Become a Lord of Scotland for $50
IT'LL be Lord Tony Gilding to you next time you cross paths with the owner of the Macadamia Castle at Knockrow.
The newly-titled Lord Gilding is one of thousands of Australians who have legitimately picked up the title of lord or lady courtesy of a loophole in Scottish landowner law that is being exploited by conservationists trying to preserve the fragile Scottish Highlands.
While Lord Gilding's staff at the Macadamia Castle have been tolerating his lofty self-appointed status as King of Knockrow for some years, it seems the official title of lord won't change things much.
"I'm constantly having to remind them to lower themselves and bow and curtsy," he said.
Englishwoman Alex Flewitt, from highlandtitles.com, is currently in the country to thank Australians for their phenomenal support after appearing on the Sunrise breakfast program in January, and will be on the Northern Rivers today.
"Sunrise rocketed us into the Australian public and has been a huge boon for us since - it's been incredible," she said.
"So we've been flown over to thank the Australian public and promote the website."
For as little as $50 the group is offering one whole square foot of Scotland and the official title of Lord.
"The titles are 100 per cent legal and you can change your credit card, driver's licence, the lot," Lady Flewitt said.
"I've changed all mine and we even got flight upgrades on the way over. It is a landed gentry title, not the title the Queen would give you, so it doesn't mean you can go and sit in the House of Lords.
"We've been in operation 10 years now and thanks to the people of Australia we were able to purchase an extra 500 acres of land last month which is now a protected eagle sanctuary," she said.
But it's not just the one square foot lots that are selling - it seems Australians are buying up bigger lots simply to help conserve the Highlands.
"This is the joyous thing about Australians, they really are into their conservation. As soon as we appeared on TV they went crazy for it," she said.
Meanwhile, Lord Gilding is vainly attempting to subdue his Knockrow minions in preparation for Lady Flewitt's visit today.
"It's delightful to see something as clever and fun as this - especially from some eccentric poms," he said.