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akbarsprincess 07-04-2010 06:36 PM

Prince Philip's former Greek Citizenship and Greek and Danish Titles
 
Why did Prince Philip have to relinquish his Greek Citizenship and title of Prince?

Why did he have to do this before being allowed to marry the Queen. Many royal alliances were formed through marriages of different reigning houses and they were not required to relinquish any existing title first. When the Battenberg prince Hnery married Victoria's daughter Beatrice, she became Princess Henry of Battenberg. He wasn't required to relinquish his title until later when all royals with German titles were forced to give them up due to anti German sentinment during the war.

Thena 07-04-2010 10:05 PM

When Prince Henry and Princess Beatrice married, it was a totally different political climate. After two world wars, there was a strong sentiment that the heir to the throne should marry a British citizen. No one really wanted to form an alliance with a foreign house so soon after WWII.

I'm sure relinquishing his title wasn't a requirement, but Philip chose to do it and change his name to Mountbatten in order to make himself more acceptable to the British people.

Iluvbertie 07-05-2010 02:17 AM

He didn't have to but was advised to do so to identify with his British relatives more in the public consciousness - e.g. Lord Mountbatten had been Supreme Commander South East Asia command during WWII and thus the name was a highly respected one immediately after the war. It would also lessen the connections to his sisters who were married to German officers.

As it turned out the British courts ruled, in the early 1950s, that as he was a descendent of the Electress Sophia he was a British citizen from birth anyway (interestingly that means that the Kaiser was a British citizen during WWI). It wasn't Philip that launched that challenge but I can't quite remember who it was.

akbarsprincess 07-05-2010 06:01 AM

Yes that seems more accurate.

As regarding descent from the Electress Sophia, that's a long way back to claim British citizenship. Must be differnet rules for royals. I know you can claim citizenship in the UK if you have a British Grandparent but don't think you can claim it with a relative further back than this.

I get quite irritated when people keep refering to the current royal family as German. When you look at it, there isn't much German blood there now. The last direct ancester of the Queen who was German was Albert and of course Victorias mother was German also. I'm not counting Queen Mary, formally of Teck, as I believe she was born and raised in England and was always viewed as a British Princess. Princess Michael of Kent nee Christien Von Reibnitz was formally a German Baroness so their children would be half German. There's a lot of Scottish blood there through the late Queen Mother and of course Phillip is Greek/Danish by birth.

Iluvbertie 07-05-2010 07:17 AM

The Sophia Naturalization Act meant that all her protestant descendents were British citizens from birth. It is no longer the case as the court case revealed a situation that people had forgotten about and the law was amended but certainly all her descendents born before the court case in the 1950s were British citizens simply by virtue of descent from her and thus Philip was born a British citizen. The fact that his mother (Princess Andrew of Greece), grandmother (1st Marchioness of Milford Haven), great-grandmother (Princess Alice of the UK), great-great-grandmother (Queen Victoria), great-great-great-grandfather (Duke of Kent) and great-great-great-great grandfather (George III) had all been born in Britain and in places like mother and grandmother at Windsor Castle should have counted for something.

A search revealed that it was Ernst of Hanover (father of the present Ernst) who initiated the litigation and won the case. Sophia Naturalization Act 1705 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of my favourite Philip anecdotes relate to shortly after the Queen's Accession they were down at Windsor and one of the courtiers said to Philip 'Sir I am sure you will like living here as it is a real castle' and Philip's reply 'I know my mother was born here!'

auntie 07-05-2010 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by akbarsprincess (Post 1106751)
Why did he have to do this before being allowed to marry the Queen. Many royal alliances were formed through marriages of different reigning houses and they were not required to relinquish any existing title first. When the Battenberg prince Hnery married Victoria's daughter Beatrice, she became Princess Henry of Battenberg. He wasn't required to relinquish his title until later when all royals with German titles were forced to give them up due to anti German sentinment during the war.

I don't know what the hu ha is?! the Danish princesses all had to give up their citizenships and relegions to marry their princes...I'm sure that would be the case if any other crown princes marry foriegn girls.

He wasn't marying just any princess of the realm, he was marrying THE princess of the realm, the soon to be Queen

fandesacs2003 07-05-2010 08:30 AM

Correct! Prince Philip of Greece had very strong and close rights to the Greek throne! It was non compatible to keep these rights and marry the future Queen of the British Emprire.
Centuries ago, when this kind of marriage took place, it was followed by annexations of territories and strategic alliances! In order to avoid these scenarios the only way for Prince Philip of Greece and Danemark was to renounce to ALL.

Iluvbertie 07-05-2010 09:03 AM

However in early generations that hadn't happened e.g. the Princess Royal didn't renounce her claims to the British throne when she married the Crown Prince of Prussia (and her descendents are still in the line of succession). She was 5th in line at the time of her marriage.

Had the ages been somewhat different e.g. both born 10 years earlier or later than they were I wonder if it would have been necessary at all.

By the way - can you provide a link that proves that Philip actually renounced his claims to the Greek and/Danish thrones such as a letter, the legislation passed in either country etc. I ask this because I have seen a publication dated to the early 1950s that has both Philip and Charles listed in the line of succession to the Danish throne based on their descent from George I of the Hellenes. My mother was working at the British High Commission (non-Commonwealth countries have Embassies while Commonwealth countries have High Commissions) in the early 1950s and it was a document that was put out about Philip for the information of the employees. Unfortunately, it and all the rest of the memories Mum had from her time in Canberra were lost in one of two fires we had at home in the 1970s but that is another story.

Lumutqueen 07-05-2010 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iluvbertie (Post 1106951)
By the way - can you provide a link that proves that Philip actually renounced his claims to the Greek and/Danish thrones such as a letter, the legislation passed in either country etc.

From what I know Lord Mountbatten asked Philip to renounce his Greek and Danish royal titles, as well as his allegiance to the Greek crown, convert from Greek Orthodoxy to the Church of England, and become a naturalised British subject. He could claim naturalisation because he was a descendant of Electress Sophia. I don't have any proof that he actually did this, but he doesn't look like he is in line to the Danish Throne at least.
I know the Danish Succesion is limited to the those descended from King Christian X and checking the line of Succesion it only list's 9 people.

Thena 07-05-2010 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iluvbertie (Post 1106908)
One of my favourite Philip anecdotes relate to shortly after the Queen's Accession they were down at Windsor and one of the courtiers said to Philip 'Sir I am sure you will like living here as it is a real castle' and Philip's reply 'I know my mother was born here!'

There was a variation on this anecdote in Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage. Somewhere around his engagement to Elizabeth, Philip visited the royal family at Windsor. A courtier greeted him and started giving him the whole history of the castle. Philip cut him off by saying, "Yes, I know. My mother was born here!" So was his grandmother, for that matter. But that epitomized how the courtiers thought of him as a foreigner. Even the Queen Mother referred to him as "The Hun" in the early days. The book was excellent, by the way. I never realized that Philip had his own issues getting along with Elizabeth's mother and how that influence his relationship with Charles, who adored his grandmother.

On a similar note, I seem to recall that when Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark married King Constantine II of Greece, she was required to renounce her place in line of succession to the Danish throne.

Iluvbertie 07-05-2010 05:22 PM

He lost his place in line to the Danish throne after the 1953 referendum that allowed women to inherit the throne. That referendum also restricted the line to the descendents of Christian X and he, like Elizabeth, is a descendent of Christian IX. Until the 1953 referendum he was listed, along with Charles, as being in line in a document that my mother had from the early 1950s which would suggest that he never renounced his claim, or if he did that the Danish government didn't accept that renounciation and pass the necessary legislation. The Greek government seems to have been the same, no legislation passed to accept any renounciation.

When he became a British citizen he, like everyone else, wasn't aware that he was a British citizen from birth due to his descent from Sophia because the court case that established that fact didn't take place until after the Queen's accession.

branchg 07-05-2010 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by akbarsprincess (Post 1106892)
I get quite irritated when people keep refering to the current royal family as German. When you look at it, there isn't much German blood there now. The last direct ancester of the Queen who was German was Albert and of course Victorias mother was German also. I'm not counting Queen Mary, formally of Teck, as I believe she was born and raised in England and was always viewed as a British Princess.

The Queen is half-Scottish through her mother, but her royal blood is almost exclusively German. The Hanovers married mostly German princes and princesses until Edward, Prince of Wales, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark. She too had a lot of German blood as a Schleswig-Holstein on her father's side.

Queen Mary was the daughter of a morganatic Wuttermberg prince and the grandaughter of George III, so she was thoroughly German. Her children married British/Scottish aristocrats, with the exception of Prince George, who married Princess Marina of Greece.

Philip is mainly German/Danish, with some Russian thrown in (the Romanovs are bascially German as well).

Once William has children and becomes King, the royal family will become much more British and Scottish in blood.

Vasillisos Markos 07-05-2010 11:14 PM

Is it true that one can claim British citizenship if one's grandparent was born there? If so, both Prince Phillip and I can make such a claim. Wasn't his grandmother and mother even born in the same bed at Windsor Castle?

wbenson 07-05-2010 11:23 PM

I believe that now it has to come from a parent, and that in the 1940s, it could only come from the father. His mother had British citizenship by being born in the UK, but she couldn't pass that on to a child (although technically, as noted above, all of her children were British citizens automatically).

MAfan 07-06-2010 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by branchg (Post 1107278)
The Queen is half-Scottish through her mother, but her royal blood is almost exclusively German. The Hanovers married mostly German princes and princesses until Edward, Prince of Wales, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark. She too had a lot of German blood as a Schleswig-Holstein on her father's side.

And Queen Alexandra was daughter of a German Princess of Hesse and of a German Prince of Schleswig Holstein, who later became King of Denmark; so, she had mainly German blood as well.

akbarsprincess 07-06-2010 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vasillisos Markos (Post 1107294)
Is it true that one can claim British citizenship if one's grandparent was born there? If so, both Prince Phillip and I can make such a claim. Wasn't his grandmother and mother even born in the same bed at Windsor Castle?


I mention this is a post above. Yes it is mostly through a parent now but if your a sporting fan, you may notice occasional references to sports men and women playing for a country other than the one they were born in. Greg Rusedski (Canadian tennis player) players for Britain through a British Grandmother.

akbarsprincess 07-06-2010 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by branchg (Post 1107278)
The Queen is half-Scottish through her mother...

Then she's as British as the rest of us:-) We are a very mixed, cosmopolitan bunch in Britain, not just nowdays but throughout history. Immigration and foreign blood has always played a part in what constitutes British/English. The invasions of the Anglo-Saxons in the fifth century (some of which would of course have been Germanic) is where we get the name 'England' of course. Ethnically I am half Jamaican and half English, married to a Persian so my children are an English/Persian/Jamaican mix. Nevertheless we are all British, my husband also through naturalisation, and that is how I have always viewed myself.

KittyAtlanta 07-06-2010 03:41 PM

How interesting. Thanks for sharing this information.

akbarsprincess 07-07-2010 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Iluvbertie (Post 1106908)
The Sophia Naturalization Act meant that all her protestant descendents were British citizens from birth. It is no longer the case as the court case revealed a situation that people had forgotten about and the law was amended but certainly all her descendents born before the court case in the 1950s were British citizens simply by virtue of descent from her and thus Philip was born a British citizen.

Does that mean anyone, royal or otherwise, who can prove their descent from Sophia can claim British citizenship no matter where they are born or is this the situation people had forgotton about you were refering to. Considering a high proportian of the present day populatipn are descended from royalty, I could be born in lets say Germany to German parents and grandparents, do some digging, find proof of descent from Sophia and claim citizenship. I wonder how I would go about it and what the UK Border Agency would say:-)

wbenson 07-07-2010 05:05 PM

The Sophia Naturalization Act was repealed in 1948. Only descendants born before then have any claim to British nationality under it.


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