Real-life money: how I became a lady for just £30

Journalist Anna Jordan bought a small plot of land and a title online. Find out how and why she did it and what it actually means.

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I was chatting to my hairdresser last week and she said that she recently bought a small plot on a castle estate through Groupon, meaning that she was now a Lady. Being a landowner apparently comes with loads of potential perks like flight upgrades and other preferential treatment to reflect your Lord or Ladyship.

I was sceptical but curious, so I decided to check it out. She only paid £14 for it after all.

Can you buy an official title online?

From the outset it’s important to point out that the titles that you can buy online are, perhaps unsurprisingly, not official titles.

Official titles will cost you far, far more than the deals you’ll find on most websites. For example, former boxing champion Chris Eubank bought the title of Lordship of the Manor of Brighton for £45,000 in 1996, but he sold it in 2009 after he was declared bankrupt.

Alternatively, some properties carry official titles with them. For example, when the footballer Djibril Cisse bought a manor house in Cheshire back in 2005, he became Lord of the Manor of Frodsham.

The titles that you can buy online are generally Scottish Lairdships – to be a Laird (or Lady) basically means that you are a landowner. You hand over £30 or so, and in exchange you get a tiny plot on some Scottish estate and with it a Laird or Ladyship.

For a bit of guidance it’s worth taking a look at Fake Titles which is run by the 7th Earl of Bradford, Richard Bridgeman. It has a rundown of the title sites that you should avoid, along with advice on what to do if you’ve been wronged.

I’m a Lady!

Well, sort of.

After a lot of digging around on various title websites, I decided to go with Highland Titles. Primarily a conservation project, Highland Titles allows anybody to buy a plot from one square foot at £29.99 to a 1,000 square foot plot for £499.99.

The money goes towards the upkeep of its nature reserves in and around Glencoe.

So I am now Lady of a square foot of land in this part of Glencoe Wood. Somewhere.

Glencoe plot1

 

 

 

 

 

 

I went with Highland Titles because it’s endorsed as a three-star attraction by the Scottish Tourist Board, appears on Visit Scotland and it got a Certificate of Excellence award from Trip Advisor just this year.

Famous names such as Kate Moss, Stephen Fry, Phil Collins, Bette Midler and Cyndi Lauper are all said to have a plot there. Surely it must be legit.

If not, it’s only £30.

Highland Titles says that you can ‘style’ yourself as a Laird, Lord or Lady. It pretty much means that I can personalise some stationery with “Lady Anna Jordan”, if I’m feeling extra pompous, but I can’t change my name on any official documentation.

I can though do something with the souvenir plot of land that’s now mine. I can put up a flag, plant a tree or just take a picture of it.

I like that you can get a free meet and greet in Glencoe, so that you can see the reserve. If you buy a big enough plot, you can actually go and stay for a couple of days.

There’s even an app to download so that you can keep up with the latest on your bit of land.

The real appeal of Highland Titles is that it doesn’t make any misleading statements about entitlements. You won’t get preferential treatment in the rest of the UK, but you’ll be treated like royalty in the local area.

As a Laird, Lord or Lady you get money off on hotel stays, activity days and meals out in Glencoe. I declare that the ice climbing wall will be my first official order of business as a Lady.

And even though it’s highly unlikely that I’ll get any VIP perks elsewhere, will I give it a bash anyway? Of course I will!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to put my ‘ladyship’ to the test. This could get interesting.

 

http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/money/money-tips/real-life-money-how-i-became-a-lady-for-just-30-11364011180481

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