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Galahadlrrp View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Galahadlrrp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Short Reigns
    Posted: 02-May-2009 at 08:22
--Can anyone come up with a shorter reign than that of King Luis III of Portugal?
--As Crown Prince he became king when his father, King Carlos I was assassinated in Lisbon on 1 February 1908. Unfortunately he had been shot at the same time, and died from loss of blood about 20 minutes after his father.

Edited by Galahadlrrp - 02-May-2009 at 08:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 10:31
I feel foolish asking, but did he actually undergo a formal coronation ceremony? I think having the formal ceremony is actually pretty important.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 11:34

A formal coronation ceremony only serves for subjects to swear allegiance in return for the soveriegn taking his oath, and where relevant recognising divine approval. The crown passes immediately. It's frequently pointed out that it therefore is one thing that travels faster than light.

Four English monarchs never had a coronation ceremony - Edward VIII, Matilda, Jane, and Edward V.

 
I'd be interested to know what the official position with Alfonso XIII of Spain is. He succeeded from his father, but his father dies before he was born. Was he king before he was born? If not, who was?
 
I certainly don't know of any reign shorter than Galahadirrp's example, though we will never know in detail what happened to Edward V and his brother Richard. In theory Richard might have been murdered less than 20 minutes after his brother, in which case he'd be a rival to Luis III.  (And Richard III of England would actually be Richard IV.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 12:08
Originally posted by gcle gcle wrote:

A formal coronation ceremony only serves for subjects to swear allegiance in return for the soveriegn taking his oath, and where relevant recognising divine approval. The crown passes immediately. It's frequently pointed out that it therefore is one thing that travels faster than light.


I must say I feel extremely uneasy with this explanation. It is one thing to claim a title, another thing to actually possess it in a manner that enables you to exercise the power it entails.

Constantine VI of Byzantium dies, so who then becomes Emperor of the Roman Empire? Charlemagne, or Irene?

Is every rebellious general who claims the regal title for themself to be considered a legitimate holder of the title? Surely not, the legitimacy is bestowed upon the successor by exercise of force, it is not conferred automatically.

Ultimately, the pretender to the throne must possess two things to be considered to legitimately hold the title. Firstly, to be accepted as legitimate by a majority of the most important stakeholders in the nation (so in medieval terms this would include the fuedal lords). Secondly, they must demonstrate a clear ability to exercise the powers associated with their title. The English Kings also claimed to be 'King of France', but of course this was purely pretentious as the Kings of England could not discharge their royal duties in the Kingdom of France after the end of the Hundred Years War.

This is why I have a problem with Luis III, he may have been the legally binding choice due to royal protocol, but he never actually exercised the powers of his office nor received the deference of his nation's key stakeholders.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 13:36
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Originally posted by gcle gcle wrote:

A formal coronation ceremony only serves for subjects to swear allegiance in return for the soveriegn taking his oath, and where relevant recognising divine approval. The crown passes immediately. It's frequently pointed out that it therefore is one thing that travels faster than light.


I must say I feel extremely uneasy with this explanation. It is one thing to claim a title, another thing to actually possess it in a manner that enables you to exercise the power it entails.

Constantine VI of Byzantium dies, so who then becomes Emperor of the Roman Empire? Charlemagne, or Irene?
I'm not sure, not being up in Byzantine stuff: possibly neither. However it's irrelevant because the crown of England passes according to the act of settlement of 1701, which is quite clear. Under the act, Charles, assuming he is still alive, will inherit immediately his mother dies, as the 'heir of her body'.   
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Is every rebellious general who claims the regal title for themself to be considered a legitimate holder of the title? Surely not, the legitimacy is bestowed upon the successor by exercise of force, it is not conferred automatically.
It's conferred by local law, either statutory or traditional, and local laws vary. For instance the King of Poland was elected by the nobles, and until he was elected there was no King. But it depends on local law.
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Ultimately, the pretender to the throne must possess two things to be considered to legitimately hold the title. Firstly, to be accepted as legitimate by a majority of the most important stakeholders in the nation (so in medieval terms this would include the fuedal lords). Secondly, they must demonstrate a clear ability to exercise the powers associated with their title. The English Kings also claimed to be 'King of France', but of course this was purely pretentious as the Kings of England could not discharge their royal duties in the Kingdom of France after the end of the Hundred Years War.
You're writing as if there was a universal law of succession. There isn't. For instance Victoria became queen immediately her uncle died, but her other uncle Ernest Augustus became Elector of Hanover, because the laws of succession in the United Kingdom and Hanover were different.
 
Victoria wrote in her diary:
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Tuesday, 20th June 1837

I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma, who told me that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here, and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing-gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham (the Lord Chamberlain) then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen. Lord Conyngham knelt down and kissed my hand, at the same time delivering to me the official announcement of the poor King's demise. The Archbishop then told me that the Queen was desirous that he should come and tell me the details of the last moments of my poor good Uncle; he said that he had directed his mind to religion, and had died in a perfectly happy, quiet state of mind, and was quite prepared for his death. He added that the King s sufferings at the last were not very great but that there was a good deal of uneasiness. Lord Conyngham, whom I charged to express my feelings of condolence and sorrow to the poor Queen, returned directly to Windsor. I then went to my room and dressed.

(my emphasis of course)
 
You won't find anyone anywhere dating Victoria's reign from any date except June 20, 1837, but she had no coronation until over a year later.
 
In February 1952 news media were full of the fact that Elizabeth was in Kenya when she was informed she was now Queen, but her coronation didn't take place until June 1953. Her reign is still dated from 1952.
 
English monarchs - Henry VI for example - have become King while they were under age and too young to exercise any powers. And one at least was too insane to rule, but he remained king.   
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This is why I have a problem with Luis III, he may have been the legally binding choice due to royal protocol, but he never actually exercised the powers of his office nor received the deference of his nation's key stakeholders.
Personally I don't know the Portuguese situation legally, but there are certainly many many monarchs who have never exercised the powers of their office (where there were any).


Edited by gcle2003 - 02-May-2009 at 13:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 13:58
In the case of Luis III we must then conclude that for ceremonial purposes it would come down to Protugese law, which I am also ignorant of. As you pointed out, in the case of Poland there is a recognised period of interregnum, so the crown does not fall immediately to a successor in all countries.

Charles I and his execution has provided England itself with its own interrugnum (unless one considers Charles II to be the inheritor of the title, a notion which only really becomes palatable once we find out he later managed to return and take the English throne).

In Byzantium the custom was acclamation by the people, senate and the army. Often for practical purposes it was the army which mattered and could trump the other two.

But I fear we are diverging from the topic. I want to give an honourable mention to Frederick III, probably not the shortest but a reign of a mere 99 days is small by any standard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 15:46
Hello to you all
 
In the case for Arab-Islamic history, Abdullah ibn Al-Mutazz may have the shortest reign although many historians then as now don't consider him a caliph.
 
In 908, a 13 year old kid was chosen to rule by the military and the kids mother over his elder cousins. One of them was an ingenious poet and former member of the state councils called Abdullah ibn Al-Mutazz. However the bureaucracy headed by the vezier and the heads of diwans were against him and in 909 conspired to put thier former colleague Abdullah as Caliph and on one July day the coup happened and he was proclaimed caliph.
 
When he went to sleep the military made a counter coup (the troops were outside Baghdad then) and killed the Caliph the same day he was formally coronated.
 
He is still called the one day caliph.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 02-May-2009 at 15:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-May-2009 at 16:15
The nearest oddity in English history (post-Conquest anyway) was Jane Grey, known as 'Lady Jane Grey' though her supporters acclaimed her Queen in 1553 when her cousin Edward VI died.
 
The basis of the claim was that Edward had in his will named the heirs of his aunt Mary Tudor, Duchess of Suffolk and sometime Queen of France,  to succeed him (he had in fact done that), and Jane was the   eldest surviving grandchild - the others being all girls as well.
 
However, that contradicted the Act of Succession of 1543 in Henry VIII's reign, which probided that the succession after Edward, if he died childless, would go to Henry's daughter Mary (a different Mary Tudor Smile )
 
So the question was whether Parliament was supreme or whether the King had a (divine or other) right to override it, a question which would become a rather vital one over the next 150 years or so.
 
All this time Edward was still below adult age (so another question was whether he was competent under English law to make a will in the first place) and affairs of state were conducted by a Regency Council which, like Edward and Jane, was Protestant. The Council immediately declared Jane Queen, but nine days afterwards the full Privy Council, a more political beast and somewhat more sensible to popular feeling, noting that popular support for Jane in London's streets was pretty non-existent, retracted the declaration and declared the Roman Catholic Mary I to be Queen.
 
Jane's nine-day reign is reckoned as England's shortest.
 
Shortly after, she was executed which must have worried Mary's sister Elizabeth more than somewhat as she kept her head down while waiting for the chance to become Good Queen Bess and irritate the hell out of the Spanish, especially Mary's husband Philip.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Galahadlrrp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-May-2009 at 00:00
--There's a definite disagreement over this in Portugal. In some histories, Manuel II is the 34th King of Portugal, while others say he is the 35th. I guess it depends on how you look at it. If the King has to live long enough to be proclaimed or crowned, then there were 34, and Luis wasn't King.
--Still,under the law of succession, Luis became King the moment his father died--"Le roi est mort--vive le roi!". But he didn't live long enough to be proclaimed King, and he certainly was in no condition to ever rule. But technically he did reign for that 20 minutes, unproclaimed, unannointed and uncrowned.
--This quote from a site giving the status, history, etc, of the House of Braganza certifies that: "Succession to the crown is by primogeniture, males having preference over females." That means the oldest immediately inherits the crown at the death of the holder.
http://www.chivalricorders.org/royalty/gotha/porthist.htm
--So even though his father was dead, Manuel still wasn't King until the Crown Prince had died. Until that time, his brother held the crown. But when his brother died, the succession passed immediately to him even though he wasn't formally proclaimed till the following day nor formally crowned till much later. Same principle as Victoria's ascession and Wilhelm II's and Nicholas II's, and Edward VIII's, etc.
--The situation in Poland was different, and similiar to the succession of the Holy Roman Empire. The king had to be elected, and the infighting and jealousies that caused are the major reason why Poland went from being a powerful nation to a state of non-existence in less than two hundred years. "Poland's kings were not hereditary but elected, by a vast assembly of the aristocracy (szlachta). Through the Sejm (parliament), this estate dominated the land in the name of its own conceptions of patriotism and liberty, which meant in practice an endless clash of factions scheming to preserve aristocratic privilege."

Edited by Galahadlrrp - 03-May-2009 at 00:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mixcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-May-2009 at 00:32
The shortest ruling president ever was Pedro Lascuráin, who was president of Mexico during 35 to 55 minutes (sources differ on the exact length) in the evening of February 18, 1913. General Huerta had staged a coup d'état against president Francisco I. Madero but as Huerta preferred to give his takeover the appearance of legality he had Madero and his vice president José María Pino Suárez step down. According to the Mexican constitution the foreign secretary, in this case Lascuráin, was next in the line of presidential succession. So Lascuráin was inaugurated president, he named Huerta his foreign secretary, and then stepped down himself.
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