Thursday, October 18, 2018

It will be a boy and his name will be Ernst August ... maybe

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 Hereditary Prince Ernst August of Hanover has confirmed to the media that he and his wife, Ekaterina, are expecting a second child in April 2019.

Their daughter Elisabeth is eight months old.

The couple were among the guests at Princess Eugenie  of York's wedding at Windsor on October 12,  The Hereditary Princess' baby bump was also on view, thus sending the German media into a frenzy.

Bunte was the first to note that that the Hereditary Princess is again pregnant.  This was followed by a statement from the Hereditary Prince's office: "We are  happy to confirm the news that Hereditary Princess Ekaterina of Hanover is expecting a second child.  The couple are very happy, but do not want to confirm further information."

The couple were married at the Marktkirche in July 2017.   By the time they celebrate their second anniversary, they will already be the parents of two children.

"We are looking forward to it,"  the Hereditary Prince told the Hannoversche Allgemeine. 

Ernst August, 35, will not confirm reports that the baby is a boy and will be named Ernst August.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

To Be Royal or Not to Be Royal ... that is the question

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 I am sure everyone knows that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring.  The new little sprog will be 7th in line to the throne, pushing Great Uncle Andrew down one notch.

There have been discussions on both sides of the Pond about how the couple's children will be styled. Will the child be royal or will he or she be styled as a child of a duke. It is a conundrum that will be answered before the Duchess gives birth.

The style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom are not governed by legislation, unlike Succession laws.   It is the purview of the Sovereign who is the fountain of all honors.   The Sovereign does not decide on the day of birth to grant royal status.  Elizabeth II did not give royal titles to the Duke and Duchess of York's daughters.  The reason why they are Princesses is due to the Letters Patents of Queen Victoria (1864) and King George V (1917.)

Victoria clarified who was a royal highness and who was a highness (a lower style).

The full Letters Patent

How it was published in the London Gazette

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Victoria's Letters Patent gave children of the sovereign and grandchildren in the MALE of the sovereign the rank of Royal Highness.  Great grandchildren (and further on) were given the rank of Highness.

The title of Prince of Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland would continue in the male line with no end.   Only the children of the sovereign and the grandchildren in the male line of the sovereign were entitled to the HRH.

Fast forward to 1898.  Queen Victoria has three great-grandchildren in the male line, the children of the Duke and Duchess of York, who, from birth, were styled  HH Prince Edward of York, HH Prince Albert of York and HH Princess Mary of York.

With the stroke of Victoria's pen,  Edward, known as David, Albert, known as Bertie, and Mary, became royal highnesses.   David succeeded to the throne in January 1936 as King Edward VIII.  Eleven months later, he abdicated "for the woman he loved" in favor of his brother, Albert, the Duke of York, who became King George VI/

The only other male-line grandsons to have issue were HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught, only son and second of three children of HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and HRH Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, who succeeded his paternal uncle, HRH Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in August 1900.   His children were HH Prince or Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duke or Duchess of Saxony and HH Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

 Prince Arthur and his wife, HH Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, were married in 1913.  Their only son was born a year later.  For the first three years of his life, Alastair was styled as HH Prince Alastair Arthur of Connaught.  The little prince was heir to the Connaught and Strathearn and Fife dukedoms.

Alexandra and her younger sister, Maud, were the children of HRH Princess Louise, eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.  On the same day in November 1905 that Edward VII created Louise as Princess Royal, he gave the rank of Highness and the title of Princess to Louise's children.  She was married to the Duke of Fife.  The two girls were styled from birth as Lady Alexandra and Lady Maud Duff.   Following her marriage to her mother's first cousin, HH The Duchess of Fife was styled as HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught.

 The King's decision to bestow royal status on his two granddaughters was not supported by his son, George, the Prince of Wales, the future George V. He did not think that his sister's daughters should have royal status.   HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught was a respected and hard-working member of the Royal Family, championing a number of charities.  She became a registered nurse and ran her own nursing home.  Her younger sister, Princess Maud, sought a more private life and did not carry out official duties.   George V's 1917 Letters Patent did not affect her directly as the warrant did not rescind Edward VII's decision to give his granddaughters the rank of Highness and title of Princess.

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Maud remained styled as HH Princess Maud until November 12, 1923, when she married Charles Alexander Bannerman Carnegie, styled as Lord Carnegie, heir apparent to the Earl of Southesk.  King George V discreetly informed his niece that he wished for her to relinquish her royal title and style.  She agreed.  She was styled as the Lady Maud Carnegie until 1941 when her husband succeeded to the earldom. From that date, she was The Countess of Southesk.

Lady Southesk was 13th in line to the throne when she died on December 14, 1945.  Because of her closeness to the throne, she served as a Councillor of State form 1941 until 1945.

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This brings us to November 30, 1917 when George V issued a Letters Patent that further defined those who are entitled to the HRH and the title of Prince or Princess.

This Letters Patent superseded the two Letters Patent issued by Victoria in 1864 and 1898, respectively, and is still in effect.

The HRH and title Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (now Northern Ireland) is limited to the following categories of people.

Children of the sovereign.

Grandchildren of the sovereign in the MALE line.
The eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, but not any other grandchildren in the male line, including the other children of the eldest son of the eldest son.  Weird.  Victoria's 1898 Letters Patent covered all of the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

Great-grandchildren in the male line would be styled as younger sons of a duke and daughters of a duke with the exception of the eldest sons of the male grandsons who also had peerages.

So let's look at the present Royal Family to understand how the 1917 Letters Patent works.

Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Margaret - grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line. HRH and Princesses from birth.

The Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York & Earl of Wessex - children of the sovereign in the male line. HRH and Princes and Princess from birth although the 1917 Letters Patent did not apply to Charles and Anne, who would not have been royal at birth if not for George VI issuing another Letters Patent before Elizabeth gave birth to Charles.  More on this later in this post.

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Mountbatten Windsor, and Viscount Severn.
Grandchildren in the male line of the Sovereign.  HRH and Prince or Princess.  

An announcement was made on the day of Prince Edward's wedding to Sophie Rhys-Jones (June 19, 1999) that he would be created Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn.  The announcement also included information about the titles and style of future children.  No Letters Patent was issued to change the style, however.  Lady Louise and Lord Severn are technically HRH and Princess and Prince.  This was acknowledged by the HRH The Countess of Wessex in an interview several years ago.

The decision to use the style of children of earl was made largely due  -- in my view -- to scandals (three divorces, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales) in the 1990s.  The Way Ahead group, which included the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, other members of the Royal family, courtiers and others, made a number of decision that affected the royals, then and now.

One decision was to recommend that Edward's children not be styled with the royal titles. The Way Ahead group also decided that the Duke of York's two daughters,  Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, would not become working royals. There were reports in the late 1990s that the two princesses would lose their royal titles and be styled as Lady Beatrice and Lady Eugenie Mountbatten-Windsor, but this recommendation was tabled.

This decision has been a source of contention for the Duke of York, but it must stated that he has known since the late 1990s that his daughters would need to have their careers.  It is understandable that the Duke, who loves his daughters, would want them to be working royals.  It is a decision that is supported by the Queen.  If she wanted the princesses to be full-time member of the firm, she would make that view known.

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 It is my opinion that if the Duke and Duchess of York had not divorced and got involved in numerous shady or sketchy projects,  they would be among the senior royals and their daughters, princesses of the blood royal would be full-time members of The Firm.  If you take a look at the British Monarchy's official website, you will discover that Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are the only adult members of the Royal Family who do not have their own profiles.  Their patronages and charities are not included in the Royal Family's charities database nor do they appear in the Court Circular when they carry out their engagements, with the exception of when they are asked to do an official engagement or they attend state and official events.

The Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy and Prince Michael of Kent.  Grandchildren in the male line of the sovereign.  They are HRH and Princes and Princess.

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The first male line descendant to be affected by the 1917 Letters Patent was three-year-old HH Prince Alastair Arthur of Connaught, the only child of HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught.  He was a great-grandson in the male line  As his mother was a duchess in her own right,  it was decided that he would be styled by the Fife dukedom's secondary title, Earl of Macduff.   When Prince Arthur of Connaught died from cancer in 1938,  Lord Macduff became the heir apparent to his grandfather's dukedom as well.  He succeeded as the second Duke of Connaught and Strathearn in 1942 and died unmarried a year later in Ottawa, Canada.  The Connaught dukedom reverted to the Crown.

Alastair's maternal first cousin, James, Lord Carnegie, the only child of the Countess of Southesk, succeeded to the Fife dukedom in 1959, following the death of Princess Arthur of Connaught.

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 The children of the present Dukes of Gloucester and Kent and Prince Michael of Kent are great-grandchildren in the male line.  The children of Prince Michael of Kent, who does not have a peerage, are styled as Lord Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Windsor -- younger son of a duke and daughter of a duke, as stated in the 1917 Letters Patent.

The Duke of Gloucester's only son, Alexander, is the Earl of Ulster, and his two daughters are Lady Rose and Lady Davina.

Lord Ulster is married and has two children,  Xan, who bears the courtesy title, Lord Culloden, and Lady Cosima.

Lord Ulster is the heir apparent to the Duke of Gloucester.  When he succeeds, he will be styled as Your Grace.  The Gloucester and Kent dukedoms will cease to be royal dukedoms.

The Duke of Kent has two sons.  George, the Earl of St. Andrews, and Lord Nicholas Windsor and one daughter, Lady Helen.   Lord St. Andrews, heir apparent to the Kent dukedom, has one son,  Edward, styled as Lord Downpatrick, and two daughters,  Lady Marina-Charlotte and Lady Amelia Windsor.

The children of Lord Frederick and Lord Nicholas have no title:  Miss Maud and Miss Isabella Windsor (Frederick) and Master Albert, Master Leopold and Master Louis Windsor  (Nicholas.)

The succession (male line) for both dukedoms is secure, especially the Kent dukedom, which has eight males in the line of the succession.

George V created the Gloucester and Kent dukedoms for his third and fourth sons, Princes Henry and George, in 1928 and 1934, respectively.

The Duke of York's peerages will revert to the Crown upon his death as the titles for his male descendants.  His daughters or their children cannot inherit the dukedom.

The Earl of Wessex's son, James, is the heir to the Wessex earldom.   After the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and Charles is king,  Edward will be created Duke of Edinburgh.  He is in line for his father's dukedom, but if Philip dies before the Queen, Charles succeeds to his father's peerages.  This is made clear in George VI's Letters Patent.  Philip was created His Royal Highness on November 19, 1947.  The morning of the wedding to Princess Elizabeth on November 20, George VI issued another Letters Patent, creating him as Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, with the succession of peerages reserved for his male heirs.

I expect that Edward will receive the title Duke of Edinburgh without secondary titles and the earldom of Wessex will be used as the courtesy title for the heir and Viscount Severn for the heir's heir.

Princesses cannot pass their titles to their children, even if the Princess is the heir to the throne.

Less than a month before, HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, gave birth to Charles, her father, King George VI issued a Letter Patent that gave the HRH and title Prince or Princess to her children.

If this Letters Patent had not been issued,  Charles and Anne would not have had royal status until Elizabeth succeeded to the throne.  They would have taken their rank from their father.  The two children would have been styled as the Earl of Merioneth and Lady Anne Mountbatten.

There have been seven blood princesses since George V.  He had one daughter, Mary, who married Viscount Lascelles, in 1922.  Lord Lascelles succeeded as the 6th Earl of Harewood in 1929.  Two years later, King George V named Mary as the Princess Royal.  The 8th Earl of Harewood is their grandson.

The Duke of York, the second son of George V, married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon a year after Princess Mary's wedding.  Lady Elizabeth had been one of Mary's bridesmaids.  They were the parents of two daughters,  Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, who in 1960, married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones.  He originally turned down a peerage.  It was not until October 6, 1961, that Armstrong-Jones was created Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley of Nymans.  This announcement came less than a month before Margaret gave birth to their first son, David, now the 2nd Earl of Snowdon.    Princess Margaret chose not to be styled by her husband's name after the wedding. She remained HRH The Princess Margaret, until after the peerage was granted.  A few days later came the announcement that Margaret would now be styled as HRH Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

Margaret's children would have the style and status of children of an earl.

In April 1963,  Princess Alexandra of Kent married the Hon, Angus Ogilvy, younger son of the Earl of Airlie.  The Queen did offer an earldom to Angus, but he declined.  In an interview years later, he said he regretted the decision because it set a terrible precedent for Anne and Mark Phillips.  Angus believed that the Princess Anne's children -- the Queen's grandchildren -- should have titles.

Anne married fellow equestrian Mark Phillips in November 1973.  The Princess and Mr. Phillips were interviewed on British TV before their wedding and Mark said that he had not been offered a peerage.  Other sources say that he and Anne turned down an earldom but this has never been confirmed.   Anne's children would never have been royal as she could not pass her rank or title to her children.

Thus, the children of Princess  Alexandra and Princess Anne take their rank from their fathers, who are not titled.   It will be the same for Princess Eugenie's children.  They will be Master or Miss Christian name Brooksbank.

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This brings us back to the status of the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, who would be HRH and Prince, but his siblings would be styled as younger sons and daughters of a duke.  What were George V and his advisers thinking when this clause was considered.   His grandmother, Victoria, upgraded his children to the rank of royal highness in 1898.  David was the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (George's father).  He and his siblings and royal rank, but were highnesses rather than royal highnesses.

Did King George V not consider the future where the possibility of three direct heirs and the sovereign be alive at the same time.   Apparently not.  Queen Victoria's longevity was perhaps, seen as an anomaly in royal life.  King Edward VII, King George V, and King George VI did not live long enough to see their grandchildren marry and have issue.

George VI's daughter, Elizabeth II, has seen now seen five of her grandchildren marry.  She has seven great-grandchildren, three in the male line.   The eighth great-grandchild, also in male line, will be born next spring.

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Fast forward to 2013.  The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her first child.  A boy would be the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. The new gender-equal succession law had recently been approved.  What if the Cambridges' first child had been a girl.  She would have been styled as the Lady Charlotte Mountbatten-Windsor and if George had been born second -- he would have been HRH Prince  George of Cambridge.    The youngest child would be known as Lord Louis Mountbatten-Windsor.

This could have been awkward.  A future queen who does not have royal style but brother does.

Queen Elizabeth II solved that problem by issuing a new Letters Patent that extended the HRH and royal title to all of the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

 The 1917 Letters Patent makes it clear that Harry's children -- great-grandchildren in the male line -- will be styled, at least for the immediate future, as the children of a duke.  The eldest son will be the Earl of Dumbarton, daughters will be styled as Lady Christian name Mountbatten-Windsor and younger sons will be Lord Christian name Mountbatten-Windsor.

I do not think George V considered this scenario  - the Prince of Wales having more than one grandson in the male line.   When Victoria died in January 1901, she had three great-grandsons in the male line:  Princes Edward, Albert, and Henry of York, the three eldest sons of the Duke of York.

When Charles succeeds to the throne, his grandchildren will become royal, unless it is made clear before he succeeds that Harry's children will remain styled as children of a duke.

As I have said many times, I don't make predictions anymore because my crystal ball is broken and the manufacturer can no longer get the parts to fix it.

I do think that Charles will want his grandchildren - Cambridge and Sussex - to be equal. Moreover, in 25-30 years, the Royal Family will be a lot smaller, through death and attrition.   None of the current working royals apart from Charles, have successors to take on royal duties.  The Duke of Kent is 83.  Princess Alexandra will celebrate her 82nd birthday on Christmas Day.  Prince Michael of Kent is 76.  The Duke of Gloucester is 74.   The Princess Royal turned 68 last August.  The Duke of York will be 59 next February, and his younger, the Earl of  Wessex is 54 years old.  Most will not be alive when William is on the throne,

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 The Prince of Wales is approaching his 70th birthday on November 14.

The Royal Family will have been whittled down to William and Harry and their families.   Harry's grandchildren will not be royal and the 3rd Duke of Sussex (if Harry has a son who has a son) will be His Grace.   The Sussex dukedom is for Harry's male-line descendants only.

Several writers have pointed out that Harry's children will be in the same position as the York princesses.  Yes, in terms of being the children of the second son of the king.  But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not royal pariahs and are unlikely to get involved in less than wholesome dealings as have both the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York.

The Duke of Sussex does not share his Uncle's fondness for self-indulgence.  He understands what his current role is within the royal family, and he is certainly aware that he will be the son of the king, and, in the fullness of time, the brother -- the only sibling of the king.

I will not be surprised if the Queen issues another Letters Patent, perhaps toward the end of this year, that extends the royal rank to Harry's children.

Other Royal Musing posts that may be of interest to you:

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Eugenie's official wedding photos

Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank have released four official photographs from their Wedding day.

The images were taken by photographer Alex Bramall at Windsor Castle and later in the day at the private dinner at Royal Lodge. The couple are delighted to be able to share these images of their special day.

 Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank are pictured in the White Drawing Room, Windsor Castle with (left-to-right):
Back row: Mr Thomas Brooksbank; Mrs Nicola Brooksbank; Mr George Brooksbank; Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York; Sarah, Duchess of York; His Royal Highness The Duke of York
Middle row: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge; Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge; Her Majesty The Queen; His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh; Miss Maud Windsor; Master Louis De Givenchy;
Front row: Miss Theodora Williams; Miss Mia Tindall; Miss Isla Phillips; Miss Savannah Phillips

 Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank are pictured in the White Drawing Room, Windsor Castle with (left-to-right)
Back row: His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge; Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge; Miss Theodora Williams; Miss Isla Phillips; Master Louis De Givenchy
Front row: Miss Mia Tindall; Miss Savannah Phillips; Miss Maud Windsor

 Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank are pictured in the Scottish State Coach, upon its return to Windsor Castle following the Carriage Procession.
all four photos @ Alex Bramall

"Princess Eugenie and Mr Brooksbank are pictured at Royal Lodge, Windsor ahead of the private evening dinner, following their Wedding.

Princess Eugenie's evening dress was designed by Zac Posen. Mr Posen was inspired by the beauty of Windsor and the surrounding countryside. The choice of colour reflects the blush of an English rose. Mr Posen took his inspiration from the White Rose of York.

The pin-tucked plissé is cut on the bias and mixed with signature drapes. The White Rose of York is subtlety embroidered on both the shoulder and back which hold together the cape. The silk for the gown comes from Biddle Sawyer Silk.

Princess Eugenie is wearing diamond and emerald drop earrings which were a Wedding gift from the Groom.

Princess Eugenie also wore a hair slide belonging to Her Majesty The Queen. Queen Victoria’s Wheat-Ear Brooches were originally commissioned by William IV in 1830 for Queen Adelaide. They were passed down to Queen Victoria in 1837, and eventually to The Queen in 1952. Her Majesty has worn them as both hair slides and brooches."

Friday, October 12, 2018

James and Julia Ogilvy - Eugenie's wedding

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Princess Eugenie's godparents, including James Ogilvy, son of Princess Alexandra, attended her wedding.  But James was not accompanied by his wife Julia.

The couple, who divides their time between Cambridge/Nantucket in Massachusetts and Scotland, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary in July.

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In the spring of 2018,  Julia received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.  She is back in the Cambridge area, where, according to her daughter, Flora's Instagram account, she is "staying on to support those in need of hope in times of imaginable suffering."   Julia is "underway with 400 hours of volunteering in hospital to give emotional support to people of all ages and backgrounds at the end of their lives."

The work is "challenging and painful," said Flora, who added: "that I am very proud to be her daughter."  She added that the "empathy and compassion" that her parents have "shown across their lives is their greatest achievement."

The marriage of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

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 I cannot believe I got up at 4:15 this morning to watch Princess Eugenie of York marry Jack Brooksbank.   The couple was married earlier today at St. George's Chapel in the presence of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Other members of the Royal Family who attended the wedding included  the bride's father, the Duke of York and her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York  and her sister, Princess Beatrice, the Prince of Wales,  the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor and Viscount Severn, the Princess Royal and Tim Laurence and Peter and Autumn Phillips and Mike and Zara Tindall. the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor,  Lady Gabriella Windsor and Tom Kingston, Lady Helen and Tim Taylor, Zenouska Mowatt, James and Julia Ogilvy,  the Earl and Countess of Snowdon, with Lord Linley and Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto.   The bridesmaids and pages were Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Mia Tindall,  Savannah and Isla Phillips, Maud Windsor, Theodora Williams, and Louis de Givenchy.

Three members of the Royal Family had to send their regrets.  The Duchess of Cornwall had several engagements in Crathie, Scotland, that she could not change.  Princess Alexandra recently broke her arm and is recovering from surgery.  The Duchess of Kent was also not at the wedding.

Other guests I spotted included the Duke of Westminster,  Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece with their daughter, Princess Olympia,  Prince Philippos of Greece and his girlfriend, Nina Flohr, Hereditary Prince and Princess Ernst August of Hannover, Prince and Princess Christian of Hannover, their mother, Chantal, who is divorced from their father, Prince Ernst August of Hanover, and the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Oettingen-Spielberg.

 Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice attended Christian's marriage to Alessandra de Osma earlier this year in Peru.

Lady Melissa Percy and Lord and Lady Max Percy were also on the guest list. Lady Max was born Princess Nora of Oettingen-Spielberg, a younger sister of the Hereditary Prince.

It is understood that Eugenie's godparents, including James Ogilvy, son of Princess Alexandra, were guests at the wedding.

The tiara that Eugenie wore was a real surprise.  Many expected that she would wear the York tiara that her mother had received as a wedding gift in 1986, but the Queen --granny -- loaned her the  Greville Emerald Kokoshnik, one of a number pieces of jewelry that the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville had left to the late Queen Mother, who, in turn, left her jewels to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

From the Palace's press release:

"Princess Eugenie’s Wedding dress has been designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, who founded the British based label Peter Pilotto, in London in 2007. The brand is known for its innovative textile design, paired with a modern feminine silhouette.

Princess Eugenie met the designers when she was co-hosting an event in support of women artists. Her Royal Highness has been wearing designs by the brand for several years.

Princess Eugenie, Mr Pilotto and Mr De Vos have worked closely together on the design of the dress. The designers undertook archive research into previous dresses worn by Members of the Royal Family and identified a silhouette.

The Design

During several fittings the dress was developed layer by layer, constructing it from the corset and the complex underskirt to the fitted bodice and full pleated skirt. The dress features a neckline that folds around the shoulders to a low back that drapes into a flowing full length train. The low back feature on the dress was at the specific request of Princess Eugenie who had surgery aged 12 to correct scoliosis.

The Fabric

The fabric was designed by Mr Pilotto and Mr De Vos at their studio in East London and includes a number of symbols that are meaningful to Princess Eugenie as motifs.

The symbols are a Thistle for Scotland acknowledging the couple's fondness for Balmoral, a Shamrock for Ireland as a nod to the Bride's Ferguson family, the York Rose and ivy representing the couple's home.

Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos have reinterpreted these symbols in a garland of rope like motifs, woven into a jacquard of silk, cotton and viscose blend.

Once the artwork was completed, it was translated into a jacquard weave in the Como region of Italy. The result is a very modern looking fabric using a highly intricate weaving technique.


Princess Eugenie is wearing the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, lent to her by Her Majesty The Queen. The tiara was made by Boucheron for Mrs Greville in 1919 in the fashionable ‘kokoshnik’ style popularised in the Russian Imperial Court.

The tiara is made of brilliant and rose cut diamonds pavé set in platinum, with six emeralds on either side. The tiara was bequeathed by Mrs Greville to Queen Elizabeth in 1942.

Princess Eugenie is wearing diamond and emerald drop ear-rings which are a Wedding gift from the Groom.

Wedding Shoes

The Wedding shoes are satin peep-toe heels by Charlotte Olympia.

The Bride’s Bouquet

The Wedding bouquet, created by floral designer Rob Van Helden's sister, Patrice Van Helden Oakes, consists of Lily of the Valley, Stephanotis pips, hints of baby blue thistles, white spray roses and trailing ivy.

Sprigs of myrtle from Osbourne House are also included in the bouquet. The tradition of carrying myrtle began after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.

The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858.

Bridal Hair and Make-Up

Princess Eugenie's hair was styled by Sonny-Jo MacFarlane, Hari's, with make-up by Hannah Martin, Bobbi Brown.

Maid of Honour

Princess Beatrice is wearing an outfit by Ralph and Russo and a hat by Sarah Cant.

Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Page Boys' Uniforms

These were designed by Amaia Arrieta of Amaia Kids. The design incorporates the Mark Bradford artwork included in the Order of Service.

Bridesmaids’ Flowers

The Bridesmaids' flowers are by Rob Van Helden and reflect the design of the Bridal bouquet. The Bridesmaids each have posies of Lily of the Valley and spray roses.

Special Attendant

Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor is wearing a dress by Claudie Pierlot and hat by Emily London.

Mother of the Bride's Dress

Sarah, Duchess of York is wearing a dress designed by local Windsor company Emma Louise Design, with a vintage Manolo Blahnik bag. The bag was carried by Susan Barrantes at the Wedding of The Duke and Duchess of York in 1986."

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

The official program for Princess Eugenie's wedding

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Buckingham Palace  has released the Order of Service for HRH Princess Eugenie of York's marriage to Mr. Jack Brooksbank.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Eugenie and Jack's attendants and how to watch on TV

Earlier today, Buckingham Palace released the names of Princess Eugenie's bridal attendants and Jack's best man.



Bridal Party

Princess of Eugenie of York and Mr Jack Brooksbank have chosen the following friends and family to be in their Bridal Party for their wedding on Friday 12th October:

Best Man
Jack Brooksbank has asked his brother, Thomas Brooksbank, to be his Best Man at his wedding to Princess Eugenie.

Maid of Honour
Princess Eugenie has asked her sister, Princess Beatrice, to be her Maid of Honour.

HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (aged 3)

Miss Savannah Philips (aged 7 – daughter of Mrs Autumn Phillips and Mr Peter Phillips)

Miss Isla Philips (aged 6 - daughter of Mrs Autumn Phillips and Mr Peter Phillips)

Miss Mia Tindall (aged 4 – daughter of Mrs Zara Tindall and Mr Mike Tindall)

Miss Maud Windsor (aged 5 - goddaughter of Princess Eugenie, daughter of Lady Frederick Windsor and Lord Frederick Windsor)

Miss Theodora Williams (aged 6 – daughter of Ms Ayda Field and Mr Robbie Williams)

Page Boys
HRH Prince George of Cambridge (aged 5)

Mr Louis de Givenchy (aged 6 – son of Mrs Zoe De Givenchy and Mr Olivier De Givenchy)

Special Attendants
The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor (aged 14)

Viscount Severn (aged 10)"

Here is a listing of TV and streaming options.


US  TLC.   Live on the East Coast and Central, tape delay on West Coast and Mountain time.   However, some West Coast cable companies may show the East Coast feed.

AUSTRALIA.  Channel 7.

Please check your local listings for time.  On the United States east coast, you will need to get up by at least 4:20 a.m., if you want to watch the coverage live.

The rest of the world - live streaming

Monday, October 8, 2018

Silver Wedding Anniversary for Lord and Lady Snowdon

It has been 25 years since I stood in the small park across the street from St. Margaret's, Westminster, in London for the marriage of Viscount Linley to the Lady Serena Stanhope.

At the time of the wedding, Serena was styled as Honourable Serena Stanhope as her grandfather, the Earl of Harrington, was still alive.

David Linley, a talent furniture designer, is the elder child of HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930-2002) and The Earl of Snowdon (1930-2017).   Serena, the daughter of the then Viscount Petersham and his first wife, Virginia Freeman-Jackson.

At the time of the wedding, Serena, then 23 years old, was styled as the Hon. Serena Stanhope.  Her grandfather, the 10th Earl of Harrington, was still alive.  He died in 2009 and was succeeded by Serena's father, William, as the 11th Earl.  Although already married at the time of her grandfather's death,  Serena pre-marital courtesy title changed to that of an earl's daughter.

The bride wore the Lotus Flower tiara, loaned by Princess Margaret.

The news of their romance broke in early 1993 shortly before the couple jetted off to Monaco, where Serena's mother lived, for a sunshine-filled holiday.

The engagement was announced on May 3, 1993.

More than 650 guests were invited to the wedding, described as the "society wedding of the year.   The Queen and the Queen Mother led the list of royal guests, which included King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes,  the Princess Royal and her children, Prince Edward, the Princess of Wales, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra and her son and daughter-in-law, James and Julia Ogilvy,  Tim and Lady Helen Taylor.

Bruce Robbins, then only 28 years old, designed Serena's dress.  The outfits worn by her attendants were designed by Robinson Valentine.

The youngest page was Serena's cousin, 4-year-old Master Octavius MacEwen.  the other pages and bridesmaids were 5-year-old Cosima Vesey, daughter of Viscount de Vesey,  the groom's paternal first cousin, Lord Glamis, the son of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's nephew, the Earl of Strathmore,  Master Hal Messel, Lord Snowdon's second cousin, Chloe Delevigne, 9, granddaughter of Princess Margaret's lady-in-waiting, Mrs. Jane Stevens and Lord Linley's 13-year-old half-sister, Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones.

The newlyweds emerged from the church and got into a 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost for the drive to St. James's Palace for their reception.  The Princess of Wales did not attend the reception.

There were several notable absences including two of the groom's maternal cousins, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York.   The Prince of Wales was in Turkey on an official trip.  His younger brother, Andrew, was on "naval duty in Gibraltar."  The Duke's estranged wife, Sarah, did not attend.

The Duke of Edinburgh was in Gladstone, New Jersey, for a carriage driving event.

This link includes photos I took of David and Serena at their wedding (no zoom lens and other photos of them from the 1990s.

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

New Russian postcards

A friend brought these cards back for me from Russia.   The first six cards are from the Yusopov museum.  Prince Felix Yusopov, a member of one of Russia's wealthiest families, married Princess Irina Alexandrovna of Russia, a niece of Nicholas II.

Princess Irina Alexandrovna, fiancee of Prince Felix Yusupov, 1914

Prince Felix and Princess Irina with his parents.  His mother is holding Irina and Felix's daughter, Irina.  1916

Irina and her father Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch of Russia

Irina and Grand Duke Alexander in a car

the wedding of Irina and Felix, 1914

engagement of Felix and Irina

The Imperial family on board the Standard in 1907

on the Standard 1907

At Livadia: Alexis with a gift from the King of Italy,  1909
Colonel in Chief  Royal Scots Greys  Edinburgh Castle.