‘King’ Michael of Jerilderie is dead

‘King’ Michael of Jerilderie is dead

Michael Abney-Hastings, died on Saturday aged 69.THE Jerilderie man who could have been King of England has died after a long illness.

The 14th Earl of Loudoun, Michael Abney-Hastings, died on Saturday aged 69.

His claim to the throne was canvassed in 2004 in Britain’s Real Monarch.

It repeated the claim — disputed among historians — that King Edward IV was born illegitimate, making Mr Abney-Hastings, as the senior descendant of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, the rightful king of England.

While he was best known for this connection, that’s not how he’ll be remembered by those who knew him best.

His second wife and Urana Shire mayor Margaret Buntin said: “he was a very special person, not because of his notoriety but because of the type of person he was”.

“He was a kind and loving person, a very courteous man,” Ms Buntin said.

Mr Abney-Hastings, 69, is survived by two daughters, three sons and nine grandchildren.

He is also survived by four step-children and 12 step-grand-children.

“He was a true father in every sense of the word, he cared a great deal for his family and was always there for them,” Ms Buntin said.

“They were always his pride and joy.”

Mr Abney-Hastings was born in 1942 but left England for Australia at 17 — part of the Big Brother movement.

When interviewed last year he told The Border Mail that he loved Australia so much he stayed.

He worked on properties from Corowa to Deniliquin, and met his first wife (deceased) at Jerilderie.

Mr Abney-Hastings said the royal claim was “a bit of fun” he enjoyed if it promoted Jerilderie.

He was elected to Jerilderie council in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. He pushed for the buildings visited by Ned Kelly to be preserved to promote tourism.

He was a member of the historical society and supported the football club, Catholic Church and primary school.

A Mass will be offered at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Jerilderie, on Thursday at 11am.

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