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* In ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'', Prince Kail Mursili has a number of older brothers and half-brothers who have claim to the throne before him. Just about everyone, those brothers included, [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure agree that Kail is best-suited to rule]], though. Nakia, meanwhile, is desperate for her own son Judah to take the throne. Given that her boy is the youngest of the princes, this means she has a lot of scheming to do to get the others out of the way, even when the poor boy has quite the BigBrotherWorship towards Kail and does ''not'' want to rule. [[spoiler:By the end of the series, all of Kail's older brothers are dead (including the one who succeeded their father, who appointed Kail as ''his'' succesor since he didn't hace kids) and Prince Juda permanently renounces his claim to the throne after [[CallingTheOldManOut also calling out his mother on her evil deeds]]. By that point, it wasn't a question of whether or not Kail expected to rule so much as when he would actually be taking the throne.]]

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* In ''Manga/AnatoliaStory'', Prince Kail Mursili has a number of older brothers and half-brothers who have claim to the throne before him. Just about everyone, those brothers included, [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure agree that Kail is best-suited to rule]], though. Nakia, meanwhile, is desperate for her own son Judah to take the throne. Given that her boy is the youngest of the princes, this means she has a lot of scheming to do to get the others out of the way, even when the poor boy has quite the BigBrotherWorship towards Kail and does ''not'' want to rule. [[spoiler:By the end of the series, all of Kail's older brothers are dead (including the one who succeeded their father, who appointed Kail as ''his'' succesor successor since he didn't hace have kids) and Prince Juda Judah permanently renounces his claim to the throne after [[CallingTheOldManOut also calling out his mother on her evil deeds]]. By that point, it wasn't a question of whether or not Kail expected to rule so much as when he would actually be taking the throne.]]

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* In ''Series/TheInterdependency'', anyone of the current Emperox's cousins or nephews/nieces can become the next Emperox. Until shortly before the start of the first novel, the Emperox's son was to be his successor. Then the guy had to die in a race. Instead of those same cousins/nephews/nieces, the Emperox, instead, chose his illegitimate daughter Cardenia as his successor, who wasn't even raised at the palace, much less groomed to be Emperox.


* ''Film/{{Thor}}'': Because Thor, the Allfather's eldest son, has been exiled to Midgard, [[Characters/MCULoki Loki]], as the second son, becomes the regent of Asgard after Odin becomes indisposed due to the Odinsleep. In the past, it's implied that Frigga once held the office of regent (Sif and the Warriors Three initially believe that they need to speak to the Queen about undoing Thor's banishment), but now that Loki has come of age, he inherits the position. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUojZGq46qo This deleted scene]] makes it clearer:

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* ''Film/{{Thor}}'': Because Thor, the Allfather's eldest son, has been exiled to Midgard, [[Characters/MCULoki Loki]], Loki, as the second son, becomes the regent of Asgard after Odin becomes indisposed due to the Odinsleep. In the past, it's implied that Frigga once held the office of regent (Sif and the Warriors Three initially believe that they need to speak to the Queen about undoing Thor's banishment), but now that Loki has come of age, he inherits the position. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUojZGq46qo This deleted scene]] makes it clearer:


** Viserys Targaryen was this in his childhood since Rhaegar was supposed to become king. Then came the Rebellion, Rhaegar and his son died, and Viserys thought to be the legitimate king. But as Rhaegar had the time to marry Lyanna Stark, that means Jon Snow is actually born legitimate and the ultimate irony of Viserys's life is that he has never been the true rightful king to begin with.

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** Viserys Targaryen was this in his childhood since Rhaegar was supposed to become king. Then came the Rebellion, Rhaegar and his son died, and Viserys thought to be the legitimate king. But as Rhaegar had the time to marry Lyanna Stark, that means [[spoiler: Jon Snow Snow]] is actually born legitimate and the ultimate irony of Viserys's life is that he has never been the true rightful king to begin with.with.
** Another version of this happens when HeroicBastard Jon Snow takes Winterfell back from the Boltons. Since as far as anyone knows, he is the last living son of Ned Stark, he is crowned King in the North. [[spoiler: In actuality, Bran is still alive and Jon is actually Ned's nephew from his sister Lyanna Stark.]]


* The royal family in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' all sort of rules as a unit (especially after the last time they tried to "split" the royal family as some large families do, two generations back, led to civil war). Nevertheless, the Eldest of their family, like any other family in this setting, holds particular authority. When ''nine'' of her older sisters are killed in a theater explosion, Princess Rennsellaer is thrust into the role of Eldest without having been raised to prepare for it. Some drama stems from the fact that some people--including Ren herself, for a while--thought her younger sister Halley might have been a better fit.



** After his brother's death at his own wedding, Tommen is next in the line of succession. His grandfather Tywin wastes no time in beginning his training. He's betrothed to Joffrey's widow afterwards.

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** After his brother's death at his own wedding, Tommen is next in the line of succession. His grandfather Tywin wastes no time in beginning his training. He's even betrothed to Joffrey's widow afterwards.


* ''Film/{{Thor}}'': Because Thor, the Allfather's firstborn, has been exiled to Midgard, [[Characters/MCULoki Loki]], as the second son, becomes the regent of Asgard after Odin becomes indisposed due to the Odinsleep. In the past, it's implied that Frigga once held the office of regent (Sif and the Warriors Three initially believe that they need to speak to the Queen about undoing Thor's banishment), but now that Loki has come of age, he inherits the position. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUojZGq46qo This deleted scene]] makes it clearer:

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* ''Film/{{Thor}}'': Because Thor, the Allfather's firstborn, eldest son, has been exiled to Midgard, [[Characters/MCULoki Loki]], as the second son, becomes the regent of Asgard after Odin becomes indisposed due to the Odinsleep. In the past, it's implied that Frigga once held the office of regent (Sif and the Warriors Three initially believe that they need to speak to the Queen about undoing Thor's banishment), but now that Loki has come of age, he inherits the position. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUojZGq46qo This deleted scene]] makes it clearer:


* The Reluctant Illegitimate Heir variation occurs in ''Film/KingRalph'', twice. First, when all known members of the royal family [[ItMakesSenseInContext are electrocuted in a photography accident]], Ralph is discovered to be the son of an illegitimate child of a royal uncle. He's lived his whole life in the US, so he's hesitant to leave that behind. At the end Ralph realizes that the man who had been prepping him to rule was also an heir to the throne who didn't feel worthy to take the position.



* The Reluctant Illegitimate Heir variation occurs in ''Film/KingRalph'', twice. First, when all known members of the royal family [[ItMakesSenseInContext are electrocuted in a photography accident]], Ralph is discovered to be the son of an illegitimate child of a royal uncle. He's lived his whole life in the US, so he's hesitant to leave that behind. At the end Ralph realizes that the man who had been prepping him to rule was also an heir to the throne who didn't feel worthy to take the position.

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* The Reluctant Illegitimate Heir variation occurs in ''Film/KingRalph'', twice. First, when all known members of ''Film/{{Thor}}'': Because Thor, the royal family [[ItMakesSenseInContext are electrocuted in a photography accident]], Ralph is discovered to be the son of an illegitimate child of a royal uncle. He's lived his whole life in the US, so he's hesitant to leave that behind. At the end Ralph realizes that the man who had Allfather's firstborn, has been prepping him exiled to rule was also an heir Midgard, [[Characters/MCULoki Loki]], as the second son, becomes the regent of Asgard after Odin becomes indisposed due to the throne who didn't feel worthy to take Odinsleep. In the position.past, it's implied that Frigga once held the office of regent (Sif and the Warriors Three initially believe that they need to speak to the Queen about undoing Thor's banishment), but now that Loki has come of age, he inherits the position. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUojZGq46qo This deleted scene]] makes it clearer:
-->'''Frigga''': Thor is banished. The line of succession falls to you. Until Odin awakens, Asgard is yours.


* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': After his brother's death at his own wedding, Tommen is next in the line of succession. His grandfather Tywin wastes no time in beginning his training. He's betrothed to Joffrey's widow afterwards.

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
**
After his brother's death at his own wedding, Tommen is next in the line of succession. His grandfather Tywin wastes no time in beginning his training. He's betrothed to Joffrey's widow afterwards.afterwards.
** Viserys Targaryen was this in his childhood since Rhaegar was supposed to become king. Then came the Rebellion, Rhaegar and his son died, and Viserys thought to be the legitimate king. But as Rhaegar had the time to marry Lyanna Stark, that means Jon Snow is actually born legitimate and the ultimate irony of Viserys's life is that he has never been the true rightful king to begin with.


** This trope also appears in the recent history of Orlais, as shown in an ''Inquisition'' codex entry. It was presumed that Emperor Judicael I's royal lineage would continue unhindered, as he was the father of twin boys. This was perfectly fine with Prince Florian, his younger brother and spare, who never expected or wanted to rule; however, an outbreak of the Hundred Days' Cough killed both of Judicael's sons and also Florian's baby daughter. Judicael, grieving deeply, was thrown from his horse on a hunting expedition not long afterward, and Florian reluctantly became Emperor. This series of events paved the way for Judicael and Florian's niece, Celene, to eventually outmaneuver her cousin Gaspard for the throne, leading to the Orlesian civil war happening at the time of ''Inquisition''.

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** This trope also appears in the recent history of Orlais, as shown in an ''Inquisition'' codex entry. It was presumed that Emperor Judicael I's royal lineage would continue unhindered, as he was the father of twin boys. This was perfectly fine with Prince Grand Duke Florian, his younger brother and spare, who never expected or wanted to rule; however, an outbreak of the Hundred Days' Cough killed both of Judicael's sons and also Florian's baby daughter. Judicael, grieving deeply, was thrown from his horse on a hunting expedition not long afterward, and Florian reluctantly became Emperor. This series of events paved the way for Judicael and Florian's niece, Celene, to eventually outmaneuver her cousin Gaspard for the throne, leading to the Orlesian civil war happening at the time of ''Inquisition''.


* Crown Prince Alaric in Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned has this reaction when he first discovers his true heritage, but regains his balance and learns to be a prince fairly quickly.

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* Crown Prince Alaric in Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned ''Literature/TheQuestOfTheUnaligned'' has this reaction when he first discovers his true heritage, but regains his balance and learns to be a prince fairly quickly.



* Late in the first season of ''Series/{{Galavant}}'' it turns out that Richard was the geeky second son and that his parents wanted his older brother Kingsley to inherit the throne. But Kingsley didn't want to be "given" anything, or so he said, and left to terrorize the countryside for thirty years before coming back to ''take'' Richard's kingdoms from him.

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* Late in the first season of ''Series/{{Galavant}}'' ''Series/{{Galavant}},'' it turns out that Richard was the geeky second son and that his parents wanted his older brother Kingsley to inherit the throne. But Kingsley didn't want to be "given" anything, or so he said, and left to terrorize the countryside for thirty years before coming back to ''take'' Richard's kingdoms from him.



** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has this in [[spoiler:Alistair]], who reveals early on that he is of royal blood... unfortunately he's a bastard, so he wasn't raised to the task. Needless to say, he's not happy about the idea of becoming king after being trained for something completely different and being quite forcefully assured that his illegitimate status would prevent the question. WordOfGod confirms that he is the illegitimate child introduced in the tie-in novel ''The Calling'', which further reveals that [[spoiler:he's a HalfHumanHybrid, as his mother is an elf.]]
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has Sebastian Vael, who is the spare to the spare as the youngest of three children. Initially he resented his brothers for this, then settled into life at the Chantry and was happy there. When his family gets slaughtered and Sebastian is suddenly the rightful ruler, he's not sure he wants to be prince anymore. Hawke can push him one way or another. [[spoiler: In the end game, if Anders lives, Sebastian decides to take back his throne for real this time in order to exact vengeance.]]
** The PlayerCharacter of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', if human, is in a similar position to Sebastian. Trevelyan's exact number of siblings is never stated, but it is known that they are the youngest of at least three. The family tradition thus dictated that they would join the Chantry, most likely as a Templar presuming they didn't show magical abilities themselves. Unlike Sebastian, since Trevelyan is the PC, the player has the option of saying that they get along well with their family along with the option to say that relations are strained at best.

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** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' has this in [[spoiler:Alistair]], who reveals early on that he is of royal blood... unfortunately unfortunately, he's a bastard, so he wasn't raised to the task. Needless to say, he's not happy about the idea of becoming king after being trained for something completely different and being quite forcefully assured that his illegitimate status would prevent the question. WordOfGod confirms that he is the illegitimate child introduced in the tie-in novel ''The Calling'', which further reveals that [[spoiler:he's a HalfHumanHybrid, as his mother is an elf.]]
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has Sebastian Vael, who is the spare to the spare as the youngest of three children. Initially he resented his brothers for this, then but eventually he settled into life at the Chantry and was happy there. When his family gets slaughtered and Sebastian is suddenly the rightful ruler, he's not sure he wants to be prince anymore. Hawke can push him one way or another. [[spoiler: In the end game, if Anders lives, Sebastian decides to take back his throne for real this time in order to exact vengeance. However, as the third game reveals, he takes the throne either way; he's just much friendlier if Anders is dead.]]
** The PlayerCharacter of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', if human, is in a similar position to Sebastian. Trevelyan's exact number of siblings is never stated, but it is known that they are the youngest of at least three. The family tradition thus dictated that they would join the Chantry, most likely as a Templar presuming they didn't show magical abilities themselves. Unlike Sebastian, since Trevelyan is the PC, the player has the option of saying dialogue options which can show that they get along well have a good relationship with their family along with the option to say that relations are parents, a strained one, or something in between.
** This trope also appears in the recent history of Orlais, as shown in an ''Inquisition'' codex entry. It was presumed that Emperor Judicael I's royal lineage would continue unhindered, as he was the father of twin boys. This was perfectly fine with Prince Florian, his younger brother and spare, who never expected or wanted to rule; however, an outbreak of the Hundred Days' Cough killed both of Judicael's sons and also Florian's baby daughter. Judicael, grieving deeply, was thrown from his horse on a hunting expedition not long afterward, and Florian reluctantly became Emperor. This series of events paved the way for Judicael and Florian's niece, Celene, to eventually outmaneuver her cousin Gaspard for the throne, leading to the Orlesian civil war happening
at best.the time of ''Inquisition''.



** In Gotha, Albert only rose to the throne after his elder brother disappeared; though he has done a far better job than Wilbur, he's still a ReluctantRuler who immediately tries to hand the reins over to the just-arrived heir, despite the fact that his newly rediscovered nephew has only just learned of his SecretLegacy and has had about ''zero'' training as a ruler. Which may help further explain why ''his'' first act as ruler is to promptly disappear for ten years.

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** In Gotha, Albert only rose to the throne after his elder brother disappeared; though he has done a far better job than Wilbur, he's still a ReluctantRuler who immediately tries to hand the reins over to the just-arrived heir, despite the fact that his newly rediscovered nephew has only just learned of his SecretLegacy and has had about ''zero'' training as a ruler. Which This may help further explain why ''his'' first act as ruler is to promptly disappear for ten years.



** [[UsefulNotes/KingJohnOfEngland John Lackland, King of England]] (reigned 1199-1216) was not an obvious candidate to the throne. He was the fifth son of Henry II, and thus a younger brother of Richard I. The fourth son of Henry II, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany (1158-1186), was supposedly trampled to death in a jousting tournament, but he was survived by three legitimate children. Two of them were still alive in 1199 and typically outranked John in the succession. His nephew Arthur was the heir for most of Richard's reign. Richard supposedly picked John as his heir in a deathbed decision, probably because John was an adult, while Arthur was 12-years-old. The decision would lead to a war between uncle and nephew.

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** [[UsefulNotes/KingJohnOfEngland John Lackland, King of England]] (reigned 1199-1216) was not an obvious candidate to the throne. He was the fifth son of Henry II, and thus a younger brother of Richard I. The fourth son of Henry II, Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany (1158-1186), was supposedly trampled to death in a jousting tournament, but he was survived by three legitimate children. Two of them were still alive in 1199 and typically outranked John in the succession. His nephew Arthur was the heir for most of Richard's reign. Richard supposedly picked John as his heir in a deathbed decision, probably because John was an adult, while Arthur was 12-years-old.twelve years old. The decision would lead to a war between uncle and nephew.



** When Edward VIII (reigned 1936) abdicated, his successor, George VI (reigned 1936-1952), was reluctant to take up the post, as he had never expected or wished for the position. He had served in the Royal Navy during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI (he had to sit out much of it on account of ill-health).

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** When Edward VIII (reigned 1936) abdicated, his successor, George VI (reigned 1936-1952), was reluctant to take up the post, as he had never expected or wished for the position. He had served in the Royal Navy during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI (he had to sit out much of it on account of ill-health).ill health).



*** It also helped avoid RoyallyScrewedUp: in a time when royalty was expected to marry royalty, Bertie had a bit of leeway about it since he wasn't expected to become king. He married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of a Scottish Earl--in what was essentially a love match, no less (Bertie proposed ''[[DoggedNiceGuy three times]]'' before she said "yes," largely because she was afraid she'd be unable to handle the duties of being a member of the Royal Family). They were so distantly related that Elizabeth II is significantly less inbred than ''the average Englishman''.

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*** It also helped avoid RoyallyScrewedUp: in a time when royalty was expected to marry royalty, Bertie had a bit of leeway about it since he wasn't expected to become king. He married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of a Scottish Earl--in Earl, in what was essentially a love match, no less match (Bertie proposed ''[[DoggedNiceGuy three times]]'' before she said "yes," yes, largely because she was afraid she'd be unable to handle the duties of being a member of the Royal Family). They were so distantly related that Elizabeth II is significantly less inbred than ''the average Englishman''.

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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': After his brother's death at his own wedding, Tommen is next in the line of succession. His grandfather Tywin wastes no time in beginning his training. He's betrothed to Joffrey's widow afterwards.


*** And yet it was his marriage that cleared the way for them.

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*** And yet it was his Edward VIII marriage that cleared the way for them.



*** It also helped avoid RoyallyScrewedUp: in a time when royalty was expected to marry royalty, Bertie had a bit of leeway about it since he wasn't expected to become king. He married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of a Scottish Earl--in what was essentially a love match, no less (Bertie proposed ''[[DoggedNiceGuy three times]]'' before she said "yes"). They were so distantly related that Elizabeth II is significantly less inbred than ''the average Englishman''.

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*** It also helped avoid RoyallyScrewedUp: in a time when royalty was expected to marry royalty, Bertie had a bit of leeway about it since he wasn't expected to become king. He married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of a Scottish Earl--in what was essentially a love match, no less (Bertie proposed ''[[DoggedNiceGuy three times]]'' before she said "yes")."yes," largely because she was afraid she'd be unable to handle the duties of being a member of the Royal Family). They were so distantly related that Elizabeth II is significantly less inbred than ''the average Englishman''.


* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series has got a few examples in the backstory. One of the most notable is detailed in the InGameNovel [[http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Rislav_The_Righteous Rislav the Righteous]]. The titular Rislav was the fourth son in line to the Kingdom of Skingrad, while his older brother Dorald was another spare who was allowed to follow his dream to become a priest of [[TheChurch the religion that swept the empire]] that the kingdom was associated with, but still independent from. When a plague killed the king and everyone ahead of Dorald in the succession, he took the throne and promptly ceded it to the empire. Rislav promptly killed his older brother and took the throne for himself, which was fine by the rest of the kingdom, who wanted to maintain their autonomy.

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* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series has got a few examples in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** From
the backstory. One of series' backstory is Rislav the most notable is Righteous, detailed in the InGameNovel [[FictionalDocument in-game book]] [[http://en.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Rislav_The_Righteous Rislav the Righteous]]. The titular Rislav was the fourth son in line to the Kingdom of Skingrad, while his Skingrad. His older brother Dorald brother, Dorald, was another spare who was allowed to follow his dream to become a priest of the [[TheChurch Alessian Order]], a radical religious movement sweeping the religion that Empire at the time. When Rislav was 30, a plague swept through Cyrodiil and decimated the empire]] that royal family of Skingrad. Only Rislav and Dorald survived. The throne fell to Dorald, who immediately ceded the kingdom was associated with, but still independent from. When a plague killed the king and everyone ahead of Dorald in the succession, he took the throne and promptly ceded it to the empire. Alessian Empire. Incensed, Rislav promptly killed his older brother and took the throne gathered a band of cavalry, rode for himself, which Skingrad, was fine allowed in without conflict by the rest city guards (who were equally upset at Dorald's actions), and beheaded Dorald. Rislav was quickly named King of Skingrad. However, Emperor Goreous (a fervent supporter of the kingdom, who wanted Alessian Order) did not recognize Rislav and did not revoke Dorald's action. He rode with an army to maintain their autonomy.Skingrad but was defeated by Rislav and his Colovian troops. It marked the beginning of the end of the Alessian Empire and the Alessian Order.
** Martin Septim was a spare crossing over with HiddenBackupPrince. The bastard son of Emperor Uriel Septim VII, he was ferried away to a farm couple and later became a priest of Akatosh. When the [[ApocalypseCult Mythic Dawn]] assassinated Uriel VII and his legitimate heirs to kick off the [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion Crisis]], Martin's actual parentage was revealed to him and [[HeroicSacrifice his actions]] to end the crisis saved all of Tamriel.

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* ''Series/DeusSalveORei'': When Prince Afonso of Montemor goes missing after being attacked by bandits, his younger brother [[UpperClassTwit Rodolfo]] becomes the unexpected heir, a job that he ''really'' doesn't want because he prefers the life of a rich knob enjoying all privileges without any responsibilities of a king.

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* It has been suggested that the American system of choosing a Vice President as successor to the President was inspired by the Gaelic system of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanistry tanistry]], whereby a clan would choose an heir or second-in-command for the chief from among the eligible dynasts. This system was particularly used in Ireland, where it was used to choose the kings of the various native Irish kingdoms that existed over the island's history.

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