Prince Lorenz became Prince of Belgium. It remains to be seen if the king will elevate a future husband of Pss Eleonore to the same status. As you say handing out a lower title does not seem to make sense but technically the king can still do that. I would be very surprised if he will.
Princess Anna Astrid does not carry the name Saxe-Coburg, nor any Saxe-Coburg titles.
The royal decree only says that family names are used after given names and before dynastic titles as long as the person in question carries them. I don't see any evidence King Albert or his children ever carried a family name.
The royal decree also says that other titles to which they are entitled by descendance are used after "prince of Belgium". I am not sure either if they are entitled by descendance to use "prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha" and "duke of Saxony" as those titles have been abolished in Germany, but by the House laws they are. Again, there is no proof other than the palace note that they are actually using it in legal documents. Does Anna-Astrid use Archduchess of Austria-Este ? The royal decree where consent is given to Prince Amedeo's marriage refers to hin only as Prince of Belgium and omits Archduke of Austria-Este or family names, apparently in violation of the 2015 decree per your logic.
Again, I will respond to your points, but as you raise a long list of good questions and points and the available information is unfortunately printed in many different articles and sources, it will take some time (if you would like, I can outline the main points for you by private message, but a full answer with sources will need more work).
The royal decree awarding the Grand Cordon of the Order of Léopold to Princess Elisabeth is now available online , see
It is worth noting that the royal decree refers to the Princess as “ Son Altesse Royale la Princesse Élisabeth, Duchesse de Brabant , Princesse de Belgique”, with no reference to either “Duchesse de Saxe” or “ Princesse de Saxe-Coburg-Gotha “.
Despite the recent changes to the coats of arms of members of the Belgian RF and the confusion arising from the 2015 decree on royal titles and styles , I am yet to see any evidence that members of the Royal Family are using the family name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha or any of their ancestral German titles.
Given the relevance of King Philippe's Royal Decree of November 12, 2015 to topics in the news threads, I am going to use this thread to set out some of the sources of information concerning the Royal Decree, which will allow me to refer to them when the discussion next comes around.
I feel that it is probably best to begin with the legal arrangements concerning surnames in Belgium.
Please be aware that there are instances when the term "naam" in Dutch or "nom" in French needs to be translated into English as "surname", rather than "name".
In English, the term "name" tends to be interpreted as given name.
However, in Dutch and French, the terms "naam" and "nom" tend to be interpreted as family name.
The translation problem was acknowledged in a court case at the European Court of Justice against the Belgian state:
6. The very ‘naming of names' reveals differences and difficulties. In Dutch, French and German, for example, the general word for ‘name' designates the surname, the given name being referred to as a forename.
Civil Code provisions concerning surnames
In certain countries such as the United Kingdom, citizens are allowed to adopt whatever surname they wish for themselves or their children.
In Belgium, the situation is quite different.
The Belgian legal provisions concerning surnames are set out in Article 335 of the Civil Code. They are legally binding on Belgian citizens, with some exceptions (since 2018) for Belgian citizens who also hold a foreign citizenship. There are no special rules or exceptions for members of the Royal Family.
See the Civil Code here:
Dutch: LOI - WET
French: LOI - WET
The Belgian Federal Public Service summarizes the Civil Code provisions dealing with the surnames of firstborn children who were born since June 1, 2014. (These laws had jurisdiction over the surname of King Albert II's first great-grandchild, Princess Anna Astrid, who was born in Belgium as a Belgian citizen in 2016.)
Giving a name | Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs
The FPS also summarizes the Civil Code provisions dealing with the surnames of adults whose parentage is legally changed by a court judgment. (These laws will eventually have jurisdiction over the surname of Delphine Boël, a Belgian, if, as is expected, she becomes the legal child of King Albert II as a result of the forthcoming court session in September 2020.)
Familienaam toekennen | Federale Overheidsdienst Justitie
As indicated in Article 335, § 4, of the Civil Code, the legally available options for a new surname (if the adult child chooses not to keep her or his current surname) are the same options which are available to parents naming their firstborn child: the legal father's surname, the legal mother's surname, or a combination of both.
To understand King Philippe's Royal Decree, it is also a necessity to understand how the Belgian system of noble titles works.
1. As a general rule, no "of Something" is included in a Belgian title of nobility.
2. A distinction is legally made in Belgium between the title and the surname.
It is easier to understand this by using the federal government's guidance on entering an individual's title of nobility and their name into the National Register.
In the National Register, the title of nobility and the name are entered into different fields, and the government uses separate guides for the title of nobility versus the name.
Guidance on entering the surname and forename (Dutch)
Guidance on entering the surname and forename (French)
Guidance on entering the title of nobility (Dutch)
Guidance on entering the title of nobility (French)
The guidance on the title of nobility enumerates the complete list of titles that are available to be entered into the registration:
code titre : le titre de noblesse est codé par 2 chiffres conformément au tableau ci-dessous :
From this list of available titles, one sees it is impossible for an individual to be registered as holding a title of Count of Something or Princess of Something (the only exception is "of Belgium").
The legally recognized title is "only" Count or Princess (what some royal watchers call a "count of nothing" or "princess of nothing".)
As an example, the Queen's late father was known as Count Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz. But he never officially had the title of Count d'Udekem d'Acoz, because legally no such title existed. Rather, he had the title of "Count" and - a separate thing - the surname "d'Udekem d'Acoz".
Notice the official announcement of the bestowal of new titles on him and his brothers in 1999 states that the title they received was "count", not count d'Udekem d'Acoz.
Par arrêté royal du 8 novembre 1999 concession du titre de comte pour eux-mêmes et tous leurs descendants est accordée au baron Henri d'Udekem d'Acoz et à MM. Raoul et Patrick d'Udekem d'Acoz, écuyers.
Naturally, in ordinary conversation, one may describe Patrick as "a Count d'Udekem d'Acoz", in the same manner as one may describe the UK's Princess Beatrice of York as "a Princess of York". Legally, though, Patrick's title of "Count" did not include "d'Udekem d'Acoz" (which was his surname), just as Beatrice's title of "Princess" does not include "of York" (which is her territorial designation).
Interesting ! How do you explain, however, Princess Mathilde's citation below?
Under the current federal guidance cited in my previous post:
Mathilde, Marie, Christine, Ghislaine – forename(s)
Comtesse – title
d'Udekem d'Acoz – surname
Duchesse de Brabant, Princesse de Belgique – title(s)
However, I must add that (1) at the time the announcement to which you linked was published (in 2001), "de Belgique" was still viewed as a surname (though not as the legal surname of consorts such as Mathilde), and (2) though the "Princesse" in "Princesse Mathilde" would seemingly be a title under the current guidance, the 2015 royal decree makes the matter more complex. I will clarify both of these issues in ensuing posts.
If you were wondering whether "Comtesse" being prefixed to "d'Udekem d'Acoz" makes "d'Udekem d'Acoz" part of Mathilde's comital title rather than (only) her surname, the answer is no.
In the usage of the Benelux countries, it is not incorrect to put the title in front of the surname, even though the surname is ordinarily not part of the title (as per the authorities cited in my last post).
In relation to the Belgian royal family, my future posts will hopefully make this clearer. For the time being, see the Dutch royal decree concerning the title and surname of Prince Constantijn's children for an example from another Benelux monarchy:
De geslachtsnaam van de kinderen die geboren mochten worden uit het huwelijk van Zijne Koninklijke Hoogheid Prins Constantijn Christof Frederik Aschwin der Nederlanden, Prins van Oranje-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg met Petra Laurentien Brinkhorst luidt «van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg», met de titel graaf en het predikaat jonkheer.
The decree states definitively that "of Orange-Nassau van Amsberg" is a surname, "count" is a title, and "jonkheer" is a predicate.
All the same, in the second quoted paragraph, you will see that "count" is prefixed to "of Orange-Nassau" and "jonkheer" is prefixed to "van Amsberg". The title and predicate are not placed separately from the surname.
The predicate jonkheer (jonkvrouwe) for untitled nobles is not used, as there is a title. The predicate for a graaf (gravin) is hooggeboren heer (vrouwe) which translates in highborn lord (lady).
De hooggeboren heer Claus-Casimir graaf van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg.
Is De hooggeboren heer still used anywhere in practice ? The Hoge Raad van Adel does not use it for its own members.
Constrast it e.g. with the Diputación Permanente y Consejo de la Grandeza de España y Títulos del Reino, which always uses Excmo Sr. or Ilmo. Sr as the case may be to refer to its members (diifferent system of nobility though, similar to the British peerage with personal nobility attached to a title, not to a patrilineal family name).
By the way, since you have raised the issue, is Hoogeboren in the Netherlands the same as Högvälborne (feminine Högvälborna) in Sweden? I believe the usage is similar although the Swedish honorific is archaic.
N.B. Not sure how we ended up discussing Dutch titles and predicates in the 'titles of the Belgian royal family'-thread...
The Hoge Raad van Adel mentions it: https://www.hogeraadvanadel.nl/adel/...jke-titulatuur
This post gives the history of the titles and surnames which members of the royal family legally used prior to the 2015 royal decree.
To decrease confusion, it only encompasses the titles/surnames of princesses/princes of the blood who were descendants in male line of Leopold I, the premier King of the Belgians.
The history can be broken down into three periods.
Until 1891, male-line princesses/princes of the blood royal were legally recognized as Duchess/Duke of Saxony and Princess/Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but were not legally recognized as Princess/Prince of Belgium.
From 1891 to 1921, male-line princesses/princes of the blood royal were legally recognized as Princess/Prince of Belgium and Duchess/Duke of Saxony, Princess/Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
From 1921 to 2015, male-line princesses/princes of the blood royal were legally recognized as Princess/Prince of Belgium, but were not legally recognized as Duchess/Duke of Saxony or Princess/Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
The future King Leopold I was born a male-line descendant of the reigning dukes of Saxony, and his eldest brother ruled over the German states of Coburg and Gotha. Leopold and his legitimate male-line descendants were recognized in law as Duchess/Duke of Saxony and Princess/Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha by right of his ancestry.
However, during the first 60 years of the Kingdom of Belgium, the princesses and princes of the royal family were not recognized in law as Princesses and Princes of Belgium.
For instance, in 1870, Leopold I's male-line granddaughter Princess Henriette was named in her birth act (an image of it appears in this link) as:
Son Altesse Royale Madame Henriette-Marie-Charlotte-Antoinette duchesse de Saxe, Princesse de Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha
Notice that "of Belgium" is not mentioned there.
From 1891 to 1921
King Leopold II's nephew Prince Baudouin, who was touted as a future king given that Leopold II had no surviving son of his own, died in January 1891. Prince Baudouin's death act, in like manner to his sister Henriette's birth act (above), showed no title or surname except for "duc de Saxe" and "Prince de Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha".
The revelation that no "Belgian" title or surname was shown in the death act of the anticipated future King of the Belgians was a sore point for the royal family. Two months later, in March 1891, a new Royal Decree remedied the problem. It stated:
Art. 1er. — Dans les actes publics et privés qui les concernent, les princes et princesses, issus de la descendance masculine et directe de feu Sa Majesté Léopold Ier, seront qualifiés princes et princesses de Belgique, à la suite de leurs prénoms et avant la mention de leur titre originaire de duc et de duchesse de Saxe.
During the 30 years after the royal decree, the princesses and princes of the male line of Leopold I were referred to in their official documents (acts) as Princess/Prince of Belgium and Duchess/Duke of Saxony, Princess/Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
From 1921 to 2015
From 1914 to 1918, the German Empire, which the duchies of Coburg and Gotha had joined, carried out an invasion and occupation of Belgium and caused numerous casualties.
In April 1921, King Albert I's chief of staff indicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the King had made a verbal decision regarding his family's Saxon titles. However, the king and government did not issue a new Royal Decree.
The King's verbal decision of April 1921 ended the use of the Saxon titles in the official documents of princesses and princes born after the decision was announced. (The titles remained in the documents of princesses and princes who were alive in April 1921.)
For example, in the marriage act of Prince Laurent in 2003, the prince (born 1963) was named as:
Zijne Koninklijke Hoogheid Prins Laurent Benoît Baudouin Marie, Prins van België, Senator, [...]
Neither Saxony nor Saxe-Coburg-Gotha were mentioned in his name.
To untangle King Philippe's 2015 royal decree, it is crucial to grasp this:
After 1891, "of Belgium" was widely seen as the surname of the princesses/princes descended from King Leopold I in the male line.
(Post 4 covered the changes made in 1891 and 1921.)
First, I will write about the legal reasons why "of Belgium" was considered a surname.
1. Belgian concepts of law
Substantive information and evidence for how Belgian law interprets surnames and titles is set out in Post 2. But in short, in Belgium, a member of the nobility such as Princess Alix of Ligne is not technically a Princess of Ligne as no such title is legally registered. In accordance with Belgian law, she has the title Princess and the surname "of Ligne".
If the law should treat the titles and surnames of Princess Astrid of Belgium in the same way as those of Princess Alix of Ligne, Astrid would legally have the title Princess and the surname "of Belgium".
2. No other reasonable alternative for male-line royal princesses/princes born after 1921
Duchess/Duke of Saxony and Princess/Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha were excluded from the documents of descendants of Leopold I born after April 1921 (refer to Post 4), as shown in for instance the marriage act of Prince Laurent, where his name was listed as
The Civil Code stipulates all citizens should mention their surname in official records. (I will elaborate on this requirement in another post.) It has no exemption in the case of the royal family.
Due to this rule, Laurent could not be surnameless in his marriage act, which as quoted above names him as "His Royal Highness Prince Laurent Benoît Baudouin Marie, Prince of Belgium". If the legal rules were followed, his surname should be someplace within "His Royal Highness Prince Laurent Benoît Baudouin Marie, Prince of Belgium".
His Royal Highness, Laurent Benoît Baudouin Marie, and Prince are evidently not surnames. With the other alternatives exhausted, his surname has to be "of Belgium".
As Princess Esmeralda once said in an interview:
3. Original meaning of the 1891 Royal Decree
The Government that passed the Royal Decree of 1891 (discussed in Post 4) understood "of Belgium" to be a surname. The official report included with the decree stated:
Le Soir also raises the point that this is the only legal text prior to 2015 to specifically mention the "surname" of the royal family.
4. Recognition in personal documents
"Of Belgium" has appeared in the surname box in blood princesses'/princes' birth acts and identity cards.
See Post 1 for details of why "nom" is translated as "surname".
Is there any take which could reasonably explain their thought process, or is it pure double standards?
It would be appreciated if anyone could provide some insights. These specific "experts" really do not make sense to me.
Once again it wrecks that Belgium has no difference in the Royal House and in the royal family, like the Netherlands. There the names and titles of the Royal House are established by Royal Decree and do NOT follow the Civic Code. In the Royal House we see princes and princesses of the Netherlands, princes and princesses of Orange-Nassau with the prefix Royal Highness.
The names and titles of the royal family follow the same rules as the Civic Code and the Nobility Act. There we see Van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg (hereditary counts and countesses with the prefix highborn lord/lady), De Bourbon de Parme (hereditary princes and princesses with the prefix Royal Highness) , Ten Cate, Brenninkmeijer, Van Oranje-Nassau van Vollenhoven (princes ad personam with the prefix Highness), Van Vollenhoven, Van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven and Guillermo.
Belgium would had less a problem when the titles prince or princess of Belgium were exclusively for members of the Royal House and not subjected to the general rules in the Civic Code.
Thank you, I greatly appreciate your help.
I don't think their use of seemingly double standards is corroborated by the Civil Code, mainly because the Civil Code is gender-neutral. Also, I have no recollection of them ever discussing it.
Are there any other reasonable explanations for their opinions?
Since 1891, the inference that "of Belgium" was a surname could reasonably be drawn from law and documentation, as explained in Post 5. By 2015, this explanation had found prominent supporters, including the royal court, the prime minister's office and a number of legal experts. In practice, there was a settled consensus that "of Belgium" was the surname of the male-line descendants of King Leopold I.
An official brochure produced in 2010, with the assistance of the Board of Directors of the Royal Palace, by the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, stated:
Members of the royal family bear the family name “of Belgium”.
The author of the information-rich article "Royal Titles in Belgium" (2001) agreed:
Par cet arrêté royal, les princes belges ont un nom (de Belgique) et un titre (prince).
Other legal experts continue to endorse this argument, according to Le Soir's reporting, despite the Palace's challenge to it in 2015.
Mais les spécialistes et juristes que nous avons consultés ne sont pas forcément d’accord avec l’analyse du Palais. Pour eux [...] les enfants de Laurent qui s’appellent « de Belgique » [...]
(See Post 1 for details of why "nom" is translated as "surname".)
Is it so important whether "of Belgium" is a surname or a title? For the King, it does matter.
The power of the King to confer titles is recognized in the Constitution.
Article 113Accordingly, a title of nobility may be dealt with by the simple making of a Royal Decree, signed by the King and countersigned by a minister of government (e.g. this royal decree from 2003).
In contrast, the King has no authority to regulate surnames. As the legal experts explained to Le Soir:
Car c’est le code civil qui règle la question de l’octroi du nom. [...] Et un arrêté royal ne peut contredire à la loi.It follows that the King cannot unilaterally confer or withhold a surname in a situation where the Civil Code does not allow him that authority. Only Parliament may exercise that power.
That is the core importance underlying the legal argument over whether "of Belgium" is a title or a surname:
If it is a title, the King has the power to change the rules of who may or may not be "of Belgium".
If it is a surname, the right to be "of Belgium" is a legal right, protected by the Civil Code as explained in Post 1, which the King cannot strip or deny.
A second question regarding Delphine Boël (I would still greatly appreciate any answers to my first question here: https://www.theroyalforums.com/forum...ml#post2342320). Assuming that she will be legally recognized as Albert's child and exercise her choice to adopt his surname, will she have the legal option to also change the surnames of her children? Article 335, § 4, of the Civil Code does not appear to make that clear.
From far Russia
My modest attempt to define all 47 princes and princesses of Belgium can be found here (Google translate can be used for Russian text):
Recent news about recognising lawful titles of Their Royal Highnesses Delphine Saxe-Cobourg, Princess of Belgium, Josephine Saxe-Cobourg, Princess of Belgium and Oscar Saxe-Coburg, Princess of Belgium is very interesting in part of their future surnames.
What about interpretation of Article 4 I suppose "the Princes and Princesses, born in direct descendance" means just "issue". Children of Son Altesse Royal Princesse Marie-Esméralda, Adelaide, Lilian, Anne, Léopoldine, Princesse de Belgique, are born in direct descendance from His Majesty Leopold, George, Christian, Frederick of Saxe-Coburg, and are not covered by Articles 1 to 3. But they are not princess and prince.
|All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:55 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2020