Saturday, July 12, 2014

Europe's New Queen Consorts


Europe has new Queen Consorts, both young, vibrant, highly cultured and glamorous, whose sudden ascent to fame as Their Majesties is attributed to the abdication of their respective parent-in-law.

The Netherlands

Queen Maxima is the wife of the current Dutch monarch, King Wilhelm-Alexander. She is an Argentinian by birth and had worked as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank in New York before she met the then Prince of Orange. Maxima is known for his gorgeous fashion style and taste. Her choice of wardrobe consistently put her on top of the list of the most glamorous female royals in Europe.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
Queen Maxima with husband, King Wilhelm-Alexander of the Netherlands

Her journey from the corporate world to the Dutch royal court was not an easy one. Her relationship with the future King was met with protest and disapproval from the parliament due to the rumoured involvement of her father, Jorge Zorreguieta, to the atrocities that happened in Argentina during the regime of President Jorge Videla. Maxima's father worked as a cabinet secretary of agriculture during the regime. Through series of investigation, it was revealed however that Zorreguieta was innocent with the accusation. 

The future King and Queen tied the knot on February 2, 2002 in Amsterdam without Maxima's father. The couple have three daughters, Catharina-Amalia, Hereditary Princess of Orange, Princess Alexia and Princess Arriane. Upon her husband ascension to the throne in April 2013, Maxima became the first Dutch Queen Consort in more than 100 years since Queen Emma in 1890. 

Queen Maxima currently serves as Secretary General on Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in the United Nations. Despite being married to a protestant King, Maxima remained a Roman Catholic. Through her father, Maxima has five line of descent from King Alfonso XIII of Portugal. 

Belgium

Queen Mathilde is the only current Queen Consort in Europe that has a noble ancestry. She descended from the long list of Lords, Barons and Counts and her father is a titled Count. She has a Princess as a grandmother on her mother's side.

The 41-year-old Queen Consort is known with her very professional approach to the media, with finesse and proper etiquette, she never generated controversy and her attitude towards the public has been touted as always formal and warm.

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium

Queen Mathilde has a master's degree in psychology and before her marriage to Prince Philippe in 1999, she worked as a speech therapist. Their Majesties have four children together: Princess Elisabeth, the Duchess of Brabant and the heir-apparent, Prince Gabriel, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eleonore.

Spain

With the abdication of King Juan Carlos last June 2, 2014, Europe loses the only Queen Consort in modern times who was royal by birth. Queen Sophia is the last true-blooded Princess to marry into the present-day European royal court, she is a former Greek princess, eldest daughter of King Paul of Greece and niece of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain).

The reigning Spanish King, Felipe VI, only son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia, married a commoner with no aristocratic background, Letezia Ortiz Rocasolano, a former TV news anchor. Just like in the Netherlands, Felipe's relationship to Letezia also generated controversies. Before she met the future Spanish King, Letezia was already divorced from her first husband, a situation found by many as slightly uneventful and inappropriate for a wife of a future King. Nonetheless, King Juan Carlos gave his permission and the marriage proceeded without opposition on May 22, 2004.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letezia of Spain

Queen Letezia is the first Queen Consort of Spain who is a commoner. But through out the years that she assumed the title of Princess of Asturias, she projected an image and reputation of a highly dignified woman with a strong sense of character, duty and refinement, thus earning respect and admiration from the public. She and King Felipe have two daughters: Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Legend of Dracula

This story is part of the chapter in my e-book about European Royals: The Royal Madness.
The world knows Dracula was written by Bram Stoker, an Irish novelist, but it was not clear however if Stoker really based the concept of the story on Prince Vlad III, who waged a reign of terror in Wallachia during the 15th century. Wallachia was once an ancient principality in Central Europe that was known later as Transylvania (and now part of Romania), the setting of Dracula.
Sketch of Vlad III, though no records accurately show 
how he looked like exactly
Trivia: Did you know that the name DRACULA is not really mean "devil" in ancient Wallachia? This word means "son of the dragon". Dracul means dragon, an ancient chivalric order in Wallachia use to defend Christianity against invaders. Vlad III's father was a famous member of this group. 
Dracula started to achieve an evil reputation translation when Bram Stoker published a book about a Transylvanian Count with a voodoo history.

Here's the strip of Vlad III's story which I included in the chapter of my e-book about madness in the royal court.
If there’s one horrid story about mental derangement crossing the border of sadistic insanity, it's Vlad III's story. The saga of his vampirism act was so popular in Europe even during the 17th century that it inspired Bram Stoker to write a novel about a horrendous man that drinks blood, Dracula.
If we would combine the sadistic nature of Ivan The Terrible of Russia and the psychotic maladies of Caligula of Rome, we will get a dose of terror with Vlad III of Wallachia. He was dreadful and gruesome and if there’s anything maddening about protecting the Kingdom from invaders, it was Vlad III’s historical legacy of resorting to impaling.
Whether Stoker really based his novel to a Voodoo Prince in Wallachia that finds pleasure in torturing people with his spikes, no one really knew exactly, it was only a speculation, but the story of Count Dracula is somewhat closer to Vlad III’s vampirism tendencies.
Vlad III was Prince of Wallachia, now part of Romania in Central Europe, from 1452 to his death, with deposition and exile in-betweens, making him to rule the tiny principality for about three times. He reigned during the troubled period of 15th century when invasion, wars and chaos were popular in the continent.
His father was Vlad II, the Dracul, which means Dragon because he was a member of the Order of the Dragon, a chivalric order founded to protect Christianity in Eastern Europe. Vlad III was known as Dracula, meaning son of the dragon, but in later decades the name dragon was replaced with “devil” referring to the vicious crimes of murders and tortures committed by Vlad III during his reign, thus, Dracula in the present time means “son of the devil.”
During his youth, Wallachia suffered discord from rival factions and his father was ousted in 1442. He regained the throne after securing support from Ottoman by agreeing to pay a tribute. Part of this loyalty was sending his two sons, Vlad and Radu, to the Ottoman court. It was in this exile that the young Vlad was trained and learned skills in warfare.
Vlad II was murdered  by the faction of John Hunyadi, a Hungarian regent, it ignited another war in Wallachia, Ottoman rescued the principality and put Vlad III on the throne. What followed next was a series of uproar and disturbances that shaped Vlad III’s personality and reputation in later years. His life was dominated with the terror of war, political unrest and murders that the only way to survive is to become awful and hostile.
He returned to Wallachia and regained the throne only to find a miserable land devastated by poverty, widespread crime and  depressing agricultural fall out. Realizing it could never be amended with systematic and lenient governance, he decided to austere methods to restore progress.
His reign was not entirely troublesome and grisly, there were also periods that his people experienced harmony, development and fairness particularly in the trading, economy and infrastructure. He created several reform measures especially among merchants. But despite turning his attention to Wallachia’s reforms and development, he did not forget the group that killed his father and brother which he believed had also caused trouble in his land, the Boyars. 
To secure peace and order and to strengthen his reign, he had most of the Boyars nobles killed and gradually became harsh in creating laws for criminals and offenders. It was during this period that he started implementing his severe punishment of executing enemies through impaling.
The most brutal part of this way of execution was the spikes that boiled in oil to implicate horrible pain to the victims. At the height of his cruelty and Dracula streak, he would held a feast in the forest and kill everyone leaving the corpses to rot in the ground.
He had reportedly killed close to 100,000 people mostly in a grisly way, torturing, impaling and burning at stake. At one point, he made a killing rampage along Danube, burning houses, killing everyone he found in the village, men, women, old, young, infant.
His sadistic pleasure in torturing was unimaginable. He had children roasted and fed to their mothers, cut off the breasts of women and forced the husband to eat it and had them all impaled. His reputation for cruelty horrified even his enemies, it was reported that when invaders discovered impaled corpses on the banks of Danube river, they were sickened with what they saw and retreated in fright.
Vlad III paid a high prize though. When he engaged in a battle against the Turks, he was killed and beheaded and had his severely mutilated head brought to Constantinople to present to the Sultan who had wished nothing but Vlad III's downfall and death.
More of the undiscovered stories of terror and madness in the European royal court in my upcoming e-book: European Royals: Madness and Intrigues



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Infanta Leonor of Spain: The youngest Heir-Presumptive


Important note: Spain is one of the three remaining royal houses in Europe that has not yet adopted the absolute law on succession, therefore, Infanta Leonor, the eldest daughter of Felipe, Prince of Asturias, who would become King Felipe VI of Spain upon his accession, would never be called heir-apparent and Princess of Asturias.
 Infanta Leonor of Spain 
At 8 years old, she is the youngest heir-presumptive in the European royal court in modern times.
She would not be called Princess of Asturias when her father, Prince Felipe, ascend the Spanish throne later this month because the country has not yet adopted the Absolute Law on Succession, a law that guarantees a sovereign's eldest daughter to succeed without being pushed aside by a younger brother in the line of succession

Infanta Leonor with her sister, Infanta Sofia

After months of intense speculation on whether he would abdicate, finally, on June 2, 2014, the once much adored King of Spain, Juan Carlos, renounced the  crown he had been wearing for nearly 39 years. In his abdication speech, the King recognized the needed change in the monarchy to allow younger generation of royals to take center stage and unite the nation. His successor is his only son, Felipe, Prince of Asturias.

The King of Spain, grown tired and frail due to poor health condition, yielded to media pressures after years of enduring controversies due to the long-running corruption scandal supposedly committed by his son-in-law, Iñaki, Urdanganin, husband of his youngest daughter, Princess Cristina, the Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. In addition, the King of Spain has long been battling several illnesses which made him to undergo surgical procedures more than nine times in just two years.

Upon his abdication, the center of public attention geared towards his son's future reign as Spanish monarch. Most of the Spanish subjects have high hopes on Felipe that he could help restore the prestige of the crown tarnished by scandals.

 Three generations: King Juan Carlos, Prince Felipe and Infanta Leonor

Along with this attention came the innocent face of Felipe's eldest daughter, Infanta Leonor (Infanta is a Spanish term for Princess). The cherubic young royal is only eight years old, born on October 31, 2005, but now would be thrust to the public eye due to her father’s sudden ascent to the throne. Her mother, Letezia, is a  former TV news anchor and would be the first commoner to become a Spanish Queen Consort.

Infanta Leonor and her younger sister, Infanta Sofia, have been largely kept out from the public by their parents. Except for official photo calls and when the family is holidaying, the two royal tots remained in the background. 

The royal couple and their daughters.
The Prince and Princess of Asturias, Infanta Sofia and Infanta Leonor

In an effort to raise them normally away from the rigid royal protocol, the Prince and Princess of Asturias allowed their daughters to attend a public school like commoners to enjoy the company of other children and to experience the life outside the palace walls.

Infanta Leonor attended Santa Maria de los Rosales School in Madrid since 2008 where she takes classes in Chinese and English.

As her father prepares to take the throne as King Felipe VI later this month, debates on Infanta Leonor's future started to surface in public. Is  she an heir-presumptive or heir-apparent? The very obvious answer is of course the former. Spain still adopts the male-preference primogeniture law on succession which only guarantees an eldest son of the sovereign to take over the throne.

It is not known however if Spain would switch laws in later years. If the country retains the male-preference primogeniture law on succession then Infanta Leonor will only be heir-presumptive and can only inherit the throne if her parents would not produce a son. She could not take the Princess of Asturias title as this is reserve to a wife of a Prince of Asturias unless she would become the heir-apparent.

This is similar to the situation of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain in 1936. When her father, the then Prince Bertie, the Duke of York, ascended the British throne as King George VI, she has no brothers, but she was only heir-presumptive and could not take the title Princess of Wales as this is reserve to a wife of the Prince of Wales, the heir-apparent to the British throne. Elizabeth remained Princess of Britain until she married in 1947 to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and took the title Duchess of Edinburgh.

Whether Infanta Leonor would really be the next Queen regnant of Spain, that depends on the succeeding circumstances in the Spanish constitutional law.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

King Juan Carlos of Spain Abdicates


After a year of speculation whether he would abdicate or continue his reign until death, King Juan Carlos of Spain, on Monday, June 2, 2014, ended the controversies by announcing his abdication in favor of his only son, Felipe, the Prince of Asturias.

In his memorable abdication speech, he acknowledged the need of the century's old monarchy to breath fresh air under young royals, "A new generation must be at the forefront...younger people with new energy", the King announced.

The Spanish King became the third European monarch to step down from the throne in two years time after Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands (April 2013) and King Albert II of Belgium (July 2013). Nearly 39 years of ruling Spain, the King has become an instrument of the sweeping changes that the country experienced since the transition of the government from the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

The King, who reigned under the royal house of Bourbon-Hapsburg, largely shaped the modern history of Spain and credited for revitalizing the country's stature in the global community. He has been on the throne since November 1975 in what could have been a highly successful reign of any other Kings in Europe in the modern times. He became extremely popular and enjoyed enormous admiration from his subjects for the last three decades. Until series of controversies involving his direct family tarnished the prestige of the crown.

His popularity further plummeted when the country's financial condition did not recover after the recession, the royal household spending in the middle of crisis was intrigued as somewhat crossing the boundary line, he was further criticized when it was known that he spent lavishly on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana amidst the country's financial meltdown.

The final blow that tore the last strand of trust came after his son-in-law, Iñaki Urdanganin, was involved in a corruption issues for misusing funds of the foundation he managed. The corruption scandal was even implicated his younger daughter, Princess Cristina, the Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, as one of the major players in the corruption charges, though no strong evidence could justify the accusations.

The King and the rest of the royal family tried hard to distance themselves from the issues, even to the point of removing the profile of Cristina's husband in the official page of the royal household, but media pressures and public protests became intense that no other fair option for the King but to abdicate.

Father and Son
Felipe, the Prince of Asturias, and King Juan Carlos of Spain

The abdication of King Juan Carlos did not actually surprise most royalists as this event was already speculated since last year. Though King Juan Carlos vehemently denied the issues early this year, several analysts predicted that only a matter of time before the King would yield to pressures.
 
In addition to the controversies, he King suffered poor health for the last four years, he had undergone multiple hip replacement surgeries in just three years. He often graced public engagements in crutches.
Their Majesties, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia
The Queen is formerly Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark
eldest child of King Paul of Greece and Queen Federica, she is a niece of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain
King Juan Carlos, Queen Sophia, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II and most current European monarchs are third cousins through Queen Victoria of England

King Juan Carlos came to the Spanish throne after his father, Prince Juan, after.Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator who led the Spanish revolution during World War II, died in 1975. The revolution forced Juan Carlos's grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, to give up the throne and went into exile in Italy. After series of negotiation with Alfonso's heir, Prince Juan, the Count of Barcelona, Franco relented and agreed to restore the monarchy to the family after his death.In November 1975, Franco died, but Prince Juan declined the crown in favor of his only surviving son, Prince Juan Carlos.
The Spanish royal family
From left: Princess Letezia, Prince Felipe, King Juan Carlos, Queen Sophia, Infanta Elena
Front row: Infanta Eleanor and Infanta Sofia, Felipe's daughters 
At the King's abdication, his subjects are hoping his successor, Prince Felipe, could bring back the prestige of the Spanish crown. Having a new royal family that will unite the divided Spain is a fresh breather.

Prince Felipe, the Prince of Asturias, 45, just like his father, is an Olympian, he took part in Sailing/Yachting event during the Barcelona Olympics. He is married to Letezia Ortiz Rocasolano, a former news anchor. They have two daughters, Infanta Eleanor and Infanta Sofia. Upon her husband's accession to the throne, Letezia would be the first commoner Queen Consort of Spain.

It was not known however what role King Juan Carlos would be assuming after the accession of his son, who would reign under the name King Felipe VI. But just like the rest of the European monarchs who abdicated, the King might not take part actively in the ceremonial functions of the monarchy and might prefer to remain private.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Magic and Charm of the name EDWARD

 
EDWARD is one of the most popular names of the British royal Princes since the middle ages.


Unlike ordinary folks, the naming of royals is not just like a pick-in-the-book ritual but more on tradition and historical importance. The process is like a kiss-by-decorum, intricately planned, debated and subjected to an intense process of royal protocol.
 
Royals often pick their baby’s names with respect to their custom, ancient traditions and significance in the life of the monarchy. It’s not just simply a name they found in the book or magazine, the name must reflect the prestige of the crown and must symbolize continuity. 

What made the naming of the royal tots a little complicated is the fact that royals, especially the Brits, have this appalling concern on the historical merits and representation of such name. 

For example, the name JOHN has not been used in the royal family since the middle ages. This is because the royals don’t want to remember the reign of King John, the youngest son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor, who took part in the conflict instigated by his mother and his brothers to oust the aging King, his father, from power. With his tyrant reputation, unscrupulous character and difficult behavior, King John was considered one of the worst Kings in English history, something that the present royals don't want to reminisce. 

There was at least one Prince John (born:1905, died:1919) in the British royal family, the youngest son of King George V and Queen Mary, he was an epileptic and he was secretly removed from the public life of the royal family and kept under seclusion at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England. Prince John died in 1919 from a severe seizure at the age of 14. Since then, no British Prince was given the name John.

Oh but I love the name John, never mind if the British royals avoided it. If ever I have a son someday I would name him John Paul Karol in honor of my favorite Pope and now saint, St. John Paul II. 

John is one of the most fascinating names I would love to hear, it's very significant in the anal of Christianity.Two of the most beloved and highly revered saints in the Christendom were named John. John the Evangelist and John the Baptist. The former was said to be the favorite disciple of Jesus, in fact he was the only apostle who did not die a martyr. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ who had the Lord baptized in the river Jordan. 

There were 23 Popes reigned under the name John and two had coined it with the name Paul. John Paul I chose to include Paul when he was looking for his regnal name after his papal election, he chose it in honor of his predecessor, Paul VI. When Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Poland was elected into the papacy in 1978, he chose the name John Paul II in honor of his direct predecessor. Most European Kings in the medieval times had the name John. Isn't it lovely? Yeah, that's why I love that name, it's very special :-)

Charles is another name frowned by the royal family due to its attachment to the two previous King Charles, both Stuarts. The first Charles irked the parliament with his baffling laws on absolute power. He insisted that the King should be the supreme law of the land, the parliament was furious that he was captured and executed in the Whitehall.

The monarchy was temporarily abolished and Britain was put under the protectorate of the military leader, Oliver Cromwell. Ten years later, on the death of Cromwell, the monarchy was restored and Charles’s eldest son, also named Charles, ascended the throne. The second Charles had another bad reputation,he was a serial adulterer who took many mistresses and reportedly sired 11 children, two of these illegitimates, the Duke of Grafton and the Duke of Richmond, were direct ancestors of Diana, Princess of Wales and Cressida Bonas, the current girlfriend of Diana's second son, Prince Harry.

The current Prince of Wales, according to some accounts, was christened with the name Charles by his father, Prince Philip in honor of King Haakon VII of Norway, the former Prince Charles of Denmark, a distant cousin of both Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II, in addition, Haakon VII married Princess Maud of Britain, younger sister of King George V. 

But it is doubted if the Prince of Wales would really choose his first name to be his regnal name when he ascend the throne, other royal analysts theorized Charles might choose to reign under the name of George (his real name is Charles Philip Arthur George) in honor of his grandfather, King George VI, and two great grandfathers, King George V of England, and King George I of Greece (grandfather of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh).

Okay, back to EDWARD.
Talking about royal family's favorite name. There's at least one that has become the favorite among British Princes.  The name seems symbolizes magic and prestige in the royal family because almost all British monarchs since the reign of King William I in the 11th century had a son or grandson named EDWARD. 

In fact because of this name the Normans invaded England in the 10th century and killed the last Anglo-Saxon King, Harold II. When he was still alive, King Edward the Confessor had promised the Duke of Normandy, William, who was said to be the bastard son of his brother, Robert, to be his successor to the English throne but when Edward died, the English nobles put the son of Godwin, one of the powerful men in the court, to the throne and reigned Harold II, this circumstance infuriated William.

The Norman duke then launched a siege and conquered England in the Battle of Hastings killing King Harold II in the conflict. William then took the throne and chose Windsor Castle as his seat of court.Since then the English throne was occupied by the Conqueror's descendants.

There were eight English/British Kings in history that bore the name Edward since the Norman Conquest :  

1. Edward I (King of England: 1272-1307, he was known as the Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots), 
2. Edward II (King of England from 1307 until his deposition in 1327, he was the first English prince given with the title of Prince of Wales because he was born at Caernavon Castle in Wales)
3. Edward III (King of England: 1327-1377, he was the one who initiated the Hundred Years of War between England and France due to his constant claim of the French throne)
4. Edward IV (King of England: 1461-1483, he mounted the English throne through a conquest, he was the first York King)
5. Edward V (young son of Edward IV, he reigned only for 2 months, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London at the instigation of his uncle, Richard III, who took over the throne, Edward V and his brother were later known in history as Princes in the Towers, they mysteriously disappeared and believed to be murdered in the Tower)
6. Edward VI (King of England: 1547-1553, he was barely 10 when he succeeded his father, Henry VIII, to the throne, he was a sickly child and died before he reached adulthood)
7. Edward VII (King of England: 1901-1910, son and successor of Queen Victoria)
8. Edward VIII (reigned but not crowned, he abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, an American commoner, he was created Duke of Windsor by his brother and successor, King George VI).
 
In the current British royal family, there are three male royals who have the name Edward: The Earl of Wessex, youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Kent, eldest son of Prince George (paternal uncle of the Queen) who died during World War II and Lord Downpatrick, Edward Windsor, grandson of the Duke of Kent.

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex

Prince Edward was born 12 years after his mother’s accession in 1952 making him one of the two royal children born to a reigning monarch. He is the youngest child of the Queen and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. In 1999 after his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones, it was announced that he would be given a noble title of Earl of Wessex, the announcement surprised most of the royalists because of the breaking of tradition.

His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, 
youngest son of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain and His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

No one in British history that the son of the ruling sovereign was given the title of an Earl, most of the sons of the British monarchs were given the title of a Duke, the highest hereditary noble title in Britain ranking just below a Prince and above an Earl or a Count.

Buckingham Palace press office explained that Prince Edward would inherit his father’s title, Duke of Edinburgh, in due time, and the Earl of Wessex is his secondary title. Upon marriage, his wife assumes the title Countess of Wessex.

Another breaking of royal tradition was the announcement made by the palace that any children born on Prince Edward’s marriage would be identified with the status of children of the British Earl and not grandchildren of the monarch, thus, Edward’s daughter Louise was titled Lady instead of Princess and his only son is titled James, the Viscount Severn, instead of Prince James.

Prince Edward is the only one among the four children of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh whose marriage did not end in divorce.

Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent

Grandson of King George V and a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward is the first born child of Prince George, the Duke of Kent, and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, a first cousin of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
His Royal Highness, Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent
First cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and nephew of Prince Philip

Prince Edward was only six years old when his father died in a plane crash while on active duty with the Royal Air Force during World War II in 1942. He assumed his father’s title immediately and became one of the youngest royal dukes in recent memory. In 1959, he took his seat in the House of Lords in the Parliament.

Prince Edward married Katharine Worsley, daughter of a British Baron, they have three children together: George, the Earl of St. Andrews, Lady Helena Windsor-Taylor and Lord Nicholas Windsor. He is a patron to many charities and organizations in Britain in service to the crown and would perform royal duties occasionally representing his cousin, the Queen. The Duke of Kent is currently 33rd in the line of succession to the British throne.

Edward Windsor, the Lord Downpatrick

As a great grandson in the male line of King George V, Edward is supposed to be included in the line of succession to the British throne but due to the circumstances of his father’s marriage to a Roman Catholic, and for him being confirmed a Catholic, he was subsequently removed from the list of the possible successors of his grandfather’s first cousin, the Queen. 

The law on British succession strictly prohibited all royal family members and descendants who are in communion with Rome (meaning became Roman Catholics) from inheriting the British crown. This law is being supported by the provisions of the Act of Settlement of 1701 restricting the succession only to the protestant descendants of Princess Sophia of Hanover.  

Edward Windsor, the Lord Downpatrick
He is a grandson of the Duke of Kent, though royal by descent, 
he is excluded in the line of succession to the British throne due to his 
Roman Catholic religion.

The British law on succession was repealed in 2013 removing gender bias to the sovereign’s daughters, meaning daughters are given equal rights to the throne and would no longer be pushed by a younger brother in the line of succession. 

The changed on the succession law touched the provision on the Catholic issues for possible successors. The new law stated that royal family members who took Catholic spouses but did not actually change religion should retain their position in the line of succession. Upon taking effect of the law, royals who were removed from the list in the past because of marrying Catholics (e.g. Prince Michael of Kent, George, the Earl of St. Andrews),  would now be reinstated. 

However, the provisions remained unchanged to Catholic-born royals and those who adopted Catholicism. Thus, Edward, the Lord Downpatrick, his sister, Lady Marina Charlotte, and uncle, Lord Nicholas, who are Roman Catholics, are still considered ineligible to succeed, therefore could never take their places in the line of succession.

Such is the name EDWARD in the British royal family. Historic, momentous, astonishing and magical ^____^

Isn't it an ideal name to consider for your next son? Who knows your son might resonate that Princely charm signifies by the name EDWARD. 

Other names, aside from Edward, which are popular among the British Princes are the following:

1. George

2. Henry

3. William

4. Frederick

5. Alexander

6. Richard