Master of Mud (aka artist) and former Center for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit,  professor of art, Bill (William J.) Girard Jr., passed away in 2011. The website created to honor him is found at


Yeah, sure. Utterly unknown artist belongs to the aristocracy of art? Lucky if a  posthumous piece sells for $5000!  That's top dollar for a Girard these days.   
That's not an editorial comment. It's bluster. Rhetoric. Build-up. Drum roll, please.
Does young Girard look like any sort of aristocrat to you?

Does old Girard look like any more of an aristocrat here?

Ever heard the maxim, you can't judge an aristocrat by their wig? Oh, sorry. No wig in evidence. 

Anyway, back in the day, former professor of art Bill Girard told me that some direct relative, a grandfather, great-grandfather, had been sent as a child from Scotland to Canada, with a nanny and a large sum of money. This was supposed to have occurred in the late 19th century or early 20th. The source of the funds was said to have been Balmoral Castle. Apparently, the child had been an inconvenience of some sort. 

The story went that sometime before WWII, a letter had arrived from some Lord or another, offering the next generation a nice tidy sum of money if it would come, in person, to claim it. The next generation laughed it off and never went. 

The location of said letter was unknown to Girard, as I recall. The details, as I recall them, were even then, somewhat blurred. Well. I heard the story in the late 1980s or 1990s.

But, but.... No, the letter hasn't been found. Not that I'm aware of. 

About a three years ago, Bill Girard's younger sibling, Gloria Girard, repeated the story in a Messenger post. 

This has not been edited for clarity. And I quote:

as far as the royal family goes my brother had a paper that I went to him that I got from my Aunt Sue who made a check of our family tree years ago she lives down or lived down in Arizona. now the paper that I gave bill I don't have anymore and I don't know who has it probably Chris (Girard). But as it goes my past relatives lived at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeen Scotland. one was a captain of the Guard. He was related to the kipple's which I related to Camila Carlos's wife. 

Someone was born at Balmoral and was to receive the king's bounty for the rest of their lives this was somewhere in the late 1800s I believe they came to Canada, I knew there was an estate my grandfather got a letter from Lord Salisbury in 1940 to claim his inheritance estate or forfeit it. My grandfather was a stubborn old guy not-so-old back in 1940 he was born in 1877 in London Ontario no, but he said he wouldn't go to England hell with it. There is more but at this time I cannot remember I really wish I knew more about it because it's interesting.

Me, too.

Anywho, in April of 2019, Gloria shared that a daughter, Julie,  12/2/68, had done a DNA test and determined, quote: 

Lord Kipple was our relative theres a book about his family.

Gloria shared a link, too:

It appears that "Lord Kipple" was Captain - or perhaps Lt. Col. - George Keppel MVO (1865 - 1947).  While his wife, Alice, was apparently a mistress to Edward, Prince of Wales, and later, King of England, from between 1898 and 1910. 

Both George and Alice are descended from royalty. 

 Keppel is the great-grandfather of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

In short, there is at least some slight reason to believe that our beloved artist, William Girard Jr., of Royal Oak, Michigan, may be descended from English aristocracy, if not actual royalty. 

If in fact funds were offered by "Lord Salisbury" on behalf of Balmoral Castle, around 1940 (or presumably, before WWII started) as suggested, I would imagine that the Girard family was a relatively recent offshoot of the royal bloodline. 

I have never been able to communicate directly with Gloria's daughter. The news I offer is hearsay. Or herewrote. 

The fact is, Girard IS art royalty. Not entirely unlike a character from one of the the myths and stories that inspired his art - for example, Strider aka Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings trilogy -  his many artistic accomplishments have yet to earn him the wider recognition he so richly deserves. 

Venus of Chelm. 1972. Artist: Bill (William J.) Girard, Jr, Royal Oak, MI. 1940 - 2011.

The King is dead! Long live his art!
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By Glenn Scott Michaels.

All rights reserved. Copyright 2021.

Master of Mud (aka artist) and former Center for Creative Studies (CCS), Detroit,  professor of art, Bill (William J.) Girard Jr., passed away in 2011. The website created to honor him is found at


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