Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Emperor Justinian I (c. 482 - 565), from the Basilica of San Vitale.

Sorry I have not been blogging. Busy, busy, busy. Still, I found something entertaining I'd like to share. I was looking at the wikipedia entry for King Juan Carlos I of Spain, and I came across a list of his titles. I knew he was King of Jerusalem, but apparently he's also the Byzantine Emperor. Who knew?

I study medieval kingship, but I find modern kingship a bit silly. And although JC1 is one of the cooler monarchs out there, the following list will show that he has more titles than he can possibly use. I think he should share with the rest of us. In case you're reading this, Juan Carlos I, I would really like to be King of Jerusalem, but I'll settle for Duke of Burgundy.

From Wikipedia:
King Juan Carlos I is a direct descendant of many famous European rulers from different countries, such as Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (who as Carlos I is said to have been the first King of Spain), King Louis XIV of France and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Therefore, he is related to all the current monarchs of Europe.

The current Spanish constitution refers to the monarchy as "the crown of Spain" and the constitutional title of the monarch is simply rey/reina de España: that is, "king/queen of Spain". However, the constitution allows for the use of other historic titles pertaining to the Spanish monarchy, without specifying them. A decree promulgated 6 November 1987 at the Council of Ministers regulates the titles further, and on that basis the monarch of Spain has a right to use ("may use") those other titles appertaining to the Crown. Contrary to some belief, the long titulary that contains the list of over 20 kingdoms, etc., is not in state use, nor is it used in Spanish diplomacy. In fact, it has never been in use in that form, as "Spain" was never a part of the list in pre-1837 era when the long list was officially used.

Spain, unmentioned in titulary for more than three centuries, was symbolized by the long list that started "...of Castile, Leon, Aragon,..." - The following long titulary in the feudal style was the last used officially in 1836 by Isabella II of Spain (see the account of titulary in her article) before she became constitutional queen:

Juan Carlos I is titled or styled:

Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, King of Castile, King of León, King of Aragon, King of the Two Sicilies, King of Jerusalem, King of Navarre, King of Granada, King of Toledo, King of Valencia, King of Galicia, King of Sardinia, King of Cordoba, King of Corsica, King of Murcia, King of Jaen, King of Algarve, King of Algeciras, King of Gibraltar, King of the Canary Islands, King of the Spanish East and West Indies and of the Islands and Mainland of the Ocean Sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Duke of Brabant, Duke of Milan, Duke of Athens and Neopatria, Count of Habsburg, Count of Flanders, Count of Tyrol, Count of Roussillon, Count of Barcelona, Lord of Biscay, Lord of Molina, Captain General of the Royal Armed Forces and its Supreme Commander, Sovereign Grand Master of the Celebrated Order of the Golden Fleece (Spain), Grand Master of the Royal & Distinguished Order of Charles III (Spain), Grand Master of the Royal Order of Isabel, the Catholic (Spain), Grand Master of the Royal & Military Order of St. Hermenegildo (Spain), Grand Master of the Royal & Military Order of St. Fernando (Spain), Grand Master of the Order of Montesa (Spain), Grand Master of the Order of Alcántara (Spain), Grand Master of the Order of Calatrava (Spain), Grand Master of the Order of Santiago (Spain), Grand Master of the Order of Maria Luisa (Spain), Grand Master of other Military Orders.[1]

The first king to officially use the name Spain as the realm in the titulary was Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte, brother of Emperor Napoleon, who used King of the Spains and the Indias; the present Spanish monarch is not his heir. The Bourbons returned to the feudal format (...of Castile, Leon, Aragon,...) until 1837, when the short version "queen of the Spains" was taken into use. The singular Spain was first used by Amadeo - he was "by divine grace and will of nation, king of Spain"; the present Spanish monarch is not his heir, either. Alfonso XII, when restored, started to use "constitutional king of Spain, by divine and constitutional grace". Juan Carlos uses simply "king of Spain", without any divine, national or constitutional reference.

Juan Carlos also may have a legitimate claim to de jure Emperor of the Romans (basileus, kaisar autokrator ton Rhomaion) as he is descended from and is the successor of Ferdinand II of Aragon. Ferdinand received these rights as de jure Roman Emperor by the last will and testament of the ultimate Palaiologos claimant of the Byzantine Empire, Andreas Palaiologus (d. 1503), a nephew of the Emperor Constantine XI, who was the last to actually reign in Constantinople and was killed in 1453. Others potentially entitled to the same rights are (1) Alice, Duchess of Calabria as the heir-general of king Ferdinand II, (2) Louis-Alphonse, Duke of Anjou, as the heir-male of Maria Theresa of Spain, great-great-great-great-granddaughter of king Ferdinand II, who brought the Aragonese succession to the Bourbons; and (3) Otto von Habsburg, Archduke of Austria, Semi-Salic heir-male of Ferdinand II (Ferdinand left only daughters; the male line of his eldest surviving daughter Joanna went extinct in 1741 with Emperor Charles VI and the next line started from Maria Theresa of Austria, surviving today). This, of course, presumes that Andreas had any rights of which to dispose: there exist heirs to other Byzantine imperial lines as well.


crystal said...

Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum of Japan

Wow - he really got around. I like Justinian ... read a book by Robert Graves about Belisarius.

cowboyangel said...

Yeah, but as I said before, I don't see Texas in that list, so what's the point?

And no, "Mainland of the Ocean Sea" doesn't cut it. If you wanna be King, you have to be able to identify the kingdom. You can't just say "King of [cough, cough] and everything west of there."

Although, to be honest, the only known king that Texas ever served under was the King of Spain. But Fr. Hidalgo took care of that for us in 1810. ¡Viva la religión! Viva nuestra madre santísima de Guadalupe. ¡Viva la América y muera el mal gobierno!

In case you're reading this, Juan Carlos I, I would really like to be King of Jerusalem

You sure about that? Not a great history for the kings of Jerusalem. And I don't think it's gotten any easier lately. One wonders how the Templars would've dealth with Hamas. You'd probably wind up drunk, naked, tied up to a chair, with a ball in your mouth, surrounded by sex toys and bondage equipment. Oh wait, that was just the Ambassador of Jerusalem.

Still, I'd go for the King of Paris or something.

cowboyangel said...

Just refreshing my memory on the sex toys ambassador of Jerusalem, when I saw this: "Prior to that posting he was deputy ambassador in Madrid."

Hmmm . . .

Anonymous said...

Hi Liam,

I have pondered monarchy quite a bit for an American. Or at least I think I have. I suppose I never thought about the King of Spain all that much though.

Hey, as the Byzantine Emporer can he command the Orthodox to end the schism?

I am not sure why Monarchy draws my attention so much as an American. Perhaps because I was taught from a young age that it is evil and therefore it has a morbind fascination about it. Be that as it may, I donate to organizations like UK's Republican movement!


Though I have to admit that the recent movie 'The Queen' thawed me out a bit. Well a very tiny nano-bit anyway.

One can always grant oneself a title. Like this guy:


So never forget, that you too could proclaim yourself emporer of the USA!

Jeff said...

He didn't lay claim to being "Patriarch of the West"?

It's an open title now. Can I pick it up if nobody else wants it?

cowboyangel said...

Jeff, When I read "Patriarch of the West," I had an imagine of you in boots and spurs, robes, and a big, pointy hat. Kind of a Supreme Spirtual Sheriff of Everything West of the Pecos.

But that's not what you meant, is it?

Ridin' out in a stagecoach from Boston to put an end to schisms and sects. Ropin' up some gunfighting priests gone bad.

Jeff said...

At least you didn't have me in leather chaps. Them woulda been fightin' words, Tex.

As the riders walked on by him
He heard one call his name,
If you want to save your soul from hell
Ridin' on our range,
Then cowboy change your ways today,
Or with us you will ride
Trying to catch the devil's herd
Across these endless skies.

Yippee-yi-ay-ay, yippee-yi-yo-oh
Holy Ghost riders in the sky...

Liam said...

William --
Yes, King of Jerusalem isn't the safest job, but if you do it low-key, it's a cool title. Nothing bad has happened to JC1.

B --
A couple of late Byzantine rulers, desperate to get support against the Turks, did actually try to heal the split, but it didn't go over that well in Constantinople. I think anyway the schism has been over since Vatican II, hasn't it? We're not in full communion, but closer, I believe.

I personally feel in full communion with my orthodox sisters and brothers.

Jeff --
I wish the pope hadn't renounced that title, because I think it gives him a better role in east-west relations.

Liam said...

If you want to read a nasty book about Justinian, try Procopius' secret history. If you think political blogs can mudsling, wait to you read what he has to say.

crystal said...

Wikipedia says the Secret History was discovered in the Vatican library ... I sense a conspiracy :-)

BTW, wasn't the king of Jerusalem a leper? The upside would be that nice lead mask Edward Norton wore in The Kingdom of Heaven.

Jeff said...


I never did hear the reason why the Pope dropped that title. Did he himself ever specifically give one? Some analysts thought that it was an ecumenical gesture to the Eastern Orthodox, but if it was, they didn't seem to take it that way.

Gabriele C. said...

Wow, Juan Carlos really gathered some titles here. Has he ever tried to fill in some stupid government form - like to get his retirement funds sorted out? :)

Liam said...

Crystal --
Even though one king of Jerusalem was a leper, I don't think it was part of the job description!

Jeff --
It was all very mysterious. I agree with the Orthodox about the significance of dropping the title. Sigh.

Gabriele --
On the other hand, he has an awesome cv.