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  #1  
Old 07-04-2011, 07:58 PM
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Finances of Deposed Royals

I was reading some of the stories about Otto von Habsburg and how he had to earn a living and pay off some debts after WWII. Same for King Michael of Romania, who did various things to earn a living.

Question: why did monarchs who were deposed not see it coming and store up wealth so that they'd be well off after they became private citizens?

Surely they could have all stashed some cash away in a Swiss bank account or something.

The Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns were clearly some of the most prestigious and wealthy families around. King Carol of Romania left with apparently train car after train car of assets when he was deposed in 1940, but there must have been enough left to keep King Michael well-heeled while he was King, and the Habsburgs stayed in Austria, in one of their palaces, for a while after Austria became a republic, so they had access to wealth. Both families should have prepared for some turbulence, with WWI not going well for Austria in the final months, and the Russian invasion of Romania in 1944.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:46 PM
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If both of these two royals had to work to pay off debts, that makes them like everybody else. Do I have sympathy for either one - No! They may be honest people and very nice, I still have no sympathy!
Maybe both spent family fortunes on a lifestyle they were accustom to.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:17 PM
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OK- I wouldn't wish what happened to King Michael in 1947 on anyone (how horrible to lose your country and the only job you've ever prepared for and all of your property, at the barrel of a gun), but I still can't figure out why he and others wouldn't have seen that coming and prepared for it, financially at least?
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:21 PM
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but there must have been enough left to keep King Michael well-heeled while he was King
Carol was a swindler. A narcasistic and self serving indavidual who appeared to care little for Michael or his mother.

Michael's relationship with him was near non existant and infact after 1940, Michael never saw him again nor did he want to see him again.

So don't be too surprised that Michael has had to work for a living
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:26 PM
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Can anyone inform me of why members of non-reigning houses still retain their titles when the monarchy etc. were deposed? And why are they still referred to as royalty? Thnx
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:28 PM
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Out of courtesy and by dynastic right. In most cases they aren't legal as much as they are personal and are generally observed when outside the countries they formally reigned/ruled in.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:33 PM
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OK, further clarification- yes, Carol probably ran off with most of the Royal Family's wealth, but Michael was still King for 8 years, with multiple palaces, a salary from the government, and plenty of connections with the country's elite. Surely he could have managed to accumulate some cash in those 8 years, and stored some away in safety?

(King Michael probably doesn't want or need sympathy but I wouldn't wish what he's gone through on my worst enemy- he has real strength of character to endure what he's gone through.)

ETA: re: titles- aren't Presidents and Governors still referred to as such after their term ends?
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Madame Royale View Post
Out of courtesy and by dynastic right. In most cases they aren't legal as much as they are personal and are generally observed when outside the countries they formally reigned/ruled in.
Thank you Madame Royale, I've been wondering that for awhile.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:51 PM
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Michael's reign was turbulant and he resisted all he could the Communist grip. It's no surprise he never acquired any real personal wealth.

And yes Presidents and in some cases Governors maintain that distinction, but those forms of government aren't then deposed, are they?

Imperial and Royal titles are stripped in an attempt by the succedding governments to back their former ruling dynasties into submission. Take away their Palaces, take away their wealth and take away their titles making them no more significant than any other citizen.
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi
Can anyone inform me of why members of non-reigning houses still retain their titles when the monarchy etc. were deposed? And why are they still referred to as royalty? Thnx

I have asked the same question. There exists in the Vienna Treaty of 1815 many rules and regulations about ex-royals and maintaining their royal titles. There still exists two ex-royal families of France - complete with royal titles. Absolute, sheer absurdity! The bigger they are, the harder they fall - simply, they need their bubble burst ASAP.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:04 PM
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Perhaps some of the royal households didn't think that they would be deposed or that their property would be taken from them or thought perhaps after the war that their property would be return to them. They probably never thought a government would seize their money or property.

How many royals who had property, personal items like jewelry, paintings, fine China or money in the bank that was taken from them during the World War II period ever get their property back? Or their money or personal items taken from them? I wonder if anyone was ever prosecuted for taking their property or money after the War. I would guess not many, if at all.

Until the 20th century royal households had never experienced such a thing. Perhaps some of them didn't know what to do or perhaps thought that because their were royal this would protect them against people taking their property or money.

I would guess that after the war if they had money in the bank (exception being Swiss or American Bank), it was long gone or their property was now used or owned by someone else.

Some of them perhaps didn't prepare for this or by the time they realized what was going on it was too late to take money out of the bank. Or they fled with their lives. Many people were in denial that Hilter would take over Europe until 1939.

I don't know if this is what most royals thought at the time or if this was the reason why some of them had debt or were broke after the war. Their debts could have been reasons unrelated to this or perhaps the debts were payments for safe passage or for protection. Only the ones that were in debt know the reason. I'm just guessing here.

I imagine most of them had Swiss Bank Accounts or had help from other family members to get through difficult times. Everyone struggled during World War II and royalty and royals was no different than the average person during this time period.

During World War II there was a lot of taking of people's property. One story that I heard was about a woman who grew up in Hungry (she wasn't royal but came from an upper middle class family). Her family fled during the war. They fled with the clothing on their backs. They had been in denial until they were forced to flee.

During the war their home was occupied by the German army throughout much of the war. After the war when they came back, the house was still standing but in ruins. A fire had been set to it shortly before the war ended. What was standing had been heavily vandalized. Most of the homes in the area were burned to the ground during the last days of the war.

All of their personal belongings as well as their neighbors belongings such as a beautiful tea set, very nice fine China (which was worth a lot of money) jewelry, anything of value was gone. What was not valuable was found on the ground smashed to pieces.

No doubt those who occupied their home probably took these things and gave them as gifts to their wife, girlfriend, mother, sister or sold them for money. These items weren't found destroyed because they had value to them.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:08 PM
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So what if they retain their titles by courtesy? They pose no threat to state. France will never be reclaimed as a monarchy, neither will Austria, Serbia, Greece, Germany, Italy, Romania or Russia.

Some people just won't be content unless all that is familiar to these people is ripped away from them, and for what? Pure prejudicial disdain, nothing more. How pitiful to be so contemptible.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:09 PM
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As titles are inherited the words themselves don't go just because the power and wealth do. Titles are afterall just words associated with a person. If others with similar words used to describe themselves, and still with the power and wealth associated with those words, wish to continue to acknowledge those words so be it.

Legally most of these words have no meaning anymore so does it really hurt anyone if someone wishes to be known as "Prince xxx" rather than "Mr yyy" because he is the descendent of "Prince zzz" who had the power 200 years ago?

It would be different if they were still trying to claim the power and wealth but they aren't.

We have a situation here in Australia that has existed for 40 years now with a family who call themselves the royal family of 'Hutt River Province'. They don't pay taxes in Australia - don't recognise the sovreignty or either Australia of the state government of Western Australia Official Home Site of the Principality of Hutt River, Homepage!. The head of the family calls himself HRH Prince Leonard and all his family also call themselves HRH Prince/Princesss. Do they harm anyone? Not really. So where is the harm? They have been a separate entity with these titles for over 40 years now.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nascarlucy View Post
...How many royals who had property, personal items like jewelry, paintings, fine China or money in the bank that was taken from them during the World War II period ever get their property back? Or their money or personal items taken from them?....
Millions of people, with no titles, lost their property, their valuables and their lives during WWII. You must be young to not understand the havoc wreaked by the Nazi's. Many wealthier families, who had Swiss bank accounts couldn't collect on them, because the Swiss demanded death certificates. The German's some how neglegted to give them out to people who were gassed, shot, hung or murdered in various ways.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:20 PM
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After World War II, European royalty has lost most of their power, clout and influence. They are hardly in a position to reclaim it today, so why are some people feel threatened by them. That I don't understand.

Countess: I've personally known people who suffered under the Nazi Regime. Their lives were uprooted and changed forever. No one in my family suffered from the Nazis as they all lived in the United States and many of them were too young to fight in World War II. I only know other people's stories which of course is not the same as experiencing it.

I didn't know that the Swiss demanded death certificates to get into those accounts of those who had died. For those people, this must have been a nightmare.

I was under the assumption that those who were alive and had Swiss accounts in their name would be able to access their accounts. The ones who were able to draw from the accounts were the lucky ones.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:21 PM
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I for one am not trying to stir up any kind of debate, just asking some questions so I can get a better understanding. There is a guy who is married to Zsa Zsa Gabor and he calls himself a Prince. Apparently he brought the title or something. Is he on the same level as these Grand Dukes and Princesses of deposed monarchs?
Also, the Grand Duchess of Russia who claims she is the head of the Romanov family, is her title not recognized in Russia?
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:27 PM
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Hans Lichtenberg is a german sociliate, nothing more. He was adopted in 1980 by Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt. 'Prince of Anhalt' can only be used as a surname, rather than a title though he seems to speak of it as if it were a title. Wishfull thinking
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:37 PM
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Ok. I am even more confused. Does anyone have any suggestions of books, websites etc. that can explain all this so I won't keep nagging the members of this board?
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XeniaCasaraghi
I for one am not trying to stir up any kind of debate, just asking some questions so I can get a better understanding. There is a guy who is married to Zsa Zsa Gabor and he calls himself a Prince. Apparently he brought the title or something. Is he on the same level as these Grand Dukes and Princesses of deposed monarchs?
Also, the Grand Duchess of Russia who claims she is the head of the Romanov family, is her title not recognized in Russia?

Prince Frederick von Anholt is Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband. I guess one say he indirectly bought, not brought, his 'Prinz von Anhalt' title. He paid a widow of a 'Prince of Anholt' to adopt him long ago. I think he was in his early 40's at the time of the adoption - the dowager princess died not very long afterward. As there is no HRH, HSH, or a HH before his 'title,' because he was adopted, Mr von Anhalt is is just as royal as I am - not!
Russia, well actually the USSR (Communist Russia), after the of the Berlin Wall in 1989, has been split into several independent countries. A 'Russia' does still exist, but there is no royal family of Russia, nor is there a recognition of a royal family of Russia. In other words, there are no official GD/ss of Russia.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:33 PM
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...He paid a widow of a 'Prince of Anholt' to adopt him long ago.
Princess Marie-Auguste was the widow of Prince Joachim of Prussia.
She was born a Princess of Anhalt, being a daughter of Eduard, the last reigning Duke of Anhalt.
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