Friday, February 16, 2018

Charles and Camilla in Yorkshire

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I normally do not write about fashion, but I really, really like the Duchess of Cornwall's pink coat .. I really, really like it.  It's pink.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were in Yorkshire today carrying out several engagements.   The Duchess paid a visit to Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire.

This was home of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte  -- and 2018 in the 200th anniversary of Emily Bronte's birth.    Emily wrote my favorite book of all time, Wuthering Heights and Charlotte is the author of my nearly favorite book of all time,  Jane Eyre.

The Royal couple also visited the Piece Hall, in Halifax, a former cloth hall into a cultural and heritage center.  They stopped into several shops, including the Yorkshire Soap Co., where the Prince of Wales expressed interest in a Gingerbread man soap.

Take a look at the Yorkshire Soap company's website.  So many lovely handmade (in Yorkshire) soaps.  There are only 5 shops and all are in Yorkshire.
The company does accept mail orders within the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Europe. 

For more details of Camilla's visit to Haworth,  here is a link to Victoria Howard's coverage as she was one of the accredited press.

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A Chinese education for Princess Amalia? Dad says no.

The Dutch newspaper, De Telgraaf, is reporting that the Princess of Orange, the eldest of the three daughters of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, will be attending the United World College in  Changshu school in Changshu, China.

Princess Amalia, the heiress apparent to the Dutch throne, has been studying Chinese for several years.

King Willem-Alexander attended the Atlantic College in Wales, which was the first United World College, founded in 1962.   The then Prince of of Orange attended the school for two years.

Several days ago, the school's website had a Dutch-language announcement that read "the registration for the 2018-2020 school semesters is closed."

This announcement was made to stop the "influx of 'fortune seekers' " who wanted to be in the same class as the future  Queen of the Netherlands.

The King and Queen had wanted to find a school in the Hague, but they have agreed to send Amalia to China for the final years of high school.

However, it is now too late for other students to join her.

The RVD has not confirmed the information.  But King Willem-Alexander has called the report a "total nonsense story."  The King made the comment at the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch, where he opened an exhibit.

The King said he read about the news when he made a stopover in Paris after flying en route home  from South Korea, where he and Queen Maxima had been cheering on the Dutch athletes.

He said he was "surprised" by the report in De Telegraaf.  He telephoned his eldest daughter to find out what she thought about the report.  Amalia apparently laughed "very loudly" in response to his question.

Princess Amalia, 14, is a student at the Christelijk Gymnasium Sorghvliet.  The king said his very happy at the school.

One royal correspondent said that "it is very remarkable that the king responds to a rumor."   

The usual reaction is a no comment reaction from the palace.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

funeral arrangements

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February 15 10:00 am -- Prince Henrik's mortal remains will be taken from Fredensborg Palace to Amalienborg.

February 16, 6:00 p.m.: Prince Henrik's coffin will be moved to the Palace Church at Christansborg to be placed in a castrum doloris (this is the structure that accompanies the bier).

February 16 10:15am - Members of the Danish royal family will visit the castrum doloris at the Palace Church.

February 17 3:00 pm  - 7:00 pm - Members of the public will be allowed to pay their respects at the Palace Church.

 February 18 12:00  - 7:00 pm: Members of the public will be allowed to pay their respects at the Palace Church. 19 February, 1:00 pm: Specially invited guests will pay their respects at the Palace Church.

February 19 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Members of the public will be allowed to pay their respects at the Palace Church.

February 20,11:00 am - The funeral of Prince Henrik will take place in the Palace Church, attended by family and close friends. It will not be a state occasion.

This means there will be no foreign royals attending the funeral.

In accordance with His late Royal Highness's wishes, his body will be cremated and his ashes later scattered privately on Danish waters and interred in the gardens at Fredensborg.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

a private funeral for Prince Henrik

@Danish royal house.   This photo was taken in Egypt shortly before Prince Henrik returned to Denmark 
Prince Henrik's funeral will be held on February 20 at 11:00 am at the church at Christianborg  Palace in Copenhagen.  In accordance with the late prince's wishes, the funeral will be private and not a state occasion.   Only the prince's family and friends will be attending the funeral.

He will be cremated and half his ashes will be scattered into Danish waters and the other half will be buried in the royal private garden at Fredensborg Palace.

The prince was diagnosed with dementia last September but had been ill health for several years.

The palace has released a selection of photos of the late Prince

Prince Henrik death: court mourning

His Royal Highness Prince Henrik died on Tuesday, 13 February 2018, and it has been decreed that the Court will be in mourning from today until Wednesday, 14 March.

In the period of mourning, Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family and the Court will not participate in social or entertainment events. During the Court mourning, dark clothing will be worn at public appearances. Personnel in uniform will wear black armbands on the upper part of the left arm.

Court mourning is the designation for a shorter or longer period of mourning at the Court in connection with a death in the Royal Family. The length of the mourning time is determined by the sovereign.

From today until Tuesday, 20 February between the hours of 09.00-17.00, condolence lists will be placed at the gate of Det Gule Palæ, Amaliegade 18, Copenhagen.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

BULLETIN Prince Henrik has died

The Danish royal house is reporting that Prince Henrik of Denmark, consort of Queen Margrethe II, died peacefully in the presence of his family, at Fredensborg Castle.  He died on Monday night, February 13, 2018.

"His Royal Highness Prince Henrik died peacefully in his sleep Tuesday 13 February at 11.18pm, at Fredensborg Palace.

Her Majesty the Queen and the two sons were at his side."

Michael Ehrenreich
Lord Chamberlain

Funeral plans will be announced in the next few days.

Price Henrik was 83 years old.

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Prince Henrik now back at Fredensborg

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His Royal Highness Prince Henrik has today been transferred from Rigshospitalet to Fredensborg Castle, where the Prince wishes to spend his remain days.

The condition of the Prince remains serious.

Queen Margrethe II has canceled a number of her forthcoming engagements and is staying at Fredensborg Castle with her husband.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A boy for Maria Galitzine & Rishi Singh

Princess Maria Galitzine, daughter of Prince Piotr Galitzine and Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, and her husband, Houston chef Rishi Singh are the parents of a son,  Maxim Singh, who was born on February 10, 2018, at Houston.

More wedding details for Harry and Meghan

Kensington Palace has released more details for Prince Harry and Miss Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Catching up

private collection

This photo of HRH The Duke of Aosta and myself at the Elisabeta Palace in October 2011 for King Michael's 90th birthday was sent to me earlier this week by the photographer.   I cannot imagine what we were talking about.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Today's Mail

On the occasion of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge's 36th birthday

Prince Henrik's condition has worsened

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The condition  Royal Highness Prince Henrik has unfortunately worsened.

His Royal Highness The Crown Prince has thus discontinued his stay in South Korea, where he was attending  the Winter Olympics.

The Crown Prince is now on his way to  Denmark

The Danish Court has no further information.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The newest QVD: Maximillian Walter Voelcker

Sophie is the eldest of three children of Paul Brandram and his first wife, Jennifer.  She married Humphrey Voelcker on February 11, 2017.   

Paul Brandram is the only child of Princess Katherine of Greek and Denmark, youngest child of King Constantine I of the Hellenes,  and Richard Brandram.

Sophie is a goddaughter of Queen Sofia of Spain.

Maximillian was born at the Portland Hospital in London.

The Mausoleum at Frogmore to be restored

Photo: Royal Collection Trust / © HM Queen Elizabeth II 201

From the office of Sir Edward Leigh, MP

"Buckingham Palace is undertaking significant works to preserve and restore Queen Victoria’s final resting place in the aftermath of a 2009 hearing chaired by Sir Edward Leigh MP. The Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore contains the tomb of Queen Victoria, Britain’s second-longest reigning monarch, and her husband Prince Albert, but has been closed to the public since 2007 after it was declared structurally unsound.

Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, wrote to Buckingham Palace last month noting that Frogmore Mausoleum is “the resting place of one of Britain’s greatest and longest-reigning monarchs” and a “building of great historical significance.”

“I can’t help but think it would be good for historical awareness for the building to be in good condition and open to the public,” the MP of more than three decades’ service in the Commons continued.

The case of the Royal Mausoleum was singled out during a 2009 hearing of the Public Accounts Commission while the Gainsborough MP served as Chairman of the parliamentary spending watchdog.

Sir Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, noted in his reply that, since the 2009 hearing, “we have embarked on an extensive programme of environmental monitoring.”

“The results of this monitoring has led to certain temporary works being undertaken which have facilitated the drying out of the mausoleum,” Sir Michael said, “which means we are now in a position to begin a major phase of repair later this year.”

Sir Edward Leigh said that he was pleased to hear of the full programme of works planned for the mausoleum.

“I am delighted that Buckingham Palace are ensuring the necessary work is being done to restore this beautiful mausoleum to a state befitting the Queen-Empress who gave her name to the era of Britain’s greatest age of social, cultural, and economic advancement.”

“When we think of Napoleon in Les Invalides and Lenin in his tomb in Red Square, it is humbling and somehow typically British to think that one of our country’s greatest monarchs is buried in an almost forgotten resting place.”

“I hope one day it will be better known,” Sir Edward commented, “and I am glad to see further substantial restoration will commence shortly.” "

Posted by Edward Leigh's Office | February 8th, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ena returns to Spain for the first time since 1931

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February 7, 1968

Queen Victoria Eugenia arrived in Spain today for the first time since April 1931, when the Spanish monarchy ended after Republicans won the election, the New York Times reported today.

The 80-year-old queen, "a regally erect figure in a full-length mink coat with a match turban,  arrived at Barajas airport to the "cheers of about 15,000 devoted monarchists."

She is in Madrid to "act as a godmother" at the baptism of her great-grandson, Infante Felipe.  The baptism ceremony will take place tomorrow.

Once "considered the most beautiful queen in Europe,"  Victoria Eugenia, known as Ena, is the widow of King Alfonso XIII, who died in 1941.

Alfonso left Spain aboard a British warship on August 14, 1931, when Spain was declared a republic.  The Queen left the following day with her cousin, Princess Beatrice, the wife of the king's cousin, Infante Alfonso of Orléans-Borbon.

The Queen's third son,  Don Juan, the Count of Barcelona, the 54-year-old "exiled pretender to the throne" is also in Spain for his grandson's baptism.

The Count of Barcelona's son Prince Juan Carlos, the father of the infant prince, lives in Spain, with his wife, Princess Sofia, the elder daughter of the late King Paul of Greece.

Although Spain is legally a kingdom since the end of the Spanish civil war,  the country has been run by Francisco Franco.    The "great question" in Spain is whether or or not Franco will name Prince Juan Carlos as his successor.

General Franco and his wife will attend the baptism at Zarzuela Palace.  They also were present for the baptisms of Juan Carlos' two daughters, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina.

Queen Ena, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, is staying at the Lira Palace, the home of the Duke of Alba, while her son is at the Zarzuela Palace with his son and his family.   She has lived in Lausanne, Switzerland, for many years.

She arrived in Madrid from Nice, France, having stayed for a month in Monaco with Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.

The queen was born Princess Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena of Battenberg, the daughter of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg.  She was born on October 24, 1887 at Balmoral Castle.

The marriage between Princess Ena and King Alfonso XIII took place at Madrid on May 31, 1906.

Is the Duchess of Windsor expecting an heir?

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 February 7, 1938

The French newspaper, Paris Soir, is reporting that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor have moved into the Chateau de la Maye at Versailles for six months and "that the Duchess is expecting a child."

"The Duchess is awaiting the happy event, but it is still some time off," the newspaper stated, according to United Press.

However, the Chicago Tribune's reporter believes the report of a pregnancy is doubtful.   A false alarm, in fact,.

The Tribune reports that the "rumor is apparently based on the fact" that the couple moved earlier today from the Hotel Meurice to the Chateau de la Maye and it has been suggested that that the reason for the move is due to the Duchess of Windsor's alleged pregnancy.

The Duke of Windsor's entourage has flatly denied the rumor, which does not
"prove anything one way or another."

The Tribune's correspondent did check a few of his sources, while not conclusive, suggest that the duchess is not pregnant.  It has been "reliably reported" that the duchess' "dressmakers and masseuse, who massage her twice a week, " dispute the rumor.

Crowds have "loitered" all day outside the chateau, which is heavily guarded by the police.

Viennese princess to marry rich baron

February 7, 1918

Princess  Marie Franziska Anna of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst is engaged to marry Baron Franz Mayr von Meinhof, the "very wealthy owner of the Donawise iron foundries in Styria, reports the New York Times in  a dispatch from Amsterdam.

The princess is the fourth of six children of Prince Konrad of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst and Countess Franziska von Schönborn-Buchheim.

Her eldest brother, Prince Alfred, was married in December 1916 in Washington, D.C., to an American Catherine Britton.  Her younger sister, Princess Franziska, was married last November to Archduke Maximilian of Austria, the younger brother, of Emperor Karl.

Princess Marie is 22 years old.  Her future husband will celebrate his  30th birthday on June 23.   He is the son of Franz Baron Mayr von Meinhof and Baroness von Tinti

Monday, February 5, 2018

Frederica winning Greek hearts

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February 5, 1938

The newly married Crown Princess Frederica of Greece is becoming "firmly established in her new role" as the future  Queen of the Hellenes, the New York Times is reporting.    She has "captured the fancy and conquered the hearts of many who were perhaps indifferently disposed" before her marriage to Crown Prince Paul, the heir to the throne.

The former Princess Frederica of Hanover, only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg,  has a "simplicity of manner and graceful acceptance of her position in her new adopted country."

According to one observer,  the Crown Princess "puts on no airs."

Even before her marriage, the young princess began to learn modern Greek, which is for many people "an undertaking."    One question not yet answered -- and one that has less interest in the country --  will the Princess relinquish her Lutheran faith and be received into the Greek Orthodox faith like her great-aunt Queen Sophie (her late mother-in-law)?   This question has not been answered.

She will certainly adopt "the customs of the country" and take part in public events.  She will also "stimulate a wider interest in sports," as she has an active interest in sport.

The name Frederica is not known in Greece.  It has been reported -- but not confirmed -- that she will be known as Margarita, which is one of her nine names (Friederike Luise Thyra Viktoria Margarita Sophie Olga Cecilia Isabella Christa).

The princes is "nominally of German nationality," which could bring about "a sentimental German orientation" in Greece's relationship with other countries.  But according to recent reports,  the princess' family has never been "partial to the present German regime."

Friday, February 2, 2018

BULLETIN: Margareta and royal family to remain at Elisabeta Palace

@Casa Regale

The Romanian Royal House and the Romanian government have reached a temporary arrangement regarding the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest.

HM Margareta and Prince Radu will continue to live at the palace and will pay a monthly rent to the government.

A final decision regarding the palace will be made after Parliament votes on the Statue of the Royal house.  No date for this vote has been set.

The decision regarding Elisabeta Palace will be made by the government, however.    The president of the Chamber of Deputies, Liviu Dragnea, who supports the legislation, said late Thursday that the new Prime Minister  Viorica Dăncilă has a more pleasant view on allowing HM Margareta and her family to continue to live at the palace, at least for the time being.

From the Royal Family's official website:  I used Google translate

Why does Elisabeth Palace have a meaning in our years?

Princess Elizabeth of Romania, the first daughter of King Ferdinand and the Queen Maria, built in Bucharest, next to Herastrau Park and in the immediate vicinity of the Village Museum, a residence whose construction was entrusted to an architect aged just 24 years, Corneliu M. Marcu. The work began in 1935 and was completed in 1937. Nowadays, a bronze plate is placed on the outer wall of the entrance tower, to the left of the large wrought iron gates, and on the plate are indicated the years of construction, as and the year of the birth and death of the architect: 1911-1991. Daughter of architect Mark offered the Royal Family Gift in 2002, the plans and photographs of the construction that his father had kept in his office until the end of his life.

On the evening of August 23, 1944, the German army bombed and destroyed the New House, the residence of the sovereign, a modest, upstairs building behind the Royal Palace (where the Palace Hall is today). In September 1944, when returning from the secret home of the village of Dobrita (Gorj County), King Mihai and Queen Mother Elena moved to Elisabeta Palace, with the permission of the owner of the building, who had the generosity of making them available they are in Bucharest. His sovereign and mother remained here until the morning of December 31, 1947.

King Michael lived at Elisabeta Palace in days when he had official meetings in the capital. Otherwise, the sovereign stood at the Foisor Castle in Sinaia, where he had also private and official meetings, including Romanian politicians, increasingly hostile and inflexible, with a completely contradictory Soviet agenda to that of the sovereign. And free time he preferred to spend it all at Foisoare.

On December 30th, at 15 o'clock, King Michael was forced to sign his abdication in an upstairs room. After the visit of Petru Groza and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the king and his mother decided to stay at the palace that night, asked the civilian staff to go home, thinking that the life of the employees could be in danger, then took dinner and, the next morning in the last day of 1947, they took the road to Sinaia, with King Michael driving. None of them knew then whether or not they would ever see Elisabeta Palace or not. King Mihai and Queen Mother, who were in the Royal Train, left the country in Jimbolia on the night of 3 to 4 January 1948, after his Majesty had forcibly signed an abdication she had never recognized. At this point, the king would say later: "We went away with death in the soul."

During the communist regime, from 1948 to 1989, Elisabeta Palace was held closed for a number of years, then turned into a protocol house. Few official guests lived in the palace. A Communist employee recalled his accommodation in the official dormitories of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, as well as Eric Höneker, the German Communist leader.

Queen Mother died in Lausanne in 1982, when Romania was in a Ceausescu era, without having had a chance to return to Romania. King Michael stepped back to Elisabeta Palace for nearly five decades after leaving for exile on February 28, 1997, when the Victor Ciorbea Government invited him to live for five days at Elisabeth Palace. From the spring of 1997 until the spring of 2001, the Royal Family stayed several times at the Elisabeta Palace, paying their room, per night, as any hotel in the country.

On May 18, 2001, King Michael and Queen Ana came back home to Elisabeta Palace this time.

Two decades ago, the King returned to Elisabeta Palace to build Romania's irrevocable European foundation of tomorrow. The arrival of King Michael in his youth palace was not a late revenge of a man who had the destiny as the destiny. By the return of the King, Elisabeta Palace became the site of the kingdom on today's map of Romania. From within, the Royal Family began a constant effort, thought, like the future of Romania, for twenty-thirty years before. As a matter of fact, in 2007, the Royal Family published "A vision for Romania for 30 years".

Elisabeta Palace was not, in fact, a "private" residence either in the 1940s or after 2001. Destined by law in May 2001 as the residence of King Michael I during his lifetime, the palace was for a while an active center of representing the country's fundamental interests. Every year, hundreds of public events took place at the Elisabeta Palace, bringing together thousands of Romanian and foreign people to consolidate the country and its reputation. Here all generations of Romanians have been found, from primary school children to war veterans. Here Romanians came from the cities and communes of the country, from Bessarabia, from neighboring countries and from the distant ones. Apart from a few strictly personal rooms, most of the palace was and is used for public events, just like the garden.

Over the past 17 years, Republican state heads and crowned heads have passed the threshold of Elisabeta Palace, invited by King Michael I and later by His Majesty Margarita: King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Luxembourg, Czech President Milos Zeman, President Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania (1990-1992), President Lech Walesa of Poland (1990-1995), President of Ukraine Victor Yuscenko (2005-2010), President of Latvia Vladis Zatlers (2007-2011) Sali Berisha of Albania (1992-1997), King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain (in 2009, as heirloom princes), several members of the Jordanian Royal Family, Prince of Wales, Prince Edward of Great Britain and Countess by Wessex, the heads of Imperial and Royal Houses of Bulgaria, Albania, Greece,Montenegro, Russia, Austria, Portugal, Germany, several members of the Royal Family of Belgium, the President of the Parliament of the Philippines, the President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, members of the Czech Government, first lady of the Czech Republic Livia Klausova (2003-2013) Wade (2000-2012).

The Palace hosted hundreds of meetings with world country ambassadors, evenings dedicated to promoting the Romanian economy (local and national), evenings dedicated to county and municipal local administrations, evenings dedicated to NATO, EU, Red Cross, social, medical, military, civil society, sports, education, culture and science, the Romanian Academy and the Academy of the Republic of Moldova.

Garden Party, the national holiday of May 10, brings together thousands of people each year in the garden of Elisabeta Palace. It is one of the most loved and long-awaited moments of the year, for each of the Romanians taking part in the event. There has been a Garden Party of Children since June 1, for some years now.

King Michael and Queen Anne offered the High Patronage of many universities, high schools, institutions and organizations in the last two decades of life.

At present, Her Majesty Margareta, Crown Custodians, and Prince Radu, together with Princess Maria, have given royal patronage to dozens of institutions and organizations that come to come to Elisabeth Palace for their work to be better known and respected and supported by society. The largest sports organizations in the country, headed by the Romanian Olympic and Sporting Committee, have royal patronage. High schools, high schools and schools in the country and in the Republic of Moldova operate under the royal protection of Crown Custodian, Principal Radu and Princess Maria.

Major city halls have a permanent supporter in the Royal Family. The economic missions abroad initiated by the Royal Family have first-rate results in the future economic activity of companies accompanying the Royal Family. Such economic missions took place in Great Britain, Sweden, Jordan, Bulgaria, along with economic meetings in 55 countries on 4 continents, at the initiative and in the presence of members of the Royal Family.

Since February 1997, when King Michael and Queen Ana stepped into Elisabeta Palace and started in the first NATO royal tournament, 21 years have passed, in which the Royal Family has had more than 10,000 public activities in the country, 320 visits, with government support, abroad, had 114 meetings with heads of state outside Romania and 47 meetings with heads of state or heads crowned at Elisabeta Palace.

The Royal Family is nowadays one of the most prominent and respected promoters of Romania in Europe and in the translatlantic space. The Royal Family has an uninterrupted diplomatic activity of 151 years, of which the past 21 years have been among the most intense and productive, especially in the European Union and NATO.

2018, the Centenary of the Great Union, began. At the same time, we are 11 months before Romania takes over the presidency of the European Union, a fact of historical importance for the country. In the course of this year and next year, the contribution of the Royal Family to the promotion of Romanian fundamental interests is of obvious significance.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Merry Christmas from the King and Queen of Spain

In today's mail, a card from the King and Queen of Spain and their daughters.

Christmas at Sandringham

all three photos @Russell Biggs

These three photos were sent to me by a friend who was at Sandringham on Christmas morning to see the Royal Family including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Zog to marry Hungarian countess

January 31, 1938

The announcement of King Zog's engagement to the Hungarian Countess Geraldine Apponyi was "read today in the Albanian Parliament," reports the Associated Press.  The reading was followed by a vote for approval of the king's marriage.

Parliament has been summoned "especially for the occasion.

The marriage between the 42-year-old king and the 22-year-old Countess, will take place at the end of April.

Countess Geraldine is half-American.  Her mother is the former Gladys Virginia Stewart, who married in 1914 to Count Julius Nagyi-Apponyi, a member of one of Hungary's oldest noble family.

Ingrid's betrothal denied

January 31, 1928

The Royal Palace in Stockholm has issued an official denial of the "reported betrothal" of Princess Ingrid, daughter of Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

The heir to the Danish throne is visiting Stockholm in connection with the "Danish week" celebration in Sweden's capital.

Divorce possible for Duchess Marie

the wedding of Duchess Marie and Count Jametel

January 31, 1908

Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the daughter of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V,  is planning to file for divorce against her French husband, Count Georges Jametel, according to a dispatch from Berlin to the New York Times.

Their "romantic marriage in 1899 cause a stir"  among the German royal houses.

The New York Times has been unable to confirm the report.

It was alleged several years ago that Duchess Marie had an "adventure with a servant" in her father's household."  Afterwards, the young woman left German and went to France, where, at a seaside resort, she met Count Jametel, the son of a patent medicine manufacturer.

The couple were married in London in the presence of members of the British royal family.   The Duchess's father is a first cousin of the Princess of Wales.

It has been suggested that it was Infanta Eulalia of Spain who "engineered" the match between Marie and Count Jametel. 

Duchess Marie and her husband are the parents of two children,  Count Georges and Countess Marie Auguste.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The marriage of Archduke Karl of Austria and Baroness Francesca von Thyssen

For perhaps a decade or so,  Archduke Karl of Austria, the elder son of the late Archduke Otto, head of the Imperial Family, was determined to marry Camilla von Habsburg-Lothringen, a distant cousin.  According to the then house laws,  the marriage would not have been equal because Camilla was a mere Miss, a descendant of a morganatic branch of the Habsburg family.

Perhaps because of Karl's love for Camilla,  Archduke Otto decided to upgrade all of the morganatic descendants to the rank of Count or Countess.   Camilla became Countess Camilla von Habsburg-Lothringen, and, thus, eligible for an equal marriage with Karl.

The marriage never took place.

On January 31, 1993,  Archduke Karl married Baroness Francesca von Thyssen-Bornemisza at the Basilica at Mariazell, near Vienna.   Francesca, known as Chessie, is the daughter of the late Baron Heinrich von Thyssen-Bornemisza and his third wife, Scots aristocrat Fiona Campbell-Walker.

The marriage did not receive family approbation.  None of Archduke Otto's four brothers attended the wedding citing illness or unable to attend. Nor did their children.    Forty-three members of the Habsburg family sent written complaints to Otto about the marriage as all considered Francesca to not be of equal rank.  The dissent may also have had something to do with her much married and very rich father  -- and Chessie's pre-marriage behavior as a "social powerhouse" in London.

In a 2000 interview with W Magazine, Francesca said: "In the wild days, I used to dress outrageously, because that's what everybody did in London, and one went dancing as much as one possibly could.  But I didn't feel comfortable about certain things that I did. I didn't really have a sense of purpose, and I didn't have a sense of who I was at all.  Now I think I've more or less found what I'm comfortable with."   She was raised as an Anglican, but "inspired" by her meetings with the Dalai Lama, Francesca converted to Roman Catholicism before she even met Karl.

They were introduced by a mutual friend.  At the time, Karl offered Francesca a ride from Salzburg to Croatia, where she planned to organize an art conservation conference.  Two years earlier, she had ARCH - Art Restoration for Cultural Heritage.  Archduke Karl was traveling to Croatia to see the war zones.  He was a member of the Pan-European movement, headed by his father.

The couple had three children: Archduchess Eleonore (1994), Archduke Ferdinand (1997) and Archduchess Gloria (1999) before separating after ten years of marriage.   The separation was amicable.

"The problem is that when you are married you judge each other," she says. "But when you are not living together you have no right to do that, and you get on much better," Francesca said in a 2006 interview in The Telegraph.

Three years later, in an interview with the Independent, she said: "For those who know, I'm still throwing great parties. I get really offended when people say I've grown up. I did marry into one of the most conservative families ever and to this day I have never done anything that has upset them and in 15 years of marriage that is pretty good going – apart from the fact that I live separately from my husband. What I have done is manage to have a family; I have three really great kids and have managed to integrate into my husband's life and I am very lucky in that respect."

"I am still that same person as I was in the Eighties. I haven't changed at all. Not one bit."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Stockholm

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on an official visit to Sweden and Norway.

Earlier today, the couple had lunch at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, where they met King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.  After the lunch,  the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerged from the palace for a short walk to Stortoget, the square in Gamla Stan (Old Town) to visit the Nobel Museum.

A friend of mine, Sofia Svanholm, was in the crowd, having waited 2.5 hours in the bitter cold weather, where she took these photos.

Sofia is the copyright holder.  These photos cannot be reproduced or posted elsewhere without her permission.  Thanks Sofia for allowing me to use your photos!

all photos @Sofia Svanholm

Monday, January 29, 2018

Still Christmas

The Duke and Duchess of Aosta with the Duke's children and grandchildren

I was surprised to receive a Christmas card from HM Margareta and HRH Prince Radu for 2017 so soon after King Michael's death in early December.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

BULLETIN: Royal House in talks to stay at Elisabeta Palace

@Marlene A Eilers Koenig

"The Romanian Royal House is having “promising talks” with the Government to find provisional solutions about their stay at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest, Andrew Popper, the head of the Royal House, said in a TV show, quoted by

This story will be updated when more information is published. 

The deadline to move out of the Elisabeta Palace is February 5.