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  #1  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:23 PM
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Royal and Noble Families: Dynastic Laws and Marriage Rules

I did some study on the mistress of the Duke of Kent who was Queen Victoria's father. This mistress, with whom he lived for 23 to 27 years (reports on her are various, including her name) had a mother from the House of Colonna, which I found wonderful and fascinating--she had an ancient descent! This mistress's records were either kept secret or falsified in later years, and those of her children with the Duke of Kent are even more mysterious. She and the Duke are reported to have had anywhere from zero to seven illegitimate children. But reports I read (some time ago) said that at least one of them was Robert Woods, who was given into the care of the Duke's employee from Kent, Robert Woods. Robert Woods is recorded in Mormon records as having married Charlotte Grey, daughter of Earl Grey (they were not Mormons but the Mormons keep great genealogy records of everyone whose name they can find). I researched these people because I have a Woods ancestor in Kent--I believe that the Robert Wood I found was a generation off from the supposed ancestor of the Duke of Kent and "Madame," so I quit trying to find more information on these people.
However, the descent of "Madame" from the House of Colonna interested me much more than the descent of the Duke of Kent. How exciting to be a Colonna, of the House which produced popes, poets, and politicians for many centuries?
If you look online or in books you will find that information on the Duke's mistress is SO varied that nothing may be assumed to be true de facto. Her "real name" was probably Therese de Montgenet, from France, but she was often called by a false name of Madame de St. Laurent, or Julie de St. Laurent.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:00 PM
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If Edward and Julie ever did have children why would he have hidden them? His brothers certainly made no attempt to hide their illegitimate children and many of them went on to have successful careers in the UK and marry into aristocratic families. Also why would Julie not have included them in her will instead of leaving her estate to surviving siblings? She appears not to have had any children from her previous lovers either so it is quite possible she was unable to have children.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Marc23 View Post
What is most interesting is that the family of Princess Michael of Kent,the Reibnitz family is older then the Spencer family.
Common ancestor of the House of Reibnitz was Ritter Henricus de Rybnicz,first mentioned in 1288...
true enough.. but i think it should be noted that the Spencer is said to have been descendants of the French House of Tancarville which has been around since 927..

.. also,

the House of Medinaceli is founded by Bernal de Foix who was created Count of Medinaceli. He was a descendant of the House of Foix which has been aroun since 1010.. Bernal de Foix married Isabel de la Cerda a legitimate great-great grand daughter of King Alfonso X of Castile. The House de la Cerda is the senoir most male line descendant of King Alfonso X of Castile but was usurped by King Sancho IV of Castile..

the House of Spencer is said to have been descendants of the French House of Tancerville who had been Chamberlains of Normandy since the 920..

the House of Tagle is said to have been descended from the visigothic knight Sancho Velarde who fought during the Age of Reconquista in the side of King Pelayo of Asturias in 710..

the House of Alba is descended from the House of Burgundy founded in 982 through the line of Maria Enriquez, daughter of Fadrique Enríquez, Count of Melba and Rueda, who himself is the great great grandson of Fadrique Alfonso, Lord of Haro, son of Alfonso XI of Castile..

and there are many more.. ^_^
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sangre_Real016 View Post
true enough.. but i think it should be noted that the Spencer is said to have been descendants of the French House of Tancarville which has been around since 927..
Is said is not the same as registered...Many Houses claim or are said to be descendants of the Christ,Caesar and so on

We were talking about when they were first mentioned in a document or registered...The House of Spencer claim that they are cadet branch of the French House Le Despencer,whose first Baron was created in 1295,but that is still not proven...

As there are still no proofs for this connection according to genealogy sites the first proven ancestor of the Spencer family is Thomas Spencer 1365-1435...

Many other genealogy sites list his son Henry as the first one...

The point of my reply was that many Houses you mentioned on your list are in fact older then you listed them as such...

Anyway,I mentioned some and you later added some noble ones also,so we agree :)
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:37 AM
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yeah.. ^_^

its is true though that the lineage of the House of Spencer is very much contested by some historian.. also, from what i know, the earliest known actual Spencer, not Despencer was William Spencer of Defford in 1333.. here is the link..

http://www.althorp.com/downloads/familytree.pdf

anyways, i remember that the major criteria for one noble family to be considered as an Uradel or Immemorial Nobility is that the family must be known before 1350 or 1400..

it was also said that Uradel families lend to look down on the Briefadels or "Letter Nobility" as parvenus even if the family has been noble for centuries..
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:24 PM
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Again, it shows that House von Reibnitz is older then House of Spencer Their certain family tree begins with Konrad von Rybnicz,who was born in 1270,whose son Konrad jr. held the possession of Kaubitz and whose one grandson held the possession of Falkenberg and the other grandson possession of Wederau...

You are right about Uradel and Briefadel,just in some sources they don't say that the require is that family is just mentioned,but the fact that is required that the family is titled before 1400,somewhere even 1350...

Many people mix the terms Uradel and Hochadel...While Hochadel is always Uradel,Uradel is not always Hochadel(families that held sovereign territory under Holy Roman Empire)...

Some Princely families belong to Uradel families,but they were not considered Hochadel because they did not hold sovereign rights....Such families are the families of Prince von Blücher(1214),Prince von Schoenaich-Carolath-Beuthen(1324),Prince von Hatzfeld(1138),Prince von Bismarck(1270)...

While,some families held only the title of Count but were among Hochadel families such as von Harrach-Rohrau-Thannhausen,Wurmbrand-Stuppach,Kuefstein...while some Princely families could not get there
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:04 AM
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i guess, the class standing of the Uradel still stands nowadays.. i remember that Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia's 2 oldest sons were disinherited by their father for marrying commoners.. his 3rd son, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia married Countess Donata of Castell-Rüdenhausen, a member of a mediatised noble family, which makes their union dynastic and their son Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia now stands as the head of the House of Hohenzollern.. interestingly, Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia's 4th son, Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia is next in line after his nephew despite him marrying Countess Nina of Reventlow, a member of Danish noble House of Raventlow.. the House of Raventlow has been around since 1223 and has provided Denmark one of its queens, Anne Sophie Reventlow, Queen of Denmark and Norway.. it seems that the ancient standing of the House of Raventlow, despite not being one of the Hochadel families is good enough to be considered as an dynastic equal for the House of Hohenzollern since Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia, as well as his sons remain in the line of succession, something noteworthy seeing the House of Hohenzollern strictly follows the House Law of dynastic union..

sadly, same cannot be said with the House of Romanov who's some members still views that most ancient and once sovereign House of Bagrationi as not their equal and claims that the union of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia and Princess Leonida Bagration of Mukhrani is not dynastic despite this claims being a clear violation of the Treaty of Georgievsk which ensured the royal status of the House of Bagrationi..

imho, newer families, even if themselves are sovereign should be honored to contact any form of union with an Uradel noble house..
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:08 AM
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I love your example...But,that is a decision of the Hohenzollern Head of the family...Even before Nina,Emperor Wilhelm II decided that a marriage of his son Oscar with Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz-Levetzow-Rupin would also be treated as equal...

Not to mention decision to treat his wife Augusta Viktoria as equal.There were problems with her paternal grandmother who was described as "a mere Danish Countess" despite the fact that she was an offspring of the illegitimate line of the ruling House of Oldenburg(Dannenskiold-Samsoe),while her mother's Hohenlohe-Langenburg family was considered as "good enough"...

Of course,there were some double standards at the time because Wilhelm's sister Viktoria was forbidden to marry Prince Alexander von Battenberg,ruling Prince o Bulgaria just because his mother Julia was a mere Countess von Haucke,former lady in waiting of the Russian Empress...

Unlike the strict German Court Queen Victoria didn't mind that and married her youngest daughter Beatrice to Julia's youngest son Heinrich(known as Henry in Britain),while her granddaughter Victoria married her other son Ludwig,known as Prince Louis of Battenberg in Britain or Marquess of Milford Haven afer 1917...

But lets get back to Nina and Ina-Marie...If you compare ancestors of both Countesses you will notice that they are very similar...

Countess Nina is legitimate line descendant of the several Kurfürsten von Brandenburg,several Dukes of Prussia,several Kurfürsten of Saxony,descendant of several Holy Roman Emeprors,William the Rich of Nassau and his wife Juliane von Stolberg-Wernigerode and several other equal families such as Hessen-Darmstadt,Anhalt-Zerbst,Mecklenburg,Lippe,Schwarzburg,Salm,Solms,Erbach,Barby,Mansfeld,Waldeck and so on...

If you look at Ina-Marie's ancestry,she has descended also from of all those grand families,but unlike Nina she is descendant though an illegitimate line...She is descendant of Duke August von Braunschweig-Lüneburg(1568-1636) and his lover Ilse Schmiedichen,Frau von Lüneburg(1582-1650)...Other old families,apart from those equal ones,she has descended from are von der Schulenburg,Bülow,Rantzau,Moltke,Maltzahn...

Ina-Marie's family also traced it's ancestry up to 13th century(1254) when Bernhardus de Bassewicze was first mentioned. So,if Ina-Marie was recognized as equal,there isn't any reason why Nina would not be recognized as such at the time of her marriage,some 64 years after Ina...
.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:30 AM
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thanks..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc23 View Post
Unlike the strict German Court Queen Victoria didn't mind that and married her youngest daughter Beatrice to Julia's youngest son Heinrich(known as Henry in Britain),while her granddaughter Victoria married her other son Ludwig,known as Prince Louis of Battenberg in Britain or Marquess of Milford Haven afer 1917...
yeah.. i think the British court is never really strict in following the rule of equal marriage.. also, if you remember, Queen Victoria's fourth daughter, Princess Louise was allowed by her mother to marry John Campbell, Marquess of Lorne, and future 9th Duke of Argyll.. i believe that Louise's brother, the future Edward VII, was strongly opposed to a marriage with a non-mediatized noble and should consider the union as unequal.. Queen Victoria approved of the marriage as she views that that princes of small impoverished German houses were "very unpopular" in Britain and that Lord Lorne, a "person of distinction at home" with "an independent fortune" was "really no lower in rank than minor German Royalty" seeing as the House of Campbell is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful noble house in Scotland and has been around since 1260..

I believe i have read somewhere that the Queen Mother didn't want the then Princess Elizabeth to marry Philip Mountbatten aka Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark and wished that her daughter instead marry a British Peer.. I believe, John Spencer, Viscount Althorp was one of the considered candidates..

also, there was Albert I, Prince of Monaco who married Lady Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton.. it was said that Albert's grandmother Caroline Gibert de Lametz tried to make a match between Albert and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the first cousin of Queen Victoria, and sought the help of Napoléon III (Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte) and his wife, Empress Eugénie but he Emperor convinced Caroline that Queen Victoria would never allow a relative of hers to marry into a family who were making a living out of gambling and instead suggested his third cousin, Lady Mary Hamilton.. the House of Hamilton may not have been royalty, but they are the premier ducal house of Scotland, with an ancient lineage as they've been around since 1245 and rich enough for a marriage with any royal house in Europe, not to mention that she is the granddaughter of the Grand Duke of Baden..
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc23 View Post
I love your example...But,that is a decision of the Hohenzollern Head of the family...Even before Nina,Emperor Wilhelm II decided that a marriage of his son Oscar with Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz-Levetzow-Rupin would also be treated as equal...

...
Yes but he didnt consider the marriage euqal until after the fall of the German Empire when he became a lot less tense about some things.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by fearghas View Post
Yes but he didnt consider the marriage euqal until after the fall of the German Empire when he became a lot less tense about some things.
Of course,but we did compare her case to the case of Countess Nina zu Reventlow who only lately married into the family...

The point was-if Ina-Marie was recognized as equal by the Kaiser in 1920,why Nina would not be recognized as such by the Head of the family 64 years after...

The same could be said for the marriage between Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and Countess Antoinette Hoyos zu Stichsenstein in 1944...it was also treated as equal!

Obviously,due to many circumstances the family had to lower the standard of equality a little bit...
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sangre_Real016 View Post
the House of Hamilton may not have been royalty, but they are the premier ducal house of Scotland, with an ancient lineage as they've been around since 1245 and rich enough for a marriage with any royal house in Europe, not to mention that she is the granddaughter of the Grand Duke of Baden..
Well,that's true,but there are many,many Houses like that who were treated as of lower birth...many other older families such as Orsini,Doria and so on...

Almost every ruling family followed Germanic Almanach de Gotha system for equality...

Here is what Prince Nikolai Romanov wrote about it:

"Russia, with its very Germanic notion of dynastic propriety, found itself accepting all the Almanach de Gotha rulings.
And so if some unfortunate Russian Grand Duke wanted to marry a Princess Obolensky, descendant of the Grand Dukes of Kiev, who reigned in Russia, at the time his Romanov ancestors were probably still lurking in the woods, draped in pelts or wading through the marshes of East Prussia or Pomerania, he would have had to change his plans.

That marriage would have been impossible, but an Austrian lady, say a daughter of an Illustrious Highness, Count von Harrach zu Rohrau und Thannhausen, lord of the county of Rohrau, Freiherr zu Prugg und Pürrhenstein, lord of Starkenbach, Jilenice, Sadowa & Storckow, would have been acceptable!"

It was simply the system at that time...
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:14 AM
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couldn't agree more.. they forgot the the House of Orsini has produced many sovereign consorts such as Duchess Consorts of Modena and Parma.. and at-least, the House of Savoy allowed the marriage of Princess Leopoldina of Savoy to Prince Andrea IV Doria-Pamphilj-Landi.. in medieval France, Catherine de Medici's descent from the ancient House of La Tour d'Auvergne was what made her acceptable as a bride for Henry II of France..

i think the Almanach de Gotha had very strong influence in the idea of dynastic marriage in continental Europe.. what they did is they elevate the status of some parvenu mediatised families and deemed ancient noble families to be of lower birth.. so in essence, back then, a king from the parvenu House of Bernadotte is far to high of a standing for some lady born let say from the ancient House of La Rochefoucauld or the practically unknown yet ancient House of Tagle.. to think that these people have governed lands and draped in silk and gold when the Bernadotte's are still farming crops or something.. to think that the Almanach do Gotha has excluded were members of such historically notable families as the Rohans, Orsinis, Czartoryskis, Galitzines, Dorias, La Rochefoucaulds, Kinskys, Radziwills, Merodes, Colonnas, Dohnas and Albas..
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sangre_Real016 View Post

the House of Savoy allowed the marriage of Princess Leopoldina of Savoy to Prince Andrea IV Doria-Pamphilj-Landi..
True,and allowed her brother Eugenio to marry Elizabeth Anne Magon de Boisgarin,her sister Caterina to marry Prince Colonna,their nephew Giuseppe to marry Pauline de Quelen de Vauguyon and their daughter Gabriella to marry Vittorio Massimo,Prince di Arsoli...

But,let's not forget that all these marriages apart from the last one happened while they were collateral branch of the main Savoy family which ruled Sardinia until 1824...

And IMO even after Carignano line came to the throne Savoy family 3 years later allowed Gabriella to marry Prince di Arsoli simply because she was too from collateral Savoy-Carignano-Villafranca line...so,again,bot the main branch!

It is reversibly similar to the case marriage between King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and Countess Auguste von Harrach zu Rohrau und Thannahusen:

Despite being from an old and mediatized family,she was not considered equal because she didn't belong to the main branch of the family who earned that "equalness" after that mediatization...
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:35 AM
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NGalitzine,in answer to your question why the Duke of Kent (l8th-19th century) hid his children born to his mistress, while his brothers did not hide theirs. Some records state that Queen Victoria, who was the Duke of Kent's last (and legitimate) child, destroyed records of her father's children. I have no idea if this is true, as most things published about the Duke and his Julie are in conflict. They traveled widely during the time he was an army officer, and the children are said by one source to have been born in Canada, in South America, and on a ship at sea. Presumably if these children exist, he did not find his army situation conducive to raising a family, and perhaps did not even want a family. Julie/Therese was Catholic, like the mistresses of his brothers, and therefore he could not marry her, but when they retired to a modest home in Belgium, one source says he intended then to marry her; but he was called to save the Hannover line by marrying a German princess and moving back to England. Whether there are actually children is unknown, but the story of Robert Woods, at least, sounds plausible. If Robert Woods existed he is said to have had many children with Charlotte Grey, daughter of Earl Grey, and therefore there could be many descendants of his line. Not me, though, as my Robert Woods of Kent was born in a different generation. What interested me about Julie/Therese in re this thread is that her mother was a Colonna, one of the old noble families listed here. Most sources said she already had a child before she moved in with the Duke, and that the daughter lived with them in Canada.
I had a very brief correspondence with my Woods cousins in Kent when I was a college freshman, but my Woods cousin did not like my picture because, like most girls of that time, I was wearing lipstick. They were very uptight, I gather. My grandfather met the whole family when he went back to Kent where he was born in Cooling.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mariel View Post
Julie/Therese was Catholic, like the mistresses of his brothers, and therefore he could not marry her
Being Catholic was not just an issue...

George IV in fact secretly married Maria Fitzherbert,paternal granddaughter of Sir John Smythe,3rd Baronet of Acton Burnell,whose family owned Acton Burnell Castle and Acton Burnell Hall,while her maternal uncle was Charles William,Earl of Sefton who owned Croxteth Hall...

His brother William IV did not marry,but had a longstanding affair with Dorothea Jordan,granddaughter of Nathaneal Bland,Vicar General of Ardfert and Aghada...

So,like Julie,they were not without some connections,but in royal world they were "nobodies" at that time,that's why it was impossible for Princes to contract a marriage without great deal of consequences...

As they were not equal...no matter how noble they might have been and how old their families were...
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:33 AM
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As they were not equal...no matter how noble they might have been and how old their families were...
true.. and all thanks to the Almanach de Gotha who changed the view on many and crated a perception that a member of a mediatised German house who rules an insignificant minute state is far above a scion of even the oldest and noblest houses which never really ruled a state.. to think that during the ancient regime, antiquity of nobility and not royal quarterings was the true measure of rank.. that is why, noble heiresses of great vassal houses were the chosen individuals to serve as consorts such as Eleonor, Duchess of Aquitaine..
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:03 AM
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So,like Julie,they were not without some connections,but in royal world they were "nobodies" at that time,that's why it was impossible for Princes to contract a marriage without great deal of consequences...
but don't you think, a Colonna are still a bit too grand to compare to a Molyneux.. i mean, the Colonnas were one of the most powerful papal families and even produced a couple of popes.. Vittoria Colonna could have been the Duchess of Braganza or Duchess of Savoy, but she chose to be the wife of a noble soldier that a consort.. but i do mostly agree with you..
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:46 PM
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I see your point,of course

But,in reigning royal terms at that time being even a Colonna might not help...not to forget that they are a family of Jewish origin,which was at that time also unacceptable...

A Radziwill Princess was also unacceptable for the future Emperor Wilhelm I,who was not an heir at that time...The Mecklenburg-Strelitz cousins were the most loud against her...no matter how old her family was and that they were Raichfuersten...But they discovered that they have bough the title from an Emperor in 16th or 17th century and did not want to hear about it anymore!
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:02 AM
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yes, i have read that before.. to think that the House of Radziwill were among the richest princely families in Europe and i think Princess Elisa was Wilhelm's one true love.. i also remember Emperor Franz Joseph's granddaughter Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria, as she was asked to renounce her rights to the throne by marrying Prince Otto Weriand of Windisch-Grätz.. thing is, despite his status as a member of a mediatised house, the Habsburgs still views him as not their equal.. also, i'm can't recall where but i believe that i have read somewhere that Archduke Charles of Austria, future Emperor Charles I wanted to marry a certain princess of Hohenlohe but he was ordered to marry someone of royal blood so he then married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma.. also, i can't recall if Princess Princess Irina Alexandrovna of Russia was asked to renounce her rights to succession after her marriage to Prince Felix Yusupov..
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