Friday, April 12, 2019

Regarding the Surviving Royal Families of Europe

     The Soviet Union and Germany didn't achieve socialism. But fortunately, what they did achieve was throw off their country's royal families:
     - The USSR in 1917-1918,
     - Germany in 1918 when social democrat Friedrich Ebert took over after Wilhelm II died,

     - (and also Greece in 1973).

     I wrote "families", but they were the same family (in both the previous three countries named, and the next seven countries named). Eleven European countries still have monarchies; 1) an absolutist monarchy in the Vatican; 2-4) constitutional monarchies in Monaco, Liechtenstein, and Sweden; and 5-11) seven other constitutional monarchies. Those seven constitutional monarchies are the primary focus of this article.
     Those seven European countries - the U.K./Wales/Scotland (Edinburgh), the Netherlands (through William of Orange, of Danish origin), Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, and Norway - all still have royal families. Sure, they are monarchies which are "limited by a constitutional republic", but the fact that seven European countries' royal families are related ought to concern us. Is  a constitutional republic really enough limitation on a royal family that rules a third of the countries on the continent?

King George V of England (right) with his first cousin Czar Nicholas II of Russia (left).
Both men shared a grandmother, Queen Victoria of England.

     The Russian and English royal families, the German and English royal families, as well as the Spanish and Dutch royal families, have all been intertwined at times. The last German King, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia, was the son of a German king, and Queen Victoria of England. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was the first cousin of King George V of England; they shared a grandmother in Queen Victoria, through Nicholas's Danish mother Dagmar, and George's Danish mother Alexandra (Dagmar's sister).
     Have you ever heard of King Christian IX of Denmark (1818-1906), of the House of Glucksburg (Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg)? He was born in Denmark, but moved to Norway, and founded the branch of the Carlist monarchical dynasty that rules most of the surviving European constitutional monarchies.
     King Christian IX is known as the "father-in-law of Europe". His children and grandchildren of King Christian IX have included kings, queens, princes, and princesses of nine countries, six or seven of which still have the same royal family running them (Note: I say "six or seven" because I think the issue of whether the Netherlands should be included, should stay open for debate. That's because the Danish-Dutch-British ties (which the relations of King Wilhelm I of the Netherlands brought to the monarchy) were formed before King Christian was born).
     The countries in which King Christian's direct descendants remain in power today, are the U.K., Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Denmark, and Norway.

     Below is a partial list of the most powerful of Christian's descendants, broken down by country. The first six countries still have Carlist kings descended from Charlemagne and Christian IX. Some names appear twice, in order to reflect the descendants' ties to multiple countries.
     The Netherlands do not appear here, because - to reiterate - the ties between the Danish, Dutch, and British monarchies which were brought to the Carlist royal family by the Dutch King Wilhelm I were formed before King Christian IX of Denmark lived. Wilhelm I of the Netherlands was neither a descendant nor an ancestor of King Christian IX.
     I have also included Greece, Russia, and Germany below. Although the Carlist monarchy has no official power in those countries anymore, I have decided to include them in order to show the full extent of the family's relations in the two countries mentioned at the beginning of the article (i.e., Russia and Germany) as well as Greece (because it abolished the monarchy so recently; in 1973).
     [Note: This is not intended to be a complete list of all descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark; additional research is needed, and may be added below in subsequent edits of this article.]

- United Kingdom:
     - King 
Christian's daughter Queen Alexandra of the U.K., Denmark, etc. (1844-1925)
     - Grandson King George V (1865-1936)
     - Great-grandson King George VI (1895-1952)
     - Great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II of England (1926-)

- Scotland / Edinburgh:
     - King Christian's great-grandson Philip Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of the United Kingdom (born in Greece to Greek and Danish royal families) (1921-)

- Belgium:
     - Phillippe

- Luxembourg:
     - Grand Duke Henri

- Spain:
     - King Felipe VI (1968-)
     - Queen Sofia of Greece and Denmark (mother of King Felipe VI of Spain) (1938-)

- Denmark:
     - Margarethe II
     - King Frederick VII
     - King Christian's daughter Queen Maria Feodorovna, princess of Denmark and Empress of Russia (1844-1925)
     - Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh (born into Greek and Danish royal families) (1921-)
     - Queen Sofia of Greece and Denmark (1938-)
- Norway:
     - King Harald V of Norway

- Germany:
     - King Christian's daughter Princess Thyra (had German ties)
     - King Christian's son Valdemar of Denmark (had German ties)

- Russia:
     - Nicholas II
     - King Christian's daughter Queen Maria Feodorovna, princess of Denmark and Empress of Russia (1844-1925)

- Greece:
     - King Christian's son King George I of Greece (1845-1913)
     - King Christian's grandson Prince Andrew of Greece  (1882-1944)
     - King Christian's great-grandson Philip Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of the United Kingdom (born in Greece to Greek and Danish royal families) (1921-)
     - Queen Sofia of Greece and Denmark (mother of King Felipe VI of Spain) (1938-)
     - Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh (born in Greece to Greek and Danish royal families) (1921-)     - Constantine II
     - Queen Anne-Marie

     By the way...
     All of those countries, in some way, attempted to appease Hitler. Many of those appeasement attempts would have had the effect of preserving their monarchies, and in many cases those attempts were done in order to preserve their monarchies. The King of Belgium even gave troops orders to stand down as the Nazis swept through his country.
     Limiting the monarchy is one thing, but abolishing it is another. One monarchy governing six or ten countries is not sovereignty, and it is certainly not populism, nor democracy, nor liberty. Conservative monarchism is fascism; it is the Divine Right of Kings. And it will not hesitate to feed populaces to fascists.
     Conservative monarchists - most notably Franco, Mussolini, and even Churchill - all attempted to appease and/or cooperate with powers that were more fascist, racist, and brutal than they were themselves. Each made the mistake of thinking that they could work with regimes much more brutal than they.

     It is true that nearly all monarchists are brutal and fascistic, but that does not mean that all fascist or fascistic regimes support monarchies. On the other hand, that doesn't necessarily mean that fascists, and the monarchies with whom they compete for power, won't collaborate when outside forces pressure them to choose sides.
     I hope I have not given the impression that I appreciate the regimes which abolished the monarchy in Germany and Russia, more than I appreciate the abolition of the monarchy in those countries in general. I believe that the U.S.S.R. was a milder replacement for the monarchy in Russia, than the Nazi regime was for the monarchy in Germany.
     Additionally, it was not Hitler who initially replaced the monarchy in Germany; Kaiser Wilhelm II of Prussia abdicated in 1918, leaving Germany devoid of any kings. The Nazi regime did not take power until 15 years later. If Wilhelm had not abdicated, Hitler may well have had more of an impetus to cooperate with the monarchy and rule in their favor. And in their mutual opposition of the Soviet Union, the Nazis had a natural ally in the countries that wanted to preserve their monarchies. All the Nazis had to do was convince those countries to accept Nazi occupation.

Originally Written and Published on April 12th, 2019

Edited and Expanded between April 30th and May 2nd, 2019

Image Added on April 27th, 2019

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