Friday, April 16, 2021

Another Lovely photo


@HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

Mike Tindall, the husband of Zara Phillips, is sharing this photo of the late Duke of Edinburgh with one of his great-grandchildren, Mia Tindall on his Instagram account.  

The photo was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge.

An Imperial Monogram


Grand Duke George of Russia and his fiancee, Rebecca Bettarini have released their monogram.

Courtesy of Rebecca Bettarini

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Guest list

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Buckingham Palace has released the guestlist for HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's funeral

The Queen

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall

Princess Anne and Sir Tim Laurence

Prince Andrew

Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise, and Viscount Severn

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge

Prince Harry

Peter Phillips

Zara and Mike Tindall

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

The 2nd Earl of Snowdon

Lady Sarah Chatto and Daniel Chatto

The Duke of Gloucester

The Duke of Kent

Princess Alexandra

The Hereditary Prince of Baden

The Landgrave of Hesse

The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

The Countess Mountbatten of Burma

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Three German relatives will be at Philip's funeral

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Three  German relatives of Prince Philip will be present for his funeral on Saturday at St. George's Chapel, according to a report by Daily Mail reporter, Robert Hardman.

All three men are descendants of Queen Victoria and two are descendants of Philip's sisters, Princess Margarita and Princess Theodora.

Philipp, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Hereditary Prince Bernhard of Baden, and Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse arrived in England last weekend and are staying in a house near Ascot.


Prince Philipp Gottfried Alexander, 51, is the second of three children and only son of the late Kraft, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and his first wife, HSH Princess Charlotte of Croy.  He has two sisters, Princess Cecile and Princess Xenia.   In 2003, he married Saskia Binder.  They have three children: Hereditary Prince Max, Prince Gustav, and Princess Marita.

He is the grandson of Prince Philip's eldest sister, Princess Margarita, who in 1931, married HSH Gottfried, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, whose mother, Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh, was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Princess Anne is Prince Philip's godmother.   The late Princess Margarita was one of Anne's godparents.

The family live at Schloss Langenburg in Württemberg.

Victoria - Alfred - Alexandra - Gottfried - Kraft - Philipp

Victoria -Alice -Victoria - Alice - Margarita - Kraft - Philipp

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Hereditary Prince Bernhard Max Friedrich August Gustav Ludwig of Baden, 50, is the son of Max, Margrave of Baden, and his wife, Archduchess Valerie of Austria.  He is married to Stephanie Kaul and they have three sons,  Prince Leopold, Prince Friedrich, and Prince Karl-Wilhelm.  They live in Linzgau, near Schloss Salem.

Bernhard's paternal grandmother was Princess Theodora of Greece, Prince Philip's second sister, who is in 1931 married HRH Berthold, Margrave of Baden.

Victoria - Alice - Victoria - Alice - Theodora - Max - Bernhard

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 Heinrich Donatus Philipp Umberto, Landgrave of Hesse, 54, is the eldest son of the late HRH Moritz, Landgrave of Hesse and HSH Princess Tatiana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. His paternal grandfather, Philipp, Landgrave of Hesse, was the third of six sons of Friedrich Wilhelm, Landgrave of Hesse, and Princess Margarete of Prussia, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.   

Philipp became the heir after his two older brothers were killed in the first world war.   His support for Hitler did not help to save his wife, Princess Mafalda of Italy, whose father was King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy, who in 1943 was arrested by the Gestapo, and sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp, where she died of injuries suffered during an Allied bombing of a munitions factory inside the camp in August 1944.

Donatus' father, Moritz, was the heir of Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine, the younger brother of Hereditary Prince Georg Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine and Princess Cecilie of Greece,  Prince Philip's third sister.  The couple and two of their three children were killed in a plane crash in Ostend, Belgium, in November 1937 as they were en route to London to attend Prince Ludwig's wedding to the Hon. Margaret Geddes. 

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Victoria - Victoria - Margarete - Philipp -Moritz - Donatus

Prince Ludwig, whose primary home was Schloss Wolfsgarten, died in 1968.

He is married to Countess Flora von Faber-Castell.  They have three children:   Princess Paulina, Hereditary Prince Moritz, and Prince August.

Prince Moritz's younger brother, Prince Christoph, married 16-year-old Princess Sophie of Greece in 1930.  She was the youngest of the four sisters of Prince Philip.  Christoph was killed in an air crash in 1943.  Three years later, Sophie married HRH Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hanover.  Georg Wilhelm's father, Prince Ernst August, wrote to King George VI, seeking approval under the provisions of the Royal Marriages Act for his son.  As the second world war had ended only a year before, the King was advised to not give his consent to the marriage.

Donatus owns Schloss Kronberg, formerly known as Schloss Friedrichshof, the castle built by Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Victoria, after the death of her husband, Emperor Friedrich III of Germany.   The castle, which was used as an officers' club by the American military after the second world war, was also the scene of the theft of Hesse jewels and other items that had been buried by family during the war.

Schloss Kronberg has become an exclusive hotel.  Donatus's other properties include Schloss Fasaneri, where the family archives are kept, Schloss Panker, and Schloss Wolfsgarten, once the home of Philip's sister, Cecile, and her husband, Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus.  

In the late summer of 1937,  Philip was at Wolfsgarten Cecilie and Georg Donatus and their three children.  His grandmother Victoria was also there, as she was caring for her critically ill brother, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig.  He died at Wolfsgarten on November 9.

In September  Philip, then age 16, returned to Gordonstoun in Scotland,  It was the last time he would see his sister and her family.

Schloss Langenburg guidebook

Lovely photos


Balmoral 2015: the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge.

@The Duchess of Cambridge  The great-grandchildren  This photo was taken in 2018 at Balmoral.  HRH Prince George of Cambridge, HM the Queen holding HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge, HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, HRH The Prince Philip , Isla Phillips holding Lena Tindall & Mia Tindall.  In the back, Savannah Phillips 

Latter two photos released by HRH The Prince of Wales

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The statements from the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex

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HRH Prince George of Cambridge and his great-grandpa.  The photo was taken by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge released this statement about his grandfather.

"My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family.

I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days. I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her. I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!

My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job."

This was followed by the HRH The Duke of Sussex's statement:

“My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next.

He will be remembered as the longest-reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke. But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ‘til the end.

He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!’

So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered—by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.

‘Per Mare, Per Terram.’”

Friday, April 9, 2021

Prince Philip: An Appreciation


all photos  Marlene A Eilers Koenig

There will be many articles in the days to come examining the life of the late HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  He was the longest ever consort of an English or British sovereign.  He was a descendant of Queen Victoria as is his widow -- I hate writing this word -- Queen Elizabeth II.   They were married for 73 years.

In the 1980s and 1990s, I covered royal visits to the US for a British magazine, Berkswell's The Royal Year.  Prince Philip visited the US on numerous occasions and it was a delight to write about his visits -- and to take photos as well, although I did not have a fancy camera at that time.

My mom thought he was so handsome when he was young.  She was right.  He was dishy.

The late Duke of Edinburgh was aware of my research into the descendants of Queen Victoria, which led to three books, all titled Queen Victoria's Descendants.    His Private Secretary at the time was always able to get the answers to questions that I posed to the Prince. 

The London bookstore Hatchards is one of my favorite places to visit in London.  The store manager spotted me during one visit.  He walked over to tell me that Prince Philip had recently ordered several copies of my book to give as gifts.

Well, that made my day.

In May 1991, Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  I was at the White House for their arrival -- and yes this was the event of the Talking Hat.   I am short so I managed to get a photo of the Queen's face, and not merely her hat.

An off-the-record press reception was held at a local hotel in Washington, D.C., hotel.  No photos, but one hoped one would get presented.  

I was presented to the Queen first.  It's true. you do not remember what the conversation was about.  I did curtsey and she shook my hand.

Several deep breaths followed. I turned my attention to finding Prince Philip.  My eyes scanned the room. It took only a few seconds to spot him   I made my way to where the Prince was chatting.  I was in the line - and then, there he was standing in front of me.  

One of the British Embassy officials introduced me to HRH.  I curtseyed.  We chatted a bit and I said rather casually: "I correspond with your sister, Princess Sophie."

Prince Philip responded:  "Yes, she warned me about you."  It was said with humor as he was familiar with my work.  He shook my hand before turning to the next person in line.

A day or two later,  I received a letter from Princess Sophie, which was written on Windsor Castle stationary.  I had written to her some weeks earlier with a few questions and the news that I would be covering the state visit and received invitations to the press reception and the Garden Party at the British Embassy (where I ran into a friend, Crown Prince Alexander, and his wife, Crown Princess Katherine.  I was standing next to the Crown Prince and Crown Princess when the Queen walked by. She stopped immediately to greet her godson (they kissed each other on the cheek) and, much to my delight, the Crown Prince called the Queen  'Lilibet'.

Princess Sophie answered my questions and added that she had told the Queen and Prince Philip that I would be at the reception.

So Philip did know who I was.  Nearly 30 years later,  the meeting between HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh still brings a smile to my face.

Washington, DC Congressional Award  1996

Washington National Cathedral

Conserving our Heritage seminar at National Cathedral, May 1990

Planting a tree at the National Cathedral in May 1990. Spade was first used in 1919 by the Prince of Wales (Duke of Windsor)

State visit May 1991

NYC 1980s

June 1991

Diamond Jubilee  Flotilla  2012

St Paul's  2016

Garden Party at British Ambassador's residence  1991

Garden Party

Congress  1991  

Who succeeds as Duke of Edinburgh

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and it is not the HRH The Earl of Wessex.  This is made clear in King George VI's Letters Patent.  The peerage was created for Philip and "the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten."

The Prince of Wales has succeeded his father as the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.  The Heir Apparent to this dukedom is HRH The Duke of Cambridge.  The succession for the dukedom is as follows: HRH The Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince George of Cambridge, HRH Prince Louis of Cambridge, HRH The Duke of Sussex,  Archie Mountbatten-Windsor,  HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn.

Here is the announcement about Edward's titles.  Please note the use of the word given and "eventually reverts to the Crown." Philip's titles have not reverted to the Crown because he has male heirs.  The peerages will revert to the Crown when Charles becomes King.   Once Charles is king, he will create a new dukedom of Edinburgh for his youngest brother.

The Palace has reiterated this statement on numerous occasions since June 1999.  

Today, the College of Arms statement on the death of the Duke of Edinburgh included this paragraph:

"The Titles of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh was granted the style and title of Royal Highness on 19 November 1947; on the next day, 20 November, he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, of Greenwich in the County of London. These peerages are hereditary and on the death of His Royal Highness have passed to his eldest son, HRH The Prince of Wales. In the event of the Prince of Wales or any subsequent holder of these titles succeeding to the Crown, these titles and all others held will merge with the Crown."

 I highlighted the most important sentence.  

Arrangements for Philip's death


HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021)


HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, June 1989  NYC  @Marlene A Eilers Koenig

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

HRH The Prince of Wales succeeds at the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.  His younger brother, HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Earl of Forfar, will be created as a new Duke of Edinburgh after his father's peerages revert to the Crown when Charles succeeds.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Death of HSH Prince Reinhard Georg of Bentheim und Steinfurt

 HSH Prince Reinhard Georg of Bentheim- und Steinfurt was  second child  and eldest son of HSH Viktor Adolf, Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt (1883-1961) and his second wife HSH  Princess Rosa Helene  zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich (1901-1963)

Viktor Adolf was succeeded by his second son, Christian, as Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt as his eldest son, Hereditary Prince Alexis,  a German fighter pilot, was killed over the Mediterranean on December 2, 1943.   Prince Christian and his wife, Countess Sylvia von Pückler have two adopted daughters.    These two sons were the children of Viktor Adolf's first wife, Princess Stephanie of Schaumburg-Lippe who died in childbirth.

In the late 1980s, Christian adopted Reinhard Georg's eldest son, Prince Carl Ferdinand, now the Hereditary Prince, who lives with his wife, Elna-Margret, and their two children at Schloss Bentheim. 

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Prince Louis of Luxembourg engaged


The Grand Ducal Palace announced today the engagement of HRH Prince Louis of Luxembourg is engaged to marry Scarlett-Lauren Sirgue.

Miss Sirgue is the daughter of Pierre Sirgue and Scarlette Berrebi.  She was born in Bordeaux on August 8, 1991.  She is a lawyer based in Paris.  Scarlett-Lauren's mother died l

all three photos: @Private collection.

'We are happy to announce the engagement of our son, Prince Louis, to Miss Scarlett-Lauren Sirgue.

'Princes Gabriel and Noah join us in surrounding the new couple with all our affection. We wish them immense happiness.'

Miss Sirgue is a lawyer.  She works for her parents' law firm, Berrebi and Sirgue, where she specializes in Victims' Law.  Prince Louis, 34, is a mediator at this law firm.

This will be Prince Louis' second marriage.  His first marriage in September 2006 to Tessy Antony ended in divorce in 2019.  They have two sons, Prince Gabriel (2006) and Prince Noah (2007).    

He renounced his right of succession (and his descendants) shortly before he married Miss Antony.

The former Princess Tessy announced her engagement to Swiss businessman Frank Floessel on New Year's Eve. They are expecting a child in the next few months.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Lovely new photos of Charles and the Queen

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Buckingham Palace and Clarence House have released two new photos of the Queen and the Prince of Wales, taken by Chris Jackson.  These two socially distant photos were taken in the garden of Frogmore House.

The photos were released in honor of Easter.