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LostInParadise's avatar

Are the rules for order of throne succession the same for all monarchies?

Asked by LostInParadise (31284points) November 5th, 2022
12 responses
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If you search on the Web, it is easy to find the order of succession for the British throne. I could not find a specific set of rules, but it appears to be what in data science is called a depth first scan – if you can move down or across on the family tree, first go down.

Using this rule, Charles was first because he was the oldest male child of Elizabeth. Ann is older than Charles, but apparently she comes after all Elizabeth’s sons.

After Charles comes William, Charles’ oldest son. Then going down the tree come William’s children in order of birth. Then comes Harry followed by Harry’s children. Then comes Andrew, Elizabeth’s second oldest son.

Is the depth first scan true for all monarchies? It seems to me that a breadth first scan makes more sense – move across the family tree before moving down. Ignoring the issue of gender discrimination, this would change the order to Charles, then Andrew and all of Elizabeth’s other children. Next would be William and then Harry and all the rest of Elizabeth’s grandchildren.

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elbanditoroso's avatar

No. I remember looking at this about 10 years ago.

The Scandanavian countries have (slightly) different rules amongst themselves (Denmark isn’t exactly the same as Norway’s, and Sweden’s is also a bit different from the other two).

And Britain is Britian – the monarch is the big cheese for Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Bahamas, and bunch of other places.

And the various Kings in Africa – (Morocco, Lesotho, and Swaziland) are true kingdoms where the monarch has absolutel power (not just figureheads like in Europe). This means that the whole succession issue in Africa is up to the living King.

The middle east (King Abdullah of Jordan, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad al-Halifa of Bahrain, for example) – the middle east kings are really just high level tribal leaders in countries that became rich. The interesting thing about the middle east kings is that there is more palace intrigue (cousins killing cousins, for example) than in Europe.

LostInParadise's avatar

Are there specific rules for these other countries, or does the reigning monarch choose their successor?

zenvelo's avatar

Each kingdom has its own rules. Some don’t allow women to succeed, others don’t care if it is a man or a woman. The rules vary too much to put into just a couple of general statements.

Caravanfan's avatar

In The Vatican, the monarch is elected.

LostInParadise's avatar

There must be some rules and they shouldn’t be too complicated. I found this link for British monarchy succession, and it follows the simple rules that I gave up to 23 potential successors. The large number is due to the fact that Elizabeth had four children and a good number of grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

LostInParadise's avatar

I did some more searching. Apparently the British rules for succession are related to the primogeniture rules for inheritance under which all of a person’s assets are transferred to one person. See this arcticle and scroll to the bottom to see the example involving Edward II.

kritiper's avatar

@Caravanfan I don’t think the OP meant, specifically, the Vatican. A whole different ball game there.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Popes are unlikely to have children to pass the leadership role onto. Not all :-)

Zaku's avatar

Rules for throne ascension vary not only by country, but by time period.

Sometimes, in some countries, those rules have been ambiguous enough, for there to be disagreement, contests, and wars fought over who would be king. And sometimes, the rules were clear enough, but the ascension was contested anyway, for other reasons.

LostInParadise's avatar

The rule for primogeniture is fairly simple. Choose descendants before siblings, where the first descendant chosen is the oldest child. After all descendants have been accounted for, select the next oldest sibling.

filmfann's avatar

@LostInParadise In your original post, you said Anne is older than Charles. In fact, Charles was born in 1948, and Anne was borin 1950.

LostInParadise's avatar

Thanks for the correction. Ann is still behind Charles’ other siblings in line of succession because of gender discrimination.

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