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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Nobility Ain't What It Used to Be

From The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News of July 20, 2005:

Retired California grocery clerk could be next Earl of Essex

KATHLEEN HENNESSEY

Associated Press

SACRAMENTO - Retired grocery clerk Bill Capell woke up to a phone call from a British reporter last month informing him that a cousin had died. He told his wife to go back to bed, gave the reporter a comment and was snoozing minutes later.

Capell's cousin was the 10th Earl of Essex and his death puts Capell, a born-and-bred Californian, one step away from the title. But he was largely unimpressed by the news that he might become a nobleman.

"I'm a pretty laid-back guy," Cappell, 52, said from his Yuba City home on Tuesday. "I've known since way back in 1966, as a teenager, when my dad got a call. It's always been on the back burner, sure, but I never really thought about it."

As the Right Honorable Lord William Capell, Capell would be entitled to an honorary seat in the House of Lords, he says, and the Queen of England would formally address him as "Our right trusty and entirely beloved cousin."

"But that's about it," Capell said. "You get the title, there's no money."

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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