Monday, June 20, 2011

Succession "reform," again...

Hopefully these latest efforts to abolish male primogeniture and repeal the Act of Settlement will prove too complicated and go nowhere. Sometimes I find the "modernisers" almost as annoying as republicans. "Fairness" and "Equality" are not the point of a hereditary monarchy. How is it any more fair to favour the eldest child? Doesn't that "discriminate" against younger siblings? (Not to mention people not born into the royal family, as republicans--who are at least consistent, much as I despise them--will point out.) Is there no one in Government who will point this out and obstruct the nonsensical egalitarian agenda?

Asked by a liberal Dutch monarchist to address the point that to him hereditary succession itself seems more rational than favouring males over females, I responded at my forum that one
rational argument is that republicans especially in the Commonwealth countries would do their utmost to turn the necessary debate into one on the very existence of the monarchy itself. Most of us would rather not open that can of worms.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is relatively new, a creation of the post-Napoleonic era, so it is perhaps somewhat more appropriate for it and its even younger neighbour the Kingdom of Belgium to "move with the times" to a certain extent (though I don't really agree with the adoption of equal primogeniture there either). But the British Monarchy with its roots in the ninth century is all about Tradition, and the tradition there has been for male monarchs to be the norm (even if it doesn't quite seem like it due to three female monarchs having had exceptionally long reigns), with queens regnant the exception. Personally as an admirer of Elizabeth I, Victoria, and Elizabeth II I think that female monarchs shine when they are the exception, having come to the throne due to the absence of any (living) brothers.

I would consider it a travesty for Prince William's eldest son to be bypassed by a sister, which with the unique exception of Prince James Stuart (1688-1766) (hardly analogous to the present situation; somehow I doubt the "Glorious Revolution" was motivated by concern for gender equality) has never happened before in the history of the British monarchy. It is natural, and in accord with most monarchical traditions, for the eldest son of a king to expect to be king in turn, and cruel to deny that to him as it has been denied to Prince Carl Philip of Sweden (b 1979) whose sister Crown Princess Victoria (b 1977) would probably have preferred not to be heir to the throne. [In the Netherlands, ruled by Queens since 1890, it's a moot point at present since Prince Willem-Alexander has three daughters and no sons, but in Belgium Princess Elisabeth (b 2001) precedes her brother Prince Gabriel (b 2003), which still seems odd to me.]

1 comment:

Npinkpanther said...

What gives Nick Clegg, the most unpopular man in Britain atm, the right to decide the succession laws are going to change, again?