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  #41  
Old 06-05-2009, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I have been doing some research and thought you might be interested to know that before Charles married Diana the last acknowledged either heir apparent or monarch who actually married a non-royal personage was Henry VII.
...
Henry VII married Elizabeth Woodville.
Elizabeth Woodville was Henry VII's mother in law, not wife. Henry VII was married to Elizabeth York, King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville's daughter and York heiress to the throne.

The main difference between the British Royal Family and most other Royal Families is the absence of the idea of morganatic marriages. In theory, British Monarchs, Princes and Princesses could marry anyone they wanted (as long as the Monarch's approval was sought and received), unlike French (Louis XIV and his second, morganatic wife), Russian (where even some of the Royal Families, like Bagrations, weren't good enough for the Grand Duke and Duchesses) and many other Families.
However the British obviously preferred marrying fellow Royals, for it was a good opportunity for alliances and usually brought impressive dowries.
Duty was far more important than love, unless you were Henry VIII, of course.
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  #42  
Old 06-05-2009, 10:55 AM
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Might sound like a dumb question but I always read how Lady Diana Spencer was the first English Woman to Wed and Hier to the throne in 300 years was not the Queen Mother and English Woman. Does any one know what is ment by this? Thanks in advance ....
Diana Spencer was the first English woman to marry an heir to the throne in 300 years. That is a correct statement, as Charles was The Prince of Wales at the time of their marriage.

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was Scots and English, but she was never married to The Prince of Wales. George VI never held this title, and was only King because his brother abdicated.

Before that, marriages had been made between Britain and the royal and ducal houses on the continent, since the time of George I.

The only exception was George IV, who married Maria Anne FitzHerbert when he was The Prince of Wales in Sep 1785, but their marriage was deemed invalid by English Civil Law, even though Pope Pius VII declared it was valid. Had it been allowed to stand, The Prince of Wales would not have been able to inherit the Crown, because Maria was Roman Catholic.

So the last valid marriage between a British royal and an English woman was the marriage of James II to Anne Hyde in 1660. But he was not The Prince of Wales, nor at that time was he heir to the throne. He was the Duke of York when they married.
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  #43  
Old 06-05-2009, 11:56 AM
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Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was not a descendant of a King and therefore was not royal. His father, grandfathers and great-grandfathers on both sides, were all Dukes. The fact that he held the title of a German prince does not make him royal. In Germany, all the children of Dukes were considered 'princes' of their house. This was due to the structure of German nobility.
Welcome to the Forums HM Queen Catherine, and thanks for your contributions to the historical topics.

Regarding the 'royalness' of the German spouses, the usage of "royal" in this context is descriptive rather than technical. Prior to 1805 the only true "royals" in what is now Germany would have been the Prussians as Prussia was the only Kingdom. When speaking of the marriages, it's just easier to refer to the reigning Ducal and Princely families as 'royal' rather than use something like 'equal', which is a Germanic concept in itself. The alternative is to refer to 'royal-ducal' or 'royal-princely' marriages, which sort of takes the sheen off it.
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  #44  
Old 06-05-2009, 01:58 PM
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Welcome to the Forums HM Queen Catherine, and thanks for your contributions to the historical topics.

Regarding the 'royalness' of the German spouses, the usage of "royal" in this context is descriptive rather than technical. Prior to 1805 the only true "royals" in what is now Germany would have been the Prussians as Prussia was the only Kingdom. When speaking of the marriages, it's just easier to refer to the reigning Ducal and Princely families as 'royal' rather than use something like 'equal', which is a Germanic concept in itself. The alternative is to refer to 'royal-ducal' or 'royal-princely' marriages, which sort of takes the sheen off it.
Thank you very much Warren, for your kind welcome. I hope all of my contributions will be helpful to others on this forum, and as a student of British and European history, I am very excited to have found it!

I do understand what you mean in terms of the usage of "royal" being descriptive, but I felt it should be explained in the technical sense, so there is no misunderstanding about the status of those British marriages. Saying they were "royal" marriages is not technically accurate, although the titles do make them seem more glamorous, I must admit.

Germany, of course, is different from most other European countries in their concept and structure of nobility. It is often confusing and often misunderstood, especially when dealing with the various Ducal Houses.

True royals prior to the establishment of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1805, would have been invested in the family of the Holy Roman Emperor, who was also King of the Germans and King of Italy. The German Empire started with Charlemagne, who was crowned Emperor of the Romans in 800 AD.

Of course, the Kingdom of Germany was never entirely hereditary, and the "Kings of the Romans", as they were styled, were elected by the leading nobility. To confuse matters even more, the "Kings of the Romans" were not always crowned as Emperors.

But I would argue that the Imperial ruling house of the Holy Roman Empire were the true royals of Germany prior to 1805. The most recent ruling houses being the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine, the House of Lorraine, the House of Wittelsbach and the House of Hapsburg.

The only other royal house of Germany prior to 1805 was the Kingdom of Bohemia, which was established in 1212, and was the most powerful state of the Holy Roman Empire. In the case of Bohemia, it was a kingdom in its own right and an independent member of the Holy Roman Empire. It later became part of the Austrian Empire, and was finally dissolved in 1918.

Since 1805 and the establishment of the Kingdom of Prussia, the other royal houses were from the Kingdom of Württemberg, the Kingdom of Bavaria, the Kingdom of Hanover, and the Kingdom of Saxony. In that respect, it could also be argued that the Grand Duchies of Hesse and Baden were also royal houses.

I know its complicated.. I don't know how German students ever keep it all straight in history class! But since I'm married to a German myself, I have a great resource when I have questions!
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  #45  
Old 06-05-2009, 05:52 PM
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If you expand the definition of heir to include princes of the blood closely related to the monarch, you'll find that George III's brothers and sons also married Englishwomen or Scotswomen (brother the Duke of Gloucester married Maria Walpole, the Dowager Countess of Waldegrave; brother the Duke of Cumberland allegedly married Olive Wilmot and later Anne Horton -- this marriage inspired the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 to keep undesirables out of the family; and sons The Prince of Wales, Mrs. Fitzherbert; Duke of Clarence, later William IV, married Mrs. Jordan; Duke of Sussex, who married Lady Augusta Murray-- possibly Scottish in origin?-- and Lady Cecilia Buggin).

Admittedly, most of these marriages were made in violation of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, and many of these involved a Catholic partner, so they were not generally recognized.
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  #46  
Old 06-05-2009, 06:07 PM
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You're right Iowabelle, there were plenty of British women that married into the Royal Family by way of younger sons.

The original question/statement I was responding to, was specifically about the marriages of heirs apparent and/or reigning monarchs. George IV does fall within this category, since he married Maria FitzHerbert while he was still Prince of Wales.

Had their marriage been allowed, it would have changed history, and it was obvious that their love endured in spite of the dissolution of their marriage.
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  #47  
Old 06-06-2009, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
And still a commoner - just as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons and Diana Spencer were commoners.

By the way - you attributed your quote incorrecty to Ella Kay when it was in my post.
Actually, I believe it was mine -- back at the bottom of the first page.
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  #48  
Old 06-15-2009, 02:45 PM
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Did William IV and Mrs. Jordan ever legally marry? I know she was his mistress for many years, ansd basically his common law wife, but I don't recall that they ever legally married.
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  #49  
Old 06-15-2009, 03:06 PM
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I don't think they ever married, though they produced many, many children (ten or more). I think I remember reading that George III was relatively blase about the relationship, but I don't think that William IV ever took steps to try to make her his wife instead of his mistress.
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  #50  
Old 06-15-2009, 05:30 PM
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Did William IV and Mrs. Jordan ever legally marry? I know she was his mistress for many years, ansd basically his common law wife, but I don't recall that they ever legally married.

They never legally married.

To contract a legal marriage they would have needed the consent of George III or Parliament.

When William finally made a legal marriage (he had the consent of his brother, The Prince Regent) it was when it became a necessity to beget a successor for the throne and by then Mrs Jordan was past child bearing age and the children already born couldn't become heirs to the throne as they weren't the product of a legal marriage.
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  #51  
Old 06-18-2009, 05:52 PM
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Yes, I had thought they never went through any sort of ceremony. You can I suppose use the term common law wife to describe the role of Mrs. Jourdan in William IV's life, but she was basically a mistress more than anything.
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  #52  
Old 08-08-2009, 03:40 PM
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Diana was actually more English than Charles. Camilla is more English than Charles. Nationality in the royal houses is pretty fluid. Victoria and Edward VII supposedly spoke with German accents, and the Hanovers before them certainly were German. The Duke of Edinburgh is a Greek Prince not a British one, but he's not Greek!
Oh, my husband, born and bred in Scotland, is a Scotsman. He's not Scotch, Scottish, or (heaven forbid!) British!!
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  #53  
Old 08-08-2009, 04:31 PM
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He is both Scottish and British.
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  #54  
Old 08-08-2009, 07:06 PM
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Not according to him, he's not! Of course, this is a man who wanted to have a circle of Scottish soil surrounding the bed when I gave birth to our son in Germany!
The worst is when we're in the states and people ask him about being English or Irish!!
If Prince Harry had married Chelsey Davies, would he have been the first senior member of the royal family to marry a Zimbabwean?
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  #55  
Old 09-07-2009, 10:45 PM
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Nationalism is alive and well! What if Scotland, which I believe has its own Parliament, breaks away from the United Kingdom and needs its own ruler-- maybe it can be Prince Andrew once the Queen dies and then the throne will pass down through his line.
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  #56  
Old 09-07-2009, 11:16 PM
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If Prince Harry had married Chelsey Davies, would he have been the first senior member of the royal family to marry a Zimbabwean?
I would imagine so. In fact, I can't recall any senior British royal ever marrying an African, though I could be wrong.
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  #57  
Old 09-08-2009, 01:03 AM
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There have only been Zimbabweans since 1980, so there haven't been very many royals that could have married a Zimbabwean.
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  #58  
Old 09-08-2009, 02:17 AM
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Oh, my husband, born and bred in Scotland, is a Scotsman. He's not Scotch, Scottish, or (heaven forbid!) British!!
I don´t want to go off subject but I can´t help remark on this Scot and Scotch adjective. Nowadays Scotch is only used for whisky but I have heard from my grandmother that when she was a young girl her grandfather, who came from Edinburgh, always referred to himself as Scotch and everything referring to his homeland as Scotch. When he did a tour of duty in Australia his son attended a school called Scotch College. Does that mean the Scottish adjective is just a fashion?
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  #59  
Old 09-08-2009, 10:34 PM
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A professor of mine from Scotland (circa 1980) once said that Scottish was more of an English term for the Scots, but that Scotch was acceptable. Perhaps these terms do go in and out of fashion.

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I don´t want to go off subject but I can´t help remark on this Scot and Scotch adjective. Nowadays Scotch is only used for whisky but I have heard from my grandmother that when she was a young girl her grandfather, who came from Edinburgh, always referred to himself as Scotch and everything referring to his homeland as Scotch. When he did a tour of duty in Australia his son attended a school called Scotch College. Does that mean the Scottish adjective is just a fashion?
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  #60  
Old 09-09-2009, 01:44 AM
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Yes, I think the word "Scotch" is an old fashioned term used a long time ago. I'm remember watching a film many years ago where one of the characters announced that her neighbour was a "Scotchwoman". I think that these days you're either Scottish or a Scotsman. As Scotch is associated with whisky, I wonder if the term should now refer to objects (as opposed to people) that have been made or come from Scotland.
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