I don't believe this overall question has been addressed on the forums, but how did the European hereditary monarchs get to be kings, princes, dukes, grand dukes, etc?
Napoleon is usually criticized for becoming Emperor of the French from somewhat humble beginnings as a Corsican minor noble and beginning to rule as a monarch.
He was a self-made man who began as a soldier, a sword, and became the head of state of France in 1799 beginning as First Consul and then becoming Emperor of the French as well as King of Italy and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine.
How did the Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs, and Romanofs begin and then become kings, king/emperors, and Tsars?
Did they not have to begin somewhere?