Friday, April 26, 2013

Why Princess Caroline is not the Hereditary Princess of Monaco

I've been in a discussion about Princess Caroline of Monaco's official title.  Several "royal watchers" argue she is the Hereditary Princess of Monaco.   I counter argue she is not HSH The Hereditary Princess of Monaco.

One watcher cited Wikipedia as her source.  I've written about royalty for decades now (even before the Internet), and I am a professional librarian -- so I won't accept Wikipedia as the source, especially as a primary source. 

Caroline is first in line, but this does not make her the official Hereditary Princess.  She is not the daughter of the Reigning Prince.  She is the sister, and her succession rights are provisional, based on changes made to the Monegasque constitution in 2002. 

Act 2 of the family law states:  'héritier du Prince régnant qui est le plus proche dans l'ordre successoral résultant desdites dispositions est Prince Héréditaire.   Hereditary Prince.  Not Princess.  The family law does not include references for a female heir to the throne.  Why?  Males take precedence.  What is also important: Caroline is NOT treated as the heir.  She has no official duties representing the Prince.

Prior to this change, the succession in Monaco was limited to the children of the reigning Sovereign Prince.   The Sovereign Prince also had the right, when he reached the age of 50, to adopt an heir.    Under the old law, when Rainier died, Caroline and Stephanie and their descendants ceased to be heirs, but Albert, when reached his 50th birthday, was permitted to adopt an heir.  It was largely assumed that Albert would have adopted his nephew Andrea Casiraghi as his heir.

But the constitution was changed, and siblings and their descendants of the Sovereign Prince remained in the line of succession until the succession of the Sovereign Prince's direct heir.    This applied to legitimate and legitimated children, which is why Princess Stephanie's youngest daughter, Camille, does not have succession rights.  Stephanie never married Camille's father.   Andrea Casiraghi's only son, Sacha, won't become a dynast until Andrea marries Tatiana Santo Domingo.

Thus, if Albert has a child, who succeeds him, Caroline and Stephanie and their descendants lose their rights to succeed.  Thus, Caroline has provisional succession rights during her brother's lifetime.   Should Albert not have legitimate issue, the succession will pass to Caroline and then her eldest son.  At this time, however,  Andrea is not a member of the Princely family although he has dynastic rights.  If Caroline succeeds her brother,  Stephanie and her legitimate descendants will remain in line until the succession of Andrea's eldest son.

This can be avoided only if Charlene gives birth to an heir.

Monaco's succession is not gender equal, but male primogeniture.   Neither the Constitution nor the House Laws, which were also amended in 2002, refer to a female Sovereign or a female heir.  The laws refer to a male heir, apparent or presumptive.  Siblings are rarely officially styled as the heir because there is a the presumption that the Sovereign could have a direct heir.   Caroline is not a direct heir.  Her brother is married to a woman who is of child bearing age.!OpenDocument

Princess Caroline, who is estranged from her third husband, HRH Prince Ernst August of Hanover, lives in Monaco.  She is not treated as the official heir.  Take a look at the official site for the Princely House:

Caroline is styled as HRH The Princess of Hanover or SAR Le Princesse de Hanovre.  Her stationary and official missives describe her as the Princess of Hanover.  There is nothing on the official site for the Princely family that describes her as the Hereditary Princess.   Caroline's official biography does not refer to her as the heiress presumptive or the Hereditary Princess. 

Prince Albert remains the Marquis de Baux because he has no male heir.  A distaff heir cannot be the Marquis de Baux.   If Caroline dies before Albert,  Andrea could be the presumptive Hereditary Prince because he is a male. 

I absolutely think that if Caroline were officially the Hereditary Princess of Monaco, she would be styled as such.  The title would certainly trump Princess of Hanover as Hanover no longer exist as a sovereign state.  Caroline would certainly revel in her position as her brother's heir, but if Charlene gives birth,  Caroline loses that position as her own succession rights -- and the rights of her children -- are provisional.

If Charlene has a child, that child will become the heir, and when that heir succeeds,  Caroline and Stephanie and their descendants cease to be heirs.    If Albert has a daughter and then three sons,  the three sons move ahead of the daughter, unless the Constitution and House laws are changed to allow for the succession of the eldest child.  Until then, the Sovereign and the heir are presumed to be male, which is primary reason why Caroline is not the Hereditary Princess of Monaco.  

The majority of Europe's monarchies now have gender equal succession.  Liechtenstein remains semi-Salic.  Spain and Monaco are both male primogeniture. 

The House Laws, the Constitution, the official site or Wikipedia? 


Kalnel said...

If Caroline were to succeed, would future rulers be styled as royal highnesses, or would they revert to serene highnesses after her reign?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The hrh s only by marriage.

juan said...

I think Caroline is Heiress Presumptive to the Throne of Monaco, but not she is not the Hereditary Princess. She is the first in the line to Throne but has not title of Hereditary Princess.
Queen Elizabeth II was not Hereditary Princess of United Kingdom, she was Heiress Presumptive, because she was the first in the line to the Throne but she never was Princess of Wales.
King Albert II of Belgium was never Hereditary Prince or Crown Prince, he was Heir Presumptive.

Unknown said...

I tend to agree with Juan simply because she is "next in line" as far as I can see.

She is most certainly not the Hereditary Princess as that is a formal title which has not been used and I find nothing of the such in any official site from the Country unlike previously as with Albert and before.