We are in the small library at Goodwood House and Lord March, who is in line to become the 11th Duke of Richmond, is at his desk sitting in the chair Napoleon sat on during the battle of Waterloo. “Wellington,” he says, “gave the 4th Duke the chair. He was an observer at the battle and his son was aide-de-camp to Wellington. Four or five generations of my family have sat on it.”
On the shelf opposite is the Waterloo invitation book, written by the wife of the 4th Duke, for the ball held on June 15 1815, three days before the battle. Taking out the green book, Lord March starts reading the names: “HRH the Prince of Orange, HRH the Prince of Brunswick, Duke of Wellington, Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. The duchess organised the ball at the request of Wellington. The men left their dancing shoes there and went off to fight the battle. It confused Napoleon.” With that, Lord March returns to Napoleon’s chair and opens his Apple Mac.