BRITAIN: Was Mother a Virgin?

Under a huge oil painting of King George VI's coronation, nine peers of the realm gathered last week in a paneled committee room of the House of Lords. Ranged around a horseshoe table, the lords listened intently as, one by one, bewigged barristers rose to argue the fine points of one of the oddest cases in British legal history—the sort of legal conundrum that could exist only in a country that still has titles and a nobility. The two opposing claimants in the case sat stone-faced in the chamber, refusing to meet each other: Geoffrey Denis Erskine Russell, 54, a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!