Thursday 15 February 2024

Name, Rank and Number

As the California-based spinoff, Harry 'n' Meghan should assume the name of Colby. His real surname, and thus that of the children of his lawful marriage, is that of his paternal grandfather, Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. Yes, that is also the real name of the King, and of the next King, and of the King after that. It is simply a matter of fact that upon the death of Queen Elizabeth II, our reigning dynasty changed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a branch of the House of Wettin, to the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a branch of the House of Oldenburg.

The House of Oldenburg has reigned in Sweden in its time, and it reigns in Denmark and Norway to this day. It has also provided Kings of Iceland, Kings of the Hellenes, and Emperors of Russia, but until 8th September 2022 it had been pared back to its Danish and Norwegian roots. Then it acquired 15 new Realms, from Saint Lucia to the Solomon Islands, plus an array of Crown Dependencies, Overseas Territories, associated states, and so on.

It only took that House 308 years. None of the children of Queen Anne and of Prince George of Denmark survived, so the Throne passed to the House of Hanover. That was largely due to arrangements made by the Spencers, entwining the two dynasties for centuries until they went too far and intermarried. Prince Harry has refrained from calling himself and his heirs Spencer. Such is the failure of Spencerism, the Whig Jacobitism that demanded that the Succession skip a generation and alight on the sometime Princess Diana's elder son precisely as such.

The Succession happened seamlessly, because that is what it does, and in any case Prince William has proved to be a staunch Oldenburgist. It has been the Queen who has turned out to have been the most successful British politician in living memory. Those who contend that she would be ineligible to be Regent are not the first to have underestimated her, and if there were the need of an elected ceremonial Head of State in the next few years, then, assuming that that need had been created by the demise of the present Head of State, there would be only one serious candidate. All hail, President Shand.

Therefore, the newly minted House of Sussex has its eyes elsewhere. Joe Biden's sister, Valerie Biden Owens, has endorsed the former Meghan Markle's obvious ambition to become President of the United States, but it is little Lilibet, who was also born in the United States, who will be 55 in 2076. What a way to mark the Tricentenary, by electing a President whose first cousin was King George.

And notice that even half  a century hence, that would still be assisted no end by a name as WASP as Sussex. Rather than one that bespoke the 45 million members of America's largest ethnic group. Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, say. Or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Or Oldenburg. Or Wettin. Or Markle.


  1. You really are looking at the Spectator once the owners change.