In 1902, Nicholas sent Paul Meksandrovich into exile for contracting a morganatic marriage with the divorced wife of a colonel.
The decree introduced the principle of "unequal" or morganatic marriages into Russian law--developed by German royal houses wishing to impart a degree of flexibility to marriage rules by allowing princes wishing to embark on second marriages to wed spouses not of royal lineage by forfeiting royal titles and rights for their progeny.
He tried to prevent unequal, morganatic marriages of the grand dukes, though they remained legal according to the Fundamental Laws.
The purpose of this study shall be to analyze the scope and the constitutional implications of the second paragraph of the preamble to the Statute of Westminster on a morganatic marriage in the royal family.
A morganatic marriage is commonly defined as a legal marriage in which a member of a royal or noble family marries someone of lower status on the understanding that neither the spouse nor the children will have any claim in the inherited rank or property of the parent of higher status.
A morganatic marriage, specifying that the heirs could not legitimately inherit their parent's title of dignity, would alter the laws of the succession to the throne and would therefore require the application of the second paragraph of the preamble to the Statute of Westminster.
The most celebrated morganatic marriage was that between Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination at Sarajevo triggered the First World War, and Sophie Chotek.
A morganatic marriage was also suggested as a way of solving Britain's abdication crisis in 1936, when Edward VIII chose to give up his throne rather than the woman he loved, twice-divorced Wallis Simpson.
There was the possibility of a Morganatic marriage
, in which Mrs Simpson would remain a commoner, but this would require Pa rliamentary legislation, and all the signs were that Baldwin and the House of Commons would be against it.
And although plenty of monarchs have had mistresses, there is no precedent for a morganatic marriage.
And I am certain that a morganatic marriage is not a realistic option.
Charles cannot enter into a morganatic marriage
(as was once suggested for Mrs Simpson), as our constitutional law does not permit it.