Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oh no -- not a second season of Secret Princes

Oh, dear TLC is at it again with a second season of Secret Princes, which will premiere on October 25.

Dearest, darling readers, none of the four eligible princes are "royal."  Or princes.

The four men who will charm their way in Texas have royal connections, but none -- really -- are ROYAL!

 Lord James Rennell is actually Baron Rennell of Rodd, a barony in the peerage of the United Kingdom.  The title was created in 1933 for Sir Rennell Rodd, who served as British Ambassador to Italy.  He died in 1941, by his second, but eldest surviving son, Francis, who died in 1978 without male issue.  The title passed to the 2nd Baron's nephew, John, a rugby player, who succumbed to cancer at the age of 71 in 2006.  He was succeeded by his only son, James Roderick David Tremayne Rodd as the 4th Baron.  He is styled as Lord Rennell, not Lord James, which would mean he is the younger son of a duke or a marquess.  He is not.  He is a peer of the realm. 

Lord Rennell was born in 1978.   The obituary is for his father.

Prince Alexander Mathews is actually a mere commoner, Alexander Francis Mathew, the third of four children of Princess Olga of Russia and Briton Thomas Mathew.  They married in 1975, but the marriage was dissolved by 1989.  Alexander, who uses the name Francis Mathew, is a freelance photographer.  He was a contestant on the Ukraine's edition of The Bachelor.

Alexander is not a prince. His mother, Olga, is the issue of a morganatic marriage between Prince Andrei of Russia and Briton Nadine McDougall.  Prince Andrei was eldest son and second of seven children of Grand Duchess Xenia, daughter of Alexander III, and Grand Duke Alexander Milhailovitch of Russia.  Having maternal Romanov connections does not make Francis Alexander a prince, let alone of Russian prince.  He is a British commoner. Period.

Of his appearance on The Bachelor (Ukraine), Mathew said: "Honestly, the concept is crazy, absolutely crazy."  You have to be of a certain mindset to enter a contest like that, I think it takes courage."

Yup,  Crazy.  Also demeaning, especially when you are pretending to be someone you are not, and you allow an American television network to enable the lie.

Reality TV runs in Alexander's family.  Princess Olga appeared on Australian Princess in 2006, as an advisor to the contestants.  She inherited Provender House in Faversham, Kent, which has been under restoration for some years now.   One can tour the house or rent it for events, such as weddings.

The Hon. Oliver Plunkett, younger son of the late Edward Plunkett, 20th Baron of Dunsany and Maria Alice Villela de Carvalho.  The Barony of Dunsany is an Irish peerage.   Oliver was born in 1985.  His older brother, Randal is the 21st Baron.

There is a family seat, Dunsany Castle, in County Meath, Ireland, but, alas, it was inherited by Oliver's older brother.

Prince Lorenzo d'Medici is the fourth contestant.  I could have sworn the male line Medici family died out some centuries ago.

According to this site, which I would call not reliable),  Lorenzo is 37 years ago, heir to the "famous Medici dynasty."  He allegedly has Polish and Italian "royal" bloodlines ... but bloodlines do not make one a prince.  When I find out more information about Lorenzo, I will be include in this post.

Once again, TLC is offering false advertising.  None of these four men are princes.  One is a British peer, but not a historic title with an estate to match.  Another is the son of a morganatic distaff descendant of Alexander III of Russia.


Michelle said...

thanks for the info! i knew as soon as i heard about it that i had to ask what these people's backgrounds truly are. given that i only asked you about it this morning, i am very impressed by your rapid & detailed response!

for the life of me i can't find any information on what happened with the "princes" ::cough:cough:: from the first series. i know the indian guy & the Honourable Ludo ended their "relationships" at the end of the last episode, but the other two seemed to connect somewhat. "lord rob" of the manor was dating his chosen "princess" ::eye roll:: but the only one i really want to know about is francisco, who introduced the girl to his mother and wanted to have her daughter meet his mother as well.

speaking of "cisco," he was the only son of the duke of seville - but the third child. your comments on your blog post from season one left me slightly confused. does he inherit the title as heir to his father, or does his sister? i know you said something about 2009 spanish laws giving girls equal rights to boys, but also said he was the heir, so i'm confused. did i misunderstand? or is it like the royal family in norway, where the law only applied to those who were BORN AFTER the law came into effect, meaning the person who had been raised as heir was still heir? said...

There is still a junior branch of the de Medici family in existence. If you like a copy from the Italian 'libro d'Oro ..." let me know.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Is there a Lorenzo? Half Polish?

Arturo Beeche said...

Utterly pathetic! said...

Let me send you an email from the "libro d'Oro della Nobilita Italiana 2004 - 2004 edition.

musings said...

Excuse me for having an online moniker so similar to your own, Ms. Koenig.

The one great pleasure from having succumbed to a bout of Secret Princes, Season 1 (watched in one fell swoop on a rainy day recently, in response to ads for the new season), was that I was also prompted to waste another few hours watching Eddie Murphy and James Earl Jones in Coming to America, much the superior of the two projects.

I don't know why I am drawn to stories about royalty. Perhaps it is the search for something permanent in a changing world, for families which have memories. I myself have two connections (not royal) who are a few paces removed from royalty. The most interesting one is that my father grew up as very good friends with the little Botkin boys on Long Island, grandsons of the Tsar's physician. When Marina Botkin Schweitzer released the book of cartoons her father had drawn for the Tsarevich, I already had heard all about them, even from childhood. I went to meet her in Virginia and to have her autograph my copy. Of course the family believed that Anastasia had survived and when I spoke to Marina (who was held up to me in childhood as the ideal student), she felt she had helped to protect the woman, since apparently proven to be an impostor based on DNA evidence, some of it supplied by Prince Philip. My father remained friends with her brothers over the years - I remember seeing a letter from one of them on his desk when I visited his ranch shortly before both men died! I'm glad I pressed my dad to telephone Nicolai, and I personally copied the letter's address and urged him to call my dad. There is something wonderful in a way about the bond between the families, which I think has something to do with the warmth of my grandmother (of Prussian origin) who worried about the Botkin kids as they were caught up in a lot of celebrity, and they were also made to wait hand and foot on a half-sister because in Russia, her rank was higher than theirs, as a member of the nobility. All this carried over to Long Island in the years before WWII!

The other minor connection is that my mother's step-brother, a member of the Virginia legislature, was given the honor at the Bicentennial of maintaining protocol at the University of Virginia for the visit of Queen Elizabeth and presumably Prince Philip. I know my mother's family was quite proud of that. I wish I had thought to ask my step-grandmother more about her son's activities then.

As for the Secret Princes - I think in a way all them are sort of asleep. Maybe given the history of such families as the Romanoff's and even given what happened to Earl Mountbatten, maintaining a low profile might be in order. Cisco's disguise is almost as good as King Ralph's (one of my other favorites on this subject). I'll always appreciate the stardust, but I could never take it too seriously. We are all mortal.

royalzayin said...

This blog needs to be linked on the TLC website for those that are clueless. Fantastic information for people who lacking both common sense, and a basic level of understanding that a network can be just as fraudulent as an individual.

Thanks for the blog-

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

thanks although I doubt TLC wants to promote accuracy

Audrey Thompson said...

At the writing of this comment I am viewing Secret Princes on TLC and I felt something was 'off' with this show. I decided to do an information search and reachef your web page, I cannot say how thankful I am for your indepth information!
TLC should be ashamed for their deception!!!

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

you are very welcome, Audrey. Hope you will come back, and browse through five or so years of musings.

Shawn C said...

.... I have done much web searching for this modern day "Prince Lorenzo de' Medici of Italy"... I can not locate anything on him nor anything that discredits his claim... I would think a "Prince" whom is involved in charity work or an advancing political career would have a website or something... I believe TLC may have pushed the envelope on this season... all of the "royals" do not have money except for the Hon Oliver Plunkett. They MAY hold titles but who knows... Im sure the TLC "crack research team" who puts together the show really does their research... The last episode really stretches the truth about where these "royals" reside... The Romanov family has not resided in Russia since the fall of their reign... TLC makes it look like the "Prince of Russia", which research proves he is not royalty (his mother was a princess but married a commoner and had a child out of wedlock costing the lost of the rights to the royal lineage), is living in luxury in Russia but the location shown is a hotel in St. Petersburg. Back to Lorenzo, I seriously can not find anything on him except he was a part of a Ukraine version of this show where he is seen slapping a lady and "sorta" choking her... some prince... As to the "Royal Outfit" he wears on TLC, I cannot find any pictures of him wearing this only on TLC, making me believe this is a costume prop... The "Prince of Russia" has to be a costume either he, his mom Princess Olga or TLC put together for the show...
All I gotta say after viewing the season in whole is these ladies were probaly like WTF, when it all came together, which the cameras wont show.. They date these "Royals" not knowing their claimed status believing they are broke/filming some documentary. Then they get revealed in this elebrate almost cheesey banquet that they are "ROYALTY" and are invited back to their "Kingdoms/Palace/Castles". Then they arrive probaly expecting something grand and royal but are left most likely thinking WTF, he said he was a prince??? Its funny the only home they show is Olivers but noone elses... These ladies got dupped so TLC could make money...

Ok my bottom line is, this show should be retitled "Royaly Mind Fucked Women"....

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Shawn. Olga is the daughter of a morganatic marriage between the late Prince Andrew of Russia and a Scottish woman, which means the marriage did not come under the Fundamental Laws. Olga did not have a child out of wedlock. It was Alexander (Francis Mathews) who was on the Ukraine program

Rhea Luna said...

Hi first time reader. I just wanted to know what they REALLY were since I looked them up and couldn't find squat and that goes for season 1 too.
I didn't believe it for a moment.
But the whole thing about not knowing how to make coffee (season 1 that Salad dude)
Not knowing how to work a coin op
Not knowing how to do basic stuff...
Do these guys even really have servants and money or are they also broke as a regular commoner?
LMK I am so curious and nosy.