Friday, 30 April 2010

Belgian and Spanish high nobility marries most equal

In the period 2001-2010 the heirs of the Belgian and Spanish high aristocracy have married mostly other nobles compared with the ducal and princely heirs in other European countries. The British and French heirs marry the most commoners. A perfect example is the wedding today in Madrid of Don José Márquez y González de Gregorio, son of the Duquesa de Fernandina, and Edina Gräfin Zichy zu Zich und Vásonykeö.

In these ten years 68 heirs of the highest European aristocracy married. This includes the ruling and formerly ruling families and the European families with a princely or ducal title. Of the 12 marriages of heirs of ruling and formerly ruling families only one married a noble, the Hesse- Faber-Castell union, two married partly noble spouses, France – Tornos y Steinhart and Italy – Coureau, and the other nine heirs married commoners.

There were just two Belgian marriages, but both were with noble partners, Bethune-Hesdigneul – Roquefeuil and Riquet de Caraman-Chimay – Ursel. Of the 11 Spanish marriages, five were with a noble spouse, three with a partly noble partner and three with a commoner. The German and Austrian families followed suit, of their 17 marriages 7 were with noble partners, 3 with partly noble and 7 with commoners. Of the nine British heirs two married partly noble women, Cavendish – Roundell and Wellesley – Kidd, the rest married a commoner. The three French heirs married in this period only commoners.

In the period 1981-1990 of the 47 marriages of the heirs of the high aristocracy 55% was with a noble partner, in 1991-2000 this percentage had dropped to 45% and in the last period it had further decreased to only 30%. The unions with partly noble spouses (a noble mother or grandmother) had increased slightly to 18%, but commoners are with 52% the largest group of partners.

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