Americans are big-time fans of British aristocracy thanks to shows like “Downton Abbey.” Also, you can’t forget the British royal wedding of the century between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (otherwise known as Prince William and Kate Middleton). But Americans probably haven’t heard of Lord Edward Montagu of Beaulieu. They’ll be able to learn all about him and his life in the documentary “Lord Montagu.”

The aristocrat, called “one of Britain’s most controversial and iconic aristocrats of the twentieth century,” had the life of privilege and ease until he was arrested for “homosexual offenses.” Here’s more about his intriguing life.

“As the youngest member in parliament and sole heir to his family’s 7,000-acre English estate, Lord Edward Montagu’s life was rich and privileged. However, in 1954, Edward Montagu, then aged 25, became England’s most infamous aristocrat when he was arrested for homosexual offenses and became the focus of a landmark trial known as “The Montagu Case.” His guilty verdict sent off shock waves and became the catalyst to overturn a centuries old law, but Montagu’s once pristine reputation and career were all but ruined. After serving a year in prison, Montagu rose back into the spotlight when he boldly transformed his private estate and family home into a public tourist attraction. He created spectacles at his home, most notably Britain’s first motor museum, and thus invented a new form of tourism known as “the stately home business.” His showmanship and success inspired a new breed of aristocrats to open their doors and transformed Edward Montagu into a prominent and esteemed national figure.”

Director Luke Korem brings the story of Lord Montagu to the masses, and you’ll be able to see it for yourself when it comes to all major VOD platforms (including AT&T, Charter, Dish, Cox, Suddenlink, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube Movies, Google Play, Xbox, Sony Playstation, etc.) June 17. Commentary in the film comes from several members of Lord Montagu’s family and some of his friends, including Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason and Prince Michael of Kent. The film is directed by UK actor Oliver Tobias. Get your copy at iTunes.

By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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