Monday, February 18, 2019

Denial of Prince of Wales engagement

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February 18, 1919

Reports of an "impending announcement" of the engagement of Princess Jolanda , eldest daughter of the King of Italy, and the Prince of Wales are "unfounded," reports the New York Times.

French newspapers have been "discussing the simultaneous presence in the French capital" of Queen Elena and Princess Jolanda and the Prince of Wales.   The newspapers are reporting that the reason for the Queen's visit to set a date for the announcement of the engagement between the Princess and the Prince of Wales. 

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The newspapers alleged that the engagement "may be expected immediately after the signing of the peace treaty," with a wedding to take place in the spring of 1920.

The Prince of Wales is 24 years old.   Princess Jolanda is 18.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Death notice for the Dowager Princess de Ligne

Welcome to the world Horatio Hicks - the newest QVD

Kata Hicks: Instagram.  I believe the illustration was done by Donald Robertson

Welcome to the world Horatio Valentine Christopher Alessandro Hicks, the second child for Ashley Hicks, only son of the late David Hicks and the Lady Pamela Mountbatten, and his estranged wife, Kata.

The newest descendant of Queen Victoria was born today, February 12, 2019, at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.

Kata announced the birth on her Instagram account.

Ashley and Kata Hicks's first child, Caspian, was born on January 21, 2018.

HRH The Dowager Princess de Ligne

HRH Princess Alix Marie Anne Antonia Charlotte Gabrielle of Luxembourg was born at Schloss Berg on August 8, 1929.  She was the sixth and youngest child of Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma.

The princess spent her early years with her parents and older siblings at Schloss Berg.  But the onset of World War II and the German invasion of Luxembourg on May 10, 1940,  led to the family fleeing the country three hours before the Germans marched in.  They were able to find refuge in the United States.  Prince Felix and his six children, arrived in Annapolis on July 25, 1940, on the United States cruiser, Trenton.  They were driven to Washington, D.C., where they were guests of President Roosevelt at the White House.

Grand Duchess Charlotte had remained in Portugal when the Trenton sailed for the United States.  She traveled to London to join the government-in-exile.

After lunch, Prince Felix and the children traveled by train to New York City, as they would spend their first days in the United States at the Long Island estate of Joseph E. Davies, the former minister to Luxembourg.

All of the six children were dressed in gray.  Princesses Elisabeth,18, Princess Marie Adelaide, 16, Marie Gabrielle, 15 and Alix, 11, were all dressed in "light gray flannel coats, cotton blouses, blue pleated skirts and berets, and gray cotton hose."  Their brothers,  Princes Jean, 19, and Charles, 13, wore "gray jackets and shorts."

Alix attended Catholic schools in New York, Montreal, and London before Luxembourg was liberated in 1945 and the Grand Ducal family returned home on April 14, 1945.

It was at the wedding of Alix's first cousin, Archduke Carl Ludwig of Austria to Princess Yolande de Ligne in January 1950,  where she was first introduced to Yolande's brother, Prince Antoine de Ligne.  During the war,  Prince Antoine fled Belgium and joined the Royal Air Force in 1943.  He later joined the Belgian Air Force in exile.

Antoine was the younger son of Eugene, 11th Prince of Ligne.  He succeeded as 13th Prince of Ligne in 1985, following the death of his brother, Baudouin, who was unmarried.

Their engagement was announced on April 18, 1950, and the wedding took place on August 17, 1950, Alix was the first of Charlotte's children to marry.

Princess Alix, who was given away by her father, wore a "white satin dress and a white satin train"  Her bridal veil was made of Brussels lace, which was held in place by a "bejeweled diadem, a family heirloom."   Antoine was dress in the uniform as a captain in the Belgian Air Force.

The civil wedding took place in the Grand Ducal Palace and was performed by the Mayor of Luxembourg, who was assisted by four aldermen.  The Roman Catholic service was celebrated in Luxembourg's cathedral.

It was the first time that cameras were allowed into the Cathedral, where the guests included King Leopold III of the Belgiums and his son, Crown Prince Baudouin, as well as the American Ambassador, Mrs. Perle Mesta, who gave the couple "a Steuben crystal case on which was embossed pictures of Paul Revere's ride."

Street parties were held throughout the tiny Grand Duchy.

After their honeymoon, the newlyweds lived at Schloss Beloeil, the de Ligne's family residence.

The couple had seven children:  Michel, 14th, Prince of Ligne (1951), Prince Wauthier (1952), Princess Anne (1954), Princess Christine (1955), Princess Sophie (1957), Prince Antoine (1959) and Princess Yolande (1964). 

Prince Antoine died in 2005.

Princess Alix is survived by her seven children, 19 of her 20 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by two of her siblings.  Grand Duke Jean and Princess Marie-Gabrielle, Dowager Countess of Holstein-Ledreborg.

all images from the Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

Monday, February 11, 2019

HRH The Dowager Princess de Ligne (1929-2019)


 de la Cour grand-ducale communique :

It is with great sadness that Their Royal Highnesses Grand Duke Jean, the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess announce the death, today, of Her Royal Highness Princess Alix, Princess de Ligne,  Princess of Luxembourg.

Born August 24, 1929 at the Castle of Berg, Princess Alix was the youngest daughter of Grand Duchess Charlotte and Prince Felix of Luxembourg.


The Princess had married Prince Antoine de Ligne on August 17, 1950. Seven children are from their union.

The funeral of Grand Duke Jean's sister will take place at Château de Beloeil in Belgium.

A mass will be celebrated in the Saint Michel church in Luxembourg. The date of the religious service will be communicated later.

1938  Alix is the youngest @Kutter

1990 Inauguration of the Grand Duchess Charlotte Memorial @Maisongrand-ducal 

The wedding of Princess Alix de Ligne (granddaughter) with Guillaume de Dampierre (2016)@maisongrand-ducal

Royal Musings will have more photos and a profile of the late HRH Dowager Princess of Ligne later today.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Has Prince Albert found his princess?

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The German magazine Bunte is reporting that the Prince of Thurn und Taxis may have found his ever after partner.

Prince Albert, 35, is the head of the Princely House of Thurn und Taxis.  He is worth about 1.5 billion euros and owns a number of palaces including the 500 room Schloss Emmeran in Regensburg.   His wealth and title certainly makes him one of the most eligible of bachelors.

Albert, which succeeded his father in , has been linked to several women in the past decade or so, but no one has truly won his heart, until now.

Her name -- Pia d'Iribarne, a London-based 32-year-old "intellectual high-flyer, who was introduced to Albert at a society wedding in Rome.

In January she joined Stride VC as a third partner.  Pia was a Vice President at Accel Partners before joining Stride VC.

Pia is a native of Paris.  According to Forbes, she is an "expert in consumer brands, SaaS and marketplaces."  She is the daughter of  Benoît Marie Bernard d’Iribarne,  Vice-President of Technology and Industrial Performance of Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, and Marie Anne Sybesma,

Emergency surgery for Prince Ernst August

  Prince Ernst August of Hannover is recovering from emergency pancreatic surgery at a clinic in Feldkirch, Austria.

His doctors diagnosed a life-threatening pancreatic inflammation, which was leading to organ failure.  He underwent emergency surgery.   His friends are concerned about his "unsteady lifestyle" and his excessive use of alcohol.

Last month the 64-year-old prince threw a spanner into the sale of Schloss Marienburg by his son, Prince Ernst August, to the German state of Saxony for one Euro.  The sale is now on hold, although the younger Ernst August has proved the at he is the sole owner of Schloss Marienburg as his is the only name on the land register.

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 "The preservation of such cultural assets has never been easy, yet I and the other family members currently see no understandable reason to impose these costs without necessity to the citizens of Lower Saxony," Ernst August senior told a newspaper last month.

His son responded:  "Contractually it was always clear from the beginning that I may dispose of real estate like a liberated forerunner - contrary statements are false and do not correspond to the contractually recorded facts."

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In 2004, Papa turned over the family properties over to his elder son, but more recently has accused Ernst August junior of "gross ingratitude" and has demanded the properties back.  He did not attend his son's wedding in 2017.

The younger Ernst August chose to sell the castle to the state government because he could not afford to finance the massive work that the castle needs.

Monday, February 4, 2019

The latest rumors from Vienna

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February 4, 1889

Another "sensational story" concerned the death of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria has been published in Brussels, reports the New York Times.   This report asserts that the Crown Prince "became entangled in an affair of honor with a high Austrian family, and that it was decided that the Prince and the son of the family in question should fight a duel on the so-called American plan."

This involves throwing dice to see which of the duelists will commit suicide.  Rudolf lost the toss.  The loser has three months to take his own life.  It was at the expiration of this time period that the Crown Prince killed himself.

This report is just one of several accounts of the Crown Prince's death that is being reported outside Austria, as Viennese correspondents are finding their reports censored. A letter from one Viennese reporter to a British newspaper alleges that the door to the Crown Prince's room had to be forced open, where the Crown Prince's valet found the "body of a beautiful Bohemian lady."  This reporter asserts the Crown Prince first killed her and then "shot himself."  The body of the young woman was "conveyed secretly" to her family in Bohemia.

There are said to be two similar versions of this account that have been cabled abroad, which is giving further credence to the truth of how the Crown Prince died.

The Crown Prince's body is on view and "enormous crowds " are waiting their turn to pay their respects.

For more information about the Mayerling tragedy,  Greg King's book,  Twilight of Empire, is excellent.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Breaking News: Young Baroness killed herself same time as Rudolf

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February 3, 1889

Sensational news was leaked out today about a "beautiful young Baroness committed suicide by taking poison at Mayerling" at the same time Crown Prince Rudolf took his life.   According to the New York Times, the "two acts were committed simultaneously."

The name of the young woman has not been made public,

Earlier today, the parents of the Crown Princess, the King and Queen of the Belgians "prayed for a long time" at the bier of the late Crown Prince.

It is understood that the Prince of Wales will make a private visit to Vienna to attend the funeral.

There are also reports that Kaiser Wilhelm II has sent a telegram to Emperor Franz Josef stating "that it is his intention to waive all etiquette" to attend Rudolf's funeral.  The Emperor responded by telegraph "his most since thanks " but hopes that Wilhelm will forego his intention to come to Vienna.

Tsar Alexander III will send his younger brother, Grand Duke Alexis to the funeral.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Funeral of the Count of Paris

HRH Prince Henri of France, Count of Paris, was laid to rest today at Dreux, following a funeral at the Chapelle Royal at the Cathedral of Dreux.  The mourners included the Prince of Monaco, Queen Sofia of Spain, Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg and Prince Hassan of Morocco.

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Friday, February 1, 2019

The new Austrian heir

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February 1, 1889

Archduke Karl Ludwig, Emperor Franz Josef's younger brother, has renounced his rights in favor of his son, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, according to dispatch from the New York Times.

The renouncement has not been formally signed, but a "draft of the document was hurriedly prepared."   The Archduke "took the oath of surrender" in a private meeting with the Emperor.   Franz Josef them met privately for more than an hour.

The news of Archduke Karl Ludwig's renouncement has "caused great general surprise" in Vienna. He and his wife are "favorite leaders in society."   Archduke Franz Ferdinand has renounced the Modena fortune in favor of his younger brother, Archduke Otto.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand is 25 years old and unmarried.

Official: Rudolf killed himself

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February 1, 1889

The cause of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria's death has been officially announced.  The Weiner Zeitung states: " Prof.Wiederhofer, who performed the autopsy on the body of Crown Prince Rudolf, found a large wound in the side of the head, which must have caused instant death. The revolver, with one chamber discharged, was found on the bedside close to the right hand of the dead Prince.  The position in which proves beyond doubt that the Crown Prince committed suicide.  The pericranium was torn and the skull bones were partially shattered."

The report also stated that no one heard the shot as Crown Prince Rudolf's "attendants having left the house to make preparations for a hunting excursion."  Several members of the Crown Prince's entourage have spoken about the Crown Prince's "final few weeks" where he had "manifested signs of morbid nervous  excitement."   In the view of the Wiener Zeitung,  the "shooting was the result of temporary mental derangement.

The Crown Prince's will, which was made three years ago, leaves his entire property to his daughter, Archduchess Elisabeth,  with the exception of Mayerling and Lacroma, an island.  His widow, Crown Princess Stephanie, retains a life interest in the estate.

It has been "fully confirmed" that the Crown Prince spoke to several "intimate friends" in his final days "showed an utter weariness of life and betrayed great nervous excitement."

Prince Henry of Prussia, the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, will attend the funeral.  Emperor Franz Josef made the request to the German Emperor to not attend the funeral.

Many believe, including those in Parliamentary circles, that "much of the truth" about the Crown Prince's death, remains concealed.

For more information about Mayerling,  Greg King's book, Twilight of Empire, is excellent.

Albert won't consent to the DNA test

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In October 2018,  the Court of Appeals in Brussels ruled that Jacques Boel was not the legal nor biological father of Delphine Boel.  The court ordered King Albert II to undergo DNA tests within three months.

On January 30, 2019,  Miss Boel's lawyers told the court that the King had not yet submitted to the DNA test.

The king's lawyers responded today by announcing that they are filing another motion against the decision of the Court of Appeals.

"HM King Albert II will not submit to a DNA analysis until the Court of Cessation has given its judgment."

The newest QVD

It is a boy for Don Luis Alfonso de Borbon y Martinez-Bordiu and his wife,  María Margarita Vargas Santaella, are the parents of a son, Henri de Jésus, who was born today in New York City.

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The legal name is Enrique de Jesus, as stated by his father on Facebook.

Enrique joins 11-year old Eugenia and twins Luis and Alfonso who are eight years old.

Don Luis Alfonso is the younger, but surviving son of the late Don Alfonso, Duke of Cadiz, a first cousin of King Juan Carlos, and Dona Carmen Martinez-Bordiu y Franco.  He is a great-grandson of King Alfonso XIII and Francisco Franco.

The family live in Spain.