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  #1  
Old 12-17-2016, 05:54 PM
C. F. Leon C. F. Leon is offline
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Default Royal Succession

I'm been doing some updating of my info and a question came up about the modern royal succession:

I'm pretty clear about Elizabeth (the current monarch)'s line, but suppose there's some sort of catastrophe (I assume maybe a pandemic) and ALL of Elizabeth's line is wiped our, does Margaret's line then become the "prime candidates", so to speak? And if both lines get wiped, who THEN succeeds? As I understand, because of Edward 8's abdication HIS line was "cut out" if that's the term (and I don't think he had children anyway). So who's next?

The other question that I had was about the new rule that females are allowed to succeed also. Did this take effect on a particular date, or with Charles's grand-children specifically? (Because Anne has OLDER grand-daughters.)
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Old 12-17-2016, 07:54 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Originally Posted by C. F. Leon View Post
I'm been doing some updating of my info and a question came up about the modern royal succession:

I'm pretty clear about Elizabeth (the current monarch)'s line, but suppose there's some sort of catastrophe (I assume maybe a pandemic) and ALL of Elizabeth's line is wiped our, does Margaret's line then become the "prime candidates", so to speak? And if both lines get wiped, who THEN succeeds? As I understand, because of Edward 8's abdication HIS line was "cut out" if that's the term (and I don't think he had children anyway). So who's next?

The other question that I had was about the new rule that females are allowed to succeed also. Did this take effect on a particular date, or with Charles's grand-children specifically? (Because Anne has OLDER grand-daughters.)
England (and by extension the U.K.) have had females ascending the throne as next in line since before the 17th Century. Henry VIII's three legitimate children all became monarch, although the youngest (the male one -Edward VI) came before the older girl in Henry VIII's personal line (Mary I) and then the younger girl (Elizabeth I). Henry's younger sister had married the Scottish King James V, and their daughter was Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary never reigned in England, but was (until her execution in 1587) next in line to Elizabeth. In fact her execution was tied to her involvement in several plots to kill Elizabeth I, and replace her, culminating with the Babbington Plot of 1586. Mary, Queen of Scots, had married her other cousin, Henry, Lord Darnley, (the son of Henry VIII's youngest sister), and they were to have a single son, who would reign in Scotland as King James VI, and become (when Elizabeth I died in 1603) King James I of England.

There were no further female rulers in England until 1688, when the "Glorious Revolution" would overthrow King James II of England (and James VII of Scotland) and would replace him with his older daughter Mary. Now here there was an exception to primogeniture for male heirs of the monarchs. Mary and her sister Anne were the daughter of James II and his first wife. In the 1670s James remarried. His second wife, like James II, was a Catholic, and in 1685 she gave birth to a male heir, now called "Prince James, the Old Pretender" by Jacobites and historians. When James II was overthrown (but allowed to flee) the Whigs who led the "Glorious Revolution" put together legislation to by-pass Prince James in favor of his sisters in the Royal succession. They did not want any but Protestant monarchs in England and Scotland from now on. To add to the Whigs point of view, Mary II was married to her cousin (by one of the sisters of Charles II of England), Prince William of the Netherlands, who would reign with his wife as King William III and Queen Mary II. So two lines of the Stuart Royal House were grafted together to replace the legitimate heir, the male Prince James.

Mary II died in 1694. Her father, ex-King James II, died in exile in France in 1701. Her husband, King William III of England, and Prince of the Netherlands, died in 1702, The throne was passed by the legislation to Mary's younger sister Anne. Anne was married to Prince George of Denmark, and they had over ten children, but only one, William, Duke of Gloucester, survived into his early teens. He died, unfortunately, in 1699. So Anne's throne was precarious in terms of who would succeed.

The next in line was (to be fair) her younger half-brother Prince James the Old Pretender, but James was still a Catholic, and so precluded from the throne for religious reasons. However, during the final years of Anne's reign (1710 - 1714) the chief advisors to the Queen (Lord Sidney Godolphin, and the Duke and Duchess of Marleborough) were replaced by internal palace politics by Robert Harley and Henry St. John. Harley considered the merits of the next line of Protestants who descended from the youngest daughter of King James I of England and Vi of Scotland. These were the descendants of James' daughter Elizabeth, who had married the Count Palatinate of Bohemia, who would be at the center of events in the start of Europe's Thirty Years War in 1618 - 1648 (and would briefly be King of Bohemia). The current lead descendant there was Prince George, Elector of Hanover. But George was not popular in England, as he was widely believed to be responsible for the mysterious disappearance of his wife (Sophia Dorothea's) boyfriend Count Koeningsmark of Sweden in 1694. Still George was the closest Protestant heir, and best bet to have support in England. St. John, however, was determined to bring back the Old Pretender, who had promised to recognize the equality of both Christian faiths. The split between Harley and St. John came to a head while Anne went into her final illness, and ended when her leading minister of the day, the Earl of Shrewsbury, bot her to choose Prince George. George and his family (except his wife, who remained a prisoner in Hanover until her death in 1726) came to Britain, and he became King George I of Great Britain (the act of union of 1707 uniting formally the British and Scottish thrones). However, technically the King of Great Britain was also Elector of Hanover on the continent (and this, in 1715, became the Kingdom of Hanover. This meant the monarchs in Great Britain would be kings of five kingdoms (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Hanover).

This five kingdom situation would last from 1714 - 1837. It begins to fall apart during the teens of the 19th Century. King George 111 (1760 - 1820)
had seven sons and three daughters who survived to adulthood. The three daughters never married. The seven sons were George, Prince of Wales; the Duke of York, William, Duke of Clarence; Edward, Duke of Kent; Ernest, Duke of Cumberland; the Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, and the Duke of Sussex. The Prince of Wales had marriage problems. He had married a prominent actress, Mrs. Fitzherbert, but this was illegal because since the 1770s a new statute was on the books that in the matters of the Royal Family the reigning monarch had to consent to the marriage for them to be recognized. Mrs. Fitzherbert (besides being an actress) was Catholic. Apparently she and the Prince were very close, but King George III did not recognize her marriage as legal. Because he needed financial assistance from his father, the Prince of Wales "legally" married Princess Caroline of Brunswick. It was not a happy marriage. It did produce one child - Princess Charlotte. Charlotte was the heiress to the thrones of the four countries making up Great Britain, but in Hanover ONLY MALES COULD HAVE THE THRONE. When Charlotte married Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg it was assumed that their offspring would only reign in Great Britain, because she was limited to that nation of four kingdoms. Tragically, Charlotte died in childbirth in 1814, as did the child. This ended the legitimate heirs of the line of the Prince of Wales, who at this point was also Prince Regent due to his father's final descent into insanity. The Prince Regent became King George IV in 1820.

The Duke of York was heir to the throne from 1820 to 1827 (when he died). He and his wife never had any legitimate children. The new heir to the throne was the third oldest son of George III, William, Duke of Clarence. When George IV died in 1830, the Duke of Clarence became King William IV. Like George IV and all the monarchs of the Hanovarian line since 1714, William was reigning over five kingdoms. But King William and Queen Adelaide did not have any surviving children. The heir was Princess Victoria of Kent, daughter of the fourth son of King George III, Edward, Duke of Kent, who had died prematurely in 1819 (before his three older brothers and his father). Victoria is next in line as the legitimate heir to the British throne in 1837, as her line of descent from George III is ahead of the two other lines from George III that come from the Fifth and Sixth Brothers, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, and Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. Both of these men have sons who survive to adulthood. But since she is a woman, Victoria cannot become Queen of Hanover, as she is Queen of Great Britain (and it's four kingdoms). Instead, as the head of the next male line from King George III, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, becomes King Ernest I of Hanover in 1837.*

[*Ernest reigns in Hanover until 1851, when he dies. His son becomes King George V of Hanover, but sides with Austria against Prussia in the Seven Weeks War of 1866. As a result Prussia invades Hanover, and annexes the kingdom, but allows the House of Hanover to retain "hereditary monarch" status in Hanover afterwards. They are likewise still Dukes of Cumberland in England. However, in World War I they side with the German Empire in the fighting. As a result they are stripped of the title "Dukes of Cumberland". This leads to some bitterness between the Royal Family in Britain, and the Hanovarians. It is exacerbated in World War II when again they fight on the side of the Germans. However, after about 1955 a rapproachment occurs along family lines. The descendants of the Hanovarian branch are now persona grata in England when visiting the Royal Family cousins, but they are Princes of Cumberland - not Dukes. The current head of the Hanovarian house married Princess Caroline of Monaco about ten or fifteen years back.
The House of the Dukes of Cambridge carried on until 1904, when Adolphus' sole son, George, Duke of Cambridge, died without legitimate heirs. George was the only royal duke of Queen Victoria's generation who was well known in Britain, as he was General-in-Chief of the British Army for much of the later 19th Century.]

Victoria had a large number of descendants, several of whom married into major royal families. Her oldest daughter Vicky married Prince Friedrich of Prussia, who in time would become King of Prussia, and Kaiser Friedrich III of the German Empire (but he was dying and only had a three month reign). Their son was Kaiser Wilhelm II, the "Kaiser Bill" of World War I. Another granddaughter (Maud, daughter of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales - later King Edward VII of Great Britain) would become the Queen of Norway. The
Direct line of descent was through Albert Edward as Prince of Wales, and his wife Alexandra of Denmark (whose sister became Maria, Tsarina of Russia when married to Tsar Alexander III - their son and heir Nicholas II looked like his cousin George V, and there is a famous photo of the two wearing outfits called "Navy ducks" while sharing a vacation together in 1912).

Prince Albert Edward's oldest heir was his son, Prince Albert Victor, who is recalled as "Prince Eddy, the Duke of Clarence". Eddy is the one who is usually whispered at as the suspect in the "Royal Conspiracy Theory" with Sir William Gull and John Netley (and Walter Sickart?) regarding the Whitechapel Murders. Eddy never legally married, and when he died in 1892 his fiancÚ (Princess May of Teck) got re-engaged to Eddy's younger brother George, and would in time become Queen Mary to King George V.

George V and Queen Mary had five sons and a daughter. The youngest son, Prince John, was an epileptic who died in 1919. The daughter did marry a lesser ranked noble than herself. There were offspring there, but these offsprings are at the bottom of the listing for succession. The oldest son of George and Mary was Edward, Prince of Wales (known to the family as "David", but known historically as "Edward VIII). Edward had several romances in his career up to 1933, when he began to be serious about one woman - the American Wallace Warfield Simpson. He would eventually abdicate the throne to marry Mrs. Simpson in 1937 (the abdication was in December 1936), and the marriage did last until his death in 1972. However, the couple never had any children. His brother, the Duke of York, would ascend the throne as King George VI, with his wife Queen Mary. They would have two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. The third brother was the Duke of Kent, who was very popular. He got married and has descendants. Tragically he was killed during World War II when his plane was shot down. The fourth brother was the Duke of Gloucester who also has descendants.

When George VI died in 1952, although it was assumed Princess Elizabeth was going to be the Queen, the announcement was held back for a number of months. The King's wife, Queen Elizabeth, had missed her period, and it was wondered if she was pregnant with another child. Had she been so, and it was a boy, that boy would have bumped Princess Elizabeth to the side of the direct heir to the throne. Primogeniture still favors a male heir, despite a female being older. It also is interesting to speculate on the ascent in 1936 of the Duke of York. If you recall the movie "The King's Speech", the Duke of York had a halting way of talking as well as a lisp. He did not like becoming King, and there were serious discussions regarding whether he should be next in line of Kent or Gloucester. Finally, due to his sense of duty, he accepted the role of becoming the new monarch.

Currently, the line of succession is this: Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry and his children, Prince William; Charles two brothers, according to their ages, with their children in descent of the head of each line; Princess Anne and her two children; the descendants of Princess Margaret Rose (keep in mind that the lines follow the males always get precedent even if (like Princess Anne) they are older than the oldest male). After going back to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's children, you got back to the lines from the Dukes of Kent and Gloucester. Here to is a religious problem - Princess Michael of Kent converted to Catholicism, so she is no longer in line for the throne. This may also effect (I'm not sure) the rights of her children.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Jeff
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:32 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Not often you get it wrong Jeff, but William is older, hence comes before Harry.
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:35 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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As a slight aside my 3x great grandfather was Royal Chaplain to the Duke if Cumberland prior to his assertion to the throne of Hannover
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Old 12-18-2016, 04:44 AM
Robert Robert is online now
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For fans of unusual situations, I read recently of twins (non-royal), where the first-born's time of birth was listed as later than that of the second-born's! This was because between the two births the clocks were put back an hour.
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:29 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Not often you get it wrong Jeff, but William is older, hence comes before Harry.
Can't say I'm flawless like a diamond GUT. I always confuse those two princes. So Charles will be followed (if Charles ever serves as King) by King William V. Strange to think that.

Ernest I of Hanover is one strange dude. He hated Catholics with a passion, and was head of the "Orange" Lodges of Protestants in the British Isles in the Regency Period. He also deeply disliked his young niece Victoria, as by being there she kept the bigger prize of ruling Great Britain, leaving him with little Hanover. However, if anyone ever presents you with a "Jeopardy" trivia questions, "Three sons became monarchs of this British monarch." the answer is the trick one of "George III" because Ernest ends up a King like older brothers George and William.

There is a mystery connected to Ernest, while Duke of Cumberland. He lived at St. James Palace, and he had a valet named Selis or De Selis. The valet was a Catholic, and the Duke (such a lovely person) taunted his valet about this failing all the time. One day the Duke stumbled into a room covered in blood from a heavy cut in his skull. His shocked aides asked what happened, and Ernest said that the valet attacked him suddenly with a cavalry sabre. They ran to the room of the valet, and found him on his bed with his throat cut. HOWEVER, the knife that did the job was not in his hand but across the room on the floor. Many would suspect Cumberland had tried something (possibly a racist attack or a homosexual attack) on the valet, and the latter defended himself. Most have considered that the goaded valet had enough and just got even. The incident, "the St. James Palace Mystery" occurred in 1810.

Couldn't recall the name of the Duke of York (George IV's brother and heir to the throne from 1820 to 1827). It was Frederick. He almost was asked (in the post-American Revolution period) to come here and become our monarch, as he was considered a soberer son of King George III than his brother George. He is best remembered for that old "nursery rhyme", "The good old Duke of York, he had 10,000 men. He marched them up a hill...and down the hill again!" The Duke was good (like in the American Civil War, Major General George McClellan) in building and training fighting forces, but mediocre as a tactician. His career in the Army came to a disastrous fall in 1809, when his mistress, an actress Mary Anne Clarke, was caught selling important posts in the military (at that time one could buy promotions and posts if you had the position and money), and pocketing a percentage for herself, with the Duke either vaguely aware of the incident or not paying sufficient attention. The Duke left his post in the Army under a cloud. Miss Clarke would serve a small prison sentence. Their relationship was ended.

Ironically, if Frederick never had any legitimate heirs by his actual legal wife, Miss Clarke did - and they proved to be illustrious. Her grandson was George DuMaurier, author of several novels, such as "Peter Ibbotson" and more notably "Trilby", which introduced the sinister figure of "Svengali" the hypnotist and music trainer. Her great grandson was the distinguished actor Gerald DuMaurier, who graced the West End theatres of the period 1900 to 1930s (and even pops up in a few early British talkies), and her great, great grand-daughter was the popular novelist Daphne DuMaurier ("Rebecca", "Frenchmen's Creek", "Jamaica Inn", "The King's General", "The Scapegoat"). Daphne would repay her great, great grand-mother's gifts to her and her family by writing a fictionalized biography "Mary Anne" about her.

Jeff
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Old 12-18-2016, 11:35 AM
GUT GUT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert View Post
For fans of unusual situations, I read recently of twins (non-royal), where the first-born's time of birth was listed as later than that of the second-born's! This was because between the two births the clocks were put back an hour.
That's interesting.
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:29 PM
Damaso Marte Damaso Marte is offline
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England/UK is an odd situation because their royal succession isn't pure primogeniture - it is primogeniture as modified slightly by multiple acts of Parliament. Indeed, if you ever make a press inquiry to the British royal family about a line of succession question, you get referred to Parliament.

My recollection is that British succession laws do not consider Catholicism a genetic disorder and that Protestant children of Catholics are in the line of succession as if their parents had died but I am not 100% sure.

Was there any cutting out of Germans from the line of succession during World War One?
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:25 AM
John G John G is offline
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The present Royal Family is of German extraction- the name of the royal house was changed from Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to Windsor in 1917 for obvious political reasons.

The eldest child, regardless of gender, is now first in the line of succession, i.e. the heir apparent; and Catholics are no longer disqualified from succession: Succession to the Crown Act, 2013.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:33 AM
GUT GUT is offline
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Interesting the Republican movement has started a fresh push here in Australia, but said that nothing will happen whileever Elizabeth II remains on the throne.
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