TLC's 'Suddenly Royal' British Subjects Rise Up Against Would-Be TLC King

9/11/2015 12:40 AM PDT

TLC's 'Suddenly Royal' -- British Subjects Rise Up Against Would-Be TLC King

EXCLUSIVE

David Drew Howe -- the Maryland man/TLC reality star who claims he's a direct descendant of the family that once ruled the Isle of Man -- is having trouble getting allegiance from his subjects. 

TLC's "Suddenly Royal" premiered this week, chronicling the journey of Howe and family as they spend 6 weeks in the self-governing British island, trying to gain control based on his lineage. 

The local parliament is scoffing British style, saying Howe "is not to be taken seriously." The spokesperson added, "the Head of State of the Isle of Man is and remains Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II." 

Howe says he has legal claim to the throne because he placed an official notice in the London Gazette, claiming his rule and no one objected. He doesn't want to oust the Queen, but he wants the title and the perks.

On the surface the locals think Howe's a doofus, but we're told on another level they're happy the show is bringing attention, and hopefully tourists, to the island.