Tuesday, November 10, 2020

a girl for the Astors


The Hon Charles Astor and his wife,  Princess Eliane de Merode are the parents of a daughter, Astrid Henriette Elizabeth Astor, who was born at the Lindo Wing, St. Mary's Hospital, London.   The birth was announced on their Instagram accounts, which includes photos of the new baby.

This is the first child for the couple, who were married on June 17, 2017, at Chateau de Guignicourt in Guignicourt sur Vence, France, which is the home of Eliane's parents, Prince and Princess Lionel de Merode.

Astrid has several interesting ancestral lines and family connections.  Her father's paternal first cousin, Harry Lopes is married to Laura Parker Bowles, the daughter of the Duchess of Cornwall and her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.

Charles Astor is the only son of John Jacob Astor, 3rd Baron Astor, and his second wife, the Hon. Elizabeth Mackintosh, younger daughter of  John Mackintosh, 2nd Viscount Mackintosh of Halifax.  He is the heir apparent to the Astor of Hever barony.   Until 1983, Hever Castle in Kent was owned by the Astor family.  It was purchased in 1903 by William Waldorf Astor, was the richest man in America following the death of his father, John Jacob Astor III.   Willam moved to England and became a citizen in 1899.  He was created Viscount Waldorf in 1917.  Lord  Astor died two years later and was succeeded by his eldest son, William, as the second Viscount Astor.  

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 Lord Astor's second surviving son, John Jacob Astor V married Lady Violet Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, daughter of Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto, Viceroy and Mary Caroline Grey, a granddaughter of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey and the Hon. Mary Ponsonby, daughter of  William Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby.  

Lord Ponsonby's mother, Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Devonshire.

John Jacob Astor V was created by Baron Astor of Hever in 1956.   

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 His eldest of three sons, the Hon. Gavin Astor married Lady Irene Haig,  who was the daughter of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, Commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I.    

The first Lord Astor died in 1971 and was succeeded by his eldest son.  The 2nd Lord Astor of Hever was the Life President of the Times.   He died in 1984 and was succeeded by his eldest son John Jacob Astor, the present Baron Hever of Astor.

The Castle was sold in 1983 to Broadland Properties.  Lord and Lady Hever live in Kent.

Princess Eliane is the fourth child and only daughter of Prince Léonel de Merode and Countess Regina de Liedekerke.  The de Merode family is one of the oldest noble families in Belgium.  In 1929, members of the family (male line) were raised from the rank of Count or Countess de Merode to Prince or Princess de Merode

The first John Jacob Astor emigrated to the United States from Walldorf in Electoral Palantine in what was then the Holy Roman Empire.  He made his fortune in the fur business.   

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 The line of descent from John Jacob Astor to Miss Astrid Henriette Elizabeth Astor is as follows:

John Jacob Astor & Sarah Todd -- William Backhouse Astor & Margaret Armstrong (whose mother was a member of the Livington family) -- John Jacob Astor III & Charlotte Augusta Gibbes -- William Waldorf Astor, Viscount Astor & Mary Dahlgren Paul --John Jacob Astor V Lord Astor of Hever &  Lady Violet Mary Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound -- Gavin Astor, Lord Astor of Hever & Lady Irene Haig -- John Jacob Astor VIII, Lord Astor of Hever & Hon. Elizabeth Mackintosh -- Hon. Charles Astor & Princess Eliane de Merode.

Astrid is a descendant of Robert Livington the Elder (1654-1728) & Alida Schuyler (1656-1727).  The Livingstons were a prominent New York political family.   Margaret Armstrong's maternal uncle,  Robert Livington was a member of the Committee of Five, along with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Roger Sherman, that drafted the Declaration of Independence.

Eliane's family produces Wignac cider, made on their estate.  



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