Fruit of the age of social media and the pseudo-intellectuals, we see today the rise of stupid opinions that have the pretention of replacing facts. That virus, using malice and political interests as catalysts, gave birth to the “fake news” phenomenon – common to the left as well to the right – and the “shower of ignorance” that we witness today. Everyone can give opinions about any subject.
The major problem is that those stupid opinions don’t arise only from less or non-educated people but also from people with degrees and significant information. Anyone with a diploma in a specific area feels entitled to give opinions about anything and everything.
Well, if someone is the world’s greatest orthopedist, even being a medical doctor, it doesn’t automatically makes him or her a brain or a heart surgeon. But people don’t care! The social media gave the idiots a megaphone and none can stop them! That has affected all areas of human knowledge, unfortunately.
People don’t know the “status quaestionis” or the actual broad scholarly vision of a certain subject and still think their opinion is law. Usually, because they heard “someone saying it”. They judge that someone usually as “more intelligent” or at least more knowledgeable in that particular field and they “go with it”, defending it with all their might, usually without any further comprehensive research (or with a rudimentary one).
They don’t realize that their opinion usually is not even that, but “a mere emotional reaction” to something that “doesn’t look right” for them. Because this “emotional reaction” is shared by that “intelligent someone” and/or by a celebrity or even by other members of his or her social group or someone they admire, he or she honestly believe that the reaction is actually a based assertion or the ultimate truth.
Regarding Royalty, there’s a great deal of ignorance from many parts, including some so-called scholars.
“A royal family is the immediate family of a king or queen regnant, and sometimes his or her extended family. The term imperial family appropriately describes the family of an emperor or empress, and the term papal family describes the family of a pope, while the terms baronial family, comital family, ducal family, grand ducal family, or princely family are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning baron, count, duke, grand duke, or prince. However, in common parlance members of any family which reigns by hereditary right are often referred to as royalty or “royals.” It is also customary in some circles to refer to the extended relations of a deposed monarch and his or her descendants as a royal family“. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_family
Just being related to a King or Queen doesn’t make a family necessarily royal or eligible to a royal title. Specially in Europe where is estimated that around 80% of the population descends from some European sovereign.
For example, British Queen Elizabeth II‘s eldest grandson Peter Phillips (firstborn son of HRH Princess Royal Anne born in 1977) doesn’t even have a royal title due to the British Laws of succession. Although obviously considered to be part of the Royal Family, he’s called just “master” and is currently the 13th in line to the British throne, however, no title. His cousin HRH Prince William was born in 1982 but due to those laws of succession has a royal title and is the 2nd in line to the throne. In contrast, the Saudi Royal family has thousands of princes due to their particular laws of succession since just the descent from a ruler entitles them to a royal title.
The Thesaurus’ definition of the word “Royal” is:
“of or relating to a king, queen, or other sovereign”
But what does “sovereign” means?
“1. a monarch; a king, queen, or other supreme ruler. 2. a person who has supreme power or authority.”
According to accepted international law and its principle of “sovereign equality“, the Pope or the prince of Monaco is “as royal” as the Queen of England regardless of the size of their actual territories. That principle is one of the pillars of International Law itself.
There are not dozens nor hundreds, but thousands of families that ruled a sovereign or semi-sovereign territories all over the world. Any so-called expert who claims to know everything about any single one of them is simply lying. Naturally, their right to claim a title in present times depends of a series of factors, especially regarding the laws of succession of that particular family, voluntary abdications, treaties signed by their ancestors, etc.
One interesting example is Italy.
If you ask anyone about Royalty in Italy, people immediately will say: “the Savoy Family“! Maybe someone who knows a little bit more of history might cite the Bourbon-Two Sicilys’ Family. However, there were several ruling families in Italy. According to the official Review of the Italian College of Arms in 1922, named “ONCE SOVEREIGN HOUSES OF THE STATES OF ITALY and national families descended from these or from foreign dynasties” (you may access a .PDF file of the official essay by clicking on the title) there were, over 100 (one hundred) different Italian families that descend from sovereign houses in Italian territory and also some descending from foreign ruling houses, all of those, fitting the definition of “Royal“.
One may claim that a lot of time has passed and the titles might have “expired” as if they were some kind of produce.
According to the former president of the Italian (Supreme) Court of Cassation, Professor Doctor Renato de Francesco in 1959:
“… It’s simply ridiculous, from a legal point of view, the distinction intended to be done about Dynasties that have reigned until recently of those who ruled in the distant past. It’s not understandable how you can launch at the foot numerous pages of history, only to give luster to this or that family, who, aided by good luck, has managed to remain on the throne, after the year 1815. A Dynasty either reigned or not reigned. If reigned, even in very remote time, deserves the historical and legal treatment as a Dynasty and all its effects.”
A Court sentence of the Republican Italy (Pretoria de Vico Del Gargano, Repubblica Italiana sentence number 217/1949) corroborates the above-mentioned:
“(…) it’s IRRELEVANT if that Imperial family is no longer ruling FOR CENTURIES, because the deposition doesn’t harm the sovereign prerogatives even if the sovereign renounces, spontaneously, to the throne. In substance, in this case, the Sovereign does not cease to be King, even living in exile or IN PRIVATE LIFE (WITHOUT CLAIMING HIS SOVEREIGNTY), because his prerogatives are, itself, by birth and CANNOT BE EXTINGUISHED, but remains and may be transmitted in time, from generation to generation.”
Also, one may ask if those families need any kind of special recognition from governments or any kind of official approval?
According to Professor Emilio Furno, an eminent Italian jurist and scholar, former advocate in the Supreme Court of Appeal, writes as follows in “The Legitimacy of Non-National Orders“, Rivista Penale, No.1, January 1961, pp. 46-70:
“There are not a few judgments, civil and criminal, albeit some very recent, all of which tend as a rule to the acceptance of traditional principles re-enunciated not long since. The issue is that of innate nobility – “Jure Sanguinis” – which looks into the prerogatives known as “Jus Majestatis” and “Jus Honorum” and which argues that the holder of such prerogatives is a subject of international law with all the logical consequences of that situation. That is to say, a deposed sovereign may legitimately confer titles of nobility, with or without predicates, and the honorifics which pertain to his heraldic patrimony as head of his dynasty.
The qualities which render a deposed Sovereign a subject of international law are undeniable and in fact constitute an absolute personal right of which the subject may never divest himself and which needs no ratification or recognition on the part of any other authority whatsoever. A reigning Sovereign or Head of State may use the term recognition in order to demonstrate the existence of such a right, but the term would be a mere declaration and not a constitutive act. (Furno, op.cit.).
“A notable example of this principle is that of the People’s Republic of China which for a Considerable time was not recognized and therefore not admitted to the United Nations, but which nonetheless continued to exercise its functions as a sovereign state through both its internal and external organs.” (Furno, op.cit.).
The eminent author concludes:
“To sum up, therefore, the Italian judiciary, in those cases submitted to its jurisdiction, has confirmed the prerogatives “jure sanguinis” of a dethroned sovereign without any vitiation of its effects, whereby in consequence it has explicitly recognized the right to confer titles of nobility and other honorifics relative to his dynastic heraldic patrimony. “(Furno, op.cit.).
An extract from the book “Studies on Nobility Law” (Estudos sobre Direito Nobiliário), by Dr. Mario Silvestre de Meroe, pg. 65:
“It is worth mentioning also that the princely families, with the sovereign attributes, require no recognition by the government of their country of origin, or submit any record in countries where its members settle in residence. The dynastic and political independence is based on the Sovereignty itself, which guides their social existence and regardless of any legal recognition, with respect to dynastic and private affairs. ”
Of course, that doesn’t mean that anyone can claim to be the “King of Narnia” without any kind of historical and legal bases. But one should be very careful in state about the legitimacy of some family without a very deep study. There are several past royal families that are completely unknown for the general public and even to many historians since this subject is no longer in vogue due to the fact that the monarchies are, unfortunately, fading in the world.
We strongly recommend the reading of this article “The Disney concept of Royalty“