Royal Ancestry of Henry VII of England.

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Henry VII was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on August 22, 1485 to his death on April 21, 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor. Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on January 28, 1457 to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, and Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, who died three months before his birth. Henry inherited his father’s title at birth and became the 2nd Earl of Richmond.

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Henry VII, King of England, Lord of Ireland

When Henry Tudor won the crown in August 22, 1485 by defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field his right or claim to the throne was tenuous at best and at its worst his claim was nonexistent.

His descent from John of Gaunt gave Henry Tudor a weak claim to the throne. This claim was through John of Gaunt’s third union with Katherine Swynford née (de) Roet. Initially Katherine was the governess to Gaunt’s daughters, Philippa and Elizabeth. After the death of Gaunt’s first wife, Blanch, John and Katherine entered into a romantic relationship which produced 4 children, all illegitimate being born out-of-wedlock. However, two years after the death of Constance of Castile (John of Gaunt’s second wife) John and Katherine Swynford legally married at Lincoln cathedral 1393.

Subsequent Letters Patent in 1397 by Richard II and a Papal Bull issued by the Pope Eugene IV legitimized the adult children of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford with full rights to the throne. However, an Act of Parliament in the reign of Henry IV confirmed their legitimacy but barred the children from having rights to the throne. Later historians would argue whether or not the barring of the children of this union from the English throne was legal or not. This Act of Parliament did weaken the claims of Henry Tudor.

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Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond

With the death of Henry VI and the death of his son, Edward, Prince of Wales, the collateral branch of the House of Plantagenet, known as the House of Lancaster, had come to an end. However, there were other descendants of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster to take up the Lancastrian claims. The Beaufort House, from John of Gaunt’s third marriage, were given the title Duke of Somerset and after the extinction of the male line only the female line remained, represented by Lady Margaret Beaufort and her son Henry Tudor. The year after the Battle of Tewkesbury Lady Margaret married Lord Stanley, who had been a devoted supported of King Edward IV. Stanley did not support Richard III and was instrumental in putting Henry Tudor on the throne.

It was the defeat of Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in August of 1485 that placed the new Tudor Dynasty on the throne. Ever since Henry IV usurped the throne from Richard II in 1399 the legality of all the subsequent kings has been a pretty messy situation. Although Henry had a slim blood claim to the throne his legal standing was even weaker given that his line had lost its succession rights. Therefore, his succession to the throne was more of a conquest than a usurpation. As I mentioned many times before, the victors  get to rewrite the rules and this is evident in the rise to the throne of Henry VII.

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John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster

Though Henry VII is known to have a thin blood claim to the throne that doesn’t mean he lacked royal blood in his veins or descent from other English kings through various lines. I want add that when I speak of royal blood flowing through the veins of Henry VII I am not speaking just English Royals, I am speaking of royal blood from other royal families throughout Europe.

Therefore in this short series I will examine the royal ancestry of King Henry VII of England, Lord of Ireland.

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William & Mary proclaimed joint sovereigns.

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On this date in History: February 13, 1689. William III-II and Mary II were created joint sovereigns of England, Scotland and Ireland.

William III (Dutch: Willem; November 4, 1650 – March 8, 1702), also widely known as William of Orange, was sovereign Prince of Orange from birth, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic from 1672 and King of England, Ireland and Scotland from 1689 until his death in 1702. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is sometimes informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as “King Billy.”

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William III-II, Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland and Overijssel in the Dutch Republic. King of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Mary II (April 30, 1662 – December 28, 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, co-reigning with her husband and first cousin, King William III and II, from 1689 until her death; popular histories usually refer to their joint reign as that of William and Mary. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the adoption of the English Bill of Rights and the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. William became sole ruler upon her death in 1694. He reigned as such until his own death in 1702, when he was succeeded by Mary’s sister Anne.

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Mary II, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

William summoned a Convention Parliament in England, which met on January 22, 1689, to discuss the appropriate course of action following James’s flight. William felt insecure about his position; though his wife preceded him in the line of succession to the throne, he wished to reign as king in his own right, rather than as a mere consort. The only precedent for a joint monarchy in England dated from the 16th century, when Queen Mary I married Felipe II of Spain. Felipe II remained king only during his wife’s lifetime, and restrictions were placed on his power.

William, on the other hand, demanded that he remain as king even after his wife’s death. When the majority of Tory Lords proposed to acclaim her as sole ruler, William threatened to leave the country immediately. Furthermore, Mary, remaining loyal to her husband, refused.

The House of Commons, with a Whig majority, quickly resolved that the throne was vacant, and that it was safer if the ruler were Protestant. There were more Tories in the House of Lords, which would not initially agree, but after William refused to be a regent or to agree to remain king only in his wife’s lifetime, there were negotiations between the two houses and the Lords agreed by a narrow majority that the throne was vacant. The Commons made William accept a Bill of Rights, and, on February 13, 1689, Parliament passed the Declaration of Right, in which it deemed that James, by attempting to flee, had abdicated the government of the realm, thereby leaving the throne vacant.

The Crown was not offered to James’s infant son, who would have been the heir apparent under normal circumstances, but to William III-II and Mary II as joint sovereigns. It was, however, provided that “the sole and full exercise of the regal power be only in and executed by the said Prince of Orange in the names of the said Prince and Princess during their joint lives.”

William III-II and Mary II were crowned together at Westminster Abbey on April 11, 1689 by the Bishop of London, Henry Compton. Normally, the coronation is performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but the Archbishop at the time, William Sancroft, refused to recognise James’s removal.

William also summoned a Convention of the Estates of Scotland, which met on March 14, 1689 and sent a conciliatory letter, while James sent haughty uncompromising orders, swaying a majority in favour of William. On April 11 the day of the English coronation, the Convention finally declared that James was no longer King of Scotland. William II and Mary II were offered the Scottish Crown; they accepted on May 11.

On this date in History: February 7, 1301 Prince Edward of Carnarvon (future King Edward II) was created and invested with the title of Prince of Wales.

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On this date in History: February 7, 1301 Prince Edward of Carnarvon (future King Edward II) was created and invested with the title of Prince of Wales.

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Edward II, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine & First English Prince of Wales

Edward II (April 25, 1284 – September 21, 1327), was the son of Edward I and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile. Edward’s name was English in origin, linking him to the Anglo-Saxon saint Edward the Confessor, and was chosen by his father instead of the more traditional Norman and Castiliannames selected for Edward’s brothers: Edward had three elder brothers: John and Henry, who had died before Edward was born, and Alphonso, who died in August 1284, leaving Edward as the heir to the throne.

The last Welsh princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was killed in battle in 1282 by Edward I. In the spring of 1301, the king declared Edward the Prince of Wales, granting him the earldom of Chester and lands across North Wales; he seems to have hoped that this would help pacify the region, and that it would give his son some financial independence.

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Coat of Arms of the Prince of Wales

As title of heir apparent

The tradition of conferring the title “Prince of Wales” on the heir apparent of the monarch is usually considered to have begun in 1301, when King Edward I of England invested his son Edward of Caernarfon with the title at a Parliament held in Lincoln. According to legend, the king had promised the Welsh that he would name “a prince born in Wales, who did not speak a word of English” and then produced his infant son, who had been born at Caernarfon, to their surprise. However, the story may well be apocryphal, as it can only be traced to the 16th century, and, in the time of Edward I, the English aristocracy spoke Norman French, not English (some versions of the legend include lack of knowledge in both languages as a requirement, and one reported version has the very specific phrase “born on Welsh soil and speaking no other language”).

Edward II was King of England, Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327.

The death of Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

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On this date in history: February 6, 1899. The death of Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, at the age of 24.

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HRH Prince Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Prince Alfred of Edinburgh was born on October 15, 1874 at Buckingham Palace, London. His father was Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, second eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His mother, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, was a daughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine.

He was a grandson of both Queen Victoria and Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

The exact circumstances of Alfred’s death are not known, and varying accounts have been published. His sister Marie’s memoirs simply say his health “broke down”, and other writers have said that he had “consumption.” The Times published an account stating he had died of a tumor, while the Complete Peerage gives the generally accepted account that he “shot himself.

Various authors have speculated on reasons why he might have killed himself, and one author, Frank Bush, claimed to have been a descendant of a secret marriage between Alfred and Mabel Fitzgerald, granddaughter of the 4th Duke of Leinster, and claimed that friction between Alfred and his family over the “secret marriage” was the cause of the suicide. Despite the lack of documentary evidence, and the lack of contemporary reference, other authors have repeated Bush’s assertion that Alfred and Mabel married, including John van der Kiste and Bee Jordaan in Dearest Affie, and the assertion is repeated as fact in the official family history (Das Haus von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha).

According to theory, Alfred shot himself with a revolver while the rest of the family was gathered for the anniversary celebration. He survived and was looked after at Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha (Thuringia) for three days before being sent to theMartinnsbrunn Sanatorium in Gratsch near Meran in the County of Tyrol (Austria-Hungary, now Italy). Alfred died there at 4:15 pm on February 6, 1899, aged 24 years. He was buried in the ducal mausoleum of the Friedhof am Glockenberg [de], Coburg, Bavaria (southern Germany).

Later in 1899 Alfred’s uncle the Duke of Connaught and his son Prince Arthur of Connaught renounced their succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. As a result, his first cousin Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, became heir presumptive.

The death of Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

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On this date in history: February 6, 1899. The death of Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, at the age of 24.

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Prince Alfred of Edinburgh was born on October 15, 1874 at Buckingham Palace, London. His father was Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, second eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His mother, Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, was a daughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine.

He was a grandson of both Queen Victoria and Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

The exact circumstances of Alfred’s death are not known, and varying accounts have been published. His sister Marie’s memoirs simply say his health “broke down”, and other writers have said that he had “consumption.” The Times published an account stating he had died of a tumor, while the Complete Peerage gives the generally accepted account that he “shot himself.

Various authors have speculated on reasons why he might have killed himself, and one author, Frank Bush, claimed to have been a descendant of a secret marriage between Alfred and Mabel Fitzgerald, granddaughter of the 4th Duke of Leinster, and claimed that friction between Alfred and his family over the “secret marriage” was the cause of the suicide. Despite the lack of documentary evidence, and the lack of contemporary reference, other authors have repeated Bush’s assertion that Alfred and Mabel married, including John van der Kiste and Bee Jordaan in Dearest Affie, and the assertion is repeated as fact in the official family history (Das Haus von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha).

According to theory, Alfred shot himself with a revolver while the rest of the family was gathered for the anniversary celebration. He survived and was looked after at Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha (Thuringia) for three days before being sent to theMartinnsbrunn Sanatorium in Gratsch near Meran in the County of Tyrol (Austria-Hungary, now Italy). Alfred died there at 4:15 pm on February 6, 1899, aged 24 years. He was buried in the ducal mausoleum of the Friedhof am Glockenberg [de], Coburg, Bavaria (southern Germany).

Later in 1899 Alfred’s uncle the Duke of Connaught and his son Prince Arthur of Connaught renounced their succession rights to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. As a result, his first cousin Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, became heir presumptive.

67th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II ascending the British throne.

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On this date, February 6, 1952, George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland died and was succeeded by his elder daughter as Queen Elizabeth II. This marks her 67th Anniversary on the throne.

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HM Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom & HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

The stress of the World War II had taken its toll on the King George VI’s health, made worse by his heavy smoking and subsequent development of lung cancer among other ailments, including arteriosclerosis and Buerger’s disease. A planned tour of Australia and New Zealand was postponed after the King suffered an arterial blockage in his right leg, which threatened the loss of the leg and was treated with a right lumbar sympathectomy in March 1949.

His elder daughter, Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the heir presumptive, took on more royal duties as her father’s health deteriorated. The King was well enough to open the Festival of Britain in May 1951, but on September 23, 1951, his left lung was removed by Clement Price Thomas after a malignant tumour was found.

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HM King George VI of the United Kingdom

In October 1951, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh went on a month-long tour of Canada; the trip had been delayed for a week due to the King’s illness. When she toured Canada and visited President Harry S. Truman in Washington, D.C., her private secretary, Martin Charteris, carried a draft accession declaration in case the King died while she was on tour.

At the State Opening of Parliament in November 1951, the King’s speech from the throne was read for him by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Simond. His Christmas broadcast of 1951 was recorded in sections, and then edited together.

In early 1952, Elizabeth and Philip set out for a tour of Australia and New Zealand by way of Kenya. On January 31, 1952, despite advice from those close to him, the King went to London Airport to see off Princess Elizabeth, on her tour of Australia via Kenya.

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King George VI of the United Kingdom

On the morning of 6 February at 07:30 GMT, George VI was found dead in bed at Sandringham House in Norfolk. He had died from a coronary thrombosis in his sleep at the age of 56. Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh had just returned to their Kenyan home, Sagana Lodge, after a night spent at Treetops Hotel, when word arrived of the death of the King and consequently Elizabeth’s immediate accession to the throne. Philip broke the news to the new queen. Martin Charteris asked her to choose a regnal name; she chose to remain Elizabeth, “my own of course.” She was proclaimed queen throughout her realms and the former Princess Elizabeth hastily returned to the United Kingdom as Queen Elizabeth II.

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Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom

Abdication: What To Call A Former Monarch, Part VI.

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As we’ve seen, the overwhelming vast majority of monarchs that were both deposed or abdicated kept their royal titles. An exception being the three monarchs of the Netherlands (all queens) whom assumed the title of Princess upon their abdications. However, when both King Juan Carlos of Spain and Albert II of the Belgians recently abdicated they retained their titles. When Pope Benedict XVI resigned his position as Pope, the Vatican bestowed on him the title pope emeritus shortly after his resignation.

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HRH The Duke of Windsor

Now let us examine why Edward VIII of the United Kingdom was not allowed to retain his royal title.

Duke of Windsor

On December 12, 1936, at the accession meeting of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, George VI announced he was to make his brother the “Duke of Windsor” with the style of Royal Highness. He wanted this to be the first act of his reign, although the formal documents were not signed until March 8, 1937 that following year. During the interim, Edward was universally known as the Duke of Windsor. George VI’s decision to create Edward a royal duke ensured that he could neither stand for election to the House of Commons nor speak on political subjects in the House of Lords.

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HRH The Duke of Windsor

Letters Patent dated May 27, 1937 re-conferred the “title, style, or attribute of Royal Highness” upon the Duke of Windsor, but specifically stated that “his wife and descendants, if any, shall not hold said title or attribute”. Some British ministers advised that the reconfirmation was unnecessary since Edward had retained the style automatically, and further that Simpson would automatically obtain the rank of wife of a prince with the style Her Royal Highness; others maintained that he had lost all royal rank and should no longer carry any royal title or style as an abdicated king, and be referred to simply as “Mr Edward Windsor”. Personally, I am not aware of the precedent for lowering Edward VIII’s titles to either a Royal Highness or simply as “Mr Edward Windsor”.

On April 14, 1937, Attorney General Sir Donald Somervell submitted to Home Secretary Sir John Simona memorandum summarising the views of Lord Advocate T. M. Cooper, Parliamentary Counsel Sir Granville Ram, and himself:

1. We incline to the view that on his abdication the Duke of Windsor could not have claimed the right to be described as a Royal Highness. In other words, no reasonable objection could have been taken if the King had decided that his exclusion from the lineal succession excluded him from the right to this title as conferred by the existing Letters Patent.
2. The question however has to be considered on the basis of the fact that, for reasons which are readily understandable, he with the express approval of His Majesty enjoys this title and has been referred to as a Royal Highness on a formal occasion and in formal documents. In the light of precedent it seems clear that the wife of a Royal Highness enjoys the same title unless some appropriate express step can be and is taken to deprive her of it.
3. We came to the conclusion that the wife could not claim this right on any legal basis. The right to use this style or title, in our view, is within the prerogative of His Majesty and he has the power to regulate it by Letters Patent generally or in particular circumstance.

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Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

As we’ve seen retaining the royal title is the established precedent. Also, if he retained the title of King that also would have ensured that he could neither stand for election to the House of Commons nor speak on political subjects in the House of Lords. There was a great prejudice toward Edward’s spouse, Wallis Simpson, and the denial of both the kingly and royal styles and titles were an attempt to deny them to her. It is my opinion that is the main reason Edward VIII did not retain his kingly status.

HRH Prince Henri d’Orléans, The Count of Paris, Duke of France, pretender to the throne of France has died at the age of 85.

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HRH Prince Henri d’Orléans, The Count of Paris, Duke of France (Henri Philippe Pierre Marie d’Orléans; June 14, 1933 – January 21, 2019), was head of the House of Orléans as the Orléanist pretender to the defunct French throne as King Henri VII of France.

Prince Henri was descendant in the male-line of France’s “Citizen-King” Louis-Philippe I (ruled 1830–1848), he was also recognized as the legitimate claimant to the throne by those French royalists, called Unionists, who regard him as the rightful heir of Prince Henri de Bourbon, Count of Chambord, the last patrilineal descendant of King Louis XV. Henri was a retired military officer as well as an author and painter.

He was the first son of Henri, Count of Paris (1908–1999), and his wife Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Braganza, and was born in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. From October 1959 to April 1962, Prince Henri worked at the Secretariat-General for National Defence and Security as a member of the French Foreign Legion. He transferred from there to a garrison in Germany, he took up a new assignment as military instructor at Bonifacio in Corsica, where his wife and children joined him early in 1963.

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HRH Prince Henri d’Orléans, The Count of Paris, Duke of France

Returning to civilian life in 1967, Prince Henri and his family briefly occupied the Blanche Neige pavilion on his father’s Manoir du Coeur-Volant estate at Louveciennes before renting an apartment of their own in the XVe arrondissement. In the early 1970s Prince Henri managed public relations for the Geneva office of a Swiss investment firm while dwelling in Corly.

Marriages and children

On July 5, 1957, Henri married Duchess Marie Therese of Württemberg (born 1934). Marie Therese was the fifth child and fourth daughter of Philipp Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg, and his second wife, Archduchess Rosa of Austria, Princess of Tuscany. She was born at Altshausen Castle, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

Five children were born from this union:

1. Princess Marie Isabelle Marguerite Anne Geneviève d’Orléans of France (born 3 January 1959 in Boulogne-sur-Seine)
2. Prince François, Count of Clermont (7 February 1961 in Boulogne-sur-Seine – December 30, 2017)
3. Princess Blanche Elisabeth Rose Marie d’Orléans of France (born 10 September 1963 in Ravensburg).
4. Prince Jean Charles Pierre Marie d’Orléans of France, (born 19 May 1965, Boulogne-sur-Seine), Duke of Vendôme.
5. Prince Eudes Thibaut Joseph Marie d’Orléans of France (born 18 March 1968, Paris), Duke of Angoulême.

In 1984, Prince Henri and Princess Marie-Thérèse were divorced. On October 31, 1984 Prince Henri entered a civil marriage with Micaëla Anna María Cousiño y Quiñones de León (born on 30 April 1938), daughter of Luis Cousiño y Sebire and his wife Antonia Maria Quiñones de Léon y Bañuelos, 4th Marquesa de San Carlos. For remarrying without consent Henri’s father initially declared him disinherited.

Tensions lessened over the years and on March 7, 1991 the Count of Paris reinstated Henri as heir apparent and Count of Clermont, simultaneously giving Micaëla the title “Princesse de Joinville”.

Head of house

Until he succeeded his father as royal claimant, Prince Henri and his second wife occupied an apartment in Paris. On June 19, 1999, Prince Henri’s father died and Henri became the new head of the House of Orléans. He took the traditional title, Count of Paris, adding an ancient one, Duke of France, which had not borne by his Orléans or Bourbon forebears, but used a thousand years ago by his ancestors before Hugh Capet took the title of King of France. His wife assumed the title “Duchess of France”, deferring to the continued use of “Countess of Paris” by Henri’s widowed mother until her death on July 5, 2003, whereupon Micaela started to use the title Countess of Paris.

Prince Henri recognised his disabled eldest son François as heir, with the title Count of Clermont. He was the Dauphin of France in Orleanist reckoning. However, his mother had been infected with toxoplasmosis during her second and third pregnancies, and the pre-natal exposure left both Prince François and his younger sister, Princess Blanche, developmentally disabled.

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HRH Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme

Prince Henri maintained that his eldest son would exercise his prerogatives as head of the dynasty under a “regency” of his middle son, Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme. However, with François’ death on December 30, 2017, Prince Jean became the Dauphin of France within the family’s claim to the throne. Prince Jean succeeds to the claim of King of France and Monarchists recognize him as King Jean IV of France.

Abdication: What To Call A Former Monarch, Part V.

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In the previous entries I examined how Richard II of England and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V still retained their title of King and Emperor respectively after their abdications. Here are other examples of monarchs who abdicated or were dethroned yet they kept their royal title.

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King Wilhelm II of Württemberg 1891-1918

King James II-VII of England, Scotland and Ireland 1685-1688
King Louis Philippe of the French 1830-1848
King Miguel I of Portugal 1828-1834
King Manuel II of Portugal 1908-1910
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany 1888-1918
Emperor Karl I-IV of Austria-Hungary 1916-1918
Queen Isabella II of Spain 1833-1868
King Alfonso XIII of Spain 1874-1885
King Mihail of Romania 1927-1930 and 1940-1947
King Simeon II of Bulgaria 1943-1946
King Peter II of Yugoslavia 1934-1954
King Constantine II of Greece 1964-1973
King Ludwig III of Bavaria 1913-1918
King Wilhelm II of Württemberg 1891-1918
King Friederich August III of Saxony 1904-1918
King Juan Carlos of Spain 1975-2014
King Albert II of the Belgians 1993-2013

By remaining kings, those who married after abdicating/being dethroned could even transmit their royal style to their wives – Anne of Bourbon-Parma who married King Mihail Romania and Augusta Victoria of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen wife of King Manuel II of Portugal all were wed and titled Queen long after their husbands ceased to reign.

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Queen Isabella II of Spain 1833-1868

In one case a monarch who abdicated did grant himself a lesser title and yet also kept the title of King. King Willem I of the Netherlands, after his abdication in 1840, styled himself King Willem-Frederick, Count of Nassau. Speaking of the Kingdom of the Netherlands it was only with the abdications of Queens Wilhelmina, Juliana and Beatrix did they downgrade themselves to Royal Highnesses and Princesses.

Here is an example of a monarch that did downgrade his title after his abdication. After the abdication of Queen Isabella II of Spain the Spanish Cortes decided to continue as a monarchy. They chose as their king, Amadeo I (Italian: Amedeo, sometimes anglicized as Amadeus; May 30, 1845 – January 18, 1890) and he was the only King of Spain from the House of Savoy. He was the second son of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy and was known for most of his life as the Duke of Aosta, but he reigned briefly as King of Spain from 1870 to 1873.

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Amadeo I of Spain 1870-1873

Amadeo’s reign was fraught with growing republicanism, Carlist rebellions in the north, and the Cuban independence movement. With the possibility of reigning without popular support, Amadeus issued an order against the artillery corps and then immediately abdicated from the Spanish throne on February 11, 1873. At ten o’clock that same night, Spain was proclaimed a republic, at which time Amadeo made an appearance before the Cortes, proclaiming the Spanish people ungovernable. Completely disgusted, the ex-monarch left Spain and returned to Italy, where he resumed the title of Duke of Aosta.

In the final entry I will show why it was deemed necessary to downgrade Edward VIII of the United Kingdom.

Abdication: What To Call A Former Monarch? Part IV

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Today’s’ post will focus on the Abdication of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, King of Spain and Duke of Burgundy.

Generally I like to render people’s names in their original language. In this case Carl & Carlos for the English name Charles. However, for simplicity, I will retain the English form of all names for this entry.

Charles V (February 24, 1500 – September 21, 1558) was ruler of both the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and the Spanish Empire (as Carlos I of Spain) from 1516, as well as of the lands of the former Duchy of Burgundy from 1506. He stepped down from these and other positions by a series of abdications between 1554 and 1556. Through inheritance, he brought together under his rule extensive territories in western, central, and southern Europe, and the Spanish viceroyalties in the Americas and Asia. As a result, his domains spanned nearly 4 million square kilometres (1.5 million square miles), and were the first to be described as “the empire on which the sun never sets”.

Charles was the heir of three of Europe’s leading dynasties: Valois of Burgundy, Habsburg of Austria, and Trastámara of Spain. Charles was the eldest son of Philip of Habsburg (July 22, 1478 – September 25, 1506), called the Handsome or the ouse of Habsburg to be King of Castile as Philip I. Philip was the eldest son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy in her own right. Charles’ mother was Joanna of Castile was the third child and second daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II-V of Aragon-Castile of the royal House of Trastámara.

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Holy Roman Emperor Charles V

As heir of the House of Burgundy, he inherited areas in the Netherlands and around the eastern border of France. As a Habsburg, he inherited Austria and other lands in central Europe, and was also elected to succeed his grandfather, Maximilian I, as Holy Roman Emperor. As a grandson of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, (Ferdinand II-V of Aragon-Castile & Isabel I of Castile) he inherited the Crown of Castile, which was developing a nascent empire in the Americas and Asia, and the Crown of Aragon, which included a Mediterranean empire extending to southern Italy. Charles was the first king to rule Castile and Aragon simultaneously in his own right (as a unified Spain), and as a result he is often referred to as the first king of Spain. The personal union under Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire with the Spanish Empire was the closest Europe has come to a universal monarchy since the time of Charlemagne in the 9th century.

The titles of King of Hungary, of Bohemia, and of Croatia, were incorporated into the imperial family during Charles’s reign, but they were held, both nominally and substantively, by his brother Ferdinand, who initiated a four-century-long Habsburg rule over these eastern territories. However, according Charles V testament, the titles of King of Hungary, of Dalmatia, and of Croatia and others were legated to his grandson, Infante Carlos, Prince of Asturias who was the son of Philip II of Spain, and who died young. Charles’s full titulature went as follows:

Charles, by the grace of God, Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King of Germany, King of Italy, King of all Spains, of Castile, Aragon, León, of Hungary, of Dalmatia, of Croatia, Navarra, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Cordova, Murcia, Jaén, Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, King of Two Sicilies, of Sardinia, Corsica, King of Jerusalem, King of the Western and Eastern Indies, of the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Lorraine, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland, Neopatria, Württemberg, Landgrave of Alsace, Prince of Swabia, Asturia and Catalonia, Count of Flanders, Habsburg, Tyrol, Gorizia, Barcelona, Artois, Burgundy Palatine, Hainaut, Holland, Seeland, Ferrette, Kyburg, Namur, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Drenthe, Zutphen, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgau, Oristano and Gociano, Lord of Frisia, the Wendish March, Pordenone, Biscay, Molin, Salins, Tripoli and

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Carlos I, King of Spain, King of Naples & Sicily.

On December 21, 1507, Charles was first betrothed to 11-year old Mary of England the daughter of King Henry VII of England and younger sister to the future King Henry VIII of England, who was to take the throne in two years. However, the engagement was called off in 1513 on the advice of Thomas Wolsey and Mary was instead married to King Louis XII of France in 1514.

After his ascension to the Spanish throne, negotiations for Charles’s marriage began shortly after his arrival in Spain, with the Spanish nobles expressing their wishes for him to marry his first cousin Isabella of Portugal, the daughter of King Manuel I of Portugal and Charles’s aunt Maria of Aragon. The nobles desired for Charles to marry a princess of Spanish blood and a marriage to Isabella would secure an alliance between Spain and Portugal. The 18-year-old King, however, was in no hurry to marry and ignored the nobles’ advice. Instead of marrying Isabella, he sent his sister Eleanor to marry Isabella’s widowed father, King Manuel, in 1518. In 1521, on the advice of his Flemish advisors, especially William de Croÿ, Charles became engaged to his other first cousin, Mary of England daughter of his aunt Catherine of Aragon and King Henry VIII of England, in order to secure an alliance with England. However, this engagement was very problematic since Mary was only 6 years old at the time, sixteen years Charles’s junior, which meant that he would have to wait for her to be old enough to marry.

By 1525, Charles was no longer interested in an alliance with England and could not wait any longer to have legitimate children and heirs. Following his victory in the Battle of Pavia, Charles abandoned the idea of an English alliance, cancelled his engagement to Mary and decided to marry Isabella and form an alliance with Portugal. He wrote to Isabella’s brother King John III of Portugal, making a double marriage contract – Charles would marry Isabella and John would marry Charles’s youngest sister, Catherine. A marriage to Isabella was more beneficial for Charles, as she was closer to him in age, was fluent in Spanish and provided him with a very handsome dowry of 900,000 Portuguese cruzados or Castilian folds that would help to solve his financial problems brought on by the Italian Wars.

On March 10, 1526, Charles and Isabella met at the Alcázar Palace in Seville. The marriage was originally a political arrangement, but on their first meeting, the couple fell deeply in love, with Isabella captivating the Emperor with her beauty and charm. They were married that very same night in a quiet ceremony in the Hall of Ambassadors just after midnight. Following their wedding, Charles and Isabella spent a long and happy honeymoon at the Alhambra in Granada.

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Isabella, Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Spain.

The marriage lasted for thirteen years until Isabella’s death in 1539. The Empress contracted a fever during the third month of her seventh pregnancy, which resulted in antenatal complications that caused her to miscarry to a stillborn son. Her health further deteriorated due to an infection and she died two weeks later on May 1, 1539, aged 35. Charles was left so grief-stricken by his wife’s death that he shut himself up in a monastery for two months where he prayed and mourned for her in solitude.

In the aftermath, Charles never recovered from Isabella’s death, dressing in black for the rest of his life to show his eternal mourning, and, unlike most kings of the time, he never remarried. In memory of his wife, the Emperor commissioned the painter Titian to paint several posthumous portraits of Isabella; the portraits that were produced included Titian’s Portrait of Empress Isabel of Portugal and La Gloria. Charles kept these portraits with him whenever he travelled and they were among those that he later brought with him to the Monastery of Yuste in 1557 after his retirement.

Charles also paid tribute to Isabella’s memory with music when, in 1540, he commissioned the Flemish composer Thomas Crecquillon to compose new music as a memorial to her. Crecquillon composed his Missa ‘Mort m’a privé in memory of the Empress, which itself expresses the Emperor’s grief and great wish for a heavenly reunion with his beloved wife.

Health

Charles suffered from an enlarged lower jaw, a deformity that became considerably worse in later Habsburg generations, giving rise to the term Habsburg jaw. This deformity may have been caused by the family’s long history of inbreeding, which was commonly practiced in royal families of that era to maintain dynastic control of territory.[citation needed] He suffered from epilepsy. and was seriously afflicted with gout, presumably caused by a diet consisting mainly of red meat. As he aged, his gout progressed from painful to crippling. In his retirement, he was carried around the monastery of St. Yuste in a sedan chair. A ramp was specially constructed to allow him easy access to his rooms.

Abdications and Later Life.

Charles abdicated the parts of his empire piecemeal. First he abdicated the thrones of Sicily and Naples, both fiefs of the Papacy, and the Duchy of Milan to his son Philip in 1554. Upon Charles’s abdication of Naples on 25 July, Philip was invested with the kingdom (officially “Naples and Sicily”) on 2 October by Pope Julius III. The abdication of the throne of Sicily, sometimes dated to 16 January 1556, must have taken place before Joanna’s death in 1555. There is a record of Philip being invested with this kingdom (officially “Sicily and Jerusalem”) on 18 November 1554 by Julius. These resignations are confirmed in Charles’s will from the same year.

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His Imperial Majesty, The Emperor.

The most famous—and public—abdication of Charles took place a year later, on 25 October 1555, when he announced to the States General of the Netherlands his abdication of those territories and the county of Charolais and his intention to retire to a monastery. He abdicated as ruler of the Spanish Empire in January 1556, with no fanfare, and gave these possessions to Philip. On 27 August 1556, he abdicated as Holy Roman Emperor in favor of his brother Ferdinand, although the abdication was not formally accepted by the Electors of the Empire until 1558. The delay had been at the request of Ferdinand, who had been concerned about holding a risky election in 1556.

Charles retired to the Monastery of Yuste in Extremadura but continued to correspond widely and kept an interest in the situation of the empire. He suffered from severe gout. Some scholars think Charles decided to abdicate after a gout attack in 1552 forced him to postpone an attempt to recapture the city of Metz, where he was later defeated.

Charles’s abdication has been variously interpreted by historians and even contemporaries. While many saw in it an unsuccessful man’s escape from the world, his peers thought differently. Charles himself had been considering abdication even in his prime. In 1532 his secretary, Alfonso de Valdés, suggested to him the thought that a ruler who was incapable of preserving the peace and, indeed, who had to consider himself an obstacle to its establishment was obliged to retire from affairs of state. Once the abdication had become a fact, St. Ignatius of Loyola had this to say:

The emperor gave a rare example to his successors…in so doing, he proved himself to be a true Christian prince…may the Lord in all His goodness now grant the emperor freedom.

The quote by St. Ignatius of Loyola is evidence that even after his abdications Charles V was still referred to by his Imperial title.

In August 1558, Charles was taken seriously ill with what was later revealed to be malaria. He died in the early hours of the morning on 21 September 1558, at the age of 58, holding in his hand the cross that his wife Isabella had been holding when she died.