Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Madame de Nassau becomes Princess Tessy of Luxembourg

Tessy de Nassau has been styled HRH Princess Tessy of Luxembourg and her children with Louis have been granted the title Prince of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness. This also applies to future children. This is the normal title/style for the wife and children of a Prince of Luxembourg.

I'm going to make a few points here for two reasons...
1. most people commenting on this don't know what they are talking about
2. I'm annoyed by people who don't know/understand proper title/style usage.

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg may create titles. This privilege is enshrined in the current Luxembourg constitution. He still requires the signature of two ministers, however, this is his right and I doubt he would ever have trouble finding two members of his government willing to sign for such a decree. You can view an English language copy of the constitution here. Check article 40 for this specific privilege. A new constitution is currently being worked on in Luxembourg as a result of that little snafu with the euthanasia bill and it is entirely possible that the Grand Duke may not be able to create titles under the new constitution.

On September 21, 1995 Grand Duke Jean issued a decree which regulated the titles, styles, and surname of the Grand Ducal Family. Per this decree, the children of a Sovereign (reigning Grand Duke or Grand Duchess) shall hold the title Prince/ss of Luxembourg and the style of Royal Highness. This also applies to the children of the heir apparent.

I want to point out that it is actually worded that it should be, specifically, written as (for example) His Royal Highness Félix de Nassau, Prince of Luxembourg.

The decree further states that Les Princes de Notre Maison who contract a marriage with the consent of the head of the house are qualified in the same manner and implies that the descendants of the approved union shall hold the title Prince or Princess of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness together with the surname de Nassau. There is no generational limit placed on the inheritance of this title. The only requirements are being a male line descendant of a sovereign and being the product of an approved marriage.

If a Prince/ss contracts a marriage without consent the Prince/ss should become Count/ess de Nassau. The spouse of the Prince and his children are qualified only as Count/ess of Nassau. It does not say that the Prince loses his place in succession (nor does the family law state this) simply by contracting a marriage without consent.

This has never actually been applied. All the princes who have married without consent have remained His Royal Highness Prince X of Luxembourg while their wives and children gained no immediate title. The 1995 decree did serve as the basis of the upgrading the wives and children of Princes Robert and Jean to Count/ss of Nassau.

Princes Jean and Louis renounced their rights of succession prior to their marriages. Prince Robert did not renounce his rights and, theoretically, still has them. No portion of the regulations on titles (or the family pact) indicate loss of succession rights based on marriage without consent. One can assume that this is the whole purpose of having Prince Jean and Prince Louis renounce.

Moving right along....

On November 27, 2004 Grand Duke Henri issued a decree that elevated the wife of Prince Robert of Luxembourg and their children to Prince/ss of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness. Robert is Prince of Luxembourg his wife is Princess of Nassau. This is because Robert is the grandson of Grand Duchess Charlotte and under the 1995 decree would only have been born as a Prince of Nassau. Robert and Charlotte continue to style themselves and be styled as Prince/ss of Luxembourg.

The children of the union of Prince Jean of Luxembourg and Helene Vesture (they were divorced already) are also elevated to Prince/ss of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness.

Article 4 of the decree of 1995 is specifically mentioned to apply. Which means in the event of divorce Princess Julie of Nassau returns to just plain Julie and Helene had already returned to commoner status following her divorce. I'm sorry wikipedia that means that Helene is not still a Countess of Nassau.

On National Day 2009.....

It was stated that Madame Tessy de Nassau is allowed to be styled as Her Royal Highness Princess Tessy of Luxembourg and that her children with Prince Louis are henceforth Prince of Nassau with the style of Royal Highness.

The decree that will have created these changes has not been published. I assure you there was a decree and eventually it will appear in Memorial. The Grand Duke does not create titles via press release. Actually, it is possible that it was already published in Memorial haven't looked since July. You're welcome to go ahead and look for it. There are two things I can pretty much guarantee...1. Gabriel and Noah are most definitely Princes of Nassau the same as if they were from birth and their titles are hereditary if they marry with consent. By virtue of their new status as Princes of the House they fall under the 1995 decree on this matter 2. Somewhere in the decree you will almost certainly see the following: Les dispositions de l'article 4 de l'arrêté grand-ducal du 21 septembre 1995 concernant le nom de famille et les titres des Membres de la Famille grand-ducale sont applicables. This will mean that Tessy, just like Julie and Helene, only has a title while she is married to her Prince. Even if the decree doesn't state this the article still applies.

Now lot's of people are running around saying that Tessy was created a Princess of Luxembourg "in her own right." This is not, at all, what the press release stated. The whole concept of Princess in your own right doesn't really exist in Luxembourg. There are no degrees of Princesshood. Tessy is just as much a Princess of Luxembourg as is Alexandra. Princess Tessy can lose her title by divorce and Princess Alexandra by marriage without consent. Neither title is free of stipulation.

The very fact that Article 4 of the 1995 decree states that spouses lose their titles if the marriage ends would logically suggest that Princess in your own right (the British concept) just isn't so...and never will be...not even for Tessy.

The picture released for this was actually taken much earlier during the Close of the Octave. It seems that this was in the works for a while.

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