I've always dreamt of being a Princess. Not a queen, but a Princess. Princess Marilyn has a rather nice ring to it, don't you think? Rumor has it that Marilyn Monroe was considered to be a candidate to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco. While not making me royal, I would have known there was a Princess Marilyn in the history books. Maybe it could have become my nickname. Alas it was not to be.
Whether truly royal, distantly related, or just delusional, it's not difficult to claim that you're royalty. It's whether people believe you. There are no specific qualifications. You don't have to have a certificate. Just stick the word prince/princess in front of your name, put an obscure sounding country that no one has ever heard of (or is unlikely to look up), set up a really ugly website, slap a coat of arms on it and there you go. If you have a personal motto and can cut and paste a photo of a castle, even better! But who knows, maybe some of these people genuinely are royalty - no offense. It's good to be proud of your heritage, whatever that may be. You can even spend your time putting together family trees that show you're related, but no one outside of your family is likely to care about. Everyone needs a hobby.
When I look at the people on the Wikipedia list for the line of succession to the British throne , there are almost 1400 names. Now yes, Wikipedia is not the be all, end all, but this list is a pretty good start. However I think there comes a point where, if you're not within the first 10 names, a monarch of a ruling house, their children, and some of their grandchildren, you really shouldn't consider yourself to be royal. Just my personal opinion. The Dutch and the Norwegian royal families have a rather good system - they divide it by Royal House and Royal family. Which makes it fairly clear. With each new monarch, part of the family falls off the list, giving academic preference to the direct descendants. Some people may be happy to have this happen - gives some normalcy. Those who stand on ceremony may fight this tooth and nail, somehow ending up in the pages of Majesty or Hello Magazine, when there's a wedding or the christening of a baby.
People who call themselves Prince/Princess or consider themselves royal, dilute the mystique and the meaning of royalty. Royalty has to earn their keep nowadays. Attending party after party at the world's glamorous locations doesn't sound like charity work to me. Some members of the royal family consider it a burden; Prince Harry sometimes wishes he wasn't a prince. Would this pseudo royalty trade places if they knew what was involved?
Depends on how many parties and vacations they'd have to sacrifice.
© Marilyn Braun 2008
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