Motorsports Royalty Robbed at Knifepoint at English Estate

Goodwood's menschy Earl of March taken for $1 million in jewels.

Nick Harvey

We could easily have some sympathy for those perpetrate a heist at an English manor. There are many among the English nobility whose actions are less than savory, and if for some reason you had a compulsion to rob someone associated with motorsport, please help yourself to former Nazi and FIA president Max Mosley is available. But the Lord and Lady of March? Them you leave alone.

Two of the greatest event in motorsports, the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival, are named for the 12,000-acre estate and seat of the Duke of Richmond. Along with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and Retromobile in Paris, they make of a global cicuit of Great Moments in Cars. The 9th Duke of Richmond, a WWII RAF pilot, built a race course on the grounds in 1948. It closed in 1966 but his grandson, the current Earl of March (his father, the 10th Duke, is alive and kicking), reopened it in the Nineties and with the Rolls-Royce headquarters on the property, has turned it into the very beating heart of English motoring.

Which is one of the many reasons why, despite his vast wealth, the Lord Earl is one of the good guys, and why you’d have to be an absolute fuckwit to break into his house, force his wife to open a safe, hit him in the head, tie them both up, and leave with a sack containing about $1 million in family jewels going back 400 years.

So naturally, that’s what happened on January 15, leaving the Lord and Lady on the floor until staff arrived (the estate employs over 500 people) in the morning. Because sure, you’ll have no trouble unloading a ring King Charles II gave to his mistress in the 1600s; or a $570,000 19th Century diamond tiara.

England must be full of people who would benefit from a little redistribution of wealth, and if they’d picked one of them, no one would have cared. Somehow, though, some absolute morons made their way to a fabulously wealthy person who’s actually worth having around. So congratulations, whoever you are, on becoming the car world’s most hated person. We won’t be forgetting you any time soon.