Friday, July 22, 2016

A royal marriage - 1816 The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester

July 22, 1816

Princess Mary, the fourth daughter (and 11th child) of King George III and Queen Charlotte, was married today to Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh.

The bride and groom, both 40 years old, are first cousins.  Prince William Frederick is the son of the late Prince William, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh, and Maria Walpole.   Many assumed that the Duke had remained single in order to be a possible candidate for Princess Charlotte of Wales, the heiress presumptive, and the daughter of the Prince Regent, Princess Mary's eldest brother.

Princess Charlotte was married on May 2, 1816 to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld.

The marriage between Princess Mary and the Duke of Gloucester is said to be, according to the Times,  "a union among the Royal Family more calculated to produce happiness to the parties, and satisfaction to the nation."

The Duke of Gloucester is a very "public character," and is a "well-known liberal patron" said to be privately benevolent.  Princess Mary is not as well known outside the "majestic circle."  She has been a "constant and active benefactress of the poor, relieving the wants of the distressed and superintending the education of the ignorant."

The marriage was delayed briefly due to the absence of the bride's brother, Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge.   The day was not fixed until last Wednesday, and the "cards of invitation" were issued by the Lord Chamberlain's office on Friday.

The invited guests were the same as Princess Charlotte's wedding, with a few exceptions.   Members of the Royal Family were present, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Orléans, the Duchess of Orléan's sister, the Duke de Bourbon and "other foreigners of distinction."

A temporary altar "erected close to the temporary throne" was set up in the grand saloon at the Queen's palace.  Crimson velvet and gold lace hangings were put in place, along with a costly massive communion plate.  The Times described this a a "very magnificent spectacle."

Earlier today, at noon, the Duke of Gloucester "paid a morning visit" to his bride-to-be, who was at the Queen's Palace with her Royal Mother and her sisters, Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth.   The Duke returned to Gloucester House where he "dined privately" at 5.p.m.

The ceremonies began at 7 p.m. when a guard of honour marched into the court yard at the Queen's Palace, which was "brilliantly illuminated."  Members of the Royal Family were "received with the usual military honours with the band playing "God Save the Queen."

Princess Sophia of Gloucester, the groom's sister, "went in state, with her servants in new liveries."   At 8:23 p.m. the Duke of Gloucester, wearing the uniform of a Field Marshal and wore the Order of the Garter, arrived "in state n two carriages."  

The Duke and Duchess of York followed immediately, and the Prince Regent arrived at 8:30, accompanied by the Duke of Clarence.  The Prince Regent did not have his "usual train of Life Guards."   Fifteen minutes later, Prince Leopold arrived with his suite, and the marriage ceremony began.

Queen Charlotte took her place at the left side of the altar, sitting in a state chair.  The Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth, the Duchess of York, and Princess Sophia of Gloucester set to the left of the Queen.  The Prince Regent and his brothers were on the right side of the altar.

The Lord Chamberlain announced the Duke of Gloucester, and the Duke of Cambridge introduced Princess Mary, and then presented her to the Prince Regent who gave her away in marriage.

The princess was "dressed with her most beautiful simplicity." She did not wear any feathers, but a "bandeau of white roses fastened together by light sprigs of pearls."   She wore a necklace "ornamented with a brilliant fringe necklace; her arms with bracelets of brilliants formed into flowers."     Her appearance was said to be "very lovely."

The ceremony, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury and assisted by the Bishop of London, was over by 9:15.    After greeting their guests, the newlyweds retired with the rest of the Royal Family, to Queen Charlotte's private apartments.  The bride changed her from her wedding gown into a "travelling dress of white satin pelisse and bonnet," and emerged on the arm of her brother, the Prince Regent and followed by the Duke of Cambridge.  They escorted their sister to a "travelling chaise at the side door of the Palace," where the royal brothers "embraced the Duke of Gloucester" who joined his new wife in the carriage.  After "receiving an affection embrace" from the Prince Regent and the Duke of Cambridge,  the bride and groom drove off to their new home, Bagshot Park, to the "huzzas of immense multitude."

Earlier today,  the Duke of Gloucester was granted the style of Royal Highness by the Prince Regent by an Order in Council.   The Duke had the rank of His Highness.

"In the name and on the behalf of His Majesty.
George PR
George the third etc. To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting: Our Will and Pleasure  is and We do hereby declare and ordain that from and after the date of this Our Warrant, Our Dear Nephew William Frederick Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh Earl of Connaught, Knight of the  Most Noble Order of the Garter &c. son of our late Brother, His Royal Higness William Henry Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh Earl of Connaught etc shall be styled, entitled and called, "His Royal Highness" in addition to and before all other styles, titles, and appellaton which to Him now do, or at any time hereafter may belong or appertain, in all Deeds, Records, Instruments or Documents whatsoever wherein he may at any time hereafter be named or described, and we do hereby authorize and empower Our said Dear Nephew, henceforth at all time to assume and have, and to be called and and named by the Style Title and Appellation of "His Royal Highness" accordingly.

Given at Our Court at Carlton House the 22nd day of July 1816 in the 56th year of our Reign."

An interview with the Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein

An interview in English with HRH The Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein.

Princess Sophie was born Duchess Sophie in Bavaria, and is the eldest daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria and his Swedish-born wife, Countess Elizabeth Douglas.

She married HSH Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein on July 3, 1993.  They have four children:  Prince Joseph-Wenzel, Princess Marie-Caroline, Prince Georg and Prince Nikolaus.

My favorite part from the interview:

"Let us turn to a different subject altogether. As a descendant of the Stuarts, you are seen by Jacobites as a pretender to the British throne. The last time a member of that lineage claimed the throne was in the 18th century – so no one is really expecting you to assert your birthright. Or do you have a surprise up your sleeve?
This story was never something we discussed at home, and until I travelled to London with my school class, I had not even heard about it. An acquaintance of my English teacher once said to me: “But you’re a Stuart.” And I just thought: what is he talking about? When I got back home, I asked my parents. They found the whole thing hilarious, and then explained the background to me. I can therefore assure you, I shall not be asserting a claim to the British throne."

A few sighs of relief at Buckingham Palace, perhaps.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mail call

King Albert II of the Belgians

80th birthday of HSH The Prince of Ysenburg und Büdingen

Monday, July 18, 2016

A noble engagement

HSH  Princess Sophie Amelie Margarita Alexandra Monika Isabel of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg is engaged to marry Count Constantin Fugger von Babenhausen.   The announcement was made on May 20th.

Princess Sophie is the eldest of three children of HSH Ludwig, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg and Countess Elisabeth of Waldburg zu Wolfegg-Waldsee.

Sophie, who was born September 1, 1988, has two younger siblings,  Princess Amelie (1990) and Hereditary Prince Ludwig (1994).

She is a graduate of the University of Buckingham in England, where she studied business and management.  She received her degree in 2013.  She currently works in Munich as a recruitment consultant.

Count Constantin Franzizkus Anselm Maria Fugger von Babenhausen is the eldest child of Count Johannes Fugger von Babenhausen and his first wife,  Princess Marie Elisabeth Lobkowicz, who was born in South Bend, Indiana.

Constantin, who was born on July 23, 1986, has a younger brother, Count Philipp (1988) and a younger sister, Countess Georgina (1988.)

Count Johannes's first marriage ended in divorce in 2010. He remarried Baroness Caroline von Schacky auf Schönfeld.

The current Prince Fugger von Babenhausen is Hubertus, who is Count Johannes' elder brother.

Count Constantin is the manager of Raw materials at HiPP Baby Food in Munich.  He attended the Royal Agricultural University at Circencester.

The wedding will take place on June 20, 2017.

The Crown and Modern Romania Speech of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Margareta of Romania London, Romanian Cultural Institute, 13 July 2016

The Crown and Modern Romania Speech of Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Margareta of Romania London, Romanian Cultural Institute, 13 July 2016


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you in one of the most vibrant and influential cities in the world.

The vast majority of the speeches one hears, in public meetings, are highly political. This is perfectly normal in a profoundly democratic society. Therefore, it will probably not go amiss if we now turn to a completely different topic, even though it is still related to politics, namely the extraordinary one-hundred-and-fifty-year story of the Royal House of Romania.

The Crown of Romania is not an institution of democratic essence, despite the fact that it was founded as a result of a vote by Parliament and a plebiscite. But our history demonstrates how, in the evolution of our country, the Crown was beneficial to its consolidation, in the past as much as in the present and, I believe, in the future.

Being here allows me to talk about Romania in a way you have probably rarely heard before, since what I am about to tell you is somewhat different from the things you are doubtless used to hearing about my country.

For a number of reasons, in today’s Romania the Crown holds a rather different position than it does in other European countries.

The main reason may be that the Royal House of Romania is - by historical standards - a very young institution. It is made up of just five generations, including our own, which means that it is linked only to the democratic part of our history. Romanian society sees the Crown as having been a catalyst in the process of the country’s democratisation and emancipation.

King Carol the Ist, a German born prince, was but twenty-seven years old in 1866 when he arrived in Romania and was unanimously elected head of state by the Romanian Parliament and confirmed by a plebiscite.

Because of the political conflict between his native Prussia and the Austrian Empire, the young Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen had to travel incognito to Romania. He was more or less disguised as a Swiss businessman and used the name of Karl Hettingen. It was an adventurous and tortuous journey that took him from Dusseldorf through Bonn-Freiburg-Zurich-Vienna then Budapest by rail, then by boat to Turnu-Severin, on the Danube, then to Bucharest by carriage. His route through the Romanian countryside is still known today as „Carol’s Way”.

Once he stepped onto Romanian soil he swore that he was from now on a Romanian, and he used the Romanian name of Carol, never again using the german form of his name. This endeared him to Romanians from the start.

I find this a moving story, as King Carol the first was known to be a rather cold, severe, austere, humourless and dutiful man, without much fun in his life.

He had to be tough. He built a Nation.

Carol did not share the religious denomination of his new country and nor did he speak the Romanian language. But, forty-seven years later, this man had managed to put Romania on the European map. His reign is an inspirational story of almost five decades of inexhaustible vision, impeccable professionalism, ethics, selfless dedication, and untiring work. He patiently set about creating every single institution that now makes it possible for Romania to be an integral part of the European and Euro Atlantic structures.

This man was a visionary: He is the founder of the modern Romanian state. He promulgated the first constitution of the country, in 1866. He fought in the first line of fire and led the Independence War in 1877, obtaining Romania’s sovereignty in 1881.

His 48-year reign (1866 to 1914), was a time of prosperity, of reforms, of patiently constructing a sovereign state. During his reign Romania adopted one of the most advanced and liberal constitutions. He founded the modern Romanian Armed Forces, modern Diplomacy, the Romanian Academy, the National Bank of Romania as well as the Savings Bank, built a modern educational system, modern agriculture, and an endless number of edifices accommodating local administration, theatres, libraries, museums, as well as churches, mosques and synagogues. At the end of his reign Romania had almost 4,000 km of railway track and modern equipment.

He put in place a health network: Hundred of hospitals were built during those 48 years. In 1906, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his accession, 40 rural hospitals were built in 40 villages around the country.

In the educational field, tens of universities received new headquarters and hundreds of colleges and high schools were founded. So perseverant was the King’s preoccupation for education, that nowadays there is no town in Romania that does not possess a school founded by our King.

His wife, Queen Elisabeth, a German-born princess, was an extraordinary example of the values of the Continent’s culture. She spoke seven languages fluently and wrote more than fifty books in these languages, uniting Eastern and Western Europe in spirit. She wrote poetry and operas, she founded art galleries and art schools. Her book of aphorisms, "The Thoughts of a Queen," was accorded a medal of honor by the French Academy.

Such diversified literary talent is rarely found.

In the social sphere, she was an astounding trailblazer, nurturing children, the disabled and the disadvantaged. She championed the cause of women's rights, fostering the higher education of women, creating schools for the teaching of different crafts. She fought for the respect of sanitary laws, she founded institutions for the poor, hospitals, soup-kitchens, convalescent homes and crèches, demonstrating to mid-nineteenth-century society through the power of personal example the virtues of compassion, love, trust, a sense of duty, and unswerving loyalty.

Such values could certainly not be instilled merely through elections or the exercise of political power.

She was a formidable example of “soft power”, as we could call it today. As a consort of the Sovereign, for more than 4 decades, she exercised a major influence over a society at the beginning of modernization. She was the first Royal Patron of the Romanian Red Cross, founded by King Carol I in 1876.

King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, the second generation of the Romanian Royal Family, achieved for Romania the Great Union in 1918 — the unification of all the historical Romanian provinces. Romanians today view them as the parents of the country. And Romanians from the Republic of Moldova feel the same way. Romania and the Republic of Moldova may quarrel over presidents, prime ministers, parliaments, and language, but nobody in the Republic of Moldova questions the parents of the nation: Stephen the Great, Ferdinand the Loyal, and Marie the Mother of the Wounded.

Though born a Hohenzollern, Ferdinand sided with the Allied Powers against the Central Powers in the first World War. For this he became known as „Ferdinand the Loyal”. During the war, the King and Queen travelled extensively to support the troops and boost morale amongst the Romanian people.

The outcome of Romania's war effort, through Ferdinand’s leadership, was that the Kingdom of Romania obtained the regions of Bessarabia, Bukovina and Transylvania, more than doubling in size and population. Ferdinand thus became the head of a greatly enlarged Romanian State.

In the early 1920s, the King courgeously undertook the complicated task of introducing a sweeping Agricultural Reform, on which our modern rural economy is based today. He was also the first Romanian Sovereign with a complex external agenda.

Marie, his wife, a British born princess who became Queen of Romania steps boldly off the pages of history.

She was a multi-faceted and courageous woman.

The daughter of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and the former Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, and the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Marie was gifted with extraordinary beauty, a strong personality and great talent as an artist and a writer.

Her humanitarian and diplomatic efforts for our country during World War I and subsequently during the 1919 Paris Peace Conference won her worldwide acclaim and affection. She overcame the political inflexibility of two, let’s say, “male chauvinist”, republican French statesmen: President Raymond Poincaré and Prime Minister René Clemenceau. She was the first woman to be elected a member of the Academie des Beaux Arts and she astonished the world by travelling with her children to two Muslim countries in the late 1920s: the Republic of Turkey and the Sultanate of Morocco.

In 1926, she also “conquered” the United States of America with her charm, intelligence and political skills. Three hundred thousand New Yorkers thronged the streets of Manhattan to greet her, the ticker tapes raining down on her procession. And she addressed to the economic leaders of the States the following unusual plea: “Businessmen of the United States, come and invest in my country”.

She was a consummate ambassador and a role model for women of all social backgrounds. Queen Marie was the Patron of the Romanian Red Cross, and gained much respect for her work as a nurse during the First World War. We find her in the trenches, or visiting the Front – she knew no fear of bullets or bombs. We find her in the hospitals among the wounded and the sick; she knew no fear of dirt or disease; and she was also the one who, at the Peace Conference at Versailles, used her wits and her charm to gain Romania its most cherished wish - national unity. Her presence at the Versailles conference only reinforced the report sent out of Bucharest in 1917 by a French correspondent: “There is only one man in Romania, and that is the Queen.”

Her eldest son, King Carol II, my grandfather, was an erudite and intelligent Sovereign who had the ill fortune to hold power at precisely the same time as Hitler and Stalin, in the tragic 1930s, but still managed, against many odds, to build a robust industrial sector, to preside over an unparalleled upsurge in the cultural, scientific and diplomatic spheres, and to oversee some notable architectural achievements. It was during his dramatic reign that Romania produced writers and philosophers of world renown, such as Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran and Eugen Ionescu, scholars such as George Emil Palade, and artists such as Ionel Perlea, Sergiu Celibidache and Constantin Brancusi.

Apart from all the important architectural constructions which were built during his reign, King Carol ll’s pet project was the Village Museum. I think some of you here may have visited it?  It was founded by Royal decree in 1936. The Royal Cultural Foundation “King Carol” supported this project financially, the King was on site many times during the Village’s construction and was there at the opening

Another uncommon woman was Queen Helen of Romania, my grandmother, who played a luminous, if discreet, role in the dark history of Romania in the twentieth century.  She was twice to endure exile. A beautiful, quietly courageous woman, she was thrown into the midst of history's brutal machinations, while as Queen Mother in the 1940s she single-handedly educated her son, King Michael, in the skills of leadership. She stood by him during one of the most atrocious decades in the continent’s history. Her role in the Second World War will not be forgotten by the thousands whose lives she saved and who she cared for. She was a constant support of the democratic forces of Romania during the years between 1940 and 1947. In the face of the tyranny of Nazism, she displayed a resolutely strong character, and determination, standing up for what she knew to be right and good. Although she did not hold any constitutional power, this woman managed to save the lives of over one hundred thousand Romanians of Jewish origin during the dictatorship of Marshal Antonescu. This was formally recognised as the Yad Vashem institute posthumously named her a “Righteous Among the Nations.”

And, last but certainly not least, how extraordinary is the destiny and work of King Michael, my father. Think of it! This man was crowned King of Romania at the age of six, in 1927. Aged twenty-three, the King stood against fascism and communism in his country, and he tried to salvage as much as he could, when all seemed lost.

During the four decades of the Cold War he was for Romanians a beacon of democracy; he was the only hope for freedom we had. I still remember the Christmas messages he broadcast to his fellow countrymen over Radio Free Europe and the BBC.

After 1997 – and by the way, remember: he was crowned in 1927 - every Romanian government, whether Socialist, Christian Democrat or Liberal, has asked him to serve in the front line of his country’s efforts to achieve NATO and EU membership. What an astonishing thing! Here is a man older than both NATO and the European Union, the only acting head of state during the Second World War still alive today.

In 1945, the King led his soldiers, when they braved death to liberate large swathes of Europe. Sixty years later, in 2005, he drove his own car through Europe, from Timisoara to Prague, stopping at every cemetery where his soldiers were buried, so that he could lay flowers and light candles in their memory.

With determination and faith, I strive to continue the legacy of my ancestors. For twenty-six years, I have worked with my family to restore the Crown to usefulness and relevance in a post-communist society that lacked pride, knowledge of its own identity, and self-respect. I engaged in charitable work and established cultural and social programmes, and I am continuously working on advancing the royal agenda in the Romanian community both at home and abroad.

It is therefore understandable that today, in the year 2016, Romanians look to the Crown with respect, admiration and hope. The Royal Family tops the opinion polls in terms of trust, admiration, and national affection. People probably need this complementary leadership, one that is based on the power of personal example, on historical legitimacy, on continuity and loyalty.

Today, the fifth generation of the Royal Family holds an extraordinary and somewhat contradictory position in a country that, constitutionally, remains a republic, but which has been building something that could well be defined as a “Functional Monarchy”.

Every incoming government has been willing to keep, and often to deepen, this institutional co-operation with the Royal Family. Wherever a royal event takes place, to encourage the economy, education, bilateral diplomacy, sport, the arts, or science, the Royal Family is welcomed with respect and pride and the deep conviction that it belongs to the national interest.

So, when I started this talk by declaring that I am fortunate and privileged to be here, it was not merely a compliment. The fact that for twenty minutes I have been able to share such a topic with you, one that is more than just a couple of ideas, but rather a major part of my life, is a considerable privilege, for which I thank you.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A wedding date for Tatiana and Guillermo

Round 2:

The wedding between Princess Tatiana Galitzine and Mexican-born Guillermo Sierra will take place on April 22, 2017 at the Colegio Vizcaínas de San Ignacio de Loyola in Mexico City.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Prince Harry today at polo

@Hugo Vickers

Prince Harry today winning at  the Tiffany Royal Charity Polo match in Burghclere.   The photo was taken by a good friend of mine,  Hugo Vickers.  He is the copyright holder.

The wedding of the Hereditary Prince of Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg

Hereditary Prince Franz Albrecht of Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg, 33, was married on July 9 to Baroness Cleopatra von Adelsheim.  The Roman Catholic ceremony took place at Oettingen.

The Hereditary Prince is the eldest child and only son of Albrecht, 11th Prince of Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg and his wife, Angela.

Local media reported that Prince Harry of Wales attended the wedding, and was seen at Schloss Oettingen on Friday night.  The Earl Percy and his younger brother, Lord Max Percy, also attended the wedding.  Lord Max is involved in a relationship with the groom's youngest sister, Princess Nora.

One sister, Princess Theresa, 32, is married to Carl-Christian Oetker

The youngest sister, Princess Antonia, 29, remains unmarried.  Perhaps Prince Harry could get to know her better.

The Prince and Princess of Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg were guests at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have attended hunting parties at Schloss Oettingen.
My thanks to Ulrike Bartsch for allowing me to use a selection of her photos. She is the copyright holder.

Beatrice Casiraghi (nee Borremeo) center was one of the bridesmaids

The Prince and Princess of Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Duchess of Cambridge - photos for sale.

Readers have asked if me about several of my recent royal photos, and if I would sell a few prints. The answer is yes. I am offering for sale three photos taken in London in June. Each photo is $30.00 which includes postage. The purchaser will have the right to use the photo on a blog, Facebook, other social media outlets with credit (Marlene A. Eilers Koenig). The photographs cannot be published without credit.

 I am the copyright holder.

The photos will be 8x10" prints, suitable for framing.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Rainy England - and that includes Garter Day

More photos from my trip to England in June
Ran into the new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan en route from St. Paul's to Guildhall

Flower display commemorating life of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey

Final night in London, rainy . walked to St. Paul's, then across the Millennium Bridge, water taxi back to Westminster

Purple Reign Beer .. 

Garter Day - first time in 25 years or so that the Wet Weather procedure was used, no procession, no band, soldiers, carriages.

Marlene meets royal watcher Terry Hutt

The soaps in the port-a-loos at Windsor Castle

Hugo Vickers

with Daily Express correspondent Richard Palmer

Sun comes out, briefly


Duke of York and Duke of Cambridge

Duke of Gloucester

Running late