The Earl of Yarborough, who took the name Abdul Mateen after he became a Muslim, has been nominated as the Queen’s High Sheriff of Lincolnshire
While the Prince of Wales has been praising the unifying strengths of the Commonwealth, the Queen is preparing for an eye-catching appointment back home.
Mandrake hears that an aristocrat who converted to Islam has been nominated to be the High Sheriff of Lincolnshire, the monarch’s representative in the county.
The Earl of Yarborough, who uses the name Abdul Mateen, will take the unpaid role next year.
On the death of his father in 1991, he inherited the bulk of the £68 million estate, which includes Brocklesby Park in Lincolnshire, 27,500 acres of farmland, and one of Britain’s finest private art collections.
His father was quite a character. At his village carol service, he once read the lesson about the shepherds deserting their flocks to see the baby in Bethlehem.
“I’d just like to say,” he told the startled congregation, “that if these men had been my shepherds, I’d have sacked them.”
A Mandrake plant?
Her husband’s ancestral home, Alnwick Castle, pictured above, doubles as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, but the Duchess of Northumberland could be the new J K Rowling.
Rowling’s publisher, Bloomsbury, is to publish a series of novels inspired by the duchess and the Poison Garden she created at Alnwick.
The books will be about a half-human, half-plant creature called Weed, who is given miraculous powers by innocuously eating poisonous and hallucinogenic herbs, which he uses to fight evil.
Bloomsbury is also in talks about a possible television series and a film dramatisation. Sounds wizard.