By Zoe Samuel on March 08, 2018
The British aristocracy is one of the longest-lasting institutions on the planet, and arguably one of the sillier ones; even its most high-falutin' members would struggle to argue that it's a logically justifiable system in an age of democracy and equal rights for all. Still, something that has endured so long will naturally collect all sorts of fascinating myths, stories, and factoids that are intriguing even to those who don't belong to the ranks of the nobility.
Hit shows like "Downton Abbey," "The Tudors," and endless adaptations of "Pride and Prejudice," as well as whole magazines dedicated to the exploits of the aristocracy, show again and again that people are very curious to know all about this small and rather insular group.
The Lords mostly no longer hold actual governmental positions in the UK, although it did take until 1997 for the country to figure out that the idea of inheriting a vote in the upper chamber of Parliament is (to put it politely) not the most democratic notion ever to be considered.
Even so, there are still dukes, earls, marquesses, viscounts, barons, knights, and more knocking around. Their survival is predicated on being just flexible enough to adapt to modernity without being so flexible that they disappear entirely - which they certainly still could.
So let's see if you know much about this rare and strange species before it goes AWOL for good!