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Royalty/Austro-Hungarian Royalty Line of Succession


QUESTION: My line of succession question pertains directly to the subject royals except it might apply to other dynasties as well.
When a monarch, who has a younger brother and a son, dies, can the throne ever pass to the monarch's brother or always to the monarch's son?

ANSWER: Hello Barry.
Under the rules of primogeniture followed by almost every world Monarchy the line of succession is as you describe. But there have been examples in which the heir is considered unsuitable and has been either persuaded to renounce their claims or has been excluded for whatever reason, usually extreme youth or physical or mental impairment.
The line of succession in Austria "jumped" an heir in 1848 when the mentally deficient Emperor Ferdinand was persuaded to abdicate; he was childless, his heir was his brother Archduke Franz Karl. However he was considered to be little better than his nephew, so he was persuaded to renounce his claims in favour of his dynamic son, 18 year old Franz Josef. Franz Karl lived until 1878 after what should have been a 30 year reign.

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QUESTION: Thank you so much for the estute answer. I apologize but I am an engineer and need a more direct and clear answer. Does the throne pass to the son or the brother?

Sorry, I'm making a right mess of this, please ignore the last answer, it was wrong ! Below is the correct version.

Emperor Franz died in 1835 leaving two sons; Ferdinand and Franz Karl, both somewhat feeble-minded. The elder, Ferdinand succeeded to the Throne. The deceased Franz also left six brothers, but they all came behind Ferdinand and his brother in the line of succession, even though any one of them would have made a better ruler.


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Mark Smith


I will attempt to answer questions on the Kings and Queens of England and Scotland from 927 AD. I also have some knowledge of European Monarchies.


No professional experience, but a lifelong interest in the subject.

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