Writing in The Spectator about the State Opening of Parliament on 7 November, Charles Moore, now a colleague in the Lords, mentioned that he was seated near “Lord (Andrew) Roberts of Belgravia, wrapped copiously in what he tells me were the oldest robes in the chamber, lent to him by Lord Willoughby de Broke, whose ancestor received his writ of summons in 1491.” Alistair Lexden commented light-heartedly on this grand spectacle in a letter published in the magazine on 25 November.
Sir: It was fortunate that Lord Roberts of Belgravia did not need a coronet along with the venerable robes lent to him by the Ukip peer Lord Willoughby de Broke for the State Opening of Parliament (Notes, 11 November). They would have been ill-matched. The de Broke family’s ancestral coronet was in 1852 ‘placed on a shelf in the family vault on a coffin covered with red velvet studded with brass nails’ containing the mortal remains of the 16th Baron. The 19th Baron was not pleased to ‘have to go to the expense of a new coronet’ for George V’s coronation in 1911, exactly 420 years after the creation of his title.
House of Lords, London SW1A