Does Suddenly Royal’s David Drew Howe have a claim to the King of Mann title?

Suddenly Royal - David Drew Howe

Back in 2006, Maryland auto repairman David Drew Howe said he was contacted by a genealogist who gave him some surprising news: As a descendent of the last independent Isle of Man ruler, Drew may have a claim to the throne. After looking into it on his own, Drew filed a claim with Her Majesty’s Stationary Office… When no one objected within 90 days, including the Queen of England, Drew declared himself King of Mann.

Fast-forward eight years and he is still fighting for legitimacy in the self-governing British Crown dependency. (Note: The area is called both “The Isle of Man” or simply “Mann.”) His quest is now being documented in TLC’s Suddenly Royal.

Here’s more from the network…

Suddenly Royal follows Drew, his wife Pam, and 12-year-old daughter Grace on an adventure of a lifetime as they make the bold decision to travel 3,000 miles away to unveil what it really means to be heir to the throne of the British Isle of Man… From attempting to host royal garden parties and sipping tea with the highest social circles of the Isle, to participating in the World Tin Bath Championship and getting lost during an RV tour, this fish out of water experience proves to be challenging, comical, and often times emotional. After discovering that being royal is a lot harder than it seems, will the Howes’ dedication be rewarded and result in them becoming the ruling family of Mann?

So, what’s the problem? He has about 85,000 people standing in his way. As Drew told The New York Post, the residents of Mann did not respond kindly to his claim.

“I was very ignorant of what it was to be royalty,” he said. “Not everybody is happy to see me. People become territorial. I had to explain myself a few times, put it that way… Ultimately, you have to have the support of the people before you can begin to think about making a better place for them.”

Then there’s the fact that the Isle of Man doesn’t need a king: It is formally ruled by Queen Elizabeth, who serves as the Lord of Mann. She is represented there by Lieutenant Governor Adam Wood. The island also has its own governing parliament. Responding to the backlash in 2007, Drew explained he wasn’t trying to threaten any of that, saying, “I’m certainly not challenging the Queen’s authority or sovereignty over the island. I haven’t amassed an army or anything like that to invade, so I’m certainly not a threat at all.”

Still, Drew is fighting for recognition — which he says is all for the sake of his daughter and future generations of the family.

“I want her to have her interests and her life,” he told People recently. “But I’m going to hold and preserve this for her until the eventual time it becomes her turn.”

Watch the Howe family’s adventures in TLC’s Suddenly Royal, airing on Wednesdays at 10/9c. One way or the other, it promises to be amusing!

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