Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Alexandra of Hanover loses place in British succession

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The newest issue of Point de Vue includes an interview with Colonel  Luc Fringant, who is retiring after thirty years of service with the Princely Family of Monaco.  He recounted the moving departure ceremony and noted that "Princesses Caroline and Stephanie had tears in their eyes, which was worth every speech in the world."

Colonel Fringant added:  "My regret is that Alexandra of Hanover, who chose me as her godfather when she was baptized in the Catholic faith, could not be there."

HRH Princess Alexandra Charlotte Ulrike Maryam Virginia of Hanover is the only child of HRH Prince Ernst August of Hanover and HSH Princess Caroline of Monaco.  She was born on July 20, 1999, at Vöcklabruck, Upper Austria.

The Hanover royal family is Lutheran.  Alexandra was baptized on September 19, 1999, by Horst Hirschler, Bishop of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover.  The ceremony was private in contrast to the baptisms of the princess' older half-brothers.  Hereditary Prince Ernst August, whose godparents included the future King Felipe VI of Spain, was baptized at the chapel at Schoss Marienburg, as was his younger brother, Prince Christian.    Pastor Gerhard Menzel officiated at both ceremonies.

Alexandra's baptism was private and took place at her father's home in Auerbach, near Grünau im Almtal, Upper Austria. Her godparents are her paternal aunt the  Princess (Alexandra)  of Leiningen, her maternal half-sister Charlotte Casiraghi, Ulrike Ulmschneider, Maryam Sachs, Virginia Gallico, George Condo, and Eric Maier. 

Virginia Gallico, the widow of the American writer Paul Gallico, was one of the late Princess Grace's close friends.  The Iranian-born writer, Maryam Sachs, was married to Swiss writer, Rolf Sachs, who is now the partner of Princess Mafalda of Hesse.

The Prince of Leiningen and Rolf Sachs are among the Hereditary Prince's godfathers.

No photos of the baptism were released, but the event was covered by the French, German and Austrian press.   

The princess is the third member of the family to bear the name Alexandra.  The  Alexandra (1882-1963) was the third child of  Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, and Princess Thyra of Denmark.   She was named for Thyra's eldest sister, Alexandra, who was married to the Princess of Wales.  The second Princess Alexandra (1959) is married to the Prince of Leiningen

Princess Alexandra made her public debut on November 19, 1999, when she was carried onto the Princely palace balcony and held by her father during the celebrations for Prince Rainier.

Alexandra was a British dynast, according to the Act of Settlement and the more recent Succession to the Crown Act.   The moment she was received into the Roman Catholic Church, she ceased to have succession rights to the British throne, and is considered dead to the succession.  Her father lost his rights when he married Princess Caroline seven months before Alexandra's birth but regained his remote place in the succession with the passage of the Succession to the Crown Act (2013).  Roman Catholics remain barred from the throne, but those persons who married Catholics have regained their succession rights.

Alexandra's decision to join the Catholic  Church is not a surprise.  She has grown up in Monaco.  She has spent far more time with her mother and the Monegasque Princely family, which is Roman Catholic, than with her father,  Prince Ernst August.

The date of the reception into the Roman Catholic Church is not known.

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Clara said...

Queen Victoria Eugenia had to be baptized again to convert, although maybe now (after the Second Vatican Council) the rules can be different. Her godmother at her Catholic baptism was Queen Maria Cristina.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the first comment by "Unknown". I teach baptism preparation at our parish and the church does accept baptisms made in other Christian churches as long as there is evidence of that baptism. The evidence can be as simple as a photo from the baptism. There is no "You were baptised as a Catholic, you therefore are a Catholic." "One" baptism means that baptism is only needed once (def. being a single unit) and it is unified ( def. being the same in kind or quality) with all Christian religions. In order to become fully initiated into the Catholic Church, you must also receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. Maybe what the Colonel really meant, and possibly lost in translation, is that Princess Alexandra chose him as a sponsor (which is also the proper title for a godparent at baptism) for her confirmation, which would indeed make her a fully initiated member of the Catholic church.

Dennis J. Cunniff said...

It is certainly my understanding that the Roman Catholic church accepts all Trinitarian baptisms as valid. All the mainline Christian denominations belive this, be they Orghodox, Anglican, or Lutheran. Catholics believe that there's no such thing as being baptised "Catholic"; rather the Roman Catholic belief is that one is baptised "Christian". The Council of Trent held that is was forbidden to baptize a person who is already baptized, so the most that this ceremony may have been is a "conditional baptism" ("If you are not yet baptized, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit").

So I'm with the other commenters in the belief that this might have been something else.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The translation was sent to me by a native French speaker

The Blessed Virgin said...

Maybe its "Holy Communion" and or "Confirmation" in the Roman Catholic church.