Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Princess of Orange reaches her majority

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 Oh my,  Catharina-Amalia Beatrix Carmen Victoria, whose official title is HRH The Princess of Orange, celebrates her 18th birthday today.   This means she has reached her majority and can succeed to the throne without the need of a regent.

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 Princess Amalia is the eldest of three daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.  She has two younger sisters, HRH Princess Alexia and HRH Princess Ariane.   Her majority means new responsibilities.  She automatically becomes a member of the Council of State.   

But do not expect to see the Princess of Orange take on royal duties.  Princess Amalia is in her gap year and is expected to attend university next year.

Monday, December 6, 2021

An interview with Princess Sophie of Romania


@Royal House

RBN - Royal Book News -- my other blog - features an interview with HRH Princess Sophie of Romania, talking about her new book,  The Romanian Monastery.   The book is written in Romanian and English.

Pop over to RBN to read it -- and order the book.  


Sunday, December 5, 2021

Another QVD


Nicholas de Roumanie Medfirth-Mills and his wife Alina-Maria are exiecting a second child in the spring of 2022.

Friday, December 3, 2021

King Alfonso's battles with Aunt Eulalia


December 3, 1911

Infanta Eulalia of Spain is vehement in her criticism of her nephew, King Alfonso XII, who she said has not shown the "slighted recognition" for her son, who has "shown great patriotic devotion in Morocco," reports the New York Times.

She states that this is the last straw and she has ordered the sale of her estates in Spain as she wants to live in the "strictest of privacy."

Eulalia, the youngest of the late Queen Isabel II, told the press: "I shall be much happier so for I can keep my personality."

Alfonso is also opposed to the Infanta's book, The Thread of Life.  Although she used the name Countess Avila,"  it is signed inside by Eulalia, Infanta of Spain.

Infanta Eulalia, who lives in Paris, received a telegram from the King regarding her new book.  "I am astonished to learn from the newspapers that you have published a book under the name of Countess Avila. I suppose this will cause you to suspend publication until I have taken cognizance of the contents and give my permission to publish."   

Her reply followed.  "I am greatly astonished that my book should be judged without being read. It is a thing that could only happen in Spain.  Never having a liking for court life, from which I have always held myself aloof, I take this opportunity to bid you good-bye, for, after this proceeding, which is worthy of the inquisition, I consider myself, so far as my private life is concerned, free to act as I deem fit."

The book is described as a "discursive, independent treatise on morality," with chapter headings including "The Development of Will Power," the "Complete Independence of  Women, and "Equality of Classes by Education, Religion, and Marriage."

The Infanta has been described as a "radical feminist" and "royal moralist" who approves of divorce, but believes it should be a "law based on justice, not, as often happens, on tacit agreement."

She also wrote: "Moral women are more moral, more virtuous, and more sober than men. " In another chapter, she stated: "It is said to be sufficient for [a] woman to be beautiful and a mother.  That is disguised stupidity.  A woman, like a man, is entitled to the complete development of her faculties."

She also holds the view that a woman is equal to a man, and "should become his useful collaborate, without ceasing to be the generous companion of man in the joys and labors of life." 

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 Eulalia was born in 1864.  At age 22, she married her first Prince Antonio de Orléans y Borbon, the son of Antoine, Duke of Montpensier, and Infanta Luisa Fernanda of Spain, the younger sister of Queen Isabel.  

They have two sons,  Infante Alfonso, 25, and 22-year-old Infante Luis Fernando.  Alfonso is married to Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and Queen Victoria Eugenie's first cousin. 

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It is understood that Eulalia's marriage is one of convenience, and she and Prince Antonio, have lived largely separate lives since shortly after the birth of their younger son.

Antonio accompanied his wife to the United States as she was the representative of the Spanish to the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.  The American press noted at that time that Eulalia paid little attention to her husband and "went about enjoying herself without much regard for him.

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Princess Victoria is dead

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December 3, 1935

Princess Victoria, died early today at her home, Coppins, in Iver, Buckinghamshire. She was 67 years old.  She was the second of three sisters of King George V.

The New York Times reports that the princess, who was three years younger than the king, had not been in good health for the past three weeks. Her condition worsened a "little over a week ago," and she was visited by her brother and his wife, Queen Mary. The King's physician, Lord Dawson of Penn, was summoned to Iver on Sunday and visited the princess several times yesterday.

Due to the Princess' grave condition, King George canceled his appearance for the State Opening of Parliament.  The Lord Chancellor, Viscount Hailsham, will read the king's speech.

Since the death of her mother, Queen Alexandra, in 1925, Princess Victoria has lived quietly at her country home, Coppins. She has never been in "robust health," and like her father, King Edward VII, she "had a tendency to bronchitis."

After her father died in 1910, Princess Victoria "sacrificed her own interests to give attention to Queen Alexandra." Her home was filled with her mother's "relics and possessions."

Victoria was one of the "cleverest members" of the British Royal Family. She enjoyed gardening, music, and photography, and she was an "expert bookbinder," and many of the volumes in her library bore "striking evidence of her art and craftsmanship."

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The Princess was president of Queen Alexandra's Rose Day Fund, and each June she attended the Wimbledon Tennis Championships as she was very interested in sports.

Princess Victoria Alexandra Olga Mary was born at Marlborough House in London on July 6, 1868, the fourth child of the then Prince and Princess of Wales. At the time of her birth, she was fifth in line to the British throne behind her father, the future King Edward VII, her two brothers, Albert Victor and George, and her sister, Louise, the late Princess Royal. Since the marriages of her siblings and the births of children and grandchildren, Princess Victoria had slipped down to a "much more remote position in the line of succession."

The princess' baptism took place at Marlborough House on August 6, 1868. The ceremony was conducted by the Bishop of London. Her sponsors were her grandmother, Queen Victoria, who was represented by the Duchess of Cambridge; Emperor Alexander II of Russia, represented by the Russian ambassador; The Queen of the Hellenes, represented by the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; the Dowager Queen of Denmark; the Tsarevitch of Russia; Prince Arthur; the Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; Princess Mary Adelaide, Princess of Teck; Prince Louis of Hesse; Princess Friedrich of Anhalt; and Prince Georg of Hesse.

The Prince of Teck, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, and the Countess of Dornburg and Count and Countess Gleichen were also present for the service.

Princess Victoria traveled nearly every year "under the strictest incognito" with her former governess for "prolonged trips to the remotest parts of the British Isles" or to the European continent.

Later in life, she "developed a weakness of constitution which made her virtually an invalid." Her sisters, Louise, who died in 1931, and Queen Maud of Norway also suffered from poor health.

Victoria served as a faithful companion to her mother, especially after King Edward died in 1910.

Her "gentle and lovable disposition" made the princess a firm favorite among her relatives, especially her nieces and nephews.

Princess Victoria never married.

In 1892, there were rumors that the Princess was about to become engaged to Earl of Rosebery, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs. At the time, Lord Rosebery, 55, a noted Liberal politician, was a widower with four young children. She had formed an attachment to the earl, but Lord Roseberry, who was more interested in his political career, snubbed her. Victoria's older sister, Louise, married the Earl of Fife, and on their wedding day, he was created a duke by Queen Victoria.
Her parents did not actively seek a husband for Victoria, as Alexandra was determined to keep one of her daughters at her side.

After the announcement of the Princess's death, flags all throughout the country were lowered to half-staff. The Lord Chamberlain has issued the following announcement: "The King commands that the Court shall wear mourning for six weeks from this date for her late Royal Highness, Princess Victoria, sister of His Majesty.

" The Court is to change to half-mourning on Tuesday, Dec. 24, and on Tuesday, Jan. 14, the court is to go out of mourning.

All royal engagements have been canceled. The "honeymoon plans" for the newly married Duke and Duchess of Gloucester have also been canceled. They had planned to travel to Northern Ireland for several days of shooting.
The funeral will take place on Saturday at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Afterward, the coffin will be "placed in the royal vault," for later internment at the royal cemetery at Frogmore.

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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Harriet Johnston is a terrible "journalist"

 UPDATE:  Mail responded again, acknowledging the complaint, making changes - and compensation!!!!     thank you everyone for your support 

Definitely no originality here. She just likes to have her clicks!.

Late Sunday evening  I received a message from a friend with the news that Prince Andrew Romanoff, the grandson of Grand Duchess Xenia, died in California a few hours earlier.  I thanked him for the scoop.

I went upstairs to my office to grab a file (Russia - Princes, and Princes), several books, including Andrew's autobiography. 

The laptop was turned on and I wrote my article.  It was about an hour later when my source messaged me again to say I could now send the post as Andrew's death had been shared with family members and others.

The link to my article on Prince Andrew's death was tweeted and retweeted.  I also posted my link on several Facebook pages. This is what I do with all my posts.

I received numerous comments, but then came the concern when my source and several other people messaged me asking if I had seen the Daily Mail article.  

I did, and I was not happy.  Harriet Johnston plagiarized my article and used chunks of my text.  That is illegal  If you plagiarize at the Washington Post, you get fired.  The Daily Mail looks the other way.

I filed a complaint with the Mail.  All I want is an apology and compensation.  I would settle for £1000.  So how did the Mail respond? 

 Here is Michelle Core's response.  She did not address my complaint about plagiarism even though she saw the side-by-side comparison of the two articles.   My complaint was not about details but about the blatant stealing of my words.  Word for word.  

I told Michelle that I used a plagiarism checker for Harriet's article.  The result showed the "significant plagiarism" of my article.  Michelle has not responded.  This does not surprise me.  She nor Harriet Johnston have no morals or ethics.  They live for their clicks.

Sorry, Michelle, fobbing me off with a "goodwill gesture" of putting a link to my article at the bottom of Harriet's is not appreciated at all.  I do not want to associate with a "newspaper" that has no integrity or ethics and hires "writers" who are too lazy to do research beyond a Google or a Twitter search.   I am sure Michelle thought I would be flattered by her gesture.  No, dear, I am not. You have copped out of being moral and good by rewarding Johnston's bad behavior.  

For many reasons, I expect, Johnston keeps her Twitter account locked.  I have called her out for numerous royal mistakes in her articles.  Never a thank you and "get me rewrite!" to fix them.  She is lazy and sloppy.  She does not care about her work.  Apparently, neither do her editors & bosses.

If Harriet Johnston actually cared about her work, she would have contacted me directly.  I would accept an apology and perhaps, an Amazon gift card.  She was paid to write an article that was largely written by someone else.  Me.  The Daily Mail made money every time someone clicked on her article.  

I am grateful to my source for the scoop and thank you to all who alerted me.

Everyone knows that Harriet did the wrong thing and does not have the morals to make it right.  Used toilet paper has more value than Harriet Johnston or Michelle Core.  They prostitute themselves for Associated Newspapers.

At some point, Johnston & Core will receive their just desserts.  

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Prince Andrew Andreevich Romanoff (1923-2021)

Prince Andrew Andreevich of Russia died on November 28, 2021, in a nursing home in San Anselmo, California.   He was 98 years old.

Andrew, a gifted artist, had lived in Inverness, California, with his third wife, Inez Storer (nee Bachelin) for many years.   He was the youngest of three children of HH Prince Andrei Alexandrovitch of Russia (1897-1981) and his first wife, Donna Elisabetta Ruffo di Sant'Antimo (1886-1940).  Andrei was the second of seven children of HIH Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch and HIH Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia, the elder daughter of Emperor Alexander III and Princess Dagmar of Denmark (Empress Marie Feodorovna), and a sister of Emperor Nicholas II.

As Donna Elisabetta was not of equal rank,  Andrei's marriage was non-dynastic, and his descendants are not members of the Romanov dynasty.

Andrew was born on January 21, 1923, in London. He was baptized in the Russian Orthodox church shortly after his birth.  One of his godparents was the future Duke of Windsor.

 He spent his childhood at Frogmore Cottage, where his grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia lived.  This grace and favor home was provided by her first cousin, King George V.

For the young Andrew and his siblings,  the Windsor grounds "made a fantastic playground, with vast lawns, curving paths along the River Thames, fishponds, greenhouses full of exotic plants, and polo fields."   

Grand Duchess Xenia never gave up hope that she and her family would one day return to Russia when the Romanov dynasty would be restored.  The family spoke Russian at home, and Andrew was expected to be well-behaved.   His grandmother made him practice walking with a stick under his arms so that he would stand up straight."

His elder sister and brother, Xenia and Michael lived with their grandmother at Frogmore Cottage, while Andrew lived with his English nanny in a house adjacent to Frogmore Cottage.

The family rarely saw the British royal family, including George V's granddaughters, Elizabeth, who was three years younger than Andrew, and Margaret.  Andrew was about 6 years old when he was taken by his grandmother took him to Windsor Castle where they met Queen Mary, who told the little boy to call her "Auntie Mary."

On another occasion,  Andrew was riding his bike around the castle grounds when he came upon Princess Elizabeth.  He asked her how she was and then rode off.  That evening, Grand Duchess Xenia received a phone call, where she was told that her family was not "to walk in the private gardens" when the British royal family was staying at the Castle.

On Easter Sunday three packages were inadvertently delivered to Frogmore Cottage. Andrew and his siblings tore into the boxes, stuffing themselves with the largest chocolate Easter eggs they had ever seen.  Soon Grand Duchess Xenia received another phone call as the packages were for Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

Unfortunately for the two princesses, Xenia, Michael, and Andrew had already devoured the chocolate.

After attending the Imperial Service College, Andrew enlisted in the Royal Navy and served in World War II.   After the death of King George V and the succession of King Edward VIII in January 1936, Grand Duchess Xenia and her family were asked to leave Frogmore Cottage.  They moved into Wilderness House at Hampton Court.   Donna Elisabetta was killed when a bomb exploded near their home.  A ceiling beam collapsed on her and she died shortly afterward.

 He farmed briefly in Kent before emigrating to the United States in 1949 to join his Prince Vasili and his wife, Natasha in  California. Andrew and his cousin Nikita bought one-way tickets and "crossed the ocean on a freighter ship" that carried thoroughbred horses for the Kentucky Derby. After spending a week sightseeing in New York, Andrew and Nikita boarded a Greyhound bus bound for San Francisco, where they were met by their aunt and uncle.

Prince Vassili was working as a chicken farmer in Sonoma County when his nephews came to live with him,

  The young Andrew "tried his hand" at numerous ventures including the import-export business, being a timekeeper at a shipping company, and finding success as an artist.  He became a naturalized United States citizen in December 1954.

"I've been a lot of things.  I worked as a tree surgeon for a while, and I was I'm the shipping business in Hong Kong and Japan.  I've been a carpenter, and now I'm an artist," Andrew said in  1998 when he was interviewed by San Francisco Chronicle before he flew to St. Petersburg to attend the reburial of Nicholas II and Alexandra and three of their five children.

For many years, Andrew did not talk about his royal connections. "I try to have it there, in my life, but I don't dwell on it."

All 3 photos are courtesy of a private collection

A year earlier, he spoke to Hello magazine about the future burial.  "I would prefer the bones to be interred at Yekaterinburg, where my family were murdered, but the feeling in Russia is that St. Petersburg is best. It doesn't matter, so long as it is a Christian burial with all the Romanovs in attendance -- and soon."

He was very much a "Folk Artist," specializing in work that "depicted personal memories, impressions of American news, culture, and scenes of domestic life.  His preferred medium was Shrinky Dinks.   

"My routine is simple. I get up and do the Internet. I read the newspapers-- the London Times and the Moscow Times.  His sketching took place on his computer, and then print the sketches as a reference "when he drew on sheets of shrinkable plastic."

"Sometimes I get tired of it and I don't do it. Sometimes it's very amusing."  

His wife, Ines would look at him, reminding Andrew that he need to prepare for an upcoming show.  She would tell him: "You've got to get cracking.  It's a month before and I would be frantic. And he'll say, 'I'm getting to it.'  He'll do something else and then all of a sudden, night and day, there's this frenzy.  That's typical, leaving everything to the last minute."

Andrew countered with  "It's all ready. I've got the plan.  All I have to do is create it."

Andrew Romanoff was married three times.  His first marriage in 1951 to Elena Dourneva ended in divorce eight years later.  He married again in 1961 to Kathleen Norris, who was only 32 when she died from pneumonia in 1967.   It was in 1973 or 1974 when Andrew was introduced to Inez Storer, an artist who is well known for her work in the magical realism genre. 

"She was a beautiful lady, full of spark and vim,"  Andrew told Metroactive in 2007.  

They married in December 1987 in Reno, Nevada, and settled into a now 116-year-old house in Inverness, where they raised their five children (his three and her two, from their previous marriages).

Andrew is survived by his wife, Inez, his three sons Alexis (1953), Peter (1961) Andrew (1963) his granddaughter, Natasha Romanov, his half-sister, Olga Romanov, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Andrew Romanoff's autobiography,  The Boy Who Would Be Tsar, was published in 2006.




Friday, November 26, 2021

A message from Harper about Holiday shopping

Harper would like a few words with you

Dear Mommy's readers,

It is Holiday shopping time and I know many of my mom's readers use Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk to purchase books and just about everything else under the sun .. yes, even cat food and cat toys!!!

It is easy to use Amazon, 

You know you want to shop on Amazon or Amazon.co.uk

I love Christmas ... more pressies for me

Our mom does not earn money from Royal Musings and Royal Book News apart from a few dollars each month from the Amazon book links or Amazon's search boxes. 

Mom loves writing blog articles because she knows - and I as well -- that Royal Musings and Royal Book News reach people who are interested in royal history, past and present.

There are two Amazon search boxes (US and UK) on the right side of both blogs.  If you enter your first Amazon search through one of these boxes, Mommy earns a teeny percentage for each item you purchase ... and it is a teeny tiny percentage.  It takes a long time to earn an Amazon gift card.  Amazon.co.uk's threshold is £25.00 -- it takes about three years for Mom to enough pennies for a UK Amazon gift card.  I am asking mom's British readers to use her UK search box more often to purchase items, not just books because a small percentage goes toward another gift card.  Please.

Harper says it is really easy to use the links and boxes

There are no extra costs to you when you make purchases from links or through search boxes.

You can access Amazon on a computer or your phone or your tablet

My mom loves Amazon gift cards so she can get more books. Or cat treats!  

But you cannot get this cat bed on Amazon.  Sorry. Mommy bought it at Buckingham Palace some years ago.

The holidays are all about love 

You can also buy a cup of coffee for mom.

Unlike other blogs, Mom has not set up a paywall or opened a Patreon account that would make you pay to read an article.

Thank you so much,


PS   You can shop all year round with Amazon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Badens

Princess Theodora of Greece came to the attention of the international media in March 1928, when the New York Times and other newspapers reported that the 22-year-old princess was going to become engaged to Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, the eldest son of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and his first wife, the British-born Princess Margaret of Connaught.   The Crown Prince’s second wife, Louise, was Theodora’s aunt.  Despite the family connections, the proposed engagement was nothing more than a mere rumor. 

Theodora was the second of five children of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg.  She was born May 30, 1906, at Tatoi.   Andrew was not present for the birth, as he was in Madrid to attend the wedding of Alice’s cousin, Princess Ena of Battenberg, to King Alfonso XIII of Spain.  He did not return to Greece until two weeks after his daughter’s birth.

The little Princess, who was baptized according to the rites of the Greek Orthodox church, was given the nickname, Dolla, by her older sister, Margarita, who was born in April 1905.    Margarita called her sister “dear Dolla,” as she could not pronounce Theodora.

From an early age, Theodora and her sisters (Cecilie and Sophie were born in 1911 and 1914, respectively) were taught Greek and English, and their closest playmates were their first cousins, Olga, Elizabeth, and Marina, the daughters of Prince Nicholas of Greece and his wife, the former Grand Duchess Helen of Russia.  There were also visits to relatives in Germany, Russia, and England. King George V was Prince Andrew’s first cousin.

In 1917, Prince Andrew’s nephew, King Constantine I was in a difficult and perilous political situation.  Greece had lost a “potential ally” when Russia fell into the abyss of revolution that would lead not only to the abdication of Nicholas II, but also to his murder, and the murders of numerous memoirs of his family, including Princess Alice’s aunt, Ella.

Constantine was forced to abdicate, and he and his family went into exile.   Prince Andrew and his brother, Nicholas, had hoped that they would be able to remain in Athens to support Constantine’s second son, Alexander, who was now the puppet king of a regime that sought to end the monarchy.    Andrew and Alice’s first exile began in St. Moritz, but they settled into the Grand Hotel in Lake Lucerne, which was the “base in exile” for most members of the Greek Royal family.

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The Greek royal family’s first exile ended in late 1920, following the death of King Alexander.  By the end of 1920, King Constantine I was restored to the throne, and members of the royal family returned to Greece.   Princess Alice was pregnant with her fifth child, and in June 1921,  she gave birth to a son, Philip.

Alice’s mother, Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven, described her eldest granddaughters, as “quite natural & unaffected girls, really children, that do Alice credit, but though nice looking, they have merely the good looks of youth.”   All four of the princesses were bridesmaids when their uncle Dickie (Lord Louis Mountbatten) married the heiress, Edwina Ashley.  Theodora and her sisters were “dressed in delphinium blue to match Edwina’s eyes.”

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Despite Constantine’s restoration, the Greek monarchy was anything but stable.  The country suffered defeats in a war with Turkey.  The king was unfairly blamed for the war, even though he had nothing whatsoever to do with starting the war with Turkey.   With every soldier returning in defeat from Asia Minor, Constantine’s “popularity went into sharp decline.”   Prince Andrew also suffered from criticism as he had remained on leave and “absent from his command in Epirus.”  His wife and family had remained in Corfu, where they learned that King Constantine had abdicated, and Crown Prince George accepted the crown.
 It was first believed that Andrew and his brother Nicholas would leave Greece with the king and queen and their children, but Andrew remained in Corfu as he and Alice were assured by the new government “that they would be out of danger.  Instead, Prince Andrew was taken into custody and quizzed about his role in the “Asia Minor debacle.”   He was tried, and found guilty of disobedience and abandoning his post in the face of the enemy.”   He was sentenced to “perpetual banishment” from Greece.

A British warship brought Andrew and his family out of Greece, and again into exile.   It has largely been assumed that Alice’s cousin, King George V, made the arrangements; when, in fact, it was the former Greek prime minister, Eleutherios Venizelos, who provided the impetus to get Andrew out of Greece.   Alice had hoped that she and her family could settle in Britain, to be near her mother, but the British sovereign did not want to encourage members of the Greek royal family to reside in England.
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A new residence was found in St. Cloud, on the outskirts. Finances were difficult, but Princess Marie – the wife of Prince George of Greece – an immensely wealthy woman in her own right, paid all of the family’s bills.  According to her son, Prince Peter, Marie would never have allowed the family to become destitute.

This exile provided further strain for Alice and Andrew’s marriage.  Alice, too, began to suffer from a mental breakdown and was eventually hospitalized.

One of Alice’s primary concerns was to find husbands for her two eldest daughters.  In the 1920s, Margarita and Theodora spent a lot of time in London with their grandmother, Victoria.  They spent a lot of time with their Aunt Louise, who was enlisted to help find husbands for the princesses.  Aunt Edwina gave the princesses her used clothes.  The two princesses were often mentioned in the social pages, having attended balls and parties at the most important houses in London.  Neither emerged with a marriage proposal at the end of the season.  Margarita and Theodora were not considered good catches due to their impecunious state as exiled Greek Princesses. 

(It was Louise who ended up with a husband.  In 1923, she married the future King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden.   It was the second marriage for Gustav Adolf, whose first wife, Margaret, had died three years earlier.  All four of Alice’s daughters were bridesmaids at the wedding which took place at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.     Before the first world war, Louise had received a proposal of marriage from King Manoel II of Portugal.  She turned him down, telling Dolla that she would never marry “a king or a widower.”

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When her relationship with Gustaf Adolf, a widower, who would succeed to the Swedish throne in 1950, started to become serious, Louise begged Theodora and Margarita to not leave her alone with Gustaf.  “Naturally, we did the opposite, and Uncle Gustaf was extremely grateful to us for doing so.  I can remember exactly what he said to us: ‘You are bricks!’”)

Princess Margarita nearly became engaged to 25-year-old Prince Franz Ferdinand of Isenburg, but she refused to convert to Roman Catholicism.   Their relationship, however, had the approval of the family,   and Princess Louise expected that an announcement would be made.  She also noted that Theodora had a “violent flirtation with the old Fürst, which must have been very funny.”      But an announcement of a proposed marriage was never made, and the young couple went their separate ways.

Finding husbands for the pretty, but poor Greek princesses proved difficult.   The story that Dolla was going to marry Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden was nothing more than a rumor.   Dolla and her older sister continued to visit relatives in Britain, and in 1928, they spent time in Romania, at the royal family’s estate in Sinaia, with their first cousin, Queen Helen, and her young son, King Michael, who was the same as Prince Philip.  The young Greek prince had accompanied his sisters on this trip.

Much to everyone’s surprise, 16-year-old Princess Sophie was the first of the four sisters to marry.   In December 1930, she married Prince Christoph of Hesse, whose mother, Margarethe, was Sophie’s grandmother, Victoria’s first cousin.   Two months later, Princess Cecilie married her mother’s first cousin, Hereditary Prince Georg Donatus of Hesse.  In April 1931,   Margarita was wed to Gottfried, the 8th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.    Gottfried’s mother, Alexandra, was also a first cousin of the Marchioness of Milford Haven.  Thus, all three sisters, who were descendants of Queen Victoria, were married to descendants of Queen Victoria.   

Dolla was the only one of the four sisters to not marry a descendant of Victoria.  On August 17, 1931, she was married to the Margrave of Baden.   Prince Berthold had succeeded his father, Prince Max, the last Chancellor of Imperial Germany, in 1929.

Although Berthold was not a descendant of Queen Victoria, he was a descendant of George III.    His mother, Princess Marie Louise of Cumberland, was a British princess by birth, but she was better known as a princess of Hannover.   The two countries were ruled by the same sovereign from 1714 when Georg Ludwig of Hannover succeeded to the British throne after the death of his kinswoman, Queen Anne.   It was not until 1837 when the two thrones were again ruled by separate sovereigns.   King William IV died in June 1837.   He was succeeded by his niece, Victoria, but due to the Salic law in Hannover, the throne there passed to William’s brother, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, who reigned as Ernst August V.   Members of the Hanover royal family retained their British titles.   In 1866, Hannover was annexed by Prussia, and Ernst August’s son, King Georg V abdicated, and the family went into exile.   After Georg V’s death, his son, Ernst August was known by his British title, and his children were styled as “of Cumberland,” rather than “of Hannover.” 

When Marie Louise married Prince Max at her family’s home at Gmunden in Austria in 1900, she sought official permission from Queen Victoria to marry.   The official declaration for the marriage referred to Marie Louise by her British titles.

Berthold was also born in 1906.  He spoke English fluently and studied at Oxford University.  In 1928, he sailed for the United States, traveling third class on the SS George Washington, as “plain B. Baden.”  He was traveling to the United States with other Oxford undergrads to tour several American universities.

The couple’s civil marriage took place on August 15, 1931, at the Neue Schloss in Baden-Baden, which was attended only by the bride’s father and the groom’s mother.   Prince Andrew and Prince Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Marie Louise’s brother, were the witnesses.  Two days later, Dolla and Berthold were married in the Schloss's chapel.  Two marriage ceremonies were performed: Lutheran and Greek Orthodox.  Only “relatives and intimate friends” were present for the wedding, and the guests included Grand Duchess Hilda of Baden, Princess Marie of Baden, Queen Sophie of Greece, Crown Princess Louise of Sweden, Prince Waldemar of Denmark, the Duchess of Cumberland, the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses of Hesse and By Rhine and Mecklenburg.  (The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg was the groom’s maternal aunt, Alexandra.)  Prince Andrew and Dolla’s three sisters were present, but Princess Alice, confined to a mental hospital, missed all four of her daughters’ weddings.

After the wedding, Crown Princess Louise wrote to a family friend: “I do hope Dolla will have a very happy life with Berthold because I think in some ways she expects more than her sisters.”   Dolla was once described as the most “correct” of the four sisters.

Eleven months after the wedding, Dolla gave birth to a daughter, who was christened Margarita Alice Thyra Viktoria Marie Louise Scholastica.  A son and heir, Maximilian Andreas Friedrich Gustav Ernst August Bernhard, was born in July 1933.   A second son, Prince Ludwig Wilhelm Georg Ernst Christoph, was born in March 1937.

The Badens’ family home, Schloss Salem, near Lake Constance, also served as a school established in 1920 by the German educator, Kurt Hahn, and promoted by Berthold’s father, Max.  One of Salem’s more famous pupils was Prince Philip, although he spent only a year at the school, and he had not enjoyed his time there.  Attending Salem was a “family decision,” as Theodora, in “token consultation,” with her uncles, the Marquess of Milford Haven (who was largely Philip’s guardian), and Lord Louis Mountbatten, decided that her younger brother should attend the school at Salem, which was, of course, in her own home.   But by 1933, Kurt Hahn, who was Jewish (in the 1940s, he converted to Christianity), was arrested and thrown into jail.  British prime minister Ramsay MacDonald was able to secure Hahn’s freedom, and the educator was able to flee to Britain, where he founded Gordonstoun School in Scotland.   It was then decided that Philip would return to Britain, where he would be enrolled at Gordonstoun.

The Nazi regime made life difficult for the liberal-minded Prince Berthold, who had little choice but to accept a “rigid pro-Nazi” regime at Salem.  If he had not agreed, the Nazis would have closed down the school.  But unlike his brothers-in-law, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and Prince Christoph of Hesse, Berthold never joined the Nazi party.  Nor did his wife.  Princess Margarita joined the Party on the same day as her husband.   One of Berthold’s first cousins, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg was also a member.

After the war, Prince Berthold was able to regain control of his school, which would become one of Germany's most prominent international boarding schools.    There also would be great changes to Theodora and her siblings.  In November 1947,   their little brother was married to the future Queen Elizabeth II.   It was a grand and glittering marriage, but none of the three sisters (Princess Cecilie had been killed in a plane crash in 1937 with her husband, two sons, and mother-in-law), had been able to attend.   They were not invited because they were married to German princes.  Shortly after the wedding, their cousin, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, flew to Germany, to provide firsthand details about Philip’s wedding.   By the 1950s, Philip’s sisters and their families were regular visitors to Britain.   Margarita, Dolla, and Sophie were all present at Westminster Abbey in June 1953 for Elizabeth’s Coronation.

Dolla also maintained her close relationship with her aunt Louise.   On January 26, 1947,  the princess and Crown princess Louise were having tea with King Gustaf V at Drottningholm Palace.  The topic of the conversation was the recent birth of a son to Dolla’s sister, Sophie, who was now married to Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover.  (Prince Christoph had been killed on active service in 1943, and three years later, she married Georg Wilhelm, who was Prince Berthold’s first cousin.).   Louise was called away to the telephone, and when she returned, Dolla noted: “It was a completely different person who returned, walking with heavy steps and despair in her eyes.”

all non-Getty images are from the Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Louise’s eldest stepson, Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf, was dead, killed in an airplane accident.

Dolla’s only daughter, Margarita, was the first to marry.   In 1957, at civil and religious ceremonies at Schloss Salem, the princess was wed to Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia.  The couple had two children, Nicholas and Katrina, before eventually divorcing in 1981.  Prince Max was briefly engaged to his first cousin, Princess Beatrix of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.   He was married in 1966 to Archduchess Valerie of Austria.   Prince Ludwig was married in 1967 to Princess Marianne of Auersperg-Breunner. 

In the early 1960s, there was a great fear that the Soviets would move into West Germany.   Britain made plans to evacuate 38 German royals.   Operation Blue Thread would have included three military transport aircraft and “an unspecified number of servicemen to collect and fly the Germans, known for short as the ‘royal relatives,” from different parts of Germany.

Once the British ambassador released the codeword “Aquila,” British servicemen were to collect and transport the relatives, where were permitted to bring 100lbs of baggage per person, to one of three airfields, where the royals would be flown to Lyon, France.  Although there was some criticism in German circles about this proposed plan – which never came about – most people didn’t realize the various connections to the British royal house.   The list of would-be royal refugees included Prince Philip’s three sisters and two brothers-in-law and their children, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg, Count Carl Theodor of Toerring-Jettenbach (Princess Marina’s brother-in-law),   Victoria Luise, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg and their six children, Prince and Princess Welf Heinrich of Hannover and Prince and Princess Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine.

The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg, who died later that year, Princess Victoria Luise, the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince and Princess Welf Heinrich of Hannover, and Prince and Princess Georg Wilhelm of Hannover were all British princes and princesses by birth or marriage, and, thus, were entitled to the protection.  Princess Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine was a British citizen, and her husband, the head of the House of Hesse and by Rhine, was a first cousin to Princess Alice.   His elder brother, Georg Donatus, had been married to Princess Cecilie.

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Berthold was only 57 years old when he died on October 27, 1963.  He had suffered a heart attack in his automobile shortly after leaving Schloss Salem for a trip to Baden-Baden with his son, Ludwig.  Theodora, too, suffered for some years with debilitating heart problems.  On October 16, 1969, the princess died suddenly in a sanatarium in Büdingen.   Prince Philip was on a tour of the USA and Canada when his sister died, and, thus, was unable to attend her funeral.  The Prince of Wales, then only 20-years-old, represented his father at Theodora’s funeral.

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HRH The Margravine of Baden was devoted to her family, and was active in social work, including the German Red Cross.  She was perhaps the least known of Prince Philip’s sisters, the most “correct,” and, according to one relative, would have made a “fine Queen of England.”

If you like this article, you could buy me a cup of coffee.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Sienna Rose Koenig (2005-2021)

The cream-colored Sienna before the stripes took over

 Shortly after 9:00 a.m., this morning Sienna Rose Koenig died peacefully in her mother's arms.  She was 16 years old and much loved.

Sienna was born on June 19, 2005.  Three months later she and her twin brother were found by a local rescue group and placed with a foster family.   In early December, the kittens, along with other felines, were a part of an adoption show at Petsmart in Springfield, Virginia.  

Sienna was not afraid to show love

Sienna decided nearly right away that Harper would be a great little brother

Sienna and her big brother, Edison

Sienna loved the Nats as much as mommy and Harper

Sienna was a monarchist, of course, but if she could vote, she would vote Democat

a kiss for Edison

Let's be honest, she chose her furrever mommy ... me.  

There I was in Petsmart, with a shopping cart filled with food. I had three cats at that time:  Buddy, Edison, and Ella.  There were no plans to adopt another cat.  

As I walked past the cages with the kittens and cats,  I felt a tap on my arm.  A cream-colored kitten was giving me a love pat.  

Hey, look at me.  I looked.  

You are so cute,  you have blue eyes. I have never had a blue-eyed cat.  She was cream-colored with few stripes.  

Pure joy for Sienna being able to snuggle with Edison

Edison and Sienna thought it was fun to play in the tub without water of course

I asked to hold the kitten.  I held her for a few minutes.  Purring.  Those blue eyes.  The next words out of my mouth were: where is the paper to fill out for adoption? 

The approval took a few days as the rescue group called my vet, who reassured them that, yes, I am a great cat mommy.

Sienna was a Lynx Point Siamese, which means she was part Siamese.  She had the features of a Siamese, the eyes, and the fur, although the cream-colored fur changed to stripes by the time she was a year old.

She was going to be named Sophie, but my friend Robbie said:  "She doesn't look like a Sophie.   How about Sienna"... so she baptized Sienna Rose.  Sienna Rose Koenig.  She joined Buddy Rich, Ella Louise, and Edison James Kittycat as a Koenig cat.   For a few weeks, I kept her in the guest bathroom with a screen so the other three cats could get to know her better.


The best things come in boxes

She had a great faith

On a  Wednesday night, after choir practice, I came home and hurried upstairs to check on Sienna as well as the other three. The screen was down and Sienna was not in the bathroom.  Did she break out or was she helped?

I found her lying on the living room couch with Buddy, Ella, and Edison.  She was "I am kitten, hear me roar."  She wanted to be with her siblings.

Sienna was always kind and loving.  Never a cross word or a hiss from her.  She was a nurturer.  Ella liked to bully Buddy so Sienna would walk between them, giving a stare to Ella as if to say "Knock it off." 

Ella died on February 28, 2012, followed by Buddy on August 8, 2012, and Edison on July 21, 2015.  

Sienna loved all her siblings but she adored Edison. They were devoted to each other, always snuggled together, wrapped in each other's paws.

Sienna and Buddy help to make the bed or was this a private joke between them

A snuggle with Buddy

It took less than a month for Sienna to fully accept Harper

I love you, Harper.  I love you, Sienna

A Nats kitty

Flat Cats for Caturday at Nats Park

Sienna loved her little brother, Harper

In 2019, she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and was given the same medication as humans but in a smaller dose.  She preferred the chicken pill pockets combined with Lobster-flavored Temptations (Dreamies) although being clever, Sienna would find the pill, and leave it on the carpet.  I reminded Sienna that Mommy always wins the pill war.   Put the pill in the pill pocket and try again.  

I think Sienna just wanted another chicken treat.

In February, I came home to find blood all over the comforter and wall in the guest bedroom.  Sienna had a tumor that burst.  The tumor had not been there in December when she had her annual checkup.  I took her to the emergency vet clinic as it was in the evening and my vet was closed.  I could not go in with her due to the pandemic.

For three hours I sat in the car, waiting.   The vet called me to say her heart was fine,  but she has mammary cancer.   I made the decision to not put a nearly 16-year-old cat through surgery.  Everything else was fine including her weight.  The daily pill was keeping the hyperthyroidism under control,  She gave me antibiotics and pain killers.  Sienna's medical information was sent to her vet and I spoke to them later in the week.  I also brought her so her vet could see her.  

She was eating and using puppy pads as she had stopped using the litter box in November 2020.  She was a fastidious cat, and she made sure she used the puppy pads, next to the litter box.  

Until last week.  That is when I knew it was time.  She was eating less and stopped sitting in the bedroom doorway, looking ever so beautiful, where she would wait for her treats.

She was able to jump on the bed last night and this morning, so we had our final cuddles. I told Sienna:  "I love you more.  I love you best."

Sienna will have a private cremation. Her ashes will be scattered.  The service will be officiated by my pastor.

Sienna is survived by her mom and her little brother, Harper Lee, 7.5 years old. 

Sienna was a cat of great faith.  Saying her prayers

The last photo, November 21, 2021