The man who should have been King: Australian forklift driver that historians said was true heir to British throne dies aged 71
- Mike Hastings, 71, was real-life aristocrat, born the 14th Earl of Loudoun
- Research suggests his ancestors cheated out of British crown in C15th
An Australian forklift driver who some historians argued was the true heir to the British throne has died in the small New South Wales town he called home.
Mike Hastings, 71, was a real-life Aristocrat, born the 14th earl of Loudoun, who moved to Australia in 1960 in search of adventure.
He made international headlines in 2004 when a Channel Four documentary team conducted extensive research into the monarchy and concluded his ancestors were cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.
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The man who would be King: British-born forklift driver Mike Hastings has died aged 71
Hastings, an avowed republican, died on June 30 and was buried today in Jerilderie, about 465 miles southwest of Sydney, the local Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser reported.
He was a descendant of England's House of York, whose dynastic struggle with the House of Lancaster became known as the Wars of the Roses and was dramatised by William Shakespeare.
The British documentary found documents in France's Rouen Cathedral he believed showed King Edward IV, who ruled with a brief interruption from 1461 to 1483, was illegitimate.
Historian Michael Jones believes that Edward's father Richard of York was fighting the French at Pontoise when he was conceived.
His mother Cecily was 125 miles away at Rouen, allegedly in the amorous arms of an English archer.
If true, the crown should have passed on to Edward's younger brother George, the duke of Clarence, who was a direct ancestor to Hastings.
Hastings showed little interest in pursuing his claim to the monarchy when interviewed by AFP in 2005, citing the intense public scrutiny endured by the royals.
However, he joked that his claim to the crown could prove lucrative if confirmed.
WHO WOULD HAVE RULED IF IT WAS FOUND EDWARD IV WAS ILLEGITIMATE?
Edward III of England
Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, third son (second son to survive infancy) of Edward III
Philippa Plantagenet, 5th Countess of Ulster, only child of Lionel
Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March, first son of Philippa
Anne de Mortimer, first daughter, third line of Roger
Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, only son of Anne
George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, third son (second 'legitimate' son) of Richard
Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, second daughter, fourth line of George
Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu, first son of Margaret
Catherine Hastings, first daughter, second line of Henry
George Hastings, 4th Earl of Huntingdon, second son of Catherine
Francis Hastings, first son of George
Henry Hastings, 5th Earl of Huntingdon, only son of FrancisFerdinando Hastings, 6th
Earl of Huntingdon, oldest son of Henry
Theophilus Hastings, 7th Earl of Huntingdon, only son of FerdinandoGeorge Hastings, 8th Earl of Huntingdon, first son of Theophilus.
Theophilus Hastings, 9th Earl of Huntingdon, second son of Theophilus
Elizabeth Rawdon, 16th Baroness Botreaux, only daughter, second line of Theophilus, 9th Earl
Francis Rawdon-Hastings, 1st Marquess of Hastings, first son of Elizabeth
George Rawdon-Hastings, 2nd Marquess of Hastings, eldest legitimate son of Francis
Edith Rawdon-Hastings, 10th Countess of Loudoun, first daughter, third line of George
Paulyn Francis Cuthbert Rawdon-Hastings, second son of Edith
Edith Maud Abney-Hastings, 12th Countess of Loudoun, first daughter, third line of Paulyn
Barbara Abney-Hastings, 13th Countess of Loudoun, first daughter, second line of Edith
Michael Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun, eldest son of BarbaraSimon Abney-
Hastings, 15th Earl of Loudoun, elder son of Michael
The REAL Royal family? Mike Hastings and his nearest and dearest, who could all lay claim to the British throne
Claims: King Edward I (left) is said to have been illegitimate, which would have altered the Royal Family tree and made Mike Hastings (right) heir to the throne
Line-up: The current British Royal Family on display during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations last month
He said: 'I reckon I might send Lizzie (Queen Elizabeth II) a bill for back rent. The old girl's family have been living in my bloody castle for the last 500 years.'
His son Simon, who now becomes the 15th earl of Loudoun, also appears in no hurry to try to seize the throne.
'It's something that I'll have to look into in the near future,' he told the Advertiser ahead of his father's funeral.