Monarchies of Europe

Formerly-reigning monarchs and present-day claimants in Europe



(I freely acknowledge that the information on this Web page is based on the "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR ALT.TALK.ROYALTY -- ROYAL & NOBLE FAMILIES OF THE WORLD -- Section 10 Last Updated 20 Oct 2016" .)

The list shows first, the present day claimant followed by the formerly-reigning monarch and the year in which they ceased to reign.

In some instances, there are two claimants.

Albania
Anhalt
Austria
Baden
Bavaria
Brazil
Brunswick
Bulgaria
France
Monarchy Empire
Greece
Hanover
Hesse
(a) Hesse-Cassel (b) Hesse-Philippsthal
(not regnant after 1815) (c) Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
(not regnant after 1815) (d) Hesse and by Rhine (e) Hesse-Homburg
Hohenzollern
(a) Hohenzollern-Hechingen
(b) Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen
Italy
Lippe
(a) Lippe-Detmold (b) Lippe-Biesterfeld

The position regarding Lippe is quite complex but the majority of the Lippe family consider Armin to be the head of the Lippe House. Armin was the youngest son of the last reiging prince of Lippe, Leopold IV.

On several occassions I have requested François Velde the editor of "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR ALT.TALK.ROYALTY -- ROYAL & NOBLE FAMILIES OF THE WORLD" to arrange update of this document to reflect the two claiments.

Mecklenburg
(a) Mecklenburg-Schwerin (b) Mecklenburg-Strelitz (c) Mecklenburg
Mexico
(House of Habsburg-Lorraine)
Modena
Montenegro
Nassau
Oldenburg
Parma
Portugal
Prussia
Reuss
I. Reuss Elder Line (Reuss-Greiz) II. Reuss Younger Line
(a) Reuss-Schleiz (b) Reuss-Schleiz-Köstritz

Reproduced below is a posting from "The German-Austrian Royals Message Board" (GARMB) by Sam Dotson on 4/1/2006. I'm grateful to Sam and also Anuschka the GARMB administrator for their permission to include the posting on my Web Site.

(Note: "The German-Austrian Royals Message Board" (GARMB) is no longer in being.)

The last reigning Fürst Reuß j.L. was Heinrich XXVII, who died 1928. He was succeeded by his son Heinrich XLV, who went missing at the end of World War II (autumn 1945). Heinrich XLV was not "officially" declared dead by a court at Büdingen until 1962; the ruling had effect as of 1953. As a consequence, no one could rightfully "succeed" Heinrich XLV until he had been declared dead. The next senior male in line after Heinrich XLV was Heinrich XXXIX (of the Ernstbrunn, Austria, line), who died in 1946 and was succeeded by his son Heinrich IV, who is still alive and is considered the Head of the House of Reuß with the title Fürst. But Heinrich IV did not "succeed" Heinrich XLV until 1962 (with effect from 1953) because until then, Heinrich XLV was still alive - "officially".

Complicating this straightforward succession is the fact that Heinrich XLV adopted Pr. Heinrich I (1910-1982) as his heir for inheritance purposes (not for purposes of Head of House). Pr. Heinrich I's eldest surviving son is Pr. Heinrich VIII (born 1944). The latter is heir of the goods of Heinrich XLV, but not Head of the House of Reuß, and does not beat the title "Fürst".

Roumania
Russia
Saxon duchies
(a) Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (b) Saxe-Meiningen (c) Saxe-Altenburg (d) Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Saxony
Schaumburg-Lippe
Schleswig-Holstein

(not regnant since the 17th c. but listed because of its branches in Russia, Oldenburg and Denmark) (a) Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (b) Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
Schwarzburg
(a) Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen (b) Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
The succession of the House of Schwarzburg is quite complicated and here is a detailed explanation of the House Laws of Schwarzburg.
Tuscany
Two Sicilies
Waldeck and Pyrmont
Württemberg
Yugoslavia
Notes:
  1. On 31 May 1961, by written declaration, Archduke Otto (Archduke Karl's father) renounced his rights to the Austrian throne as well as his membership in the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and declared himself to be a citizen of Austria. This 'political fiction' was done for the benefit of the Austrian republic and to allow Otto to journey to Austria whenever he so wished. This "renunciation" was viewed as such and understood for what it was by the members of the Imperial family. (Les Manuscrits du C.E.D.R.E.: L'Empire d'Autriche, volume III, 1991, page 69.)
  2. On 12 April 1994, Leopold III, Titular Grand Duke of Tuscany, abdicated as Titular Grand Duke in favor of his elder son, Archduke Sigismund; his civil remarriage after a divorce conflicted with heading the Roman Catholic order of St. Stephen.

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Last Updated on 19 March 2017
By Allan Raymond
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