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  #781  
Old 05-01-2011, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wbenson View Post
As far as I know, a fetus cannot become the monarch and is not legally classified as a person capable of holding any position until birth. Harry would become the King immediately upon such a mass death. However, what would happen upon the birth of the child is much less clear. It's entirely possible that Harry would immediately cease to be the King and the throne would pass to the newly-born child. Under the terms of the Regency Acts, Harry would be the regent for such a child monarch.

In the 1830s, this is what was planned in the event that King William IV had died leaving behind a pregnant Queen Adelaide. Victoria would have immediately become Queen, and she would have stopped being the Queen upon the birth of the child. The only question is whether the law passed to deal with the possibility was simply clarifying what would have happened anyways or if the law created a special exception to the normal rules of succession.
I thought I read somewhere that a fetus didn't have any claim to the Throne, and that once a King/Queen always a King/Queen (except for abdication, which is to be done extremely rarely), so if Prince Harry becomes King, he's stuck there until either he abdicate (which in that case, the Throne should go to the next in line of succession, which the baby may not be in) or dies (which in that case also goes to next in line of succession). It seems just weird to go "backward", so to speak.

You're right about Queen Victoria's situation, but I thought that was one-time exception and that normally a fetus can't become a monarch, not even later at birth.

In any case, this is very interesting question, but a question that we hope will never come up in a practical sense.
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  #782  
Old 05-02-2011, 12:42 AM
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The Regency Act 1831 could be interpreted either way, really. It seems (to me) to be worded as if the child becoming the monarch immediately on birth is the expected course of action, as it never explicitly directs that the child should be the monarch, but merely makes certain the procedures that have to be gone through. It never really disproves the other possibility, though, either (that the child wouldn't have immediately succeeded Victoria).
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  #783  
Old 05-02-2011, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbenson
The Regency Act 1831 could be interpreted either way, really. It seems (to me) to be worded as if the child becoming the monarch immediately on birth is the expected course of action, as it never explicitly directs that the child should be the monarch, but merely makes certain the procedures that have to be gone through. It never really disproves the other possibility, though, either (that the child wouldn't have immediately succeeded Victoria).
If you look at article 4: parliament is supposed to proclaim the child as 'successor' and 'without delay' after the child is born in the manner 'kings and queens are proclaimed'. I read that to mean that the child becomes monarch at birth as the previous acts stipulate that Victoria's rights as monarch were subject to the condition that there are no posthumous children. My guess is: if William dies as King and Kate is pregnant, Harry becomes King until the child is born. Although it's also possible that he remains King but William's child succeeds him? The act says successor, not monarch so there's the ambiguity. Although it did also say that Queen Adelaide would be regent until the child turned 18.
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  #784  
Old 05-02-2011, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by wbenson View Post
The Regency Act 1831 could be interpreted either way, really. It seems (to me) to be worded as if the child becoming the monarch immediately on birth is the expected course of action, as it never explicitly directs that the child should be the monarch, but merely makes certain the procedures that have to be gone through. It never really disproves the other possibility, though, either (that the child wouldn't have immediately succeeded Victoria).
I just took a quick look at that link, and the first thing I noticed was some commentary at the start that seems to be specific to Victoria, and also within the Act (2nd paragraph), it refer specifically to Queen Victoria, implying it doesn't apply to other future monarches??

I'm not sure exactly how the British law works though, but I can certainly see the ambiguity in there, if some people thought the Act was supposed to apply to all future occurrences (assuming no future Act overturned this one), and other think it only applies to Victoria.
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  #785  
Old 05-02-2011, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Esmerelda View Post
The act says successor, not monarch so there's the ambiguity.
It's not ambiguous if taken in the context of the Act of Settlement 1701, the law which determines succession.
The Act refers to "succession of the Crown", the word "monarch" does not appear, and "successor" is quite clear as to meaning and intent.

The Regency Act 1831 applied to Victoria; if such a situation were to arise again the Act would be looked at as setting a precedent. Whether the precedent would be followed would be up to the government and Parliament of the day.
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  #786  
Old 05-08-2011, 02:47 PM
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This is quite a far-fetched scenario.. but I'll play along

If Charles abdicates and William renounces his succession rights, theoretically he could also renounce the succession of his minor children.. a precedent which has already been set in British history.

If William has a child who has reached his or her majority, however, that child would have to renounce the succession individually.

The same would be true for Harry and any children he had at the time.

As the succession currently stands, the Duke of York would indeed become King in such circumstances, and I doubt the Princess Royal would become sovereign instead.. since the UK and the Commonwealth Realms all have to approve any changes to the succession.. and I do believe they have to be unanimous in each of their separate Parliaments/Legislatures.

In reality, however..

The only thing that could possibly induce Charles to abdicate his throne would be the complete dissolution of the British Monarchy.. and the truth is, that if the Queen's health continues to be good, she could occupy the top spot for a long time yet.. so Charles' reign may be relatively short in comparison.

No one in Britain would be happy with the Duke of York as king, I imagine, so Parliament would either beg William and/or Harry to reconsider or they would seriously think about dissolving the monarchy altogether.

And Lumutqueen is right, any change made toward equal primogeniture would apply to future generations - it wouldn't affect the current order of succession, i.e. Charles, William, Harry or any of the latter two's living children at the time.

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  #787  
Old 05-08-2011, 03:10 PM
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But was it not the case that when Edward VIII abdicated he had no descendants at the time of abdication? I'm wondering what would happen if there are minor children at the time of abdication. Is there another relavant precedent.
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  #788  
Old 05-08-2011, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by redbicycle View Post
But was it not the case that when Edward VIII abdicated he had no descendants at the time of abdication? I'm wondering what would happen if there are minor children at the time of abdication. Is there another relavant precedent.
The Act of Abdication stated Edward VIII was renouncing his right under the Act of Settlement to the throne on behalf of himself and any future descendants. It also provided he would not be subject to the Royal Marriages Act.

It was on this basis that George VI issued Letters Patent in May 1937 stating the Duke would remain HRH as a son of George V, not withstanding the Abdication, but his royal rank could not be shared by his wife or future children.

The reasoning being The Duke had renounced the right of succession for his descendants, therefore, it followed they would not hold royal rank as they could never succeed to the throne. The same principle applied to his wife, who could never be Queen.

I highly doubt Charles would abdicate the throne nor would he receive pressure from a future Government to do so. His reign will likely be relatively short if his mother lives as long as The Queen Mother did.
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  #789  
Old 05-08-2011, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by redbicycle View Post
I am aware that Edward VIII abdicated on the behalf of hypothetical as yet unborn descendents, but can a monarch abdicate on behalf of existing children?
Yes they can-on behalf of existing MINOR children because per law a parent can make decisions for their minor offspirng. However if the child has reached the age of majority they have to make the decision for themselves.

I don't understand why Edward VIII had to abdicate on behalf of his unborn children? Since he was a abdicated King I would assume that his chlidren born after the abdication would automatically have no sucession rights
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  #790  
Old 05-08-2011, 04:53 PM
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I'm wondering whether William as king could deprive his existing children even if minor of their succession rights before abdicating himself, or whether upon abdication the throne would automatically pass to his heir, who if minor would have a regent or regency council exercise the role of the monarch on his or her behalf until such time as the heir came of age.

If the heir is monarch I wouldn't think even the parents of said heir would be able to abdicate on his or her behalf. Perhaps the regency council might be able to but even here I'm not sure.

supposing William's child is under age when he ascends the throne and Prince Harry becomes Regent. Could he abdicate on the child's behalf and become King Henry IX?

I suppose the situation would be avoided by appointing Andrew, Edward, Anne or some regency council who would not immediately become the monarch upon the child's abdication?
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  #791  
Old 05-08-2011, 07:03 PM
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There is no generic legal framework for an abdication. It's not possible to say whether children would or wouldn't be deprived of their succession rights. It would depend on what the Act of Parliament enabling the abdication said. It could say anything.
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  #792  
Old 05-08-2011, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by redbicycle View Post
I'm wondering whether William as king could deprive his existing children even if minor of their succession rights before abdicating himself, or whether upon abdication the throne would automatically pass to his heir, who if minor would have a regent or regency council exercise the role of the monarch on his or her behalf until such time as the heir came of age.
If William is king and has minor children, then yes, theoretically he could renounce the succession rights of those children before abdicating himself.. in which case, his children would no longer be in line of succession to the throne.

The case of Edward VIII was a little different in that he had no children at the time of his abdication, but should he and Wallis have had a child later, that child could have challenged Elizabeth's succession.. Any child of Edward's would technically have had a higher claim, as he was the eldest son of George V.

It was for that reason that when Edward abdicated, he was required to renounce the succession of any children he could possibly have in the future. The British government did not want to deal with a succession crisis later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbicycle View Post
If the heir is monarch I wouldn't think even the parents of said heir would be able to abdicate on his or her behalf. Perhaps the regency council might be able to but even here I'm not sure.

supposing William's child is under age when he ascends the throne and Prince Harry becomes Regent. Could he abdicate on the child's behalf and become King Henry IX?

I suppose the situation would be avoided by appointing Andrew, Edward, Anne or some regency council who would not immediately become the monarch upon the child's abdication?
If William abdicated and did not renounce the succession for his own minor heir, then yes, the heir would succeed even though William himself had stepped down. At that point, William would not be able to abdicate on behalf of his minor son or daughter, nor would he be able to otherwise prevent the succession of his heir, because that child would automatically become the sovereign from the moment of his abdication.

A regent or regency council would not be able to abdicate on behalf of, or otherwise remove that child from the throne - an Act of Parliament would be required to remove the sovereign (even if it is a minor child), but that would only be considered if there was some sort of incapacity (i.e. mental or physical) preventing the monarch from the performance of his or her duties.. and even then, its an iffy situation.. but Harry alone as regent would never have the power to do such a thing.. nor would a regency council. It wouldn't matter one bit whether the regent was next in line or not.

George III, after all, was completely insane for many years before he died, but he was never removed from the throne.. the Prince of Wales was his regent and carried out all the duties of the king until his father died.
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  #793  
Old 05-08-2011, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by HRHofNothing View Post
Yes they can-on behalf of existing MINOR children because per law a parent can make decisions for their minor offspirng. However if the child has reached the age of majority they have to make the decision for themselves.

I don't understand why Edward VIII had to abdicate on behalf of his unborn children? Since he was a abdicated King I would assume that his chlidren born after the abdication would automatically have no sucession rights
A monarch can abdicate himself from the throne, but unless he has renounced the succession of his minor children before abdication, then those children would remain in the line of succession.

Once the abdication has taken place, the former monarch cannot abdicate on behalf of his son or daughter who would then be the sovereign.

Of course, if the heir has reached the age of majority, then you are correct.. the choice would have to be made by the adult individual in question.

In the case of Edward VIII.. HE abdicated, but that did not affect the succession rights of any of his potential children. If Edward had not renounced the succession for any future children at the time of his abdication, then any child of his could have challenged the succession of Elizabeth in 1952.

Since Edward VIII was the eldest son of George V, his child would have had a higher claim to the succession according to the rules of male preference primogeniture.. especially if that child had been male.

You see examples of the same type thing in the line of succession today..

The Duke of Kent remains in the line of succession. His sons, the Earl of St. Andrews and Lord Nicholas Windsor, are excluded because they converted to Catholicism - likewise, their children are excluded because they were baptized in the Catholic faith. But the Duke's daughter, Lady Helen Taylor has not converted, so she and her four children are still in the succession.
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  #794  
Old 05-09-2011, 11:05 AM
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Members of the BRF have in the past renounced their succession rights.. just not to the British succession.

Edward VII as Prince of Wales, renounced his succession to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, as did his brother the Duke of Connaught and his nephew Prince Arthur of Connaught.

Because of this, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, inherited the ducal throne.. and when he died without a male heir, his nephew Charles Edward, the posthumous son of the Duke of Albany, inherited the duchy.

In addition, Charles Edward was deprived of his British succession rights and titles in 1919, because of World War I.. but that wasn't voluntary.
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  #795  
Old 05-15-2011, 10:47 AM
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Unborn successor

Suppose William becomes King before he and Catherine have any children. She becomes pregnant, but he dies before the child is born. Given that there's no existing successor, does Harry become King?
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  #796  
Old 05-15-2011, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Daz_Voz View Post
Suppose William becomes King before he and Catherine have any children. She becomes pregnant, but he dies before the child is born. Given that there's no existing successor, does Harry become King?
I don't know what would happen.

I belive Parliament would have to pass some sort of law/Act to regulate this as was done in 1831..

William's child would have a better claim to the throne than its Uncle regardless of gender so I think there would be an act passed making Harry or Kate regent for this child. Harry would then become King if the child was not born or died before having children of their own.
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  #797  
Old 05-15-2011, 12:40 PM
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Ask Bertie, she knows. However I believe that there are some sort of letters or laws that cover this. I just don't know which ones off the top of Russo's head.
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  #798  
Old 05-15-2011, 02:33 PM
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The whole question above was covered on another thread about titles somewhere in the BRF forum, I shall try and find the link

Edit- oops...it's not another thread, it's this one - a few pages back this exact question was posed and answered .....:)
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  #799  
Old 05-15-2011, 05:13 PM
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Ask Bertie, she knows. However I believe that there are some sort of letters or laws that cover this. I just don't know which ones off the top of Russo's head.
The more I think about it, the more I suspect Harry would be Regent for the child.
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  #800  
Old 05-15-2011, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Daz_Voz View Post
Suppose William becomes King before he and Catherine have any children. She becomes pregnant, but he dies before the child is born. Given that there's no existing successor, does Harry become King?
No. Harry would not become king in this scenario.

If Queen Catherine is pregnant at the time of King William's death, then there would be an Interregnum of the British Monarchy until the baby's birth.

Barring any unforeseen tragedy such as stillbirth or other complications, William's child will be King or Queen from birth, and the monarchy will be governed under a Regent or Regency Council until the sovereign reaches his or her majority.

Harry would be the natural choice as Regent, and if a council is appointed then The Princess Royal, The Duke of York and The Earl of Wessex would likely be considered as members.

If, however, the child is miscarried, does not survive to adulthood or dies before producing an heir, then Harry is next in line of succession and would become King.
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