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  #1  
Old 10-08-2015, 07:37 PM
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What Constitutes A Continuous Monarchy?

Hi there everyone!
I have a two part question and not quite sure where to put it so I hope this "spot" is okay!

First part is this: does a continuous monarchy (Japan, Denmark, etc.) have to be past down from sovereign to child to be called continuous or can uncles, cousins, etc. inherit and it still be called continuous? Does it really matter so long as the sovereign is a descendant of the first sovereign?

The next part of my questions ties in with the first: does changing the House (House of Tudor, House of Hanover, etc.) mean the monarchy is no longer continuous? And why change the house at all? I mean, I was looking at a detailed family trees of European monarchies and was wondering why change the house name if the monarch is a descendant of the original starter of the monarchy? For example, why was it called House of Stuart when James I (VI) was a descendant of Henry VII? Shouldn't it still be House of Tudor?

I hope all this babble as made sense! I have been going mad trying to figure this out doing research but couldn't really find anything.

Thanks you guys!!!
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:05 PM
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For the British monarchy, the name of the house changed because the crown switched to different family. You have the Plantagenets. York and Lancaster are different branches of the Plantagenet line. Henry Tudor descends through a female line that marries into the Tudor family. He wins the throne more through conquest than blood claim. Thus the House of Tudors on the Throne. After Elizabeth I, the direct line of Tudor is finished and the crown goes to the Stuarts. Henry VII's daughter Margaret married into the Stuarts who are Kings of Scotland and that is how James inherited the English crown.

The Hanovers descend from a female Stuart. Edward VII of House of Saxe Coburg Gotha is son of Victoria who is a Hanover and Albert of Saxe Coburg Gotha. Windsor was a name change because of WWI.

Basically the name changes when the crown goes through a female line into her married family.


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Old 10-08-2015, 08:24 PM
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The reason for changing the houses in the English/British set up was due to descent through a female line thus changing the family name e.g. The Normans ruled from William to Stephen but ... Henry II claimed the throne through his mother and so the house name changed to his paternal line - Plantagenet.


That family then ruled until the last Plantagenet king, Richard III, was defeated at Bosworth and Henry VII took over but his claim was based on two things - right of conquest and through his mother - he wasn't a member of the House of Plantagenet at all but of the House of Tudor and so the royal house name changed to his family name of Tudor.


The name changed to Stuart again when the claim to the throne came through a female - in this case James VI and I made his claim through his mother's descent from Henry VII's daughter who married James IV of Scotland. Their son was James V and his daughter was Mary, Queen of Scots, James VI and I's mother. James' name though was James Stuart and so the House name changed from Tudor - his great-grandmother was the Tudor - to Stuart. He was the legitimate heir according to blood as there were no legitimate Tudors left as Henry VIII's three children had all died without issue and James was descended from Henry's next sister.


The change to Hanover was different as it was controlled by legislation tied up with religion. The British government refused to have a Roman Catholic as the monarch (that is still the law although now they can be married to one), or as the spouse of the monarch. That meant finding the first legitimate protestant heir and that was Sophia of Hannover who was about 56th in the line in her own right by blood due to her descent from James VI and I. She was the youngest of James' daughter, Elizabeth's daughters but she was the not married to a protestant of not Roman Catholic herself so she was chosen to be Queen Anne's heir when it was clear that Queen Anne wasn't going to leave an heir herself (and had she done so the house name would have changed to that of her husband, probably Oldenburg), as he was a Prince of Denmark of the House of Oldenburg.


The next house name change came with Edward VII's accession. Like children the world over he took his family name from his father and so was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha rather than his mother's family name of Hannover. Both Edward VII and George V ruled as Kings of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha but in 1917, as a reaction to the anti-German feeling in the UK during WWI, George V (and many of his relatives) changed their names to English sounding names and so we have the House of Windsor.


Another person to Anglicize his name at that time was Prince Louis of Battenburg. He changed it to Mountbatten so when in 1947, his grandson, wanted to become a British subject and to give up his Greek royal titles and styles, that grandson took the name of his mother's family in its English form - Lt Philip Mountbatten.


On marriage therefore Queen Elizabeth became Elizabeth Mountbatten but still of the House of Windsor. However Philip's uncle, jumped the gun, and announced that the 'House of Mountbatten now ruled' shortly after Elizabeth's accession. He was wrong based on precedence as the House name didn't change in early times until the son inherited not when the married daughter inherited (e.g. none of Mary I, Mary II, Mary Queen of Scots, Anne or Victoria used their husbands' names as their house names during their reigns. The change took place later). That announcement led to the declaration that the House name would remain as Windsor in the UK (which it always was anyway). Then the Queen made the announcement in 1960 that those of her descendants who need a surname would have as a surname 'Mountbatten-Windsor'. As Charles, reportedly used Mountbatten-Windsor on his marriage certificate to Diana, and was very close to his great-uncle, it is possible that he will declare the House name to be 'Mountbatten-Windsor' when he ascends the throne - or keep it as plain Windsor or even go so far as to drop the Windsor and simply be Mountbatten (I doubt that he would to the last option at all but it is there).


Simply put - House names change because line of descent goes through a female and they change their names on marriage - most of the time.


The Swedes are different as I believe that regardless of gender the house name will remain Bernadotte.


Again each monarchy is different and I have really only tried to explain the English/British reasons for change.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:33 PM
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A continuous monarchy is, to my way of understanding it, one where the next monarch automatically follows the previous one either by blood, conquest or by law. In other words there was always an acknowledged monarch.


So for me the English monarchy was continuous until 1649 and again has been continuous since 1660.


When William II died his brother automatically become King. No one else was in the running, no dispute just a simple inheritance.


Different when Henry dies because his daughter was so far away and female and the inheritance laws and practices weren't so well defined as they are today but even so Stephen was there and there was little opposition to his taking the throne - at first - but eventually there was chaos - which was a very good reason for making it clear cut so that there were no disputes.


Of course there were times in the middle ages where kings were deposed but there was still a clear claim by the successor.


From Henry VII onwards the only dispute has been over the Hannoverian succession and that was down to legislation and not someone fighting for the throne but rather parliament say xxx will have it because they meet this criteria - a criteria that is largely still in play.


Since the Henry VII took the throne the line has gone:


father - son - son - half-sister - half-sister - cousin (no dispute) - son - interregnum - son of executed king - brother (regarded as abdicating) - elder daughter - sister - distant cousin (no real dispute covered by legislation - some uprising easily suppressed) - son - grandson (father predeceased) - son - brother - niece - son - son - son - brother - elder daughter.


Just going back to 1936 when the British crown last went from brother to brother - there was no one with a better claim than the 2nd son of the previous monarch. Edward had no children so the throne past as automatically to George VI as it had did later from George VI to Elizabeth II and as it will on her leaving the throne.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:22 PM
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I'd echo what Bertie has said, although I would add a couple of notes.

1. Stephen wasn't a Norman, not really - William the Conqueror was his grandfather but he descended through a female line; he belonged to the House of Blois.

From Egbert to Edward the Confessor the English monarchs were either of the House of Wessex or Denmark. Harold Godwinson could also be called of a House of Wessex but in a different sense of things; his predecessors were male-line descendants of the Kings of Wessex, while he had been the Earl of Wessex before becoming King.

William the Conqueror, his sons William II and Henry I, and granddaughter Matilda were Normans. His grandson Stephen was of Blois.

Matilda's son, Henry II, was of Anjou, which later became called the House of Plantagenet as the family became more English and less French in nature. This branched into the Houses of Lancaster and York, subset of the Plantagenets, under the descendants of John, Duke of Lancaster and Richard, Duke of York.

Then it became Tudors because while Henry VII was descended from John it wasn't in a purely male-line - he got his name from his father. His son, Henry VIII, and Henry's children continued this House, with a break when his great-granddaughter through a female line, Jane, claimed the throne in what could be called the House of Grey. Then, after the death of Elizabeth I the House changed when another of Henry VII's daughters' descendants came to the throne, James I with the House of Stuart. William III technically wasn't of the House of Stuart, but rather the House of Orange because he was a female-line descendant of Charles I, but he used his wife's House.

Then you have the Hanovers, starting with George I, who descended from James I in a female line, which continued until the death of Victoria, as her son, Edward VII, took his father's house, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and his son, George V, changed the house name to Windsor. That's continued until now, but it will change when Charles comes to the throne - to what remains to be seen, if he'll be a Windsor monarch or a Mountbatten or a Mountbatten-Windsor, as a subset of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg.

2. As for what makes a monarchy continuous... I think usurpation and civil war is what makes a monarchy discontinuous. The English monarchy wasn't continuous when the Wessex and Danish houses were fighting for it. Harold II and William I both also add discontinuity. The aptly named Anarchy during the struggle for power between Stephen and Matilda is also discontinuous, as is the usurpation of Richard II and the rise of his cousin, Henry IV. The War of the Roses is discontinuity as the throne went back and forth between Lancaster and York before settling on Tudor. Jane Grey was an attempt at discontinuity, but James I was actually continuity. The English Civil War and Commonwealth periods were discontinuity, and I would argue that so was the Glorious Revolution which forced James II off the throne in favour of his daughter and son-in-law. The Hanovers were actually continuous, inheriting the throne from Anne. A restoration of the Stuarts would have been discontinuous, even if they were of a closer relation to Anne.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:30 PM
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There were a number of other claimants with better blood claims that George I, though, excluding the Old and later Younger Pretenders.


Sophia's claim was via laws. There were over 50 with a better blood claim than George I but they were all either married to Roman Catholics or were Roman Catholics themselves.


Having removed the Roman Catholic James II and his son they parliament had two choices - restore them to their proper place when Anne's son died OR change the law to bar Roman Catholics as the only legal way to deny Anne's half-brother the throne. That was the choice of the parliament of the day - to remove ALL Roman Catholics and those married to them.


Just a note: Henry II's father's surname was Plantagenet which is where the name came from. He is best known as Henry of Anjou due to his title but his family name was the French - Plantagenet. As a result Henry II's family name was also Plantagenet. It is like William, Harry, Beatrice and Eugenie - they use/d Wales and York as 'surnames' at school and in the military but the reality is that their surname is Mountbatten-Windsor. They don't use it (I believe that at school Louise uses only Windsor and not the double-barreled name as well).
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:40 PM
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The Hanovers were the legal heirs of Queen Anne. They were not the closest relations, but they were the legal heirs - therefore continuity.

Mary II and William III were not the heirs of James II. They were in the succession - Mary after her younger brother, the Prince of Wales, and William after his cousin and Mary's sister - but they weren't the heirs, the PoW was. Therefore discontinuity.

Hypothetically, had Charles II removed his brother from the line of succession in favour of Mary, Anne, and William, there would have been continuity. Likewise, hypothetically had either the Old Pretender or the Young Pretender been able to gain the throne it would have been discontinuity as they would have had to usurp the crowned monarch.
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:01 PM
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Royal dynasties were traditionally recorded patrilineally in accordance with the established custom that children inherit their father's family name, rather then their mother's. James I of England for example descended from the Tudors via his mother, Mary Queen of Scots, but,based on his patrilineal descent, he belonged to the House of Stuart.

Having said that, in the Netherlands for example, since the reign of Queen Wilhelmina, children of reigning queens have adopted the family name of their mothers such that the Dutch royal House has retained the Orange-Nassau name even though Wilhelmina was technically the last Orange-Nassau monarch in male line. And, then, in Sweden, Daniel Westling offficially changed his last name to Bernadotte when he married CP Victoria so that the House of Bernadotte would continue when their future heir ascended the throne.

Now that equal primogeniture is the default rule in European monarchies, I feel that the name of the royal houses will be increasingly detached from a particular family name. For example, both the current British royal house and the Belgian royal house are branches of the same family, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. However, the British RF uses the name Windsor instead, while the Belgian RF refers to themselves simply as the House of Belgium. Technically, Queen Elizabeth II will be the last Saxe-Coburg and Gotha monarch of the UK and Princess Elisabeth, when she becomes Queen of the Belgians, will be the last Saxe-Coburg and Gotha monarch of Belgium (unless succeeded by her brother for example). However, both Prince Charles in the UK and Princess Elisabeth's firstborn in Belgium (if applicable) are expected to keep their respective royal house names when they ascend their respective thrones.
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:45 AM
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Oh goodness! I love this forum and I adore you guys!!! Thank you for clearing all this up for me! I have been reading more books on royalty lately and these things just kept me so annoyingly puzzled.

But thank you guys again! Your posting has been better than Goolge. : )

One more question since you all have gathered in my meager little posting--do any of you have detailed family trees of any royal family so I can look visually at all the House name changes? I found a few but they are rather short and only have the family tree going back one generation
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:51 AM
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What Royal family do you want one for?
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by istoleyourchocobo View Post
Oh goodness! I love this forum and I adore you guys!!! Thank you for clearing all this up for me! I have been reading more books on royalty lately and these things just kept me so annoyingly puzzled.

But thank you guys again! Your posting has been better than Goolge. : )

One more question since you all have gathered in my meager little posting--do any of you have detailed family trees of any royal family so I can look visually at all the House name changes? I found a few but they are rather short and only have the family tree going back one generation
Family tree of English monarchs (up to 1707) and British monarchs since then
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:57 PM
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Mbruno~~~ Thanks for the English one! You are so awesome!!!

And Ish, I would like any really but mostly Japan, France, Denmark, and Spain.
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Old 10-10-2015, 05:40 PM
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There have been exceptions to the tradition of patrilineal house naming (Romanov, Braganša), and since the twentieth century, European reigning houses have preserved their house names after a crown descended through a female line (Orange-Nassau, Nassau, Grimaldi).
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:38 PM
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Continuous Monarchy & Changing House Names

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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
There have been exceptions to the tradition of patrilineal house naming (Romanov, Braganša), and since the twentieth century, European reigning houses have preserved their house names after a crown descended through a female line (Orange-Nassau, Nassau, Grimaldi).

Many of the German Royal houses have either taken the name of a female ancestor or combined two names into a new one. Examples of this are the houses of Habsburg, Welf, Schaumburg-Lippe etc... In more recent times we have the Prince von der Leyen-Hohengerolderseck who patrilineally is a Baron von Freyberg but who inherited his maternal grandfathers mediatised title.


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Old 10-15-2015, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by istoleyourchocobo View Post
Mbruno~~~ Thanks for the English one! You are so awesome!!!

And Ish, I would like any really but mostly Japan, France, Denmark, and Spain.
Sorry for the delay, it took me longer than I thought to do this up...

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

I included Britain because I'd started it before Mbruno posted his link and wanted to finish it. The "Mountbatten-Windsor" House name is based on the combined surnames of the Queen and DoE for their descendants and not actually what the house name is/will be.

The Scandinavian realms are together because at various points they were joined. I've vastly simplified the connections here. Greece is also included at this point because most of the Greek kings were descendants of Christian IX of Denmark.

Portugal, Spain, and France are likewise done together because of repeat family connections and the fact that the Spanish monarchs after a point are all descended from Louis XIV. Brazil is included here because it has a relationship with Spain similar to that between Greece and Denmark. I've included the pretenders of the non-current realms although I didn't include the Bonepartes. I could create that later if you want, but the House remains the same throughout as the Boneparte family today are male-line descendants of one of Napoleon I's younger brothers.

Again, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are combined because the realms were once combined, and the Luxembourg royal family descends from William IV. The Principality of Orange is a bit complicated... there were the Princes of Orange and the Stadholders of Orange which lead to a bit of overlap in the lines of William the Silent and John the Elder; the two ended up merging before the Kingdom was formed. The names used for the Houses of Juliana, Beatrix, and William-Alexander are based on their fathers' surnames; they each use(d) the Orange-Nassau name. Likewise, Jean of Luxembourg used his mother's House name, Nassau-Weilburg, instead of his father's, Bourbon-Parma. I've noted it like this just to distinguish things. Oh, and Belgium is tossed in here because they were easy to add in.

I did up Monaco purely because I'd already done all the other reigning European monarchs and it wasn't too hard. All of the House names are based on titles that first user had prior to becoming Lord/Prince of Monaco (except for Rainier III; his is based on his parents' titles). Every ruler of Monaco since Rainier I has used the name Grimaldi.

In the combined realms I haven't noted who ruled what. I had initially did it in Excel, but it didn't transfer over. I might correct that later, but my connection is ****ty right now.

I didn't do Japan because I don't know enough about how that family works to feel confident in doing it.
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:48 AM
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According to The Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), completed in 712 during the reign of Empress Genmei, Jimmu, a great-grandson of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu Omikami, became the first Tennō of Japan on 11 February 660 BC. The literal translation of Tennō is Heavenly Sovereign (adopted from the Chinese 天皇 ), but is translated into English as emperor. The first 25 or so emperors are now considered mythical, but Japan still celebrates 11 February as National Foundation Day.

The earliest historically verifiable emperor, from whom the current Emperor descends, is Emperor Keitai (507-531). The actual line of succession meandered through various branches, shooting off to cousins, brothers, and nephews, particularly after the reign of a female Tennō. But always the line of descent can be traced back to Emperor Jimmu.

In Japan today, the Emperor is referred to as either Tennō Heika (His Majesty The Emperor) or Kinjō Tennō (the Reigning Emperor). His personal name tends not to be used. When the current Emperor dies he will receive a posthumous title by which he will be known. This tendency to avoid personal names may explain why the Imperial House of Japan today does not have a name. It probably had one originally, but it may have become taboo to speak the name, and by the time The Kojiki was written, it had been forgotten. It is sometimes referred to in English as the Yamato Dynasty, because, it seems, the Imperial House first rose to prominence in the Yamato region of Japan. But that does not make Yamato the name of the dynasty, anymore than Greater London is the name of Great Britain's dynasty.

In a European context, the Japanese Imperial House probably would have changed names several times, particularly when a distant cousin succeeded. But the central point of legitimacy has always been the line of descent from the Sun Goddess; as long as that is maintained, a dynastic name is superfluous.
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Old 10-16-2015, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ish View Post
...with a break when his great-granddaughter through a female line, Jane, claimed the throne in what could be called the House of Grey...
Wouldn't it had been the House of Dudley, as lady Jane Grey were married to Guildford Dudley?
Quote:
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The Scandinavian realms are together because at various points they were joined. I've vastly simplified the connections here. Greece is also included at this point because most of the Greek kings were descendants of Christian IX of Denmark.
The spreadsheets are very good, but you need to do a correction in the Scandinavian one, Louise of Sweden and Norway was the daughter of Carl XV, not of Oscar II.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:02 PM
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House comes from your father, not spouse. The name changes in the next reign; had Jane and Dudley had a child who became monarch then he/she would have been of House Dudley.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:24 PM
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Portugal, Spain, and France are likewise done together because of repeat family connections and the fact that the Spanish monarchs after a point are all descended from Louis XIV. Brazil is included here because it has a relationship with Spain similar to that between Greece and Denmark..
Do you mean Brazil has a relationship with Portugal (rather than Spain) ? Matrilineally, Brazilian emperor Pedro I (later king Pedro IV of Portugal) was related to the Spanish Bourbons though and his son, Pedro II, was related to the Austrian Habsburgs. The descendants of Princess Isabel on the other hand belong patrilineally to a cadet branch of the French House of Orleßns. Maybe Cris M could help us here !
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Mbruno View Post
Do you mean Brazil has a relationship with Portugal (rather than Spain) ? Matrilineally, Brazilian emperor Pedro I (later king Pedro IV of Portugal) was related to the Spanish Bourbons though and his son, Pedro II, was related to the Austrian Habsburgs. The descendants of Princess Isabel on the other hand belong patrilineally to a cadet branch of the French House of Orleßns. Maybe Cris M could help us here !

That's what I meant. End of the day typo.
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