Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
74

It is mostly due to the differing social attitudes of the day, but the legal position was also different in 1936. The Wikipedia page is pretty clear about the social attitudes, but I'll try to explain the legal issues here. In 1936 the Church of England opposed remarriage after divorce. Furthermore, at that time, the Church of England considered adultery to ...


66

First, a few general observations: The time period covered here is more than 3,000 years and we know very little about many of the Pharaohs. Also, there were different scripts which evolved over time and one has to consider that a pharaoh may well not know the language used by scribes for international diplomatic communication. This would appear to be the ...


58

They're maintained as a matter of tradition, which is not unusual in monarchies. It's used both for prestige and as a relic of an era when European diplomacy revolved around territorial claims of the monarchs. That said, most titles do have clear geographical or dynastic sources. If you do find one that seems strange, leave a comment and I'll see if I can ...


54

Here are six brothers, sons of Abdul Aziz (1902-53), who have been (and the most recent still is) Kings of Saudi Arabia: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a3/House_of_Saud_rulers.svg/1024px-House_of_Saud_rulers.svg.png


52

As Mark C. Wallace's comment points, the answer depends on what you see as a good king. However, there are kings who became kings while children and are still regarded as great kings - at least, among the most famous in their countries. Two examples: Louis XIV of France: king at 4 years old, declared to have reached the age of majority (and regency ended) ...


39

King James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) The existing answers have not given examples of Kings from British History. James VI became King in Scotland as a baby of 13 months, following the enforced abdication of his Mother, Mary Queen of Scots. He played a difficult hand well, and avoided the civil wars and discontent that would affect the ...


38

The Middle Ages was not particularly known for being a civil and orderly period. Leopold V had no authority of any kind to arrest Richard I. He did it simply because he wanted to, and could. The illegality of the act is reflected by the fact that it drew official sanction from the Church: Pope Celestine III excommunicated Leopold, and compelled him to ...


37

Yes, George I was indeed able to speak English. Not particularly well, mind you, but also not nearly as incapably as popular history portrays. In fact, he even opened his first Parliament in English: George is reported, when seated on the throne, to have uttered the words following; but, notwithstanding all the drilling to which he submitted, it must have ...


36

Seven brothers Seven of the sons of Ismail Ibn Sharif of the Morocco Alaouite dynasty were monarchs. Ismail ruled from 1672 to 1727 and had 525 sons and 342 daughters according to Wikipedia (or 888 according to the Guiness Book of Records). Control changed hands many times. The ones who became Sultan were: Ahmad ruled 1727–1728, then 1728–1729 Abdul Malek ...


34

Peter the Great of Russia took the throne at age 10, and Ivan the Terrible (who was terrifying, not incompetent) became Prince of Moscow at age 3. Both of them were successful at centralizing power, modernizing the country and conquering its neighbors. Ivan did a lot of other things that we’d consider bad today, and Peter survived several power struggles ...


34

Mental illness wasn't perceived as a medical condition until recent centuries. It became notional that it might be during the Enlightenment, and it only captured the popular imagination that it was with Freud. There were still hereditary autocratic monarchies around then, but I'd stick my neck out and suggest that the main argument against them until that ...


33

While Queen may refer to both Queen regnant (sovereign) or Queen consort, the King has always been the sovereign. There are historical reasons for this hierarchy --in a long line of English monarchs you will find more Kings than you would find Queens. In fact, if you do not recognize Matilda's and Lady Jane's claim to the throne of England then Queen Mary I ...


33

Theoretically, yes. The prime minister is appointed by the governor-general, who is the representative of the Australian monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II). The queen could instruct her representative to appoint a new prime minister at any time. (If the governor-general refused, the queen could appoint a new governor-general.) In practice, however, ...


32

One thing I'm not seeing in the answers so far is that having been married prior wasn't the only strike against Wallis Simpson. She: Was not nobility Was not British Had been divorced not once, but twice. Was rumored to have cheated on both husbands. One of these dalliances reportedly resulted in an aborted pregnancy via Mussolini's brother-in-law. Morality ...


31

According to this book both Prince Albert and Prince Edward (who became King Edward VII) attended lectures by Faraday, but it seems to be Albert who was the real fan. Michael Faraday (1791-1867), a self-educated, English Physicist and chemist whose lectures for the public in the 1840's became so popular that they helped save the Royal Institution of Great ...


30

Among the rulers we're pretty certain about: William IV of Henneberg-Schleusingen lived for ~84 years. Note that Henneberg-Schleusingen was a princely state within the Holy Roman Empire, so whether he counts as "monarch" depends on your definitions. In any case this was the tail end of the Middle Ages - his reign started in 1480, but it was early modern ...


27

During the First World War, King Albert I of Belgium assumed personal command of the Belgian Armed Forces. He wasn't just visiting the front - he went into the fields with his troops and commanded them in the fighting, including at the pivotal Battle of the Yser. I don't know if this counts as "taking part in military actions" - it kind of depends on ...


26

@SteveBird makes a good point. You would have to go a good way back to find any ancestor of Britain's present Queen who was actually born in Germany. But the reason for so many Germans in the 18th & 19th centuries may have been due to the fact that there were so many German royals. In 1866 there were 42 German states, including Austria and Prussia. ...


26

The Danish King Erik I Ejegod (The Good) died in Paphos, Cyprus, 1736 miles / 2794 km from the then capital of Denmark, Roskilde. Erik, who was born around 1056 or 1060 and reigned from 1095 to 1103, was the fourth of five brothers (sons of Sweyn II Estridsson) who all became King of Denmark (not concurrently, they reigned at different times between 1076 ...


23

Section 61 of the Constitution says "The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative [...]". Prime Minister Robert Menzies had to pass a Parliamentary standing order specially for Queen Elizabeth to be able to open Parliament when she visited Australia in 1954 because ...


23

Because for society as a whole, a peaceful transition of power is infinitely more important than honoring whatever rights a bastard might claim. The most dangerous time for any kingdom (or nation, really) is the interregnum between the passing of the old leader and the assumption of power by the next. Kingdoms which had a well-ordered process surely tended ...


21

If you accept that the Parliament of the United Kingdom currently has "sovereign and uncontrollable authority in making, confirming, enlarging, restraining, abrogating, repealing, reviving, and expounding of laws, concerning matters of all possible denominations, ecclesiastical, or temporal, civil, military, maritime, or criminal ... it can, in short, do ...


21

King Haakon VII of Norway was present in active combat zones during the German invasion of Norway in 1940. King Michael I of Romania was head of state and the official military commander in chief of Romania from 1940 to 1944, although he did not direct the fighting. In 1944 he staged an armed coup, ousting military dictator Ion Antonescu. If you consider ...


20

The first attempt at unification was sparked by succession disputes, after Margaret of Scotland died in 1290. This lead to a series of conflicts, spanning from 1296 to 1357, known today as the Wars of Scottish Independence. Scotland retained its status as an independent nation after the end of the wars. The claim of Mary, Queen of Scots to the English ...


19

The question is based on the premise that the monarch of England is simply determined by applying a set of defined rules - i.e. legitimate, male line succession. As argued by others above, this has always in practice been combined with a degree of pragmatism (i.e. who is the best ruler) and even an element of democracy (as shown by the Act of Settlement) not ...


19

Very likely Grand Prince Yaroslav II Vsevolodich or one of the many other princes in Eastern Europe who were ordered to go to Mongolia and died there. Mikhail Yaroslavich of Tver was canonized for his bravery in making the trip to the Mongol capital of Sarai, knowing that the Mongols would probably execute him (which they did, on 22 November 1318), although ...


19

A child monarch generally has to have a Regency period, where someone else actually wields all the powers of state in their behalf, until they reach adulthood and can reasonably be expected to do it themselves. The thing about regencies is that, historically, they tend to have a pretty bad track record keeping their charge alive. A regent (essentially ...


19

There were a couple of notable pharaohs: Thutmose III, born 1481 BC, reigned 1479–1425 BC, was only about 2 year old when he became pharaoh. His co-regent was his stepmother Hatshepsut, but she continued as co-ruler / pharaoh until her death when Thutmose was 22 years old. According to Wikipedia, Thutmose is "Widely considered a military genius by ...


18

In general, people fight over thrones because of the power it represents. For Japan, the tennō was not particularly powerful in the first place, but moreover lost secular power quite early in Japanese history. For most of the last 1,200 years, true political power was decoupled from the imperial title. Hence while many factions fought for power in Japan, ...


17

There were several reasons why this could not or would not happen. 1. Shoguns were appointed officers of the state Although one might describe the Shogunate as hereditary (in the same sense that the Crown of the Holy Roman Empire was "hereditary"), the office of Shogun was technically an Imperial appointment. Powerful samurai clans lobby the Imperial Court ...


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