More on the Quest of King Allan

The Flag of Gondor, I mean Wales

I cut off my initial exploration of Allan Evans’s claim to the British throne at about 1200 words, which was a concession to the shortness of life and the need to get some billable work done, and was plenty long for a post anyway. But there is more to be said about this dramatic development.

First, as one reader pointed out, another potential obstacle to his claim is that the line of succession is regulated not just by custom and descent, but also by acts of Parliament. Of course, these acts are all invalid because they were passed during the reigns of usurpers, but let’s humor them for a minute and see what those laws say.

Remember that Evans’s claim is based on the assertion that he’s a “direct descendant of an unbroken primogeniture line” going back to at least the third century (presumably A.D./C.E.). “Primogeniture” is the fact of being a firstborn child or the principle that the firstborn child has certain rights, such as inheriting property or thrones, just by virtue of having come out first. But given humanity’s endless ability to come up with arbitrary rules for things, there are all different kinds of primogeniture. There are at least three kinds of primogeniture lines:

  • agnatic (line traced through firstborn male ancestors)
  • cognatic (can be traced through firstborn males or females)
  • uterine or matrilineal (traced through firstborn females)

There are also various rules about who can inherit, apparently separate from how the line is traced:

  • male-preference (a female can inherit but only if she has no living brothers and none of the dead ones had sons)
  • female-preference (the opposite)
  • Salic (no females on the throne, ever)
  • semi-Salic (females inherit only if there are no male descendants at all, anywhere)

So a society could have something like “female-preference uterine primogeniture,” for example, and I guess some have, but the male-preference agnatic kind is better known to Anglo-Americans, at least. But it’s super-complicated, partly because the basic rule frequently changed, or exceptions were made, either by statute or by the more direct method of cutting off other people’s body parts until they stopped objecting. So this is another major problem with King Allan’s claim to the throne via almost 2000 years of “unbroken primogeniture”; he’s not telling us what he thinks he can prove, it’s not clear what exactly he would have to prove, and that’s setting aside his almost-certain lack of any evidence to prove it.

But let’s assume he could trace his line by whatever means up to the present day. Even if he could have claimed some right under the common law, succession is currently subject to the Bill of Rights (1689), the Act of Settlement 1701, and most recently the Succession to the Crown Act 2013. This is bad for Allan Evans, because under those laws, only descendants of Princess Sophia, the Electress of Hanover and granddaughter of James I, are eligible. (Papists are still legally barred from the throne, but if Allan is one of those I assume he’d be willing to convert.) Nothing in his declaration even suggests he is descended from Sophia, who was German and distantly Scottish. In fact, because his statements show that he’s trying to trace his claim through Wales (and/or Gondor) instead, they are essentially admissions that he’s not eligible.

Again, this is under the current laws passed by usurpers, but still, I think something more dramatic than just showing up is going to be necessary if Allan V. Evans of Colorado is going to sit on the British throne.

Second, another reader noticed that there was a brief sequel to Evans’s earlier attempt to claim the smaller realm of Twiggs County, Georgia. After the state supreme court rejected his appeal there, he appealed again—sort of, because he “appealed” to the U.S. District Court for the District of Georgia. But as that court promptly told him, a federal district court has no jurisdiction to review state-court orders—only the U.S. Supreme Court can do that.

I couldn’t find any evidence that Evans filed a petition for certiorari with that court. I haven’t checked the International Court of Justice, and maybe I should, but my guess is that he learned he had a potential claim to much more than Twiggs County and decided to pursue that claim instead. But as suggested above, that’ll be an uphill battle too.