Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Windsors => Topic started by: heavensent on March 08, 2010, 12:46:13 PM

Title: Royal Marriages
Post by: heavensent on March 08, 2010, 12:46:13 PM
What happened to the idea of  Royal marriages being  used as links to foreign countries and
other  Royal Dynasties ?

Every one of the Queen's children have now  married  in house...  ie  British subjects.
It looks as though her grandson William is going the same route  !

Charles at least did marry a scion of the high  English aristocracy.... but it looks like
William  will be marrying a commoner... no doubt with the Queen's  approval.

It looks like we are in the last days  and  "true Royalty" will become   history...
a quaint memory of  former times.
Title: Re: Royal Marriages
Post by: grandduchessella on March 08, 2010, 03:06:34 PM
There aren't many dynasties left, at least as compared to pre-WW1, the zenith of royalty it seems. Certainly those that are left have basically no influence so what would be the point in linking different countries together. Those days seem to be gone.
Title: Re: Royal Marriages
Post by: CHRISinUSA on March 08, 2010, 03:43:33 PM
It is an interesting point, which seems to undermine the entire foundation of hereditary monarchy.  I mean, originally a person was deemed acceptable as a monarch, a consort, or even a peer of the realm on account of blood.  Bloodlines and breeding were the sole basis used to determine a person's worthiness to hold a crown, a title or an office.  Granted, in those days when few people were educated (or even literate), a person's bloodline was virtually synonymous with their level of education and thus their worthiness to rule or govern.

Throughout the 20th century, the entire concept of "blue blood" has been watered down to the point where it is meaningless - the number of people remaining today who can claim pure noble blood (descended solely from ennobled families on both sides down through many generations) is growing smaller and smaller. 

On the one hand, this is essential for the survival of the institution of monarchy in modern times; people today would certainly be less likely to support a monarchist system if it remained the closed circle it once was (allowing only intermarriages between noble houses).  On the other hand, it becomes harder to justify a hereditary system at all if anybody can join.
Title: Re: Royal Marriages
Post by: heavensent on March 08, 2010, 06:40:34 PM
Maybe Chris in the USA s points are being  echoed by  the present Duke of Devonshire
who said recently that the  English Aristocracy is over, it is dead and buried ....
Despite that he is living in one of the grandest houses and estates in Europe and making a nice
living from it too  ( the recent movie has boosted visitor numbers ! )

I think the  first world war is seen as a cut off point.... the end of an era in many ways
Communism saw off the Romanovs .... Germany went into a state of revolution and a fascist takeover..
Britain's monarchy  however remained... in glorious isolation !

Having said that though, maybe the real death blow for European Monarchy was the French Revolution of 1789
and then  in subsequent years Napoleon and his  Republican army cutting a swathe across the Royal Kingdoms
of Europe
 ( despite the fact that in the end, Napoleon became more Royal than the Royals !  and encouraged his generals to marry into the French aristocracy !)
Title: Re: Royal Marriages
Post by: CHRISinUSA on March 09, 2010, 08:24:16 AM
Well, the Duke of Devonshire's point is well taken; the aristocracy to which he and his ancestors once belonged is truly dead.  Having been ejected from the Lords, the hereditary peers no longer serve as the "rudder of State" as they once did, taking the longer-term view and putting the brakes on any wild swings that might arise in the Commons from one Government to the next. 

In itself that isn't necessarily a bad thing, such was the case in many continental monarchies in the latter 18th and 19th centuries.  A distinction evolved between the peerage (who held office) and the nobility (who did not).  Without its governmental role, the British hereditary peerage is simply evolving into a nobility I think - merely a social rank. 

(Side note:  I just fear for Britain if they don't replace the Lords with a body that behaves the same way - as a rudder of State.  As an American, I can safely say there is something to be said for an upper house that is far removed from the dirty business of politics and elections.  Sadly, our Senate no longer serves that function)