Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's a girl for Princess Nathalie

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg gave birth to a daughter, Louisa,  yesterday at the Helios Klinik in Bad Berleburg, Germany.  She is married to fellow equestrian Alexander Johannesmans.

This is the second child for the couple.  Their son, Konstantin, is four years old.

Baby Louisa was born on January 28th at 10:10 p.m.   She weighed 7.5lbs and is 20.9 inches tall. 

Princess Nathalie is the youngest child of Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.   She and her new daughter have already returned to their home at Schloss Berleburg.

Mother and daughter are doing well.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Archduke Albrecht wants his father's art collection

January 28, 1935

Archduke Albrecht, the former Hungarian pretender, is now in Vienna, reports the New York Times.  He is planning to negotiate with the Austrian government for the "restitution" of his father, Field Marshal Archduke Friedrich's property, confiscated after Austria's collapse and defeat in the world war. 

The negotiations are making "slow progress, as the Austrian Minister of Finance is refusing to pay "any indemnity for picture galleries and other objects of art which form the greater part of such property."

Archduke Albrecht is trying to reach an agreement concerning the "Albertina collection, one of the world's most famous groups of etchings and drawings.  This collection was his father's personal property.

Albrecht would like to transfer the collection of his home in Hungary, but the Austrian government has refused to allow this transfer.  The government has also "declined any indemnity."

The archduke is now seeking a "lump sum," and if he is not successful, he is threatning to take his case to the World Court at the Hague.

Franz Josef meets with heir

January 28, 1915

Rumors of an abdication by the Austrian emperor have been revived after the heir to the throne, Archduke Karl, had a "long interview" with Franz Josef after his return from his trip to German Military headquarters.

The New York Times reports that a dispatch to the Temps, a Parisian newspaper, from Basle, Switzerland, is connected to the rumor that the Austrian emperor will abdicate in favor of Archduke Karl, as a result of the Archduke's visit to Germany.

Pope pushing royal marriage

January 28, 1905

Pope Pius is said to be the "prime mover in the negotiations for a matrimonial alliance" between the young King Alfonso XIII of Spain and Duchess Marie Antoinette of Mecklenburg, according to a dispatch from the New York Tribune.

Duchess Marie Antoinette's parents, Duke and Duchess Paul of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.  have lived very quietly in Venice for some years, settling there after their marriage, where they lived "quietly" with the Duchess Paul's widowed sister, the Countess Moncenigo.   Duchess Marie Antoinette was born in Venice.

Duchess Paul was born Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz.  The couple have three children, who have been raised in the Roman Catholic faith.  Duke Paul converted to Roman Catholicism several years after the marriage.

Before his election as Pope,  Pius served as the "patriarch and archbishop of Venice," and  knew the family well.  He had "naturally felt drawn" toward Duke Paul and his family, as Paul had not only sacrificed his military career, which had shown "promise of great brilliancy," but also his succession rights to the Grand Ducal throne of Mecklenburg-Schwerin "for the sake of Catholic Church."

As Cardinal Sarto,  Pius acted as the family's spiritual adviser, and was a "constant guest" at their home.  He knew Grand Duke Paul's children from infancy.  Duchess Marie Antoinette is said to be a "particular favorite," and he is "exceedingly anxious" to see her become Queen of Spain.

The reigning houses of Russia, Austria and Prussia are all said to be "in favor of the match," so it is expected to be a "fait accompli."

The only drawback is that Duchess Marie Antoinette's family is not well off, and she will not bring "to her husband a dowry."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ileana to marry German count

January 27, 1930

The engagement of Princess Ileana of Roumania and Count Alexander von Hochberg, was confirmed today in Romanian court circles.

Count Alexander is one of three sons Prince Hans Heinrich of Pless and his former wife, the former Mary Cornwallis-West, who is better known as Princess Daisy of Pless.

An official announcement will be made next weekend when the "formal betrothal" takes place in the presence of members of the Pless princely family.

Princess Ileana is 21-years-old, and her London-born fiancé is 25.  Two days ago, Queen Marie discussed the state obligations of the marriage with Premier Maniu.  The Dowager queen said she found "her daughter's suitor an extremely sympathetic person."  She was especially pleased because of his English blood, and his mother's family is very wealthy.

She told the premier that from her standpoint "the engagement was satisfactory," and she hoped the young couple would settle in Romania.  Premier Maniu assured Queen Marie that "the government was entirely in agreement" in supporting the marriage.

There have been numerous suitors for Princess Ileana's hand, most notably King Boris III of Bulgaria.  But that match "fell through" due the "dislike of the Bulgarians for Romania. Another "unsuccessful suitor" was Ileana's first cousin, Hereditary Prince Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. 

Count Alexander's mother, Maria Theresa Cornwallis-West, married the Prince of Pless in London on December 9, 1891.   The marriage ended in divorce in 1922.

New Rumors: Franz Josef to abdicate

January 27, 1915

According to reports received in Geneva from Innsbruck,  Austria Emperor Franz Josef is "arranging to abdicate."  The New York Times states that Franz Josef is "unable to agree with the views" of German Emperor Wilhelm II "regarding peace."

Franz Josef has adopted "this course" on the advice of his heir, Archduke Karl, and Baron von Burian, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Emperor "desires to leave his successor with a free hand" to further advance the discussion of peace/

Monday, January 26, 2015

Eulalia's jewels siezed

January 26, 1935

More problems for former King Alfonso of Spain's aunt, Infanta Eulalia. She has been able to "acquire a wandering trunk load of priceless jewels in Spain," reports the New York Times.

Infanta Eulalia has been living in retirement for years, "almost in poverty as compared with the style" that her nephew and his family maintain.  But she owns one of the "rarest collections of jewels in Europe," and it was saved by Spanish premier Azara, who placed the jewels in the Bank of Spain.

Infanta Eulalia said to a reporter:  "Since then I have not learned much about them.  I got the services of an agent, but when he inquired at the Bank of Spain he was told that no one knew where to find the jewels. They are the gift of my mother and are worth several million francs."

Boris' first love, Ileana, to marry another man

January 26, 1930

King Boris III returned to his capital, Sofia, today, "apparently as far away from winning a wife and queen as ever," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune

Accompanied by his brother, Prince Kyril, and his sister, Princess Eudoxia,  the "democratic young king" drove his own car from Bucharest, Romania, where he stopped briefly, after attending the wedding of Crown Prince Umberto of Italy and Princess Marie Jose of Belgium.

There is a sense of the tragic in the king's quest for a "royal bride.  He has been dogged by "ill luck," ever since assuming the throne following his father's abdication.

Court circles are reporting that King Boris was rebuffed "both in Rome and Bucharest," removing the possibility of marriage to "two of Europe's most eligible princesses.

In Rome,  King Boris is said to have received "final word from the Vatican," that "under no circumstances" that the Church would sanction his marriage to the "pretty Princess Giovanna."   He had heard this before, but he lived in hope that the Vatican would have changed its mind.

Princess Giovanna is the daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena.

King Boris has now "accepted his fate," and has crossed Princess Giovanna off his list.

En route to Bulgaria, he stopped off in Bucharest, the home of his "first love," Princess Ileana.  The 20-year-old princess, youngest daughter of Queen Marie and the late King Ferdinand,  was a likely candidate.   But as the king arrived in Bucharest, he learned that the Bucharest newspapers announced that Princess Ileana "would not marry a king of any sort, but was engaged to Count Alexander von Hochberg, a member of the Princely house of Pless. 

Queen Marie has postponed her trip to Egypt to "fix up the details" of the wedding.   Count von Hochberg arrived in Bucharest several weeks ago, and formally asked Queen Marie's consent to marry Princess Ileana. 

Ileana and Count Alexander met in Paris "some time ago," and it was a "case of love at first sight."

Another bride to cross off the list.  King Boris did not stay long in Bucharest after learning the news. 

The new likely candidate that King Boris might pursue is Queen Marie's 19-year-old niece, Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, the younger daughter of Grand Duke Kirill and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna.

King Boris would not need to worry about religion, as Kira is Russian Orthodox.

Crown Prince Wilhelm ill

January 26, 1905

Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia is "confined to his room" with influenza,  reports the New York Times from Berlin.  It is "denied," however that the heir to the German throne has "contracted pneumonia" from his brother, Prince Eitel Friedrich.

Prince Eitel Friedrich's physician issued a bulletin at 10:00 a.m., this morning:

"His Royal Highness had a fairly good night. He slept for some time and did not cough much.  The lower lobe of the left lung is now entirely affected; the distress in breathing is not extreme; the pulse is rapid, though strong.

"Temperature 102 3/4; appetite is somewhat better; complains of pains in the side; is perfectly conscious."

Empress Auguste Viktoria traveled to Potsdam early this morning and spent the afternoon with her convalescing son.   His condition "gives the family much concern," but there is nothing to indicate that his illness is "not taking the normal course."

Johan Martin Ferner (1927-2015)

Johan Martin Ferner has died

Johan Martin Ferner passed away quietly at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, today, 24 January 2015 at 05.25 AM.

Message of condolence from His Majesty The King:
“It is with deep sadness that we have received the news that Johan Martin Ferner has passed away. Our thoughts go to Princess Astrid and her family, who have lost a wonderful husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather.”

Johan Martin Ferner

Johan Martin Ferner was born on 22 July 1927. He pursued an education in business in Norway, England and France, and studied at the London Polytechnic Institute, Bradford Technical College and the University of Lyon. Together with his brother he ran and developed the department store Ferner Jacobsen, which was a family business.
Mr Ferner was an accomplished sailor, and was part of the crew that won the silver medal in the 6 metre class at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.
Her Highness Princess Astrid and Johan Martin Ferner were married in Asker Church on 12 January 1961. The couple had five children together.

Photos from the wedding

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Four generations: Bourbon-Orleans

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

FOUR GENERATIONS: Infanta Beatriz (Beatrice of Edinburgh, Princess Carla holding Gerarda, and Infanta Eulalia of Spain in Madrid, 1942.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Marital crisis for Beatrice and Henry

January 23, 1890

Prince Henry of Battenberg has been "absent from court for two months," according to the London Truth.  It appears that the husband of Princess Beatrice has "decided upon a permanent rectification of boundaries between himself and his wife's family."

The Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine and the Princess of Battenberg have been "endeavoring to arrange the difficulties which have arisen," but not with much success.

The paper expects that "we will find Prince Henry passing the autumn months in Continental travel, while his wife is enjoying the seclusion of Balmoral."

Prince Henry apparently "threw down the gauntlet" when he went to Graz,  to stay with his brother, Prince Alexander, who  was "unceremoniously jilted by Princess Victoria of Prussia."  Prince Alexander has been "regarded at the English court, as a wretch compared with whom Judas Iscariot was a worthy man."

Emperor incompetent says US ambassador

January 24, 1905

Former US Ambassador to Russia, Andrew D. White made the following statement today, about the tragic situation in St. Petersburg .

"If the Czar is a weak man, as the present Emperor is, he can do very little.  A weak man cannot know anything about the empire to speak of,  because he is surrounded by Grand Dukes, women, & etc., who tell him what they want him to believe and keep all the truth away from him which they do not wish him to hear.

"The main difficulty in the whole case is that the Emperor is supposed to do all the thinking for 140,000,000 people, scattered over the largest territory possessed by any Government in the world, with all sorts of different races, religions, and ideas, and this no man can do, and least of all in a time like this.

"The simple fact is that the evils of the old system have now become absolutely intolerable.  And when you to that fact the sending off of immense numbers of the best men in the country to an utterly useless and wicked war, and the pressure of taxation which grinds the people to the dust, you have a situation which none but the very strongest rulers in human history can cope with.

"The Czar has no strength of character, no proper education, and is hopelessly unfit to grapple with the situation.

"No doubt the worst of the features of the situation have been keep from him."

Mr. White, speaking from Ithaca, New York, said he did not think that Nicholas II's advisers would "follow the policy of Emperor Nicholas I, " who sent the "ringleaders of the insurrection of eighty years ago" to be executed or sent to Siberia.  Ambassador White believes that change in Russia cannot be "long delayed."

The demonstration that took place yesterday in St. Petersburg have left many dead and injured.  The events are being called a "full-fledged revolution," a "day of terror," and "bloody Sunday."

One Russian refugee, now in Paris, stated that "the czar's policy of tutoring his subjects as if they were little children is an insult to the nation.

"This first outbreak, with its bloodshed, is only precursor of the tidal wave of blood that will sweep the czar from his throne.  The nihilists are using the war to achieve ends, which might otherwise have been delayed 100 years.  They are fomenting in Russia American republican ideas."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Princess Maria Pia to marry

January 22, 1955

Italian aristocrats and monarchists are "all in a flurry" over the forthcoming wedding of Princess Maria Pia of Savoy, eldest daughter of former King Umberto II, to Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The wedding will take place in a "little parish church" at Cascais, Portugal, where King Umberto has lived in "splendid exile" for several years now.

The "blue bloods of Italy" have charted two "luxury ships" from Naples and Genoa, to attend the wedding "en masse."

There will be plenty of parties to celebrate the wedding, and "local dressmakers and couturiers have been swamped" with orders for new gowns.

Young King Baudouin, a cousin of the bride, and her brother, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, will be the witnesses for Maria Pia.  King Paul of the Hellenes and King Peter II of Yugoslavia, will serve as witnesses for Prince Alexander.

But as King Paul and King Baudouin have not made official visits to Portugal, they will not attend the wedding in person, but will be represented by other members of their royal families.

Princess Maria Pia's wedding gown and her trousseau have been made in Rome by one of Italy's "top couturiers."   Her bridal veil, a "precious family heirloom, a rare piece of lace," that once belonged to her great-grandmother, Queen Margherita.

She will wear a diamond tiara over the veil  The tiara, which belonged to a member of the Savoy family, is a gift from her parents, King Umberto and Queen Marie José.

The Princess will not have any bridesmaids, due to "court etiquette."  After the ceremony, she will "receive homage" from young girls, in "picturesque regional costumes" from Italy.

The Duke of Kent, a first cousin of the groom, will be one of the guests at the wedding.

Prince Joachim is recovering

January 22, 1915

A dispatch received in Amsterdam from Berlin reports that Prince Joachim, the youngest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, has "sufficiently recovered" from an attack of dysentery and influenza, according to the New York Times.

Prince Joachim will be traveling to Baden-Baden for a rest.