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  #221  
Old 08-05-2011, 08:10 PM
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Reading, reading, and still not content...

So I've spent many hours re-reading all the Prince Gustav and Carina posts regarding his grandfather's will in the last few weeks. I can't find a single post that linked to a copy of the will itself, and as the years passed it seems questions were somehow answered without linking to source materials.

The oldest example is the issue of "being noble" or "being of noble birth", which was raised as a question all the way back in 2006, and was answered a couple years later with a "four generations of nobility" explanation. Looking back, there is no source for this, it seems it was repeated often enough to be taken as reality.

Also under question more than 4 years ago was who would be the next heir after Prince Gustav if he forefeited the position of Head of House and ownership of the schloss et al to marry Carina, because no one had seen the will to verify if these stipulations were for all heirs, or only for the oldest son of Prince Richard. It was also wondered who would be the heir if Gustav simply did not have an heir, but died. Looking back, some have stated that Prince Bernhard SWH and others Prince Robin's eldest son, might be the potential heir. In reality, I still can't find a source that tells us what is written in the will, should the eldest son of Prince Richard die without heirs of his own body? If there is no language specifically to cover this that has been made public, would the inheritance of the schloss and belongings be covered under general German law, or, as in terms of the Head of House role (per the Hohenzollern and Leiningen precedents), under the House rules/laws?

In a follow-up to the House rules/laws, is this house one of the few where changes cannot be made in modern times to the house laws/rules? As the courts determined, such rules governing the "Head of" are a private matter and not part of public law, so why can the current Head of House not change those? I couldn't find that anywhere either.

Since my head is now spinning after reading all these posts front to back (and in some cases, over again) just let me know if somehow I missed those sources in all the back and forth.
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  #222  
Old 08-06-2011, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by NotAPretender View Post
We have covered this already, earlier in the thread. Extensively. Exhaustively.

This is. Not. True.

Please provide a link or a source for this "uncle insisting," or perhaps read earlier in the thread where within the past week, Mueler has translated an article discussing the heirs.
I have read Muhler's translation as well as the earlier threads. But nowhere can I find a basis for your saying "This is. Not. True." We simply do not know how the rest of the family views this matter. The comment about house rules, that they can be lifted if the living members of a family agree on it, made me think there could actually be some truth in the often repeated rumour about the uncle (or some other relative). Of course I do not know for sure.

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Why would an uncle without a stake in this, enforce the will? Think about that and see if it makes sense."
I come from an old family with three large estates, and I have seen with my own eyes to what lengths some people can go to "protect" an estate from "unsuitable" heirs (ie female heirs or heirs planning to modernize), even if they have nothing go gain from it themselves. Simply because of sentimental reasons and a very strong attachment to the estate and family heritage. "Sense" is not always a prominent part of the picture in these situations.

I'm not saying this is the case in the Berleburg family, but since you asked me to "think", I'm offering my thoughts based on personal experience.
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  #223  
Old 08-06-2011, 12:43 PM
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Hmmm, I think Gustav put himself and Carina in a bad situation. He was once engaged to a noblewoman so he was following the family plan at some point. As unjust as it is, he should have just married a noble woman a long time ago.

I mean, what happens if he simply decides to move on? If the relationship goes bad? There's no marriage certificate to hold Gustav. What does she have? She has no children (if that was her plan) and no husband. And it's not so easy to move on at 43. If they split, will she still be in league with the Danish RF?
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  #224  
Old 08-06-2011, 01:08 PM
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Hmmm, I think Gustav put himself and Carina in a bad situation. He was once engaged to a noblewoman so he was following the family plan at some point. As unjust as it is, he should have just married a noble woman a long time ago.

I mean, what happens if he simply decides to move on? If the relationship goes bad? There's no marriage certificate to hold Gustav. What does she have? She has no children (if that was her plan) and no husband. And it's not so easy to move on at 43. If they split, will she still be in league with the Danish RF?
Elvire was not noble and she was catholic, so she didn't fulfil the will's conditions.

I don't know what to think about the couple. Does Gustav manage the estate? Estate managing can be a full-time job.
As for myself, I would be cross if I was bound by a so restrictive will and I was in love with a non-noble or non-protestant person. So I can't really blame them but I agree it is a very unconfortable position for both of them. Carina Axelsson and prince Gustav will probably have no children and it must be difficult to make a choice no one can criticize.
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  #225  
Old 08-06-2011, 03:56 PM
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1. Gustav manages the estate. He and his father have been involved with it extensively; Prince Richard has a degree in forestry. The estate has a Web site in which it discussed its animal and forestry husbandry as well as the permitting process for hunts, etc.

2. The will has never been published. We have covered this before in this thread.

3. There is no mention anywhere in the media, ever, of some mythical "uncle" pressing for the will to be enforced. So yes, you are right, there is no link for that. Because it has not occurred. "I heard" is not a valid statement to make. "I heard" that the Duchess of Windsor was a hermaphrodite, but that's not anywhere close to verifiable fact, supportable data, or direct quotation from a first hand source. So the "uncle-protesting" is a fable and is - not - true. (Those continuing to repeat "but I heard it" will continue to be asked to provide a link to an article in which this fantastical "uncle" makes the direct statement that he is going to enforce the will.)

4. Yes, they have made a choice. Whether or not it is to be criticized is whether or not it is being depicted by the couple themselves as some sort of tragic miscarriage of high-minded love, or the financially-based decision making of a clear-eyed pair. I tend to think of it as the latter, and refuse to be taken in by the misty-eyed romanticism of "thwarted love."

They are together. Living together. Enjoying all of the perquisites of the money that the grandfather's will has left for their use.

One can't scorn that which has provided a sumptuous living, unless one wishes to be viewed as hypocritical. If they wanted to take a stand against Nazi grandpop's viewpoint, what better way than to eschew the richness of life which is predicated on a Nazi will (if you have decided to ignore the House laws conventions and concentrate only on the "unjust" will?) Why not go ahead, marry Carina, and make some strongly worded statements about how you can, no longer in good conscience, benefit from the fortune which a Nazi carefully preserved? Walk away?

I'd stand up and cheer for that. But it's not going to happen.

Look, at the beginning, this couple's press agents worked overtime to make it seem terrible that the couple couldn't marry, then the story had to change that they could except they'd have to give up the money (to reflect actual facts.) Over time, the message has become more muted on that score. I was actually rather surprised that the usual pink press sources didn't publish their annual "poor Carina" article after the baptism of Mary & Fred's twins, or during the period of Princess Nathalie's religious wedding, but I'm guessing that the press agent's job has changed after Carina's disastrously angry interview from January of this year.

They must like how things are. They have everything that they can possibly want to make themselves happy.

If I were in their position and ardently desired a marriage and children, I'd follow the path partly laid out by Jo of Palentine earlier: a religious wedding with no legal standing, but secure in the knowlege of a marriage blessed by an institution in which I believed; and having a child who could not inherit but who would still be my child with my beloved husband, who I would raise to understand that he or she will be part of a remarkable and powerful network of connections and relatives, to be educated to pridefully move into the larger world and forge her/his own path. What's so terrible about that?

But that's not what they've chosen - they've chosen the riches and the title and if that is what makes them happy - then that's what makes them happy! It's not some hankie-twisting tragedy.....goodness knows.
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  #226  
Old 08-06-2011, 04:21 PM
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The interview is found earlier in the thread. And there wasn't a kind word about anyone.
She actually spoke kindly about the Danish royals and Princess Benedicte, (and Gustav, but I guess I'd take that as a given). You also refer to the interview as "disasterously angry"... is there a second interview Carina has given that I'm not aware of? Because I'm finding it difficult to see where you're coming from if we're speaking of the same interview.
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  #227  
Old 08-06-2011, 04:34 PM
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1. Gustav manages the estate. He and his father have been involved with it extensively; Prince Richard has a degree in forestry. The estate has a Web site in which it discussed its animal and forestry husbandry as well as the permitting process for hunts, etc.
Thanks for the answer. I call this a job, managing such an estate is not just a hobby.

About the rest of your post, I would agree if the estate had been made and the lands united by the nazi grandpa. But as it is an ancestral estate, the "nazi" care of it is not as important.
If they married, could there be a large donation from prince Richard which would leave the estate or a huge part of the estate to his son and daughter-in-law, to get round the will?
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  #228  
Old 08-06-2011, 04:47 PM
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If they married, could there be a large donation from prince Richard which would leave the estate or a huge part of the estate to his son and daughter-in-law, to get round the will?
No, that could not happen, because Prince Richard has never owned the estate. The estate went directly from "the nazigrandfather" to the firstborn son of Prince Richard.
Which means that the estate has been Prince Gustav´s from he was born. Prince Richard is/was just managing it on behalf of Prince Gustav.
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  #229  
Old 08-06-2011, 04:56 PM
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No, that could not happen, because Prince Richard has never owned the estate. The estate went directly from "the nazigrandfather" to the firstborn son of Prince Richard.
Which means that the estate has been Prince Gustav´s from he was born. Prince Richard is/was just managing it on behalf of Prince Gustav.
I didn't know that. That is a very weird situation and a very weird decision from prince Gustav Albrecht.
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  #230  
Old 08-06-2011, 05:03 PM
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I didn't know that. That is a very weird situation and a very weird decision from prince Gustav Albrecht.
No, it wasn´t weird back in those days. IIRC, then it had something to do with the tax you pay when you inherit something and that that smount could be less with the estate going to an unborn grandson than to the living son.
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  #231  
Old 08-06-2011, 05:06 PM
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No, it wasn´t weird back in those days. IIRC, then it had something to do with the tax you pay when you inherit something and that that smount could be less with the estate going to an unborn grandson than to the living son.
Ok. I don't think it would have been possible here so that is why it sounded weird for me.
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  #232  
Old 08-07-2011, 01:03 PM
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She actually spoke kindly about the Danish royals and Princess Benedicte, (and Gustav, but I guess I'd take that as a given). You also refer to the interview as "disasterously angry"... is there a second interview Carina has given that I'm not aware of? Because I'm finding it difficult to see where you're coming from if we're speaking of the same interview.
Then we must be looking at a different interview. In the one that I read, Carina takes a slam at the "closed" world of dressage (Nathalie,) the dilapidated state of the rest of the castle (slam at Benedikt,) indicates that her generation (hers and Gustav's) could not spend the way that previous ones did (slam at Richard & Benedikt) and discusses Richard's temper with snide remarks about his "special" nature.

She spoke of her friendship with the Danish royals in terms of how close she and the Crown Princely couple were, but that was more in a manner of constrasting her relationship with R & B, which she then goes on to describe in the terms I've just mentioned.

It was a very testy interview, and the interviewer offered her several options to soften her language that she did not take.

One thing that did emerge from the interview was that she was adamant that she just didn't give a toss if they married or not, that for her, being herself was enough and that it was going to have to be enough for everyone else, too. It seems to me that this couple has gone through all the permutations of this situation quite thoroughly and have consciously and repeatedly confirmed this course of action for themselves. They've weighed it all and this is where they are and what they are.

It's only "odd" because for some reason, in the eyes of some here, marriage and children seem to be the only course of action that is "right."

They're grooving on each other even knowing all the potential outcomes. And that should be enough.

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Thanks for the answer. I call this a job, managing such an estate is not just a hobby.

About the rest of your post, I would agree if the estate had been made and the lands united by the nazi grandpa. But as it is an ancestral estate, the "nazi" care of it is not as important.
If they married, could there be a large donation from prince Richard which would leave the estate or a huge part of the estate to his son and daughter-in-law, to get round the will?
Good heaven, yes; an estate of that size with multiple large land holdings and cash flow streams is not just a full time job, it's a corporation.


The only reason I am emphasizing the "Nazi" aspect is because that was the PR spin put on it when it was discussed by the press agents, clearly a deliberate mention to evoke sympathy. It's also one of the things that keeps getting brought up here. You are correct - the ancestral nature of the House laws supersede the grandfather's will, and they have the same strictures on suitable brides, excluding the language of "Aryan."

Thanks for getting that! It's often overlooked.

If Gustav were to marry an "unsuitable" bride, the estates and all that they entail go directly to the next heir.

By the way, the S-W-Berleburg House as it currently stands has a fairly recent split wherein the S-W-Hohenstein House lacked an heir, so the second son of the S-W-B house was adopted as heir to the S-W-H cadet branch and assumed the headship of that House (his elder brother inheriting S-W-B.) When Prince Bernhard S-W-H inherits S-W-B (or his own son does,) the titles and estates will merge and the "junior" S-W-H House will be subsumed into the "higher" S-W-B.
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  #233  
Old 08-07-2011, 03:54 PM
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Then we must be looking at a different interview. In the one that I read, Carina takes a slam at the "closed" world of dressage (Nathalie,) the dilapidated state of the rest of the castle (slam at Benedikt,) indicates that her generation (hers and Gustav's) could not spend the way that previous ones did (slam at Richard & Benedikt) and discusses Richard's temper with snide remarks about his "special" nature.

She spoke of her friendship with the Danish royals in terms of how close she and the Crown Princely couple were, but that was more in a manner of constrasting her relationship with R & B, which she then goes on to describe in the terms I've just mentioned.

It was a very testy interview, and the interviewer offered her several options to soften her language that she did not take.

One thing that did emerge from the interview was that she was adamant that she just didn't give a toss if they married or not, that for her, being herself was enough and that it was going to have to be enough for everyone else, too. It seems to me that this couple has gone through all the permutations of this situation quite thoroughly and have consciously and repeatedly confirmed this course of action for themselves. They've weighed it all and this is where they are and what they are.

It's only "odd" because for some reason, in the eyes of some here, marriage and children seem to be the only course of action that is "right."

They're grooving on each other even knowing all the potential outcomes. And that should be enough.
Hmm, no, from what you're describing I think we must be talking about the same interview and just have very different interpretations of what Carina said.

I do agree that this couple has always seemed quite content with their relationship as is.
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  #234  
Old 08-07-2011, 05:08 PM
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If I were in their position and ardently desired a marriage and children, I'd follow the path partly laid out by Jo of Palentine earlier: a religious wedding with no legal standing, but secure in the knowlege of a marriage blessed by an institution in which I believed.
I don't think that's possible in the German Evangelical-Lutheran church! They do a 'blessing' following a civil wedding ceremony, as we saw recently! A 'wedding' or blessing ceremony of a relationship with no legal standing would in itself be contradictory! A marriage is a commitment with legal implications and the blessing concerns the parties who've undertaken the commitment.
IMO a commitment ceremony - or whatever you choose to call it - with no legal implications would only be possible in a Las Vegas chapel!

Viv

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Elvire was not noble and she was catholic, so she didn't fulfil the will's conditions
IMO Gustav Wittgenstein would have considered the conditions before proposing to Elvire de Rochefort. Or what? We (the Danes) never heard that Elvire's Roman- catholic background was an issue, but maybe she intended to become a protestant?? If I remember correctly the pair planned to marry in RC Sacre Coeur in Paris!

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I agree it is a very unconfortable position for both of them. Carina Axelsson and prince Gustav will probably have no children and it must be difficult to make a choice no one can criticize
Agree, but I'm not convinced that we know the entire story!

Viv
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:53 PM
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I don't think that's possible in the German Evangelical-Lutheran church! They do a 'blessing' following a civil wedding ceremony, as we saw recently! A 'wedding' or blessing ceremony of a relationship with no legal standing would in itself be contradictory! A marriage is a commitment with legal implications and the blessing concerns the parties who've undertaken the commitment.
IMO a commitment ceremony - or whatever you choose to call it - with no legal implications would only be possible in a Las Vegas chapel!

Viv
It seems that the law you are referring to was overturned in 2009, so yes, you can marry religiously then civilly. Here you are, Viv. Jo's post and link.

http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...-11730-17.html

July 8, 2008
-----------

Am back after a short break and see that noone has mentioned the upcoming change in German family law which will become valid at the beginning of next year.

This law revises a law that became valid in 1875 which forced the churches to only marry people religiously when they had married by the state's lwa before. From 1.1.2009 church marriages and state marriages are two seperate bodies of law again like it was in 1875 and before.

How does that influence Gustaf and Carina?

A will with a provision about the marriage of an heir most likely will only affect a marriage by public law. Houselaws which are older than 1875 most probably are build around religious marriages, as public marriages did not really exist before that date. So when in 2009 these two types of marriage are seperated as bodies of law, Gustaf could marry Carina in church (probably valid according to his houselaws when it comes to produce legitimate heirs) while not marry her in a public office. It's a discussion going on if a church wedding consists of an "important reason" for a name change according to general law but as far as I could find out most experts say that it is.

So if Gustav married Carina in church, she could even get a name change to Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and bear "legitimate" children with a claim to both the name and the inheritance of their father while the will is not affected by it.

I personally like that idea for Gustaf and Carina's sake, though I wished the will's provision about an "Aryan" marriage would be declared void. But who knows when and if this will happen!
-------------

I guess it's possible outside of Vegas!

(It doesn't address the issue of House Laws, as Jo points out, but as I said, my solution isn't centered around making sure a child inherits, but only that if a marriage and child are desired.)
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:02 PM
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It seems that the law you are referring to was overturned in 2009, so yes, you can marry religiously then civilly. Here you are, Viv. Jo's post and link.

http://www.theroyalforums.com/forums...-11730-17.html
.............................
I guess it's possible outside of Vegas!
Thanks for bringing this to my attention! However it still doesn't make any sense to me, as it is not in accordance with the Lutheran understanding of marriage! Forgive my being a bit pigheaded about this ! So I checked the website of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Germany, where I found a statement from July 3rd 2008 that the EKD (church) will not offer 'religious weddings' unless the couple can produce a wedding certificate from a "Standesamt" - i.e. a civil ceremony.
Maybe a German member can elaborate ? I'll gladly stand corrected if I prove to be wrong!

Viv
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:49 PM
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Thanks for bringing this to my attention! However it still doesn't make any sense to me, as it is not in accordance with the Lutheran understanding of marriage! Forgive my being a bit pigheaded about this ! So I checked the website of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Germany, where I found a statement from July 3rd 2008 that the EKD (church) will not offer 'religious weddings' unless the couple can produce a wedding certificate from a "Standesamt" - i.e. a civil ceremony.
Maybe a German member can elaborate ? I'll gladly stand corrected if I prove to be wrong!

Viv
I bolded there :-)

Well, I'm not German of course, but you are looking at a statement from the EKD from July 3, 2008 and the law went into effect on January 1, 2009.

And I can't claim credit for that, I'm quoting a very knowlegable posting party.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:31 AM
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No, it wasn´t weird back in those days. IIRC, then it had something to do with the tax you pay when you inherit something and that that smount could be less with the estate going to an unborn grandson than to the living son.
Gustav was born before the grandfather was declared dead. Generation skipping inheritance in order to bypass taxes is possible in a number of countries so that was probably the reason the grandfather was not declared dead until a son and heir was born despite being assumed deceased for so many years.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:51 AM
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I bolded there :-)

Well, I'm not German of course, but you are looking at a statement from the EKD from July 3, 2008 and the law went into effect on January 1, 2009.
There is an expertise by the EKD, which is published at:
http://www.ekd.de/download/ekd_texte_101.pdf

which deals with the religious and the implications of the new law which come from church law.

First of all, the EKD (protestant church of Germany which includes the lutheran churches) acknowledges that historically they had been against the civil marriage and only after seeing how it turned out accepted that the religious meaning of a wedding and of marriage are well represented in this legally binding ceremony.

So the opinion at the moment is that there is no church wedding without a civil marriage. But they see that there might be reasons why people want to marry but can't marry in a civil wedding. Most important reasons are finacial ones. Oh, this is not about Gustav and Carina but there are a lot of pensioners who live of a pension for widows/widowers who would loose this on remarrying. And who simply can't afford this. The meaning of the church is that in such cases there should be acknolegment of this situation. And while still there should be no "church wedding" as it is common, there should be other forms of blessings and worship to acknowledge that two people want to belong together as man and wife before God.

In the end, I guess it depends if you find a priest who is of the right opinion and who does marry those two if they want. Because the EKDdecided to go for: it's not possible but under certain circumstances.... Seeing how much is possible in the EKD when it comes to the conscience and decision of a priest, I personally tend to think that it is possible. (While it would be impossible in the Catholic Church if the Church was against it, but then it is possible in the Catholic Church and that is acknowledged by the EKD as well. As in: if they offer this to their members, we should at least offer soemthing similar....)

Hope this info helps. If anyone wants to know more but does not read German, please tell me and I'll check if this question is answered in the text, which is 28 pages long... So much more in it that I could write here.
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  #240  
Old 08-08-2011, 03:15 AM
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In the Church of England, we have a similar situation regarding "blessings", remarriage etc., but the CofE is the State church of England, therefore no civil ceremony is necessary. Ministers are also Registrars.
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Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

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