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­Royal loss: 'Rightful King of England' dies

Published time: July 04, 2012 14:24
Edited time: July 04, 2012 18:33
Michael Abney-Hastings (Image from

Michael Abney-Hastings (Image from

Michael Abney-Hastings, who has been called “the rightful King of England”, has died in Australia. A documentary investigation revealed that King Edward IV was illegitimate, and that Hastings had royal blood which gave him a right to the throne.

The documentary suggesting that Michael Abney-Hastings was the “rightful king” was released in 2004, The Daily Telegraph reports. In the film historian Michael Jones claims that a document, found in the French city of Rouen, proves King Edward IV was no son to his supposed father Richard III of England.

The historian suggests that Edward IV was conceived while Richard III was on a battlefield 100 miles away fighting the French near Paris. That is nowhere near Rouen, where his mother Lady Cecily Neville was at that time. Lady Cecily was then rumored to have had a love affair with an archer called Blaybourne. Thus the historian claims Edward IV is rather the archer’s son, than a rightful king.

But who should have been named king instead? It looks like the younger son, and the only son of Richard III, George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and brother of Edward IV, should be the rightful King.

Abney-Hastings was the direct descendant of George Plantagenet and thus could have had a claim for the British crown. But it looked like he has never been thrilled by the idea.

"Why would you want to be King anyway? They can't do anything without someone on their back," The Daily Telegraph quotes Abney-Hastings as saying.

Abney-Hastings, who died at the age of 69, has several children. His eldest son Simon, 37, can now take up the claim to the throne.