Sunday, 3 May 2015

5 Fun Facts About Heirs and Spares

5 Fun Facts About Heirs and Spares
It's always good for a royal to have more than one child. If something goes wrong, you don't just have an heir to the throne, you also have a spare.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana had two kids, William and Harry. And now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, have just had their second child, securing both the heir and the spare.

Generally the eldest survives and becomes King and the spare doesn't get used. However, there were times in history when the spare became the Monarch. Here are Five Monarchs who were not first born:

Image result for henry viii1. King Henry VIII, or as I like to call him on this blog, Henry-Of-The-Many-Numbers. He wasn't the first born of Henry VII, in fact he was third. His older brother, Arthur, Prince of Wales, should have succeeded to the throne when his father died. But Arthur died at the age of 15, passing the title of Prince of Wales and Heir-Apparent on to Henry, who became next in line to the throne even though he still had an older sister. Girls didn't take priority over boys back then. All is changed now, though. The eldest daughter of the Monarch can now inherit the throne, even if she has younger male siblings.

Image result for elizabeth i2. Elizabeth I was the spare, even if it wasn't the spare, or heir, that Henry VIII wanted. He wanted a boy, and had a policy of disposable wives in an attempt to find someone who would produce one for him. Or, at least one that survived long enough to take the throne. This happened with his son Edward VI, who did become king, even though he was the younger half-brother of Elizabeth. He died young, though. As no other sons of Henry existed, Elizabeth's older half-sister, Mary, became queen. And then Elizabeth herself later succeeded to the throne.

Image result for james ii3. James II was the spare of Charles I, who had his head chopped off in 1649. James had an older brother, Charles II, who became king after the monarchy was restored in 1660. Charles had children who survived to adulthood, including one little bastard who tried to take the throne by force when his father died. However, illegitimate children don't become kings as a general rule and his rebellion failed. When Charles died, his younger brother, James, the spare, became King of England. His reign didn't last long, though.

Image result for mary ii and william of orange
4. Mary II was the second born of James II. Her older brother, Charles, Duke of Cambridge, died at 7 months old. She then became next in line to the throne, assuming her father didn't have anymore sons. And this is exactly what happened. He remarried and his wife gave birth to a son. Joy, the king has a son. Nope. He was to be raised a Catholic, and England couldn't cope with that back then. Not after all the trouble they had gone through with them over the previous hundred years. It was all the fault of Henry-Of-The-Many-Numbers. He started it. Anyways, back to James. He took a holiday to France, Parliament declared he had abdicated and invited Mary's husband, William of Orange, over to England with his army to claim the throne. The Glorious Revolution. Mary and William then ruled as joint King and Queen. The only time that has happened in English history. James II tried his utmost with various armies to try and reclaim the throne from his daughter and her husband, but failed every time.

Image result for george vi5. King George VI, the current Queen's father, was born a spare. His elder brother, Edward, inherited the throne upon the death of their father, George V. But Edward decided to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson and abdicated. Not something that really happens with the British monarchy. The King doesn't tend to want to give it up. Instead it's prised from their cold, dead hands, a lot of times through murder, death, kills, before it'll be handed down to the next in line. So, when Edward VIII abdicated, his younger brother, George became king. Which is why Elizabeth II is our current Monarch.

1 comment:

sarah lee said...

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