Aristocrats ‘feel entitled to abuse people’ says Robert Montagu the son of the 10th Earl of Sandwich who was raped by his father as a child.
The Mail Online reports: He made the comments at the Oxford Literary Festival while discussing his book, A Humour Of Love, in which he reveals years of abuse, including a single rape, carried out by father Victor.
Mr Montagu said that, during his years at Eton, rape was common, adding that people with ‘entitled backgrounds’ were given ‘more opportunities’ to be abusive towards children.
In a report for The Times, he said: ‘People from noteworthy families do feel a sense of entitlement.
‘It is true that people from an entitled background have more opportunities, maybe circumstances have made it more likely that they will abuse.
‘We used to have this ethos that you just kept quiet about things in your life. At school you were taught the stiff upper lip. Thank goodness we got rid of that lip.’
Mr Montagu has talked in the past about how a loving relationship with his father turned to abuse when he was aged seven.
It began after his mother, Rosemary Peto, goddaughter of Queen Maud of Norway, left the family home, and he believes his father used it as a way to cope with the loss.
He wrote about being groomed by his father, as hugs and tickles gave way to kisses, which in turn gave way to serial and serious abuse.
In a previous interview, he said: ‘It was what we did every day. It was accepted that I would always go to his room at half past seven in the morning until quarter to nine.
‘I felt I was fulfilling a function of my mother who was missing. It was my duty, to some extent, to be in the position I was in and that is the reason I did not resist.
‘That feeling was hinted at by my father, by sometimes making comments comparing me to my mother.
‘He never said it in outright terms – we never discussed what he was doing in any terms whatsoever – but it was implicit that I was helping him emotionally.’
At the time of the book’s publication, in September last year, he said it would likely sour relations between himself and his elder brother John, the 11th earl, who is also a peer in the House of Lords.
Speaking now, he says his family are ‘cross and unhappy’ with his book, and that he is given dark looks at family events, and hug which are then turned into pushes.
However, he has repeatedly stated that he felt the story needed to be told, after he revealed the abuse to his mother and family doctor as a young boy, only for it to be swept under the rug.