Thursday, 7 November 2013

The lonely prince

Poor old Prince Carl Philip of Sweden.  The boy who was born a Crown Prince but who lost his rights to a sister is about to be totally outnumbered.  A royal spokesperson has confirmed that his other sister, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, is expecting a daughter.  When the little girl arrives, at the beginning of February next year, she'll bring the number of people with succession rights to Sweden's throne to five - and four of them will be women.  Which means that Prince Carl Philip remains the only man who could inherit his country's crown.

The one and only - Carl Philip of Sweden is totally outnumbered by women in the line for his country's throne
When he was born, women didn't even have the right to claim the monarchy of Sweden.  Now he can't move for princesses in waiting.  Percentage wise, the Swedish royals don't have the lowest number of men in line.  One prince and four royal ladies equals a twenty/ eighty split which is higher in favour of the chaps than several other Europan monarchies.  But Carl Philip has the distinction of being the sole European prince to be the only man with a claim to his country's throne.  And given Europe's historical bias towards men when it came to succession rights, he stands pretty much alone through over a millennium of royalty in being a man totally outnumbered by women in the line to the crown.
 The boy who would have been king and the man he'll never succeed - Carl XVI Gustaf and his displaced heir, Prince Carl Philip, on the day the king celebrated his fortieth jubilee in Stockholm
There have been some moments when all European royal houses feared running out of monarchs as there were only girls left to succeed but none where a boy has been outranked by so many other women.  Carl Philip would be heir to the throne if his father hadn't decided to change the succession laws before his birth and pass his crown on to his first born child, regardless of gender.  On the day the prince was born his older sister, Victoria, was still barred from succeeding but just months later the parliamentary act that changed everything went through and Carl Philip went from Crown Prince to also ran as the clock struck midnight on the Royal Palace.  A Cinderella for the twentieth century if ever there was one.
The prince and the heiress - Carl Philip takes second place now to future queen regnant, Victoria
And now he's about to welcome another niece and see Sweden's monarchy become the most female dominated in Europe.  Over the border in Norway, there is a slightly lower percentage of boys to girls with two men eligible to succeed out of a total of seven in line overall - fourteen per cent of claimants are male, led by Crown Prince Haakon Magnus who managed to double the number of chaps in one fell swoop when he welcomed his son, Sverre Magnus, into the royal household in 2005.
Crown Prince Haakon and Prince Sverre have to rely on each other for male support in the line of succession for the throne of Norway
The Netherlands has just two men in line for the throne as well - two chaps lost their rights earlier this year when Queen Beatrix abdicated and the succession rights were reviewed as a consequence.  Now Willem-Alexander looks down a long line of women as his successors with only his brother, Prince Constantijn, and his son, Claus-Casimir, as male claimants to the throne.  In total there are eight people eligible for the throne at the moment with a twenty five/ seventy five per cent split in favour of the girls.
Surrounded on all sides by princesses in waiting - Prince Constanitjn and Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau are fourth and sixth in line for the Dutch throne and the only men with a claim
The chaps are only slightly outnumbered in Spain where eleven people claim succession rights and five of them are men, led by heir to the throne, Prince Felipe. His elder sister's only son, Froilan, is now fourth in line while the Infanta Cristina's three boys, Juan, Pablo and Miguel, are eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
The boys are just about outnumbered in Spain - Felipe has just four other men in the line of succession behind him
Belgium manages total equality with fourteen people in line for the throne - seven women and seven men.  While the future monarch is a girl - Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant will one day be her country's first queen regnant - the honours after that are evenly split.  Places three and four belong to Prince Gabriel and Prince Emmanuel with Princess Astrid's sons Amadeo and Joachim making numbers six and eight on this royal run down.  King Philippe's brother, Prince Laurent, is eleventh in line to the throne and his twin sons, Nicholas and Aymeric, are thirteenth and fourteenth.  The king and his two siblings all had first born daughters, like their Dutch counterparts, with the girls keeping their places ahead of the younger brothers.
Amadeo, Prince of Belgium and Archduke of Austria-Este bumped his uncle, Prince Laurent, down the line of succession for the Belgian throne
And Denmark tips the balance in favour of the boys with seven of the twelve people with sucession rights being men.  Crown Prince Frederik leads the way with his heir, Prince Christian, just behind.  Frederik's other son, Prince Vincent, is fourth in line.  The Crown Prince's brother, Joachim, is fifth followed by his three sons, Nicholas, Felix and Henrik in sixth, seventh and eighth places. 
Queen regnant, Margrethe II, is surrounded by her many male heirs as the Danish royal family pose for their traditional photo before their holiday
But it's the other queen regnant in Europe, Elizabeth II, who holds the record for the most male heirs.  It's impossible to count up how many men and women have rights to the British throne as most estimates put the line of succession in the thousands.  But Elizabeth II already knows there are three generations of monarch to follow her and all of them men.  As Europe welcomes queen regnants everywhere, just the UK and Denmark have boys still in charge.  If Carl Philip feels the need of a bit of male company, he might need to hop on a plane.
A monarch and her men in waiting - Elizabeth II with princes Charles, William and George

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