Part 9: What if ….?

We have reached the end of the story and it has left me wondering; what if Henry Lopes WAS Pops father? Looking at the photographs of the two of them I cannot help thinking that they do look alike, especially that nose! So what might have been if it is true? Time for some light hearted conjecture!

If Henry Lopes was Pop’s father then when Henry and his wife Alberta Edgcumbe had their eldest son, Massey Henry Edgcumbe Lopes, Pop would have been his half brother and all of Massey’s descendants would be relatives, albeit distant, of us ‘Orchards’.

Massey married Helen Dawson and their eldest son was George Edward Lopes who went on to marry Sarah Violet Aster, a very well known family of the mid twentieth century. George and Violet’s eldest son was Harry Marcus Lopes and Harry married Laura Parker-Bowles in 2006. Laura Parker-Bowles is the daughter of Andrew Parker-Bowles and his estranged wife, Camila (nee Shand) who is, yes, now married to the Prince of Wales.

We Orchards are related, by marriage, to the Royal line of succession!

Henry Lopes was the 4th Baronet of the Baronetcy of Maristow and was made Lord Roborough in 1938 when given a peerage and a seat in the House of Lords.

The 5th Baronet was his son, Massey Henry Edgcumbe Lopes, however the eldest son should have inherited the title and his eldest son might have been Charles Edward (Orchard)! So legally, Pop may have been the 5th Baronet and his eldest son, Charles, would have been the 6th Baronet. When Charles passed away Pat and Linda would have lost out (sorry but I didn’t make the rules!) and the title would have transferred to the next eldest of Pop’s sons, Alfred. So Alf was the 7th Baronet which means I inherited the title when Alf died in 1996!

From this point onwards, I have assumed the title of Lord Roborough, 8th Baronet of Maristowe, and am pursuing my legal rights in the courts seeking a DNA test to prove my case! In formal situations you should refer to me as “My Lord” but informally merely as “Sir”. Sadly, I will not be able to share my newfound fortune with you all but you will all be welcome at Maristowe Manor once Lady Ann and I can sell the bungalow, and get the current imposters at the Manor out. Lady Ann and I are thinking of inviting our relatives, the Windsors, to Maristowe for Christmas this year, I am sure they will prefer to come to us rather than spend it alone at Sandringham.

This court action is likely to be expensive but I am sure you will all agree that it is important that we find out who we really are and so I will divide the cost between the number of cousins and you will all receive an invoice from my solicitors in due course!

I am yet to decide whether I wall take my seat in the House of Lords, I just do not see myself as a Conservative peer and my father would turn in his grave at the prospect ...

Seriously, in doing this research and in writing this story I seem to have answered many questions but have left the major one unanswered and that question will certainly never be answered. There are many members of my family around the Waterside and far beyond all bearing the name Orchard but that is not who we are. I was never that bothered in the past but since opening the box and looking inside I would really love to know the answer. Who am I?


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