Morganatic Marriage

charles and diana

A morganatic [mor-ga-nat-icmarriage is a type of marriage which can be contracted in certain countries, usually between people of unequal social rank, which prevents the passage of the husband’s titles and privileges to the wife and any children born of the marriage. It is also known as a left-handed marriage because in the wedding ceremony the groom holds his bride’s right hand with his left hand instead of his right.

Generally, this is a marriage between a male of high birth (such as from a royal or reigning house), and a woman of lesser status (such as from a non-royal or non-reigning house, or with a profession that is traditionally considered lower-status). Neither the bride nor any children of the marriage has any claim on the groom’s titles, rights, or entailed property. The children are considered legitimate on other counts and the prohibition of bigamy applies.

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