The Daily Telegraph
Duke loses his Porsche after failing to make payments
Judge orders seizure of aristocrat’s £132,000 super car after he rules it had been ‘wrongly kept’
THE DUKE of Marlborough’s Porsche is to be seized after he failed to keep up with its payments, despite inheriting much of his father’s £36million estate.
A judge ordered the once notoriously wayward aristocrat to hand over the £132,000 car, having ruled that it had been “wrongly kept”.
Despite residing in one of Britain’s most spectacular stately homes, Blenheim Palace, the 12th Duke paid only just over half of what he owed for the Porsche Cayenne, after he entered into a financial arrangement in 2018.
Court documents reportedly show that Volkswagen Financial Services UK Ltd, the lender, wrote to the Duke, named as Charles Spencer-churchill, in February demanding that he return the vehicle. “The defendant [the Duke of Marlborough] has refused and/or failed to do so,” said Georgina Muschamp, representing the company.
The episode comes in a period of relative stability for the peer, commonly known as Jamie Blandford or Jamie Churchill, after a troubled earlier life beset by accusations of drug addiction.
In 1994 his father fought a court battle to ensure his eldest son never gained control of the family seat due to his excessive behaviour.
The relationship was said to have improved before the 11th Duke’s death in 2014, and probate documents showed his son to be a major beneficiary of his income and capital via a trust.
As the 12th Duke, James Spencerchurchill separately took over the 187room Blenheim Palace and its 12,500 acres of Oxfordshire countryside.
The only non-royal or episcopal country house in England to hold the designation of a palace, Blenheim has been the home of the dukes of Marlborough since the early 18th century, with the land given as a gift to reward John Churchill for his victories in the War of the Spanish Succession.
It was the birthplace of Winston Churchill and has hosted major diplomatic events such as a banquet for Donald Trump in 2018.
Despite inheriting the title and living at Blenheim, the current Duke is not a trustee of the Blenheim Palace Heritage Foundation, severely limiting his legal control.
His brother, Lord Edward Spencerchurchill, has a seat on the board.
The Duke was reportedly not in court to hear the judgment against him.
District Judge Richard Lumb ruled Volkswagen Financial Services could recover the Porsche from the peer, who was ordered to pay £602 in costs.
Court papers show he paid £67,721.64 for the turbo-charged car, leaving £64,472.70 of outstanding balance.
‘The episode comes in a period of relative stability for the peer after a troubled earlier life’
A default notice was served on the Duke last September, and by November the agreement was terminated.
In 1995, as the Marquess of Blandford, he spent a month in prison for forging prescriptions.
In September 2007 he was sentenced to six months in jail on two counts of dangerous driving and one of criminal damage following an attack on another motorist’s car. He was banned from driving for three and a half years.
His first marriage, to Rebecca Brown, ended in divorce in 1998. Their son George is the current Marquess of Blandford and heir apparent to the dukedom. The Duke married Edla Griffiths in 2002. They have two children.
Under his father’s stewardship, Blenheim was awarded World Heritage status, with the public given considerable access to the palace and grounds.
has approached the Duke for comment.