An American student who led newspapers around the world to believe he was the ‘Marquess of Annaville’ has confessed to having invented the title and having no aristocratic connections.
Alexander Jackson Maier, a 22-year-old from New Rochelle, New York state, claimed his reputation meant he could sympathize with Meghan Markle’s experiences of racism within the royal family.
In a now-deleted article for the British news agency 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 interview with Oprah Winfrey, he said, “As a member of the same aristocracy, I tell you that I clearly believe they are telling the truth.
“When a white peer either inherits or is brought in, you never hear big questions. Whether it’s recorded in debretts or done with little fanfare, white people who join the aristocracy are welcomed with open arms and without interrogation.
“That wasn’t my experience. A ‘show me your papers’ attitude has become a part of my daily life.”
The independent had to issue a clarification and remove the column after it turned out that the title Maier had created for himself did not even exist.
The student was also able to convince the US newspaper St. Lucia of his story and wrote an article for it about British colonialism.
He claimed that he had just become Lord Alexander, the 11th Marquess of Annaville, and that the part of his family who had the “right of inheritance” was from Northern Ireland.
After the two articles were published, peerage experts and social media users began to question whether he was telling the truth.
Debrett’s high society bible has now confirmed that there are no records of a “Marquess of Annaville” in its 250-year history.
“The Marquess of Annaville has never existed, and we haven’t included a title like this in our 250-year history. If that title exists, it’s the best kept secret in the history of peerage recording, ”Debrett’s Wendy Bosberry-Scott told The Telegraph.
In May, The Independent published a correction to Maier’s article: “On March 12, 2021, we published an article entitled, ‘I am a black British member of the aristocracy. I love the royal family – but I know what Meghan said, ”by Alexander Maier-Dlamini, in which he was described as“ Marquess of Annaville – the last Irish nobility ”.
“That was wrong, there is no Marquess of Annaville in the Irish aristocracy. The Independent could not verify which titles (if any) Alexander Maier-Dlamini holds.”
Maier has since “apologized strongly” for his lies and admitted that he shouldn’t have invented the title, reports The Telegraph.
He told the newspaper: “There is no title in the peerage associated with me. I apologize very much to the institutions involved in such a mechanism, many of which I obviously do not know about.”