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Vizier 05-28-2013 07:57 PM

Marriage Rules for Liechtenstein Royals
All of the German royal families had rules about who princes could marry. If the woman was not high enough in rank (ebenbuertig) the resulting children could not be considered members of the royal house or in line to the throne. In some cases just marrying a non-royal woman could be grounds for the prince involved to lose his place in the succession, although typically a "morganatic marriage" was arranged and the children received lesser titles. The mediatized houses that lost their principalities after the Napoleonic Wars also maintained some similar rules, although typically less strict ones regarding the rank of the spouse.

My question is when the the Liechtenstein royals stop upholding these rules? Wikipedia suggests that it was at some point after the mid 1960s when a prince married a commoner and their children were given the titles of Baron/Baroness von Landskron. Whereas now we see that the current ruling prince's second son married a woman with no noble ancestry and her son is still called a prince. It seems like the practice changed at some point in the early 1970s. Has anything been written or announced about this?

It's also unclear what the old rule was. Almost all the princes seemed to marry a countess or a woman from a royal house, but one who married a woman from the untitled nobility in the 1940s had a child that was recognized as part of the ruling family. So the whole thing is a bit unclear.

COUNTESS 05-28-2013 08:16 PM

How about Angela Brown, hardly a princess from any ruling house. Lovely woman and I think their child or children have the title Prince....

Vizier 05-28-2013 09:57 PM

Yes, but they were only married in 2000 and their son was born the following year. So the rules had changed by then. But when did they change and what was the precise nature of the change?

MAfan 05-29-2013 06:04 PM

I think that indeed the old marriage rules have been applied for the last time in 1966, when Prince Albrecht von und zu Liechtenstein married morganatically to Tamara Nyman, who was created Baroness von Landskron, and their children bore their mother's title.
In the same period, however, some marriages of Princes von und zu Liechtenstein to women born into minor noble families were considered as equal (i.e. the marriage in 1969 of Prince Franz to Laura Malvezzi Campeggi, who was the daughter of an Italian Marquess).
However, by the early 1970s also the marriages of the members of the Princely Family to commoners were regarded as equal and no longer as morganatic; the most emblematic case IMO is the marriage of Prince Philipp (a brother of Fürst Hans Adam II) to Isabelle de l'Arbre de Malander in 1971.

I don't know if the new rules about marriages were written in some document or something similar. However, the 1993 Constitution of the Princely House lists the current rules about marriages of the members of the Princely House.
Basically the Constitution says that:
1) When a member of the Princely House has the intention to marry, he must inform the Reigning Prince about it and deposit a series of documents required by the Constitution itself and by the law to the secretariat of the Reigning Prince. If the documents are complete and the Reigning Prince considers that all conditions for approval of the intended marriage are met, then the Reignign Prince will declare his consent to the marriage. The Reigning Prince shall then notify his decision to all the members of the Princely House who are of full age.

2) Within one month by the time of the notification of the Reigning Prince's consent, any member of the Princely House who is of full age may object to the intended marriage. The Reigning Prince shall then inform the Family Council of the objection and he will then decide on the objection.
3) If no objection is raised or if the objections are rejected by the Reigning Prince, the intended marriage will be publibly announced and shall then take place within one year.

Vizier 05-30-2013 08:04 PM

Thanks, MAfan, I appreciate your post. But are you sure that Isabelle de l'Arbre de Malander was not from an aristocratic background, at least? Googling around I couldn't find out much about her, but her Godmother was the Queen of Belgium, which suggests maybe an aristocratic lineage, especially 60+ years ago.

MAfan 05-31-2013 04:14 AM

I'm not sure exactly whether the de l'Arbre de Malander family is not part of the Belgian nobility or is listed among the untitled nobility, but in any case for sure it isn't equal to reigning and former reigning Houses.

SydneyLux 05-31-2013 09:14 AM

Princess Isabelle is from a very well-off, well-connected family but I don't think the family is nobility.

The de l'Arbre family originates from the Auvergne in central France and one of her ancestors was a surgeon in Louis XIV's army in Flanders. In 1930, Louis de l'Arbre, Isabelle's grandfather, was authorised to add the surename de Malander to his family name after Ephrem de Malander, his father-in-law and last member of the de Malander family, had died.

Through her mother Princess Isabelle has some links to the nobility of Britanny.

Unequal marriages go further back in the Liechtenstein family, Prince Franz (reigning Prince between 1929 and 1938) was married to Elisabeth (Elsa) von Gutmann, daughter of a Jewish businessman knighted by Emperor Franz-Joseph I. The family did not approve of the union but he never lost his rights to the throne.

I think in general the Princely House is very accepting about people marrying into the family. One requirement seems Catholic faith though. At least those recent brides who weren't Catholics all seem to have converted.

Also it seems that post of those who had their title taken away due to a morganatic marriage were later given back the title. The Landkron's are mostly referred to as Prince/ss of Liechtenstein these days.

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