Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Heir to Luxembourg throne is 11-year-old girl

November 18, 1905

The new heir to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is an 11-year-old princess, reports the Chicago Tribune, whose father, Grand Duke Guillaume, succeeds to the throne following the death yesterday of his father, Grand Duke Adolphe.

The new Grand Duke is 58-years-old, is said to be "so enormously fat and of such colossal girth," that his health is impaired.  He has already suffered "two strokes of apoplexy," and is not expected to have a long reign.

He is the father of six daughters, the eldest of whom, Princess Marie Adelaide, is now the heiress presumptive to the throne.    Both the Grand Duke and his late father have been Lutherans, but Guillaume's wife, Grand Duchess Marie Anne,  a Portuguese Infanta by birth, is a "devout adherent" to the Roman Catholic faith.  Guillaume agreed to raise their children as Roman Catholics when he and Marie Anne married.

Roman Catholicism is the primary religion of Luxembourg.

Succession to the Grand Ducal throne was based on Salic law, which meant that Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands could not also inherit in Luxembourg when her father died in 1890.   The succession to the Luxembourg throne has since been changed.  "In the event of the extension of the male line, the eldest daughter of the last male survivor or failing daughters its sister or nearest female blood relation shall be entitled to the succession of the throne."

Princess Marie Adelaide became eligible for the succession after the death in September of Grand Duke Adolphe's younger half-brother, Prince Nicholas of Nassau.  Prince Nicholas' marriage to Natalia Pushkina, Countess of Merenberg, was morganatic, and thus, his children had no dynastic rights.

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