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"The Young Pretender", Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, pretender to the English, the Scottish, the French, and the Irish thrones Carlos Eduardo Stuart Infante de Anglais.jpg
"The Young Pretender", Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, pretender to the English, the Scottish, the French, and the Irish thrones

A pretender is one who maintains or is able to maintain a claim that they are entitled to a position of honour or rank, which may be occupied by an incumbent (usually more recognised), or whose powers may currently be exercised by another person or authority. Most often, it refers to a former monarch, or descendant thereof, whose throne is occupied, claimed by a rival or has been abolished. [1] [2]

Nobility Official privileged social class

Nobility is a social class normally ranked immediately under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be largely honorary, and vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto noblesse oblige, nobles can also carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is typically hereditary.

Throne seat of state of a potentate or dignitary

A throne is the seat of state of a potentate or dignitary, especially the seat occupied by a sovereign on state occasions; or the seat occupied by a pope or bishop on ceremonial occasions. "Throne" in an abstract sense can also refer to the monarchy or the Crown itself, an instance of metonymy, and is also used in many expressions such as "the power behind the throne". The expression "ascend (mount) the throne" takes its meaning from the steps leading up to the dais or platform, on which the throne is placed, being formerly comprised in the word's significance.


The term "claimant" is sometimes preferred, but the term "pretend" in itself is not pejorative in this context. The original meaning of the English word pretend comes from the French word prétendre (and before that, the Latin praetendo meaning "to stretch out before"), [3] and originally meant "to put forward, to profess or claim". A pretender was, therefore, simply one who put forward or professed a claim to a title or, in modern terms, a claimant. Only later did the word acquire its modern sense of professing or claiming falsely.

A pejorative is a word or grammatical form expressing a negative connotation or a low opinion of someone or something, showing a lack of respect for someone or something. It is also used to express criticism, hostility, or disregard. Sometimes, a term is regarded as pejorative in some social or ethnic groups but not in others, or may be originally pejorative and eventually be adopted in a non-pejorative sense in some or all contexts.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

The term "pretender" may apply to claimants with arguably genuine rights (as the various pretenders of the Wars of the Roses who regarded the de facto monarch as a usurper). It may also be used for those possessing an arguable right to a position who do not actively claim it, as well as impostors with wholly fabricated claims (as pretenders to Henry VII's throne Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck attest). People in the latter category often assume the identities of deceased or missing royalty to support their claim, and are sometimes referred to for clarity as false pretenders or royal impersonators. A pretender to the title of Pope is called an antipope. [4]

Wars of the Roses Dynastic civil war in England during the 15th-century

The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with the Red Rose of Lancaster, and the House of York, whose symbol was the White Rose of York. Eventually, the wars eliminated the male lines of both families. The conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of bastard feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in the House of York's claim to the throne by Richard of York. Historians disagree on which of these factors to identify as the main reason for the wars.

In law and government, de facto describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not officially recognized by laws. It is commonly used to refer to what happens in practice, in contrast with de jure, which refers to things that happen according to law.

A usurper is an illegitimate or controversial claimant to power, often but not always in a monarchy. In other words, a person who takes the power of a country, city, or established region for himself, without any formal or legal right to claim it as his own. Usurpers can rise to power in a region by often unexpected physical force, as well as through political influence and deceit.

In the Roman Empire

Ancient Rome knew many pretenders to the offices making up the title of Roman Emperor, especially during the crisis of the Third Century.

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Crisis of the Third Century period when the Roman Empire nearly collapsed due to multiple major simultaneous crises, beginning with the assassination of Severus Alexander, during which there were ≥26 claimants to the throne

The Crisis of the Third Century, also known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis, was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of barbarian invasions and migrations into the Roman territory, civil wars, peasant rebellions, political instability, Roman reliance on barbarian mercenaries known as foederati and commanders nominally working for Rome, plague, debasement of currency, and economic depression.

These are customarily referred to as the Thirty Tyrants, which was an allusion to the Thirty Tyrants of Athens some five hundred years earlier; although the comparison is questionable, and the Romans were separate aspirants, not (as the Athenians were) a Committee of Public Safety. The Loeb translation of the appropriate chapter of the Augustan History therefore represents the Latin triginta tyranni by "Thirty Pretenders" to avoid this artificial and confusing parallel. Not all of them were afterwards considered pretenders; several were actually successful in becoming Emperor at least in part of the Empire for a brief period.

The Thirty Tyrants were a pro-Spartan oligarchy installed in Athens after its defeat in the Peloponnesian War in 404 BCE. Upon Lysander's request, the Thirty were elected as a government, not just as a legislative committee. The Thirty Tyrants maintained power for eight months. Although brief, their reign resulted in the killing of 5% of the Athenian population, the confiscation of citizens' property, and the exile of other democratic supporters. They became known as the "Thirty Tyrants" because of their cruel and oppressive tactics. The two leading members were Critias and Theramenes.

Athens Capital and largest city of Greece

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence started somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Loeb Classical Library

The Loeb Classical Library is a series of books, originally published by Heinemann in London, today by Harvard University Press, which presents important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience, by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, and a fairly literal translation on the facing page. The General Editor is Jeffrey Henderson, holder of the William Goodwin Aurelio Professorship of Greek Language and Literature at Boston University.

Greek pretenders

Byzantine Empire

Disputed successions to the Roman (Byzantine) Empire long continued at Constantinople. Most seriously, after the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade in 1204, and its eventual recovery by Michael VIII Palaiologos, there came to be three Byzantine successor states, each of which claimed to be the Roman Empire, and several Latin claimants (including the Republic of Venice and the houses of Montferrat and Courtenay) to the Latin Empire the Crusaders had set up in its place. At times, some of these states and titles were subjected to multiple claims.

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city is located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul. The city is still referred to as Constantinople in Greek-speaking sources.

Fourth Crusade 1204 Crusade that captured Constantinople rather than Jerusalem

The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first conquering the powerful Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate, the strongest Muslim state of the time. However, a sequence of economic and political events culminated in the Crusader army sacking the city of Constantinople, the capital of the Greek Christian-controlled Byzantine Empire.

Michael VIII Palaiologos Byzantine emperor (1223–1282)

Michael VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus reigned as the co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea from 1259 to 1261, and as Byzantine Emperor from 1261 until his death. Michael VIII was the founder of the Palaiologan dynasty that would rule the Byzantine Empire until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. He recovered Constantinople from the Latin Empire in 1261 and transformed the Empire of Nicaea into a restored Byzantine Empire.

Cypriot pretenders

Following the defeat and death of King James III King of Cyprus in 1474, his younger and illegitimate brother, Eugène Matteo de Lusignan, also styled d'Arménie (died 1523) removed to Sicily, then to Malta. He was acknowledged as rightful heir to the thrones of Cyprus, Armenia, Jerusalem, and Antioch, although he never made serious efforts to pursue the claims. The title of "Barone de Baccari" was created in 1508 for Jacques Matteo (sives Eugene Matteo) d'Armenia with the remainder to his descendants in perpetuity.[ citation needed ] Eugene, illegitimate son of King Jacques II of Cyprus, had, when his family were exiled, first gone to Naples, then Sicily, then settled on Malta, marrying a Sicilian heiress, Donna Paola Mazzara (a descendant of the Royal House of Aragon of Sicily and Aragon), with issue. [5]

Modern Greece

The claimant to the throne of the last Greek kingdom is Constantine II, who reigned as king from 1964 to 1973. He belongs to the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, the senior branch of the House of Oldenburg. His designated heir is his son Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece.

French pretenders

The establishment of the First Republic and the execution of Louis XVI in 1793 led to the king's son becoming pretender to the abolished throne, styled as Louis XVII. As Louis XVII was a child and imprisoned in Paris by the revolutionaries, his uncle, the Comte de Provence, proclaimed himself regent in his nephew's name. After Louis XVII died in 1795, the Comte de Provence became pretender himself, as Louis XVIII.

Louis XVIII was restored to the throne in 1814, and was succeeded by his brother Charles X in 1824. [1] Charles X was, however, forced into exile by the July Revolution. Charles X and his son, Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, abdicated their claims in favor of Charles's grandson, Henri, Count of Chambord; however, their cousin the Duke of Orléans, a descendant of Louis XIV's younger brother, mounted the throne as Louis Philippe I, King of the French.

For most of the July Monarchy, the legitimists, as supporters of the exiled senior line came to be known, were uncertain of whom to support. Some believed the abdication of Charles and his son legal, and recognized the young Chambord as king, while others maintained that abdication was unconstitutional in France of the ancien régime , and continued to recognize first Charles X and then Louis-Antoine, until the latter's death in 1844. On his uncle's death, Chambord claimed the crown, but lived in exile and upon his death in 1883, the direct male-line of Louis XV became extinct.

In 1848, Louis Philippe was himself overthrown by the February Revolution, and abdicated the throne in favor of his young grandson, Philippe, Comte de Paris. However, a republic was proclaimed, leaving Paris, like his cousin Chambord, merely a pretender to a no longer existing crown. [1] Over the next several decades, there were several attempts at a so-called "fusion", to unite both groups of monarchists in support of the childless Chambord as king, who would recognize the Count of Paris as his heir. Those efforts failed in the 1850s, but after the establishment of the Third Republic in 1870, when a royalist majority was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, fusion again became the monarchist strategy. As a result, in 1873 the Count of Paris withdrew his own bid for the throne and recognized Chambord as legitimate pretender to the French crown. [1] In spite of this apparent unity among royalist forces, restoration of the monarchy was not to be; Chambord refused to accept the Tricolor flag, which rendered him unacceptable to most Frenchmen as a constitutional king. [1] The monarchists hoped that after Chambord's death they could unite and crown the Orléanist candidate. But Chambord lived until 1883, while France's royalists had lost their majority in parliament by 1877. [1] The erstwhile Orléanist Adolphe Thiers thus called Chambord "The French Washington", i.e. the true "founder" of the Republic.

By 1883 the majority of French monarchists accepted the Count of Paris as rightful pretender to the French throne. [1] A minority of reactionaries, the so-called Blancs d'Espagne ("Spanish Whites"), continued to withhold support from the House of Orléans and chose instead Juan, Count of Montizon, the Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne, who also happened to be the senior male descendant of Louis XIV. [1]

The arguments are, on one side, that Louis XIV's younger grandson, Philip de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou renounced any future claim to the French throne when he left France to become king of Spain as Philip V in 1700 (the renunciation was ratified internationally by the Treaty of Utrecht), ostensibly leaving the Dukes of Orléans as heirs to the throne of France in the event of extinction of descendants of Louis XIV's elder grandson Louis, Duke of Burgundy, which occurred in 1883. [1] On the other side, Anjou's renunciation is held to be invalid because prior to the revolution it was a fundamental tenet of the French monarchy that the crown could never be diverted from the rightful heir of Hugh Capet. [1] Moreover, although the Orléans volunteered to defer their rival claim to the throne after 1873, the regicidal vote of their ancestor Philippe Égalité in 1789 and the usurpation of Louis Philippe in 1830 are alleged to have extinguished all rights to the throne for the Orléans branch. [1] The schism has continued to the present day, with supporters of the senior line reclaiming the title of "Legitimist", leaving their opponent royalists to be known, once again, as "Orléanists". The current representative of the senior line is Louis Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, the senior legitimate living descendant of Hugh Capet (and of Philip V d'Anjou of Spain) who was born and raised in Spain. The Orléanist line, which returned to live in France when the law of banishment was repealed in 1950, is represented by Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme, senior male-line descendant of King Louis Philippe.

In addition to these two claims to the historic royal throne of France, there have also been pretenders to the imperial throne of France, created first by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804 and recreated by his nephew Emperor Napoleon III in 1852 (abolished 1870). This claim is today disputed between Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon and his own father, the self-avowed republican Prince Charles Napoléon (deemed to be excluded from the succession due to a non-dynastic re-marriage), both descendants of Napoleon I's youngest brother, Jérôme Bonaparte.

Russian pretenders

There is much debate over who is the legitimate heir to the Russian throne, and bitter dispute within the family itself. [6] Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna is considered by some to be the legitimate heir. [7] She is the only child of Grand Duke Vladimir who died in 1992, a great-grandson of Tsar Alexander II, whom some considered the last male dynast of the House of Romanov. Some of her opponents believe she is ineligible to claim the throne because she was born of a marriage that would have been deemed morganatic under Russia's monarchy, which was abolished in 1917. [6] Others oppose her for reasons similar to those of the anti-Orleanist rationale: her grandfather's perceived disloyalty and dynastic ambition are seen as removing any rights which might otherwise have belonged to her branch of the former dynasty.

Still others maintain that the restrictive, pre-revolutionary marital rules of the Romanovs leave no one who can claim to be rightful heir to the dynasty's legacy. Others recognized Nicholas Romanov, Prince of Russia as head of the family, [8] being a descendant of Emperor Nicholas I and the elected president of the Romanov Family Association, which consists of most living male-line descendants of the Romanov emperors. Neither he nor his younger brother, Prince Dimitri Romanov, had sons and since their deaths no new claims have been advanced by this branch.

Anna Anderson attempted to prove she was Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, the lost daughter of Nicholas II, but DNA testing on her remains eventually proved her to be an impersonator. [9] Although she did not claim the throne, per se, as women could not succeed to the Russian throne so long as any male dynast survived, she became more famous than any of the various Romanov claimants to the throne. [9]

Karl Emich of Leiningen, also known under his Christian Orthodox name Nikolai Kirillovich Romanov Karl Emich of Leiningen photo7.jpg
Karl Emich of Leiningen, also known under his Christian Orthodox name Nikolai Kirillovich Romanov

Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen (born 1952), recently converted to the Eastern Orthodoxy, [10] is the latest pretender to the Russian throne under the name of Prince Nikolai Kirillovich of Leiningen. He is the grandson of Grand Duchess Maria Cyrillovna of Russia, (sister of Vladimir, and aunt of Maria Vladimirovna), and great-grandson of Cyril Vladimirovich, Grand Duke of Russia. The Monarchist Party of Russia supports Prince Nikolai as the heir of the Russian throne, since they are of the opinion that Maria Vladimirovna Romanova and Nicholas Romanov are not dynasts. [10] In early 2014, Nikolai Kirilovich declared himself Emperor Nicholas III (successor to Nicholas II).

In 2007 Nicholas married Countess Isabelle von und zu Egloffstein and in 2010 had a son, Emich.

British pretenders

England, Scotland and Ireland

After the execution by England of the Stuart King Charles I in 1649, his son Charles II was proclaimed king in Scotland (where he was crowned in 1651) and Ireland; but those two countries were invaded by English forces and annexed to the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell in 1653. Thus, Charles II was pretender to the throne of England from 1649 to the restoration of 1660, and exiled/deposed King of Scots and King of Ireland, 1653 to 1660. He died in 1685 and his brother James II and VII came to the throne. He had converted to Catholicism but this only became a worry when his second wife bore a son who would precede his two Protestant daughters. James was thus deposed by his elder daughter and his son-in-law (who was also his nephew, son of his sister Mary) during the Glorious Revolution in December 1688, and was formally offered the English and Scottish thrones by their respective parliaments a month later - which was still 1688 in England (where New Year's Day was 25 March until 1752) but was already 1689 in Scotland (which adopted 1 January as New Year's Day in 1600). James made several attempts to regain the throne before his death in 1701, the most important of which was an effort he made with Irish support - that country having not yet acceded to the succession of William and Mary - which led to the Battle of the Boyne and the Battle of Aughrim, and set the stage for the subsequent Jacobite risings (or rebellions). These were a series of uprisings or wars between 1688 and 1746 in which supporters of James, his son ("The Old Pretender") and grandson ("The Young Pretender") attempted to restore his direct male line to the throne.

After 1807, the line of James VII and II became extinct. The Jacobites had ceased to have much political significance after the failure of the 1745 uprising, and the movement essentially became completely dormant after Henry's death. Genealogically, the next most senior line to the English and Scottish thrones was through James II's youngest sister, Henriette Anne, whose daughter had married into the House of Savoy. To the very limited extent that Jacobitism survived the death of Cardinal York, they supported the claims of this line. Its current representative is Franz, Duke of Bavaria, though he himself does not claim the title, his secretary having announced once that "HRM (sic) is very content being a Prince of Bavaria".

Other pretenders to the throne have included:


Owain Glyndŵr (1349–1416) is probably the best-known Welsh pretender, though whether he was pretender or Prince of Wales depends upon one's source of information. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, who died in 1282, was the only Prince of Wales whose status as ruler was formally recognised by the English Crown, though three of the four men who claimed the throne of Gwynedd between the assumption of the title by Owain Gwynedd in the 1160s and the loss of Welsh independence in 1283 also used the title or similar. Madog ap Llywelyn also briefly used the title during his revolt of 1294–95. Since 1301, the title of Prince of Wales has been given to the eldest living son of the King or Queen Regnant of England (subsequently of Great Britain, 1707, and of United Kingdom, 1801). The word "living" is important. Upon the death of Arthur, Prince of Wales, Henry VII invested his second son, the future Henry VIII, with the title. The title is not automatic, however, but merges into the Crown when a prince dies or accedes to the throne, and has to be re-conferred by the sovereign.

Nevertheless, it is Glyndŵr whom many remember as the last native Prince of Wales. He was indeed proclaimed Prince of Wales by his supporters on 16 September 1400, and his revolt in quest of Welsh independence was not quashed by Henry IV until 1409. Later, however, one of Glyndŵr's cousins, Owain Tudor, would marry the widow of Henry V, and their grandson would become Henry VII, from whom the current British monarch is descended (through his daughter Margaret Tudor, who married James IV of Scotland).

The various minor kingdoms that came together to form what is today known as the Principality of Wales each had their own royal dynasty. The most important of these realms were Gwynedd, Powys and Deheubarth. After 878 the ruling dynasties in these kingdoms each claimed descent from the sons of Rhodri Mawr who had conquered them or otherwise achieved their thrones during his reign. Merfyn Frych, the father of Rhodri Mawr, had come to power in Gwynedd because the native dynasty, known as the House of Cunedda had expired. Merfyn was descended from royalty through his own father Gwriad and claimed ancestors from among the rulers of British Rheged (in particular Llywarch Hen). It was acknowledged by all of the realms of Wales after the time of Rhodri Mawr that the House of Gwynedd (known as the House of Aberffraw) was senior and homage should be paid by each of them to the king of Gwynedd. After the reign of Owain ap Gruffudd of Gwynedd the realm began to merge with the concept of a Principality of Wales. This was realised by Owain's descendant Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1267. It was not to last and this new Wales was invaded by England and dismantled between 1277 and 1284. All of the descendants of Llywelyn "the last" and his brothers were either imprisoned or killed.

Irish pretenders

The business of Irish pretenders is rather more complicated because of the nature of kingship in Ireland before the Norman take-over of 1171. In both Ireland and early Gaelic Scotland, succession to kingship was elective, often (if not usually) by contest, according to a system known as Tanistry.

The High King of Ireland (Ard Rí) was essentially a ceremonial, federal overlord, who exercised actual power only within the realm which was his dynastic seat. Because of the laws of succession, there could not be a pretender to this title in the sense it is normally understood. From the 5th century onwards the kingship tended to remain within the dynasty of the Uí Néill until Brian Boru of Munster wrested control of much of Ireland from Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill in 1002. Following his death in 1014 and that of Máel Sechnaill in 1022, the struggle for dominance resulted in Norman intervention from Henry II of England in 1171.

There were later attempts by Irish rulers fighting against the Normans to revive the High Kingship such as in 1258 when Brian Ua Néill of Cenel Eoghan was so acknowledged, in 1262 when the crown was offered to Haakon IV of Norway and in 1315 when an offer was made to the Scottish Edward Bruce. Effectively, the title fell into abeyance. Apart from the coronation oath, the title was not even used by the Kings of England, each of whom styled himself Lord of Ireland. In 1542 Henry VIII, styled himself "King of Ireland".

Some Irish rebels discussed offering the Irish throne to Prince Joachim of Prussia (son of Kaiser Wilhelm II) before the 1916 Easter Rising. [11] [12] After the failure of the Rising, the royalists were a minority among the rebels, and so the offer was never made.[ citation needed ] According to Hugo O'Donnell, 7th Duke of Tetuan, Éamon de Valera raised the idea of an Irish monarchy with his great-grandfather Juan O'Donnell. [13]

Ottoman pretenders

Cem Sultan, eldest of the sons of Mehmet the Conqueror born during his reign, claimed the Sultanate, but born during the reign of his father, he was defeated in battle months later by his eldest brother (by birth) Bayezid II. He fled to the island of Rhodes, then eventually to the Papal States. His descendants claimed his rights until Malta defeated the Ottomans in the 16th century. After the Ottoman Empire was abolished and the Republic of Turkey came into power, the successive heads of the Ottoman family claimed the throne of the Turkish empire. The latest pretender to the Imperial House of Osman is Dündar Ali Osman, since January 6, 2017.

Kingdom of Jerusalem

The Emperors of Ethiopia held the title of "King of Zion" through their claim of descent from the Biblical House of David through his son King Solomon. Menelik II dropped the use of this title. The Ethiopian Emperors continued to use the honorific of "Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah" up until the monarchy ended with the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974.

Since the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, many European rulers have claimed to be its rightful heir. None of these, however, have actually ruled over a part of the former Kingdom. Today there are several potential European claimants on the basis of the inheritance of the title. None of the claimants have any power in the area of the former Kingdom. See the article Kings of Jerusalem for a list of potential claimants.

Japanese pretenders

In the fourteenth century, two lines of the Imperial clan, Northern Court and Southern Court, claimed the throne. [14] Their rivalry was resolved in 1392: while every emperor of the Southern Court enthroned prior to 1392 was established as legitimate, the throne was determined by Emperor Go-Komatsu of the Northern Court and his successors.

Since 1911, the Japanese government has declared the southern claimants were actually the rightful emperors despite the fact that all subsequent emperors including the then-Emperor Meiji were descended from the Northern Court, reasoning the Southern Court retained possession of the Three Sacred Treasures, thus converting the emperors of the former Northern court into mere pretenders. In other words, six former emperors of the Northern Court have been counted as pretenders instead since then. As a result of this compromise, the present Japanese Imperial Family is descended of the Northern Court Emperors.

Kumazawa Hiromichi publicly challenged Emperor Hirohito, disputing the legitimacy of his bloodline. [15] Kumazawa claimed to be the 19th direct descendant of Emperor Go-Kameyama, [16] the last Emperor of the Southern Court.

Korean pretenders

Yi Seok, the Crown Prince Imperial is a descendant of the Joseon Dynasty and last prince of the abolished throne of Korea. [17]

False pretenders

A number of individuals have claimed to be displaced monarchs or heirs who disappeared or died under somewhat mysterious circumstances:

Claimant descendants of royalty

There have also been individuals who claimed to be descendants of royalty:

See also

References and notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Valynseele, Joseph. Les Prétendants aux trônes d'Europe. Paris, 1967, p. 11, 187–190 (French).
  2. Curley, Jr., Walter J.P. Monarchs-in-Waiting. New York, 1973, pp. 4–6, 10. ISBN   0-396-06840-5.
  3. Cassell's Latin Dictionary, ed. Marchant & Charles
  4. See for example of revisionist use of the term upon Antipope Christopher.
  5. Leto Severis, Ladies of Medieval Cyprus and Caterina Cornaro; Nicosia: 1995; ISBN   9963-8102-1-7.
  6. 1 2 Massie, Robert K. The Romanovs: The Final Chapter. New York, 1995, p. 278. ISBN   0-394-58048-6.
  7. de Badts de Cugnac, Chantal. Coutant de Saisseval, Guy. Le Petit Gotha. Nouvelle Imprimerie Laballery, Paris 2002, p. 702 (French) ISBN   2-9507974-3-1
  8. "Presence of the Romanov Family at the Reburial". Reburial of Empress Maria Fedorovna, September 2006. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. 12 September 2006. Archived from the original on 7 December 2008.
  9. 1 2 3 Massie, Robert K. The Romanovs: The Final Chapter. New York, 1995, pp. 239, 251. ISBN   0-394-58048-6.
  10. 1 2 (in Russian) n:ru:Монархическая партия объявила об обретении наследника российского Императорского престола — Russian Wikinews, 11.06.2013
  11. Memoirs of Desmond FitzGerald, 1913-1916, Desmond FitzGerald; Routledge & K. Paul, 1968, page 141
  12. Irish nationalism: a history of its roots and ideology, Seán Cronin, Continuum, 1981, page 255
  13. Ireland In The 20th Century, Tim Pat Coogan, page 175
  14. Nussbaum, Louis Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan Encyclopedia, p. 251; n.b., Louis-Frédéric is the pseudonym of Louis-Frédéric Nussbaum, see Deutsche Nationalbibliothek Authority File Archived 2012-05-24 at .
  15. Bix, Herbert P. (2000). Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, p. 566.
  16. Pan-Asia Newspaper Alliance. (1959) The Asia Who's Who, p. 309.
  17. "A Prince Nestled Once More in Korea's Embrace", The New York Times, May 20, 2006.

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Henri, Count of Chambord French prince

Henri, Count of Chambord was disputedly King of France from 2 to 9 August 1830 as Henry V, although he was never officially proclaimed as such. Afterwards, he was the Legitimist pretender to the throne of France from 1844 to 1883.

The Count of Anjou was the ruler of the county of Anjou, first granted by Charles the Bald in the 9th century to Robert the Strong. Ingelger and his son were viscounts of Angers until Ingelger's son Fulk the Red assumed the title of Count of Anjou. The Robertians and their Capetian successors were distracted by wars with the Vikings and other concerns and were unable to recover the county until the reign of Philip II Augustus, more than 270 years later.

Legitimists political party

The Legitimists are royalists who adhere to the rights of dynastic succession to the French crown of the descendants of the eldest branch of the Bourbon dynasty, which was overthrown in the 1830 July Revolution. They reject the claim of the July Monarchy of 1830–1848 which placed Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans head of the Orléans cadet branch of the Bourbon dynasty on the throne until he too was dethroned and driven with his family into exile.

Duke of Holstein-Gottorp

Holstein-Gottorp or Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp is the historiographical name, as well as contemporary shorthand name, for the parts of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, also known as Ducal Holstein, that were ruled by the dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. Other parts of the duchies were ruled by the kings of Denmark.

House of Oldenburg North German dynasty

The House of Oldenburg is a European dynasty of North German origin. It is one of Europe's most influential royal houses, with branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Iceland, Greece, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Schleswig, Holstein, and Oldenburg. The current Queen of Denmark and King of Norway, the former King of Greece, the consort of the monarch of the United Kingdom, as well as the first fourteen persons in the line of succession to the British throne, are all patrilineal members of the Glücksburg branch of this house.

Treaty of Georgievsk

The Treaty of Georgievsk was a bilateral treaty concluded between the Russian Empire and the east Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti on July 24, 1783. The treaty established eastern Georgia as a protectorate of Russia, which guaranteed its territorial integrity and the continuation of its reigning Bagrationi dynasty in return for prerogatives in the conduct of Georgian foreign affairs. By this, eastern Georgia abjured any form of dependence on Persia or another power, and every new Georgian monarch of Kartli-Kakheti would require the confirmation and investiture of the Russian tsar.

Jacobite succession Wikimedia list article

The Jacobite succession is the line through which the crown in pretence of England, Scotland and Ireland has descended since the flight of James II & VII from London at the time of the "Glorious Revolution". James and his Jacobite successors were traditionally toasted as "The King over the Water".

English claims to the French throne Wikimedia list article

From the 1340s to the 19th century, excluding two brief intervals in the 1360s and the 1420s, the kings and queens of England also claimed the throne of France. The claim dates from Edward III, who claimed the French throne in 1340 as the sororal nephew of the last direct Capetian, Charles IV. Edward and his heirs fought the Hundred Years' War to enforce this claim, and were briefly successful in the 1420s under Henry V and Henry VI, but the House of Valois, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, was ultimately victorious and retained control of France. Despite this, English and British monarchs continued to prominently call themselves kings of France, and the French fleur-de-lis was included in the royal arms. This continued until 1801, by which time France no longer had any monarch, having become a republic. The Jacobite claimants, however, did not explicitly relinquish the claim.

Prince Charles-Philippe, Duke of Anjou French prince

Prince Charles-Philippe Marie Louis of Orléans, Duke of Anjou is a Prince and member of the House of Orléans.

House of Orléans French noble family

The 4th House of Orléans, sometimes called the House of Bourbon-Orléans to distinguish it, is the fourth holder of a surname previously used by several branches of the Royal House of France, all descended in the legitimate male line from the dynasty's founder, Hugh Capet. The house was founded by Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, younger son of Louis XIII and younger brother of Louis XIV, the "Sun King".

In history and heraldry, a cadet branch consists of the male-line descendants of a monarch or patriarch's younger sons (cadets). In the ruling dynasties and noble families of much of Europe and Asia, the family's major assets—realm, titles, fiefs, property and income—have historically been passed from a father to his firstborn son in what is known as primogeniture; younger sons—cadets—inherited less wealth and authority to pass to future generations of descendants.

A substantive title is a title of nobility or royalty acquired either by individual grant or inheritance. It is to be distinguished from a title shared among cadets, borne as a courtesy title by a peer's relatives, or acquired through marriage.

Prince of Canino and Musignano Wikimedia list article

The Princes of Canino and Musignano formed the genealogically senior line of the Bonaparte family following the death of Joseph Bonaparte in 1844. The line was founded by one of Emperor Napoleon's younger brothers, Lucien Bonaparte. It became extinct in the male line in 1924. The dynastic Bonapartist pretenders descend in the male line from Prince Jérôme Napoléon, Napoleon's youngest brother.

Line of succession to the former Russian throne Wikimedia list article

The Monarchy of Russia was abolished in 1917 following the February Revolution, which forced Emperor Nicholas II (1868–1918) to abdicate. Claims made on behalf of different persons to be the rightful current pretender continue to be debated.

The Orléanist claimant to the throne of France is Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme. He is the uncontested heir to the Orléanist position of "King of the French" held by Louis-Philippe, and is also King Charles X's heir as "King of France" if the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was valid. According to the Family Compact of 1909, only the descendants of the then pretender's father are considered to be dynasts of the House of France. The founders of the cadet branches of Orleans-Braganza and Orléans-Galliera, by becoming foreigners, are considered under house law to have renounced their rights to the throne. If the current line were to become extinct, the Orleans-Braganza have, however, reserved their right to renew their claims.

Descendants of Louis XIV of France Article about the descendants of a french King

The descendants of Louis XIV of France (1638–1715), Bourbon monarch of the Kingdom of France, are numerous. Although only one of his children by his wife Maria Theresa of Spain survived past infancy, Louis had many illegitimate children by his mistresses. This article deals with the children of Louis XIV and in turn their senior descendants.

This article covers the mechanism by which the French throne passed from the establishment of the Frankish Kingdom in 486 to the fall of the Second French Empire in 1870.