Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Windsor-Rome Reunion

In news that'll make some of you giggidy, come November there'll be a British Royal Wedding in St Peter's Basilica, the first such ceremony in Rome in 400 years. Groom's Nicholas Windsor, son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

As both the groom and his mother converted to Catholicism, in deference to the UK's crown laws (which bar Tiber-swimmers, and those married to Tiber-swimmers, from acceeding the throne) both he and his father had to renounce their places in the line of succession, however distant. Hmm.

On a lighter note, all Rome's clerical princesses will be jumping on top of each other to catch a glimpse of their role model -- Camilla. But I digress.

It seems, though, that a quibble has been raised as to the pedigree of Windsor's bride, Princess Paola de Doimi de Frankopan...
Her father’s family fled to England from what is now Croatia during the Second World War. Louis Doimi di Delupis, as he was then known, married a Swedish lawyer, Ingrid Detter, and became a successful businessman. It was only after the fall of the Iron Curtain that the family began to refer to themselves as the Frankopans.
Frankopan is Croatia’s most aristocratic title and, in a country that only recently regained its independence, is a highly evocative name. Fran Krsto Frankopan led its campaign for freedom from Austria in the 17th century until he was executed by Leopold I in 1671.
The family’s assets are said to include investment companies and a Zagreb office block. Last month they announced plans to invest up to £68 million in property and equities. But documents at Companies House, in London, show that they legally adopted the title Frankopan in February 2000. Before then they were simply called Doimi de Delupis, the name on their birth certificates.

It emerged yesterday that Prince Louis had been denied membership of the Croatian Nobility Association because of the disputed use of his title. Ivo Durbesic, the association’s president, told The Times: “He took the name Frankopan, but he is not a descendant of the Frankopan family. He is aristocratic but derives from the Doimi de Lupis bloodline. We strongly disliked the fact that he was using the name Frankopan without any proof that he was related to that family.”
Then again, as you know, the Vatican doesn't do blood tests -- they just hear that royals are coming and get excited... especially in this pontificate.

SVILUPPO: It seems we've got our share of royal-watchers out there; seems I erred in my reading of the Act of Settlement. As one e.mailer notes: "the Duke of Kent is still in line to the throne since the Duchess of Kent was a Protestant when he married her. The subsequent conversion of his wife did not affect his place in the line of succession. The Act of Settlement merely bars anyone who marries a Catholic from the line of succession (i.e. Catholic at the time of the wedding). Since the Duke's eldest son married a Catholic and his younger son has become a Catholic both are out of the line of succession."

So, there you have it.