Government in Exile

The governments of Wales have always existed as monarchies. For the Welsh to be able to use their historical claim to sovereignty for independence there had to be the re-establishment of the Welsh monarchy. Here we have cited several sources on governments in exile, and the powers available to them which Prince Llywelyn has used as evidence in his successful legal cases.

Below is a citation from “Governments in exile” used to explain how Prince Llywelyn called all of the native Welsh royal titles out of abeyance and united them. Some feel that there should have been an election or a vote to see who the next king should be; but this would not have been in keeping with the Welsh laws as Wales has never had an elective monarchy. The native Welsh laws used gavelkind, where all of the last Kings sons would inherit the lands equally, but the titles would only fall to the fittest son. If there were no competent heir available, any Welshman of the royal nation could become the lawful heir.

“In view of such extreme emergency [country’s usurpation], a temporary deviation from the working of the constitution is justifiable if this is necessary to conserve the sovereignty and independency of the country.” (Dr. Lassa Oppenheimer, “Governments and Authorities in Exile”, p. 581-582)


Prince Llywelyn proved to his international tribunal being that he was qualified under the Welsh law to inherit the titles, meeting all other prerequisites and having no other claimants at the time he took up the position and titles; that his claim would bar all other claimants under the legal principle of laches.  Laches is a form of equity law where those that sleep on their rights may lose their rights. His claim was to the separate kingdoms of Wales, uniting them into one.

Being the heir to the Welsh Kings and Princes would make Tywysog Llywelyn the head of the de jure (rightful) government in exile.

Here Professor Stephen Kerr references Hugo Grotius, citing that under international law a ruler being deprived of government remains the rightful sovereign or ruler and the invading force remains a usurper. Legally in Wales the UK Government is the usurping government and is only the government by fact, not the lawful government. 

-Dynastic Law by Prof. Stephen P. Kerr, LL.M., “Under the doctrines of public international law a ruler who is deprived of the government of his country by either an invader or revolutionaries remains the legitimate “de jure” Sovereign of that Country while the “de facto” regime set up by the revolutionaries or the invader is considered an “usurper”, both constitutionally and internationally. See Hugo Grotius De jure belli ac pacis, libri Tres, Book I, Chapter 4, Nos. 15-19 

Below Kerr cites the American Journal of International Law explains the absent sovereign remains the rightful government regardless of recognition. This is important because governments receive special protections under international law.

 “The absent sovereign remains the de jure government of the country even though they are never officially or even unofficially recognized.” (Oppenheimer, “Governments and Authorities in Exile,” American Journal of International Law, p. 571)

Kerr now cites Johann Wolfgang Textor, where he writes in his book, “Synopsis Juris Gentium” on international law, stating that de jure sovereignty would continue so long as the government or ruler never surrendered their sovereignty to the usurper. This is applicable in the Welsh case for independence, being that the last reigning Welsh Kings and Princes did not surrender; they were either executed as in the murder of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, or as in the case of Owain Glyndwr disappeared without ever surrendering.

Such de jure possession of sovereignty continues so long as the de jure ruler or government does not surrender his sovereignty to the usurper. -Johann Wolfgang Textor, Synopsis Juris Gentium, Chapter 10, Nos. 9-11

Kerr moves on to cite Vattel regarding the claim to de jure sovereignty through the vehicle of diplomatic protest. Kerr hints at the possibility of the expiration of de jure sovereignty rights if diplomatic protests are not put forward in a “prescribed amount of time”, although there is no internationally agreed amount of time or accepted schedule of protests (daily, quarterly, annually), or internationally accepted forms of protest. It is important to note this is only based on historical opinion, and not based on any international law, or jurisprudence documented anywhere in the world. On the contrary sovereignty is passed “jus sanguinis” a legal concept meaning right of blood, as long as there exists blood the claims to sovereignty may be made. Thanks to the wise King Hywel Dda, so long as there exists Welsh male blood, the de jure sovereignty of Cymru, and her children is perpetual.  

Upon the fall, dispossession, or usurpation of a monarchy, the de jure legal rights to the succession of that monarchy may be kept alive indefinitely through the legal vehicle of making diplomatic protests against the usurpation. -Emerich Vattel, Le Droit des gens, Book II, Chapter II, Nos. 145-146

Prince Llywelyn’s claim is clearly such a diplomatic protest; by using native laws and legally claiming and transferring the titles “jus sanguinis” by right of blood,  a continuation of the ancient Welsh governments has been established. Other diplomatic protests have been well documented since the English occupation of Cymru. The flying of Y Ddraig Goch (The Red Dragon) is clearly another form of diplomatic protest. Cymru having her own flag, separate from, and not included in the United Kingdom’s flag is a diplomatic protest demonstrating sovereignty and rightful independence. Over the years of occupation there have been attempts to ban the Welsh flag, to which the Welsh answered by proudly displaying the banner.

Here Professor Santos writes on the ability to keep the claim to sovereignty alive through excising the powers of monarchy until the end of time.

Professor Dr. W. Baroni Santos, Doctor D’état (post-doctorate/ habilitation) from the University of Reims in France in his book “Treaty of Heraldry and Nobility Law” Volume II page 52: “Neither the elapsed time, even for centuries, or non-use of the acts of Sovereignty exercised by the Prince Pretender, Head of Name and Arms of his house, may be derogated, prescribed or canceled. He/she retains rights until the end of times ‘ad perpetuam rei tenendam’ which are inserted in the person of Prince Pretender.

Phillip Marshall Brown, an international lawyer also supported this notion that there was no prescription or expiration to the claims of sovereignty and pursuit of independence as he is quoted as stating in, “Sovereignty in Exile”, in the American Journal of International Law:

“There is still deeper significance to this anomalous condition of sovereignty in exile. There is no automatic extinction of nations. Military occupation may seem final and permanent, and yet prove to be only an interregnum, though a prolonged nightmare for the inhabitants. A nation is much more than an outward form of territory and government. It consists of the men and women in whom sovereignty resides. So long as they cherish sovereignty in their hearts their nation is not dead. It may be prostrate and helpless and yet revive. It is not to be denied the symbols or forms of sovereignty on foreign soil or diplomatic relations with other nations.

Brown’s writings in the “American Journal of International Law”, confirm that sovereignty is perpetual and exists in the hearts of the men and women of that nation, and so long as they still cherish that nation; it is not dead! This legal stance on prescription, and the never-ending claim to a nations sovereignty has also been historically supported by jurists from around the world.

The court sentence below from Italy demonstrates the lapse of time or failure to make use of the titles does not cause them to expire. The potential for these powers were inserted into every Welsh man according to the Welsh laws since he in theory was eligible to compete and succeed to kingship unless there was some disqualifying factor about him.

Court Sentence of the Republican Italy (Pretoria de Vico Del Gargano, Repubblica Italiana sentence number 217/49), “it’s irrelevant if that Imperial family is no longer ruling for centuries, because the deposition doesn’t harm the sovereign prerogatives even if the sovereign renounces, spontaneously, to the throne. In substance, in this case, the Sovereign does not cease to be King, even living in exile or in private life (without claiming his sovereignty), because his prerogatives are, itself, by birth and cannot be extinguished, but remains and may be transmitted in time, from generation to generation.”

This court sentence below from San Marino solidifies the notion sovereignty is not limited by prescription, being that the male blood (or Y-chromosome) for Welsh men is what qualifies them to compete for kingship, if there are no competent heirs or claimants. The ability to compete for kingship and hereditaments in Cymru is a right granted by blood to qualified Welshmen in accordance with the laws established by Hwyel Dda. In the Welsh laws even in the event of the elimination of an entire monarchy, or no competent heirs putting forward a claim, the sovereignty may be kept alive through the succession of another Welshman becoming the Edling (heir). The fact that no other Welsh man has put forward a claim since Owain Glyndwr would not cause the rights to de jure sovereignty to expire or become prescriptive since they are granted by blood according to the native laws and international laws. So long as Welsh male lines are not entirely extinguished the possibility of independence and de jure sovereignty may be continued. 

Court Sentence from the Republic of San Marino (Case No. 184, 1987)– also citing Jurisprudence from 1596: “Consequently this Court has international jurisprudence (Leges Statutae Rub. I, XXVI and XXXIV of Lib. II) We should bear in mind that the failure to make use of the title does not result in giving up, expire or any case loss or impediment of genealogical or heraldic historical  prerogatives as they are granted jure sanguinis  [by blood right ] or jure legis  [by  legal right] and they remain imprescriptible in the sense that when they have not been used they can be, ipso jure  [automatically by law], be recovered “facto  suo quis amiserit contrario facto facile recuperare potest ” [by fact a loss easily to be recovered] (Fabro Codex Lib. IX Tit. 29 Def.2 Piedmont Senate Dec 15 Kalend junii 1596) Richeri (Codex Lib. I Tit. IV, Def. XI) also tell us that nobility and noble titles can be recovered ipso jure [automatically by law] and nulla opus est ut aiunt reabilitarione (it’s said without work to rehabilitate).”

Dr. Kerr now uses historical examples of previous pretender princes and cites the “American Journal of International Law” regarding the rights of governments in exile and their international legal standing among other nations.

“Such Claimants are de jure Sovereigns and, as such, Head of the Government-in-Exile of their usurped country. The Jacobite Claimants, King James II & VII, the ‘Old Pretender’ James (III & VIII), the ‘Young Pretender Bonnie Prince Charlie (III), and Cardinal York or Henry (IX) maintained their de jure claims to the three thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland via competent diplomatic protests against the usurpation by William of Orange and the Hanoverians. Governments-in-Exile are subjects of public international law, and matters relating to them are within the scope of the jurisdiction of public international law as the applicable proper law … rather than the law of the place where that Government-in-Exile may be located. See Whitman, Digest of International Law, Vol. I, pp. 921-930. F. E. Oppenheim “Governments and Authorities in Exile,” 36 American Journal of International Law (1942), pp. 568-595. OppenheimLauterpacht, International Law, Vol. I, No. 144. The public international law regarding the legal effect of protests against the usurpation of sovereignty applies to republics as well as to monarchies: The United States of America refused to recognize the 1939 Soviet usurpation of the three Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. This facilitated the maintenance of Governments-in-Exile of the Baltic Republics and the maintenance of embassies in Washington, D. C., which persisted through the Cold War Era until these countries managed to recover their independence. Accordingly, matters pertaining to de jure Governments-in-Exile are matters of public international law. The de jure sovereignty of a state which has been usurped by a foreign conqueror is not extinguished by such usurpation but survives as long as such sovereignty is kept alive by competent diplomatic protests. See Philip Marshall Brown, “Sovereignty in Exile,” 35 American Journal of International Law (1941), p. 666-668. Exiled Sovereigns and Governments choice of law that of usurped state to govern political and public acts: Under public international law a Government-in-Exile, monarchical or republican, is deemed to have the implied constitutional power to perform all normal acts of state … including those acts which by its own constitution would require the consent of an organ of government, such as a parliament, which are at present suspended due to the conditions arising from a usurpation of sovereignty. See F. E. Oppenheim, “Governments and Authorities in Exile,” 36 American Journal of International Law (1942), pp. 568 at 581-582″

What the above citations from Dr. Kerr state is that a de jure sovereign or government-in-exile may function with full governmental authorities, even if under normal circumstances such acts would traditionally require an act of parliament; because the functioning of the traditional government is suspended from the occupation the powers are inserted in the pretender prince. These full governmental powers include: establishing embassies, creating treaties with other nations, appointing government officials, making changes to and updating laws, and continuing the dynastic duties.