Is it worth buying a title? A reply to Lord Toby Walne

Are you considering buying a title? If so, you may have come across a couple of articles written by Lord Toby Walne.

His articles raise some questions about the legitimacies of the title services we offer, and because much of what he wrote is wholly inaccurate and misleading, I need to respond.

So below, you'll find answers to the questions he poses, and if you need any additional information, please contact me directly here .

Is an Elite Title the same as a "change of name" that can be done through a solicitor?

NO it's not. We do not offer a change of name service – but a change of title. There is a significant difference.

If you buy a title through Elite Titles, you'll legally change your title (the Mr, Mrs, Miss, part of your name), NOT your first name.

As a result, you will be legally known as the title you've chosen, for example: Lord John Smith or Baroness Sarah Smith (or whatever title you have chosen).

But beware: Some so-called title services do offer titles by changing your name.

But this is a subtly different service. That's because instead of being legally called Lord John Smith (for example), you would be called Mr Lord John Smith (where the title effectively becomes your first name). As a result, it's always worth double-checking exactly how your new title will be created.

Is an Elite Title legal?

Absolutely. The reason we are able to offer this title buying service, is because UK law states that you can call yourself anything you like – as long as you're not defrauding people.

What's more, you will receive a legal Title Deed Poll, Certificate of Title as official evidence of your new title.

Is it true that a title purchased through Elite Titles "cannot be used on any legal documents?"

This statement is entirely untrue.

That's because the title change service offered by Elite Titles is a legal title change. Once you have received your legal documentation, instead of being a Mr/Mrs/Miss etc. you will be a Lord/Lady/Baroness etc. (depending on the title you selected).

In the documentation pack that we supply you with, you'll find full details explaining what you need to do, to ensure all your documentation contains your new title.

Does the paperwork Elite Titles supply "mean anything at all?"

When you buy a Title from us, you'll receive a Title Documentation Pack. This contains:

  • A Certificate of Title
  • Title Deed and guidance notes on use

As well as being an attractive "celebration" of your title change, this legal paperwork also enables the purchaser of the title to change all their legal documents (passport, bank cards etc).

As such, it is very meaningful.

What's more, because lots of titles are purchased as gifts, the Title Certificate itself is purposefully attractive. Many customers frame and display their certificates in their home (and we've only ever had praise about the quality of the documentation we provide).

Who are Robert Smith and the Manorial Society?

Interestingly, Robert Smith is not a legal authority on the subject of titles. Instead, he's Chairman of the Manorial Society - one of our direct competitors.

 

Lots of things have been said about the Manorial Society – here's a statement by Lord Bradford, the well known Peer and entrepreneur:

 

The Manorial Society was founded in 1906, and its original aims were to look after the interests of the ‘Lords of the Manor'. However, its main purpose nowadays, since being taken over by Mr Robert Smith about twenty five years ago, is actually to sell Lordships of the Manor through their sister company, Manorial Auctioneers.

 

However, if you are considering the purchase of a manorial lordship through them I would urge caution on you, as the whole area of Manorial Lordships is a complete minefield, with too many grey areas rather than straightforward black and white.'

Is Robert Smith right, that an Elite Title is just "a fancy piece of paper?"

No, this statement is factually incorrect. When you buy a title from Elite Titles, you invest in a legal title changing service and obtain the right to legally call yourself by your new title AND add that title to your bank card, passport, driver's licence and other official documentation.

So, for example, if your name was Mr John Smith, and you bought a "Lord" title from us, you would be legally entitled to call yourself Lord John Smith – NOT, as Robert Smith suggests, Mr Lord J Smith.

Does Elite Titles offer the same service as the Manorial Society (or its sister company, Manorial Auctioneers?)

NO – and we don't attempt to suggest otherwise. The Manorial (or feudal) titles sold by Manorial Auctioneers, are based on the "Lord of the Manor" titles recorded in the Doomsday Book.

These titles are of "incorporeal property" meaning they are "incapable of physical possession" (in much the same way that copyrights or patents are). This is different to the title change service that Elite offers. What's more, you'll find that Manorial Titles are considerably more expensive than the £195 we charge. The average price of a Manorial Title is between: £6,000-£7,000, but some have gone for considerably more. For example, Earl Spencer's Lord of Wimbledon title sold for £171,000 in the 1990s.

There are however, some similarities:
Both are legal
Neither an Elite Title nor a Manorial Title comes with any rights to property (although an Elite SEATED Title does)

Will my title be included in Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage?

Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage is: "the essential reference to the British aristocracy. It contains the genealogical details of every British duke, marquess, viscount, earl, baron, and baronet, and the living members of their families in the male line."

As a result, of course your title will not appear in this directory! After all, we're not offering you a title of nobility or a hereditary title (which would be listed in this guide). Instead, we are offering a LEGAL title change service.

Actually, if you bought a "Lord of the Manor" title from Manorial Auctioneers, your title wouldn't appear in Debrett's guide either…

Is an Elite Title the same as a title of nobility?

NO – and again, we don't attempt to suggest it is.

Hereditary titles and "titles of nobility" are either inherited or bestowed upon an individual by the monarch (for example during the New Years' Honours list). Some of these titles come with legal privileges that money can't buy.

Is it true that there are "fraudsters" out there?

Yes. You will discover many title services online. And to make it more confusing, prices vary considerably.

Make sure you're totally clear on what you are actually buying, before parting with any money.

What "benefits" can I expect if I become a Lord?

All my clients have had different experiences since becoming titled. In addition, they all bought titles for different reasons.

In this age of celebrity culture, rightly or wrongly, we can't help but be impressed by status and celebrity. And this is what a title often offers.

The "benefits" received often depend upon how people "carry" their title. Some of our customers buy a title purely for fun – whereas others have enjoyed benefits as varied as preferential treatment, to flight and hotel upgrades. In fact, you'll be amazed at some of the stories I hear!

Of course, I can't guarantee any of this – I can only tell you what other clients have enjoyed.

That said, a title does offer a certain amount of prestige and status. So if you do want one, what would you rather pay? £195 to Elite Titles, or many £1000s to the Manorial Society! I'll leave you to come to your own conclusion on that one!

To close…

We've been selling titles since 1998, and in all that time (with the exception of Lord Toby Walne!) we've not had a single dissatisfied customer.

So if you'd like to buy a title, or you have any further questions, please contact me and I'll get back to you.

Your most obedient servant,

Andrew Bulpin

PS. Additional comment on our Blog

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Sources: Average price of a Manorial Title - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/7729022/The-Lord-and-Lady-Delusions-of-Grandeur.html