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  #1  
Old 05-17-2008, 07:08 PM
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Theoretical: Rights of Edward VIII's children

When Edward VIII abdictated, he declared his "irrevocable determination to renounce the throne" for himself and his descendents.

But, what would have happened if, instead of marrying Wallis after leaving the throne, he had married, say, Ingrid of Sweden, or some other woman who had her own rights to the throne? Would the children of that marriage have been dynasts through their mother, or would they have been excluded because of Edward's declaration?

(I know it's highly unlikely, especially given all the permissions from various royal houses it would have required, but just assume for a second...)

Any thoughts?

kal
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:24 PM
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The only thrones he renounced were the ones on which he sat as King at the time. The Abdication Acts passed by the various Commonwealth Parliaments had no legal bearing outside of their jurisdiction. If Swedish law recognized his hypothetical children as dynasts, then dynasts they would have been.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:41 PM
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One thing that I've often wondered is what would have happened if he and Wallis had had children and at some time in the future one of his descendants had married back into the royal family. Would that mean that his/her children would be barred from the succession even if the other parent was heir to the throne or something?
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:54 PM
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The way the Act of Parliament reads, it seems quite possible that any future heirs were barred completely.

Quote:
His Majesty, His issue, if any, and the descendants of that issue, shall not after His Majesty's abdication have any right, title or interest in or to the succession to the Throne, and section one of the Act of Settlement shall be construed accordingly.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
One thing that I've often wondered is what would have happened if he and Wallis had had children and at some time in the future one of his descendants had married back into the royal family. Would that mean that his/her children would be barred from the succession even if the other parent was heir to the throne or something?
Yes. The Act irrevocably removed his descendants rights to the throne forever. Of course, Parliament could have addressed the hypothetical issue you describe with legislation restoring their rights.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:06 PM
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Yes, but I'm not talking about some case where a descendant of Edward VIII turned out to be the only person left with royal blood, I'm talking about someone who has the right of descent through his or her other parent. Why would being a distant descendant of Edward VIII taint the legitimate descent through the other side of the family?
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:16 PM
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The only reason I can think of is because the Act of Parliament says so. I think it would have been corrected had that eventually happened, though. But as it stood, his descendants had no "title, right, or interest in or to the succession to the Throne" with no other provision. Had I wrote it, I would have added "by virtue of their relation to His Majesty."
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbenson View Post
The only thrones he renounced were the ones on which he sat as King at the time. The Abdication Acts passed by the various Commonwealth Parliaments had no legal bearing outside of their jurisdiction. If Swedish law recognized his hypothetical children as dynasts, then dynasts they would have been.
I mean would they have been British dynasts through their mother, if she had rights to the British throne? I used Ingrid as an example because, if I'm remembering right, she would have been a British dynast through Margaret of Connaught, but my example could be any woman who is a British dynast in her own right.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
Yes, but I'm not talking about some case where a descendant of Edward VIII turned out to be the only person left with royal blood, I'm talking about someone who has the right of descent through his or her other parent. Why would being a distant descendant of Edward VIII taint the legitimate descent through the other side of the family?
That's exactly the kind of scenario I was thinking of.

The other thing I've always wondered is if, after his abdication, he'd decided to marry a royal rather than Wallis, would it have been considered an equal marriage, or would he have been too "low ranking."

(Aside from the cruel irony that such a scenario would involve, imagine the poor princess would finds out that the former King of England is no longer "royal enough" to meet her family's standards.)
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kalnel View Post
I mean would they have been British dynasts through their mother, if she had rights to the British throne?
I don't think so, but I think that was an oversight in the writing of the Act more than anything.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kalnel View Post
The other thing I've always wondered is if, after his abdication, he'd decided to marry a royal rather than Wallis, would it have been considered an equal marriage, or would he have been too "low ranking."

(Aside from the cruel irony that such a scenario would involve, imagine the poor princess would finds out that the former King of England is no longer "royal enough" to meet her family's standards.)
He was still royal, in that he had his HRH. It might have been interesting to see what would have happened if he'd abdicated and then married a royal spouse. I think things might have been different because the decision to restrict the HRH to him and not extend it to Wallis seemed to have to do with the King's opinion (or, more likely, the Queen's opinion) of Wallis's suitability.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
He was still royal, in that he had his HRH. It might have been interesting to see what would have happened if he'd abdicated and then married a royal spouse. I think things might have been different because the decision to restrict the HRH to him and not extend it to Wallis seemed to have to do with the King's opinion (or, more likely, the Queen's opinion) of Wallis's suitability.
Wasn't there some question about whether the children of his marriage would have inherited the Duke of Windsor title? (Over the years, I've read so much about them -- both fact and fiction -- I can't remember which is which!)

I think it's fortunate that Edward never had children. Whether they were Wallis's or someone else's, there would have been ENDLESS stories comparing them to Elizabeth and company.

But, it is fascinating to consider what things would look like today if some "Edward great-grandson" were about to marry Beatrice or Eugenie (or even Victoria or Madeline).
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:14 AM
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The only way I could see him marrying someone else after the abdication is if Wallis got struck by lightening, or her crashed into a tunnel in Paris or something. Or, I suppose if she dumped him and married someone else, which I don't see her doing. Even then, it would've probably just been a rebound marriage and it would've ended badly (like Margaret and Lord Snowdon years later).

I did always wonder if he and Wallis had kids would they have had title at all? I mean would they have been Lord/Lady X Windsor? Could they have inherited their dad's title? I don't thing they could've been Prince/Princess, though legally they would've been entitled to it.
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:38 PM
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The King signed letters patent that removed the rights to be an HRH and Prince(ss) of the United Kingdom from all future wives and descendants of Edward in May 1937, so any children would have been Lord/Lady X Windsor. I can't find the letters patent that created Edward Duke of Windsor, though, so I don't know how that would have went.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:49 PM
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If Edward VIII hadn't abdicated, who would be monarch today?

If Edward VIII didn't marry a non-Anglican in 1936 and stayed on his throne till 1972 (when he died), who would be the UK monarch today assuming nothing else change other than the fact that he didn't abdicate?
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:54 PM
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The same.....Elizabeth II. She just would have become Queen twenty years later than she did.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:56 PM
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I agree. Since Wallis was too old to have children the line of succession would be the same as is now.
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:58 PM
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Depends...

If he had married a suitable* Woman and Had children with her... Then one Of his Descendants.

If He was stay Single...Elizabeth II

* Not Married or Catholic.
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Old 08-05-2008, 03:52 PM
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Wallis was in her early forties when she married the Duke of Windsor, so it was still possible (though very unlikely) to have a child, age-wise. However, she didn't have any children with any of her other husbands so it was unlikely that she would with the Duke. Speculation has it that she wasn't able to conceive because of a botched abortion in the 1920s. Similar speculation surrounds why Empress Josephine wasn't able to conceive with Napoleon.
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Old 08-05-2008, 04:09 PM
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I was thinking that some of the Diana mania might not have happened if Elizabeth had succeeded in the 1970s. There would have been interest in Elizabeth still in 1981 and Diana might have seemed less intriguing to the public. Too bad, Diana might have found it an easier road.
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