How to Get Your Own Royal Title???

By William Pherrel

Recently I had been doing a bit of research involving the acquisition of noble titles for non-royalty and was astonished to discover the following.

(I would appreciate your comments on this blog entry, especially if some of the information presented is fragmentary or incomplete. Of course, those of you who may be interested in obtaining a genuine peerage title, please feel free to contact me, as I have made some interesting contacts during my research that could be of great help.)

In England (and even in the United States), it has become a money-making opportunity under the guise of so-called “gift ideas” to sell noble titles ranging from approximately $ 49.00 for non-official titles to over $ 160,000.00 for apparently genuine titles, depending on the type and “authenticity” of title. Titles for sale include: Sir (Knight), Lord or Lady, Baron or Baroness, Viscount or Viscountess, Earl/Count, Countess, Marquis or Marchioness, Duke or Duchess and in some cases even Prince/Princess. Impossible to attain through purchase are obviously the genuine titles of King/Queen.

The discussion of the validity of such “purchased” titles has hence gained the attention of the royal families respectively, and has lead to the founding of various societies and commissions operating at international levels to protect the interests of regal houses.

On the website of one particular commission, harsh words were used to describe “modern day pirates who impersonate, and by their fraudulent declarations defame, those who hold authentic titles and valid claims” when attempting to denigrate the various internet sites and press sources that offer the sale of nobility titles. Whereas this could very well be fraudulent in the eyes of commissions, societies and genuine title bearers, it has yet to be proven that such acts are truly punishable by law.

What truly needs to be taken into consideration here, is the differentiation between the acquisition of titles through purchase and the transfer of a title through marriage, birth, adoption or by way of example, traditionally, through the Sovereign of that particular country, e.g. the knighting of Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (Knight Bachelor) by Queen Elisabeth II of the United Kingdom on the 24th of February, 1998.

While it is perfectly legal to change your name through a registry office or similar, it remains only that, a name, and is for the most part quite inexpensive. Whatever one decides to call oneself, it will not give them a title, noble or otherwise, no matter what the investment might be. The purchase of a genuine noble title is simply not possible in any country, with the exception of Baron in Scotland.

In this case, when purchasing land as part of a transaction where a noble title is to be transferred, there are a few guidelines to be taken into consideration, especially because so very few genuine titles of nobility can be transferred for money at all. These “manorial” titles can be sold without land attached, but remember, these are in no way titles of nobility! Peerage titles have not been sold for centuries, a topic much discussed among many historians, especially concerning the validity of such purchases. Scottish baronial titles, if indeed genuine, used to be sold together with a minimum of a couple of acres and had to be agreed upon by the governing Lord Lyon or decided upon by the Court of Session in Kidston-Montgomerie of Southannan (1951 SLT [Lyon Court] 3) who possessed valid superiority, but even this has been recently changed by law.

In Germany however, I have stumbled across several websites offering through marriage or adoption, truly genuine titles (albeit German) to solvent individuals seeking a noble title for the purpose of bettering their corporate image or for various personal reasons to gain recognition in upper class circles. (See According to German legislation passed in 1919, the noble titles do not remain as such, but are judicially acceptable as a name supplementation the world over. With that, it remains an integral part of the family name and can continue to be passed on through adoption or marriage. A good example is the name of a German politician, Hermann Otto Solms whose official title is Hermann Otto Prince of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich; or the late sociologist Max Graf zu Solms, whose official title is Maximilian Ludwig Count of Solms-Roedelheim and Assenheim. The title in front of the name is no longer allowed.

Obviously, there is a price attached. The fee descriptions are not readily available on the websites, as it is sought to reach only those who are truly interested in attaining a genuine title and not a “gift idea” nor for other vain purposes. The honorarium is generally in the six-figure realm and is usually agreed upon during a personal meeting with a member of the family in the strictest of confidence. The ensuing procedure of marriage or adoption is generally carried out in absolute confidentiality through a solicitor and notary office for the protection of the original title bearer from unnecessary press coverage which seeks to scandalise such ventures.

To conclude, according to my research so far, this seems to be the only truly legitimate method to attain genuine noble titles at least in Germany (and perhaps in other parts of the world). Noble titles will continue to be obtained through purchase, but their authenticity remains yet to be taken seriously and the dubious sales are not to be taken lightly. If one is “guaranteed” a genuine noble title for the price of up to $ 160.000,00 only to later discover that the title is a fake, it is nearly impossible to get the money back, as the purchaser is considered to have partaken in a contract that is binding. In the modern world of Internet, it is always worth the investment of time spent researching the claims, before a monetary investment is made, filling only the pockets of possible scammers.