Wednesday, September 21, 2022

When Heidi met Queen Maxima: A Guest Post

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 Following the lives of modern-day European royals is not easy from California. Royal weddings (and other milestones) aren’t broadcast live and on the rare occasions that royals come for public visits to the U.S., they are almost always to the East Coast— Washington D.C for a state visit or New York City for a U.N. event.  With this in mind, when it was announced on Monday that Queen Maxima of The Netherlands would be in California for the following two days, I knew it was very likely a “now or never” chance to meet her in person. 


If you’re reading this, you don’t need me to tell you why Queen Maxima is worthy of the admiration she receives from the global public.  Intelligent, articulate, poised, and jaw-droppingly beautiful, she is the model of everything a Queen consort should be, with the additional challenge of doing it in and for a country on a different continent and of a different language than her birth. She is the Queeniest Queen of them all, a worthy role model, and very much worth the effort to meet.



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 Her first day, Tuesday would be spent in San Francisco, a city that is not easy to navigate quickly, so I knew that I would need to focus on Wednesday, especially since I still had to get from my home in Southern California up to the Bay Area— either a 90-minute flight or a 7–8-hour drive.  Tuesday morning, I needed to take care of a few things at the office before I went on the internet to see what I could drum up for a flight either later that day or early Wednesday. It’s an understatement to say I was shocked to see prices of $750-1000 each way. Historically, it’s an easy flight route flown by many airlines several times daily and it’s not unusual to find fares between $50-80 each way, but the triple whammy of fuel prices, inflation, and airline staffing have erased those prices for now.  So, I hurried home, packed my weekender bag, and was on the road by noon for the long drive north.


Queen Maxima’s itinerary for Wednesday was to begin at UC Berkeley, then onto Google headquarters, followed by Stanford University before heading to the airport for the flight to Texas. I knew accessing her at the Google campus wouldn’t be possible, and Berkeley is an additional hour north of Stanford, so Stanford was the best option for success.  Additionally, it is familiar ground, with many family connections to the school and I have been there several times, most recently just last summer. (It’s very visitor-friendly and worth the visit if you are ever in the area).  The drive took two hours longer than it should have, thanks to lane closures in the Tejon Pass on Interstate 5, leaving Los Angeles northward, but by 9:00 p.m. I happily settled in my room at the Sheraton across the street from campus.


Thankfully, since I was waiting for her to arrive at Stanford in the afternoon, I had time in the morning to meet our aunt for coffee and a chat while I waited for the local florist to open.  Mills Florist of Palo Alto whipped together a lovely little posey of blue and white flowers with a bright orange ribbon.

I headed to campus at lunchtime as it is expansive and even with good parking there would be a good deal of walking required, and I needed time to scout locations.  The press release mentioned three points; arriving for a walking tour, the Graduate School of Business, and the Investors Common.  I assumed she would arrive by the famed Palm Drive so was very surprised to find much of the grand campus entrance under construction with visible heavy equipment that would feature prominently in any photo.  I saw no signs of preparation for her arrival or any arrangement for a public gathering, so decided this wasn’t my best option and drove on to find parking near the Graduate School of Business.  Exploring the courtyard and the full exterior of the large building again showed no signs of expecting her arrival and in fact, was full of people hanging around and eating with clearly no clue, and certainly no care, that a Queen was on her way.

With one location left, I walked to the Investor’s Common, and *bingo*, this was definitely my target location.  Already buzzing with people in business attire wearing prominent security passes on bright orange lanyards, the courtyard was clearly set for a special event, full of blue cocktail tables with 4-ft tall orange letters and Dutch spoken everywhere. After the rest of campus seemed oblivious, it was refreshing to see so many smartly-dressed, highly professional-looking people full of excitement and anticipation for her arrival.  Out front, there were many people with a display booth and a vehicle made of recycled materials along with several officials making sure everything and everyone was where they should be.  The security chased off several people who were trying to just pass through but I was gladly not one of them, as I had taken care with dressing, hair, and makeup enough to believably “belong” to a daytime event, while still being comfortable walking around campus on a hot day, and my flowers fortuitously matched the event decor. So now it was only for me to wait.

While waiting, I tried several ways to hold flowers, be ready for a handshake, and get a photo/video at the same time, but it was clear I could choose two of the three, but not all. So, I chose to sacrifice getting any photos or videos of my own in favor of being prepared for personal interaction. And I’m glad I did.

It was wonderful to see how truly thrilled everyone was to have her there as the air became electric with whispers and maneuvering as her motorcade approached, and she commanded the crowd with her smile and her warmth immediately upon exiting the large black SUV. After chatting and posing for pictures with the recycled vehicle group for a few minutes, her PPOs surrounded her for the walk into the courtyard event.  On her walk, I stepped forward and made eye contact, holding my flowers out. Exactly as I hoped, she smiled and veered to her left towards me.  She took the flowers from my hands and said with her famously broad smile, “How kind of you! Thank you.  Thank you so much.” 


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 Sadly, I have not been able to locate any press photos or videos that captured the moment for me, so my written memory and the images in my mind will have to suffice.  But even if I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

By Heidi Counsell-Schmidt


[Getty did not have any photographers present when the Queen visited Stanford]

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The Royal Family at the Funeral

 






This is the official list of the members of the Royal Family and the extended royal family.   The only adults who were not present were The Duchess of Kent and Lady Nicholas Windsor.

Sarah, Duchess of York accompanied her former husband, the Duke of York, and their daughters to the State Funeral and the Committal Service, but was not included in the Court Circular.

Monday, September 19, 2022

The Funeral of HM Queen Elizabeth II

Here is a selection of photos from the State funeral and Committal Service for Queen Elizabeth II.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to get all the photos centered.



 
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Sunday, September 18, 2022

HM Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)



Buckingham Palace released this photo tonight.  It was taken by Ranald Mackechnie at Windsor in May as a part of a series of photos for the Platinum Jubilee.  She wore the aquamarine clips given to her on her 18th birthday by her parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

The Order of Service for the Funeral 


 https://www.westminster-abbey.org/media/15467/order-of-service-the-state-funeral-of-her-majesty-queen-elizabeth-ii.pdf

“She’s got those wonderful blue eyes that when she smiles, they light up her whole face. I’ll always remember that smile, you know, that smile is unforgettable.”

- Her Majesty The Queen Consort pays tribute to Her Majesty The Queen"


https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1571594233420603392?s=20&t=geY5Z8PIgGfMCz8N4ZnD7w



Will Beatrice and Eugenie be Alastair-ed?

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 When Charles succeeded to the throne, a vacancy opened with the Counsellors of State.  The Regency Act (1937) requires the first four adults in the line of succession and the spouse of the sovereign to fulfill certain duties if the Sovereign is abroad or ill.  

In the final years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, the Counsellors of State were: the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, and the Duke of York.  A Counsellor of State must be domiciled in the UK.     

Charles' ascension to the throne means Queen Camilla and Princess Beatrice, the Duke of York's elder daughter, are now Counsellors of State, joining the Dukes of Sussex and York.  Although the Duke of Sussex now lives in Montecito, California, he has extended his lease on Frogmore Cottage, which means he is domiciled in the United Kingdom, although noted constitutional historian Vernon Bognador has disagreed with this assessment/.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that King Charles III wants Parliament to amend the law so only working royals can be Counsellors of State.  If a new law is passed that requires Counsellors of State to be working royals, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of York, and Princess Beatrice would be removed.

The most likely replacements are the Earl of Wessex, the Princess Royal, and the Duke of Gloucester, all of whom have served as Counsellors of State.  The Duke of Gloucester has had two separate appointments as a Counsellor of State.

I expect other changes as well, including a new Letters Patent that will go further than George V's 1917 Letters that limited the HRH and title of Prince or Princess to the children of the Sovereign, grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.  In December 2012, Queen Elizabeth II issued a new Letters Patent that changed one clause in the 1917 Letters Patent.   All children of the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales will have the HRH and title of Prince or Princess.

The Queen did not take it further to allow the children of all the sons of the Prince of Wales to be styled as HRH Prince or Princess.

In the 1990s, the then Way Ahead Group was founded by Lord Airlie, the Lord Chamberlain, and included senior royals and private secretaries.  The purpose of the group, which came about due to the scandals in the early 1990s, looked to implement change at the time and in the future.  One of the immediate changes was the announcement that the Queen would pay income tax.

The Way Ahead group also looked to slim down the royal family.  

 One idea that was discussed was to downgrade the Duke of York's daughters to the status of daughters of a duke: Lady Beatrice and Lady Eugenie Mountbatten-Windsor.  It was already known that the York princesses were never going to be working royals.

This suggestion was vetoed, but the plan was implemented when Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones.  It was announced on their wedding day that their children would be styled as children of an earl, as Edward was created Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn.  The statement said that the Queen DECIDED and Edward and Sophie agreed to her decision to not have their children styled as royals.  

Edward and Sophie's children are styled as Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn (whose Christian name is James.)

One reason -- and it is a major reason - - for the new king to issue a new Letters Patent is the gender equal succession.  The eldest child is the heir/heiress apparent.  The 1917 Letters Patent is based on male primogeniture. 

I do not like to make predictions, but I think that a new Letters Patent will give the HRH and title of Prince/Princess to the children of the Sovereign, children of the Heir apparent, and the children of the eldest child of the Heir apparent.  This means Charlotte and Louis' children will not be royal.  

It is unlikely that the King would downgrade his mother's first cousins, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, and Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy because of their long service and duty to the Crown.

It is possible that the Way Ahead group's recommendation to remove Beatrice and Eugenie's royal titles will be initiated, allowing the Duke of York's daughters to be styled as daughters of a duke.  This will also apply to The Duke of Sussex's children, the Earl of Dumbarton and Lady Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, as children of a duke. [Let's be honest: Archie and Lili will grow up in the United States where titles, royal or courtesy are not used.]

This decision will allow uniformity for the style and title of the children of younger sons of a Sovereign. I also expect the King to issue another Letters Patent creating his youngest brother, Edward, as Duke of Edinburgh, which would give him the status and courtesy titles of children of a duke to Lady Louise and James, whose courtesy title would change.

There are precedents for this:  the Queen's decision for Edward and Sophie's children and the 1917 Letters Patent, which removed the title of Prince and Princess and HH (not HRH) from male line great-grandchildren of the Sovereign.  

all images not from Getty: Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

This brings us to HH Prince Alastair Arthur of Connaught, who was born on August 9, 1914, in London.   He was the only child of HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught (1883-1938), only son of HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, and Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia, and HH Princess Alexandra, 2ndDuchess of Fife (1891-1959).

Prince Arthur's older sister, Margaret, married in 1906 to then Crown Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden, and his younger sister, Princess Patricia (1886-1972) relinquished her royal titles by Royal Warrant when she married the Hon. Alexander Ramsay, youngest son of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie in 1919.  She entered the Abbey as HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught and came out as Lady Patricia Ramsay with the precedence before the Marchionesses of England.





Princess Arthur of Connaught was the granddaughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.  Her mother was Princess Louise, Princess Royal, who married Alexander Duff, Earl of Fife.  He was created Duke of Fife at the wedding breakfast.  In April 1900, Queen Victoria issued a Letters Patent giving Louise's husband the second dukedom of Fife (and Earldom of Macduff) that would pass to his daughters and their male heirs.  Louise had given birth to a stillborn son, Alastair, in 1890.

In November 1905, Edward VII created Princess Louise as Princess Royal and raised her two daughters, Lady Alexandra and Lady Maud to HH Princess.  It should be noted that Louise's brother, the Prince of Wales, did not agree with his father's decision to give royal status to Louise's daughters.

Alexandra, a duchess in her own right, having succeeded her father, in 1912, became HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught in 1913.  Her younger sister, Princess Maud (1893-1945) was downgraded in 1923 when she married Lord Carnegie, heir to the Earl of Southesk.  She was styled as Princess Maud when she walked into Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, but when she and her new husband came out, Maud was styled as Lady Maud Carnegie.  

King George V did not issue a Royal Warrant as he did when Princess Patricia married, but he did tell Maud that she no longer could use the title of Princess.  She reverted to the style of a daughter of an earl.  Her husband succeeded his father in 1941.  Maud's new style was Countess of Southesk.

Princess Arthur, Lady Southesk, and the 2nd Duke of Connaught served as Counsellors of State.



Prince Alastair of Connaught was a male-line great-grandson of a sovereign, but his father was the only son of a younger son of Queen Victoria.  In the new Letters Patent, male line great-grandsons would bear a courtesy title if the father had a dukedom or was styled as a younger son of a duke.  The three-year-old was the heir apparent to his mother's dukedom and second in line to the dukedom of Connaught and Strathearn.  It was decided that he would be styled as Earl of Macduff, until 1942, when he succeeded his paternal grandfather as the 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn.  



A year later, the 2nd Duke died as a result of hypothermia in Ottawa, Canada. He was 28 years old.  Sir Alan "Tommy" Lascelles, private secretary to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II wrote: "the wretched young Duke of Connaught, whom his regiment (Greys) have had to get rid of, as he is wholly incompetent." 

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 The Connaught and Strathearn titles reverted to the Crown.  Alastair's first cousin, James, then Lord Carnegie, succeeded to the Fife dukedom when Princess Arthur of Connaught died.

Prince Alastair ceased to be a prince when the 1917 Letters Patent was issued. 

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 A new Letters Patent could mean the loss of royal status for Beatrice and Eugenie.   Which means they could be Alastair-ed.

I am not advocating a change or suggesting that King Charles III will do this.  All I am doing is offering the historical precedents in case it does happen. 

https://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2021/11/who-are-counsellors-of-state.html


Evening Telegraph August 10, 1914

Times August 11, 1914



Times August 26, 1914



Aberdeen Journal July 17, 1917



If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a vanilla latte:




Saturday, September 17, 2022

Vigil of the Princes & Vigil of the Grandchildren

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A statement from Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie



 

Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Prince and Princess of Wales visit Sandringham

All photos @Ken Stone 














 These photos were taken outside the Sandringham estate where the prince and princess of Wales met with local people and see firsthand the flowers and other memorials left outside the Sandringham gates. These photos were taken by Ken Stone, a friend and I am  grateful that he allowed me to use his photos. 


Ken is the copyright holder