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An heir and a spare ...

This editorial was published in ROYALTY DIGEST QUARTERLY 3/2011
…and so an heir is on its way here in the Kingdom of Sweden… [are Great Britain, Holland and Denmark “Queendoms”?]

Some say that this will be the end of the Bernadottes. After Victoria it will be the Westling dynasty for sure. Rubbish, I say! Uneducated, stubborn, macho rubbish! Let’s compare; In England we had the Tudors, the Stuarts and the Hanovers and then, following Queen Victoria’s marriage to her cousin Albert, the dynasty was called “Saxe-Coburg and Gotha”. As we all know, King George V, after a lot of anti-German feelings during the Great War, gave the family a new name; Windsor. It is said that the German Emperor, the bombastic William II, upon hearing of the change roared with laughter and proclaimed: “Henceforth in Germany, Shakespeare’s play “The Merry Wives of Windsor” shall be called “The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha”.

Sometimes you see the combination “Mountbatten-Windsor”, as a surname for the children and some grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the latter having assumed the name of his uncle, Mountbatten, in 1947 when he became a British subject. To us Royal genealogists, however, he will always be Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, just as his two youngest grandchildren will always be Princess Louise and Prince James, not Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn…

 In Holland, with several generations of reigning Queens, the dynasty would have changed its name repeatedly; from Orange-Nassau to Mecklenburg-Schwerin to Lippe-Biesterfeld and eventually to von Amsberg. This never happened of course, nor will it happen in Denmark, where the next generations have indeed received ‘Count Laborde de Monpezat’ as an additional name and title but the name of the dynasty remains “Glücksburg”. But there are exceptions; The Windsors of course, but also the Royal family of Romania, which in the future is to be called just that and not “Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen”. 

The Romanovs celebrated their 300th jubilee in 1913 – but was it really correct to call them that? True – on paper they did descend from the original Romanovs, but we all know of the activities of Catherine the Great, and how small the chance is that her husband, Emperor Peter III, was the father of the future Emperor Paul. Not to mention Spain and the many lovers of Queen Isabella II, one of whom certainly fathered the future Alfonso XII. In spite of all this, reigning Queens in the succession, unfaithfulness and illegitimate children that are still allowed to succeed to the throne, and historical turmoil – the names of the dynasties seem rather stable.  
 
Long live the Bernadotte dynasty!
                                                       
                                           Ted Rosvall
 

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