Europe has always valued its monarchs. The world, in turn, has always been fascinated by them.
Although none of these monarchs hold any real political power, their reigns continue to be the subject of much fanfare. Politically, their reigns aim to unite the nation-states that they represent- often in sharp contrast to all the dirt and mudslinging being done by the people who really hold the power- the politicians.
In the 21st century, let us find out the 10 most prominent heirs to the thrones of the Old World:
10. Prince Alois- Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is a tiny country in the middle of the European continent. Completely oblivious to European politics, this nation-state has the highest per capita income across all Europe. Its current monarch, Prince Hans-Adam has a worthy heir to the throne- Prince Alois who is well loved by the people.
9. Prince Guillaume – Luxembourg
Another small and wealthy European country is Luxembourg, a nation that neighbours Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Luxembourg prides itself as having a separate national language – Luxembourgish. The heir apparent to the throne, Prince Guillaume is now often sent by his father, Grand Duke Henri, to many nations all over the world to promote Luxembourg as an ideal investment site. Perhaps, this is also good practice in international affairs for the king-in-waiting.
8. Princess Elisabeth – Belgium
The Belgian throne is currently being headed by King Albert II of Brabant. One of Europe’s longest surviving monarchies, King Albert has Princess Elisabeth as his successor- she being his eldest child. Elisabeth is known in her country for her happy disposition and unassuming simplicity. Just like any other Belgian, she also loves Belgian chocolate.
7. Catharina Amalia – Orange (Netherlands)
The youngest successor on the list is this tiny heir-apparent from Holland. Her father, King Wilhelm Alexander, is raising her and his three children in simplicity and away from the limelight – a perfect fit since Catharina Amalia will be ruling a people known for their simplicity and love for learning.
6. Prince Frederik – Denmark
The crown prince of the Danes is the charming Prince Frederik,son of present Queen Margrethe. The Danish people in particular love their royal family – as the Danish throne has survived many conflicts and wars often brought about by their Southern neighbor, Germany. Prince Frederik shall continue the promise of preserving Denmark’s national pride and patrimony.
5. Prince Haakon – Norway
He is the busiest and perhaps one of the most educated princes of Europe. A graduate of Political Science from the University of California Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, King Harald’s son and future successor is also the main patron of the Oslo International Film Festival, the Norweigan Symphony, and a few other performing arts companies. He is also a goodwill ambassador to the United Nations.
4. Princess Caroline – Monaco
This little island, known for its casinos and a king who married the late Hollywood screen legend Grace Kelly, the family of Princess Caroline has also led a turbulent, if not cinematic life. His brother, Prince Albert II has two children out of wedlock. Therefore, under the laws of accession in Monaco, this puts his sister Princess Caroline, next in line to the throne – unless he marries and sires a legitimate child.
3. Princess Leonor – Asturias, Spain
8 year old Leonor is heir apparent to her father’s throne- the candid ruler King Felipe VI of Asturias. Spain’s monarchs had seen better times but Leonor’s winsome smile, innocence, and inate charm have likewise charmed her subjects and rekindled a sense of relevance to the Spanish throne.
2. Princess Victoria – Sweden
Sweden is another one of those countries who love their royal families. Current Swedish King Carl Gustaf, is still much revered by the people as he continually champions Swedish culture and art at all times. Princess Victoria indeed has very big shoes to fill.
1. Prince Charles – England
Queen Elizabeth of England is already the longest reigning monarch of the 20th and the present millennium. Her son, Prince Charles, shall inherit the throne that is known throughout the world as the British Commonwealth – thereby becoming the head of state and ceremonial symbol of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Jamaica, and several other Commonwealth nations and former British territories.