July 20, 2005
Retired Grocery Clerk Could Become British Earl
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Retired grocery clerk Bill Capell has a good reason to plan his first trip to England: He's one step away from being an earl. A relative who died last month was the 10th Earl of Essex, and the 11th, another cousin, is 61 years old and doesn't have children to inherit the title.
Capell, a 52-year-old, born-and-bred Californian, was largely unimpressed by the news that he might become a nobleman. "I'm a pretty laid-back guy," he said. "I've known since way back in 1966, as a teenager, when my dad got a call. It's always been on the back burner, sure, but I never really thought about it."
As the Right Honorable Lord William Capell, Capell would be entitled to put his name forward as a candidate, should one of the 95 hereditary members of the House of Lords die. He says Queen Elizabeth II would formally address him as "Our right trusty and entirely beloved cousin."