Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford


Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford

Charles Francis Topham de Vere Beauclerk, Earl of Burford (born 22 February 1965) is the eldest son and heir apparent of the Duke of St Albans.

From 29 December 1994 to 2001 he was married to Canadian actress and pop singer, Louise Ann Robey. From that marriage he has one son, James Malcolm Aubrey Edward de Vere Beauclerk, Lord Vere of Hanworth (born 2 August 1995).

In 1999, Beauclerk first encountered fame during a debate on the House of Lords Act 1999 concerning the amendment of voting rights for hereditary peers. After listening to the debate while seated on the first step of the Throne, as is his right as the eldest son of a peer, Beauclerk leapt to his feet, crossed the floor of the House, stood on the Woolsack (the Speaker's seat in the House of Lords) and declared the bill treason to the life and culture of Britain.[1][2][3] As a result, he received the additional distinction of being banned for life from the Palace of Westminster. Subsequently, he stood as the first ever candidate for the Democratic Party at the 1999 Kensington and Chelsea by-election (which, as the safest of seats for the Conservatives, was won as expected by Michael Portillo).

Beauclerk has written a biography of his ancestress Nell Gwyn (published 2005).

He is heir male of Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, the natural son of Charles II and Nell Gwyn. Through his father he is also the heir of the family of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (hence the double surname), and has played a prominent role in promoting the Oxfordian theory that his ancestor wrote the works of William Shakespeare. Beauclerk regularly lectures on Shakespearean subjects in the United States. In 2010 he published Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom: The True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth, in which he espouses the theory that that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth I, and that he became her lover as an adult and with whom he fathered his own half-brother, who was raised as Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton.[4]

Charles Beauclerk declines to use his courtesy title in ordinary social situations.[5]

References



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