Sir Benjamin Slade is one of Britain’s most famous — and frankly outrageous — aristocrats.
Somewhat of a bad boy, he says his manor house, which he rents out for weddings, features a bar stocked with booze and guns (wedding guests enjoy posing with the guns). He said the guns are all deactivated and legal, and that he has only been raided by police a few times.
“I have to say if the police do another raid in the middle of a wedding, I’m going to have to put my foot down,” he said.
He’s rich, he’s 67, and yes, ladies, he’s single. In fact, he is on a mission to find a wife.
Slade, who holds the title of baronet, is a descendant of England’s King Henry I and King George IV and made a fortune as a shipping magnate, but he has no heir. He is worried if he doesn’t do something soon, his estate will be broken up and sold off.
It’s not as if he hasn’t tried.
Although he has a knack for making money, Slade has been unlucky in love. His marriage of 12 years ended in divorce. Other more recent relationships have also ended, leaving him with no offspring and no heir.
One option, of course, is to find a suitable blood relative to leave his estate to in his will, and many have applied, but so far none, in Slade’s opinion, have been, well, suitable.
“There are 3,500 Slades,” he said. “Some of them are probably hobos living in trailer parks where they don’t really qualify. The ones that have done well I’ve got one. Very grand actually. And he said our family has too much money anyway. We don’t any more. He said I’ve got five houses. I certainly don’t want another one.”
In the end, he would prefer to leave his estate to a child of his own. He has frozen his sperm and has gone very public with his search for a wife — even advertising on Facebook. He has also been known to crash weddings hosted at his estate and flirt with guests, hoping to find a Lady Right.
“I did propose to three women one night and with two I was extremely successful,” he said. “Two said yes. One gave me her mobile number and we were raring to go. Trouble is in the morning … they all look so different you know. Not exactly what I thought I’d been up to, but never mind.”