With an apparently distinguished pedigree and proudly robust views the Marquess of Annaville might well be expected to cut a fine figure in certain circles.

Indeed his opinions on the benefits of the Union and the qualities of the Royal Family had begun to gather attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

But not all is as it seems with the self-styled Lord Alexander Jackson Maier, 11th Marquis of Annaville. In truth he is neither a Lord nor a Marquess.

He is in fact Alexander Jackson Maier, a 22-year-old African-American student raised in the city of New Rochelle, in New York State.

But Mr Maeir has managed to persuade a number of publications that he is the last of a long line of Irish peers.

On the back of his claims he has published articles proclaiming the merits of the union of England and Scotland and most recently a column in support of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, in which he sympathised with claims of racism within the royal family and British elite.

He recently wrote of Meghan and Prince Harry’s claims: “As a member of that same aristocracy, I’m telling you that I unequivocally believe that they are telling the truth.

“When a white peer either inherits or is brought in, never do you hear major questions. Whether it is recorded in Debrett’s or happens with little fanfare, white people entering the aristocracy are welcomed with open arms and no interrogation. 

“That hasn’t been my experience. A ‘show me your papers’ attitude has become part of my daily existence.”

But experts who have looked into Mr Maier’s claims have established that the pedigree he claims appears to be without any basis.

To begin with there is no Marquis of Annaville title, nor is there any record of an Annaville Manor in Maingot, which he claims to be his family estate on the Caribbean island of St Lucia.

The only record of a Maingot is a small hamlet on St Lucia called La Croix Maingot, though it has no Annaville Manor.

Debrett’s, the Peerage experts, have condemned Mr Maier’s bogus adoption of a title, saying he might as well call himself the Duke of Nowhersville for all his assumed title is actually worth.

Wendy Bosberry-Scott, from Debrett’s, told The Telegraph: “There has never been a creation of the Marquess of Annaville, and we have not included such a title in our 250-year history. If this title does exist, then it’s the best kept secret in the history of peerage recording.”

Yet, despite this, the self-styled Lord has managed to persuade several publications that he is the last in a long line of Irish peers.

In February the St Lucia Star published a column in which Mr Maier wrote about the legacy of British colonialism, stating: “As of a few days ago I became Lord Alexander, the 11th Marquess of Annaville. The part of my family that carries this hereditary right came from Northern Ireland and as the first Black Lord in my family it’s pretty safe to say my ten predecessors looked nothing like me.”

The following month The Independent published an article under the byline ‘Marquess of Annaville, the last of the Irish peerages’. This was headlined ‘I’m a black British member of the aristocracy. I love the royal family — but I know what Meghan said was true,’

The article was removed from the paper’s website after questions were raised over the author’s provenance.

In fact Mr Maier is a student who until last year was happy to write under his own name.

He described himself on various online political forums and magazines, including the Post Millenial, as a black, gay and conservative American – perhaps something of a rarity and in itself enough to attract the interest of publications looking for an alternative voice.

Mr Maeir’s bizarre decision to assume the mantle of Marquess of Annaville, might seem like a harmless prank, but Debretts have warned that false titles can be used to gain access or advantage.

Ms Bosberry-Scott said: ““There are many reasons why people do it, it’s often the need to feel special or important. A title can command respect and access.”

“Unless they are widely recognisable members of society, titles should not be accepted at face value.”

She added: “People have been claiming fabricated titles or titles they’re not entitled to for centuries, it’s why the Peerage and Baronetage became so popular and useful after it was first published in 1769. If somebody claimed to be the ‘Duke of Nowheresville’, all you had to do was look them up in the latest volume of Debrett’s.”

Mr Maeir has conceded that he should not have used the title, although he says he is related to royalty as he is married to a nephew of the King of Swaziland, Mswati III.

He told The Telegraph: “There is no title in the peerage related to me whatsoever. I do apologize greatly to those institutions involved with a mechanism like this, many of which I’m obviously not familiar with.”

However he went on to claim that people who oppose his conservative views exploited his mistake in an attempt to discredit him.

As it happens Mr Maeir has a far more prestigious pedigree than any which an invented peerage might confer on him.

During the late 1980s and early 90s his mother, Linda Jackson, now aged 64, became the first American woman of colour to anchor and produce heavyweight boxing TV broadcasts. 

Ms Jackson was then one of a small number of pioneering black female presenters in the US. 

These of course included Oprah Winfrey – the same broadcaster who would go on to interview the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in March, during which those explosive accusations of racism in royal circles were made.