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How to become a Lord

If you’ve ever wondered how to become a Lord or Lady in the UK and were not born with the birthright, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as they make out in the movies!

Lord Title Origins

The term ‘Lord’ has been used in the UK since 1066 when William the Conqueror carved up the land into manors with titles which he bestowed on his loyal barons. Today we associate the term Lord with someone who holds a title of peerage or courtesy title, either inherited or granted.  

The term ‘Lady or “Ladyship” is simply a term of reference used to address a lady who has a title and ladyship titles can be gained in exactly the same way as Lordship title.

Many people associate being a Lord or Lady with land ownership. However, becoming a Lord and Lady is not always attached to owning or inheriting land. Let us explore some of the other ways.

How do you become a Lord?

There are traditionally 3 ways to become a Lord or Lady in the UK: 

  1. Marry a person with the current title and family inheritance of Lord or Lady. 
  2. Receiving an appointment to the House of Lords (which can only be achieved through nomination by the Prime Minister and then confirmation from the Queen).
  3. Purchase of “Lord of the Manor” title (can be extremely expensive as you’re actually purchasing the land or estate).

How does being a Scottish Laird differ from being a Lord or Lady?

The term “Laird” is a Scottish word and can be used interchangeably with the word Lord although the term is used as a description as opposed to a legal title. “Laird”, a Scottish term, is a title reserved for those who own larger estates or pieces of land in Scotland. 

The term “Laird” may be occasionally referred to by the owner themselves, or most likely by those employed by the estate.

In modern times, a Lordship and the phrase “become a Lord” is associated with nobility and peerage.  The word “Laird” has never been associated with nobility and peerage, only the ownership of land in Scotland.

How do you become a Lord or Lady in Scotland?

Here are the methods of becoming a traditional Lord or Lady in Scotland (we only differ from the rest of the UK in one respect): 

  1. Marry a person with the current title and family inheritance of Lord or Lady. 
  2. Receive an appointment to the House of Lords 
  3. In Scotland, we have ‘barony’ titles, rather than Lord of the Manor Titles. In 2004 they became detached from land interests and instead became a personal dignity. These are still very costly to purchase and can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

As you can see, there are a few difficult ways to get the title of Lord or Lady in the United Kingdom and Scotland specifically- some of which will allow you to be recognised in the House of Lords, some of which will cost a considerable amount of money, but all of which are not easily achieved by just anyone. If you want to find out more about the legality and benefits of buying titles we have a comprehensive guide.

On the other hand, there is always the option to become a Lord or Lady of Glencoe with Highland Titles, which is a lighthearted, fun and novelty gift where you (a) join our community of souvenir plot owners, and (b) obtain permission to use our registered trademarks, Laird, Lord and Lady of Glencoe.


Becoming a Highland Titles Laird, Lord or Lady

The souvenir plots of land offered by Highland Titles are offered as a way for people around the world to feel an attachment to Scotland and become closer to it. As the plots remain registered to Highland Titles, you are not officially a landowner but will receive a gift pack, you may also purchase a Master Deed Poll if you would like to pursue a name change. 

Not all jurisdictions allow for this, however, many of our community choose to refer to themselves in a fun manner within friends and family as opposed to legally having the name changed.

We offer this service as a fun, novelty way for people the world over to feel a bit more in touch with their Scottish roots. Additionally each purchase of a souvenir plot aids in the conservation efforts of the company to restore areas in Glencoe Wood and Lochaber to their once lush existence. Ridding the areas of non-native species and re-planting and rewilding the areas with vegetation and animal species that once called these locations home.  

The business of selling souvenir plots has been going for at least 50 years, as demonstrated by Sir Geoffrey Howe’s speech to the House of Commons in 1971.

Becoming a Laird, Lord or Lady of Glencoe* couldn’t be simpler!

  1. Choose a plot
  2. Fill in your information and purchase plot
  3. Receive gift pack
  4. Refer to, and be referred to as your Highland Titles trademarked title within the worldwide community of Highland Titles supporters
  5. If you choose to, pursue changing name on bank docs (Most jurisdictions will not allow a change of name on legal ID docs such as passports and driver’s licenses).

While Highland Titles sell souvenir plots of land and allow our purchasers to style themselves as Lairds, Lords and Ladies in the eyes of the Highland Titles community, under Scottish Law, they are not legally viewed as such.

Ownership of a souvenir plot is not viewed as sufficient reason to obtain Scottish Heraldry by the Court of Lord Lyon, the legal ruling of Heraldry and titles in Scotland, but the Court of Lord Lyon has no jurisdiction or relevance to the use of Laird, Lord and Lady titles.

The titles “Laird, Lord or Lady of Glencoe and Lochaber” are trademarked titles under Highland Titles which allow us to use them within our community of followers around the world.

A Lordship or Ladyship with Highland Titles

Highland Titles was founded in 2006 by Dr. Peter Bevis, a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, and his daughter, Laura. They started by selling plots from the family’s land in order to fund additional tree planting. The mission was simply to restore land that had been devastated by centuries of farming and unsympathetic commercial forestry.

The idea proved popular and the company was soon able to purchase a larger piece of land and expand the scope of the project. Highland Titles now own and operate two nature reserves in the beautiful highlands of Scotland and thank our thousands of supporters for making this possible.

The Benefits of Becoming a Highland Titles Laird, Lord or Lady*

The Laird Lifestyle

There are many ways to enjoy the Laird’s lifestyle. We encourage our community to make the most of their new titles and have some fun with it. We love hearing stories about flight upgrades and preferential treatment that comes about as a result of the titles.

When you join the Highland Titles community, you will receive updates on the land and conservation efforts that your support makes possible. We also sponsor Highland gatherings around the world where many of our overseas lairds come to celebrate their heritage.  We even hold our own Gathering once a year in Glencoe where Lairds from across the globe get together for 3 days to learn more about the reserves and even have the chance to visit their plots!

Members of the Highland Titles community also have the traditional landowner responsibilities to participate in land management votes and share thoughts and opinions on what should be done in the everlasting effort to restore and nurture the land.

The ability to officially change your name

Once you have received your gift pack, many customers immediately want to show off their new “title” by changing their name. Some of our customers make this official and ask their bank to add their new title to their bank account and credit cards.

You may purchase a Master Title Deed

A Master Title Deed is a legal document that provides evidence of your desire to change your name. We do not currently know of any jurisdiction where Deed Polls are not recognised but encourage you to do your research in your country of residence.

Please note that government documents which do not display any title, such as passports, cannot be changed, but subject to good faith, people can style themselves however they please. Find out more about how to become a traditional Lord, Laird or Lady.

Getting the VIP Highland Titles treatment

The local people and businesses of Glencoe have helped create a special Highland Titles VIP Card, which can be used for a variety of discounts when you visit the area. Discounts are dependent on how large your plot is and when it was purchased, but range from free drinks with a meal, exciting outdoor activities to a years membership at the local golf club!

The VIP Highland Titles treatment also includes the chance to participate in our annual Highland Titles New Years Honours List, in which you have the ability to nominate someone special to you, or your community, to be considered for the honour of being included on the annual list.  All those “honoured” will be given a plot and will be welcomed into our global community!

The right to use our official Tartan and Buckler

Another benefit to becoming a Laird, Lord or Lady of Glencoe or Lochaber is that you will then be able to proudly display and wear the Highland Titles Buckler and Tartan. The Tartan has been specially designed for our Highland Titles community and has been registered with the official Scottish Register of Tartans exclusively for the Highland Titles’ Lairds.

The Highland Titles Buckler is styled like our very own coat of arms, or crest, to represent our Lairds. It has been registered as our trademark, but is not, in fact, an official Scottish Coat of Arms. It does, though, incorporate symbols of our involvement in preservation and conservation of Scottish land, which we feel our community will feel proud to represent. The shield bears a silhouette of a full grown oak tree along with the buckle design.

Accessorise, Laird style

No Lairdship is truly complete without the accessories! Whether it be a personalised gift for that special Laird in your life or a lovely set of Glencoe crest cufflinks or Highland Titles Tartan scarf to make you feel like a debonair Lord or elegant Lady, there’s definitely something to suit every taste. By buying a plot and becoming a part of the community, it means you’re also on the inside track when new accessories are added, and may even have a chance to participate in trying new products before they’re released.