Dynasty

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Charles I of England and his son, the future James II of England, from the House of Stuart. Charles I and James II.png
Charles I of England and his son, the future James II of England, from the House of Stuart.
The Qing dynasty was the final imperial dynasty of China, established in 1636 and ended in 1912, with a brief restoration in 1917. Qing China 1820.png
The Qing dynasty was the final imperial dynasty of China, established in 1636 and ended in 1912, with a brief restoration in 1917.

A dynasty ( UK: /ˈdɪnəsti/ , US: /ˈdnəsti/ ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family, [1] usually in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes also appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "house", "family" and "clan", among others. The longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC.

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The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", [2] which may be styled as "imperial", "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital", "baronial" etc., depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members.

Historians periodize the histories of many nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt (3100–30 BC) and Imperial China (221 BCAD 1912), using a framework of successive dynasties. As such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, and also to describe events, trends and artifacts of that period (e.g., "a Ming-dynasty vase"). The word "dynasty" itself is often dropped from such adjectival references (e.g., "a Ming vase").

Until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members. [3]

Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter usually established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house. This has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant. The earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. This also happened in the case of Queen Maria II of Portugal, who married Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but whose descendants remained members of the House of Braganza, per Portuguese law. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance. Less frequently, a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic (or polydynastic) system—that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession.

Not all feudal states or monarchies were or are ruled by dynasties; modern examples are the Vatican City State, the Principality of Andorra, and the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. Throughout history, there were monarchs that did not belong to any dynasty; non-dynastic rulers include King Arioald of the Lombards and Emperor Phocas of the Byzantine Empire. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; two modern examples are the monarchies of Malaysia and the royal families of the United Arab Emirates.

The word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is also extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team. [1]

Etymology

The word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia , which comes from Greek dynastéia ( δυναστεία ), where it referred to "power", "dominion", and "rule" itself. [4] It was the abstract noun of dynástēs ( δυνάστης ), [5] the agent noun of dynamis ( δύναμις ), "power" or "ability", [6] from dýnamai ( δύναμαι ), "to be able". [7]

Dynast

A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is also used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne. For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication.

In historical and monarchist references to formerly reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife, their son Maximilian, Duke of Hohenberg, was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Even since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position.

The term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, and sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe overlapping but distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II, is in the line of succession to the British crown; making him a British dynast. On the other hand, since he is not a patrilineal member of the British royal family, he is therefore not a dynast of the House of Windsor.

Comparatively, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles (although he is entitled to reclaim the former royal dukedom of Cumberland). He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. [8] Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the roman catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who marry roman catholics are considered "dead" for the purpose of succession to the British throne. [9] That exclusion, too, ceased to apply on 26 March 2015, with retroactive effect for those who had been dynasts prior to triggering it by marriage to a Roman Catholic. [8]

A "dynastic marriage" is one that complies with monarchical house law restrictions, so that the descendants are eligible to inherit the throne or other royal privileges. The marriage of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands to Queen Máxima Zorreguieta in 2002 was dynastic, for example, making their eldest child Princess Catharina-Amalia the heir apparent to the Crown of the Netherlands. However, the marriage of his younger brother Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau in 2003 lacked governmental support and parliamentary approval. Thus, Prince Friso forfeited his place in the order of succession to the Dutch throne, and consequently lost his title as a "Prince of the Netherlands", and left his children without dynastic rights.

Extant dynasties ruling sovereign monarchies

There are 44 sovereign states with a monarch as head of state, of which 42 are ruled by dynasties. [lower-alpha 1]

DynastyRealmReigning monarchDynastic founder [lower-alpha 2] Dynastic place of origin
House of Windsor [lower-alpha 3] [lower-alpha 4] Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg  Antigua and Barbuda Queen Elizabeth II King-Emperor George V [lower-alpha 5] Thuringia and Bavaria
(in modern Germany)
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Commonwealth of Australia [lower-alpha 6]
Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Flag of Barbados.svg  Barbados
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Flag of Grenada.svg  Grenada
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand [lower-alpha 7]
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg  Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis
Flag of Saint Lucia.svg  Saint Lucia
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.svg  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands
Flag of Tuvalu.svg  Tuvalu
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [lower-alpha 8]
House of Khalifa Flag of Bahrain.svg  Kingdom of Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Sheikh Khalifa bin Mohammed Najd
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Belgium [lower-alpha 9] Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Kingdom of Belgium King Philippe King Albert I [lower-alpha 10] Thuringia and Bavaria
(in modern Germany)
House of Wangchuck Flag of Bhutan.svg  Kingdom of Bhutan Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck Druk Gyalpo Ugyen Wangchuck Bhutan
House of Bolkiah Flag of Brunei.svg  Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Sultan Muhammad Shah Tarim [lower-alpha 11]
(in modern Yemen)
House of Norodom [lower-alpha 12] Flag of Cambodia.svg  Kingdom of Cambodia King Norodom Sihamoni King Norodom Prohmbarirak Cambodia
House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg [lower-alpha 13] Flag of Denmark.svg  Kingdom of Denmark [lower-alpha 14] Queen Margrethe II Duke Friedrich Wilhelm Glücksburg
(in modern Germany)
Flag of Norway.svg  Kingdom of Norway King Harald V
House of Dlamini Flag of Eswatini.svg  Kingdom of Eswatini King Mswati III Chief Dlamini I East Africa
Imperial House of Japan [lower-alpha 15] Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Emperor Naruhito Emperor Jimmu Nara
(in modern Japan)
House of Hashim [lower-alpha 16] Flag of Jordan.svg  Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan King Abdullah II King Hussein ibn Ali al-Hashimi Hejaz
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Sabah Flag of Kuwait.svg  State of Kuwait Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Sheikh Sabah I bin Jaber Najd
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Moshesh Flag of Lesotho.svg  Kingdom of Lesotho King Letsie III Paramount Chief Moshoeshoe I Lesotho
House of Liechtenstein Flag of Liechtenstein.svg  Principality of Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II Prince Karl I Lower Austria
(in modern Austria)
House of Luxembourg-Nassau [lower-alpha 17] Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Grand Duke Henri Grand Duke Adolphe Nassau
(in modern Germany)
Bendahara dynasty [lower-alpha 18] Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia [lower-alpha 19] Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdullah Bendahara Tun Habib Abdul Majid Johor
(in modern Malaysia)
House of Grimaldi Flag of Monaco.svg  Principality of Monaco Prince Albert II François Grimaldi Genoa
(in modern Italy)
Alaouite dynasty Flag of Morocco.svg  Kingdom of Morocco King Mohammed VI Sultan Abul Amlak Sidi Muhammad as-Sharif ibn 'Ali Tafilalt
(in modern Morocco)
House of Orange-Nassau [lower-alpha 20] Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Kingdom of the Netherlands [lower-alpha 21] King Willem-Alexander Prince William I Nassau
(in modern Germany)
House of Said Flag of Oman.svg  Sultanate of Oman Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Sultan Ahmad bin Said al-Busaidi Oman
House of Thani Flag of Qatar.svg  State of Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Thani bin Mohammed Najd
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Saud Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Emir Saud I Diriyah
(in modern Saudi Arabia)
House of Borbón-Anjou [lower-alpha 22] Flag of Spain.svg  Kingdom of Spain King Felipe VI King Philip V Bourbon-l'Archambault
(in modern France)
House of Bernadotte Flag of Sweden.svg  Kingdom of Sweden King Carl XVI Gustaf King Charles XIV John Pau
(in modern France)
Chakri dynasty Flag of Thailand.svg  Kingdom of Thailand King Vajiralongkorn King Rama I Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
(in modern Thailand)
House of Tupou Flag of Tonga.svg  Kingdom of Tonga King Tupou VI King George Tupou I Tonga
House of Nahyan [lower-alpha 23] Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates [lower-alpha 24] President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Sheikh Dhiyab bin Isa Al Nahyan Liwa Oasis
(in modern United Arab Emirates)

Political dynasties in republics and constitutional monarchies

Though in elected governments, rule does not pass automatically by inheritance, political power often accrues to generations of related individuals in the elected positions of republics, and constitutional monarchies. Eminence, influence, tradition, genetics, and nepotism may contribute to the phenomenon.

Family dictatorships are a different concept in which political power passes within a family because of the overwhelming authority of the leader, rather than informal power accrued to the family.

Some political dynasties in republics:

Influential and wealthy families

See also

Notes

  1. Existing sovereign entities ruled by non-dynastic monarchs include:
  2. The founder of a dynasty need not necessarily equate to the first monarch of a particular realm. For example, while William I was the dynastic founder of the House of Orange-Nassau which currently rules over the Kingdom of the Netherlands, he was never a monarch of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  3. The House of Windsor is descended from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which is a branch of the House of Wettin. The dynastic name was changed from "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" to "Windsor" in AD 1917.
  4. A sovereign state with Elizabeth II as its monarch and head of state is known as a Commonwealth realm.
  5. George V was formerly a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha prior to AD 1917.
  6. Including:
  7. The Realm of New Zealand consists of:
  8. Including:
  9. The House of Belgium is descended from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which is a branch of the House of Wettin. The dynastic name was changed from "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" to "Belgium" in AD 1920.
  10. Albert I was formerly a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha prior to AD 1920.
  11. Claimed by the royal house, but the historicity is questionable.
  12. The House of Norodom is a branch of the Varman dynasty.
  13. The House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg is a branch of the House of Oldenburg.
  14. Including:
  15. The Imperial House of Japan, or the Yamato dynasty, is the world's oldest continuous dynasty. The dynasty has produced an unbroken succession of Japanese monarchs since the legendary founding year of 660 BC.
  16. The House of Hashim is descended from Banu Qatada, which was a branch of the House of Ali.
  17. The House of Luxembourg-Nassau is descended from the House of Nassau-Weilburg, which is a branch of the House of Nassau and the House of Bourbon-Parma.
  18. The Bendahara dynasty is the ruling dynasty of Pahang Darul Makmur and Terengganu. The Sultan of Pahang is the reigning Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.
  19. The throne of Malaysia rotates among the nine constituent monarchies of Malaysia, each ruled by a dynasty. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the Conference of Rulers.
  20. The House of Orange-Nassau is a branch of the House of Nassau. Additionally, Willem-Alexander is also linked to the House of Lippe through Beatrix of the Netherlands.
  21. The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of:
  22. The House of Borbón-Anjou is a branch of the House of Bourbon.
  23. The House of Nahyan is the ruling dynasty of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Emir of Abu Dhabi is the incumbent President of the United Arab Emirates.
  24. The President of the United Arab Emirates is elected by the Federal Supreme Council. The office has been held by the Emir of Abu Dhabi since the formation of the United Arab Emirates in AD 1971.

Related Research Articles

A monarch is the head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Usually a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by right of conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.

Monarchy System of government where the head of state is a single person who holds the position for life or until abdication

A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch, is head of state for life or until abdication. The political legitimacy and authority of the monarch may vary from purely symbolic, to restricted, to fully autocratic, and can expand across the domains of the executive, legislative and judicial. A monarchy can be a polity through unity, personal union, vassalage or federation, and monarchs can carry various titles such as king, queen, emperor, khan, caliph, tsar, sultan, or shah.

A prince is a male ruler or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. Prince is also a title of nobility, often hereditary, in some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess. The English word derives, via the French word prince, from the Latin noun princeps, from primus (first) and capio, meaning "the chief, most distinguished, ruler, prince".

A duke (male) can either be a monarch ranked below the emperor, king, and grand duke ruling over a duchy or a member of royalty or nobility, historically of highest rank, below princes of nobility and grand dukes. The title comes from French duc, itself from the Latin dux, 'leader', a term used in republican Rome to refer to a military commander without an official rank, and later coming to mean the leading military commander of a province. In most countries, the word duchess is the female equivalent. However, in some countries, the term duke is used even for females, and the word duchess is reserved for those who marry dukes.

Ferdinand I of Bulgaria Tsar of Bulgaria

Ferdinand , born Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Maria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was the second monarch of the Third Bulgarian State, firstly as ruling prince (knyaz) from 1887 to 1908, and later as king (tsar) from 1908 until his abdication in 1918. Under his rule Bulgaria entered the First World War on the side of the Central Powers in 1915.

A grand duchy is a country or territory whose official head of state or ruler is a monarch bearing the title of grand duke or grand duchess.

House of Windsor Royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms

The House of Windsor is the reigning royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. In 1901, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha succeeded the House of Hanover to the British monarchy with the accession of King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. In 1917, the name of the royal house was changed from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor because of anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom during World War I. There have been four British monarchs of the House of Windsor since then: George V, Edward VIII, George VI, and Elizabeth II.

A royal family is the immediate family of a Kings, Queen regnant, Emirs, or Sultans, and sometimes his or her extended family. The term imperial family appropriately describes the family of an emperor or empress, and the term papal family describes the family of a pope, while the terms baronial family, comital family, ducal family, archducal family, grand ducal family, or princely family are more appropriate to describe, respectively, the relatives of a reigning baron, count, duke, archduke, grand duke, or prince. However, in common parlance members of any family which reigns by hereditary right are often referred to as royalty or "royals." It is also customary in some circles to refer to the extended relations of a deposed monarch and his or her descendants as a royal family. A dynasty is sometimes referred to as "the House of ...". As of July 2013, there are 26 active sovereign monarchies in the world who rule or reign over 43 countries in all.

Carlos I of Portugal 19th/20th-century Portuguese king

Dom Carlos I, known as the Diplomat and the Martyr, was the King of Portugal from 1889 until his assassination in 1908. He was the first Portuguese king to die a violent death since Sebastian in 1578.

An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected monarch, in contrast to a hereditary monarchy in which the office is automatically passed down as a family inheritance. The manner of election, the nature of candidate qualifications, and the electors vary from case to case. Historically it is not uncommon for elective monarchies to transform into hereditary ones over time, or for hereditary ones to acquire at least occasional elective aspects.

A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct. A real union, by contrast, would involve the constituent states being to some extent interlinked, such as by sharing some limited governmental institutions. In a federation and a unitary state, a central (federal) government spanning all member states exists, with the degree of self-governance distinguishing the two. The ruler in a personal union does not need to be a hereditary monarch.

House of Wettin German noble and royal family

The House of Wettin is a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors and kings that once ruled territories in the present-day German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The dynasty is one of the oldest in Europe, and its origins can be traced back to the town of Wettin, Saxony-Anhalt. The Wettins gradually rose to power within the Holy Roman Empire. Members of the family became the rulers of several medieval states, starting with the Saxon Eastern March in 1030. Other states they gained were Meissen in 1089, Thuringia in 1263, and Saxony in 1423. These areas cover large parts of Central Germany as a cultural area of Germany.

Brazilian imperial family Branch of the House of Braganza that ruled the Empire of Brazil

The Brazilian Imperial Family is a branch of the Portuguese Royal House of Braganza that ruled the Empire of Brazil from 1822 to 1889, after the proclamation of independence by Prince Pedro of Braganza who was later acclaimed as Pedro I, Constitutional Emperor and Perpetual Defender of Brazil. The members of the family are dynastic descendants of Emperor Pedro I. Claimants to headship of the post-monarchic Brazilian Imperial legacy descend from Emperor Pedro II, including the senior agnates of two branches of the House of Orléans-Braganza; the so-called Petrópolis and Vassouras lines. Prince Pedro Carlos of Orléans-Braganza heads the Petrópolis line, while the Vassouras branch is led by his second cousin, Prince Luiz of Orléans-Braganza.

Highness is a formal style used to address or refer to certain members of a reigning or formerly reigning dynasty. It is typically used with a possessive adjective: "His Highness", "Her Highness" (HH), "Their Highnesses", etc. Although often combined with other adjectives of honour indicating rank, such as "Imperial", "Royal" or "Serene", it may be used alone.

House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha German dynasty

The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a German dynasty that ruled Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, one of the Ernestine duchies.

The Brazilian monarchy came to an end on November 15, 1889, following a military coup which overthrew Emperor Dom Pedro II and established a republic. According to the Imperial Constitution (1824), the Brazilian monarchy was hereditary according to male-preference primogeniture among the dynastic descendants of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, and the crown could only be inherited by one who held Brazilian nationality. The Imperial constitution also states that the monarch and the first in line should be Catholic, and the marriage of a female heir presumptive required consent of the emperor or the Assembly.

References

  1. 1 2 Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "dynasty, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1897.
  2. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "house, n.¹ and int, 10. b." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2011.
  3. Thomson, David (1961). "The Institutions of Monarchy". Europe Since Napoleon . New York: Knopf. pp.  79–80. The basic idea of monarchy was the idea that hereditary right gave the best title to political power...The dangers of disputed succession were best avoided by hereditary succession: ruling families had a natural interest in passing on to their descendants enhanced power and prestige...Frederick the Great of Prussia, Catherine the Great of Russia, Maria Theresa of Austria, were alike infatuated with the idea of strengthening their power, centralizing government in their own hands as against local and feudal privileges, and so acquiring more absolute authority in the state. Moreover, the very dynastic rivalries and conflicts between these eighteenth-century monarchs drove them to look for ever more efficient methods of government
  4. Liddell, Henry George & al. A Greek–English Lexicon: "δυναστεία". Hosted by Tufts University's Perseus Project.
  5. Liddell & al. A Greek–English Lexicon: "δυνάστης".
  6. Liddell & al. A Greek–English Lexicon: "δύναμις".
  7. Liddell & al. "δύναμαι".
  8. 1 2 Statement by Nick Clegg MP, UK parliament website, 26 March 2015 (retrieved on same date).
  9. "Monaco royal taken seriously ill". BBC News . London. 8 April 2005. Retrieved 27 January 2013.