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Old 01-01-2018, 11:16 AM
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The Role of Royal Siblings

As multi-quoting doesn't work most of the time, below the discussion that was going on in the Danish Court topic, that I would like to discuss further but without going off-topic in that thread.

Somebody
Didn't Joachim indicate that his children would have to build up a life of their own?

Which is logical imo as there is no reason at all why they would fulfill an active royal role in the future (apart from attending some family events). The more interesting question to me would be what the roles will be of Christian's siblings. Will they expect all three of them to have an active royal role, or none, or only Isabella?

Duc_et_Pair
I think the trend in all royal families is to focus on the families of the current and the future monarchs (and their spouses). The rest of have incidental public roles. That will be the evolution going to 2030 or so I think.

DK
Margrethe & Henrik
Frederik & Mary
Christian & his future spouse

NO
Harald & Sonja
Haakon & Mette-Marit
Ingrid-Alexandra & her future pouse

SWE
Carl XVI Gustaf & Silvia
Victoria & Daniel
Estelle & her future spouse

Etc.

In Norway the brother of the future Queen (Sverre Magnus) is already no HRH anymore. In Spain the sisters of the new King are visibly sidelined. In the Netherlands the nephews and nieces of the King all have no royal title anymore (they are count/countess). Etc. This evolution is visible in all Houses.

Blog Real
The Royal Houses always give more prominence to the Kings and to the Princes Heirs. I believe that for example the Princess Isabella of Denmark or the Infanta Sofia of Spain or the sisters of Princess Catharina-Amalia of the Netherlands will stand out and should be present in important moments of their countries like state banquets and other events. But the heirs will always have more prominence and responsibilities.
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:45 AM
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I think we all agree that the heirs have the most prominent role, however, I don't share Duc_et_Pair's impression that all houses are on the path to focus solely on the monarchs and heirs (although it could be that some houses make that turn in the future).

For now, it seems that we have 4 categories - for the European royal houses - it's really more a dimension than different categories but for the discussion I thought this representation might help:

Only heirs, siblings completely sidelined (for example excluded from the royal house):
Spain
Norway

Strong focus on heirs with a minor role for siblings (including distinction in titles)
Netherlands
Luxembourg

Siblings have an active role (at least one; no other full time job/career)
Belgium (formally, in practice they would fall in the category above - so that's where I expect them to be in the next generation)
Denmark
Sweden (CP & Sofia; Madeleine chose a different route but her father clearly would have supported a more active role - he even gave titles to her children while his son-in-law refused a title)
Monaco (it could even be argued that they should be a category lower as Albert's nephews and nieces are seen quite regularly in support of their uncle or respective mothers)

Not only siblings but also cousins have an active role (so both children and grandchildren of (former) monarchs)
United Kingdom (under the current Queen; I expect this to move up one category under the next monarch)

I'm not sure where to put Liechtenstein: Alois' brothers clearly have an active role but not so much in representing the country but in managing it's wealth.

Would others agree with these categories? Which monarchy was misplaced?
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:07 PM
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As for the Nordic countries I think the heir and a spare will have an active role within the RF's of the future.

The reason is logic:
Let's take Denmark.
When Christian is old enough to have an active role, we must assume that QMII is either dead or de facto inactive.
That means M&F are up front no matter what. - Supported by Joachim and our Marie, but not their children it seems.
Okay, something can happen to Christian and that means Isabella is next, so it's logic that she will also take on an active role. Also to relieve her parents as well as Christian. And, being older than the twins she will be "activated" before they do.
There is also the risk that Christian will be gay or sterile, in which case Isabella's children will take over.
So Josephine and Vincent will likely become semi-active royals.
Joachim's children may have no role at all, perhaps even give up their titles, and only do an occasional Elisabeth. I.e show up for major events only.

Unless Isabella for whatever reason is sidelined. Either because she doesn't want to have an active role and/or settles abroad, perhaps with a family, or she is for whatever reason not considered suitable.
In that case one or both of the twins will have a more prominent role.

- In short: As I see it every monarchy, except the BRF (at present), need and use (if possible) two primary adult couples and one back-up adult couple at any given time.
That applies to Europe and Japan IMO. Perhaps Thailand and Jordan as well.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:24 PM
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Thanks for your response and perspective!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
As for the Nordic countries I think the heir and a spare will have an active role within the RF's of the future.
How do you see this in the case of Norway? Where they seem to have a different approach compared to Sweden and Denmark?

Quote:
The reason is logic:
Let's take Denmark.
When Christian is old enough to have an active role, we must assume that QMII is either dead or de facto inactive.
That means M&F are up front no matter what. - Supported by Joachim and our Marie, but not their children it seems.
Okay, something can happen to Christian and that means Isabella is next, so it's logic that she will also take on an active role. Also to relieve her parents as well as Christian. And, being older than the twins she will be "activated" before they do.
There is also the risk that Christian will be gay or sterile, in which case Isabella's children will take over.
So Josephine and Vincent will likely become semi-active royals.
Joachim's children may have no role at all, perhaps even give up their titles, and only do an occasional Elisabeth. I.e show up for major events only.

Unless Isabella for whatever reason is sidelined. Either because she doesn't want to have an active role and/or settles abroad, perhaps with a family, or she is for whatever reason not considered suitable.
In that case one or both of the twins will have a more prominent role.
So, you expect that Isabella (unless the above) will not have another career but will focus on representing the royal family for life?

Quote:
- In short: As I see it every monarchy, except the BRF (at present), need and use (if possible) two primary adult couples and one back-up adult couple at any given time.
That applies to Europe and Japan IMO. Perhaps Thailand and Jordan as well.
I don't see that in for example:
- Spain (only one primary adult couple and the emeritus king and queen could probably be considered the back-up couple - but nothing more than that)
- The Netherlands (only one primary adult couple; princess Beatrix has few engagements as does princess Laurentien; even fewer engagements for Constantijn, Margriet en Pieter - so none would qualify as 'second primary couple')
- Belgium (one clear primary couple and one back-up: Astrid - and a few incidental representations by other family members)
- Luxembourg (two primary couples; I don't really see Felix and Claire fulfilling the back-up position currently - they might very well need to in the future)
- Liechtenstein (two primary couples, no back-up couple; it will be interesting to see how things evolve when Joseph-Wenzel marries)

However, probably, you see this as a temporary situation until the current heirs come of age, graduate from university and start up taking a more active role in 10-15 years?
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:36 PM
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Yes, two active couples and one in reserve (as well as unmarried singles) will IMO be the ideal.
There will be times when there are more and sometimes less, like it is currently in Japan, Spain and Norway. But the above constellation seems the most productive IMO.
- Fewer and it's too much work for the remaining two couples, more and there are problems finding enough work for all of them and thereby ensuring they remain relevant.

As for Isabella and all other siblings who are number two:
We must always assume that something can happen to the heir or that the heir for whatever reason is bypassed. So there has to be a spare. At least until the heir have children.
The most ideal solution is to ensure that the spare is already active and as such have a working routine and a clear profile in the public. As such the spare cannot any career he/she wants - just in case.

Of course there is also the chance that the spare opts out, in which case the next one moves up. In the case of the DRF, that will be Vincent.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:54 PM
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I fully agree that the position of the spare is important (as we've seen in Belgium and Japan for example and might see in Luxembourg) - I personally think it is rather dangerous that the Dutch parliament limited the succession rights to 3rd degree, because what will happen if an only child ends up being childless... (most likely they change the law in time and go back to 4th degree - or even 5th degree if the eldest cousin has children but passes away before his monarch cousin)

However, the way the spare fulfills his/her role seems to differ among the monarchies. I do think the spares (but that really applies to all siblings) need to be careful in whatever job they take as they have to be above approach; I am not sure whether they have to be full-time royals themselves (although they need to be willing to transition into that role if needed).

So, would you say that for example Felix and Claire should return to Luxembourg and take up an active role?

And how do you look at Constantijn and Laurentien who moved back to the Netherlands when Willem-Alexander ascended the throne to be more easily available if needed but have taken on only a few more engagements (well, especially Constantijn as Laurentien was always the more active one)?

And who should be the 'second' and 'third' couples in Spain? It doesn't seem to be the philosophy of the court - although that might be a direct response to the issue with Iñaki; to me it seems a little unfair for example to ask infanta Sofia to be an active member of the family as long as her father is king and be completely sidelined when her sister ascends the throne (as happened to Elena (and Cristina)). I hope they will be clear from the start: or an active royal role for life or pursue her own role in life (with a proper job outside of her royal engagements)...
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:20 PM
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Very relevant questions.

I'll look forward to the replies from the various countries.
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muhler View Post
We must always assume that something can happen to the heir or that the heir for whatever reason is bypassed. So there has to be a spare. At least until the heir have children.
The most ideal solution is to ensure that the spare is already active and as such have a working routine and a clear profile in the public. As such the spare cannot any career he/she wants - just in case.
.
What would Isabella live on then if she was to be active, have a working routine and so on? The DRF has already stated, that only Christian is going to have an apanage.
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:30 PM
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Not exactly.

They have stated that it is not a given thing that any of M&F's children, except Christian, will automatically receive an apanage.

I.e. Christian will get an apanage, everybody else is based on an individual assessment.
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:38 PM
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How is apanage pronounced? I always want to make it sound French but I have no idea how it's actually said?

In the case of Luxembourg, at what point would someone step in and say (assuming Gui has no children) there needs to be an heir designated and they need to be brought on board?



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Old 01-01-2018, 01:49 PM
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The origin of the word is French, and as such it's pronounced as a French word.
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Old 01-01-2018, 01:59 PM
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Thanks Muhler.


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Old 01-01-2018, 02:46 PM
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If Prince Guillaume and Princess Stephanie of Luxembourg have no children, then how soon does Prince Felix's daughter, Princess Amalia become trained in royal duties?
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Old 01-01-2018, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
How is apanage pronounced? I always want to make it sound French but I have no idea how it's actually said?

In the case of Luxembourg, at what point would someone step in and say (assuming Gui has no children) there needs to be an heir designated and they need to be brought on board?



LaRae
I guess there would have to be quite frank discussions with G&S. It may well be no-one has asked or spoken to them about it yet. Either the couple themselves will have to raise it or Henri & MT or the Cour.

I think saying its not a "given" is sensible, it doesn't rule it out but it would be silly to guarantee all M&F's children an appanage. If, for example, Christian doesn't marry until quite late in life then Isabella may need to step in to help for a bit.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy100 View Post
I guess there would have to be quite frank discussions with G&S. It may well be no-one has asked or spoken to them about it yet. Either the couple themselves will have to raise it or Henri & MT or the Cour.

I think saying its not a "given" is sensible, it doesn't rule it out but it would be silly to guarantee all M&F's children an appanage. If, for example, Christian doesn't marry until quite late in life then Isabella may need to step in to help for a bit.
I would assume they have spoken to their close family (parents) about any situations going on. However I wouldn't think anyone would bring the issue up (formally) until they got into their early 40's without children.


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Old 01-01-2018, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
In the case of Luxembourg, at what point would someone step in and say (assuming Gui has no children) there needs to be an heir designated and they need to be brought on board?

LaRae
At what point did they start preparing Philip for his role? It will be interesting to watch how such an onboarding process would look like; and at what point we would see the first signs of it. Of course, it would be wonderful it won't be necessary and Guillaume and Stéphanie will have children themselves instead - as they clearly expressed that desire.

In the end, a 'more normal upbringing' is probably a good preparation for the role of head of state, so no need to hurry anything - by the time Amalia would decide on university studies it would be helpful for her to know what life to expect (I don't think the decision on secondary education would be very different - whether or not she will be grand duchess, she'll go to top-notch (boarding) schools); as it's you'll become grand duchess one day versus you are a minor princess and no involvement with royal duties is expected other than showing up at some big events once in a while. Two completely different lives...

I'm quite sure that Felix and Claire are well aware that it could be that they need to step up at some point and especially that Amalia is currently the 'heir' for her generation. So, I am not sure what 'designating a heir' would mean... It seems clear that Felix is Guillaume's heir; although he could decide to pass on the throne directly to his daughter would that situation arise (as Albert said he would have done had he no longer be married to Paola when his brother died; or as he might have done had Baudouin lived another 15-20 years).
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
I would assume they have spoken to their close family (parents) about any situations going on. However I wouldn't think anyone would bring the issue up (formally) until they got into their early 40's without children.


LaRae
The ones who are most aware of the consequences are Guillaume and Stéphanie themselves as it means they wouldn't have a family (with children). Each couple goes about it differently and processes it differently if they indeed end up childless. I think we can safely assume that they hoped to have children by now. What we do not know is why that might be, whether they know why (and if a medical reason is found) or even if they go the medical route or decided that they don't want to (or only to a certain point). And they have the added burden of a whole nation watching them and expecting them to provide a heir.

Given that them having children or not also significantly impacts the lives of Felix, Claire and their children (and especially daughter), it would be hard to imagine that they haven't talked about it at all - how hard such a conversation might be for both of them. So, I can only hope that they are able to share their burden with their close family members and some close friends. We can only wish for the best and for peace if it turns out differently.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:12 AM
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I am confused, what does "sideline" refer to? It's about excluding from the royal house or not participating in royal engagements? Because there is a situation that one is not a member of the royal house but he/she still does engagement, e.g. Elena and Martha Louise (and also Astrid), I think they're still doing few engagements? They may be not fully active but they are still supporting the RF. It's difficult to say the royal siblings of Norway and Spain (or other RF) are totally sidelined or not.
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pranter View Post
How is apanage pronounced? I always want to make it sound French but I have no idea how it's actually said?

In the case of Luxembourg, at what point would someone step in and say (assuming Gui has no children) there needs to be an heir designated and they need to be brought on board?



LaRae
Heir designated? Like any throne, there is a line of succession. If William had been unable to have kids, they wouldn't have to designate an heir for him, Harry would come next in succession. The same goes in Luxembourg. Felix is the next eldest brother. If he doesn't outlive his brother, his daughter Amalia would be Grand Duchess after her Uncle.

Quote:
In the end, a 'more normal upbringing' is probably a good preparation for the role of head of state, so no need to hurry anything - by the time Amalia would decide on university studies it would be helpful for her to know what life to expect (I don't think the decision on secondary education would be very different - whether or not she will be grand duchess, she'll go to top-notch (boarding) schools); as it's you'll become grand duchess one day versus you are a minor princess and no involvement with royal duties is expected other than showing up at some big events once in a while. Two completely different lives...

I'm quite sure that Felix and Claire are well aware that it could be that they need to step up at some point and especially that Amalia is currently the 'heir' for her generation. So, I am not sure what 'designating a heir' would mean... It seems clear that Felix is Guillaume's heir; although he could decide to pass on the throne directly to his daughter would that situation arise (as Albert said he would have done had he no longer be married to Paola when his brother died; or as he might have done had Baudouin lived another 15-20 years).
Amalia is only turning 4 this year. By the time she is in her early teens it will likely be clear whether she will inherit or not. Stephanie will be 43 when she turns 13. If they have not had a child by then, the likelihood she will have one is tiny if there. The three older brothers all had very similar education roots, so I don't think her high school or even college would be altered. Amalia high probability will attend the boarding school in Switzerland not only her dad and uncles attended, but that her mother attended as well.

Quote:
I am confused, what does "sideline" refer to? It's about excluding from the royal house or not participating in royal engagements? Because there is a situation that one is not a member of the royal house but he/she still does engagement, e.g. Elena and Martha Louise (and also Astrid), I think they're still doing few engagements? They may be not fully active but they are still supporting the RF. It's difficult to say the royal siblings of Norway and Spain (or other RF) are totally sidelined or not.
Along the lines of the York sisters in the UK. Attending the odd family event, and taking on patronages, but they aren't considered 'working royals'. Felipe's siblings are no longer considered members of the royal household. They attend family events as family, and any charity work, as private citizens. The focus, and the money, of the royal line is on the core family.
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:06 AM
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That sidelined royals still appear in public or are active for good causes is not the same as being an active royal. The Infanta Doña Elena is active for the Cruz Roja española but we do not see her at the official dais at any royal event, we do not see her attending any State Visit, we do not see het attending any official banquet. The Infanta Elena herself however is every inch a royal and in line of succession. Exactly the same can be said about Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands or Prince Félix of Luxembourg: full titled royals, they and their children are successors to the Crown, close to the person of the monarch and seldom "do" any royal engagement. That is what "sidelined" means. Or "royals in the periphery of the Royal House", give it a name.
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