Ever fantasised about being called a Lord or a Lady? Well, you could turn this particular dream into a reality by buying a title in the UK.
Intrigued? In this article, we’ll go over the legalities, the costs and the processes of buying a title in the UK. We’ll also fill you in on how you can switch your name to Lord or Lady with a simple deed poll.
Let’s cover the legalities of the process upfront.
In a word, yes - you can legally change your title in the UK. According to UK law, you can call yourself anything you choose, as long as there is no fraud involved.
There’s an important point to clarify here.
You can’t buy any royal titles in the UK, such as Duke, Earl, Viscount, Baron (or their female equivalents). It’s illegal for anyone to sell such titles, and they can only be inherited or personally granted by the Queen. Beware of any websites trying to scam people by claiming to sell such titles.
What you can legally purchase is a set of titles known as manorial titles. These include the titles Lord and Lady. Which most of us would be quite happy with!
Buy your title using an official and reputable title change service and you’ll receive a legal document. This will explain all that you need to do to ensure that all your legal documentation contains your new title. The instructions you’ll receive with your title pack are fairly straightforward and easy to follow.
Now that we’ve established that it’s legal, let’s get into the ‘how’.
There are a few different ways someone could get a Lord or Lady title:
Lordships (also sometimes called ‘Lord of the Manor’) are the most popular titles bought and sold in the UK. Get these through an online title service and you’ll be given a certificate of your title and a title deed. Note that a title gained in this way won’t give you access to the House of Lords, and it certainly won’t come with a country manor in tow.
In terms of price, these title packs can be purchased online from between £25 to £200.
Although getting yourself a legitimate manorial title is very much possible, it’s not exactly cheap. You can expect to buy a Lord title at auction anywhere upwards of £5,000. There have also been instances where Lordships have gone for a lot more, including the notable case in the 90s when the title ‘Lordship of the manor of Wimbledon’ was sold for over £150,000.
Note that these titles are often sold along with the manor house that they’re associated with. In which case, you can expect to pay a pretty penny for them.
As Lady titles tend to be less frequently bought and sold, there isn’t as much information available on their average price. We imagine that the costs involved are similar to a Lordship title.
Typically, you’ll only be able to get your hands on an official Lady of the Manor title if you purchase the manor house itself. You could also choose the route of using a title service company and change your title to Lady by deed poll.
Keen to be addressed by a different title such as Sir or Dame? Sadly, it isn’t possible to buy a title such as Sir, or the female equivalent of Dame. Beware of any websites trying to sell you such a title - there are many online title scams out there.
Don’t have the money to get yourself a title or aren’t quite sure whether you want to go through the buying process? You could also get a deed pool and change your name to Lord or Lady.
So, what exactly is a deed poll? In a nutshell, a deed poll is an official legal document that you can use to update your name on all other important documents.
In the UK, there’s no official government procedure for changing your name. You can simply start using your new name at work and among your peers whenever you want. However, a deed poll is required before your name can be updated on documents such as your passport, driving license, bank statements, etc.
A deed poll shows the following:
Now that we’ve established what a deed poll is, here’s how it can help you get the title you want. You could simply change your first name to Lord or Lady and then follow up with your first name. So your name would be changed to Lord John Smith, with Lord being your first name.
Changing your name with the UK Deed Poll Office is undoubtedly the cheapest way of getting your hands on a title, and it’s also a fairly straightforward process.