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KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #1 
On this thread we can put genealogical challenges and people can solve them. 

So, for Peter, who is the common ancestor of Charles I of England, Louis XVI of France, and Nicholas II of Russia?
Peter

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Reply with quote  #2 
They have many common ancestors. But I suppose James I of England/VI of Scotland would be the best reply.
KYMonarchist

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In hindsight, I should have guessed that myself, given that James I and VI is the father of Charles I.
Peter

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Whom did you have in mind, then? Just curious.
KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #5 
Nobody, since I had no idea. Though, in retrospect, James I and VI should have been a fairly blatantly obvious candidate, he being the common ancestor between the Jacobite and incumbent lines of succession to Britain, which themselves encompass all European royalty bar Albania, I think.
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Then that wasn’t a challenge, it was just a question! Looking at legitimate descent from James I & VI, it comes through four of his grandchildren. These are Henriette, duchesse d’Orléans, daughter of Charles I; Karl I Ludwig, Elector Palatine, son of James’s daughter Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia; Eduard, Count Palatine of Simmern, another son of hers; and finally Elizabeth’s daughter Sophia, Electress of Hanover.

The descent of the Crown comes through Sophia, most junior of the four but the only one among them with Protestant issue. And Protestant and Orthodox soveregns are generally descended from James I & VI only through her. I make it seven descents for the Emperor Nicholas II, for example, all via Sophia.

Catholic sovereigns, in contrast, tend to descend via all four. Descent from Henriette, the most senior descendant of whom is of course the Jacobite nomination, is through her daughter Anne Marie, Queen of Sardinia. Descent survives from two of her children, but that through her daughter Marie Adélaïde is most widespread, she being the mother of Louis XV of France. Her great-granddaughter Maria Luisa of Parma married Carlos IV of Spain and most Catholic descents from Charles I are through her.

The only legitimate descent from the Elector Palatine Karl I Ludwig is through his daughter Elisabeth Charlotte, who married Philippe I, duc d’Orléans, as his second wife following her first cousin once removed Henriette. As it happens, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and Kings of Spain and Belgium all descend from their son Philippe II, but a far more general conduit is through their daughter, also named Elisabeth Charlotte, who was the mother of the Emperor Franz I, husband of Archduchess Maria Theresa. Catholic royalty who fail to descend from those two must have been doing some fancy footwork (or be the Prince of Monaco).

Eduard, Count Palatine of Simmern, a Catholic convert, had three daughters, descent surviving from each. Most general though is descent from the third daughter, Benedicta Henriette. She married Johann Friedrich, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, another Catholic convert and the elder brother of Ernst August, later Elector of Hanover and husband of Benedicta Henrietta’s aunt Sophia. Descent survives from two of their four daughters, the youngest of whom, Wilhelmine Amalia, was Empress as wife of Joseph I. Their daughter Archduchess Maria Josepha was spouse to August III of Poland, and their daughter Maria Amalia was Queen of Spain as wife of Carlos III. See my remarks above concerning the Emperor Franz I and Archduchess Maria Theresa for the likelihood of Catholic royalty avoiding descent from that pair.

Descent from the Electress Sophia is through her son George I and daughter Sophia Charlotte, Queen in Prussia as wife of Friedrich I. They had but one child, Friedrich Wilhelm I, who married his first cousin Sophia Dorothea, daughter of George I, and they had many children, daughters especially, through whom the dual descent from Sophia began spreading.

George I’s disastrous marriage produced one other child, George II. His own marriage was similarly productive of daughters, who again began spreading descent from Sophia, which as it expanded began entering Catholic lines, into which more minor Protestant princesses could now and again be persuaded to marry (While the reverse almost never happens). Anyway, this survey has shown not only that you are right about the widespread, indeed near-universal nature of descent from James I & VI, but also something of how the spread occurred, which I hope was interesting. One caveat, though; Albania, yes, but also Monaco, its Prince being no more a James I & VI descendant than I am.

KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #7 
I did not actually know that about Monaco. We clearly need to get the newly-born Prince Jacques to marry a descendant of James I and VI pronto and rectify this loophole in European royalty!
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #8 
I suggest waiting for Prince Jaques to be out of diapers before marrying him off.
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Reply with quote  #9 
Prince Jacques' paternal first cousin, Princess Alexandra (I think she's now about 9th or so in the Monegasque line of succession), actually is a descendant of King James I & VI, and she has a quite distinguished royal  German and Danish ancestry, deriving from her Welf father.
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KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #10 
The Queen's fifteenth cousin twice removed died a week ago today. Peter, a challenge for you, name this person.

And a challenge for everybody else as well, name the common ancestress this person, who is a baron by the way, shares with the Queen. Specifically, which ancestress of this particular baron makes said baron fifteenth cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II?
Peter

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I suspect it was the life peer Baron Healey of Riddlesden, a politician I always heartily detested. He was an open Communist in his youth and I strongly suspect never changed his allegiance, only concealed it. As both Minister of Defence and Chancellor he was calamitous, and in his public statements almost habitually mendacious. While I noticed the report of his death at the great age of 98 and did not exactly rejoice, neither did I feel any twinge of sorrow. I will leave the other question to anyone who cares to undertake it. Of course, if I have the wrong man I will try again, but I think I would need at least a small further clue from you.
KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #12 
It wasn't Denis Healey, Peter, but one of the hereditary peers elected to remain in the Lords after the awful reform of 1999. I gave this peer's rank in my first clue.
Peter

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Arthur Lawson Johnston, 3rd Baron Luke (13 January 1933-2 October 2015). The time difference fooled me, I was looking for someone who died October 3rd not 2nd. However, while he may well have been the Queen's 15th cousin twice removed that was far from his nearest relationship to Her Majesty. He is not on the Genealogics database so I can't use the calculator on him directly, but you can see here that his maternal grandmother was Hon Rachel Gough-Calthorpe. She is on the database, and was 5th cousin to the Queen, making her grandson a 5th cousin twice removed, apart from any other relationships that might exist. Did you perhaps actually mean to type fifth, not fifteenth? In any case, and assuming I got it right this time, thanks for the challenge, it was a nice little workout.
KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #14 
You are correct this time, Peter. It was the 3rd Baron Luke I was referring to. However, I did indeed mean to type fifteenth cousin, as I'd not figured out who exactly the 3rd Baron Luke's mother was the child of, though I was pretty certain it was a noble couple. 

I'll give you some hints for who the ancestress is that make the Queen and the late baron fifteenth cousins twice removed. The ancestress's relevant descendant is the wife of the 1st Baron Luke, and the ancestress herself was a close relative of King Henry VII, specifically an ancestress of that monarch two generations prior. The 3rd Baron Luke is descended from a different marriage of this ancestress than was Henry VII. Would you like to try to guess this woman's identity, Peter?

And sorry for forgetting about the time difference, my bad.[redface]
Peter

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Margaret Beauchamp, Henry VII's maternal grandmother by her second marriage, to John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset. Her first husband was Sir Oliver St John of Bletso and she had seven children by him, including Sir John St John of Bletso, patrilineal ancestor of Beauchamp St John, 17th Baron St John of Bletso and father of the Hon Edith St John, wife of the 1st Baron Luke and grandmother of the 3rd Baron who died earlier this month. The 1st Baron Luke's father incidentally was an Edinburgh butcher who founded the family fortunes by inventing and developing Bovril (linked because I'm not sure if US readers will have heard of the substance; if not they will probably think it sounds revolting, but it's not, it's quite nice, particularly as a drink).

As it happens both Henry VII's grandmothers had children by two unions, but no posterity survives from the marriage of his paternal grandmother Catherine de Valois to Henry V. It is not at all clear that Catherine ever married Owen Tudor but she had children by him anyway, including Henry VII's father Edmund Tudor, from whom an immense posterity survives. So I think Margaret Beauchamp has to be the ancestress you mean. However, while I'm sure you calculated the 15th cousinhood correctly, no doubt through the descent of the Crown on the Queen's side, Her Majesty is descended from Henry VII in numerous different ways and in a number of different generations, so other cousinhoods will exist through the same connection. And although the Lords St John seem on the whole to have chosen brides of common stock they did not entirely eschew marrying from other aristocratic bloodlines, and Edith St John had a spread of noble and remote royal descents (including at least two more from Sir Oliver St John and Margaret Beauchamp, in different generations) that would create other relationships between herself and the Queen.

One of the reasons that Denis Healey seemed a likely candidate was the very remoteness of the relationship, and fifteenth cousin is extremely so; any two people of similar ethnicity are likely to be related more closely than that, albeit with no means of tracing it in most cases, and any British person of noble lineage is likely to be related more closely than that to the Queen. Anyway, and assuming again that I found the right answer, I enjoyed the exercise. Got any more? That invitation is, of course, open to everybody.
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