Real King of England dies in Australia – the true royal lineage which would have changed British history

Real King of England dies in Australia – the true royal lineage which would have changed British history


The recent death of 71-year-old Mike Hastings in a quiet town in New South Wales highlights the genetic lottery of monarchy and how dynastic fortunes hang by a thread.

The unassuming Mr Hastings, who had worked variously as a forklift driver, a door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman and an agronomist, shot to fame in 2004 when he was tracked down by actor Tony Robinson for the Channel 4 documentary, Britain’s Real Monarch.

The genealogical research presented by the documentary provided strong evidence that Mike Hastings should rightfully have been: His Majesty Michael I, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His Other Realms and Territories King, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

His claim to the throne, which he cheerfully rejected when he discovered it, goes back to medieval England and the reign of King Edward IV.  Edward ruled England from 1461 to his death in 1483, a period marked by the Wars of the Roses.  These were a series of violent dynastic squabbles between two rival branches of the Plantagenet family – the houses of Lancaster and York (whose heraldic symbols were the red and white roses) for the English Crown.

Edward was born 28 April 1442 in Rouen, France, where his father, Richard of York, was on campaign.  The documentary presented doubts that Richard was Edward’s biological father. Those doubts were nothing new.  Even during Edward’s own lifetime it was noted that he showed little resemblance to his father; Edward had a large round face and lantern-jaw, whereas Richard of York had thinner, pointed facial features.  Edward, at over 6 feet, was also exceptionally tall for the period, which was unusual for the House of York.  The documentary cited records found in Rouen Cathedral’s archives which revealed that, from 14 July to 21 August 1441, the 5-week period in which Edward must have been conceived, Richard was away fighting at Pontoise, several days’ march from Rouen (where Edward’s mother Cecily of York was based).  It is unlikely that Edward was born premature, as there is no evidence from the time to suggest that he was (premature babies with a claim to the throne were a risk and therefore almost certainly would have had their births recorded).  Also, the christening of Edmund, Earl of Rutland, Richard and Cecily’s second son, was a lavish public celebration in Rouen Cathedral, whereas Edward’s christening was a low key and private ceremony in a side chapel, despite being the firstborn son.

It is possible of course that Richard could have returned to Rouen from Pontoise, or that Edward could have been born premature.  Richard never contested his paternity.  However, the documentary considered that, if Edward was indeed illegitimate, then every single monarch who came after him followed the wrong bloodline to the throne.

The crown should have gone to Edward’s younger brother George, the Duke of Clarence.  As George was the direct ancestor of Mike Hastings then, under the strict rules of succession, Mike should have been on the throne, not Elizabeth II.

Instead of the Tudors, Stuarts, Hannoverians and Windsors, this intact Plantagenet lineage, whose fortunes waxed and waned over the centuries, would have thrown up some interesting alternative Kings and Queens of England.

The Plantagenet ‘Henry VIII’, Henry Hastings, was a key political player in the courts of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, where the stakes were very high; he was imprisoned in the Tower of London by Mary I for his support for Lady Jane Grey‘s 9 day ‘reign’, and Elizabeth I, who was aware of Henry’s own genuine claim to the throne, never fully trusted him either. However, he was politically useful to all of them and garnered titles, honours and influence as a result.  The exotically named Ferdinando Hastings (‘Ferdinando I’) saw his family seat, Ashby de la Zouch Castle, destroyed by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in the English Civil War in 1646.  Francis Rawdon-Hastings (‘Francis II’) found fame as a soldier in the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars and went on to become Governor-General of India from 1813 to 1823.  His son, George Rawdon-Hastings (‘George IV’) continued the family’s uneasy relationship with the ‘official’ royal family when he publically denounced the young Queen Victoria and her courtiers for insulting and disgracing his unmarried sister, Lady Flora Hastings, in 1839 by concocting a rumour that she was pregnant, when she was in fact seriously ill with liver cancer.  A generation later the habitual drinker and compulsive gambler, Henry Rawdon-Hastings (‘Henry X’), blew the family’s considerable fortune, on a mind-boggling scale, on horse racing.

The ‘official’ and ‘alternate’ royal lineages look like this:

 MonarchReigned  True claimant'Monarch''Reigned'
Edward IV1461 - 1483George Plantagenet,
1st Duke of Clarence
George I1460 - 1478
Richard III1483 - 1485Edward Plantagenet,
17th Earl of Warwick
Edward IV1478 - 1499
Henry VII1485 - 1509Margaret Pole,
8th Countess of Salisbury
Margaret I1499 - 1541
Henry VIII1509 - 1547Henry PoleHenry VII1541 - 1542
Edward VI1547 - 1553Catherine (Pole) HastingsCatherine I1542 - 1576
Mary I1553 - 1558Henry Hastings,
3rd Earl of Huntingdon
Henry VIII1576 - 1595
Elizabeth I1558 - 1603George Hastings,
4th Earl of Huntingdon
George II1595 - 1604
James I1603 - 1625Henry Hastings,
5th Earl of Huntingdon
Henry IX1604 - 1643
Charles I1625 - 1649Ferdinando Hastings,
6th Earl of Huntingdon
Ferdinando I1643 - 1656
Charles II1660 - 1685Theophilus Hastings,
7th Earl of Huntingdon
Theophilus I1656 - 1701
James II1685 - 1688George Hastings,
8th Earl of Huntingdon
George III1701 - 1704
William III and Mary II1689 - 1702Theophilus Hastings,
9th Earl of Huntingdon
Theophilus II1704 - 1746
Anne1702 - 1714Francis Hastings,
10th Earl of Huntingdon
Francis I1746 - 1789
George I1714 - 1727Elizabeth Rawdon, Countess of Moira
Elizabeth I1789 - 1808
George II1727 - 1760Francis Rawdon-Hastings,
1st Marquess of Hastings
Francis II1808 - 1826
George III1760 - 1820George Rawdon-Hastings,
2nd Marquess of Hastings
George IV1826 - 1844
George IV1820 - 1830Paulyn Rawdon-Hastings,
3rd Marquess of Hastings
Paulyn I1844 - 1851
William IV1830 - 1837Henry Rawdon-Hastings,
4th Marquess of Hastings
Henry X1851 - 1868
Victoria1837 - 1901Edith Rawdon-Hastings,
10th Countess of Loudoun,
Edith I1844 - 1874
Edward VII1901 - 1910Charles Rawdon-Hastings,
11th Earl of Loudoun
Charles I1874 - 1920
George V1910 - 1936Edith Abney-Hastings,
12th Countess of Loudoun
Edith II1920 - 1960
Edward VIII1936Barbara Abney-Hastings,
13th Countess of Loudoun
Barbara I1960 - 2002
George VI1936 - 1952Michael Abney-Hastings,
14th Earl of Loudoun
Michael I2002 - 2012
Elizabeth II1952 -
Simon Abney-Hastings,
15th Earl of Loudoun
Simon I2012 -

Mike Hastings himself, while unaware of his claim to the throne, was well aware of his aristocratic background.  He was born Michael Edward Abney-Hastings, Lord Mauchline, in 1942 and grew up in his mother’s ancestral hometown of Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire.  He inherited the title the 14th Earl of Loudon on the death of his mother in 2002.  However, he effectively rejected the British class system, and his double-barrelled name, when he emigrated to Australia as a young man in 1960.  He lived out a very contented life with his family as plain old Mike Hastings in the small outback town of Jerilderie for over 48 years.  He confined any taste for power to serving as a shire councillor and as chairman of the local historical society.  The only other ‘honour’ he accepted was his appointment as a life member of the Jerilderie (Aussie rules) Football Club.

The discovery of his true birthright in 2004 left him a bit shocked, but he said, “I’ve no intention of chasing over there and laying claim to palaces and crown jewels.”  In fact, he believed that Australia should be a republic and had voted against the monarchy in the nation’s referendum in 1999.  He thought being a royal would be, “a shit of a job.  I wouldn’t take it for quids.  What a terrible way to live.  They can’t even pick their noses without someone writing about them.  I’m quite happy in Jerilderie.  There’s no pressure, everybody knows everybody and the people are friendly.”

Mike’s funeral service was held in Jerilderie last week.  He is survived by 2 sons and 3 daughters.  His eldest son, Simon Abney-Hastings, who becomes the 15th Earl of Loudon, has no desire to pursue his claim to the throne either.  He said, “It does make you think about how things could be different. I am quite happy with how things have turned out.  I have made my own life.”

The genetic lottery of monarchy – 2 royal families




  1. United States I watched the documentary and could envision Michael Abney-Hastings as the King of England as well as his daughters as Princesses and Son a Prince. How different life events would be and possibly how unfulfilling it may have been for them. They seem such a happy, loving, and healthy family. I am very saddened that King Michael died. My condolences to his family. He seemed like a wonderful man.

  2. United Kingdom If you realy want to know how any royal family round the world began started like the mafia, crafty thugs who would stop at nothing and anyone wo got it there way were toast, this is all check able, now in a couple of hundred years time if the mafia or cartel took over a country you would get a bunch of idiots waving flags at them, how many Germans born in the 1930s and 40s are called Adolf and look at the Nuremberg rally footage if the nazis had won the war hitler would have been assassinated then someone else would have taken over?

  3. United States Can you imagine a history of England without King Henry VIII?! The kingdom would be a Catholic nation still, and then there would have also been no King George III. How different would the history of the United States been? Would we even have declared our independence? Who knows what King Francis would have been like.

  4. United States hi- if i was siman hastings – i would take the crown – away from charles – for what he did to diana – thanks – bloody good show –

    • United Kingdom They are all as bad as each other the Hastings family are well shot of these megalomaniacs in stuffy costume…. its an out dated concept anyway

  5. United States Okay, here’s why I call BS on this; Even if Edward VI were indeed not the Duke’s son, it would not matter because the current royal family traces their descent from Henry VII, who traces his descent from the Lancasters, not the Yorks. Edward VI being legitimate is irrevelant

    • United Kingdom The current royal family tracing their descent from Henry VII is irrelevant in this alternative succession because he wasn’t the direct descendant of George Duke of Clarence.

      • United States Exactly, he won throne by right of conquest, which means Edward’s possible illegitimacy is irrelevant to whether the current royal are meant to be there or not since they’re not tracing the right to reign from the Clarence line anyway

      • United States To add to what I said, this alternate succession works on the idea that the current royals are not true claimants because of Edward IV, when Edward IV is not the person they tract the reign from. Throw that tidbit out and the alternate succession also goes out.

      • United States Oops, sorry, Realist, I’m just now looking over the Clarence claim and understand it a little better. Disregard the comments before this one. I still don;t buy it though

  6. United States The present day “royals” in England are FAKES. They have no claim to the throne and stole land from not only Scotland and Ireland, but also have GERMAN (NAZI) bloodlines.


    The REAL ROYALS in AUSTRALIA should be in the palace – not these “imitators”


    • United States As previously mentioned, the royal family tracts their descent from Henry VII, not Edward IV. It’s easy to look up the actual history and see why claims made in the program are irrelevant.

      • Reserved It might benefit you to know a bit of history, since Henry VII married Edward IV’s daughter Elisabeth of York, so stating that the current royal family traces it’s roots from one and not the other is ludicrous.

    • United States I don’t see how Simon’s family are the “real” royals here. Even if one accepts the Clarence claim is legit, it doesn’t change the fact that Elizabeth’s ancestors won the crown by conquest and were recognized as the true rulers. That, to me, makes them the true royals, no matter what claims the Clarences may have. And so what if they have German heritage. Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t most English people have descent from the Germanic tribes that settled in England way back when? If you look at it that way, they’re all German on some level.

  7. United Kingdom King Henry VII was King from the right of conquest… not because he was related to Edward IV, so whether Edward was legitimate or not make no difference to the succession of the line leading to the current Queen Elizabeth II (or if your Scottish Queen Elizabeth I).

  8. Australia It’s possible that one third of all people ever born are claimed by a man who is not their father. The first child is sometimes thought to be premature even if it weighs 10lb 10ozs. It’s all past. Who cares ? It’s not going to change. Everyone needs one good snoggin’ once in a lifetime. We are Animals after all. Someone being made King or Queen alters nothing. Mike Hastings has led a long, happy, fruitful life, just as he is, I hope.

  9. United States The Clarence claim is not the only alternate line; there’s also the Grey claim, the Jacobite claim, and the Beaufort claim. It’s just simpler, to me, to forget the alternate ones because if you look deep enough, there are so many possible claims that it would get confusing after a while.

    • United States Also, about the Flora Hastings thing, there’s some background that should be mentioned. Lady Hastings was an ally of Sir John Conroy, who had dominated Victoria’s childhood and who she’d come to hate. Because of that, Victoria and her supporters also suspected Hastings. Anyway, the reason the Queen thought her pregnant is because she had swelled up and the doctor believed it to be pregnancy himself because Hastings refused to let him examine her. It was then that Victoria’s allies, Baroness Lehzen and Lady Stanhope started spreading the rumor and Victora beleived it and spread it too. It was only after she finally got examined that they knew the truth. Victoria even regretted believing it and had nightmares about Hastings for years after.

  10. United States Clarence was attainted and justifiably executed for treason. That fact alone would make his heirs illegitimate.

Leave a reply

Trending Now:

Popular Posts:

10 Surprising Ancestral Origins Revealed by DNA Testing

10 Surprising Ancestral Origins Revealed by DNA Testing

How sure are you of your origins? 10 examples where DNA testing has thrown up some unexpected results.

25 Death Masks of the famous and infamous

25 Death Masks of the famous and infamous

Whether they were executed, assassinated, committed suicide, killed in battle or car crash, or died in their beds of old age, the features of these 25 men were preserved for posterity in plaster.

Real King of England dies in Australia – the true royal lineage which would have changed British history

Real King of England dies in Australia – the true royal lineage which would have changed British history

The recent death of 71-year-old Mike Hastings in a quiet town in New South Wales highlights the genetic lottery of monarchy and how dynastic fortunes hang by a thread.

Earth's History in 1 Minute

Earth's History in 1 Minute - 4½ billion years in a 1 minute video

Posted by Abroad in the Yard on Friday, 14 August 2015