Thursday, 22 August 2013

A royal trivial pursuit

She's the first person in British history to be guaranteed not to lose her place in the line of succession because of her gender come what may so knowing her name might be quite handy for a pub quiz or a round of Trivial Pursuit in the future.  OK, Maud Windsor will never be queen of England.  But thanks to the law change brought in ahead of the birth of baby Cambridge, she is guaranteed never to be leap frogged by a little brother in the waiting list for the throne. 

Maud Windsor, first born of Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor, is the first girl guaranteed to keep her place in the line of succession ahead of any little brother she may welcome in the years to come
Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina, born on August 15th 2013, is the first child of Lord Frederick Windsor and his wife, Sophie Winkleman.  And her first name is very appropriate for a girl who has broken centuries of tradition.  The first royal woman post Conquest to attempt to claim her place as heir to the throne and rule in her own right was the Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I, and often known as Maud.  It means battler and the empress lived up to it in every way.
The Empress Matilda, known as Maud, battled hard for the right to rule as her father's heir but was ultimately passed over in favour of a male cousin who became King Stephen

The name belonged to a sister of George V who became the first queen of Norway after its monarchy split from the crown joined to that of Sweden and Denmark.  Maud Charlotte Mary Victoria of Wales became Princess of Denmark in 1896 when she married Prince Carl - he was offered the throne of Norway in 1905 partly because of his wife's royal blood.  Queen Maud established the tradition still maintained by the Norwegian royals today of appearing in traditional costume during the year.  She died in 1938 after a long reign which saw her become popular in her adopted country.
Queen Maud of Norway with her family. She was the only one not to change name on accession - her husband Carl became Haakon and their son, Alexander, was known as Olav from then on
The name Maud has become traditional in the Norwegian royal family ever since - Maud's only son gave it as a middle name to his second daughter, Astrid.  It's also the name of the first grandchild of the current king of Norway - Maud Angelica, daughter of Princess Martha Louise, was born in 2003 and made her own little piece of history when she arrived.  Until 1990, women had no succession rights in Norway.  The constitutional changes brought in then mean that girls born into the Norwegian royal family can inherit.  So while Martha Louise got the right to be queen at the age of 19, her Maud became the first Norwegian royal woman to be entitled to a place in the line of succession from birth.  The modern Mauds are still battling.
Princess Martha Louise of Norway wearing Queen Maud' pearl tiara on her wedding day in 2002.  She named her eldest daughter, the first grandchild of King Harald and Queen Sonia, Maud.

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