Author Topic: If YOU Were Monarch, How Would You Organize Your Dynasty, Court and Nobility?  (Read 3687 times)

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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Perhaps you think the institutions of Britain, ancien-regime France, the Napoleonic Empire, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, Scandinavia or Russia were examplary? Or perhaps you think YOU could do a better job than William the Conqueror, Peter the Great, Napoleon or other monarchs who established dynasties, courts and systems of nobility. Well, here is the place to have a little fun with outlining your vision of the perfect organisation of dynasty, court and nobility! Finally a place where you can resurrect all the old rules you'd like your ideal court to adhere to, bury the ones you think are ripe for the grave or just put together all the best rules from several different monarchies:

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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OK, here's my ideal monarchy:

Like most royalty fans I am pretty clear about the need for a new monarch to be crowned. Not necessarily in a church, with all the religious debate that can lead to, it could also be an enthronement / investiture /proclamation / swearing-in ceremony at a secular place like the palace or the national assembly, preceeded by a religious ceremony of anointing and/or consecration in church. Even if the monarch is anointed and consecrated by the church, I think he should receive the crown from representatives of the people, preferably from the estates of the kingdom, as a sign of the social contract between subjects and prince. But definetely with much pomp and circumstances and lots of regalia to embody his temporal powers in the best medieval fashion.

When it comes to the actual exercize of those powers, I'd absolutely go for a normal constitutional monarchy where the efficient part, as the British constitutional author Walter Bagehot termed it, is done in the monarch's name only, and the monarch only performs the dignified bits, acting as an embodyment of the state and the nation's secular high-priest. But that shouldn't stop the monarch from being a hands-on high-priest. It should be acknowledged that many (not at all) politicians are very ordinary people, some of them even rascals, so why should they be so superior to a person who just by accident of birth is the head of state.

Even though the monarch is the head of state, I'd like him to perhaps go on less state visits than many modern monarchs do. They seem to be jetting off to a new country every other week. I don't mind it in itself, I'm sure it's no fun-filled holiday, but a state visit should be something grand and rare. More frequent visits could be carried out by members of the nobility as diplomats.

I write about the monarch as "he" because my preferred mode of succession would be male-preference primogeniture, but I'm not adamant about that. Neither am I about Ebenbürtigkeit, even though I think it should be tried to be upheld. But not limited to just the countless German mini-dynasties, apart from the reigning ones. All great noble dynasties should be eligible, as long as parliament and/or the House of Peers approve. They, and not the monarch, should have the power to veto royal marriages. (With the effect that it becomes morganatic.) But I am a romantic at heart and would like to allow for the sentimental archduke-marries-the-postmaster's-daughter fairytale. It's difficult to phrase this in a neutral, constitutional manner, but: Unless it was REALLY romantic, I'd prefer to see princes marrying unequally being delegated to the bottom of the order of succession and rather found a new noble house.

Because all princes and princesses should be given a ducal title at birth and incorporate their dukedoms' arms into their arms as differentitation, so they don't look too similar to the national and royal arms. They would be the top layer in a peerage consisting of at least dukes, counts and barons. Fürsts, marquesses, earls and viscounts can be added depending on language. The important thing about these titles should be that they are inalienably linked to land, to certain fiefs, just like in ancien-regime France. If the family no longer posess the fief, they can no longer sport the title. These fiefs would then be large agricultural estates. The land being held as fiefs of the crown (i.e. private property once turned over to the monarch and received back as a fief) the King should be able to punish the peer if he should engage in ignoble business activities. Some provision should also be made for majorats consisting of capital, bonds or stocks being recognized as some lowly peerage, perhaps the rather "ridiculous" titles of marquis or viscount.

Peerages might be obtainable either because one's landholding is big enough (and a dukedom would need to be bigger than a county, which is bigger than a barony etc.) or because the King-in-Council wishes to reward a person with such a title. In the latter case it would stay a life peerage and not be hereditary unless the recipient provides it with a fief or majorat as described above. The succession in these peerages should also be male-preference primogeniture and there should be a declension of titles, just like in post-Revolutionary France: The eldest son of a duke is by courtesy a marquis, his younger sons counts, his grandchildren barons, his great-grandchildren plain nobles. But these descendants can make their courtesy titles hereditary and substantive by attaching a majorat or fief to them.

I am unsure whether I'd want these plain nobles to be a hereditary gentry class of esquires or Junkers with noble pretensions or just commoners. It would be cool and democratic to include all yeoman farmers who own their own farms in this class of lower nobility. And all nobles should have funny, ornamental surnames corresponding to their arms à la the Swedish and Danish system.

The holders of substantive peerages and life peers should sit in some kind of body or corporation. Not an upper, senatorial chamber of parliament like the British House of Lords, because the national assembly should be unicameral, to keep it simple and democratic. But they should be in some kind of body, as Chamber or Council of Peers, both to regulate the nobility and to advice the monarch. If they were to be in a kind of senate with an advisory role, there should also be religious leaders like bishops and representatives of the administrative layers, like all mayors of municipalities, provincial governors etc.

"All kinds of people" shouldn't be awarded peerages, like what's happening in Britain now. But there should be a distinctive honours system: Only people in the military and people who have done something quite extraordinary for the nation or mankind should be knighted by receiving some cool order like the Flying Dragon or something like that. Certainly not actors or such people. These knighthoods should ennoble the recipient, however humble he or she might be.

Achievements of people not considered eligible for the highest order and nobility should be rewarded with a more non-chivalric state order à la the French Legion of Honour, an Order of Civil Virtue (but preferrably not with such a bland name, but more like the Order of Dannebrog). Perhaps the recipients should become esquires instead of knights, or honourary citizens. I am generally in favour of orders without classes. The first order has to be classless, not sure about this latter one. Possibly they could be two classes of the same order.  

More traditional excellency in a profession or a particular field should (also) be recognized with honorifics à la the Russian Table of Ranks, like still is the case in Austria: Court Actor, Court Bartender (the actual purveyor to the royal court would be Actual Court Purveyor!), Chamber Accountant, Privy Councillor (for psychologists?!) or more general like Titular Councillor. Of course these should correspond to an elaborate Table of Ranks and Precedence, which would regulate life at court. But of course everybody from the grandest to the humblest should be eligible to attend court.

Lol, that was a LONG ramble from me. If you're still with me I'd be really interested to hear about other people's ideas about the ideal court!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2010, 07:07:43 PM by Tainyi Sovetnik »

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

  • Guest
LOL, perhaps this topic should be moved to the Discussion Section. Judging from the lack of replies it wasn't as much Having Fun as I imagined...

One more addition to the Dynasty part: I wouldn't mind cadet members of the royal family pursuing normal careers, but for the sake of avoiding criticism I'd forbid any career where their royalty, well-connectedness and celebrity status would be too much of an asset, like a career in public relations or entertainment. A concrete example would be Princess Märtha Louise of Norway's career as an entertainer, as a reader of fairytales.
(NB please don't let this thread become a thread about Märtha Louise and her business ventures just because I mentioned her, but stick to the topic, thanks!)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2010, 05:47:06 PM by Tainyi Sovetnik »

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Yes, moderators, what about moving it to the Discussion Section?

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Any opinions?


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When I see Monaco, I wish the law would allow women to success the throne.
Rainier wished that Albert has the character of Caroline (who is more regal and smarter).
Märthe Louise aka TalkingwithAngels is weird. But I respect that she goes her way. I would welcome it when the other children of monarchs get a normal job. Carl Philipp and Madeleine of Sweden for example should do that. CP is studying a long time, and he is in his thirties. And Madeleine is going to be a leather bag.

A dynasty with some branches who are ruling, too. Divide the country in parts, so that this branches could reign as Princes. Of course I would have the full power as King/Queen.
The succession: the oldest child.
Succession of the parts: the oldest child, either.
It goes complicated, but I like it.
Beside the King/Queen, Princes/Princesses, there should be a parliament with all delegations of the people.
Religion would be not so important. I prefer a rational sight of life.

Naslednik Norvezhskiy

  • Guest
A dynasty with some branches who are ruling, too. Divide the country in parts, so that this branches could reign as Princes. Of course I would have the full power as King/Queen.
So as a kind of feudalism, not just bureaucratic governors?