Thursday, August 22, 2019

Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein and Rafe Worthington

I was delighted to see American Rafe Worthington accompany Princess Marie-Astrid of Liechtenstein and her family to Liechtenstein's National Day on August 15.

Princess Marie Astrid is the second of three surviving children of Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein and a younger brother of Prince Hans Adam II, and Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg.  She has an older sister, Princess Maria Anunciata and a younger brother, Prince Josef.

I am most grateful to Tatjana Schnalzger, the photographer for the Vaterland, one of Liechtenstein's daily newspapers, for allowing me to use this photographs.   Thank you, Tatjana.

Princess Astrid and Rafe are in the back row.  He is wearing the lighter suit. @Tatjana Schnalzger

@tatjana Schnalzger

@Tatjana Schnalzger

@tatjana Schnalzger

A very informative source told me in June that the couple were engaged.  So far there has not been an official announcement.   Princess Astrid does not carry out official engagements and lives a largely private life.

Princess Christina's funeral

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 King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands joined other members of the Dutch Royal family at the private funeral of the King's aunt, HRH Princess Christina of the Netherlands, who died on August 16 at the age of 72.

The funeral took place at the te Noordeinde Palace in the Hague.  Princess Christina, who died from bone cancer, was the youngest of four daughters of the late Queen Juliana and the late Prince Bernhard.

Her casket was covered with sunflowers.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Princely engagement

Countess Vittoria of Waldburg  zu Wolfegg und Waldsee is to marry Ferdinand Lovrek.  The couple have been engaged for several months, but the public announcement was made this past weekend.

Vittoria Ida Walburga Maria Josefa Leonharda is the second of three children of  Johannes, Prince of Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee and his wife, Viviana dei Conti Rimbotti.  She was born at at Ravensburg  on April 4, 1992.

Ferdinand Lovrek is the third of six children of Paul Lovrek and Princess Maria Beatrice of Auerperg.  Paul Lovrek is the son of August Lovrek and Countess Aloysia Czernin von und zu  Chudnitz.

Lovrek is a practicing physician in Vienna.  He was born at Salzburg on May 21, 1985.

The wedding will take place next year at Wolfegg.

Friday, August 16, 2019

A fourth daughter for Juliana


February 18, 1947

Princess Juliana of the Netherlands gave birth today to her fourth daughter at 2:30 a.m. at Soestdijk, reports the New York Times.

The princess and her newborn daughter are "reported to be in excellent condition."  The baby weighed six pounds.

The Netherlands "joins in the happiness of the royal family," but there is said to be "some disappointment" as it was "generally hoped" that Princess Juliana would give birth to a son.  There has not been a male heir to the Dutch throne since 1884.

Dutch radio announced the news at 7 a.m, which was followed by a fifty-one gun salute.   The birth will be registered at the royal palace later today in the presence of the Prime Minister and the Burgomeister. "to whom the proud father, as prescribed, must show the baby."

A national holiday has been declared. but "school children won't profit, as the schools were already closed by the coal shortage."

February 19, 1947

The new princess has been named Maria Christina.  The first photo was taken by her proud father, Prince Bernhard.  She will be called Marijke.

June 12, 1947

It was announced today that Princess Maria Christina  will undergo an operation on both eyes.  Shortly after her birth , it was discovered "the Princess had a congenital cataract."

October 9, 1947

Princess Maria Christina is baptized at the Dom Church in Utrecht. Her godparents were Queen Wilhelmina (her maternal grandmother),  Princess Beatrix (her eldest sister),  Winston Churchill, Princess Armgard of Lippe-Biesterfeld (her paternal grandmother), Prince Felix of Luxembourg, husband of Grand Duchess Charlotte, and Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.

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Prince Bernhard stood proxy for Winston Churchill.  Princess Anne of Bourbon-par,a was Prince Felix's niece.

@Dutch National Archives

In June 1956, Dutch government officials "expressed concern and embarrassment" of a faith healer, Greet Hofmans' influence over Queen Juliana.  It was her husband, Prince Bernhard, who, according to reports, first heard about Hofmans' faith healing in 1948, and arranged for Juliana to meet with her. 

The queen hoped that Hofmans would be able to cure  Princess Maria-Christina's partial blindness.   Further reported noted that Hofmans "moved on to a sphere of  greater influence over the queen," according to the New York Times .

It was Bernhard who forced Hofmans to leave the palace in 1950.  This action, it was suggested, led to Bernhard and Juliana's estrangement.   Miss Hofmans moved to Baarn, near one of the royal residences, and continued to practice her faith healing.

German magazine Der Spiegel broke the story although Dutch government officials had known about it for years.  No Dutch newspaper would publish the story with the exception of a Dutch communist newspaper.

In July 1956, the Dutch government used the occasion of Princess Maria Christina's promotion from the third to the fourth grade to state that she was "handicapped but not blind.   The princess completed her studies in "the normal way."  The government acknowledged that Maria Christina "does not have good vision she is not blind."

In 1963, Maria Christina announced that she preferred to be styled as Princess Christina of the Netherlands.  Marijke was a "baby'' name  Three years later, NBC's The  Daughters of  Orange focused on Queen Juliana, as a mother, and her four daughters.   Aline Saarinen, an NBC correspondent, was reporter for the special.  She had recently interviewed Queen Juliana.

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It was a year later in July 1967 that the 20-year-old princess traveled to the US and Canada for a three week visit.  She arrived in New York City on July 9 and immediately traveled to Harrisburg, PA, where she was fitted for special contact lenses.  She was accompanied by Dr. Robert Morrison,a Harrisburg optometrist and hr lady in waiting, Nora de Vleiger.

During her time in North American,  the Princess visited friends in New York and Ottawa and also visited Expo 67 in Montreal before returning to Europe to spent August with her family in Ercole, Italy.

The Princess had a mind of her own "and a will to match her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina," who died in 1961.

She began music lessons in 1962.  After passing her school exams in 1965, she moved out of the palace and moved into an apartment with friends.   A year later, she enrolled in Groningen University for a pedagogic course.  Princess Christina rented a room in the home of one of her professors, before moving into a student apartment.

It was important for Christina to achieve an element of independence. When her family was in Italy for a holiday, Christina flew to the US and Canada to visit eye specialists.  There was a sense of freedom for the "inevitable thick-lensed" glasses.  She made new friends in Groningen, but according to The Observer (London), "she was still a princess, and forever hampered by the small formalities and the embarrassment of other people."

Christina decided to leave Groningen to "develop her singing talent and make her own way in the world."  She flew to Canada to take the exams, passed with flying colors, flew back to the Netherlands to seek parental approval and then she packed her bags for Montreal.

After graduation from McGill University, the princess moved to New York City, where she taught music in a Montessori school.  It was in New York City that she met Cuban-born Jorge Guillermo,  who ran a day care center in Harlem.   Jorge was born in Havana in 1946.  He and his parents left Cuba in 1962, a year after Fidel Castro seized power.

Princess Christina and Guillermo's engagement was announced on February 14, 1975

The couple sat down with American and European reporters at a press conference at the Dutch Consul General's office in New York City. 

"We have been  We have been surprised by the interest generated by our engagement," said Mr. Guillermo.  "We want to be continue to be just ordinary New Yorkers, as we have been."

The princess who was wearing an aqua suede dress sat with her fiance as they were peppers with questions.   She was asked how she first met Jorge.  "I first knew Mr. Guillermo ..."  Jorge laughed and said:  "Oh, you can call me George."

Christina was asked if it was fun to be a princess.  "Yes, but difficult," she answered.

They  said they did not fall in love immediately, but their love "grew."

The couple met through a friend.  What was their first date.  "A dinner party."  Their second date?  "A dinner party." 

"We like dinner parties," said Jorge.

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Did Jorge expect to marry a princess? "No,"  but he was "pleased" when he found out.   He proposed on his knee.

The couple were asked if they would "observe the traditional husband-wife roles or would they have a liberal marriage?"

"Middle of the road,"said Jorge.  Christina smiled.

Jorge did most  of the talking.  They planned on living in New York after the wedding.  They enjoyed the opera and going to movies.  "We wait in line like everybody else and we get rained on like everybody else."

The couple's civil wedding took place at Baarn, shortly before the religious service at the Cathedral of St. Martin in Utrecht on June 28, 1975.  Tens of thousands of people packed the center of town, but the New York Times noted that the wedding was "devoid of pageantry, parades or bridesmaids."

The 1,1000 guests attended the wedding and the reception that followed in a hall at Utrecht university.  Most of the guests were family members and close friends from the United States and Canada, but there were no representatives from Europe's royal houses.

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It was an ecumenical service as Christina, a Protestant,  and Jorge, a recently naturalized American citizen, was Roman Catholic,  The bride eschewed pomp and wore a "white silk organza dress without veil or train." The gown was designed by a New Yorker, Andrew Koyal,  Her bouquet included white roses and lilies.

After the wedding the couple returned to their teaching jobs in New York City.  Christina was known a Christina van Orange at the private school where she taught music and French.   But after a short period time, the couple moved to the Netherlands where they built Villa Eikenhorst in Wassenaar.

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As she did not seek Parliament's approval for the marriage, Christina lost her right of succession to to the throne. Her descendants are also not in the line of succession.

 The couple had three children:  Bernardo Federico Tomás  (June 21, 1977), Nicolás Daniel Mauricio (July 6, 1979) and Juliana Edenia Antonia (October 8, 1981).

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In July 1978 the Dutch government announced that Christina had suffered a miscarriage.

All three of her children were born in Utrecht.

Christina converted to Catholicism in 1992.  

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In her later years, the Princess lived in London, the Netherlands and Italy.  A gifted singer, she performed at both of her parents' funerals.  Earlier this year, she sold several works of art including a drawing by Peter Paul Rubens, which sold for $82 million.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte , noting that her decision to relinquish her succession,  Christina “created room for herself to lead her own life. A life dominated by family, her great love of music and development of young singing talent.”
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King Willem-Alexander described his aunt as a "striking personality with a warm heart.

Princess Christina was diagnosed with bone cancer in June 2018.  She died on August 16 at in her apartment at the Noordeinde palace complex in the Hague.  She is survived by her three children, at least four grandchildren, and her three older sisters,  Princess Beatrix, Princess Irene and Princess Margriet.

A look at the life of Princess Christina

Images from the life of Princess Christina of the Netherlands

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HRH Princess Christina of the Netherlands (1947-2019)

©RVD - Emannuela Loddo

Statement by the Government Information Service on behalf of the Royal Family
News item | 16-08-2019 | 09:13

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, Her Majesty Queen Máxima and Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands are deeply saddened to announce the death of Her Royal Highness  Princess Christina of the Netherlands on Friday morning 16 August 2019 at Noordeinde Palace complex in The Hague. The Princess, who had been suffering from bone cancer for several years, was 72.

Maria Christina, Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld was born at Soestdijk Palace in Baarn on 18 February 1947. She was the fourth daughter of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, and the youngest sister of Princess Beatrix. In 1975 Princess Christina married Jorge Guillermo, with whom she had three children: Bernardo, Nicolás and Juliana. Since her marriage, which ended in divorce in 1996, Princess Christina was no longer in line to the throne. She lived in New York and in Italy, among other places.

Princess Christina studied vocal teaching, and in recent years, alongside her passion for singing and music, she took an interest in dance therapy and sound therapy. In the Netherlands she worked in Huizen and Breda with the Visio foundation, sharing her knowledge of techniques related to dance, sound and physical contact in support of the blind and visually impaired. Princess Christina was a member of the Advisory Committee of the Princess Christina Competition, which was named in her honour. The competition seeks to introduce Dutch children to music and encourage them to develop their talents.

Princess Christina’s remains will be taken to Fagel’s Garden Pavilion in the grounds of Noordeinde Palace, where close friends and family will pay their last respects. The cremation will be held in private. The family will open an online book of condolence.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

New prince named Andrej

August 15, 1929

The third son of King Alexander and Queen Marie of Yugoslavia was officially named today, according to a special cable to the New York Times.  In the presence of Premier General Zivkovitch, senior ministers, representatives of the military and members of the diplomatic corps at the Suvobor Castle at Bled in Slovenia, the infant prince was given the name Andrej, which is the Slovenian form of Andrew.

King Alexander granted amnesty to hundreds of prisoners in honor of his son's birth.

Prince Andrej was born at Bled on June 28.

Tonight beacon fires will be lit on the mountain tops in honor of the naming ceremony.

Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, the king's first cousin, and former Queen Elizabeth of the Hellenes were Andrej's godparents.  Elizabeth represented the Duke of York as the "chief sponsor" and "in this capacity entered the chapel beyond besides the Dowager Queen Marie of Rumania, who carried the royal infant." 

Prince Andrej was "blessed with holy water."  Queen Elizabeth took a lighted candle in "her left hand, the child in her right," and approached the Patriarch and "asked him to name the infant Andrej."

After the ceremony, King Alexander, said to be in high spirits, "received congratulations tendered by a series of delegations."

The prince's baptism took place on the day he was born.  Today's ceremony is described as a "formal reception" into the Orthodox church, "with the supplementary baptismal ritual," which was not included in first ceremony.

The baby had received the "provisional name of Paul" at the first service.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A visit to Chatsworth -- Sort of

Last Saturday - August 10 - a friend and I visited Sotheby's on York Avenue in New York City to see the Treasures of Chatsworth.

Chatsworth is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

I visited Chatsworth, which is in Derbyshire,  in the early 1990s.  It rained the entire time. I would love to see it again.  This exhibit is a very good introduction to Chatsworth and the Cavendish family.

The exhibit is free and features artwork and jewels from the the Duke of Devonshire's private collection.

The entry to the exhibit features a film on Chatsworth and its visitors including Queen Mary and Adele Astaire.  Kathleen Kennedy is also in the film. In May 1944, she married William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, eldest son and heir of the 10th Duke of Devonshire.  Four months after the wedding, Lord Hartington was killed by a sniper in Belgium.  In 1948, Lady Hartington died in a plane crash.

The tour moves into a large room with a panoramic film of the interiors and exteriors of Chatsworth.   On prominent display in the center of the room is the Devonshire tiara.   The rest of the exhibit includes portraits of family members including  Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and the famed Lucien Freud portrait of the late Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire (one of the Mitford sisters), several Canalettos,  sculpture, the Devonshire parure,  Deborah's Coronation robes and the 11th Duke's Garter Robe and Order.

There is a companion exhibit: Inspired by Chatsworth - A Selling Exhibit. The items in the latter exhibit are for sale. 

 The Chatsworth exhibition is free to the public and runs through September 13.

Kathleen Kennedy

Adele Astaire

12th Duke (Stoker)

The Duchess of Devonshire  (Amanda)

Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire  by Lucien Freud

11th Duke by Lucien Freud

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (Lady Georgiana Spencer)

Evelyn, Duchess of Devonshire  (wife of 9th Duke)

the Canalettos

there are about 8 or so videos that are shown in a loop throughout the day

Lady Burlington

the Duchess of Devonshire's costume from the Duchess of Devonshire's ball in 1897

Devonshire Parure

We also visited the Inspired by Chatsworth exhibit.  These works of art are for sale.  The Chatsworth exhibition returns to Chatsworth.

This would like nice on my dining room wall


The website includes more information about the exhibit and includes several of the videos that we saw on Saturday.   The exhibit is FREE!  Definitely worth the trip to NYC.  I had a time ticket, but you can walk in and see the exhibit as well.