Non-reigning Sovereigns and Royal Families

(Note: The following article is built on a traditional sense of Western European justice, history and philosophy as well as the law of nations which affirms that under certain circumstances, that are well-defined, former ruling families possess permanent, unending and inalienable rights—the right to legal and rightful sovereignty and the right to honor and be honored as such. These are the same rights accorded to any authentic governments-in-exile.

However, these special rights can be permanently lost. And if lost, they die forever or become extinct and cannot be retrived, rehabilitated or reconstituted unless a higher secular sovereign with appropriate jurisdiction rights over the territory in question exists and restores it. Otherwise, there is no possibility for any kind of restoration.

All the major legal principles that promote genuine and authentic nobility, royalty and chivalry are contained in the following new two volume book. Note what is says in the first paragraph of the Foreword:

The whole field of nobility and royalty is in disarray and confusion. It is rife with falsehoods, misguided experts, phony princes, and counterfeit chivalric orders. Besides the numerous scams and charlatans that exist, there is a widespread misunderstanding of the international and natural laws that govern dynastic rights. This is a field that is truly divided. This sad state of affairs need not continue. If international law is honored, revered and respected, then everything can be set in its proper order. The grand key to this needed unity is the rule of the just, time-honored laws that already exist.

The author is Dr. Stephen Baca y Kerr, JD, LLM, MAT, former special counsel to the Imperial and Royal House of Habsburg, Professor and Dean of the Law School at the International College of Interdisciplinary Studies. His book is The Entitlement to Rule: Legal, Non-Territorial Sovereignty in International Law and it is a masterpiece. Note excerpts of what people have said about it:

“It is written in a clear and compelling manner. It is hoped that more and more people will become familiar with the laws of justice contained in this book.” (Thubten Samphel, director of the Tibet Policy Institute of the Central Tibetan Administration and author of the book Falling Through the Roof, Dharamshala, India)

“It is magnificently done and of great worth.” (Adalberto J. Urbina Briceno, Sc.D., Professor Head of the Public International Law Chair of the Catholic University Andres Bello- Caracas)

“It is a goldmine of references and is a valuable account of a [thought provoking] . . . and poorly understood area of law.” (Rev’d Professor Noel Cox, LLM, MA, MTheol, Ph.D., LTh, FRHists, Barrister, Aberystwyth University, New Zealand)

“Dr. Kerr has put together a book that is a “one of a kind” providing what is needed to perpetuate the rights of deposed sovereignty. For all those interested in the legal future of nobility and royalty, this is a very important, scholarly and insightful book to read.” (LaWanna Blount, Ph.D., F.Coll.T, vice president and professor at the American College of Interdisciplinary Sciences, Como, Mississippi, USA)

“Dr. Kerr’s book . . . is one of those . . . path breaking works that throws new light on a field of study . . . on the complex legal and philosophical sinews that keep alive [deposed] monarchies. . . . This type of writing fills a huge gap within the royal studies field. . . .” (Dr. Diana Mandache, historian and author, Budapest, Romania)

“The author obviously has a deep understanding of international law and how it relates to deposed monarchies and exiled governments. The content is well structured and well written. I accept this book as conforming to the highest academic standards expected of a master scholar and practitioner.” (Alexander Arapov, Sc.D., Professor of the Department of Philosophy and Sociology of the All-Russian State Distance-Learning Institute of Finance and Economics, a branch of the Financial University of the Russian Federation)

“This has been the most interesting and helpful book I have read in the field of nobiliary law as well as international law . . . . It exemplifies the highest level of scholarly content, clarity and depth of inquiry yet presented on this profound and important subject.” (Prof. Dr. Mirjana Radovic-Markovic, Academician, Institute of Economic Sciences and Faculty of Business Economics and Entrepreneurship, Belgrade, Serbia)

This unique book is being offered for free because of its singular importance to the field of nobility and royalty. Go to the website:
For additional important insights on sovereignty see:

“DEPOSED SOVEREIGNTY AND ROYALTY: how to preserve it and how it can be lost”


Click on whatever is of interest to you:

Introduction to Sovereignty:
Sovereignty / Secession, Rebellion, Referendums and Sovereignty / Sovereignty as Protective / International Law

Royal Rights and Sovereignty:
Rights / Sovereignty and Ownership / The Legal & Moral Right to be Restored / Sovereignty is Permanent and Forever, but It can be Lost on both a “Defacto” and “Dejure” Basis / Abdications, Renunciations and Annexations / Tiny Sovereign Nations / Sovereignty and Mediatization / Permanent Rights unless Forfeited / Exiled Sovereignty: Tibet / Exiled Sovereignty: The Maharajahs and Princes of India / Sovereignty: Ethiopia and other Great Examples / The Myth of Popular Sovereignty and the Rule of Law / The King and the Constitution as well as How Sovereignty can be Premanently Lost / Ownership and Property Rights / Royal Adoptions / Sovereignty and Royalty / Sovereign Equality / The Buying and Selling of Sovereignty

Legal Realities / The Future of Nobility and Royalty / References

Introduction to Sovereignty


From the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth, there seems to have been some change in focus and discussion, but despite these philosophical movements, “The principle of sovereignty, whatever its precise scope, still thrives in international law and international relations.” ( In fact, “. . . sovereignty remains a central organizing principle of the international system.” (Katherine L. Lynch, “The forces of economic globalization: challenges to the regime of International Commercial Arbitration,” 2006, p. 62) This critically important concept is fundamental to justice and therefore to the future of nobility and royalty. For example, “de jure” sovereignty in an ex-monarch, and his lawful successors, is legally defendable as they represent perpetual rights and privileges that are just, permanent and inalienable.

In fact, “These rights [the royal prerogatives of granting noble titles, honors and knighthoods] are ingrained in [inseparably connected to] the concept of sovereignty. . . . In fact, they form an authentic ‘privilege,’ which cannot have any theoretical justification [or legitimacy] outside of ‘sovereignty’. . . .” (
/eng/3/index.php) In other words, sovereignty lies at the very heart of all royal prerogatives. Without either “de jure” or regnant sovereignty, there are no royal rights.

Two words, “de jure” and “defacto,” need to be understood before we proceed as they are significant in terms of possessing royal prerogatives, which, again, is at the core of legitimacy. The best way to describe them is in the context of government. Herbert W. Briggs, a well published legal scholar, wrote:

A de jure government is one which . . . ought to possess the powers of sovereignty, though at the time, it many be deprived of them. A de facto government is one which is really is possession of them, although the possession may be wrongful or precarious. (“De Facto and De Jure Recognition,” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 33, No. 4 (October 1939), p. 689)

“De jure” sovereignty is rightful sovereignty dispossed of its territory and people, but still maintains its rights to lawfully govern. As an example, from 1962 to the present, based upon current international laws and conventions, the “International Commission on Orders of Chivalry” concluded that, “. . . an exiled sovereign retains the right to bestow honours, dynastic, state or however styled. This right extends to their lawful successors.” (www.icocregister
.org/principles.htm) As a direct result, they have approved as valid over 40 some “de jure” titular Emperors, Kings, Princes and Dukes, heads of various royal families throughout the world, as rightfully presiding over 50 some dynastic orders of legitimate and authentic knighthood. In this, these men are exercising one of their most important privileges–the right to honor and reward merit by the authority of their ancient royal status. This Commission stated that even though these rights “. . . may not be officially recognized by the new government [that in itself] does not affect their traditional validity or their accepted status in international heraldic, chivalric and nobiliary circles.” (Ibid.)

Sovereignty is the foundation which justifies the existence of genuine nobility and royalty any where on earth. A claim to title, for example, is either authentic and true, or false, based on this fundamental bedrock principle. Without the concept of “de jure” or rightful non-reigning sovereignty, there is no foundation for the existence for any legitimate royals, nobles and lawful knighthoods that are not a part of a monarchy that is presently ruling a territory or country. Hence, this critical underpinning becomes the chief and abiding issue in determining the future of nobility and royalty. Without “de jure” sovereignty, there is no legitimate non-reigning royalty, and without authentic royalty rights, there is no nobility or genuine knighthood. The only founts of honor left on earth having any rightful royal prerogative (ius majestatis and ius honorum) would be the reigning monarchs. In other words, “de jure” nobility and royalty is inseparably connected to the law of sovereignty. It is also the key organizing principle that maintains nation-states. Therefore, there could hardly be anything more important to the future of mankind.

Sovereignty has been defined as:

. . . the supreme, absolute . . . power by which any independent state is governed [which encompasses] . . . the power to do everything in a state without accountability, — to make laws, to execute and to apply them, to impose and collect taxes and levy contributions, to make war or peace, to form treaties of alliance or of commerce with foreign nations, and the like. (Black’s Legal Dictionary:

These powers holds nations together and enable them to function, so in spite of some changes in international law, sovereignty itself is not becoming less relevant or important. It is, in fact, the mainstay–the chief or most prominent structuring principle in this world. The concept that sovereignty is inviolable, expressed in the United Nations Charter as “noninterference in the domestic jurisdiction of states” has been universally accepted and supported by all UN member nations. It has been called “the defining doctrine,” “the primary cause” from which flows all effective government, “the defining feature of statehood,” “the glue or cement that holds all society together,” “the one and only true stabilizing principle,” “bedrock,” “the foundation stone,” “the most
sacred of international law principles,” “an indispensible concept,” “of cardinal importance,” “the central organizing principle,” “the soul” of civilized society, “the reference point,” “the central concept for the preservation of world peace,” “the most basic principle in international affairs,” “the dominant world order framework,” doubtlessly “the most precious” of all governmental rights, “the cornerstone,” “the guiding principle,” “the key constitutional safeguard,” “the final and ultimate matrix of a stable society,” the “pinnacle,” the “ark of the covenant,” the “holy grail,” the “Alpha and Omega,” the “first principle,” “the “sine qua non of international law,” that is, the indispensable condition that cannot be done without, for it is “the building block,” “the principle of solidarity” — “safeguarding humanity.” Algerian President Boueteflika, while addressing the UN General Assembly in 1999, said, sovereignty is “our final defense against the rules of an unjust [and often unfair] world.” ( Everything of real importance in government revolves around this chief governing principle.

Robert Lansing (1864-1928), a U. S. legal authority and author, declared that the “Sovereignty” is “. . . the fundamental authority which controls, restrains and protects man as a member of society.” (Notes on Sovereignty in a State, 1 AJIL, p. 105 (1907) Jeremy A. Rabkin, a professor of government at Cornell for 27 years, concurred that sovereignty, “. . . is central to the maintenance of effective, constitutionally constrained political systems . . . [and that it has the important power to] protect individual liberty,” something of immense worth to be treasured and vouchsafed. (Law Without Nations? Why Constitutional Government Requires Sovereign States, 2005) (Review:
=50&articleID=649) Kalevi Jaakko Holsti wrote in his book, Taming the sovereigns: institutional change in international politics:

Those who have sought to create international systems on bases other that the sovereign state — such as Napoleon, Stalin and Hitler — have had their enterprises de-legitimized. . . . None of these empire-builders generated much international support precisely because they wanted to destroy the Westphalian states system and replace it with structures that denied the principle of sovereignty. (University of Cambridge, 2004, p. 118)

Sovereignty is the critical principle needed to safeguard the nations and protect our basic and most important fundamental rights from usurpation and encroachment of other states or global powers. It is well entrenched in legal and political discourse. Its philosophical and practical roots go back for hundreds, even thousands of years. It is part of the wisdom of the ages. This concept is a close cousin to the legal principle of the divine right of kings. In fact, sovereignty was created to protect the right of kings or the right to rule independent of outside forces. It is still used to protect nations from each other and promote decency and justice between nations. The whole idea of sovereignty is a fundamental anchor essential to the peace, well-being and cooperation of all nations.

Jeremy A. Rabkin, mentioned above, in his book, The Case for Sovereignty (AEI Press, 2004), describes a study that shows that a “post-sovereign” world would embolden and encourage terrorism, depress economic development and growth, erode national loyalties, promote lawlessness and crime, destabilize fragile countries and spur even greater international conflict and atrocities everywhere. ( In fact, members of the Overseas Development Institute in 2005 declared that for the future of mankind, “The [real] challenge is to harness the international system behind the goal of enhancing [promoting] the sovereignty of states – that is, to enhance [strengthen and build] the capacity of these states to perform the functions that define them as states.” (Working paper 253: Strong independent sovereign states equals a strong, peaceful and law-abiding world.

Even globalists, who want a one world government to control all mankind, such as Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, recognized that there are “benefits [to state] sovereignty” and that “the basic idea of sovereignty . . . needs to be preserved.” (“Sovereignty and globalism,” February 17, 2006:

The principle of sovereignty is a tremendous blessing, an important benefit, a supernal and precious asset, not a curse. No wonder, “several declarations and resolutions of the United Nations, as well as other important international covenants, recognize . . . that the sovereignty of every country is . . . absolutely indispensable . . . , and . . . condemn any violation of the sovereignty of countries as a . . . crime against humanity.” ( In fact, in some circles, sovereignty is considered to be the only true and authentic international law in existence. (See: “Soverignty in the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires” & “DEPOSED SOVEREIGNTY AND ROYALTY: how to preserve it and how to lose it”)

Secession, Rebellion, Referendums and Sovereignty

Sovereignty is power, the highest kind of power known on earth, and it is inseparably connected to the land it rules over. The unmitigated right of an individual or group of people to secede with part of the territory of that nation does not exist. A person or group of people may move to another country and thus free themselves from some of their real or imaginary grievances, but they cannot rightfully take national territory that does not belong to them, that is, such cannot be done without the express approval of the supreme authority of that land. The point is, sovereignty is permanent and indivisible. Unless the ruling power, that holds the supreme right of sovereignty, willingly and freely, and without pressure, undue influence or duress, gives its territory away, no secession or division can rightfully take place.

This is necessary to protect the sanctity of a nation. In other words, if secession were a right, it would threaten the very fabric of society. It would institutionalize a powerful tool for special interest groups to bully the rest of the nation. For example, the rich who don’t like a certain policy could just secede, create their own nation and let the poor and underprivileged of their former nation wallow in ruin. Or, choke the rest of the nation into submission. Secession is the ability to destroy and dismember a nation, create instability, encourage malicious political manipulations and dishearten those who would otherwise invest in and build up the economy creating greater prospects and prosperity for all. Sovereignty, the supernal authority of a nation, is far above any so-called right to secede. U.N. Secretary-General U. Thant declared in 1970:

As far as the question of secession of a particular section of a State is concerned, the United Nations attitude is unequivocable. As an international organization, the United Nations has never accepted and does not accept and I do not believe it will ever accept the principle of secession of a part of its Member States. (Secretary-General’s Press Conferences, in 7 U.N. MONTHLY CHRONICLE 36 (Feb. 1970)

Self-determination is a noble sounding ideal, but in reality, it is a “golden calf” or “false god,” because one man’s “self-determination” is another man’s “pernicious and malignant rebellion against existing rights” — in other words, sedition and treason. Because self-determination has been worshipped and idolized, it is often exploited by would-be usurpers, rebels, and so-called freedom fighters who bring anguish, murder and pain, not greatness, prosperity and good to their countries. Self-determination is not greater than sovereignty. Sovereignty and territorial integrity remain supreme. Otherwise, there would be justification for infinite malicious mischief, national destruction and ruin. The Chinese people in San Francisco would rebel and create a new China in California and New York, the Kurdistan would create horror and start a blood bath in an effort to start up a new nation out of parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. We would have a nation of Blacks in Alabama, an Hispanic nation in the Southwest of the United States and the Swedes in Wisconsin along with every Indian tribe in the country that would secede and on and on it would go. We could have 8,000 to 10,000 little countries spring up all over. The Pakistanis in England would separate and forcefully create a new country and take part of the wealth and glory of London with them. And what would be left of any national government if everyone could just secede? It would destroy all nations and the prosperity, safety and security of all people. As far back as 1793 in the setting of the French Revolution, General Carnot reported to the National Assembly that:

If . . . any community whatever had the right to proclaim its will and separate from the main body under the influence of rebels, etc., every country, every town, every village, every farmstead might declare itself independent. (Lazare Carnot (1753-1823) war auch Mitglied der fanzösischen Nationalversammlung während der Revolution (zitiert nach: Emerson (1960) p. 299)

Nothing would be left if self-determination were to rule as the highest law of all nations. There must be limits to prevent national suicide and destruction. Common sense tell us that the right of territorial integrity must always take precedence over the right to self-determination. A good summary was given by a Commission of the League of Nations in 1921. On the importance of sovereignty, it concluded:

To concede to minorities either of language or religion, or to any fractions of a population, the right of withdrawing from the community to which they belong, because it is their wish or their good pleasure, would be to destroy order and stability within States and to inaugurate anarchy in international life; it would be to uphold a theory incompatible with the very idea of [sovereignty or] the State as a territorial and political entity. (The Report of the Committee of Rapporteurs, League of Nations, Doc. B/21/68/106 [VII] p. 22-23, April 26, 1921)

Hence, secession is an act of robbery in which an individual or group of people want to steal a portion of a nation’s land or territory. It is contrary to justice, what is fair and what is ethically or morally right. It is contrary to the principal of sovereignty, the supreme rights of a nation as a whole.

The use of referendums for anything of importance is also considered to be a grave mistake as it is a well-known researched fact that most people do not have the time or interest to spend hours identifying the deep, hidden issues or long-term ramifications of the proposals put before them. Most voters are not educated in State craft, in fact, they usually vote for very shallow reasons, like a good slogan or spin, good looks, a great command of speech, not the real issues, or because of clever manipulations, demagoguery or on account of the fact that a favored basketball or football player sponsers it. Referendums also tend to promote a kind of tyranny of the majority—a short-sighted, dangerous, mob mentality along biased racial, ethnic or religious grounds. Those who favor them tend to think all people are benevolent, rational, kind hearted and good natured, which is far from the whole truth. The general populace are not angels, pure, wise, thoughtful and knowledgeable. Many have extreme anti-social traits, such as venality, brutality, avariciousness, and murderous dispositions and would not shirk from destroying others and robbing them of everything of value, which is why we must have policemen to maintain some semblence of justice. Terrorists love referendums to make big changes through intimidating large groups of people and by ballot box tampering. Citizen initiated referendums are especially problematic as they prove, far too often, to be ill-conceived, knee-jerk, emotional responses to highly complex issues. As a whole, poor, short-sighted solutions generally result from such as there is no accountability and they are subject to whims and fads. Instead of developing unity they tend to promote a politics of divisiveness and conflict, while indirect or representative democracy is structured to facilitate compromise, moderation and the general good. Referendums can be highly destructive of the best interests of any nation. But the worst thing about referendums is that they tend to bypass the checks and balances established to protect and safeguard our freedoms—the most precious thing we have on earth. (See: “Ideals,” “Advantages” on the need for checks and balances and Mads Qvortrup and Matt Qvortrup, “A Comparative Study of Referendums: Government by the People,” Manchester University Press 2005, pp. 1-37)

Outright rebellion, an act of treason, is another terribly destructive and disheartening power. It is only justified under very rare or extreme circumstances. Simply put, it is a crime against humanity to wage war merely because one wants a change in the type of government one has. As long as a government is making a reasonable effort to protect the basic human rights of its people, it is in the best interests of everyone for that nation to stand. Nine times out of ten, it is usually the “rebels” or so-called “freedom-fighters” who destroy more rights and hurt more lives than the lawful governments they fight against.

Jean J. Burlamaqui (1694–1748), one of the founders of international law, declared that, “Indeed it would be subverting all government, to make it depend on the caprice or inconstancy of the people.” ( Nothing solid, healthy and good can be built on a ruthless and lawless, or fickle society. Hence, sovereignty, that which maintains law and order and brings security to the nation, is inalienable and permanent in law. Why? Because you cannot build strong and thriving nations upon something so flimsy, weak and unstable as popularity contests, political whims or greed. There is no stability in this. Government must be based upon a sturdy foundation and that foundation is the most powerful recognized right on earth.

Sovereignty as Protective

The supreme, utlimate power of sovereignty is necessary to unify and preserve freedom, punish crimes, defend the nation and promote the general welfare. Unfortunately sovereignty, lately, has been the brunt of a lot of unwarranted and uncalled for contempt in the literature, especially in Europe, even though it is basic, and fundamental, to the unity and security of all people. For example, on an international level, without adequate respect for sovereign equality and non-intervention into the affairs of other nations, the world, as a whole, would soon lose the cooperation of nations and make the world unsafe. World powers could ruthlessly and unjustly violate a country’s territory on any pretext or whim made to sound good, and threaten their very survival. The supreme law of sovereignty in international law should protect and safeguard each individual country.

But this can only be accomplished if this core concept is respected and upheld as fundamental and indispensable. Thus sovereignty becomes a life and death issue–not a principle to be discarded as archaic and obsolete. It is not a dinosaur. Sovereignty has always existed in different terms as long as rulers have ruled. “Abandoning the concept will not erase the reality but only occlude [or obscure] it.” (Alain de Benoist, “What is Sovereignty,” p. 111: www.alaindebenoist
.com/pdf/what_is_sovereignty.pdf footnoted from Paul Hirst, “Carl Schmitt’s Decisionism,” in Chantal Mouffe, ed., The Challenge of Carl Scmitt (London: Verso, 1999), pp. 7-17) If sovereignty is a myth, as some intellectuals say, then so is the rule of law and all that holds society together. Sovereignty is the foundation of law and order, and law and order is the foundation needed for a civil, kind and gentle society to take root, thrive and prosper. Sovereignty is, therefore, essential, even critical or all important, to our peace and well-being.

Sovereign governments are, after all, the most powerful players in the world system. Diminish them and you cripple the power of the very people who can change things and make things better for all people. Hence, there is in existence “an enormously elaborate body of national and international law that secures the exclusive territory and sovereignty of the national state within and outside its jurisdiction.” (
/yazi/2002/coban/coban.html) No wonder sovereignty was defined in an international court as “a fundamental principle of international law.” It is the foundation upon which we stand. Sovereignty touches on virtually all of international law. And despite years of challenges, “sovereignty has remained resilient and robust. . . .” ( It has to! It holds civilization together. Thankfully, according to editors: John D. Montgomery and Nathan Glazer, it still reigns supreme “as the [chief] guiding framework for the governance of human affairs.” (Sovereignty under Challenge, 2002) So great is this principle as a bulwark of protection for civilization, prosperity and peace worldwide, that Daniel Philpott, a professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in defending it from criticism declared that “. . . the sovereign state has proven a remarkably robust form of authority, enjoying over 350 years of staying power and expanding outward to become the only form of polity in history ever to cover the land surface of the globe.” (
:2076/journals/world_politics/v053/53.2philpott.html) For those who have eyes to see, it is any wonder that the UN Charter revolves around sovereignty as the center or the core principle of its organization. Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the UN Charter states: “The Organization is based on the sovereign equality of all its members.” (http://nationsencyclopedia
.com/United-Nations/Purposes-and-Principles-PRINCIPLES.html) “Sovereign equality” means that all states are equally supreme in their right to govern themselves without interference.

The ideology behind universal jurisdiction rests on the notion that there should be sanction for crimes which “shock the moral conscience of mankind” and that there are certain moral truths which are “right and true for every person in every society.” (United Nations War Crimes Commission, London 1948; see also International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Judgment Against Dusko Tadic, 7 May 1997. See also Geoffrey Robertson, Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle for Global Justice (London: Penguin Books, 2000) and (The National Security Strategy of the United States, September 2002) However, Wolfgang Friedmann reminds us that:

In the present greatly diversified family of nations–which comprises states of starkly differing stages of economic development, as well as of conflicting political and social ideologies — the notions, for example, of “equity,” “reasonableness” or “abuse of rights” . . . do, and are bound to, differ widely. What to the one party is an abuse is to the other the reassertion of a long withheld “natural” right. (“The Uses of ‘General Principles’ in the Development of International Law” (1963) 57 A.J.I.L. 279 at 289-90)

The emotional appeal of human rights doesn’t universally fit all over the world. Therefore, the supremacy of human rights ends up being “. . . legal nonsense, in the literal sense that they have no legal meaning without being applied to specific cases or classes of cases within a legal procedure.” (John Laughland, “The crooked timber of reality: sovereignty, jurisdiction, and the confusions of human rights,” The Monist, January 1, 2007) Sovereignty like the “rule of law” has prevailed and been re-affirmed and validated as the best option to benefit all nations. This is because without the rule of law, we have nothing left but vigilantism, increased corruption and rampant insecurity. It means taking the law into one’s own hands without “due process” or any legitimate right. Obviously there is great danger in this. It would allow impulsiveness and whim to rule in international discourse. No wonder, “. . . in its international-judicial sense, [sovereignty] retains its moral, political, and legal significance. . . .” (Georg Nolte, Brad R. Roth, Helen Stacy and Gregory H. Fox, “Sovereignty: Essential, Variegated, or Irrelevant?,” American Society of International Law, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, January 1, 2005) The results is “. . . the United Nations’ supreme judicial body . . . continue[s] to base is rulings on sovereignist jurisprudence, i.e., on recognition of the legal fact that the world is divided up into different jurisdictions, each with its own [rightful sovereign] rights and duties.” (John Laughland, 2007, op. cit.)

“The pillars of international law” are congruent and essentially the same as what is known as the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence,” that is, the seminal ideas that holds nations together. They are: (1) mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, (2) mutual non-aggression, (3) non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, (4) equality and mutual benefit and (5) peaceful co-existence. These are the most basic ideas of international law in a nutshell. Sovereignty is the foundation stone of success among nations. No wonder this principle is considered critically important. It is at the root of peace and well-being in this world. (Georg Schwarzenberger, The Fundamental Principles of International Law, note 282, p. 207 and As W. Michael Reisman declared, “Our international legal system is scarcely imaginable without [territorial communities having the right to govern themselves] without interference . . . .” (“Why Regime Change Is (Almost Always) a Bad Idea,” 98 American Journal of International Law, 516, 516-17 (2004) In fact, “. . . The very existence of international law would not be possible [without sovereignty].” (Kwiecie Roman, State Sovereignty. The Reconstruction and Meaning of the Notion in International Law, 2005, p. 205)(See: “Soverignty in the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires” & “Sovereignty: Questions and Answers”)

International Law

A major problem still lives on, however, not with sovereignty, but with the myriad of international laws currently in existence, because they sometimes violate the basic principles. And these laws are “a work in process.” They are often too fluid, too contradictory and changing, too whimsical, too political and philosophical. Putnam B. Potter, a prominent political scientist, said it well when he wrote that “international law can mean anything, like beauty which is in the ‘eyes of the beholder.” (www.womensgroup
.org/INTERLAW.html) He concluded that since “international law is largely based on custom,” and customs can be broken or have no real force behind them, therefore, international law is always in a state of flux. (Ibid.) Part of the reason for this is that international law is shaped and fashioned, even twisted and contorted to a large degree by political game playing. Therefore, it can get really complicated and it changes to suit what the major players want. In practice, because international law and politics are inseparably connected, it cannot help but be fraught with contradictions and complexities. Even their legitimacy is questionable. Some international laws are made by private companies, such as, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization—organizations without any sovereignty or elected representatives. Which, in effect, is “taxation [binding, expensive rules] without representation.” This principle was one of the primary complaints of the American colonies that brought about the war of independence from Great Britain. Needless to say international law is an imperfect system and some scholars say, it “is therefore incapable of providing a useful approach to structuring international society.” ( Unfortunately, this means we must “rely on essentially contested–political–principles” to solve problems. (Ibid.) And both politics and politicians are fickle, unstable and ever changing. There is nothing comforting and solid about this.

The point here is, countries generally do what they want to, in spite of international law. For example, a legal opinion written by Willliam P. Barr, assistant Attorney General on June 21, 1989, declared that the United States “has the power to override customary international law” in certain areas. This understanding that the United States has unquestionable authority “to exercise the sovereign’s right to override international law (including obligations created by treaty) has been repeatedly recognized by courts.” ( This sovereign right is also the right of every country on earth. Even treaties can be set aside. They are not sacrosanct, but are kept only insofar as they fulfill national interests in most cases. Errol E. Harris, a well-published scholar in law and philosophy, made it clear that sovereign nations are not bound by treaties. He wrote:

Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson both maintained that a nation could renounce a treaty at any time it thought fit. . . . The pages of history are littered with accounts of broken treaties. . . . The Charter of the United Nations is itself no more than a treaty. . . . Consequently, the resolutions of the Security Council have been ignored time and again, by South Africa, Israel, North Korea, and [former] Iraq — to mention only [a few]. . . .” (

In other words, “. . . states being sovereign are at liberty to interpret a treaty in whatever way that best suits them, as they are also free to retract their commitments whenever they deem the circumstances warrant it.” (Ibid.) Pointedly, “The pages of history are littered with accounts of broken treaties.” (Ibid.) It is the rule of the day and the more common rule of the ages. “Consequently, the authority of International Law is fictional, even in theory. . . .” “Decisions agreed to in the General Assembly [ of the United Nations] are never binding; neither these nor any resolutions of the Security Council can be imposed on individual members, [because being sovereign states, ‘they are subject to no higher authority’ than their own, therefore] should they defy or ignore them . . . , [they] cannot be forced to comply except by some form of military threat.” (Ibid.) But the whole idea that treaty power is unlimited and so omnipotent and powerful that it may be used to OVERRIDE the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the supreme law of the land, is a dangerous and foolish notion. It is also of recent origin and does not reflect traditional law and philosophy. Treaties are important, but common sense and sovereignty are not to be thrown out the window to honor some foolish or harebrained treaty that no longer applies to current events. For according to Emerich de Vattel, “Every . . . absurdity ought to be rejected [in a treaty]: or, in other words, we should not give to any piece a meaning from which any absurd consequences would follow, but must interpret it in such a manner as to avoid absurdity.” (The Law of Nations, Book II, Chapter XVII, #282) The conclusion on treaties is, “A sovereign state can make a treaty. It can also break a treaty, or determine for itself when a treaty commitment is no longer binding or applicable.” (Jeremy Rabkin, “Recalling the Case for Sovereignty” Chicago Journal of International Law, January 1 2005, p. 23) This is just good common sense and practical as well as being protective, healthy and good for all people.

The real problem, however, is that we live in a world where sovereignty, the greatest and most crucial and important international law of all, has routinely and predictably been violated by the great and the powerful of the earth. In other words, it is the views of the popular and/or the dominant that always prevails in spite of international law, treaties or the opinions and ideals of legal scholars. It all boils down to,”might makes right” or “the stronger you are, the more rights you’ll have.” If you don’t have great power or clout, if you don’t have any leverage, if you are weak and defenseless, the bullies of the world may very well oppress you and take advantage of you.

However, “the ultimate foundation [or basis] of international law is justice. . . .” (
/INTERLAW.html) It is the universal desire of all people. We want justice. It is one of the greatest and most beautiful things there is in life. Justice legitimizes law when that law supports and upholds one of the most important principles ever conceived. And true justice recognizes inherent, inalienable rights, chiefly because those rights are just, therefore, they universally appeal to the higher nature of man.

Sir William Blackstone, the renown English jurist, declared that justice and fairness as a

. . . law of nature, being co-equal with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. 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. (“Of The Nature of Laws in General” 2009:

He declare that any law that was “manifestly absurd or unfair” is not a “law.” He wrote, “. . . no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy . . . “those rights . . . which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty”

Emerich de Vattel, one of the fathers of international law or the law between nations, wrote his book The Law of Nations “to establish on a solid foundation the obligations and rights of nations [to promote what is just and right].” (Preliminaries to Book, note 3) This article focuses predominately on the inalienable rights of kings and sovereign princes in full accord with what is considered just and true by natural immutable law. The ancient inalienable rights of monarchy have, unfortunately, been trampled on, discarded or over looked because of our modern emphasis on different things. Nevertheless, these rights are real and they are important. In the case of Kuwait, the royal dynasty and its monarchy was fully restored after the first Gulf War, as was appropriate, and in full accord with international principles of justice.

Phillip Marshall Brown, a distinguished international lawyer, wrote on the sovereignty of kings and princes in exile, living in England, who had been robbed of the right to rule their own territories during World War II, he stated that:

A nation is much more than an outward form of territory and government. . . . So long as they [those who hold sovereignty] cherish sovereignty in their hearts their nation [kingdom or principality] is not dead. It may be prostate and helpless. . . . [It] may be suspended, in exile, a mere figment even of reality, derided and discouraged, and yet entitled to every respect. [Why? Because we are] not dealing with fictions, [these] valiant standard bearers of sovereignty . . . in faith and confidence [have, and this is the point] . . . inalienable, immutable rights. (“Sovereignty in Exile,” 35 American Journal of International Law (1941) 666-668) (

Phillip Brown went on to say, “The general conclusion we are warranted in reaching is that . . . their sovereignty, even though flaunted, restricted, and sent into exile, still persists. . . . There is no automatic extinction of nations.” (Ibid.)

However, they can be lost, which will be addressed later on. The following historical event illustrates the inherent and incorruptible rights just mentioned. The point: His Highness Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah had the sovereign right to rule his own country of Kuiat and he was recognized and restored. Many other monarchies were re-established after their unlawful occupation and loss of sovereignty in World War II: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Norway to name a few. Unfortunately, the fact is, most are never restored even though their causes are just and their claims are pure, perfect and unblemished. Justice does not always prevail in this world. Nevertheless, the claims of these lost thrones are still valid and authentic, they are legitimate and legally recognizable and acknowledged in law, whether they are honored by modern governments or not.

Royal Rights and Sovereignty

The following material, in the rest of the subchapters, will show over and over again that “de jure” sovereignty is perpetual and unending, but can be lost, with prejudice, if it is not appropriately maintained, continued and perpetuated. The ins and outs of the law will be examined. For “the nature of kingship [or monarchy], and the precise extent of royal power, were questions . . . left largely to lawyers,” that is, to the law as it was set forth and practiced from time immemorial. (Hugh N. Maclean, “Fulke Greville: Kingship and Sovereignty,” The Hunington Library Quarterly, vol. 16, no. 3, May 1953, p. 237) The law is the bedrock, core issue for the future prosperity of lawful monarchy, nobility, royalty and chivalry.


Though international law is imperfect and fails over and over again to protect the innocent and the robbed, at least it is an attempt to enthrone justice among the nations as the crowning and towering principle above all others. The basic privilege and right of sovereignty or supreme power has been around for a long time. For example, with the discovery of Roman law in the 12th century came the maxim Rex in regno suo imperator est, that is, a king is emperor in his own kingdom. (Kenneth Pennington, The Prince and the Law, 1200-1600: Sovereignty and Rights in Western Civilization, p. 3) Nevertheless, many scholars look at the Treaty of Westphalia (ratified in 1648) as the beginning of something truly great among the nations, because the rights were made a part of a treaty or, in effect, actually written into law. Professor Daniel Philpott declared:

Since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, states, now over 190 of them, have enjoyed supreme authority within their territories and immunity from external interference in enforcing their law, in organizing their national defense, in raising revenues, and in governing education, religion, their natural environments, their citizens’ economic welfare, and tens of other matters. (

This was the real start of international law or the attempt to recognize what is inherently right. This treaty gave decisive acknowledgement, confirmation and legal importance to the “ancient rights” of Emperors, Kings, Princes and States. It gave the idea of “ancient rights” a whole new legal power that it never had before although rights were usually, at least morally or ethically, recognized as just. But so powerful was this recognition of rights that, for example, in a dispute of the Hapsburgs of Austria in 1711, more than sixty years later, they felt compelled on the basis of this way of thinking to recognize the inviolability of the ancient rights of the Magyars, who they were quarreling with.

A “right” is defined as something to which one has a just claim, something to which one is justly entitled–like the interest that one has in a piece of property under law or custom, that is, something that one may properly claim. In fact, so important are these ancient proprietary rights that:

Commenting on the likelihood of Juan Carlos’ elevation [as king of Spain] . . . , Monarchist Mariano Robles, a lawyer and opponent of the Franco regime, declared: “It is suicide for the monarchy. It is the beginning of the end. A dictator cannot name a King. A King must succeed according to dynastic law. Otherwise it is not a monarchy, it is just a political game.” (

Because HRH Don Juan de Borbon y Battenberg, Count of Barcelona, was the recognized and rightful King of Spain at that time, though he never reigned, he passed all his dynastic rights in a ceremony to King Juan Carlos I in 1977 to fully and completely legitimize and validate his son’s rule as the legitimate, rightful and lawful King of Spain. (

These inherent rights are considered to be inalienable, immutable, incorruptible and inviolable. This means “. . . that they may not be alienated from the person who possesses them, i.e., they may not be given or taken away [without his or her consent], i.e., they may not be morally infringed upon [by any outside force]. (
/rights.htm) But a right to something does not mean that it will be enjoyed. “For example, a man may violate your right to your property by taking it away from you, but your right to that property has not been alienated [you still hold the right], i.e., you are in the right and the robber is in the wrong.” (Ibid.) But you may never get your property back. Rights are not guarantees of success or attainment even though you are entitled to them. Emilio Furno, a supreme court attorney of Italy, explained that:

The [royal] prerogatives which we are examining may be denied [by a subsequent reigning government] . . . within the limits of its own sphere of influence [that is, within its boundaries, it] may prevent the exercise by a deposed Sovereign of his [royal] rights in the same way [just] as it may paralyze the use of any right not provided in its own legislation. However such negating action does not go to the existence of such a [legitimate “de jure”] right and bears only on its exercise. (“The Legitimacy of Non-National Orders,” Rivista Penale, No.1, January 1961, pp. 46-70)

Jean J. Burlamaqui, one of the early founding fathers and writers on international law wrote in 1748 that “The princes of the blood royal . . . certainly [have] an absolute and irrevocable [sovereign] right, of which they cannot be stripped without their consent.” ( In other words, these rights are permanent and final. They can be taken away by dispossessing the monarch on a “defacto” basis by force, duress or coercion, but not on a “de jure” basis. In other words a rightful king and/or his successors who have been robbed and cheated out of their right to rule still, and will continue to, hold all the royal prerogatives of their ancient “de jure” territories as long as the family continues to live and carry on their traditions.

Sovereignty and Ownership

For the “Electors, Princes and States” of the Holy Roman Empire, these “ancient rights” were explained in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. They were “established and confirmed” in their royal rights and prerogatives including the free exercise of their high lordships or ruling privileges “without contradiction” to create and interpret laws, declare wars, impose taxes, erect fortifications, raise armies and conclude treaties as sovereign states without interference or “molestation” of any kind whatsoever as long as it did not go against the “Public Peace” of the Empire. ( “Although technically still a part of the empire (which would last in name until 1806), these [German] principalities gained all the trappings of sovereign statehood.” (Hendrik Spruyt, “The Sovereign State and Its Competitors,” Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 29) “The Treaty of Westphalia gave virtually all the small states in the heart of Europe sovereignty, thus formally rendering the Holy Roman Emperor politically impotent [similar to a committee chairman of some 300 independent little sovereign nations loosely connected together]. . . .” (Thorbjorn L. Knutsen, “A History of International Relations Theory,” Manchester University Press, 1992, p. 71) The princes actually owned their realms which was the basis of their right to rule or govern.

The regal rights of sovereignty in law, whether dormant or active, are a lot like ownership or property rights that are hereditary in nature. For example, The Avalon Project of Yale University concluded that the view of sovereignty taken by the earliest international jurists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was “dominium, dominion, ownership.” (
/econ/int03.htm) Dominium means property. Dominion is ruling or royal authority over a territory or a people and ownership means a person is an owner of that authority and property. Woodrow Wilson, in The State, remarks, “The most notable feature of feudalism is that . . . ownership means sovereignty; he who owns the land shall have primary dominion over the fruitage of the land; he shall therefore hold in absolute subjection the dwellers on the land.” (
/documents/nov98doc.html) That is, the sovereign, theoretically in the feudal view, is the only true owner of all the land and is, therefore, its rightful ruler.

Morris Cohen, a renowned jurist of the early 20th Century United States, explained in his famous legal essay entitled “Property and Sovereignty,” that these two are near equivalent terms. He shows that private property rights even today in law resembles the public law of “imperium”—“ the rule over all individuals by the prince” or the principle of sovereignty more than it does the concept of private property under the old Roman law of “dominium.” (1927, 156) In the Middle ages, the union between sovereignty and property was clear, that is, “The essence of feudal law . . . is the inseparable connection between land tenure and . . . genuine sovereignty. . . .” (Ibid.) But even now, property rights reflect sovereign privileges. British economist Ralph George Hawtrey in his book Economic Aspects of Sovereignty, declares that sovereignty “carries with it important economic rights which are closely related to the rights of property.” (Hawtrey, 1930, p. 18) In other words, “. . . ownership of a nation is bound up with its sovereignty. . . .” (Christian von Wolff quoted in Aboriginal Sovereignty by Henry Reynolds, p. 47) Even the word “real” in “real estate” means in French “royale” and the Spanish cognate for “real” is “royal.” In other words, “real estate” or “royal estate” was the estate of the sovereign. “Today, just like hundreds of years in the past, we pay property taxes, or rent to be on the government’s land or the Royal Estate.” (

This is called the “regalian doctrince” or “jur regalia.” It:

. . . refers to ancient feudal or royal rights — the rights which the king, ruling prince or sovereign lord had by virtue of his proprietary ownership over all property in the realm. . . . [The connection between the two — ownership and soverignty has] been inseparable for thousands of years or since the dawn of civilization itself. (

This fundamental concept is still active and alive today. For example, the UN “Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States” in Article 2(1) affirms that “[e]very state has and shall freely exercise full permanent sovereignty, including possession, use and disposal, over all its wealth, natural resources and economic activities.” ( UN experts have encouraged the use of “ownership” and “property of” for the word “sovereignty.” The king or sovereign lord in ancient times likewise had proprietary rights—the right to control and manage his own possession. And even though these rights are intangible or abstract, they are nevertheless, real and recognized. They are so powerful that Jean J. Burlamaqui wrote “that those kings possess the crown in full property. . . .” (
_2107.htm) It was their personal possession–something that they owned as a royal birthright or privilege. It is similar to the concept of “allodial title” to land, that is, “held in absolute independence, without being subject to . . . or [any] acknowledgement to a superior.” ( The king or prince owned the highest right on earth to the right of sovereignty in spite of modern conventions that have unlawfully dispossessed and robbed these lawful former rulers, or their successors, of the free exercise of those rights. This basic legalistic view of things–this comparison, based upon the principle of imperium or rule and property rights, is still viable today and the full and complete ownership of these rights extends to the sovereign and his successors to perpetuity as long as they continued to exist and maintain their rightful claim. It needs to be noted here that claims can be deem to have been abandoned and such are permantantly lost and cannot be retrieved. The important principles of forfeiture and the maintenance of sovereign rights will be discussed in subsequent subchapters.

The Legal & Moral Right to be Restored

Sovereignty is Permanent and Forever, but
It can be Lost on both a “Defacto” and “De jure” Basis

First and foremost, sovereignty in a person is something very special and unique. A king, a prince, a duke, a count, etc., who held full sovereignty at one time was indeed the personification of, or the embodiment of, all the powers and glory of his nation’s regal and sovereign privileges and rights. The King was the State, and the State was the King, in ancient times. That is, the King and the State were indistinguishable or synonymous. William Blackstone explained that “the law ascribes to the king the attribute of sovereignty, or pre-eminence [in all things].” (
/gnazzo/2005/part1.html) The sovereign was the representative of all the collective power and privileges of the whole people. The king held all sovereignty. All property was owned by the monarch. It was his exclusive possession. It represented something sacred and perpetual as embodied or incarnate in the person of the King and his heirs after him. “All the majesty of the nation resides in the person of the prince. . . .” (The Law of Nations, Book I, Chapter XV, #188) And like a “de jure” right to property, it cannot be taken away. It is the notion of “absolute, unlimited power held permanently in a single person or source, inalienable, indivisible, and original” or a hereditary right to the “supreme authority within a territory.” (
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Sovereignty, because it is supreme, above and beyond anything else, is invested with the most powerful and enduring qualities that the mind can conceive. No wonder two of the founding fathers of international law declared unequivocally that sovereignty is “permanent and irrevocable.” Other words used to describe this state of supremacy are “inseparable,” “inviolate,” “indivisible,” “perpetual,” and never ending. Jacques Maritain of Princeton University wrote that the law of sovereignty gave “. . . the king . . . supreme power which was natural and inalienable, inalienable to such a degree that [even] dethroned kings and their descendants kept this right forever [or endlessly]. . . .” (“The Concept of Sovereignty,” The American Political Science Review, vol. 44, no. 2, 1950, p. 348)

Hence, the investiture of sovereignty in a person, and his or her heirs, is considered to be sacrosanct and to be perpetual, that is, to remain intact from generation to generation forever. As long as the sovereign descendant of the former ruling house does not sell or otherwise legally surrender his or her sovereign or territorial rights to reign, it never dies and is without end. It cannot expire as long as the royal family continues and has a lawful head. In other words, with this stipulation in mind, the principle of “jure sanguines,” by right of blood, is transferred and conferred to infinity. It is a kind of secular sacrament establishing a superior claim that is passed on to ones senior surviving posterity forever. It is called “Rex Non Moritur” in British Public Law.

“The glory of a legitimate monarch is enhanced [and promoted] by the glory of those around him.” (Benjamin Constant. Political Writings, 1988, p. 91) The nobility serve as a kind of fundamental framework for the monarchy. Noble honorific titles are honors based on the sovereignty of one’s King and they reflect his splendor. But a sovereign noble prince or duke over a territory or tiny country are different. They are not normally considered royal, yet they often held the right in full, and like any true monarch, his or her sovereignty had its origin in the same four basic regal prerogatives:

(1) the “ius imperii;”
(2) the “ius gladii;”
(3) the “ius majestatis” and
(4) the “ius honorum.”

They are explained as follows:

(1) Jus Imperii is the right to command and legislate. “Jus imperii [is therefore one and the same as] the right of sovereignty.” (Professor Ruben Balane’s lectures on succession entitled, “Notes and Cases on SUCCESSION,” p. 106:

(2) In addition, Jus Gladii, the right to enforce ones commands is also indespensible without which sovereignty cannot exist.

(3) Jus Majestatis, the right to be honored, respected and protected is also inseparably part of sovereignty. “. . . The `right of majesty’ (Jus Majestatis) i.e. [is an integral component of true] sovereignty. . . .” (

(4) Jus Honorum is the right to honor and reward. Guy Stair Sainty wrote, “. . . the jus honorum can not exist without the attribute of sovereignty. . . .” (
/royalty/fantasy/vigo.htm) He explained that:

This right, which is not limited only to the power to grant titles of nobility but also the faculty to bestow other marks of honor, such as pensions, knightly orders, civil and military awards, is strictly connected to the attributes of sovereignty. (Ibid.)

Continuing Mr. Sainty declared:

. . . jus honorarium, which comes from the possession of sovereignty as the other powers that characterize the sovereignty itself (such as jus imperii, jus gladii and jus majestatis) survives . . . when the effective exercise of jus imperii and jus gladii is suspended [not destroyed, but becomes dormant] by the loss, for example, of the effective control over a country. (Ibid.)

All the four prerogatives are inherent and incarnate in the person of the sovereign and his or her heirs throughout their generations forever–all the way to the end of time; chiefly, because the State and the person of the sovereign, were indivisible, giving them, the reigning or “de jure” sovereign, the full and unmitigated rights of a sovereign state. This personification or embodiment of all power was reiterated in the Law of Nations. Emerich de Vattel declared that, “The sovereign thus clothed with the public authority, with every thing that constitutes the moral personality of the nation, of course [is] . . . invested with its [the nation’s highest and most supreme] right.” (Book I, Chapter IV, #41) A king or ruling prince may not, however, be able to use the first two rightful privileges in the present constitutional framework or if they are no longer in control of their former territories. Nevertheless, all these special rights or privileges are fixed and invariable except under certain unique circumstances which will be elaborated.

The reason for this great authority and power is that “sovereignty,” derived from the French term “souverain,” means, by definition, a supreme ruler not accountable to anyone. The traditional and ongoing concept of sovereignty is that every nation, king or prince is supreme within its or his own rightful borders and acknowledges no master outside them. In other words, it is the distinguishing mark of the sovereign that he cannot in any way be subject to the commands of another power or force whether domestic or foreign. And this regal privilege is permanent and continuing to his or her heirs or alternate rightful heirs as the case may be. This is called the principle of inviolability. It “. . . means that the occupying power [the usurper, whether domestic or foreign] may obtain de facto sovereignty, but the ousted sovereign retains it de jure. (

Stephen P. Kerr, B.B.A., J.D., LL.M., M.A.T., a World Court Litigator and Special International Legal Counsel to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine and a Professor of Law at Antioch University Law School in Washington, D.C., made it clear that, “. . .de jure possession of sovereignty continues so long as the de jure ruler or government does not surrender his sovereignty to the usurper.” (See “Dynastic Law”) (Johann Wolfgang Textor, Synopsis Juris Gentium, Chapter 10, Nos. 9-11, 1680) This was once discussed by Thomas Hobbs in the 17th Century. He stated, “His [the sovereign’s] power cannot, without his consent, be transferred to another: he cannot forfeit it. . . .” (Hobbes, Lev XX 2-3) (http://etext.library.

Similarly, in the second principle of the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry (ICOC), it states that, “It is . . . considered ultra vires [beyond the control] of any republican State to interfere, by legislation or administrative practice, with Princely Dynastic Family or House Orders.” ( A subsequent government can make dynastic orders, titles or recognition illegal—they can ban whatever they want to in the present within their own territories, but the rights continue forever and can be exercised, if necessary, within the boundaries of a different jurisdiction, that is, in exile. Archbishop Hyginus E. Cardinale in his book stated:

A Sovereign in exile and his legitimate successor and Head of the Family continue to enjoy the ius collationis [the right to confer and enjoy honours] and therefore may bestow [such] honours in full legitimacy. . . . No authority [no matter what that authority is] can deprive them of the right to confer honours, since this prerogative belongs to them as lawful personal property iure sanguinis [by right of blood], and both its possession and exercise are inviolable.” (Orders of Knighthood Awards and the Holy See — A historical, juridical and practical Compendium, Van Duren Publishers, Gerrands Cross, 1983, p. 119)

Carmelo Arnone, an Italian jurist, affirmed that:

Nobiliary jurisprudence assigns to a princeps natus [a blood prince or sovereign heir] a nobility by birth and such a quality attaches to the Head of a Sovereign House no longer reigning and to his successors forever.” (Diritto Nobiliare Italiano. Storia e ordinamento. Hoepli, Milano 1935, p. 189)

In other words, they are endless in nature and have important rights as “de jure” sovereigns. Professor Emilio Furno, an advocate in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Italy, wrote:

The Italian judiciary, in those cases submitted to its jurisdiction, has confirmed the prerogatives jure sanguinis [heirs and successors] of a dethroned Sovereign without any vitiation [abrogation, corruption or loss] of its effects . . . has explicitly recognised the right to confer titles of nobility and other honorifics relative to his [or her] dynastic heraldic patrimony. (“The Legitimacy of Non-National Orders”, Rivista Penale, No.1, January 1961, pp. 46-70)

Professor Furno further explains:

The qualities which render a deposed Sovereign a subject of international law are undeniable and in fact constitute an absolute personal right of which the subject may never divest himself and which needs no ratification or recognition on the part of any other authority whatsoever.” (Ibid.)

In other words, the absolute right of the deposed sovereign and his successors is a self-evident, well-known and undeniable. The whole point here is that these legal rights survive usurpation or any other form of legalized theft. Therefore, no usurper or subsequent government has the lawful power or authority to take away a family’s inalienable royal or sovereign prerogatives; not by vote, referendum, court degree, invasion, war, revolution or uprising. Why? Because such sovereigns are not accountable to anyone inside or outside of their own lawful jurisdiction. Their rights are inalienable unless voluntarily discarded.

For example, in a republic, it is assumed as a legal presumption that sovereignty is possessed by all individuals in a state under natural law, but the point here is, “Once the people [have] . . . given the king and his descendants power over them . . . the natural right to govern the body politic resided henceforth in full only in the person of the king.” (http://libproxy.dixie
.edu:2076/journals/world_politics/v053/53.2philpott.html) A referendum to throw out the monarchy and establish a republic (an unjustified revolt) is really nothing more than a collective act of treachery and sedition against the highest and most important power of the land. This is because sovereignty is legally the “ultimate authority held by a person or institution, against which there is no appeal.” (
/1O142-sovereignty.html) Jean Jacques Burlamaqui (1694–1748), was one of the fathers of international law. He wrote, “Whosoever therefore rises against the sovereign, or makes an attack upon his person or authority, renders himself manifestly guilty of the greatest crime, which a man can commit. . . .” (Jean Jacques Burlamaqui: That is, it would be an act of treason and those who committed such a crime were, as individuals, traitors to king and country. This may seem radical or extreme, but kingdoms and principalities were destroyed and rightful sovereignty stolen many times by this kind of criminal act.

However, as Emerich de Vattel wrote: “If the body of the nation declare that the king has forfeited his right, by the abuse he has made of it, and depose him, they may justly do it when their grievances are well founded. . . .” (The Law of Nations, Book II, Chapter XII, #196) But, such an act does not eliminate the rights of the royal family and the next in line is still the rightful heir and should replace a tyranical king. However, a reigning king cannot be thrown out by mere political whim, or just because the people might want to do so, because it is popular or the newest fad. This simply cannot be done unless such an action is agreed to by the king himself, because it is a crime of the greatest treachery to fight or depose him. It is an act of treason.

Jean Jacques Burlamaqui brought up the common sense or self-evident notion that no man is perfect, which includes the prince of the land. He said, “We must indeed make some allowance for the weakness inseparable from humanity.” ( 2206.htm) No king is going to be perfect, but if the king is reasonably good, it is a crime of the worst kind to oppose him and speak evil of him. “Thou shalt not . . . curse the ruler of thy people.” (Eodus 22:28)

The point is, “. . . the whole body of the nation, have not a right to depose the sovereign. . . ,” if he is basically good—popularity has nothing to do with what is right and just. (Ibid.) In other words, “. . . they [the people] that are subjects to a monarch, cannot without his leave [his permission or consent] cast off monarchy. . . . If they depose him, they take [rob, steal or plunder] from him that which is his own [his and his successor’s possession if hereditary], and so again it is injustice [a wrong or a violation].” (Thomas Hobbes, Hobbes’s Leviathan. Harrington’s Oceana. Famous Pamphlets. (A.D. 1644 to A.D 1785, 1889, chapter XVIII, p. 85)

The people just do not have this right unless the king is a genuine tyrant or truly oppressive. However, even if such a despotic king is rightfully thrown out and deprived of his throne, it must be remembered that his heirs still have the right to rule in his place and to succeed him with all his former rights and royal prerogatives. Disposing of an evil king does not give a country the right to throw out the royal and/or collateral family and set up a different form of government or create a new royal house. The “. . . will of the people [by referendum or revolt, etc.], without the [willing, not coerced or forced] consent of the prince [the rightful monarch or his successor], cannot deprive his children. . . [or take away their lawful right to rule].” (J. J. Burlamaqui: This right is permanent and perpetual.

“. . . The people [do] have a right to resist a tyrant, or even to depose him.” ( But this right does not belong to “. . . the vile populace or dregs of a country, nor the cabal of a small number of seditious persons, but the greatest [the best] and most judicious part of the subjects of all orders in the kingdom. The tyranny, as we have also observed, must be notorious [obvious, even self-evident], and accompanied with the highest evidence. (Ibid.) Otherwise it is forbidden. It is wrong to precipitate in violence and civil strife, endangering the lives of the innocent.

Obedience to a basically good and rightful ruler, or his lawful successor, is a “. . . [duty, obligation or a just responsibility] of subjects [citizens of the nation] to their sovereigns . . . [ie.] the person of the sovereign should be [held] sacred and inviolable.” (Jean Jacques Burlamaqui: In fact, “It is this obligation to obedience in the subjects [the citizens of the nation], that constitutes the whole force of civil society and government. . . .” (Ibid.) It is fundamental to everything good, just and right to preserve the prosperity and peace of the a nation.

The point is, “. . . Subjects are not allowed to use these means [violence or the coercive force of a referendum] against their King or Prince. . . .” (Johann Wolfgang Textor, Synopsis of the Law of Nations, vol. 2, 1680, p. 88) In other words, “The king . . . cannot be deprived of his sovereignty, acquired legitimately, unless he lapses into tryanny.” (A. Robert Lauer, Tyranicide and Drama, 1987, p. 66) “Subjects [have] . . . no legal right to deprive their ruler of his office.” (Charlotte Catherine Wells, Law and Citizenship in Early Modern France, Issue 1, 1995, p. 198) “[In fact, legally] it would be impossible to legitimately dispose of [a monarch], without a cession or renunciation on their part. . . .” (Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Memoirs of the Prince de Talleyrand, vol. 2, 1891, p. 160) That is, he cannot be impeached unless he freely and willingly agrees. The point is, sovereignty being supreme and above all authority, therefore, “. . . legally, a sovereign could not be resisted or deposed. [Why? — because] sovereignty [legally and lawfully] is absolute and indivisible [and above all].” (The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought, David Miller, Janet Coleman, William Connolly & Allen Ryan, eds., 1991, p. 2)
No referendum, nor conquest, nor any other act of sedition or illegality can rob a legitimate and rightful monarch of his right to title and right to rule. Jean Burlamaqui made it clear that if the king is basically good, not perfect, but basically good (we are not discussing criminal tyrants here), “. . . the right of disposing of the kingdom returns to the nation” only under one type of situation—only if the sovereign family that has the right of succession to the crown, or their close relatives who also have dormant succession rights, no longer exist or no longer proclaim their right to the throne. ( Then and only then can a nation reclaim rightful sovereignty from the royal or princely family. What has happened too often in the past is theft, pure and simple, of the “defacto” realm—the unlawful plunder of the government of a whole nation from its rightful rulers, which is an act of treason.

In terms of these sovereign rights, the highest rights on earth, royal families have the pinnacle of power, higher and greater than anyone else on earth—higher than any subsequent legislative body to rule their former territories. Their authority is absolute and supreme as pertaining to their “de jure” or lost territory, whether it be a sovereign county, principality, dukedom, kingdom or empire and this is true even though it no longer exists or the old boundaries have been changed.

However, there is an important difference between an “overthrown monarch” and one who has accepted the new political order that has taken over. Those who accept it lose everything — they lose all sovereginty [or any] right to Pretention. On the other hand, a monarch even though he has suffered dethronement has no loss of rights, because consent is lacking. A deposed sovereign can lose his regal prerogatives only as a consequence of political capitulation or acquiescence which is sometimes called “debellatio.” (Ibid.) “Debellatio” means there is no one who will assert, maintain or continue governmental rights, because the defeated state has ceased to exist. If the sovereign or monarch survives and gives up, or willingily gives in, to such treachery, that is the end of his royalty and that of his posterity, if the living successors do not protest and claim their rights.

It is as Johann Wolfgang Textor von Goethe, (1749-1832) the famous German publicist and International lawyer, quoted earlier declared:

. . . a King who has been driven from his Kingdom by force of arms, and has lost possession of his [territorial or defacto] sovereignty, has not thereby lost his right, or at any rate not irrevocably, unless he has in the meanwhile given his assent [his acquiescence] thereto; but he loses it conclusively at the moment when he consents [acquiesces] to transfer of it to the Estates, i.e. Parliament or to his rebel subjects, and then it must be recognized that the Kingdom has been made into a State which has been founded in accordance with the Law of Nations. (Synopsis of the Law of Nations, vol. 2, 1680, p. 88)

He declared that “The modes of acquiring Kingdoms under the Law of Nations are: Election, Succession [to a lawful heir], Conquest [for “defacto” sovereignty], Alienation [the selling or giving away of the kingdom to another] and Prescription.” (Ibid., p. 77) The loss of “de jure” or lawful sovereignty is called “prescription” by political scientists and jurists:

In law, prescription is the method of sovereignty transfer of a territory through international law analogous to the common law doctrine of adverse possession for private real-estate. Prescription involves the open encroachment by the new sovereign upon the territory in question for a prolonged period of time, acting as the sovereign, without protest or other contest by the original sovereign. (

For prescription [the legal conveyance of sovereignty] to apply, the state with title to the territory must acquiesce to the action of the other state. This has been construed as a state not protesting the action of another state. So, if a state takes over the territory of another state and treats it as its own territory, the other state has an obligation to protest. If it does not, the silence may be considered acquiescence [or acceptance] to the prescription [or an abandonment]. (

The nineteenth century jurist Richard Phillimore:

. . . observed that in every legal system [in other words, it is internationally accepted everywhere on earth that] there was a period when de facto [ownership] became de jure ownership, when possession became [proprietory] property. “The nature of man, the reason of a thing, the very existence of society, demands that such be the case.” But the issue could not be finally settled if a former owner continued to agitate the issue. Any original defect in the title could only be resolved during a period of silence, “or passiveness, or the absence of any attempt to exercise proprietary rights, by the former possessor.” (Commentaries on International Law, Vol. I, 1854, pp. 265, 272, 279 quoted by Henry Reynolds, Aboriginal sovereignty: reflections on race, state, and nation, 1997, p. 105)

The important point here is that it does not take much to perpetuate one’s just and lawful rights to rule and prevent such a loss. How to do it is the important question. Professor Kerr declared that these “. . . de jure legal rights to the succession of that monarchy may be kept alive indefinitely [that is, made permanent, continual and forever] through the legal vehicle of making diplomatic protests against the usurpation,” that is, merely by virtue of the fact that they keep their “de jure” rights alive by continuing to use their titles and proclaim through their history showing that they are the rightful and proper heirs to the throne. In other words, that their progenitors were the former kings and princes of the land and they, the successors or heirs, have never renounced their royal prerogatives. Their claim must be so obvious that it is never held in question. It must be clear, unmistakable and unquestionable. This is the only way to make it incontrovertible creating a powerful witness for legitimacy and permanency. (See: “Dynastic Law”) (See Emerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations or Le Droit des gens, Book II, Chapter II, Nos. 145-146)

Some put too much weight into a presupposed necessity for an official diplomatic protests either directly, or by abassadors, for the intangible, incorporial rights of sovereignty to continue. This, however, is not true under the recognized law of nations. These special rights never end if not forsaken and if they are properly maintained. They are permanent and never ending. For example:

Israel is the only state that was created in the last century whose legitimacy was recognized by both the League of Nations and the United Nations. The League of Nations Mandate that was issued by the victorious powers of World War I did not create the rights of the Jewish people to a national home in Palestine, but rather recognized a pre-existing right, for the links of the Jewish people to their historic land were well-known and accepted in the previous century by world leaders from President John Adams to Napoleon Bonaparte to British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston. . . . [The point here is,] . . . it was not a new claim, but rather a reassertion of a historic right that had never been conceded or forgotten.” (

Yet Israel never made a single genuine diplomatic protest for thousands of years. It was their history, their desires, their plight and their connectedness as a people to that land that finally or ultimately resulted in a full and complete recognition of their right to be sovereign rulers in their own historic homeland. Diplomatic protests only represents one type of vehicle to keep the international community aware of one’s inalienable rights. The permanency of these rights, recognized or not, are perpetual and have no end and were still enforceable after thousands of years. The obvious conclusion is that recognition can take many forms other than a full diplomatic protest. Israel never ceased to formally proclaim their rights to their ancient homeland in an annual festival. Their rights were proclaimed and maintained in this manner generation after generation.

The point is, “. . . if acquiescence is the crux of the matter . . . one cannot dictate what its content is to be.” (Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, 4th edition, 1990, p. 157) The fact that they have not exercised any of their rights for thousands of years, nor brought their plight up in any court of law, does not, in any way, take away their power, dignity or authority. They never conceded their lands. They never gave up, acquiesed or accepted the theft of their lands and rights. Their right and hope of returning to the land of Israel was kept alive every year in special, official, public as well as private ceremonies that are still practiced to this day thoughout the world.

International law also respects that the very survival as individuals, and as a family of the royal blood, may rest upon the fact that they remain quiet and hidden not attempting to use any of their inalienable rights, nor daring to attempt to keep their claims alive by pestering others who may destroy them for it. Normally:

. . . Silence . . . presumes their acquiescence: and their acquiescence presumes a defect of title [a faulty claim or flawed title of ownership] on their part, or an abandonment of their title [to the royal rights of the kingdom or principality]. (T. Twiss, The Oregon Question Examined, 1840, p. 24)

However, Emerich de Vattel explained that silence:

. . . cannot be used against a claimant who alleges just reasons for his silence, as, the impossibility of speaking, or a well-founded fear, &c., because [being under duress] there is then no longer any room for a [legal and just] presumption that he has abandoned his right. (The Law of Nations or Le Droit des gens, Book II, Chapter XI, #144)

In other words, when any kind of threat of harm or loss is implicit, not necessarily overt, but implied by circumstance, we cannot “. . . deduce from long silence a legal presumption of abandonment.” (Ibid., #148) Some royal and imperial families in order to stay in the lands of their forefathers, such as, in Germany and Austria, are forced by domestic law not to use their titles officially. They must remain silent, but their history still proclaims their rights as heads of state and government, even if that little country was only a county or lordship and its rightful sovereign was merely a count. In such a case, the “. . . nation has . . . [been at fault, because it] has participated in it by a tacit approbation.” (Ibid.) That is, by domestic law, the usurper denies the noble or royal house normal channels of protest. So disuse of royal rights, silence or even disappearance cannot always be construed as a renunciation of any former power or privilege, because this royal property and privilege belongs to them by “jure sanguinis,” by right of blood, and both its possession and exercise are inviolable and permanent if maintained.

Having said that, sovereign rights can be lost, as stated above, and once lost, they are lost forever and cannot be retrieved. But this can only take place “. . . in cases of long-continued, undisputed, and uninterrupted possession” by the usurper, whether that usurper was the people, as a whole, by referendum or unwarrented rebellion, or whether the usurption was perpetrated by an outside aggressor through the force of arms. Both are, by the law of nature, robbers who have unlawfully stolen the property rights of others—that is, those owned by the ruling family. (Ibid., #149) But “prescription requires acquiescence if it is to produce full title. . . .” (Lowell S. Gustafson, The sovereignty dispute over the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, 1988, p. 35) Again, “For prescription to apply, the state with title [the de jure king or his successors] to the territory must acquiesce to the action of the other [the usurper or defacto] state.” (http://en.wikipedia
.org/wiki/Legal_status_of_Taiwan) However, “what kind of conduct indicates [produces or creates] a lack of acquiescence and thereby interrupts [or totally thwarts] prescription is a matter of controversy.” (Boleslaw Adam Boczak, International Laws: a dictionary, 2005, p. 243) This is especially true for a republic or a democratic “de jure” government in exile, because there is a profound legitimacy problem in regard to succession after the death of former elected officials. Renewal of rights is disputable, questionable or uncertain under popular soverignty theories. But it is different with a hereditary sovereign (a king or a sovereign prince), or their heirs, because royalty so embodies and personifies all the rights and glory of the state, being the font from whom all power and authority flows, that all questions about authority are eliminated. Whatever the sovereign, or his rightful successors, do in regard to their claims is considered to be final, permanent, and binding. “Prescription,” therefore, can only take place, for a former monarchy, if the disposed king, or his lawful successors, acquiesces to the take over or accepts it. That is, if they do not dispute, or protest, the loss in some clear, obvious and recognizable fashion in every generation thereafter, they lose all royal honors, rights and privileges.

It is important to keep in mind that both “prescription” or “debellatio” completely and totally destroys all subsequent claims to sovereign-royalty. They die and cannot ever be resuscitated or returned, because the claim is now empty and void and has no more validity. “A title once abandoned whether tacitly [by implication] or expressely, cannot be resumed [continued, started over or reinstituted].” (T. Twiss, The Oregon Question Examined, 1840, p. 24) In other words, the principle of “estoppel” is applied, which establishes that “a person’s own act, or acceptance of facts . . . preclude his or her later making claims to the contrary.” ( He cannot renege on his previous position of abandonment. By this means, claims to sovereignty can and do become extinct on a permanent basis from which there is no appeal. That is, all the glory and majesty of sovereignty dissolves and melts away and cannot be salvaged. It eventually reverts back to the “defacto” nation and/or to its people after what is called a “long continued and uncontested” period of time. (Henry Reynolds, Aboriginal sovereignty: reflections on race, state, and nation, 1997, p. 106)

The loss of all royal entitlements and rights, through “debellatio” takes place at the end of a war of total subjugation. However, “prescription” which also ends all rights can take place in any generation and at any time, even hundreds and thousands of years later, after the original loss of the territory, if it is not properly perpetuated and maintained in every generation. Renunciation, acceptance or acquiescence to the new regime or usurping government, carelessness, silence or neglect, or failure to use one’s sovereign titles or heraldry or even the lose of who is the rightful heir — all of these actions amount to a full abandonment or dispossession of all the precious and priceless prerogatives of royalty, nobility and sovereignty. The point here is, that it is very easy to lose the right of sovereignty and it is just as easy to keep it. One must merely follow the rules, but they must be followed precisely and with exactness.

Claims can be kept alive indefinitely and in a number of important ways other than by full, official diplomatic protest. The most important and fundamental way was stated by Emerich de Vattel in the book, The Law of Nations, who declared, “Protests answer this purpose [that is, to proclaim one’s rights and thereby keep them alive]. With sovereigns [kings or sovereign princes the way to do so] is . . . to retain the title and the arms of a sovereignty or a province, as an evidence that they do not relinquish their claims to it.” (The Law of Nations, Book 2, Chapter XI, Nos. 145-146) In other words, the most significant signs that a king or sovereign prince and/or his rightful successors or heirs, have never abandon or relinquished their exclusive right to rule as regal lords and princes are preserved, by keeping their titles, their arms and history obviously and indisputably alive, sure and undeniable. By doing so, these rights live forever as long as the family does not die out. (Ibid.)

The reason a “de jure” monarch, or his successors, must use their titles and other signs to keep their royal rights was explain in by Vattel in The Law of Nations. (
/vattel_02.htm) It stated as an introduction that:

. . . the law of nature lays an injunction on the proprietor to take care of his property, and imposes on him an obligation to make known his rights, that others may not be led into error: it is on these conditions alone that she approves of the property vested in him, and secures him in the possession. (Book II, Number 141)

Now for the conclusion and the result:

If he has neglected it [failed to assert his titles] for such a length of time . . . the law of nature will no longer allow him to revive and assert his claims. . . . (Ibid.)


. . . the law of nature ordain that all men should respect the right of private property in him who makes use of it? For the same reason, therefore, the same law requires that every proprietor who for a long time and without any just reason neglects his right, should be presumed to have entirely renounced and abandoned it. This is what forms the absolute presumption (juris et de jure) of its abandonment, — a presumption, upon which another person [the subsequent government] is legally entitled to appropriate to himself the thing so abandoned. (Ibid.)

Again, the obvious fact, failure in any generation absolutely confirms total forfeiture under most, or at least in over 90% of all circumstances. On the other hand, continued use of titles in every generation confirms absolutely and totally that “de jure” sovereignty survives in all its glory, majesty and lawful rights. Stephen Kerr, a world court litigator, quoted earlier declared, “when appropriate, recognizing worthy individuals with knighthoods and other decorations or honors at their command” further confirms their royal status as active members of the international community and as rightful heirs to their former “defacto” thrones. (“King and Constitution in International Law,” The Augustan, 18:4, 1977, p. 126: see:

Such an act along with the use of one’s titles is equal to “a series of competent [consistent] protests [which] will keep a de jure claim alive indefinitely” or forever. (Ibid.) Professor Kerr concluded, “. . . under traditional International Law de jure Sovereignty survives the unlawful loss of territorial authority and continues as the legitimate government of the country concerned, retaining valid title to govern [or the right to rule]. . . .” (Ibid.) But only if the protest, that is, the use of titles, continues along with other signs. It helps when a disposed king or sovereign prince, or his or her heirs or successors, permits or allows, without protest, monarchist groups to proclaim his or her rights, the presumption, the implication, is that he or she has continued to recognize those rights. If he or she opens up a museum, writes or supports a book to keep the memory of his ancestors rule alive and well, and uses the titles of his forebearers, he or she makes it clear and unmistakeable that he or she is the heir to this lawful royal patrimony and no abandonment, “debellatio” or “prescription” has taken place on his watch. If “prescription” or “debellatio” has taken place before such efforts, then everything he or she does is in vain as all rights are permanently forfeited.

Most claims of sovereignty are extinct if hundreds or thousands of years passed away, because generations have failed to maintain their claim by failing to assert their rights, therefore, they are deprived of them by negligence. The legal presumption is that by silence they have abandoned their royal birthright. This did not happen to the Jews, however, because they kept up their claims to the land of Palestine generation after generation in tradition and ceremony. This is also true of many of the native peoples of the earth. They kept their distinct separateness and longing as a distinct culture. Hence, their sovereignty is still recognized. But others have irretrievably and immutably lost “de jure” sovereignty. A good example are the ancient principalities and kingdoms of Wales. For over 700 years, the royal princely families of Gwynedd, Powys, Gwent, etc. failed to used their titles or arms or gave out knighthoods or other important honors and recognitions in the name of their former kingdoms or principalities. They did not keep track of who had hereditary rights and who didn’t. There are now at least a million people who could, if accurate records were kept, be able to track their ancestors back to the original kings and princes of the various tiny, little kingdoms of Wales. All it takes is one single generation of neglect for “de jure” sovereignty to be forever lost and to become unclaimable. The result is, the only legitimate sovereign right to rule Wales now belongs exclusively and totally to the British monarchy, who are proven descendants of the original rulers of Wales. Emerich de Vattel, one of the fathers of international law wrote:

. . . Immemorial prescription [long possession of a territory without a “de jure” claimant] secures the possessor’s right [the current “defacto” sovereign’s right to rule without question and it is] beyond the power of [ loss or legitimate challenge] . . . for, it affords a legal presumption that he [the current ruling government] is the [true and rightful] proprietor, as long as the adverse party [the “de jure” claimant] fails to adduce substantial reasons [or adequate evidence of protest] in support of his claim: and, indeed, [how could such] . . . be derived, since the origin [all proof] of the possession is lost in the obscurity [or uncertainty of the distant past and no longer exists] . . . [that is, all] means of proving [it valid has been] . . . destroyed by time. . . . Immemorial possession [possessing a kingdom for a long, uncontested, undisputed period of time—hundreds or thousands of years], therefore, is [or creates] an irrefragable title [in other words, sovereign ownership that is impossible to refute or is indisputable], and immemorial prescription admits of no exception: both are founded on a presumption which the law of nature directs us to receive as an incontestable truth [truth that cannot be impeached]. (The Law of Nations, Book II, #143)

Therefore, it is set in concrete of the hardest kind and cannot come back to life, because providing proof that each generation maintained their claim, their titles, their rights is impossible in most cases for hundreds and hundreds of years have past away and the proof no longer exists.

If international law was applied to the MacCarthy Mór debacle, as it should have been, the imposter could not have gotten to first base, because genealogy is not sufficient to create a claim to “de jure” sovereignty or the rights of a government in exile. All genealogy proves, if it is accurate, is that one is an equal descendant along with hundreds and thousands of others of a once royal house. It does not give one legitimacy as the true and rightful rulers of one’s nation or country. The so-called MacCathy Mór never provided proof that no generations ever abandoned their birthright, or in other words, he never showed that they used their titles, etc. as required. Hence, he had no right to act as a sovereign in exile. His claim was against the conventions of international law and justice. Therefore, his claim was empty, null and void on this basis, not to mention the fact that his genealogy was phony and he was proven to be an imposter and a charlatan.

But just as sure as sovereignty can be irretrievably lost in the silence and in the obscurity of the past, it can also be easily kept and maintained as a perpetual birthright from one generation to the next. The requirements are not difficult, but must be maintained to keep it perpetually alive and well from generation to generation.

In fact, “de jure” sovereignty still continues to be acknowledged as permanent and real, even though restoration will probably never be realized or enjoyed. Dr. Erica-Irene A. Daes, in a talk on the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination and to control their own natural resources on June 3, 2004, stated, “The United Nations has adopted more than 80 resolutions relating to permanent sovereignty. . . .” even if that sovereignty was under a greater sovereignty or protectorate. ( These resolutions recognized that these rights have no end. They are never in abeyance or lapse. They go on forever as long as each successor or rightful heir publicly proclaims their royal prerogatives in the prescribed way, which means they can prove that they have never publically neglected it.

This important principle is relevant and meaningful to all who can rightfully claim these ancient honors. Because the right is never lost, if it is maintained. It does not matter if it refers to the Aborigines of Australia, Native Americans or, to our case in point, the former high kings and princes of the earth and their rightful heirs. All of these groups were illegally disposed, ruined or barred from their full and lawful right to govern and enjoy the fruits and privileges of their own lands. It was a miscarriage of justice that thwarted them, but, at least, what is morally and ethically “right” and “just” still continues to be validated and upheld in law.

Dr. Kerr adds:

. . . de jure Sovereignty represents the moral principle that “might does not make right,” it is [therefore] entitled to [full] recognition by other sovereigns [and all nations and all people] adhering to the moral [and ethical] principles implicit in International Law. (“King and Constitution in International Law,” The Augustan, 18:4, 1977, p. 126: see:

However, like most rules [or glorious standards] this [one] is usually observed in its breach [that is, in an unrealized form, such as, a broken promise] . . . in modern law. It is nevertheless, recognized as the Ideal [or what is both morally and ethically right]. (Ibid., p. 125)

“. . . [Modern] international law does not require other states to recognize a state which is not reliably in control of its own territory [like a “de jure” principality or kingdom].” (Jeremy Rabkin, “Recalling the Case for Sovereignty” Chicago Journal of International Law, January 1 2005, pp. 2-3) International law no longer does much to protect “the sovereign’s sovereignty” on a practical basis, rather it tends to protect “popular sovereignty” even though it doesn’t really exist except in theory. (Georg Nolte, Brad R. Roth, Helen Stacy and Gregory H. Fox, “Sovereignty: Essential, Variegated, Or Irrelevant?,” American Society of International Law: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting, January 1, 2005) Hence, “de jure” sovereignty is rarely ever taken very seriously.

Any government, whether in exile or not, matters mainly when it is recognised by real governments in real countries. The last time that exiled governments really mattered in world politics was during the second world war, when the rightful rulers of Nazi-occupied countries such as Czechoslovakia, France, the Netherlands and so forth squatted in London until they could be restored to power. (“Home thoughts from abroad – Governments in exile,” The Economist, December 22, 2001)

Nevertheless, such governments in exile, whether former monarchies or republics, are legally recognized in law. The principles are correct — the rights are real and are acknowledged as being what is truly fair and lawful on an international level. But full diplomatic recognition is typically unlikely, improbable and unnecessary. (See: “Sovereignty: Questions and Answers”)

Abdications, Renunciations and Annexations

Since both “de jure” as well as reigning monarchs and their successors are subjects of “public international law,” the law of nations has competent jurisdiction and impacts their disposition. (See “Dynastic Law”) As far as renunciations go, it is important to understand that an abdication only relinquishes one’s own personal rights. All royal prerogatives, without exception are, in such a case, transferred to the person next in line to the throne of that particular territory. Hugo Grotius declared, in such a case that the father’s abdication:

. . . cannot hurt his Children who are already born, because as soon as . . . the Children are come into the World, they acquire a Right of their own by Law. . . . The Difference between the Children born before the Abdication, and those who were born after, is this, those who were born after had not then acquired their Right; and therefore it [all regal rights to succession] might be taken from them [because they do not receive any proper right by birth] . . . .” (The Rights of War and Peace, Book II, XXVI, p. 242)

Just as a thing that does not exist has no attributes, so a person not yet born has no rights or entitlements. But “. . . the act of the father [in a renunciation] cannot harm children already born, because they have by law gained their own right as soon as they have begun to exist. . . .” (Ibid., chapter VII, no. 1)

Abdication, therefore, does not dissolve the monarchy or dissolve a sovereign kingdom, principality, dukedom, county or lordship. It merely passes all rights and privileges to the person next in line of succession.

However, a distinction needs to be made between an abdication and a total and irrevocable “dynastic renunciation.” A normal abdication (or renunciation) only impacts the person himself—not his children, because, and this is important, no “. . . [regular] abdication, renunciation, or surrender [can] be valid [or impact the whole royal household] without the free [will acceptance and] consent of the prince royal and the other princes of his family both in the direct and collateral branches.” (George L. Craik & Charles MacFarlane, The Pictorial History of England During the Reign of George the Third, Volumn IV, 1864, p. 522) However, a “dynastic renunciation” and “cession” forever destroys the rights of any afterborn children. Professor Kerr declares that “. . . dynastic renunciations irrevocably cuts off all the rights to any eventual succession of [the person who makes it, plus] all after-born descendants of the person making the renunciation.” Such a loss “. . . cannot later be unilaterally terminated or withdrawn.” It is, in effect, written in stone and cannot be changed or corrected. (See: Stephen Kerr, “Dynastic Law”)(See also Hugo Grotius, De jure belli ac pacis libri tres, Book II, Chapter VII, No 26, and Book II, Chapter IV, No. 10. See also Emerich Vattel, Le droit des gens, Book I, Chapter V, No. 62. See also Lord McNair, Law of Treaties (1961), pp. 256-259, 512, 704-713. Morjorie M. Whitman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 14, pp. 413-415 and Articles 56 and 70.1(b) of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties)

Nevertheless, such a far-reaching renunciation cannot destroy the rights of a living heir without his or her consent, unless such an individual just goes along with it without officially, usually in writing, voices his or her firm and irrevocable opposition to it. Dr. Kerr expressed it this way:

When one so dynastically disinherited fails to protest [in his or her lifetime] against such “testaments” or “will” [the renunciation made for and in behalf of him or her by a monarch] , a prescription in public international law arises against any later questioning of such international ‘acts’ by his [or her, that is, the monarch’s] descendants [or offspring]. (See Emerich Vattel, Le Droit des gens, Book II, Chapter II, Nos. 145-146. See Article 45 and Article 31.3(a) of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the law of Treaties) (See “Dynastic Law”)

Dynastic renunciations are made when a royal person who has succession rights in one kingdom marries a royal heir to the throne of another. These renunciations are designed to keep kingdoms from taking over other kingdoms through marriage. For example, if the Crown Prince of Spain anciently, when this law began, married a princess in line to the throne of Portugal, according to this law, the Princess would have to renounce all succession rights to Portugal for herself and her posterity to perpetuity, and she would then be incorporated into the Kingdom of Spain as a royal princess of Spain. If such was not done, it is conceivable that the Crown Prince of Spain, in this example, could become the King of Spain and his Queen could become the rightful monarch of Portugal. Their offspring would then rule a united kingdom composed of both Spain and Portugal. To prevent such, dynastic renunciations were created and became irrevocable and were used many times as a precaution to safeguard the integrity of nations, kingdoms and empires. As stated by Emerich Vattel, “These renunciations . . . are perfectly valid . . . they are equivalent to a law that such persons and their posterity should be excluded from the throne.” (The Law of Nations, Book I, chapter XV, no. 62) (See “Dynastic Law” for a number of examples of the use of this international law) (The Law of Nations, Book I, chapter XV, no. 62)

The ceding of sovereignty is, however, the most powerful of all renunciations. If a king, prince or sultan cedes their sovereignty away, or sells all their royal rights to another country or person, and the living children do not immediately reject such in an unmistakeable way by an obvious and verifiable protest, the loss is permanent, because their lack of protest at the time of the formal cession is considered or legally presumed to be an abandonment and forfeiture of all rights. A subsequent protest by a once prince royal cannot change it or overide the forfeiture unless there were provable mitigating circumstances like an absence or sickness which prevented immediate action against the formal document of cession. “An Act of Cession is a declaration by which a sovereign renounces his [and his posterity’s] rights of sovereignty over a country in favour of another person [nation or country].” (Thomas Hartwell Horne, Diplomacy, 1848, p. 123) The Treaty of Troyes, for example, ceded the sovereignty of France to the English King Henry V. Charles VII, the Dauphin and heir to the throne, was officially disinherited and lawfully denied. ( If it was not for the death of the English king, who apparently had the highest and most legitimate and rightful claim, in the middle of the war, France might have been part of the United Kingdom from the 15th century to the present.

Hugo Grotius wrote, “There are many examples of such renunciations in history. See in Mariana, Book XIII. xviii, a notable instance in the case of Louis the Ninth, king of France, renouncing for himself and his children the right which he could have through his mother Blanche to the kingdom of Castile.” (On the Law of War and Peace (1625) Book II, chapter IV, no. XL)

It is also important to note that any abdication or similar document, such as, a renunciation or cession completed under a substantial threat of any significance, whether by forced surrender, theft, undue influence or duress, is considered illegal in international law, and therefore is empty or of no effect. In modern terms reflecting what was considered just in law, the Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties in 1969 expressed that, “A treaty [abdication or renunciation] is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force or violations of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.” (supra note 12, at art. 52) ( /multi/texts/BH538.txt) As an example, Professor Boyle, an international litigator, wrote that, “She [the Queen of Hawaii in the 1800’s] made it very clear that . . . her . . . abdication was procured under duress and force. In other words, it could not be treated by anyone as a valid surrender of sovereignty . . . .” ( Like any abdication by coercion, “The forced abdication of [King] James II [of England, for example, or any other rightful ruler for that matter] was strictly . . . illegal [and therefore invalid]” (Statement in Parliament March 24, 2004) (

Forced agreements or abdications by compulsion have been recognized for a long time as not being morally or ethically right both in private and public law. For example, before he died, the last Emperor of Austria, Karl Franz Josef stated emphatically: “I declare that the November Manifest [dispossessing him and setting up a republic] is null and void because it was forced. No man can deny, nor take away the fact, that I am the Crowned King of Hungary.” (www.emperor “A right,” according to a former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, “is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.” (
/topics/rights_t001.htm) Emperor Karl Franz Josef and his heirs will own this ancient right forever as long as they continue to exist as a family with successors. Modern laws making royal, imperial and noble titles illegal, as in Austria, does not, and cannot, take away or rob the Hapsburg family of their titles or the “de jure” rights that they own, provided, of course, they never sold or lawfully gave them away.

In 1963, the European Convention on Human Rights in Article 3 of Protocol 4 stated unequivically that: “No one shall be deprived of the right to enter the territory of the state of which he is a national.” ( “Any agreement [whether abdication, renunciation or cession] signed under duress is void [or has no legal force, power or efficacy].” (Article 52 of the Vienna Conventions of the Law of Treaties) ( These modern rules, however, cannot change the past, where Dr. Otto von Habsburg willingly and knowingly renounced all his rights. The above rules apply to the future only. They are not retroactive.

It is beyond the authority of any subsequent domestic political power to strip a former sovereign’s “de jure,” and therefore, “dormant” ruling rights, to ennoble or otherwise honor others, or set up a government in exile, or make rightful claims or protests if he has a desire or a disposition to do so. In other words, the ancient rights of these former territories remain intact or “de jure,” fully vested in the monarch and his heirs to the end of time whether they are regnant, or not, provided, of course, that they obey the laws that enable deposed sovereign rights to continue, which are the rules of prescription.

This important principle in international law, as stated before, allowed Israel to be restored to its ancient borders in 1946 after thousands of years, and, as also noted, it sanctioned the restoration of the ruling dynasty of Kuwait to regain their sovereign right to govern their own country after the first Gulf War, because in both situations, the people as a whole, or the royal successor in particular, were illegally and unlawfully dispossessed. That is, in moderns terms, “forceful annexations [or takeovers] are in violation of international law. Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter expressly prohibits annexation [or an overthrow] by force.” ( Jean J. Burlamaqui wrote in 1751 that when a “lawful monarch” is unjustly disposed, those in power, in such a case, are morally “obliged to restore the crown to the right owner, or to his heirs. . . .” ( This rarely happens, but it is ethically and morally right as well as being lawful, fair, just and proper to restore stolen property back to its rightful owners.

Tiny Sovereign Nations

After the Thirty Years War in 1648, the Imperial States of the loosely connected Holy Roman Empire became virtually sovereign. In fact:

. . . One of the principal things he [the Emperor] promiseth in his Oath, is, That he will save to every of the States their Rights and Priviledges, and disturb none of them in the exercise thereof. And this is one of those Rights in which the Princes and States of Germany take the greatest Pride; That every one of them can govern their own proper Subjects, according to his own will, or to the Compacts he has made with them. See the 3, 7, 8, & 9. Artic. Capitul. Leopold. (Samuel von Pufendorf, “The Present State of Germany,” 1696: http://oll.liberty

Then later, they became actual or true independent nations in 1806 when the empire fell. Francis II, as Emperor, released all the Imperial States from their oath of allegiance to the Empire at that time. And the Electors, the highest princes of the Empire, the only ones with authority to set things up again, never attempted to re-establish the first Reich. In fact, only one protested the action, not enough to make the dissolution illegal. At this point, each state became a free and independent country with no authority above their own. That is, “the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire meant that anyone who was previously a direct vassal of the Emperor without any intermediary (in other words, was unmittelbar or ‘immediate’) became ipso facto [by that very fact] sovereign.” In other words, they “ceased to be subject to any superior authority.” ( No wonder, the French ambassador to the Imperial Reichstag in July of 1806 issued a note stating that each state was thus a full and independent nation of Europe. He stated emphatically that Napoleon as Emperor and King recognized “the complete and absolute sovereignty of each of the princes [and the idea of] . . . maintaining with them the same relations as with the other independent [sovereign nations or] powers of Europe.” (
/dissolution.htm) This self-determination given in the person of their rulers, was later confirmed by the Confederation of the Rhine showing historical and legal precedence. This act or special recognition made the special title of “prince,” the most commonly used title for a monarch, or sovereign ruler, in all of Europe. The archaic definition of “prince” is “any male monarch; esp., a king.” In fact, a “king” is “a sovereign prince.” ( ( “Prince” also means one of “highest station” above all others and as such is the ruler or “greatest in status or authority or power” in his realm. (
/browse/principality) (

“Principality” by definition is “predominance,” “supreme power,” “superiority,” “the position or authority of a prince or chief ruler.” It is the equivalent or synonymous to “sovereignty” or “one invested with sovereignty” or supreme legal authority. (Ibid.) “A principality (or princedom) is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or princess. . . .” ( Peter Haidu in his extensive study of the Medieval ages wrote that, “Within determined territories, princes acted like kings in their own realms. Their principalities were ‘statelets.'” (The Subject Medieval/modern: Text and Governance in the Middle Ages, 2004, p. 160) A “statelet” is “a small state, especially one resulting from the dissolution of a larger state”—like the Holy Roman Empire. (http:// Small states have perfect equal sovereignty or the same rights and legal privileges as the largest states. This is well-established in law, which is why forced or coerced mediatization was illegal and therefore invalid and wrong. (See “Sovereign Equality” below)

Sovereignty and Mediatization

The “mediatized” sovereign princes, who were illegally taken over or gobbled up by more powerful political forces, between 1806 to 1813, were recognized under the German Federal Act of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 as having the “enjoyment of the same privileges of birthright as sovereign houses. . . .” (
/de06-66/bundesakte15-i.htm) However, even though they “. . . were counted among the highest nobility with the right of equality with the reigning houses. . . . [this] denoted nothing more than social status within and among these countries. (http://worldroots
.com/brigitte/royal/mediatizedhousesarticle.htm) This act of theft—stealing the “de facto” right to rule their own territories from the smaller territories was no more legitimate or legal than robbery is a lawful way to become rich. It was a crime perpetrated against them.

The point is, according to international law “a ruler who is deprived of the actual control of his/or her country by either an invader or by revolutionaries nevertheless remains the legitimate de jure sovereign of his country and people, while the de facto government set up by the invader or revolutionaries is considered as an usurper, both constitutionally and internationally.” (paraphrazed from Hugo Grotius, On the Law of War and Peace (1625) Book I, Chapter 4, Nos. 15-19) Being the embodiment of a government in exile, these “mediatized” counts, dukes and princes, holding all sovereignty rights and prerogatives independent and without limit, made the head of these families absolute and total sovereigns on a “de jure” basis over their ancient territories—even though they were illegally placed under the thumb of some new power that had unlawfully subjugated them. The point being, they held sovereignty at some point and this hereditary entitlement cannot be taken away from them and their rightful posterity even if they are crushed and defeated. Both the mediatized and non-mediatized princes, etc. still hold all their regal “de jure” prerogatives as regal families of Europe, no matter whether they were “mediatized” or not. The only difference between the two is that one lost “de facto” sovereignty before the others. Both are equally sovereign.

It is important to understand the concept that whether a king, sovereign prince or his heirs are later temporarily limited by a constitution under duress, as in Great Britain, once a sovereign government or people confer true sovereignty upon a man and his heirs, and it is not sold or permanently surrendered in some legitimate way to someone else, it is their lawful family possession forever. It doesn’t matter whether such a person is ousted by a referendum or war, or they are “mediatized,” he and his heirs still retain all their original sovereign rights and privileges. Professor Kerr makes it clear that “under the doctrines of public international law a ruler who is deprived of the government of his country by either an invader or revolutionaries [in other words by any kind of duress] remains the legitimate de jure Sovereign of that Country . . . .” (See: “Dynastic Law”)

The once great Holy Roman Empire was lost forever according to the ancient laws and can never be reinstated for two reasons: (1) the Elector Princes failed to elect a new Emperor and perpetuate the Empire even when the dangers of the times were past, and (2) because the Holy Roman Empire’s original sovereignty, its supreme rights and powers, was given to the Second Reich by the great majority of its former constituent states, who then had the right of full independent nations. In other words, the sovereign monarchs consisting of the ruling counts, princes, dukes and kings of these tiny and larger independent nations used their lawful powers and sovereign rights and privileges to establish the new empire. This was all done in full accord with the law of nations. The relationship of the nations or states to the new Emperor is described as follows:

The states retained their autonomy except in those matters which were expressly transferred to the imperial authorities; the princes retained their sovereignty; the king of Prussia, though he now took the title of German emperor, was only primus inter pares; he was president of the confederation, but had no suzerainty over the other princes. None the less, from this time [after the ratification of the Imperial constitution] the acts of the state governments and parliaments have ceased to have more than a local importance, the history of the nation is centred in Berlin, in the . . . federal council, in which the interests of the individual states are represented. . . . (“Germany,” Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh ed., vol. XI, 1910, p. 874)

Hence, the Imperial and Royal House of Hohenzollern, the hereditary Imperial Family of Germany, still holds some very limited, inactive or dormant constitutional rights over all the sovereign “de jure” kings and princes that formerly made up the Second Reich and, therefore, most that belonged to the First Reich or Empire. (http://en.wikisource

Obviously, the German Empire is not a “defacto” or a reigning government or nation, the “de jure” sovereigns (the counts, princes, dukes and kings) that made up this confederation are free and independent kingdoms and are therefore separate governments in exile. Each is free. The only way the Empire could be reinstated is by free and willing consent.

It is important to understand that sovereignty is both indivisible and divisible depending on the type of sovereignty that is being discussed. In its “de jure” or legal form, whether reigning or non-regnant, it is absolute and cannot be broken up or divided, but “defacto” or actual sovereignty has always been divisible throughout the history of mankind. For example, the concept or principle of division of powers critically needed for a constitutional monarchy to exist with checks and balances creates a sharp division between the legislative, judicial and executive branches who all share some “defacto” sovereign rights. Nevertheless, in this and all other situations, the sovereign, king or monarch is still the personification and embodiment of all rightful power in the nation. Joseph-Mari, Count de Maistre (1753-1821), a well-known jurist and philosopher, wrote, “The king [or ruling prince] is sovereign; no one can share [“de jure”] sovereignty with him, and all powers emanate from him. . . .” ( He or she is the the legal and rightful ruler and thus possesses all the ultimate powers of the government. Whether reigning or not, under a constitution, or in exile, he is sovereign—the supreme holder of all royal governing rights above all other “defacto” governmental authorities or representative bodies in the nation. (See the subchapter: “Sovereignty and Royalty”)

Permanent Rights unless Forfeited

Baroni W. Santos in his book Treaty of Heraldry declared:

The doctrine [of dynastic law] and [international] jurisprudence have confirmed that the territorial power is not necessary for the exercise of the dynasty, for they are inserted in the person of the sovereign, which keeps the same after the loss of the throne, passing them regularly to their heirs and successors [ad infinitum].

[In other words] the loss of its territory in no way diminishes its sovereign powers, [in the least] because these are inherent in the person of the sovereign, transmitting it, perpetually to their descendants. (Vol. I, 5th ed., 1978, p. 197-198)

Jean J. Burlamaqui, one of the great philosophers in international law wrote, “Every [sovereign has] a right to succeed in his rank, and transmits this right to his descendants, . . . though he has never reigned himself, that is to say, the right of the deceased passes to the living” over and over again from one generation to another down through the long corridors of time endlessly and perpetually, as long as there is a living heir using their titles, etc. ( Commenting on this permanent privilege Hugo Grotius quoted Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (39 to 65 AD)–an expression of Lucan’s as applicable. He wrote, “order never loses its rights under any change of circumstances.” (http://socserv That is, once the right is given, it cannot be taken away. It is inalienable and permanent. It cannot be surrendered or transferred to another except on a completely voluntary basis.

But it is an undeniable fact that “a true king may lose his sovereignty . . .” both on a “de jure” as well as a “defacto” basis. (Grotius, The Law of War and Peace (1625) Book II, chapter IV, No. XI) (
/2up/search/prescription) In writing about how “sovereign powers . . . are terminated,” Hugo Grotius declared that sovereign “. . . rights are extinguished by abandonment, for the reason that, when the desire ceases, ownership [or sovereignty] does not continue.” (Ibid., chapter IX, no. I) Why, because the rights are in effect discarded, titles are not valued or used. They are no longer cherished and the legal presumption of usucaption takes place. In other words, “ownership and sovereignty ceases . . .” — they come to an abrupt end and a “transfer of ownership” takes place. This is where sovereignty is transferred from the “de jure” sovereign to the subsequent “defacto” ruler of the land, which is then transformed into a legitimate government holding both “de jure” and “defacto” sovereignty. (Ibid.) This means to enjoy all four qualities of sovereignty — “ius imperii,” “ius gladii,” “ius majestatis” and “ius honorum.”

It must be remembered that “. . . sovereignty is not of like character with other things, rather, in its exalted rank it far exceeds other things.” (Ibid., chapter XII, no. I) It is something truly magnificent and great — there is something supreme and wonderful about it, which is above most things in life. “. . . The ruler or sovereign of a State is, in international law, . . . considered as representing, in his person, [all] its sovereign dignity [honor and glory] . . . .” (William Teulon Swan Stallybrass, A Society of States, Sovereignty, 1919, p. 32) Constitutional monarchs, according to political science studies, generally have the best economies, wealth, prosperity, freedom, stability and the happiest people on the earth, when compared with other forms of government. It is truly a divine institution with the enormous potential. The point is, “All the majesty of the nation resides in the person of the prince; what, then, must become of it. . . ?” (Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book I, chapter XV, no. 188) This is where ideals must be lived, dearly loved and exemplified so one might shine for the good of all. Example is the school of mankind and he will learn at no other. It has a profound influence over the whole nation. “Every thing that emanates from the throne ought to bear the character of purity, nobleness, and greatness.” (Ibid.) (See, “Ideals,” “Advantages” and “Monarchy and Nobility: Divine Rights & Responsibilities”)

Sadly, the 20th century has been an age of great loss — so many kingdoms, empires and principalities were destroyed and ruined. The “. . . rightful possessor of the throne . . .” in each case has been forced out. However, according to international law, “neither the peoples nor the rightful kings [or sovereign princes] will be bound by the contracts of those who have unlawfully seized the sovereign authority.” (Grotius, The Law of War and Peace, chapter XIV, no. XIV) While a usurper “. . . may have possession [of the kingdom or sovereign fief], they have no legal right.” (Ibid., chapter XVI, no. XVIII) They are unlawful and illegitimate.

In fact, the usurper or usurping power may not be an outside force, but an act of treason by the people. They may unlawfully rob the royal family of their inalienable right to rule the land. This would be an act of theft, because they would take something from them that they do not own. No one can lawfully “. . . acquire another man’s property [or his royal rights and privileges] without his consent, for to deprive another against his will . . . runs counter to all Law.” (Johann Wolfgang Textor, Synopsis of the Law of Nations, vol. 2, 1680, p. 72) It is not just or ethical. The point is:

. . . Although the king himself or his successor have been expelled by his subjects from the kingdom [by referendum, civil war and/or some other wrongful method of plunder or theft], the right to the kingdom, in fact, still belongs to him [the rightful sovereign], although he has lost possession [of his territory and the people]. (Ibid., chapter XVI, no. XVII)

This right cannot be lost, that is, “if the proprietor [the one who owns the right of sovereignty] has not neglected [or forsaken] his right.” (Emirich de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book II, #142) In other words, the rightful dispossessed ruler, or his heir, if he uses and proclaims his regal rights, honors and privileges in a way that no one can even imagine that he has renounced them, has a “good title” to his royal prerogatives and patrimony. But to retain these highest of all rights “. . . imposes on him an obligation to make known his rights, that others may not be led into error [or misinterpret and think the royal family has given up their sacred rights to throne]. . . .” (Ibid., #141) This is extremely important, because as Jean Burlamaqui declared, a “de jure” sovereign, and his heirs, may hold their rights, “. . . till it can be presumed that they have renounced their pretensions, and this is always presumed, when a considerable time is elapsed without their being willing or able to make any effort to recover the crown.” (The Principles of Politic Law, vol. 2, chapter III, no. IX: The effort required, under international law “to recover the crown” so that a legal presumption is never made that they have renounced their rights, is to never, ever, fail in any generation to use their titles. They must never neglect to proclaim their lawful right to the throne on a continual and never-ending basis by this means. (Emerich de Vattel, The Law of Nations, Book 2, Chapter XI, Nos. 145-146)

If the rightful pretender, and his successors, continue to do make the claim, then, by virtue of the law of nations, their claim is well “grounded,” incontestable or, in effect, written in granite or stone. It cannot end — they cannot lose it, so long as time shall last, if they maintain it.

Nobiliary International law states that the heads of the Houses of sovereign descent who have not incurred debellatio, retain forever the exercise of the powers attaching to them, absolutely irrespective of any territorial possession. They are protected by the continued use of their rights and titles of nobility. . . . (Monarchist World Magazine # 2, August 1955)

“Debellatio” means a monarch and his family have accepted or acquiesced to the new political order during or at the end of a war of subjection, and therefore become commoners. If they survive such a crisis and protest it and therefore maintaining their royal status, they kept their royal and sovereign status intact. However, even if they acquiesce, it should not be accepted as necessarily legitimate or valid. Dr. Kerr points out:

Acquiescence should never be presumed when there is any reason to suspect that the usurper [the robber of sovereignty] is terrorizing the populace or retaining his position by means other than the full consent of the people freely given. (“King and Constitution in International Law,” The Augustan, 18:4, 1977, p. 126: see:

That is, if free consent is lacking, then any disposition, is null and void. In other words, no entity on earth, no government, can legally or lawfully steal what it does not own or never created. All a current government can do is legislate the present. They cannot change the past. A prince’s rights to title, ancient claims, their history and traditions and former power to honor others or rule cannot be legislated away in the present. The current government can thwart and curtail what a regnant or “de jure” sovereign can do within the borders of their country, but those ancient past rights do not belong to anyone, but to the royal family exclusively and to their lawful heirs. That is, in the words of Hugo Grotius, “. . . the successor has a right to all the privileges and prerogatives that his ancestors enjoyed. . . .” including the full moral right to sovereignty. (

Even though it is easy to forfeit, majesty, sovereignty, royal rights and perogatives, these great privileges can be forever. The following is another evidence. Although not an international court, the following legal conclusion reflects a knowledge of perpetual sovereignty. The learned Italian judge officially recognized that:

Among those rights [of a former ruling house inherited by the successors is] the faculty to ennoble, to grant and confirm coats of arms, to bestow titles drawn from places over which their ancestors had exercised their sovereign powers, and also the right to found, re-establish, reform and exercise the Grand Magistracy of the Orders of Chivalry conferred by their family, which may be handed down from father to son as an irrepressible [or unending] birthright.” (The United Court of Bari, The Republic of Italy, Sig. Dr. Giovanni de Gioca, March 13, 1952:

The above decision is in complete harmony with the consistent message and attitude of the Italian Courts in the past, in such matters, from the District Courts up to the Supreme Court of Appeal. (Rome, District Court, Sect. VII of 10th September 1948; Catania, District Court, 1st April 1960; Rome, Court of Appeal, III Penal Sect., 1st July 1958; Rome, Court of Appeal III Penal Sect., 23rd June 1959 and many others in the District Courts of Rome, Milan, Bari, Sant’ Agata di Puglia, Ragusa, etc.)

These principles are also confirmed by opinions of famous jurists, as Dr. Ercole Tanturri, once First President of the Court of Cassation, who was joined by Professor Leonardo Puglionisi, teacher of canon law at the University of Rome, and Dr. Raimondo Jannitti-Piromallo, Section President of the Court of Cassation, who also writes:

Sovereignty is a perpetual quality, indelibly connected and linked in the centuries to the lawful descendants of the one who first conquered or claimed it in the physical person of the Chief of the Name and Arms of the Dynasty. These rights are independent from any other consideration whatsoever or any inquiry of political, juridical, moral or social nature which might be made about it. History teaches that nothing can influence this Sovereign quality. (Journal of Heraldry and Genealogy n. 7-12 Dec. 1954)

The law was that, “The monarch and his legitimate heirs being, by divine right, entitled to the sovereignty, cannot forfeit that right by any misconduct, or any period of dispossession.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia, p. 1760) It is permanently theirs provided, of course, that they continue to claim their rights by using their titles. This is the most basic of all international legal requirements for the diplomatic or legal protest, and is absolutely necessary. If just one generation, and their living heirs, pass away without making the necessary claim, then their posterity become commoners and all that is royal and sovereign is lost from that time forward. And they cannot be reclaimed once lost, because, all legal and lawful rights would then go to the “defacto” usurping government, whether republican or a new monarch. (For the only allowable exceptions, see “Sovereignty is Permanent and Forever, but It can be Lost on both a “Defacto” and “De jure” Basis” and “Abdications, Renunciations and Annexations”)

Of course, such a person possessing these supreme rights, which are higher than any other known on earth, would be advised to rule in exile with great caution, good judgment and discretion. It would not be smart or intelligent to lose the respect or support of one’s countrymen. In fact, the unreasonable, imprudent exercise of a lawful right can be considered reprehensible or “the abuse of a right” and can therefore have terrible legal consequences. Common sense as well as legal philosophy and practice tells us loud and clear that governments in exile simply cannot exercise all their legal and lawful rights while on a “de jure” or restricted basis. (Michael Byers, “Abuse of rights: an old principle, a new age,” McGill Law Journal, February 1, 2002) Some good examples of healthy leadership are as follows. (See: “Sovereignty: Questions and Answers”)

Exiled Sovereign: Tibet

The rightful government of Tibet, for example, was ruthlessly occupied in violation of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter in the 1950’s ending in the saddest chapters ever in Tibetan history with the slaughter of 1.2 million people. The use of violence and force to conquer any sovereign nation is in full contradiction of international law, therefore, this annexation can never acquire “true” title to this ancient land and its people. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibetan, as the “de jure” disposed monarch of this great land, created a new constitution in 1963 for his country. He may never achieve actual sovereignty again, but he is the rightful ruler of his people and his government, in exile, not bound or hindered by any previous laws or constitution, and as a free-agent, has created a democratic legislature, judiciary, executive ministers and laws appropriate to it. It is now named the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. About 100,000 exiled Tibetan people are a part of it. They are located in the north Indian hill station of Mussoorie, India.

In the 1980’s, a European court also being the Court of Appeal in Paris affirmed, validated and upheld the legality of governments-in-exile. The court ruled, and this is important, that:

. . . a government in exile does not lose its rights to make appointments and to award Orders or commissions, to maintain its authority as far as can be done, and to pass on its legality under international law to successive heads-of-state.” (

Since this court has international jurisdiction, it reflects international opinion on the permanent continuance of rightful or “de jure” sovereignty.

Exiled Sovereigns: The Maharajas and Princes of India

In India in 1971, about 560 sovereign princes (maharajas–great kings, rajahs–kings, etc.) ruled over 2/5th or a substantial part of that nation. Some of their royal dynasties had lasted over a thousand years. Then in 1971 a vengeful Indira Gandhi stripped them of the pensions they had negotiated as the price for their joining India in 1947. At that time, each prince was illegally and unlawfully plundered of their titles and sovereign kingdoms by the national government. In other words, rights that politicians give, such as promising them the right to maintain sovereignty as a part of India, can be taken away by an act of theft, but rights that are inalienable are permanent, such as “de jure” sovereignty. This could not be taken from them, despite the fact that they can no longer legally exercise that right.

Hugo Grotius writing about such rights in international law, made it clear that:

Contracts, or promises [in this case the promise of continued recognition as rulers] obtained by fraud, violence or undue fear [perpetrated by a government or some other unlawful force] entitle the injured party to full restitution. (

In this case, to the robbed princes, the full return of their principalities and kingdoms.

In other words, the current country could not rightfully or legitimately take away their royal birthright nor their heritage of centuries of rule. But they could and did disown them. Nevertheless, many are now legally recovering much of their confiscated property and entering politics where centuries of deference has in some cases given them over 90% of the votes. Some have become business giants, others have crumbled into abject poverty pedaling rickshaws, but they still maintain their royal status and ancient “de jure” rights despite an ungrateful government that has robbed them. Obviously, governments, like people, can be immoral and unethical, and commit crimes, which in this case, was to wrongfully cheat these princes out of their lawful patrimony. The people, though, in general still revere and honor them. They are regularly called by their royal titles and looked up to as prominent and unusually important people.

Exiled Sovereignty: Ethiopia and other Great Examples

The Crown Council of the Empire of Ethiopia is a good example of an authentic “de jure” Imperial organization trying to promote the good of their country. This council has given out scholarships to worthy students who have excelled scholastically and otherwise. And have meet with high governmental officials and have so impressed many of them that it has been urged in sessions of the United States Senate that this monarchy be restored. His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias, the President of this Council, is receiving honors and giving speeches.

Certainly the exiled King of Rwanda, the King of Bulgaria and the King of Romania are also good examples of exemplary men worthy of their titles, who command and deserve great respect and should be given back their rightful places as “de facto” heads of state to reign again as sovereign rulers.

With the right checks and balances, having a king or queen, significantly helps unify a country and political research shows it brings about greater prosperity, wealth and freedom. Generally speaking as there are very few exceptions, constitutional monarchy has proven itself to be the best kind of government that mankind ever devised for the good of all people. (See the web pages: “Ideals” and “Advantages”)

The Myth of Popular Sovereignty and the Rule of Law

Popular sovereignty, the idea that we run government rather than the government running us is a great fiction or deception. In other words, it “is a fiction, [an ideal or] . . . hoax [used] to justify government of the many by the few.” (p. 182) In practice it “. . . is never fully defined, never authoritatively established, never fully realized. . . .” (Richard D. Parker, “The ‘First Principle’ of Popular Sovereignty: Politics without End:” Professor Jeremy A. Rabkin of Yale wrote, “The rightful exercise of physical coercion is at the heart of sovereignty.” ( The truth is, and most everyone really knows this deep down, is that the people are not the masters of government, they are its subjects. “Physical coercion” is exercised by government, not the people. The power holders truly govern and always will no matter if the government is called a democracy, a republic or a dictatorship. For example:

The legislative body, according to this theory [the theory of popular sovereignty], is the people, and the people are always the true sovereign [according to this view]. But the legislature obviously is not the people. The people are legally bound to obey the legislature’s commands until these are repealed by the legislature itself, no matter how oppressive or unpopular they may be. The people may of course force the repeal of such unpopular laws in time, but until the legislature sees fit to act, the people will disobey them at their peril. Popular sovereignty is, in fact, possible only in a pure democracy without representative institutions. . . . As usually employed, the phrase “popular sovereignty” contains a contradiction in terms; for, whether we like it or not, in choosing a legislature we are choosing a master, and because we choose it, it is no less a master than a monarch with hereditary title. (Charles Mcllwain, “Sovereignty in the World Today,” Measure, vol. 2, 1950, p. 111)

In other words, once the people of the American colonies voted to accept the new Constitution and government it would create, as the supreme law of the land, they gave away their sovereign rights to it on a permanent, unending basis. This law, the highest in the land and the kind of government it mandated, then received all the sovereign rights, power and privileges the people once held as individuals, or the Colonies once held as independent sovereign nations. The same is true when a people give their sovereignty to a monarch either by appointing such by referendum or representative vote or by no longer rejecting a conquest and allowing prescription to provide an uncontestable title.

The point is, once popular sovereignty is given away to create a government, it no longer actually exists in the giver. The government order established by the constitution holds all the rights except what it permits the average citizen to do. And it must be so. To do otherwise is to set up a government upon a shaky, whimsical and impulsive foundation where anything goes and nothing is solid, reliable or stable.

Popular sovereignty like the pure will of the people, immediate democracy or mob rule is not productive of good government or ever could be. In fact, the “rule of law” protects us against popular sovereignty. It—the rule of law “. . . has two [main] functions: it limits government arbitrariness and power abuse, and it makes the government more rational and its policies more intelligent.” (Bo Li, Perspectives, vol. 1, no. 5: (

The key reason why scholars do not believe in popular sovereignty is, according to Bo Li, that:

. . . without the rule of law as a limit, popular will [is] . . . corrupted by passions, emotions and short-term irrationalities. [In other words, it is corrupted by absurdities]. As such, [legal scholars] . . . demand [the] rule of law because it helps us to behave according to our long-term [best] interest[s] and [according to good] reason.” (Ibid.)

Acting in the name of the people, all kinds of terrible oppressions and atrocities would flourish, which is the natural result when there are no laws limiting the greed and avaricious ambitions of man. The poor would tyrannize the rich, those who have little or no property-less could rob those with property, and one set of citizens could arbitrarily rule over or even enslave the weak and defenseless. No wonder, the founding fathers in America:

. . . regarded [“popular sovereignty”] as both their greatest accomplishment and their most serious [or dreaded] liability. For then as now, the ideal of rule by the people was exalted even as the reality of popular sovereignty was despised . . . ,” [because it would create, according to [James] Madison [1751-1836], “. . . the mortal diseases under which popular governments [democracies] have everywhere perished. (Kramnick 1987, p. 122)

. . . It had turned out that individual rights were as insecure in a regime ruled by popular legislatures [in colonial America] as they had been under . . . [the whims of a dictator]. (Lars Tragardh, After National Democracy: Rights, Law and Power in America and the New Europe, 2004, p. 106)

Why some promote popular sovereignty, above any other type of sovereignty, makes no sense especially in light of the fact that popular sovereignty is an illusion. Sovereignty has never been formed on the “general will” of the people in all of human history. Nor does it exist anywhere on the earth and for good reason. “To invoke the general principle of self-determination [or popular sovereignty], and to make it a supreme law of international life [above all others],” wrote Walter Lippmann, would be sheer madness, it is “. . . to invite . . . anarchy. For the principle can be used to promote the dismemberment of practically every organized state [on earth].” (

Popular sovereignty “. . . fell into disrepute as a reaction to its ideological uses [in the French revolution] in justifying terror and lawless dictatorship. In the last two centuries, it lost its foundational role in political theory, and disappeared from serious discussion.” (János Kis, “Poplular Sovereignty: The Classical Doctrine and Its Criticism:”
_content&task=view&id=152&Itemid=41) Pope Pius VI commenting on the horrors and foolishness of the French revolution and popular sovereignty declared, “. . . After having abolished the monarchy, the best of all governments, it [the French Revolution] had transferred all the public power to the people — the people . . . ever easy to deceive and to lead into every excess. . . .” (Pourquoi Notre Voix, 17th June 1793) In other words, there is great danger in it.

Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-1694) also considered to be one of the founding fathers of international law, argued that “. . . in the highest interest of mankind that the royal power be held sacred [and inviolable] and free from the cavils [trivial or petty objections or carping] of churlish [vulgar, difficult people].” (The Law of Nature and Nations, H. Oldfather and W. A. Oldfather, eds., 1688 ed., Book VII, viii, I and VII, ii, 1934, p. 9) Popular sovereignty is sovereignty at its worst like a mindless, caprious mob. Yet the myth of popular sovereignty still governs much of our thinking today. This is in spite of the fact that it is the rule of good law that makes sense where democracy is limited by checks and balances, protections and safeguards to foil foolishness. Just laws have within them the seeds of true greatness, prosperity and freedom. And good law recognizes the sovereignty of “de jure” monarchs and the fact that they should in all fairness, according to the laws of justice, be restored to their rightful thrones as constitutional monarchs.

The King and the Constitution as well
as How Sovereignty can be Permanently Lost

Kings are still legally “de jure,” rightful and fully sovereign, even though they exercise only a portion of the full power of their countries. As observed by Hugo Grotius, a king or sovereign prince still retains full sovereignty even though there is a constitution limiting the exercise of his powers. He wrote, “. . . Sovereignty does not cease to be such even if he who is [sovereign] . . . exercise[s] it [and] makes promises. . . . I am speaking of . . . constitutions. . . .” (De Jure Belli as Pacis Libri Tres, Book I, Chapter 3, No. 16) ( /EBooks/Grotius_1032.01.pdf) A different translation of the same from Grotius is equally clear, “That Sovereignty is not less Sovereignty, though the Sovereign at his Inauguration solemnly promises some Things to God, or to his Subjects, even such Things as respect the government of the State [like following a constitution]. (Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, Jean Barbeyrac, Trans., Book I, chapter 3, no. 16) He then made a comparison between a king and the head of a household to make his point. He wrote:

If the head of the household promises that he will do for it something which affects the government of it, he will not on that account cease to have full authority over his household. . . . A husband, furthermore, is not deprived of the power conferred on him by marriage because he has promised something to his wife. (Ibid.)

Professor Kerr added:

The fact that a monarch has agreed to restrict the exercise of his Sovereign Power by swearing to a constitution in no way derogates from the unalienable Sovereignty residing in his person. Although a monarch may restrict the powers he personally exercises by granting a constitution, he, nevertheless, remains the source of power for all other branches and instrumentalities of his government. (The Augustan, vol. 18, no. 4, p. 130)

In other words, “The constitution derives its force from his assent to it. He is the grantor of whatever rights the constitution bestows. . . .” (Ibid) “As a monarch is the source of the Sovereign Power of the state and the grantor of any constitution, he is not deprived of the power conferred upon him by his kingship merely because he has promised to exercise it in a certain way. . . .” (Ibid.)

Some suggest if a king or reigning prince is limited, he is not sovereign, but
“. . . a holder of sovereignty need not be supreme [and absolute] in all matters.” (Daniel Philpott, Revolutions in Sovereignty, 2001, p. 19) Some things are wisely and intelligently delegated. And though the king is curtained by the constitution, for example, in the United Kingdom, “. . . it [the constitution] ascribes to him sovereignty, imperial dignity, and perfection. . . .” (Edward Wynne and William Meechan Bythewood, Eunomus; or, Dialogues concerning the Law and Constitution of England, 1822, p. 418)

Sovereignty is absolute, and “. . . absolutes don’t exist in degrees. You can’t be partially pregnant, sort of dead, kind of human, or almost sovereign. These are not absolute conditions.” (reference unknown) Marek Stanislaw Korowicz, a scholar of international law, explains that there is no such thing as a “limitation of Sovereignty.” Sovereignty cannot be limited, only a “limitation of the exercise of Sovereignty [can take place]. . . . Sovereignty may be limited in a quantitative sense [through checks and balances like having a mix of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy], but not [in] a qualitative one.” (Some Present Aspects of Sovereignty in International Law, 1961, p. 108) That is, sovereignty centers in the king or sovereign prince. The reason is in all monarchies, even, “in constitutional monarchies . . . sovereignty rests formally with the crown [even though] . . . politically [it is exercised by] ‘the people,’ . . . except in times of crisis [if the government must go into exile].” (
_dictionary/m/Monarchy) Thus the monarch is still sovereign, and therefore, fully royal and regal in every sense of the word even when there is a constitution that limited him. So they are not only entitled to be called “sovereigns,” but hold the full right of majesty, because they are internally “de jure” and rightful in their own lands.

For example, it is explained that, “While New Zealand is a de facto republic, we are still de jure (i.e. legally) a constitutional monarchy with sovereignty held by the crown.” (http://holdenrepublic
-republicanism.html) In the United Kingdom, “The bedrock of the British constitution is … the supremacy [the sovereignty and ruling right] of the Crown in Parliament.” (Lord Bingham in R (Jackson) v AG 2005 Lords:

The legislative, judicial and executive branches of their kingdoms generally hold external “de jure” and external “defacto” rule in the eyes of the world and in international law. These constituted authorities also hold internal “de facto” or political rulership, as well, within the state. However, the constitutional or limited monarch holds something extremely special and the only thing that is left over, and that is “de jure,” internal sovereignty, which is the highest and greatest honor, and is above all the others in the sense that it is legal, right, moral and ethical, whether it is recognized or not. The full power of sovereignty in includes:

(1) the “ius imperii” — the right to command and legislate
(2) the “ius gladii” — the right to enforce ones commands
(3) the “ius majestatis” — the right to be honored, respected and protected
(4) the “ius honorum” — the right to honor and reward merit

However, because of delegated authority, which is divided up, the right to command and the right to enforce are dormant and inoperative, rather than being active powers in the monarch. The use, of these sovereign qualities, is not readily available, while the right, to be honored and honor others, is usually in full active force.

The king or reigning prince has all four of the above sovereign powers in full either in a dormant or an inactive state, or in an active state where he can exercise some part of his full sovereignty. The point is, “. . . Each sovereign is omnipotent [all powerful] in the jural [or legal] universe [even if they are limited by a constitution].” (Quincy Wright, “National Sovereignty and Collective Security,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 186, The Attainment and Maintenance of World Peace, July 1936, p. 94)
“. . . the King is the fountain of all honor and possesses exclusively all the attributes of sovereignty.” (E. C. Wilkinson, Trial, 1839, p. 128) That is, the king or sovereign prince is still rightful and royal in every way, even if he so limited and crippled as to be only a ceremonial figurehead, an icon or a full head of state.

To see how all rights may be permanently lost, go to “DEPOSED SOVEREIGNTY AND ROYALTY: how to preserve it and how to lose it”

Ownership and Property Rights

Johann Wolfgang Tester in his book Synopsis of the Law of Nations, vol. 2, 1680 asked the question: “Whether a King can or can not alienate [sell or give away] his sovereignty [his royal rights] without his people’s consent.” He then explained, “Grotius says that he can in a patrimonial kingdom, because it is within the King’s absolute discretion, but that he can not in a limited monarchy.” (De jure belli ac pacis libri tres, Book II, chapter 6, no. 3+) In other words, a King or Prince can do so if “. . . he has full dominion and power of disposition” similar to a “de jure” king or prince. (p. 318) (Johann Textor testified that such a “. . . King can dispose of his Kingdom and any part of it, in his own right. . . .” (p. 81)

So powerful and absolute are the proprietary rights of monarchs, whether “de jure” or “defacto” that such a monarch could actually sell those sacred royal privileges, because they own them. That is, an ancient king or sovereign prince could legally and lawfully convey every royal right and prerogative they own to another. Ownership includes the privilege to use and profit from those rights as well as the right to exclude others from using an asset they own. Ownership also entails the right to transfer, alienate, sell, or mortgage one’s own possession. Property rights give to the owner the important option of physically transforming and even destroying the asset one owns, if necessary, as in the case of an abdication or a renunciation of all rights. This is also a recognized action supported by international law because it was done over and over again in ancient times over many centuries.

A striking example in history is the well-known fact that the last remaining successor and heir to the Byzantine Throne, Andreas Palaiologos, legitimately sold all his “de jure” royal and imperial rights, titles and prerogatives, “which were genuine,” to Charles VIII, the King of France, in 1494. He also sold all his rights again to the Ottoman Sultan or Emperor, Bayazid II, for a comfortable pension, then he sold them once again to King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile.

If it was not legally possible and valid to buy imperial, royal and sovereign rights in those days under international law and practice, then the King of France, the Ottoman Emperor/Sultan and the King and Queen of Castile would not have bought them. They and their lawyers considered the purchase, of all the legal rights, honors, and sovereign privileges of the Byzantine Empire, to be lawful, completely legitimate and authentic. Andreas Palaiologos lost all possession of his former rights by these actions, but only one transfer of rights was valid. The others were an act of fraud and deceit. None of the descendants of the above mentioned royals, France, Ottoman or Spain, continued or perpetuated the claim of the Byzantine Empire for very long, so the rights ceased to exist. (See:

Mr. James J. Algrant, a prominent scholar and historian explained that Andreas Palaiologos, the “de jure” Emperor, had “followed in the footsteps of the House of Courtenay which had sold its rights over Constantinople to the Angevin kings of Naples.” It was a common practice to sell authentic legal rights to sovereignty and territories in those days. (
.com/chivalry/fons.html) (See the subchapter: “The Buying and Selling of Sovereignty”) Johann Wolfgang Tester wrote, “Transference [cession] occurs in virture of the assent of a King who alienates his Kingdom to another. . . . This gives the receiver . . . regal [or Kingly] rights [and privileges].” (op.cit., p. 81)

Another example of this royal right was when HSH Prince Carl Anton of Hohenzollern-Hechingen voluntarily ceded or gave away his “de jure” sovereignty over his principality on December 7, 1849 to the Royal House of Prussia, but he and his descendants were allowed to retained their titles and nonsovereign princely nobles.

If such an act is done willingly and without duress or undue influence, assuming the individual is of a sound mind, a “de jure” sovereign house could legally and lawfully sell or discard all their rights and royal prerogatives and leave themselves and their heirs empty handed. For example, as illustrated by Guy Stair Sainty, “Prince Georg von Sachsen-Weimar und Eisenach by an act recorded by the Government of Baden-Württemberg renounced the name, title and rank of Prince of the House of Saxony, taking the forename and last name ‘Jorg Brena.'” (www.chivalricorders
.org/nobility/germtitl.htm) Hence, instead of being princesses, his three daughters have had to use the last name of Brena like any other common citizen. This non-sovereign prince exercised his exclusive ownership rights to renunciate, alienate or destroy his own and his family’s rightful patrimony or property—in this case his good name and theirs. However, as Jean Jacques Burlamaqui (1694–1748) a well-known Swiss legal scholar, declared, “It is therefore certain, that a prince may, for himself, renounce the crown, or the right of succession. But there is great doubt whether he can do it for his [living] children.” (
/burla_2204.htm) The living children who are lawful heirs still hold rights, but if they fail to contest such an action, before they pass away, they and their posterity loose all their royal rights and privileges to the throne. This applies to renunciations, but not to a formal and official cession, sale or conveyance of sovereignty. In such a case, unless there are mitigating circumstances as described earlier, their failure to protest at the time of a formal and official cession means the claim is permanently dead and there is a complete and irreversible forfeiture of all proprietary rights.

Royal Adoptions

Another important point to remember is that adoptions can convey full legal and legitimate succession rights. We are not discussing the phony name changes that now take place in order to obtain a title as the recipients think. These are invalid, unless, of course, the head of the family — the Reigning or “de jure” sovereign approves of it and makes it authentic and acceptable. Otherwise, they are nothing more or less than legal name changes. No real ancient rights are attached or connected with these phony legal ploys. But a true adoption, under the authority of a sovereign state or sovereign person is completely authoritative and legally binding. Hugo Grotius declared:

. . . because of assumed intent in the matter of succession, adopted children are not at a disadvantage in comparison with true children. Thus Hyllus, son of Hercules, succeeded by adoption to the kingdom of Aepalius, king of the Locrians. [And] Molossus, a bastard, by the will of his father Pyrrhus, who had no legitimate children, succeeded to the throne of Epirus. (On the Law of War and Peace (1625) Book II, chapter 7, no. 12)

Prince Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph, Archduke of Austria, accepted the appointment of being the Emperor of Mexico in 1864. However, he and his wife Carlotta were childless. To assure succession, he adopted Don Augustin, the son of an Imperial Prince of a former ruling family of Mexico, to be his successor. A quite similar story of adoption took place in the ruling dynasty of Monaco. It is also a well-known fact that the childless King of Sweden in 1810 adopted one of Napoleon’s Field Marshals of Imperial France. His name was Bernadotte and the king left his throne and crown to this man and his successors. The present King of Sweden is the direct descendant of this royal adoptee. All such decisions depends on what the people in real power want. An adoptive heir can be designated, and legally ascend to the throne, and all the sovereign glory and prerogatives inherent in any land or nation because his and his successors after him.

Sovereignty and Royalty

The counts, princes and dukes, who ruled over Imperial States of the Holy Roman Empire, held full and absolute sovereignty or majesty at one point in time. (1806-1813) Therefore, they are royals in the true sense of the word, even though they bear lesser titles and their little kingdoms were often quite tiny. The late HMSH, Prince Rainer III, the Sovereign Prince of Monaco is an example of a royal personage and head of state with a lessor title. This is also true of the Ruling or High Prince of Liechtenstein and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, who are also royal heads of state. Over a hundred times, these sovereigns and their families have been called royals by the worldwide press as is evident on the internet. But this high and exalted status is equally true for most of the present leaders of the former Imperial States of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the many princes of Imperial India, even though they are not presently allowed to reign over their former lands. It is not to be construed as permission to change or upgrade their ancient titles. For as Vattel has stated, “. . . it would be ridiculous for a petty [tiny territorial] prince to take the title of king, and assume the style of “Majesty. . . .” (Law of Nations, Book 2, #43) But it should be recognized that these “de jure” sovereigns are not only the highest nobility of their countries, but are, in truth, deposed royalty. The word “royal” in this sense is identical in meaning or synonymous to bearing the ancient and/or modern right of “sovereignty.” A “monarch” is a “sovereign” and “monarchs and their families [are] considered as a group [‘royalty’].” ( “Royalty” refers to “. . . the ruling house of any monarchy, regardless of the title [whether sovereign count, prince, duke, king or emperor]. . . .” ( “Royals (usually [from] emperors to princely counts) are all considered “princes” (German: Fürsten),” and all royals or members of the royalty. ( Even,
“. . . mediatized princes [of the German high nobility] were considered equal to royals for marriage purposes; in essence they were regarded as royalty.” (
/wiki/Mediatized) For example:

An English duke [styled as “Your Grace” rather than “Your Royal Highness”] might be many times richer than a minor German mediatized prince, his title was theoretically equal, and his political power might be greater — but the German prince and his children counted as royalty, and the Englishman and his children did not. This meant for example that the English duke’s daughter would be too low in rank to marry the German prince as an equal. (Ibid.)

The major difference or distinction in this comparison is that the mediatized German Princes were “de jure” sovereigns or monarchs and therefore they were royalty. The English duke, on the other hand, had no sovereignty, hence, even though he was considered to be of the high nobility in his country, he was not a royal. But “all Imperial Estates, which were not mediatized [before August of 1806 or the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire], received . . . unlimited sovereignty” or royalty. ( In other words, both the immediate and “. . . The mediatized princes [ranked as equal] with the royal houses of Europe.” (
/MEDIATIZATION_Ger_Mediatisierun.html) These royals, the immediate and the “. . . mediatized princes [mediatized after the collapse of the Empire] . . . transmit their titles and their privileges of ‘royal’ blood to all their legitimate descendants.” (www.1911encyclopedia
.org/Prince) It all boils down to the fact that no matter what the title, whether Maharajah, Sultan, Shah, Emperor, Emir, King or Prince, both “de jure” and regnant sovereign monarchs from any part of the earth, no matter whether they are constitutional or otherwise, are actually a part of the royalty of the earth.

Sovereign Equality

Emerich de Vattel, an 18th Century Swiss philosopher, diplomat and jurist, wrote in his book , “A dwarf is as much a man as a giant; a small republic is not less a sovereign state than the most powerful [and glorious] kingdom [or vast empire].” (Le Droit des gens, Section XVIII) ( The conclusion?—sovereignty is sovereignty and it is equal whether one is large or small, royal or the sovereign high nobility of a former empire. John Stuart Mill said, “. . . the smallest and least powerful nation . . . is the equal of the strongest. Whatever rights belong to one belongs to all. . . .” (Ernest Nys, “The Development and Formation International Law,” The American Journal of International Law, Vol. 6, No. 1, (Jan. 1912) p.11) In other words, “International law recognizes all monarchs as equally sovereign, [no matter what kind of monarchs they are] although the differences between the constitutional positions of monarchs may be considerable. . . .” (Stephen Kerr, The Augustan XVIII:4, p. 129) One of the central or core principles of the United Nations is “the principle of sovereign equality. . . .” ( All are equal under the law in regard to this one great principle—the emperor and the lowly sovereign count—those who are “de jure” and those legitimate monarchs who also have “defacto” rule over their territories and their people. In other words, the “mediatized” sovereign little countries have the same rights as those who were never “mediatized.” And sovereignty, it should be remembered, means “the absolute and perpetual power within a State.” (James L. Brierly, The Law of Nations, 2nd ed., (1936), p. 36) L. F. L. Oppenheim, International Law, Vol. I #346)

The Buying and Selling of Sovereignty

In the Holy Roman Empire as well as other nations, the prestige, power and glory of each territory was attached to the land or fief and not to a person or family, unless they personally owned these territories and maintained their rights. These ancient territories and the titles that went with them could be bought and sold. In this regard, Jean J. Burlamaqui made it clear that, “The sovereign becoming the depository as it were of the will and strength of each individual, which are united in his person. . . . [he therefore embodies all their power and thus becomes the owner of all rights and privileges. This kind of king or prince] has a right to . . . dispose of the crown [his territory or country] as he has a mind. . . .” (’burla_2204.htm) In other words, what he owns, he could also sell.

The point is, “All the states . . . hold their territory by the same kind of title by which their subjects hold their property in land, that is by a series of human dealings — as cession or conquest in the one case, conveyance inter vivos or will is the other. . . .” (John Westlake, Chapters on the principles of international law, 1894, p. 134) (See the subchapter: “Sovereignty and Ownership”)

It is important to remember that most vassals, fiefs and tiny monarchies as well as the larger nations were “. . . (dominium utile) . . . , which implies the utmost force and effect of sovereignty. . . .” (Johann Wolfgang Textor, Synopsis of the Law of Nations, vol 2, 1680, p. 82) In other words, all the “rights of Majesty are [possessed and can be used] independently of the consent of his direct superior lord, despite the fact that he [the prince] always remains bound to him [the Emperor] by the [oath and covenant of] fealty. . . .” (Ibid.) They held “true rights of sovereignty,” therefore, they acted according to the recognized international laws of sovereignty in their administration. (Ibid.) (See also the article: “Sovereignty in the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires”)

“Thus, the title [ownership] to territorial sovereignty in old countries . . . [were transferred or conveyed according to the law of nations not by feudal law].” (op. cit., Chapters on the principles of international law, p. 132) Professor Kerr wrote, “It is competent under the traditional doctrines of public international law to alienate Sovereignty by inter-vivos transfer.” (See Hugo Grotius, On the Law of War and Peace (1625) Book II, Chapter VI, Nos. 3 and 14; and Book I, Chapter III, No. 12) (See: “Dynastic Law”) “Where the right of sovereignty has been fully acquired [that is, clearly owned as a “de jure” or absolute right] it may be abandoned. . . [discarded or disserted by any means the owner decides].” (op. cit., Chapters on the principles of international law, p. 165)

“A government [or monarch owning all the rights of sovereignty] may assume the power to cede land to a foreign state [or another person] in property as well as in sovereignty. . . .” (Ibid., p. 130) That is, since, “there was . . . no clear distinction between property and territorial sovereignty. . . ,” it could be sold, transferred or conveyed and thus be forever alienated and lost by valid sale. (Ibid., p. 132)

Even though “sovereignty is indivisible, inalienable, and indefeasible,” it can be bought and sold. (Alain de Benoist, “The Modern Concept of Sovereignty:” A deeper understanding of sovereignty makes it clear that: (1) “indivisible” means it cannot be divided unless those in supreme power and authority, which is above all authority, freely and willingly permit it to be segmented or partitioned; (2) “inalienable” means it cannot be alienate without the full consent of those who own all the rights to that sovereign power and influence, which is above all authority; and (3) “indefeasible” means that the greatest power and honor of the nation cannot be annulled or made void by any outside authority of itself. But it can make up its own mind, with the supreme-supernal power it possesses to do whatever it wants to. In other words, sovereignty can be divided, it can be alienated and it can be transferred and sold, if those who hold this supreme right to control things decide to do so.

For example, in 1373 Margrave Otto sold the territorial sovereignty of Brandenburg to Emperor Charles IV of the Holy Roman Empire, who gave the country to his son Wenceslas. Later Frederick I of Hohenzollern in 1415 bought the electorship of Brandenburg from Emperor Sigismund, and thus elevated himself to the rank of a Prince Elector of the Empire. These Hohenzollerns through marriage and the purchase of lands, not always by war, steadily added to their holdings, beginning with several small acquisitions. They acquired the margraviates of Ansbach (1331) and Kulmbach (1340). And Ernest-Bogislas of Croy, the last Prince-Bishop of Kammin, sold all his rights to the diocese and principality of Kammin to the Elector of Brandenburg in 1650 for 100,000 talers. Other territories were bought. Later Frederick I, King of Prussia and as a Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, obtained the ownership of two other Feudal territories by some crafty maneuvers, thus in the 18 hundreds, the King of Prussia also became the Prince of Neuenburg and the Count of Valangin.

The Emperor, of course, could also rightfully sell or “cede territories [sovereignty and ownership] to another prince . . . if that cession and endowment had taken place according to the rules of the Empire.” ( In 1346, the Duchy of Estonia was sold by king of Denmark for 19 000 Köln marks to the Teutonic Order. “The shift of sovereignty [from Denmark to the Teutonic Order] took place on November 1, 1346” (Skyum-Nielsen, Niels, Danish Medieval History & Saxo Grammaticus. Museum Tusculanum Press, 1981, p. 129) (

Such transactions were a common and regular part of the workings of the Empire. Stories like those mentioned above took place throughout the Holy Roman Empire and most of feudal Europe–including that of the young man, Albrecht of Hohenzollern in 1513, who was too young to be a bishop, yet he became the Archbishop and Elector of Mainz, one of the seven highest sovereign Imperial Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, for a very large amount of ducats borrowed from the rich Augsburg family of Fugger. This man became famous for his struggle against Martin Luther. The right and privilege of sovereignty was bought and sold.

Another interesting example of purchase is in the history of Liechtenstein. Even though these nobles owned 46 castles, 24 towns, 35 large and 756 small villages, it is only after they bought two small immediate territories (the County of Vaduz and the Lordship of Schellenberg) for a huge amount in 1699 and 1712 that they were enabled to become immediate princes and recognized members of the Reichstag or Imperial Diet of the Holy Roman Empire. The highest status in the Holy Roman Empire required that you owned or had “ownership” of an immediate Imperial fief–one that had a sovereign title attached to it, which one could obtain by purchase, award or enfeoffment. One also had to have a vote in both the Imperial Assembly and one of the Imperial Circles. Such a person automatically was recognized with the status of being a realm prince of the Holy Roman Empire. The Principality of Liechtenstein amazingly survived all the problems and policical upheavals of the past century and is a wealthy country today with a royal monarch as head of state.

This practice of ownership of a territory being bought and sold is also in the history of a number of principalities in France where the conclusion was made that “in the 17th and 18th centuries, a sovereign principality could be donated or sold [and this] was accepted as a matter of course.” ( That is, it was a common practice. New dynasties of ruling lords–barons, viscounts, counts, and sovereign dukes were created by purchase in England as well as other European countries. But this was not a European practice only.

In 1803, the United States doubled its size by purchasing the “Louisiana Territory” for $15,000,000.00 from the Emperor Napoleon. All the rights to a small chuck of land (the present states of North Dakota and Minnesota) was bought from England in 1818. In 1819, what is now the state of Florida and part of Louisiana was purchased from Spain. In 1845, the right to rule Texas and most of New Mexico was legally acquired by purchase from Spain. The land of what is now called Arizona and southern New Mexico was bought from Mexico in 1853. Then to complete things, in 1867, His Majesty, the Emperor of all the Russians, formally ceded all rights for of possession, ownership and dominion over what was then called the “Alaskan Territory” for $7,200,000.00 This was the more civilized way of exchanging the ownership or the right to rule and have dominion over territories. Too much was done by war, theft, threat and blackmail in the past. Sovereignty, according to international law, could be and was, indeed, bought and sold. If these conveyances were a transfer of property or territory only, and not the full right of sovereignty, then Alaska would still be under the authority and power of Russia. And much of the United States would be ruled over by France and Mexico.

In other words, it is a well-known principle in international law that “by overt conscious act, one can willingly transfer their Sovereignty to another, such as a King [or commoner or to the people or whatever one wants if one is the true legitimate owner].” ( In fact, anything that has any real value or worth, can be sold. Ownership, in part, means the actual right to sell what one really owns. I doubt a modern absolute “divine right of kings” monarch could get away with selling his country, but this was most certainly done in the past. For another example, knowing that the ownership or ancient sovereignty rights to a country could be, sold, mortgaged, etc. by their monarch, the Duke of Bouillon, to someone else:

On February 18, 1791, the General Assembly of [the dukedom of] Bouillon passed a decree asserting that the sovereignty of the duchy could not be mortgaged, alienated, exchanged or sold without express consent of the nation of Bouillon, and asking the duke [their sovereign or monarch] to provide for the succession to his house in case (as everyone expected) his son died without heirs.” (

Since 1467, the German Principality of Mindelheim had been brought, sold, bought again, lost and recovered a few times over and finally conveyed to a new owner by a treaty in 1713. It was once purchased by the British Sir John Churchill, first duke of Marlborough. He later forfeited it in the Treaty of Utrecht. Other examples of sales continue, which is but a sample of a few of the lawful purchases of sovereign territories. To continue: the Principality of Sagan in Poland was bought by Prince Lobkowitz in 1646 and later sold to Peter, Duke of Courland, whose descendant, Prince Boson (b. 1832), son of Napoleon Louis (1811-1898), duke of Talleyrand-Prigord, owned it in 1910. The Albanian principality of Kroia was sold in 1474 to the Venetians and four years later was sold to the Turks. Jean de Vendome, the prince of de Chabanais sold his French principality to Montesquion-Muntluc, who became the new prince in 1540. Stories like this were not infrequent. It might be typical for a peasant to have more than one entirely different ruling family as heads of state and the government over their tiny country. Changes in dynasties were an accepted practice and the serfs or citizens of these little countries were accustomed to it.

Jean J. Burlamaqui explained that, “they [patrimonial emperors, kings and princes] are permitted to share, transfer, or alienate [their sovereignty] . . . [In other words, a] prince shall have full right [and prerogative] to dispose of the crown, as he shall think proper.” ( Again, sovereignty, the right to rule and possess a territory could be bought and sold. “Monaco was purchased from the Genoese in 1309 by the Grimaldi family. For 800 years, the Grimaldis have controlled the oldest monarchy in the world, and a treaty with France guarantees the country’s independence as long as its throne is occupied by a Grimaldi.” (
/tour_cannes.htm) Duke August, the younger, (1579-1666) “purchased all rights with respect to the principality of Brunswick – Wolfenbüttel from his seven elder brothers.” ( For a Russian example, the principality of Rostov was sold to Ivan I of Moscow in the 1400’s. In Germany, there are numerous examples, the principality of Auersperg, which was sold to Baden in 1811, and the Principality of Krantheim, another sovereign territory, was sold to Württemberg in 1839. This kind of action is representative of a well-established legal pattern and was an accepted way of conveying or transferring the lawful possession and the full right and entitlement of sovereignty.(see also “General Philosophy & Practices” under the subtitle “General Philosophy on Titles” for more examples)

Sovereignty in the person of an emperor, king or prince, as stated before, is similar to property rights, sometimes called “regalian rights” or true ownership of all the land, minerals and wealth of the nation. And, if this valuable possession was to be sold, it was usually sold to the highest bidder or most powerful and frightening. Ernest I, the duke of Saxe-Cobdrg-Gotha, sold the principality of Lichtenberg in the 1800’s to Prussia for a large sum of money. Hence, he enjoyed a very large private fortune. And in 1729, the sovereign principality of Seborga was sold for money to the powerful Vittorio Amedeo II, of Savoy, Prince of Piedmont and King of Sardinia.

Like any property that is owned, a sovereign territory could also be mortgaged for a loan of some kind as well. In 1384, the Sovereign Princely House of Grimaldi received possession of the ancient city of Antibes — as collateral to a loan made to an overspending Pope. Jeanne de Penthievre of France had to make annual payments of 7,000 livres for massive war debts incurred in the 1400’s during the Hundred Years War. He pledged the viscounty of Limoges as collateral for this. And by a treaty signed at Tongres on 21 May 1484, Guillaume de La Marck:

. . . . was awarded 30,000 livres de gros (currency of the Low Countries) for his contribution to the war against Maximilian of Hapsburg, and [the Dukedom, the territory of Bouillon] was mortgaged to him as collateral until repayment [could be made]. (

In fact, the Hohenzollerns made it “. . . a policy of acquiring, by purchase, the lands of principalities overloaded by indebtedness, [this] became the customary method of the Hohenzollern princes [to expand the borders of their sovereign holdings].” (
/archive/marx/works/1856/12/13.htm) For example, “On 2 December 1791, Christian Frederick sold the sovereignty of his principalities to King Frederick William II of Prussia. . . .” ( More examples could be given, but this is considered sufficient to make the point about the legality and practice of both buying and selling of sovereign rights — the right of monarchy. In other words:

Sovereignty [or ownership in the Holy Roman Empire where much of this took place, and elsewhere, could be achieved] . . . by inheritance, testament, investiture, infeoffment, or even sale or lien. Its possession or enjoyment did not require noble status. (

That is, “The right to receive the investiture [as a titled sovereign noble] was . . . attached to the land, and could not be denied by the Emperor.” (Ibid.) If purchased, it was yours and all the full and complete sovereign privileges that went with it. And if held inviolately and not conveyed or given away, it became a permanent possession by right of blood especially after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 which established the principle of sovereignty as inviolate, irrevocable, permanent, indivisible, and inalienable in the person of the king, prince, count or sovereign lord of the land, who could keep or dispose of this priceless treasure if he so desired.

Moshe ben Maimon, a well-known religious philosopher, who lived in the 12th Century, wrote what was thought to be right and true about kingship. He declared that “once he has been anointed, he has acquired kingship both for himself and for his descendants forever, for monarchy is dynastic,” which means monarchy is hereditary. That is, as long as the family has heirs, or does not become extinct and obeys the laws that maintain royal prerogatives, it can hold onto royal rights endlessly and forever. But a dynasty can be lost forever by ceding or selling it to another as explained above. For example, Charles II signed a testament in October, 1700 bequeathing or ceding the succession of the kingdom of Spain to Philip of Anjou, the second grandson of Louis XIV of France, on condition that he would renounce all claims to the throne of France. “Thus his last act was to disinherit his own family.” He died on the 1st of November, 1700. (
This kind of act was recognized in international law, for example, Jean J. Burlamaqui declared, “There is no reason to hinder the sovereign power, as well as every other right, from being alienated or transferred. . . [that is] the prince shall have full right to dispose of the crown [his sovereign territorial and dynastic rights], as he shall think proper. . . .” ( If his heirs do not powerfully protest the cession or loss of rights at the time, the legal presumption of abandonment was made and the deal became final and could not be rescinded or undone either by prince or by his posterity.

These practices were so prevalent and common place that in order to protect the country as a whole, in the 13th century, it became a fundamental law in France, as powerful as Salic law, that the Kings of France could not, under any circumstances, alienate, sell or dismember the Kingdom. It was to remain permanently intact and not follow the pattern of bartering sovereignty for money or favors — a practice that prevailed all over Europe as well as in France. This law would not have been made if it was not possible for the kingdom to be sold or divided. But because it was possible, the lawyers and jurists made indivisibility an immutable and incontrovertible law so as to protect the kingdom intact. (
/carrie_books/gilbert/21.html) L. Oppenheim and H. Lauterpacht wrote about this process in the book International Law. (8th ed., Vol. I, No. 486 and 488)

The well-known process of conveying sovereignty, which includes all the rights of “ius imperii,” “ius gladii,” “ius majestatis” and “ius honorum,” is called “inter-vivos.” It is the transferral of all the honors, rights and powers of rightful sovereignty. That is, the transfer of the rights, title or ownership thereof from one living person, nation or people to another living person, nation or people. (See: “Dynastic Law” & “Sovereignty: Questions and Answers”)


Legal Realities

In conclusion, from all the information presented above, “de jure” as well as reigning constitutional kings and princes still bear the full, complete and absolute sovereign privileges of their ancient forebears in full power, whether that sovereinty is dormate because they are non-reigning or because a constitution has been permitted. These sovereign rights are something that cannot be taken away if in every generation it is reconfirmed.

Professor Stephen Kerr explained that “de jure” or former “. . . territorial States, kingdoms and principalities, as well as regnant [or reigning] princes, the pope, the United Nations, the International Red Cross, and the Order of Malta are [well-known to be] subjects of public international law.” (See: “Dynastic Law”) Hence, “a [“de jure” and/or reigning] prince is more than a private citizen. . . .” (Ibid.) They are public personages and subjects of the law of nations.

In recognition of this important truth, an international court of arbitration in Italy (also the Italian Supreme Court of Appeal) on May 9, 2003, decided that “for an unlimited period,” that is, as long as there will be descendants who follow the law to keep their rights alive, that a rightful successor to the kingdom of Aragon and his heirs may enjoy the full right of title as the “Sovereign Head” of his house and former kingdom, and enjoy “all the qualities, prerogatives, attributes and styles of that rank and with the possibility to use coat of arms, titles and designations which belong to him by hereditary right.” (Jacob W. F. Sundberg, Professor Emeritus of Law, “Regarding dethroned princely Houses and their legal rights,” Stockholm, September 15, 2006: In addition, such may use “the sovereign prerogatives known as jus majestatis and jus honorum, with the ability to confer nobiliary titles, with or without predicates, noble arms, honorific titles and chivalric distinctions relating to their hereditary dynastic Orders.” (Ibid.) This is an extremely significant ruling that confirms everything we have taught in this thesis on royalty, nobility and sovereignty. The learned author then concluded:

As far as the head of a dethroned, formerly ruling princely house is concerned, in this particular case [which reflects on the status of all others in the same boat, that is, that this former ruling house] . . . has had its position as a subject of international law recognized, this should imply that the person concerned [and all others by implication] may on this account [because of this ruling] be considered as having rank equal to a head of state and such rights and obligations which go with it.” (Ibid.)

The implication of this are extremely important and far-reaching. Legally making a pretender to an ancient throne that no longer exists comparable to a current, reigning, royal head of state is extraordinary and amazing, but it fits perfectly with the law and the eternal and unending nature of hereditary rights, especially as they related to sovereignty. But, as Professor Stephen Kerr declared, this was an ancient ruling that created by treaty. He wrote, “. . . . Under the rules of the Congress of Vienna heads of former ruling houses are considered equal to heads of state.” (“Interim up-date of Professor Kerr’s 1973 Research — Part 1:”
/20050208083648/ That is, the mediatized or dethroned princes and counts of Germany were considered royalty and equal to the ruling princes and counts. This international law principle is still effective today.

However, it is important to note that the above court decision is not conclusive about the claims of the House of Aragon, only as pertaining to law. For example, when a court makes a decision, you don’t know what evidence was presented and what was withheld or even hidden from them. And if the court used the preponderance of evidence test (most do for civil cases such asthis), then all that was required for the decision was a 51% assurance after weighing the evidence on hand. But that leaves as much as a 49% possibility, or practically a 50/50 chance, that their decision was not only wrong, but dead wrong. The conclusion, then, is that such a court can be depended on to uphold the law or be legally correct and accurate, but as pertaining to the particular case, they can be out in left field not ruling on the full picture. Therefore, it can be honestly stated that the House of Aragon question of whether they are a true royal house holding true sovereignty has not been fully tested, resolved or settled one way or the other.

The real point here, and it is a big and important one, pertains exclusively to international law as it relates to “de jure” sovereign prerogatives and rights. That is, that the full and complete right to rule can still be recognized and acknowledged, even though the loss of “defacto” sovereignty was over 700 hundred or more years ago. In other words, this court upheld the law of nations as pertaining to “de jure” sovereignty that it can last forever. Its decision was especially significant since it has international relevance and meaning. That is, by virtue of an agreement made on June 10, 1958 by the United Nations, the decisions of this particular court in Italy are officially authoritative in over one hundred and twenty-five countries. And according to the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, it is also valid in all the countries of the European Union. Hence, the judgment of this court pertaining to law is internationally powerful and binding throughout the entire earth. It confirms and validates the law of nations by making a nonreigning “de jure” sovereign prince equal to a reigning head of state. “De jure” princes, because they are the personification and embodiment of all goverment authority, are governments in exile. Truly they have profound and far-reaching inalienable rights.

The Future of Nobility and Royalty

As the true owners of the sovereign authority of their ancient countries or territories, these noble, royal and imperial houses can and have created valid and authentic titles of nobility, new orders of chivalry and legitimately ennobled others. This ancient sovereign right has continued, and will continue without limitations as to time, which is just the nature of rightful sovereignty. It being a “divine right” in ancient law, or a hereditary proprietary right that lives and breathes perpetually in their lawful successors.

In other words, true nobility and royalty can be passed on, and never lost, and thus can continue on indefinitely or forever as an important part of life for many decades and centuries yet to come. That is, it can go on perpetually without end. Provided, of course, those so endowed make worthy contributions and can still command the respect, admiration and approval. That is, the value placed upon nobility and royalty is directly related to the individuals who bear the titles and what they embody. May the nobility of the earth be exemplary and live lives worthy of emulation and admiration. The future is depends on it. (see “Ideals” and “Monarchy and Nobility: Divine Rights and Responsibilities”)

But there is a very serious threat to all of this that must be faced head on. It has nothing to do with law. Justice and ancient laws uphold regal rights and the historical ownership to titles, territories, kingdoms, and empires, etc., even if modern governments do not. The problem is that there are so many scam artists out there who are deceivers and con men. They give out and sell phony titles and knighthoods that are nothing more than fakes or make believe. There are others who really believe that they bear true titles or have illustrious ancestors, when, in fact, they were victims of internet deception or unscrupulous genealogists. In other words, counterfeit nobility and royalty is a growing menace, confusing or blurring reality with illusions, fiction and make believe. They hurt the reputations, the due respect and honor the true ones would otherwise hold. They make everything royal and noble look bad. In order to correct this serious threat to the whole field of nobility and royalty, and to safeguard and defend what is legitimate and true, the International Commission on Nobility and Royalty was created and will be maintained perpetually. (See: “Sovereignty: Questions and Answers”)


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