Lord Kingsale, who has died aged 64, was the Premier Baron of Ireland, and the only man in Britain entitled to keep his hat on in the presence of the Queen.
John de Courcy, the 35th Lord Kingsale, worked mostly as an odd-job man, with spells as a plumber and a bingo-caller, and he ended his days in sheltered housing - a fate he accepted with some equanimity. He listed "self-deception" as a recreation in Who's Who, "because I consider myself important and nobody else does." Aside from the hat-wearing right, John de Courcy owned a lighthouse in Kinsale and the ruins of a castle whose walls were a foot high at their highest point. The Courcys had been downwardly mobile for centuries before John de Courcy's birth, so he represented an old family tradition. A book about the Nouveaux Pauvres brought him some celebrity, and a little extra income, in the 1990s.
Despite advertising in the Lonely Hearts pages, he never managed to find a suitable wife, and the title now passes to his New Zealand cousin, Nevinson Mark de Courcy, whose father was a municipal drains inspector.
Telegraph News Lord Kingsale