Michael Edward Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun (22 July 1942 – 30 June 2012) was a British-Australian farmer, who is most noted because of the documentary Britain's Real Monarch, which alleged he was the rightful monarch of England instead of Queen Elizabeth II.
He was born in England and educated at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire, but emigrated to Jerilderie, New South Wales as a teen, where he was a rice farmer and family man. He was the heir-general of George Plantagenet, the younger brother of Edward IV of England. If Edward IV had been illegitimate and the crown of England had descended by male-preference primogeniture before 1500, then George (and his heirs) would have been monarchs of England.
Abney-Hastings died on 30 June 2012 in New South Wales.
Abney-Hastings was born in Sussex, England, to Captain Walter Strickland Lord and Barbara Abney-Hastings, 13th Countess of Loudoun, and later lived at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire. As a youth he was educated at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, before moving to Australia when he was 18 years old.
In 2004, Britain's Real Monarch, a documentary broadcast on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom repeated the claim that Abney-Hastings, as the senior descendant of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, is the rightful King of England. This argument involves two disputed claims: first that Edward IV of England was illegitimate, based on the accusation that his supposed father, Richard, Duke of York, was absent at the time when Edward is thought to have been conceived; and second that the Plantagenet crown should have descended by male-preference cognatic primogeniture instead of agnatic primogeniture and conquest. Also, Henry VI had placed an attainder on Edward after he was restored to the throne, and named George, Duke of Clarence, as heir to the throne after Henry VI and his legitimate issue.
Abney-Hastings was a committed Australian republican and expressed no interest in pursuing his claim to the throne, although he was amused by it. He refrained from using his title publicly.
Abney-Hastings had two sons and three daughters with his wife, Noelene Margaret (née McCormick; married 1969). His eldest son, Simon, held the courtesy title Lord Mauchline until his father's death on 30 June 2012. Until his death, the 14th Earl was one of the seven co-heirs to the Barony of Grey de Ruthyn.The Lady Amanda Louise Abney-Hastings (born 1969)
The Lady Lisa Maree Abney-Hastings (1971–2012)
Simon Michael Abney-Hastings, 15th Earl of Loudoun (born 1974)
The Lady Rebecca Lee Abney-Hastings (born 1974)
The Hon. Marcus William Abney-Hastings (born 1981)
Abney-Hastings was a councillor of the Jerilderie Shire, elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.