The Rightful British Monarch By Virtue of Birthright

The current British monarch, Elizabeth II,  celebrates another milestone in her reign. 

St. Edward's Crown, the official crown wore by British monarchs during coronation
Photo credit List Verse

It's been 65 years since she was formally invested as Queen of the United Kingdom and Her Realms. The third of the Windsors to mount the British throne, Elizabeth ascended the throne following the death of her father, George VI, on February 6, 1952, but it was not until June 2, 1953 that she was formally crowned as British monarch at the glittering ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

However, I would not dwell too much on the Queen's coronation anniversary, so much formality of praises has been said. There was no doubt, she is one of the most influential monarchs in the world today. But for royal enthusiasts' sake, I would touch the interesting subject rarely tackled in social discussions. The rightful British monarch and how destiny paved the way for her to occupy the  highest throne on earth. Tracing her blood line and birth circumstances, the respected monarch was not expected to ascend the British throne, at least at the time of her birth in 1926.

Elizabeth, who is now 92 years old, was born as an eldest child of the then Prince Bertie, Duke of York, the second son of King George V, who himself the second son of King Edward VII and was not also expected to ascend the British throne had his older brother, Prince Victor, Duke of Clarence, has not died from a mysterious illness.

King George V's heir-apparent was Prince David, the flamboyant Prince of Wales who loved to create controversies in his time. When George V died, David immediately ascended the throne as Edward VIII, but before he could be formally invested as monarch, he abdicated to marry a twice divorced American commoner, Wallis Simpson, whom his parents referred as his "unholy lover". Not only the woman was American, she was a commoner and divorce, circumstances that the royal family dreaded. By royal standard, Wallis was never considered a suitable wife of a British King.

Bertie unexpectedly picked up the tarnished crown left by his love-struck brother, and  reigned as King George VI. He managed to serve the throne with devotion and honor. However, his eldest daughter, still was not considered as heir-apparent. As British monarchy at that time was following a male-preference primogeniture succession, Elizabeth was only considered heir-presumptive, meaning only a conditional heir to the throne. If her parents would produce a male heir, she would step lower, together with her children, in the line of succession. Fortunately, Prince Bertie and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, did not have children following the birth of their second daughter, Princess Margaret.

History would prove that there are two gateways that paved the way of Elizabeth's destiny to become a British monarch. The exclusion of Roman Catholics in the line of succession and the death of Princess Charlotte of Wales in 1817.

Had Catholics were not barred from succeeding the British throne in the 17th century, the current British monarch would be Prince Franz, the Duke of Bavaria, the current head of the House of Wittelsbach in Germany. Franz is the senior male descendant of King Charles I of England, and therefore the rightful British monarch by virtue of birth right. But in the 17th century, all Catholic descendants of King Charles I, were excluded in the line of succession through an Act of Parliament. 

This was implemented to prevent repeating the bloody war during the reign of Queen Mary I. This monarch attempted an aggression to reverse the English Reformation established by her father, King Henry VIII. The Queen, who was a Roman Catholic, wanted to restore the Roman Catholicism in England and desired to establish Catholic as the realm's official religion. She ordered the execution of many protestants and those considered as heretics in England. Many were burned at stake. There was so much chaos in England during her reign due to this attempt, so much so that she was denounced as Bloody Mary by her protestant opponents.

After the death of Mary, her half-sister, Elizabeth, ascended the throne and re-established what their father started - discarding Catholicism and making Anglican as the official religion of the realms. Thus, the current religion of the British royal family is Anglican. After Elizabeth I's death, the throne passed to the Stuarts of Scotland. And during their reigns Catholics were not barred from succeeding the throne, however, English ministers still not comfortable having a Catholic monarch. When the third Stuart, James II, ascended the throne, the ministers began a move to oust him. King James II was raised a Catholic by his mother, Queen Henrietta, a Roman Catholic French princess. And he had a Catholic second wife, Princess Maria of Modena. 

Afraid the Bloody Mary reign would be repeated, the English ministers initiated a revolution that would oust James. They put his eldest daughter from his first marriage, Princess Mary who was raised a protestant, to the throne. Mary went on to reign with her husband, William III. The couple had no children so the throne passed to Mary's younger sister, Anne. It was during Anne's reign that The Act of Parliament was passed. This law proclaimed that no Roman Catholics will ever reign in England.

So the descendants of King Charles I were effectively barred from succeeding the British throne. However, had this law was not implemented, the throne would pass to Princess Henrietta, the youngest daughter of Charles I who married the Duke of Orleans. And eventually to their direct descendant, Prince Franz, the Duke of Bavaria.

His Royal Highness, Prince Franz, the Duke of Bavaria
He is the most senior male descendant of King Charles I of England, therefore, by virtue of birth right, the rightful British monarch
Photo credit The Telegraph

Prince Franz is now 85 years old and has never married. Therefore, no direct descendants. His heir-apparent to the Jacobite succession of the British throne is his younger brother, Prince Max, and Max's eldest daughter, Princess Sophie, now the hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein. Asking about his opinion over his right to the British throne, his staff made it clear the duke has no interest in British monarchy and already contented being the Duke of Bavaria. 

Prince Franz. an avid art collector, lives in splendid, magical castles and palaces in Germany. Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Berg Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle in the countryside of Bavaria as his country retreat. The breathtaking Neuschwanstein Castle, one of Germany's fairy tale castles, was constructed during the reign of his great uncle, King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Her Royal Highness, Princess Sophie, the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein
Niece of Prince Franz and who has a strong claim by virtue of blood line than Prince Charles as heir-apparent to the British throne

After the death of Queen Anne, the throne passed to her nearest protestant relative, Prince George of Hanover, who became King George I. It was in this blood line that Elizabeth's roots can be directly traced. Her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria, was the granddaughter of George's grandson, King George III.

Still, there was another hindrance.

Queen Victoria herself was not expected to ascend the British throne. She was female and her father, Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, was only fourth son of George III. But a terrible event happened in 1817 that would change the course of British monarchy forever. George III's only legitimate granddaughter at that time, Princess Charlotte (only child of the Prince of Wales who would become King George IV), died when she gave birth to a son. She had no other siblings as her parents separated shortly after she was born.

After the death of Charlotte, her father's successor was her uncle, Prince William, Duke of Clarence, King George III's third son. He became King William IV, he too had no legitimate children so the throne passed to his niece, Victoria.

It's crazy how destiny creates its own path to pave the way for a certain event to take place. Therefore in this world, if things are meant to be yours, it will happen, no matter how impossible the circumstances are. Just think of Queen Elizabeth II's almost impossible fate to become the longest reigning monarch in British history.

So believing in destiny manifests power. 😁😃

For more of royal stories, 
you may visit my royal blog, click ROYALS OF EUROPE

Post a Comment