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Student faked being an Irish ‘lord’ to defend Harry and Meghan during racism row

An American student who tricked newspapers around the world into believing he was the ‘Marquess of Annaville’ has confessed he invented the title and has no aristocratic ties.

Alexander Jackson Maier, a 22-year-old from New Rochelle in New York State, claimed his standing meant he could sympathise with Meghan Markle’s experience of racism within the royal family.

In a now-deleted article for British news outlet The Independent, Maier wrote that he was an Irish peer and a “black British member of the aristocracy”.

Referring to Harry and Meghan’s allegations of racism within the monarchy during their bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview, he said: “As a member of that same aristocracy, I’m telling you that I unequivocally believe that they are telling the truth.

“When a white peer either inherits or is brought in, never do you hear major questions. Whether it is recorded in Debrett’s or happens with little fanfare, white people entering the aristocracy are welcomed with open arms and no interrogation.

“That hasn’t been my experience. A ‘show me your papers’ attitude has become part of my daily existence.”

Maier penned a column for The Independent backing Harry and Meghan’s accusations against the monarchy

The Independent was forced to issue a clarification and take the column down after it emerged that the title Maier had created for himself didn’t even exist.

The student also managed to convince US newspaper St Lucia of his unusual status and wrote an article for them about British colonialism.

He claimed he had just become Lord Alexander, the 11th Marquess of Annaville and that the part of his family carrying “the hereditary right” hailed from Northern Ireland.

After the two articles were published, peerage experts and social media users began to question whether he was telling the truth.

High society bible Debrett’s has now confirmed that there is no ‘Marquess of Annaville’ and slammed the student for making up the title.

“There has never been a creation of the Marquess of Annaville, and we have not included such a title in our 250-year history. If this title does exist, then it’s the best kept secret in the history of peerage recording,” Wendy Bosberry-Scott, from Debrett’s, told The Telegraph.

In May The Independent published a correction about Maier’s article, reading: “On 12 March 2021 we published an article headlined: ‘I’m a black British member of the aristocracy. I love the royal family — but I know what Meghan said was true,’ written by Alexander Maier-Dlamini in which he was described as the ‘Marquess of Annaville – the last of the Irish peerages.

“This was incorrect, there is no Marquess of Annaville in the Irish peerage. The Independent has been unable to verify what titles (if any) Alexander Maier-Dlamini holds.”

Maier has since “apologised greatly” for his lies and admitted that he should not have made up the title, reports The Telegraph.

He told the newspaper: “There is no title in the peerage related to me whatsoever. I do apologize greatly to those institutions involved with a mechanism like this, many of which I’m obviously not familiar with.”


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