List of heirs to the throne of Luxembourg

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This page is a list of heirs to the throne of Luxembourg. The list includes all individuals who were considered to inherit the throne of Luxembourg, either as heir apparent or as heir presumptive, since the constitution of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 15 March 1815. Those who actually succeeded as Grand Duke or Grand Duchess of Luxembourg are shown in bold.

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna and given to the new King of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in exchange for his ancestral Principality of Orange-Nassau, which went to Prussia; as a result, the first Grand Dukes of Luxembourg were Dutch kings also, and their heirs were eligible for both thrones. This union began to crack in 1884, when the last son of the King-Grand Duke died, leaving no male heir in the Orange-Nassau line. While the King's daughter Wilhelmina could (and would) inherit the Dutch throne, Luxembourg, a "German" territory, followed the Nassau Family Pact of 1783, wherein Salic law (barring females from inheriting) applied. Instead, the throne passed to the only remaining branch of the Nassau family, the House of Nassau-Weilburg.[1]

This branch would face a similar situation only twenty years later: the Grand Duke had six daughters but no sons, and had deemed his cousins the Counts of Merenberg, issue of a morganatic marriage, illegible to inherit the throne. Instead (to the protest of the Count of Merenberg),[2] he instituted a "Semi-Salic" solution, affirming (more clearly than the Nassau Family Pact had) that the throne could pass to his daughters (and their male heirs) in order of birth, with the husband of a Grand Duchess specifically having no role as ruler.[3]

In 2011 the law of succession was changed to allow women to inherit the throne with equal right to men.[4]

Heirs to the throne of Luxembourg
Heir Status Relationship to monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir Next in line of succession Monarch
Date Reason Date Reason
Prince Willem, Prince of Orange Heir apparent Eldest son 16 March 1815 Father became grand duke 7 October 1840 Father abdicated,
became grand duke
Prince Frederick, 1815–1817, brother Willem I
Prince Willem, 1817–1840, son
Prince Willem, Prince of Orange Heir apparent Eldest son 7 October 1840 Father became grand duke 17 March 1849 Father died,
became grand duke
Prince Willem, 1840–1849, son Willem II
Prince Willem, Prince of Orange Heir apparent Eldest son 17 March 1849 Father became grand duke 11 June 1879 Died Prince Maurice, 1849–1850, brother Willem III
Prince Hendrik, 1850–1851, uncle
Prince Alexander, 1851–1879, brother
Prince Alexander, Prince of Orange Heir apparent Youngest son 11 June 1879 Brother died 21 June 1884 Died Prince Frederick, 1879–1881, great-uncle
Adolph, Duke of Nassau, 1881–1884, 17th cousin twice removed, heir of collateral branch
Adolph, Duke of Nassau Heir presumptive 17th cousin once removed, senior heir of Nassau-Weilburg line 21 June 1884 Penultimate Orange-Nassau heir died 23 November 1890 Last Orange-Nassau grand duke died,
became grand duke
Prince Wilhelm, 1884–1890, son
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume Heir apparent Son 23 November 1890 Father became grand duke 17 November 1905 Father died,
became grand duke
Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm, 1890–1905, uncle Adolphe
Count Georg Nikolaus of Merenberg, 1905, cousin
Count Georg Nikolaus of Merenberg Heir presumptive Cousin 1905 Cousin became grand duke 10 July 1907 Excluded by new constitution Count Michael Alexander of Merenberg, son Guillaume IV
Hereditary Grand Duchess Marie-Adélaïde Heir presumptive Eldest daughter 10 April 1907 Constitution amended 25 February 1912 Father died,
became grand duchess
Princess Charlotte, sister
Princess Charlotte Heir presumptive Sister 25 February 1912 Sister became grand duchess 14 January 1919 Sister abdicated,
became grand duchess
Princess Hilda, sister Marie-Adélaïde
Princess Hilda Heir presumptive Sister 14 January 1919 Sister became grand duchess 5 January 1921 Son born to grand duchess Princess Antonia, sister Charlotte
Hereditary Grand Duke Jean Heir apparent Eldest son 5 January 1921 Born 12 November 1964 Mother abdicated,
became grand duke
Princess Hilda, 1921–1927, aunt
Prince Charles, 1927–1955, brother
Prince Henri, 1955–1964, son
Hereditary Grand Duke Henri Heir apparent Eldest son 12 November 1964 Father became grand duke 7 October 2000 Father abdicated,
became grand duke
Prince Jean, 1964–1981, brother Jean
Prince Guillaume, 1981–2000, son
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume Heir apparent Eldest son 7 October 2000 Father became grand duke Incumbent Prince Félix, brother Henri

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Constitution de Luxembourg" (PDF) (in French). Service central de législation. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  2. ^ New York Times. "Count Merenberg Protests: Would Not Have a Woman Reign in Luxembourg". 16 June 1907.
  3. ^ (French)/(German) "Mémorial A, 1907, No. 37" (PDF). Service central de législation. Retrieved 2008-01-14. 
  4. ^ "New Ducal succession rights for Grand Duchy". Luxemburger Wort. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2011.