Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prince Phillip: third man at court

April 22, 1948

Buckingham Palace announced today that the Duke of Edinburgh, will become third in precedence at the British court, after the Dukes of Gloucester and Windsor. He will precede the Duke of Gloucester, only when he accompanies his wife, Princess Elizabeth.  (The Duke of Windsor does not attend court events.)

The new list of precedence has Philip in two places.  The first is called "joint precedence," with the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Edinburgh, following directly after the King and Queen.  The other section features "single precedence," where the Duke is below the King's two brothers, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother Mary and Princess Elizabeth are at the top of the women's precedence list, followed by Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal (the King's only sister, Princess Mary), followed by the Duchesses of Gloucester and Kent.

The new list has allowed King George to reconsider the precedence for his older brother, the former Edward VIII.  After his abdication in 1936,  Edward was "relegated to the bottom of the list."

The king's decision to give his brother "individual preference" over Philip was the "result of blood being thicker than water," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The Duke of Edinburgh, a former Greek prince, is a British royal highness, but "he is not by blood a British prince."

Young King Michael brings flowers to Mom

April 22, 1938

Princess Helen of Romania celebrates her 32nd birthday today. She spent part of the day "opening another clinic for sick mothers and their babies," reports the New York Times.

The estranged wife of Prince Carol, devotes a lot of her time to "Red Cross and charity work."   She received "scores of birthday greetings" from royal relatives all over the world, but "no remembrance from her errant husband."

Prince Carol lives a leisurely life in Paris with Mme. Lupescu, on the "half million dollars" he inherited from his late father, King Ferdinand.

Friends of the "deserted" Princess say she regards her marriage as a "closed chapter in her life," and if her husband ever returns to Romania, she "will leave the country."

Perhaps the "most touching" of her gifts was a "tiny bunch of flowers" picked by her young son, King Michael.

"You see, Mama, I haven't forgotten you like Papa has," he said as he "raced into the house bearing the fragrant bouquet."

Princess Helen graciously accepted the flowers, and kissed "the thoughtful youngster." 

She remains "the picture of health and beauty" despite the heartaches in her life.

Her estranged husband, Carol, however, is said to be in "bad health and straightened circumstances, according to friends who saw him recently in Brussels.

The former heir to the throne looked "wan and thin."  Carol told reporters that he was feeling unwell, and in need of a long rest.

"I have come to Brussels for a rest and I hope I get it," he said.

The Prince had spent one day in the Ardennes with Mme. Lupescu, her brother, father and two secretaries.  

They returned to Brussels earlier today.   Reporters noted that Carol's "cheeks were hollow and his face seemed to be wasting away."  He gives the "impression" of a man "whose health was ruined."

"I do not know what is going on in Romania just now," he said.  "I am living quietly here to have a vacation from political events.  I don't know how long I will be able to stay but I seem to be getting a better rest here than in France."

Duke of Anhalt : loved music

April 22, 1918

Duke Friedrich II of Anhalt died today at Schloss Ballenstedt, reports the new York Times in a dispatch from Amsterdam.  

The Duke was 61 years old.

He ruled a duchy that "embraced an area a little larger than 900 square miles.".  His capital, Dessau, was well known for its culture, especially the court theatre, celebrated throughout Europe "for its operatic performances."  The Duke devoted his life to music, and "he was rarely seen in uniform."

He was the second son of Duke Friedrich I and Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg.  He succeeded his father in 1904. He had become the heir apparent after the death of his older brother, Prince Leopold in 1886.

Three years later, he married Princess Marie of Baden.  Their marriage was childless.  The new Duke is his younger brother, Eduard.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Princess Elizabeth reaches majority age

April 21, 1944

Princess Elizabeth, heiress presumptive the throne, celebrates her 18th birthday day.  Having reach the age of majority, the princess becomes "automatically" a member of the Council of State.  She will begin to also have her own staff and a lady-in-waiting. 

The elder daughter of King George VI,  Princess Elizabeth also "goes a little deeper into the servitude of etiquette and the great office that awaits her."

Elizabeth has been preparing for her future role for nearly her entire life, "since she was old enough to learn," writes the New York Times.  She has studied modern languages.  She "rides and shoots and plays tennis and swims."   She very likely knows more about the United States "than most of us do."

The princess was raised simply by her parents in "Piccadilly, in Scotland, at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park."  She "has no more clothes coupons than any other girl," and she has "plenty of fun."

Princess Elizabeth "loves to dance," and some of "our American officers have danced with her."  She likes most everything "except arithmetic," and can have "small thought of the long years of public cerium and function that are before her."

She is "kind, intelligent, unpretentious, democratic," and she is the eldest daughter of the "democratic king and queen of our ally and friend."  The New York Times' editorial also adds: "we all feel a friendly and not in the least snobbish interest in her and wish her all good fortune."

George and Mary arrive in Paris

April 21, 1914

King George V and Queen Mary arrived in Paris today for a three days
visit to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the entente cordiale between Great Britain and France, reports the New York Times.

Much work has been done by the British and French governments to "render the visit significant politically and pleasant personally."

Most of Paris' main streets have been decorated with "garlands of evergreens and intertwined flags of both nations."  Crowds of Parisians stood on the sidewalks as they "awaited the early arrival of their Majesties.
The greeting was certainly a "flattered one."  The royal procession made its way through the Avenue de Bois de Boulogne and the Champs Elysées to the Palace of the Foreign office, where "specially decorated apartments" have been made ready for the king and queen.

Their schedule includes lunch at the British Embassy, a trip to Vincennes to "attend a great military review,"  a visit to the Hotel de Ville in Paris, where the king and queen will receive local citizens, a banquet the British Embassy where they will entertain President and Mme Poincare, which will be followed by a gala performance at the Opera.

The King and Queen will also have the opportunity to attend a "race meeting at Auteuil" and they will be the guests of honor at a State Banquet.

They traveled to France on the royal yacht Alexandra, crossing the English Channel from Dover to Calais.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg: jewelry designer

@Bill Durgin
Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg is the eldest of three children of the late Kraft, 9th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his first wife, Princess Charlotte of Croy.  She was born on December 16, 1967.  On June 6, 1998, Princess Cecile married Cyril de Commarque, a grandson of Princess Marie Clotilde Bonaparte (daughter of Princess Clementine of Belgium)

Their marriage was dissolved by divorce in 2008.  The couple did not have any children.

Princess Cecile is now a noted jewelry designer. 

My thanks to Mickey Boardman for allowing me to use Bill Durgin's photo.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wilhelmina in Paris

April 16, 1898

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and her mother, Queen Emma, the Queen Regnant, are in Paris, "incognito," for a few days, before they travel to Cannes to visit Queen Emma's sister, the Duchess of Albany, reports the New York Times.

This is the young queen's first visit to Paris, and she is "said to be delighted."  They are scheduled to meet with President Faure.

Margarethe comes of age

April 16, 1958

Princess Margrethe  eldest daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark celebrated her 18th birthday today with new duties and responsibilities, reports the New York Times.    Denmark celebrated this coming of age birthday day as fete day.

This morning the "tall, vivacious Princess" began her new duties as a future Queen.  At a "solemn ceremony" at Parliament House, Christianborg Palace,  she was :sworn in as a member of the State Council."  She will also sit with the King at the weekly Cabinet meetings, and will act as regent when her father is "absent from Denmark.

No engagement for Juliana

April 16, 1934

The Royal Palace in the Hague today "authoritatively denied" that the Prince Consort's recent visit to Brussels was not made "with a desire to betroth" Princess Juliana,  heir to the  throne, to Prince Charles of Belgium, younger son of King Albert, reports the New York Times.

Marguerite is a duchess

April 16, 1928

Despite reports to the contrary,  Miss Marguerite Watson, the wife of Prince Charles, Duke of Nemours, is a duchess, according to the Associated Press.

Reports from abroad stated that she was not a duchess because she "failed to confirm with official regulations when she was married in England on Saturday."  These views have caused "great amusement" in French official circles and among the nobility.

"The people setting that rumor afloat seem not have heard of the French revolution," commented Count Fleury, a noted authority on titles.  "The third republic never abolished titles, but the only interest it takes in them is to levy a fat tax when nobles want their titles verified."

Another high member of the French nobility said: "The American girl who married the Duc de Nemours is as much a Duchess as he is a duke.  Nobody can change that since the de Nemours title is well enough established.  It is curious that while so many spurious titles are going around unchallenged, a real one should be questioned when one happens upon it."

The  marriage between the Duke and Miss Watson is "legal" regardless of what the Duke's family thinks.  Consent of the parents "is not absolutely necessary" if the son demanded consent.

The Duke of Guise, head of the royal family, has had the last word:  "Bless you, my children."

Prince Emmanuel de Merode: shot in Congo Ambush

Brent Stirton/Getty Images
Prince Emmanuel de Merode, director of the Virunga National Park in the Congo, is recovering from surgery after being shot in the chest on Tuesday afternoon.

 Emmanuele, 43 was "driving alone when attackers opened fire on his vehicle"  on the road between Goma and the Virunga National Park headquarters.

Goma is described as "war-torn eastern Congo's main city."

The Virgunga National Park is home to about a quarter of the world's "880 remaining critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Pine Emmanuele was rushed to a Goma hospital, where surgeons removed several bullets from his chest 

"He's stable now and doing much better than he was yesterday," said Joanna Natasegara, spokeswoman for the Virunga National Park.  "There were two or three bullets that were taken out, so obviously we're still worried.  But he's being his usual strong self."

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but, according to the Daily Telegraph,  Prince Emmanuel "has made enemies of armed militias and poachers" during his six years as director of Virunga, which is Africa's oldest reserve.

Prince Emmanuel, 43, is married to Louise Leakey, daughter of the Kenyan conservationist, Richard Leakey.

Prince Emmanuel Werner Marie Ghislain de Merode was born at Carthage on, Tunisia, on May 5, 1970.  He is the second son of Charles Guillaume, Prince de Merode, and Princess Hedwig de Ligne. 

He married Louise Leaky in a civil ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, is December 2003.  A religious ceremony at Serrant took place in May 2004.   Princess Seiya was born at Nairobi on August 31, 2004.  Princess Alexia was born at Nairobi in September 2006.






Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Threats against Queen Victoria

April 15, 1884

It has now transpired that Queen Victoria received "several anonymous letters threatening their life during her journey to Darmstadt," were received at Windsor Castle prior to departure, according to a World cable from London to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The threats left to the adoption of the "extraordinary measures" for the protection of Queen Victoria and her daughter, Princess Beatrice, who traveled to Darmstadt aboard her special train. 

Various safeguards were put into place including maintaining a "continuous control," and watching the track for "obstructions." 

The carriages "immediately in the front and rear" of the Queen's private carriage were filled "with Constables from Scotland Yard," and a detective should next to the engine driver on "each of the locomotives."

Queen Victoria will travel to Darmstadt to attend the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine, who will marry Prince Louis of Battenberg on April 30.

Princess Victoria is the eldest child of the late Princess Alice, Queen Victoria's third child, who married in 1862 to the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine.

Prince William returns to the USA

April 15, 1964

Prince William of Gloucester, 22, returned to the United States today, "to continue his studies at Stanford University," according to Reuters.

Prince William is the elder of two sons of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and is a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Colloredo-Mansfeld in the processing of annuling marriage

Prince Joseph of Colloredo-Mansfield, head of one of "the great houses of the Austrian nobility, is in the procession of arranging an annulment of his recent marriage, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.

The proceedings are "unprecedented" and "sufficiently rare" to receive such attention.  Last year, he married Lucy Sophie Jonquet,  a widow, believed to be an "Englishwoman by birth.  They married at Paris last April, and spent the "remainder of the spring in the Riviera," and then traveled to Prague, where the prince has a palace.  He and his wife gave many parties and were often also "entertained a great deal."

A problem arose when it became time to present his wife at court.  Questions were raised about her lineage.  Wives of Austrian and Hungarian nobles must "prove to the satisfaction of the grand chamberlain in Vienna" that they are of "aristocratic parentage," on both sides, and be free of "bourgeois and plebeian strains" in order to be accepted at court.

The new Princess of Colloredo-Mansfield was unable to satisfy the court's requirements. She could not even prove that her parents were noble.   According to the Colloredo-Mansfeld family statutes, no male member of the house can marry a woman who does not belong to a "sovereign house or a mediatized family" without the consent of the adult male members of the house.

The marriage was approved because the Prince gave the impression that his bride was of "noble English birth.    This has proven to be false, and now the union will be viewed as "invalid," and the prince has begun proceedings to have the marriage annulled, due to the marriage having been "contracted in defiance of the laws of the house."

In Austria, the family statutes of the mediatized families "carry much weight" and are "acknowledged by national tribunals."   The marriage is expected to be annulled on the grounds that the princess did not "possess the necessary qualifications  of birth and lineage," as required by the house of Colloredo-Mansfield.

[Note: the marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1925.]

A Catholic wedding for Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis

Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis will have a Roman Catholic wedding, according to her mother, Princess Gloria.

The London-based Princess Maria Theresa is engaged to marry fellow artist, British-born Hugo Wilson.

In a recent interview,  Princess Gloria, a devout Roman Catholic, told a reporter: "As far as I know, my daughter's fiancé is having catechism lessons and will become a Catholic."

Her faith intensified after the death of her husband.  "I try to attend the Holy Mass daily.  All over the world.  I was just in Vietnam. The Mass was in Vietnamese.  I had to smile, but it was funny to hear the prayers in a very  different language was downright funny."