Royal Dynasties, Who's Next In Line? What it Means to be Royal in Modern Times
Royalty has been a fascination for many.
When the subject of royalty is mentioned, one tends to think of the British Royal Family. For the past century, the British Royal Family has definitely taken the front page of almost every newspaper worldwide. The British Royal Family has been a well known dynasty for almost a millennium, or at least since the Tudor line. In the world today, there are at still about fifty countries that still have a royal family. There are eleven royal dynasties in Europe alone.
In the British Royal Family, there has been a lot of conjecture, as to who will the successor to the throne, after her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. By tradition the British Royal succession is as follows:
1 The Prince of Wales
2. Prince William of Wales
3. Prince Henry of Wales
4. The Duke of York
5. Princess Beatrice of York
6. Princess Eugenie of York
7. The Earl of Wessex
8. The Lady Louise Windsor
9. The Princess Royal
10. Mr. Peter Phillips
11. Miss Zara Phillips
12. Viscount Linley
13. The Hon. Charles Armstrong-Jones
14. The Hon. Margarita Armstrong-Jones
15. The Lady Sarah Chatto
16. Master Samuel Chatto
17. Master Arthur Chatto
18. The Duke of Gloucester
19. Earl of Ulster
20. Lord Culloden
21. The Lady Davina Lewis
22. The Lady Rose Windsor
23. The Duke of Kent
24. The Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor
25. The Lady Amelia Windsor
26. The Lady Helen Taylor
27. Master Columbus Taylor
28. Master Cassius Taylor
29. Miss Eloise Taylor
30. Miss Estella Taylor
31. The Lord Frederick Windsor
32. The Lady Gabriella Windsor
33. Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy
34. Mr. James Ogilvy
35. Master Alexander Ogilvy
36. Miss Flora Ogilvy
37. Miss Marina Ogilvy
38. Master Christian Mowatt
39. Miss Zenouska Mowatt
40. The Earl of Harewood
Even though this is how the list goes, according to tradition, there have been rumors that Her Majesty may decide on leaving the throne to Prince William, rather than Prince Charles. Then again, the world will not know, until the day that the succession to the throne is finally decided.
One may often wonder, how did the laws for royal succession came about? Like all other matters of importance in life, the laws of succession have their roots. An article in the International Commission of Nobility and Royalty Website, states that the laws of succession are as follows: in some countries such as Spain, Belgium, Finland and the Netherlands nobility is subject to public law. In other countries nobility is organized within the royal family itself. The rules of royal succession cannot be changed by the monarch, or their successors. Therefore, one can easily assume that since ancient times most royal families are bound by certain rules of succession that they must adhere to. Noble succession is either agnatic or cognatic. Agnatic succession is sort of an all boys club. It is the succession that goes from father to son. Cognatic succession is succession, continued in both the male and female side of the family, in a parallel line. Although, most royal families today, practice agnatic succession, in many countries cognatic succession was the original form of succession.
Another important area of the life of nobles is heraldry. Heraldry encompasses all matters of duties and responsibilities of officers of arms. Although, most people define heraldry as having to do with what is known as a coat of arms. According to Wikipedia.org the coat of arms are described in the following way, “This includes a description of the escutcheon (shield), the crest, and, if present, supporters, mottoes, and other insignia. An understanding of these rules is one of the keys to sound practice of heraldry. The rules do differ from country to country, but there are some aspects that carry over in each jurisdiction.” Heraldry is nearly nine hundred years old and is still in very much use. Heraldry began with ancient warriors, who decorated their shield with patterns and mythological motifs. These symbols could be used to identify the warriors bearing them when their faces were obscured by helmets. Heraldry is now done on paper, since modern weaponry has made shields obsolete. Each nation has its own style of heraldry. There are certain features that characterize British heraldry, and other features that characterize Latin or French heraldry.
The last area of royalty, I would like to cover is the concept of chivalry and modern times. When most of us think of chivalry, we usually think of gentlemanly behavior. By this, I am referring to the man, who always opens doors for ladies, is always attentive, and is willing to carry a heavy package for a woman. Kenelm Henry Digby (1800-1880) in his book The Broad-Stone of Honour or, The True Sense and Practice of Chivalry defined chivalry as follows: Chivalry is only a name for that general spirit or state of mind which disposes men to heroic actions, and keeps them conversant with all that is beautiful and sublime in the intellectual and moral world. (p. 86). Chivalry was an idea started in Spain and France that distinguished men who chose to be heroic and ideal rather than brutish and savage. In a world where most ideals fall short, chivalry being an ideal used to encourage humanity to aspire to a higher form of life, which included courage, uncommon decency, generosity, valor and being a protector of the weak and the poor. This was especially expected of those who went to battle and represented their monarchy and their nation, as well as any self respecting male in that kingdom. The history of chivalry can be divided into four periods. The first period was The Golden Age of chivalry, which was the time of the Crusaders. The second period was the time of the military orders, crowned by sanctity and vows, similar in austerity to the monastic professions of brotherhood. The third period, devoid of war made knights and knighthood more and more the property of kings and princes, who began to establish their own order with the purpose of controlling the nobility. The loss of honor and the ideals that originally defined chivalry marked the beginning of the end of greatness around the fourth period of history, in the 15th Century.
Even though many royal traditions, have changed, or have been reinvented. To one degree or another, in modern times, many actions on the part of royals today still uphold traditions that have been around for thousands of years. Royalty has been the fascination of many since it very advent. The whole world stopped the day Princess Diana died. When Prince Charles married Lady Dianna Spencer back on July 29th 1981, they had an audience of 750 million viewers, 600,000 people filled the streets of London to get a glimpse of the newly married royal couple. The world also came to a halt on September 14th 1982, when Princess Grace of Monaco died in car crash, the news took many by surprise.
Royal romances have always been very much chronicled in every newspaper, as well as television. When King Edward VIII chose to marry American divorcé, Wallis Warfield Simpson and abdicated the throne on December 11, 1936 the world was stunned. Prince Andrew made many headlines when he chose to married Sarah Ferguson, their July 23rd 1986 wedding was viewed by a television audience of 500 million. Princess Margaret’s (Queen Elizabeth II sister) great love, and forbidden marriage to Captain Townsend was also of great interest to the media. Whatever the reason, royals and their relationships, have been a fascinating subject for many.
Then there are the events that surround “American Royalty,” such as when John Kennedy Jr.’s plane crashed back on July 16, 1999. I remember going to work the following day, and everyone at the office, where I was worked, could not stop talking about this tragic event. Many of the events surrounding the Kennedy family have normally been front page news. John F. Kennedy’s presidency was often termed as "Camelot."
Whether it is because this is the stuff fairy tales are made of, or because royals tend to be bigger than life, to most of us. Royals will continue to fascinate almost everyone, for many years to come.
If you would like more information on royal traditions and royalty in general this is a very informative website. Here is the link for your convenience.
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