Monday, October 20, 2014

Alexander III dying

October 20, 1894

There are "conflicting rumors" regarding the condition of Alexander III of Russia, reports the New York Times.   Official circles "profess to have no information or positively refuse to furnish any," and several Russian journals are sending reporters to Livadia.

Adding to the burden of confusion,  there are also reports that that the condition of the Emperor's second son, Grand Duke George, who suffers from consumption, is "very serious."  Some quarters say he "is dying."

A "special dispatch" from St. Petersburg to the Neue Freie Press in Vienna states that Empress Marie Feodorovna, who has spent every day at her husband's bedside, has suffered "a stroke of apoplexy."  Her elder daughter, Grand Duchess Xenia, has "broken down under the nervous strain," and is now confined to her bed.

Another report from St. Petersburg notes that "early in his illness," the Emperor had a long talk with the Tsarevitch, in which he "outlined the policies that should be pursued in foreign and domestic affairs."  He also told his son that he approves of his marriage to Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine, and the "marriage might take place without delay, in order that he might give his blessing to the couple before his death."

However, it is unlikely that Princess Alix will reach Livadia in time to be married before the Emperor dies.

The latest dispatch from St. Petersburg (1:30 p.m.) states that the Emperor's condition is "so grave," and there is little "ground for hope" that he will survive the next few days.

There are also reports that Alexander III died "last night," but there have been no official confirmation of this dispatch.

British royals to see baseball game

October 20, 1924

King George V, Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales and Prince Henry will attend the third of a series of baseball games between the New York Giants and the Chicago White Sox, reports the New York Times.

The games will be played at Stamford Bridge.

The first game will take place on October 24, which will be witnesses by the Duke and Duchess of York.  The proceeds for this game will be given to the King Edward VII Hospital fund.  The American Ambassador will be present to
"receive the royal guests."

Giovanna to wed Crown Prince Leopold

October 20, 1924

It will be Princess Giovanna, third daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele of Italy, and not her older sister, Princess Mafalda, who will marry the Duke of Brabant, heir to the Belgian throne, reports the New York Times.

The newspaper's article is based on an Italian newspaper, Il Mondo, which states that the engagement will be soon, "simultaneously with the announcement" of Crown Prince Umberto's engagement to Princess Marie-José, only daughter of the King and Queen of the Belgians. 

Princess Giovanna will celebrate her 17th birthday next month.  The Duke of Brabant, the eldest son of the Belgian king and queen, will turn 23 on November 3.

Prince Wolrad killed while on patrol

October 20, 1914

Prince Wolrad  of Waldeck und Pyrmont has been killed in "the western theater of the war while engaged in patrolling," reports the Chicago Tribune, which based on a dispatch from Dutch newspaper, the Handelsblad.

Prince Wolrad  was a half-brother of the Dowager Queen Emma of the Netherlands. 

The 22-year-old prince, whose full name was Viktor Wolrad Friedrich Adolf Wilhelm Albert, was the son of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck und Pyrmont and his second wife, Princess Luise of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

He died in action at Moorslede, Belgium, on October 17.

Prince Wolrad was the eighth child and youngest son of Prince Georg Viktor, but the only child by Georg Viktor's second marriage.  He was born at Arolsen on June 26, 1892.  His father died on May 12, 1893, leaving Princess Luise to raise her son alone.

The prince was unmarried.  He is survived by his mother, the Dowager Princess of Waldeck und Pyrmont, and five half-siblings: Princess Pauline (Princess of Bentheim and Steinfurt); Dowager Queen Emma of the Netherlands;  Princess Helen, Duchess of Albany; Prince Friedrich (who succeeded his father as the Prince of Waldeck und Pyrmont) and Princess Elisabeth (Princes of Erbach-Schonberg)

Margherita gives consent to marriage

October 20, 1908

The Rome correspondent for the Central News Service is reporting that Dowager Queen Margherita of Italy has "given her consent" to the marriage of the Duke of the Abruzzi to American Katherine Elkins.

The dispatch further states that King Vittorio Emanuele's wedding gift to Miss Elkins will be a diamond tiara worth $120,000.

Another report states that the two Italian cruisers have been "ordered to be in readiness to escort the cruiser, Europea, bearing the duke and his bride to Italy after their marriage."

The Duke "has disappeared from Turin," and it is believed that he is now en route to America, "sailing under an assumed name."

Reports of an engagement between the Duke and Miss Elkins is a surprise to Senator Elkins, who said today: "The information is news to my family and myself. We cannot say anything because we don't know anything about it."

Senator Elkins is the father of Katherine Elkins.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A lovely day for a picnic

private collection

A friend sent me this lovely image from his collection.  Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia with her daughters, Marie and Kira, at a picnic.  The woman sitting behind her resembles Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia.

Alexander's condition has worsened

October 17, 1894

The Lokal Anzeiger, a Berlin newspaper, is "directly informed" by one of the assistants of Alexander III's physicians that Alexander III's condition has "grown much worse," reports the New York Times.

It is understood that the "entire Greek court" will receive the Russian Emperor when he arrives in Athens en route to Corfu.  But he will not leave the Crimea until his Grand Marshal, Count Bendendorff, completes the preparations at Corfu.

The ailing Russian emperor is expected to stay at Chateau Mon Repos, which King George of the Hellenes has placed at the Emperor's disposal.  He will have a "delightful view of the sea and mountains."  

Mon Repos is rather small, and most of the Emperor's suite "will be obliged to lodge elsewhere."

Bulletin: Princess of Asturias dead

October 17, 1904

The Princess of Asturias died today in Madrid, a day after giving birth to a daughter.   The Princess, the eldest sister of King Alfonso XIII, was born Infanta
María de las Mercedes Isabel Teresa Cristina Alfonsa of Spain on September 11, 1880. She was 24 years old.

She married Don Prince Carlos of Borbon-Two Sicilies on Valentine's Day in 1901.

The Princess was heiress presumptive to the Spanish throne.  She is survived by her husband, Don Carlos. her two sons Infante Alfonso, who will celebrate his third birthday next month, 20-month old Infante Fernando and the newborn Infanta.

Her elder son, Infante Alfonso, is now the heir presumptive to the Spanish throne, as King Alfonso XIII is unmarried.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The death of the 11th Duke of Marlborough

The 11th Duke of Marlborough's heir apparent is his eldest son,  Charles James"Jamie", the Marquess of Blandford.  It is not customary to refer to the new peer by his title until after the funeral of his predecessor.  

His Grace was 88 years old.

Less than a month His Grace hosted the wedding of his younger brother, Lord Charles Spencer-Churchill and Sarah Goodbody.

The Duke was a grandson of the American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt.

The King and Queen of Spain visit the King and Queen of the Netherlands

All photos are the copyright of Arjan Brower.  Thanks Arjan for letting me use the photos.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Czar has cancer

October 15, 1894

There are conflicting reports concerning the health of Emperor Alexander III of Russia.  One doctor has "admitted" that the Czar is "afflicted with cancer is correct," according to a New York Times dispatch from St. Petersburg.

But another dispatch from St. Petersburg to The Times (London) states that Alexander is "better."  Yet another report, from the Vienna correspondent of The Times hears that his "condition is extremely unfavorable."

Infanta Pilar makes her debut

October 15, 1954

Infanta Pilar of Spain made her debut tonight at the Parque Hotel in Estoril, Portugal, reports the New York Times.

The eighteen-year-old infanta is the eldest child of the Count of Barcelona, pretender to the Spanish throne.  The Don Juan and his family entered the "thronged ballroom,"  hundreds of "discreetly jeweled women swept deep curtseys."

There were about 1600 Spaniards, including a third of the grandees and their families, who "mingled with more humble monarchists."

All contributed $8.00 each to the event, and traveled to Portugal to attend the gala event.  Many of the guests believed that this would be one of the last social appearances by Don Juan before his "expected abdication" in favor of his elder son, Infante Don Juan Carlos.

The gala also included 350 Portuguese and foreign "socialists, including thirty members of European royal families.  Former King Umberto of Italy was one of the guests.

Alexander's sister is unwell

October 15, 1934

Princess Helen of Russia, sister of the late King Alexander of Yugoslavia, is said to be "seriously ill" in Paris, reports the New York Times.

The widow of Prince Ioann of Russia, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918, came to France to attend the "welcoming ceremonies" for her brother.

King Alexander was assassinated in Marseille last week.

Count of Paris' daughter baptised

October 15, 1934

The infant daughter of the Count and Countess of Paris was baptized this morning in an "elaborate service at the Manoir d'Anjou" in Belgium, reports the Associated Press.

The princess was named Helene Astrid Leopoldine.  Her godparents are King Leopold III and Queen Astrid of the Belgians.   Members of the French nobility were present for the ceremony, including a delegation of French Legitimists, as the Count of Paris the pretender to the French throne.

The baptism required "elaborate police precautions."   Prince and Princess Pierre of Orleans-Braganza, parents of the Countess of Paris, stood on the right side of the altar, the Count and Countess of Paris; Princes Pierre and Jean, brothers of the Countess of Paris; her two sisters, the Princesses Marie Francoise and Therese and the Prince and Princess Murat.

Bolsheviks tell Pope they don't know where Alexandra and children are

October 15, 1918

On behalf of Pope Benedict, the Austrian Consul in Moscow has made "inquiries" to the Bolshevik authorities concerning former Empress Alexandra and her children.  Recent reports state that Alexandra and her daughters perished in a house "to which a Bolshevist mob set fire."

The Consul was informed that the whereabouts of the former Empress and her daughters is "unknown."  As these "affirmations are doubted, reliable persons" are undertaking a commission to further investigate the Pope's request.