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Kotroman 07-05-2010 06:48 PM

Out of Wedlock Children and Succession Rights
 
There has been so much fuss about adopting gender-blind primigeniture lately but, as far as I know, nobody has yet stopped to wonder: why shouldn't illegitimate children be granted succession rights equal to those of legitimate children?

The most-cited argument for adopting gender-blind primogeniture is: "This is the 21st century." Well, in the 21st century, there is increasingly less and less stigma of illegitimate children. "Female monarchs are not less able than male monarchs." True, and illegitimate children are not less able than legitimate children; just take Elizabeth I of England as an example.

So, is there a good reason to exclude illegitimate children from succession?

COUNTESS 07-05-2010 08:09 PM

Elizabeth I was only illegitimate in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Her father and her mother had married. Exunt the illegitimacy. Other illegitimate children's parents have never married, ergo, no contract for legitimacy of inheritence. They will never inherit, even in the most open of socities. Unfortunately, legitimate children will, I believe, always have an upper hand on the latter. Even in the 21st Century.

RoyalistRiley 07-05-2010 10:54 PM

I think one reason why illegitimate children are prohibited from the succession is because in some cases, particlarly the UK, the Church has been strongly linked to the Royal House. Another factor may be that when succession rules were drawn up, society was not as considerate of illegitimate children as we are in the 21st century.

Rascal 07-06-2010 07:39 AM

It could also be a "deterrent" used against scheming "gold-diggers", so to speak. True, the mothers of illegitimate children tend to benefit financially and, in some cases, property through their offspring with a royal in line to a throne. But imagine the stampede of willing sexual partners (predominantly female) to the bedchamber of a royal prince in line to inherit a throne if they knew that an illegitimate child would be first in line behind the irresponsible father! It would be like Tiger Wood's dance card....LOL!

IMO it also removes some level of responsibility from the (predominantly) male heirs who see no problem with having unprotected sex with whomever offers themselves. In case there is an "accident", at least they don't lose the family firm, they just pay some hush money or make some provisions for the comfort and education of the child which undoubtly includes a higher standard of living for the mother.

Kotroman 07-06-2010 09:19 AM

:previous:

I agree, but children are not supposed to be discriminated due to their parents' mistake. I am sure that, in most (if not all) European monarchies illegitimate and legitimate children of commoners have equal inheritance rights for that reason.

Quote:

Originally Posted by COUNTESS (Post 1107265)
Elizabeth I was only illegitimate in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

Actually, the Church of England also considered her illegitimate. The marriage of her parents was declared null and void by the Church of England. She was considered illegitimate by everyone and, unlike Mary I, she never attempted to legitimise herself.

Quote:

Another factor may be that when succession rules were drawn up, society was not as considerate of illegitimate children as we are in the 21st century.
True, of course, but the same can be said for female heirs.

Kastalia 07-10-2010 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COUNTESS (Post 1107265)
Elizabeth I was only illegitimate in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Her father and her mother had married. Exunt the illegitimacy. Other illegitimate children's parents have never married, ergo, no contract for legitimacy of inheritence. They will never inherit, even in the most open of socities. Unfortunately, legitimate children will, I believe, always have an upper hand on the latter. Even in the 21st Century.

I agree,i also believe the same.
Look what happened to Belgium with King Albert's illegitimate daughter. She seems to be an intelligent and well educated lady but never gained acceptance.In this case i believe that if the King was not married to Queen Paola things would be different,he would be more free to support her emotionally and financialy.On the other hand his children with Paola enjoy all of their privileges.I'm not judging anyone.But even in the 21st century some
clichés and prejudices will remain the same.

Boris 07-10-2010 02:14 PM

The most peculiar current case regarding this issue might be Monaco.
Present Heiress of the reigning monarch Prince Albert is still his sister Caroline; while Albert will most probably have children with his future wife, he has two older children out of wedlock, who are on one hand no legitimate heirs, but on the other hand acknowledged by him as his own - Jazmin Grace Grimaldi, 18 years, and Alexandre Coste, 7.
Since Monaco does have a history of turning illegitimate children into legitimate heirs (Prince Rainier’s mother Charlotte, born illegitimately as the daughter of a laundress in Algeria and later declared to be Heiress to the Throne), future developments might be interesting to watch.

prsgoddess 07-10-2010 02:56 PM

Albert's illegitimate children no longer have the rights to succeed him. Copied from Wikipedia:

"In 2 April 2002 Monaco promulgated Princely Law 1.249 which provides that if a reigning prince dies without surviving legitimate issue, the throne passes to his siblings and their descendants of both sexes, according to the principle of male-preference primogeniture. In October 2005 (after Albert's accession to the throne), this law took full effect when ratified by France, pursuant to the 2002 Franco-Monégasque Treaty regulating relations between the Sovereign Principality and its powerful neighbour. His sisters and their legitimate children thereby acquired the right to succeed to the throne. Under the current constitution, neither Jazmin nor Alexandre has a claim to the throne of Monaco because they are not legitimate. Monegasque law stipulates that any child legitimatized by the eventual marriage of his/her parents automatically obtains the rights to which that child would have been entitled if born in lawful marriage.[12] Thus Alexandre would become Monaco's heir apparent under current law if Albert were to ever marry his son's mother."

As Albert is now engaged to Charlene Wittstock, the likelihood of his marrying either of his illegitimate children's mothers is extremely remote.

Boris 07-10-2010 03:13 PM

Thank you for providing the summary of the present Monegasque law, prsgoddess!

I am aware that Prince Albert's children have no succession rights – currently.
That's why I was alluding to the fact that a belated legitimization has been orchestrated before, in order to be able to turn the child of Prince Louis II of Monaco, Charlotte Louvet, Prince Rainier's mother, who was also born without succession rights, into The Duchess of Valentinois and Heiress Presumptive to the throne of Monaco.

Wiki’s entry about her, also mentioning the sudden changes of law back then and the doubts about the legality of the process:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princes...of_Valentinois

In the history of Royalty, the existence of illegitimate children, especially when acknowledged by their royal parent, has always represented an imponderability.
Which of course makes the subject fascinating.

auntie 07-10-2010 04:59 PM

I believe that if Albert would have wanted to he would have legitimized his illegitimate children, and is saying something by not doing so, both mothers "accidently" became pregnant and by doing so have a free ticket to a life of luxury. So this is his way of not getting back at them. They may have squeezed out of him child support and a chunk of inheritance, but they will never be a real part of the Royal family.

nascarlucy 07-10-2010 09:02 PM

Knowing that there are women out there who deliberatedly seek them out for the sole purpose of having a child for financial gain, you would think that male royals would be careful of who they associated with or perhaps looked into the background of the woman before getting too involved with her. This wouldn't be 100% but would discourage some of these women from using them in that way.

Polly 07-12-2010 07:19 PM

I can't agree with you, nascarlucy. The responsibility is mostly that of the male royal concerned. Surely, there's not one of them who doesn't know how to prevent a pregnancy? Most of the illegitimate children are the result of lust, pure and simple, and I'm inclined to give the women involved the benefit of the doubt: i.e. they become flattered and overwhelmed by the royal attention. And I'd ask - how easily can commoners, on the 'make', as it were, 'seek them (the royals) out'? In reality, the moves and invitations come from the royals concerned. For instance, an air hostess could hardly ring up the palace and invite a prince to dinner unless she had his personal phone number and had been asked or encouraged to do so.

nascarlucy 07-12-2010 08:08 PM

You're right. I didn't think of it that way when I wrote the post.

Next Star 07-24-2010 09:59 PM

I know all children should be loved and treated the same but it does not matter to the law illegitmate children will not have the same rights of those who are legitmate.Here in the 21st century it stays the same they are allowed to be acknowledge and get child support and a apart of their father's inheritance but they have no rights to the throne.

Kotroman 08-08-2010 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Next Star (Post 1116491)
I know all children should be loved and treated the same but it does not matter to the law illegitmate children will not have the same rights of those who are legitmate.Here in the 21st century it stays the same they are allowed to be acknowledge and get child support and a apart of their father's inheritance but they have no rights to the throne.

That is the way it is. I too doubt that illegitimate children will be treated like their legitimate siblings in near future. But is it the way it should be? Is that right?

And can we talk about "equal primogeniture" while the eldest child is not always the heir in reality?

Polly is absolutely right. But nobody has answered my question: should the children of such irresponsible people be discriminated due to their parent's mistake?

COUNTESS 08-08-2010 02:16 PM

At least, today, they are not discarded and hidden. Of course, Charles II, had many and gave them all titles of sorts. Children of these unions will never be accepted into the fold, especially if there are "legitimate" heirs. It is hard enough to get a "legitimate" girl to supercede her younger brother, than to see succession rights for "illigitimate" children. As they are recognized, financially, at least, they have less problems. I don't know what is right or wrong. Who, really, does.

Zonk 08-08-2010 02:37 PM

I believe the chance of the Monaco succession law closed the loophole that Boris is referencing. Hence Albert can not adopt his children and make them his legitimate heirs. He would have to marry Nicole to do that for Alexandre and as Tamara was married at the time of conception/birth of Jazmin, he can't marry Tamara to make her legtimate.

Also in reference to Delphine I would hardly blame Paola for her not having a relationship with Albert. Surely her simple presence will be a constant reminder of her husband affair, but really its up to Albert and Delphine on whether or not they don't want to have a relationship. Now surely, its hard to have a relationship with someone when they don't want to have one with you. But it surely not Paola's fault. Now if Albert did not have a relationship with his daughter because Paola wouldn't allow it....then shame on both of them.

nascarlucy 08-08-2010 02:40 PM

Children pay for the mistakes and decisions that their parents make. It's not fair but sadly this is how it is. Other people hold against them even though they had nothing to do with it.

COUNTESS 08-08-2010 08:06 PM

The sins of the Fathers....it, reallly, is the sins of the mothers, too. In Paola's case, she, is certainly, a victim. But Albert and Nicole knew the risks. And, I am sure, Nicole, was wise enough to see the situation impossible. Again, in Jazimin case that, too, was a folly and both thier parts. Nobody, I should quailfy that, good people do not see the children as a problem, just the situation. I, hope, all these children have good lives.

The.Laird.Arcadia 09-03-2010 01:53 PM

What about William the Conqueror and the Beauforts
 
House of Beaufort
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
House of Beaufort

Armorial of Beaufort
Country Kingdom of England
Ancestral house House of Plantagenet (legitimised)
Titles
Earl of Somerset
Marquess of Dorset
Duke of Beaufort
Founder John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset
Current head David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort
Founding 1373
Ethnicity English, French (see details)
Cadet branches
House of Tudor (non agnatic)
The House of Beaufort descended from John Beaufort (1371-1410) the legitimized son of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster and Katherine Swynford. Although officially barred from inheriting the throne the Beauforts played an important role in the dynastic struggles of the fifteenth century as powerful nobles with close ties to the royal family, especially the House of Lancaster.
Henry VII traced his claim to the English crown through his descent from Margaret Beaufort, his mother, who was a granddaughter of John Beaufort, and great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (see above).
The Beaufort family in the male line is today represented by the Duke of Beaufort, a descendant of Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset through his illegitimate son Charles Somerset, 1st Earl of Worcester.
Notable Beauforts included:
John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset (c. 1371–1410).
Henry Beaufort, 2nd Earl of Somerset (c. 1401–1418).
John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset (c. 1404–1444).
Lady Margaret Beaufort (1443–1509), mother of King Henry VII of England
Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scotland (c. 1404–1445)
Thomas Beaufort, Count of Perche (c. 1405–1431)
Edmund Beaufort, 2nd Duke of Somerset (c. 1406–1455).
Henry Beaufort, 3rd Duke of Somerset (1436–1464).
Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Stafford (c. 1427–1474)
Edmund Beaufort, 4th Duke of Somerset (c. 1438–1471).
John Beaufort, Marquess of Dorset (c. 1455–1471)
Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Devon (1409–1449)
Henry Beaufort (c. 1375-1447), Cardinal Bishop of Winchester
Thomas Beaufort (c. 1377–1426), Duke of Exeter
Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland (c. 1379–1440)


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