Emperor Christian Victor I

Emperor Christian Victor I

Friday, 28 December 2012

Fascinating Fridays (Laws and Traditions of Succession)

To end off 2012 we decided to do a very long post with a lot of information.

Time for a long overdue lecture on Royal Technicalities. These subtleties are what makes the various traditions of Royalty; poignantly interesting, frustrating complicated yet lends the air of historic legitimacy to the principle of Royalty, that bestows the privilege on those who end up in these sometimes very powerful positions of responsibility.

The Heads of State of all the current reigning Monarchies of Europa with their spouses. From left; Her Majesty Queen Maria of Hispania, the Lady Arcwhite, Her Serene Highness the Princess of Wallachia, His Royal Highness the Duke of Swann, His Excellency the Baron Bagrazia, Her Majesty Queen Gloria of Normandia, His Royal Highness the Prince of Northwold, His Majesty King Nikolas III of Syldavia, Her Majesty Queen Maxima of Syldavia, His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Hanoveria and Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Hanoveria.

Lets lay a foundation for those who might not understand the fundamentals of Royalty as yet. One of the major differences between a democratic government system and a monarchic system is based on the principle of  succession laws. Succession law counts in all forms of government regardless of  it being a democracy or a monarchy of any kind. These laws govern what happens when the preceding head of state or head of government, is replaced with the following successor. In a democracy, the main principle is so-called free election. The standard for a monarchy boils down to a hereditary system where Royal birthright overrides election either in part or completely. This plainly means that one ruler dies in order for the next in line, normally the eldest son by birth, to succeed to the office. That being said, now all the complicated rules come into play as per the varying traditions of each individual monarchy. Let us first discuss the general systems and then the particular monarchies as they exist today. 

Just as in the monarchic system, there are varying degrees of "free" democratic election systems. As a basic foundation the democratic system excludes nobody from becoming a head of state/government, provided that they are elected to the office by a majority vote from the entire free public electorate. Unfortunately these candidates need vast capital to promote themselves that it immediately excludes more than 98% of any free population from candidacy. By varying degrees of "free" election we also imply that regardless of money some democratic systems are not as free as we might assume. The most free democratic system allows for anybody to be made eligible for election. A midway system allows for a certain class only, like senators or governors, to be eligible  for election. In some rare cases, sometimes not considered truly democratic, regardless of the standing of the candidacy, only a certain class of the populous may vote. In the most extreme case it becomes borderline monarchic when the eligible candidates are drawn from a exclusive or even a Royal Family but this is not considered democratic and will be discussed under elected monarchy. 

Absolute Monarchy
In this case the head of state and government is vested in one person from an established monarchic system subject to dynastic family rules and traditions. This single ruler is referred to as a monarch in principle but may have any title as his particular cultural demographics have manifested. The foundational principle is that the ruler has absolute power and that succession is most commonly a direct bloodline descent from parent to child. This is commonly referred to as the "Divine Right". The absolute monarch in principle is an absolute theory. There has never really been a true absolute monarchy as often the monarch's power is limited in some way or another by laws or a council or at least some traditions. 

Elected Monarchy
Election is not so uncommon in monarchic systems of government as one might suspect. This system also holds a head of state/government as the supreme office and a Royal dynasty also provides the person to hold office. The only difference is that there are more than one dynasty or Royal Family involved and that from the various candidate dynasties the monarch is elected by a representative council made up from the same dynasties and perhaps leading clergy. Often in this case there are several small semi-independent monarchies that are grouped in a confederacy or Empire. From these separate monarchies the single elected king or Emperor is then elected. In our modern world where most countries have some form of democracy it is often widely held that the free population may elect to abolish an existing monarchy. This renders almost all existing monarchies as constitutional elected monarchies, which brings us to the next system. 

Constitutional Monarchy
In order to discuss this particular system it becomes very necessary to first clarify the difference between the previously mentioned terms of, head of state and head of government. In democratic systems these two concepts are more often combined in one. A head of government is the person who holds the actual office of power. This office is often very limited by laws and councils. A head of state is the person who is the symbol or face of the government. In the case where the two offices are separate like in a constitutional monarchy, the office of the head of state could end up with no real power at all but is always steeped in history and symbolic tradition. This office is also often strongly linked to the religion of the geographic area. It is from this difference that the terms, reign and rule are derived by extension. The term "rule" is assigned to the office that holds the power if its a monarch and "reign" if the monarch is bereft of real power. In the case of a democracy the phrase "term of office" is considered more politically correct than "rule". A constitutional monarchy is therefore a political system where a previously more powerful monarch is now retained in a more symbolic position with an actual democratically elected government holding the real power. The scale of balance between monarch and government can and does however change and in each country can fall more to the one side or the other. In a constitutional monarchy the laws of the nation coupled with tradition, rules over laws of succession. All monarchies today are of this constitutional system to some degree.  

Succession laws of current existing monarchies of the world

The Kingdom of Hispania

This constitutional monarchy adheres to a direct bloodline succession where the crown passes directly from the previous monarch to the eldest child whether male or female. This system has been in place for almost a hundred years, where previously it passed from male to male only and a female could only take office if there where no direct males in line.

Queen Maria of Hispania at left is to be succeeded by her daughter, the Princess of Cataljone.

The Kingdom of Normandia

The newly restored constitutional monarchy of the formerly dissolved Kingdom of Normandia also applies a direct bloodline succession. It was just announced today that Her majesty is 3 weeks pregnant.

Queen Gloria of Normandia

The Kingdom of Syldavia

Syldavia restored their monarchy in 2012 and set down a direct bloodline succesion in law. However it has been discussed to change the constitution to allow for an Elecotorate including the mediatized Royal families of Von Bismarck, Serbieski, Bo'hemia, Reichenthal and Thurn und Taxis.

The King of Syldavia and his wife have yet to produce a child and as such the King's sister, Princess Miranda is next in line to the throne unless an electorate is declared in which case the Family of Von Bismarck's House Laws dictate that the King's brother becomes Head of the House and would be eligable for being voted in as King.

The Grand Principality of Wallachia

This very ancient monarchy has since its inception held to a direct bloodline succession that has never excluded women from inheriting the throne.

The Princess of Wallachia has a young son who is kept out of the media glare until he comes of age.

The Grand Duchy of Hanoveria

The Grand Duchy of Hanoveria has the most liberal constitution and its monarch holds the least political power. However due to the constitution, the monarchy's popularity is extremely high and by extention the Grand Duke wields a kind of emotional sway in his country. The laws of succesion however are seen as slightly archaic as it holds a direct male bloodline succession passing from father to eldest male relative only. By popular demand a referendum to amend the law is set for 2013.

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess have a young daughter who is also kept out of the media glare.

The Principality of Swann

Swann holds the most obscure law of succession of all the existing monarchies. The crown passes from First born son to first born son within the dynasty only. Thus a second born son could never inherit the throne. If a reigning Duke has a first born daughter, then the following sons are all excluded and the crown passes to the next first born son even if he is a very distant relative. This law is so unique and steeped in ancient tradition that prospects for change might never materialize as it is directly linked to national identity and history.

The Duke of Swann is unmarried and his heir at present is the first born son of his father's younger brother. Prince Dillon will become the next Duke unless the current Duke marries and is blessed with a first born son of his own.

The Island Realms of Arcwhite

Arcwhite also hold a unique system of succession which some have argued could possibly be seen as a democracy as the head of government is elected. However because only a select few vote and that the candidates are from a closed select dynastic circle it must more appropriately be deemed a Royal electorate. There is a very exclusive sorority bordering on a convent order known as the Order of the White Veil. The Lady Arcwhite is elected from within this Order by the other members of Order. Ladies from this Order practice celibacy but may marry once elected as ruler. Many Ladies Archite have seen a daughter succeed them but only once they have entered the Order of the White Veil.

The Lady Arcwhite

The Kingdom of Ophiri

Ophiri, a former independent Kingdom, is today a mere province of  the Democratic Republic of Greater Ophiri. This province or rather mediatized Kingdom, retains the original traditional monarchy that formerly held a female line of succession only. Today the law is one of  direct bloodline descent including male and female equally. It is also on the cards for the monarchy to be elevated to a national symbol rather than just provincial but other traditional regions are not yet in agreement.

Queen Ukulungile of Ophiri

The Grand Duchy of Serbieski

The Grand Duchy of Serbieski is a mediatized former Kingdom. As a mere province of Syldavia, Serbieski has no succession laws written in the national laws but follows House Laws which dictates a direct male bloodline succession passing from father to eldest male relative only.

The Grand Duke is one of a few Royals who wields actual political power. He is also the elected governor of the province of Serbieski of which he is the traditional Grand Duke.

The Grand Duchy of Reichenthal

This former very small Kingdom is also currently a mediatized Grand Duchy within the greater Syldavian Kingdom. Like Serbieski it has no succession laws written in the national laws but the House Laws follow traditional direct male line of descent. The irony is that the current Grand Duke only has a daughter and she has been afforded the tile of Crown Princess. It seems ancient tradition will be changing.

The mysterious province of Reichenthal has rarely been featured in the news as its people prefer to keep to themselves. However the restoration in Syldavia is currently slowly putting it on the map, at least to a degree.

The Margravate of Montrose

Montrose used to be an independant state. Today it is a mediatized province of the Kingdom of Normandia and follows the Montrose House Laws that advocate direct bloodline descent.

The current Margravine of Montrose

Three other mediatized former independent monarchies include The County Palatinate of Bo'hemia and The Principality of Thurn und Taxis all of whom adhere to House Laws of succession of direct bloodline descent.

House laws of succession

There are several dissolved monarchies who still have former Royal families in exile or otherwise. All these dynasties still strictly adhere to their traditional House Laws of succession in an attempt to preserve a continued head of the dynasty. This is also done in the hope of possible restorations of the former monarchies. Here follows a list of those former monarchies and their various succession laws.

This photo depicts the pretenders to former monarchies and as such the heads of the varying dynasties. From left; His Imperial Highness the Arch Duke Von Fulco D'Este, His Royal Highness Prince Louis D'Pont du Lac, Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Ruskiana, Her Imperial Highness the Crown Princess Imperial of the United Empire of Scot-Britania, His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince Imperial of the United Empire of Scot-Britania, Her Imperial Majesty Empress Crystobel of the United Empire of Scot-Britania and Queen of Scotney, Her Imperial Majesty the Shabahnou of Perlistan and Her Royal Highness Princess Donatella of Romagna the Duchess Di Giorgio.

The United Empire of Scot-Britania

The former Empire's Imperial Dynasty holds to direct bloodline succession not excluding women since its inception.

The Empire of Ruskiana

The Empire of Ruskiana used to apply direct male bloodline descent as a law. The ousted dynasty applied it as a House Law until it became redundant as only a female heir exists today. In the unlikely event of a restoration the former Imperial Law will be forced to change as the House Law has reluctantly accepted.

The Kingdom of Romagna

The Romagnian House Law has for years been one of direct bloodline succession.

The Kingdom of Franconia

Franconia has never held any other tradition but one of direct male bloodline succession.

The Arch Duchy of Fulco D'Este

The Arch Duchy has like most other monarchies that existed before the Great War and subsequently fell because of it, held a direct male bloodline succession.

The Principality of Monagask

Monagask having been a very small country with very liberal minded politics have for centuries held a direct bloodline succession that did not exclude women. 

As far as concerning Noble families, they are either bound by the laws of the nation in which they fall or if part of dissolved monarchies, follow individual House Laws as dictated by historic tradition. 

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