Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Other Royal Wedding

Meanwhile, the Principality of Monaco is preparing for the wedding of Prince Albert II and Charlene Wittstock this weekend, with no expense being spared. This will be the first wedding of a reigning European sovereign since that of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Silvia Sommerlath in 1976. Miss Wittstock's transition from South African swimmer to Monegasque princess has reportedly not been without obstacles, but that is sure to change should she and the Prince give Monaco her long-awaited heir.


J.K. Baltzersen said...


Is it not a princely wedding, BTW, as it is a wedding of a princely house? Just as a wedding of an imperial house would be an imperial wedding -- not a royal wedding?

Theodore Harvey said...

I think that with only ten hereditary monarchies of any sort remaining in Europe it is not necessarily incorrect to use the word "royal" to refer to the family of any hereditary ruler of a sovereign state. I really don't see the point in trying to insist that the late Princess Grace, for example, was not royal; to the world, she certainly was, and her status internationally had more in common with a Queen Consort than with a typical Serene Highness.

J.K. Baltzersen said...

I understand your point, sir.

In my own native language, Norgwegian, "royal" is "kongelig" and "king" is "konge," and "princely house" is "fyrstehus," making the linguistic connections more obvious. The same goes for languages such as Swedish, Danish, Dutch, and German.

But I am perhaps too zealous on this particular issue.

I easily get upset when journalists here at home refer to Prince Albert as merely "prins Albert" instead of "fyrst Albert."

I also, as you may know and recall, am not too happy about the use of "constitutional monarchy" as necessarily referring to a monarchy where the monarch has been rendered powerless in real terms.