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Re: Name dropping
User logged in as Robert
Posted by Robert on 11/5/2020, 14:32:27, in reply to "Name dropping
It's not just in Royal Families that a person's callingname is another than his first name. I can take my own family as an example. My father's name was Curt Rudolf. He was called Curt. My brother's name is Curt Stellan Engelbert and my name is Curt Robert. Neither of us is called Curt. We are Stellan and Robert. The late Swedish King (grandfather of the current one) was Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf. He was always known as Gustaf Adolf and reigned as Gustaf VI Adolf. His father, Oscar Gustaf Adolf, was always known as Gustaf and reigned as Gustaf V.
I know that in the Orthodox Christianity, a person gets only one name at baptism (exceptions being the children of Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece). So the question of regnal name should never arise, in the event that a person of the faith succeeds to a throne and becomes the sovereign of the country. The man we know in history as Czar Alexander II of Russia, for instance, was baptized as Grand Duke Alexander Nicolyaevich. There was no way he could have chosen (say) Paul or Nicholas as a regnal name later on, after becoming emperor.
But in the world of Catholic and Protestant monarchies, it actually seems to have been a common occurrence for royals to be styled by second, third or even last names, whether or not they succeeded as sovereigns. The woman we know in history as Queen Mary of Great Britain, consort of King George V, was born and baptized as HSH Princess Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes of Teck. Her only daughter (who later became the Princess Royal of the kingdom) was baptized as HH Princess Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary of York. Both mother and daughter, however, were known by the name MARY.
Indeed, when you look through the GOTHA, you oftentimes find in italics the names under which the royals were styled -- and the said names would not necessarily have been the first. Has this largely been a matter of personal choice on the part of the said royals, or of their parents? Has there been some kind of underlying principle behind the tradition? I know that even before her husband's accession, Queen Mary was never called Princess Victoria of Teck: rather, she was Princess Mary (nicknamed May, for the month in which she was born). So there never was a question of her being styled as "Queen Victoria" later on, which would have been controversial. But there should have been no problem with calling her Victoria during her maiden days: after all, there were numerous princesses of the realm (and in the continent) thus named.
Indeed, the consort of King Gustaf V of Sweden later on had no problems with styling herself as Queen Victoria. She (born a princess of Baden) had no particular reason to be respectful of the British by using another name, lest she be confused with the venerable queen regnant by the same name. And one presumes that her namesake descendant, the current crown princess, will use Victoria for regnal purposes later on. But Sweden is a different country ...
Is it about respect for somebody else by the same name, fear of confusion over identity (say, mistaking a consort or a non-reigning royal for a sovereign), unsuitability for regnal purposes (the opposite problem: I doubt "Albert" will ever get used as a British king's name, despite some royal men born close in the succession having it as a first name)?
If it came to that, the woman we know in history as Queen Victoria of Great Britain was actually baptized as HRH Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent: so even in her case, a name dropping occurred. It all seems to me rather arbitrary ...