Sunday, August 14, 2022

Adelaide Cottage - a new home for the Cambridges?

@Royal Collection

Victoria Ward, the Telegraph's royal reporter, is reporting that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children (and presumably the dogs), will be moving to the "relatively modest" Adelaide Cottage in early September.  It is understood that Prince George and Princess Charlotte will leave Thomas's Battersea to attend a co-ed private school in Berkshire. Prince Louis is expected to join his siblings at the same school

The Duchess of Cambridge's parents, Mike and Carole Middleton, live at Bucklebury Manor in Bucklebury, 33 miles from Windsor Castle.

The Duke and Duchess's staff, include a housekeeper and a chief, and the children's nanny. Maria Borrallo will retain their jobs but will live in separate housing near the Cottage, which is within walking distance of Windsor Castle.

Technically, the queen cannot gift Adelaide Cottage to anyone as it belongs to the Crown Estates.  A tenant can acquire a long lease to the property, however.

But it is apparent that Adelaide Cottage was never an option as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into the recently renovated Frogmore Cottage.   The couple, who left England in March 2020, now call Montecito, California home, but the duke continues to hold the lease for Frogmore Cottage.   Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, and their young son, August, lived in the cottage until early this year.   The Brooksbanks are now dividing their time between Portugal and Nottingham Cottage on the Kensington Palace grounds.   Jack is now working for Discovery Land Company, owned by Mike Meldman, the firm developing Costa Terra, where he is responsible for "marketing, sales, and promotion. 

It is understood that the Duke and Duchess may have considered several homes in Home Park, Windsor Great Park, and Berkshire.  One of the mooted future homes was Fort Belvedere in Windsor Great Park, which is seven miles from Windsor Castle.

Fort Belvedere ceased to be a grace and favor home in 1953 when the Queen returned to the Crown Estates.  Two years later. the Hon. Gerald Lascelles, the younger son of the Princess Royal, acquired a 90 years lease.  He and his wife, Angela, and their son Henry moved into the house eleven months later.  When his marriage ended in divorce, Gerald sold the lease to the son of the Emir of Dubai.  In the early 1980s, the lease was purchased by the late Canadian billionaire Galen Weston.  The lease included the Fort, three cottages, and a swimming pool. 

Mr. Weston, who died in April 2021, spent millions renovating the property, which is not far from the polo grounds at Coworth Park.

Fort Belvedere is best known as the home of the future Edward VIII and it was the scene for his abdication on December 10, 1936.

The Weston family continues to hold the original lease, which expires in 2045.   

Adelaide Cottage, which is in the Home Park in Windsor, is within walking distance of Windsor Castle.
The Home Park is separate from Windsor Great Park.  Frogmore House, which is used for receptions, is open to the public in August, and Frogmore Cottage is also in Home Park.

Frogmore House has several grace and favour apartments for former royal staff, including the Prince of Wales' former nanny Helen Lightbody.

Earlier this year, the Daily Mail reported that Princess Eugenie "had been trying to secure Adelaide Cottage" as a future home," but this has not been confirmed.   Her father has a 75-year lease for Royal Lodge, which can be assigned to his widow or his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie if he dies or chooses to leave the property.

@ Royal Collections  circa 1900

Sir Jeffrey Wyatville (1766-1840) built the cottage in 1839 on the site of the Headkeeper's Lodge.  Material from the demolished Royal Lodge was used to build the new cottage, which was named in honor of Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV.   

In her book, Royal Landscape: The Gardens and Parks of Windsor, Jane Roberts writes "Adelaide Cottage occupies a small fenced-in end of the Northern Slopes, just to the north of Queen Elizabeth's Walk."   The cottage's entrance "bears the initials "AR" (Adelaide Regina) and the date 1831.

On the morning of March 12, 1831, King William IV "took an airing in Little Windsor Park in his pony phaeton, and inspected Adelaide Cottage," according to a report in the Norfolk Chronicle and Norwich Gazette.  The newspaper described the cottage as a "romantic building." that has "a delightful effect from the road leading through the park from Datchet."

It was originally a Keeper's Lodge, described as a "romantic habitation under a steep bank."   Before Frogmore House was acquired by Queen Charlotte, the Keeper's Lodge was often "engaged in a familiar quest for privacy at Windsor," according to Roberts.   Six months after the death of King George IV, a local newspaper reported that a new building would be constructed and replace the Keeper's Lodge, and the intention was to provide a "summer-box" for the new Queen Consort, where "visitors from the castle will occasionally take refreshment."

The new Cottage was "happily chosen by the Queen for an occasional summer retreat."   The original views of Adelaide Cottage "suggest that the house consisted solely of two large rooms overlooking the garden."   These rooms were "tacked on to a small square cottage which survived from the old Keeper's Lodge."   It was the old cottage that continues to provide the "domestic accommodation of the house."

The Cottage was ready for use in time for Queen Adelaide's birthday on August 13, 1831.  She hosted a petit dejeuner for the King and "royal guests staying at the Castle."

The Times noted on August 6, 1832, that there would be a "splendid morning fete at Adelaide Cottage," on the morning of the Queen's birthday.  The cottage's grounds "have been very tastefully laid out under her Majesty's inspection." 

Queen Adelaide was born Princess Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningen on August 13, 1792.   She married Prince William, Duke of Clarence at Kew Palace on July 11, 1818, in a double wedding with William's younger brother, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The King and Queen often spent time at the cottage, especially during the summers, when they could be driven there in a pony phaeton.  Queen Adelaide would, on occasion, with her ladies, walk to the cottage for tea or other refreshments and then walk back to Windsor Castle\, sometimes strolling through the town.

In April 1831, the Queen, "with her attendants, gratified a numerous assemblage of nobility and gentry, by walking through the Terrace on Sunday afternoon, during the grand promenade.  Her Majesty proceeded on foot through the slopes to Adelaide Cottage, and on her return attended the afternoon service at St. George's Chapel," according to the Windsor Herald.

During King William IV's reign, Adelaide Cottage had a "similar status to Frogmore House," then the home of her sister-in-law, Princess Augusta.  But Adelaide Cottage and the grounds were much smaller than Frogmore House and "has never provided a home for a member of the Royal Family."

After William IV's death in June 1837, Queen Adelaide retired to Bushey Heath, where she died in 1849.

William's successor was his 18-year-old niece, Victoria, who often visited the cottage after she became queen.  She enjoyed having breakfast or tea at Adelaide Cottage.

Victoria's much-loved spaniel Dash died in 1840 and was buried at Adelaide Cottage.  

The marble effigy reads: "Here lies DASH, The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, In his 10th year, His attachment was without selfishness, His playfulness without malice, His fidelity without deceit, READER, If you would be beloved and die regretted, Profit by the example of DASH"

In March 1838, it was reported that the Board of Woods and Forests were "engaged in forming a private carriageway from the north door of the Terrace Conservatory through the Little Park to Adelaide Cottage.  This drive will be enclosed within a Ha! Ha! fence, and screened with shrubberies, etc.; and it is intended to form an easier mode of access for her Majesty to visit this delightful retreat, the occasionally rapid ascents of the walk through the slopes have already been fatiguing."

During the first summer of their marriage, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert would often walk from Windsor Castle to Adelaide Cottage and would return to the castle on a pony phaeton.   The Cottage offered the young couple the chance to relax away from the pressures of court life at the Castle.   In August 1841, Prince Albert celebrated his birthday at the cottage with a quiet lunch with his wife, where they were treated to a serenade.   The cottage was also a place where the Queen's children could enjoy free time with their parents.   The Queen herself would take "occasional refreshments at Adelaide Cottage, Frogmore or Shaw Farm in the Home Park," especially in the spring and early summer.

Early in Victoria's reign, "there was a broad belt of planting from below the Winchester Tower (in the Middle Ward of the castle) to the grounds of Adelaide Cottage.

The cottage was also a place where the Queen and Prince Albert could entertain with less formality, often inviting family members, including the Duchess of Kent, the Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (Victoria's older half-sister, Feodore), and Albert's brother, Ernst, and his wife.   In September 1846, the Queen and Prince Albert, the Princess of Prussia, "and all of her Majesty's visitors, except the Queen Dowager, walked to Adelaide Cottage" after spending some time there, the royal party returned to Windsor Castle in pony carriages.

By the 1850s, Adelaide Cottage had become a grace and favor home.  George Fleming, who began a career in Royal service at age 15, rose to become Victoria's Page of the Bedchamber.  He and his family lived in Adelaide Cottage for 35 years.   Victoria's children often spent time at the cottage with the Fleming children.

King George V and Queen Mary would also use the cottage for afternoon tea.  They were fond of the "rose pergola at Adelaide Cottage," describing the pergola as "one of the great features of the Home Park Private."

For more than 100 years, the "domestic quarters" in the older part of the house, were "occupied by a resident housekeeper," according to Roberts.

Adelaide Cottage became a Grace and Favour home in 1941, providing accommodation for "members of the Royal Household.  The house required major work and maintenance.  When "the occupant in the mid-1940s requested central heating for the sake of his young family," he was told that "it was impossible to contemplate such work at present," due to the efforts to "repair bomb damage in London."

The occupant who made the request was Peter Townsend, who moved into Adelaide Cottage in 1944 with his wife, Rosemary, and their young son Giles.   Townsend, who served in the Royal Air Force during the second world war, was named as equerry to King George VI.  The couple's second son, Hugo, was born at Adelaide Cottage a year later.

The Townsends were divorced in 1952 due to Rosemary's adulterous relationship with John Laszlo, son of the famed portrait painter, Philip de Laszlo.    Townsend fell in love with Princess Margaret and they made plans to marry.  Although he was not the guilty party in the divorce, Townsend was tainted by the stigma of the divorce and would not have been allowed to remarry in the Church of England.  This proved to be a major hurdle in the couple's relationship and in October 1955, Princess Margaret ended the relationship.

In the mid-1950s, the Ministry of Works discussed the fate of Adelaide Cottage having "rather gone to seed and is covered by dilapidated trellis work from which are hanging overgrown climbing shrubs."  
Adelaide Cottage was described as a building "of little merit, but in June 1955, Sir John Charlton, the Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments stated: "the house is of interest on both historical and architectural grounds," adding "we should do our best to preserve it."

A budget of £10,000 was approved for renovations in October 1955.  Adelaide Cottage was ready for occupation 13 months later.    According to Jane Roberts, the Cottage's two large rooms underwent major changes during the 1940s and 1950s, but these were "mostly reversed" when the Adelaide Cottage underwent major rehabilitation work in 1991-2.  

Further renovations were done in 2015.

For 22 years Adelaide Cottage was the home of Sir John Johnston and his wife, the Hon. Elizabeth "Libby" Hardinge, the younger daughter of the 2nd Lord Hardinge of Penshurst, who as Alec Hardinge, served as Private Secretary to King Edward VIII and King George VI.

Libby Johnston was a childhood friend of Queen Elizabeth.  A year younger than the future queen, Libby joined Princess Elizabeth in the classroom in the palace.

Her mother, Helen Cecil, was a childhood friend of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who served as one of the bridesmaids at Helen's wedding.   The Queen Mother was one of Libby's godparents.

Simon Rhodes, the son of Queen Elizabeth's first cousin, Hon. Margaret Rhodes lived in the cottage with his family after leaving Rhodesia.

Sir Hugh Roberts, former Director of the Royal Collection, and his wife, Jane, the former Librarian at the Royal Archives, also resided at Adelaide Cottage.

 Adelaide Cottage has a storied history, built for a much-loved Queen Consort, but is there a chance that the Cottage will finally become a full-time royal residence?    The Cottage has never been a royal residence.  It also doesn't have a large garden. 

This post was first written on July 23, 2018, after the Daily Mail reported that Queen Elizabeth II has gifted Adelaide Cottage at Windsor to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  At the time, the report seemed credible -- unlike the report that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were going to move into York Cottage at Sandringham -- but Kensington Palace never confirmed the Mail's report.

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a cup of coffee

Friday, August 12, 2022

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium to marry on September 10


@Andrew Ferrer

Princess Maria Laura of Belgium will marry William Isvy on September 10.  The Roman Catholic ceremony will take place in the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula in Brussels.

The 33-year-old Princess is the second of five children of Princess Astrid of Belgium and her husband, Archduke Lorenz of Austria.  Astrid's father, King Albert II issued a Royal Decree on November 10, 1995, creating Lorenz as Prince of Belgium.   

The Princess, who uses the name Laura, is the niece of King Philippe of the Belgians.

  Embed from Getty Images 

 On January 31, the King approved the marriage, which allows the Princess, currently in 9th place in the line of succession, to remain in line to the throne.   Her children will also have succession rights, but they will not have any royal titles.

William and Princess Laura met in London where they live and work.  The Princess is not a working royal.   He is an analyst with Millenium Capital.  The princess works as a climate analyst with the Children's Investment Fund Foundation.

Another QVD engagement: Harry Sewall to Bobbie Garbutt

Henry  "Harry" Alexander Sewell is engaged to marry Roberta Lois Carla Garbutt, a 4th generation nutmeg farmer in Grenada.

@linked in

Henry is the elder son of Charles Percy Sewell and Alice Louise Esther Margot Huntington-Whiteley.  He was born on May 4, 1988, at Horton Maternity Hospital, Banbury, Oxfordshire.  He is known as Harry.

Louise is one of the three children of the late Sir John Miles Huntington-Whiteley VRD, 4th Baronet (1929–2019), and Countess Victoria Adelheid of Castell-Rüdenhausen.   She is also the granddaughter of Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, whose daughter, Lady Margaret Baldwin married Sir Hebert Maurice Huntington-Whiteley, 2nd Baronet.

Countess Victoria Adelheid lives for several years with her paternal aunt, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone at Kensington Palace.

@Sustenance Collective

Bobbie Garbutt has Grenada and Irish nationality.  She was born in Norwich in March 1993. She is the daughter of Leo Garbutt and Lilian Ramdhanny.  Her family lives in Grenada, where her father owns Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel.   In January 2021, Leo Garbutt, MBE was voted President of the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association.

Leo Garbutt and his family

Bobbie has two sisters.  She runs the Sustenance Collective.   According to the website, Bobbie is "a food activist, educator and advocate of good food from good places shared with good people.

She works to create sustainable supply chains within the food industry. Living on both sides of the Atlantic between London and Grenada, she has taken on the task of transforming her family’s 200-year-old organic cocoa and nutmeg plantation on the island."

Her mother's family owns L’Esterre, " a 200-year-old estate, consisting of a plantation house surrounded by 70 acres of lush, fertile agricultural land bounded by a peaceful river." 

Bobbie's great-grandfather, Lawrence “Ram” Ramdhanny, a pharmacist, bought the  L’Esterre Estate in 1949.  Ram was the son of East Indian immigrants.

Harry, who attended Harrow School and Oxford Brooke University, works as a Residential Sales at Strutt & Parker, Kensington.

Harry's line of descent from Queen Victoria:

Victoria - Leopold - Carl Eduard (Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha),  Caroline Mathilde - Victoria Adelheid - Louise - Harry.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Louis Cunningham -- all the right genes to play Louis XVI

@Tavistock Wood

One of the Daily Mail's diarist Richard Eden's most recent columns included a nugget about Louis Robert Dominic Marie Cunningham, an up-and-coming young actor. The latter appeared as Lord Corning in an episode of the popular Netflix series Bridgerton.   He has been cast as King Louis XVI of France in a new BBC series, Marie Antoinette.  

Eden noted that the 24-year-old actor is the grandson of Prince Charles of Luxembourg, who died of a heart attack in 1977 in Italy.   

The Ampleforth-educated (2016) actor has British and Luxembourg nationality.  He is the second of three sons of HRH Princess Charlotte Phyllis Anne Joelle Marie of Luxembourg and Mark Victor Cunningham.   He was born on March 9, 1998, at the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth in London.  He has an older brother, Charles Douglas Donall Marie Cunningham (1996), and a younger brother, Donall Mark Philippe Marie Cunningham (2002)

 Harrogate-born Mark Victor Cunningham met Princess Charlotte at Oxford University where they both were students.  The Princess, who prefers to be known as Charlotte Cunningham. received a degree in modern languages. Mr. Cunninngham has worked for 30 years in corporate finance and private wealth management.  In 2010, he co-founded Cunningham Loewenstein Asset Management with Dora Loewenstein  (HSH Princess Maria Theodora Marjorie of zu Loewenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, whose late father, Prince Rupert was the financial manager for the Rolling Stones.

In 2013,  the firm name was changed to Holbein Partners LLP.  In the summer of 2021, the firm was acquired by Tiedemann Constantia.  Holbein Partners is described as "an independent investment manager and wealth advisor for high-net-worth individuals, family offices, trusts, foundations, and endowments."

Mark Cunningham is also the chairman of the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity. 

Princess Charlotte and Mark Cunningham were married in a civil ceremony in Mouchy, France on June 26, 1993.  Their religious wedding took place in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence on  September 18, 1993.  Grand Duke Jean gave away the bride.

Charlotte is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Turtle Key Arts founded  "in 1989 as a unique and ground-breaking accessible space, and accessibility for all continues to be a key philosophy of the company."

The Cunninghams have homes in London and Yorkshire.  Charlotte and Mark purchased Potter Hill Farm,  near the village of Coulton, North Yorkshire in April 2020 for £9,900,000.    

They also spend summers at the Dillon family home on Isleboro Island in Maine.

HRH Prince Charles Frédéric Louis Guillaume Marie of Luxembourg, Prince of Bourbon-Parma, Prince of Nassau (1927-1967) was the fifth of six children and the second son of HRH  Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg (1896-1985) and HRH Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma (1893-1970).  He was the heir presumptive to the Grand Ducal throne until the birth of Grand Duke Jean's eldest son, Henri, now Grand Duke, in 1955.   The present Grand Duke and Princess Charlotte are first cousins.

There was a bit of controversy when Prince Charles fell in love with Joan Douglas Dillon (1935.)  She was an American commoner, but politically and socially well-connected.  Her family was also very rich.   This would be Joan's second marriage.

In 1953, at age 18, Joan married James Brady Moseley,  a nephew of Nicholas F. Brady, who served as Secretary of the Treasury during the Reagan and Bush administrations.  Brady joined  Dillon. Read & Co in 1954, eventually rising to the position of chairman.  Joan was living in Paris where her father was the American Ambassador to France.  

She gave birth to a daughter Joan Dillon Moseley in 1954.  A year later the marriage was dissolved by divorce and in 1963, the marriage was annulled by the Roman Catholic church.   Moseley was Roman Catholic and Joan was Protestant. 

Joan's parents. Clarence and Phyllis Dillon announced her engagement to Prince Charles on February 10, 1967.   The wedding was scheduled to take place in early spring.   Six days after the engagement announcement, Grand Duke Jean issued a decree that gave dynastic status to Charles'  marriage.  His new wife would be styled as HRH Princess Joan of Luxembourg

The Roman Catholic wedding took place at the Church of St. Edward the Confessor in Guildford, England on March 1, 1967.  Grand Duke Jean and Clarence Dillon were witnesses to the ceremony, which was attended by close family relatives, including the bride's parents.  Grand Duchess Charlotte and Charles's four sisters. Elisabeth, Marie Adelaide, Marie Gabrielle and Alix.

Seven months after the wedding on September 15, 1967, Princess Joan gave birth to Charlotte in New York City.  The couple's second child, Prince Robert Louis François Marie was born on August 14, 1968, at Schloss Fischbach in Luxembourg.

Charlotte and her descendants are not in the line of succession to the Luxembourg throne as the succession law until 2011 limited succession to the male line descendants (approved marriages) of Grand Duke Wilhelm of Luxembourg's daughters.  He did not have any sons.  In 2011, a new gender equal succession law was passed, but the gender equal part applies only to Grand Duke Henri's descendants.  All other eligible male line descendants of Grand Duke Wilhelm remain in line.  This includes Henri's youngest brother, Prince Guillaume, and his sons, and his first cousin, Prince Robert, who is married to an American, Julie Ongaro, and they are the parents of three children, Charlotte, Alexandre, and Frederik.

A year after Prince Charles' death, Princess Joan married for the third time to Philippe François Armand Marie de Noailles, Duc de Mouchy (1922-2011).  Charlotte and Robert were sent to boarding school in England.

Joan, now 85, is styled as the Dowager Duchess de Mouchy. She has been described as "a larger-than-life lady, with an indefinable, cultured, mid-Atlantic accent."

  Embed from Getty Images

Charlotte is a first cousin of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.  She has a younger brother, Prince Robert (1968) who is the head of Domaine Clarence Dillon, which "has the unique privilege of producing five rare and exceptional estate wines: two red wines and two white wines from First Growth, Château Haut-Brion and its sibling Château La Mission Haut-Brion."   Prince Robert succeeded his mother as president in 2008. 

  Embed from Getty Images

Louis's royal ancestry has many interesting lines.  He is a descendant of King Louis XIV of France, and Queen Maria I of Portugal.  His paternal grandfather's family tree includes Bourbon Parmas, Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Loewenstein-Wertheim, Austria, and Spain  ---probably all the way back to Edward III.  

Louis' great-great grandfather Clarence Dillon (1882-1979) was a financier who, according to Forbes magazine, was one of America's richest men with a fortune between $150-200 million. He attended Harvard and became an investment banker.   In 1912, he began working for a Wall Street firm, William A Read & Compay in Chicago. He moved to the New York office in 1914.  Two years, after the death of William Read,  Clarence Dillon bought a major interest in the firm and became head of the company.

The firm's name was changed to Dillon, Reed & Company in 1931.   Dillon was a Francophile and an oenophile.  He bought an apartment in Paris in 1929, where he spent time every year.  Chateau Hau-Brion was his favorite wine so he decided to buy the company for 2,300,000 francs in 1935.

Clarence and his wife, Anne McEldin Douglas had a son and daughter.  Their son was C. (Clarence)  Douglas Dillon (1909-2003), an American diplomat who served as Ambassador of France (1953-1957), Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (1958-1959), and Under Secretary of State (1959-1961), all during the Eisenhower Administration.   He was the Secretary of Treasury from 1961-1965, during the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations.

C. Douglas Dillon married Phyllis Chess Ellsworth (1910-1982)  in 1931.  Joan was their younger daughter.

Embed from Getty Images 

 He attended Harvard University where he earned a degree in American history and literature.  Before seeing service in the Pacific in the second world war, Clarence was the Vice President and Director of Dillon, Read & Company.  He returned to the firm after the war where he was named Chairman, where he was able to double the firm's investments by 1952.   

Dillon, Read & Company was sold to Barings in 1991 for $122 million.   The former family-owned investment firm was sold several times after Barings went bankrupt and was closed in 2007.

Louis Cunningham's American roots can be traced back to the 1600s in Maryland and Virginia.  This connection comes through Clarence Dillon's wife, Anne McEldin Douglass.   Through his maternal grandmother, the young actor has French, Scottish, English, German and Polish ancestry.

Clarence Dillon was born in San Antonio to Clarence Lapowski, the son of Samuel Lapowski, a Polish Jew who had immigrated to Texas after the American Civil War, and Berta Stenbock, whose Swedish father, Gustav Stenbock, a prospector searching for lead and silver in Colorado.

The Lapowski family was naturalized in 1891.   A decade later, they changed their surname to Dillon.  This was the anglicized surname of Michele Dylion, a Frenchman, whose daughter, Paulina married  Joshua Lapowski, the parents of Samuel Lapowski.   

The family also converted to Christianity.

Joan Dillon's father dropped one S from his middle name Douglass, becoming Clarence Douglas Dillon, known as C. Clarence Dillon.

       Embed from Getty Images    

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a cup of coffee

Friday, August 5, 2022

19 million and counting


At some point today, Royal Musings reached 19 million readers. I started this blog in July 2008, but I never expected that the blog would be read by so many people around the world.  

I love writing about royalty past and present.  I also enjoy sharing travel stories and news about the kitties and chatting with my readers.   

You can type and scratch my tummy at the same time, Mom.

Mom, are you almost finished writing?  I am hungry.

Thank you so much for enjoying Royal Musings and RBN Royal Book News.

Perhaps it is time for a glass of champagne

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Prince Ludwig of Bavaria engaged


Prince Ludwig in Bucharest in October 2011  @Marlene Eilers Koenig

Prince Ludwig Heinrich of Bavaria is engaged to Sophie-Alexandra  Evekink. He is the future head of the Royal House of Bavaria. 

The couple became engaged in Berchtesgaden.

He was born on June 14, 1982 in Landsberg am Lech, third child and eldest son of Prince Luitpold of Bavaria and Beatrix Wiegand.   Prince Luitpold is the only child of the late Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Irmingard of Bavaria, who were first cousins.

Ludwig III - Rupprecht - Irmingard - Luitpold - Ludwig

Ludwig III - Franz - Ludwig - Luitpold - Ludwig.

Prince Ludwig is also a descendant of Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg:

Adolphe - Wilhelm - Antonia - Irmingard - Luitpold - Ludwig

Miss Evekink was born in Singapore in 1989 and has dual Dutch-Canadian nationality. She studied political and criminal science in England and worked for WHO in Geneva.  Sophie is a Ph.D. candidate at Oxford University.   She is the daughter of Dorus Evekink, Program Manager of Strategic Leadership a the Maastricht School of Management.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and East European Studies from University College London (UCL) and a Masters in Science from the University of Oxford.   Miss Evekink speaks with a  North American accent.

 Prince Ludwig has taken on "representative and honorary duties for the family" at the request of Duke Franz, the current head of the house.    He studied law at Göttingen University, focusing on human rights.  He is committing to helping those in need in Africa, Romania, and Ukraine.

In May 2022, Prince Ludwig received the  Bavarian State Medal for Social Merit.  

Prince Ludwig's father, Prince Luitpold spoke to Bild about his son's engagement.  

"Ludwig made a good choice.  My future daughter-in-law is a very intelligent and well-educated woman."

He also looks forward to more grandchildren.  "I hope they start a family soon.  It is very gratifying that Ludwig is now more in Bavaria again.  He worked as a development worker in Africa for almost ten years."

Miss Evekink is currently writing her doctoral thesis on international law at Oxford.  

The date for the wedding has not been announced.  

"We don't know that yet.  What is clear, however, is that it will be a celebration of joy," Prince Luitpold told Bild.

Prince Luitpold is the owner of the Kaltenberg brewery.


Myra, Lady Butter (1925-2022)


Tatler Magazine (June 2012) described Lady Butter as "the smartest woman in Scotland," even "without the Queen in tow."  She was always "immaculately dressed" and lead "Highland society with brio."  

Myra Alice Wernher was born March 18, 1925, at Coates Crescent, Edinburgh, the third and youngest child of Sir Harold Wernher, BT, and Countess Anastasia "Zia" Torby who was the eldest of three children of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia (1861-1929) and his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie von Merenberg, elder daughter of the elder daughter of Prince Nikolaus Wilhelm of Nassau and his morganatic wife, Natalia Alexandrovna Pushkina, the daughter of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.  

Countess Zia de Torby was granted the style and precedence of the daughter of an Earl by a Royal Warrant of King George V, on September 1, 1917, and was styled as The Lady Zia Wernher.

Myra's birth was announced in the Court Circular on March 10, 1925.  "Lady Zia Wernher gave birth to a daughter on Sunday."   Her baptism took place on June 4, 1925, at Holy Trinity Church, in Marylebone.  Her godparents were the Crown Princess of Sweden, Lady Amy Coats, Mme de Ellis, Lt. Col. J.G Lowther, and Mr. Marshall Field.   

The Crown Princess of Sweden was represented by her sister-in-law, the Marchioness of Milford Haven, who was Lady Zia's younger sister.   The former Lady Louise Mountbatten was the second wife of the future King Gustav VI of Sweden.  When he succeeded to the throne in 1950, Louise became Queen Louise of Sweden.

She had an older brother, George Michael Alexander, known as Alex (1919-1942), and an older sister, Georgina (1910-2011) who was married twice, first to Harold Phillips (1909-1980) and then to Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Bt, (1915-1999).

Myra and her older siblings were childhood friends of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.  This friendship continued throughout their lives.   Their maternal aunt, Nada, was married to George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven (ne Prince George of Battenberg,) who was Prince Philip's guardian.   

Myra and her siblings spent their childhood at Lubenham, where Princess Elizabeth, then only two and a half years old, came to tea -- 'two little things running about."  A few years later, Myra and Elizabeth had swimming lessons together along with other young girls at the Bath Club in London.  

"They got hold of some girls to be part of the thing to make it more fun," Lady Butter told the Sunday Telegraph in 2021.

@Bassano  National Portrait Gallery

Every summer for six weeks, the family traveled to Downie Park in Scotland.  The children "worshipped Scotland," where their home was packed with friends.   They would spend all day out, "fishing or up in the hills."

Bassano  National Portrait Gallery

The girls were brought up "very strictly."  Gina was "inclined to be rebellious, but "Myra, small and bright, much younger, a great mimic, seemed set to be a brilliant musician."   

Myra would later describe her parents as "a terrific example of self-discipline and service.  They made us aware of our good fortune in life. Pa was completely unmaterialistic but admired good things and would have been happy anywhere. Ma was very demanding but would have made herself comfortable in different circumstances. They were people of great strength."

Lady Zia and Queen Elizabeth II shared a love of horse racing.

When Georgina married Harold Phillips at St. Margaret's Westminster in 1944, Myra and Princess Alexandra were her two bridesmaids.   Two years later, Myra became engaged to David Henry Butter, a "member of an ancient Scottish family" that had owned land in the Pitlochry area since the 12th century. His mother Agnes Marguerite Clark was American.

from a member of Lady Butter's family

Their society wedding took place on November 5, 1946, at St Margaret's, Westminster.  Queen Mary, who was accompanied by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, attended the wedding along with the Duchess of Kent, Princess Andrew of Greece, Admiral the Hon Sir Alexander and Lady Patricia Ramsay, and Admiral Viscount Mountbatten of Burma and Viscountess Mountbatten.

Myra was given away by her father.  She wore a "gown and train of shell-pink tulle heavily embossed with silver in a floral design, and a long tulle embroidered with silver and she carried an ivory-bound Prayer book," according to the Times.

Four-year-old Prince Michael of Kent carried the bride's train.  He was dressed in the Royal Stuart tartan "with a white silk blouse and red shoes.  Princess Alexandra of Kent, 9, and the Hon. Diana Herbert were the bridesmaids.  Their dresses were "shell-pink picture frocks, with head-dresses of mixed flowers matching their bouquets."

The reception was held at the Dorchester Hotel.   

Myra and her husband divided their time between a London home and their estate in Cluniemore.

Lady Butter and her sister, Georgina, along with their parents, Sir Harold and Lady Zia Wernher, were guests at Prince Philip's wedding to Princess Elizabeth.  She told the Daily Mail in 1997: "The war had been so grey that the Royal Wedding seemed to signify the world coming to life again.  Everyone was determined to have a new dress for the day and I wore a blue ribbed silk dress by Dior.  It was one of the first three-quarter-length dresses, and I wore it with a feathered hat.  I had new shoes and a bag, too -- any excuse.

"All the people from the Commonwealth made the ceremony very colourful and the choir superb.

"The Princess looked truly glittering. Her dress was beautiful and she was obviously in love. Philip looked very dashing in his naval uniform -- and it really did seem like a fairytale wedding."

After the wedding, Myra and her family "rushed home and changed, then sped off down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where we stood there shouting to get them out on the balcony. Everyone I know claims the credit for getting them out on the balcony."

Queen Elizabeth II is the godmother of Myra and David's eldest child, Sandra Elizabeth Zia.  Princess Alexandra is the godmother of Myra's fourth daughter, Georgina Marguerite 

Myra and her husband David offered their "Perthshire haven" in Pitlochry to the Duke of Kent when he was courting Katharine Worsley and Princess Alexandra when she began dating the Hon. Sir Angus Ogilvy.  Alexandra and Angus first met at Myra's parents' home, Luton Hoo.

Major Sir David Butter, who was appointed KCVO in 1991, died on May 29, 2010, at Cluniemore, Pitlochry at the age of 90.

During ITV's coverage of Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021, Lady Butter shared her sadness at his death.  She was asked what the queen had lost with her husband's death; "The world, I think.  Incalculable."

In March 2022, Lady Butter, who had founded the Pushkin Prizes in Scotland more than 30 years ago, returned the Pushkin Medal, which has been presented to her on "the personal decree of President Putin."   She began the Pushkin Prizes after visiting the palaces in St. Petersburg where her family had lived.

She had received the honor in recognition of her work "bringing Scottish and Russian pupils together," reported The Times.

Lady Butter wrote to Russia's consul in Edinburgh, saying she was returning the medal "with great regret."

"I regarded the medal as such an honour when it came to Scotland in better times. We have always felt our deep roots with our ancestors in Russia and the great friendships received over the past years. However, to witness the terrible suffering taking place now is unbearable. Every human being only wishes to live in a peaceful world and we can only pray that the war will end with the utmost speed."

Lady Butter is survived by her five children: Sandra Morrison (1948), Marilyn, Countess of Dalhousie (1950), Rohays, Princess Galitizine (1952),  Georgina, Countess Péjacsevich de Veröcze (1956), and Charles Butter (1960) eleven grandchildren,   Charles Morrison, Sophie, Morrison, Lady Lorna Lefebvre, Lady Alice Dickinson, Lord Ramsay, Princess Sasha Galitzine, Princess Nada Galitzine, Count Alexander Péjacsevich de Veröcze, Countess Anastasia Péjacsevich de Veröcze and Julia and Henry Butter, as well as numerous great-grandchildren, including the Hon. William Ramsay, who is second in line to the Dalhousie earldom.

If you want to learn more about the Wernher family, I recommend this book:

Catherine II  - Paul - Nicholas I - Grand Duke Michael - Grand Duke Michael - Countess Zia - Myra

Monday, August 1, 2022

The marriage of the Hereditary Prince Paul Anton Esterhazy


The Hereditary Princess Esterházy von Galántha   The copyright for the photos belongs to the photographer.

Hereditary Prince Paul-Anton Esterházy von Galántha and Franziska "Sissi" von Reutter were married on July 30 in the Maria Saal Cathedral in Klagenfurt, Austria.  It was a formal wedding as the dress code was white tie and decorations.

The reception was held at Schloss Gradisch in Carinthia, which is owned by Count Karl-Georg von Goess.

The groom's father, Anton, Prince Esterházy von Galántha did not attend the wedding.

The couple became engaged last August as revealed by Royal Musings.  

The new Hereditary Princess is the half-niece of the late German sculptor, Franz Koenig.

Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Sophie-Alexandra Evekink

Prince and Princess Joachim-Albrecht of Prussia (the Princess appears to be expecting a third child) and Prince Joachim-Albrecht's sister, the Hereditary Princess of Leiningen

The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Leiningen

Philipp Lovrek and his wife, Countess Alice of Koenigsegg-Aulendorf

the Prince and Princess of Castell-Rüdenhausen

The copyright of all these photos belongs to a friend .... no one can use these photos in blogs, on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. etc), or published anywhere without the permission of the copyright holder.   I thank this friend for allowing me to use the photos.  

Two photos are not captioned.

The Daily Mail has published an article about the wedding by Jessica Green, who included photos lifted from Instagram without permission of the copyright holders.  But no real facts about the wedding.  

The article includes background information on the couple... hmm, where do you suppose Jessica got that information?

Here is the Daily Mail article:

and then click on my engagement article and you find numerous similarities including quotes from the Hereditary Prince's interview which I translated into English.

It appears Jessica used the cut and paste keys to write her article.

This is from Royal Musings 

This is from the Mail's article, nearly word for word .. again  I translated a German-language article into English 

I ran the Daily Mail article through a plagiarism checker which showed that 29% of Jessica's article was plagiarized from Royal Musings.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Duke Eugen Eberhard of Württemberg (1930-2022)

 HRH Duke Eugen Eberhard Albrecht Maria Joseph Ivan Rilsky Robert Ulrich Philipp Odo Carl Hubert of Württemberg was born on November 2, 1930 in Carlsruhe, Upper Silesia (now Pokój, Poland), the third of five children of HRH Duke Albrecht Eugen Maria Philipp Carl Joseph Fortunatus of Württemberg (1895-1954) and HRH Princess Nadezhda Klementine Maria Pia Majella of Bulgaria (1899-1958).

Duke Albrecht was the second son of Albrecht Maria Alexander Philipp Joseph, Duke of Württemberg and Archduchess Margarete Sophie Marie Annunciata Theresia Caroline Luise Josephe Johanna of Austria.   Princess Nadezhda was King Ferdinand of Bulgaria's fourth and youngest child and his first wife, Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma.  Marie Louise died the day after giving birth to her daughter.

Duke Eugen Eberhard married Archduchess Alexandra of Austria in Mondsee, Austria, on September 2, 1962.  Alexandra is the daughter of Archduke Anton of Austria and Princess Ileana of Romania.  This marriage ended in divorce in 1972 and was annulled a year later.  

The couple had no children.  Duke Eugen Eberhard never remarried.

He is survived by his brother, Duke Alexander, and sister, Duchess Sophie of Württemberg, his nephew Patrick de La Lanne-Mirrlees, and his family.  Mr. de La Lanne-Mirrlees is the natural son of Duke Eugen's late sister, Duchess Margarete and  Robin de La Lanne-Mirrlees.  

Duke Eugen Eberhard's surviving first cousins include King Simeon of Bulgaria and Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria.  Another first cousin, Carl. Duke of Württemberg died on June 7, 2022.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Princess Mary of Hanover

These photos of Princess Mary of Hanover (1849-1904) probably provide a clue to what her life was like. The youngest child of King Georg V and Queen Marie of Hannover, Mary shared many similarities with other youngest daughters, including her second cousin, Victoria of Wales. Marriages are discussed but never agreed upon. Eventually, the suitors drop away, and the youngest daughter is largely confined as her mother's helpmate, a glorified servant, always at the mother's beck and call. 

Such was the case of Princess Mary of Hanover. In 1866, the Hanover royal family was forced into exile after Bismarck annexed Hanover into the kingdom of Prussia. This action was largely due to the King of Hanover's decision to side with the Austrians in the Austro-Prussian war.

The family moved to their home in Gmunden, Austria, but there were also visits to Britain, as the Hanovers were also British princes and princesses. Although von Bismarck controlled the bulk of the Hanover fortune - the Guelph fund - the Hanovers were not short of cash due to investments outside the country.

In 1875, Prince Arthur, Queen Victoria's favorite son, was visiting a selection of German courts, where there might be an eligible princess. He traveled onto Gmunden, where he would stay to meet the Hanovers. King Georg and his elder daughter, Frederica, known as Lily, were away, but Queen Marie, Crown Prince Ernst August, and Princess Mary were at home."Mary is quite charming, so handsome and unaffected & so unselfish, I feel quite sure that you would like her," Prince Arthur wrote to his mother. This letter was unlike earlier letters to his mother. Arthur appeared to be smitten. His ADC wrote to Victoria that he thought that Mary resembled Arthur's sister, Louise. Queen Victoria believed that Arthur's visit would lead to "decided results."

Unfortunately, for Prince Arthur, the desired results did not happen. Princess Mary had been on the top of Victoria's list. Several months earlier, Arthur had dined with the king and queen of Hanover in Paris, but pursuing Mary might prove to be a delicate operation.

In May 1875, Arthur returned to Paris to meet again with the Hanovers and Princess Mary although he found he was unable to spend time with her. One evening, at dinner with the Duke de Monpensier, Prince Arthur struck up a conversation with the duke's attractive daughter, Christina, who sat opposite Princess Mary, who had remained silent throughout the meal. Yet Victoria was assured that Arthur still preferred the Hanoverian princess.

The Hanovers came to London at the end of May. A perfect time to announce an engagement. But when the family was ready to return to Gmunden, Queen Marie confided to Victoria that Princess Mary did not want to marry Arthur. Victoria was "grieved" by the announcement, and could not believe that Mary did not want to marry Arthur.

While Arthur's ADC tried to find out why by contacting members of the Hanoverian household, Victoria wrote to Queen Marie, who responded that Mary could not reciprocate Arthur's feelings. The king and queen would respect their daughter's wishes. But as it turned out there was more to the story. Mary would not marry a man unless they were well suited. Mary's brother, Ernst August, let it be known that several years earlier Mary had an affair with a man she could not marry, and she still needed time to get over it. There were various views about why the relationship did not take off, but a family confidante of the Hanovers believed that if Mary had remained in London for one more week, the engagement would have been announced. But Arthur was not about to give up.

In early 1877, he met once more with the King of Hanover, hoping for a positive response. King Georg told him that Arthur would have to guarantee that if Mary married him, she would not have any contact with his uncle the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, or with his brother-in-law, Crown Prince Friedrich of Germany. The agreement was made to "hardly ever," and Georg wrote to Mary, telling her of this solution.

Mary responded, diplomatically, that as she did not love Arthur, she could not marry him. Queen Victoria could not understand why Mary would refuse such a great marriage. She called the Hanoverian royal family "really stupid."

Her cousin, Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck considered the rejection as an insult, and wished that Arthur had chosen Lily instead of "that selfish idiot."Arthur took a more relaxed attitude. He wrote to Victoria: "Poor Mary, she is so conscientious that I have no doubt she has passed a very anxious time quite as much as I."

Princess Mary never married. She remained with her mother (King Georg died in 1878) at Gmunden, where she died in 1904 at the age of fifty-four. The German court announced eight days of mourning for a princess whose hatred of the Prussians was well-known.

While Arthur was trying to court Mary, another princess hoped that he would pay attention to her. Princess Thyra of Denmark, youngest sister of the Princess of Wales, was very much in love with Arthur, although he did not learn of this until several years later. In 1878, Thyra married Mary's brother, Ernst August, who was styled as the Duke of Cumberland.

If you liked this article

Princess Illa leaves fiance at the altar

The proposed marriage between Princess Eulalie of Thurn und Taxis, a member of the Bohemian branch of the princely family, and Prince Raphael Rainer, the fourth son of the head of the house, Albert, the 8th Prince of Thurn und Taxis,  seemed to be an excellent dynastic alliance.

The princess, the eldest child of Prince Friedrich and Princess Eleonore (nee de Ligne), was raised at Schloss Biskuptiz, in what is now the Czech Republic. Although she was officially styled as Princess Eulalia, she was called Illa by everyone in her family.

An introduction between Illa and Raphael Rainer was made in Baden-Baden. The prince's younger brother, Philipp Ernst, was also invited. Several informal family conferences were held, and "the wisdom of an alliance" between Illa and Raphael seemed clear. She showed "a certain preference" for Raphael. This led to an official engagement. But when everyone gathered in Regensburg on January 31, 1929, to celebrate the marriage between Illa and Raphael. Illa, however, had second thoughts about this marriage. She went to see her future father-in-law and told him she could not marry Raphael.

It was not until the next day that further details were leaked. It appeared that she was not in love with Raphael but with his younger brother, Philipp Ernst. Illa told her family that she had not been sure about her feelings until the week leading up to her wedding when everyone was staying at the family's castle in Regensburg. During that week, as she prepared for her wedding, she would see Philipp Ernst daily, and as the wedding drew closer, she knew that she would not be able to marry his brother. She did not love Raphael. She loved Philipp Ernst, and he was in love with her.

Illa told Prince Albert that it would be wrong to marry Raphael when she was in love with Philipp. She was a devout Catholic, and she wanted a true marriage. Albert called a family conference that included Illa's father, and all agreed to cancel the wedding. It was said that Illa's sincere motives came from a "deep religious conviction" that led her to confess her love for Philipp Ernst.

It was a mature decision for the 20-year-old Princess.

 On May 7, 1929, Illa's engagement to Prince Philipp Ernst of Thurn and Taxis was announced. May 7 was also Philip's 21st birthday, the day he reached his majority.

Their marriage took place at Schloss Taxis on September 8, 1929. The couple had three children, Albert (1930-2021), Margarete (1933-2019), and Antonia (1936). Albert married Baroness Alexandra von der Ropp in 1962. The marriage is considered unequal by Thurn und Taxis family law. The couple has no children.

Philipp Ernst, Ila and Albert

Neither Margarete nor Antonia ever married.  

Illa's father, Friedrich, was murdered on May 10, 1945, at Schloss Biskupitz (now known as Biskupice.)

The jilted Prince Raphael Rainer married his second cousin, Princess Margarete (Rita) of Thurn und Taxis in Regensberg on May 24, 1932.   They had one son, Max Emanuel (1935-2020).  Prince Max also married morganatically.

Prince Raphael Rainer (1906-1993) and Prince Philipp 1908-1964) were the seventh and eighth children of  Albert, Prince of Thurn und Taxis and Archduchess Margarete of Austria.  

Princess Eulalia (1908-1993) was the eldest of three children of Prince Friedrich of Thurn und Taxis and Princess Eleonore de Ligne.  Her sister-in-law, Princess Margarete (1913-1997) was the only child of Prince Friedrich of Thurn und Taxis and Princess Pauline of Metternich-Winneburg.   Margarete and her husband were second cousins.

If you liked this post