to a crown, and fiercely protects his privacy.
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