Saturday, August 30, 2014

200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were in Maastricht today for the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  They were joined by King Philippe and Queen Maxima of Belgium and Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

Arjan Bower took these photos.  He owns the copyright.   You can follow him on Twitter at @houseoflemon

Friday, August 29, 2014

Franz Josef extends invitation

August 29, 1888

Emperor Franz Josef of Austria has invited the Prince of Wales "to witness the Autumn maneuvers of the Austria troops," notes the New York Times.

The Times also reports that "in view of the betrothal of Princess Wilhelmine of Holland and Prince William of Nassau the latter's father has agreed to waive his rights as heir to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg."

King George of the Hellenes arrived in Copenhagen today, where he was "cordially welcomed at the station" by Queen Louise and other members of the royal family.

Constantine wedding plans announced

August 29, 1964

The official schedule for the wedding of King Constantine II and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark was released today, reports the Associated Press.

The wedding will take place in Athens on September 13.  Twelve king and queens and 36 princes and princesses will be among the guests at the ceremony.   King Constantine will fly to Copenhagen on September 7 to attend "three days of farewell festivities" for Princess Anne Marie.  

The King will return to Athens on September 10 by airplane, and will be accompanied by the bride's eldest sister, Crown Princess Margarethe, in order to be present for Princess Anne Marie's arrival "aboard the royal Danish yacht Dannebrog the following day.:

The princess and her parents, King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid, will leave Copenhagen the same day as King Constantine, but they will fly to Brindisi, Italy, where they will board the yacht.

Prince of Wales to be best man at George's wedding

August 29, 1934

The Prince of Wales will be the best man at the wedding of his youngest brother, Prince George, report the New York Times today  Prince George's two other brothers, the Duke of York and the Duke of Gloucester will be the groomsmen.

Prince George will marry Princess Marina of Greece in November or December at Westminster Abbey, with the ceremony to be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The wedding will feature a "state procession along the Mall."  After the ceremony, the newlyweds will return to Buckingham Palace for a wedding breakfast.  About 1000 guests are expected to be invited including the former King and Queen of Greece, the former King and Queen of Spain, Queen Maud of Norway, and King Christian X of Denmark.

Princess Marina and Prince George are expected to return to England "shortly," where they will travel to Balmoral to see King George and Queen Mary.  The bride-to-be will then return to Paris to "rejoin" her parents, Prince and Princess Nicholas of Greece, and prepare for her wedding.  She will not return to London until shortly before the wedding.

The royal yacht, Victoria & Albert, will probably be sent across the Channel to bring Prince George and Princess Marina from Calais to Dover where they will receive a royal salute from Dover Castle.

The announcement of Prince George's engagement has been the "general topic of conversation," in Britain.

"Prince George has always been considered the 'ladies' man of the royal family," opined the Evening Star. "How many girls has he been attentive to, his favorite brother the Prince of Wales, may have some idea of. How many girls have been in love with him must be a figure  far more difficult to estimate."

One reporter was able to interview  Princess Marina from Salzburg:  "I cannot tell you how happy I am.  I hope we shall be married very soon.  We are likely to be married in London."

Infanta Eulalia of Spain, who has known Princess Marina for many years, said earlier today in Paris:  "She is the most beautiful Princess in Europe.  There is no doubt about it being a love match because she is so beautiful that any man would fall in love with her easily."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Official: Prince George to Marry Marina

August 28, 1934

The following announcement was made from Balmoral Castle today:  "It is with great pleasure that the King and Queen announce the betrothal of their dearly beloved son, the Prince George, to the Princess Marina, daughter of Prince and Princess Nicholas of Greece, to which union the King has gladly given his consent."

The announcement, according to the New York Times, was made after the King telegraphed his consent to Prince George, who "visiting Yugoslavia as the guest of Princes and Princess Paul."

Princess Paul is Marina's oldest sister,  Olga.

Prince George is expected to fly back to England with his fiancée in the next few days, and head straight to Balmoral.  He will also visit with Prince and Princess Nicholas before returning to England.

The date of the wedding has not been set, although it is expected that the ceremony will take place in Westminster Abbey.

The couple are expected to live in London after the wedding.

Prince George and Princess Marina first met five years ago in London.  When he traveled to Yugoslavia several weeks ago "rumors of an engagement began to spread."

The Prince of Wales, who is "closer to his brother than anyone else, " was one of the first to be told about the engagement.

The rumors intensified when Prince George, regarded as "one of the most artistic members of the royal family," arrived in Salzburg with Princess Marina and Prince and Princess Paul, to hear "Don Giovanni," at the music festival.

There will be no "political significance" to the engagement as former King George II of the Hellenes now lives in London. 

Prince George is sixth in line to the throne after the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose of York, and the Duke of Gloucester.

Princess Marina will celebrate her 28th birthday in November.  She is a grandniece of the late Queen Alexandra, and her father is a first cousin of King George V.  She is also a first cousin of Princess Helen of Romania.  

She shares Prince George's "love for music."   She speaks English well, and she shares interests in shooting and dancing with her future husband.    She is tall and brunette, and, according, to a close friend, she is a "typical modern girl who is very fond of outdoor sport."

It was on August 15 when Prince George left  England for Prince Paul's summer home on Bohinsko Lake.  It was here "amid the romantic surroundings of the Slovenian Alps," where  Prince George proposed to Princess Marina.  After she accepted,  he sent a telegram to Balmoral to ask for "the king's consent."

King George V and Queen Mary have met Princess Marina several times although she has never stayed at Buckingham Palace.

The engagement comes hot on the heels of advice George received from his uncle, the Earl of Athlone, in the spring. "You had better think of marrying soon."

It is expected that Prince George will receive a dukedom before his marriage.  He is only one of George V's sons who did not receive a ducal title before he turned 30.   One of the titles being mentioned is Duke of Edinburgh.

Alexandra and son safe in Sweden

August 29, 1918

The New York Times is reporting on a dispatch sent to from Stockholm to the London Daily News, which was written in French and signed by "Hanson."

"I report under reserve a story published by the Svenska Daglbadet on the authority of a certain Erbs, conductor of a Swedish band, who has been serving as a volunteer at the German front in the Crimea, and who has arrived in Stockholm on leave.  Erbs states that the ex-Czarina, with the ex-Czarevitch and her daughters, has been living in perfect safety in the Crimea since May, that they have never been in Siberia, and that all official reports to the contrary have been manufactured for political purposes.

"As for the ex-Czar, Erbs knows nothing definite, but mentions a rumor that he is alive and lives in security in a German town. The ex-Czarina would not be disposed to go to Germany, but has sent her jewels there."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Auguste Viktoria suffering from a fever

August 27, 1884

Princess Auguste Viktoria, the wife of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, second in line to throne, continues to suffer from a fever with "unabated severity," reports the New York Times.    She passed a "restless night."

On July 14, Princess Auguste Viktoria gave birth to her third son, Prince Adalbert.

No romance says Colin

August 27, 1954

The Hon. Colin Tennant, 27, son and heir of Lord Glenconner, is denying a romance with Princess Margaret. reports the London Evening Standard.

The "romantic rumors blossomed" when reporters noticed Tennant was among the guests at Princes Margaret's 24th birthday last week at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Is Grand Duchess Olga living in Milan

August 27, 1928

Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, reported today that Grand Duchess Olga, eldest daughter of the Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, was living in Milan in 1921.    The article stated that Olga had married an "Italian officer of Venetian origin who had been a prisoner in Russia,"  who helped her to escape from that country.

The couple, according to the story, had lived in a boarding house on the Corse Buenos Aires.  The manger of the boarding house said that the "supposed Princess" spoke Russian, English and French, and "showed in every way superior breeding."

The woman said her boarder "relapsed into silence," when photographs of Grand Duchess Olga were published in "illustrated magazines."   She asked her guest "point blank" if she were "not really the Grand Duchess." 

The young woman replied: "I was once rich, and you see, I have nothing." 

The newspaper states that the story "was well embroidered by the boarding-house keeper and by a dyer and cleaner" in the neighborhood.   The Corriere della Sera "discards much of the embroidery," but says there may be "some foundation for the yarn."

Olga was born on November 15, 1895.   All "historic accounts" say she and her parents, three sisters and one brother, were "murdered by the Communists at Ekaterinburg in 1918."

There have been reports of "some members of the family" were able to escape, most notably "in the case" of the youngest daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia, but none of these tales have "withstood the tests of their authenticity."

Franz Ferdinand's children now in Switzerland

August 27, 1914

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria has sent the three children of the late Archduke Franz Ferdinand to Switzerland "to remain during the war," a dispatch to the New York Times.

The children arrived this morning at Rorschach on Lake Constance, and will stay at Schloss Wartegg, owned by the Duke of Parma, who will be residing there  with the Duchess of Parma.

The Duke and Duchess of Parma will care for the "orphan children," whose parents were killed on June 28 at Sarajevo.  The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the then heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was the catalyst that hurled Europe into a  world war.

Royal Musings - famous in Indonesia

My piece on the marriage of Count Ludwig zu Waldburg und Wolfegg und Waldsee and Jessica Iskandar has been discussed on Indonesian TV.  Holy Moly Macaroni!

A profile of Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

An interesting and informative interview with Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and her jewels.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jessica talks about her little count

Indonesian actress Jessica Iskandar is apparently back in Jakarta as she recently spoke to a reporter there, waxing lyrical about her newborn son. (German magazine Bunte reported the baby was girl, but it seems that the new bride of Hereditary Count Ludwig zu Waldburg von Wolfegg  und Waldsee did indeed give birth to a son.)

She says she's happy, and she doesn't get to sleep through the night because the baby wakes up and wants to have his diaper changed.

The baby's name has not been officially announced but there are rumors that he has been named Barack Alexander.

I have been quoted in several Indonesian news articles, which have cited my original Royal Musings post.

The couple are legally married, according to Indonesian and German law.   Religious weddings are not legal in Germany but  Germany does recognize religious weddings that take place in countries where religious weddings are registered as legal weddings.  (This is the case in the United States, for example.)   Jessica and Ludwig's wedding was officially registered in Jakarta.

Unless Count Ludwig, a Roman Catholic, sought a dispensation to marry, his marriage in a Protestant church would not be recognized as an official wedding in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church.

Incidentally, if Jessica did give birth in California, as reported,  anyone can obtain an informational copy of the baby's birth certificate. 

It is also not publicly known if the Prince of Waldburg von Wolfegg und Waldsee has approved his son's marriage.

The present Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode (Philip) succeeded his father as head of the house as his two older brothers ceased to be dynasts because of their marriages to commoners.

The eldest son of of the Prince Fugger von Babenhausen, Prince Leopold, 's marriage to Aninna Kammer is non-dynastic, and his younger brother, Alexander, is now the Hereditary Count.

The present Count of Schönburg-Glauchau succeeded his father in 1998.  His older brother, Carl-Alban, renounced his rights in 1995 when he married a commoner, Juliet Fowler.

Oh dear: is Prince Laurent the father of a teenage son?

Is Prince Laurent of Belgium the father of a 14-year-old son, Clement?  According to an article in today's Wort, a Luxembourg newspaper that is not a tabloid,  Prince Laurent, younger brother of King Philippe, is said to be the father of the younger son of  a Belgian pin-up girl and TV celebrity, Wendy van Wanten.

The claims are being made by Jackie de Moor, who was Wendy's long time personal assistant and body guard.

De Moor told Belgian magazine, Story, that Prince Laurent and Wendy met a fashion show in 1995.  Prince Laurent then asked Wendy to join him for dinner at a local restaurant.  De Moor waited outside.   This meeting began a "long-standing" affair between Prince Laurent and Miss van Wanten.

Wendy gave birth to Clement in 2000.  Clement, according to de Moor, doesn't know his real father.  He believes Dany Vanholme, who was Wendy's manager, is his father.

De Moor learned about the affair when he picked Wendy up in his car.  She was sitting in the back seat of the car.  She laughed and said: "I have butterflies in my stomach.  I'm in love.  I got a prince."

She confessed the details of her affair and her pregnancy. She thought she hit the jackpot.  De Moor said Wendy believed Laurent would marry her and she would become a princess.

Wendy became pregnant, and gave birth to a son, whom she named Clement.  Laurent ended the affair, but not without arranging for a court agreement between he and Wendy.   The alleged agreement stated that if Wendy kept silent about the illegitimate child, Laurent would provide financial assistance.  Wendy agreed.  To this day, she has maintained her silence.

Prince Laurent is also silent on the matter.   In 2002, he married Claire Coombs. They have three children: Princess Louise and twin sons, Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric.
Rumors about Prince Laurent being Clement's father are not new.  In December 2011,  Wendy's elder son, Dylan Vanholme told reporters that Clement's father was Danny de Waele,  Wendy's manager, who had died in 2006.  Dylan referred to De Waele as his stepfather even though Wendy and Danny never came out as an official couple.

"Of course, I was not at the conception," Dylan said in 2011, but when I look at my brother, I recognize more and more of my stepfather in him. So Clement must be his son."

He added:  "Danny was always the man in my mom's life."

Wendy van Wanten, now 54 years old, has maintained her silence regarding the rumors about her younger son's father.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Princess Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Countess Adelheid of Lippe-Biesterfeld married Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen on April 24, 1889. 

Adelheid's status was a concern as she was the daughter of Count Ernst of Lippe-Biesterfeld.  During the succession dispute in Lippe, there were questions about the position of Adelheid's brother Leopold and his right to succeed.  Their great-grandmother, Modeste von Unruh, was not of equal of birth.  In 1905, Leopold was recognized as Prince of Lippe following the ruling of the Diet of Lippe.

Friedrich and Adelheid's six children were members of the Saxe-Meiningen dynasty: Feodora (1890-1972), Adelheid (1891-1971), Georg (1892-1946), Ernst (1895-1914), Kuise (1899-1985), and Bernhard (1901-1984)