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Re: Royal bastards
User logged in as dawillis
I agree 100% with Steven's answer.
A good example: King Charles II. By my count there have been attempts to attribute as many as 63 illegitimate children to him (most of them centuries later by genealogists seeking the Holy Grail of royal lineage). But he only acknowledged 13.
There was a 14th that he initially acknowledged, but soon after withdrew his acknowledgment when he learned the circumstances of her birth made her more likely the daughter of another man.
How do genealogists establish paternity in such tricky situations whereby illegitimate children are involved? Had not Prince Louis II adopted Charlotte, and she nonetheless married and had children, the said children would not have been dynasts in Monaco. But beyond that, I'm not sure if genealogists would even be able to list him as her father ...
You seem to be answering your own question. Genealogists cannot establish paternity. Geneticists have in the right circumstances established non-paternity and likely paternity.
Historic genealogies are largely based on faith - we normally assume both husband and wife were the parents of a child unless paternity is publicly contested by the father. We also normally assume that acknowledged natural children were likely fathered by the man who officially acknowledged them. It is a matter of faith because in most cases certitude based on hard evidence remains an elusive prospect.
Finally, yes, it is very likely we would have never heard of Charlotte and her illustrious paternity had the Prince also fathered a child born in wedlock.