This sad little lizard told me that he was a Brontosaurus on his mother’s side. I did not laugh; people who boast of ancestry often have little else to sustain them. Humoring them costs nothing and adds to happiness in a world in which happiness is in short supply.
–Robert Heinlein *
I don’t make a big deal of it, but apparently there’s a fair chance that I’m descended from Swedish royalty.
Back when I didn’t care about my heritage too much, other than the basic “what country are we from?**”, my mom was in the midst of trying to trace our roots. I vaguely remember her telling this story from what she learned from relatives. When I did start becoming a bit more interested, mom had already passed away. I questioned my sister, who was sort of into the heritage stuff, but her memory was fuzzy. My brother seemed surprised by the story. So this all needs to be taken a bit tongue-in-cheek. Seems that as my mom traced back on her mom’s side of the family (the Swedish side), she kept hearing the same story from direct relatives. Digging further, she heard it repeated by distant relatives, with the story basically intact from what she’d already learned.
The story goes that there was one of my great-to-the-something (fourth? fifth?) grandfathers was actually raised in an orphanage.
The catch was that my grandfather was visited quite regularly. Every couple of weeks, a royal carriage would come around and one of the King’s daughters…a Princess!!…would come in and spend time with my grandfather.
The rumor had it that the (unmarried) Princess had a liaison with one of the royal court and, as sometimes happens in such affairs, she became preggers***.
Being unmarried, but for religious or medical reasons unwilling to terminate the pregnancy, the child was brought to term and born into – – – nothingness.
Back then (still?), children of royalty born out of wedlock were assumed not to exist. Given how randy and lascivious many royalty were … are?…, you can’t go around affirming and recognizing every apparent heir to the throne. Only those issue of approved and blessed marriages may ascend to the royal court.
So, the child was placed into an orphanage, with sufficient funds to ensure he was properly taken care of as long as needed.
But, the Princess was awash in maternal instincts for her ‘lost’ child and made it a point to visit over an extended time.
True? No way to tell for sure. A good story, nonetheless.
So, yeah…I may be royalty
…but bastard royalty!
…and damn proud of it.
I’ll be soliciting ideas on how to reclaim my rightful throne…
*had to chuckle. I thought I was being clever using this quote. But, not remembering the whole thing, googled it only to find that about 73 other people with blogs talking about genealogy use it as well. You’ll notice it didn’t stop me a bit.
**me? The biggies are 49% Scottish, 24% German, and 24% Swedish, with a smattering of other stuff thrown in there for the rest.
***yes, I do realize that royalty don’t become “preggers”… that’s for redneck high school girls. Royalty become “with child” or “enceinte” or some other pompous, overbearing phrase for “knocked up”. I just felt like using “preggers”.