William Alexander Sidney Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke, 15th Earl of Montgomery (born 18 May 1978) inherited the title in 2003 following the death of Henry Herbert, 17th Earl of Pembroke.
He ranked 510th in the Sunday Times Rich List 2009, with an estimated wealth of £105m (as estimated April 2009), which includes the value of the furniture and art collection at Wilton House, recently estimated at £150m (halved for tax under the Times estimate), and the house and estate. The total is estimated after death duties.
Lord Pembroke is the only son of the late 17th Earl by his first wife, the former Claire Rose Pelly (now wife of Wyndham Murray-Threipland). He has three older sisters and three younger half-sisters (by his father's second marriage). Since his father has no brothers, and his grandfather's brothers died unmarried, and other lines of descent from earlier earls have mostly petered out, the heir presumptive to the earldoms of Pembroke (created 1551) and Montgomery (created for the brother of the 3rd Earl, who succeeded him as 4th Earl) is the 8th Earl of Carnarvon (born 10 November 1958). There are some further heirs in the Carnarvon branch, descended from the 2nd Earl.
In April 2009, the Earl announced his engagement, which took place over the Easter weekend, to his long-time girlfriend Victoria A.C. Bullough (born circa 1985), younger daughter and youngest child of retail tycoon Michael Bullough owner of one of the few remaining independent stores in Scotland, and his wife Sandra, née Lee-Graham, a former model. Her brother John (Johnny) Bullough, Younger of Culcreuch, has been married since 1998 to Lady Georgina Dorothea Mary Murray (b. 10 Mar 1967), only daughter of the 8th and 7th Earl of Mansfield, DL. There is an older sister, Deborah.
According to news sources, Miss Bullough has just completed a degree in interior architecture (Spatial Design and Architecture) at the Chelsea School of Art, and graduated with First Class honours. Victoria grew up in Huntingtower, Perth. She is a graduate of Glenalmond College, Perthshire. She then went travelling for five months after leaving university and is currently on a placement doing interior design at a company in London. The wedding is to take place next year at Wilton .
The Earl dated Victoria Bullough since 2005, and since 2007, they have been living together in Wilton House, his family's stately manor.
Lord Pembroke was educated at Bryanston, then at Leeds for two years where he did a foundation course in 3D design. He then pursued a course in industrial design at Sheffield Hallam University, being the first Herbert to graduate with a first (according to the Observer interview). He then worked with Sebastian Conran as an industrial designer, being forced to quit that job in October 2004 to assume the responsibilities of the house and estate at Wilton, a year after his father's premature death of cancer.
In a July 2005 interview with The Observer, Lord Pembroke spoke frankly of the responsibilities and difficulties in managing a historic home and estate today. He would like to increase the number of celebrity events, such as Madonna's birthday party, at Wilton House to increase revenues; opening the property to more tourists is not paying in the long run as it increases wear-and-tear on the house. He also spoke frankly on the need for him to marry and father a son to secure the succession (for the sake of his immediate family as well as the estate and house and all those who depend on it for a livelihood), and in fact, he was not aware who his current heir presumptive is.
If the present Earl dies without a male heir (a son or a grandson), the title of Baron Herbert of Lea (created 15 January 1861 for his ancestor Sidney Herbert, 1st Baron Herbert of Lea, who died months later) will become extinct. The Earldom of Pembroke (created 1551 by Edward VI) and the Earldom of Montgomery will descend to the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, holding the earldom created 1793 for the first son of the second surviving son of the 8th Earl. Lord Carnarvon is an eighth cousin patrilineally of Lord Pembroke, is twice married, and has two legitimate sons, one from each marriage. There are three more heirs who can claim these three earldoms, originally of three separate creations.
July/August 2009 issue: Apollo, The International Magazine for Collectors. Tradition with a Twist by Michael Hall, "The Earl of Pembroke was just 25 when he inherited responsibility for Wilton House in Wiltshire, its estate and art collections in 2003. To mark Apollo’s special issue on Wilton, he talks to Michael Hall about his plans for this great house. Portrait by Derry Moore. [Official portrait of William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke, ©2007 by American painter and portraitist, Adrian Gottlieb]. http://www.apollo-magazine.com/features/3710498/tradition-with-a-twist.thtml
Interview with "William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke, 15th Earl of Montgomery, 18th Baron Herbert of Cardiff, 15th Baron Herbert of Shrubland and 7th Baron Herbert of Lea."
Official Portrait of William Herbert, 18th Earl Pembroke, 15th Earl Montgomery © 2007 By Adrian Gottlieb
Tori, Portrait of Victoria Bullough ©2007 By Adrian Gottlieb
|Peerage of England|
George Herbert, The Earl of Carnarvon