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Peter

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Realm

Sovereign

No of distinct ancestors-3rd generation

Loss of ancestry %

4th generation

Loss %

5th generation

Loss %

6th generation

Loss %

Belgium

Albert II

8

0

16

0

32

0

62

3.13

Britain

Elizabeth II

8

0

16

0

32

0

62

3.13

Denmark

Margrethe II

8

0

16

0

28

14.29

44

31.25

Liechtenstein

Hans-Adam II

8

0

16

0

30

6.25

58

9.38

Luxembourg

Henri

8

0

14

12.5

27

15.63

52

18.75

Monaco

Albert II

8

0

16

0

Unknown

Unknown

Netherlands

Beatrix

8

0

16

0

32

0

60

6.25

Norway

Harald V

6

25

10

37.5

20

37.5

38

40.63

Spain

Juan Carlos I

8

0

16

0

24

25

34

46.88

Sweden

Carl XVI Gustaf

8

0

14

12.5

26

37.5

44

31.25

3rd generation = great-grandparents (eight ancestors)

4th generation =great-great-grandparents (16 ancestors)

5th generation = great-great-great-grandparents (32 ancestors)

6th generation = great-great-great-great-grandparents (64 ancestors)

 

I don't know about other countries, but in Britain the most common epithet heard from opponents of the monarchy is 'parasites', and the second most common is 'inbred'. Often they come as a pair, of course. Between the heavy constitutional responsibilities of the monarch, the enormous range of public duties carried out by her and other members of the royal family, and the actual arrangements for funding those duties, which are not nearly as straightforwardly out of the taxpayer's pocket as people unthinkingly assume, we all know how to counter charges of parasitism. But royal genealogy is not everyone's thing, even among convinced monarchists, and I thought it might be interesting to look at how much truth there is to the inbreeding charge, with particular reference to the ten surviving European monarchies.

The above table is just such a look. It will be seen that there is a certain degree of truth to it in some countries, though not Britain where the charge is so often levied. It will also be seen that the worst-affected monarchs are Harald V of Norway, Henri of Luxembourg, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Juan Carlos I of Spain and Margrethe II of Denmark, in roughly that order, while the other five are hardly affected at all. But in fact the ‘afflicted’ monarchs are hardly drooling idiots themselves. So, in half the cases there is no inbreeding to speak of, and in the other half there is but it makes no difference.

Part of the line for Monaco is blank, because I only have 12 of the 16 4th-generation ancestors of the late Princess Grace. An interesting little point; there is some intermarriage among the ones I have, even though her family was in no way royal or even noble. In fact she was more inbred than her husband Prince Rainier. Finally, if anyone wants my spreadsheet of which the above is the summary page, just say. It contains the complete 5th-generation ancestries of all ten sovereigns, apart from Albert II of Monaco which isn’t quite complete, hyperlinked to Wikipedia articles where they exist, so might be of interest to someone.

royalcello

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Reply with quote  #2 
Excellent refutation of a tiresome canard, though alas I doubt that the sort of people who repeat it are capable of understanding your point.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #3 
Checking my work this morning, I had some mistakes in the table, now rectified. To my shame, I had overlooked a sibling pair lurking in the 4th-generation ancestry of the late Prince Bernhard (Charlotte Vincke and Baron Ludwig Vincke), bumping up Queen Beatrix's 6th-generation ancestry loss to 6.25%, from 3.13%. I also, with slightly more excuse, completely overlooked a 5th-generation ancestry loss for King Juan Carlos I and 4th- and 5th-generation losses for King Carl XVI Gustaf. The excuse was that working out King Juan Carlos I's 6th-generation ancestry loss completely did my head in. This is what I had to take account of:

Siblings 1 (duplicated siblings)
Siblings 2 (duplicated sibling)
Siblings 3 (duplicated sibling)
Duplicate 1
Siblings 4
Siblings 5 (duplicated siblings)
Duplicate 2

The colour coding didn't really help, and whereas with everyone else I worked out the 6th-generation ancestry loss with arithmetic, with King Juan Carlos I mentally quailed and ended up just listing his separate ancestors in that generation then counting them. Anyway, refreshed and restored this morning I think I caught all the errors. Hope so, anyway, 'cause I'm not checking it again.

A caveat I should put in is that I have taken no account of cross-generation ancestry loss. For example, Albert II of the Belgians comes out pretty clean, but in fact three of the people in his 5th-generation ancestors were children of people also in that generation. Parents and children are distinct individuals, in the genetic sense also, so apart from not being able to think of a way to represent any loss there might be across generations I thought it not unfair to count them as such.

A point specifically concerning King Juan Carlos; doubts have often been expressed about the biological paternity of both his 5th-generation ancestor Infante Francisco de Paula and his great-grandfather Alfonso XII. I have taken no account of these, as though there is reason to doubt in both cases we don't know for sure. I have however counted Baron August von Senarclens de Grancy in his 5th generation rather than Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, as in that case there is no doubt at all that the former rather than the latter fathered the King's 4th-generation ancestor Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine. This actually makes no difference to the degree of inbreeding shown; substituting the usual suspects for Francisco de Paula's father and that of Alfonso XII would have reduced it, but as said while I know what I believe that isn't the same thing as certainty.

Finally, yes, in my experience when refuting anti-monarchist slurs the only notice the person making the slur will ever take is that they might wait a little while before repeating it. All one can do is try.
BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'd like the spread-sheet.
Thanks!


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Peter

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It's available here. The link is to SendSpace, who used to be very easy to use but now have made life difficult. There are several download links, most of which are for executables doing who knows what. The one for the file is near the bottom above "Share", and says "Click here to start download from sendspace". Having downloaded it you will probably need to shut down your browser with Task Manager to fight off the spam pages, I did anyway when I went through the process to check everything worked. Sorry about all this, but if you want the file it's only a minute's worth of hassle, and who said life should be easy anyway?
BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks,
I 'right-clicked' the link, then 'save as' and am happy.

Firefox popped the 'firefox has prevented...' message, but that was the extent of the 'garbage' I had to deal with.....


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Peter

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Reply with quote  #7 
For some reason I was reminded of this thread and took another look at the spreadsheet, spotting something I'd missed. Anyone who downloaded it earlier (it has now been updated) may want to add the following note to the Sweden worksheet: '32 was the daughter of 12/20 by her first marriage.'
BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks!

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ObedientServant

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Reply with quote  #9 
T'whole "inbred" thingy is just a lie to try an discredit t'monarchy!

ey up everyone BTW!

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