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  #141  
Old 07-27-2012, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Kataryn View Post
...they should at least completely adhere to the old concept of House Laws...
Notwithstanding the merits of Princes Albert or Alexander (or Rudiger for that matter), this line of argument is somewhat obsolete.

The Heads of the two most senior Catholic Houses of the Holy Empire, namely the Imperial House of Austria and the Royal House of Bavaria, have, over the past 20 years or so, modified their House Laws to reflect changing times and circumstances.

The Margrave exercised the same rights in regard to amending House Law for the Royal Wettins as did the late Archduke Otto for the Habsburgs and Duke Franz for the Wittelsbachs.
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  #142  
Old 07-27-2012, 05:35 PM
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Le chef de la Maison royale de Saxe est mort
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  #143  
Old 07-28-2012, 08:50 AM
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The Margrave exercised the same rights in regard to amending House Law for the Royal Wettins as did the late Archduke Otto for the Habsburgs and Duke Franz for the Wittelsbachs.
You're right about that. But while Archduke Otto and Duke Franz changed the laws to allow the modern idea of equality of people to become part of the House laws, the Margrave simply amended the House laws so that they suited him personally.

IMHO (and I'm always talking of my personal opinion, nothing else) if a former reigning House wants to be accepted in modern times as something of relevance to society, the family should at least try to signal that there is a reason why they believe themselves still to be inhabiting the upper echelons of society.

For me the Margrave has shown in his personal decisions that he is not worthy to be considered a "modern" Head of his House and far less a just one. He amended the rules for his personal gain, IMHO. Franz of Bavaria was in the same situation than the Margrave but made a different decision much more in sync with the tradition of his family and modern times. He accepted finally the marriage of prince Luitpold as equal instead of allowing female inheritance for his closer female relations, as the Margrave did.
So Duke Franz kept to the family traditions and accepted equal birth of Royals and commoners (though I firmly believe he personally would have favoured an heir with a noble mother).

So while I could accept Duke Franz as a potential Head of State for Bavaria, I could never accept Alexander of Gessaphe as a potential Head of Staet for Saxony. Because IMHO he simply has no legitimate right to it.
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  #144  
Old 07-28-2012, 09:02 AM
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So as I understand it, the late Margrave got the family together a number of years ago and they signed a family compact recognizing Alexander as his eventual heir but as soon as the Margrave died they go back on their word and now others claim the headship of the long deposed family. If they didn't agree with the Margraves choice the time to argue would have been before signing the compact or not sign it at all. So much for integrity.

Seems awfully silly to cause discent in a family over a title that is meaningless.
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  #145  
Old 07-28-2012, 09:22 AM
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Can someone explain the background of Saxony? I know the term Saxon in connection with William the Conqueror but I'm not sure how it ties in with the Royal House of Saxony, if it does at all?


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  #146  
Old 07-28-2012, 10:00 AM
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You're right about that. But while Archduke Otto and Duke Franz changed the laws to allow the modern idea of equality of people to become part of the House laws, the Margrave simply amended the House laws so that they suited him personally.
Personally I agree with your posts Kataryn. It does not appear to me either that the Margrave was being modern, probably a big reason for Alexander being named heir was because he married a Princess of Bavaria.

What I would add is if the Gessaphe-Saxony marriage was equal in the first place why was Alexander completely overlooked while the late Margrave’s youngest sister’s son, Prince Johannes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was to be heir, just because he was another Wettin? You can't just randomly pick and choose the heir. The marriage was either equal or it was not, if it was equal via semi salic succession the succession would have passed to the Gessaphe’s over Prince Johannes. Certain sources like Le Petit Gotha (2002), Les Maisons Impériales et Royales d'Europe (1966) say the Gessaphe-Saxony marriage did not meet the equality requirements of the Saxon house law and it is certainly of dubious equality.

If it’s supposed to be the case that the marriage was recognised as dynastic at a later date then why not do that instead to Prince Timo’s marriage and keep the Albertine-Wettin line extant, it’s sad that the Margrave preferred to oversee the extinction of the male line of this branch of the ancient House of Wettin, which could be the second branch of the Wettin’s go extinct after the end of monarchy following Saxe-Altenburg.

Benjamin has highlighted Prince Ruediger's past problems and he surely has made mistakes in his past, but in a hereditary system a persons character should not determine suitability for the succession. AFAIK the restitution process with the State is complete so no one is going to gain financially from being the head of the house. Luckily Prince Albert seems more concerned than his brother was about saving the male line of the Albertine Wettin’s and personally I woukd like him to recognise Prince Ruediger and his sons and dynasts as I find it sad to see royal house's die out.
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  #147  
Old 07-28-2012, 10:27 AM
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You're right about that. But while Archduke Otto and Duke Franz changed the laws to allow the modern idea of equality of people to become part of the House laws, the Margrave simply amended the House laws so that they suited him personally...
Bavaria was different then Saxony as there where plenty of other male dynasts alive even before Luitpold marriage was recogniced as dynastic. And for Austria it was only until about 10 years ago that marriages to commoners where non-dynastic but marriages to Baronesses etc where considered dynastic.
And i don't think the Margrave on Meißen ammended the House Laws alone as it was done in the Family Council.
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  #148  
Old 07-28-2012, 12:02 PM
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Bavaria was different then Saxony as there where plenty of other male dynasts alive even before Luitpold marriage was recogniced as dynastic.
You're right. And Duke Franz even acknowledged prince Leopold's son Manuel from his (unequal) marriage to princess Ursula as a dynast - though Manuel was born before his parent's marriage!

So Duke Franz had dynasts who came from dynastic marriages aplenty but still amended the House laws.

And Otto von Habsburg has been known to be very sympathetic towards Archdukes who wanted to marry commoners, even those of non-European descent.

While the Margrave obviously did not think dynastically any longer when prince Johannes died - he could have accepted Rüediger, the male-line descendant but chose his sister's son instead, though both their lineage is questionable. That for me is hypocritical - who knows why the rest of the family agreed in 1997... The compensation contracts for the Wettins which brought all of them a bit of money came later, didn't it? So maybe it was the Margrave handling the purse strings which made all those childless princes (with Timo long dead) to agree.

AFAIK if Prince Alexander claims the title of Margrave and wants it to be recogniced as his name according to German law, he must prove that his inheritance is lawfully and according to family tradition. Otherwise he may call himself Margrave but it is questionable if he will be accorded the (purely courtesy style of HRH).
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  #149  
Old 07-28-2012, 12:36 PM
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You're right about that. But while Archduke Otto and Duke Franz changed the laws to allow the modern idea of equality of people to become part of the House laws, the Margrave simply amended the House laws so that they suited him personally.
It could be argued that Archduke Otto's decision to amend his house laws were fueled primarily because a change suited his immediate heir, Karl...apparently some of the extended Habsburg family, especially the Austria-Este branch, felt that Archduke Karl's union with Baroness Francesca Thyssen was not equal as she did not possess the required noble quarterings and was also canonically illegitimate. Perhaps the fact that the Francesca's father was a billionaire played into Archduke Otto's decision to recognize the marriage as dynastic? That sounds a lot more like Otto was being pragmatic as opposed to modern.


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Originally Posted by Kataryn View Post
IMHO (and I'm always talking of my personal opinion, nothing else) if a former reigning House wants to be accepted in modern times as something of relevance to society, the family should at least try to signal that there is a reason why they believe themselves still to be inhabiting the upper echelons of society.
The late Margrave never really attempted to have a public profile, though, did he? He seems to have been a very private person. It is not as if he was actually trying to justify that the Saxon Royal Family was relevant in modern German society during his time as Head of House.

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For me the Margrave has shown in his personal decisions that he is not worthy to be considered a "modern" Head of his House and far less a just one. He amended the rules for his personal gain, IMHO. Franz of Bavaria was in the same situation than the Margrave but made a different decision much more in sync with the tradition of his family and modern times. He accepted finally the marriage of prince Luitpold as equal instead of allowing female inheritance for his closer female relations, as the Margrave did.
Once again, the Margrave does not appear to have been the kind of person who was seeking to prove his modern outlook while he was making decisions regarding the succession of his House. Also, the Bavarians were not exactly short on males, be they dynasts or morganauts, so it is not as though Duke Franz was facing the possible extinction of his house in the male-line. Conversely, with the exception of Prince Timo's morganatic descendants, the Saxons will be extinct in the male-line once Prince Albert dies. It makes sense why the Margrave would want a nephew that he knew well (who had made an equal marriage) to be his heir and not a cousin that the Margrave probably never had any contact with at all.
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  #150  
Old 07-28-2012, 12:58 PM
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What I would add is if the Gessaphe-Saxony marriage was equal in the first place why was Alexander completely overlooked while the late Margrave’s youngest sister’s son, Prince Johannes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was to be heir, just because he was another Wettin? You can't just randomly pick and choose the heir. The marriage was either equal or it was not, if it was equal via semi salic succession the succession would have passed to the Gessaphe’s over Prince Johannes. Certain sources like Le Petit Gotha (2002), Les Maisons Impériales et Royales d'Europe (1966) say the Gessaphe-Saxony marriage did not meet the equality requirements of the Saxon house law and it is certainly of dubious equality.
Princess Maria Anna's marriage was retroactively recognized as equal. The death of Prince Johannes reopened the question of the succession. The Margrave decided that Alexander would become his heir and the rest of the royal family (Princes Albert, Dedo and Gero as well as the Margrave's sisters) agreed with that decision.

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If it’s supposed to be the case that the marriage was recognised as dynastic at a later date then why not do that instead to Prince Timo’s marriage and keep the Albertine-Wettin line extant, it’s sad that the Margrave preferred to oversee the extinction of the male line of this branch of the ancient House of Wettin, which could be the second branch of the Wettin’s go extinct after the end of monarchy following Saxe-Altenburg.
Because neither the Margrave nor the rest of his family (save Albert, who only came to know Rudiger personally after 1997) had any relationship at all with Timo's children. Why would the Margrave appoint a practical stranger, even if a blood relation, as his heir?

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Benjamin has highlighted Prince Ruediger's past problems and he surely has made mistakes in his past, but in a hereditary system a persons character should not determine suitability for the succession. AFAIK the restitution process with the State is complete so no one is going to gain financially from being the head of the house. Luckily Prince Albert seems more concerned than his brother was about saving the male line of the Albertine Wettin’s and personally I woukd like him to recognise Prince Ruediger and his sons and dynasts as I find it sad to see royal house's die out.
Prince Albert is reportedly in ill health. At this point in his life, I doubt he truly cares about this matter. It is his morganatic wife who is pulling the strings (see the Bild article where she, not her husband, proclaims that they are Margrave and Margravine of Meissen).
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  #151  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Benjamin View Post
It could be argued that Archduke Otto's decision to amend his house laws were fueled primarily because a change suited his immediate heir, Karl...apparently some of the extended Habsburg family, especially the Austria-Este branch, felt that Archduke Karl's union with Baroness Francesca Thyssen was not equal as she did not possess the required noble quarterings and was also canonically illegitimate. Perhaps the fact that the Francesca's father was a billionaire played into Archduke Otto's decision to recognize the marriage as dynastic? That sounds a lot more like Otto was being pragmatic as opposed to modern.
But already before the marriage of Karl and Francesa Baronesses where accepted as equal like for example Baroness Marie Helen de Villenfagne de Vogelsanck the wife of Otto's nephew Archduke Rudolf.
And since a few they accepted everywoman apparently she only has to be christian.
The Saxons apparently want at last a noble partner for a dynastic marriage.
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  #152  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:49 PM
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Princess Maria Anna's marriage was retroactively recognized as equal.
So it would have been possible as well to accept Prince Timo's first marriage as equal, this accepting Ruediger as a dynast. The Margrave could have done this if it had been important for him to follow tradition.
I absolutely understand that the Margrave wanted to choose his own personal heir from his closest relatives. But to change the House Laws in one case and not in the other in order to change the Headship of the House is IMHO hypocritical. House politics have asked for the heir to be of an equal marriage. Neither Timo's nor Maria Anna's marrigae was equal in traditional terms. So neither child should have inherited the position of the Head of the House or the member of the family who was closer considering the dynastical tradition (male before female).


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Because neither the Margrave nor the rest of his family (save Albert, who only came to know Rudiger personally after 1997) had any relationship at all with Timo's children. Why would the Margrave appoint a practical stranger, even if a blood relation, as his heir?
Why did they not seek out the children and offer a hand in the raising of them? AFAIK Timo left the children with their paternal grandparents when their mother died with Ruediger aged 5 and Iris aged 2. If the Margrave had taken an interest in the children and made it possible for them to be raised properly, maybe Ruediger would not have had so many difficulties in life.
So he was never acknowledged and never got help - for me this was cruelty on the part of his paternal family.

And it's not about appointing an heir but accepting a potential heir and to take active interest in that son who did not chose to be born.

I personally like how Ruediger has redeemed himself and how hard he works now in order to restore part of the former Wettin-lands which he has leased from the State. He employs people in a place where jobs are rare and so he helps to make sure that at least some young Saxonians can stay in their country and don't have to move to other federal States of the FRG.

Quote:
Prince Albert is reportedly in ill health. At this point in his life, I doubt he truly cares about this matter. It is his morganatic wife who is pulling the strings (see the Bild article where she, not her husband, proclaims that they are Margrave and Margravine of Meissen).
Does it matter for prince Alexande ror anybody if Albert wants to take a place that is rightfully his due to his birth and circumstances? IMHO out of sheer respect for Prince Albert, his own uncle, Prince Alexander could have waited to claim the title. Call me a rascist, if you want to but the way Alexander immediately after claiming the Headship of the Royal House of Saxony bad-mouthed the Saxonians has a nouveau.-riche if not levante touch to it. IMHO, of course.
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  #153  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:50 PM
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Can someone explain the background of Saxony? I know the term Saxon in connection with William the Conqueror but I'm not sure how it ties in with the Royal House of Saxony, if it does at all?
William the Conqueror was Norman (from Normandy); the term 'Saxon' refers to the northern German tribes, some of whom around and after the 5th century migrated to Britain. They mingled with the Angles and merged into the people we call Anglo-Saxons. Four hundred years later the Anglo-Saxon King of Wessex, who we know as Alfred the Great, became the first King of all England. Queen Elizabeth II is his direct descendant.

Saxony is an area of Germany which was once a rich and powerful state within the Holy Roman Empire. When that Empire was dissolved by Napoleon, Saxony became a Kingdom. When the Germanic States were unified into what we know as 'Germany' in 1871, Saxony retained it's status as a kingdom (subject to Prussia) and remained as such until the collapse of Imperial Germany in 1918. Although they ceased to reign or rule the Royal Family of Saxony kept their private properties and other assets until 1945 when most were lost to the Soviets (Saxony had the misfortune to fall under Soviet occupation at the end of World War II and was incorporated into communist-ruled East Germany).

Athough it may have no importance or relevance to the average German citizen today, the Royal House of Saxony remains of interest to those with an interest in royalty and royal history. Thus the family has its own thread in this forum. With the death of the Margrave this week, the subject of who should succeed him as Head of the Royal House is currently the subject of vigorous discussion and debate.
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  #154  
Old 07-28-2012, 02:16 PM
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I just looked up the aforementioned article by the German tabloid Bild:
Sachsens Thronfolger: Dieses geheime Papier regelt die Wettiner-Nachfolge - Chemnitz - Bild.de

They quote as expert they asked about the judical consequences of the signing of the contract a "Prince of Saxe-Gessaphe" - surely the brother of Prince Alexander? Some proof!

And the document says that despite bearing the signatures of the members of the family their individual "rights according to the laws of the Federal Republic" - "bürgerliche Rechte" still stand and are not renounced. Thus, as last surviving male-line heir of his late father, Prince Albert of course can claim to be acknowledged as his father's heir after his brother died childless. Which, according to the article, he does pointing at his father's testament. Because I doubt that the Head of the House can adapt the line of succession if he wants - there were so many kings who despised their eldest son but still these became kings after their father's death. Prince Albert did not renounce his inheritance rights, he only signed that at that gioven moment he agreed to his brother's choice of heir.

Bit if he later got doubts about Prince Alexander, met Ruediger and thought Ruediger more fitting? Than the document can't bind him legally IMHO. Even if a Prof.Dr. iur Prince of Saxe-Gessaphe claims it. The document was signed under reserve of those rights deriving from the laws of Germany, you can read it on the facsimile of the contract.
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  #155  
Old 07-28-2012, 03:20 PM
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Thank you for the link, Kataryn. It just goes to prove that *every single member* of the Saxon Royal House, even the morganatic spouses of Princes Albert, Ernst Heinrich and Timo, gave their approval to the naming of Prince Alexander of Saxony as the direct heir of his uncle, the late Prince Maria Emanuel. Therefore, in my opinion, Alexander automatically became the new Margrave of Meissen and Head of the Royal House upon the death of Maria Emanuel earlier this week.
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  #156  
Old 07-28-2012, 11:24 PM
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Doesn't Alexander still have to wait for Prince Albert to die in order to be Margrave? The 1997 compact only say that Alexander will succeeded when the male legitimate/equal line dies out.
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  #157  
Old 07-29-2012, 12:08 AM
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Royal Musings: And who is the new Margrave of Meissen

Eurohistory: Royal Saxon Succesion Dispute – The Proof is in the Ink
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  #158  
Old 07-29-2012, 01:22 AM
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Many talk about the document but what did the document actually say and is there an English translation of it.
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  #159  
Old 07-29-2012, 01:38 AM
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...I doubt that the Head of the House can adapt the line of succession if he wants...
I think you'll find that German law won't get involved in such matters. So long as estate inheritances are distributed according to the law, the internal matter of who shall become 'Head of the House' and receive the family patrimony is guaranteed by a valid will or testament and to some extent family tradition, and that's the end of it. This principle was established in two similar cases - Leiningen and Hohenzollern.

Emich, the 7th Prince of Leiningen removed his eldest son, Prince Karl Emich, as Hereditary Prince due to his 'unequal' marriage and more or less wrote him out of his will (and/or the Leiningen Family Trusts). Karl Emich challenged this action in court and lost; the court upheld the right of the Fürst to determine how the family patrimony could be distributed or passed on and in due course the second son, Andreas, succeeded to the Headship of the House as the 8th Prince of Leiningen and inherited the bulk of the (very considerable) family assets.

I've got more detailed information on both cases but I haven't fully indexed the publications they appear in and rather than wade through my folders I'll refer instead to these [reliable] web sources:

https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/alt.talk.royalty/xtJ_lG5Ricw
quote:
"The court was Germany's Federal constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), and the court's own press release is at: http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht..../bvg24-00.html

The exact nature of the decision was to refuse to hear the appeal put forth by Prince Karl Emich against the decision of the Bavarian High Court in 1996. His appeal was based on the freedom to marry protected by the German constitution.

The constitutional court motivated its refusal by agreeing with the Bavarian High Court, and siding with the freedom to dispose of one's possessions by testament, also protected by the constitution."

The Leiningen decision came soon after the Hohenzollern decision.

The Hohenzollern case concerned a similar principle, namely that Prince Louis Ferdinand was entitled to pass the bulk of the Hohenzollern patrimony and succession to Prince George Friedrich, the son of Louis Ferdinand's 3rd son. Prince Louis Ferdinand's two eldest sons, Princes Friedrich Wilhelm and Michael, who had previously made 'unequal' marriages, were thereby passed over. They challenged Georg Friedrich in court, and lost.

Full details link: The Hohenzollern succession and the Federal Court of Justice ruling of 1998

Putting the financial battle to one side, the Court, at least in these two cases, would not involve itself in a determination of who should bear the title or honour or style of 'Head of the House' but left it to the will or testament or previous valid arrangements of the former Head or Heads.

I'm not an expert in German law by any means but these two cases were reported in some detail in specialist royal publications at the time and while my summary may not be 100% correct I believe the gist of it is. Thus the Margrave can "pass on' the House Headship to Alexander, his legally adopted son, and whether it be right or wrong, moral or immoral, ethical or unethical etc etc, has no particular relevance. The worst that can happen is that some folks will recognise Alexander's newfound status, some won't, and the vast majority won't be aware or care.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:38 AM
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Thank you for the link, Kataryn. It just goes to prove that *every single member* of the Saxon Royal House, even the morganatic spouses of Princes Albert, Ernst Heinrich and Timo, gave their approval to the naming of Prince Alexander of Saxony as the direct heir of his uncle, the late Prince Maria Emanuel.
I only wonder why Erina as the morganatic widow of Prince Timo is allowed to use the HRH when Prince Ruediger, son from an exactly similar marriage, is not...

But Warren in his post above is right: it doesn't matter one bit if it is just or not or what one personally think. It only goes to show again that there is s clear difference between nobility of birth and nobility of character.
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