Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Princess Auguste, younger sister of Danish queen is dead

July 17, 1889

Princess Auguste Sophie Friederike Marie Caroline Julie of Hesse-Cassel, the younger sister of Queen Louise of Denmark, died today at Copenhagen.  She was 65 years old.

The Princess was the fifth of six children of Prince Wilhelm of Hesse-Cassel and Princess Charlotte of Denmark.   She was born at Copenhagen on October 23, 1823.  She married Baron Karl Friedrich von Blixen-Finecke, a Swedish-Danish nobleman, at Schloss Panker on May 28, 1854.

She is survived by her sons: Vilhelm Carl Ferdinand Christian Fredrik Hilda Rudolf Gustaf(1857)  and  Vilhelm Carl Anna Otto Gunnar Axel  von Blixen-Finecke (1863). 

The Dowager Baroness was close to her sister and kept in touch with her nieces and nephews.  In December 1875,  the Princess of Wales, the wife of the heir to the British throne, and the eldest daughter of Queen Louise and King Christian IX, visited Auguste at her home in Helsingör.

Baron Axel accompanied his cousin, the Crown Prince of Denmark to  Windsor Castle in May 1887 as the guest of the Prince and Princess of Wales.  He had the "honour of dining with the Queen and the Royal Family."

[In the early 1890s,  Baron Gustav served as an adjutant to Crown Prince Gustav of Sweden --King  Gustav V.  He shared an interest in photography with Crown Princess Victoria.  He carried her equipment during a trip to Cairo.  Apparently more than the negatives were exposed during their time together in the photography tent.  Baron Gustav, who never married, was dismissed from his position.]

Olga and Paul arrive in London for a private visit

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July 17, 1939

Prince Paul, the Regent of Yugoslavia, and his wife, Princess Olga, have arrived in London for what has been described as a "private visit," according to the New York Times.   They were greeted at the station by the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who is the Duchess of Kent's youngest sister.

The couple will be saying good-bye to the Duke and Duchess of Kent, who will be heading to Australia in the autumn, as the Duke of Kent will become the Governor General.

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 To "avoid arousing the Germans," Prince Paul did not receive an official welcome to the United Kingdom.    No British government officials were at the train station to meet the royal couple.    They have been invited to stay at Buckingham Palace, the invitation being described as "merely a matter of family courtesy."

However, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and several of his cabinet members did attend a "private dinner" for Prince Paul and Princess Olga at Buckingham Palace.

It is understood that Paul will have "several important talks" during his visit.

Government officials are "well aware" of Paul's "pro-German and violently anti-Soviet" reputation.  They also respect his position as an "able statesman who can understand the growing power of the 'peace front.'"    Prince Paul and Princess Olga paid an official visit to Germany in June, where they met Adolf Hitler.

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Yugoslavia has not joined the Axis, which is seen as a "good omen," despite pressure from Berlin and Rome.

Prince Paul is a first cousin of King Alexander of Yugoslavia, who was assassinated in Marseilles in 1934.  He is one of three regents for Alexander's young son,  King Peter II, who is 15 years old, and too young to reign on his own.

Paul's true importance has less to do with the Regency and more with his position as the "virtual ruler of Yugoslavia.   This is why his visit is seen with "unusual importance."

Shots fired at Archduke Franz Ferdinand

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July 17, 1909

The New York Times' London bureau received a dispatch earlier today from Vienna regarding a shooting incident that involved Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir presumptive to the Austrian throne.

The Archduke was on  a train that was bringing him back from a visit to Romania when "four shots were fired at the royal compartment, passing the frontier, one of which narrowly missed the Archduke."

The train "immediately stopped" and a search carried out to find the shooter.  A local landowner, who was carrying a gun, was arrested.  He told the police that he was "merely shooting at bears" and he did not know that his shots had hit the train.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Happy 74th birthday Crown Prince Alexander

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One of my favorite royals. Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, celebrates his 74th birthday today, July 17.   I have had the pleasure of knowing the Crown Prince and his family since the 1980s and I have had the honor of being invited to Belgrade for four occasions: the Crown Prince's 60th birthday, his 25th wedding anniversary, the state funerals of King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Marie and Prince Andrej, and Prince Philip's wedding,  Sadly, I had to send my regrets for Philip's marriage.

The Crown Prince's office puts put a year in review video each year on the Crown Prince's birthday.

Queen Elizabeth II is the the Crown Prince's godmother.

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Mail call

In this week's mail: thank yous from the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Stefan zur Lippe.

it is Amazon Prime Day -- today and tomorrow. I treated myself to this little device.  You can as well.  I hope that when you shop for Prime Deals, please consider starting your search and purchases using the search boxes on the right of the blog posts.  Full transparency: I make a few pennies per sale.  Thanks

Princess Stephanie of Windisch Graetz (1939-2019)

Private collection

HSH Princess Stéphanie Marie Eva of Windisch-Graetz died on July 12 at St. Pierre Hospital in Brussels.  She was 79 year old.

Stéphanie was born at Brussels on July 17, 1939, the elder of two children of  Prince Franz Josef of Windisch-Graetz (1904-1981) and Countess Ghislaine d'Arschot Schoonhaven (1912-1997).

She was the granddaughter of Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria (1883-1963) and Prince Otto of Windisch-Graetz (1873-1952.)  This marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1948 and Erzi, as she was known to her family, married Austrian  Socialist politician Leopold Petznek shortly after her divorce.  Due to her left wing leanings, Erzi was known as the Red Archduchess.

Thus, Stephanie was a great-granddaughter of Archduke Rudolf and Princess Stephanie of Belgium and a great-great-granddaughter of Emperor Franz Josef of Austria and King Leopold II of the Belgians.

Her engagement to Dermot Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell, a Captain in the Grenadier Guards (1935-2009), was announced on October 3, 1966. They were married in London on February 16, 1967 and were divorced in 1973.

(Dermot married for a second time to Sally Leigh (nee Creer) on March 11, 1976).

Princess Stéphanie is survived by her two sons,  Henry Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell (and his wife, Lisa Abadjian) and Alexander Windisch-Graetz (and his wife, Ann Charlotte Le Sellier de Chezelles), five grandchildren, Eléonore and Bryan Blundell-Hollinshead-Blundell and Elisabeth-Marie, Otto and Hermine Windisch-Graetz.

In 2011, Alexander  changed his surname to Windisch-Graetz.

Princess Stephanie was a gifted photographer who often shot her portraits using candle light.

Georg Friedrich seeks right to live in Cecilienhof

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Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, the head of the house of Hohenzollern, has filed a claim with Germany, "demanding a permanent right of residency for his family in Cecilienhof, now a museum or one of two other palaces formerly occupied by his family," reports the Irish Times.

Cecilienhof, which was built in 1917, was named for Georg Friedrich's great-grandmother, Crown Princess Cecilie, the wife of Crown Prince Wilhelm, eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who abdicated in November 1918 as the German Empire had collapsed from the weight of its defeat and the changing political tide that was steamrolling through Europe.

The palace was the site where the Allied nations, celebrating their victory over Germany and fascism, held the Potsdam Conference in 1945, where President Harry S. Truman, Prime Minister Clement Atlee and Josef Stalin met to finalize the establishment of a post-World War II, which included the division of Europe and the path toward what would be known as the Cold war.

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 After the conference was over, Soviet troops used Cecilienhof as a clubhouse.  Potsdam was in the eastern sector of Germany, later the German Democratic Republic.

The palace is now open to the public, as a part of the Preussische-Schlösser und Gärten in Berlin-Brandenburg.

Georg Friedrich has been involved in "discreet talks" for five years but "negotiations  have reached an impasse."   He has canceled "long-term loans of family art works in Berlin and Potsdam."  He has also demanded the return of the "family library and 1000 letters" to and from his great-great-grandmother, Empress Auguste Viktoria, the consort of Wilhelm II.

The letters were  found during a "recent renovation" of the Neues Palais, also in Potsdam.

Prince Georg Friedrich, 43, succeeded his grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. as head of the Imperial House.

Crown Princess Victoria celebrates her 42nd birthday at Solliden

Today- July 14 - Crown Princess Victoria celebrated her 42nd birthday with her annual appearance at Solliden on Oland. The Swedish royal family have their summer residence at Solliden. The Crown Princess was accompanied by her husband, Prince Daniel and their two children, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar and the King and Queen. In the evening, the Crown Princess was the guest of honor the annual birthday concert at Borgholm's Idrottsplats.

 The royal guests arrived by carriages from Solliden.

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I attended the concert and the birthday celebrations in 2017.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Two missing princesses .. in the Vatican

In the last few days,  news organizations, including the the New York Times, have reported on the opening of two tombs in the Vatican City's Teutonic Cemetery.

In June, 1983, 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican City employee vanished while walking home in Rome.  There are numerous theories about her death, the most recent being was that she was buried in a tomb in the cemetery.  According to Emanuela's brother, the tomb could be identified by an a statue of an angel pointing to a cemetery.

This led officials to the tomb of Princess Sophie of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein, the eldest of seven children of Ludwig Leopold, Prince of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein and Countess Polyxenia of Limburg-Stirum. 

Sophie was born at Schillingsfürst on December 13, 1758.  She died at Rome on January 13, 1836.  She did not marry.

The present head of the Hohenlohe-Bartenstein is descendant of Sophie's younger brother. Karl Joseph.

The tomb of Duchess Charlotte Friederike of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was also opened.  She was the seventh surviving child of  Duke Friedrich Franz I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Princess Luise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg Friedrich Franz was created Grand Duke in 1815.

Charlotte was born at Ludwigslust on December 4,1784.  She married her first cousin, Prince Christian Frederik of Denmark (1786-1848), the son of  Hereditary Prince Frederik of Denmark and Duchess Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Christian was visiting Mecklenburg when he met and fell in love with Charlotte.  They were married two years later at Ludwigslust on June 21, 1806.

 Less than a year after the wedding,  Charlotte gave birth to the couple's first child, a son, Christian Frederik at Schloss Plön  on April 8, 1807.  The infant prince lived for only a few hours.

A second son, Frederik Carl Christian, was born at Copenhagen on October 8, 1808. 

Charlotte and Christian settled into a homes in Amalienborg and Sorgenfri.  IThe marriage was not a happy one.  Within two years of marriage, there were reports that the capricious Charlotte was having an affair with her singing teacher, the Swiss-born Edouard Du Puy.    She was forced to leave the court.  Christian divorced her in 1810 and she was sent to live at Horsens.  She would never see her son again.

Charlotte lived for several years in a palace in Horsens.  She also had a home in Aarhus, where she had an active social life, as well as several affairs with Danish officers.    In 1929, she moved to Karlsbad, Germany, remaining there for a year before settling in Rome.  She was baptized as a Lutheran, but converted to the Roman Catholic faith some years later. 

She died at Rome on July 13, 1840 and was buried in the Teutonic Cemetery, which was the final resting places for persons of Germanic origin.

Christian succeeded to the Danish throne in 1839.  He died in 1848 and he was succeeded by his son Frederik VII.   Christian VIII married for a second time to Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, whose mother was Princess Louisa Augusta of Denmark.  This marriage was childless.

KIng Frederik VII was the last of the Oldenburg dynasty  He died on November 15, 1863.  His first two marriages to Princess Vilhelmine of Denmark and Duchess Caroline Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, were dissolved by divorce.

His third marriage to a commoner Louise Rasmussen was morganatic.

Frederik did not have children.  The Danish throne passed to a kinsman, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the Oldenburg dynasty. 

The Vatican authorized permission for the two tombs to be open.   Emanuela's remains were not found, but adding to the mystery, officials learned that the remains of Princess Sophie or Duchess Charlotte were not in their respective tombs.

A Vatican spokesman issued a statement several hours after the tombs were opened:   “There were no human remains nor funerary urns.”

Princess Sophie's tomb was "completely empty" and Duchess Charlotte's had "no human remains."

The Vatican has no explanation for the two empty tombs.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Queen in Cambridge & Duchess of Gloucester in London

A special thank you to Ken Stone and his camera for allowing to use his photos from yesterday in Cambridge, where HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, welcomed HM The Queen to the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.  The Duchess, who is married to the queen's first cousin, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, is the patron of the hospital.

@ Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@ Ken Stone

In London earlier today, the Duchess was present for the Royal Academy of Music's graduation ceremony.   She is the President of the Royal Academy of Music.  Queen Elizabeth II is the Patron.

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

@Ken Stone

Meanwhile in Norway

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Lovely new family snaps of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway and their two children, Princess Ingrid and Prince Sverre Magnus at their country home in Dvergsoya.

I wonder how Crown Princess Mette-Marit's health is faring as there as not been an update in some months.

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the Royal Box at Wimbledon

The Duchess of Cornwall was in the Royal Box at Wimbledon today.  She was joined by the Duke of Kent and his daughter, Lady Helen Taylor, and her husband Tim Taylor, the Countess of Wessex and the Prince of Monaco.

Mike and Zara Tindall were at Wimbledon as well,  but they were sitting in Centre Court.

The Countess of Wessex was accompanied by her goddaughter, Amelia Etherington, daughter Mark and Lady Alexandra Etherington.  Lady Alexandra is the daughter of the late 3rd Duke of Fife, a grandson of Princess Louise, daughter of Edward VII, and the elder sister of the 4th Duke.

The Duke of Kent is the President of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

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An overload of cuteness

The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex and their children, George, Charlotte, Louis and Archie, were on hand today at the Billingbear Polo Club in Wokingham for The King Power Royal Charity Polo Day.  The two families cheered on the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex as they took part in the polo match.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A Royal visit to Gotha

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha today.  The castle, once one of the residences of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, is now a museum.

One of the exhibitions on view is "Marriage as a model for Success: German-English Marriages."    2019 is the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Victoria and Albert were first cousins.  Albert was the younger son of Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, whose sister, Victoire, who married the Duke of Kent, was the mother of Queen Victoria.

King Philippe is the great-great-great-grandson of King Leopold I of the Belgians, who was born Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, the younger brother of Duke Ernst I and the Duchess of Kent.

In 1826,  when Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg became extinct, Duke Ernst ( who was the third duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld) had the best claim for Gotha.  He ceded Saafeld to the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen) and became Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Prince Leopold was first marriage to Princess Charlotte of Wales, heiress presumptive to the British throne.  She was the only child of King George IV.  Her death in childbirth in November 1817 led to a race among several of King George III's unmarried sons to find suitable wives and produce legitimate heirs.  The succession race was won by the little Mayflower, Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent, as she succeeded her uncle William IV in 1837.  Three years later, on February 10, 1840,  Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert.

Leopold became the first king of the Belgians in 1830.  Two years later, he married Princess Louise of Orléans.

The King and Queen of the Belgians are in Germany for a state visit.

Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the head of the Ducal house, and his elder son, Hereditary Prince Hubertus and his wife, Kelly,  joined the king and queen for their tour to the castle and exhibitions.

There are photos on Getty, but the images do not have the embedding code, which means bloggers cannot use the photos.

Here is a link to the local Gotha newspaper,Thüringer Allgemeine, which has an article and photographs.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Margaret Rutherfurd marries Prince Charles Murat

July 8, 1929

Mrs. Margaret Rutherfurd, the former wife of Sir Paul Dukes, was married today to Prince Charles Michael Joachim Napoleon Murat, third son of Joachim Napoleon, 5th Prince Murat and Marie Cecile  Ney d'Elchingen,  reports the New York Times.

The wedding took place at the Church of St. Francois the Saviour in Paris.

The bride is the daughter of Mrs. William K.  Vanderbilt and the late Lewis Morris Rutherfurd of New York.  Her witnesses were Alan Rutherfurd, her cousin, and Jacques Balsan, who is married to the former Consuelo Vanderbilt.

The Duc d'Elchingen and the groom's brother, Prince Joachim, "appeared for the bridegroom."

It was a quiet ceremony with only "a few intimate friends" in attendance.

The Prince and Princess' civil marriage took place recently in Paris.

This is the third marriage for the Princess.  Her first marriage took place in September 1911 at the "little chapel" on the estate of her stepfather, the late William K. Vanderbilt at Deauville, Normandie, where she married Ogden Livingston Mills, now the Under Secretary of the Treasury.  The couple were divorce in Paris in 1920.

Two years later, in October 1922, she married Sir Paul Dukes, an English author and lecturer, who had been knighted for "his work as head of the British Secret Service in Russia in the early days of the Soviet."

This marriage took place in Nyack, New York.  Sir Paul and Lady Dukes lived in an apartment at 180 Riverside Drive.

Before her divorce from Sir Paul "there were persistent rumors" that she would marry Prince Charles Murat, "should she win her freedom.   Her divorce was finalized earlier this year.

It was during her second marriage that she dabbled as an actress and ballet dancer and also becoming a devotee "of the cult of Oom the omnipotent." Shortly after her divorce from Mills she became involved with "mystic order of the 'Tantriks of India,' a so-called love cult."  It was at the cult's Nyack center where she met Sir Paul Dukes.  He had come to the States "to recuperate from a nervous breakdown."

Margaret Stuyvesant Rutherfurd was born in 1891, the second child of  Anne Harriman and her second husband, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd, the younger brother of Winthrop Rutherfurd, who was briefly engaged to Consuelo Vanderbilt, an engagement broken by her mother, Alva, in order to arrange the marriage with the Duke of Marlborough, which ended in divorce.

Anne's third marriage was to Consuelo's father, William Kissam Vanderbilt, thus making Margaret and Consuelo stepsisters.

This is the first marriage for Prince Charles Murat, who was born in 1892.  He is a great-great grandson of Joachim Murat, King of Naples, and Caroline Bonaparte, a sister of Napoleon I.    Prince Charles has American ancestry as his paternal grandmother, Caroline Georgina Fraser from Charleston, South Carolina, married Prince Napoleon Lucien Charles Murat, 2nd Prince Pontecorvo and 3rd Prince Murat.