The subject has already seen JK Rowling scorned by her millennial fans.
But that has not dissuaded West Country aristocrat Sir Michael Ferguson Davie from striding into the transgender debate in a manner which may have fellow noblemen nervously clutching their coronets — and other baubles.
‘With gender change there are implications for the succession of hereditary titles,’ says Sir Michael, 76, whose baronetcy, which can only pass down the male line, dates from 1847.
In the wake of JK Rowling (pictured)’s controversial statements about gender, West Country aristocrat Sir Michael Ferguson Davie has used the current debate as a rallying cry to end the law of primogeniture
‘If an eldest child, born a female, declares herself now to be male, will that child then take precedence over a younger sibling who was born a male?’
Sir Michael is using the current debate as a rallying cry to end the law of primogeniture.
‘It is surely time to amend the rules of primogeniture for the succession of peerages and baronetcies,’ he adds.
Sir Michael suffered the heartbreak of losing his only son — and only child — more than 30 years ago.
His plea is echoed by the 9th Earl of Arran, 81, who has two daughters but no son.
The 9th earl of Arran (pictured) has echoed Sir Michael’s plea, stating that the concept of male heirs is ‘outdated’ and ’embarassing’
Describing the system of primogeniture — by which titles and estates are inherited by sons, or other male heirs, in preference over daughters — as ‘outdated and embarrassing’, he tells me it should be speedily brought to an end.
‘It shouldn’t matter what sex you are in 2020,’ he explains, adding that inheriting a title currently is ‘done only on DNA’.
Charlotte Carew Pole, who heads the pressure group Daughters’ Rights, confirms that point.
‘Under the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, the eldest daughter could have a gender re-assignment certificate, and could legally be allowed to call herself “Mr”, but she would still, for the purpose of titles, be a woman — and so would not take precedence over her younger brother or whoever the male heir might be.’
The Earl of Shrewsbury, the premier Earl of England, tells me: ‘Daughters’ Rights have presented a Bill to end male primogeniture, and to very simply allow the first born, regardless of sex, to inherit. I fully support that initiative.’
Heaven! Dame Joan hits the shops after lockdown
Dame Joan Collins (right) was spotted in Selfridges department store in Oxford Street on the opening day of the shops reopening after coronavirus
Dame Joan Collins was quick to respond to Boris Johnson’s clarion call for the nation to return to the High Street and ‘shop with confidence’.
The Dynasty star headed straight from her home in London’s Belgravia to Oxford Street, where she made a beeline for Selfridges department store.
‘First day shopping,’ she told fans.
‘Heaven,’ she exclaimed. ‘I love shopping.’
Dame Joan has made it clear she’s increasingly fed up with lockdown, joking last week: ‘Let me outta here!’
Don’t mock Keith Richards. James Fox, who ghostwrote the Rolling Stones guitarist’s bestselling 2011 autobiography, has hit a wrong note with his subject.
Richards has taken exception to Fox doing impersonations of his distinctive drawl.
‘He got a little touchy about that,’ says Fox. ‘It got back to him that I was going around telling these marvellous anecdotes in Keith-speak.
‘He said to me: “I’ll tell you something, James. One day you’re going to get your personality back.” ’
Is lockdown getting to Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon?
Tory MP Philip Davies struck a nerve when he told her: ‘You should get out more,’ during a select committee grilling.
‘There’s nothing I would like more than to get anywhere else except staying at home with my children,’ retorted the mum-of-four. Home schooling can’t end soon enough.
Racy Lola’s in the pink with her sister Jazzy
Lady Lola Crichton-Stuart (right) was photographed wearing a backless gown with Game Of Thrones star Jazzy de Lisser (left)
Fashion designer Serena Bute, who is married to former racing driver Johnny Crichton-Stuart, 7th Marquess of Bute, once complained she’s ‘hopeless at marketing’ herself.
Luckily, she has two social media-savvy daughters at hand.
Lady Lola Crichton-Stuart, 20, whose father is Jonny, shared this picture online as she modelled a shocking pink backless gown from her mother’s eponymous label.
She is joined by Game Of Thrones star Jazzy de Lisser, 28, whose father is Serena’s first husband, Jamaica-born grandee Robert De Lisser, in the same frock in green.
‘My big lil’ sis in our mumma’s creations,’ Lady Lola captions it.
A fawlty message for comedy fans
Living up to his irritable comic creation Basil Fawlty, John Cleese spent lockdown recording bad-tempered messages for paying fans.
‘You can get celebrities to send a personalised message to someone,’ he explains. ‘I think it’s supposed to be something nice — but I’m probably better at threats and insults.’
And his daughter Camilla’s efforts to persuade him to join Instagram did not end well, either.
‘My very first broadcast began with me beaming at the camera and saying, “Hi, I’m John Cleese, and in this period of self-isolation I’ve decided that I’m going to open my own official Killagram account.”
My daughter was mortified.’
Martin Freeman admits that taking on the monologue originally performed by Alan Bennett in the BBC’s lockdown remake of Talking Heads was a ‘little intimidating’.
The socially distanced shoot on the deserted EastEnders set at Elstree studios brought its own quirks.
‘I was in Dot Cotton’s bedroom, so that’s one thing ticked off the bucket list,’ the actor says.
Most people would love to boast about being related to James Bond, but Daniel Craig’s half-brother Harry has suddenly become keen to play down their connection.
The blond model has changed his surname from Craig to Easton on social media. Harry is the son of Daniel’s father Tim and describes himself as an ‘eccentric gentleman’.
Let’s hope he doesn’t leave Daniel shaken and stirred.
Lady Mary’s hammy new role – as a pig
The Countess of Carnavon has named one of her pigs Lady Mary (both pictured right), after Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery (left)
The Countess of Carnarvon, whose Highclere Castle in Hampshire is where Downton Abbey was filmed, has paid homage to one of the show’s much-loved characters.
She posted a picture of herself with her pig, whom she has named Lady Mary — portrayed on screen by Michelle Dockery.
‘Back with a muddy Lady Mary,’ writes Lady Carnarvon, quoting playwright George Bernard Shaw: ‘Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.