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Last Tuesday I looked at the origins of the Holy Roman Empire and that got me thinking about all the titles and styles and the hierarchy of royalty in general. Most people in the US have a rudimentary understanding of royalty and their various titles from the British system. However, the British model is not the standard which is followed in other countries. Although there are similarities across the board there are also differences and standards and practices unique to each country.

Terms like royalty get thrown about rather easily. Most people seeing someone with the title of Prince or Princess may think that person was “royal” but that isn’t always true. All titles of royalty or nobility fit under the broad umbrella of a Monarchical governmental system. Say that three times fast! Under this type of system there is a vast array of titles and styles. It can all get confusing. I must confess one of the motives for me in doing this series is to keep all of this stuff straight myself! For example, here in the US I have heard many people call the family that rules Monaco a “royal” family but technically they are not. In reality they are a Princely family. The ruling Family in Japan is an Imperial family. In Britain, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden are all considered royal families because the head of the monarchy is a king or queen. Luxemburg has a Grand Ducal family and Liechtenstein, like Monaco, has a princely family.

So for the next few weeks, or however long it takes, I a going to examine the practices, the rules and regulations of each system in regards to who is a royal, who is not, who is a dynast and who is not. I will also look at the differences between royalty and nobility. In some countries, such as the German system, this is a little fuzzy. If you have any questions or points you want to make…or even correct my errors, feel free to chime in.

This will be the schedule I will follow each Tuesday until it is done!

Britain: England/Scotland
Germany*
France/Italy
Spain
Scandinavian Countries.

* Germany is so vast and complex it may take weeks to do it all. I will look at many different German houses including Prussia, Austria, Bavaria etc. I haven’t figured it all out yet! Also, since many countries have families that stem from German families where the German system was incorporated into these other monarchies, I am not sure there is overlap so some countries may be addressed while I research the German system. 

So, I am off to do my homework for next week!

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