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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Kings-in-Waiting

In the current tradition of European Monarchy, with the exception of the thrones of The Netherlands and Luxembourg, only the death of abdication can send the next ruler  the throne.

Here are the two Kings-in-Waiting of Europe.   

UNITED KINGDOM - Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales
Among Europe’s Kings-in-waiting, the Prince of Wales is the eldest. He was born on November 14, 1948 and this year (2010), he will be 62 years old unheard for a British heir apparent to ascend the throne. In British history, the oldest to become King was William IV, he was 70 years old when he succeeded the throne, but he was not the heir-apparent of his brother, King George IV, but only the heir-presumptive.

But despite this long wait for the crown, Prince Charles devoted all his life doing goodwill for his country, charity crusades and helping his mother running the monarchy. The Prince of Wales is known for his environmental campaigns and love for the countryside, he tirelessly promoted green movement and environmental activities in the United Kingdom, he has a great passion in organic farming and advocating a sustainable, natural farming which he pronounced “very profitable”. His sprawling estate called Highgrove in Tetbury, Gloucestershire which he bought before his marriage to Lady Diana Spencer, has a home farm using state-of-the-art farm machineries.

As a royal brought up in the upper-lip system of the British monarchy, Prince Charles is not a demonstrative parent to Prince William and Prince Harry when they were still young boys, in contrast to Diana’s cuddles and kisses or tactile mothering practice, the Prince of Wales expressed his concern and love for his sons on splendid vacations and quality time at Balmoral Castle. But when the Princess of Wales tragically killed in Paris, France, his fatherly instinct for the two Princes became very evident.

SPAIN: Prince Felipe, the Prince of Asturias

When he was born in 1968, Spain was still under the dictator government of Francisco Franco and there was a bleak chance that the monarchy would be restored, but Prince Felipe’s grandfather, Prince Juan, the Count of Barcelona, was determined to restore the throne to his family that he formed an alliance with Franco, after many negotiations and peace talks, the dictator finally agreed to restore the crown but the Count of Barcelona did not accept the throne instead he gave it to his only son who would become King Juan Carlos in 1975 after Franco's death.

The Prince of Asturias (the official title traditionally given to the heir-apparent of the Spanish throne since the reigns of the Hapsburg monarchs), just like the future British King who happens to be his uncle, Prince Charles of England, was born strikingly royal. He has royal parents who descended from the famous royal houses of European monarchy. His father, Juan Carlos, is the only son of Prince Juan and Princess Maria of the Two-Sicilies while his mother, Queen Sofia, is the eldest daughter of King Paul of Greece and Princess Frederika, a granddaughter of Emperor William II of Germany. Both Sofia's parents are direct descendants of Queen Victoria of England.

Prince Felipe is very athletic and out-going, and just like his father and maternal uncle, King Constantine II of Greece, he has a great passion in sailing which he took part in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Both King Juan Carlos and King Constantine II are Olympians, participating in the 1960 Sailing event representing their respective countries while still Princes.

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