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MarcosFenn 04-01-2014 12:24 PM

The Reigning Co-Princes of Andorra
So what of the reigning Co-Princes of Andorra, the landlocked, mountainous Principality in in the Pyrenees, between the borders of France and Spain?
Some scrutiny of the rôle of the Co-Princes is worthwhile.

The Co-Princes of Andorra most certainly exist, and have done since the Middle Ages. The function of Co-Princes is shared by the Spanish Bishop of Urgel and the President of the French Republic: in the Middle Ages, one of the Co-Princes was the Count of Foix, the castle of whom still looms over the town of Foix, in neighbouring Ariège department; subsequently the King of France assumed the responsibility of Co-Prince, as did later the French President.

It could be said that, prior to constitutional changes in the late 20th century, Andorra's situation was comparable to a condominium between France and Spain (although this term did not tell the whole story).

Today, the country's legislature, however, amounts to a sovereign parliament, which acknowledges the shared sovereignty of the Co-Princes, the powers of which are exercised through representatives.

Interestingly, in 1934, when more of a condominium-type of arrangement existed, Andorra's legislature briefly experimented with a monarch called Boris I, but, being then more of a territorial legislature rather than a sovereign parliament, the legislature - the Casa de la Vall - was overruled by the Co-Princes, who never agreed to the ascent of Boris, deposed after a few days.

Another extraordinary fact in relation to the Co-Princes of Andorra is that their situation is analogous to that of the Co-Princes of San Marino, another small, European state. (However, the Co-Princes of San Marino are native Sammarinese, rather than co-sovereign individuals ordinarily resident beyond the country's borders). While San Marino designates itself as a Republic, Andorra is known as a Principality.

The Co-Princes of Andorra are thus not dynastic (unless one accepts that the idea of perceived apostolic succession within the Bishop of Urgel's religious position - under the exigencies of male celibacy - itself represents some kind of more obscurely defined dynasty, for one of the Co-Princes, at least).

Some of concepts inherent in the exercise of sovereignty by the Andorran Co-Princes might thus be regarded by many North Americans as somewhat unusual.

Pranter 04-01-2014 01:42 PM

The husband and I have talked about moving abroad after he retires and Andorra is a place we have looked at (online) along with Malta.


MarcosFenn 04-01-2014 10:52 PM


Originally Posted by Pranter (Post 1653038)
The husband and I have talked about moving abroad after he retires and Andorra is a place we have looked at (online) along with Malta.


I hope your retirement plans work out for you and your husband. I don't think that Andorra's desirability as tax haven (for example) has much to do with the fact that its form of government is a Principality: countries such as Switzerland and Uruguay have been favorable for foreign investors or residents, while their forms of government are firmly republican.

(What you might want to recall also is that Malta has a busy international airport; but Andorra has a heliport with more limited connections. This might have a bearing if for example people needed to travel a great distance at short notice for family reasons.)

Pranter 04-02-2014 07:21 AM

We don't have that much money that we need to move to a country for tax purposes :)

We are going more on quality of life, the people/society, ability as a American to be able to live there etc etc

I lean toward Malta at this point.


MarcosFenn 04-22-2014 05:43 PM

It is indeed interesting that, like, Andorra, San Marino has Captains-Regent, similar to Andorra's Co-Princes, but, unlike Andorra, is designated a Republic.

CyrilVladisla 09-02-2014 09:42 PM

Isabella of Foix and Catherine of Navarre are listed as Countesses of Foix.
Does this mean that the Salic Law was not included in succession rights?

An Ard Ri 01-21-2015 06:19 AM

Catherine I of Navarre was the Queen Regnant of Navarre 1483 until 1517 and also Duchess of Gandia, Montblanc, and Peñafiel, Countess of Foix, Bigorre, and Ribagorza, and Viscountess of Béarn in her own right.The Kingdom of Navarre did not follow the Salic Law regarding the royal succession,there had been 3 or 4 regnant queens before her.

Isabelle de Foix succeeded her brother as Countess of Foix; Viscountess of Béarn, Marsan, Bruilhois, Gabardan, Nébouzan, Lautrec, Terres-Basses d'Albigeois & Co-Princess of Andorra in 1398.From what I understand Salic Law only forbade women for the line of Royal succession.

Andy T 05-09-2017 02:57 PM

The prospect of a new co-prince got me thinking: if Andorra were to decide that it had had enough of someone else's elected president being its co-prince and that it wanted to recognise the Count of Foix as its French co-prince, who would the current claimant be? The title was united with the French crown but before this there were female co-princesses of Andorra, and therefore succession through the female line.....

doric44 05-12-2017 11:47 PM

i always found Andorra and its co-princes situation interesting. always wondered what if some tech billionaire wanted to buy the titles. and become the head of state like offer the Bishop of Urgel and the President of the French Republic like $500 million each idk something like that would it even be possible

eya 07-20-2017 10:45 AM

Emmannuel Makron , Co-Prince of Andorra to visit the principality next year in celebration of Andorra’s constitutional jubilee.

Macron, Co-Prince of Andorra, to visit principality next year – Royal Central

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