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2023

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Gaelic British Isles & Ireland

Kingdoms of Caledonia

 

Modern Scotland (Alba) (United Kingdom Westminster Government)
AD 1837 - 1999

Today's nation of Scotland was forged as a ninth century union of Dal Riada and the Picts, plus Strathclyde. The House of Alpin formed the first dynasty, although a century of instability would follow from 1286, during which time the House of Balliol was dominated by Edward I of England, the 'Hammer of the Scots'. Robert II, the first Stewart king, oversaw a return to stability after a century of strife.

Then, with the accession in 1603 to the English throne of King James VI of Scotland, a Scots king sat on the throne in London. However, although the crowns of England and Scotland were held by the same king, it was in the form of a personal union. This distinction became somewhat indistinct during the Commonwealth period, but the two crowns were anyway generally moving ever closer together in terms of their politics.

The formal union of the crowns of England and post-Stewart Scotland was enacted in 1707, establishing in fact the union which had existed in name since 1603 (albeit with the countries previously having their own parliaments and laws).

Scotland by now formed the northern third or so of Great Britain, covering territory between Berwick-upon-Tweed on the east coast and Gretna on the west coast, and heading northwards into the Highlands. It also included over seven hundred islands, along with the Northern Isles, the Western Isles, and the Hebrides. Its capital was Edinburgh, a city which had been founded by the Britons of the Votadini tribe almost two thousand years before.

The advent of the House of Saxe-Coburg, created as a result of the marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, could be said to be a starting point for modern Scotland. The period not only ended the reign of the Hanoverians, which had been somewhat contentious in the eyes of the Highlanders, it also triggered a wave of innovation and technological progress which created modern Britain as a whole during the Industrial Revolution.

Despite no longer laying a claim to the Scottish throne, the Jacobite successors of the dispossessed 'Bonny' Prince Charlie still held a technical claim which was made for them by their supporters, and as such these claimants are shown with a shaded background.

Reignal numbering for all claimants is shown for Scotland first, followed by England in parenthesis, with numbering continuing from the Stuart period and ignoring any later legitimate monarchs of England and Scotland.

Hadrian's Wall

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from The Royal House of Stuart: The Descendants of King James VI of Scotland (James I of England), Arthur C Addington (Charles Skilton, 1969-76), from Scottish Kings, Gordon Donaldson, from Scotland - The Making of the Kingdom Vol 1, A A M Duncan, and from External Links: Royal Stuart Society, and Royal Style and Title (Hansard), and Continental Shelf Act 1964, and Scottish Devolution (Scottish Nationalist Party), and Did Queen Victoria constitute a break from the Hanoverian line of the British royal family? (Quora), and Devolved Parliaments and Assemblies (UK Parliament).)

1837 - 1901

Victoria

Niece of William IV Hanover. Queen-Empress of India (1876).

1840

With the death of Maria Beatrice of Savoy, the title of Jacobite Stuart claimant to the English throne passes first to her son, Francis, duke of Modena, and then to her daughter, Maria Theresia of Austria-Este, queen consort of Ludwig III of Bavaria. Thereafter it remains with the Bavarian Wittelsbachs.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is still overlooked by the Castle Rock upon which sits Edinburgh Castle, a fortress which has existed in this form since the sixteenth century

1840 - 1875

Francis

Son of Maria Beatrice of Savoy. Duke Francis V of Modena.

1862

Scottish ranchers arrive on Easter Island, introducing sheep, and moving the natives off the land to confinement in a single village by the name of Hanga Roa. By 1877 only a hundred and ten Rapanui natives remain.

1875 - 1919

Mary IV (III)

Maria Theresia of Austria-Este, queen consort of Bavaria.

1901 - 1910

Edward VII the Peacemaker

Son of Victoria.

1910 - 1936

George V

Son. Changed family name to Windsor (1917).

1914 - 1918

Having jointly guaranteed in 1839 to support the neutrality of Belgium, when the country is invaded by Germany, Britain and all its territories and colonies (including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand), France, and Russia are forced to declare war at midnight on 4 August.

The First World War lasts for just over four years, until 1918 when a ceasefire is agreed with the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian empire by British, French, and Italian forces on 3 November.

Germany, now alone, sees its emperor abdicate on 9 November, and an armistice is agreed to come into effect on the eleventh hour of 11 November, signalling the end of the war, although many less widespread wars continue as a result of the upheavals caused by it.

Belgium refugees in 1914
Belgian refugees (looking surprisingly jolly) were photographed here in 1914, on the road between Malines and Brussels while they attempted to outrun the invading imperial German army

1919 - 1955

Robert I & IV

Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria.

1922

Despite expectations of prosperity in Scotland's industrial heartland, mostly based around the shipbuilding industry, depression hits the economy. Scotland suffers years of stagnation and high unemployment which does not start to ease until the mid-thirties.

1936

Edward VIII

Son of George V. Abdicated 11 December. Died 1972.

1936 - 1952

George VI

Brother. Died of coronary thrombosis, 6 Feb.

1939

The Nazi German invasion of Poland on 1 September is the trigger for the Second World War. With both France and Britain, under Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, pledged to support Poland, both countries have no option but to declare war on 3 September.

1945

Following the end of the war, Scotland suffers badly again from being in a poor economic condition. Competition from other countries for its traditional manufacturing services is now intense and decline sets in (here and across the United Kingdom as a whole), only to be eased and eventually reversed in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Berlin 1945
Poet Yevgeny Dolmatovski recites his works on Berlin's Pariser Platz just a few days after the German surrender - a remarkable poetry recital with the bullet-riddled Brandenburg Gate flanked by ruins and two tank barrels hovering above the heads of soldiers

1952 - 1999

Elizabeth II

Dau. Continued into Devolved Government period.

1953

Some elements of Scottish society takes umbrage at one specific detail of the impending coronation of Elizabeth Windsor. As there has never been an Elizabeth I of Scotland, there could hardly be an Elizabeth II now.

The rector of the University of Glasgow, John MacCormick launches a legal challenge against Elizabeth's right to use 'the second' in Scotland, but this fails.

It is Prime Minister Winston Churchill who comes up with a compromise. Any future monarch of England and Scotland should use the highest numbering applicable in both countries combined, so that a King James would be James VIII (following on from Scotland's James VII) and a Henry would be Henry IX (following on from England's Henry VIII).

1955

Duke Albert (Albrecht) becomes the head of the House of Wittelsbach in Bavaria and is also now the senior member of the House of Stuart. During his lifetime he is considered by modern Jacobites to be the rightful ruler of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Albert himself does not make any claim to the English throne.

1955 - 1996

Albert

Crown Prince Albrecht of Bavaria.

1964

The UK Continental Shelf Act comes into force in May 1964. North Sea oil fields are quickly discovered and exploited, and Aberdeen forms the mainland base for distribution, gaining it the nickname 'Oil Capital of Europe'.

Aberdeen
Aberdeen became the 'Oil Capital of Europe' in the 1960s, but by 2015 the best was behind it, with new investment having stopped and platforms now ageing

1996 - 1999

Francis

Crown Prince Franz of Bavaria. Continued after 1999.

1999

Devolution gives back Scotland a parliament of its own to handle its internal affairs. The Scottish parliament operates from Holyrood in Edinburgh in a purpose-built construction which takes four years to complete, opening in 2004.

The act also seems to pave the way for the domination of Scottish politics and the Devolved Government by the pro-independence SNP.

Modern Scotland (Alba) (United Kingdom Devolved Government)
AD 1999 - Present Day
Incorporating Heads of State (1999-2024)

Formed as a union of the kingdoms of Pictland and Dal Riada, modern Scotland forms the northern third or so of Great Britain, covering territory between Berwick-upon-Tweed on the east coast and Gretna on the west coast, and heading northwards into the Highlands. It also includes over seven hundred islands, along with the Northern Isles, the Western Isles, and the Hebrides.

Orkney and Shetland are also included, having been gained in 1472. Scotland's capital, and the base for Scotland's modern devolved regional parliament, is Edinburgh, a city founded by the Celtic Britons of the Votadini tribe almost two thousand years ago.

The advent of the House of Saxe-Coburg, created as a result of the marriage between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, could be said to be a starting point for modern Scotland. The period not only ended the reign of the Hanoverians, which had been somewhat contentious in the eyes of the Highlanders, but triggered a wave of innovation and technological progress which created modern Britain as a whole during the Industrial Revolution.

In 1999 a Scottish parliament was reintroduced for the first time since 1707. It took over internal matters from the preceding Westminster Government control of the country. The devolved government has since been heavily involved in discussing Scotland's future. This future involves two different views of the United Kingdom and Scotland's place within it.

There is long-term and politically universal acceptance that Scotland is a nation within a union of nations, and not a region. It bears the right to undertake democratic self-expression and determination. The future of the union is said to rely on the willing participation of the people of Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland to want to remain part of it.

The other view is that the United Kingdom is a 'unitary state in which Westminster has merely "lent" powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and can take them back at any time'. This concept involves the UK's constitutional system handing 'unlimited sovereignty' to Westminster which it can exercise without legal constraint.

This doctrine was also set out in the 'Scotland Act' which made clear the assertion that devolution did not affect the power of the Westminster parliament over all matters, devolved and reserved.

The tug-of-war regarding Scottish sovereignty has not yet been resolved, and probably will not be resolved until the Scottish National Party (SNP) can achieve its dream of full political independence.

Despite no longer laying a claim to the Scottish throne, the Jacobite successors of the dispossessed 'Bonny' Prince Charlie still have a technical claim made for them by their supporters, and as such these claimants are shown with a shaded background.

Reignal numbering for all claimants is shown for Scotland first, followed by England in parenthesis, with numbering continuing from the Stuart period and ignoring any later legitimate monarchs of England and Scotland.


Hadrian's Wall

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from The Royal House of Stuart: The Descendants of King James VI of Scotland (James I of England), Arthur C Addington (Charles Skilton, 1969-76), from External Links: Royal Stuart Society, and Royal Style and Title (Hansard), and Continental Shelf Act 1964, and Scottish Devolution (Scottish Nationalist Party), and Scotland's place in the United Kingdom (Scottish Government), and Is Scotland a country (The National), and Scotland rejects independence (The Guardian), and Alex Salmond resigns (The Guardian), and Nicola Sturgeon resigns as first minister (The Guardian), and Humza Yousaf announced as new Scottish National Party leader (Sky News), and Humza Yousaf quits (The Guardian).)

1999 - 2022

Elizabeth II

Queen of the United Kingdom since 1952. Died 8 Sept.

1999

Following the ending of the First World War, Duke Rupprecht of Bavaria had remained the senior member of the House of Stuart and therefore, in theory, the rightful claimant to the Scottish throne, although no such claim had been or is being made by the duke or his descendants. The current holder of this technical claim is Duke Franz or Francis of Bavaria, born on 14 July 1933.

Mary II and William of Orange
In 1689, Mary II Stuart and William of Orange were invited to Britain from their home in the Netherlands to rescue the joint kingdom of England, Wales, and Scotland from the divisive Catholic rule of James II, thereby setting up an alternative line of claimants which ended up resting with the hereditary dukes of Bavaria

1999 - On

Francis

Crown Prince Franz of Bavaria. Held claim since 1996.

1999 - 2000

Donald Dewar

First minister of Scotland, heading devolved gov. Died.

2000

First Minister Donald Dewar suffers a fall on 10 October 2000. He dies the following day after having sustained a brain haemorrhage. Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace immediately steps in as acting first minister until a formal replacement can be selected.

2000

Jim Wallace

Acting first minister (8-27 Nov). Labour Party.

2000 - 2001

Henry McLeish

First minister of Scotland. Labour Party. Resigned.

2001 - 2007

Jack McConnell

First minister of Scotland. Labour Party. Defeated.

2007

In the year's Scottish parliamentary elections, the Labour Party in Scotland is relegated to second place after the Scottish National Party (SNP) wins one more seat than it.

This leads to Jack McConnell losing office, becoming the first of Scotland's first ministers to do so while in office. After this point the SNP only increases its hold on Scottish politics, minimising all opposition.

The SNP's Alex Salmond in 2007
Alex Salmond led a post-devolution surge in SNP dominance in Scottish politics, riding a wave of enthusiasm for what he hoped would become independence

2007 - 2014

Alex Salmond

First minister of Scotland. SNP. Resigned.

2011

At a summit in Perth in Australia, the heads of the sixteen Commonwealth countries of which Queen Elizabeth II is head of state unanimously approve changes to the royal succession. Sons and daughters of any future monarch of the United Kingdom will have equal right to the throne, bringing to an end the use of three hundred year-old succession laws.

Perhaps equally momentous, the ban on the monarch being married to a Roman Catholic is also lifted. The succession changes require a raft of historic legislation to be amended, including the 1701 Act of Settlement, the 1689 Bill of Rights, and the Royal Marriages Act 1772.

The change to the Royal Marriages Act will end a position in which every descendant of the Hanoverian King George II is legally required to seek the consent of the monarch before marrying. In future, the requirement is expected to be limited to a small number of the sovereign's close relatives (essentially meaning only those who are in direct line to succeed to the throne).

Queen Elizabeth II at the Commonwealth summit of 2011
Queen Elizabeth is pictured here at the Commonwealth summit of 2011 with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh on the left, and on the right Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

2014

Scotland votes against ending its three hundred-and-seven year-old union with England and Wales, with the Scottish National party conceding defeat in the historic referendum. On Friday 19 September 2014, First Minister Alex Salmond decides he will step down following his failure to press home the case for independence.

2014 - 2023

Nicola Sturgeon

First minister of Scotland. SNP. Resigned.

2016 - 2017

The UK takes the rather bizarre decision to isolate itself from the largest single trading market in the world by deciding by a slim majority to leave the European Union (the majority Scottish vote is against leaving). The referendum on 23 June results in the Prime Minister, David Cameron, resigning his position as the defeated leader of the 'remain' campaign.

David Cameron and Cristina Kirchner
President Kirchner fails in an attempt to 'handbag' British Prime Minister David Cameron at the G20 industrial nations summit on 19 June 2012

Several million EU citizens who live and work in the UK - as well as millions who work with EU businesses from the UK - are left with years of uncertainty about their futures while Scotland plans a new independence referendum with a view to reapplying for EU membership. However, the results of the 2017 general election largely put paid to thoughts of independence for the near future.

2020

When the Covid-19 pandemic hits the United Kingdom, the response by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is half-hearted, confused, contradictory, and one of knee-jerk reaction rather than forward planning.

As a result the country suffers one of the highest rates of infection during the first wave. Scotland under its devolved government generally fares better.

2022

On Thursday 8 September 2022 the death is announced of one of human history's longest-serving and most experienced heads of state. At the age of ninety-six, Queen Elizabeth II passes away after a few days of sharply declining health, surrounded by her immediate family who had rushed to be with her at her traditional summer residence of Balmoral in Scotland.

Queen Elizabeth II at the moment of her coronation in 1953
Queen Elizabeth II is shown here in a famous official photograph of her in her coronation robes from June 1953, confirming a reign which would last for seventy years

2022 - Present

Charles III

Son of Elizabeth.

2023

Having recently seen through some difficult legislation and having also been Scotland's longest-serving first minister, Nicola Sturgeon stuns the United Kingdom's political world when on Wednesday 15 February 2023 she announces her intention to stand down as Scotland's first minister as soon as a replacement can be selected.

2023 - 2024

Humza Yousaf

First minister of Scotland. SNP. Resigned.

2023

Humza Yousaf is announced on Monday 27 March 2023 as new Scottish National Party leader, and therefore the first minister of Scotland following a formal vote in Holyrood. He takes 48% of the vote, with the divisive pro-religion Kate Forbes coming in second place.

2024

Just one year and one month into his post as first minister, Humza Yousaf steps down in the face of no less than two forthcoming no-confidence motions against him. He triggers the crisis by unilaterally scrapping a government coalition deal with the Scottish Greens.

The SNP's Humza Yousaf and John Swinney in 2022
With Humza Yousaf resigning as Scotland's first minister after failing to secure enough cross-party support to survive a major crisis with the Scottish Greens, the party's former leader, John Swinney, quickly emerged as the favourite to replace him

2024 - On

John Swinney

First minister of Scotland. SNP.

2024

Having reached agreements with his two potential rivals regarding the post of first minister of Scotland, John Swinney is unopposed when he is voted into the position on Tuesday 7 May 2024. He is largely seen as a continuity leader, but also a stabiliser and safe pair of hands.

 
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