Succession: Passing on the Crown? A discussion on succession and modern monarchy in global perspective

Time: 7pm Sydney/ 10am London

Online, via Zoom

Register via Eventbrite

Succession is key to monarchies and their survival.  Yet forms of succession differ. Inheritance of the oldest child (sometimes the eldest son) of a monarch after that monarch’s death is most common, while some heirs are determined within a ruler’s lifetime or by a crown council after the ruler’s death.  Voluntary abdication has also become more common. ‘Retired’ rulers are now living on in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Bhutan.

Succession raises questions about the suitability of particular heirs, and rivalries among would-be heirs.  It creates issues around the rights, entitlements and roles of heirs and collateral members of royal families. Significant changes have been taking place, including the ‘slimming down’ of royal families and use of royal titles in Sweden and Denmark.  Media obsession with the place of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Britain, and debates over the potential succession of women to the thrones of Japan and Yogyakarta. King Charles III has foreshadowed a modernisation of Britain’s centuries-old coronation ceremony, illustrative of the challenges facing contemporary monarchies.

After a short introduction by Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery, without formal papers or interventions, this round-table discussion is open to all members of the Research Hub. We very much hope that you will contribute comments on your areas of expertise, including modern monarchy in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Pacific. This will be an exciting opportunity to discuss issues around succession and to find out about new research and approaches developed by Hub members and others. We welcome all Hub members to join us at what we hope will be an informal and lively discussion.


Dr Cindy McCreery
Department of History, A18 Brennan MacCallum Building, University of Sydney