The Douglas Archives

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Earl of Arran title claimed by Swiss millionaire

One of the titles held by Alexander, 16th Duke of Hamilton, is being claimed by Willi Ernst Sturzenegger, a Swiss millionaire who already styles himself 'Sturzenegger of Arran, holder of the territorial Earldom of Arran'.

Mr Sturzenegger, who already freely styles himself online as Lord Arran, had a similar petition turned down by the Lord Lyon, the guardian of Scottish titles and heraldry.

He claimed his title in 1995 along with a few thousand acres of Arran and the “caput” or title to Lochranza Castle, owned by Historic Scotland.

Mr Sturzenegger has been trying to get himself effectively declared an earl since 2000. In 2001, as part of a compromise deal with the then Lord Lyon, he successfully petitioned to have himself accepted by the Lord Lyon as “Sturzenegger of Arran, holder of the territorial Earldom of Arran”.

That name, granted in 2001, came with a coat of arms that includes the additaments – or “bells and whistles” as some heraldry experts call them – of a baron, but not an earl.

His latest bid to receive the full title was formally turned down in May. His appeal has now been lodged at the Court of Session and is likely to be heard by the end of his year.

Read more here:

The “real” Earl of Arran, the Duke of Hamilton, succeeded to the title earlier this year following the death of the 15th duke. The current duke, Alexander Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, declined to comment on the forthcoming case.

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