Illegitimate or morganatic royal branches who would have otherwise been the heirs to a throne

Futurist

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May 2014
19,933
SoCal
#1
Which royal branches are there that would have been the heirs to a throne had it not been for their illegitimacy and/or morganatic status?

So far, I could think of:

-The Dukes of Longueville, who would have become heirs to the French throne in 1589 had they been of legitimate male Capetian descent: Duke of Longueville - Wikipedia . They were genealogically senior to the House of Bourbon since they were descended in the male line from King Philip III of France (albeit not always through legitimate male offspring--hence their exclusion from the French throne) while the Bourbons were descended in the male line from Philip III's younger brother Robert, Count of Clermont.

-The House of Bourbon-Busset, who would have become heirs to the French throne in 1589 had they been of legitimate male Capetian descent: Bourbon-Busset - Wikipedia . They are still around to this day and are genealogically senior to the royal Bourbons since they are descended in the male line (albeit not always through legitimate male offspring--hence their exclusion from the French throne) from Peter I, Duke of Bourbon whereas the royal Bourbons are descended in the male line from Peter's younger brother James I, Count of La Marche.

-The Dukes of Hohenberg, who would have become heirs to the Austro-Hungarian thrones in 1916 had they not been descended from a morganatic marriage: Hohenberg family - Wikipedia . Austria-Hungary refused to allow males (or anyone, for that matter) who were born as a result of a morganatic marriage succeed to their thrones. Thus, Franz Ferdinand's male-line descendants were permanently excluded from the A-H thrones while the current claimants to the A-H thrones are descended in the male line from Franz Ferdinand's younger brother Otto Franz (father of Kaiser Karl).

Anyway, what other cases of this have there been throughout history?
 
Mar 2016
1,199
Australia
#2
Probably the most consequential one would be the succession dispute between the Plantagenets and the Valois over who would succeed Charles IV, the last direct Capetian King of France. Even though Edward III of England was the grandson of Charles IV while his opponent Philip VI was the late king's cousin or nephew or something like that, but unfortunately for Edward he was descended from the king through his mother, Isabella, and French royal succession laws did not allow succession through women, even though he was more closely descended from Charles. Ultimately Edward and Isabella ended up accepting the verdict, since chances are they didn't have any expectation they'd actually win, but he would bring back the claim 12 years later once the war with France had begun. But had the French nobility accepted Edward as king, then obviously there would be no Hundred Years War, and the development of France, England and much of Western Europe would be completely different.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
19,933
SoCal
#3
Probably the most consequential one would be the succession dispute between the Plantagenets and the Valois over who would succeed Charles IV, the last direct Capetian King of France. Even though Edward III of England was the grandson of Charles IV while his opponent Philip VI was the late king's cousin or nephew or something like that, but unfortunately for Edward he was descended from the king through his mother, Isabella, and French royal succession laws did not allow succession through women, even though he was more closely descended from Charles. Ultimately Edward and Isabella ended up accepting the verdict, since chances are they didn't have any expectation they'd actually win, but he would bring back the claim 12 years later once the war with France had begun. But had the French nobility accepted Edward as king, then obviously there would be no Hundred Years War, and the development of France, England and much of Western Europe would be completely different.
Oh, certainly!
 
Sep 2014
1,199
Queens, NYC
#4
Did Edward III and/or his mother Isabella raise the possibility of his being a King of France before the late 1330s? IIrc, having read this many years ago, neither mentioned any claim to the throne before the Hundred Years War started (1337).
 
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Mar 2016
1,199
Australia
#5
Did Edward III and/or his mother Isabella raise the possibility of his being a King of France before the late 1330s? IIrc, having read this many years ago, neither mentioned any claim to the throne before the Hundred Years War started (1337).
No, as soon as the decision was made they accepted it, and never mentioned it again in any official sense until 1340, three years into the war. Edward even did homage to Philip VI for his land in Gascony, directly acknowledging him as the rightful king of France. Their 'attempt' to make Edward III king was just a formality and a situation of 'sure, it's worth a shot'. Both of them realised that their chance of success was extremely low. Relations between England and France were very positive following the death of Edward II and before the French invasion of Gascony in 1337.
 
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MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,843
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
#6
Which royal branches are there that would have been the heirs to a throne had it not been for their illegitimacy and/or morganatic status?...-The Dukes of Hohenberg, who would have become heirs to the Austro-Hungarian thrones in 1916 had they not been descended from a morganatic marriage: Hohenberg family - Wikipedia . Austria-Hungary refused to allow males (or anyone, for that matter) who were born as a result of a morganatic marriage succeed to their thrones. Thus, Franz Ferdinand's male-line descendants were permanently excluded from the A-H thrones while the current claimants to the A-H thrones are descended in the male line from Franz Ferdinand's younger brother Otto Franz (father of Kaiser Karl).

Anyway, what other cases of this have there been throughout history?
In the middle ages and modern times there were several succession disputes to the Duchy of Lorraine, between claimants as heirs general or by male preference primogeniture on one hand and heirs male or by agnatic primogeniture on the other hand. You may note that the modern Habsburgs are the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, descended in the male line from the Dukes of Lorraine. Emperor Franz Joseph (1830-1916) was the heir of the medieval and modern Dukes of Lorraine. But his claims and possible claims can be considered to have become divided among different people upon his death.

At the present time there are three possible heirs of the medieval and modern Dukes of Lorraine.

Guillaume Prince of Windische-Graetz is the heir of Lorraine by male preference primogeniture.

The Duke of Hohenburg is the heir of Lorraine by agnatic primogeniture.

And Karl von Habsburg is the heir of Lorraine by agnatic primogeniture restricted to descendants of equal marriages according to the house laws of the dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine.

The restriction of heirs to the issue of equal rank marriages was not usual in the middle ages, the first example known to me being in the 15th century. Thus the Duke of Hohenburg would have a better claim to be the heir of Dukes of Lorraine who lived before there was a restriction to children of equal marriages, and Karl von habsburg would have a better claim to be the heir of the Dukes of Lorraine who lived after there was a restriction to children of equal marriages. And Guillaume Prince of Windische-Graetz is the heir to claims to Lorraine through male preference primogeniture.

And of course the same three fold division could be made among them in respect to Franz Joseph's hereditary claims to many fiefs, principalities, and kingdoms in Europe. And I may remind everyone that Emperor Franz Joseph had at least one hereditary genealogical claim to every single kingdom in Europe.

So I have never counted the number of kingdoms that the Duke of Hohenburg could make claims with various degrees of validity to, but it would be many.
 
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