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Author Topic: A disabled heir  (Read 32931 times)
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Tinika

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« on: May 09, 2013, 03:26:34 AM »

My question is this:

What would happen if an heir to the throne were born with a severe disability, or a syndrome such as Down's?  I know that in the distant past, the heir was the heir no matter what, as in the case of Charles II of Spain, but what about now? What would they do? Would a law be quietly passed to change the succession, or would appearances be kept up despite undeniable ill health or infirmity?

Just curious.
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Cloaked

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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2013, 03:45:05 AM »

That's a big question. Shocked
If a child were born unable to carry out the role of Monarch, I think sense would prevail and the next in line would take precedence.  I don't know what the law says.  Thinking
To complicate the issue .. What if an heir were to develop an ailment later in life that rendered them incapable of working?  A major accident or dementia?
Would their brother or sister take their place, or their own infant child?
Which brings me to a final question .. What if an heir were born with a major disability, unable to take up the top position but later in their life they had a child.  Would that child of the disabled heir have any rights in the line of succession?
Consideration would have to be given to any discrimination due to a handicap.
The disabled heir would have to be properly diagnosed and assessed as to being unable to take on the role of Monarch.  That would be a tricky situation.  I wonder what the law dictates??
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BessieWallis Warfield

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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 03:46:56 AM »

I suppose it would depend upon the nature and severity of the disability and the powers and duties of the monarch of that particular nation.  If the monarch has duties and powers, it would not be fair to either the people or to the heir to impose such expectations on him/her.  I'd assume that in such a case, this heir would by bypassed.  



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divinemiss

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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2013, 03:57:45 PM »

Surely there would only be an issue if the condition hindered the individual from carrying out their obligations?
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hanzo1

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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2013, 04:03:59 PM »

King Talal king Hussein's dad was mentally ill and was forced to give the throne to his son
As for babies/fetus  I can only assume- statisticly- that first born were screened and things were found cause royals are no different to others I assume thing were kept a secret and they terminated It
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TLLK

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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2013, 04:46:21 PM »

I suppose it would depend upon the nature and severity of the disability and the powers and duties of the monarch of that particular nation.  If the monarch has duties and powers, it would not be fair to either the people or to the heir to impose such expectations on him/her.  I'd assume that in such a case, this heir would by bypassed.  




  I agree with Bessie.  This is part of the reasoning behind the "heir and a spare" practice among the royals. There are heirs to the throne ie: Victoria with diagnosed learning disabilities but this does not hinder her ability to become the future monarch. On the other hand the French pretender aka Count of Paris has a severely disabled eldest son and daughter. The eldest son retains the title of the heir, but his younger brother carries out any duties on behalf of his father.
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Jonathan

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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 04:56:24 PM »

In Britain the law is clear. If a monarch is unwell and unable to carry out his/her duties a Regency takes place. Usually  the next in line.

If a disabled king/queen had a child then that child would be the heir/heiress regardless.

It would  take an Act of Parliament to change the position
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BessieWallis Warfield

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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 06:06:52 PM »

I don't like the idea of a regency - it's simply not fair that the younger sibling does all of the work and gets none of the credit as monarch.  I say this as the mother of a disabled older son and a functioning younger one.  I would want my younger one to inherit the throne and my older one to live his life as he can.  It's hard enough to be the sibling of a disabled child, why shouldn't they get the glory for the work. 

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Jonathan

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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 07:30:55 PM »

They do get the glory. For a regency to be in place the disabled monarch would be living in retirement. So a regent is a king in all but name.

I imagine that is an heir was disabled enough then parliament would allow him/her to be passed by. It would be considered kinder to let him/her have the best that life could offer without further strains.

I know he  wasn't the heir but Prince John lived quietly at Wood Farm and only visited Sandringham when his parents were in residence. Except for once a week when he would visit his grandmother Queen Alexandra.
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Chris

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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 07:38:15 PM »

Jonathan's right.  Remember King George III?  He was deemed to be insane and his son was named regent and acted on his father's behalf for many years.  The poor old regent (later to be George IV) wasn't very popular.  He was known as "Prinny" and was widely derided for being fat, stupid, and a spendthrift.  And isn't he the one who hated his wife and wouldn't let her attend his coronation?  Locked the doors of Westminster Abbey so she couldn't get in.  Too bad that was so long ago...there must have been TONS of opportunities for snarking about those two.  
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BessieWallis Warfield

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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 10:53:29 PM »

Mmmm... sorry, guys, I still think that if you are acting as king/queen, you deserve the title.  You deserve the "your majesty."  Otherwise, to me, you are not getting the glory.

This is why I also think that as Queen Elizabeth turns over more and more roles to Charles there will come a point where he deserves the title of king.


JMHO. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 03:59:12 PM »

A disabled heir helped bring down the Russian Imperial Family.
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« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 05:03:06 PM »

I think the most interesting of this dilemma is the grey area, the borderline cases:
We probably all agree that were a child born with a severe handicap he or she would be side passed in order to give him/her the privacy and discretion the condition requires and to provide the nation with a sound representative figure head and first family.
But what happens with those cases that aren`t entirely obvious?
Perhaps a not quite so severe Autism or Aspergers, one that isn`t obvious? Yet debilitating  since the patient can`t of course function like people expect him, fall short and thus will be judged unfairly and unjustified.
Basically either the disability is so obvious to everyone, that measures are being taken or the decision is up to the person himself when he reaches his/ her majority and can step up to the task or step back for someone else.
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« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 05:31:07 PM »

the french royal family has such a case. the oldest son of the current count of paris is mentally handicaped (iirc he lives in an institution). he is officially the heir and would, if the count of paris were king, be the next in line to the throne with his brother (the next in line) acting as regent.
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TLLK

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« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 12:44:08 AM »

the french royal family has such a case. the oldest son of the current count of paris is mentally handicaped (iirc he lives in an institution). he is officially the heir and would, if the count of paris were king, be the next in line to the throne with his brother (the next in line) acting as regent.
Their mother had toxoplasmosis when pregnant with him and his younger sister resulting in severe mental handicaps for both of them. Sad
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