GUELPHS AND HOHENZOLLERNS
Notwithstanding the latest, assur- ances from Berlin that the Kaiser's son-in-law, Prince Ernst of Cumber- land, is not, an active participant in the renewal of the feud between the houses of Hlanover and Hohonzollern, considerable time may have to elapse before the world is convinced that the relationship between Prince Ernst and his Imperial father-in-law, is of the spontaneously cordial char- acter that the several ."semi-official communiques" which, have been issued would make it appear. The reassertion of Hanoverian claims, after the marriage ceremony of May 24 was supposed to, have disposed of them for ever, got Germany, and.
particularly Prussia, by the years at the end of last week. With that re- assertion Prince Ernst, as well as his father, was associated by the re- ports issued. He had declared, it was said. 'that love only came after honour" ; he had (denied that he had formally renounced all claims to the throne of Hanover ; and his father had said that his son's marriage had nothing to do with politics. A day or two later came the announce- ment that Prince Ernst had declared himself as utterly opposed to the Guelph machinations, and that so far from his attitude being calculat- ed to keep alive the old hostilities it was "exemplary." The latest message from Berlin confirms rather than disputes that description of the young benedict's bearing, especially as it is stated that he is a guest of his father-in-law at Potsdam. It may be that the Duke of Cumber- land, Prince Ernst's father, has re- pented at leisure of the position in which his apparent acquiescence in the rapprochement of February last -it was in that month that the be- trothal of the young lovers was an- nounced-has placed his house, and has vainly tried to bring his son to the same way of thinking. What- ever the facts, there has undoubtedly been a check to the course of those events which were expected to lead to the restoration to Prince Ernst of the Duchy of Brunswick, of which he is the rightful heir. Prussian feeling has been ruffled. For half a century Hanover has been incor- porated in that Kingdom, and its ruling class does not like to be re- minded that there may be a section of Germanic feeling not yet recon- ciled to this fruit of Bismarckian "blood and iron" policy. And so great is the truculence of that class that it does not stop short of trying to browbeat the Kaiser himself. Said a Berlin message of Monday : "The Nationalist Press threatens the Kaiser with. a storm which will re- duce that of November, 1908, to the dimensions of a summer zephyr.". The storm of five years ago, it may be remembered, arose over the paci- ficatory interview which the Kaiser gave to a renpresentative of the London "Dailv Telegraph."
The recrudescence of Hanoverian Prussian strife, ovon should it bo quite unauthorised from the head «jnnxters of Hanoverian sentiment. illustrates the tenacity with which .dynasties cling to what aro believed tes bo their rights to recognition. The whole-course of German history since 1866, and tho positions of the Empire and its principal component State to-day, attest that Bismarck consulted tho highest interests ot the German nation when he advised his royalt master to gobble up Hanover because in that year it sided with Austriaj in itho war which ho had promoted for the purpose of assert- ing beyond question Prussian claims to leadership among the Germanic peoples. But this deposition of a branch of the house of Guelph from, a ruling position, nationally bene- ficial though it has .been, is not relished by the branch or those who support it anv more than was the taking of the British Crown by an ancestral Guolph in 17J& acquiesced in bv the Stuarts and their Jacobin, friends. Wo know with what pertin- acity and desperate courage the Stuarts sought, to regain their ruling position in Britain, even long after it liad become evident that the course of British prosperity and national well-being had been signally promoted bv the formal disqualifica- tion of their lind as "corrupt." There are doubtless yet some Brit- ishers who would fain acknowledge allegiance to the hoad of the Stuart family, so persistent is the belief in the divino right of kings, Thoro have been no parallels to ""the '15" or "the '45" in Hanoverian versus Prussian relationships, but certainly until this year there was a, sturdy
maintenance on the part of tho Hanoverian house of the trust which the blind King who in 1866 was forced to flee his dominions imposed on himself and his successors-that of keeping alive the claim to restoration. It is said that when this King, George .V», died in Pari« in 1878 his san, the present Duke ot Cumberland, promised him never to abandon his. claim, and to pass on the charge.- There would be con- sistency with ttet solemn obligation in the 'attitndo which has somewhera been ascribed to the Duke-that of refusal toi formally, renounce his righto, the while ho does, not pro Sose to take «ny steps * ,to assert
iem. ..? ' '
In 188*. wheri the Bulee Wlllisim
Duke. of Cumberland became tho hereUltafj» tutor ? of .the Ducby of Brunswick, which contains an area of 1418 square miles and in ¿1910 had a population of 49.4,339» But be- cause ,tho latter. | had determined never to forgo, his Hanoverian claim, and because the , Prussians were resolved ' ort that account against permitting the reign of a "Cumberlander" in Brunswick, » regency became necessary. The first regent died ,in 1906. aiid the Duke then proposed that, since ho and his oldest son renounced their claim to
the Duchy, lijs Second son Ernst should be called to the throne. The proposal was rejected by the Bruns- wick Diet, on the advice of the Constitutional Commission, and the Duke of Mecklenburg, the present re- gent, was chosen to carry on ? the rule of the country. Since then ithe Duke of CiiinWorlánd's oldest son was killed in a motoring occident, and Prince Ernst became hisj heir. Ap- parently the betrothal and marriage understandings between the houses of Brunswick and FTohenzollern did not contain any specific arrangoment,thah Prince Brrisb should in course of time take the throne which will be his by hereditary right, but there was a popular expectation of it. Commenting on the marriage ofMay 24, the London "Times," for in- stance, said : "princesses do not now commonly bring kingdoms and brovinces in their trousseaux. ... . bnt sensible observers will' never underrate the importance of'Royal marriages while the 'monarchical principle' remains a power amongst men. » And in this case there is at least a possibility that when the bride gives her hand to the young soldier of her choice she may be giving him Hie pledge of lus future restoration to the heritage of his old and very famous house." The foundations of the house of Bruns- wick go down into Saxon history made before the breaking up of the great duchy at the fall of Henry "the Lion ¡n 1191. ."The descendants of Henry tho Lion held their places as princes of the (German) "empire," wrote Freeman in his "Historical Geography of "Europo," i"no longer as Dukes of Saxony, but as Dukes of Brunswick, a house which gave Rome one Emperor and England n, dynasty of kings." Later the house branched in the usual way, and from the Luneberg branch ' ultrmatply grew first the olecUjrato and then the, Kingdoln of llanover. It was from llanover, of course, that the first George of England took his some- what reluctant wav to London. The Hanoverian kinralom was first estab- lished in 1815. and George HI. of England wns also George I of Han- over. On both thrones he was suc- ceeded by his sons George and William, but while the Kingdom of Han over passed on the death of William to a third son. Ernest Augustus, the great-grandfather of the Kaiser's ¡son-in-law. it was the daughter of still another and older but then deceased son. Edward, who was to ascend the throne of Great Britain, and invest the name of
Victoria' with imperishablo queenly