Talk:Line of succession to the British throne/Archive 3

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Succession Box for Skipped Persons

I was toying with succession boxes, and thinking would it be possible to insert a LOS box on the pages of those people listed as skipped, and then in the box, mentioning they would be in line, but are skipped? Something like this, using, for example, The Earl of St. Andrews:

Preceded by
The Duke of Kent
skipped in the Line of succession to the British throne Succeeded by
skipped Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick

Just a thought. Morhange 17:50, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Tell me about these succession boxes, which I've stayed far away from. Do they have to be maintained manually on each person's separate page? If so, isn't that the biggest pain in the whole entire history of the universe? Chaucer1387 22:25, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I would argue that it is inappropriate to include skipped persons in the succession boxes. For various reasons (illegitimacy, papistry, marriage to a papist) these persons are not in line of succession to the UKGBNI throne. "No. 22 HRH The Duke of Kent" is followed by "No. 23 Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor". It is, however, useful to have these persons listed on this page since in the case of the papists, their future children may be in line. Noel S McFerran 23:03, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I would argue that we shouldn't have these succession boxes. john k 15:12, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
I concur. I think that they are useful for connecting sovereigns and who actually succeeded somebody else. But I don't think that they are useful or necessary to show connections within a current line of succession. Noel S McFerran 18:08, 17 March 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. I'm not sure what the best place to open this line of discussion would be, though. john k 20:05, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Recent changes (10 March)

(1) If Dona Eugenia isn't a baptized papist yet, someone should not just remove the word "skipped" but also get her a number in the list by replacing the colon with a <li>. I would do it, but this list is sooooo long (thanks in part to me) and in-one-piece that it's a bear to modify.

Oops, sorry. I forgot that this had to be done (and obviously didn't preview). Noel S McFerran 12:19, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

(2) This "Shane Madonna" business sounds fake to me. Chaucer1387 03:35, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Reitwiesner doesn't mention such a child on his 2001 list. Noel S McFerran 12:19, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
I've removed "Shane". Noel S McFerran 12:23, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

Making information clearer

I've been keeping track of some of this myself in a spreadsheet, and I've used a slightly different way to list people. For each person, I list who their closest common ancestor of Queen Elizabeth is, then I list the lineage since then. For example, Maud Behn's (#65 on the list) closest common relative with Queen Elizabeth is Edward VII of the United Kingdom. Maud's lineage since then is 3-6-1-1-2-1, which means that her descent from Edward VII is through his 3rd heir, Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife, through her 6th heir Maud of Wales, through her 1st heir Olav V of Norway, through his 1st heir Harald V of Norway, through his 2nd heir Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. This also means that she is a 2nd cousin, 4 times removed of Queen Elizabeth. Is any of this information useful enough to be worth adding? Zhinz 02:28, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

Maud of Wales is not a daughter of Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife, but rather her sister. If I understand your method correctly, shouldn't you just have gone from Edward VII of the United Kingdom directly to Maud? As to your question, my personal opinion is that your method would just duplicate what information is already on the page. Trjumpet 15:03, 17 March 2007 (UTC)

You're right, I made a mistake. Her line is 6-1-1-2-1, making her a 2nd cousin, 3 times removed from Queen Elizabeth.

On a different issue, should we be providing sources for all these apparently Catholic individuals? For instance, I'm down to Baron Laurenz von Holzhausen, the son of Baron Johann von Holzhausen, born in 2001. I'm guessing that his family is practicing Catholics, as opposed to, say, Ileana Snyder, who must have married a Catholic, because her children are still on the list. Or maybe Laurenz was born illegitimately; I can't really tell. Anyway, that's kind of the point. Wouldn't it be easier to tell what was going on in if we had sources for (and why) people are ineligible?Zhinz 15:57, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

As I understand it, the case with the Snyders is Ileana was born and raised a Catholic, which took her out of the line of succession. I'm not sure what she is now, but her husband and children are protestants. I agree that this stuff ought to be sourced. john k 18:01, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Other imperial, royal or princely houses in the line of succession

Is this section only supposed to include the heads of houses (or their nearest heirs in succession to become head of the house if the current head is not included)? If so, Margarita of Romania should not be included and I am unsure about Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe as well. Charles 01:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

The present wording ("these members of other imperial, royal or princely houses") does not suggest that these individuals are heads of houses or heirs of heads of houses. I think that the present set up is okay. Noel S McFerran 04:13, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Until today the headings in the table read "Country" and "Monarch"; I have changed these to "House" and "1st Member in Succession". It would be a somewhat shorter list if we only included the individuals who are heads of their respective houses. Noel S McFerran 13:37, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Am I here somewhere?

How many of the people in this absurdly long line of succession know or suspect that they are in the line of succession? Michael Hardy 22:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Eh, far too many, I suspect. Much more fun if they didn't, say I. Doops | talk 22:24, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
This is not a King Ralph situation. Most of the people on this list either belong directly to a family that thinks of itself as noble or are very closely related to someone who was indisputably a member of a royal family; this pretty much ensures that they're aware of the relevant genealogical facts. All of them show up on the noble houses genealogy web pages that we've been using to create the list. Sure, some of them may know "I'm descended from a king or queen" but not make the connection to the concept of "If the right 943 people die, I will be king or queen myself." (I would guess that some think "I'm probably in the line of succession but I'm not in the top 500 so it's kind of pointless to even think about this!", which is probably fairly healthy.) But I'd suspect that very few of them don't know and would be surprised if they found out. Chaucer1387 13:06, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
LOL that exact same thing came to my mind as I was scrolling through the list.
I was around #500 and I was thinking 'Hmmm I wonder how much futher I have to go till I show up' :) --Reyals 02:18, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Skipping descendants of born illegitimate, legitimated by subsequent marriage

Today I've made a few significant changes:

1. Prince August of Württemberg married November 14, 1868. His daughter Catharina von Schenck was born April 18, 1865. Her descendants are therefore not in line.

2. Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau married July 1, 1868. His elder daughter Countess Torby was born June 1, 1868. Her descendants (including a number of illustrious individuals) are not in line. Noel S McFerran 01:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

This isn't original research, is it? Their illegitimacy was known? (Amazing given the century!) Doops | talk 02:27, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
No, it's not original research. The dates are published in numerous printed works of royal genealogy. Noel S McFerran 02:58, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

There has also been a recent series of reverts about whether to list individually the descendants of people born illegitimate with a skipped statement when they appear "early" in the list, e.g. the descendants of Mark Lascelles and Martin Lascelles, all of whom were born illegitimate but legitimated by subsequent marriage of their parents (which, however, does not mean that they get into the line of succession).

My own view is as follows: it makes sense to include each and every papist because any of their descendants who are not baptised as papists are in line of succession. However, none of the descendants of those born illegitimate will ever be in line of succession (unless through some totally other descent). It is therefore not necessary to name individually the descendants of those born illegitimate. It is useful, however, to have a general "skipped the descendants of ..." statement. Noel S McFerran 13:58, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Meaning of 'next in line'

I'm a little confused on the meaning of 'next in line' as it's used here. Are we to assume that the people on the list (beginning with the Queen) will die in order? To illustrate the point, consider the scenario: If Charles died today, and her Majesty tomorrow, would it be William (eldest son of Charles) or Andrew (eldest surviving son of Elizabeth) that succeeded?

The US Presidential succession's meaning is obvious: we go down the list until we find a living candidate. But it's not clear that this list follows the same pattern.

If, in the above scenario, it were Andrew to become King, then the list ought to be rearranged (just the first section, by numbers): 1, 4, 7, 9, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11

Gracious me, you are confused! The Line of Succession is absolute, so when the Queen dies, the throne descends to the next person on the list (most likely Charles, if he is alive, or William if the former is not). If all three of those were to perish without any changes (i.e. the princes having children), then the throne would go to Andrew.
Thusly, the line only changes with deaths, legitimate births, conversions to Catholicism and marriages to Catholics. Any further questions? I'll gladly answer more! :D DBD 23:31, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually, if the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William all die, the throne wouldn't go to Andrew, but to Harry, of course! Morhange 04:50, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Lol whoops! DBD 16:18, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
See, that still doesn't make sense to me. How can a grandson inherit before a son? According to the page on primogeniture, "Primogeniture is the common tradition of inheritance by the first-born of the entirety of a parent's wealth, estate or office; or in the absence of children, by collateral relatives, in order of seniority of the collateral line." Cognatic primogeniture (discussed later in the same article) doesn't change the key principle.
Can't William's claim only succeed "in the abscence of children," a condition that would only be met if Andrew, Edward and Anne were out of the picture? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:53, 29 April 2007 (UTC).
William is the "children" - the throne descends to a child, then to his children, before "child"'s siblings. Thusly, at the moment, the throne descends to Charles (son #1), then to his first son, William, then to Harry (because William has no children), then to Andrew (because Charles has no children beyond William and Harry), then to Beatrice and Eugenie (separately, in that order, because Andrew has no sons, and neither of them has children), etc, etc. Thus, it is said to descend along the male lines in preference of female lines.
Incidentally, if we had equal primo, and it were applied retroactively, Anne, the Queen's second child, and her line would slot between Charles' line and Andrew's... DBD 16:18, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I'd just finished schlepping through the entire genealogy back to Sophia of Hanover when I saw what you'd written here. I think I've got it: Counting any male as "elder" than any female, the crown will descend to the "eldest" member of the most "senior" line of the (natural) descendents of Sophia of Hanover. If you lay out a tree of her descendents, with the sons on the left and daughters on the right in order of seniority, you could simply follow the tree, beginning with Sophia and taking only right turns on the way down, until you found a survivor, and he (or she, I guess) must be next in line.
Incidentally, the scenario I was describing has happened before. George II was succeded by his grandson through Frederick, Prince of Wales (then deceased), George William (George III), even though George II had a surviving son, William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. And I guess I should sign off, so that I don't come off as an anonymous Internet bum; my name is Thaddeus, I'm a student in Virginia. You're unlikely to hear from me again, but thanks for taking the time. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:27, 29 April 2007 (UTC).
Just to add to this (although the discussion was some months ago) - George III took over an elder sister - this first of only two times this has occurred under the Act of Settlement. Alan Davidson 02:42, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Applicability to Bitsches

Erik Bitsch died in 2005 and was finally taken of the list earlier today; he had been at about #1000. No problem there. He had children who were never added to the list. Based on what I've seen here, it would seem that it is still appropriate to add them, right? Matchups 02:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Yep. Sometimes, with the families who are descended from more distant or deposed royals, you don't always find information on the family when a child is born or a member dies. Even if Erik is dead though, his children should still be on here. Morhange 06:08, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Edward VIII of the United Kingdom

I don't see descendents of Edward VIII on here. I realize he abdicated to marry an American but his lineage would still be very close to the royals. I'm surprised they'r not in the top 30 or so. Even after he abdicated... didn't he retain some title? Am I missing something?-- 14:58, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

He didn't have any children did he? Ok... answer me this... if he had had a son or daughter... where would they fall in all of this.-- 15:01, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
They wouldn't. When Edward abdicated, he renounced his claim to the throne for himself and his future descendants. He didn't have any children, so it doesn't matter anyway, but if he had, they wouldn't be in line. Morhange 15:16, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
And if, on yet another hand, he had' produced heirs and had not abdicated, one of those heirs would be king or queen today. Doops | talk 15:19, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Ooh, and what if he'd had wings?! DBD 15:47, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, that depends on whether or not wings are heritable. Doops | talk 16:33, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Randomness over, if you look at his abdication notice:
The Instrument of Abdication signed by Edward VIII and his three brothers
. It says he renouce the throne for 'himself and his descendents. This is why the whole Queen abticating to Charles is stupid. Lizzie Harrison 17:28, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
That doesn't follow at all. You can certainly abdicate in favor of your own descendents; but Edward VIII didn't have any of these at the time. So the throne had to pass to his brother; and, once that was settled, the abdication notice quite rightly had to take into account the possibility of potential children born in future to Edward VIII; once it has been settled (as by Edward's abdication) that the throne will pass to a 'junior' branch the senior branch necessarily has to be explicitly lopped off lest it, by shooting again, give rise to confusion. The powers-that-be quite rightly wouldn't dream of accepting an abdication which didn't explicitly shut out as-yet-unborn heirs; but that doesn't mean they wouldn't accept an abdication in favor of already-born heirs. Doops | talk 21:09, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Actually there is no provision in law for the sovereign to abdicate, an 'abdication notice' has no constitutional relevance. The His Majesty's Declaration of Abidication Act 1936 received royal assent the day after the notice and passed succession to Albert at the same time as excluding any subsequent issue of Edward from the line. A similar Act would be required for the Queen to abdicate and Charles to take over.

Um, yeah, we all know that. Doops | talk 13:09, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

The instrument of abdication is interesting. Why do his brothers sign by their given names? I had thought, as peers, they would have signed "York," "Gloucester," and "Kent." john k 17:46, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

As royals, they have no surname so from birth they are only known by their forenames. [[User:Lizzie_Harrison|Lizzie[[User talk:Lizzie_Harrison|Harrison]]]] 17:55, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
That didn't even slightly answer my question. My understanding was that peers generally sign by their peerage titles. Which would be, again, "York," "Gloucester," and "Kent." That royals aren't known by a surname is largely irrelevant to this. Not that this is actually relevant to this page, but I just found it odd. john k 18:01, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
What Lizzie meant is that, being royals, and signing with their given name, overrides being a peer and signing with their territorial designation DBD 20:28, 2 June 2007 (UTC)


The British Royal Family lists the first 40 people in line, and lists certain people along with their titles (Duke of York, Kent, Gloucester, Earl of Harewood, Wessex, etc) Those people without titles are listed as, for example, Mr. Peter Phillips, Miss Zara Phillips, Master Samuel Chatto and so on. Should we employ that here? Morhange 02:14, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

If we do, please be careful: it's Mr Peter Phillips with no period, British style. Matchups 02:28, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Evidently the Windsors haven't learnt "British style" yet. Check the website; they use a period after Mr. Noel S McFerran 03:00, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
It's the Royal website, they're not using a style, they're being correct! Mr. Ms. and Mrs. should strictly have dots because they are abbreviations. DB

I agree- use the punctuation, as is proper. Tim Foxworth 03:26, 2 June 2007 (UTC) D 08:52, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

The Oxford English Dictionary disagrees with you. A full stop (i.e. a period) is not usual in Britain. This is common in Britain with many abbreviations which include the last letter of the word abbreviated. Noel S McFerran 11:48, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Is it really? I've lived in Britain all my life and I've never noticed this. Are you sure? Which edition of the OED are you using? Tomgreeny 01:41, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
My understanding is that (in British English) the modern style is for an abbreviation to have a stop unless, as Mcferran says, it's a contraction (i.e. the last letter is used) or an acronym, in which case there are no stops. Hence stops in the abbreviations Pres., Rev., etc. but not in the contractions Revd, Dr, Mr, nor in the acronyms NACRO, NATO, etc. This is, however, a matter of style, and (in my view, at least) consistency is the important thing. In the 1950s it was common to see, for instance, N.A.T.O., Mr., Dr. etc., and the Royal Household still use this form, although it is now generally considered to be old-fashioned. Incidentally, the implication of this 'rule' is that Saint is always abbreviated to St whereas Street can be St or St. as it may be interpreted as an abbreviation or a contraction. Phew! It may be for this reason that the Economist Style Guide demands that full stops are never used in abbreviations... Hope this helps. talkGiler 09:04, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we should employ it here. For one, what one might think is appropriate may not be what any given individual in the line of succession might use (Miss/Ms, Mr/Master, etc). Charles 02:44, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
My "vote" would also be no. Noel S McFerran 02:58, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Obviously not. It's not Wikipedia style. Doops | talk 03:49, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
It's not really do-able as far as I can see... DBD 08:52, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. It also avoids the minefield discussed above... talkGiler 09:05, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

There's no clear reason why we should use honorifics. I say no. john k 17:45, 2 June 2007 (UTC)#

"Fact" tags

Somebody just added eight {{fact}} tags and I removed them. The first six pieces of information (about rules) are provided on the main linked pages; the last two, about the current line of succession, are self-evident from the content of the article and do not need separate references. Matchups 01:58, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

I am the somebody. This is a potential featured list. I have added {{Fact}} tags where I feel there is information that needs to be cited specifically. I won't change my opinion about the article until this is done. Todd661 07:59, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
"Deal with it" ?? Doops | talk 15:06, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I will come down on the other side and say that having references here is not only unnecessary, but harmful. I believe that Wikipedia (like many of the software I deal with) suffers from having the same information in multiple places. The articles on the various acts of parliament should be the main, well-referenced sources of information on those acts. The references for other articles should not repeat the primary or secondary sources cited there, but simply the wikilinks to the main articles. Matchups 15:56, 9 May 2007 (UTC)


Just out of curiosity... is there anybody from the United States on this list? Seems like there must be. How many people would have to die before the U.K. has an American king? —Chowbok 21:22, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Peter, Hereditary Prince of Yugoslavia is American-born and currently 92nd in line. Craigy (talk) 21:36, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
Most of the descendants of Archduke Stefan of Austria-Tuscany, son of Princess Ileana of Romania were born in the United States, and are American citizens, but none of them are actually in line for the throne except Ileana Snyder's children. Morhange 23:42, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

I believe that Tewa Lascelles is the highest American citizen in the order of succession. He was born in New Mexico. john k 06:25, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


The article states that the newborn Spaninsh Princess, Sofia, will lose her place upon being baptized. How does this deprive her of her place. How do we know that she will choose to be a Catholic when she is older. She may reject Catholicism when she is old enough (though this is unlikely)? If she does, couldn't one argue that is she never professed a Catholic faith, she was never really a Catholic? I'm a Baptist, and I don't consider a person to belong to a particular religion until he/she personally choooses it. Emperor001 19:33, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Your considerations and the applicable laws are different. Once she is baptized, she will be considered to be a Catholic. Once a Papist, always a Papist. That's the view. Charles 23:26, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
Eh, it's never been tested in court. You'd have to ask a British lawyer how they interpret the act -- it's possible that a kid who's never taken communion or undergone confirmation could get away with having been baptised by catholic clergy. Doops | talk 23:42, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
This is just a thought I had. After all, parents can't choose their kids religion. They can only raise a child in a religion but it is ultimately the child himself/herself that chooses. I was just wondering if a person who was baptized a Catholic but then later rejects Catholicism before confirmation would still be inelligible as they never professed a belief. Emperor001 21:05, 16 May 2007 (UTC)


I know that to be in the line of succession, you must be a Protestant. Other articles in Wikipedia also said that the monarch must be a member of the Church of England. Does this mean that if non-Anglican Protestant inherits the throne, he/she must leave his/her current church to join the Chruch of England in order to stay king/queen or can the person remain in their church and simply participate in a few Anglican ceremonies while still attending his/her own church services? Also, if the former is true, does the heir/heiress lose his/her place if he/she refuses to forsake their religion for the Church of England? Emperor001 00:50, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

To be in the line of succession, you must be not-Catholic. Being Orthodox or Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu is okay. To actually take the throne, you have to join the Church of England. You don't necessarily have to leave your old religion, I don't think. George I and George II participated in Lutheran ceremonies when in Germany, and Anglican when in England. john k 01:03, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Anglicans are a pretty tolerant lot. If anything, it's your OTHER church you might need to double-check with, to be sure they won't kick you out for entering into communion with the CofE. Doops | talk 07:57, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
Is it possible to be a member of two different denominations at the same time? Were George I and II really Anglican and Lutheran at the same time? Emperor001 21:56, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Some would say that recent monarchs, including the present queen, are Anglican and Presbyterian at the same time — certainly Elizabeth doesn't just attend services in the Church of England and the Church of Scotland when in those respective countries, but receives communion too. Doops | talk 22:48, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
As I understand it, the same is true of the first two Georges. The Lutheran Church was established in Hanover in just the same way the Church of England was established in England and Wales. My understanding, additionally, is that Protestant churches aren't terribly bothered about this kind of stuff, the way Catholics would be. john k 00:27, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Great article

Very informative, cheers to everyone who contirbuted seven+one 01:28, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

A hypothetical situation.

Based on this article it seems that someone who is Roman Catholic, or who marries a Roman Catholic, is ineligible for the throne, but that this his/her descendants may still be eligible. For example, Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor appears at number 24 in the list, even though her father, the Earl of St Andrews, through whom she inherits her claim, is ineligible for having married a Catholic.

It seems that this could lead to some strange situations. For example, suppose the following things happen in order:

  • The Queen dies. Charles becomes King.
  • Prince William marries a Roman Catholic (or becomes Roman Catholic), thereby removing himself from the line of succession.
  • Charles dies. Prince Harry becomes king. (since William is ineligible).
  • Harry marries and has a son Hadrian.
  • William and his Catholic wife have a son Wallace, but Wallace is not baptized Roman Catholic and does not marry a Roman Catholic.
  • Harry dies.
  •  ???

Would I be correct in saying that, in this situation, Wallace would become sovereign ahead of Hadrian? This would seem right: Wallace would inherit his claim through his disqualified father William just as Marina currently does through her disqualified father the Earl of St Andrews. Since Wallace is the senior descendant of Sophia Electress of Hanover he outranks Hadrian.

There would seem to be two very odd things about this state of affairs:

  • Harry's son Hadrian would be the first-born son to the sovereign, but would not be heir apparent but only heir presumptive.
  • Wallace would be in the position of being heir apparent, to a sovereign, Harry, who is junior to him in the line of descendants of Sophia.

Comments? Is it worth pointing out this apparent anomaly in the article? Grover cleveland 18:05, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

That's not even the weirdest thing. What about before Harry's death? If Wallace is senior to him, wouldn't he emerge from the womb immediately supplanting Harry? Such a thing is not inconceivable (see Victoria's accession proclamation); but surely not how the real world works. The illogic of this situation is why I've always had doubts about the eligibility of Catholic descendants; it would seem to me that the debarring of anybody would also debar all his/her future issue (children born before the debarring conversion/marriage would remain eligible).
And then there's another interpretation: nobody at all is debarred until the moment of potential succession; but at that moment they are debarred absolutely. That is to say, every heir of Sophia (including the people "skipped" in our list) is in the succession until the throne "tries" to come to them. Then, at that date, they are debarred if they a) are not Protestant Christian at that moment; b) they have EVER been RC or married an RC person, even in the past. Once debarred in this fashion, all future issue would be too; but issue born previously could still be potential sucessors. So that if William's non-Catholic son Wallace were born before Charles's death, he would ascend the throne ahead of Harry; but if born after Charles's death, he would be out altogether and could not displace Harry, Hadrian, or anybody. (Note that this interpretation would support Wikipedia's inclusion of Marina in the numbered list.)
But all three of my possible solutions are of course pure speculation; and the truth of the matter is we will never know — unless it happens and the matter comes to a court case. (And frankly, if it looked likely to happen, Parliament would doubtless pass legislation to clarify.)
I would not recommend adding this question; it verges on original research. But I would recommend toning down the confident tone in which we now assert that the heirs of debarred Catholics are still eligible. (All this, of course, is more relevant to Succession to the British Throne than to this page anyway.) Doops | talk 22:38, 25 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your response. I think the most interesting scenario would be where William is disqualified as above and his son (Wallace in the situation described above) is born at around the same time Charles dies. It would then seem that whether Wallace or Harry succeeds Charles would depend on whether Wallace was born before or after Charles's death, which could lead to some very detailed medical inquiries. The British equivalent of Florida in the 2000 US presidential election, if you know what I mean!
It is notable that the Royal family's web page on the succession also includes Marina but excludes her father. Presumably there must be some reliable sources on this topic? Grover cleveland 11:13, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
Oh I see what you mean about Victoria's accession proclamation: the question was whether William IV's wife could be pregnant with a legitimate child at the time of his death. Such a child (male or female) would have been senior to Victoria in the line of succession upon his or her birth. Presumably there could theoretically have been a similar problem when the current Queen came to the throne (although her mother was over 50 at the time so the probability of her being pregnant with a son would have been remote). Interesting. Grover cleveland 11:24, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
My understanding of the basic situation is that once Harry accedes, William's future children are out of the running, but I'm not really sure why that is, or what in the Act of Settlement would mandate that. john k 15:49, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
I agree: after Harry's accession, the focus presumably shifts to his own heirs and William's children are out of the running (at least until the extinction of Harry's line). I don't know why that should be either, but it seems logical. With regard to the point about whether William IV's wife could have been pregnant with a legitimate child at the time of his death: a similar situation did in fact occur in Spain when Alfonso XII died in 1885, leaving two daughters. The elder daughter, Maria de las Mercedes, Princess of (the) Asturias, would under normal circumstances have become Queen and was indeed titular heiress until her mother gave birth to a posthumous son some months after the King's death: Alfonso XIII, King from the moment of his birth. Had he been a girl, Maria de las Mercedes would have been Queen; indeed, she would presumably have been deemed to have been Queen from the moment of Alfonso XII's death. As it was, it's not clear (at least, not to me) who actually was King or Queen during the period between the death of Alfonso XII and the birth of Alfonso XIII. talkGiler 11:03, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
There seem to be two questions. First, when is the succession calculated? Is it only at the time of the death of the previous monarch, or can it be recalculated at any time? Second, how is it calculated? Does the calculation start from the previous monarch, or does it begin afresh from Sophia, Electress of Hanover?
The examples of Victoria's accession proclamation (and possibly that of Mercedes above, although Spain is obviously under a different system from the UK) suggest that succession can theoretically be recalculated even after the new "monarch"'s accession.
As to the second question, it would certainly make for a neater legal rule if succession is always calculated starting from the previous monarch, rather than starting afresh from Sophia every time. However that doesn't seem to be the case. Why else would His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 specifically remove Edward VIII's possible descendants from the line of succession, unless they would otherwise be first in line ahead of George VI's children?
There must be some reliable sources on this topic somewhere... When I have time I might try a Google Books search. Fascinating discussion -- thanks to everyone participating. Grover cleveland 14:32, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

A couple of thoughts:

  • There is not necessarily a "right" answer. Laws are fallible human customs without an objective reality.
  • I think in this case we can all agree that the law isn't as clear as it could be.
  • What is clear is that, in situations where there might be confusion, Parliament can legislate to clarify. For example, the fact that Edward VIII's declaration of abdication act mentioned his future issue doesn't necessarily mean it HAD to -- perhaps they (if ever born) wouldn't have had any rights. But parliament did us all a favor and made this explicit rather than one of abstruse legal interpretation.
  • The "line of succession" doesn't really exist, except in the minds of curious people like us. In legal terms, there's no big list like this. Rather, when the monarch dies, the throne just passes to Sophia's next heir after him/her. We're just going out of our way to list each of these in turn.

These thoughts don't solve the question, of course; but I think they're useful to us nonetheless. Cheers, Doops | talk 15:47, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with most of your thoughts. However the "line of succession" is not just a figment of Wikipedia's imagination: it appears on the Royal Family's official government website. So presumably there should theoretically be "right" answers to these questions. Grover cleveland 23:03, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Nah, the gov't website is just doing the same thing we're doing, being helpful by applying logic to the law and the family tree to deduce the answer. A press office's brochures carry no legal weight. (And that's a good thing, since a lot of people are less-than-impressed with the royal website's accuracy.) Doops | talk 23:28, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Follow-on question: What if William marries a Roman Catholic (and is thus debarred from succession) but has legitimate issue who are baptised and raised Anglican. Are they in line or are they debarred as well? Carlossuarez46 17:00, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

That is precisely the question discussed above. The general consensus of the editors around here seems to be that if these children are born *before* William is actually passed over (i.e. before the point at which he *would* become king if not for the debarring) then they're still in; but once he's been passed over, future issue is out.
This situation has occurred several times in real life; but always pretty far down the line of succession. Thus we have no precedent on how an accession council or court would handle the matter. Nor (as far as I know) has a legal opinion been sought and published by the government. But the interpretation above, or at least the first half of it (that children remain in if they're born *before* a person is actively passed over), is not only the one assumed for the purposes of the list given in the Wikipedia article, but also the list given at the royal family's own website (note inclusion of Marina, Frederick, and Gabriella). (The other half of this interpretation, that children are out if they're born after a person is actively passed over, would not affect the present list either way.) Doops | talk 17:15, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

A real-life illustration of this situation is provided by the little known fact that Bonnie Prince Charlie himself, later in life and long after the '45 Rebellion, slipped incognito into London and converted to the Church of England (although I believe he later lapsed), as attested by a plaque in the Church of St Mary-le-Strand where the ceremony took place. As history shows however, he did not thereby become de facto King of Great Britain replacing the Hanovers! (talk) 16:47, 7 December 2007 (UTC) DerekJ

As a practical political matter, the law could be changed if a possible future monarch actually did convert to Catholicism and/or married a Catholic. Having a current Catholic as a king or queen could be problematic since he or she is the head of the state churches in England and Scotland— but it should be OK to have a convert from Catholicism or a Protestant child of a Catholic mother in such a role. I suspect that the law will be modified if and when a successor to the throne chooses to marry a Catholic Timothy Horrigan (talk) 16:41, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Question about Andrew's daughters

Can someone tell me why Prince Andrew's daughters are ahead of Prince Edward and Princess Anne in the succession? I thought all the men came before all the women and after that it was oldest to youngest, so wouldn't Edward and Anne and her children come before Andrew's daughters? Thanks217.42.18.124 13:32, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

In any group of siblings, it's first the oldest male followed by his offspring, then the next-to-oldest male followed by his offspring, and so on, up to the youngest male followed by his offspring, then the oldest female followed by her offspring, etc. So it goes Charles - Charles's offspring - Andrew - Andrew's offspring - Edward - Edward's offspring - Anne - Anne's offspring. To find out the order between Charles's children, apply the same rule again, etc. -- Jao 13:57, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

What ifs

What ifs are intriguing but a statement in the article in the section "Other monarchs..." has thrown me:

Additionally, if full lineal primogeniture were applied retroactively since the creation of Great Britain, Queen Beatrice would be Queen of the UK.
Now who is this Queen Beatrice? And does full lineal primogeniture mean that Catholics and those who marry Catholics are no longer excluded?
Those who succeed by the current law are always older (and hence more senior) than their male siblings, its the sisters now who may by being older supplant their brothers.
By playing it out: George I is older than all his sisters, he reigns as before. George II is also older than all his sisters, he reigns as before. Frederick, Prince of Wales is also older than his sisters, and so descent of the crown flows through him, as before, but he died before dad and doesn't reign. Now we diverge: Princess Augusta Charlotte of Wales is older than her brother George III, and in our alternate reality would take precedence over him, and become Queen at George II's death. Her eldest child was Auguste Caroline Friederike Luise of Brunswick-Luneburg (older than her brother), who died before mom so would not have reigned in any event, but she married Frederick I of Württemberg, apparently a Catholic, and had issue. Following that line of descent, their eldest child was William I of Württemberg, and assuming that William's marriage to his first cousin is not out of order, his eldest child was Marie (1816-1887) and we have no further details on whether she had issue.
If not, succession would flow through William's next child, Sophie of Württemberg who married William III of the Netherlands (she died before Marie and would not have reigned), and thence through Sophie to her son, Prince William of the Netherlands who died childless (and also predeceased his aunt Marie), to Willem Alexander Karel Hendrik Frederik (1851-1884) and dead ends there. The Dutch royal succession (Wilhelmina -> Juliana -> Beatrix (if she be who is meant by Beatrice) is not the same as the Brittish, because Wilhelmina was William III of the Netherlands' daughter by his second marriage to Emma of Waldeck and Pyrmont and the British succession is based on Sophie not William and his second wife. So with the extinction of the lines of first two children of William I of Württemberg, we go to his 3rd child, Catherine (1821-1898), who would have been Queen following her sister Marie's death. Our articles don't tell us of her offspring, other than William II of Württemberg (did he have older sisters?). He had one surviving daughter, Pauline (did she have issue?).
Catherine (or Katharina) of Württemberg married her cousin, Duke Friedrich Karl of Württemberg, and they did have issue: Duchess Pauline and Duke Ulrich, who died as a baby. Pauline married Friedrich, The Prince of Wied, and they did have children; their first child was a son, Hermann, who died before his mother, but who did marry and have children before his death. His first child was a son, Friedrich Wilhelm, he became the Prince of Wied, married and had children before his death in 2000. His first son, Alexander, renounced his rights to the family title and is unmarried; his younger brother, Carl, is the Prince of Wied now, and is married with three children, Maximilian, Friedrich and Luise. Alexander and Carl also have a sister, Christina, and a brother, Wolff-Heinrich. For more, see here and here. The Wieds are 520-530 in the present line of succession (but will move up one when Infanta Sofia of Spain is christened tomorrow. Morhange 23:50, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
In any event I would like to know who Beatrice is, or perhaps the line should be scrapped as being unsupportable?Carlossuarez46 22:50, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Removed. Doops | talk 23:29, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's unsupportable – I've been writing an alternative history based on the question, and have found the same as Carlos... DBD 09:10, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
However, it may be interesting to know that Sophia's senior living full-lineal descendent is #546 HSH Prince Maximilian of Wied [1], or, George III's (i.e. the creation of the UK) is #155 HRH Princess Marie Cécile of Prussia [2]. Anyone interested? DBD 00:26, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
This all seems to have been satisfactorily resolved, but I'll just note that the Württemberg royal family was Protestant. john k 18:20, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
I'll trust you on that, I cannot find where I read it that during the Napoleonic wars, when the Württemberg royalty sought refuge in Austria, that conversion was the price of sanctuary. Carlossuarez46 01:06, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The Wurttemberg royal family was Protestant. The present Dukes of W, who descended from a remote secundogeniture however are Catholics.Sophie's elder sister married a Count of Neipberg and disqualified herself by that because the count was a Catholic.Gerard von Hebel 21:39, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

italicized commentary

Throughout the page commentary on forthcoming births is given in italics. Personally I think it sounds gossipy and non-encyclopedic; but I've been overruled before and don't intend to make a big deal out of it. However, I'm more bothered by how much italicized commentary makes reference to upcoming baptism. This also has (to my ears) a gossipy tone; but it's also, more importantly, a more definitive claim than we should be making.

Stated briefly, I doubt whether baptism by Roman Catholic rite is enough, by itself, to remove a person from the succession. This is for two reasons: 1) An infant being baptized has no say in the matter. 2) In a certain sense, there's no such thing as "baptism as a catholic", just "baptism as a christian." See baptism: almost all denominations (including the three relevant here, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and the Church of Scotland) recognize each other's baptisms and do not rebaptize upon conversion — they reconfirm adults; they reordain clergy; but they do not rebaptize. For these two reasons, I think (although of course I am not a lawyer) a person merely baptized as an infant by Catholics would have a legitimate legal argument to make if ever denied the throne. Once you receive communion or undergo confirmation, you're out, certainly; but about mere baptism there's a doubt, especially when performed upon an unwitting infant.

That said, of course, my views are pure WP:OR and inadmissable; but so likewise are yours (dear reader). Alas, there's no court judgement or accession council action we can point to as precedent; and yet we have to have *some* convention to keep this page organized. What to do? Well, I'm fine with the page continuing to follow its current assumption, viz. assuming that RC baptism itself removes you from succession. But we should be more subtle about it, and not proclaim it explicitly in all those italicized notes. Don't mention forthcoming baptisms, in other words, just do the renumbering quietly when the time comes. Doops | talk 06:43, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it is inappropriate in an encyclopedia to predict the future. Noel S McFerran 18:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Exclusion colour- (or otherwise) coding?

On a similar thought, and bearing in mind Doops' comments, does anyone else think that it would be necessary/interesting/possible to code excluded individual by why they were excluded, distinguishing RCs, bastards, legitimated and RC-marrying peoples? DBD 15:30, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

(Technically speaking, bastards and legitimated people are not 'excluded' from the line; they were never in to begin with. Doops | talk 15:33, 16 July 2007 (UTC))
(Not if you look upon it as "excluded from (before?) birth" :D DBD 17:35, 16 July 2007 (UTC))
(Well, by that standard, put me in the list too! Doops | talk 20:28, 16 July 2007 (UTC))
I don't think that this suggestion will work. Many people would have to be multi-coloured, since Catholics often marry Catholics. Noel S McFerran 18:04, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's not a problem; being catholic surely trumps being married to one. Be that as it may, though, I'm also against color -- it would be confusing and gaudy. But the original request does have a point -- italicized "skipped" statements should always note why somebody is skipped; we're not mind-readers. (e.g. "skipped x, a Roman Catholic", etc.) Doops | talk 20:28, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes, we could just lengthen the notes, but I was hoping for a way to differentiate without extending the article text. But then again formatting and/or colour may not print and/or copy correctly... DBD 21:54, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
What if we make this a table instead of a list? In the column for the number, skipped individuals could instead have a code signifying the reason for their skippage. Something like this:
Num/Code Name Relationship
23 HRH The Duke of Kent Son of Prince George, Duke of Kent
PAP George Windsor, Earl of St. Andrews Son of the Duke of Kent

PAP or CAT could be used to signify Catholic (or "Papist" according to the rules) members. ILI or WED could signify illegitimate children (born out of wedlock). I guess that would be the only two codes we would need.Zhinz 01:55, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure why, but I'm not loving it... DBD 07:08, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
There are actually several other reasons people are presently in italics in this list:
  1. the person is a Papist;
  2. the person was a Papist;
  3. the person married somebody who was a Papist at the time of the wedding;
  4. the person was born illegitimate and has remained so;
  5. the person was born illegitimate but has since been legitimated for all legal purposes except succession to the throne;
  6. the person is descended from either 4 or 5 (we don't list these people individually, but only as a group).
Perhaps there are a few more distinctions. I'm with DBD on this. Noel S McFerran 12:56, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Elder and younger, etc.

In August 2006 I posted this message on the talk page:

In the early part of the list (and in a few other later parts), it is common to describe a person as the "elder son" of somebody, rather than just "son". I started adding this to lower parts of the list - but then wondered if this is really useful. It certainly makes the descriptions longer (more often going to a second line). What do others think?

There was one response, saying "Since seniority can be inferred from the sequence, there's no harm in omitting it".

Unless there is widespread objection, I will go ahead and delete "elder" and "younger" etc. Noel S McFerran 22:06, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. john k 23:10, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

And I DBD 23:40, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Succession boxes on other pages

Can we drop the numbered positions on other pages? One can see it here where it is more easy to update. When someone dies, any number of articles have to have the positions changed. Without the number, all that needs to be changed when someone leaves the succession is the articles of the people preceding and following them. Charles 21:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I heartily concur DBD 22:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I also concur. I'm not sure, however, that even if there were a consensus here, that the editors of other pages would concur. Noel S McFerran 22:38, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I would wholeheartedly be willing to include a link to this section for each and every time a number is removed in the edit summary, something like, "Removed per discussion at Talk:Line of succession to the British Throne#Succession boxes on other pages". Charles 23:19, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Unless a technical solution to automatically update the number in the template from this article can be reached (and I suspect it can't, but I'm no template expert), dropping the numbers is the only way to go. Charles's suggestion for the edit summary is also good. -- Jao 08:05, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

In-Line Citations

I want to add in-line citations (one of the reasons for the article's failure to be a featured list candidate. However, what's the accepted format? I see several cases of footnotes in this article already. Will that look weird if the top 40 names all have a footnote to [3] on them, for example?

Yes, that would be weird (your word, not mine) and, in my opinion, totally inappropriate. That webpage lists the same information, but that does not mean that it is the source of this information. Noel S McFerran 01:40, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
What is the "source" theN? Zhinz 01:10, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Descendants of Princess Sophie of Greece

Perhaps I missed them (I went over the list 3 times, but there are a lot of names), but I do not see the descendants of Prince Philip's sister, Princess Sophie. I am looking in particular for Princess Frederike and her children surnamed Cyr. They used to be around 240 or so. Princess Frederike of Hannover should be listed as a descendant of Queen Victoria, no? Norman231 23:15, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Sophie's descendants start at HH Prince Karl of Hesse (b. 1937) (skipped under #432) and stretch to HH Princess Clarissa of Hesse (b. 1944) (skipped under #438) – they're listed under their paternal grandmother's section DBD 06:04, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I still cannot find Frederike or the Cyr's. 16:04, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Can't understand why Friederike and her children were skipped, unless they are Catholic, but unless there's a source, I'm leaving them in. Morhange 23:45, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Aren't the Cyrs a French-Canadian Catholic family? Charles 14:42, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Are they? I wasn't sure. If they are, then feel free to add the skipped thing. Morhange 01:40, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Found them! 409 to 411. No, they are not Roman Catholic. Shouldn't she be styled as HRH Princess Fredericke of Hannover, Princess of Great Britain, etc., or has she given that up? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Norman231 (talkcontribs) 04:51, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

She uses her husband's surname. Noel S McFerran 12:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Edit by

I've undone the changes made during the edit 00:25, 13 September 2007 by which reverted to an old version of the article and removed references, categories and re added elder/younger which was discussed on the talk page. Edits done since such as the link to Prince Heinrich Julius of Hanover's article changing of some flags the Galitzine edit, Consorts in the line of succession edit I added while doing the revert so are not affected and are still in the article. - dwc lr 16:18, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Spliting the article

Well, somebody's waded in and boilered us plenty! I've prepared Line of succession to the British Throne/Descendants of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh as a suggestion for the first sub-article – what do we think? DBD 12:28, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. Splitting up the article will just make it more difficult to read - I think the list is fine as it is. It's long but factually accurate -Halo 13:49, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the length of the article is part of the point. Few people will recognize at a glance how long this list is if it's split up into several sub-articles. Npdoty 00:46, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
When I visit an article called Line of succession to the British Throne I expect to see a Line of succession to the British Throne not a bunch of links to sub articles.Genisock2 14:30, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I believe that it is inappropriate to break up the article. Noel S McFerran 14:34, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I could see keeping the descendants of Queen Victoria in the main article and splitting out the rest into a separate article. But I would oppose furher splintering. Matchups 02:03, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
If there were a compelling reason to split I would say that Matchups suggestion is best, but I don't think that there is a compelling reason to split. Sure it is long, but it is clearly and accurately presented. Eluchil404 04:12, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
How about we create the subarticles, but display them all on the main article – makes for much easier editing... DBD 13:27, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I say we petition the Government to change the law of succession restricting it to descendants of George V, similar to what the Danes did. It'd certainly solve most of the problems here...--Lec CRP1 14:27, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

The list is absurdly long... after the first two or wo or three dozen it becomes totally meaningless. Any catastrophe which killed off hundreds (or even tens) of relatives of the reigning monarch in a short time would probably require that some prominent political leader be made the head of whatever remained of the British state. It is unlikely that the survivors of that catastrophe would opt to give the job to some random 14th cousin who happened to be the 832nd person in line on our list (and let's not even get in to the near-certainty that you would have pretenders who would try to steal the identities of lesser-known royals from the top of the list.) Timothy Horrigan (talk) 19:43, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

So what? I don't think anybody is pretending there's a practical purpose to this list. Doops | talk 20:14, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


I'm not too informed on this subject but just scanning through I found:

"#1268 Dwight Schrute (b. 1972), daughter of Dwight Kurt Schrute Jr." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes its vandalism thanks for pointing it out. - dwc lr 13:24, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Original Research

I'm not disputing the veracity of the list, but it's far longer than any published list of the line of succession that I'm aware of. Hence, we've deduced who's in the list and which positions they hold. It's a fascinating exercise, but isn't this the very definition of original research? Maybe my understanding of WP:OR is a little off. -- JackofOz 03:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

I think your understanding is on, personally, and that we don't realistically need anyone after the 100-150th positions. Charles 01:00, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
This page is most certainly not original research. Please see the references at the bottom of the article, particular Reitwiesner's work which lists all of the descendants (whether through legitimate or illegitimate lines, whether papist or non-papist) of Sophie of Hannover who were living in 2001. Noel S McFerran 02:35, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Needlessly detailed entry

Line of succession to the British Throne is listed as number five on's The 8 Most Needlessly Detailed Wikipedia Entries. Please try to address the concerns listed in's article. -- Jreferee t/c 14:25, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

No. When wikipedia gives you a Line of succession to the British Throne we do not fuck around.Genisock2 15:19, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Anybody who is only interested in the first 100 in line can look at the top of the page; if you're interested in more, then you can slide further down. Nobody is forcing anybody to read through the entire article. Noel S McFerran 03:55, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Unfortunately, this is still only that "fucking around". In reality there are over 4000 individuals in the line to the British throne, thus barely a fourth of them is currently covered in this article. Marrtel 03:06, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. Technically speaking, probably about 90% of the population of the UK are somewhere along the line of succession, even if it's around '5 millionth in line' or something equally ridiculous. Hence, any cutoff point is going to be arbitrary. The question is, at what point does the list cease to become useful?
There's no right answer, but my instinct is that this article is too long at the moment, i.e. that the inclusion of the people in the lower half of the page is practically useless. I don't know what a more appropriate cutoff point would be; I'd say listing the first 500 potential successors would be plenty, but I'm sure some disagree. Can we have some sort of discussion here to work out at just what point this page should end? For those of you who want to keep it as it is - why is 1,268 people a suitable length, and no fewer? Terraxos 02:41, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
(Actually, no, it's not that long: once we run out of descendents of the Electress Sophia (1630-1714) we're up a creek. Which is kinda sad, really— your vision is more fun. Doops | talk 02:53, 16 October 2007 (UTC))
There are a finite number of people in line to the UKGBNI throne; according to the Act of Settlement it is inheritable only by the descendants of the Electress Sophia of Hanover. According to William Addams Reitwiesner (the famous genealogist) there were 4804 living descendants in 2001 (including papists, but not the illegitimate or descendants thereof). Presently this article goes up to about 3000 in Reitwiesner's list - so we're over 60% there. Noel S McFerran 12:48, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I would have thought that the problem with this level of detail is one of maintaining the article accurately. It only needs number 973 to pop her clogs (which could well go unreported in most UK or US headlines!) for the whole two hundred or so people below her to move up a position. DavidFarmbrough 00:25, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with this point. How can we possibly keep this accurate for any length of time, unless someone here is subscribed to that fascinating newsletter Semiannual account of births, deaths and marriages to papists in the extended British Royal Family? Either that, or recruit Reitwiesner of the 4,804-long list as a Wikipedian and regular updater (highly unlikely). Beyond a certain point, the numbers just will never be accurate; maybe we should just convert the numbers to bullet points after the first few dozen (the people whose social lives are generally covered in UK papers), with approximate numbers for the groups of the more distant relations in the subsection headings.--Pharos 08:34, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Notability of the people on this list

How notable are most of the people on this list? Several of the people seem to have articles solely because they appear on this list. For instance, Tewa Lascelles. I think some clean-up is in order and I mention it here because it seems to be the source of a lot of it. Charles 03:08, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

We need a standard. After a certain point, just being "on the list" shouldn't be good enough. Do you have a suggestion for a cut-off point (of course, this wouldn't affect those who are notable for reasons independent of being "on the list")?--Pharos 08:42, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm of the thought that mayhap no minors not descended from George VI need have their own pages, unless they do something notable, and then, any cadet descendants other than George V's probably aren't notable enough a priori... DBD 13:07, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Anyone whose information could justifiably be presented on their parents' pages or on a page for whatever House they belong to should not have an article here on Wikipedia. Also, individuals whose information is essentially a copy of their siblings, etc (some of the Nassau princes). Eight year old princes, etc, don't need articles just saying that. Charles 13:36, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Ugh, there are some articles up at Afd and it seems that people are defaulting to the line of succession = gotta have an article argument. It simply is not true and makes the lot of us look like overly-fanatic royalists. I truly think an ultimatum for notability ought to be made: Either everyone on this entire list should have an article of substance or the fact that this list exists can't be used as criterion for notability. Charles 02:09, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Notability should be determined independently of being on this list. Being on this list does not confer notability in and of itself. Being mentioned on this list is the same as the thousands of people mentioned in all sorts of articles across Wikipedia who are not notable enough to merit their own article just because they are briefly mentioned in another article. The subject of this AFD is more notable than most of the people on this list, and her article was correctly deleted for lack of notability. NoSeptember 02:25, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I invite you then to look at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Princess Victoria Marina Cecilie of Prussia and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Prince Jean of Nassau for individuals who are just as non-notable. If these articles aren't deleted, which would be pathetic, I am thinking I might want to retire from royalty articles given that all I've ever wanted to do is help and follow the guidelines and policies even if my personal opinion differs. Charles 02:50, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you. But I have also long ago accepted the fact that their are plenty of articles that exist that should not, and others that should that have been deleted. Inconsistency is nothing new at WP and I don't lose sleep over the fact that lots of things here are not as I think they should be. I just add my input in the hopes of getting the right outcome on some of them, that is all we can do. NoSeptember 12:44, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
I think that since there are groups here which create policy and guidelines for royalty that we should create additional criteria to examine the notability of royals. Royalty = notability is a sloppy and wrong train of thought. Charles 14:42, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Note also: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Eloise Taylor (2nd nomination) and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Tatiana Iuel. Charles 17:54, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Paul Lambrino

I'm not an expert in this field, so I don't want to edit the list directly. But shouldn't Paul Lambrino and his Stepbrother Ion be included in the list as skipped between Position 83 and Michael of Romania?-- (talk) 14:34, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think all individuals of illegitimate descent are added, just the illegitimate ones themselves. Charles 17:40, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Paul and Ion are the sons of Carol Lambrino who has been recognised as legitimate by courts in Romania and France (he was conceived after his parents were forced against their wills to divorce - but they clearly continued to maintain some sort of married life together at least for a short time). I know of no British legal judgement saying that Carol was illegitimate. As far as I can see, Carol's sons are in line according to the Act of Settlement. Noel S McFerran (talk) 18:46, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
At the time of his conception and birth, would he have been illegitimate under British law? I couldn't see why there would be a judgement saying so, but it doesn't mean that it was not true. Charles 20:00, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
In the first place who(what) should approve marriage in Romania, under British law? --Motsu (talk) 23:09, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
At the time of Carol's conception, his parents considered themselves married - in spite of the fact that in 1919 a Romanian court had declared the marriage null. A Romanian court ruling in 2003 held that the declaration of nullity was invalid and that the marriage was valid. Noel S McFerran (talk) 23:38, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
At the time of the Carol's birth though, was he not considered illegitimate? Surely a Romanian court can't retroactively put his issue in line of succession. Charles 23:52, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Is "renewal" impossible if the court pronounces with illegitimate at the time of birth? In other words, only a pronounce of the court at the time of the birth determines? Answer for my question(who should approve marriage in Romania, under British law?) is "court AT THAT TIME", not current court? Muu.. I think that Mihai seemed to surely succeed to the British throne if Carol II(and above people) died in 1922, not Carol. True??? --Motsu (talk) 00:32, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Put it this way, someone who loses their place in line of succession or was born without it can't gain it. Charles 07:39, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Charles. That's simple and clear. --Motsu (talk) 14:08, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
It is perfectly possible that a person could be born and presumed to be illegitimate (and therefore not in line of successsion), but that a court later determined that the person was actually born legitimate (and therefore in line of succession). Noel S McFerran (talk) 15:33, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
However, is not there a great problem if a foreign court can change it ANYTIME? For example, it is assumed that German court declare Sophia of Hanover's marriage in 1658 is invalid, today. Will we delete all of her descendants from this list, because they are illegitimate? Will British Parliament declare new monarch or republic? --Motsu (talk) 23:15, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
That's a hypothetical question - and the response would be original research. In the case of Carol Lambrino (Paul's father), his parents were married in 1918. A Romanian court decided in 1919 that the marriage was null. Later Romanian courts have repeatedly affirmed that the marriage was valid, and the 1919 court judgement invalid. In addition, courts in Portugal and France have upheld Carol's legitimacy. It is not reasonable to maintain that a 1919 Romanian court judgement is valid, but that all the others are not. Noel S McFerran (talk) 23:57, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Noel. I understood your thought, I think. I wait for an agreement of you and Charles. The viewpoints of you and him are quite different. --Motsu (talk) 01:12, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

It's an odd issue, certainly. I will note that I've never seen the Lambrino descendants in a list of the order of succession, but lists going up that high are rare, and those I've seen are generally by amateurs. john k (talk) 06:53, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Accuracy dispute

In my view, there are several problems with this article, but a recent edit about the Morales children has drawn attention to what could be the most glaring. The list includes several people who are probably members of the Greek Orthodox church, who are not skipped. By my reading of the law of succession they ought to be skipped, since the succession is restricted to the PROTESTANT descendants of Sophia of Hanover. PatGallacher (talk) 00:41, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Your comment ignores an important distinction: as most people interpret the laws (including other wikipedia articles), to actually ascend the throne you must be a Protestant. But on the other hand, permanent incapacitation only occurs if you profess yourself a Roman Catholic. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Athiests, etc. all have a perfect right to the throne if they change their minds and convert to the CofE or CofS (or other related church) in time for their accession upon their accession; and so they remain in the list in case this occurs. If you think that for some reason a person, once Orthodox, can never regain his/her place in the succession, please explain your reasoning. Doops | talk 00:57, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
If we grant this argument, this article is using the concept of the line of succession to the British throne in a different sense from what most people would understand it to mean i.e. I think most people would understand it to mean those who would inherit the throne on the basis of where are at now, not whethere they hypothetically changed their religion. This also raises the question of whether Catholic infants who have not yet attended first communion are permanently incapacitated. PatGallacher (talk) 02:01, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
My own view on the matter is that such infants are not incapacitated; but I am not a lawyer. As for people changing their religion to ascend a throne— don't forget that it's happened before, numerous times. "Paris is well worth a mass", after all. Doops | talk 03:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
This article is not based upon original research (e.g. my idea of who can succeed); it is based like all Wikipedia articles on WHAT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED. This article follows the most common interpretation: that people are in line of succession if they were born to parents who were married at the time of birth and if they have never been papists. This article lists people as excluded if they were born illegitimate (even if later legitimated by the subsequent marriage of their parents), if they were baptised as Catholics, or if they ever married a Catholic or became a Catholic later in life. This is the standard interpretation of the Act of Settlement (although there are minority views). Noel S McFerran (talk) 03:40, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

So the question is, are all non-Protestants skipped, or just Catholics (and the illegitimate)? I wonder if Parliament even considered the possibility that an Eastern Christian, Muslim, Hindu, atheist, etc. would become an immediate heir to the throne. Therefore, the question of whether a member of an Orthodox church is skipped probably doesn't have a clear answer. So I don't see a clear, compelling reason to argue that this article is untruthful. szyslak 20:45, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

There isn't one. I'm removing the tag. Doops | talk 23:23, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I have restored the accuracy flag for 2 reasons:

1. Could people please quote sources for the idea that the "most common interpretation" of the Act of Settlement that Greek Orthodox Christians are not skipped?

2. "Therefore, the question of whether a member of an Orthodox church is skipped probably doesn't have a clear answer. So I don't see a clear, compelling reason to argue that this article is untruthful." This statement is self-contradictory. If there isn't a clear answer to whether these people are skipped, then is article is untruthful in suggesting that it is clear that they are not. PatGallacher 02:07, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

The article doesn't even address that question, so it "suggests" nothing. I could just as well say it "suggests" that a Muslim or Hindu could inherit the throne. As for your request to "quote sources" to support the "most common interpretation", I quote the Act itself:

That all and every Person and Persons that then were or afterwards should be reconciled to or shall hold Communion with the See or Church of Rome or should professe the Popish Religion or marry a Papist should be excluded and are by that Act made for ever incapable to inherit possess or enjoy the Crown.

That's what we mean by "skipped". You can read it for yourself here. It doesn't hold the "skipped" provision for members of any faith other than the Catholic Church, though later it mandates that a monarch enter into communion with the Church of England upon ascension. And what's to stop an Orthodox Christian from doing so, if he or she is willing to? szyslak 02:49, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Pat. I think you misunderstand what a line of succession is. It's simply a list of all those people who have aright to inherit the throne, ordered in such a way that each person in it will have a right to inherit in case of the demise of every person above. It's not an attempt to predict what will happen, obviously: there's no doubt whatsoever that almost nobody on this list will inherit (since the people at the top will carry on having children). But as things stand now, if lots of these people died and we had to go hunting to find somebody to take the throne, we'd go with the highest surviving person in the list. Put it more strongly: he or she would have a right to ascend the throne.

Now it's possible that in such a case he or she might be unwilling to ascend the throne, since the price of doing so (one price of doing so) is accepting the Protestant Christian faith. But we in the wikipedia don't speculate or hypothesize on who will actually take the throne; we just list the people who have a RIGHT to the throne.

Now with regard to 'interpreting' the Act of Settlement, it's true that there is some room for disagreement. For example, under English law do infants baptized by RC clergy lose their place, or is some more overt and conscious act of becoming or professing RC necessary? Or, to take another example, does EU human rights law invalidate these provisions, allowing a person marrying a Roman Catholic to keep his/her place? Or, to take another, can legitimacy be conferred by the subsequent marriage of the parents? On all these questions I don't know how much disagreement there is (possibly quite little), but it's at least possible. But I really think you'll find that nobody at all (who's read the act) is arguing that somebody can lose all future right to the throne through a non-protestant profession. There's just no basis for it — seriously, you've just plucked it out of thin air.

Cheers, Doops | talk 05:41, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Right along with Doops. Unless someone can provide a reliable source indicating that all non-Protestants are "skipped" like Catholics and the illegitimate, any such interpretation of the Act constitutes original research. Pat, I urge you to read Wikipedia:No original research. You will surely find that your claims do not comply with this core Wikipedia policy. In particular, you appear to be engaging in synthesis -- putting two things together and drawing your own conclusions; i.e. "Catholics are skipped, and the Act says you have to be Protestant, so surely they skip all who are not Protestant Christians, including the Orthodox and those who follow non-Christian faiths". szyslak 08:36, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Unless somebody can produce a reliable source to say that Greek Orthodox Christians are not skipped, this is also original research. That last quote attributed to me is not synthesis, it's elementary logic. PatGallacher (talk) 18:25, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

No it's not. The Act of Settlement says that anybody who is Catholic or marries a Catholic can never inherit the crown. It says nothing of the sort with respect to Greek Orthodox Christians, any more than it says that about Lutherans. Anyone who is neither Catholic nor Anglican can inherit the throne, but the must conform to the Church of England. This has actually happened, in 1714, when the Lutheran Elector of Hanover inherited the throne. The situation for someone Orthodox would be identical to that of George I. john k (talk) 19:27, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
The FAQ more or less gives the same version of this as wikipedia, although I'm not sure it qualifies as a reliable source. It does, however, contain an extensive bibliography. john k (talk) 19:33, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

PatGallacher, you still haven't explained why you think that Orthodox people are skipped. What's your evidence? Until you provide some, your views aren't even original research -- just original speculation. Doops | talk 22:56, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I have consulted the royalty FAQ and it says: "The Act of Settlement, passed by Parliament in 1701, states that after the death of Queen Anne, the succession would pass to Sophia, Electress of Hanover 'and the heirs of her body, being Protestants'. To be able to succeed a king or queen regnant, one must be a Protestant descendant of Electress Sophia." So, if we regard this as a reliable source, then I think this actually rather comes back to me, this implies that Orthodox people are skipped. PatGallacher (talk) 01:41, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

There is potentially a difference between those who are in line and eligible for succession, and the person who actually succeeds. If, at the death of the reigning sovereign, the person who is first in line of succession is not a member of the Church of England and refuses to become a member of the Church of England, then that person will at that point be skipped. That person could be Lutheran, Orthodox, or Wiccan. Until that point they're all in line. Catholics, on the other hand, are never even in line. Noel S McFerran (talk) 03:42, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
It is also my understanding, Noel, that this is the predominant interpretation of the Act of Settlement. Perhaps we could find a source to support this, though, as I don't think our restatements are going to convince Pat of anything. john k (talk) 06:24, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Indeed. Simply making restatments are not going to convince me of anything. As you say "perhaps we could find a source to support this", but perhaps you will not. As the one external source which it was claimed supported this view, the royalty FAQ, when I examined it actually supported the opposite view, I am sceptical. I don't think "That person could be Lutheran, Orthodox, or Wiccan", they could be Lutheran but not Orthodox or Wiccan. PatGallacher (talk) 11:55, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I mean no offence to Syziak, JohnK, and McFerran; but I think that the way you have phrased things have tended to confuse the situation with Pat. So I'm going to start a litle mini-section here which is just designed to figure out the exact locus of the disagreement. It's not for arguing, just for figuring things out. Pat, I hope you'll indulge me in this; I think it's often useful. Doops | talk 13:47, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

figuring out exactly what Pat thinks

please: no arguing in this section. just figuring-out

OK, Pat, hypothetical question. (1) Let's say that Prince Harry (currently third-in-line) married a Jewish women and converted to Judiasm to marry her. Tragically, however, she died, and in due course Harry reconverted to Anglicanism to marry a second time. Again tragically, imagine Charles and William died. Would Harry ascend the throne? Doops | talk 13:47, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes. However he would not ascend the throne if he was still a Jewish convert at the time the previous monarch died. PatGallacher (talk) 10:13, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

OK, that was going to be my next question. But let me make sure I understand your answer: (2) let's imagine the above scenario, but without the second marriage. So imagine that in the two or three years (say) since Harry's hypothetical Jewish wife died, he gradually stopped going to synogogue. Indeed, he now goes to church (to friends' weddings, etc.) more often than he goes to synogogue; but he never has formally made any profession of reconversion. Now his father, brother, and grandmother all die tragically; and Harry ought (genealogically) to be king. If he is willing to take the accession oath that he is a 'faithful Protestant', does he indeed become king? Doops | talk 15:49, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

As far as I can make out, no. However, that is not the situation we are discussing here, we are discussing members of the Greek Orthodox church who have never been members of any Protestant church and probably never regularly attended Protestant religious services. In reality, given that official sources now list about the first 30 people in the line of succession, the authorities would have clarified the situation beforehand. PatGallacher (talk) 17:17, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
You mean "no, Harry does not become king"? john k (talk) 08:03, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Right. So along the same lines, (2b) I take it that your view of the situation is that a person born and raised Jewish couldn't suddenly declare himself a Protestant to inherit the throne. Your view is that the conversion has to occur in advance of inheriting.

But, OK, let's try a third example: let's imagine that Harry's first wife wasn't Jewish, but Roman Catholic. Then, as in example 1, she died, and he remarried an Anglican; for whom he was receieved back into the CofE and has now been a regular communicant for some time now. Can he inherit? Doops | talk 19:38, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I would say no. In any case I question whether it is appropriate to ask me, and me alone, to answer various complex hypothetical questions. For the purpose of the accuracy dispute over this article we are discussing one specific hypothetial scenario: if the next person in line, but for religious rules is a Greek Orthodox Christian, can they inherit by converting to the CofE before their coronation? By my reading of the legislation the answer is no, and I note this is also the implicit answer by the one possibly reliable source which has been quoted. That however is not the crucial issue here. The crucial issue is that unless people can come up with reliable sources which suggest otherwise then this article is original research. PatGallacher (talk) 00:35, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
It seems to be your contention that a person who is a descendant of the Electress Sophie of Hanover but who is also Greek Orthodox is not in line of succession (whether temporarily or permanently). Please cite a reliable published source which says this about Greek Orthodox people. Otherwise this is original research. Noel S McFerran (talk) 04:16, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Please cite a reliable published source which says that a descendant of Sophia of Hanover who is Greek Orthodox is in the line of succession. Otherwise this is original research. PatGallacher (talk) 10:09, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
C'mon, guys -- please don't jump the gun. Doops | talk 13:25, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I would like to be certain that we're entirely clear on the factual disagreement between you and the other editors before we open up the other cans of worms — looking at sources, what constitutes original research, etc. Otherwise the various issues will muddy each other. And I'm not singling you out for hostile inquisition; I'm genuinely trying hard to make sure that I don't, by assuming that I know what you think, unfairly put words in your mouth. Doops | talk 00:39, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

So to sum up, PatGallacher, tell me if I'm putting this correctly. Your view is:

  • A: A person who becomes (or marries) a Roman Catholic forever loses all succession rights. Even if he/she becomes Protestant again, he/she can still never inherit.
  • B: If a person who has spent a portion of his/her life as a non-protestant (whether Orthodox or Jewish or Muslim or agnostic or atheist or whatever) converts to Protestant Christianity, he/she can inherit the throne (as long as he/she was never Catholic).
  • C: But such a conversion, in your view, must be public, and must take place in advance — you can't convert upon accession, you have to convert before accession.

Does this summary accurately reflect your view of the situation? Thanks, Doops | talk 13:25, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that is my reading of the legislation and other sources. At the very least, nobody has come up with a reliable source which puts forward an alternative reading. PatGallacher (talk) 15:41, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Response to PatGallacher

Thanks, Pat, for indulging my questions. Now we can discuss finding a way forward.

The first thing to notice is that there's a great deal of agreement among us all. We ALL agree that you have to be Protestant to be king/queen; and we all agree on points A and B in the summary above (namely, that becoming/marrying a RC disqualifies you irrevocably; while becoming anything else non-Protestant does not).

The only ground on which we disagree is point C, regarding WHEN (re-)conversion to Protestantism must take place, and how formal it must be. You think (re-)conversion must definitely occur BEFORE the death of the previous monarch; I (and many other editors here, I think) believe that it can actually occur UPON accession. (That is to say: when the previous monarch dies, you can ascend the throne if you are at that moment willing to be Protestant.) Likewise, you appear to think (re)conversion requires some formal (possibly public) act; whereas I (and many of my colleagues, I think) believe that swearing the accession oath at your first parliament is sufficient evidence.

So this is the factual disagreement we have; but it is a minor and unimportant one. Even if we hypothetically accept your view, the list as displayed on this page would not change — non-protestants would still keep their place in the list, since they are still in line for the throne. (Their inheritance would, in your view, be conditional; but EVERYBODY's inheritance is conditional on a range of factors such as not dying prematurely, not becoming Catholic, etc..) So I think the disagreement is a minor one, and not worth arguing about. Cheers, Doops | talk 17:53, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

You appear to have not read what I said properly. This is not a minor point, since in my view the list is inaccurate since it includes a number of people who are presumably members of the Greek Orthodox church. You may be using "line of succession" in a different sense from what most people would understand it to mean. In a sense everybody's place is conditional on parliament not passing legislation to change the succession. The exclusion of the Greek Orthodox does have a certain logic to it, since if someone converts to Protestantism in order to inherit the throne, when they had ample opportunity to do so before then, their motives are suspect. PatGallacher (talk) 01:41, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
No, I assure you that I have read it all properly. Here's the point I'm trying to make: there is a factual disagreement between you (on one side) and a bunch of editors including me (on the other) regarding the precise mechanics of the religious test; in the previous section of this talk page we've pinned down the precise grounds of that disagreement. But in my view, that disagreement isn't actually the critical one which needs to be resolved to find a way forward on the article. Rather, the critical disagreement is another, semantic, one: you (on one side) disagree with a bunch of editors including me (on the other) on the semantic question of what precisely a "line of succession" is.
If you scroll up, you'll see that tried to raise this issue many days ago; but the discussion quickly returned to the factual disagreement. The point I'm making here, both to you and to my anti-disputed-tag allies, is that we shouldn't lose focus; we should address the real question, the semantic one. Thanks, Doops | talk 04:19, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
For some reason I found myself reading this whole talk page. I was sure that someone gave an example earlier of when someone did exactly what Pat thinks is not allowed - namely taking the throne, even though at the death of the previous monarch they hadn't been a member of the CoE. Unfortunately, I can't now find it, so it might not be all that helpful an observation. I don't have time to fully re-read this page right now, but if one could find that cite, it should solve the dispute. Cheers JonoP (talk) 11:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I presume the example you're thinking of is George I, who grew up a Lutheran in Germany; but that doesn't really affect the present discussion, since Lutherans are Protestants (and on good terms with Anglicans and Prebysterians). Doops | talk 13:00, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

My take on the above is that you seem to have agreed that the dispute is about what the Act of Settlement actually says. The list as written in this article reflects the state of play at Act of Settlement 1701. Can I suggest that this dispute be taken there, and if the consensus changes then this list can be updated to reflect that. Changing the list without its 'parent' article makes no sense at all to me. Chrislintott (talk) 08:10, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

No, I don't think that's the case. Broadly speaking, we all agree on what the Act of Settlement says; we all agree that Catholics are excluded forever, while other non-Protestants cannot ascend the throne without converting. The factual dispute — over whether such a conversion can occur at the moment of accession, or whether it must already have occurred at some previous point — is in my view a fairly minor one, and I don't think that the Act of Settlement 1701 article addresses it one way or the other.
However, as far as I can tell, it's the other dispute, the semantic one, which is currently holding us up. That is to say, the dispute isn't over what the Line of succession to the British throne is; it's over what the phrase "line of succession to the British throne" means. Doops | talk 14:29, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Ok, fair point. I was sloppy in my language; am I right in thinking this issue would best be addressed in the Act of Succession article, though? Presumably if necessary either side could add sourced text there supporting their position. This list can then reflect the consensus there; in the meantime I propose we remove the dispute flag from this article. Chrislintott (talk) 14:33, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, that's up to PatGallacher, of course. I doubt it, though, because I don't think he/she objects to any of the prose in this article (or in succession to the British throne, or in Act of Settlement 1701; he/she objects to the actual numbering of the list as presented in this page. Doops | talk 15:36, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


Hypothetically, what would happen if a king died leaving behind brother and a pregnant queen? Would the brother become king (assuming that the dead king has no other children) or would the unborn child automatically be proclaimed king/queen? Also, what would happen if the king died leaving a daughter and a pregnant wife? Would the daughter become queen, or would would the country wait to see the gender of of the new child? Emperor001 (talk) 15:31, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Case 1: Likely a regency would be in place – there would be an interregnum until the Monarch's birth. The brother doesn't matter, because, no matter the child's gender, it is the king's senior heir
Case 2: Hypothetically, there would be a sort of limbo period until the birth – the daughter would act as regent, probably with the full power of the Crown. Then, if a brother is born, he is immediately King, but would require regency for 18 years. If a daughter were born, the eldest daughter would be proclaimed as Queen regnant retroactively to her father's death. DBD 16:32, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Wasn't there a specific law about this during the reign of William IV? About what would happen if William died while Queen Adelaide was pregnant? I don't recall the exact nature of this, but my vague memory is that Victoria would become queen, but would then stop being queen if Adelaide had a kid. I'm not sure of that, but I think the issue would have to be resolved by a special statute. john k (talk) 20:17, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a very tricky question. On the one hand, such a child would legitimately be the senior heir and should be born king. On the other hand, though, a regency always exists in the name of somebody specific. And an interregnum is a thing foreign to British tradition, which holds that a new monarch ascends the throne the very moment his/her predecessor kicks the bucket— the accession proclamation always refers to an event which has already occurred. (Thus for instance the present Queen had already been Queen for some time before she herself became aware of the fact.)

The fact is that such a situation has never arisen in the UK. The closest thing to it occurred (as john k suggests) at the death of William IV, leaving a widow but no children. There was no indication that she was pregnant (she was 44 at the time); but when the accession council proclaimed that Victoria had become queen, they did so "saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William IV which may be born of his late Majesty's consort."

This solution is also curious, since it seems to suggest that Victoria was Queen provisionally. Had the baby been born, and had Victoria given up her throne to him in due course, would she be reckoned as having been queen for those nine months?

In fullness of time, Elizabeth II was NOT proclaimed conditionally. Perhaps we can't read anything into this as a reversal of precedent-- her mother was 52 at the time and her father had been sick for some time; so perhaps the accession council decided to be practical and not take a literalist's delight in fussiness over details. On the other hand, I remember reading somewhere an exchange of letters among various officials of the day, who tended to take the view that their predecessors had gone about Victoria's proclamation the wrong way. I don't recall that they ever agreed on a more satisfactory way of looking at things, however. Doops | talk 22:45, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Not that it's much of a precedent for a British case, but it seems that Spain had no monarch at all for six months in 1885-1886 while the nation awaited the gender of the deceased king's unborn child. The queen acted as regent (and continued to do so during her son's minority). Just to show that these things actually happen, however rarely. -- Jao (talk) 23:04, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I have the vague sense, though, that if Alfonso XIII had been a girl, Infanta Mercedes would have been retroactively considered queen from the time of her father's death. In a similar situation, the death of Charles IV of France in 1328, my understanding is that, although the Count of Valois acted as regent for the first several months, pending the birth of Charles IV's unborn child, after the child was born a daughter (and thus incapable of succeeding, Valois was considered to have been retroactively Philip VI since his cousin's death a few months earlier. john k (talk) 23:17, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Upon the vague remembrance of which I based my answer DBD 00:42, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a complex question. Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen had a complex medical history but it was generally accepted that she was not going to give birth to an heir. King John I of France was born posthumously, there was a regency while he was in the womb. When King Alexander III of Scotland died there was the serious possibility that his queen could be pregnant, which added to the confusion surrounding that period. PatGallacher (talk) 10:35, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Although the medieval examples are interesting, they don't help us out much: the practical question was just as present then as now (proclaim a new monarch or wait to see the baby?), but there's no doubt that the people back then didn't care half as much as we do about the legal niceties of exactly how to go about achieving that end. The general practical answer always seems to be that an unborn child does have succession rights; but in the modern-day world we care so much about legal niceties that we stres out about exactly what situation obtains during the hiatus. Doops | talk 15:57, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Viscount Severn

Do we have any sources for the (apparent) recent birth of the "Viscount Severn"? According to this, "Viscount Severn" is one of the courtesy titles of the Earl of Wessex, however that site mentions nothing of another child. Not even of the pregnancy of the Countess, which seems odd. However if this child is not sourced on the Royal Family website then I doubt that it is real.

Can this fact either be sourced or removed, please. Jake the Editor Man (talk) 18:16, 17 December 2007 (UTC) Chrislintott (talk) 18:28, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Chris, but it doesn't say about him being Viscount Severn. I'll put it in anyway. Jake the Editor Man (talk) 18:36, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I got that from the placeholder that used to be under Lady Louise Windsor's entry in the list, and link this entry. Chrislintott (talk) 18:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

 Done. I have added the source. Thanks Chris. Jake the Editor Man (talk) 18:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you

I've tried writing this comment several times and it always comes out sounding insincere, so I shall just write it anyway and hope it is accepted in the spirit intended. I am an occasional Wikipedia user and editor who has just read this article and its related discussion for the first time. As a community, we shouldn't indulge in undue amounts of self-congratulation, but nor should we back away from recognising when we create something truly remarkable. This is one of those occasions. It is without doubt an extraordinary achievement and has had me fascinated for hours. So I just wanted to say something we perhaps don't say often enough: thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I whole-heartedly agree! I love this article! Please don't limit the list! This is exactly the kind of stuff I come to Wikipedia for. I have spent hours reading the list itself and the linked articles about each person on the list. Michael Cyr (talk) 03:26, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Nth position

I'm going through linked articles and adding the Nth position to all current and extended members of the British royal family, down to the Fifes. After that, I'm going to go through every other article and, where applicable, removing these listings from people who aren't members of other reigning royal houses. With numerous births and deaths, having to go through each and every time and change these numbers is a pain. For people after the Fifes, unless they are members of reigning houses or a current pretender to a throne, where it is mentioned they are Nth in line to the British throne, I'm going to remove the number and just mention they are in line. Morhange (talk) 07:10, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I would remove the positions from every other royal article as it is applicable... It really is a pain maintaining those and they can go inaccurate for months. Keeping the numbers down to the Fifes though is reasonable. Charles 07:35, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
There was also a discussion on this very topic a few months ago and everyone, as far as I can remember, agreed, but I cannot find it in the archives. I think it might have been held elsewhere. Charles 07:40, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I figured reigning families, as they are more prominent, and there would at least be interest to see where they were in the line of succession. At least reigning monarchs/heads of house, I think. Morhange (talk) 07:50, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Maybe interesting to some, maybe not to others, but it still has the issue of being inexact and then bothersome at times. It also isn't entirely relevant to who a person is, etc. The most I would do is say "so and so is also in line to succeed to the British throne" with an optional "and is approximately 750th in line". Charles 07:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Hasn't made it to the archives yet, Charles. #Succession boxes on other pages. -- Jao (talk) 11:01, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh my, thank you! Sadly, I can't use old age as an excuse because I'm not old! ;-) Charles 23:05, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd cut back even further, and stop after the Lascelles. Less work to maintain, and more logical (numbering all descendants of George V). Doops | talk 13:49, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I just figured the Fifes, since they were considered extended members of the BRF, since Maud was a princess, and there are just four more. I numbered the Norwegians, since they are a reigning family, although I think only numbering the king and crown prince/ss of reigning families and pretenders would be best, since it trims down significantly the maintenance. Morhange (talk) 23:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Still though, it is more than needed, really. If the removal of the numbers can be, and is, justified for all other members of a pretender's family, why must we maintain these for the pretenders as well? It becomes inexact. Really though, pretenders may be important, but it is not because of the number they have in line of succession to the British throne. Charles 01:07, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
I think cutting out after Marina Ogilvy's children would be perfectly appropriate. Who wants to keep track of whether any new Lascelles's are born, or marry Catholics, or whatever? john k (talk) 19:14, 23 December 2007 (UTC)