Friday, June 11, 2021

Mail Call

Rainy day today. Envelopes in the mailbox brought a few smiles.

A thank you for the 1st birthday wishes for  HRH Prince Charles of Luxembourg, second in line to the throne


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The marriage of Princess Margrethe of Denmark and Prince Rene of Bourbon Parma

June 9, 1921

Princess Margrethe of Denmark and Prince Rene of Bourbon-Parma were married today at the  Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Copenhagen in the presence of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine,  Queen Louise, the Queen Mother,  the Dowager Empress of Russia, and other members of the Danish royal family.

The 25-year-old princess is the youngest child and only daughter of Prince Valdemar of Denmark, the youngest son of the late King Christian IX, and Princess Marie of Orléans, daughter of Prince Robert, Duke of Chartres, and Princess Francoise of Orléans.  When her parents married in 1885, it was decided that their sons would be raised Lutheran, the faith of their father, but daughters would be raised in Princess Marie's Roman Catholic faith.

Princess Margrethe was only 14 years old when her mother died after a short illness in December 1909.

King Christian IX and Princess Margrethe, 1899

The couple's four sons, Princes Aage, Axel, Erik, and Viggo were all baptized Lutheran but the youngest child, Princess Margrethe Françoise Louise Marie Helene was baptized as a Roman Catholic.   She was named for Princess Marie's sister, Princess Marguerite is married to  Marie-Armand-Patrice de Mac-Mahon, Duke of Magenta.

The Princess' First Communion

Prince Rene Charles Marie Joseph of Bourbon-Parma, 26, is the seventh surviving son of the late Duke Roberto I of Parma and his second wife, Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal.  Two of his full siblings are Prince Felix, the consort of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, and former Empress Zita, the widow of Emperor Karl of Austria, who died in exile in 1922.

The prince and two of his brothers, the Duke of Parma and Prince Felix joined the Austrian army during the Great War.

Princess Margarete, a first cousin of King George V, lived in England for several years during the war, where she worked as a nurse at  Harrogate Hospital which treated wounded soldiers. During her stay in England, she lived with Queen Alexandra until the end of 1920.   Family members were somewhat concerned that Margrethe had not yet found a husband.  She eschewed their attempts at matchmaking, saying that she would marry for love, "even if he turned out to be a chimney sweep."

The Princess was in Paris visiting her cousin, Prince George of Greece when she married Prince Rene.  She did not take her grandmother, the Duchess of Chartres' advice: 'Whatever you do, never marry a Bourbon." 

The couple fell in love and began to make plans for their future together.  The engagement of Prince Rene and the "pretty, vivacious" Princess Margrethe was announced in March.

 She was one of the "most popular" princesses in Denmark and has received numerous gifts, which include a sapphire and brilliants ring from Queen Alexandrine, a pearl collar from the Dowager Queen Olga of Greece, "a tiara of brilliants and rubies," from the bride's grandmother, the Duchess of Chartres, a diamond collar from Empress Zita, and from the Duke and Duchess of Magenta, a diamond bracelet.

The bride wore her mother's bridal veil, made from "old Brussels lace."

Large crowds were lining the streets of Copenhagen to "cheer the Princess on her return from church to Amalienborg Castle," where the reception was held.

All images  Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

The newlyweds plan to live in Paris.

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Lilibet - what is in a name!


Time Magazine May 29, 1929.   "Princess Lilibet"

There is so much nonsense out there about the name, Lilibet, which is the first name of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's daughter.  

Here are a few things that are not true.  No, Philip did not give her the nickname.  Nor was he the last person to use the name.   The nickname is used by the queen's family, her nieces, nephews (Aunt Lilibet) and their families,  her cousins on both sides of the family, close friends, other royals, reigning and non-reigning.  King Felipe VI addressed the queen as "Aunt Lilibet", in his note of condolence following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Nor did Marion Crawford reveal the nickname to the world in her book The Little Princesses.  The world already knew.    When did they know?  Certainly by 1929, thanks to the Time magazine cover story.

Western Daily Press  12/13/1929

11/7, 1935  The Times, coverage of the wedding of HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott

And my favorite citation:

Dundee Courier July 16, 1931

No one whined when King George V named a horse after his granddaughter.  So why the fuss about Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.  New parents do not need the Queen's permisson to use a name.   The Queen is not her grandfather who vetoed Ann Margaret, the name selected by the Duke and Duchess of York for their second child.  Ann was dropped, and the duke and duchess named their daughter, Margaret Rose.  

Family members perhaps discuss names with the Queen, as a matter of courtesy, but she is unlikely to say no can do!

It the name was good enough for a filly, it is surely good enough for the Queen's 11th great-grandchild.

If you liked this bit of research, perhaps you can buy me a cup of coffee

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

The Duke of Kent marries "in elaborate rite"

Embed from Getty Images 
June 8, 1961

The Duke of Kent, eighth in the line of succession to the British throne, was married today to Miss Katharine Worsley, the daughter of a Yorkshire baronet, reports the New York Times.

The marriage took place at York Minster and was conducted by the Archbishop of York.  Queen Elizabeth II and other Royal Family members journeyed north to attend the ceremony, which was televised.  The more than 2,000 guests included twenty-four members of European royal families, members of the Cabinet, and Members of the Parliament.  This was the first royal wedding at York Minster in 633 years.

The streets were filled with "proud Yorkshiremen" as the one of their own married into the royal family.  The "golden-haired" bride is the daughter of Sir William Worsley, Lord Lieutenant of the North Riding.  The Worsley family has lived at Hovingham Hall for more than 500 years.

The "solemn young bride and her father stepped stiffly through the west door of the cathedral" and were greeted "with a fanfare by trumpeters of the Royal Scots  Greys."   The Duke is a member of this regiment.

The bride and her father "moved slowly to the altar, her long white train sweeping behind her."  She was attended by eight little girls, including ten-year-old Princess Anne, the Queen's daughter, and three little page boys, all dressed in white. The bride's gown was designed by John Cavanagh.  The Times of London described the gown as "a statuesque and simple dress. It was of white silk gauze, with a specially woven design that shimmered lightly."

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The Duke of Kent, 25, dressed in the ceremonial uniform of the Royal Scots Greys, waited for his bride at the altar.  His best man was his younger brother, Prince Michael.  

The bride, who is three years older than the Duke, chose the wedding ceremony from the Church of England's 1928 Prayer book, "instead of the original 1662 version."   The newer version omits the word obey in the bride's pledge, but "it was used by the Archbishop at her request."

After the Duke placed a plain gold band on Katharine's finger, and the vows were exchanged, the couple "moved to the altar and knelt there while the golden-robed Archbishop bent over them, giving them his address in a low voice that only the wedding couple could hear."

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The newlyweds emerged from the cathedral and passed under "an arch of swords held by noncommissioned officers from Royal Scots Greys.  The crowds cheered as the Duke and his new Duchess got into the car for the twenty-three-mile drive to Hovingham Hall "for the huge wedding reception."

Later today, the newlyweds will leave for Scotland to start their honeymoon at Birkhall, the Queen Mother's residence in Scotland.

The Members of the Royal family who attended the wedding included the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, and Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Princess Royal, accompanied by the Earl and Countess of Harewood and the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Lascelles, the Duchess of Kent, accompanied by Princess Alexandra and Prince Michael of Kent.  The Court Circular did not list the foreign royals who attended the wedding.

In its coverage of the wedding, the Times noted that this was a Yorkshire wedding.  The people "who lined the streets to cheer in the tentative sunlight were the people of the city and of the East, West, and York Ridings.  In London, it would have been certain that at least a tenth of them would be Americans."

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Sunday, June 6, 2021

The newest QVD Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor


Queen Elizabeth II's 11th great-grandchild will be known as Lili.   She is eighth in line to the throne.

As the daughter of a duke, she bears the courtesy title Lady before her Christian name but her parents have chosen to eschew the ducal courtesy titles.

In her book, The Little Princesses,  Marion Crawford wrote: "From the time of my arrival, Lilibet came down to me.  She had given herself this name when she found 'Elizabeth' rather difficult to get round, and it had stuck to her ever since."

Mail call

@Palais Royal, Belgium Photo Bas Bogaerts

@cour grand-ducal/ Lola Velasco

@cour grand-ducal/ E. Sorcelletti

@Royal Palace, Belgium  Photo: Michel Gronenberger

H Ill H Countess Vittoria von Waldburg zu Wolfegg & Waldsee 
                and Ferdinand Lovrek, son of Paul Lovrek and HSH Princess Maria                         Beatrice of Auersperg-Trautson.  Ferdinand's uncle,  Franz Josef, the                     present Prince of Auersperg-Trautson, is married to Archduchess                             Constantza of Austria


Friday, June 4, 2021

The Funeral of the Duke of Aosta


Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images 
Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

The funeral of HRH the Duke of Aosta was celebrated today in Florence's Basilica of San Miniato.   The guest list was largely limited to members of the late Duke's family and members of the Italian nobility.  Foreign royals including the late duke's relatives were unable to travel to Italy due to Covid restrictions.

His son, Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta described him as an "exceptional father -- and he was a reference figure for many in addition to my family.  I am moved by the number of people who came here to remember my father,"

Princess Signoretta Alliata Licata di Baucina, a longtime friend of the Duchess of Aosta, spoke of her sadness that the news of his death.  

"I am deeply saddened. Amedeo was a generous man, available, ready to help friends but also people he did not know, of any social class they were, because he had a great love for his neighbor and felt the needs of the others as his problems. He had an upbringing as a member of the royal family, an upbringing different from the one we all receive.

"I met him 43 years ago - he had just separated from Claudia d'Orleans and had started a relationship with Silvia (Paternò di Spedalotto), who was one of my closest friends.  She was young and her father, Marquis Spedalotto, was worried and went to Tuscany to better understand Silvia's relationship which later turned out to be a wonderful union. Silvia entered the Savoy family with great lightness, almost on tiptoe, and she loved  Amedeo and Claudia's children as if they were her own.
What has always struck me and what I will miss a lot about Amedeo is his extreme humanity: if you needed something he was the first to get in motion to help you solve problems. He made you feel at the center of the world, a special person, and everywhere he left an excellent memory of himself. Moreover - and this was the result of his 'royal' education - he was always very attentive to everything that happened in Italy and he experienced unpleasant things as open wounds. He had been brought up in total respect of the others and thus educated his three children, Bianca Mafalda and Aimone, in simplicity and love for nature and the sea, without ever losing sight of an extraordinary sense of righteousness that made him clearly distinguish good from evil, white from black, unlike a society like the one we live in which is immersed in the gray in which good and evil are confused.

"He had fought with extraordinary tenacity against cancer and for this reason, none of us thought he would die. He loved the house in Pantelleria very much, he still wanted to live and return to the island and his sea ​​that for him was a world. I will make him say a mass in Palermo."

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

HRH Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta (1943-2021)


HRH Prince Amadeo Umberto Constantino Giorgio Paolo Maria Fiorenzo, 5th Duke of Aosta, died today after suffering a heart attack at San Donato Hospital in Arezzo, Italy.  He was was 77 years old.

The Duke of Aosta, who headed the Aosta branch of the Italian Royal Family, had undergone surgery in Milan earlier this year for the removal of a tumor on his kidney.  On May 27, he was admitted to the hospital for a minor procedure, a success.    He was scheduled to be released today but suffered a fatal heart attack during the night, according to the Italian newspaper, Repubblica.

He was born at Villa Della Cisterna in Florence  Florence on September 27, 1943.  His father, Prince Aimone, Duke of Spoleto, was named King Tomislav II of Croatia by his cousin, King Vittorio Emanuele III, in May 1941.  Although he never visited Croatia, Aimone was considered the sovereign until the King asked him to abdicate on July 31, 1943, after the fall of Italy's Fascist government.  Aimone, according to Count Ciano's diary, was "proud of having been chosen King of Croatia, but has no exact idea of what he is supposed to do and is vaguely uneasy about it."   The Duke of Spoleto succeeded his older brother,  Prince Amedeo, the father of two daughters, as Duke of Aosta on March 3, 1942.  The late duke had died in a British prisoner of war camp.

Irene remained in their Florentine residence even though the area was subjected to Allied bombing,  She gave birth prematurely to her only son, who was given the title Duke of Puglia.  Amedeo later revealed that soon after his birth, his mother had him fingerprinted by the police in case he was kidnapped.  

The new prince was given an "emergency baptism" due to being born eighteen days too early.  Two days after his birth, the Royal Chaplain arrived at the villa, but before "the water was applied or the blessing given, wrote Edward Hanson in The Wandering Princess, as another "air raid commenced.  Aimone was not officially baptized until he was six years old and able to "make his own baptismal promises."

Only July 26, 1944,. Heinrich Himmler ordered Amedeo, his mother, and the widowed Duchess of Aosta and her two young daughters, Princesses Margherita and Maria Cristina, deported to a concentration camp in Hirschegg, near Graz in Austria.   The family was liberated from the camp in May 1945.  Irene and her son lived for several weeks in Switzerland before returning to Italy to live.  It was in Milan, where Aimone met his nearly 2-year-old son for the first time.

After a referendum that ended the Italian monarchy in June 1946,  Aimone and Irene planned to settle in Belgium but the Belgium government made it clear that the Aostas would not be welcome.  Irene and Amedeo returned to Switzerland, and the Duke of Aosta flew to South America, where he planned to settle in Argentina.  

He died in Buenos Aires in January 1948.

Amedeo, only 4 1/2 years old, succeeded his father as Duke of Aosta.  He and his mother returned to Florence to live as he was not affected by this clause in the Italian constitution: "Access and sojourn in the national territory shall be forbidden to the ex-kings of the House of Savoy, their spouses, and their male descendants."

The wedding of Princess Irene of Greece & Denmark (1904-1974) and Prince Aimone, Duke of Savoy (1900-1948)

The young Duke studied at the Collegio alle Querce in Florence and Seaford College in England before attending the Morosini Naval College in Venice.   He received a degree in political science from the University of Florence.

For some years,  the Duke of Aosta managed the family estate in Il Borro in Arezzo

He was married twice.  His first wife was Princess Claude of Orléans, whom he had first met in May 1962 at the wedding of then Prince Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, one of Amedeo's first cousins.  More than 300 people attended the wedding, including former King Umberto of Italy, which took place at Sao Pedro de Sintra, on July 22, 1964.

The couple had three children:  HRH Princess Bianca Irene Elena Isabella Fiorenza Maria of Savoy (1966)  HRH Prince Aimone Umberto Emanuele Filiberto Luigi, Amedeo Gustavo Elena Maria Fiorenzo of Savoy, Duke of Puglia (1967) and HRH Princess Mafalda Giovanna Shams Maria Fiorenza Isabella of Savoy (1969).

This marriage ended in divorce in 1982 and was annulled four years later.   On March 30, 1987, at Bagheria, near Palermo,  the Duke of Aosta married Marchesa Donna Silvia Paterno di Spedalotto.  Financial reasons forced the Duke to sell the 1,700-acre property to Ferruccio Ferragamo in 1993.

He and his wife moved to San Rocco in Castiglion Fibocchi, where he owned a wine company,  Vini Savoia Aosta.

The wedding of HRH Princess Claudia of Orléans and the Duke of Aosta.  They married on July 22, 1964

The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Aosta (1987)

The Duke of Aosta is survived by his wife, Silvia, five children and eleven grandchildren (Viola, Vera, Mafalda, Maddalena, and Leonardo, the children of Princess Bianca and her husband, Count Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga,  TRH Prince Umberto, Duke of Puglia,  Prince Amedeo and Princess Isabella of Savoy, the children of Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta and his wife, Princess Olga of Greece, and Anna, Carlo Ferrante and Elena Lombardo di Chirico, the children of Princess Mafalda and her husband Francesco Lombardo di Chirico.

The late duke also has a natural daughter, Ginevera Maria Gabriella Beatrice van Ellinkhuizen (2006) by Kyara vn Ellinkhuisen.  He is also the biological father of Pietro Incisa della Rochetta (1967) whose mother, Donna Nerina Corsini (1942-2014) married Enrico Incisa della Rochetta in 1961.  Nerina's mother, Elena was one of Princess Irene's ladies-in-waiting.

The funeral will be held on Friday 4 June, at 11.30 am, in the abbey of San Miniato al Monte in Florence.

Prince Aimone, 6th Duke of Aosta has lived in Russia since 2000 when he became president of Pirelli Tires' operations in Russia.  In 2012, he was named as CEO of Pirelli Tyre's Nordic division.

The Duke of Aosta and Princess   Irina of Romania   Bucharest 2011

 Bucharest 2011

The Margrave of Baden and The Duke of Aosta  Bucharest 2011

Crown Princess Margareta and the Duke of Aosta  Bucharest 2011

The Duke of Aosta and Princess Ilona of Schaumburg-Lippe 

all the Bucharest photos: @Marlene A Eilers Koenig

The Duke of Aosta was a descendant of Queen Victoria.   

Victoria - Victoria - Sophie - Irene - Amedeo.

He was a first cousin of King Michael of Roumania,  Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia. and King Constantine II of the Hellenes.

I corresponded for many years with the Duke of Aosta and was delighted to finally meet him in Bucharest in October 2011 for King Michael's 90th birthday celebrations.