Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Russian throne and female succession


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Every so often, I look at the searches (Feedjit) to see how people are coming to Royal Musings. One search caught my attention: why women are not allowed to succeed to the throne in Russia.

The poser of the search (using Google) led to a post on Royal Musings, which presumably did not answer the question. In case, the poster is continuing to search, here is the answer.

Succession to the throne of imperial Russia was on semi-salic conditions. Women could succeed but only after all the men.

Here are the appropriate rules for the succession, which will be found in the Fundamental Laws.
25. The Imperial Throne of All the Russias is hereditary within the Imperial House presently reigning.

26. Inseparable from the Imperial Throne of All the Russias are the Thrones of the Kingdom of Poland and of the Grand Duchy of Finland.

27 Both sexes have the right of succession to the Throne; but this right belongs by preference to the male sex according to the principle of primogeniture; with the extinction of the last male issue, succession to the Throne passes to the female issue by right of substitution.
28 Accordingly, succession to the Throne belongs in the first place to the eldest son of the reigning Emperor, and after him to all his male issue.
29 With the extinction of this male issue, succession passes to the branch of the second son of the Emperor and his male issue; with the extinction of the second male issue, succession passes to the branch of the third son, and so forth.
30 When the last male issue of the Emperor's sons is extinct, succession remains in the same branch, but in the female issue of the last reigning Emperor, as being nearest to the Throne, and therein it follows the same order, with preference to a male over the female person; but the female person from whom this right directly proceeds never loses this right.
31 With the extinction of this branch the succession passes to the female issue of the branch of the eldest son of the Emperor-Progenitor, wherein the nearest relative of the last reigning Emperor in the branch of this son succeeds, the eldest in this descending line, or if unavailable, in a collateral line, and if this relative is lacking, then the male or female person who takes her place by substitution, with preference, as above, for a male over a female person.
32 When these branches too are extinct, succession passes to the female issue of the other sons of the Emperor-Progenitor, following the same order, and after that to the male issue of the eldest daughter of the Emperor-Progenitor; and when that too is extinct, to her female issue, following the order established for the female issue of the Emperor's sons.
33 With the extinction of the male and female issue of the eldest daughter of the Emperor-Progenitor, succession passes first to the male and then to the female issue of the second daughter of the Emperor-Progenitor, and so forth.
34 A younger sister, even if she has sons, does not deprive her elder sister of her right, even if the latter is unmarried; but a younger brother succeeds before his elder sisters.
35 When the succession reaches a female branch which is already reigning on another throne, it is left to the person who succeeds to make a choice of faith and throne and, together with that person's heir, to renounce the other faith and throne, if such a throne is tied by Law (with a religious denomination); if there is no renunciation of faith, the succession passes to the person next in order.
36 Children born of a marriage between a person of the Imperial Family and a person not of corresponding dignity, that is not belonging to any royal or sovereign house, have no right of succession to the Throne.
37 As the rules on the order of succession, enunciated above, take effect, a person who has a right to succeed is free to abdicate this right in those circumstances in which an abdication does not create any difficulty in the following succession to the Throne.

38 Such an abdication, when it has been made public and becomes law, is henceforth considered irrevocable.
39 An Emperor or Empress succeeding to the Throne undertakes, at accession and anointment, to solemnly observe the aforesaid laws on succession to the Throne.

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