Discussion:
Duchess of Sparta
(too old to reply)
Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
2004-09-18 09:57:20 UTC
Permalink
the duchess of Sparta, Marie-Chantal, has given birth to a baby boy at
Portand Hospital, London, on September 17th. It is the 4 child of
Prince Paul and his wife.
edespalais
2004-09-18 10:37:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta, Marie-Chantal, has given birth to a baby boy at
Portand Hospital, London, on September 17th. It is the 4 child of
Prince Paul and his wife.
Wife: duke
husband: prince
?
Charles von Hamm
2004-09-18 13:11:05 UTC
Permalink
"edespalais" <***@wanadoo.fr> wrote in message news:BD71D655.106CE%***@wanadoo.fr...
: dans l'article ***@posting.google.com, Klaus
: Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode à ***@skynet.be a écrit le 18/09/04 11:57
:
:
: > the duchess of Sparta, Marie-Chantal, has given birth to a baby boy at
: > Portand Hospital, London, on September 17th. It is the 4 child of
: > Prince Paul and his wife.
: Wife: duke
: husband: prince
: ?
:

Of course, he is also Duke of Sparta outside of Greece...
edespalais
2004-09-18 14:38:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charles von Hamm
: > the duchess of Sparta, Marie-Chantal, has given birth to a baby boy at
: > Portand Hospital, London, on September 17th. It is the 4 child of
: > Prince Paul and his wife.
: Wife: duke
: husband: prince
: ?
Of course, he is also Duke of Sparta outside of Greece...
birth to an adult boy?
Rico
2004-09-20 14:41:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by edespalais
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta, Marie-Chantal, has given birth to a baby boy at
Portand Hospital, London, on September 17th. It is the 4 child of
Prince Paul and his wife.
Wife: duke
husband: prince
?
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos, Duke of Sparta (husband)
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Pavlos, Duchess of Sparta, aka Marie
Chantal (wife)
edespalais
2004-09-20 15:10:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rico
Post by edespalais
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta, Marie-Chantal, has given birth to a baby boy at
Portand Hospital, London, on September 17th. It is the 4 child of
Prince Paul and his wife.
Wife: duke
husband: prince
?
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos, Duke of Sparta (husband)
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Pavlos, Duchess of Sparta, aka Marie
Chantal (wife)
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Pavlos, Duchess of Sparta, aka Marie
Chantal, has given birth to a boy .. It is the 4 child of
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos, Duke of Sparta, and his Crown
Princess, ***@skynet.be should have communicated Such; or not at
all.

[Sparta seems just to be a titre de courtoisie]
Frank Johansen
2004-09-20 16:32:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rico
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos, Duke of Sparta (husband)
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Pavlos, Duchess of Sparta, aka Marie
Chantal (wife)
Note that the Crown Princess of Greeece is styled one way in the
Anglo-American society, but another way in the Greek society.

According to the Greek section of the website of King Constantine, she
is styled "Prinkipissa Mari-Santal", while in the Angol-American society
(and the English section of the site), she is styled "Crown Princess
Pavlos".

Personally, I'm inclined to translate her Greek style into English for
international use....

Regards
Frank H. Johansen
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-21 05:56:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Frank Johansen
Post by Rico
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Pavlos, Duke of Sparta (husband)
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Pavlos, Duchess of Sparta, aka Marie
Chantal (wife)
Note that the Crown Princess of Greeece is styled one way in the
Anglo-American society, but another way in the Greek society.
According to the Greek section of the website of King Constantine, she
is styled "Prinkipissa Mari-Santal", while in the Angol-American society
(and the English section of the site), she is styled "Crown Princess
Pavlos".
Personally, I'm inclined to translate her Greek style into English for
international use....
How is she styled to the large Greek community that lives in
Anglo-American society, in the USA and Australia?
MarleneKoenig
2004-09-18 21:25:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.) The heir to the Greek throne is the Crown Prince. Marie Chantal
is styled as HRH Crown Princess Pavlos.

The title Duke of Sparta is not used by the Greek royal family for the heir to
the throne


author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
***@aol.com
Yannis
2004-09-19 08:48:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.) The heir to the Greek throne is the Crown Prince. Marie Chantal
is styled as HRH Crown Princess Pavlos.
The title Duke of Sparta is not used by the Greek royal family for the heir to
the throne
author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
I've posted in detail on the title "Duke of Sparta". Anyone
interested, pleased google for it. Do you think it's worth including
in the FAQ?
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-09-19 14:58:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.) The heir to the Greek throne is the Crown Prince. Marie Chantal
is styled as HRH Crown Princess Pavlos.
The title Duke of Sparta is not used by the Greek royal family for the heir to
the throne
author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
I've posted in detail on the title "Duke of Sparta". Anyone
interested, pleased google for it.
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=no&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=a75bea69.0408100002.18f2631d%40posting.google.com
Post by Yannis
Do you think it's worth including
in the FAQ?
I think it would be a good idea.
--
Dag T. Hoelseth
***@nospam.online.no
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
Pierre Aronax
2004-09-25 08:10:23 UTC
Permalink
<...>
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Post by Yannis
I've posted in detail on the title "Duke of Sparta". Anyone
interested, pleased google for it.
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=no&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=a75bea69.0408100002.18f2631d%40posting.google.com
Post by Yannis
Do you think it's worth including
in the FAQ?
I think it would be a good idea.
I also do.

Pierre
Francois R. Velde
2004-09-25 20:37:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pierre Aronax
<...>
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Post by Yannis
I've posted in detail on the title "Duke of Sparta". Anyone
interested, pleased google for it.
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=no&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=a75bea69.0408100002.18f2631d%40posting.google.com
Post by Yannis
Do you think it's worth including
in the FAQ?
I think it would be a good idea.
I also do.
"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir presumptive? eldest
son?> was created in 1868 but its legal validity was questioned at the time, and
it quickly became obsolete within Greece. It has been used outside of Greece
with the apparent toleration of the Greek royal family, which nevertheless
presently deprecates it."

--
François Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldry Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-26 06:01:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Pierre Aronax
<...>
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Post by Yannis
I've posted in detail on the title "Duke of Sparta". Anyone
interested, pleased google for it.
http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=no&lr=&ie=UTF-8&selm=a75bea69.0408100002.18f2631d%40posting.google.com
Post by Yannis
Do you think it's worth including
in the FAQ?
I think it would be a good idea.
I also do.
"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir presumptive? eldest
son?> was created in 1868 but its legal validity was questioned at the time, and
it quickly became obsolete within Greece. It has been used outside of Greece
with the apparent toleration of the Greek royal family, which nevertheless
presently deprecates it."
Well, it represents "a view" but I doubt if it reflects reality.
Francois R. Velde
2004-09-26 14:34:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Francois R. Velde
"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir presumptive? eldest
son?> was created in 1868 but its legal validity was questioned at the time, and
it quickly became obsolete within Greece. It has been used outside of Greece
with the apparent toleration of the Greek royal family, which nevertheless
presently deprecates it."
Well, it represents "a view" but I doubt if it reflects reality.
Which part do you disagree with, and why? I tried to write this broadly and to
incorporate undisputed facts.

--
François Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldry Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-27 14:19:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Francois R. Velde
"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir presumptive? eldest
son?> was created in 1868 but its legal validity was questioned at the time, and
it quickly became obsolete within Greece. It has been used outside of Greece
with the apparent toleration of the Greek royal family, which nevertheless
presently deprecates it."
Well, it represents "a view" but I doubt if it reflects reality.
Which part do you disagree with, and why? I tried to write this broadly and to
incorporate undisputed facts.
I think you should perhaps hold off until more facts do come to light.

I for one would prefer to see the actual wording of the original
decree before saying much more.

Regarding your last sentence, again, I would prefer to see the exact
form of words of the questions and answers given to and by Constantine
II. Indeed I would like to see more detail on the context of the
interview itself.

As regards the legality of the original title, my feeling is that the
only people capable of pronouncing illegality are the courts. Various
people can object and claim that "x" or "y" is against the
constitution, but unless a court decides so, it usually isn't?

There are politicians who claim something is "unconstitutional" every
single day of the year, but few if any of those claims are ever upheld
or even contested.

In the Greek case I have questions on several points:
1) Did a constitutional or other court declare the creation of the
title "Duke of Sparta" unsconstitutional?
2) What is the definition of a "title of nobility" given in the Greek
constitution?
3) How is the title "Duke of Sparta", conferred only on a member of
the Royal Family, materially different from "Prince of Greece" also
conferred only on members of the Royal family?
4) What, if any criteria, are being used so that "Duke of Sparta" is
considered a title of nobility but "Prince of Greece" not?

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Pierre Aronax
2004-09-28 19:43:02 UTC
Permalink
***@virgin.net (Christopher Buyers) wrote in message news:<***@posting.google.com>...

<...>
Post by Christopher Buyers
3) How is the title "Duke of Sparta", conferred only on a member of
the Royal Family, materially different from "Prince of Greece" also
conferred only on members of the Royal family?
4) What, if any criteria, are being used so that "Duke of Sparta" is
considered a title of nobility but "Prince of Greece" not?
Are you considering "prince of the United Kingdom" for example as a
title of nobility? As far as I can say it is not. So for "Prince (of
Greece)". On the other hand, "duke of York" for example is certainly a
title of nobility. One can arg that "duke of Sparta" is not, but it
furiously looks like.
That being said, I don't see exactly what is your problem with Mr
Velde's formulation.

"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir
presumptive? eldest son?> was created in 1868..."

I think we can all agree on that.

"but its legal validity was questioned at the time,..."

Again, I don't see what can be discussed here: Greek politicians were
perhaps wrong to claim the title to be unconstitutional, but they
certainly did claim it was, the actual wording of the decree
notwithstanding.

"and it quickly became obsolete within Greece..."

That also is not in question. Mr Velde has chosen carefully the word:
the title can have been constitutional or not, the FAQ will not
pronounce on that, but it certainly want out of use, so "becoming
obsolete" (as opposed to "being declared unconstitutional" or "being
abolished") seems perfectly accurate. Nothing here than can refrain
anybody to firmly believe that all Greek heirs apparent or presumptive
were surreptitiously but legally duke of Sparta, although they did not
use the title in Greece.

"It has been used outside of Greece with the apparent toleration of
the Greek royal family,.."

Again, nothing polemical here: the toleration on the use of the title
outside Greece is a fact. It has no implication on the possible
legality of the text, the FAQ only observe that the title was not used
in Greece but used outside Greece, and that the Royal Family didn't
object to that use.

"which nevertheless presently deprecates it."

Perhaps it is the more uncertain part, although I don't think it is
so. Perhaps we can change it to: "which nevertheless seems presently
to deprecate it", and IMHO it will be a sufficient caveat.

I think the wording is conform to the non polemical style of the FAQ
(it doesn't take position on the legality of the title) and reflects
correctly the state of the knowledge produced on ATR (which is after
all the purpose of the FAQ). I see no reason not to include this piece
in the FAQ: it will always be possible to change it if really
something important has escaped to our attention.

Pierre
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-29 05:06:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pierre Aronax
<...>
Post by Christopher Buyers
3) How is the title "Duke of Sparta", conferred only on a member of
the Royal Family, materially different from "Prince of Greece" also
conferred only on members of the Royal family?
4) What, if any criteria, are being used so that "Duke of Sparta" is
considered a title of nobility but "Prince of Greece" not?
Are you considering "prince of the United Kingdom" for example as a
title of nobility? As far as I can say it is not. So for "Prince (of
Greece)". On the other hand, "duke of York" for example is certainly a
title of nobility. One can arg that "duke of Sparta" is not, but it
furiously looks like.
That being said, I don't see exactly what is your problem with Mr
Velde's formulation.
"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir
presumptive? eldest son?> was created in 1868..."
I think we can all agree on that.
"but its legal validity was questioned at the time,..."
Again, I don't see what can be discussed here: Greek politicians were
perhaps wrong to claim the title to be unconstitutional, but they
certainly did claim it was, the actual wording of the decree
notwithstanding.
"and it quickly became obsolete within Greece..."
the title can have been constitutional or not, the FAQ will not
pronounce on that, but it certainly want out of use, so "becoming
obsolete" (as opposed to "being declared unconstitutional" or "being
abolished") seems perfectly accurate. Nothing here than can refrain
anybody to firmly believe that all Greek heirs apparent or presumptive
were surreptitiously but legally duke of Sparta, although they did not
use the title in Greece.
"It has been used outside of Greece with the apparent toleration of
the Greek royal family,.."
Again, nothing polemical here: the toleration on the use of the title
outside Greece is a fact. It has no implication on the possible
legality of the text, the FAQ only observe that the title was not used
in Greece but used outside Greece, and that the Royal Family didn't
object to that use.
"which nevertheless presently deprecates it."
Perhaps it is the more uncertain part, although I don't think it is
so. Perhaps we can change it to: "which nevertheless seems presently
to deprecate it", and IMHO it will be a sufficient caveat.
I think the wording is conform to the non polemical style of the FAQ
(it doesn't take position on the legality of the title) and reflects
correctly the state of the knowledge produced on ATR (which is after
all the purpose of the FAQ). I see no reason not to include this piece
in the FAQ: it will always be possible to change it if really
something important has escaped to our attention.
What I consider and do not consider British titles to be have no
bearing. The British constitution and what it pronounces to be noble
and what it does not, is not at issue. Indeed, one could point to
counter examples in other countries such as the titles of Duke or
Duchess in Sweden. Are they noble titles? Nevertheless, it is surely
the Greek constitutional position that is important?

I am not entirely convinced that the title of Duke of Sparta was not
used in Greece either. An example has been found of a telegram written
and sent by a Greek official based within Greece, addressed to another
Greek abroad.

I also have strong doubts that the town which made the request for the
title in the first place, would have then stopped using it merely
because someone from elsewhere alleged but did not establish its
constitutional impropriety.

As for the so-called deprecation, we have no evidence apart from what
Marlene has said. I, for one, have seen no transcript of the
interview, the questions asked or the form of words used in either
question or answer. I suppose if the FAQ is simply going to base its
statements on the opinion on the second hand report of one individual
without corroboration, few are going to have faith in its accuracy.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Yannis
2004-09-29 08:22:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Francois R. Velde
"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir presumptive? eldest
son?> was created in 1868 but its legal validity was questioned at the time, and
it quickly became obsolete within Greece. It has been used outside of Greece
with the apparent toleration of the Greek royal family, which nevertheless
presently deprecates it."
It is interesting how the discussion on the proposed entry in the FAQ
concentrated on all other matters EXCEPT the one point which seems
incomplete, namely whether the title was created for the heir
apparent, the heir presumptive or the eldest son. I must admit I don't
have the answer to that question myself. Because of that, perhaps we
should formulate the entry a little different. "On the occasion of the
birth of Prince Constantine, later King Constantine I, in 1868, his
father King George I issued a decree creating the young prince Duke of
Sparta. The legal validity of this title was questioned in Parliament,
on the grounds that the Greek constitution forbade "titles of
nobility". The Parliamentary majority of the day however decided that
the decree had been properly issued. Nevertheless, the title soon
became obsolete inside Greece, although it has been used abroad both
by Constantine I and his great-grandson, the later King Constantine
II. There is no evidence that either George II (son of Constantine I)
or Paul (younger brother of George II and heir apparent 1935-1947)
ever used this title either inside or outside Greece. The exact terms
of the grant are not known, i.e. whether it was conferred on the heir
presumptive, heir apparent, or the elder son of the King. There is
some evidence to suggest that the Greek royal family currently
deprecates this title"
Post by Christopher Buyers
1) Did a constitutional or other court declare the creation of the
title "Duke of Sparta" unsconstitutional?
No. Greece did not at the time have a constitutional court, nor has it
ever had one. The title was never challenged before a Greek court.
However, if you are interested in the legal mechanics of the whole
thing here's another interesting observation. There was absolutely no
legal basis for George I to issue that decree. In Greek legal
practice, the King (or President of the Republic, nowadays) does not
issue a decree unless the constitution itself, or a statute, give him
the power to do so. For instance, the Constitution states that the
King/President appoints the Prime Minister and Ministers. When doing
so, the King/President issues a decree. But there was nothing in the
Constitution or in any statute, saying that the King can grant titles.
It would seem then that at the time it was considered that there was
some sort of "royal prerogative" in Greece too, that is to say some
"unwritten" powers that the King could exercise, and the power to
grant a title to a member of the Royal Family was part of that
"prerogative". There is another indication for that. In 1863 King
George issued a decree fixing his arms and flags. Again, there was no
legal basis to do so. However,it must have been considered that it was
self - evident that a King has power to fix his own arms and the flags
of "his" country. In later years such decrees without express
authorisation (shall we call them "prerogative" decrees) seem to
disappear. I don't think there was ever any mention of a "royal
prerogative" in Greek constitution theory, as there is in the UK.
Post by Christopher Buyers
2) What is the definition of a "title of nobility" given in the Greek
constitution?
There is no such definition. The constitution just says that titles of
nobility are forbidden. Greece has never had any such titles, save for
parts that were under the Venetians (I think the only title there was
conte, count). Since there is no definition, I think any court would
use common sense to "understand" the term "titles of nobility". I
think there is a general concensus that "Duke" is a title of nobility.
Post by Christopher Buyers
3) How is the title "Duke of Sparta", conferred only on a member of
the Royal Family, materially different from "Prince of Greece" also
conferred only on members of the Royal family?
The German "Furst" apart, I think most people would say that "Prince"
is not a title of nobility. Further, the title "Prince of Greece" was
never officially conferred, it was simply automatically used for any
descendant of George I. Indeed (as I have posted before) earlier Greek
official texts seem to prefer the Greek word "vasilopais" which simply
means "King child".
Post by Christopher Buyers
4) What, if any criteria, are being used so that "Duke of Sparta" is
considered a title of nobility but "Prince of Greece" not?
The traditions of nobility in countries which have or have had one in
the past.
Francois R. Velde
2004-09-29 15:12:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
There is no evidence that either George II (son of Constantine I)
or Paul (younger brother of George II and heir apparent 1935-1947)
heir presumptive (in English terminology); if "duke of Sparta" was
the analog of titles such as prince of Wales, one would not expect
Paul to have ever used it.
Post by Yannis
ever used this title either inside or outside Greece.
The future George II is called "duke of Sparta" consistently in the
London Times (in the Court Circular in 1914, in two accounts of
interviews with ex-king Constantine in Nov 1920, and in various
dispatches from Greece up to 1922).
--
François R. Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldica Web Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Yannis
2004-09-30 06:25:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Yannis
There is no evidence that either George II (son of Constantine I)
or Paul (younger brother of George II and heir apparent 1935-1947)
heir presumptive (in English terminology); if "duke of Sparta" was
the analog of titles such as prince of Wales, one would not expect
Paul to have ever used it.
Sorry. Never have managed to get this terminology right!
Post by Francois R. Velde
Post by Yannis
ever used this title either inside or outside Greece.
The future George II is called "duke of Sparta" consistently in the
London Times (in the Court Circular in 1914, in two accounts of
interviews with ex-king Constantine in Nov 1920, and in various
dispatches from Greece up to 1922).
Excellent work. I didn't know that evidence. I suppose then one might
conclude, whatever the wording of the original decree,that the title
was analogous to "Prince of Wales".

Thanks.
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-29 18:32:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Francois R. Velde
"The title of "duke of Sparta" for the <heir apparent? heir presumptive? eldest
son?> was created in 1868 but its legal validity was questioned at the time, and
it quickly became obsolete within Greece. It has been used outside of Greece
with the apparent toleration of the Greek royal family, which nevertheless
presently deprecates it."
It is interesting how the discussion on the proposed entry in the FAQ
concentrated on all other matters EXCEPT the one point which seems
incomplete, namely whether the title was created for the heir
apparent, the heir presumptive or the eldest son.
How is it possible to discuss that further without access to the
decree?
Post by Yannis
I must admit I don't
have the answer to that question myself. Because of that, perhaps we
should formulate the entry a little different. "On the occasion of the
birth of Prince Constantine, later King Constantine I, in 1868, his
father King George I issued a decree creating the young prince Duke of
Sparta. The legal validity of this title was questioned in Parliament,
on the grounds that the Greek constitution forbade "titles of
nobility". The Parliamentary majority of the day however decided that
the decree had been properly issued.
Actually, from your previous post, I got the impression that it was
the other way around.
Post by Yannis
Nevertheless, the title soon became obsolete inside Greece,
Well, if the title was created in 1868 and Greek officials were still
sending telegrams in 1894 using the title, it doesn't seem to suggest
that the title became obsolete.
Post by Yannis
although it has been used abroad both
by Constantine I and his great-grandson, the later King Constantine
II. There is no evidence that either George II (son of Constantine I)
Actually, if you do a google search there is an example given of its
use for the future George II. I think the article in question or the
posting mentions the surrender of some Turkish territory to the Duke
of Sparta.
Post by Yannis
or Paul (younger brother of George II and heir apparent 1935-1947)
ever used this title either inside or outside Greece.
Non use of the title by Paul is understandable, if the idea was that
it should be the title of the eldest son of the King.
Post by Yannis
The exact terms
of the grant are not known, i.e. whether it was conferred on the heir
presumptive, heir apparent, or the elder son of the King. There is
some evidence to suggest that the Greek royal family currently
deprecates this title"
Apart from Marlene's assertion, do you have any other evidence for
this "deprecation"?
Post by Yannis
Post by Christopher Buyers
1) Did a constitutional or other court declare the creation of the
title "Duke of Sparta" unsconstitutional?
No. Greece did not at the time have a constitutional court, nor has it
ever had one. The title was never challenged before a Greek court.
However, if you are interested in the legal mechanics of the whole
thing here's another interesting observation. There was absolutely no
legal basis for George I to issue that decree. In Greek legal
practice, the King (or President of the Republic, nowadays) does not
issue a decree unless the constitution itself, or a statute, give him
the power to do so. For instance, the Constitution states that the
King/President appoints the Prime Minister and Ministers. When doing
so, the King/President issues a decree. But there was nothing in the
Constitution or in any statute, saying that the King can grant titles.
I am not sure what this proves? How many constitutions actually say
so? I doubt very much if the Constitutions of Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, or any of the Commonwealth "dominion" constitutions ever
expressly said that the King/Queen could grant titles.

Anyway, in the Greek case is the constitutional prohibition on
"titles" or on "titles of nobility"? I presume that he is perfectly
free to award the style of "His Excellency"?
Post by Yannis
It would seem then that at the time it was considered that there was
some sort of "royal prerogative" in Greece too, that is to say some
"unwritten" powers that the King could exercise, and the power to
grant a title to a member of the Royal Family was part of that
"prerogative". There is another indication for that. In 1863 King
George issued a decree fixing his arms and flags. Again, there was no
legal basis to do so. However,it must have been considered that it was
self - evident that a King has power to fix his own arms and the flags
of "his" country. In later years such decrees without express
authorisation (shall we call them "prerogative" decrees) seem to
disappear.
Well, if at the time of the grant the issue was not resolved, then
surely it stands until expressly revoked.

I don't think there was ever any mention of a "royal
Post by Yannis
prerogative" in Greek constitution theory, as there is in the UK.
Post by Christopher Buyers
2) What is the definition of a "title of nobility" given in the Greek
constitution?
There is no such definition. The constitution just says that titles of
nobility are forbidden. Greece has never had any such titles, save for
parts that were under the Venetians (I think the only title there was
conte, count).
No.

There were Venetian titles of counts, barons, patents of nobility, and
courtesy titles for wives and children. There were the Princes of
Samos. There were also certain titles of foreign origin such as Count
Capodistra and the princes Ypsilanti. Information on these and other
families are available in detail in Sturdza.
Post by Yannis
Since there is no definition, I think any court would
use common sense to "understand" the term "titles of nobility". I
think there is a general concensus that "Duke" is a title of nobility.
Which of these titles are noble, as opposed to Royal?
Duke of Anhalt
Duke in Bavaria
Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg
Duke of Mecklenburg
Duke of Oldenburg
Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Duke of Saxony
Duke of Wurttemberg
Duke of Zahringen

Furthermore, I have already pointed out that in the modern kingdom of
Belgium and in Sweden, the creation of Ducal titles seem to be
confined to the Royal families of those countries, not the nobility.
Post by Yannis
Post by Christopher Buyers
3) How is the title "Duke of Sparta", conferred only on a member of
the Royal Family, materially different from "Prince of Greece" also
conferred only on members of the Royal family?
The German "Furst" apart, I think most people would say that "Prince"
is not a title of nobility.
Perhaps the same people who would maintain that all the dukes listed
above were "nobles", not Royal?

Italy, Russia, Belgium, Rumania, Spain, France, all have princes who
are not Royal, but noble.

Does one understand from your stance that the conferment of the title
"Princess of Greece" on Aspasia Manos, by Royal Decree dated 10th
September 1922, is not therefore a noble title and thus not contrary
to the Greek constitution? At the very least, it seems to indicate
that Royal Decrees did not exactly disappear.
Post by Yannis
Further, the title "Prince of Greece" was
never officially conferred, it was simply automatically used for any
descendant of George I.
No. 1) It is not used for descendants in the female line. 2) The
feminine is used for the wives of princes. 3) It has been disallowed
for those of the latter whose marriages were not approved of by the
reigning King.

By the way, is the title of the wife of the Greek sovereign legally
specified or been officially conferred?
Post by Yannis
Indeed (as I have posted before) earlier Greek
official texts seem to prefer the Greek word "vasilopais" which simply
means "King child".
I am not sure what this signifies. There are lots of languages where
"King's son" is the direct translation of the title concerned.
"Shahzada" means exactly that, "son of a Shah". That does not mean
there were no princes in Persia, Turkey or India. I would even say
that the titles Infant/e and Infanta in Spain and Portugal were in
this same league.

In actual fact, there are precious few monarchies around the world
where their constitutions go into such detail as to specify what the
titles of the sovereign's family should be. They are usually left up
to him to decide.
Post by Yannis
Post by Christopher Buyers
4) What, if any criteria, are being used so that "Duke of Sparta" is
considered a title of nobility but "Prince of Greece" not?
The traditions of nobility in countries which have or have had one in
the past.
Which countries? Practice clearly varies from state to state.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Francois R. Velde
2004-09-30 01:17:11 UTC
Permalink
I must say I'm not convinced that we can write a paragraph for the FAQ on this
topic that is both reliable and meaningful.

1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted, and we won't
have the text of the decree any time soon.
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the title was
not confined to use abroad. The title is used matter-of-factly, even in
accounts of interviews with king Constantine (although there is no direct quote
of him using it). It does seem that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece
has known, all three have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two
certainly or very likely used it in Greece.
3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned in 1868,
but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of Sparta seems to fall
in the category of non-hereditary royal titles and ranks, like prince, rather
than hereditary titles of nobility which is probably what the constitution was
intended to rule out. And the continued use of the title for decades after that
initial debate suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is
not necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus, testis nullus. I
would also like to have further confirmation.

I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At best we
could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke of Sparta, and that
it is not clear whether the custom still holds.

--
François Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldry Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-30 06:32:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
I must say I'm not convinced that we can write a paragraph for the FAQ on this
topic that is both reliable and meaningful.
1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted, and we won't
have the text of the decree any time soon.
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the title was
not confined to use abroad. The title is used matter-of-factly, even in
accounts of interviews with king Constantine (although there is no direct quote
of him using it). It does seem that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece
has known, all three have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two
certainly or very likely used it in Greece.
3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned in 1868,
but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of Sparta seems to fall
in the category of non-hereditary royal titles and ranks, like prince, rather
than hereditary titles of nobility which is probably what the constitution was
intended to rule out. And the continued use of the title for decades after that
initial debate suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is
not necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus, testis nullus. I
would also like to have further confirmation.
I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At best we
could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke of Sparta, and that
it is not clear whether the custom still holds.
For once, and I hope not for the only time, I agree with you 100%
Pierre Aronax
2004-09-30 21:07:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
I must say I'm not convinced that we can write a paragraph for the FAQ on this
topic that is both reliable and meaningful.
1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted, and we won't
have the text of the decree any time soon.
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the title was
not confined to use abroad. The title is used matter-of-factly, even in
accounts of interviews with king Constantine (although there is no direct quote
of him using it). It does seem that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece
has known, all three have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two
certainly or very likely used it in Greece.
3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned in 1868,
but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of Sparta seems to fall
in the category of non-hereditary royal titles and ranks, like prince, rather
than hereditary titles of nobility which is probably what the constitution was
intended to rule out. And the continued use of the title for decades after that
initial debate suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is
not necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus, testis nullus. I
would also like to have further confirmation.
I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At best we
could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke of Sparta, and that
it is not clear whether the custom still holds.
Indeed, the evidences seem now contradictory.

Pierre
Christopher Buyers
2004-10-01 06:08:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pierre Aronax
Post by Francois R. Velde
I must say I'm not convinced that we can write a paragraph for the FAQ on this
topic that is both reliable and meaningful.
1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted, and we won't
have the text of the decree any time soon.
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the title was
not confined to use abroad. The title is used matter-of-factly, even in
accounts of interviews with king Constantine (although there is no direct quote
of him using it). It does seem that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece
has known, all three have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two
certainly or very likely used it in Greece.
3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned in 1868,
but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of Sparta seems to fall
in the category of non-hereditary royal titles and ranks, like prince, rather
than hereditary titles of nobility which is probably what the constitution was
intended to rule out. And the continued use of the title for decades after that
initial debate suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is
not necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus, testis nullus. I
would also like to have further confirmation.
I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At best we
could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke of Sparta, and that
it is not clear whether the custom still holds.
Indeed, the evidences seem now contradictory.
Well, I would say that the initial presentation was "unconvincing".

Since writing the above, I have had a look at other Balkan monarchies,
who have a similar history to Greece, and who also did award titles of
nobility. Rumania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania, all seem to have
had a system of subsidiary territorial titles, seemingly restricted to
members of the Royal Family.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Pierre Aronax
2004-10-01 20:38:52 UTC
Permalink
***@virgin.net (Christopher Buyers) wrote in message news:<***@posting.google.com>...

<...>
Post by Christopher Buyers
Since writing the above, I have had a look at other Balkan monarchies,
who have a similar history to Greece, and who also did award titles of
nobility. Rumania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania, all seem to have
had a system of subsidiary territorial titles, seemingly restricted to
members of the Royal Family.
I don't understand well. Did you mean "who also did NOT award titles
of nobility"? Or am I missing something?

Pierre
Christopher Buyers
2004-10-02 06:57:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pierre Aronax
<...>
Post by Christopher Buyers
Since writing the above, I have had a look at other Balkan monarchies,
who have a similar history to Greece, and who also did award titles of
nobility. Rumania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania, all seem to have
had a system of subsidiary territorial titles, seemingly restricted to
members of the Royal Family.
I don't understand well. Did you mean "who also did NOT award titles
of nobility"? Or am I missing something?
Indeed so, I seem to have missed the "not" in my posting.

I have since also come across a translation of the 1911 Greek
Constitution.

The reference to titles of nobility (and dignity, whatever that means)
is the last sentence of a passage which begins with a sentence on
"equality before the law". So your idea about this may just be
correct.

As far as Decrees go, it appears that Royal Decrees are perfectly
acceptable, provided that they are countersigned by the responsible
minister. I take it that a resolution by the Parliament is one-step
better? Perhaps an approval of the King's or ministers' actions?

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-10-02 11:26:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Pierre Aronax
<...>
Post by Christopher Buyers
Since writing the above, I have had a look at other Balkan monarchies,
who have a similar history to Greece, and who also did award titles of
nobility. Rumania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania, all seem to have
had a system of subsidiary territorial titles, seemingly restricted to
members of the Royal Family.
I don't understand well. Did you mean "who also did NOT award titles
of nobility"? Or am I missing something?
Indeed so, I seem to have missed the "not" in my posting.
I have since also come across a translation of the 1911 Greek
Constitution.
Well, it has been at my website for quite some time:

http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/grconst19110614.html
Post by Christopher Buyers
The reference to titles of nobility (and dignity, whatever that means)
is the last sentence of a passage which begins with a sentence on
"equality before the law". So your idea about this may just be
correct.
As far as Decrees go, it appears that Royal Decrees are perfectly
acceptable, provided that they are countersigned by the responsible
minister. I take it that a resolution by the Parliament is one-step
better? Perhaps an approval of the King's or ministers' actions?
I think Yannis has commented on this earlier. Please google for the answer.
--
Dag T. Hoelseth
***@nospam.online.no
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
Christopher Buyers
2004-10-03 05:35:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Pierre Aronax
<...>
Post by Christopher Buyers
Since writing the above, I have had a look at other Balkan monarchies,
who have a similar history to Greece, and who also did award titles of
nobility. Rumania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania, all seem to have
had a system of subsidiary territorial titles, seemingly restricted to
members of the Royal Family.
I don't understand well. Did you mean "who also did NOT award titles
of nobility"? Or am I missing something?
Indeed so, I seem to have missed the "not" in my posting.
I have since also come across a translation of the 1911 Greek
Constitution.
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/grconst19110614.html
Post by Christopher Buyers
The reference to titles of nobility (and dignity, whatever that means)
is the last sentence of a passage which begins with a sentence on
"equality before the law". So your idea about this may just be
correct.
As far as Decrees go, it appears that Royal Decrees are perfectly
acceptable, provided that they are countersigned by the responsible
minister. I take it that a resolution by the Parliament is one-step
better? Perhaps an approval of the King's or ministers' actions?
I think Yannis has commented on this earlier. Please google for the answer.
Whatever the answer may have been in the past, it is due for serious
revision. Many of the pronouncements regarding this and nearly related
matters seem to be misleading.
Yannis
2004-10-03 20:14:34 UTC
Permalink
I'd like to intervene once more in this discussion. Francois writes:
I must say I'm not convinced that we can write a paragraph for the FAQ
on this topic that is both reliable and meaningful.

I beg to disagree. It's true we don't know everything about this "Duke
of Sparta" thing, but there are quite a few things we do know. I think
the doubts and contradictions are being exaggerated. I'll try to
explain my point of view, but first let me throw on the table two new
"pieces of evidence". First, the web site of the Greek royal family.
To be noted that Paul/Marie Chantal are called Crown Prince – Princess
there, and there is no mention of them being Duke/Duchess of Sparta.
But, more importantly, I found this in the biography of King
Constantine I:

I've also done a search for Duke of Sparta in Greek in google. This
has revealed only two entries. One from the on-line edition of a Greek
regional newspaper. It's an article relating the history of some land
and among other things it mentions that in 1888 it was given to the
then diadoch Constantine, the Duke of Sparta "as he was then called".
The newspaper may be quoting from the law ceding the land to
Constantine, so perhaps in 1888 this title was still in use officially
in Greece.

The other Greek entry is from the website of a radio station that
reports an interview Constantine II gave to the sunday inset of a
prestigious Greek quality paper (Vimagazino of "To Vima") in 2001. He
was asked there what he had to say about all that was written on the
internet (see? the real world is also reading us), about his sone
being Prince of Greece and Duke of Sparta. Constantine is reported to
have said that he does not wish to reply to such malicious talk(for
anyone understanding Greek, the word he used was "kakoithies")! This
is not much but perhaps it corroborates what he is said to have told
Marlene Koenig.

Now, let me deal with Francois' four numbered points:

1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted, and we
won't have the text of the decree any time soon.
It's true we don't have the actual text of the decree. But we do know
that the title was originally granted to the future Constantine I.
Francois and Mr. Buyers have very admirably shown that the other two
elder sons of Greek monarchs, George II and Constantine II have also
used the title in a foreign context (more on that last aspect a bit
further down). I think we may safely assume that the original grant
allowed that, or at least was so construed as to allow that.
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the
title was not confined to use abroad. The title is used
matter-of-factly, even in accounts of interviews with king Constantine
although there is no direct quote of him using it). It does seem
that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece has known, all three
have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two certainly or
very likely used it in Greece.
This throws up several points. First of all, I think perhaps use in a
foreign context is more precise than use abroad. I distinguish between
on the one hand use in a context where the likely "recipients" (for
want of a better term) are Greeks living in Greece. This would
primarily, if not exclusively, be use in the Greek language. There is
no doubt that up to a certain point the title was used for Constantine
I in such a context. But is there evidence to show that the title was
used by (or for) George II in this context? I don't think anyone has
so far provided anything of the sort. I would gladly be corrected.

On the other hand there is use in a foreign context. I think the Times
articles clearly fall in this category. Whoever they were written by,
they were intended to be read abroad. Even a direct quote of King
Constantine II using the title in conversation with a foreign
journalist would not make any difference, to my mind, as long as
everybody studiously avoided to use the title in conversation with
Greek journalists writing for the Greek press.

3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned
in 1868,but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of
Sparta seems to fall in the category of non-hereditary royal titles
and ranks, like prince, rather than hereditary titles of nobility
which is probably what the constitution was intended to rule out. And
the continued use of the title for decades after that initial debate
suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is not
necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.

I don't think they are that nebulous. In any case, let me try to
dispel these fogs. And if this turns into a long diatrebe well, sorry!
First of all let me remind all of you that it is the 1864 Greek
constitution that is relevant, not the 1911 one although I don't think
this makes any difference, this particular clause was not changed in
the 1911 amendments. Let us look a little at the context: Greece did
not have a tradition of native nobility. Areas under Venetian rule
aside (there can be no talk of native "Greek" titles there, they were
Venetian and were never officially recognised when those areas came
under Greek rule) there were no Greek nobles. Let me correct Mr.
Sayers, the princes of Samos were not noble, Samos was an autonomous
area from 1830 to 1912 under Ottoman rule and the title of its rulers
(appointed by the Porte) was "Hegemon" in Greek, translated as Prince
in English. But "Hegemon" is not a nobility title, or indeed any sort
of title, it just means Ruler and could just as well be translated as
Governor or the like. In any case, the Samos Princes were neither
nobility nor royalty. As for Ypsilantes, I'm not quite sure what sort
of title (if any) he was given by the Russian Czar but, again, this
was never recognised in revolutionary Greece and seems in fact to have
been used against him by his enemies in the various intrigues that
beset Greek revolutionary politics.

So, you have a country with absolutely no tradition of native nobility
and you have its people going up in arms in 1821 inspired from the
ideals of the French revolution. Indeed the first Greek constitutions
(1822, 1823, 1827) are fiercely republican and egalitarian. It is
there that one finds for the first time the clause "…nobility titles
are neither awarded nor recognised to Greek citizens". For reasons
that one cannot go into here in detail (suffice it to say that the
republic looked very good on paper but soon disintegrated into civil
war, and that in the Europe of those times anything but a monarchy was
anathema to the Powers) Greece entered the international stage as a
monarchy in 1830. In the first years it was ruled without a
Constitution. Nevertheless Otto seems to have created no nobility. In
1843 there was a revolt and a first constitution was adopted in 1844.
The same clause appeared there and has been carried over to all Greek
constitutions ever since.

This is the context in which one must approach the 1868 controversy on
the title Duke of Sparta. In a country that has never had nobility,
that does not know the difference (nor does it care about it) between
Royal Dukes, noble and non-noble Dukes and what-have-you, someone is
created a Duke. I'm sure everyone would agree that a Duke is, quite
often, part of the nobility. This was enough for the Greek progressive
elements of the time to cry foul, hence the whole controversy. From a
legal point of view I think they were right. In the Greek context
there was no room for fine distinctions between noble and non-noble
titles. It was clearly a privilege to have an appenage such as Duke of
Sparta and this was not allowed under the constitution. I think the
equality clause would catch the thing even if it was expressly stated
that it was NOT a nobility title. If you are given a title (be it
"Duke of Sparta" or "your excellency" to answer another of Mr. Sayers'
points) it means that everyone is supposed to call you that, therefore
it is a privilege and that's a no-no for the Greek constitution. I
suppose theoretically the King could "invite" anyone who cared to do
so to use a certain title for a certain person purely on a voluntary
basis, but I don't think he could do that by decree, which is an act
intended to have legal consequences. In any case, this was never the
intention. Not even the argument that Duke of Sparta is NOT a title of
nobility was used. I have read a detailed account of the debates in
parliament at the time in S. Markezinis history, and the
counter-argument was that, even though the constitution did not make a
difference, nevetheless members of the royal family (who, under Greek
law were Greek citizens, see our VERY LONG past discussion on this
matter) were exempt. As I said, legally very weak.

Since you seem to want details of what the debate was about, it was a
debate on an early-day motion, if I may call it that, a device used
then in Greece and in many other Parliaments I suppose, to discuss
current matters without taking a legally binding decision. The
resolution carried was not legally binding, a legally binding act of
the Greek Parliament was then, and still is, called a Law. A Law is
enacted by the King/President, numbered and published in the Gazette,
a resolution isn't.

When I wrote that because of the controversy use of the title was
tacitly dropped in Greece, this was not my own conclusion. It is what
I read both in Markezinis history and in G. Drosos history, which also
deals with these events. In other words this is the historians' own
impression. Of them Markezinis would to my mind carry more authority,
since, apart from writing history he was, early in his life, legal
advisor to King George II (1936) and had even published,l around that
period, a small tract on the legal position of the Greek royal family
(I have a photocopy somehwer in Greece. Nothing exciting there). He
was also involved in politics, becoming Prime Minister in the brief
and unsuccesful attempt to liberalise the Greek junta in 1973.

The quote from Constantine's site seems to confirm the fact that use
of the title was abandoned in Greece although, perhaps typically for
Constantine, the whole thing is "touched up" and it is made to sound
as if use of the title abroad was the initial intention, when in fact
it was not. The whole controversy in Parliament is "tactfully" swept
under the carpet. It is also interesting to note that the Greek
version of the same page makes no mention to the title "Duke of
Sparta".
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus, testis
nullus. I would also like to have further confirmation.
I think the fact that in their own site the Greek royal family make no
mention of the title would be at least an indication that they do not
care to use it any more.


I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At
best we could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke
of Sparta, and that it is not clear whether the custom still holds.

Now THAT would be misleading, since it would give the misleading
impression that the title was also used inside of Greece. Where is the
evidence that George II and Constantine II ever used the title "in a
Greek context"?

In any case, I understand an FAQ to be just that: Frequently Asked
Questions. We've had this question several times, that's why I thought
you might agree to put something in the FAQ about it. I freely admit
that we do not have ALL the answers to the Duke of Sparta thing, but
would this be the only item we do not have all the answers to in the
FAQ? I would suggest we do know quite a enough to enable us to write
a meaningful entry. This does not mean that we may not have to revise
it later, but isn't that what is regularly done with an FAQ?

Now, some explanations about Royal and Presidential decrees and the
points I was trying to make. From bitter experience I suspect Mr.
Sayers will again dispute that, but perhaps someone else might find it
useful.

The Greek legal system is a Civil Law system, as opposed to Common law
legal systems such as England & Wales, South Africa, the law of most
states of the US, Australia etc. One of the differences is that in a
civil law system there is conceptually no room for "unwritten" law. At
the very least, there isn't in Greece. With small and (for our
purposes) insignificant exceptions, a legal act, a legal right etc.
always has to be based on some written rule of law somewhere, however
old or broadly formulated. Not so in a common law system where there
is "Common law" i.e. rules which may only be found in (mostly old)
case law. In a constitutional context the UK at least also has "royal
prerogative" a set of unwritten powers the Sovereign enjoys. There is
no such thing under Greek consitutional law. In fact there was/ is an
article in the Constitution saying that the King/President only has
the powers ascribed to him in the Constitution.

A decree is a legal act promulgated by the King/President. It may
either contain a generally applicable rule of law (secondary
legislation authorised by a Parliamentary Law) or it may exercise, in
the case of one or a finite number of individuals a power granted to
the King/President either directly by the Constitution or by a Law.
For instance, the Constitution says that the King appoints the Prime
Minister, therefore when appointing the Prime Minister the King issues
a decree. The fact that decrees have to be countersigned by a minister
(a device ensuring that, in reality, it is the minister issuing the
decrees and not the King) does not mean that just because a minister
has countersigned, the King may issue any decree he likes. There still
has to be a legal basis for it.

The point I was making was that there was absolutely no legal basis
for the decree granting the title Duke of Sparta. There is nothing in
the constitution to say that the King may grant titles, even titles
that are not noble. On the contrary, there are provisions in the
Constitution saying that the King can exercise powers that elsewehere
may be considered as coming under royal prerogative. E.g. there is an
article saying that the King may strike coinage. Therefore, what I was
saying is that, quite remarkably, the "Duke of Sparta" decree was
based on nothing and, because of that and from a strictly legal point
of view it was invalid, i.e. had no legal effect. Still, I hasten to
add that this argument does NOT seem to have been used in the 1868
Parliamentary controversy. Combined with the 1863 decree on arms and
flags perhaps, in the back of everyone's mind, there was then a notion
that the King may enjoy some unwritten powers. In any case, that was
the point I made.

A few more points that came up in this discussion. The point I was
trying to make (and I have made before) about vasilopais meaning
"King-child" is that it literally means that. Prince does not
literally "mean" that in English, it is a word derived from the Latin
Princeps meaning "first". Of course since it has been given as a title
to the children of Kings, one may argue that now it "means" that. I
don't want to be drawn into discussions of semantics, but I think a
difference does exist. It's a bit like saying that the King/Queen in
Britain has the title "Sovereign". It's not a title, it's what they
are. As I said PERHAPS the word "vasilopais" was chosen intentionally
for the children of King George I, to avoid using a "title" such as
Prince. That I don't know, I'm only hazarding a guess. It is just as
likely that in the climate of that time, when everyone was trying to
be as purely Greek as possible, including using a "purified" version
of Greek (katharevousa), they thought more appropriate to use a word
of pure Greek origin.

A propos that, if I'm not mistaken the Queen is mentioned as such in
the constitution, somewhere in the provisions telling you what happens
if the King is a minor. On this basis one could say that the "title"
of Queen is recognised by the constitution.

And last but not least, Princess Aspasia (Manos) was not granted the
title princess of Greece by a decree of 10.9.1922, as Mr. Sayers
claimed. This decree merely retrospectively approved her marriage to
Alexander. Under the "tradition" of the Greek court she was then
considered (and styled) a "Princess" but that does not mean that the
title was granted by the decree. The decree merely approved her
marriage. And, before anyone asks, yes there was a legal basis for it,
a law that was passed a couple of months earlier allowing the King to
retrospectively approve royal marriages (under the previous
legislation approval had to be prior to the marriage).

There. Hope you find until some parts of this helpful/interesting and
I apologise for the length.
Yannis
2004-10-03 20:36:39 UTC
Permalink
APOLOGIES. CORRECT VERSION OF PREVIOUS MESSAGE WITH QUOTES AND LINKS


I'd like to intervene once more in this discussion. Francois writes:
I must say I'm not convinced that we can write a paragraph for the FAQ
on this topic that is both reliable and meaningful.

I beg to disagree. It's true we don't know everything about this "Duke
of Sparta" thing, but there are quite a few things we do know. I think
the doubts and contradictions are being exaggerated. I'll try to
explain my point of view, but first let me throw on the table two new
"pieces of evidence". First, the web site of the Greek royal family.
To be noted that Paul/Marie Chantal are called Crown Prince – Princess
there, and there is no mention of them being Duke/Duchess of Sparta.
But, more importantly, I found this in the biography of King
Constantine I: "His father, King George I, had given him the title of
Duke of Sparta. This title was given at the request of the town of
Sparta, but as the Greek constitution does not allow titles, it was
only to be used outside the country"
See: http://www.greekroyalfamily.org/english/family_constantine1.html


I've also done a search for Duke of Sparta in Greek in google. This
has revealed only two entries. One from the on-line edition of a Greek
regional newspaper. It's an article relating the history of some land
and among other things it mentions that in 1888 it was given to the
then diadoch Constantine, the Duke of Sparta "as he was then called".
The newspaper may be quoting from the law ceding the land to
Constantine, so perhaps in 1888 this title was still in use officially
in Greece.
Link www.patris.gr/articles/37805 -

The other Greek entry is from the website of a radio station that
reports an interview Constantine II gave to the sunday inset of a
prestigious Greek quality paper (Vimagazino of "To Vima") in 2001. He
was asked there what he had to say about all that was written on the
internet (see? the real world is also reading us), about his sone
being Prince of Greece and Duke of Sparta. Constantine is reported to
have said that he does not wish to reply to such malicious talk(for
anyone understanding Greek, the word he used was "kakoithies")! This
is not much but perhaps it corroborates what he is said to have told
Marlene Koenig.

Link: http://www.starfm.gr/on_air/happen_more.php?article_id=8394

Now, let me deal with Francois' four numbered points:

1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted, and we
won't have the text of the decree any time soon.
It's true we don't have the actual text of the decree. But we do know
that the title was originally granted to the future Constantine I.
Francois and Mr. Buyers have very admirably shown that the other two
elder sons of Greek monarchs, George II and Constantine II have also
used the title in a foreign context (more on that last aspect a bit
further down). I think we may safely assume that the original grant
allowed that, or at least was so construed as to allow that.
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the
title was not confined to use abroad. The title is used
matter-of-factly, even in accounts of interviews with king Constantine
although there is no direct quote of him using it). It does seem
that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece has known, all three
have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two certainly or
very likely used it in Greece.
This throws up several points. First of all, I think perhaps use in a
foreign context is more precise than use abroad. I distinguish between
on the one hand use in a context where the likely "recipients" (for
want of a better term) are Greeks living in Greece. This would
primarily, if not exclusively, be use in the Greek language. There is
no doubt that up to a certain point the title was used for Constantine
I in such a context. But is there evidence to show that the title was
used by (or for) George II in this context? I don't think anyone has
so far provided anything of the sort. I would gladly be corrected.

On the other hand there is use in a foreign context. I think the Times
articles clearly fall in this category. Whoever they were written by,
they were intended to be read abroad. Even a direct quote of King
Constantine II using the title in conversation with a foreign
journalist would not make any difference, to my mind, as long as
everybody studiously avoided to use the title in conversation with
Greek journalists writing for the Greek press.

3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned
in 1868,but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of
Sparta seems to fall in the category of non-hereditary royal titles
and ranks, like prince, rather than hereditary titles of nobility
which is probably what the constitution was intended to rule out. And
the continued use of the title for decades after that initial debate
suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is not
necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.

I don't think they are that nebulous. In any case, let me try to
dispel these fogs. And if this turns into a long diatrebe well, sorry!
First of all let me remind all of you that it is the 1864 Greek
constitution that is relevant, not the 1911 one although I don't think
this makes any difference, this particular clause was not changed in
the 1911 amendments. Let us look a little at the context: Greece did
not have a tradition of native nobility. Areas under Venetian rule
aside (there can be no talk of native "Greek" titles there, they were
Venetian and were never officially recognised when those areas came
under Greek rule) there were no Greek nobles. Let me correct Mr.
Sayers, the princes of Samos were not noble, Samos was an autonomous
area from 1830 to 1912 under Ottoman rule and the title of its rulers
(appointed by the Porte) was "Hegemon" in Greek, translated as Prince
in English. But "Hegemon" is not a nobility title, or indeed any sort
of title, it just means Ruler and could just as well be translated as
Governor or the like. In any case, the Samos Princes were neither
nobility nor royalty. As for Ypsilantes, I'm not quite sure what sort
of title (if any) he was given by the Russian Czar but, again, this
was never recognised in revolutionary Greece and seems in fact to have
been used against him by his enemies in the various intrigues that
beset Greek revolutionary politics.

So, you have a country with absolutely no tradition of native nobility
and you have its people going up in arms in 1821 inspired from the
ideals of the French revolution. Indeed the first Greek constitutions
(1822, 1823, 1827) are fiercely republican and egalitarian. It is
there that one finds for the first time the clause "…nobility titles
are neither awarded nor recognised to Greek citizens". For reasons
that one cannot go into here in detail (suffice it to say that the
republic looked very good on paper but soon disintegrated into civil
war, and that in the Europe of those times anything but a monarchy was
anathema to the Powers) Greece entered the international stage as a
monarchy in 1830. In the first years it was ruled without a
Constitution. Nevertheless Otto seems to have created no nobility. In
1843 there was a revolt and a first constitution was adopted in 1844.
The same clause appeared there and has been carried over to all Greek
constitutions ever since.

This is the context in which one must approach the 1868 controversy on
the title Duke of Sparta. In a country that has never had nobility,
that does not know the difference (nor does it care about it) between
Royal Dukes, noble and non-noble Dukes and what-have-you, someone is
created a Duke. I'm sure everyone would agree that a Duke is, quite
often, part of the nobility. This was enough for the Greek progressive
elements of the time to cry foul, hence the whole controversy. From a
legal point of view I think they were right. In the Greek context
there was no room for fine distinctions between noble and non-noble
titles. It was clearly a privilege to have an appenage such as Duke of
Sparta and this was not allowed under the constitution. I think the
equality clause would catch the thing even if it was expressly stated
that it was NOT a nobility title. If you are given a title (be it
"Duke of Sparta" or "your excellency" to answer another of Mr. Sayers'
points) it means that everyone is supposed to call you that, therefore
it is a privilege and that's a no-no for the Greek constitution. I
suppose theoretically the King could "invite" anyone who cared to do
so to use a certain title for a certain person purely on a voluntary
basis, but I don't think he could do that by decree, which is an act
intended to have legal consequences. In any case, this was never the
intention. Not even the argument that Duke of Sparta is NOT a title of
nobility was used. I have read a detailed account of the debates in
parliament at the time in S. Markezinis history, and the
counter-argument was that, even though the constitution did not make a
difference, nevetheless members of the royal family (who, under Greek
law were Greek citizens, see our VERY LONG past discussion on this
matter) were exempt. As I said, legally very weak.

Since you seem to want details of what the debate was about, it was a
debate on an early-day motion, if I may call it that, a device used
then in Greece and in many other Parliaments I suppose, to discuss
current matters without taking a legally binding decision. The
resolution carried was not legally binding, a legally binding act of
the Greek Parliament was then, and still is, called a Law. A Law is
enacted by the King/President, numbered and published in the Gazette,
a resolution isn't.

When I wrote that because of the controversy use of the title was
tacitly dropped in Greece, this was not my own conclusion. It is what
I read both in Markezinis history and in G. Drosos history, which also
deals with these events. In other words this is the historians' own
impression. Of them Markezinis would to my mind carry more authority,
since, apart from writing history he was, early in his life, legal
advisor to King George II (1936) and had even published,l around that
period, a small tract on the legal position of the Greek royal family
(I have a photocopy somehwer in Greece. Nothing exciting there). He
was also involved in politics, becoming Prime Minister in the brief
and unsuccesful attempt to liberalise the Greek junta in 1973.

The quote from Constantine's site seems to confirm the fact that use
of the title was abandoned in Greece although, perhaps typically for
Constantine, the whole thing is "touched up" and it is made to sound
as if use of the title abroad was the initial intention, when in fact
it was not. The whole controversy in Parliament is "tactfully" swept
under the carpet. But it is also interesting to note that the Greek
version of the same page merely says that his father had given
Constantine the title "Duke of Sparta", without saying that it was
only for use abroad (ATTENTION: CORRECTION FROM PREVIOUS MESSAGE
POSTED). I'm not quite sure what to make of the Greek version, but
generally speaking the English version of the site is much more
"complete" than the Greek one.
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus, testis
nullus. I would also like to have further confirmation.
I think the fact that in their own site the Greek royal family make no
mention of the title would be at least an indication that they do not
care to use it any more.


I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At
best we could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke
of Sparta, and that it is not clear whether the custom still holds.

Now THAT would be misleading, since it would give the misleading
impression that the title was also used inside of Greece. Where is the
evidence that George II and Constantine II ever used the title "in a
Greek context"?

In any case, I understand an FAQ to be just that: Frequently Asked
Questions. We've had this question several times, that's why I thought
you might agree to put something in the FAQ about it. I freely admit
that we do not have ALL the answers to the Duke of Sparta thing, but
would this be the only item we do not have all the answers to in the
FAQ? I would suggest we do know quite a enough to enable us to write
a meaningful entry. This does not mean that we may not have to revise
it later, but isn't that what is regularly done with an FAQ?

Now, some explanations about Royal and Presidential decrees and the
points I was trying to make. From bitter experience I suspect Mr.
Sayers will again dispute that, but perhaps someone else might find it
useful.

The Greek legal system is a Civil Law system, as opposed to Common law
legal systems such as England & Wales, South Africa, the law of most
states of the US, Australia etc. One of the differences is that in a
civil law system there is conceptually no room for "unwritten" law. At
the very least, there isn't in Greece. With small and (for our
purposes) insignificant exceptions, a legal act, a legal right etc.
always has to be based on some written rule of law somewhere, however
old or broadly formulated. Not so in a common law system where there
is "Common law" i.e. rules which may only be found in (mostly old)
case law. In a constitutional context the UK at least also has "royal
prerogative" a set of unwritten powers the Sovereign enjoys. There is
no such thing under Greek consitutional law. In fact there was/ is an
article in the Constitution saying that the King/President only has
the powers ascribed to him in the Constitution.

A decree is a legal act promulgated by the King/President. It may
either contain a generally applicable rule of law (secondary
legislation authorised by a Parliamentary Law) or it may exercise, in
the case of one or a finite number of individuals a power granted to
the King/President either directly by the Constitution or by a Law.
For instance, the Constitution says that the King appoints the Prime
Minister, therefore when appointing the Prime Minister the King issues
a decree. The fact that decrees have to be countersigned by a minister
(a device ensuring that, in reality, it is the minister issuing the
decrees and not the King) does not mean that just because a minister
has countersigned, the King may issue any decree he likes. There still
has to be a legal basis for it.

The point I was making was that there was absolutely no legal basis
for the decree granting the title Duke of Sparta. There is nothing in
the constitution to say that the King may grant titles, even titles
that are not noble. On the contrary, there are provisions in the
Constitution saying that the King can exercise powers that elsewehere
may be considered as coming under royal prerogative. E.g. there is an
article saying that the King may strike coinage. Therefore, what I was
saying is that, quite remarkably, the "Duke of Sparta" decree was
based on nothing and, because of that and from a strictly legal point
of view it was invalid, i.e. had no legal effect. Still, I hasten to
add that this argument does NOT seem to have been used in the 1868
Parliamentary controversy. Combined with the 1863 decree on arms and
flags perhaps, in the back of everyone's mind, there was then a notion
that the King may enjoy some unwritten powers. In any case, that was
the point I made.

A few more points that came up in this discussion. The point I was
trying to make (and I have made before) about vasilopais meaning
"King-child" is that it literally means that. Prince does not
literally "mean" that in English, it is a word derived from the Latin
Princeps meaning "first". Of course since it has been given as a title
to the children of Kings, one may argue that now it "means" that. I
don't want to be drawn into discussions of semantics, but I think a
difference does exist. It's a bit like saying that the King/Queen in
Britain has the title "Sovereign". It's not a title, it's what they
are. As I said PERHAPS the word "vasilopais" was chosen intentionally
for the children of King George I, to avoid using a "title" such as
Prince. That I don't know, I'm only hazarding a guess. It is just as
likely that in the climate of that time, when everyone was trying to
be as purely Greek as possible, including using a "purified" version
of Greek (katharevousa), they thought more appropriate to use a word
of pure Greek origin.

A propos that, if I'm not mistaken the Queen is mentioned as such in
the constitution, somewhere in the provisions telling you what happens
if the King is a minor. On this basis one could say that the "title"
of Queen is recognised by the constitution.

And last but not least, Princess Aspasia (Manos) was not granted the
title princess of Greece by a decree of 10.9.1922, as Mr. Sayers
claimed. This decree merely retrospectively approved her marriage to
Alexander. Under the "tradition" of the Greek court she was then
considered (and styled) a "Princess" but that does not mean that the
title was granted by the decree. The decree merely approved her
marriage. And, before anyone asks, yes there was a legal basis for it,
a law that was passed a couple of months earlier allowing the King to
retrospectively approve royal marriages (under the previous
legislation approval had to be prior to the marriage).

There. Hope you find until some parts of this helpful/interesting and
I apologise for the length.

And apologies for having to post a "new and improved version". I
posted the previous one forgetting that I meant to first fill in the
quotes and links, and check what I said about the Greek version of
Constantine I's biography, when next I went online.
Pierre Aronax
2004-10-04 15:51:10 UTC
Permalink
***@yahoo.com (Yannis) wrote in message news:<***@posting.google.com>...

<...>
Post by Yannis
1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted, and we
won't have the text of the decree any time soon.
It's true we don't have the actual text of the decree. But we do know
that the title was originally granted to the future Constantine I.
What I understood of François Velde's first point is that: we don't
know if, according to the wording of the original decree, the title
was given to Constantine I ad personam, to any future firstborn son of
a king of the Hellenes, to any future heir presumptive of the Greek
crown or to any future heir (presumptive or apparent) of the Greek
crown.
Post by Yannis
Francois and Mr. Buyers have very admirably shown that the other two
elder sons of Greek monarchs, George II and Constantine II have also
used the title in a foreign context (more on that last aspect a bit
further down). I think we may safely assume that the original grant
allowed that, or at least was so construed as to allow that.
We can agree that it seems probable, but the FAQ are supposed to give
hard facts and not probable hypothesis. Or, if they do sometimes, the
wording must be clear ("it has been assumed by some...")
Post by Yannis
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the
title was not confined to use abroad. The title is used
matter-of-factly, even in accounts of interviews with king Constantine
although there is no direct quote of him using it). It does seem
that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece has known, all three
have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two certainly or
very likely used it in Greece.
This throws up several points. First of all, I think perhaps use in a
foreign context is more precise than use abroad. I distinguish between
on the one hand use in a context where the likely "recipients" (for
want of a better term) are Greeks living in Greece. This would
primarily, if not exclusively, be use in the Greek language. There is
no doubt that up to a certain point the title was used for Constantine
I in such a context. But is there evidence to show that the title was
used by (or for) George II in this context? I don't think anyone has
so far provided anything of the sort. I would gladly be corrected.
That is true but Greek sources are of uneasy access even for those of
us who can read a little of Greek.
Post by Yannis
On the other hand there is use in a foreign context. I think the Times
articles clearly fall in this category. Whoever they were written by,
they were intended to be read abroad. Even a direct quote of King
Constantine II using the title in conversation with a foreign
journalist would not make any difference, to my mind, as long as
everybody studiously avoided to use the title in conversation with
Greek journalists writing for the Greek press.
3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned
in 1868,but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of
Sparta seems to fall in the category of non-hereditary royal titles
and ranks, like prince, rather than hereditary titles of nobility
which is probably what the constitution was intended to rule out. And
the continued use of the title for decades after that initial debate
suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is not
necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.
I don't think they are that nebulous. In any case, let me try to
dispel these fogs. And if this turns into a long diatrebe well, sorry!
First of all let me remind all of you that it is the 1864 Greek
constitution that is relevant, not the 1911 one although I don't think
this makes any difference, this particular clause was not changed in
the 1911 amendments. Let us look a little at the context: Greece did
not have a tradition of native nobility.
It has in the Middle Ages: there was a Byzantine aristocracy with
titles, although those titles were generally not hereditary.
Post by Yannis
Areas under Venetian rule
aside (there can be no talk of native "Greek" titles there, they were
Venetian and were never officially recognised when those areas came
under Greek rule)
it depends what you mean by Greek rule: the Heptanesoi Republic was a
form of Greek rule and it recognised those titles. The modern Greek
State, however, did not.
Post by Yannis
there were no Greek nobles.
They were Greeks and nobles and so were Greek nobles or noble Greek:
they were not of Greek nobility (if one means here by "Greek"
something related to the Greek State and not simply of Greek
ethnicity).
Post by Yannis
Let me correct Mr.
Sayers, the princes of Samos were not noble, Samos was an autonomous
area from 1830 to 1912 under Ottoman rule and the title of its rulers
(appointed by the Porte) was "Hegemon" in Greek, translated as Prince
in English. But "Hegemon" is not a nobility title, or indeed any sort
of title, it just means Ruler and could just as well be translated as
Governor or the like. In any case, the Samos Princes were neither
nobility nor royalty.
But hègémôn, as far as the etymology is concerned, has roughly the
sense of the Latin "dux". It was used in the Middle Ages for
hereditary rulers. If the princes of Samos can not be considered
royals, it is because they were not hereditary rulers, not because
their title does not fit perfectly in the western hierarchy of dukes,
counts and marquises.
Post by Yannis
As for Ypsilantes, I'm not quite sure what sort
of title (if any) he was given by the Russian Czar but, again, this
was never recognised in revolutionary Greece and seems in fact to have
been used against him by his enemies in the various intrigues that
beset Greek revolutionary politics.
So, you have a country with absolutely no tradition of native nobility
and you have its people going up in arms in 1821 inspired from the
ideals of the French revolution. Indeed the first Greek constitutions
(1822, 1823, 1827) are fiercely republican and egalitarian. It is
there that one finds for the first time the clause "?nobility titles
are neither awarded nor recognised to Greek citizens". For reasons
that one cannot go into here in detail (suffice it to say that the
republic looked very good on paper but soon disintegrated into civil
war, and that in the Europe of those times anything but a monarchy was
anathema to the Powers) Greece entered the international stage as a
monarchy in 1830. In the first years it was ruled without a
Constitution. Nevertheless Otto seems to have created no nobility. In
1843 there was a revolt and a first constitution was adopted in 1844.
The same clause appeared there and has been carried over to all Greek
constitutions ever since.
This is the context in which one must approach the 1868 controversy on
the title Duke of Sparta. In a country that has never had nobility,
that does not know the difference (nor does it care about it) between
Royal Dukes, noble and non-noble Dukes and what-have-you, someone is
created a Duke. I'm sure everyone would agree that a Duke is, quite
often, part of the nobility. This was enough for the Greek progressive
elements of the time to cry foul, hence the whole controversy.
Yes, that is clear. But were those elements right from a legal point
of view?
Post by Yannis
From a
legal point of view I think they were right. In the Greek context
there was no room for fine distinctions between noble and non-noble
titles.
What about basilopais then (see other post)? I am skeptical now.

Pierre
Pierre Aronax
2004-10-04 15:51:58 UTC
Permalink
***@yahoo.com (Yannis) wrote in message news:<***@posting.google.com>...

<...>
Post by Yannis
It was clearly a privilege to have an appenage such as Duke of
Sparta and this was not allowed under the constitution. I think the
equality clause would catch the thing even if it was expressly stated
that it was NOT a nobility title. If you are given a title (be it
"Duke of Sparta" or "your excellency" to answer another of Mr. Sayers'
points) it means that everyone is supposed to call you that, therefore
it is a privilege and that's a no-no for the Greek constitution. I
suppose theoretically the King could "invite" anyone who cared to do
so to use a certain title for a certain person purely on a voluntary
basis, but I don't think he could do that by decree, which is an act
intended to have legal consequences. In any case, this was never the
intention. Not even the argument that Duke of Sparta is NOT a title of
nobility was used. I have read a detailed account of the debates in
parliament at the time in S. Markezinis history, and the
counter-argument was that, even though the constitution did not make a
difference, nevetheless members of the royal family (who, under Greek
law were Greek citizens, see our VERY LONG past discussion on this
matter) were exempt. As I said, legally very weak.
Since you seem to want details of what the debate was about, it was a
debate on an early-day motion, if I may call it that, a device used
then in Greece and in many other Parliaments I suppose, to discuss
current matters without taking a legally binding decision. The
resolution carried was not legally binding, a legally binding act of
the Greek Parliament was then, and still is, called a Law. A Law is
enacted by the King/President, numbered and published in the Gazette,
a resolution isn't.
When I wrote that because of the controversy use of the title was
tacitly dropped in Greece, this was not my own conclusion. It is what
I read both in Markezinis history and in G. Drosos history, which also
deals with these events. In other words this is the historians' own
impression. Of them Markezinis would to my mind carry more authority,
since, apart from writing history he was, early in his life, legal
advisor to King George II (1936) and had even published,l around that
period, a small tract on the legal position of the Greek royal family
(I have a photocopy somehwer in Greece. Nothing exciting there). He
was also involved in politics, becoming Prime Minister in the brief
and unsuccesful attempt to liberalise the Greek junta in 1973.
The quote from Constantine's site seems to confirm the fact that use
of the title was abandoned in Greece although, perhaps typically for
Constantine, the whole thing is "touched up" and it is made to sound
as if use of the title abroad was the initial intention, when in fact
it was not. The whole controversy in Parliament is "tactfully" swept
under the carpet. But it is also interesting to note that the Greek
version of the same page merely says that his father had given
Constantine the title "Duke of Sparta", without saying that it was
only for use abroad (ATTENTION: CORRECTION FROM PREVIOUS MESSAGE
POSTED). I'm not quite sure what to make of the Greek version, but
generally speaking the English version of the site is much more
"complete" than the Greek one.
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus, testis
nullus. I would also like to have further confirmation.
I think the fact that in their own site the Greek royal family make no
mention of the title would be at least an indication that they do not
care to use it any more.
Yes, certainly. But a title can exist without being used.
Post by Yannis
I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At
best we could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke
of Sparta, and that it is not clear whether the custom still holds.
Now THAT would be misleading, since it would give the misleading
impression that the title was also used inside of Greece. Where is the
evidence that George II and Constantine II ever used the title "in a
Greek context"?
In any case, I understand an FAQ to be just that: Frequently Asked
Questions. We've had this question several times, that's why I thought
you might agree to put something in the FAQ about it. I freely admit
that we do not have ALL the answers to the Duke of Sparta thing, but
would this be the only item we do not have all the answers to in the
FAQ? I would suggest we do know quite a enough to enable us to write
a meaningful entry. This does not mean that we may not have to revise
it later, but isn't that what is regularly done with an FAQ?
Now, some explanations about Royal and Presidential decrees and the
points I was trying to make. From bitter experience I suspect Mr.
Sayers will again dispute that, but perhaps someone else might find it
useful.
The Greek legal system is a Civil Law system, as opposed to Common law
legal systems such as England & Wales, South Africa, the law of most
states of the US, Australia etc. One of the differences is that in a
civil law system there is conceptually no room for "unwritten" law. At
the very least, there isn't in Greece. With small and (for our
purposes) insignificant exceptions, a legal act, a legal right etc.
always has to be based on some written rule of law somewhere, however
old or broadly formulated. Not so in a common law system where there
is "Common law" i.e. rules which may only be found in (mostly old)
case law. In a constitutional context the UK at least also has "royal
prerogative" a set of unwritten powers the Sovereign enjoys. There is
no such thing under Greek consitutional law. In fact there was/ is an
article in the Constitution saying that the King/President only has
the powers ascribed to him in the Constitution.
A decree is a legal act promulgated by the King/President. It may
either contain a generally applicable rule of law (secondary
legislation authorised by a Parliamentary Law) or it may exercise, in
the case of one or a finite number of individuals a power granted to
the King/President either directly by the Constitution or by a Law.
For instance, the Constitution says that the King appoints the Prime
Minister, therefore when appointing the Prime Minister the King issues
a decree. The fact that decrees have to be countersigned by a minister
(a device ensuring that, in reality, it is the minister issuing the
decrees and not the King) does not mean that just because a minister
has countersigned, the King may issue any decree he likes. There still
has to be a legal basis for it.
The point I was making was that there was absolutely no legal basis
for the decree granting the title Duke of Sparta. There is nothing in
the constitution to say that the King may grant titles, even titles
that are not noble. On the contrary, there are provisions in the
Constitution saying that the King can exercise powers that elsewehere
may be considered as coming under royal prerogative. E.g. there is an
article saying that the King may strike coinage. Therefore, what I was
saying is that, quite remarkably, the "Duke of Sparta" decree was
based on nothing and, because of that and from a strictly legal point
of view it was invalid, i.e. had no legal effect. Still, I hasten to
add that this argument does NOT seem to have been used in the 1868
Parliamentary controversy. Combined with the 1863 decree on arms and
flags perhaps, in the back of everyone's mind, there was then a notion
that the King may enjoy some unwritten powers. In any case, that was
the point I made.
And that is certainly your better point in that discussion: only the
1863 decree on arms and flags weaks it a little. But can not the use
of "basilopais" as a title on official documents assert the
possibility for title (not of nobility) to exist without having been
created?
Post by Yannis
A few more points that came up in this discussion. The point I was
trying to make (and I have made before) about vasilopais meaning
"King-child" is that it literally means that.
As "infant" or "son of France".
Post by Yannis
Prince does not
literally "mean" that in English, it is a word derived from the Latin
Princeps meaning "first". Of course since it has been given as a title
to the children of Kings, one may argue that now it "means" that. I
don't want to be drawn into discussions of semantics, but I think a
difference does exist. It's a bit like saying that the King/Queen in
Britain has the title "Sovereign". It's not a title, it's what they
are.
But originally "prince" for the sons of kings was not a title: that
was only what they were.
Post by Yannis
As I said PERHAPS the word "vasilopais" was chosen intentionally
for the children of King George I, to avoid using a "title" such as
Prince.
Or rather because "prinkips" is a word of latin etymology and so to
avoid in kathareuousa.
Post by Yannis
That I don't know, I'm only hazarding a guess. It is just as
likely that in the climate of that time, when everyone was trying to
be as purely Greek as possible, including using a "purified" version
of Greek (katharevousa), they thought more appropriate to use a word
of pure Greek origin.
That is as I see it (although my Greek is poor): "prinkips" is demotic
for "basilopais", nothing more. I still don't see why "basilopais"
would not be a title but "son of France" would be. If it is not a
title, what is it? It is certainly not a surname, at least it doesn't
work like a Greek surname.
Post by Yannis
A propos that, if I'm not mistaken the Queen is mentioned as such in
the constitution, somewhere in the provisions telling you what happens
if the King is a minor.
There is also mention of the "Royal family" in the Constitution: what
are the Greek words for that? "Basilikè oikogéneia"? If there is a
family who is "Royal" and whose members have no name but something
which looks exactly like a royal title very similar to those used in
other Royal families, the Greek case looks much more common. Don't
take that as an ethnic generalisation (I'm as philhellene as one can
be) but I am sometimes rather sceptical in front of the Greek
assumption that they are very different in there traditions from other
Europeans.
Post by Yannis
On this basis one could say that the "title"
of Queen is recognised by the constitution.
And last but not least, Princess Aspasia (Manos) was not granted the
title princess of Greece by a decree of 10.9.1922, as Mr. Sayers
claimed. This decree merely retrospectively approved her marriage to
Alexander. Under the "tradition" of the Greek court she was then
considered (and styled) a "Princess" but that does not mean that the
title was granted by the decree. The decree merely approved her
marriage. And, before anyone asks, yes there was a legal basis for it,
a law that was passed a couple of months earlier allowing the King to
retrospectively approve royal marriages (under the previous
legislation approval had to be prior to the marriage).
There. Hope you find until some parts of this helpful/interesting and
I apologise for the length.
Thanks, that was very interesting, as always. Perhaps you and François
Velde could agree on a redaction as neutral as possible about the
title "duke of Sparta" in the FAQ. What about proposing your version
so anyone can comment on it now that we are more scholared on Greek
things?

Pierre
Christopher Buyers
2004-10-05 06:45:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Francois R. Velde
I must say I'm not convinced that we can write a paragraph for the FAQ
on this topic that is both reliable and meaningful.
I beg to disagree. It's true we don't know everything about this "Duke of Sparta" thing, but there are quite a few things we do know.
It isn't just that we don't know everything. THE critical document has
not been seen. Most crucially by the individual purporting to deliver
legal advice himself!
Post by Francois R. Velde
I think the doubts and contradictions are being exaggerated. I'll try to
explain my point of view, but first let me throw on the table two new "pieces of evidence". First, the web site of the > Greek royal family. To be noted that Paul/Marie Chantal > are called Crown Prince ? Princess there, and there is no > mention of them being Duke/Duchess of Sparta.
But surely using or not using a title is, in the modern context, a
frequent choice of titled individuals. They are at liberty to do so if
they wish.
Post by Francois R. Velde
But, more importantly, I found this in the biography of
I've also done a search for Duke of Sparta in Greek in google. This
has revealed only two entries. One from the on-line edition of a
Greek regional newspaper. It's an article relating the history of
some land and among other things it mentions that in 1888 it was
given to the then diadoch Constantine, the Duke of Sparta "as he
was then called".
The newspaper may be quoting from the law ceding the land to
Constantine, so perhaps in 1888 this title was still in use officially
in Greece.
The other Greek entry is from the website of a radio station that
reports an interview Constantine II gave to the sunday inset of a
prestigious Greek quality paper (Vimagazino of "To Vima") in 2001.
He was asked there what he had to say about all that was written on > the internet (see? the real world is also reading us), about his sone
being Prince of Greece and Duke of Sparta. Constantine is reported > to have said that he does not wish to reply to such malicious talk(for
anyone understanding Greek, the word he used was "kakoithies")!
This is not much but perhaps it corroborates what he is said to have > told Marlene Koenig.
I'm sorry Mr Hannes, but that answer seems to be so cryptic as to be
of no use at all.
Post by Francois R. Velde
1) We don't even know to whom the title was originally granted,
and we won't have the text of the decree any time soon.
It's true we don't have the actual text of the decree. But we do know
that the title was originally granted to the future Constantine I.
Francois and Mr. Buyers have very admirably shown that the other > two elder sons of Greek monarchs, George II and Constantine II
have also used the title in a foreign context (more on that last aspect > a bit further down). I think we may safely assume that the original
grant allowed that, or at least was so construed as to allow that.
2) The Times articles from the 1920s strongly suggest to me that the
title was not confined to use abroad. The title is used
matter-of-factly, even in accounts of interviews with king
Constantine
although there is no direct quote of him using it). It does seem
that, of the three heirs apparent that Greece has known, all three
have used it or let it be used abroad, and the first two certainly or
very likely used it in Greece.
This throws up several points. First of all, I think perhaps use in a
foreign context is more precise than use abroad. I distinguish
between on the one hand use in a context where the likely
"recipients" (for
want of a better term) are Greeks living in Greece. This would
primarily, if not exclusively, be use in the Greek language. There is
no doubt that up to a certain point the title was used for
Constantine I in such a context. But is there evidence to show that
the title was used by (or for) George II in this context? I don't think
anyone has so far provided anything of the sort. I would gladly be
corrected.
On the other hand there is use in a foreign context. I think the Times
articles clearly fall in this category. Whoever they were written by,
they were intended to be read abroad. Even a direct quote of King
Constantine II using the title in conversation with a foreign
journalist would not make any difference, to my mind, as long as
everybody studiously avoided to use the title in conversation with
Greek journalists writing for the Greek press.
3) I take it as a fact that the legality of the title was questioned
in 1868,but the grounds for doing so are a bit nebulous. Duke of
Sparta seems to fall in the category of non-hereditary royal titles
and ranks, like prince, rather than hereditary titles of nobility
which is probably what the constitution was intended to rule out. And
the continued use of the title for decades after that initial debate
suggests that any abandonment of its use, if it did happen, is not
necessarily related to those initial doubts. So that fact is not
necessarily meaningful.
I don't think they are that nebulous. In any case, let me try to
dispel these fogs. And if this turns into a long diatrebe well, sorry!
First of all let me remind all of you that it is the 1864 Greek
constitution that is relevant, not the 1911 one although I don't think
this makes any difference, this particular clause was not changed in
the 1911 amendments. Let us look a little at the context: Greece did
not have a tradition of native nobility. Areas under Venetian rule
aside (there can be no talk of native "Greek" titles there, they were
Venetian and were never officially recognised when those areas came
under Greek rule) there were no Greek nobles.
Nobody has asserted that the post independence Greek state conferred
titles of nobility. The point I was trying to make was that the
concept of nobility and titles were not unknown. These titles had been
conferred on Greeks, resident in the Ionian Islands and elsewhere, and
been in use for about two centuries.
Post by Francois R. Velde
Let me correct Mr. Sayers, the princes of Samos were not > noble, Samos was an autonomous area from 1830 to 1912 > under Ottoman rule and the title of its rulers
(appointed by the Porte) was "Hegemon" in Greek,
translated as Prince in English. But "Hegemon" is not a
nobility title, or indeed any sort of title, it just means
Ruler and could just as well be translated as
Governor or the like. In any case, the Samos Princes
were neither nobility nor royalty.
I do not understand the point of this. The references I have seen to
the Princes of Samos were all in French, so I hazard the guess that
Hegemon was translated with that same contextual meaning in several
languages.

Indeed, in English and in several other languages, princes has other
meanings beside the son of a King. It can equally mean "ruler" and be
so used to refer to ruling Kings, Emperors, Queens Dukes, Maharajas,
Sultans or those actually entitled as princes.

I am not at all sure what point you are trying to make by continuously
translating words in their strict literal meaning. On the same
grounds, one may as well conclude this whole debate by saying that
"Duke" means "leader". How useful would that be to the debate?

The point I was making is precisely that it was a title other than
"royal prince". The purpose being to point out that there were other
sorts of prince known in Greece. Whether they were noble princes or
something else, the point is the same. You asserted that the only
princes were Royal ones, and clearly that wasn't the case.
Post by Francois R. Velde
As for Ypsilantes, I'm not quite sure what sort
of title (if any) he was given by the Russian Czar but,
again, this was never recognised in revolutionary Greece > and seems in fact to have been used against him by his
enemies in the various intrigues that beset Greek
revolutionary politics.
A brief encounter with Sturdza or some other publication on Greek
noble families, will really be quite useful to you. It seems that on
these matters your understanding seems a little sketchy.

The Ypsilanti family provided two princes of Moldavia and Walachia.
The four sons of the second played important roles in the Greek War of
Independence, and the eldest was elected Head of State. It is possible
that their titles were also recognised in Russia, because they had all
served in the Russian Army. However, that is not its derivation.

The family didn't disappear from Greece after the revolution. The
third son, Prince George, married the daughter of Prince Constantine
Morousi, leaving a daughter who married Count Romas. The youngest son,
Prince Gregory left descendants who were active in various aspects of
Greek life. There was at least one prominent diplomat and a Princess
Ypsilanti served Queen Frederica at court. Their titles have been used
socially for more than a century.

The point I was making again was that here was a prominent princely
family in Greece, who were not Royal princes.
Post by Francois R. Velde
So, you have a country with absolutely no tradition of
native nobility and you have its people going up in arms > in 1821 inspired from the ideals of the French
revolution. Indeed the first Greek constitutions
(1822, 1823, 1827) are fiercely republican and egalitarian.
I don't know if communications to Greece at the time were particularly
slow, but by 1821 the French revolution had long ago given was to a
consulate, followed by an Empire and a monarchy. Indeed, a large
number of the senior officers who led the Greek forces during its bid
for Independence and had actually served against revolutionary France
in the Russian, British or other armies. Last, but not least, it was
the navies of regimes that opposed revolutionary France that dealt the
final blow to Ottoman supremacy.

Still, I am not sure what bearing this should have on anything. The
fact that a country has not instituted titles of nobility of its own,
before a certain date, does not mean that titles of nobility did not
exist or that the people then alive had no idea what they meant.
Post by Francois R. Velde
It is there that one finds for the first time the clause
"?nobility titles are neither awarded nor recognised to
Greek citizens".
Again, I am not sure what this proves. If anything, the first
appearance of the clause seems to have been at a time when the
constitution was a republican one and considered issues under a
republican regime. It was not considering those pertaining to monarchy
and thus clearly did not concern itself with royal titles. The only
titles that could have had in view at the time were, therefore, were
non-Royal.

snip
Post by Francois R. Velde
This is the context in which one must approach the 1868 controversy > on ... In a country that has never had nobility,
that does not know the difference (nor does it care about it) between
Royal Dukes, noble and non-noble Dukes and what-have-you,
someone is
created a Duke. I'm sure everyone would agree that a Duke is, quite
often, part of the nobility. This was enough for the Greek progressive
elements of the time to cry foul, hence the whole controversy. From > a legal point of view I think they were right. In the Greek context
there was no room for fine distinctions between noble and non-noble
titles.
Again, I am not sure the correctness of anything ought to be judged by
the opinions of those opposing it. It is of interest to the argument,
yes. However, it does not decide the issue. Just because certain
reactionary elements opposed the granting of the title doesn't mean
that it is somehow a title of nobility because they said it was.
Post by Francois R. Velde
It was clearly a privilege to have an appenage such as
Duke of Sparta and this was not allowed under the
constitution.
This is an example of what I call "misleading".

How can you possibly assert that an apanage was being created without
ever having seen the patent or decree of appointment?

When a King of Sweden creates his son "Duke of Smaland" or the King of
the Belgians his son "Duke of Brabant" are they creating those
provinces into apanages? Certainly, that isn't the case in the UK. The
City or County of Gloucester isn't the apanage of the Duke of
Gloucester.
Post by Francois R. Velde
I think the
equality clause would catch the thing even if it was expressly stated
that it was NOT a nobility title. If you are given a title (be it
"Duke of Sparta" or "your excellency" to answer another of Mr. Sayers'
points) it means that everyone is supposed to call you that, therefore
it is a privilege and that's a no-no for the Greek constitution.
"Your Excellency" is very clearly used quite extensively, is it not?

Either way, once one has a Royal Family and princes and princesses,
the point you are making is entirely meaningless.
Post by Francois R. Velde
Not even the argument that Duke of Sparta is NOT a title > of nobility was used.
I am not sure why this is relevant. I use my own brain when putting
forward an argument, not one that belongs to someone who died a
century ago. The fact that he did not make a certain argument a
century ago is not a good reason why I should not now!
Post by Francois R. Velde
I have read a detailed account of the debates in
parliament at the time in S. Markezinis history, and the
counter-argument was that, even though the constitution did not make a
difference, nevetheless members of the royal family (who, under Greek
law were Greek citizens, see our VERY LONG past discussion on this
matter) were exempt. As I said, legally very weak.
Since you seem to want details of what the debate was about, it was a
debate on an early-day motion, if I may call it that, a device used
then in Greece and in many other Parliaments I suppose, to discuss
current matters without taking a legally binding decision. The
resolution carried was not legally binding, a legally binding act of
the Greek Parliament was then, and still is, called a Law. A Law is
enacted by the King/President, numbered and published in the Gazette,
a resolution isn't.
Again, I am not sure of the point of this. Nobody has questioned the
difference between a resolution and a Law. The point I was making was
that it seems to have been an approval of the actions of the King and
his ministers at the time. The fact that it has not been overturned by
a subsequent law, court decision or subsequent resolution of
parliament, speaks volumes. In the round, it suggests that the
resolution is widely accepted and stands, rather than it does not.
Post by Francois R. Velde
When I wrote that because of the controversy use of the title was
tacitly dropped in Greece, this was not my own conclusion. It is what
I read both in Markezinis history and in G. Drosos history, which also
deals with these events. In other words this is the historians' own
impression. Of them Markezinis would to my mind carry more authority,
since, apart from writing history he was, early in his life, legal
advisor to King George II (1936) and had even published,l around that
period, a small tract on the legal position of the Greek royal family
(I have a photocopy somehwer in Greece. Nothing exciting there). He
was also involved in politics, becoming Prime Minister in the brief
and unsuccesful attempt to liberalise the Greek junta in 1973.
The quote from Constantine's site seems to confirm the
fact that use of the title was abandoned in Greece
although, perhaps typically for Constantine, the whole
thing is "touched up" and it is made to sound as if use of
the title abroad was the initial intention, when in fact
it was not. The whole controversy in Parliament is
"tactfully" swept under the carpet. It is also interesting to > note that the Greek version of the same page makes no
mention to the title "Duke of Sparta".
Well, I am not sure that I would make the same conclusions from
reading the website, unless I had a certain partisan opinion of the
King. After all, Constantine's site isn't a treatise on the title of
"Duke of Sparta" any more than the British Royal Family website is a
treatise on the history, origins and legality of the title of "Prince
of the United Kingdom".
Post by Francois R. Velde
4) as for current usage by the royal family, testis unus,
testis nullus. I would also like to have further
confirmation.
I think the fact that in their own site the Greek royal
family make no mention of the title would be at least an
indication that they do not care to use it any more.
The Duke of Edinburgh does not use his subsidiary title of Earl of
Merioneth or Baron Greenwich. Likewise, if Prince Paul prefers to be
known as Crown Prince Paul and not by his subsidiary title of Duke of
Sparta, so what?
Post by Francois R. Velde
I would be inclined to hold off on including anything in the FAQ. At
best we could say that the heir apparent was customarily called duke
of Sparta, and that it is not clear whether the custom still holds.
Now THAT would be misleading, since it would give the misleading
impression that the title was also used inside of Greece. Where is the
evidence that George II and Constantine II ever used the title "in a
Greek context"?
In any case, I understand an FAQ to be just that: Frequently Asked
Questions. We've had this question several times, that's why I thought
you might agree to put something in the FAQ about it. I freely admit
that we do not have ALL the answers to the Duke of Sparta thing, but
would this be the only item we do not have all the answers to in the
FAQ? I would suggest we do know quite a enough to enable us to write
a meaningful entry. This does not mean that we may not have to revise
it later, but isn't that what is regularly done with an FAQ?
Now, some explanations about Royal and Presidential decrees and
the points I was trying to make. From bitter experience I suspect
Mr. Sayers will again dispute that, but perhaps someone else might
find it useful.
The Greek legal system is a Civil Law system, as opposed to Common law
legal systems such as England & Wales, South Africa, the law of most
states of the US, Australia etc. One of the differences is that in a
civil law system there is conceptually no room for "unwritten" law. At
the very least, there isn't in Greece. With small and (for our
purposes) insignificant exceptions, a legal act, a legal right etc.
always has to be based on some written rule of law somewhere, however
old or broadly formulated. Not so in a common law system where there
is "Common law" i.e. rules which may only be found in (mostly old)
case law. In a constitutional context the UK at least also has "royal
prerogative" a set of unwritten powers the Sovereign enjoys. There is
no such thing under Greek consitutional law. In fact there was/ is an
article in the Constitution saying that the King/President only has
the powers ascribed to him in the Constitution.
A decree is a legal act promulgated by the King/President. It may
either contain a generally applicable rule of law (secondary
legislation authorised by a Parliamentary Law) or it may exercise, in
the case of one or a finite number of individuals a power granted to
the King/President either directly by the Constitution or by a Law.
For instance, the Constitution says that the King appoints the Prime
Minister, therefore when appointing the Prime Minister the King issues
a decree. The fact that decrees have to be countersigned by a minister
(a device ensuring that, in reality, it is the minister issuing the
decrees and not the King) does not mean that just because a minister
has countersigned, the King may issue any decree he likes. There still
has to be a legal basis for it.
The point I was making was that there was absolutely no legal basis
for the decree granting the title Duke of Sparta. There is nothing in
the constitution to say that the King may grant titles, even titles
that are not noble. On the contrary, there are provisions in the
Constitution saying that the King can exercise powers that elsewehere
may be considered as coming under royal prerogative. E.g. there is an
article saying that the King may strike coinage. Therefore, what I was
saying is that, quite remarkably, the "Duke of Sparta" decree was
based on nothing and, because of that and from a strictly legal point
of view it was invalid, i.e. had no legal effect. Still, I hasten to
add that this argument does NOT seem to have been used in the 1868
Parliamentary controversy. Combined with the 1863 decree on arms and
flags perhaps, in the back of everyone's mind, there was then a notion
that the King may enjoy some unwritten powers. In any case, that was
the point I made.
This is all very well, but it isn't you who decide whether or not
something is unconstitutional, it is the courts. As is quite clear, no
court, nor any other state body as far as I can see, has declared it
unconstitutional. On the contrary, the resolution in Parliament
suggests that the opposite was the case. You may go on claiming it is
unconstitutional and site as many texts, and opinions of learned
people as you may wish, but the fact is that no legal body entitled to
declare the title unconstitutional has actually done so. Yes?
Post by Francois R. Velde
A few more points that came up in this discussion. The point I was
trying to make (and I have made before) about vasilopais meaning
"King-child" is that it literally means that. Prince does not
literally "mean" that in English, it is a word derived from the Latin
Princeps meaning "first". Of course since it has been given as a title
to the children of Kings, one may argue that now it "means" that. I
don't want to be drawn into discussions of semantics, but I think a
difference does exist. It's a bit like saying that the King/Queen in
Britain has the title "Sovereign". It's not a title, it's what they
are. As I said PERHAPS the word "vasilopais" was chosen intentionally
for the children of King George I, to avoid using a "title" such as
Prince. That I don't know, I'm only hazarding a guess. It is just as
likely that in the climate of that time, when everyone was trying to
be as purely Greek as possible, including using a "purified" version
of Greek (katharevousa), they thought more appropriate to use a word
of pure Greek origin.
What has English got to do with this?

I, and others, have shown you that "King's son" is the title for
prince in a number of languages and in several countries. Amongst them
I included Turkey, the country that ruled over Greece for the
preceding two centuries. During that period, the title for the only
royal princes known to most Greeks in their daily lives was "Shahzada
Sultan". "Shahzada" when translated directly means simply "king's
son".
Post by Francois R. Velde
A propos that, if I'm not mistaken the Queen is mentioned as such in
the constitution, somewhere in the provisions telling you what happens
if the King is a minor. On this basis one could say that the "title"
of Queen is recognised by the constitution.
And last but not least, Princess Aspasia (Manos) was not granted the
title princess of Greece by a decree of 10.9.1922, as Mr. Sayers
claimed. This decree merely retrospectively approved her marriage > to Alexander. Under the "tradition" of the Greek court she was then
considered (and styled) a "Princess" but that does not mean that the
title was granted by the decree. The decree merely approved her
marriage. And, before anyone asks, yes there was a legal basis for it,
a law that was passed a couple of months earlier allowing the King
to retrospectively approve royal marriages (under the previous
legislation approval had to be prior to the marriage).
I have seen your earlier posts on this, but in them you seem to say
that you had not actually seen the decree granting the title to
Princess Aspasia. Indeed, you even go on to assert that Princess
Alexandra was illegitimate and never enjoyed that title either.

Is it now safe to assume that you have actually seen the decree or
have you not?

If you have, it would again be useful to avoid any further
misunderstanding if you could post a translation.

Christopher Buyers
Rico
2004-10-02 12:42:01 UTC
Permalink
"Christopher Buyers" <***@virgin.net> wrote in message
<snipped
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Yannis
Post by Christopher Buyers
1) Did a constitutional or other court declare the creation of the
title "Duke of Sparta" unsconstitutional?
No. Greece did not at the time have a constitutional court, nor has it
ever had one. The title was never challenged before a Greek court.
However, if you are interested in the legal mechanics of the whole
thing here's another interesting observation. There was absolutely no
legal basis for George I to issue that decree. In Greek legal
practice, the King (or President of the Republic, nowadays) does not
issue a decree unless the constitution itself, or a statute, give him
the power to do so. For instance, the Constitution states that the
King/President appoints the Prime Minister and Ministers. When doing
so, the King/President issues a decree. But there was nothing in the
Constitution or in any statute, saying that the King can grant titles.
I am not sure what this proves? How many constitutions actually say
so? I doubt very much if the Constitutions of Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, or any of the Commonwealth "dominion" constitutions ever
expressly said that the King/Queen could grant titles.
The Australian constitution says nothing about the granting of titles. The
Royal Titles and Styles Act of 1973, expressly states that in relation to
Australia that when the soverign is either in or representing Australia,
that she (or he when appropriate) is 'of Australia'. This can apply to any
monarch at any time that Australia might ever had or will have as head of
state, thus references to King George III through to Queen Elizabeth the
second can all be 'of Australia' when refered to in relation to our country,
The Queen Consorts are also to be refered to in this way, but not the Prince
Consorts or any other Prince of Princess of the realms and territories,
therefore, it can correct to call Queen Mary (wife of George V) and Queen
Elizabeth, the late queen mother as 'of Australia'. Princes Philip (Duke of
Edinburgh) and Charles (his son) have no official Australian title under the
act. The soverign could if it pleases her (or him when appropriate) use an
Australian place name in a title she creates for one of them.(ie Duke of
Ballarratt*, or Earl of Cooper Peady), as I said that could be his/her
choice.


*correct spelling in the adopted text of the Koori people was used
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-10-02 15:04:37 UTC
Permalink
[...]
Post by Rico
Post by Christopher Buyers
I am not sure what this proves? How many constitutions actually say
so? I doubt very much if the Constitutions of Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, or any of the Commonwealth "dominion" constitutions ever
expressly said that the King/Queen could grant titles.
The Australian constitution says nothing about the granting of titles. The
Royal Titles and Styles Act of 1973, expressly states that in relation to
Australia that when the soverign is either in or representing Australia,
that she (or he when appropriate) is 'of Australia'. This can apply to any
monarch at any time that Australia might ever had or will have as head of
state, thus references to King George III through to Queen Elizabeth the
second can all be 'of Australia' when refered to in relation to our country,
The Queen Consorts are also to be refered to in this way, but not the Prince
Consorts or any other Prince of Princess of the realms and territories,
therefore, it can correct to call Queen Mary (wife of George V) and Queen
Elizabeth, the late queen mother as 'of Australia'. Princes Philip (Duke of
Edinburgh) and Charles (his son) have no official Australian title under the
act. The soverign could if it pleases her (or him when appropriate) use an
Australian place name in a title she creates for one of them.(ie Duke of
Ballarratt*, or Earl of Cooper Peady), as I said that could be his/her
choice.
*correct spelling in the adopted text of the Koori people was used
http://www.statusquo.org/royalstyle.html
--
Dag T. Hoelseth
***@nospam.online.no
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
Pierre Aronax
2004-09-29 20:52:02 UTC
Permalink
***@yahoo.com (Yannis) wrote in message news:<***@posting.google.com>...

<...>
Post by Yannis
Greece has never had any such titles, save for
parts that were under the Venetians (I think the only title there was
conte, count).
Post by Christopher Buyers
3) How is the title "Duke of Sparta", conferred only on a member of
the Royal Family, materially different from "Prince of Greece" also
conferred only on members of the Royal family?
The German "Furst" apart, I think most people would say that "Prince"
is not a title of nobility. Further, the title "Prince of Greece" was
never officially conferred, it was simply automatically used for any
descendant of George I. Indeed (as I have posted before) earlier Greek
official texts seem to prefer the Greek word "vasilopais" which simply
means "King child".
But what is "basilopais" if not simply the Greek word for "prince"?
Clearly it is a title, a rank or a dignity, and clearly it means what
"prince" means in English, that is "child of the king", although I
agree that it is not necessarily for that a title *of nobility*. I
don't see the difference between "basilopais" and "infant" for
example.

Pierre
Michael Idato
2004-09-19 12:31:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.) The heir to the Greek throne is the Crown Prince. Marie Chantal
is styled as HRH Crown Princess Pavlos.
The title Duke of Sparta is not used by the Greek royal family for the heir to
the throne
I understand King George I of Greece gave his son (then) Prince
Constantine I (b 1868) the title of Duke of Sparta (at the request of
the people of Sparta, according to the Greek Royal Family's website).
Because of Greek rules on titles, it was only ever used outside of
Greece.

There is no mention of the title (Duke of Sparta) on the Greek Royal
Family's official website, in either Pavlos's biography or fact file,
but perhaps it survives as informal tradition rather than a hard and
fast rule?

Michael
MarleneKoenig
2004-09-19 22:05:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Idato
but perhaps it survives as informal tradition rather than a hard and
fast rule?
probably - but the King himself told me that he was never styled as the DUke of
Sparta, nor is his son.

author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
***@aol.com
Tom Mix
2004-09-19 14:31:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.)
According to Paul Theroff and his online Gotha-
2d) Paul, Crown Pr of Greece, Duke of Sparta, b.Tatoi 20 May 1967.

Perhaps, Marlene, you should tell him that he is wrong.
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-09-19 15:03:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Mix
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.)
According to Paul Theroff and his online Gotha-
2d) Paul, Crown Pr of Greece, Duke of Sparta, b.Tatoi 20 May 1967.
Perhaps, Marlene, you should tell him that he is wrong.
Paul Theroff is no more an authoritative source than Marlene Koenig is
(although his An Online Gotha is an excellent place for genealogical
information). See Yannis' message at ATR of 10 August 2004.

Hopefully Theroff will take note of the (obviously) wrong reference.
--
Dag T. Hoelseth
***@nospam.online.no
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
edespalais
2004-09-19 15:55:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Post by Tom Mix
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta,
for
Post by Tom Mix
Post by MarleneKoenig
that matter.)
According to Paul Theroff and his online Gotha-
2d) Paul, Crown Pr of Greece, Duke of Sparta, b.Tatoi 20 May 1967.
Perhaps, Marlene, you should tell him that he is wrong.
Paul Theroff is no more an authoritative source than Marlene Koenig is
(although his An Online Gotha is an excellent place for genealogical
information). See Yannis' message at ATR of 10 August 2004.
Hopefully Theroff will take note of the (obviously) wrong reference.
Cette boyesse sera, est peut-être déjà charmée de votre aimable
communication. A - t - elle en plus, pour une fois, raison?
MarleneKoenig
2004-09-19 22:07:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Paul Theroff is no more an authoritative source than Marlene Koenig is
(although his An Online Gotha is an excellent place for genealogical
information)
Excuse me ... my information comes straight form the King ... literally.

author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
***@aol.com
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-09-20 06:41:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Paul Theroff is no more an authoritative source than Marlene Koenig is
(although his An Online Gotha is an excellent place for genealogical
information)
Excuse me ... my information comes straight form the King ... literally.
I think you missed my point entirely... we can take it up privately if you wish.

Dag T. Hoelseth

--

http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
f***@gmail.com
2018-10-04 17:55:51 UTC
Permalink
Can you ask the King about PRINCESS RACHAEL because MEGHAN MARKEL is not PRINCESS MCALISTER.
p***@gmail.com
2018-10-05 11:45:26 UTC
Permalink
I've been tweeting about the nearfutureGreece since 14/07/2018 @PhillipArnclif2
MarleneKoenig
2004-09-19 22:06:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tom Mix
2d) Paul, Crown Pr of Greece, Duke of Sparta, b.Tatoi 20 May 1967.
Well, he is wrong ...The title does not exist for the heir to the throne ...
Constantine was not styled as such nor is Pavlos ... and I got it straight
(literally) from the king's mouth

author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
***@aol.com
edespalais
2004-09-20 03:58:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Tom Mix
2d) Paul, Crown Pr of Greece, Duke of Sparta, b.Tatoi 20 May 1967.
Well, he is wrong ...The title does not exist for the heir to the throne ...
Constantine was not styled as such nor is Pavlos ... and I got it straight
(literally) from the king's mouth
author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
One learns .. has a mouth, that .. in straight communication with
individuals mouth, does it also bite?
Tom Mix
2004-09-19 14:45:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.)
According to Allen Raymond's website-
http://www.btinternet.com/~allan_raymond/Greek_Royal_Family.htm
[He also lists CP Paul as being the Duke of Sparta]
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-19 15:57:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
the duchess of Sparta,
There is no such person as the duchess of Sparta (or the duke of Sparta, for
that matter.) The heir to the Greek throne is the Crown Prince. Marie Chantal
is styled as HRH Crown Princess Pavlos.
The title Duke of Sparta is not used by the Greek royal family for the heir to
the throne
Well, they seem to disagree. Please see the following links:

www.sailing.org/meetings/minutes/1961_GA_03_11.pdf
www.geocities.com/ntchistory/timeline/timeline.html
http://www.aafla.org/OlympicInformationCenter/OlympicReview/1964/BDCE86/BDCE86x.pdf
http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:eDvEdT3TDMAJ:www.umich.edu/~bhl/bhl/findaid/mhc/brucker.doc+%22duke+of+sparta%22&hl=en
http://www.atleticaleggera.com/organization%20olympic%20games.htm

The last link quotes a telegram from the ADC of Crown Prince
Constantine, who was replying on the Duke of Sparta's behalf.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
MarleneKoenig
2004-09-19 22:08:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
The last link quotes a telegram from the ADC of Crown Prince
Constantine, who was replying on the Duke of Sparta's behalf.
The late King Constantine I was known (certainly in the Britsh press) as the
duke of Sparta, but this title was never bestowed as an official title on the
heir to the throne although some people think it is because Constantine I was
known as such by some. However, King Constantine II told me that the title
does not exist for the heir to the throne who is official the Diadoch.

author of A Grand Alliance - the descendants of Grand Duke Michael of Russia
and Countess Sophie von Merenberg. For more information, write to
***@aol.com
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-20 06:15:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Christopher Buyers
The last link quotes a telegram from the ADC of Crown Prince
Constantine, who was replying on the Duke of Sparta's behalf.
The late King Constantine I was known (certainly in the Britsh press) as the
duke of Sparta, but this title was never bestowed as an official title on the
heir to the throne although some people think it is because Constantine I was
known as such by some. However, King Constantine II told me that the title
does not exist for the heir to the throne who is official the Diadoch.
Interesting, since Constantine II was officially styled as Duke of
Sparta while a member of the International Olympic Committee. His
award of the US Legion of Merit in 1959 was also recorded with the
title Duke of Sparta. Indeed, I do not think any of the references I
gave had anything to do with the UK, let alone the British Press. They
were from Greece (telegram from CI's ADC), Switzerland and the US.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Yannis
2004-09-20 11:47:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Christopher Buyers
The last link quotes a telegram from the ADC of Crown Prince
Constantine, who was replying on the Duke of Sparta's behalf.
The late King Constantine I was known (certainly in the Britsh press) as the
duke of Sparta, but this title was never bestowed as an official title on the
heir to the throne although some people think it is because Constantine I was
known as such by some. However, King Constantine II told me that the title
does not exist for the heir to the throne who is official the Diadoch.
Interesting, since Constantine II was officially styled as Duke of
Sparta while a member of the International Olympic Committee. His
award of the US Legion of Merit in 1959 was also recorded with the
title Duke of Sparta. Indeed, I do not think any of the references I
gave had anything to do with the UK, let alone the British Press. They
were from Greece (telegram from CI's ADC), Switzerland and the US.
Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
I think it's clear by the links quoted that the title "Duke of Sparta"
has been used abroad for the subsequent King Constantine II between
1959 - 1963, with at least the latter's tacit approval. I've seen no
evidence of it ever having been used in Greece for him during that
period. I don't know for how long the use of the title "Duke of
Sparta" for the subsequent King Constantine I continued in Greece. The
link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.

It might make a difference that constantine was "invested" or
"proclaimed" or whatever-you-want-to-call it Heir to the Throne in a
ceremony in 1958 on the occasion of his coming-of-age. I'm pretty sure
the title "Duke of Sparta" was not used in the ceremony itself (which
was in Greece) but perhaps the decision to use (or tacit approval of
the use of) that title abroad might stem from that fact. On the
contrary, Paul was never "invested" as Crown Prince, since by the time
he came of age (1985) monarchy had long been abolished in Greece.
Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
2004-09-20 18:26:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Christopher Buyers
The last link quotes a telegram from the ADC of Crown Prince
Constantine, who was replying on the Duke of Sparta's behalf.
The late King Constantine I was known (certainly in the Britsh press) as the
duke of Sparta, but this title was never bestowed as an official title on the
heir to the throne although some people think it is because Constantine I was
known as such by some. However, King Constantine II told me that the title
does not exist for the heir to the throne who is official the Diadoch.
Interesting, since Constantine II was officially styled as Duke of
Sparta while a member of the International Olympic Committee. His
award of the US Legion of Merit in 1959 was also recorded with the
title Duke of Sparta. Indeed, I do not think any of the references I
gave had anything to do with the UK, let alone the British Press. They
were from Greece (telegram from CI's ADC), Switzerland and the US.
Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
I think it's clear by the links quoted that the title "Duke of Sparta"
has been used abroad for the subsequent King Constantine II between
1959 - 1963, with at least the latter's tacit approval. I've seen no
evidence of it ever having been used in Greece for him during that
period. I don't know for how long the use of the title "Duke of
Sparta" for the subsequent King Constantine I continued in Greece. The
link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
It might make a difference that constantine was "invested" or
"proclaimed" or whatever-you-want-to-call it Heir to the Throne in a
ceremony in 1958 on the occasion of his coming-of-age. I'm pretty sure
the title "Duke of Sparta" was not used in the ceremony itself (which
was in Greece) but perhaps the decision to use (or tacit approval of
the use of) that title abroad might stem from that fact. On the
contrary, Paul was never "invested" as Crown Prince, since by the time
he came of age (1985) monarchy had long been abolished in Greece.
gosh what a discussion did i trigger... in any case I took the
information from "Le Petit Gotha" by Chantal de Badts de Cugnac & Guy
Coutant de Saisseval,1993, page 439.... the Paul is title as well as
Duke of Sparta....well it seems that the evidence is not that
clear.... but at least one should add to all "former" as as Greece is
now a republic
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-21 07:36:31 UTC
Permalink
snip
The link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
Seems to me that we have a reference to a document written by a Greek
official in Greece, addressed to another Greek, about a third Greek.

If this isn't use in Greece, it seems to be a splitting of hairs by
means of a type of equipment yet unknown to me!
Pierre Aronax
2004-09-21 17:04:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
snip
The link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
Seems to me that we have a reference to a document written by a Greek
official in Greece, addressed to another Greek, about a third Greek.
If this isn't use in Greece, it seems to be a splitting of hairs by
means of a type of equipment yet unknown to me!
Does the fact that a title is used necessarily mean that this title
exists? I can present documents written by French officials in France
adressed to other French which speak of a "Count of Paris".
Nevertheless, that title does not exist.

Pierre
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-22 05:33:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pierre Aronax
Post by Christopher Buyers
snip
The link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
Seems to me that we have a reference to a document written by a Greek
official in Greece, addressed to another Greek, about a third Greek.
If this isn't use in Greece, it seems to be a splitting of hairs by
means of a type of equipment yet unknown to me!
Does the fact that a title is used necessarily mean that this title
exists? I can present documents written by French officials in France
adressed to other French which speak of a "Count of Paris".
Nevertheless, that title does not exist.
Perhaps "Count of Paris" in the sence that it was being used wasn't as
a title, but as a name?

Anyway, nice to see French officialdom using English!

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
2004-09-22 17:22:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Pierre Aronax
Post by Christopher Buyers
snip
The link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
Seems to me that we have a reference to a document written by a Greek
official in Greece, addressed to another Greek, about a third Greek.
If this isn't use in Greece, it seems to be a splitting of hairs by
means of a type of equipment yet unknown to me!
Does the fact that a title is used necessarily mean that this title
exists? I can present documents written by French officials in France
adressed to other French which speak of a "Count of Paris".
Nevertheless, that title does not exist.
Perhaps "Count of Paris" in the sence that it was being used wasn't as
a title, but as a name?
Anyway, nice to see French officialdom using English!
Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
the French Republic however recognises the historic titles!
edespalais
2004-09-23 11:35:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Klaus Meyer-Cabri van Amelrode
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by Pierre Aronax
Does the fact that a title is used necessarily mean that this title
exists? I can present documents written by French officials in France
adressed to other French which speak of a "Count of Paris".
Nevertheless, that title does not exist.
Perhaps "Count of Paris" in the sence that it was being used wasn't as
a title, but as a name?
Anyway, nice to see French officialdom using English!
Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
the French Republic however recognises the historic titles!
Quite correct, but they are not used. Such it seems was already the practise
before the Revolution (*seems*)
Except the ducal titles of French citizen
Robert Hall
2004-09-21 20:32:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
snip
The link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
Seems to me that we have a reference to a document written by a Greek
official in Greece, addressed to another Greek, about a third Greek.
If this isn't use in Greece, it seems to be a splitting of hairs by
means of a type of equipment yet unknown to me!
And, since there is no throne to be heir of, there also is no "Diadoch" is there?
Yannis
2004-09-22 11:40:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Hall
Post by Christopher Buyers
The link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
And, since there is no throne to be heir of, there also is no "Diadoch" is there?
First of all, it seems a line went missing from my original post. It
should have read: "The link quoted refers to a telegram from
Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,a Greek who at the time was living in
France, so perhaps this "foreign"
connection explains the use of the title of Duke of Sparta instead of
"Diadoch" (Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time
Post by Robert Hall
Post by Christopher Buyers
Seems to me that we have a reference to a document written by a Greek
official in Greece, addressed to another Greek, about a third Greek.
If this isn't use in Greece, it seems to be a splitting of hairs by
means of a type of equipment yet unknown to me!
Mr. Buyers you have in the past also exhibited a remarkable capacity
for taking offence where none was meant and,at the same time,
insulting others. This is the only way in which I can understand your
reference to "a splitting of hairs by means of a type of equipment
yet unknown to me". To be exact what we have is an English translation
(I assume the original letter was not in English) of part of a letter
written by the a-d-c of Constantine to a Greek living in Paris.
Further, this document was probably intended to be shown to other
non-Greeks (notably Couberdain-I'm not sure this is the right
spelling) abroad. We don't know what was the original language of the
document (Greek or French?). Therefore, we can't be sure if at the
time it was written it was the practice to always refer to Constantine
as "the Duke of Sparta" even in an entirely Greek context (and in the
Greek language), or if this was only done in a foreign context (e.g.
in a letter written in French). It may have been the latter since from
what I have seen of Greek documents of that time (I mean newspapers
etc. , books but even legislation ) one usually refers to Constantine
as the "Diadoch". But I could be wrong and it may be that use of the
title "Duke of Sparta" (which was, at its inception, intended to be
used both inside and outside Greece) continued inside Greece for as
long as at least 1896. What is clear is that at some point it was
quietly dropped in Greece. It is also clear that it was used for (the
future) Constantine II in a foreign context in 1959-63, as you have
very admirably demonstrated. And this could not have been with at
least tacit official approval.

As for the "existential" questions about titles, I think it would be
useless to enter into discussions of when a title really does or does
not "exist". In my opinion the most one can do is specifically mention
the people or group who recognise this title, as well as those who
don't. In the case of "Duke of Sparta" it was a title granted by a
Royal Decree of 1868. As I've already said this decree was contrary to
an express provision of the then Greek constitution which outlawed
peerages. Nevertheless, the government (and parliamentary majority) of
the day swallowed it on the very dubious argument that this ban did
not apply to members of the royal family (even though the constitution
made no such distinction). Still, this latter decision was not binding
on anyone, indeed it was not even in the form of a law but rather a
"resolution" of the Parliament (expressing its opinion on a current
matter but with no legal effect). It is clear from the data that we
have (links provided by Mr. Buyers included) that the Greek court has
had a rather ambivalent attitude, not using the title inside Greece
(except perhaps for some period in the late 19th century) but
nevertheless retaining it for use outside Greece, at least for the
future Constantine II in 1958 - 1964. Finally, we have so far seen no
evidence of approval by the (by now former) Greek royal family of the
use of this title for Crown Prince Pavlos and his family.

Hope this sums up the position accurately.
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-23 03:44:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Post by Robert Hall
Post by Christopher Buyers
The link quoted refers to a telegram from Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,
a Greek who at the time was living in France, so perhaps this "foreign
(Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time.
And, since there is no throne to be heir of, there also is no "Diadoch" is there?
First of all, it seems a line went missing from my original post. It
should have read: "The link quoted refers to a telegram from
Constantine's a-d-c to Vikelas,a Greek who at the time was living in
France, so perhaps this "foreign"
connection explains the use of the title of Duke of Sparta instead of
"Diadoch" (Greek for "successor") which (I think) was more current for
Constantine in Greece itself at the time
Post by Robert Hall
Post by Christopher Buyers
Seems to me that we have a reference to a document written by a Greek
official in Greece, addressed to another Greek, about a third Greek.
If this isn't use in Greece, it seems to be a splitting of hairs by
means of a type of equipment yet unknown to me!
Mr. Buyers you have in the past also exhibited a remarkable capacity
for taking offence where none was meant and,at the same time,
insulting others.
This is the only way in which I can understand your
reference to "a splitting of hairs by means of a type of equipment
yet unknown to me".
I do not follow. Please explain how the above either means that I have
taken offence or have insulted you? I suggest that you suffer from a
remarkable lack of humour.
Post by Yannis
To be exact what we have is an English translation
(I assume the original letter was not in English) of part of a letter
written by the a-d-c of Constantine to a Greek living in Paris.
Further, this document was probably intended to be shown to other
non-Greeks (notably Couberdain-I'm not sure this is the right
spelling) abroad. We don't know what was the original language of the
document (Greek or French?).
I am not sure the language matters either way, or the intent, all one
needs to show is use of the title.
Post by Yannis
Therefore, we can't be sure if at the
time it was written it was the practice to always refer to Constantine
as "the Duke of Sparta" even in an entirely Greek context (and in the
Greek language), or if this was only done in a foreign context (e.g.
in a letter written in French).
I do not understand why a title has to "always" refer to anyone with a
particular title in order to be valid. Prince Philip is sometimes
referred to that way, sometimes as the Duke of Edinburgh. Most times
he is never referred to as the Earl of Merioneth or Prince of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Does that mean
he is not? Does the reason why either title is used have any bearing
on the matter?

Furthermore, isn't a title such as "of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland" only ever used in a foreign context?
Post by Yannis
It may have been the latter since from
what I have seen of Greek documents of that time (I mean newspapers
etc. , books but even legislation ) one usually refers to Constantine
as the "Diadoch".
I do not think that the use of Duke of Sparta, in any way suggests or
precludes the non-use of Diadoch. There is no reason to believe that
the two titles are mutually exclusive.
Post by Yannis
But I could be wrong and it may be that use of the
title "Duke of Sparta" (which was, at its inception, intended to be
used both inside and outside Greece) continued inside Greece for as
long as at least 1896. What is clear is that at some point it was
quietly dropped in Greece. It is also clear that it was used for (the
future) Constantine II in a foreign context in 1959-63, as you have
very admirably demonstrated. And this could not have been with at
least tacit official approval.
As for the "existential" questions about titles, I think it would be
useless to enter into discussions of when a title really does or does
not "exist". In my opinion the most one can do is specifically mention
the people or group who recognise this title, as well as those who
don't. In the case of "Duke of Sparta" it was a title granted by a
Royal Decree of 1868. As I've already said this decree was contrary to
an express provision of the then Greek constitution which outlawed
peerages.
Are you sure you do not mean titles of nobility instead of peerages?
Post by Yannis
Nevertheless, the government (and parliamentary majority) of
the day swallowed it on the very dubious argument that this ban did
not apply to members of the royal family (even though the constitution
made no such distinction).
How so?

It is clear that in the case of Greece there were Royal titles that
were quite distinct from what one may call titles of noblity, indeed
that is the case in most countries. I am not sure how a title such as
Duke of Sparta, conferred only on a member of the Royal Family and
intended to be that way, is somehow materially different from Prince
or Princess of Greece.

The only way in which the title can be regarded as a title of nobility
in Greece is if the constitution or some other law defines it as such.
Is there such a definition in Greek Law?

It seems that one can draw a parallel of sorts with the modern kingdom
of Belgium and with Sweden. Unless I am mistaken, in both cases Ducal
titles are confined to the Royal Family.

One could go further and suggest that there can be a variety of
titles, not all of them need be titles of nobility. Taking the UK as
an example, we have Royal titles, noble titles, courtesy titles,
titles of baronetcy, titles of chivalry and honour, civil titles,
military titles, academic titles, baronial titles, and perhaps a
number of others which others could specify.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
2004-09-22 12:31:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Christopher Buyers
The last link quotes a telegram from the ADC of Crown Prince
Constantine, who was replying on the Duke of Sparta's behalf.
The late King Constantine I was known (certainly in the Britsh press) as the
duke of Sparta, but this title was never bestowed as an official title on the
heir to the throne although some people think it is because Constantine I was
known as such by some. However, King Constantine II told me that the title
does not exist for the heir to the throne who is official the Diadoch.
Interesting, since Constantine II was officially styled as Duke of
Sparta while a member of the International Olympic Committee. His
award of the US Legion of Merit in 1959 was also recorded with the
title Duke of Sparta. Indeed, I do not think any of the references I
gave had anything to do with the UK, let alone the British Press. They
were from Greece (telegram from CI's ADC), Switzerland and the US.
Although I know that Marlene Koenig has made the point emphatically
and repeatedly over the years that King Constantine II says this title
is not in use, I cannot help to add to Christopher Buyers' observation
that the title "Duke of Sparta" has been used on the armorial plates
at Frederiksborg Castle of several Greek heir-apparents who have been
Knights of the Order of the Elephant (and in the registrars of the
Order)--including for King Constantine II himself. I have also noted
that in the Danish Court Almanach this title have been used. This
means, at least two things: a) that the very close Danish relatives of
the Greek royal family must have thought this was the appropriate
title to use, and b) that it was not protested by the Greeks.

Can it be that the Greek royal family found that this was the
appropriate title to use abroad, even if it was not recognized/used at
home? And that they then had a change of heart at some point in
exile?

Best wishes,

Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Yannis
2004-09-23 07:12:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Although I know that Marlene Koenig has made the point emphatically
and repeatedly over the years that King Constantine II says this title
is not in use, I cannot help to add to Christopher Buyers' observation
that the title "Duke of Sparta" has been used on the armorial plates
at Frederiksborg Castle of several Greek heir-apparents
could you say who those were? Greek heir-apparents were: Constantine
(future Constantine I), George (future George II), Pavlos and
Constantine (future Constantine II). We know that the title "Duke of
Sparta" was used for Constantine I even in Greece, at least to begin
with. Mr. Buyers and his links has demonstrated that, in spite of
whatever Constantine II might say, the title was used for him abroad
from 1958 to 1964 (and you add to this evidence). Is there any
evidence that the title was ever used for George II (1913 - 1923) or
Pavlos? I would see a problem with Pavlos since he was not even a
first-born son, he was the brother of the King. I've seen no evidence
from inside Greece that this title was ever used by either George II
or Pavlos, but perhaps they too are mentioned as such in Frederiksborg
Castle
Post by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Can it be that the Greek royal family found that this was the
appropriate title to use abroad, even if it was not recognized/used at
home? And that they then had a change of heart at some point in
exile?
I think that's the most likely explanation. Constantine II has
displayed other instances of a (shall we call it) "creative memory".
Whatever he said to Marlene, he can't have failed to notice that in
1958-64 he had been called the "Duke of Sparta"repeatedly, in a
foreign context. In Greece he had been, during the same period, the
"Diadoch Constantine".
Dimitry Macedonsky
2004-09-23 10:51:12 UTC
Permalink
We know that the title "Duke of Sparta" was used for Constantine I
even in Greece, at least to begin with.
Constantine and Sophie were godparents of their Russian nephew and nieces.
In the official ceremonial they were listed as:
1890 - HRH The Duke of Sparta
1901 - HRH Princess Sophie of Greece
1903 - HRH Hereditary Prince Constantine of Greece

Due 1891 christenning circumstances the ceremonial was not issued and
Sophie's style was varied in unofficial sources.
--
Dimitry Macedonsky
St.Petersburg, Russia
http://macedonsky.narod.ru/english.html
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-24 06:16:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Post by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Although I know that Marlene Koenig has made the point emphatically
and repeatedly over the years that King Constantine II says this title
is not in use, I cannot help to add to Christopher Buyers' observation
that the title "Duke of Sparta" has been used on the armorial plates
at Frederiksborg Castle of several Greek heir-apparents
could you say who those were? Greek heir-apparents were: Constantine
(future Constantine I), George (future George II), Pavlos and
Constantine (future Constantine II). We know that the title "Duke of
Sparta" was used for Constantine I even in Greece, at least to begin
with. Mr. Buyers and his links has demonstrated that, in spite of
whatever Constantine II might say, the title was used for him abroad
from 1958 to 1964 (and you add to this evidence). Is there any
evidence that the title was ever used for George II (1913 - 1923) or
Pavlos? I would see a problem with Pavlos since he was not even a
first-born son, he was the brother of the King. I've seen no evidence
from inside Greece that this title was ever used by either George II
or Pavlos, but perhaps they too are mentioned as such in Frederiksborg
Castle
Post by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Can it be that the Greek royal family found that this was the
appropriate title to use abroad, even if it was not recognized/used at
home? And that they then had a change of heart at some point in
exile?
I think that's the most likely explanation. Constantine II has
displayed other instances of a (shall we call it) "creative memory".
Whatever he said to Marlene, he can't have failed to notice that in
1958-64 he had been called the "Duke of Sparta"repeatedly, in a
foreign context. In Greece he had been, during the same period, the
"Diadoch Constantine".
Yannis,

It would be very useful if you could publish a translation of the
original decree conferring the title of Duke of Sparta on Contantine
(I), if you have access to it. We are all just speculating otherwise.

My understanding, though I do not have any proof, is that it was
intended for the eldest son of the reigning King. Thus, as you say,
Paul was never known to be so styled.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
edespalais
2004-09-24 11:07:24 UTC
Permalink
It seems that outside the country the Greek crownprince had at least the
titre de courtoisie of doS, that crownprince was not used.

Perhaps narrow minded Greek in- or outside the country did not see it such,
furthermore their comrade-in-arms inside or outside the country.

It seems no use to discuss this with the king, as such was /is not his
business. For that one had a Grandcourtmaster, etc.
Yannis
2004-09-28 12:36:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Christopher Buyers
Yannis,
It would be very useful if you could publish a translation of the
original decree conferring the title of Duke of Sparta on Contantine
(I), if you have access to it. We are all just speculating otherwise.
I agree it would be very useful, but I don't have it and have never
seen its text, I merely read about its existence in more than one
historical works in Greek. To find the original text I would have to
have access to the 1868 Greek Government Gazette. This can be found in
public libraries in Athens or Thessaloniki, but I'm not even in Greece
at the moment. If I ever have a chance, I'll try to get hold of it,
but as this is a hobby matters like that are way down the list of
priorities. Sorry.
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-09-28 18:20:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Post by Christopher Buyers
Yannis,
It would be very useful if you could publish a translation of the
original decree conferring the title of Duke of Sparta on Contantine
(I), if you have access to it. We are all just speculating otherwise.
I agree it would be very useful, but I don't have it and have never
seen its text, I merely read about its existence in more than one
historical works in Greek. To find the original text I would have to
have access to the 1868 Greek Government Gazette. This can be found in
public libraries in Athens or Thessaloniki, but I'm not even in Greece
at the moment. If I ever have a chance, I'll try to get hold of it,
but as this is a hobby matters like that are way down the list of
priorities. Sorry.
You wouldn't by any chance have the exact date of the said decree?
--
Dag T. Hoelseth
***@nospam.online.no
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
Yannis
2004-09-29 07:59:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
You wouldn't by any chance have the exact date of the said decree?
No to hand no, unfortunately. The best I can do is to say that it must
have been soon after Constantine's birth, which was in August 1868. I
see that in a fairly old message (2001) on a.t.r. I have written that
the title was "created" in 1869 and maybe I took that from one of the
history books I have at home in Greece. Next time I'm there I'll check
again. Do you think if I give you the exact date there's a chance of
finding a Greek copy? I'd have no problem translating that if you do.
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-09-29 13:51:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
You wouldn't by any chance have the exact date of the said decree?
No to hand no, unfortunately. The best I can do is to say that it must
have been soon after Constantine's birth, which was in August 1868. I
see that in a fairly old message (2001) on a.t.r. I have written that
the title was "created" in 1869 and maybe I took that from one of the
history books I have at home in Greece. Next time I'm there I'll check
again. Do you think if I give you the exact date there's a chance of
finding a Greek copy? I'd have no problem translating that if you do.
I would be pleased if you could be as kind as to provide an
translation. But first I would have to get hold of a copy... :-) I
have e-mailed "my colleagues" in the Greek Legal Gazette (I work for
the Norwegian Legal Gazette, but my request is of course a private
matter) to ask if they are able to help me out (or tell me the best
place for me to contact). I wrote in the e-mail that the decree was
given in 1868 (and not 1869), but hopefully it won't matter much. I
will get back to this later. Thanks again for your information on
Greek constitutional questions related to royalty, it is very
interesting.

Dag T. Hoelseth
--
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-09-29 21:52:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
Post by Yannis
Post by Dag T. Hoelseth
You wouldn't by any chance have the exact date of the said decree?
No to hand no, unfortunately. The best I can do is to say that it must
have been soon after Constantine's birth, which was in August 1868. I
see that in a fairly old message (2001) on a.t.r. I have written that
the title was "created" in 1869 and maybe I took that from one of the
history books I have at home in Greece. Next time I'm there I'll check
again. Do you think if I give you the exact date there's a chance of
finding a Greek copy? I'd have no problem translating that if you do.
I would be pleased if you could be as kind as to provide an
translation. But first I would have to get hold of a copy... :-) I
have e-mailed "my colleagues" in the Greek Legal Gazette (I work for
the Norwegian Legal Gazette, but my request is of course a private
matter) to ask if they are able to help me out (or tell me the best
place for me to contact). I wrote in the e-mail that the decree was
given in 1868 (and not 1869), but hopefully it won't matter much. I
will get back to this later. Thanks again for your information on
Greek constitutional questions related to royalty, it is very
interesting.
Short update: The National Printing House of Greece (responsible of the
Legal Gazette) only had issues since 1994 in store, and therefore
recommended me to contact the Parliament Library instead. I hope to get back
to this soon!
--
Dag T. Hoelseth
***@nospam.online.no
http://www.geocities.com/dagtho/royalty.html
Francois R. Velde
2004-09-30 01:26:28 UTC
Permalink
The article in the London Times announcing the creation of the title carries a
byline of Athens, Oct. 1, 1868. It seems to refer to the parliamentary vote.

--
François Velde
***@nospam.org (replace by "heraldica")
Heraldry Site: http://www.heraldica.org/
Yannis
2004-10-12 14:08:14 UTC
Permalink
Having been back in Greece (weekend only, unfortunately, libraries
shut) I've checked my references and the decree making Constantine
Duke of Sparta is dated 22 August 1868. This date is Julian calendar,
the Gregorian equivalent is 3 September 1868. If you manage to contact
a Greek library you could ask them for a (photo)copy of the Government
Gazette (FEK would be the Greek initials) of 22 August 1868.

Let's hope you manage to find it.
Dag T. Hoelseth
2004-10-15 12:17:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yannis
Having been back in Greece (weekend only, unfortunately, libraries
shut) I've checked my references and the decree making Constantine
Duke of Sparta is dated 22 August 1868. This date is Julian calendar,
the Gregorian equivalent is 3 September 1868. If you manage to contact
a Greek library you could ask them for a (photo)copy of the Government
Gazette (FEK would be the Greek initials) of 22 August 1868.
Let's hope you manage to find it.
Thank you very much for your additional information. The Parliament
Library had not replied my e-mail by the time I left for Southeast
Asia, but I will get back to this as soon as I return to Norway.

Dag T. Hoelseth
p.t. Solo, Java, Indonesia
Christopher Buyers
2004-09-25 06:04:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
Post by Christopher Buyers
Post by MarleneKoenig
Post by Christopher Buyers
The last link quotes a telegram from the ADC of Crown Prince
Constantine, who was replying on the Duke of Sparta's behalf.
The late King Constantine I was known (certainly in the Britsh press) as the
duke of Sparta, but this title was never bestowed as an official title on the
heir to the throne although some people think it is because Constantine I was
known as such by some. However, King Constantine II told me that the title
does not exist for the heir to the throne who is official the Diadoch.
Interesting, since Constantine II was officially styled as Duke of
Sparta while a member of the International Olympic Committee. His
award of the US Legion of Merit in 1959 was also recorded with the
title Duke of Sparta. Indeed, I do not think any of the references I
gave had anything to do with the UK, let alone the British Press. They
were from Greece (telegram from CI's ADC), Switzerland and the US.
Although I know that Marlene Koenig has made the point emphatically
and repeatedly over the years that King Constantine II says this title
is not in use,
Perhaps there was some kind of missunderstanding. There could have
been three kinds. He could have missunderstood the question, she could
have missunderstood the answer, or they could each have missundertood
each other. Suffice to say, I have not seen the exacr form of words
for the question, or the exact form of words of the answer. Neither do
I know the context.
Post by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard
I cannot help to add to Christopher Buyers' observation
that the title "Duke of Sparta" has been used on the armorial plates
at Frederiksborg Castle of several Greek heir-apparents who have been
Knights of the Order of the Elephant (and in the registrars of the
Order)--including for King Constantine II himself. I have also noted
that in the Danish Court Almanach this title have been used. This
means, at least two things: a) that the very close Danish relatives of
the Greek royal family must have thought this was the appropriate
title to use, and b) that it was not protested by the Greeks.
I have to agree. It seems inconceivable that the Danes would have been
mistaken. Even if they were, three (possibly four) times seems,
several years apart, is a little much to take onboard. After a
possible first mistake, they would have had two other chances to
correct it in subsequent appointments if it really were wrong.

The examples of the title's use given in in the IOC records are even
more telling, because Greeks from various quarters would also have
been members, no doubt a sprinkling of republicans amongst them. If
the title use was incorrect, there would surely have been protests.

Cheers,
Christopher Buyers
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