Harold Brooks-Baker, the publishing director of Burke's Peerage and one of the most frequently quoted commentators on the royal family, a family friend says. A life-long sufferer from the effects of polio contracted as a child in America, he died in London on Saturday after never fully recovering from a fall last autumn.
Mr. Brooks-Baker was quoted a number of times in this newsletter, including less than a month ago, when he commented on the selection of a title for Camilla Parker Bowles once Prince Charles becomes King. That article is available at http://eogn.typepad.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2005/02/camilla_parker_.html
When he heard that the Queen would not attend the wedding service last month, he told Reuters, "It is a definite humiliation; it is an outrage. This has got to stop, otherwise they will ruin the whole fabric of the monarchy."
Mr. Brooks-Baker was an authority on genealogy and Britain's aristocracy, despite the fact that he was an American. He was a graduate of Harvard Law School in the same class as Ted Kennedy. He lived in London for the past 30 years. He had been associated with Burke's for some years and was always ready to offer opinions on the snob value of Burke's Peerage. He was often quoted in the press.
Harold Brooks-Baker was 71 years old at the time of his passing.