“Our” royals?

A lot of the time, when someone is about to make an argument against having a monarchy- if they diverge from the ever faithful “they’re living on our taxes” argument, or the “it’s an old-fashioned form of government” one- for some of the countries we usually end up with the ever true and tried one: “They’re not XXX nationality, they’re from YYY.”


In a lot of ways, it is true.

The Windsors were once from Hannover. They married German, up until Edward VII who married Danish Alexandra, but then his son married Mary of Teck. George VI married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, and their daughter turned around and married someone from the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.


The Belgians descend from Leopold I – the uncle of both Victoria and Albert, who hailed from Coburg in Bavaria.


The Bernadottes came from Pau, in France.


The Norwegian royal family emigrated from Denmark, as did the Greek royals.


And the Danish were really from Glücksburg in what is now Germany. Although, with some Danish princesses in the mix, and descending from Christian III of Denmark, as they are… and Schleswig-Holstein having been under Danish rule, I would not call the family completely Germans.


But at the same time… how long does a royal family have to be in a country before they really belong to that country?


I’ve seen King Harald classified a second generation immigrant to Norway – because his parents were born outside the country. King Olav was indeed born in England, and immigrated to Norway, from Denmark, in 1905 with his parents. But when Crown Princess Märtha was born, in 1901 in Stockholm – Norway and Sweden were still in an union, and thus she was born a princess of Sweden and Norway. Since then, the Norwegian royal family have married Norwegians.


The Glücksburg clan came on the throne in 1863 in Denmark. The family has made a policy out of marrying foreigners… or losing the right to the throne.


Leopold I was asked to be the King of the Belgians in 1831.


Jean Baptiste (Karl Johan) Bernadotte was elected Swedish Crown Prince in 1810.


The Hannovers came to the throne in the UK in 1714.


Again, how long do you have to be in a country before you belong?

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