Friday, July 13, 2018

Garter Ceremony

A little late, but here are photos from the Order of the Garter ceremony,  taken by my friend Arjan, who is the copyright holder.   Thanks for letting me publish them.

Duke of Kent,  Princess Alexandra, Princess Royal

Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra
Princess Royal and Duke of Gloucester

Duke of York and Earl of  Wessex

Thursday, July 12, 2018

It's over for Margaretha and Robin

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July 12, 1958

The romance between Princess Margaretha of Sweden and Robin Douglas-Home, a jazz pianist, is over, according to an announcement from the Royal Palace.

Robin, 26, is the son of the Hon. Henry Douglas-Home, second son of Charles, 13th Earl of Home and his former wife, Lady Margaret Spencer, daughter of the 6th Earl Spencer.

Lady Margaret has served as a lady-in-waiting to Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and Princess Alexandra of Kent.

Robin, a nephew of the present Earl of Home, had planned to travel from London to Stockholm, hoping "to wrote a happy ending of his year-long courtship" with the pretty 23-year-old Princess Margaretha, according to United Press International.

Princess Margaretha and her family are at the Swedish royal family's summer residence, Solliden, on the island of Oland.    A spokesman for the Princess said Margaretha spoke to Mr. Douglas-Home for ten minutes.  Their engagement was broken off during the conversation.

Margaretha was said to be "shocked" to learn of Douglas-Home's decision to not travel to Stockholm.  Her mother, Princess Sibylla, was also shocked.

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The princess was keeping to her room and was "reported to be near a nervous breakdown."

Spokesman  Count Goesta Lewenhaupt told three representatives of the Swedish, American and British press that "for Princess Margaretha the romance with Home has been a very serious thing, and of course she is upset by the latest developments." 

He said he expected the princess to stay at the villa for the rest of the summer and then "perhaps go abroad for awhile."

Lewenhaupthaupt had invited the press to "refute" reports that Margaretha's mother had "at the last moment" had forbidden Margaretha to marry Douglas-Home.

Princess  Sibylla and King Gustav VI Adolf left the decision of becoming engaged or not up to Margaretha.


Five seek Polish throne

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 July 12, 1918

There are five candidates for the Polish throne, according to a cable sent by the London Times to the Washington Post.

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The original report was published in the Berliner Tageblatt.

The five candidates are:  Archduke Karl Stephan of Austria, Prince August Wilhelm of Germany (Kaiser Wilhelm II's fourth son),  Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony (second son of the King of Saxony),  Duke Albrecht Eugene of Württemberg and Prince Kyril of Bulgaria, second son of King Ferdinand.

Archduke Karl Stephan, who is 56, is the most obvious candidate.  He speaks fluent Polish and he and his family have an estate at Saysbusch in Galicia.   Two of his daughters, Archduchesses Renata and Mechtildis, are married to members of two Polish princely families, Radziwill and Czartoryski

Monday, July 9, 2018

intrigue, poison and a princess

A rather fascinating two-part article in Der Speigel about corruption, investigations, poison and a princess,  HH Princess Marie-Alix of Saxe-Meiningen.

HH Maria-Alexandra Elisabeth Beatrice of Saxe-Meiningen was born at Heilbronn on July 5, 1978.   She is the eldest of two children of the late HH Prince Friedrich-Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen (1935-2004) and HH Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1951).   Princess Beatrice is the younger half-sister of Prince Andreas, the head of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The princess' marriage to Benno Widmer ended in divorce.  The couple had no children.

Princess Marie-Alix is a descendant of Queen Victoria through her mother, Princess Beatrice.

Victoria - Leopold - Charles Edward (Carl Eduard) -Friedrich-Josias -Beatrice - Marie-Alix.

what the mailman brought

Thank you cards from the Duke of Cambridge and Princess Astrid of Belgium, who has been unwell with sleep issues.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

HRH Prince Michel Marie Xavier Waldemar Georg Robert Karl Eymar of Bourbon-Parma,  third of four children of the late Prince Rene of Bourbon-Parma and Princess Margrethe of Denmark, died on July 7 at Neilly-sur-Seine, France.  He was 92 years old.

Michel's father was the 19th child of Duke Roberto I of Bourbon Parma.  Two of his full siblings were Empress Zita of Austria and Prince Felix, who married Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg.

Prince Michel was born in Paris on March 4, 1926.  He spent his childhood in Paris, but after the German invasion of France, he and his family fled to New York City.  He attended a Jesuit school in Montreal.

At the age of 17, Prince Michel joined the U.S. Army and was part of a sabotage team that parachuted into Nazi-occupied France.  He later was sent to Indochina to fight the Viet Minh.  He parachuted into Vietnam on August28, 1945.  Within hours he and five others were captured and held for eleven months.

There were several attempts to escape.  The prisoners, who survived on a daily bowl of rice.   Four of the six men were killed before France agreed to a ceasefire.

The Viet Minh held more than 12,000 French prisoners.  Prince Michel was one of only 3000 prisoners to have survived the ordeal.   He received the Legion of Honour, the British Military Cross and the Croix de guerre.

He returned to France to live where he became a race car driver and a businessman.

On June 9, 1951,  Prince Michel married Princess Yolande de Broglie-Revel (1928-2014).  The couple had five children: Princess Inés (1952-1981), Price Erik (1953),  Princess Sybil (1954), Princess Victoire (1957-2001) and Prince Charles-Emmanuel (1961).  He also has a daughter, Amelie (1977), by  Laure Le Bourgeois 

By the 1960s, the marriage was strained as Prince Michel began an affair with Princess Maria Pia of Italy, the wife of one of Michel's close friends, Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia.   Maria Pia and her husband were the parents of a set of twin boys, born in1958.   She became pregnant again during her affair with Michel.     The second set of twins,  Prince Serge and Princess Helene, were born on March 12, 1963.  

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Princess Yolande, a devout Catholic, would not agree to a divorce in 1999, although the couple legally separated in 1966.   Prince Michel married Princess Maria Pia in Manalapan, Florida, in May 2003.  Prince Michel and Princess Maria Pia had a home in Palm Beach, Florida, spending winter there for many years.

Friday, July 6, 2018

25th anniversary thank you

A lovely thank you from the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein.  The photo is signed with a gold pen.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Princess Stephanie of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha marries

HH Princess Stephanie of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Mr. Jan Stahl were married earlier today in a civil ceremony at Schloss Friedenstein Gotha.

This is the first marriage for the 46-year-old Princess Stephanie and Mr. Stahl.

The ceremony, conducted by Gotha's mayor, Knut Kreuch, a family friend, took place in the castle's throne room.

His comments to the couple included numerous references to the history of the Ducal family.

Princess Stephanie, the eldest child and only daughter of TH Prince Andreas  and Princess Carin of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, wore a white silk suit from German fashion designer Gordon Sieverding, who is based in Michelau.  Her bouquet featured red, white and yellow roses.

Mr. Stahl wore a tail coat.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds got into a horse drawn carriage for a ride through the castle's sprawling park.   They joined close family and friends for a reception at the Hotel am Schlosspark for a post-wedding lunch.

This was the first royal wedding in Gotha since July 31, 1817, when sixteen-year-old Princess Luise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg-married Duke Ernst III of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld.  In 1826,  Ernst became Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.   The couple had two sons,  Duke Ernst II (1818-1893) and Prince Albert (1819-1861) who married his first cousin, Queen Victoria.  The marriage was not a happy one.  The couple were divorced on March 31, 1826.

Princess Stephanie is a descendant of Victoria and Albert through their eighth of nine children: Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany.   Victoria-Leopold-Carl Eduard-Friedrich Josias -Andreas-Stephanie.;art2388,6213234

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hereditary Prince and Princes of Liechtenstein celebrate their Silver Anniversary

HSH Alois Philipp Maria, the Hereditary Prince of Liechtenstein married HRH Duchess Sophie  Elizabeth Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria,  eldest daughter of Duke Max in Bavaria, were married on July 3, 1993 at St. Florin's in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

The couple has four children: Prince Wenzel (23), Princess Marie-Caroline (21), Prince Georg, 19 and Prince Nikolaus, 17.

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Monday, July 2, 2018

So how will William and Catherine be styled after Charles is King

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Please, please do not read Mail online articles about the British royal family!  The writers of these articles have no expertise in the how the British monarchy works: from family relationships to how someone is titled.

Last week, the Mail online ran a poorly written and researched article about how William and Catherine will be styled as heir, wife of the heir, sovereign, and wife of the sovereign.

The article neglected to mention that when Charles becomes king, William succeeds as Duke of Cornwall (in England) and Duke of Rothesay (in Scotland).  The latter title was used by the heir apparent to the throne of Scotland prior to the 1707 Act of Union.

The Duchy of Cornwall is the oldest of all English Duchies,  It was created in 1337 for Edward, the Black Prince, the eldest son of King Edward III.  As the Black Prince died before his father,  the title was re-created for his son, the future Richard II.

A royal charter, established in 1421, further defined the inheritance of the dukedom.  The succession is limited to one person: the eldest son of the sovereign.    When George II's eldest son,  Frederick, the Prince of Wales, died in 1751, his eldest son -- George II's grandson-- the future King George III became the heir apparent.

But the young George was unable to become the Duke of Cornwall as he was not the eldest son of the sovereign.

I am sure some of my readers will ask -- so when William becomes the Duke of Cornwall. what happens to the title Duke of Cambridge?  Does George become the Duke of Cambridge?

In a word, no.  The only way George can succeed to the Cambridge dukedom is for his father to die before his grandfather.

William will remain as Duke of Cambridge until he becomes king, when his peerages revert to the Crown.   George, as the heir apparent, will become Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay.    Cambridge will remain with the Crown until the Sovereign decides to create a new peerage for a male member of the royal house.

It is possible that after William is the heir apparent, he will be styled as HRH The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.   This means  Catherine will be styled as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.  Their children will be  "of Cornwall and Cambridge."

There is a modern precedent for this double ducal style.   When Queen Victoria died in January 1901, she was succeeded by her eldest son, Albert Edward, who became King Edward VII.  His only surviving son, George, was the Duke of York.

George's new title was HRH The Duke of Cornwall and York.  His wife, Mary, became HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and York.  Their four children,  Princes Edward (David), Albert and Henry and Princess Mary, ceased to be styled as "of York."   After their grandfather became king, their new title was "of Cornwall and York."

 I can hear your next question?   Marlene... why doesn't William get to be Prince of Wales?

The title Prince of Wales is NOT HEREDITARY.   The title is given to the heir apparent at the discretion of the Sovereign.    It was not until November 9, 1901 (King Edward VII's birthday) that the King announced he was creating his son, George, the Duke of Cornwall and York, as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

Within days, the Book of Common Prayer was amended, changing the prayers for the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to prayers for the Prince and Princess of Wales.

The children of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York also saw a change in title.  Edward,  Albert, Henry, and Mary were now styled "of Wales."

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George did not stop being Duke of Cornwall or Duke of York.   He was styled as Duke of Cornwall when he visited Cornwall.

The present Prince of Wales is styled as Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, when he visits his duchy.    When he visited Scotland, he used to be styled as the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Rothesay.  He is now styled in Scotland as The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay.


Change of style came in the late 1990s.

Charles will confer the titles of Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on his eldest son, but the announcement will unlikely be made within the first weeks of his accession.   Queen Elizabeth II did not name Charles as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester until July26, 1958, nearly 60 years ago.

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When William is named as Prince of Wales, his wife -- HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge  -- will become HRH The Princess of Wales.   She will not be HRH Catherine, Princess of Wales.   George, Charlotte and Louis will stop using "of Cornwall and Cambridge," as their new style will be "of Wales."

HRH The Princess of Wales.   Just like  Lady Diana Spencer,  Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, Princess Alexandra of Denmark,  Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, and so on.

Following her divorce from the Prince of Wales,  Diana was styled as Diana, Princess of Wales.   A widow or a divorced wife of a peer is styled by her first name, followed by the title. 

What about Camilla?   She is HRH The Princess of Wales, but she is styled as HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.  I believe the decision to use Cornwall was done to appease the Dianamanics.   I think it is silly to not style Camilla as HRH The Princess of Wales. 

William will be King William V.  His wife will be styled as Queen Catherine.  The silly Mail Online stated she will be styled Queen Catherine VI.

Er. No.  The sovereign, not the consort, gets a regnal number.  Catherine will be the sixth woman with a variant of the name Catherine to be a consort.

Officially, the style is The King and The Queen.  No names.  The informal use will be King William V and Queen Catherine.

William will sign his name as William R.  Catherine will sign as Catherine.  The R is for Rex, Latin for King.   Queen Elizabeth II signs as Elizabeth R.  The R is for Regina,  Latin for Queen.

As a Queen consort, Catherine will be able to use the R after her name.  Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth (consorts of George V and VI) did sign their names with the R.  Queen Alexandra (the consort of Edward VII) did not.

Duke of Cornwall:  inherited by the eldest son of the Sovereign.
Duke of Rothesay: inherited by the eldest son of the Sovereign (used in Scotland)
Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester:  conferred on the male heir apparent at the discretion of the Sovereign.    George II named his grandson as Prince of  Wales, a month after the death of his son.

The revenues from the Duchy of Cornwall funds the heir apparent and his family.   In 2011, the status of the Duchy of Cornwall changed. Prior to this change, the duchy (and its monies) reverted to the Crown, if the heir apparent was not the eldest son of the Sovereign. 

There was no Duke of Cornwall from January 20, 1936, until February 6, 1952, when Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne and her son, Charles, became the Duke of Cornwall.

In 2011, Parliament passed the Sovereign Grant Act.  One of the changes to the law will allow the revenue from the duchy to be inherited by the heir apparent even if the heir apparent is not the eldest son, and not eligible to be styled as Duke of Cornwall.

Until the change in the succession law, the eldest son was automatically the heir apparent.  Now the eldest child will be the heir apparent.    A female heir apparent or a male heir apparent who is not the eldest son of the sovereign (future George III), cannot inherit the title, but will benefit from the revenues.

As titles are a part of the Sovereign's position as "fountain of all honours," the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act did not change how Cornwall can be inherited, if the eldest child is a daughter.   I expect that the royal charter will be amended to allow for the inheritance of the eldest child of the sovereign.

It will be up to the Sovereign to also decide if the female heir apparent will receive the titles of Princess of Wales and Countess of Chester.

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The official investiture of the Prince of Wales is a modern invention.   King George V named his eldest son as Prince of Wales on the latter's 16th birthday, June 23, 1910.    It was the Welsh politician and Prime Minister David Lloyd George's idea for a formal investiture ceremony in Wales.  This took place on June 13, 1911.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Dutch princess baptized in Ottawa

June 29, 1943

Princess Margriet Francisca, the infant daughter of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of  the Netherlands, was baptized earlier today at St. Andrew's Church in Ottawa, in the presence of her grandmother Queen Wilhelmina. The service, according to the New York Times, was conducted partly in English and partly in Dutch.

The Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada, represented his sister, Queen Mary, as one of the princess' godparents.  Another godparent is a woman "whose husband was shot as a hostage by the Nazis in the Netherlands.  Her name has not been made public as other members of her family remain in occupied Netherlands.''

Margriet is also the godchild of "the officers and men of the Netherlands Merchant Marine. 

The baptism was broadcast by shortwave and will be relayed to the Netherlands.

Bolshevik official denies Nicholas is dead

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June 29, 1918

In a dispatch from Amsterdam, the New York Times reports that the "rumors that the former Emperor Nicholas II has been murdered" are false.  The President of the Executive Committee at Ekaterinburg states, in a message dated June 24, that the claims are "lies designed to incite the public.:

The message was sent by telegraph from Moscow by way to Berlin to Amsterdam.

Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia at Cliveden

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 June 29, 1908

The Duchess of Connaught and her younger daughter, Princess Patricia spent the weekend at Cliveden as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Waldorf Astor, reports tje New York Times.   Today, Mrs. Astor gave a "brilliant garden party in aid of the Barnardo Homes.

The Bishop of Virginia presided.  The Duke of Connaught came "specially for the occasion," and both men made "sympathetic speeches" about the Barnardo movement.
Nancy Astor

Mrs. Astor is a native of Danville, Virginia.  She was born Nancy Witcher Langhorne on May 19, 1879, the exact same date as her husband.   Her first marriage to Robert Gould Shaw II ended in divorce.  In 1905, she met the American-born Waldorf Astor on board a passenger ship bound for Britain.
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Their marriage took place in May 1906.  Mr. Astor's father, Viscount Astor, gave Cliveden to the couple as a wedding present.

Last August 7,  Mrs. Astor gave birth to the couple's first child, William Waldorf Astor II.  She also has a son, Robert Gould Shaw III, from her first marriage.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

It's a girl for Carl Ferdinand and Elna-Margret of Bentheim und Steinfurt

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 Hereditary Princess  Elna-Margret of Bentheim und Steinfurt, gave birth to her second child, a daughter, on June 22 at the family's home, Schloss Burgensteinfurt.

The infant princess has been named Wilhelmina Pauline Helene.  She weighed at birth 7lbs 5 ozs and is 20.5 inches tall.

The name Wilhelmina is not uncommon in the Bentheim und Steinfurt princely family.

Ludwig, the first Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt (1817) married Princess Juliane Wilhelmime of Holstein-Glücksburg.  Their son, Alexis, Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt, married Princess Wilhelmine of Solms-Braunfel.

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Hereditary Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt, Carl Ferdinand,  40, married Elna-Margret Rinn on July 21, 2007.  Their son, Prince Jonathan Alexei Victor was born at Münster on December 24, 2008.

Princess Elna-Margret told a reporter earlier this year, after her second pregnancy was announced, that conceiving a second child had been difficult.  She celebrated her 39th birthday on June 14.

"We did not want to have such a big age difference between our children." she told the German magazine, Gala.  "It felt like all of our friends were having baby after baby, but it did not work out for us.  We are really looking forward to our child."

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The original interview with Gala was on January 16, 2018.  At the time, Princess Elna-Margret said she hoped that their second child would be a girl.

Carl-Ferdinand is the eldest of four children of Prince Reinhard and Angelica Emmerman.  He is the adopted heir of his uncle, Christian, the Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt, who will celebrate his 95th birthday in December.   Prince Christian and his late wife, Countess Sylvia von Pücker, were unable to have children of their own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Kaiser dreads a war

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June 27, 1908

It is "well known in Austrian court circles" that Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany has a "superstitious dread of war," despite an overtly bellicose manner.   The French newspaper, the Echo de Paris quotes "an anonymous member" of Emperor Franz Josef's entourage that Wilhelm's fear is based on "two old prophecies" that say he is destined to be the "last Hohenzollern ruler."

The first prophecy was said to be made by an "old monk of Tehnin," is largely unknown, but the other prophecy that found its origins in "an ancient monastery" in Mayence is known.  Both prophecies allegedly foretells the end of the Hohenzollern dynasty and the "death of the last Kaiser would be caused by a great war."

Wilhelm's wife, Empress Auguste Viktoria, shares his fears and is "eager for peace.  It is said that she is concerned for her husband and their children.

The Echo reports that the Kaiser's "certain contradictions and acts of indecision" can be attributed to this "superstitious fear of war."