Should illegitimate children be allowed to succeed to a throne?

Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
#21
No.

I would be more sympathetic to the idea of illegitimate children succeeding to the throne IF the monarch actually had a more direct political role. Under the current system in most European monarchies barring Liectenstein and Monaco the monarch is largely (but not entirely) symbolic: monarchy has little direct reason to validate its existence besides being a symbol of national continuity across time as well as acting as a kind of socially conserving institution, reminding people of the fact that this thing we have called democracy is a historical epiphenomenon, and forcing our politicians to say "your majesty" to someone. Not sure it works entirely, but I think there is something beautiful to the idea of it.

The other function a modern monarch has is to act as a placeholder against the executive turning into a symbolic personality cult-like institution, which arguably - from a European perspective - the US presidency has tendencies towards. He or she also serves as a kind of counsel to some prime ministers (not that they listen, usually) and gets access to a bit of classified state info etc.

None of these roles convince me that it would be a great idea for illegitimate children to also have access to the throne. It undermines the entire function of it. The more purely symbolic an institution is the more important the traditions and forms around that institution become, it's only natural.

Let me ask you this? Should the special status of marriage be abolished? If a guy has two children, one born in his marriage and one born out of it, and he dies when married to his wife, should the child from the first (or second relationship outside of the marriage, or whatever) have the same inheritance status as the child from his marriage to his wife? If yes - why?

And if you don't believe that the special inheritance status of marriage should be abolished, then surely it is inconsistent to believe that when it comes to monarchy also, no? Or perhaps there is something else besides logic (such as an irrational republican dislike of monarchy... ;) ) having a slight influence in this debate...


EDIT: Sure, if everyone else is dead why the hell not. I'd be a fan of semi-elective monarchy, if we ever give the monarch a real role again in Swedish/ European politics anyway
 
Last edited:
Jul 2009
9,843
#23
As a "closet monarchist," I would say NO. As it is the 21st century, and monarchy has little influence on modern society or governance, it doesn't matter. If an illegitimate son (or daughter) is the only issue of a monarch, it is not likely that there would be a civil war to install him/her on the throne due to a questionable claim and opposing political interests. It isn't that important any longer.

Monarchies that remain are in general either popular or tolerated. A royal House would have to be popular enough to accommodate accepting an illegitimate heir. A law, or some enabling document, probably would have to be enacted though to legitimize the act and the heir.
 
Jan 2009
1,234
#24
I'd say no. If for no other reason than the monarch would be trampling on the implicit and sometimes explicit contract with the spouse (usually a female one at that) that their offspring would become the next monarch.

If there are no other issue, then sure, go ahead and legitimize your bastard, although I could imagine that your other relatives might raise a stink if they were in the line to inherit the throne.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,508
Sydney
#25
Whyte is right for bastards to succeed ,
it depend on the accepted succession law of the land
there must be no surviving legitimate issue ( no surviving legitimate male ,often )
the child must have been acknowledged at birth
where it get tricky is if another legitimate male member of the family , brother uncle or cousin claim the throne

William of Normandy was born out of wedlock , his father having died while on the crusade
before leaving ,he had acknowledged the issue of his pregnant girlfriend as his successor ( if male )
making his liege lords swear fealty to the child
even then, it was contested and William grew in fear of his life ,
having to do a bit of creative killing to get a general agreement as to his tittle
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,508
Sydney
#28
You must consider this from the worldview of the times

the issue is less one of individual rights as the fact that the first duty of a sovereign is to uphold the law
the most fundamental being the institution of marriage , as given by God ( Genesis 2:24 )

if the bastard child was conceived while the father wasn't married then it's OK , sort of
if the father was married , then he was conceived in sin and it's a stain on his reputation
 

Angelica

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,744
Angel City
#29
You must consider this from the worldview of the times

the issue is less one of individual rights as the fact that the first duty of a sovereign is to uphold the law
the most fundamental being the institution of marriage , as given by God ( Genesis 2:24 )

if the bastard child was conceived while the father wasn't married then it's OK , sort of
if the father was married , then he was conceived in sin and it's a stain on his reputation
Agreed if you looking at it from a biblical perspective. Yet, we can not legislate morality the child ought not to be made guilty because of the sins of the parents. Put the parents on trial not the innocent child. The child is already stigmatized by society as a bastard a label that warrants scorn.

Sex is the union of two consenting adults whether on heat or not they made the decision that resulted in the birth of a child . The child is a blessing from above not a curse. The father's sin ought not to put the child teeth on edge.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,508
Sydney
#30
for the upper reach of the aristocracy , sex and love has nothing to do with marriage
it's all about succession , primogeniture and inheritance
at least that was the case until a couple of generations ago
the Wallis Simpson affair was an absolute bolt from the blue

nowadays , people are somewhat more relaxed
even thought one should keep in mind that marriage , as an institution , was instituted to protect mothers and their children
from the vagaries of males rowing eyes
it's married women who were the most conservative as they had the most to loose