Downton Abbey writer hits out at inheritance laws after barons daughter loses

first_imgMs Newman inherits the estate under the terms of the 7th Baron’s will, made before he died in 1941. It stated that if any Lord Braybrooke failed to produce a male heir, the estate should revert to his line. She is his granddaughter. “It seems rather hard on Amanda. She’s lived and worked there all her adult life,” Julian Fellowes told the Sunday Times. Mrs Murray has previously said the law is “discriminatory” and that she was already “doing a man’s job” in running the estate. “It boils down to this,” she said. “If I was a boy, I would be sitting pretty. In Downton Abbey, cousin Matthew Crawley becomes the heir to the estate of the Earl of GranthamCredit:NICK BRIGGS/ITV The creator of Downton Abbey has criticised inheritance laws after a baron’s daughter lost her father’s title and land. Lord Fellowes of West Stafford said that Amanda Murray, 55, daughter of Baron Braybrooke, had been unfairly penalised by laws in the peerage which prioritise male heirs.  Robin Neville, the 10th Baron Braybrooke, died last week, leaving seven daughters – but none of them will inherit his title or the 6,000-acre Audley End estate in Essex.Instead, the title goes to a distant cousin, Richard Neville, 40, director of Bring a Bottle, a price comparison site for alcohol, and the estate to Louise Newman, 56, an art historian. Lord Braybrooke outside Audley End House “My poor father had no son; just lots of daughters. In this day and age, with supposed equality, why am I not allowed to inherit my father’s estate?” In Downton, cousin Matthew Crawley becomes the heir to the estate of the Earl of Grantham The situation was dubbed the “real-life Downton” because of its similarities to a storyline in the TV show Downton Abbey, in which a distant male cousin becomes the heir to an Earl who has three daughters but no sons. The Royal laws of succession were changed in 2013 ahead of the birth of Prince George, and are now gender-neutral. But Fellowes said changing the peerage rules to match was not an easy fix.“Simply making the peerage…the equivalent of the royal family would create a great chaos for many families…whose sons have for 30, 40, 50 years made the assumption of inheriting. One can’t just brush them aside,” he said. Fellowes has previously said it was “outrageous” that his wife, Emma, a descendant of Earl Kitchener, the famous First World War field marshal, had no right to inherit the title when the third Earl, who was childless, died in 2011. Lord Braybrooke outside Audley End House Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img

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