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Miscellaneous Monarchies

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1138419.  Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:39 pm Reply with quote

The many monarchies of the world, from Myanmar to Monaco have many quirks. For instance, the ancestral castle of the Royal House of Liechtenstein is not in Liechtenstein. Castle Liechtenstein is in fact in the southwestern outskirts of Vienna. Not only are the Liechtenstein’s not from Liechtenstein, for much of their history they did not show much interest in even visiting their country; after buying the territory in 1719, Prince Aloys became the first prince to visit in 1818 but clearly was not taken by it as he did not return until 1842.(1) Only after the Second World War when the Czechoslovakian government confiscated the royal holdings in Bohemia did the royal family move to country that bares there name. They confiscated lands covered an area roughly the size of Worcestershire and ten times the size of the alpine principality itself.(2) No need to be particularly sorry for the royal family though, since the Prince of Liechtenstein is the richest in Europe due to owning his own bank, giving himself a personal fortune of around $4 billion, at least ten times wealthier than our own queen.(3)

Andorra is also a tiny principality but is unique in the fact that it has co-monarchs, but both of these princes are not hereditary monarchs. One is the Spanish Bishop of Urgell, currently Joan Enric Vives i Sicilia and the other is none other than Francois Hollande.(4) The French president is automatically also a co-prince of Andorra. Therefore the president of France and Elizabeth II are the only two people on Earth to be heads of state of more than one country.

Hollande is not the world’s only elected monarch however. Not only are some crowns decided by elections of nobles, like that of Malaysia, but there are also some former monarchs that have been elected as presidents of their nations after their deposition. One of these is Tsar Simeon of Bulgaria who is one of only three living heads of state from the Second World War. He was crowned in 1943 aged 6 and was deposed in 1946, however in 2001 he was elected prime minister of Bulgaria after founding his own political party and ruled Bulgaria for a further 4 years.(5) He is also the only living person to have borne the title of Tsar.

Whilst some monarchs become prime ministers, others become saints. Russian rulers in particular have often been canonised despite less than saintly behaviour. St Olga of Kiev, for example, was ruler of Kievan Rus’ in the mid tenth century and is considered a saint in both the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox church, however when a group of men came to her court urging her to marry a prince and give up her throne, she had them buried alive.(6) She then sent a message to the prince to accept his offer of marriage, but asking for more distinguished men to escort her to him. When these men arrived she invited them to use a bathhouse, which she then locked them inside and burned them alive.(7) She later burned the houses of her enemies but attaching sulphurous wicks to the legs of sparrows.(8) Despite all of this, she was the first Christian ruler in Russia and is thus known in the Orthodox church as ‘equal to the apostles’.(9)

(2) Alan W. Ertl, Toward an Understanding of Europe: A Political Economic Précis of Continental Integration (Boca Raton, 2008), p.465.
(3) Wayne C. Thompson, Western Europe 2012 (Lanham, 2012), p.258.
(4) P. Christiaan Klieger, The Microstates of Europe: Designer Nations in a Post-Modern World (Plymouth, 2012), p.35.
(5) Conor Ciaran, Waiting for Better Times (Sarasota, 2005), p.275.,
(6) Thomas Riha, Readings in Russian Civilization, Volume 1: Russia Before Peter the Great, 900-1700 (Chicago, 2009), p.5.
(7) ibid.
(8) Mike Dixon-Kennedy, Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic Myth and Legend (Santa Barbara, 1998), p.177.
(9) Daniel H. Shubin, A History of Russian Christianity, Vol. I: From the Earliest Years through Tsar Ivan IV (New York, 2004), p.18.

1138420.  Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:08 pm Reply with quote

Impressive first post! Welcome, hjh :-)

1138448.  Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:03 pm Reply with quote

Yes, good stuff!

1164427.  Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:33 am Reply with quote

The last monarch of Myanmar "King Thibaw" was put into the post of the throne as the result of the Scheme by Queen Hsin Phyu Ma Shin ( meaning: owner of albino Elephant ). The scheme was she killed of all of the heirs before Thibaw, so that this mild manner prince who spent most of his time in monastery would become the King.

The queen Hsin Phyu Ma Shin had no son so she chose this prince. The prince would marry her oldest daughter and the daughter would have all the powers. On the wedding day the middle daughter , Su Phaya Latt, took her elder sister's place and became the main queen. The King could marry as many queens as he wanted in Myanamr. That made the elder sister the second queen.

Until the the British Invasion, King Thibaw was counciled or over-ruled by Queen Su Phayar Latt. She was said to have made all the foreign policy regarding the British occupation in the southern Myanmar.

His official title: “The Royal Thibaw, Golden-footed Lord of the white Elephant, Master of a Thousand Golden Umbrellas, Owner of the Royal Peacocks, Lord of the Sea and of the World, Whose face is like the Sun”.


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