Sunday, April 10, 2011
What if Princess Caroline...
It has already been speculated about as to whether Princess Caroline would keep her "HRH" if she and Prince Ernst-August were ever to actually divorce. However, I have not seen much discussion on the opposite side of that question. Ironically, the titles of the Prince of Hanover are not recognized at all in his native Germany but are recognized in the Principality of Monaco which recognizes him and Caroline as Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Hanover. However, readers of this blog might remember that the rules of succession in Monaco, set down by Prince Jean I many centuries ago, calls for the husband of any heiress of Monaco to take the name and arms of the House of Grimaldi. It would impossible to imagine the Prince of Hanover doing this, even if their marriage was not effectively over. For a Hanoverian and someone included in the succession of the British Royal Family, this would be seen as a "step down" to become a Princely Grimaldi.
However, not having seen the original document (and a few changes have been made over the centuries), I would how this would work out if Princess Caroline was obliged to take the throne of Monaco. Would the Prince of Hanover simply be ignored? Again, I cannot imagine him voluntarily becoming a Grimaldi under the best of circumstances and it certainly would be unthinkable the way things are now. To the best of my knowledge, this situation has not arisen before. The only other female heiress was Princess Louise-Hippolyte whose husband did take the name and arms of Grimaldi (though he was not royal to begin with like Ernie) and in the case of Princess Charlotte and Prince Pierre, she abdicated her rights to the throne in favor of Rainier III before Prince Louis II had passed away so the issue never needed addressing. Anyway, I thought that was an interesting little quandry and something to think about for Monaco-Grimaldi scholars out there ;-)