Who is the Most Senior Heir of Charlemagne Today? | 1 Million Subscribers Special

Who is the Most Senior Heir of Charlemagne Today? | 1 Million Subscribers Special

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we did it this channel has reached 1 million subscribers so as a thank you to you the viewers we thought we'd do an extra special topic to celebrate we often talk on this channel about how most people can somehow trace their family tree back to royalty and that in particular those of us with at least one european ancestor can trace our line all the way back to this guy charlemagne which begs the question if most of us are the descendants of charlemagne which one of us is the most senior heir if you're thinking that it's probably someone from a royal line well you're right but which one because if you follow this channel closely you'll know that every single royal dynasty in europe can somehow be connected back to charlemagne so is there a way to figure out which one of them is the most senior royal house well yes i think so and in this video i'm going to reveal to you the answer to help us figure out the answer as well as to celebrate the 1 million subscriber milestone i've prepared a special limited edition chart of the carolingian dynasty we've only printed 999 of these so if you want one you can head over to usefulcharts.com now each one is signed and numbered by me matt baker and has a special gold youtube symbol on it to mark the occasion right now we're going to use the chart to answer the question who is the most senior heir of charlemagne today [Music] [Music] okay so the reason why charlemagne is such an important figure in european history is because he was the first person in western europe to hold the title of emperor after the fall of rome in 476 he reigned over the frankish empire which eventually evolved into the holy roman empire so let's begin by tracing the line of frankish emperors as far as we can go because initially it was obviously the emperor who was considered to be the most senior heir now charlemagne had four sons the eldest pep in the hunchback was considered illegitimate perhaps because he was the son from a previous relationship or perhaps because he launched a revolt against his father either way he was eventually sent to a monastery where he died childless that leaves his three sons by his wife saint hildegard the first charles would have been the main heir but he died childless before his father next came carleman renamed pepin but he too died before his father he did have a son but that son bernard was illegitimate therefore the only remaining heir of charlemagne was his youngest son louis the pious and thus it was louis who succeeded his father as emperor louis had three surviving sons therefore after his death and following a civil war the frankish empire was divided into three parts louie's eldest son lother received the title of emperor as well as the middle section of the empire which included italy his second son louis the german received the eastern part which roughly correlates to what is today germany hence his name louis the german finally his third son charles the bald who wasn't actually bald received the western part what is today france but the problem is that lothar's line died out fairly quickly his son louis ii became the fourth emperor but he didn't have any sons nor did either of his two brothers both of whom died before him on top of this the next most senior line that of pepin of aquitaine also died out therefore according to the rules of agnatic primogeniture when emperor louis ii died the next emperor should have been louis the german followed by his eldest son carliman but what happened instead is that charles the bold swept in and took the title of emperor for himself resulting in another civil war and this is where things start to get complicated within two years of charles the bald seizing the emperorship both he and his older brother louie were dead this made carloman the undisputed king of italy as well as the most senior member of the carolingian dynasty but he never did take the title of emperor and in fact he died just a few years later as did his brother louis the younger and charles the bald's heir louis the stammerer therefore at this point there were only four legitimate male line carolingians left charles the fat who was now the most senior male as well as louis the stammerer's three young boys charles the fat became king of east frankia king of italy and most importantly emperor while louis the stammerers two teenage sons louis iii and carlin became joint kings of west frankia but as fate would have it both the teenage kings died in accidents and thus charles the fat became the sole ruler of the entire empire the only other remaining carolingian being this charles known as charles the simple who was only 5 years old at the time united for the first time in 44 years you'd think that this would have been a glorious time for the empire but it was not for one thing it was being heavily raided by the vikings and on top of this charles the fat had no legitimate children thus making the future of the empire extremely unstable in the year 888 just four years after the empire was reunited charles the fat was deposed and basically the empire fell apart east franchia was seized by arnolf the illegitimate son of carliman and in west frankia the nobles decided to crown a non-carolingian instead a man named odo but italy and therefore the title of emperor was the biggest problem it's at this point that we have to talk about succession rules earlier i mentioned the term ignatic primogeniture also known as salic law this method requires the throne to pass to male line descendants only but what if there's no male line descendants left in the year 888 the only legitimate male line descendant of charlemagne was charles the simple but he was only 9 years old and in his domain the nobles decided to overlook him and place odo on the throne instead thus if one wanted to place the most senior heir of charlemagne on the throne of italy one would have to default to what's called semi-salic law now semi-select law still does not allow a female to inherit the throne however what it does allow is for the throne to pass through a female to a grandson if that grandson is an adult and therefore able to rule in the year 888 there was only one person who fit that bill berengar son of louis the pious daughter gisella therefore in the year 888 it was he who was crowned king of italy but he had several rivals first and foremost was ghee of spaletto the most powerful noble in italy at the time who also happened to be a descendant of charlemagne albeit through an illegitimate female line but there was also arnolf king of east frankia who felt that the empire should remain united with himself at the head finally there was louis the blind grandson of emperor louis ii although he was only eight years old at the time so here's what happened like i said barangar started off as king of italy which made sense because in the year 888 he was in fact the most senior legitimate adult descendant of charlemagne but before he could be declared emperor gee of spalletto defeated him and had himself declared emperor instead he then died in battle and the title passed to his son lambert at which point arnold declared himself to be emperor as well luckily for arnold lambert eventually fell off his horse and died making arnolf the undisputed emperor but arnold lived only a few more years after which his titles were taken up by louis the blind who was now an adult at this point barangar went to battle against louis and won therefore in the year 915 barangar was finally made emperor and here's the important point barangar was the last legitimate heir of charlemagne to hold that position to put it another way he was the last person in western europe to claim the position of emperor based directly on his descent from charlemagne this is because during his reign several important things happened first of all in east frankia the title of king became an elected position following the death of arnolf's son louis the child conrad the first from thuringia was elected king and then henry the fowler from saxony and over in west franchia a non-carolingian was also elected king robert brother of odo so in other words in both west frankia which evolved into france as well as east frankia which evolved into germany power started to shift away from charlemagne's dynasty even barangar was eventually ousted and the title of emperor would remain unclaimed for the next 38 years let me therefore summarize the status of charlemagne's heirs in the year 924 the year of berengar's death first of all louis the blind did not have any children and therefore even according to the semi-salic rules lothar's branch of the family was a dead end hugh who would go on to become king of italy was a grandson of lothar ii but through an illegitimate daughter so he doesn't count gilbert duke of burgundy was a legitimate descendant of louis ii but through a granddaughter not a grandson so he doesn't count interestingly though his line would go on to become the kings of england pepin of aquitaine and louis the germans branches are dead ends too even if we were to consider arnold to be legitimate his son louis the child died childless so his line ended there so who are we left with well i think there are four possibilities first of all we could consider the heir of berengar the first the last carolingian emperor he didn't have any sons but he did have a grandson and semi-salic law does allow for that secondly we could consider the descendants of charles the simple this branch of the family did end up taking the throne of west frankia back but only for a short while before losing it to the descendants of robert who became known as the capetians the last male line carolingian in that branch of the family was otto duke of lower lorraine if his father charles had become king then i suppose a case could have been made for his grandson albert to be his heir but this never happened so in my opinion that rules out that line third charles the bald did have another grandson through his daughter judith the countess of flanders this line never claimed the emperorship though and was seen as being junior to other lines so i think that rules them out as well however much later they did go on to become the kings of jerusalem as well as the latin emperors of constantinople fourth and finally there are the counts of vermentois this line ended in the year 1085 with odo the last male line descendant of charlemagne we could try to trace the line through his sister adelaide however the vermin dwa line descended from bernard who i mentioned earlier as being an illegitimate member of the family and thus the entire line is illegitimate as well thus i think we need to go back to the heir of berengar the first remember we are not trying to determine the most senior descendant of charlemagne here we are trying to determine the most senior heir the heir being the person who had the best claim to his highest title that of emperor and like i said earlier berengar the first was the last carolingian to hold the title of emperor based on being a descendant of charlemagne the legal heir of barangar the first was his grandson berengar ii who did in fact become king of italy in 950. however he was never made emperor because instead this man here otto the great son of henry the fowler and king of east frankia invaded italy and declared himself emperor instead this marked the beginning of the holy roman empire in which the emperorship became an elected position based on whoever was elected king of germany although in reality it did usually still pass from father to son however i think an argument can be made that this was a usurpation and that barangar ii was in fact the more legitimate candidate for emperor being that he was at that point the most senior legal heir of charlemagne so for the rest of the video we're going to switch to alternative history what if barangar ii had been made emperor instead of otto and what if his heirs and thus the heirs of charlemagne had kept the title all the way to today who would be emperor today in this scenario well barangar was followed by aldebert and then by otto william who inherited the county of burgundy from his mother we therefore trace the counts of burgundy for the next several generations by this point most titles and lands in europe were passed by male preference primogeniture which means that eventually the county of burgundy passed through a female beatrice rather than going to the junior branch of the dynasty via raymond count of galatia that branch eventually gained the throne of castile and leon but beatrice's branch gained an even bigger prize briefly they became holy roman emperors through her marriage to frederick barbarossa from the house of hohenstaufen now this is where the current chart ends so let me fill in the next few generations for you in 1191 beatrice and frederick barbarossa's son henry vi became emperor this was an interesting twist of fate because according to the argument i'm making in this video at this point even though the emperorship was now an elected position it did end up going to the most senior heir of charlemagne at least for two generations not only did henry vi become emperor but also his son frederick ii frederick the second son conrad served as the sole king of germany but was never crowned emperor his son conradine then died at age 16 bringing the hohenstaufen dynasty to an end the title of holy roman emperor thus went in a different direction at this point but we are not concerned with that we are concerned with following charlemagne's most senior line and because frederick ii's male descendants died out we now have to jump to one of his grandsons via his eldest daughter margaret and that person is frederick the first margrave of mycen from the house of veten now let me remind you where we're at according to the rules of male preference primogeniture frederick the first margrave of mycen was the most senior descendant of barangar the first of italy who in turn was the last carolingian emperor therefore in my opinion after the death of conradine this man was the most senior heir of charlemagne even if he didn't know it or claim it therefore if we continue to follow his heirs all the way to today we'll find our answer after just a few generations his descendants became the electors of saxony one of the most important positions within the holy roman empire from there the family split into two main branches the ernestine line and the albertine line the ernestine line was the more senior one so we'll continue to follow that branch eventually we hit a female but she happened to be married to another member of the house of veten so even though we jump to a different branch of the family we don't actually move to a different house from there we keep going until we hit another female but again she married someone from her own house and therefore we still stay within the house of veten but now we're in a branch known as the house of saks coburg and gota and if you know anything at all about royal genealogy i think you know where this is going the eldest son ernest ii died childless and therefore the line passed through the second son albert who drum roll please married queen victoria of the united kingdom this means that their eldest son edward vii was during his reign as monarch of the united kingdom also the most senior heir of charlemagne as was george v edward viii and george vi which means that currently the most senior heir of charlemagne today is none other than queen elizabeth ii or if you buy the semi-salic argument that inheritance when passing through a female must always pass straight to a grand son then the heir would be elizabeth's eldest son prince charles which is kind of interesting because it means that we have gone from charles the great which is what charlemagne means to yet another person named charles so there you have it my answer to the question who is the most senior heir of charlemagne today of course this was mostly just a bit of fun and a roundabout way to teach a bit of history and it was also a way to celebrate reaching 1 million subscribers if you want to get a copy of the signed limited edition chart used in this video complete with the gold youtube symbol you can head over to our website usefulcharts.com finally from all of us here at useful charts we want to once again thank you our viewers and subscribers for helping us to reach this milestone stay tuned because there's more great content coming in the weeks and months ahead [Music] [Music] you

2022-02-14 05:52

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