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  #101  
Old 10-12-2021, 08:51 PM
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What are your thoughts on former royals unilaterally changing succession laws?

What are your thoughts on former royals unilaterally changing succession laws? For instance, Italy's former royals unilaterally changing their succession laws in order to allow females to claim the defunct (non-existent) Italian throne?

Personally, I'm inclined to oppose this due to slippery slope concerns. If one such change could unilaterally be done to former royal succession laws, why not other changes as well? For instance, allowing illegitimate children and/or adopted children to claim a country's defunct throne? Or, for that matter, making one's second or third or fourth child (or son) one's designated successor as the claimant to a particular country's defunct throne rather than one's eldest child (or son) due to the fact that one believes that one's second/third/fourth child (or son) would be a better fit (personality-wise, et cetera) to be a monarchical claimant after one's own death than one's eldest child (or son) would be? Indeed, where exactly would one draw the line in regards to this?

This is why I am personally inclined to support keeping succession laws as they are until and unless monarchies ever actually get restored, in which case any necessary changes to these succession laws can subsequently be discussed and made. But in the absence of a monarchical restoration, I'd at the very least insist on unanimity within a former royal house about changing the succession laws to a former throne. For instance, in regards to the former Romanian throne, such changes might have been justified since AFAIK the other (non-Romanian) Hohenzollern branch had no interest in claiming the Romanian throne after King Michael's 2017 death. So, there really wasn't any viable alternative to having his eldest daughter succeed him as claimant. But if such a viable alternative would have actually existed, then things would have obviously been different, in my honest opinion.

Anyway, what do you yourself personally think about this?
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  #102  
Old 10-12-2021, 09:48 PM
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Interesting question! There are some elements of your question I am not entirely clear on.

Whose approval would be necessary for a succession change to escape the designation of "unilateral"? You mentioned "at the very least insist on unanimity within a former royal house", which implies there are other parties outside of the royal house who may also be entitled to be consulted. Which third parties do you have in mind?

Are you arguing in opposition to unilateral changes to any succession-related house laws, or only unilateral changes in favor of female claimants? If it is the latter, why is unanimous consensus a prerequisite when the changes are to the benefit of female claimants, but not when they are exclusively to the benefit of male claimants?
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  #103  
Old 10-12-2021, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Interesting question! There are some elements of your question I am not entirely clear on.

Whose approval would be necessary for a succession change to escape the designation of "unilateral"? You mentioned "at the very least insist on unanimity within a former royal house", which implies there are other parties outside of the royal house who may also be entitled to be consulted. Which third parties do you have in mind?
Monarchist movements in general. As in, the non-royals who populate such movements.

Quote:
Are you arguing in opposition to unilateral changes to any succession-related house laws, or only unilateral changes in favor of female claimants? If it is the latter, why is unanimous consensus a prerequisite when the changes are to the benefit of female claimants, but not when they are exclusively to the benefit of male claimants?
I'm talking about opposing ANY changes to succession-related house laws here, not only those that benefit female claimants. So, for instance, even a switch from forbidding morganatic marriage to allowing it should command either universal or at least broad support within the relevant former royal house before it should actually be done.

To have a separate rule for changes that benefit female claimants and another rule for changes that benefit male claimants I think would be unfair, which is why I strongly reject that approach. Rather, I'm wary about any changes in general.
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  #104  
Old 10-12-2021, 10:33 PM
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So far Spain still applies semi-salic law (female succession has been accepted for a long time as long as there are no male siblings) as does the (non-reigning) Brazilian imperial house (who in additional also still requires equal birth - but that might have been different had they still been on the throne).
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  #105  
Old 10-12-2021, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
So far Spain still applies semi-salic law (female succession has been accepted for a long time as long as there are no male siblings) as does the (non-reigning) Brazilian imperial house (who in additional also still requires equal birth - but that might have been different had they still been on the throne).
Spain's laws I suspect would have been changed if King Felipe VI of Spain had a son; in such a scenario, Spaniards would not have wanted to deprive Felipe's eldest child (his daughter) her succession birthright.

And Yeah, non-reigning royal/imperial houses don't count for this, since by that criteria, there would be a whole bunch of them who would still qualify: France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, et cetera. But this doesn't necessarily mean that they would have still kept these rules had their monarchies remained; after all, in such a scenario, there would have very likely been much more pressure on them to change their traditional and increasingly archaic succession rules.
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  #106  
Old 10-12-2021, 10:54 PM
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Interestingly enough, I suspect that Japan might likewise eventually change its succession rules, but probably not to the extent of depriving Prince Hisahito of his birthright to the Japanese throne. Still, it's good to have a backup plan if Prince Hisahito won't have any sons of his own, or if he will but this son/these sons of his will end up being infertile.

There's the option of adopting a baby from the former male-line Japanese royal cadet branches, but with them being commoners for over 70 years, this would probably be rather difficult to successfully pull off.
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  #107  
Old 10-13-2021, 01:23 AM
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Getting Italian monarchy to survive is quiet ieasy. Even referendum in 1946 was pretty close one. So Italian monarchy probably would survive if France never fall. This would mean that Italy doesn't join to Axis and remain as neutral and might join to Allies later. Mussolini had will to abolish monarchy but he wasn't such strong dictator as Hitler or Stalin so he couldn't enforce that.


Fascism probably collapses after Ethiopia has liberated itself sometimes in 1970's probably with same way as Angola did in ours world. Italian monarchy probably would srurvive from fall of fascism depending what kind of government there is and how king Umberto II is going to act. He wasn't so fond with fascists as his father so he probably gives whole support for transition to democracy.


Totally agree with succession issue. Anyway, if Italy still invades Yugoslavia and puppetise Croatia, Savoy-Aosta might end as royal family of the country like it was in ours world during WW2.
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  #108  
Old 10-13-2021, 07:57 AM
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Thank you for clarifying! I fully agree that a separate rule for changes that benefit female claimants and another rule for changes that benefit male claimants would be unfair.

As a pragmatic matter, there are strategic advantages to obtaining the consent of family members and monarchists, foremost to minimize the risk of disputes over headship. On the other hand, a unanimity requirement heavily weighs the scales against change, even when changes in wider society have left the family's old rules so outdated that the family appears hopelessly out of touch to the general public, which is deleterious to prospects of restoration or even public recognition.
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  #109  
Old 10-13-2021, 08:20 AM
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I have no problems with Royal Houses changing rules, as long as it is in general agreement with all members involved.

This means that the Savoia-Aostas and the Savoias have to come together. And if no agreement is reached, the existing situation should remain, in my personal opinion.

King Michael of Romania would never have changed the succession, had he sons indeed. The Duke of Castro would never have changed the succession, had he sons indeed.

The reason "we have to cope with modern times" comes handy, now these royals are facing the limits of the very same rules with which they became head of the House.

In the Calabria / Castro case there was even a sort of peace and recognition between the two branches of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies but it did not last long: totally out of the blue the Duke of Castro bombarded his daughters as his successors without any consultation of the rest of the House.

That these gentlemen themselves often reached their position by excluding females, like elder sisters, is conveniently forgotten when they suddenly found "modern times". It is the same as the current head of the House of France, prince Jean d'Orléans (who has two sons) being faced with only daughters and deciding to change the ancient rules to accomodate this "undesireable" situation. But now he has sons indeed, it would never come in his mind to change the rules and risk a factional dispute within the Maison d'Orléans.
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  #110  
Old 10-13-2021, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
King Michael of Romania would never have changed the succession, had he sons indeed. The Duke of Castro would never have changed the succession, had he sons indeed.

The reason "we have to cope with modern times" comes handy, now these royals are facing the limits of the very same rules with which they became head of the House.

[...]

That these gentlemen themselves often reached their position by excluding females, like elder sisters, is conveniently forgotten when they suddenly found "modern times".
I agree the three gentlemen you named appear to have changed their house rules for personal convenience rather than genuine feminism, seeing as they waited to act until it was obvious no son was forthcoming.

But I am certain the same holds for the numerous male heads of houses who have made modernizing changes for the benefit of male heirs, for example to allow them to marry commoners while still retaining their inheritance rights, but meanwhile stand by "tradition" to exclude their elder sisters and daughters from the inheritance.

And while the three men's actions were unquestionably convenient, I don't disagree in principle with applying changes to future generations only.
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  #111  
Old 10-13-2021, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Also, another question: If the Italian monarchy indeed survives up to the present-day, then the Savoy-Aosta branch are going to be the big losers since the Italian succession laws will almost certainly be changed in order to allow female succession and, unlike in a scenario where the Italian monarchy is already deposed, these legal changes are actually going to be legally binding in this scenario--correct? So, the Savoy-Aosta branch wouldn't even be able to legitimately *claim* the Italian throne with a straight face in a scenario where the Italian monarchy survives up to the present-day and eventually allows female succession, right? If so, this would be rather sad for them considering that they waited over a century to acquire the Italian throne--or at least to claim it.
During the 20th and 21st centuries, several male royals in surviving monarchies "claimed with a straight face" that changes in favor of female succession were illegitimate or unfair. In a 21st century kingdom of Italy no law would be passed to stop the Savoy-Aostas from doing likewise, I am sure. But they would likely win less support, as most monarchists in a reigning monarchy would want to remain in the favor of the reigning monarch.
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  #112  
Old 10-13-2021, 09:34 AM
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Whilst King Mihai would probably *not* have changed the rules if he had five sons instead of five daughters, I do believe that he would have cut ties with the Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family and still renamed the family De Roumanie/ Al Romaniei.

That is because whilst they don't have a throne they do have a quasi official role in Romania and are keen to show they are from and for Romania. A little like the Windsor's change in 1917. And that would have been the case even if the Furst *had* been interested in becoming the pretender to the Romanian throne IMO because I'm not sure very many Romanians would have been interested in importing a distant German cousin to living in Elisabeta Palace instead of Mihai's daughter.

I don't necessarily have a problem with defunct Houses changing succession rules, especially if a father wants to be able to pass on his life's work on an estate or portfolio to his daughter that would other wise go to a second cousin or something. The cases where I side eye it is when a person has benefited from it *themselves* (by being from an equal marriage for example) but then attempts to change it for their own family. But even then that has happened in reigning monarchies as well.

With cases like Bourbon Two Scillies, The Duke of Castro actually broke an agreement with the Duke of Calabria to name his daughter his "successor". And it throws up a lot more questions, not just to be named Head of a defunct House but also the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George.

As for it opening the door to illegitimate children or choosing an heir, well that has already happened in reigning and non reigning houses, look a Princess Delphine. Princess Victoria de Bourbon Parme was already referred to as such before her parents married (not sure if by the Lux Cour but certainly other places). In the Emirates and other places a successor is not necessarily the eldest son by the senior wife, I believe. Same in Jordan.

And really, if the titles aren't legal, who is actually going to be able to stop an illegitimate child calling themselves Prince or Princess if they so choose? They might not get invited to the society events but they could still claim it.

Then in the opposite direction you have families like the Thynns where their second son is biologically theirs but because was a born from a surrogate for medical reasons, he isn't 2nd in line for the Marquisate after his brother.
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  #113  
Old 10-13-2021, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
I agree the three gentlemen you named appear to have changed their house rules for personal convenience rather than genuine feminism, seeing as they waited to act until it was obvious no son was forthcoming.

But I am certain the same holds for the numerous male heads of houses who have made modernizing changes for the benefit of male heirs, for example to allow them to marry commoners while still retaining their inheritance rights, but meanwhile stand by "tradition" to exclude their elder sisters and daughters from the inheritance.

And while the three men's actions were unquestionably convenient, I don't disagree in principle with applying changes to future generations only.
You brought up a very important point (the morganatic marriage) that I never thought of.

But I think, when talking about the changing of primogeniture (from agnatic to absolute) only, most of the former/non reigning house just changed their succession rule for own convenience/benefits. Many of them suddenly became a woman right/gender equality supporter/modernizer when they only had daughters. Well I don't think they will insist to declare their oldest child (who is a daughter) as their heir IF they have a younger son. They're always, changing the rule AFTER they only have daughters. (OTOH most of the reigning house changed their law before the heir/ess and new generation was born.)
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  #114  
Old 10-13-2021, 10:03 AM
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It depends on what kind of succession you are talking about.


By the 19th century, most European monarchies were constitutional and the succession to the throne was regulated by law, often in the constitution itself. In that case, succession rules could only be changed by Parliament, following if necessary special procedures laid out in the constitution. They could not be changed unilaterally by the King. After the monarchy was overthrown, the throne became legally extinct and the old parliaments as they existed under the monarchical constitution were replaced by new legislative bodies under the republican constitution , so changing the rules of succession to the throne (or the Crown) does not make sense anymore in my opinion.


A different question relates to the succession rules to the headship of the royal house. Whereas the monarchy was abolished, the royal house continues to exist (?), albeit not as a public body regulated by public law.

The succession to the headship of the royal house is regulated by the house rules. which do not necessarily coincide with the rules of succession to the office of Head of State (although they do in most extant monarchies, where the head of the royal house and the constitutional Head of State are the same person). If the house rules are such that the current head of the house can change succession rules unilaterally, then I am OK with it.


The real question is the implication of such changes should a monarchy be restored. My humble opinion is that there is no hard implication because a restored monarchy, in my point of view, is constitutionally a new one, and not a mere continuation of its former deposed one. So, Parliament or the constituent assembly would be free to elect a new monarch, even a new dynasty, although they would normally look for someone from the historic dynasty for legitimacy purposes, just not necessarily the recognized head of the former royal house, who could be bypassed for someone else.


EDIT: Heavs makes a good (practical) point , however, about orders of chivalry. In some cases, the dynastic orders that were formerly state orders under the monarchy are now private associations incorporated in other countries. For example, if I am not mistaken, the Savoy Orders are incorporated in Switzerland, because the Italian Republic won't let them do it in Italy. In that case, the "grandmastership" of the orders (previously, the sovereignty) must be regulated by the order statutes, and there is a legal question if that creates complications for the succession of the head of the royal house (assuming that this person is also automatically the grand master of the orders).
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  #115  
Old 10-13-2021, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by W.Y.CII View Post
But I think, when talking about the changing of primogeniture (from agnatic to absolute) only, most of the former/non reigning house just changed their succession rule for own convenience/benefits. Many of them suddenly became a woman right/gender equality supporter/modernizer when they only had daughters. Well I don't think they will insist to declare their oldest child (who is a daughter) as their heir IF they have a younger son. They're always, changing the rule AFTER they only have daughters. (OTOH most of the reigning house changed their law before the heir/ess and new generation was born.)
Isn't that also the point Duc_et_Pair made, with which I agreed? (I am a bit confused by the "but" prefixed to your comment. ) The point which I added was that Duc's point was equally relevant to male heads who changed the rules to benefit themselves and their male heirs.

As for female heirs, I think the former King of the Bulgarians did not change the house rules for his own convenience. At the time, he was the father of four legitimate sons, and each of his sons had at least one legitimate son of his own.


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Originally Posted by Heavs View Post
Princess Victoria de Bourbon Parme was already referred to as such before her parents married (not sure if by the Lux Cour but certainly other places).
I do not have a link, but my memory is that when she was present at one of Grand Duke Jean's last birthdays, the Luxembourg court's social media posts referred to her as plain Victoria de Bourbon de Parme, whereas other children in the family were referred to by their titles. And I am not sure Victoria's father holds any legal title to pass on, but assuming he does, it must be French, given that Italy no longer recognizes titles of nobility. French titles follow the rules of inheritance determined by the original grant. So if royal watchers referred to Victoria as Princess prior to her parents' marriage, I suspect they were mistaken.
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  #116  
Old 10-13-2021, 10:45 AM
Majesty
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
That these gentlemen themselves often reached their position by excluding females, like elder sisters, is conveniently forgotten when they suddenly found "modern times". It is the same as the current head of the House of France, prince Jean d'Orléans (who has two sons) being faced with only daughters and deciding to change the ancient rules to accomodate this "undesireable" situation. But now he has sons indeed, it would never come in his mind to change the rules and risk a factional dispute within the Maison d'Orléans.



There might be a complication in France, as Tatiana Maria said. French law actually protects titles of nobility as part of the legal name, but their transmission must conform to their original succession rules as laid out by the sovereign authority who created them (at the time, the King of France).



My understanding is that most of the titles of the House of Orléans consist actually of self-assumed titles that have no legal meaning or state protection (see the Duc d'Anjou legal dispute), but their peerage in the Kingdom of France, which is traced back in male line to King Louis XIV's brother, should fall under the rules governing the use of titles of nobility in the French republic, so I don't think a firstborn daughter of Jean d'Orléans could become Duchess of Orléans based on her father's will alone after he dies.


Am I correct or not?
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  #117  
Old 10-13-2021, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Spain's laws I suspect would have been changed if King Felipe VI of Spain had a son; in such a scenario, Spaniards would not have wanted to deprive Felipe's eldest child (his daughter) her succession birthright.
Agreed. In Spain in the 2000s there was a public consensus between the major political parties that the eldest child of the then Prince and Princess of Asturias ought to succeed to the throne, irrespective of gender. The obstacle was the absence of agreement between political parties in regard to opening the Constitution to other, unrelated reforms. The Prince and Princess resolved the constitutional problem by not having a son.


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Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
And Yeah, non-reigning royal/imperial houses don't count for this, since by that criteria, there would be a whole bunch of them who would still qualify: France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, et cetera. But this doesn't necessarily mean that they would have still kept these rules had their monarchies remained; after all, in such a scenario, there would have very likely been much more pressure on them to change their traditional and increasingly archaic succession rules.
Also agreed. In former reigning houses, the decision to keep or change rules belongs to the head of the house, whereas in many reigning monarchies it belongs to the elected parliament. If the Bernadottes of Sweden were a non-reigning house, for instance, Carl XVI Gustaf as its head would most certainly apply a male-preference succession rule.

I also agree with your prediction that in countries where there is little outrage about gender inequality, agnatic or male-preference succession would likely be retained unless the male line was in danger of extinction.
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  #118  
Old 10-13-2021, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Friedrich Karl II View Post
Getting Italian monarchy to survive is quiet ieasy. Even referendum in 1946 was pretty close one. So Italian monarchy probably would survive if France never fall. This would mean that Italy doesn't join to Axis and remain as neutral and might join to Allies later. Mussolini had will to abolish monarchy but he wasn't such strong dictator as Hitler or Stalin so he couldn't enforce that.


Fascism probably collapses after Ethiopia has liberated itself sometimes in 1970's probably with same way as Angola did in ours world. Italian monarchy probably would srurvive from fall of fascism depending what kind of government there is and how king Umberto II is going to act. He wasn't so fond with fascists as his father so he probably gives whole support for transition to democracy.


Totally agree with succession issue. Anyway, if Italy still invades Yugoslavia and puppetise Croatia, Savoy-Aosta might end as royal family of the country like it was in ours world during WW2.
Agreed that Umberto II might become an Italian version of Spain's Juan Carlos in this scenario--and of course since Juan Carlos kept his throne after Spain's return to democracy, the same could also be true for Umberto II and his descendants after Italy's return to democracy in this scenario.

As for Italy invading Yugoslavia, this would be considerably harder to do in a scenario where it has failed to even fully conquer Greece and where it is not going to be capable of getting any military intervention from Nazi Germany to help it out with this due to the fact that Nazi Germany is still busy dealing with France on the Western Front, no?
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  #119  
Old 10-13-2021, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
During the 20th and 21st centuries, several male royals in surviving monarchies "claimed with a straight face" that changes in favor of female succession were illegitimate or unfair. In a 21st century kingdom of Italy no law would be passed to stop the Savoy-Aostas from doing likewise, I am sure. But they would likely win less support, as most monarchists in a reigning monarchy would want to remain in the favor of the reigning monarch.
Do you have any specific examples in mind here? I could find one example of this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knud,_...ir_presumptive

Quote:
On 20 April 1947, Christian X died, and Knud's brother Frederick succeeded to the throne as Frederick IX. Since Frederick IX had fathered no sons and the Danish Act of Succession at the time followed the principle of agnatic primogeniture, Prince Knud became heir presumptive and next in line to succeed his brother as king.

Frederick IX had, however, fathered three daughters. In 1953, the Danish Act of Succession was amended to follow the principle of male-preference primogeniture. The new law made Frederick IX's thirteen-year-old daughter Margrethe the new heir presumptive, placing her and her two sisters before Knud and his family in the line of succession. Prince Knud called the electorate "a shower of bastards" for voting for the change.
But Yeah, ultimately, a decision that was made by a country's democratically-elected parliament or even directly by a country's voters (through a referendum) would almost certainly be perceived as being more legitimate than a decision that was made unilaterally. This wouldn't only apply to female royal succession, BTW. Rather, this could also apply to allow adopted and/or illegitimate children to inherit a country's throne or even to remove someone from the royal line of succession so that someone more qualified (a second son/child) can inherit the throne in their place.
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  #120  
Old 10-13-2021, 03:41 PM
Gentry
 
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Thank you for clarifying! I fully agree that a separate rule for changes that benefit female claimants and another rule for changes that benefit male claimants would be unfair.

As a pragmatic matter, there are strategic advantages to obtaining the consent of family members and monarchists, foremost to minimize the risk of disputes over headship. On the other hand, a unanimity requirement heavily weighs the scales against change, even when changes in wider society have left the family's old rules so outdated that the family appears hopelessly out of touch to the general public, which is deleterious to prospects of restoration or even public recognition.
Yeah, all of those are certainly very fair points. As in, the need to adapt to changes in society versus the need to avoid causing a schism (especially a large/serious schism) in any monarchist movement. How one balances these two factors would, of course, depend on the specific person/people involved.
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