The International Commission on Nobility and Royalty
DEPOSED SOVEREIGNTY AND ROYALTY: how to preserve it and how to lose it
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This article focuses on deposed monarchs --- the "de jure," internal or non-territorial sovereignty of authentic and genuine royal houses. The concepts and principles of law explained herein are not to be confused with the requirements for reigning houses that possess defacto rule although many of the fundamentals apply to both.
Each of the questions and answers below, although specific to the inquiry made, are also designed to be more or less complete in regard to the idea of how internal non-reigning sovereignty can be preserved forever or irretrievably lost. The articles as a whole add tremendous evidential weight to the legal rights and royal privileges of non-reigning royalty.
"De jure" or legal sovereignty is extremely important to the field of nobility and royalty. Without these priceless rights and entitlements, eveything is make-believe and fantasy --- nothing is real. The reason for this is that no sovereign rights means there is no "fons honorum" or right to honor, which means no authentic or genuine orders of chivalry are possible. In other words, no sovereignty means no right to use the royal prerogative, because there is no royal prerogative.
The word "royal" began in the 13th century and meant "on a grand scale." (Dictionary.com, 2011: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/royal#wordorgtop) It is now generally used to describe monarchs of large territories and their close family members, but in the past, it always revolved around "the office, state or right of a king," which is sovereignty. (A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, "Royalty" & "Royalties," 1806) ". . . The nation has plainly and simply invested him with [all the glory of] sovereignty . . . invested with all the prerogatives. . . . These are called regal prerogatives, or the prerogatives of majesty." (Emerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book 1, chapter 4, no. 45) Thus, a king or sovereign prince has ". . . in his own person all the rights to sovereignty and royalty. . . ." (William Rae Wilson, Esq., Travels in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Hanover, Germany, Netherlands, &c., Constitution of the Kingdom of Denmark (1826 time frame), appendix no. 16, article 6, 1826, p. 72) No one else in the kingdom has all these rights in their fullness other than the king or ruling prince. Royalty belongs only to monarchs and close family members -- not to distant relatives or offshoot lines, who are not dynasts and have no succession rights.
It is important to understand that you can have true sovereignty without royalty, as in a republic and other forms of non-royal government, but you cannot have royalty without sovereignty as it is the highest and most importance secular right on earth above all others. The subordination and dependence of royalty, or sovereign grandness, on sovereignty itself is of great importance to discern what is fake from what is genuine, true and authentic. All royal rights come from and grows out of the rights, entitlements and privileges of sovereignty. A king or sovereign prince is royal only because he holds these sovereign rights.
The president of a republic, especially in modern times, may actually be more powerful than any king that ever lived, yet he is not a sovereign, nor does he hold any kind of regal status. A president is merely a representative of his nation or country and nothing more. Whereas, a monarch is a royal, because he is the personification of all the glory of sovereignty over the people or the land of his forefathers. This is to be the embodiment of something grand and exalted.
Thus, royal rank and status are "the [exclusive] prerogatives of sovereignty," the "emblems [or symbols] of sovereignty," and the "embodiment of sovereignty." (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, unabridged, Philip Babcock Gove, ed., "royalty," 1961, p. 1982) Sovereignty is, therefore, a central concern or core issue --- crucial to all the privileges and honors that go with it.
All of the following regal rights are inseparably connected to reigning and non-reigning sovereignty. Some of the qualities are inactive with monarchs, who are limited or deposed, but all true sovereigns hold all the following rights either in abeyance or in an active state:
(1) Jus Imperii, the right to command and legislate,
(2) Jus Gladii, the right to enforce ones commands,
(3) Jus Majestatis, the right to be honored, respected, and
(4) Jus Honorum is the right to honor and reward.
The above rights are inseparably connected as fundamental attributes of sovereignty. If legal internal sovereignty is lost or forfeited, there are no royal (grand, exalted or special) rights left. In other words, all the special qualities of royalty are lost if sovereignty is lost.
There are many royal families on the earth, who have legally maintained their sovereign status even though they no longer are in power reigning over a territory, kingdom or principality. For example:
There are in all more than forty sovereign houses of Europe, but all do not reign over independent lands or principalities. Although many of these houses possess only the title of sovereignty and the right of royal privileges, they are equal in rank to all reigning houses, and their members intermarry freely without loss of title or rank. (George H. Merritt, "The Royal Relatives of Europe," Europe at War: a "Red Book" of the Greatest War of History, 1914, p. 132)
In other words, deposed sovereignty is never ending, but we must add that the royal rank is maintained or lost by the rules and principles of "prescriptive" law. If the rules are not followed, royal status is irretrievably lost, which means all regal rights and privileges are forfeited. A person who has no rights cannot restore or pass on to posterity something he does not have.
Those who say that dynastic rights of deposed houses, which is de jure internal non-territorial sovereignty, cannot be lost, except by perhaps by debellatio, really have no idea what they are talking about. Sovereignty and royalty can be permanently lost in many different ways, not only for individuals and their posterity, but for whole dynasties:
A. Abdication and/or renunciation
B. Dereliction and neglect
C. Cession by treaty, will or some other arrangement
D. "Inter-vivos" transfer, sale or mortgage in ancient times
E. Tyranny, oppression or crimes against humanity
F. Papal or Imperial confiscation of all royal rights and instituting a new dynasty
G. Abandonment either overtly or by acquiescence
H. Marriage without permission
I. Unequal marriage
J. Religious Laws regarding succession
N. Disinheritance and exclusions
O. Consitutional stipulations and house rules
P. Designations of who or what family will or will not have direct line or collateral succession rights.
Some of the above methods of loss would affect individuals and their families only, while others would impact a whole dynasty wherein the regal claim would cease to exist and they would become mere commoners with no entitlement greater than anyone else in the nation.
The point is, "The extravagant doctrines [that deposed dynastic rights can never be lost, in other words] . . . concerning the indefeasibility of hereditary claims, and the imprescriptibility of royal titles, form no part of the law of nations." Philipp Melancthon (1497-1560), "Art.18: Melancthon’s Letter to Dr. Troy, " The Annual Review, and History of Literature, vol. 4, Arthur Akin, ed., 1806, p. 263.
"Prescription," one of the above ways to forfeit a whole dynasty, which is a natural law concept in international law, is so important to the future of "de jure" nobility and non-reigning royalty, chiefly because this law is part of what governs the ". . . position and status of unlawfully dethroned Sovereign Houses." (Stephen P. Kerr, "Resolution of Monarchical Successions Under International Law," The Augustan, vol. 17, no. 4, 1975, p. 979) Prescription is a core concept of royalty and sovereignty. For example:
Dynasticism . . . [is] bound up with the principle of prescription. Indeed it might almost be said that prescription, not dynasticism, [or, in other words, prescription rather than dynastic law] provided the original rule [or key for the determination] of legitimacy." (Martin Wight, "International Legitimacy," International Relations, vol. 4, April 1972, pp. 1-28)
The rules and principles of "prescription," as juridically binding actions, are still used to determine the validity and legitimacy of "de jure" internal non-territorial sovereigns in our day and age. Much of the following "Questions and Answers" relate to both the loss and thepreservation of the royal prerogative in international public law. For example, ". . . international law cannot be said to admit the imprescriptibility of sovereignty." (Eelco van Kleffens, Recueil Des Cours, Collected Courses, 1953, vol. 82, 1968, p. 86) Why? Because not only have ancient royal houses lost their internal "de jure" claims to sovereignty for centuries by this fundamental means, but modern international courts have also sustained and upheld the forfeiture or permanent loss of deposed sovereignty by the same formal rules and principles of "prescription."
These important concepts need to be explained and understood. For example, to believe the idea that ". . . sovereignty formally implies a power that is absolute, perpetual, indivisible, imprescriptible and inalienable" is to believe in fairy tales or nonsense. Sovereignty may imply the above, but in real life sovereignty is not almighty, supernatural and everlasting as some want to you to believe. The truth is:
[Sovereignty] has been dividied and subdivided, acquired and lost, restricted and enlarged, times without number, and by various means, during the world's history. . . . The history of the world is full of examples of two or more nations being merged into one, and of one divided into two or more; of sovereignty lost by conquest or by voluntary surrender, and sovereignty acquired by rebellion or voluntary association. To say that a State cannot surrender or merge her own sovereignty, is to deny the existence of sovereignty itself; for how can a State be sovereign [having supreme power above all other things in life and not be able to] . . . dispose of herself? (Amos Kendall, Autobiography of Amos Kendall, William Stickney, ed., 1872, p. 597)
If sovereignty was indivisible, ". . . what became of the "indivisible" sovereignty of the British Empire when it was divided into twelve or thirteen independent States?" (Ibid., p. 596) Obviously, sovereignty is not absolute, perpetual, indivisible, imprescriptible, because it has always been limited, divisible, prescriptible and alienable. The point is:
Indivisibility of sovereignty . . . does not belong to international law. The power of sovereigns are a bundle or collection of powers, and they may be separated one from another. (Sir Henry Maine, International Law, 1890, p. 58)
"Sovereignty is divisible, both as a matter of principle and as a matter of experience." (Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 2008, p. 113) ". . . Defining sovereignty as inalienable, unlimited, irrevocable, and imprescriptible, ran time and again into inherently fickle dynastic practice." (Benno Teschke, The Myth of 1648, 2003, p. 228) Examples of the how dynastic sovereignty was alienable, revocable and prescriptible, etc. are myriad. Example after example exists in the history of mankind to prove this. (Ibid., pp. 228-229) Johann Wolfgang Textor, considered to be one of the late founders of international law, made it clear and unmistakable that "prescription of kingly sovereignty" is a well-known legal fact. (Synopsis of the Law of Nations, chapter 10, no. 18) How this takes place is a serious matter, because dispossessed hereditary sovereignty can be lost, and lost forever, without any recourse for recovery or renewal.
In fact, "Any right . . . [even] the right of sovereign title, may be prescribed. . ." or lost. (William Cullen Dennis, Chamizal Arbitration: Argument of the United States of America, 1911, p. 114) The point is, ". . . There is not strictly, in human nature, any such thing as an absolutely indefeasible right [that is, by definition, something incapable of being annulled or rendered void]. Sovereign right itself furnishes no exception to this general principle." (Edward Smedley and Hugh James Rose, Encyclopaedia Metropolitana; or, Universal Dictionary of Knowledge, vol. 2, 1845, p. 714)
The point is, "[Both internal and external] sovereignty is . . . merely [a] legal conception. . . ." (Neil MacCormick, Questioning Sovereignty: Law, State, and Nation in the European Commonwealth, 1999, p. 127) Since sovereign right ". . . is conferred by law. . . ," it can also be taken away by law. (Ibid.) Dynasic or hereditary rights are:
. . . human laws . . . [that] enable men to transmit with their blood property, titles of nobility, or the hereditary right to a crown. These privileges may be forfeited for himself and his posterity. . . . They may be forfeited for posterity, because they are not natural rights. ("Problems of the Age," Catholic World, vol. 4, October 1866 to March 1867, p. 528)
They are created rights and any man-made right can be altered and changed by law, more especially by a higher law, such as, prescription, which is an integral part of the natural or higher law. These are important points in clarifying legal realities.
. . . In a [deposed] hereditary monarchy, the right to rule [which is sovereignty] remains with the royal descendant until he has lost it through the long process of prescription. (John A. Ryan, "Catholic Doctrine on the Right of Self-Government," Catholic World, vol. 108, January 1919, p. 444)
That Prescription is valid against the Claims of Sovereign Princes cannot be denied, by any who regard [or value] the Holy Scripture, Reason, [and] the practice and tranquility of the World. . . . (Charles Molley, De Jure Maritimo et Navali: or, a Treatise of Affairs Maritime and of Commerce, 1722, p. 90)
[Prescription] opposes the revival of claims from former regimes, including those of pretenders from previous dynasties, which are to be deemed [legally and lawfully] obsolete and void after the passage of a certain amount of time [50-100 years of silent abandonment]. (Frederick G. Whelan, "Time, Revolution, and Prescriptive Right in Hume's Theory of Government," Utilitas, vol. 7, no. 1, May 1995, p. 112)
. . .The revival of ancient, even [antequated and unreal] claims of sovereign rights [by deposed princes] which, on a proper view, have been lost by prescription [are to be "condemned"]. . . . (Adam Smith, Lectures on Jurisprudence, R. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael and P. G. Stein, eds., 1982, p. 37)
. . . All royal rights were and are prescriptive [that is, they can be terminated]. . . . ("The Saxons in England," Hogg's Instructor, vol. 3, 1849, p. 52)
The point, dynastic rights can be lost permanently. They can also be permanently maintained and perpetuated by the most fundamental law in existence. The "Law of Nations" is nothing more or less than the "Principles of the Law of Nature applied to the Conduct and Affairs of Nations and Sovereigns." (Emerich de Vattel, full title of his book The Law of Nations) Prescription forms part of the universal, binding and "necessary" (most essential) law of all nations, rather than the "temporary," changing or "voluntary law of nations." (Hugo Grotius, The Law of Nations, "Preliminaries," no. 7-13, 21) ". . . One part of international law [is] stable and eternally the same . . . another part as shifting and changeable with the changing manners, fashions, creeds, and customs [of man]. . . ." (Sheldon Amos, The Science of Law, 1874, p. 341)
Prescription being an important part of the immoveable, enduring and changeless natural law is not just for Europe, but it is an ancient law for all ages and all people. It is immutable and eternal. Or as the Sir William Blackstone declared:
It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original." (Commentaries on the Laws of England, vol. 1, 4th ed., 1770, p. 41)
. . . As this law [natural law of which prescription is a part] is immutable, and the obligations that arise from it necessary and indispensable, nations can neither make any changes in it by their conventions, dispense with it in their own conduct, nor reciprocally release each other from the observance of it. (The Law of Nations, "Preliminaries," nos. 8-9)
The transfer of rights by prescription is a just, time-honored method, of ancient date and modern usage, for the acqusition of sovereign and royal rights. As stated by Johann Wolfgang Textor (1693-1771), a well-known international lawyer and publicist, "The modes of acquiring Kingdoms [principalities or territories] under the Law of Nations are: Election, Succession, Conquest, Alienation and Prescription." (Johann Wolfgang Textor, Synopsis of the Law of Nations, vol. 2, 1680, p. 77)
Literally thousands of former sovereign houses have lost all their royal rights and prerogatives throughout history. These de jure rights automatically transfer from the dispossessed former rulers to the new subsequent governments by natural law. It terminates all the entitlements for the neglectful, the silent or acquiescent, and justly and ethically gives them, in their entirety, to the new possessor.
Lose of rights, however, is only one facit or aspect of prescription on both an international and domestic level. The other is, it can preserve and perpetuate deposed sovereign rights indefinitely into the future. However, certain actions are required for this. Emerich de Vattel, one of the fathers of international law, declared:
Protests answer this purpose. With sovereigns it is usual to retain the title and arms of a sovereignty or a province, as an evidence that they do not relinquish their claims to it. (Emerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book 2, chapter 11, no. 145)
Others have also discussed these important rules to safeguard and protect such rights:
. . . The [actual] form of the objection [or protest] is irrelevant, so long as the dispossessed state [or exiled royal house] make clear its opposition to the acquisition of title by someone else. (Martin Dixon, Textbook on International Law, 6th ed., 2007, p. 159)
If anyone sufficiently declares by any sign that he does not wish to give up his right, even if he does not pursue it, prescription does not prevail against him. . . . If any sufficiently declares by any sign [for example, use of royal titles and symbols of sovereignty] that he does not want to give up his right, even if he does not pursue it [does not go to war over it], prescription [or loss] does not avail against him. (Christian Wolff, Jus Gentium Methodo, Scientifica Pertractatum, vol. 2, John H. Drake, trans., chapter 3, no. 361, 1934, p. 364)
[In other words] one’s right is saved by protesting. Here likewise belongs the case of one who, being unwilling to give up the right of sovereignty [and royalty], claims the title and royal insignia, although [or even though] he does not possess the kingdom. (Ibid.)
[If one is] unwilling to give up the sovereignty, [he must] claim the title and royal insignia. . . . It is undoubtedly wise that the one who wishes to preserve his right, and does not wish to give it up, should give plain indications of his desire, so far as is in his power. (Christian Wolff, The Law of Nations Treated According to a Scientific Method, chapter 3, no. 364, 1974, pp. 187-188)
. . . The use of titles, shields, protests, public and solemn notifications [were all ways of interrupting prescription or maintaining internal non-territorial claims for territorially dispossessed royal houses]. (de Martins, Summary of the Modern Law of Nations of Europe,  1864 as quoted in Venezuela, Case of Venezuela in the Question of Boundary Between Venezuela and British Guiana, vol. 2, 1898, p. 295)
Some of them [the dispossessed] have retained the Titles of their pretended [that is, rightful claims to] Kingdoms and Lordships, others the Arms, and a third Sort both the Arms and Titles of those Dominions, tho' not in Possession of one Foot of Land in them. (Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, vol. 2, Jean Barbeyrac trans., ed. & writer of notes, and Richard Tuck, ed., book 2, chapter 4, no. 1, note 5, , 2005)
. . . International law states that the heads of the Houses of sovereign descent . . . retain forever the exercise of the powers attaching to them, absolutely irrespective of any territorial possession. They are protected [by law] by the continued use of their rights and titles of nobility. . . . (Monarchist World Magazine # 2, August 1955)
In other words, the head of the royal house preserves and safeguards his family’s most sacred entitlements or rights by this means.
Here likewise belongs the case of one who, being unwilling to give up the right of sovereignty [and royalty], claims the title and royal insignia, although [or even though] he does not possess the kingdom. (Christian Wolff, Jus Gentium Methodo, Scientifica Pertractatum, vol. 2, John H. Drake, trans., chapter 3, no. 364, 1934, p. 187) (emphasis added)
[In other words] one who, being unwilling to give up the sovereignty, [must] claim the title and royal insignia. . . . It is undoubtedly wise that the one who wishes to preserve his right, and does not wish to give it up, should give plain indications of his desire, so far as is in his power. (Ibid., pp. 187-188) (emphsis added
In terms of arms in heraldry, the well-known practice is to make one's claim known to all by one's coat of arms as well as by use of title and protest:
. . . Arms of Pretension are those borne by [genuine] sovereigns who have no actual authority over the states to which such arms belong, but who . . . express their prescriptive right thereunto. (Henry Gough, A Glossary of Terms used in Heraldry, 1894, p. 18)
Use of one's exalted titles and arms are central to the preservation of rights in international law as a consistent public protest to protect a claim from prescriptive legal transfer.
However, once non-territorial sovereignty is lost, all, not some, but all royal rights are lost with it. This includes the right to honor others or use the exalted titles of a sovereign. This is because such an individual is no longer royal, no longer sovereign, no longer holds the rights of supremacy, but is merely a commoner with no more authority than anyone else.
Having illustrious ancestors makes no difference. If the precious quality of sovereignty is gone or lost in any of a number of different ways listed above, so is the legitimate right to use royal titles and honor others.
One must be wary and careful and be fully informed not to be deceived by some of the charlatans or bogus princes who skillfully fight the truth and purposely blur legal realities in order to lead people astray or take advantage of innocent, unsuspecting potential victims. It is very important to understand the basic inherent facts about sovereignty and royalty, so one is not taken in by those who masquerade as authentic, but who are really only impostors, who impersonate what is real, genuine and true.
The International Commission on Nobility and Royalty is a private, non-governmental association designed to promote the ideals of constitutional monarchy, nobility, royalty and chivalry as well as protect the public from counterfeit or bogus royalty and other related schemes, which are designed to fool and deceive innocent and unsuspecting people.
We are an evidence based society with the motto, "built on solid evidence." Everything must be proven to ensure that errors are not made and any kind of faulty assumptions are uncovered and exposed for what they are. It is our earnest desire that people be spared the humiliation and financial loss of being duped and cheated out of their money.
We encourage you to read and enjoy the articles that follow, which are informative and can deepen one's understanding of the whys and wherefores as well as the true and permanent rights of royalty, nobility and chivalry. The following articles are considered to be especially important and valuable:
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