Standard of the Royal House of Stuart
(Photo courtesy of www.flyingcolours.org)
To tell you the God’s honest truth, I have enough on my plate to say grace over and can only worry about a few things. So I haven’t been keeping up with the unwise, even incredibly stupid, campaign for the independence of Scotland.
But I read a piece about it in the NYT today (link below) and was a bit surprised that this lunacy had gone as far as it has. (Lest we be accused of interfering, the United States government has issued no public opinion on this issue).
However, I feel a certain distant interest in this matter since my family is Scotch-Irish or descendants of the Ulster Scots. Our great-great-great-great grandfather, Hugh McCain, was born in County Antrim in 1723 and came to the America colonies in 1741. (Hugh McCain is the prime ancestor of most McCains in the US).
Hugh McCain’s ancestors had been deported to Northern Ireland –in the early 1600s–with the last few of our clan fleeing to County Antrim after the massacre of most remaining male members of our Highland clan (along with dozens of children) at Glencoe by those swine of the lowlanders of Clan Campbell who were paid by the English to commit this foul deed.
Yet, since some of my ancestors, although all Presbyterian, were probably involved in raising the standard of the Catholic Royal Stuart Dynasty at Glenfinnan, (a place your servant has actually visited). Hence, I feel, not very strongly, but I feel that should the Scots achieve independence, then I demand they restore the Stuarts to the throne of Scotland.
Unfortunately, although no big surprise, the heir to the Stuart throne of Scotland is German— HRH Franz, heir to throne of Bavaria. I say no surprise since the House of Windsor came to rule Great Britain as House of Saxe Coburg Gotha.
How this happened is so complicated that I will skip over it even though I actually have a degree in European history and know what happened. Still it would take pages to explain it. Suffice it to say that the House of Saxe Coburg Gotha was Protestant. Thus, in the confusing nature of European monarchical history, the rulers of England are German.
During World War One, the British became strongly anti-German, which is hardly surprising since the Germans started the war. Therefore, George V wisely changed the name of the dynasty from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor in 1917. A smart move I think we would all agree.
But back to the heir of the Stuart throne who in my mind should be the new king of Scotland if they become independent. As mentioned that person is Franz, Duke of Bavaria born 14 July 1933. He is known as His Royal Highness the Duke of Bavaria, because he is heir apparent and head of the Royal House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria.
His great-grandfather King Ludwig III was the last ruling monarch of Bavaria and was deposed in 1918. (Not to be confused with the “Mad King Ludwig the Second” who spent all his royal revenues on extravagant buildings, thought to be architectural gems today. The Parliament declared him insane and lo an behold he just happened to die the very net day! What a coincidence).
To make this all more confusing, while Kaiser Wilhelm the Second was Emperor of Germany, he was still only King of Prussia, changed to King in Prussia at the proclamation of the German Empire in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles in 1877 after the victory over the French in the Franco-Prussian war of 1877.
So while the Kaiser became Emperor of Germany, there were still three kingdoms remaining as quasi-independent entities in Germany. These three were the Kingdoms of Bavaria, Saxony, and Württemberg—all swept away in the political upheaval in Germany following the end of the First World War.
While still living in Germany when the Nazis came to power, the Wittelsbach family were strongly opposed to Hitler. Eventually, this annoyed the Nazis so much that in 1944 all the members of the family, including then 11 year old Franz, were arrested and put into a concentration camp.
While the Royal Stuart Society recognizes Franz as the legitimate pretender to the throne as “Francis II,” HRH Franz refuses to discuss his claim to the Stuart throne. Further, as one traces the lineage back to Bonnie Prince Charlie, last blood male of the Stuart line, it is so complex and so filled with illegitimacy, madness, hidden pretenders, morganatic marriages, affairs with Catholic clergymen, murder, drunkenness, stupidity etc. that no wonder Franz wants nothing to do with it.
Reports the Daily Telegraph of London on 12 December 2008, “…the duke’s lineage is said to be impeccable and well-documented. He is unmarried and childless, therefore his heir is his younger brother. A spokesman for the duke says: ‘HRM the Duke generally does not comment on issues concerning his familiar relationship to the Royal House of Stuart.’
So Scotland, if you go all the way, then put the true monarch on the throne—even if he doesn’t want it. This could hardly be more ridiculous than trying to break up the United Kingdom.