The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Aug 23, 2013

Royal Genealogy

... royal genealogists can achieve wonderful results through imaginative misrepresentation; vulgar forgery is unnecessary. By the skilful use of Englished forms, by an emphasis on titles as opposed to surnames, and above all by the selective filtration of unwanted bloodlines, dedicated family-tree-surgeons have transformed the dominant flavour of their product. No doubt with the best patriotic motives in mind, they have persuaded the unsuspecting public that British royalty's closes ancestral ties are with the English and Scottish monarchs all the way back to William the Conqueror and beyond. In the process, they have sidelined the royal family's far closer ties with the Hanovers, the Tecks, the Brandenburg-Ansbachs, the Brunswick-Wolfenbüttels, the Württembergers and the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburgs. If the only the truth were known, the degree of consanguinity between the 'Mountbatten-Windsors' and the Normans, Plantagenets, Tudors and Stuarts is almost astronomically remote.
(From Norman Davies,  Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe, page 572.)

He goes on to point out that under Victoria and Albert, the British were prominently pro-German almost throughout the 19th century; after the world wars, the majority of the 20th century was Germanophobic. So it was that Diana Spencer regretted having married into a German family while Prince Albert never had any such regrets.


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