Meet the Next ‘Rightful Heir’ to the British Throne

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Let the Game of Thrones begin!

Last month Mike Hastings, an Australian forklift driver and the so-called ‘Rightful Heir to the British throne” died at age 71 – and if any members of the Windsor family are now breathing a sigh of relief, they may have a new problem on their hands. Hastings was already in his 60s when he found out about his claim to the British throne, and he largely made a joke of it. That claim, however, now belongs to his 37-year-old son, Simon, and it seems he may take his royal roots a little more seriously.

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So what’s behind the Hastings’ claim to the crown? Here’s a little history: Way back in the 1400s, Richard of York was Lord Protector of the realm and father of the future King of England, by dint of a hard-won agreement with the childless King Henry VI. Richard was married to the lovely (and possibly unfaithful) Cecily, and while he was off fighting the French, according to some historians, a child was conceived. That child grew up to be King Edward IV. However: if Edward really was illegitimate, the crown should have been passed down to his brother, George. And 500 years of royal geneology later, according to research by Britain’s Channel Four television, the true head beneath the crown should not belong to Queen Elizabeth but to Hastings.

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The new heir, Simon Abney-Hastings, is much like his father before him. He’s an average bloke who “prefers a bourbon and coke and a Barbie to tea and scones served on a silver tray,” according to the Telegraph. Abney-Hastings also gets a kick out of making his friends call him “your lordship” now that he knows he is, in fact, an earl. While he seems content enough in Australia, however, the Telegraph says that the “reluctant royal” takes his new connections seriously and hasn’t ruled out making a grab for the crown.

But maybe not right away. “Given the Abney-Hastings have had to wait six centuries to stake any claim, a little longer won’t make much difference,” the 37-year-old possible prince said. His family motto: “I Byde My Tyme”.

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