Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

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Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby jf42 » 01 Apr 2015 16:33

I was taught at school that Queen Victoria ruled as genetrix of the House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, and her son Edward VII ruled as second of the dynasty, if we can call it that. George V, as we know, re-branded the dynasty as the House of Windsor.

I was surprised, therefore, to learn not that long ago, from a key question in a famous quiz programme, that in some quarters Victoria is regarded as the last ruler of the House of Hanover, which was news to me, and galling, as I made a fool of myself somewhat that evening (and would have have blown a small fortune if in I'd been in the chair).

I was reminded at a recent visit to the Guards Museum in St James that when Victoria succeeded to the throne of the United Kingdom, she was barred from ruling in Hanover because the Salic Law prevented the succession of females.

How could she then have ruled as the last member of the House of Hanover?

Where doth the truth lie? I am sure members here will be able to give authoritative answers -(but will they all concur, I wonder?). :?
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby Frogsmile » 02 Apr 2015 00:24

Could it not just be semantics and interpretation jf?

Surely she was the last ruler of Britain (and endless subsidiary Territories, Colonies and Dominions), FROM the House of Hanover.

The Salic law could stop her being the last ruler of the House of Hanover, but not surely a 'member' of it?
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby jf42 » 02 Apr 2015 07:19

It may indeed be as you say, Frogsmile, but I assume the answer must be one or the other. Was I taught incorrectly that William IV was the last ruler of the House of Hanover?
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby Frogsmile » 07 Apr 2015 21:27

jf42 wrote:It may indeed be as you say, Frogsmile, but I assume the answer must be one or the other. Was I taught incorrectly that William IV was the last ruler of the House of Hanover?


Apparently not, there is still a head. He is currently Ernst August V. Prince of the House of Hanover.
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby jf42 » 08 Apr 2015 00:01

Ah, I think I may have misphrased that last question. What I meant by it was that William IV was of the House of Hanover but that his successor, Princess Victoria, by definition, as a female could not be. QED- given the existence of Prince Ernst Augustus as present incumbent (if that is the right word). William IV, therefore, was the last monarch of the United Kingdom to be of the House of Hanover. That was what I meant. I think.
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Apr 2015 15:41

jf42 wrote:Ah, I think I may have misphrased that last question. What I meant by it was that William IV was of the House of Hanover but that his successor, Princess Victoria, by definition, as a female could not be. QED- given the existence of Prince Ernst Augustus as present incumbent (if that is the right word). William IV, therefore, was the last monarch of the United Kingdom to be of the House of Hanover. That was what I meant. I think.


Yes I believe you are correct regarding William IV. I do not see how Salic law disqualifies Victoria from remaining a member 'of' the House of Hanover though? Surely it just meant that she could never be its head.
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby jf42 » 08 Apr 2015 16:19

I see your point. My assumption is based on the notion that if Victoria could not be the ruler of Hanover, then she did not rule the UK in the name of that house but as the first of a new 'dynasty'- as distinct from being a member of the same family as the preceding 'Hanoverian kings.'

Obviously, I don't know but that is my interpretation of the puzzle. It is odd to me that Edward VII was not a Hanoverian also. I don't understand why his late father's role as Prince Consort should have resulted in Edward's ruling in the name of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, particularly since he had renounced his right to his father's title. Then again, by the same token, what I was told at school, that Victoria ruled in the name of Sax-Coburg Gotha, does not make sense either.
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby Josh&Historyland » 08 Apr 2015 16:52

Such questions of royal lineage are awfully tricky JF. I recently had an exchange with a medievalist about how the House of Normandy flowed into that of Plantagenet, and it does come right down to interpretation of semantics.

Arguably one could say that truthfully that because no Queen could rule in Hanover, the ascension of a female of the Hanoverian dynasty to the British throne would essentially sever the association with the old line. However it is absurd to say that her child and heir becomes the head of an utterly different house because of this. Perhaps it's my minor Jacobite strain coming out here but I always assumed that they remained officially of Hanoverian origin, though nationally British, until George V decided to adopt an "alias" ;) when their origin became "unofficially" Hanoverian.

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Last edited by Josh&Historyland on 08 Apr 2015 20:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Apr 2015 18:42

Both your posts raise excellent and crucial points and I am now way out of my depth. We need a constitutionalist.
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby jf42 » 08 Apr 2015 19:40

Yep. It's a puzzle. The only thing I can think of is that in both the case of Henry of Anjou and of Victoria RI, the line of descent went sideways through a female- in Henry's case via his mother Matilda, daughter of Henry I (of Normandy) who married Geoffrey Plantagenet, and in Victoria's case via herself as niece of the late William IV. Similarly, George I, the first Hanoverian king of the United Kingdom was descendant of a Stuart princess, daughter of James VI and I- and succeeded his cousin Anne Stuart- but wasn't a member of the House of Stuart himself. Yes indeed.

Why wasn't Victoria a scion, for instance, of the House of Kent?

Who do we call?
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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby Josh&Historyland » 08 Apr 2015 20:05

David Starkey perhaps? He's usually always going on about monarchy.

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Re: Victoria Regina Imperatrix- The House of- ?-

Postby jf42 » 08 Apr 2015 23:50

I see him in the cheese shop.
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