Summary of Succession Rules For European Monarchies


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Mbruno

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I am compiling a summary chart of basic Crown succession rules in the major surviving European monarchies. There is, however, some missing and unverified infornation. Please feel free to contribute.


1) United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms

Eligibility to the throne: legitimate Protestant descendants of Sophia, Electress of Hanover. In addition, the monarch must be in communion with the established (Anglican Episcopal) Church of England.

Order of Succession: equal primogeniture for persons born after October 28, 2011; otherwise, male-preference cognatic primogeniture.

Grounds for exclusion from the line of succession: conversion to the Roman Catholic faith (previously, also marriage to Catholics); entering into marriage without the consent of the monarch declared in Council (note: the latter rule applies only to the first six persons in line to the throne and the exclusion extends to all legitimate descendants of the marriage).

Minimum age to assume the royal prerogative: 18; until then, the royal prerogative is exercised by a regent who must be the next person in the line of succession who is of "full age", is a British national resident in the United Kingdom, and is not disqualified from succeeding to the Crown.

Vacancy of the throne: ?

2) Kingdom of the Netherlands


Eligibility to the throne: legitimate descendants of King Willem I, Prince of Orange-Nassau, who are not removed from the current monarch by more than three degrees of consanguinity (i.e. children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews/nieces, aunts/uncles, and, if any, great-grandchildren of the monarch).

Order of Succession: equal primogeniture.

Grounds for exclusion from the line of succession:
entering into marriage without the consent of the Dutch parliament given in the form of a law passed by both houses of parliament in a joint session (note: the exclusion in that case extends to any children born of that marriage and their respective issue). Exceptionally, one or more individual persons may be also excluded from the hereditary succession by Act of Parliament if exceptional circumstances require and such exclusion is approved by two-thirds of the votes cast in a joint session of the two houses of parliament.

Minimum age to assume the royal prerogative: 18 ; until then, the royal prerogative is exercised by a regent appointed by an act of parliament passed in a joint session of the two houses.

Vacancy of the throne: if there is no person qualified to succeed, the current monarch may propose his successor in the form of a bill introduced in parliament. The two houses of parliament are subsequently dissolved and the newly convened houses meet in joint session in order to decide on the bill. The bill is accepted only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor.

3) Kingdom of Sweden

Eligibility to the throne: currently, only legitimate descendants of King Carl XVI Gustaf. In addition, the monarch must be a member of the (Evangelical Lutheran) Church of Sweden.

Order of Succession: equal primogeniture.

Grounds for exclusion from the line of succession
(extending to the excluded person's descendants): entering into marriage without the consent of the Swedish government given upon application by the monarch; becoming the head of state or government of a foreign country without the consent of the monarch and the parliament of Sweden; not being a member of the (Evangelical Lutheran) Church of Sweden; and not being raised in Sweden.

Minimum age to assume the royal prerogative: 18 ; until then, the royal prerogative is exercised by a regent appointed by the parliament of Sweden.

Vacancy of the throne: if the Royal House becomes extinct, the parliament of Sweden elects a regent to perform the duties of Head of State until further notice; parliament is no longer required though to elect a new royal house to replace the former one upon its extinction.

4) Kingdom of Norway

Eligibility to the throne: legitimate descendants of the current monarch; siblings of the current monarch; and legitimate descendants of siblings of the current monarch. In addition, the monarch must profess the Evangelical Lutheran religion.

Order of Succession: agnatic primogeniture for persons born before 1971; male-preference cognatic primogeniture for persons born between 1971 and 1989; equal primogeniture for persons born in or after 1990.

Grounds for exclusion from the line of succession
(extending to all descendants): entering into marriage without the consent of the monarch; becoming the head of state or government of a foreign country without the consent of the monarch and two-thirds of the members of the Norwegian parliament.

Minimum age to assume the royal prerogative: 18 (?); if the monarch is under age, the Council of State summons the parliament to make provisions for the government of the kingdom during his/her minority.
Vacancy of the throne: f there is no prince or princess entitled to the succession, the monarch may propose his/her successor to parliament, which has the right to make the choice if the King's proposal is not accepted. If the Royal Line has become extinct and no successor to the throne has been previously designated, then a new Queen or King must be necessarily chosen by parliament . Meanwhile, the royal prerogative is exercised temporarily by the Council of State.

5) Kingdom of Spain

Eligibility to the throne: currently, only legitimate descendants of King Juan Carlos I of Borbon.

Order of Succession: male-preference cognatic primogeniture.

Grounds for exclusion from the line of succession: entering into marriage against the explicit prohibition of the monarch and the Spanish parliament. Voluntary renunciations of succession rights are possible only if ratified by organic law.

Minimum age to assume the royal prerogative:
18 (?) ; until then, the surviving mother or father, or relative of legal age who is nearest in line to the throne immediately assumes the office of Regent. If there is no person who can exercise the regency, a council of regents is appointed by the parliament consisting of one, three, or five persons.

Vacancy of the throne: if there are no legally qualified persons to ascend the throne, the parliament shall provide for the succession to the Crown in a manner which, according to the constitution, must be "the best for the interests of Spain".

6) Kingdom of Denmark


Eligibility to the throne: legitimate descendants of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine. In addition, the monarch must belong to the established (Evangelical Lutheran) Church of Denmark.

Order of Succession: male-preference cognatic primogeniture for persons born before June 2009 (?); equal primogeniture for persons born after June 2009.

Grounds for exclusion from the line of succession: entering into marriage without the consent of the monarch expressed in a Council of State; when consenting to the marriage, , the monarch can impose conditions that must be met in order for any resulting offspring to have succession rights (e.g. being raised in Denmark).

Minimum age to assume the royal prerogative: 18; provisions relating to the exercising of sovereign power in the event of the minority of the King shall be laid down by Statute.

Vacancy of the throne: if, on the vacancy of the throne, there is no qualified successor, the parliament of Denmark shall elect a monarch and establish the future order of succession to the throne.

7) Kingdom of Belgium

Eligibility to the throne: legitimate descendants of King Leopold I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Order of Succession: equal primogeniture for descendants of King Albert II; otherwise, agnatic primogeniture.

Grounds for exclusion from the line of succession: entering into marriage without the consent of the monarch expressed by royal decree (hence, with ministerial countersignature). The exclusion may be reversed though by the monarch with the approval of the two houses of the federal parliament.

Minimum age to assume the royal prerogative: 18 ; until then, the royal prerogative is exercised by a regent appointed by the federal parliament in a joint session of the two houses.

Vacancy of the throne: if there is no person available to succeed, the monarch may name his/her successor with the approval of both houses of the federal parliament, which can only adopt a resolution to that effect if two-thirds of their members are present and upon a two-third majority vote. If the throne is vacant, the two houses meet in joint session to provide for a temporary regency; following an election, the two newly convened houses meet again in a joint session to provide permanent cover for the vacancy.
 
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Great idea Mbruno!

A small explanation for the Dutch situation: the constitution talks about the descendants of Willem I. But in 1954 a statute was added that limited the succession to descendants of Queen Juliana.

In 1922 the rule about the three degrees of consanguinity was added; basically to exclude the Saxe-Weimars etc.

For the succession, the unborn child of a pregnant woman is considered as born. When the pregnancy results in a stillborn, this baby is supposed never to have existed.
 
I am compiling a summary chart of basic Crown succession rules in the major surviving European monarchies. There is, however, some missing and unverified infornation. Please feel free to contribute.


1) United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms

....
Vacancy of the throne: ?
If you have more than five thousand in the line of succession you don't worry about vacancy of the throne :ROFLMAO:
 
Many thanks for compiling these rules. Just a few small corrections and additions:

Kingdom of the Netherlands

Children born to a king or queen after an abdication and their descendants are excluded from the succession.

The three degree limit in 1922 covered only princesses and their descendants and then was expanded to the male line in 1963.

Kingdom of Sweden

The Act of Succession does not expressly exclude illegitimate descendants of Carl XVI Gustaf from the line of succession.

The members of the Royal House are not required to be members of the Church of Sweden, though they must "profess the pure evangelical faith, as adopted and explained in the unaltered Confession of Augsburg and in the Resolution of the Uppsala Meeting of the year 1593".

If a prince(ss) is removed from the line of succession for not professing the Lutheran faith or for being raised outside the realm, the exclusion does not seem to extend to her or his descendants.

Kingdom of Norway

The minimum age to assume the royal prerogative is 18.
http://lovdata.no/dokument/NL/lov/1921-05-13-2

Kingdom of Spain

The crown of Spain is "inherited by the successors of H.M. Juan Carlos I de Borbon"; there exist different interpretations of "successors".

The age of majority is 18 in Spain.

If a successor is excluded for marrying against the explicit prohibition of the monarch and parliament, their descendants are also excluded from the succession.

Kingdom of Denmark

The Constitution requires the King to be a member of the "Evangelical Lutheran Church" rather than the "Church of Denmark".

If a successor is excluded for marrying without the consent of the monarch, their legitimate children, and their descendants, are also excluded.

Absolute primogeniture covers persons born at any time.
http://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=123644
 
I'll add that the Danish monarch is formally the head of Lutheran Church in Denmark, simply because the Lutheran Church is the official religion of Denmark.
And has to sign a pledge to obey the Constitution.

The position of the heir, i.e the Crown Prince/ss of Denmark is fixed. The heir cannot be stripped of his/her position by the monarch, but if he/she marries without consent from the Monarch (and as an almost certain consequence the State Council as well) then the Parliament may intervene and strip him of his position. - That has never happened though.
Everybody else can in theory be stripped of their title and position in the Line of Succession by the Monarch.
 
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:previous:


Every person who is entitled to succeed to the throne is treated equally by the Danish Act of Succession (§ 5); the crown prince(ss) will also forfeit his or her succession rights (titles are not regulated by the Act of Succession or the Constitution) if he or she marries without the monarch's consent.


§ 5
(1) Only children born in lawful wedlock are entitled to succeed to the throne.
(2) The King or the reigning Queen shall not marry without the consent of the Folketing.
(3) If a person who is entitled to succeed to the throne decides to marry without the King’s or reigning Queen’s consent which shall be given during a meeting of the Council of State, he/she forfeits his/her right to succeed to the throne and so do his/her children born in lawful wedlock and their issue.

§ 5
Kun børn født i lovligt ægteskab har arveret til tronen.

Til kongens eller den regerende dronnings indgåelse af ægteskab udfordres Rigsdagens kræves Folketingets samtykke.

Indgår en til tronen arveberettiget person ægteskab uden kongens eller den regerende dronnings i statsrådet givne samtykke, mister den pågældende arveretten til tronen for sig og de i ægteskabet fødte børn og disses afkom.
 
Many thanks for compiling these rules. Just a few small corrections and additions:

Kingdom of the Netherlands

Children born to a king or queen after an abdication and their descendants are excluded from the succession.

The three degree limit in 1922 covered only princesses and their descendants and then was expanded to the male line in 1963.

Thank TM, I never knew. I suppose the latter was done to prevent a scenario where the Reuss-family would be forced upon us, as seemed an option before the birth of Juliana.

Do you know from when the abdication rule dates?

Thanks to Mbruno for compiling the clear overview.
 
Thank TM, I never knew. I suppose the latter was done to prevent a scenario where the Reuss-family would be forced upon us, as seemed an option before the birth of Juliana.

Do you know from when the abdication rule dates?

Thanks to Mbruno for compiling the clear overview.

The rules have been adapted in 1887, 1922 and 1983 and it is interesting that these become more specific with every change:

1887
For the hereditary succession an abdication of the throne has the same effect as a death.

1922
For the hereditary succession an abdication of the throne has the same effect as a death. Children born after an abdication are excluded from the hereditary succession.

1983
An abdication of the kingship leads to changes in the hereditary succession as regulated by the articles beforementioned. Children born after an abdication, and their descendants, are excluded from the hereditary succession.

https://www.denederlandsegrondwet.nl/9353000/1/j9vvihlf299q0sr/vi7jjhgtb4y1
 
What are the succession rules for the Principality of Liechtenstein?
What are the succession rules for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg?
 
What are the succession rules for the Principality of Liechtenstein?
What are the succession rules for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg?


The succession rules for the Principality of Liechtenstein are set by the Constitution of the Princely House of Liechtenstein of October 26, 1993.
Hausgesetz des Fürstlichen Hauses Liechtenstein vom 26. Oktober 1993

English translation
House Laws of Liechtenstein

The succession rules for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are set by the Nassau Family Pact of June 30, 1783, a new version of which was instituted in 2012.
Décret grand-ducal du 11 juin 2012 portant coordination du Pacte de famille du 30 juin 1783.

Luxarazzi posted an English translation of the amended Nassau Family Pact of 1783 on their blog.
Luxarazzi: Family Pact of the House of Nassau
 
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Edit: A different matter is , given that the order of succession is known , to make sure that people who are in line or closer to the throne, are adequately prepared, which is what I guess most European monarchies try to do.

Actually, I think European legislators and monarchies do a poor job of this, as most of their lines of succession include adults who have been accorded little to no preparation for perfoming the work of a Head of State. (I am excluding minors since the required period of regency might be used for this preparation.)

For example:

Spain - Felipe de Marichalar
Britain - Peter Phillips
Netherlands - Countess Eloise
Denmark - Prince Nikolai
Luxembourg - Prince Félix
Belgium - Princess Elisabeth (as crown princess, there is no doubt that she will eventually be fully prepared, but at the moment she has only begun her preparations)
Monaco - Andrea Casiraghi
Liechtenstein - virtually all
 
Actually, I think European legislators and monarchies do a poor job of this, as most of their lines of succession include adults who have been accorded little to no preparation for perfoming the work of a Head of State. (I am excluding minors since the required period of regency might be used for this preparation.)

For example:

Spain - Felipe de Marichalar
Britain - Peter Phillips
Netherlands - Countess Eloise
Denmark - Prince Nikolai
Luxembourg - Prince Félix
Belgium - Princess Elisabeth (as crown princess, there is no doubt that she will eventually be fully prepared, but at the moment she has only begun her preparations)
Monaco - Andrea Casiraghi
Liechtenstein - virtually all

I'd say the next Fürst of Liechtenstein is probably better prepared than any other first-in-line to the throne, as he has been running the country for 16 years ;)

I assume that his son is also getting prepared. It is very much a family business in Liechtenstein, so I have little doubts that he's being prepared for what lies ahead. His younger brothers are most likely also prepped for a position in the larger family business.

And to be fair to Mbruno, he included the 'closer to the throne'. So, I'd rather have a slightly larger line of succession to the throne to avoid the throne becoming vacant. Some will have a very limited chance to ascend the throne but if they move up they can be prepared much more thoroughly. Imho all children and grandchildren of monarchs or direct heirs should in almost any case provide sufficient 'back-up' while also limiting it to a certain degree of kinship to a recent monarch.
 
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And to be fair to Mbruno, he included the 'closer to the throne'. So, I'd rather have a slightly larger line of succession to the throne to avoid the throne becoming vacant. Some will have a very limited chance to ascend the throne but if they move up they can be prepared much more thoroughly. Imho all children and grandchildren of monarchs or direct heirs should in almost any case provide sufficient 'back-up' while also limiting it to a certain degree of kinship to a recent monarch.

Do you mean that that a throne might become vacant if the line of succession were short because, having exhausted the legal line of succession, Parliament might abolish the monarchy rather than elect a new monarch? Or because every person in the short line of succession might unexpectedly die or be forced to drop out within a short amount of time? In the latter situation, having a longer line of succession would mean, in most cases, that an unprepared private citizen automatically becomes the head of state, and I think that ought to be avoided.
 
In the case of "all children and grandchildren of monarchs or direct heirs" in line to the throne (unless they are in line to a foreign throne or excluded for other reasons - for example upon marriage), would for example result in the following lines of succession.

Netherlands: Margriet's children would be back in.
  1. The princess of Orange (Catharina-Amalia)
    [*]Princess Alexia
  2. Princess Ariane
    [*]Prince Constantijn
  3. Countess Eloïse
  4. Count Claus-Casimir
  5. Countess Leonore
    [*]Princess Margriet
  6. Prince Maurits
  7. Prince Bernhard
  8. Prince Pieter-Christiaan
  9. Prince Floris

Sweden: as is, unless we would retroactively add Birgitta's children in line to the throne as well because she remained a royal highness - albeit without succession rights.
  1. Crown princess Victoria
    [*]Princess Estelle
    [*]Prince Oscar

    [*]Prince Carl-Philip
  2. Prince Alexander
  3. Prince Gabriel
  4. Princess Madeleine
  5. Princess Leonore
  6. Prince Nicholas
  7. Princess Adrienne

Denmark: it would add Benedikte's children but not her grandchildren (assuming the requirement to grow up in Denmark would be lifted).
  1. Crown prince Frederik
    [*]Prince Christian
    [*]Princess Isabella
  2. Prince Vincent
  3. Princess Josephine
  4. Prince Joachim
  5. Prince Nikolai
  6. Prince Felix
  7. Prince Henrik
  8. Princess Athena
    [*]Princess Benedikte
  9. Prince Gustav
  10. Princess Alexandra
  11. Princess Nathalie

Spain: no difference currently (if assumed that his sister's children are currently not in line as they are not first- or second-line descendants of a monarch). An argument could be made for Infanta Margarita to be included but it would be easiest not to as than other cousins might come into play.
  1. The princess of Asturias (Leonor)
    [*]Infanta Sofia
    [*]Infanta Elena
  2. Felipe
  3. Victoria
  4. Infanta Cristina
  5. Juan
  6. Pablo
  7. Miguel
  8. Irene

Belgium: no difference, except for Anna Astrid and Maximilian no longer being in line to the throne. They could however, be added if either that grandmother or father would be called upon to ascended the throne if a tragedy would take place.
  1. The duchess of Brabant (Elisabeth)
    [*]Prince Gabriel
  2. Prince Emmanuel
  3. Princess Eleonore
    [*]Princess Astrid
  4. Prince Amedeo
  5. Princess Maria Laura
  6. Prince Joachim
  7. Princess Louisa Maria
  8. Princess Laetitia Maria
  9. Prince Laurent
  10. Princess Louise
  11. Prince Nicolas
  12. Prince Aymeric

United Kingdom: a much shorter list than the current one.
  1. The prince of Wales (Charles)
    [*]The duke of Cambridge (William)
    [*]Prince George

    [*]Princess Charlotte
  2. Prince Louis
    [*]The duke of Sussex (Harry)
  3. Archie
    [*]The duke of York (Andrew)
  4. Princess Beatrice
  5. Princess Eugenie
  6. The earl of Wessex (Edward)
  7. Viscount Severn (James)
  8. Lady Louise
  9. The princess royal (Anne)
  10. Peter
  11. Zara
  12. The earl of Snowdon (David)
  13. Lady Sarah
  14. The duke of Gloucester (Richard)
  15. The duke of Kent (Edward)
  16. Prince Michael
  17. Princess Alexandra

Luxembourg: same as current line of succession (although I'd liked if they had included Charlotte but I understand why they didn't because if they'd applied the rule on Jean's descendants Henri himself would have been replaced by his elder sister)
  1. The hereditary grand duke (Guillaume)
    [*]Prince Charles
    [*]Prince Felix

    [*]Princess Amalia
  2. Prince Liam
  3. Princess Alexandra
  4. Prince Sebastien
  5. Prince Guillaume
  6. Prince Paul Louis
  7. Prince Leopold
  8. Prince Jean

Norway: assuming Raghnild and Astrid and their descendants remain outside of the in line, no difference. Most importantly, any grandchildren of Märtha Louise would not be in line to the throne (currently they would be in line as long as either Harald or Haakon is on the throne but Märtha Louise and all of her descendants would loose their position as soon as Ingrid-Alexandra would ascend the throne)
  1. Crown prince Haakon
  2. Princess Ingrid-Alexandra
    [*]Prince Sverre Magnus
  3. Princess Märtha Louise
  4. Maud
  5. Leah
  6. Emma

Monaco: it would remove Caroline's grandchildren from the line of succession.
  1. Prince Jacques
    [*]Princess Gabriella
  2. The princess of Hanover (Caroline)
  3. Andrea
  4. Pierre
  5. Charlotte
  6. Princess Alexandra
  7. Princess Stephanie
  8. Louis
  9. Pauline

Liechtenstein: would be far more limited as it would effectively reduce the line of succession to Hans-Adam, his descendants, his brothers and nephews.
  1. Hereditary prince Alois
  2. Prince Joseph Wenzel
  3. Prince Georg
  4. Prince Nikolaus
  5. Prince Maximilian
  6. Prince Alfons
  7. Prince Constantin
  8. Prince Moritz
  9. Prince Benedikt
  10. Prince Philipp
  11. Prince Alexander
  12. Prince Wenzeslaus
  13. Prince Rudolf
  14. Prince Nikolaus
  15. Prince Josef-Emanuel

In bold the heirs and the spares; the heirs should be fully prepared. The spares should receive sufficient preparation in case needed. And if the spare (of the current or previous generation - especially in case of minors) would be removed, that spare should be replaced by another spare in terms of limited preparation.
 
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Do you mean that that a throne might become vacant if the line of succession were short because, having exhausted the legal line of succession, Parliament might abolish the monarchy rather than elect a new monarch? Or because every person in the short line of succession might unexpectedly die or be forced to drop out within a short amount of time? In the latter situation, having a longer line of succession would mean, in most cases, that an unprepared private citizen automatically becomes the head of state, and I think that ought to be avoided.

I am thinking about families getting smaller and especially of the situation of the monarch being an only child (a real possibility for the newborn prince Charles) - and the possibility that a heir might not have children (such as king Baudouin); as we've had in the Netherlands. By restricting the line of succession to three degrees (as is currently the case in the Netherlands); that could very easily lead to a constitutional crisis. And while in that case, they might look for a way out and change the succession laws accordingly, as always I prefer consistency, so I'd rather have the back-up option readily available so that would be clear who would need to be prepared to ascend the throne.

For example, two countries limit the succession to the monarch, his/her descendants, their siblings and their descendants: under the current Norwegian rules, if Ingrid-Alexandra would be called to the throne next week; the line of succession would consist of only 1 person: her brother. The same applies if something would happen to Albert: the young prince Jacques would be the new sovereign prince and here would exactly one person in line to the throne: his sister.
In the Netherlands three degrees of kinships is required, if Amalia was to succeed next week the line of succession would be limited to her two sisters and her uncle. Her cousins would no longer be in line.

What would you suggest should happen if the first part of a line of succession is exhausted? Become a republic (so remove them from the line of succession completely) or train the remaining candidates on the list? I'd say next to the direct heirs, the spares of each generation should be prepared to a limited extent, so they would be available if needed. The others would most likely have sufficient time to be prepared if they suddenly would move up in line to the throne. Any representative roles could be focused on the monarch and the heir; with limited representation by other children of either the current, former or future monarch - but I prefer the 'back-up plan' by not completely ruling out the possibility that grandchildren of monarchs might be called upon.
 
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I am thinking about families getting smaller and especially of the situation of the monarch being an only child (a real possibility for the newborn prince Charles) - and the possibility that a heir might not have children (such as king Baudouin); as we've had in the Netherlands. By restricting the line of succession to three degrees (as is currently the case in the Netherlands); that could very easily lead to a constitutional crisis. And while in that case, they might look for a way out and change the succession laws accordingly, as always I prefer consistency, so I'd rather have the back-up option readily available so that would be clear who would need to be prepared to ascend the throne.

For example, under the current Norwegian rules, if Ingrid-Alexandra would be called to the throne next week; the line of succession would consist of only 1 person: her brother. The same applies if something would happen to Albert: the young prince Jacques would be the new sovereign prince and here would exactly one person in line to the throne: his sister.

In the Netherlands, if Amalia was to succeed next week the line of succession would be limited to her two sisters and her uncle. Her cousins would no longer be in line.

What would you suggest should happen if the first part of a line of succession is exhausted? Become a republic (so remove them from the line of succession completely) or train the remaining candidates on the list? I'd say next to the direct heirs, the spares of each generation should be prepared to a limited extent, so they would be available if needed. The others would most likely have sufficient time to be prepared if they suddenly would move up in line to the throne.

My preference would be:

(1) Construct the constitutional laws of succession in a manner that at any point in time, most of the adults in the line of succession who are old enough to reign without a regency will be adequately prepared to become the head of state. (The approach will depend on how long a line of succession the royal family is willing or able to train, so that should be reviewed before enacting the constitutional reforms.)

(2) Establish the age at which a monarch can reign without a regency to be high enough that most heirs to the throne will be adequately prepared by the time they reach that age.

1&2 will prevent the country from being saddled with an unprepared monarch if a tragedy happens or multiple heirs drop out.

(3) As the back-up option, use a constitutional provision that when the line of succession becomes vacant, Parliament is required to elect a new crown princess/prince. (The majority of European monarchies including Norway, Monaco and the Netherlands already apply this constitutional provision to the throne becoming vacant.) The general expectation would be that Parliament would elect the closest relative who is young and/or already experienced enough to be prepared by the time the monarch abdicates or dies.
 
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My preference would be:

(1) Construct the constitutional laws of succession in a manner that at any point in time, most of the adults in the line of succession who are old enough to reign without a regency will be adequately prepared to become the head of state. (The approach will depend on how long a line of succession the royal family is willing or able to train, so that should be reviewed before enacting the constitutional reforms.)

(2) Establish the age at which a monarch can reign without a regency to be high enough that most heirs to the throne will be adequately prepared by the time they reach that age.

1&2 will prevent the country from being saddled with an unprepared monarch if a tragedy happens or multiple heirs drop out.

(3) As the back-up option, use a constitutional provision that when the line of succession becomes vacant, Parliament is required to elect a new crown princess/prince. (The majority of European monarchies including Norway, Monaco and the Netherlands already apply this constitutional provision to the throne becoming vacant.) The general expectation would be that Parliament would elect the closest relative who is young and/or already experienced enough to be prepared by the time the monarch abdicates or dies.

Interesting thoughts. I guess it also depends a lot on what training is deemed necessary for a monarch (I believe somewhere else on TRF that topic is being discussed).

Regarding 1: What system would you propose that meets your requirements? My guess would be that it would effectively result in keeping only the monarch's children and the heir, and children etc. in line to the throne. Unless a country is willing to gamble on just direct heirs but that would be a tricky business imho. The alternative of keeping only the first two children (heir and spare) and not the others would seem rather odd.

Regarding 2: What age do you have in mind? Previously 21 was seen by society as reaching adulthood but with current university studies that might still be too young. My main concern would be that the heir of the throne unlike others would be treated as a minor until a higher age than all others.

Regarding 3: If the closest relative is to be chosen as heir and prepared for the throne, it would suggest that there is some kind of 'shadow'/unofficial line of succession of which the first one on that list would need to be confirmed by parliament. Or would you rather see for example all 'grandchildren and/or great-grandchildren' of previous monarchs to be a pool of candidates from which parliament might choose? I do think either one is a risk for the continuity of the monarchy as parliament might decide to do away completely with the monarchy, while in the case of an official line of succession it would have been obvious for that person and the country that he/she was moving up in the line of succession - so that person could start preparing and, probably more importantly, be introduced to the people by being incorporated in royal family events which would be a bit harder to justify if that person would formally not be in line to the throne.
 
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Interesting thoughts. I guess it also depends a lot on what training is deemed necessary for a monarch (I believe somewhere else on TRF that topic is being discussed).

Regarding 1: What system would you propose that meets your requirements? My guess would be that it would effectively result in keeping only the monarch's children and the heir, and children etc. in line to the throne. Unless a country is willing to gamble on just direct heirs but that would be a tricky business imho. The alternative of keeping only the first two children (heir and spare) and not the others would seem rather odd.

It would turn on the workings of the specific monarchy. Are they willing to train children of younger children and are these grandchildren willing to avoid anything, such as political involvement, that might compromise them as heads of state? If the European monarchies continue to function as they are, then yes, for most of them, my suggestion would effectively result in restricting the line to children of any monarch, children of the heir to the throne, children of the heir to the heir to the throne, etc.


Regarding 2: What age do you have in mind? Previously 21 was seen by society as reaching adulthood but with current university studies that might still be too young. My main concern would be that the heir of the throne unlike others would be treated as a minor until a higher age than all others.

I would suggest something in the vein of a couple of years past the age at which a royal in that country would finish their formal education, in the normal course of events. That permits the crown prince/ss a period of time for work experience and training.

The regency provisions in the constitution would be distinct from the civil legislation which controls the age of majority. The royals would continue to reach legal adulthood at 18 like all other citizens.


Regarding 3: If the closest relative is to be chosen as heir and prepared for the throne, it would suggest that there is some kind of 'shadow'/unofficial line of succession of which the first one on that list would need to be confirmed by parliament. Or would you rather see for example all 'grandchildren and/or great-grandchildren' of previous monarchs to be a pool of candidates from which parliament might choose?

The European constitutions (except Monaco's) which make provisions for electing a monarch currently don't restrict the possible candidates, and to me the European monarchies seem sufficiently stable, and free of the controversies over philosophies of succession that exist in Japan, that I don't expect a debate over whom to elect as the heir would destabilize them. But if that is a fear, then it could indeed be wise to legislate a "shadow line of succession" that follows the order of primogeniture but where the persons must be vetted and approved by Parliament to prevent an unsuitable or unprepared person from reigning, and/or to designate a pool of candidates.


I do think either one is a risk for the continuity of the monarchy as parliament might decide to do away completely with the monarchy, while in the case of an official line of succession it would have been obvious for that person and the country that he/she was moving up in the line of succession - so that person could start preparing and, probably more importantly, be introduced to the people by being incorporated in royal family events which would be a bit harder to justify if that person would formally not be in line to the throne.

Already, the parliaments of any European country can do away with the monarchy (subject to a referendum in some countries) by amending or replacing the Constitution. That would not be altered in my suggestions.

I don't see an issue in incorporating relatives not in the line of succession in royal family events; spouses and even blood relatives not in the line of succession regularly attend events in many European monarchies today.
 
Luxembourg: same as current line of succession (although I'd liked if they had included Charlotte but I understand why they didn't because if they'd applied the rule on Jean's descendants Henri himself would have been replaced by his elder sister)

The male princes of Nassau probably precede Prince Guillaume's daughter Charlotte in the line of succession given that the absolute primogeniture affects only Grand Duke Henri's descendants, but I can't see a way in which Charlotte would no longer be included if her brothers still are (which is questionable). Has someone from the court claimed that is the case?
 
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Many thanks for compiling these rules. Just a few small corrections and additions:

Kingdom of Sweden

The Act of Succession does not expressly exclude illegitimate descendants of Carl XVI Gustaf from the line of succession.
The "preface" of the Law of succession does state that it's valid for "hans kungl. höghets JOHAN BAPTIST JULII, furstens av Ponte-Corvo, äkta manliga bröstarvingar" (The legitimate male heirs of The Prince of Ponte-Corvo, His Royal Highness Johan Baptist Julii). While §1 was altered in 1979 to include female heirs the rule about legitimate heirs wasn't which would mean that it's still valid.
The members of the Royal House are not required to be members of the Church of Sweden, though they must "profess the pure evangelical faith, as adopted and explained in the unaltered Confession of Augsburg and in the Resolution of the Uppsala Meeting of the year 1593".
While the Law of succession as you say doesn't explicably state that those included in the Law of succession has to be a member of the Church of Sweden the stipulation that they recognise the decisions of the Uppsala synod of 1593 would disqualify all other Lutheran churches unless the Church of Finland still recognises the decisions of that synod.
 
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The "preface" of the Law of succession does state that it's valid for "hans kungl. höghets JOHAN BAPTIST JULII, furstens av Ponte-Corvo, äkta manliga bröstarvingar" (The legitimate male heirs of The Prince of Ponte-Corvo, His Royal Highness Johan Baptist Julii). While §1 was altered in 1979 to include female heirs the rule about legitimate heirs wasn't which would mean that it's still valid.

But doesn't the part of the preface concerning the legitimate male heirs refer to the provisions of the Act of Succession as it was originally enacted in 1810?

Vi CARL [...] göre veterligt: att, sedan Riksens Ständer enhälligt antagit och fastställt den successionsordning, varefter den högborne furstes, Svea rikes utkorade kronprins, hans kungl. höghet prins JOHAN BAPTIST JULII manliga bröstarvingar skola äga rätt till den svenska tronen, samt Sveriges rikes styrelse tillträda, och denna grundlag till Vårt nådiga gillande blivit överlämnad,

We CARL [...] after the unanimous acceptance and confirmation by the Estates of the Realm of the Act of Succession according to which the male heirs begotten by His Noble-Born Highness, the elected Crown Prince of Sweden, His Royal Highness Prince JOHAN BAPTIST JULIUS shall have the right to the throne of Sweden and to accede to the government of Sweden,

If it is interpreted as referring to the current provisions of the Act of Succession, then it is contradicting §1 by stating that only male heirs have the right to the throne.


While the Law of succession as you say doesn't explicably state that those included in the Law of succession has to be a member of the Church of Sweden the stipulation that they recognise the decisions of the Uppsala synod of 1593 would disqualify all other Lutheran churches unless the Church of Finland still recognises the decisions of that synod.

Thanks, I hadn't realized that.
 
The Catholic Church is still the State Religion of the Principalities of Monaco and Liechtenstein. I assume that means the Sovereign Prince must be Catholic, but I was unable to confirm that independently.

It would be logical for the head of state to belong to the state church, but there are currently no religious requirements for the reigning Prince in the constitution of either principality, or in the Liechtenstein or Grimaldi house laws.

https://web.archive.org/web/2016030...li/en/fuerstenhaus/geschichte/hausgesetz.html
https://www.llv.li/files/rdr/Verfassung-E-01-02-2014.pdf

https://en.gouv.mc/Government-Institutions/Institutions/Constitution-of-the-Principality
https://www.legimonaco.mc/305/legismclois.nsf/ViewTNC/C648C8AEF12665D3C1257E62002EEDDB!OpenDocument


I think most people regard a baby as belonging to the religion of the parents, whether that's Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or anything else. If the two parents are of two different religions, that's more complicated

[...] other Protestant monarchies that also have religious tests for the succession like Sweden or, indirectly, Denmark and Norway, also seem to assume that babies born in the Royal Family have succession rights from birth, so I think that considering it othwerwise would be an unnecessary technicality.

To be a member of the Church of Sweden you have to either be baptized or have your parents notify your local parish that they want to put off the baptism until a later date (most often until the instruction before their confirmation). Therefore it would be clear early on (or at confirmation age at the latest) if a child born to someone in the Royal family would not be a member of the Church of Sweden.

I haven't looked into the details yet, but if I recall correctly, membership of the Church of Sweden historically was automatic for children born to church members. I wonder if there is or was (at the time their succession laws were drafted) a similar legal construction at play in Denmark and Norway.

In the European monarchies with religious criteria for the office of head of state, I think it would be wise for legislators to review and clarify the religious tests, because the rise in the proportion of religiously unaffiliated and minority religions and in interfaith couples may eventually cause the assignment of a legal religious affiliation to a child on the basis of their parents to become unfeasible, both legally and in practice.
 
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I haven't looked into the details yet, but if I recall correctly, membership of the Church of Sweden historically was automatic for children born to church members. I wonder if there is or was (at the time their succession laws were drafted) a similar legal construction at play in Denmark and Norway.

You're right. Membership in the Church of Sweden was automatic for children of members (unless stated otherwise) until 1996.
In the European monarchies with religious criteria for the office of head of state, I think it would be wise for legislators to review and clarify the religious tests, because the rise in the proportion of religiously unaffiliated and minority religions and in interfaith couples may eventually cause the assignment of a legal religious affiliation to a child on the basis of their parents to become unfeasible, both legally and in practice.
During the pre-work to the legislation regarding the separation of the Church of Sweden and the State in 2000 the Swedish parliament suggested the removal of the requirement of membership for those in the Line of Succession (LoS), but when the King objected to the suggestion nothing happened.
I do wonder what form a religious test would take. A certificate of baptism or a declaration of the baptism being postponed until possibly during it's period of instruction before the confirmation that's handed in to the Speaker of Parliament would seem the most logical form.
What would happen if the minor chooses not to get confirmed aged 15 and loses it's place in the LoS, but discovers it's faith aged 30 and get both baptized and confirmed. Should they be reinstated in the LoS or is it to late? Can we really expect that a 15 year old is mature enough to realise all the implications that not getting baptized and confirmed will have on their life? Would it even be constitutional to expect that from someone who's not even old enough to vote?
 
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Why are you not automatically a religion at birth, even though your parents are (i.e. if you are the newborn child of two practicing Catholic parents, why are you not a Catholic until you are baptized)? That makes no sense.
 
:previous: It does from a constitutional and administrative viewpoint.
By Constitution Denmark is Lutheran country. The Lutheran church is the official State Church. It's a service to citizens and residents.

So you are automatically a member of the State Church from the moment you are christened within the State Church, and when the time comes you will pay a tax to the State Church. Unless you sign out.

If you are not christened, you are not a member of the State Church. Unless you sign up and is christened later.
 
The UK, like a few other monarchies like Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands, was actually historically progressive in terms of allowing women to succeed to the Crown when most European kingdoms/empires had strictly agnatic succession.

In 1917 women were allowed to succeed to the crowns of approximately half of the European kingdoms and empires. Women had no succession rights to the crowns of the Italy, the German Empire, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or Belgium. But female succession to the crowns of the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg, and Greece was allowed under these countries' laws.

Where the succession laws of the UK and Spanish monarchies (but not yet the Netherlands as of 1917), and Portugal before it became a republic in 1910, were distinctive was that a woman was allowed to succeed to the crown even if there were male heirs available in more junior branches of the family. The successions of Queen Mary II and Queen Anne to the British throne were in line with European standards, since there were no remaining agnates after the overthrow of King James II and the exclusion of his son the Prince of Wales from the crown. But the successions of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II would not have occurred in most other European monarchies which allowed female succession; the Duke of Cumberland or the Duke of Gloucester respectively would have taken the crown instead.
 
In 1917 women were allowed to succeed to the crowns of approximately half of the European kingdoms and empires. Women had no succession rights to the crowns of the Italy, the German Empire, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or Belgium. But female succession to the crowns of the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, Württemberg, and Greece was allowed under these countries' laws.

Where the succession laws of the UK and Spanish monarchies (but not yet the Netherlands as of 1917), and Portugal before it became a republic in 1910, were distinctive was that a woman was allowed to succeed to the crown even if there were male heirs available in more junior branches of the family. The successions of Queen Mary II and Queen Anne to the British throne were in line with European standards, since there were no remaining agnates after the overthrow of King James II and the exclusion of his son the Prince of Wales from the crown. But the successions of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II would not have occurred in most other European monarchies which allowed female succession; the Duke of Cumberland or the Duke of Gloucester respectively would have taken the crown instead.
When was there female succession in Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Saxony at the time monarchy was present in those states? You stated that there was no female succession to the German Empire, but the three German states pre-1918 were part of the Empire, unless you are referring to the Imperial and Royal Prussian succession?
 
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When was there female succession in Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Saxony at the time monarchy was present in those states?

I'm afraid I don't know exactly when female succession was first introduced in those states. But the monarchical constitutions which allowed female succession and were in effect in those states in 1917 (the year which was discussed in my post) dated to 1819 in Württemberg, 1818 in Bavaria, and 1831 in Saxony.


You stated that there was no female succession to the German Empire, but the three German states pre-1918 were part of the Empire, unless you are referring to the Imperial and Royal Prussian succession?

Yes, I was referring to succession to the crown of the German Empire, which was held by the kings of Prussia.
 
I'm afraid I don't know exactly when female succession was first introduced in those states. But the monarchical constitutions which allowed female succession and were in effect in those states in 1917 (the year which was discussed in my post) dated to 1819 in Württemberg, 1818 in Bavaria, and 1831 in Saxony.




Yes, I was referring to succession to the crown of the German Empire, which was held by the kings of Prussia.
Then for the first part above, I’m sure there was a provision such as in the event of the extinction of all (legitimate) male heirs, then female succession.

Than you for clarifying on my second inquiry.
 
Then for the first part above, I’m sure there was a provision such as in the event of the extinction of all (legitimate) male heirs, then female succession.

You are correct. The only European kingdoms in 1917 which allowed female succession before the extinction of all legal male male-line heirs were the UK and Spain. (That is what I meant in my original comment.)
 
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