Monday, August 16, 2010

Broadlands and the Brabournes

The Mail on Sunday had the following story: 

 Very sloppy research. Lord Brabourne is a distant relative of the Queen. He is a close relative of the Duke of Edinburgh, who is a first cousin of Lord Brabourne's mother, the Countess Mountbatten of Burma. 

 The writers state that Lord Brabourne "survived the IRA attack that killed his grandfather in 1979." Lord Brabourne was not on board the Shadow V, the fishing boat that was rigged with a bomb. The Brabournes' younger daughter, Leonora, did not die from Leukemia. She suffered from Wilm's disease, a tumor on her kidney. 

India Hicks is not Lord Brabourne's niece. She is his first cousin. Their mothers are sisters. Broadlands is undergoing a major renovation, including the removal of asbestos, and will be closed through 2011. The tabloids are speculating on the reasons why Lord Brabourne has relocated to the Bahamas. Health concerns? Another woman? Broadlands' maintenance costs are staggering. The heir to the Brabourne barony and the next-but-one in line for the Mountbatten earldom is Lord Brabourne's only son, the Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull. 

 Tragically, for the family, Nicholas has battled substance abuse issues for some years now and has been and out of treatment centers. It is believed that the Brabournes set up a trust to protect the estate when Nicholas inherits the Mountbatten earldom. This may have done in the 1990s, and possibly mirrors what the Duke of Marlborough, when he established a trust to protect Blenheim and the family fortune, when his son, the Marquess of Blandford, succeeds. 

Lord Blandford battled drug problems for many years. There has been discussion in the media that the Brabournes are considering leaving the house to their daughter, Alexandra. Is it possible that Lord Brabourne has decamped to the Bahamas to become a tax exile? 

If he establishes a residence abroad, Lord Brabourne's tax situation will change, which will benefit the estate's heir.

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