This. To wear over your head.
A character is offered the crown of a kingdom that he has not inherited through a normal line of succession, even if he has Royal Blood
. A kingdom may be an Elective Monarchy
and normally select their kings rather than have them inherit. Others resort to it when the last line become extinct, or is deposed, or when there is no previously existing line of succession (in a newly independent country or a country that is replacing some other form of government with a monarchy).
Frequently a culmination of A Protagonist Shall Lead Them
, if the character was not heir to the throne. Leads to an Awesome Moment of Crowning
often enough, though he may refuse. In contrast to Standard Hero Reward
, there is no bride, and usually there is no king already, so the character becomes the monarch, not the heir.
Contrast Unexpected Successor
, where the rules just lead to someone unusual, and the Rightful King Returns
. If the character is offered the crown because he possesses a specific MacGuffin
, that's Finders Rulers
. May be a Cincinnatus
when the government becomes a republic after the character refuses the crown. If the villain offers the hero this, it is often We Can Rule Together
. Sometimes results from the assumption that Heroism Equals Job Qualification
The prospect of this can lead to a Succession Crisis
as nobles intrigue about whom to offer it to. And it has not always settled the matter.
Truth in Television
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Anime and Manga
- At the end of one Tournament Arc in Dragon Ball, Goku is offered the seat of God by Kami-sama Himself. Goku thinks that would be a boring job and turns it down.
- Considering how we rarely see Kami doing anything, he's probably right.
- At the end of Battle of the Gods, Goku is once again offered a God Job: the God of Destruction in this case. Again he turns it down.
- At the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, Olivier and Roy allow Grumman to be Fuhrer in place of Bradley, because Olivier doesn't want the hassle and Roy is blind. Roy gets better, though, and Word of God says he becomes Fuhrer down the road.
- In Naruto, Jiraiya is asked to become Hokage because of his status as one of the Legendary Sannin and his experience. However, he turns down the position, agreeing to bring back a replacement he thinks is more suitable: fellow Sannin Tsunade.
- Judge Dredd: Dredd has been asked to be the new Chief Justice of Mega-City One on several occasions after having saved the city from grave dangers that wiped out or killed off the previous sitting ruling order. Every time, Dredd turns them down as he can't stand the more bureaucratic side of Justice Dept. and prefers dispensing justice on the streets. He does run for the office of Chief Judge during Sinfield's reign, as he figures being Chief Judge is the lesser of two evils compared to Sinfield in charge. Of course, he does find a way out of it.
- After the War of Kings, Gladiator wandered out into the ruined capital city in a daze, still carrying the Imperial Scepter. As he surveyed the chaos around him, the people looked to him and the scepter, and begged him for guidance. Gladiator, having spent his life defining himself as a soldier, was unprepared to be a ruler. For the sake of the people, he agreed to be the new Majestor. He's done a pretty good job so far.
- In the prologue of Sojourn, the hero Ayden rallied an army and defeated the Dark Lord Mordath and personally struck down the villain with a magical arrow. His army then asked him to become their new king. Ayden refused, stating that he was a king once, and not a very good one. He then vanished into the horizon, promising that he would return if needed.
- In "The Bee and the Orange Tree", a king offers to make a nephew his heir.
while her father, thinking her at the bottom of the sea, was making up his mind to choose another heir. When the king spoke of this matter to the queen she told him to do what seemed right, for her dear Amy was dead, and she could hope for no more children. He had waited long enough, she said, and after the fifteen years that had passed since she had lost her, it would be out of the question to expect ever to see her again. The king, there fore, determined to ask his brother to choose from among his sons the one most worthy of reigning, and to send him the prince at once.
- In "The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa", the archer is offered the crown of the dead tsar.
- "The Story of King Odd" ends with the king giving his kingdom to a winter-guest who helped break the curse on the king.
- In The Grateful Beasts, Ferko is made king after the wolf has his fellow wolves eat up the wicked king, Ferko's wicked brothers, and the court who supported the king.
- Evil Magician Trent, at the end of A Spell for Chameleon is told that his exile will be rescinded on two conditions. First, he must marry; second, he must accept the crown.
- Valentine remembers this in his Back Story in Lord Valentines Castle by Robert Silverberg.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars is offered several thrones. He suggests friends of his for every one, except for his father-in-law's, where he says the father-in-law is not proven dead, so his son will act as regent.
- In Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno, how their father become King of Elfland.
- In Terry Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters, how Verence becomes king of the Discworld kingdom of Lancre. Though the witches made everyone else, including Verence, think he was a legitimate successor.
- In the Back Story, General Tacticus is an example: a general of Ankh-Morpork, he was chosen as Genua's king — and promptly attacked Ankh-Morpork as the greatest danger to Genua.
- In Guards! Guards!: When the dragon incinerates the prospective king, the high priest instead offers the crown to the dragon. Although the dragon doesn't take it (it's imitation gold, and the priest gets roasted instead) people aren't exactly lining up to point out this technicality.
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Liu Bei is offered on multiple occasions Jingzhou, a critically strategic province, by its ruler, Liu Biao. He turns it down out of respect to Liu Biao and his heirs, much to the frustration of his generals and advisers.
- Also heavily subverted. Usurpers force the people they're usurping to offer them their throne...then turn it down in the name of propriety and force their victims to do it again. Usually they only accept on the third offer.
- In Poul Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest, Prince Rupert recounts how his father was offered the crown of Bohemia — and held it briefly, until military defeat drove him off. Although this is an alternate history, that was taken from Real Life.
- In The Wheel of Time series Rand is offered the crown of Illian (he had already taken many other places by force who feared he meant to take the crowns, but the Illainers were the first to just come out and offer it in gratitude) and also offers the Crown of Tear to a nobleman (as part of a deal to end the resistance of several recalcitrant lords - of whom the noble offered the crown used to belong before being won over) and later the throne of Arad Doman (which he was in the process of stabilizing) to another, or Amadicia if he wanted(which Rand had no presence in, but foresaw the need in the future).
- In The Belgariad, the kingdom of Sendaria chose their first king by election. (Their previous ruler had been the Duchess of Erat aka Polgara the Sorceress, who had spent several centuries conditioning the population towards sensibility and levelheadedness, so it makes sense.) Due to the lengthy and muddled voting process, the winning regent (a turnip farmer) had completely forgotten he was in the running and was a bit worried when all these nobles showed up and fell to their knees before him. Mostly because he was busy fertilising the field they knelt in.
- In the Chronicles of Prydain, protagonist Taran is stunned when his old friend, the childless King Smoit of Cadiffor, offers to adopt him and make him his heir. He declines, however, out of a genuine desire to find the identities of his birth parents, and later is declared High King of the entire country anyway.
- In Rupert of Hentzau, the sequel to The Prisoner of Zenda, Rudolf Rassendyll is offered the crown in earnest, after the death of the king of Ruritania whom he exactly resembles.
- In The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn is of Royal Blood and has shown the traditional "signs" of kingship, but the Kingship has been in abeyance for hundreds of years (and the line of descent he claims has been rejected by Gondor before), so Faramir asks the people of Gondor if Aragorn should be king. They say yes.
- Merry in the Merry Gentry series is an official heir, but is probably not going to get it due to her bloodline. Then she is first-and-a-half in line due to some interesting politics. Then she gives up her chance at the crown to save Frost from being inhuman for no-one-knows-how-long. Then, as a now non-heir, she is offered the crown again, in a straight example of this trope.
- In The Kingpriest Trilogy, Brother Beldyn, a monk with with some of the most powerful clerical magic ever seen, is revealed as the mythical Lightbringer. But even though the Lightbringer prophecies say nothing about the throne, Kurnos, the reigning Kingpriest, nonetheless sees him as a threat to his power and so uses dark magic borrowed from Fistandandilus to try and eliminate him. Between Kurnos' violence overreaction to Beldyn and a rebellion in a faraway province, along with Beldyn's incredible healing powers which cure an otherwise uncurable plague in that region, Istar's public favor swings rapidly in Beldyn's direction, leading him to eventually overthrow the Kingpriest and claim his throne.
- More literally, Beldyn seeks to claim the Miceram, or Crown of Power, from its hidden resting place. After entering the lower sanctum and encountering ghouls which render Beldyn unconscious, Cathan Mac Severin encounters the spirit of the last Kingpriest to hold the crown, who offers to give the crown to him rather than Beldyn. He refuses, insisting that the Miceram doesn't belong to him, but to the Lightbringer. However, due to some creative prophecy interpretation, it is later revealed that Cathan really was the true Lightbringer, and thus the true heir to the Kingpriest's throne. However, this comes long after Beldyn (now named Beldinas) has tipped all the way into Knight Templar status and stretched the Balance to the breaking point. Cathan learns of this after crossing the continent with the Discs of Mishakel, far too late to stop Beldinas from demanding supreme power from the gods and causing the Cataclysm. He angsts over What Might Have Been, but the god Paladine consoles him by telling him that it really couldn't have gone any other way for him. Now, Lord Soth, on the other hand...
- In L. Frank Baum's Queen Zixi Of Ix, Bud is offered the crown after the king dies and the laws decree that the forty-seventh person to pass through Nole's eastern gate at sunrise is the new monarch.
- Also in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is asked to be the Queen of Winkie Country in the place of the Wicked Witch of the West. After insisting that the Tin Man and Scarecrow be put back together first, she declines, and returns to Emerald City to get home again.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Scarlet Citadel", Arpello offers to control things until they choose a king — and then says that he is king.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- In the backstory, Maester Aemon was offered the crown, even though his position would normally remove him from the line of succession. He turned them down. And to make sure wars would not be fought over this, he took ANOTHER vow that would keep him from inheriting a title, by joining the Night's Watch.
- After Ned Stark's execution, the outraged Northern lords call for the secession of their region and demand from Robb, Ned's son, that he takes the restored crown of the North.
- The Greyjoy family normally follows the same rules of primogeniture as the rest of Westeros, but this is complicated when King Balon dies with all but one of his sons dead, and the surviving son presumed dead and castrated to boot. His daughter Asha would be next in line, but the Isles had never been led by a ruling queen, so they held a "kingsmoot" where, theoretically, anyone could have been crowned. They went with Balon's brother Euron.
- In Twilight Jacob inherited the position of Alpha male, but didn't want the responsibility so he gave it to Sam. This is what allows him to disobey the 'Alpha's' orders in Breaking Dawn by running away and forming his own pack with Leah and Seth.
- In Inheritance Eragon is offered the chance to lead the Empire, but he declines, as being a Dragon Rider is enough for him. And also because he's afraid of turning into a tyrant similar to the one he just overthrew.
- The council also toys with the idea of offering the crown to Roran, but conclude that given his questionable, albeit mostly successful, methods for leading large groups of people in the past, he’s not really cut out for the job.
- In the Mage Storms trilogy, Duke Tremane (formerly of the Eastern Empire), is offered the crown of Hardorn on condition that he is Bound to the land, as he has separated ties with his former country and Emperor and is proving himself to be a good leader.
- Played with in Garfield's Pet Force: King Jon was literally offered the crown by the old king on his deathbed - the king's brother, the rightful heir, had a much larger head, so the crown was just offered as a keepsake. Jon thought it meant he was supposed to rule, so he took over (and everyone decided to humor him until the king's brother reached the palace). When the palace staff learned that the king's brother had died en route (his ship had crashed), they figured Jon was doing a decent-enough job, and he was officially crowned.
- At the climax of The Darkangel Trilogy, six different countries ask Aeriel to accept rulership of their nations; she refuses all of them (because Ravenna has already chosen her to rebuild the world, which is a very long-term, very solitary job).
- John Moore's Bad Prince Charlie has a very unusual example. If the king doesn't designate an heir, it's up to the surviving members of the royal family to choose one. Charlie has no desire to be king, and he expects his uncles to choose one of themselves, but they have other plans. The kingdom is in big economic trouble, and they'd prefer to simply merge it with a neighboring kingdom. But the people are fierce and independent, and won't stand for it. So they want Charlie to accept the job of king, temporarily, and then do such a bad job that the people will want to depose him and will accept the merger in return for the neighbor's help getting rid of Charlie.
Live Action TV
Religion and Mythology
- In The Bible, Gideon is offered the crown after he defeats the pagan invaders; prior to this Israel had had no set king. He declines, saying their only ruler should be God. However, God would later appoint a king, Saul, through the prophet Samuel; Saul accepted only reluctantly. (Though he was quite keen on holding onto the throne when God changed His mind...)
- The Emperor Yao-Di in ancient China, who instead of letting one of his nine sons to succeed him, offered the crown to a virtuous farmer called Shun. Likewise, Shun eventually let another commoner, Yu the Great, to the throne, because Yu had done the populace great service by quelling an intractable flood. — this was the golden age in Chinese mythology, when everyone was selfless, lives humbly, and makes rational decisions.
- Happens occasionally in European legends as well; for example, first ruling dynasties of Poland and Bohemia were said to be founded by a virtuous peasant, whom the people chose as their leader.
- William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar
Casca: I saw Mark Antony offer him a crown;—yet 'twas not a crown neither, 'twas one of these coronets;—and, as I told you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my thinking, he would fain have had it.
- Also Shakespeare, Richard III is offered the crown after the "unfortunate deaths" of his nephews. Though he is actually the successor to the throne at this point, having killed everyone else off, he refuses it twice to win over the people. The third time, he "caves" and allows himself to be made king.
- And for yet another Shakespeare example, Titus Andronicus. Titus is offered the crown at the start of the play, but he turns it down. This act does not end well for him.
- In Dorothy L Sayers' The Emperor Constantine, the Army offers Constantine the crown. He was seen making preparations for it beforehand, feigns reluctance, and takes it.
- The hero at the end of Quest for Glory II is adopted as a son by the Sultan in return for saving the city, earning him the title Prince of Shapier, although he doesn't stay.
- At the end of Quest for Glory V, you are offered the crown of Silmaria and can choose whether or not to accept it, among other possible choices.
- This tends to happen to the heroes at the end of Suikoden games, though without an actual crown since they're usually setting up some sort of republic having just overthrown a monarchy or empire. Though some games let you accept, canonically the heroes always refuse.
- In Dragon Quest III, this occurs very early on: after retrieving a stolen crown, the king immediately offers you his throne. Accepting leads to a temporary Nonstandard Game Over, But Thou Must eventually convince him to take his crown back and let you get on with the whole "saving the world" thing.
- In The Bastard Of Kosigan, your character ends up being offered the title of Count of Kosigan by virtue of everyone with a better claim having been killed off by each other/you/Alex/French assassins.
- This happens to Velleman at the end of one of the routes of Blaze Union.
- At the end of Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Micaiah becomes the Queen of Daein despite having no blood relation to any of it's former rulers. This can happen one of two ways: If former King Pelleas is alive, he appoints Micaiah as the new Queen before revealing his own lack of royal blood. If he's dead, then Micaiah is crowned at her subject's entreaty.
- The canonical King's Quest games have this for Graham (King's Quest I) and Alexander (King's Quest VI). The Fan Remake version of King's Quest II has this as an option during the Air Gem test where Connor (protagonist of the controversial eighth game) can be declared First Knight of Daventry.
- At the end of Final Fantasy IV, Cecil is the new King of Baron. The After Years later revealed that Yang became King of Fabul. In both cases, it actually makes sense. The previous King of Baron had died with no blood relatives alive, and Cecil was his adopted son. The King of Fabul was an old man who also had no heirs, so he abdicated in favor of Yang, who was the commander of Fabul's army.
- In Planescape: Torment you are offered the throne of the Undead Nations after you discover the Silent King is long (and permanently) dead. Accepting it leads to a Nonstandard Game Over.
- In AdventureQuest Worlds, at the end of the Sandsea saga, the people of the Sandsea, who are without a ruler for the first time in centuries, offer the Hero the crown of the Sands in thanks for defeating Zahart and Tibicenas. The Hero proceeds to relinquish the crown to Zhoom instead, since there's still a lot of enemies that the Hero needs to take on.
- In the Neverwinter Nights module A Dance with Rogues, the protagonist becomes a Countess during the extended ending. Of course, the player character was already a princess, albeit of a country that has been conquered by The Dhorn Empire.
- In the Templar Path of Dragon Age II, Hawke becomes Kirkwall's new ruler after the people practically beg him/her to do it.
- Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins.
- According to one NPC in the Human Noble origin, it's said that many nobles in Ferelden would have preferred Teyrn Bryce Cousland to have taken the throne after King Maric died, instead of King Cailan, the rightful heir. However, the Teyrn is an ardent royalist and refused to even consider the prospect out of loyalty to the royal family.
- In the ending of Baten Kaitos Origins, the prequel to Baten Kaitos, the Senate practically begs Geldoblame to become Emperor since he's the only suitable candidate left after the deaths of Baelheit and Verus. Geldoblame, having gone off the deep end thanks to Verus' betrayal, laughs and accepts. His first orders set up the plot of Baten Kaitos.
- In Homestuck, long after PM, a simple Parcel Mistress, informs the White Queen about Jack's assassination attempt and helps her out in her plan to counter him, the Queen offers PM the crown in her place. This fits in with Chess Motifs in that PM was originally effectively a pawn but, by reaching the other end of the board, she was promoted to a queen. PM refuses, though, finding the whole idea very bothersome. She does put the ring on later, though, to gain its powers and avenge AR's death and WV's injury.
- In The Silver Eye, the enigmatic Velvare Bamidele was offered the crown of Gallitan after its king and queen died because of his involvement in a peace treaty that ended years of conflict. This is despite the fact that no one knew his real name, or had even seen his face. He turned it down, but later adopted their prince, becoming the ruler anyways.
- On Adventure Time, the goblins offer to make Finn their king, and he reluctantly accepts. It doesn't last, however.
- The Avatar: The Last Airbender finale has a discussion about who should be Fire Lord after Ozai's defeat. Zuko, Ozai's son, wants his uncle Iroh to take it, but Iroh convinces Zuko that he really is a worthy heir himself. For added fun, Ozai himself had passed the title onto Azula, his remaining loyal heir and Zuko's younger sister. And Azula and Zuko had just fought a formal duel for throne, with an... ambiguous outcome. And Ozai only got the title through a Klingon Promotion just as the eldest son and heir-apparent was half a world away, suffering from severe depression after the death of his son and in no shape to oppose him. It's been a while since the Fire Nation has had a plain old normal succession.
- On The Simpsons, a Zorro movie has — among other historical inaccuracies — King Arthur seceding and declaring Zorro the new King of England.
- An Offscreen Moment of Awesome on American Dad! has Klaus somehow go to some other dimension and coming back with a crown and a sword after cutting his way out of the stomach of a monster that appeared in his place when he disappeared.
Klaus: I was gone sixty years! How long was it here?!
Roger: What, where'd you go?
Klaus: I don't know, but wherever it was, I am their king now.
- At the end of Disney's Goliath II, the titular elephant is made the new leader of his herd just for saving them all from an attacking mouse.
- The Discworld example is probably based on the real-life example of Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, one of Napoleon's marshals who was offered the Swedish crown (strictly speaking he was offered to become crown prince, but the actual king was old and given the throne pretty much because he was old, heirless and not all that interested in doing any ruling stuff), took a few moments to review the situation and then promptly declared war against Napoleon. His family still reigns today.
- Bernadotte had been a staunch Republican and anti-monarchist in his youth. According to some sources, he actually had the Republican slogan "Death to Kings and Tyrants" tattooed on either his arm or his chest, which would be rather embarrassing once he got a throne of his own.
- There was actually a small political crisis when news of the offer came back to Sweden — the man who asked Bernadotte to take the throne hadn't actually been authorised to do that, only to inquire with Napoleon about acceptable monarchs (the circumstances that led up to all of this involved Sweden getting into war with some of Napoleon's then-allies and losing. The first choice was to offer the crown princehood to one of the sons of the monarch of one of the winning countries — Denmark — but that candidate ended up dying while touring Sweden). It was quickly decided to roll with it, since Napoleon seemed okay with it and at least it wasn't one of Napoleon's own family (see below).
- Speaking of Napoleon, he offered half of Europe to members of his own family. In 1806, he gave to his brothers Joseph and Louis the crowns of Naples and Holland respectively, and the following year offered his remaining brother Jerome (he did have another brother, Lucien, but he was a committed republican who had denounced Napoleon's crowning of himself as Emperor) the crown of Westphalia (a completely artificial North German country that Napoleon had just made up). In 1808, Joseph was shifted to become King of Spain, and was replaced as King of Naples by Napoleon's brother-in-law Joachim Murat. Napoleon also declared that after his death, his stepson Eugene de Beauharnais would become King of Italy.
- Formally, Napoleon Bonaparte became emperor because the Senate elected him. In practice he already had all the power (as "First Consul", on paper sharing power with the Second and Third Consuls) since a successful coup, and the Senate was merely giving him the right title.
- It ran in the family: his nephew Louis Napoleon became de facto dictator of the Second French Republic and had a referendum legitimize his powers, and then had another referendum elect him emperor Napoleon III.
- George Washington is often said to have been offered the crown of the new United States, but this is false. In 1782, Col. Lewis Nicola suggested the formation of a country on the west coast of North America, and that Washington could be its king, but this didn't come to pass.
- During the revolutionary war, some of Washington's officers got fed up with the lack of pay, and considered rebelling against the rule of Congress. But Washington was loyal to Congress and he convinced the rebellious officers not to go through with it. This is what led to the myth that Washington had been offered Kingship and refused.
- Oliver Cromwell was offered the crown twice by Parliament, but refused because of the objections of his military allies and his own belief that God had categorically rejected the position via the result of the Civil Wars. As the civilian establishment really wanted him to accept (for one because it would widen support and limit the authority of the army), they settled for making the Lord Protector position pretty much a king in all but name.
- It's also been said that a King had traditional limitations on his power, but a Lord Protector did not — Cromwell would actually weaken himself if he became King.
- Not really true. For a start, the "limitations on power" of English monarchs were, as you say, just traditions: they had no real legal authority as Charles I had infamously shown. Secondly, the powers of the office of Lord Protector were limited by Parliament, in law at least. In practice, Cromwell's personal power was enormous (no English ruler had held such absolute power since, arguably, the Middle Ages) but this would have been the case whatever title had been given to the office he'd taken.
- Carl Gustaf Mannerheim was Regent of Finland in 1918, and was considered for the position of King before Finland became a republic the next year. He went on to command Finland's army and become its President (and still a national hero).
- C. B. Fry, a famous British sportsman, politician, diplomat, academic, teacher, writer, editor and publisher (also a relative of Stephen Fry), claimed that in 1920 he was offered the Albanian throne, but declined. This was probably made up.
- The Ostrogoths offered to support Byzantine general Belisarius as ruler of the Western Roman Empire after he invaded Italy on behalf of Eastern Emperor Justinian and they realized they simply couldn't defeat him. Belisarius, ever loyal, refused.
- He actually pretended to accept in order to gain access to the Ostrogothic capital city and then, once Belisarius and his forces had entered the city, claimed the city in the name of the Emperor Justinian. None of this seemed to allay Justinian's suspicion that his extremely capable and popular general had his eyes on the throne and Belisarius was recalled to Constantinople and replaced by less-able commanders.
- Miklós Horthy was offered the position of Regent of Hungary; in a twist on the usual ways this plays out, he refused the position because he wanted more power than he was being offered. Once they confirmed that the position would have some actual power, as opposed to being a merely symbolic position, he accepted.
- In order to fill a power vacuum in the early 1830's (after the murder of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of the newly independent Greece), the crown was offered to a Bavarian prince named Otto. He ruled as King of Greece until his exile 30 years later...at which point the Greeks offered the crown to a 17-year-old Danish prince, Prince Christian Wilhelm Ferdinand Adolf Georg of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, who took the throne as King George I of the Hellenes ("George" being much more Greek* than Christian, Wilhelm, and Adolf). He reigned long and well (being assassinated less than two weeks short of his 50th anniversary as King) and his dynasty lasted (with an interruption from 1924 to 1935) until 1967 (technically until 1974, but a coup exiled King Constantine in 1967). One of its junior princes, Philip, eventually married Elizabeth II.
- A really interesting point is that George wasn't the Greeks' first choice; in a plebiscite, 95 percent of voters chose Queen Victoria's second son Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, to become the next king. However, a treaty forbade the royal house of any of the Great Powers from taking the throne of a smaller country, and in any case, Mama was opposed to the idea. So George got it instead; and just to make this particularly funny, George's male-line descendant, the aforementioned Philip, actually took the title "Duke of Edinburgh", and his descendants will (in all likelihood) occupy the British throne far into the future.note
- When Belgium split off from the Netherlands, after some negotiations, the throne was offered to Leopold, a minor German prince, widower of Princess Charlotte of Great Britain, and uncle of the future Queen Victoria. He took it.
- When Norway declared its union to Sweden dissolved, it offered the throne to someone in the Swedish royal family. When the King of Sweden refused it, they looked around — the Great Powers were out, and after some consideration of a Greek or Spanish prince they offered it to a Danish prince. When the King of Sweden officially refused to let someone in his family take the throne, the prince took it.
- Prince Carl (as he was then known) was Genre Savvy enough to request a referendum in Norway before he accepted the offer, as he wanted to ensure it truly was the will of the Norwegian people to reinstate a Monarch. The result of the referendum was a landslide in favour of the Monarchy (79% in favour, 21% opposed), which resulted in the peculiar situation of Prince Carl becoming King (and choosing the old Norwegian regal name Haakon VII) ahead of his father, the Crown Prince of Denmark (later Frederik VIII of Denmark from 1906-1912) and his older brother (later Christian X of Denmark from 1912-1947).
- When Haakon returned to Norway after the Nazi occupation he asked for a referendum to see if the people still wanted him; they did. When Haakon died and his son succeeded, he insisted on another referendum; it passed. Hence, the people of Norway chose a monarchy three times in 100 years.
- In 1868 the Spanish revolted and overthrew the then Queen Isabella II. Though she had a son, the leaders of the coup were so fed up after a long string of bad monarchs that they decided no member of the Bourbon dynasty should occupy the throne again. So they offered it to a number of people including a retired general and war hero, and then to several minor members of other European royal houses, and all of them refused or were turned down because none of the candidates approved the nature of the new regime. One prince of the German Hohenzollern dynasty was about to accept but he was vetoed by Napoleon III of France, and the ultimate result was the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 that finished the French Empire. Then an Italian prince accepted the throne after being offered it for a second time, and became King Amadeus I... for 3 years, after which he abdicated. After another year of wacky shenanigans, another coup proclaimed Isabella's son king, and the Bourbon dynasty has ruled Spain more or less to this day.
- The retired general was Baldomero Espartero. Juan Prim (leader of the revolutionaries) offered him the Crown first specifically because he knew that he would refuse it. Prim was then "forced" to look for a foreign prince as a "replacement", which had been his first plan all along, since a foreign prince would be unlikely to favor one of the loosely allied revolutionary factions in particular. Sadly, his choice was Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.
- During the Revolution of 1848 a deputation of the short-lived German parliament offered the Imperial Crown to Frederick William IV, King of Prussia. He declined, because he would not accept a crown based on the will of the common people. In his own words, he would not accept "such a diadem of dirt and clay".
- During King John's turbulent reign, the barons opposed to him offered the crown to Prince Louis of France in exchange for his aid in getting rid of John. Of course, when John finally died, the barons seemed to reconsider having a French king and responded by switching their allegiance to John's son, Henry III (who was nine at the time and not in any position to go around bossing noblemen).
- In a way, this is how the selection of popes happens during Conclave. The College of Cardinals elect a new pope by secret ballot, and when there's an agreed majority of votes, the now pope-elect is offered the Papacy. By tradition, the new pope-elect turns down the initial request out of humility before "reluctantly" accepting.
- Shortly after the establishment of the State of Israel, Albert Einstein was offered the opportunity to be its President* though he ended up turning it down.
- The Glorious Revolution of 1688 had the British Parliament overthrow the Catholic James II and offer the throne to the Dutch Protestant William of Orange.
- Actually, it was offered to James' daughter, Mary, along with William, who was her husband.
- This (although it has never really been repeated) asserted Parliament's right to choose the monarch over the so-called "legal line of succession" if it so desired. It's for this reason that documentaries or news stories claiming that so-and-so in such-and-such a country is the "real" heir to the British throne are nonsense: since 1688 the British monarch is whomever Parliament says it is.
- This also justifies the idea that the British monarch reigns by the consent of the British people; if the people didn't want a particular person as monarch, Parliament could either (a) change the line of succession to exclude him/hernote or (b) actively remove him/her if need be (although the procedures for doing so are most unclear, the previous circumstances being somewhat...irregular. By which we mean, the Glorious Revolution, i.e. a coup).
- In the semi-mythical Roman Kingdom that preceded The Roman Republic, most kings of Rome were not of Roman ancestry (most being Etruscan in origin). This was an Enforced Trope, an outsider as king was thought to be less susceptible to the various factions vying for influence.
- Near the end of The Roman Republic, once during the Lupercalia festival, dictator Gaius Julius Caesar was offered, in a semi-staged and semi-serious way, a laurel "crown" by Mark Antony to show that he was worthy of being made king. But, seeing that the crowd was rather hostile to the idea, Caesar judged it better to push away that symbol of royalty. Anyways, the event was another reason for his enemies to want to assassinate him.
- In the Roman Empire, emperors without sons would often adopt a promising man as their successor. Legally, they'd be considered the emperor's son, and inherit on his death. This was most notable with the "five good emperors", where the first four chose their own successor. The last left it to his son. Things didn't turn out well.
- The first of the "five good emperors", Nerva, was this as well even though he wasn't chosen by his successor. After being chosen by the senate, he was mostly accepted because he was old, childless, and fairly inoffensive.
- By law the emperor was elected by the Senate. In actual practice, however, the emperor could force the Senate to elect his son as co-emperor, ensuring he'd succeed upon his death, and a rebellious general would get elected by his own troops first and by the Senate only after offing the reigning emperor.
- The picture depicts the moments after King Recceswinth of the Visigothic Kingdom (in Spain) died in 672. Gothic Law said that a new king should be elected immediately in the same place where the last king had died, and so the military chose Wamba, an old palace servant, as he was right next to Recceswinth's deathbed. The only problem was, well, that Wamba really didn't want to be king, and kept refusing to wear the crown until a captain of the army drew his sword and told him that he would either put on the crown or lose his head. So Wamba took the crown, and reigned for 8 years... until he was deposed for trying to pass a law that limited the powers the army. Given that a third of the Gothic kings were murdered by their successors, Wamba should probably count himself as lucky. (The people who deposed him eventually got a deliciously ironic reward: About 30 years later, the Muslim armies of the Umayyad Caliphate conquered Spain.
- Happened twice in the history of Mexico:
- Agustín de Iturbide, who in 1821 was the Spanish loyalist commander in the War of Mexican Independence, reached an agreement with the separatists to turn Mexico a separate kingdom only in personal union with Spain. However, notoriously Stupid Evil King Ferdinand VII rejected this. Iturbide then looked for other princes in Europe that would accept the Mexican crown, but since all of them where reluctant because of Ferdinand VII's veto, it was suggested that Iturbide pulled a Napoleon and became the first Emperor of Mexico. He did, but was overthrown and the monarchy abolished within a year.
- Forty years later, exiled Mexican conservatives decided to turn Mexico into a monarchy again and searched Europe for a prince that would accept the Crown. They found it in Prince Maximilian, the younger brother of Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary, and took over Mexico with Napoleon III's support. But as the war turned to be more costly and longer than expected, Napoleon III pulled out the plug and Maximilian was overthrown and executed.
- After the end of Jagiellonian dynasty of Poland in the 16th century nobody could agree as to who should be the next king, so they settled on choosing them each time in the nationwide elections. Only nobles had the right to elect and they didn't have to notify the candidate before choosing him. This lead to, on one hand, awesome Badass kings like Stephen Báthory (who never learned Polish, but invented hussary) and John III Sobieski (who crashed the Ottoman Empire), but on the other hand, Poles had kings like Henry III Valois (he run abroad with the money not a year after his election) and Stanisław August Poniatowski (who was a lover of the Empress of Russia and led country into its partition). As you can see, it was a roulette and Poles don't consider Election period a good one.
- A lot of people tend to think Richard III employed a military coup in order to get the throne, when in actuality the matter of the illegitimacy of Edward IV's children was put to those people who had been elected members of Parliament, resulting in the drawing up of a parchment roll (the text of which became the Parliamentary Act of Titulus Regius) which laid out the reasons why Richard should get the throne and included a petition for him to accept the crown, which of course he did.