I have looked on every site I know and been through EVERY PAGE
of threads listed in the general discussion area of this forum (as well as many pages on others) and this is the closest I have come to anything even remotely addressing my question....a discussion on the Royal Weddings Message Boards or Glittering Royal Events Message Board focused on QEII not attending the upcoming Swedish crown princess' wedding. Lots of opinions thrown about but I recall reading two explanations YEARS ago:
1. Being the most prominent royal figure in the world it would be a logistical and security nightmare for both the British as well as the hosting nation's royal security force. (I can kind of understand this)
2. Adherence to protocol would have the highest ranking royal arriving and being seated last, which would have HM QEII entering after the bride, the mother of the bride, and every other guest. (maybe...if you adhere to STRICT protocol, but that's a stretch. I actually think Lillibet just doesn't want to go and this is her excuse.)
Anyway...it got me thinking about either a photo or video footage of Charles and Diana's wedding when they had lined up the reigning monarchs from other countries to enter last before the wedding procession. Someone (a court person/wedding planner) was arranging them so they could walk from the entrance to the preferred seating in the church in the order of reign from newest to most senior in terms of service.
So I started researching and found this:
[QUOTE=Alexandria;437237]One protocol is that when royals are "lined up" they are ordered by who has been reigning the longest would enter first.
For example, at a funeral the longest reigning monarch would "head" the procession of royal guests. In most cases it would be QEII if she attended an event. I am not sure what the protocol was exactly when heirs attend in place of their parents -- for example Albert for Prince Ranier and Prince Charles or Prince Phillip for Queen Elizabeth II
Sometimes the protocol is broken for personal reasons. One recent example I can come up with was that at Prince Claus of the Netherlands' funeral, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were placed before longer reigning monarchs because of their friendship with Queen Beatrix.
I suppose that when there are occasions with royal courts with family members from other royal houses such protocol might also be broken for family ties, such as the Danish or Belgian courts.QUOTE]
That comment, along with pics from other royal weddings showing Albert seated next to the POW made me consider seating arrangements/marching order for the wedding in Sweden next month.
Indulge my fantasy for this question: Assuming all reigning royal heads of state as well as theirs heirs were invited and attended.......
1. Would the "family" relations (Denmark, Belgium, Norway) be seated in higher precedence than other royals who have been reigning longer?
2. Among the "family" relations would the fact that the Danes are 1st cousins to the Swedes matter at all considering the Belgians and Norwegians are from a colatteral line of Swedish cousins?
3. If King Bhumibol of Thailand chose to attend (which is HIGHLY unlikely given the political situation and escalating violence this past week), would he sit in a more prominent spot than QEII even though he is not a European monarch?
4. Now that Prince Albert II of Monaco is a reigning sovereign prince, is he treated the same as any other head of state or royal head of state even though he is a "serene highness" and head of a "principality" instead of a kingdom? For example, if they all reigned an equal amount of time, would he have to walk in/sit behind all the kings and queens?
5. What about the Grand Dukes of Luxembourg? Are they considered the same as a king and queen?....are they considered the same as Albert II of Monaco or the Princes of Liechtenstein?....or are they considered something in between? (They are "royal highnesses" after all)
6. Some of the Arabic/Muslim/Eastern monarchies go by different names - Kings, Sultans, Sheikhs - are they considered equal to the European monarchies in terms of precedence (some of them use a different style as well...for example HM the Sultan of Oman and HH the Emir of Qatar)?
7. What about the King of Malaysia. Being a hereditary ruler of his separate state in the Malaysian confederation and elected by the group of rulers for a five-year term means he is sometimes a King and sometimes not a king. When he is serving as King, is considered on equal status with someone like QEII?
8. 2ND TO LAST QUESTION
What about formerly reigning monarchs - Constantine II of the Hellenes, Simeon of Bulgaria, Michael of Romania, et.al.? Because most of the royal community still calls them "Kings" and not ex-kings and because they are invited to many of these events, are they marched in and seated among the reigning monarchs or are they relegated to a lower status (seated behind other monarchs, or behind reigning monarchs' heirs, or behind all currently serving heads of state-including republics)?
9. LAST QUESTION -
Among the heirs of the reigning monarchies - are they seated according to any timeframe...oldest monarchy, same order as the monarchs, etc.?
10. BONUS QUESTION - So the last question made me think of another...aAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! Heirs of former monarchies that were deposed (Alexander of Yugoslavia, Victor Emmanuel of Italy, Reza Pahlavi of Iran, et.al.) - where are they classified among royal foreign guests - among the heirs? in the general population?