Ascend/Accede to/Access the throne

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1.Ascend the throne
2.Accede to the throne
3.Access the throne

I guess the first one is the usual expression and the most idiomatic one, but what about the other two? are common and acceptable?

thanks in advance
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    1.Ascend the throne ... sounds rather fanciful or literary.

    2.Accede to the throne ... sounds like the familiar term referring to the next-in-line becoming monarch.

    3.Access the throne ... sounds like something from a mystical or religious context.

    These are personal reflections.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'm not panj, (if only!), but I would definitely vote for (1)*. The others sound very strange to me.
    _____________
    *Assuming the meaning is "become king or queen"....
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If I were writing a history book I would use "accede to the throne".
    If I were writing an historical novel I would use "ascend the throne".
    If I were reading a theological treatise I would not be surprised to find "access the throne".
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I agree with Panjo [#5] except that I'd only use access the throne if I was having difficulty getting to the toilet. [UK slang throne = 'toilet'.]
     
    Well, I am familiar with all these expressions, but I am slightly amazed at the fact that "accede to the throne" is option number 1 for a history book, as panjandrum told us. I have seen many historical films (including those broadcast by BBC) and read some historical books in English and there I have never heard any of the variants discussed here apart from "ascend the throne". Maybe they wanted to inscribe some literary shade to it? I do not know. But if asked what option is best in more or less formal speech, I would choose "ascend the throne".

    By the way, how about "assume the throne"? Does it make sense to you?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Please remember that what I gave above was my personal view on this.
    Despite Loob's assurance, that is no guarantee of general truth.

    "Assume the throne" may well be even more popular than any of the others, despite that fact that I find it somewhat absurd.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Remember what I was saying about evolve having rather unavoidable associations with Darwinian-style evolution, Dmitry? Well, I don't know about other people but certainly for me ascend has unavoidable associations with ascension ~ Jesus Christ rising from the dead and (erm...) rising up to Heaven. It's kind of a 'stately' or 'grand' or 'solemn' word ... such as you might find in a work of historical fiction ... or the Bible. Whereas accede to is much more matter-of-fact, neutral.
    Well, that's the way I see it, anyway.

    I'd expect people to assume the office of king/queen rather than assume a throne.
     
    Please remember that what I gave above was my personal view on this.
    Despite Loob's assurance, that is no guarantee of general truth.

    "Assume the throne" may well be even more popular than any of the others, despite that fact that I find it somewhat absurd.
    Yes, panjandrum, I remember that in your post your personal view is expressed. But this view is very important to us because you are a native speaker and hence you feel the language better than any learner on Earth. I repeat that I was surprised at never hearing "accede to the throne" in films and never encountering it in books, though I have long known this collocation.

    Why is "assume the throne" absurd? Please, elucidate your opinion, otherwise it is completely unclear. If possible, please, give some examples.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Oh dear. I have allowed my amusement at the collocation of "assume" with "throne" to influence my previous post.
    Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, was 19 when she arrived from France to assume the throne of Scotland in 1561.
    She assumed what? That the throne was hers? That the throne was made of gold? That the throne was covered in chocolate? That the throne was comfortable?
    Boring, really.
     
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