Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck

Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck has died at the age of 92. She was the daughter of the 7th Duke of Portland. Lady Anne, who never married, was one of Britain's wealthiest heiresses. When she was young, she was in love with the Duke of Leeds, but her parents forbid the marriage. She never married, although her name was linked with King Leopold III of the Belgians and his younger brother, Charles in 1937.

Her heir is believed to be her nephew, William Parente. Lady Anne is William's godmother.

Lady Anne was the eldest of two daughters. Her sister, Lady Margaret died in 1955 from polio, only five years after her marriage to an Italian nobleman, Don Gaetano Parente.

When Lady Anne's father died in 1977, the dukedom passed to a cousin, Ferdinand, who was married twice but had no children. He died in 1980, and his heir was his youngest brother, Victor, who died in 1990 when the Portland dukedom became extinct. Victor was also married twice, and he had one son, William, who died in 1966. He did not have any children, although, he, too, had married twice.

Lady Anne was the primary beneficiary of her father's estate, including the family seat, Welbeck Abbey.

The Dukedom of Portland was created for Henry Bentinck, the second earl of Portland. Although the male line for the Portland became extinct, there remained male heirs of the third son of the 1st Earl of Portland.

Lady Anne was the largest landowner in Northumberland, and she also owned an impressive art collection.

In December 1937, the New York Times inferred that Lady Anne, then 21-years-old, was reported to be the next queen of the Belgians. King Leopold III, whose wife, Astrid, had died in a car accident in 1935, was a good friend of Lady Anne's grandparents, the Duke and Duchess of Portland. The New York Times's article was largely based on reports in the British media.

King Leopold and his mother, Queen Elisabeth, traveled incognito to Britain in early December, where the King was expected to meet Lady Anne, who lived with her father, the Marquess of Titchfield, at Welbeck House on the Welbeck Abbey estate. Lady Anne was described as " tall, attractive and a keen huntswoman." On December 4th, the date of the article, Lady Anne "was following the hounds."

Queen Elisabeth and King Leopold arrived at Dover on December 4 and traveled to the Portlands' London home in Grosvenor Square. The trip "was in the strictest incognito" and no British official was present with the Belgian royals arrived in England.

According to the New York Times, "Belgium was taken by complete surprise today" when it made known that the King and his mother had left the country for England.

But was the King seeking a new bride and a new mother for his three young children. Rumors of a possible engagement between the king and Lady Anne were denied by her father, Lord Titchfield.

The following day, Leopold's younger brother, Prince Charles arrived in England. "Mayfair gossips immediately decided that it was he rather than the widowed Belgian monarch" who was going to propose to Lady Anne.

Prince Charles was first reported to be engaged to Lady Anne in 1932 when he visited Britain and spent time with the Portlands. British papers assumed that he had come to Britain to find a bride, preferably from a noble -- and Roman Catholic -- family.

On the evening of December 5, King Leopold's secretary issued a communiqué which declared that the "fantastic rumors" circulating in England regarding the king's visit were without "foundation for any members of the royal family." The communiqué also noted that King Leopold had a "slight chill" but was "almost recovered."

An AP report (December 6) reported that King Leopold "is suffering from a cold" and remained at Welbeck Abbey. Lady Anne "drove through a snowstorm to open the Christmas shopping week at Worksop." Photographers noted that Lady Anne "was not wearing a ring when she drew off her gloves to switch on the lights" that decorated the town of Worksop.

"Usually well-informed diplomatic sources," told the AP that they doubted that Leopold was involved in a romance, but his brother, who "suddenly arrived in England yesterday," might "figure in any English romance."

The Times reported that the Count of Flanders (Prince Charles) had arrived in England for "a private visit," but he was not staying at Welbeck Abbey. Prince Charles, who attended Eton and Dartmouth, visited Britain often, as he had numerous friends among the British aristocracy.

Diplomatic sources noted "it was likely that Leopold had come to England merely as an attentive son," who was accompanying his mother on a visit to the Portlands, who were close friends of her husband, King Albert, who died in 1934.

The King and the Queen Mother's secretaries both issued official denials of the romance. Lady Anne was also asked about the rumor, and she answered: "I am sorry, I can say nothing at all.

Three weeks before this visit, King Leopold had paid a state visit to the United Kingdom.

According to an Associated Press Biographical Sketch of Prince Charles, the Prince "enjoys his freedom from marriage ties, shuns society and loves to retire to his Raversyde bungalow in Ostend."

The Prince will never marry, according to his entourage, "unless he falls suddenly and hopelessly in love." The report added that the Prince "much enjoyed the reports of his supposed engagement to Lady Anne Cavendish-Bentinck," when he visited England "at the end of November 1937. [The visit was actually in early December.)

"They absolutely want me to give up bachelorship," the prince told Baron Robert Goffinet, who had accompanied him on the trip. "But I'm afraid that they will have to wait several years more to come."

The profile was written in December 1937.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Princess Maria Theresa loves her pets

December 29, 1888

Princess Maria Theresa of Bavaria "combines an uncommon taste for traveling with a passion for domestic pets," according to a report in the St. James' Gazette, and reprinted in the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The princess, who is unmarried, likes to take her pets with her, and she is "attended in her wanderings by a maid of honor and a chamberlain," who is in charge of looking after the fourteen pets, which include "several dogs, two magpies, an enormous rate and a diminutive bear."

Coal gas kills Prince, wife

December 29, 1942 

 The Associated Press reports today that Prince Albrecht of Schaumburg-Lippe and his commoner wife died of coal-gas poisoning on Christmas eve at their home in Linz, Austria. The AP picked up the report from the German Transocean news agency. 

The 73-year-old prince was the son of the late Prince Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe. In 1897, he married Duchess Elsa of Württemberg.  She died in 1936. 

Three years later, he married a commoner Maria Herget.

Prince Albrecht is survived by three children, Wilhelm, Franz Josef, and Bathildis, who is the wife of Wolrad, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe.

Archduchess Maria dead at 35

December 29, 1936

Archduchess Maria of Austria died today in a sanitarium at Innsbruck. She was 35 years old. She was the seventh child of Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria and his wife, Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria,  the youngest child of the late Emperor Franz Josef of Austria.

Archduchess Maria was unmarried. The cause of death has not been reported.

William Leeds may wed Princess Olga

December 29, 1920

The latest rumor in court circles concerns William Leeds, the wealthy 18-year-old son of Princess Anastasia of Greece, may wed Princess Olga of Greece, who is the niece of Anastasia's husband, Prince Christopher.
Young William inherited $7,000,000 in 1908 following the death of his father, William Bateman Leeds, the "tin plate king."

Will the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess reconcile?

December 29, 1902 

 The Marquise de Fontenoy is reporting "improbable though it may sound, there are prospects of a reconciliation" between Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig and his wife, Victoria Melita. Although they were divorced "in due form and in a sensational manner," due to charges of incompatibility, there "is nothing to stand in the way of a reconciliation between the young people if they can only decide to get along with one another" without further problems.

 Family members are striving to bring "about this understanding." 

The grand duke "has found no one else whom he cares to wed," and the grand duchess, described as high-spirited, is not "only fancy-free but tired of the dreary life she is compelled to live" in Coburg. The Marquise notes that Victoria Melita misses all the festivities and state functions. 

both images:  Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

It is now "exceedingly probable" that Ernst Ludwig and Victoria Melita will remarry, and the grand duchess will "once more take up the position in which she is so particularly well qualified to scintillate." 

The Marquise has also suggested that the couple's young daughter, Elisabeth, who divides her time between her parents' homes, is helping toward reconciliation.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Charles writes to injured soldiers

I normally do not like to provide links to tabloid papers, but the Mirror's story about Prince Charles writing person letters to every injured British soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is an exception.

This story should be on the front page of every British paper!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dancing King ... in waiting

Put on your tap shoes and start dancing!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Nils Prinz von Sachsen and wife expect baby

Nils Prinz von Sachsen and his new wife, Jedida, a Dresden lawyer, announce that they expect their first child in 2009.

and they call this art?


New evidence??

What is Christopher Wilson smoking? The British writer is at work on a biography of the late Prince George, Duke of Kent, and claims he has uncovered new evidence about plans to bypass the Yorks and give the throne to the Kents in the abdication crisis in 1936.
Memo to Wilson: This is not news. This is not new information! This was openly and publicly discussed on both sides of the Atlantic in December 1936. There are references to the possibilities in the New York Times and other newspapers. Historians and biographers have mentioned the topic in their works.
It would have taken an act of Parliament to change the succession, and excludes the Duke of York and his daughters and the Duke of Gloucester. The Duke of Kent was married to Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, and they had an infant son, Edward. But the duke also had a closet full of scandals with young men and women, and had also suffered from drug abuse problems.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Queen's Christmas message

Rather interesting article about the Japanese Imperial family

And if you think the European Royals live in fish bowls, think again?

Happy Birthday Queen Silvia

Today is Queen Silvia of Sweden's 65th birthday!,,3897321,00.html

and no plans to retire

Little King Michael runs railroad

December 23, 1928

Seven-year-old King Michael of Roumania "scrambled into the cab" of a new Roumanian built railroad that was christened "King Mihai I" by his grandmother, Queen Marie. The entire Roumanian royal family was presented for the ceremony. The railroad's conductor "explained the workings of the different mechanical parts" to the little king, who then astounded everyone "by explaining in detail how, in comparison, an electric locomotive runs." His mother, Princess Helen, had given him as a Christmas present a miniature model train.
With the driver on one side and with his Aunt Ileana on the other side of the cab, Michael rode the new freight train for "a distance of a mile amid many cheers from the crowd."

A daughter for Louise and Carlos

December 23, 1910

Princess Louise of Bourbon-Two Sicilies gave birth to a daughter today in Madrid. Louise is the wife of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies. They married in at Wood Norton, England in 1907. The Princess, who was born Louise of France, is Don Carlos' second wife. His first wife, Infanta Mercedes of Spain, died in childbirth in 1904.
Louise and Carlos have two children, Carlos, who was born in 1908, and 11-month-old Dolores.
No name has been announced, but it would not be a surprise if Carlos chooses to name the baby to honor his first wife, Mercedes.

Louise of Saxony in Geneva with lover

December 23, 1902

Louise, the Crown Princess of Saxony, who fled her home near Salzburg eleven days ago, is now living in Geneva with her lover, Andre Giron, who was the tutor to her children. Staying at the same hotel is the princess' brother, Archduke Leopold, and a beautiful Viennese woman, whom he wants to marry. But both families are against the marriage.
Rumors about Louise's reconciliation with her husband, the Crown Prince of Saxony, are baseless, according to press reports. Her brother has renounced his archducal title and will take the name Leopold Wolfing. He is "noted for his artistic inclinations and for frequenting bourgeoisie households." Leopold has also resigned his military commissions and returned his orders to the Emperor.
He is expected to marry his Viennese companion. The Archduke was once secretly engaged to Donna Elvira, the second daughter of Duke Carlos, who eloped with "Count Filippo Folochi" in 1896. Leopold is said to be "regarded as weak mentally," and he "professes to extreme radical and almost anarchist views."

In the meantime, King Georg of Saxony and Crown Prince Friedrich have accepted that the separation is irreparable, and a divorce is possible. Louise has made it known that she could no longer endure the "forced companionship of a man who was loathsome to her." She had written to her mother, who implored with Louise to stay with her family for the sake of her children, but to see the Crown Prince as little as possible. Louise told her entourage that she was going to visit her parents in Salzburg. If Louise hoped that her parents would see her side of the story, she was mistaken. Her mother and father reminded her of her duty as a wife, and as an Austrian archduchess. Her brother, Archduke Leopold, took her side, much to their parents' chagrin.
The theory is that Louise is "suffering from a mental aberration is now only feebly propagated by the Saxon court."
Louise and her brother fled from their parents' home and traveled to Munich, where they met up with Professor Giron and the Viennese woman. They traveled from there to Brussels and then onto Geneva, where they are all now ensconced in a Geneva hotel.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wall Street Journal interview with the Duke de Vendome

An interesting profile-cum-interview with Prince Jean, Duke de Vendome. I love the bit about sending a birthday card to the Prince of Wales, and getting a reply from the secretary.

Click on the video for an interview with Prince Jean.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Martha must pay taxes on house

December 19, 1940

Crown Princess Martha of Norway learned today that she must pay Maryland income tax if she continues to live in the state. She is leasing a house in Bethesda, Maryland. Both Norwegian minister and the Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles questioned the tax on the Princess. Welles said: "Her Royal Highness came to the United States upon the invitation of this government, and is a guest in this country under unusual circumstances."
Princess Martha's status as a guest in the country has no relevancy to not paying state income tax in Maryland is the legal view, however.

Royal Guests at White House Dinner

December 19, 1940

Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands was the guest of honor at a dinner tonight at the White House, hosted by President and Mrs. Roosevelt. The Princess and her two young daughters, Beatrix and Irene, are visiting Washington from their exile in Canada. Also attending the dinner was Crown Princess Martha of Norway, who is living in exile, with her three children at Pook's Hill, near Bethesda, Maryland. Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, the widow of the late president, also attended the dinner.

Wladimir has left Paris

December 19, 1938

Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia has left Paris by car and is en route to Amorbach, where he will spend Christmas with his sister, Marie and her husband, the Prince of Leiningen. He will also visit with his sister, Kira, and her husband, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. But he has made it clear that he will not be meeting with Hitler.

Crown Prince Umberto rushes to sister's side

December 19, 1936

Crown Prince Umberto of Italy is now in Germany visiting his sister, Mafalda, Princess Philipp of Hesse, who is seriously ill with influenza. Queen Elena has already been with Mafalda for several days, but when Mafalda's conditioned worsened, Umberto left Italy to be with his sister.

Athens in a frenzy as king returns

December 20, 1920

King Constantine arrived today in Athens just before noon, and received a tumultuous welcome. Great crowds waited for hours for the king's return to his capital "after a long exile." The people "seemed delirious with joy." Queen Mother Olga and Princess Anastasia, wearing chinchilla furs and matching hats, were standing in the royal group at the railroad station as Constantine's train steamed into Athens. The festivities were like Christmas eve celebrations and Athenians were seen to be waving olive branches and other symbols of peace.
At the Thanksgiving service to celebrate the King's return, Queen Sophie, overcome with emotion, actually fainted toward the end of the service, and was carried out by her husband and eldest son.

Prince Friso donates to Clinton's foundation

From Dutch News, an English-language service:

Former President Clinton will not be able to accept foreign contributions if his wife, Hillary, is approved as President Obama's Secretary of State.

Prince Friso is the second son of Queen Beatrix. He is no longer a dynast as he did not seek official approval for his marriage.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

John Quincy Adam's line of descent

Some may wonder how John Quincy Adams descends from Edward I - Eleanore of Castille
who had a son Edward III married to Isabella of France - and they had a son, Edward III (1312-1377) m. Philippa of Hainault (1311-1369)

2. John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster (1340-1398)
m(3) Catherine Swynford ROET (1350-1403)
3. Henry Beaufort, Cardinal (1375-1447) m. Alice FitzAlan
4. Joan BEAUFORT (1391-) m. Edward STRADLING (1380-1453)
5. Henry STRADLING (1423-) m. Elizabeth HERBERT
6. Thomas STRADLING (1454-1480) m. Janet MATHEW (-1485)
7. Jane STRADLING (1477-1520) m. William GRIFFITH
8. Dorothy GRIFFITH m. William WILLIAMS
9. Jane WILLIAMS m. William COYTMORE
10. Rowland COYTMORE (-1626) m. Katherine MILES (-1659)
11. Elizabeth COYTMORE (1617-) m. William TYNG (1605-1653)
12. Anna TYNG (1640-1709) m. Thomas SHEPARD (1635-1677)
13. Anna (Hannah) SHEPARD (1663-1708) m. Daniel QUINCY (1651-1690)
14. John QUINCY (1689-1767) m. Elizabeth NORTON (1696-)
15. Elizabeth QUINCY (1722-1775) m. William SMITH (1707-1783)
16. Abigail SMITH (1744-1818) m. John ADAMS President (1735-1826)
17. John Quincy ADAMS President (1767-1848)

John Quincy Adams is also a descendant, of course, of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Countess Estelle Bernadotte arrives in the US

December 18, 1948

Countess Estelle Manville, the American-born widow of Count Folke Bernadotte, the UN Mediator who was assassinated in September in Jerusalem, arrived in New York today. She and her two sons, Folke, 17, and 13-year-old Bertil flew on a Scandinavian Airlines System flight from Stockholm to New York International Airport, Idlewild, Queens. The family was met at the airport by the Countess' brother and sister-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. H.E. Manville, Jr. The Countess told reporters that she and sons will return to Sweden on January 11.

Bourbon-Orleans - Brazilian wedding

December 18, 1944

"Royalty flowered again in the pomp and pageantry of Spanish tradition" today as Princess Esperanza of Bourbon-Orleans and Prince Pedro de Alcantara of Brazil were married at Seville's Cathedral. The couple were married in a civil ceremony yesterday.
Members of "practically all of Europe's royal houses either were in attendance or sent representatives" to the wedding, which was presided by the Seville's Archbishop.
The bride was escorted to the altar by her father, Don Carlos, and the groom was escorted by his mother, Princess Elisabeth.
Five thousands guests and spectators were in the cathedral and many more observed the proceedings from balconies and the street outside the cathedral.
Approximately 100 guests attended the wedding luncheon. Although neither Queen Victoria Eugenia nor General Franco were present for the wedding, Infanta Beatriz was among the guests. Princess Esperanza's sister, Maria, is married to the Count of Barcelona.

Wladimir proclaimed as Czar

Embed from Getty Images 

 December 18, 1939 

 Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia has been proclaimed "as the rightful claimant to the toppled Russian throne." Nearly 5000 former aristocrats, officers, and soldiers who now live in exile "thronged a public hall" near Paris's War ministry to "pay homage to the 21-year-old pretender." 

Due to the meeting, Paris "was short of taxicabs this afternoon" as many titled Russian emigrés now drive cabs for a living. Young Wladimir was dressed in a dark business suit as he stood before "an altar under an Imperial Russian banner during the high mass and reading of his proclamation." 

This is the first formal recognition of Wladimir as the Czar since his father's death on October 12. He will leave for Berlin tomorrow and will spend the Christmas holidays with his sisters, Grand Duchess Marie, who is married to the Prince of Leiningen, and Grand Duchess Kira, the wife of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia. Wladimir told reporters that he has no plans to meet with Hitler and is "not interested" in any offer of a throne in Ukraine.

Princess Xenia returns home

December 18, 1934

Princess Xenia of Russia, who was once married to William Leeds, son of the late Princess Anastasia of Greece, has returned to her home on Long Island. She arrived today on board the Grace Line's Clara after a trip to Ecuador.
She told a reporter that she was still a Russian princess "for social purposes," but her legal name was now Miss Romanoff.

Scandal shakes Carol's crown

Embed from Getty Images 


December 18, 1934

There is now a movement in Roumania to oust King Carol II's mistress, Elena Lupescu, commonly known as Magda. In Bucharest, "the acrid debate raging about Mme. Lupescu's plump figure was rigidly suppressed," but diplomats in Vienna have been privy to "stenographic copies of speeches about her," according to a report in the Chicago Daily Tribune and other newspapers.

 However, King Carol has no plans to dump the daughter of a "Jewish junk dealer." [Note: Lupescu's parents converted to Roman Catholicism, and Elena was raised Roman Catholic.) 

From her self-imposed exile in Belgrade, where she is staying with her daughter, Queen Marie of Roumania has made it clear to her son that he should not "put Lupescu's love above the safety of the dynasty." Former premier Nikolai Jorga, who was once Carol's tutor, "defended him passionately" in a speech from the Senate. "If the king sinned," he said, "it is because he only human. Those who do not sin usually do not because they are not able."

Royal widows to spend Christmas together

December 18, 1922

Queen Alexandra, who is the widow of Edward VII, has invited her sister, Marie, and her sister-in-law, Louise, to join her for Christmas at Sandringham.

Marie Feodorovna, the former Princess Dagmar of Denmark, is the widow of Emperor Alexander III. Queen Louise is the widow of Frederik VIII of Denmark, who was Alexandra and Marie's brother.

Empress Marie living near Livadia

December 18, 1918

Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia is living near Livadia in the Crimea, and is apparently receiving letters purportedly from her son, Nicholas II, every ten days, according to Polish officers, who have reached Sebastapool.
Marie and her family are convinced that Nicholas II is still alive, according to a member of her household.

Otto zu Windisch-Graetz as the Belgian king?

December 18, 1914

According to a dispatch to the London Daily News, the Germans "are doing their utmost to force upon the Belgians the conviction that their country is definitely conquered." Belgium, according to the dispatch, will become a German state, and the Germans "hint" that the new ruler will be Prince Otto zu Windisch-Graetz, who is married to Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, the only child of the late Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and Princess Stephanie of Belgium.

Duchess of Orleans in criticial condition

December 18, 1910

The Duchess of Orleans remains in critical condition following surgery for appendicitis at her home in Wood Norton, Eversham. She "passed a comfortable night, but today her condition was considered critical."
The exiled King Manoel II of Portugal and his mother, Dowager Queen Amelie, are guests of the Duke and Duchess of Orleans. Due to the poor health of the duchess, she was unable to welcome her guests as she has been confined to bed for the past two months.

Queen Mary expects stork in March

December 18, 1910

Queen Mary's accouchement is expected to take place in March at Buckingham Palace. This will be the first birth at Buckingham Palace in fifty-four years. Queen Mary's last child was Prince John, who was born in July 1905.

John Adams

Must viewing is the superb HBO mini-series John Adams, which stars Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney, who was magnificient as Abigail Adams. Giamatti was also fine, but the definitive portrayal for many was acted by William Daniels on Broadway and in the movie version of the musical 1776.

Here in the US, the program is available on DVD. It would make a great stocking stuffer.

Some of written that John Adams has no royal descent. But here is a line from William the Conqueror.

Their children, which includes President John Quincy Adams, are descendants of Edward III through Abigail Adams (nee Smith, whose mother was Elizabeth Quincy.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Noble wedding

Hereditary Prince Carl-Christian zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich and Countess Christina Douglas were married on December 13 in a civil ceremony in Vienna.

The couple got to know each other in Vienna, where Prince Carl-Christian works for a Swedish bank. According to the groom's sister, the religious will take place during a warmer time of the year. Spring perhaps?
The groom is the elder son of Philipp-Rheinard, 8th Prince zu Solms-Hohensolms-Lich and Marie Fouché d'Otrante.
Marie's Aunt Margareta Fouchée d'Otrante, married to Gustav, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. Margareta's son, Richard, who is married to Princess Benedikte of Denmark, is Marie's first cousin.
Countess Christina is a cousin of Countess Leonille Douglas, who is married to the Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode.

Carl Christian and Christina are fourth cousins as both descend from Count Ludwig Douglas.,78596_regid,1_puid,1_pageid,48.html#null

Princess Steph told to leave the country

December 17, 1940

Princess Stephanie of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst has to leave the country, according to the Justice department, whch has denied her request for an extension of her visitor's permit. She was with Capt. Fritz Weidemann, the German consul in San Francisco, when federal agents located her and told her that she would face a deportation order if she did not leave the United States by December 21. The princess arrived in the USA on December 22, 1938 on a Hungarian passport. She received one extension to her visitor's visa, and requested a second extension on November 18. This extension was denied.
She is known to have a "close association with the Nazis."
A British Labour MP described the princess as a "notorious member of Hitler's spy organization."
No reason was given for the denial of the extension.
There was no comment from Princess Stephanie, who was born Stephanie Richter. In 1914, she married Prince Franz of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürt. They were divorced several years later.

Hermine celebrates 52nd birthday

December 17, 1938

Empress Hermine, the second wife of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, celebrated her 52nd birthday today at Doorn. She received "masses of telegrams, letters and flowers." Early in the day, she attended a church presided by her husband, and she was accompanied by her eldest son Hans Georg and her youngest daughter, Henriette. Tonight, a banquet was held in Hermine's honor and was attended by Queen Wilhelmina's commissioner for the province of Utrecht and other officials.

Afghan sovereigns flee

Embed from Getty Images

December 17, 1928 

 The King and Queen of Afghanistan have taken refuge in a fort, as the army has turned against them. King Amanullah and Queen Souriyah have been described in the western media as progressive and western, but the westernization of Afghanistan may have proved to be their downfall. The rebels, who are now in control of parts of Kabul and other areas, have not approved of the king's reforms or the queen's "desire to abolish Purdah or the seclusion of women." 

The queen has also spoken out against polygamy. King Amanullah began to institute western reforms after a successful European tour earlier this year. Afghanistan holds an "important strategic position" on the Indian frontier and its tranquility is "particularly desirable to the British." The west awaits news from Moscow about this rebellion as the Soviets "from time to time have evinced strong interest in Afghanistan."

 However, the Russian airmen and the Turkish military officers who are now in the service of the king are the targets of "popular hatred" by the rebels. The Soviet Union is not popular among "old-fashioned Moslems." 

  Embed from Getty Images 

The King's reforms, which were similar to reforms recently introduced in Turkey, another Moslem country, have not gone down well with the people, especially the Mullahs. Apart from the "special irritation" of the new codes and taxes, the hill people and their religious leaders were particularly offended at the proposal that women "should doff the veil" and emerge from seclusion. 

The mullahs and other conservative Muslims are also offended by the proposal to create co-education programs, where boys and girls share educational facilities.

 Although the king was advised by British friends to slow the pace, his directives were fast and furious. In September, government officials were no longer allowed to practice polygamy. A month later, came the order to adopt the Western dress, even though few tailors in the country could cut the European trousers, and "suitable cloth" had to be imported from India "at great expense." This was an unpopular decree on several levels, including economic. 

Western dress also has meant adopting western habits. Chairs had to be bought because it is largely impossible to sit cross-legged on the floor, and "wearers of Western sleeves could no longer plunge their right hands and wrists into a dish, but must buy knives and forks." 

The Shinwaris and their mullahs are against the Western reforms and the Kabulis are protesting the "sartorial reform a la Turque." The British will not interfere with this rebellion because of the anger against the western reforms.

[King Amanullah Khan (1892-1960) was the Emir of Afghanistan from 1919 until 1926 when he became King of Afghanistan.   On January 14, 1920, he abdicated and fled to British India.   He and his consort, Soraya Tarzi (1899-1968).  They married in 1913.  Queen Soraya was Amanullah's only wife,  She was the first Muslim consort to appear in public with her husband.

Soraya supported women's rights including education. By the late 1920s, she was considered one of the most influential women in the world, a major achievement for an Islamic king's consort.   The queen's father, Mahmud Tarzi, was an important figure in modern Afghanistan's history.  He shared many ideas with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who established a secular Turkey.  

Tarzi was very much opposed to religious fundamentalism and worked toward a modern Afghanistan.  His son-in-law embraced his ideas, but unfortunately for King Amanullah, Afghanistan was not ready to embrace secularism and western ideas.

The king and queen supported equal rights, a modern constitution, and established schools for girls and boys.  During his reign, women were no longer required to wear traditional clothing.

Afghanistan's move toward modernization led to several uprisings including the Khost rebellion in 1925.  This uprising did not succeed, but the king's ideas were not embraced by the entire country, especially the conservative religious leaders.   

Amanullah's foreign policy focused on the two countries, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, that wanted to control Afghanistan and other parts of the region.  

Civil war raged throughout the country.  The king relinquished  his throne in favor of his brother, Inayatullah Khan Seraj, who reigned for three days before the leader 

The King and Queen and their family settled in Rome, where they lived for many years. He died in Switzerland on April 25, 1960.

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a cup of coffee

Princess to give up rank for love

December 17, 1922

Princess Marie Rose of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein is to "descend from royal rank and give her heart and hand to a lowly school teacher in Bartenstein named Waldemeier."

The Princess has succeeded in "overcoming opposition" from her parents, the Prince and Princess of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein. Her mother is the former Archduchess Anna of Austria. This is a true love match, and the princess and her suitor have gone to Salzburg to "obtain the consent of her grandmother, the Grand Duchess of Tuscany."

Note: the groom's name is Josef Hugo Waldenmeier.

Archduke Maximilian to head Imperial House?

December 17, 1918

A meeting of monarchists was held today in Vienna, according to a report in the New York Times. A number of Generals were present.
Archduke Maximilian, who is the brother of the former Emperor Karl, has been nominated as the successor to the Crown.
In a dispatch from Vienna, the Socialists "intend to take sharp measures against the monarchists."

The article does not say why a monarchist group would nominate Archduke Maximilian over the former emperor and his young son, Crown Prince Otto.

Queen Victoria's condition worsens

December 17, 1916

There has been an official announcement from Stockholm concerning the health of Queen Victoria.
"The condition of Queen Victoria has grown worse. The temperature has risen slightly and there is increased catarrah in the lungs."
Queen Victoria is the former Princess Victoria of Baden. She is the consort of King Gustav V of Sweden.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Court Circular report

December 16, 1833. The Duchess of Kent "entertained a party" today at her apartment in Kensington Palace.

December 16, 1846. The Queen and Prince Albert today took their "usual early walk" in the grounds at Osborne House. Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, the Princess Royal and the Princess Alice today "took airings in the walks and rides of Osborne-house."

December 16, 1908. "The King went out just before noon in a motor brougham, driving as far as Newhaven and Seaford, and returning to Hove for luncheon. The weather [is] like an early spring. At Seaford, the King alighted from the brougham, and went for a brisk walk along the esplanade. There were very few people about, but the King stopped and chatted with some children who were at play. The early part of the afternoon was gloriously fine and the view over the sea was remarkably clear. Heavy clouds gathered about 4 o'clock, however, and His Majesty did not go out again."

Grand Duchess Marie arrives in New York

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December 16, 1928 

 Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna of Russia arrived today in New York on the French liner Paris. She is the daughter of the late Grand Duke Paul who was killed by the Bolsheviks on January 30, 1919. 

The Grand Duchess, who wore a "black Persian lamb coat and black hat with costume, stockings, and shoes to correspond, said she was in mourning for her aunt, Empress Marie, who died in October. The 38-year-old Grand Duchess is a "tall, rather slim brunette with an unaffected manner." 

In an interview with reporters, she said she learned English before Russian because her governesses and tutors were all English. She was asked about the young woman who claims to be Grand Duchess Anastasia. "Do you think that it is worth discussing now?" she replied. "It is not interesting, and the story is old." The Grand Duchess was asked if she believed the woman's claim. "Of course, I do not believe it." 

Grand Duchess Marie told reporters that she has come to America "to gratify a long-felt desire, and I am totally looking forward to my journey across this great country to California, where I am to be the guest of Mrs. William R. Hearst at her ranch near Santa Barbara." She said she expects to spend two months in America. 

"One of my chief objects is to study education and visit some of the large industrial plants. No one's education is complete without a visit to America, and I think Russians and Americans understand each other." Marie Pavlovna noted that there are 2 million Russian exiles living throughout the world, "and I want to see what chances there are of their coming to America to make a home in a new country." 

The Grand Duchess has been married twice. Her first husband was Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, whom she married in 1908. The marriage was annulled by imperial decree in 1914. Three years later, she married Prince Serge Poutiatine. When she was asked if the Prince lived in Paris, where Marie has resided for more than seven years, she replied tersely: "I am not married now." She also told reporters about her embroidery factory that she has run in the Rue Montaigne in Paris, "which was successfully operated by herself along commercial lines." 

The Grand Duchess has one son, Prince Lennart of Sweden, who turns 21-years-old, next May.

Grand Duchess sails for Europe

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 December 16, 1924 

 Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, "looking much better in health and spirits than she did on her arrival in New York ten days ago," sailed today for home on board the France. She will return to Coburg to rejoin her husband, Grand Duke Kirill, and their children. 

She told reporters that she believed that different Russian factions will unite to "oust the Soviet government when the time is ripe." She also said that she believed that her husband's proclamation as head of the Russian throne "would be regarded in a favorable light" when the monarchy is restored "sometime in the future." 

The Grand Duchess, who is a British princess by birth, met with reporters in her suite on the C deck, denied that she had collected funds for Russian relief during her stay in the States. "I found American society most charming and cordial," she said in a response to a question about her visit. "Everyone received me so kindly." But when she was asked if Russians who live in the States are supportive of restoring the monarchy, she replied: "That is a political matter, and I do not care to comment upon the subject." 

She added: "I will go to Paris and be there for several days before I leave for Coburg to rejoin my family. This is my first visit to America, and I have enjoyed it very much. I hope to come here again someday, but I cannot say when that may be." Before sailing, the Grand Duchess presented "an appreciation portrait" to the four detectives of the bomb squad who had guarded her during her visit here. She wore a "plain dark blue traveling suit with a sable coat, pearl earrings, a rare pearl set in a massive ring on her left hand, and two flowers, a yellow and tan orchid and a large pink rose." She also hosted "an informal reception" for the American and Russian friends who came to see her off.

"Dollar Princess" will run Greek Society

December 16, 1920

The London Evening News is reporting that with the return of King Constantine, the former Mrs. William Leeds, who is married to the king's brother, Christopher, will "take her place at the head of Greek society."
The report continues: "She drew up an ambitious scheme for reimbursing the Greek exchequer for the loss it was threatened with when the Allies first issued the warning that they would withdraw their advances. It was contemplated the conversion of Greece into a super-Monte Carlo, with casinos and hotels on a scale hitherto undreamed of. With the country's climate and influence in the United States she believed could attract to Greece the American millionaires who now Winter on the Riviera.
"Princess Christopher, as she now is, has for some time been preparing for her triumphal entry into Greece and has ordered an elaborate trousseau of purple and white from Paris."

Constantine and Sophie are en route home

December 16, 1920

King Constantine and Queen Sophie of the Hellenes and their children have boarded a Greek cruiser in Venice and are now en route to Phaleron. Dowager Queen Olga with the Princes and Princesses will be in Phaleron to welcome the King and Queen. This will be the first public appearance of Princess Christopher, formerly Mrs. William Leeds.
Constantine will ride into Athens in a chariot drawn by six horses.

Princess Christopher vists Mme Manos

December 16, 1920

Princess Christopher of Greece today visited Mme Manos, the widow of the late King Alexander. The Princess has shown "special solicitude to Alexander's morganatic wife.
Aspasia Manos, who is pregnant with the king's child, is living in seclusion in the Crown Prince's former residence. This is a temporary arrangement as the Greek royal family is returning to Greece, due to the recent election that re-established the monarchy.
Aspasia is living in straightened circumstances as she awaits the probate of the king's will, which recognizes Aspasia as Alexander's heir. His estate is worth about $175,000.

Monday, December 15, 2008

what a fuss about BYOB

I don't understand why people would get into a snit about bringing a bottle of wine to a party. It is customary here in the US to bring a dish or a bottle when invited to a party. I am going to two parties this weekend. I will bring a seven-layer Fiesta dip with tortilla chips for the first party, and the second party, I will be making an appetizer that will involve shrimp and prosciutto.

new profile on the duke of York

Norwegian royal family has a weenie roast

Yes, it is Norwegian. You can click on the video and watch the Norwegian royal family build a snowman and roast hot dogs.

Princess Henry arrives in Hong Kong

December 15, 1898

Princess Henry of Prussia arrived in Hong Kong today. She will spend Christmas in Hong Kong with her husband, Prince Henry, and in February will proceed to Kiao-Chau.
The princess is the former Princess Irene of Hesse and By Rhine. Her husband is the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

It's Charles Philip Arthur George

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December 15, 1948

HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh was baptized today. The little prince was a "star performer." The Baptism was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in Buckingham Palace's Music Room.

Princess Margaret, who is one of the prince's godmothers, held the infant as she presented him to the Archbishop for baptism.

 Six of the eight godparents were present for the ceremony, which included a choir of boy singers. The godparents are King George VI (grandfather), Queen Mary (great-grandmother), Princess Margaret (aunt), the Dowager Marchioness of Milford-Haven (great-grandmother), Lady Brabourne (the Duke of Edinburgh's first cousin), David Bowes-Lyon (Princess Elizabeth's uncle), King Haakon VII of Norway (great-great uncle), and Prince George of Greece (the Duke of Edinburgh's uncle). King Haakon and Prince George were not able to attend the ceremony and were represented by the Earl of Athlone (Queen Mary's brother) and the Duke of Edinburgh, respectively.

 The little prince slept through most of the 30-minute ceremony. Earlier in the day, the Registrar of Births came to Buckingham Palace, where the Duke of Edinburgh officially registered Charles' birth.

Water from the River Jordan was used to baptize the prince.

Grand Duke Wladimir to visit Germany

December 15, 1938

Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia, who is considered by many to be the Czar in exile, left London for Paris today en route for Germany, where he is expected to spend Christmas with his sister, Grand Duchess Kira and her husband, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia.
However, the grand duke's friends have told an Associated Press reporter that they "decline to take seriously published reports that he might have a plan in Hitler's ambitions to set up a Ukrainian state."
The Grand Duke's spokesman said that Wladimir "might or might not" make a courtesy call on Hitler during the four days that he will be with his family.

Little Prince shows waving skill

December 15, 1936

British newspapers today featured photographs of Prince Edward of Kent, "waving gayly, registering pleased curiosity, smiling and laughing." According to the Associated Press, this was the first time where photographers had received a formal invitation to "rally round a member of the royal family and snap pictures at will." The 14-month-old prince, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, is apparently designated to become the royal family's "personality prince."
The Duchess of Kent is expected to give birth to a second child later this month.

Royal children send toys to the miners' families

December 15, 1928

Princess Elizabeth and her cousins, the Hon. George and Hon. Gerald Lascelles, are sending toys and clothing to the children of unemployed miners in Durham and Northumberland. The gifts from the Lascelles boys include toys and heavy shoes for the cold winter months.
The items and the letters were sent to Newcastle's Lord Mayor from the Duchess of York's private secretary and Princess Mary's lady-in-waiting.

Princess has too many toys

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 December 15, 1928 

 Princess Elizabeth's nurse is in a quandary. What is she to do with all the toys that Princess Elizabeth has received. The two-year-old princess is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, and third in line to the British throne, after her uncle, the Prince of Wales, and her father. In the nursery at the Yorks' London home, the two cupboards are filled with toys, and more are expected to arrive in time for Christmas. 

But the princess's nurse does not allow her to play with all of her toys at the same time and selects only a few toys for the princess to play with. The "tiny golden-haired Princess is quite content with the arrangement," and she spends hours playing with her dolls and two dogs, a Sealyham terrier, which is her own pet, and her mother's Golden Retriever. 

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 Sometimes, her two cousins, George and Gerald Lascelles, join her in the nursery. The little boys are the sons of Princess Mary and Lord Lascelles. Princess Elizabeth is "fascinated by story books about animals and golliwogs. She is reaching an age when she is fascinated by adventure stories, and no doubt, she will hear exciting stories from her uncle, the Prince of Wales, after his African trip, that "will make her big blue eyes open still wider with wonder."

Danish sovereigns visit the Pope

December 15, 1920

King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark were received today by Pope Benedict. The meeting between the head of the Roman Catholic Church and the Danish sovereigns, who are Lutheran, took place in the Pope's private library. The meeting lasted for about 30 minutes.
The Pope thanked the king for his help with a papal proposal to the Bolshevik government to allow members of the Russian imperial family come to Rome and "be maintained at the expense of the Pontiff."
This was the first visit to the Vatican by a Danish sovereign in 500 years. KIng Christian I visited Rome in 1474.

Princess Heinrich of Reuss arrives in NYC with son

December 15, 1908

After a record breaking trip over land and sea to reach her ill son in Havana, Princess Heinrich Reuss sailed into quarantine today aboard the steamer Havana. She is accompanied by her son, a German officer, who had been taken ill and needed surgery in Cuba. He served aboard the Charlotte, which was stationed in Havana's harbor.

When she first received word of her son's illness, she traveled to London to catch the first boat train where she barely made it time to board the Lusitania en route for New York. As the ship passed Sandy Hook, New Jersey, the princess was able to disembark and get on a tug to take her to the railroad station in Jersey City, where she caught a south-bound express train. The final leg of the journey was made by a steamer from Key West to Havana. Officials in Washington had given permission for the special disembarking so the princess could catch the train.
Princess Heinrich and her son will return to Europe next week.

Norwegian sovereigns receive warm welcome in Potsdam

December 15, 1906

King Haakon VII, Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav arrived in Potsdam today, and received a warm welcome from Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Emperor kissed Haakon on both cheeks, and then kissed Maud's hand. Both the Emperor and Empress kissed the three-year-old Crown Prince.
At an official dinner tonight at the Neues Palais, the Emperor proposed a toast to King Haakon's health. He also spoke of his affection for Norway, referring to his visits to the Norwegian coast, and of his personal gifts and the gifts of the German people to Aslesund, which was destroyed by fire in 1904.
King Haakon thanked Wilhelm for his "many evidences of friendship." He raised a toast and proposed the health of the German Emperor and the Imperial Family. Earlier today, the king called upon the Crown Prince and Prince Eitel Friedrich and presented them with Order of St. Olaf.
Wilhelm II and Queen Maud are first cousins.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Time magazine and Grand Duke Henri,8599,1865825,00.html

Margaret visits Lord Blandford

December 12, 1948

British tongues are wagging today over news that Princess Margaret, 18, is spending the weekend at Blenheim Palace, the home of the Duke of Marlborough and his very eligible 22-year-old son, the Marquess of Blandford. Last night, the young marquess took the Princess to the theatre, where they saw the American musical "High Button Shoes."
It is entirely possible, say matchmakers, that an engagement between the young duke and the pretty princess will be announced before Margaret's 19th birthday in August.

Duke of York proclaimed as king

December 12, 1936

The Duke of York has been proclaimed King George VI, as he has succeeded his elder brother,Edward VIII, who has abdicated and has now arrived in France and is en route to Vienna. One of the new king's decrees was to name his brother as Duke of Windsor. It was also announced that George VI's elder daughter, Princess Elizabeth, will not be styled as Princess of Wales as this title is reserved for the heir apparent to the throne. Princess Elizabeth is the heiress presumptive, and can be superseded by a younger brother.
Queen Mary also issued a statement denying press reports that she had any conversations with Mrs. Simpson during the last year.

Prince of Wales en route to Spain

December 12, 1926

The Prince of Wales is in Perpignan, France, where he will spend the night before crossing the border into Spain. The heir to the British throne is expected to spend the Christmas holidays in Spain, and will visit several cities including Madrid and Seville, and will also visit Gibraltar. This will be the Prince's second visit to Spain in six months, and his interest in the country may be due to a certain 17-year-old Infanta Beatriz, the elder daughter of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Ena.

A bride for the Prince of Wales

December 12, 1920

Has a bride been found for the Prince of Wales? London is now talking about Lady Margaret Scott, who is the daughter of the Duke of Buccleuch, who is said to be the current favaorite. Lady Margaret is expected to accompany her father to London for Queen Alexandra's birthday celebrations.
Finding a future queen is a national sport and an "absorbing problem in Britain, despite the Irish, labor and eastern crises confronting the English."

The Los Angeles Times's gossip columnist "Lady Mary" ponders the question of an American bride for the Prince of Wales. Such a question apparently arouses indignation, and the response from the British appears: He could NOT! And if he could he WOULDN'T!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Princess Gloria of Thurn und Taxis

A rather interesting interview with the Princess of Thurn und Taxis from Sunday's New York Times Magazine:

Parliament ends Edward's reign; Duke of York succeeds

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December 11, 1936

Today Parliament ended the reign of King Edward VIII by passing the the Abdication Bill. In his last act as Sovereign, Edward gave his assent to the bill, thus ending his own reign. The bill included several provisions that excludes the former king from ever regaining the throne. His descendants will also be excluded from the succession, and he will also be exempt from the Royal Marriages Act, which means the former king will not need his brother's permission to marry Mrs. Simpson.

The former king went to Windsor Castle for a final radio broadcast to the nation.

"At long last I am able to say a few words of my own. I have never wanted to withhold anything, but until now it has not been constitutionally possible for me to speak.

A few hours ago I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor, and now that I have been succeeded by my brother, The Duke of York, my first words must be to declare my allegiance to him. This I do with all my heart.

You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the Throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the Empire which as Prince of Wales, and lately as King, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve. But you must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.

And I want you to know that the decision I have made has been mine and mine alone. This was a thing I had to judge entirely for myself. The other person most nearly concerned has tried up to the last to persuade me to take a different course. I have made this, the most serious decision of my life, only upon the single thought of what would in the end be best for all.

This decision has been made less difficult to me by the sure knowledge that my brother, with his long training in the public affairs of this country and with his fine qualities, will be able to take my place forthwith, without interruption or injury to the life and progress of the Empire. And he has one matchless blessing, enjoyed by so many of you and not bestowed on me - a happy home with his wife and children.

During these hard days I have been comforted by Her Majesty my mother and by my family. The Ministers of the Crown, and in particular Mr Baldwin, the Prime Minister, have always treated me with full consideration. There has never been any constitutional difference between me and them and between me and Parliament. Bred in the constitutional tradition by my father, I should never have allowed any such issue to arise.

Ever since I was Prince of Wales, and later on when I occupied the Throne, I have been treated with the greatest kindness by all classes of the people, wherever I have lived or journeyed throughout the Empire. For that I am very grateful.

I now quit altogether public affairs, and I lay down my burden. It may be some time before I return to my native land, but I shall always follow the fortunes of the British race and Empire with profound interest, and if at any time in the future I can be found of service to His Majesty in a private station I shall not fail.

And now we all have a new King. I wish him, and you, his people, happiness and prosperity with all my heart. God bless you all. God Save The King."

Former King Edward VIII then left the castle, and was taken to Portsmouth, where he boarded a ship to take him into exile. It is not known if he join Mrs. Simpson, who is in France.

The new King, George VI, will be proclaimed tomorrow.

Ileana to busy to wed

December 11, 1928

Princess Ileana returned to Bucharest today after a visit to Sweden. She was asked if she had gone to Sweden to find a "marriageable prince." The princess smiled and responded: "I have far too many things to do to think of getting engaged or married."

No official honors for Victoria Feodorovna

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 December 11, 1924

"Careful plans" have been made for Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna's visit to Washington, D.C., where society leaders will treat her as if she were a reigning empress. All sorts of pressure has been put on Washington officials refused to give the visit an "official flavor." The State Department "sat tight," and apart from a small honor guard of policeman, which were provided by the City government, the Grand Duchess did not receive an official welcome to the Nation's capital when she arrived at Union Station.

The Grand Duchess' hosts also requested that she be should be welcomed to the capital in the President's room at Union Station, where dignitaries receive the official welcome of the American government. Instead, Victoria Feodorovna, who is a British princess by birth, had to walk through the main waiting room with everyone else.

The Grand Duchess was taken straight to her hotel. In the evening, she was the guest of honor at a ball in aid of Russian relief.

During her two-day visit, the Grand Duchess will attend several events, where she may meet government officials, but only in a social setting.
There are no plans for the Grand Duchess to meet President Coolidge. Nor will the First Lady be at any of the social events as she is out of town.

The American government has not recognized any government for Russia, so it would be impossible to "take official notice" of the visit of a Russian Grand Duchess, even if she is a British princess and the sister of Queen Marie of Roumania.

Constantine gets the call

December 11, 1920

King Constantine has received the official results of the plebiscite that has restored the Greek monarchy. The Greek government has notified the king that a cruiser and several warships will provide an escort. The family had planned to travel via Brindisi, due to Queen Sophie's health, but this has been changed to the King and his family taking an ordinary train from Lucerne to Venice. Crown Prince George will leave Roumania on a Greek cruiser and will "meet his father's ship on the high seas and will be transferred to it."
King Constantine will arrive in Greece on December 19. "Colossal and costly preparations are being made" to welcome the king and the royal family back to Greece.
Queen Sophie has said that she "will revive the court" and again work with with children who suffer from tuberculosis. She also intends to introduce the study of the English language.

Prince Francis of Teck to be a stock broker

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December 11, 1902

In her column in the Chicago Daily Tribune, the Marquise de Fontenoy reports that Prince Francis of Teck is about to become a member of the stock exchange.He would not be the first relative of the royal family to dabble in finance. The Duke of Fife, who is married to King Edward VII's daughter, Louise, is one of London's leading bankers.

However, it is hoped that Francis "will be careful about his dealings. His sister, Mary, is the wife of the Prince of Wales, who is the heir to the British throne. It "would impair the prestige" of the British royal family if Prince Francis was unable to "fulfill his engagements on the stock exchange." He has already gotten into trouble on the racecourse, when his family had to come to aid to the tune of $50,000. However, the stock exchange is largely the last opportunity open to "an impecunious prince in England," who has left the army, and "for whom there is no opening in the church."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A cheer for the Crown Princess' foundation

Crown Princess Katherine's foundation does great and glorious work. The White Palace is also a lovely place for a dinner, as I can attest. In July 2005, I had the honor of being invited to Crown Prince Alexander's 60th birthday party in Belgrade. The celebrations took place over four days, and included gala dinners at the White Place (the Beli Dvor) and the Royal Palace, both of which are located on the royal compound outside the city center.

There is no doubt that the Crown Princess' charity helps to make a difference in the lives of many Serbians.

It's Abdication as Edward quits throne

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December 10, 1936

Today at Fort Belvedere, King Edward VIII signed the act of abdication with his three brothers, the Dukes of York, Gloucester and Kent, as his only witnesses. His decision to renounce his throne for love will be "final and irrevocable." Edward will remain king until tomorrow when Parliament passes the Act of Abdication, and he signs it.

His reign will have been the shortest in 453 years, and the first English or British sovereign to have left on his own accord.

His brother, Prince Albert, Duke of York, will succeed as king, although it is likely that he will reign as George VI. The choice to use George has a reason, reports the New York Times. Once "this storm is over and the skies are clearing," Britain -- and the empire -- will want to get back to "ordered and quiet stability of the monarchy under the last king George."

Edward's position as a ex-King "are full of uncertainties," but he does not appear to be bothered by this. Officials describe the king as "cheerful" as he goes about supervising the packing of his belongings and dealing with State papers.

His financial position will not be known until early next year, when Parliament will prepare a new Civil list. It is understood that Queen Mary and her other children chipped in from their personal funds until the "nation has made some provision for their former King and Prince of Wales."

The King will give a radio broadcast tomorrow night at 10.p.m. The BBC will provide world-wide hookup, and American radio stations will broadcast the speech at 5 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

The soon-to-be ex-king will be leaving Britain after his speech, but is not expected to join Mrs. Simpson in Cannes, although it is expected that the two will finally wed once her divorce becomes final next spring.
Here is the text of the letter that the king sent to Prime Minister Baldwin and Parliament:,,127051,00.html

Princess Alexandra Victoria arrives in the US

December 10, 1926

Princess Alexandra Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, the former wife of Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia, has arrived in New York aboard the Hamburg.
The princess and Prince August Wilhelm, fourth son of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, were divorced several years ago. She has since remarried a commoner, and was interviewed by the press some months ago. "I am a thousand times happier managing my own home and supporting myself than I ever was breathing the muggy air at the Potsdam court."

Prince of Wales to visit Madrid

December 10, 1926

It was announced today that the Prince of Wales will visit Madrid in January. The reports are creating "great excitement" in Spain as the prince is expected to travel incognito, and will stay at the British embassy or a local hotel. The Prince will attend several functions at the Royal palace, which will be hosted by King Alfonso XIII and Queen Ena. The couple's "two charming" daughters, Infantas Beatriz and Cristina, will be present.
It is understood by many, although there is "the greatest reserve in court circles," about a proposed marriage between the Prince of Wales and his second cousin, Infanta Beatriz.

Princess Xenia and William Leeds deny divorce talks

December 10, 1926

William Leeds denied a London report that he will see a divorce in Paris from his wife, Princess Xenia of Russia.

William, a multimillionaire, is the son of the late William Leeds and Nancy Stewart, who later married Prince Christopher of Greece, whose sister, Marie, is Xenia's mother.
Mr. Leeds will sail today for the Bahamas, but Princess Xenia will remain behind in New York City, as she is awaiting her stepfather, Prince Christopher, who will arrive next week.
The Leeds are staying at the Ritz-Carlton, and their secretaries issued firm denials about a divorce.

Princess Helen gets out of Russia

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 December 10, 1918

Princess Helen of Russia, who is the wife of Prince Ioann Constantovich, reached Stockholm today on board a steamer from Petrograd. The princess was a prisoner of the Bolsheviks for several months, and was released "through the influence of the Norwegian legation." Also on board the steamer was Great Britain's last remaining representative in Russia, Vice Consul Parker.

Princess Helen is the daughter of King Peter of Serbia. Her husband, Prince Ioann, is presumed dead along with four other members of the Russian Imperial family. It is believed that Ioann and several Grand Dukes were thrown alive by the Bolsheviks into a mine near Ekaterinburg and "then killed with hand grenades." The New York Times recently reported that their remains had been found.

Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar to wed

December 10, 1902

The betrothal was announced today between Grand Duke Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar and Princess Caroline of Reuss.
The Grand Duke was born in 1876, and he succeeded in grandfather in January 1901. Caroline is the second daughter of the Prince of Reuss. She was born in 1881.

The Duchess of Connaught opens dam

December 10, 1902

The Duchess of Connaught today took part in laying the last stone of a new dam in Aswan, Egypt. Her husband, the Duke of Connnaught, who is a younger brother of King Edward VII, officially opened the dam, which is expected to make "the Egyptian desert a garden by controlling the sediment laden waters of the Nile," and to enrich Egypt by $100,000,000.
Egypt's khedive turned the key to open the dam's sluice gates.
The Duchess is the former Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia. The Duke and Duchess have three children: Margaret, Arthur and Patricia.

new article on Japanese emperor

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Little prince to be baptised next Wednesday

December 9, 1948

Princess Elizabeth's infant son will be baptised next Wednesday, it was announced today. Buckingham Palace also stated that the baby's names and godparents will be announced on that day, and not before.
The little prince will be four weeks and three days old. He will wear the same christening robe, which his mother wore when she was christened in 1926. The robe was made in 1840, and was first worn by Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Victoria, and has since been worn by all the royal children.
The christening will take place in one of the state rooms as Buckingham Palace's chapel is still unusable as it was destroyed by a German bomb during the second world war.


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December 9, 1936

King Edward VIII has made his decision. He has chosen love over duty, and will abdicate his throne in favor of his brother, Prince Albert, the Duke of York. A act of Abdication will be presented to Parliament tomorrow, where it will be debated and voted on. The succession will also have to be guaranteed that the line will pass to the children of the new sovereign. It will be agreed that if Edward VIII has children, they will not have any claims to the throne.

There are rumors that the Duke of York has been unwilling to take the throne in such circumstances. One rumor has the Duke of York proposing that his 11-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, be named queen, and that he and the duchess will act as regents for the next seven years.

All of these rumors are dismissed because of the Duke of York's uncompromising sense of duty, and many overlook "the influence of the Duchess in encouraging him and giving him confidence."

Government leaders know it is very important that Princess Elizabeth be kept in the direct line of succession. Government leaders feel that even with "a very quiet king in Buckingham Palace, his little Scottish wife, and his golden-haired children will make up for whatever publicity value he may lack."
It may be a tonic for the millions of loyal subjects that "they have another reigning Queen in the offing, and a Queen Elizabeth at that."

This look into the future may help the British forget Edward and "give their undivided loyalty to a new ruler."

Earlier today, at 2:30 p.m, King Edward VIII may have met with his mother, Queen Mary, for the last. The widow of George V is said to be broken-hearted over the king's decision to choose love over duty to his country and to the empire. The meeting took place in the Duke of York's study at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Park.

It was the first time that the king had left Fort Belvedere in six days. He walked the two-mile journey to the Royal Lodge to avoid being seen. No staff was present when he arrived at the lodge, as they were told to remain the garage.

Due to the fog, Queen Mary had a "slow and tedious drive from Marlborough House." She had been accompanied by her brother, the Earl of Athlone, and her daughter, the Princess Royal. The King first met with the queen, and his uncle and sister, as well as with the Duke of York, who was also present. But after a short time, Lord Athlone, the Princess Royal and the Duke of York, withdrew, leaving Edward and Mary alone. The King then returned to Fort Belvedere as loaded truck filled with his baggage was driven to London.

Elena visits Mafalda who is ill

December 9, 1936

Accompanied by her eldest daughter, Princess Jolanda, Countess Calvi di Bergolo, Queen Elena of Italy today visited her second daughter, Princess Mafalda, who is seriously ill with the flu, at the family's schloss in Kassel.
Princess Mafalda is the wife of Prince Philipp of Hesse, who is an aid to Col. Gen Hermann Goering, minister of air and economics dictator.
Princess Mafalda had been convalescing when she "suffered a relapse and complications," which brought her mother and sister to Kassel.

Victoria Feodorovna predicts monarchy's return

Embed from Getty Images

December 9, 1926 

"I feel that our people want a monarchy," Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna said in response to the question: "Do you believe that the Russians want a monarchy, or are they satisfied with the present form of government?"

 The Grand Duchess, who had "maintained a strict silence on political questions" since her arrival in New York City, "relaxed her rule" today during an interview with newspaper reporters in her suite at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. She reiterated that she did not want to discuss politics and that her trip to the United States was to thank Americans for their financial support of Russian refugees." 

One reporter asked if he thought that the Russian people were calling her family back to Russia. Victoria's husband, Grand Duke Kirill, recently proclaimed himself as the Emperor in exile. "Yes, very much so. Yes, they are calling us. Every sane person knows that they are dissatisfied with the government. Just read the statistics and you will find out why. But I cannot talk politics with you, and I hope you will not stress what I have just said, but will only say that I am not here for any political motive."

 This was in response to a recent Associated Press report that Grand Duke Kirill will soon be asked to leave Coburg because of his new claims and that he is not "popular with many of the Romanoffs and former officials from the Petrograd court." 

 The Grand Duchess said she read the report but dismissed it. "It is not true. It is just some more propaganda. That report has been printed many times before." One reporter asked her if she had been shopping. The Grand Duchess smiled, and said: "Shopping? They do not give me time for that." 

She also discussed that she is enjoying crossword puzzles, but is not having much success. "I have tried three, and have not solved one. She thinks that Russians might enjoy such puzzles. "The whole world is a puzzle just now." She was also asked about New Yorkers. "Do you find that New Yorkers really rush around as much as they are said to do?" "Yes, I do," she replied," and I enjoy seeing it. I like to see people who get a move on." 

The Grand Duchess also expressed her "advocacy of careers for women," and said that Russian women "are independent to a large degree and very serious."

 Victoria Feodorovna said she did not "have all the attainments of her sister, Queen Marie of Rumania," who is an accomplished writer and painter. The Grand Duchess said she has painted, as well, and has exhibited her work in Nice and southern France. 

Later today, the Grand Duchess and her suite will leave for Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and will return to New York City at the weekend.

Constantine still awaits official call

December 9, 1920

The strain is beginning to show as King Constantine of the Hellenes awaits the official telegram from the Greek premier informing him that he had been chosen to run Greece in the recent plebiscite. The King's departure "will be deferred proportionately" to the delay in receiving the official election returns.
The king has not yet ordered the special train that will take him back to Athens. As the Swiss government requires five days notice for the King's departure, it is believed that Constantine and his family will not leave for Greece until next Tuesday or Wednesday.
Queen Sophie, for one, is looking forward to having a home once more, after spending the past three years living in hotels. Today, the King remained inside due to the inclement weather, reading, and playing solitaire, but also keeping up with the latest news from Greece "so he will be able to take the duties he relinquished when the Allies requested him to leave Athens."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Masako celebrates 45th birthday

Crown Princess Masako of Japan is about to celebrate her 45th birthday

Caroline files suit again

Princess Caroline has filed another "breach of privacy" lawsuit against two German magazines, which published photographs of her in 2002 and 2004.

Thankfully, here in the USA, the princess would not be able file such lawsuits, because privacy does not largely extend to being outside your home.

Austria -Limburg-Stirum wedding

Here is a nice selection of photgraphs from the grand wedding on Saturday in Belgium between Her Imperial & Royal Highness Archduches Marie Christine of Austria and Count Rodolphe of Limburg-Stirum.

new baby carriage for Prince Edward of York

December 8, 1894 

 Prince Edward of York will soon have an English-made baby carriage. The perambulator will be of the "highest class workmanship."

 The Princess Irene barouche pattern is fitted with "non-vibrating, leather-hung cee springs with hollow rubber tires." The carriage is upholstered in "green morocco leather, softly padded with horse-hair cushions," which will allow the royal baby to "recline or ride with face or back to the nurse." A cowhide hood can be adjusted to protect the prince from rain or sun.

The awning is made from tussore silk, which matches the lining, and trimmed with "delicate and beautiful lace." Similar baby carriages have been built for the children of the Duchess of Fife (the baby aunt's) and Princess Henry of Prussia. The Princess, who was born Princess Irene of Hesse and by the Rhine, and her husband are first cousins of baby Edward's father, Prince George, the Duke of York. Prince Edward of York was born on June 23rd. He is the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. 

The Duke is second in line to the throne after his father the Prince of Wales.

King Peter II arrives in New York

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 December 8, 1948 

 King Peter II of Yugoslavia arrived in New York City today, accompanied by his wife, Alexandra, and three-year-old son, Alexander. The King, who has been in exile since 1941, and who lost his throne in 1945, questioned the wisdom of the United States extending economic aid to Marshall Tito "in an effort to widen the rift" between the Yugoslav dictator and the other members of the Cominform." 

The "youthful, exiled Balkan monarch asserted" that the US aid would only strengthen Marshall Tito's position, and not bring about a rift between Yugoslavia and the other Soviet satellites." "Tito has always gone out 100 percent for the Soviet Union," Peter declared. "He is still going on attacking the United States."

King Peter was asked about a committee that was being formed in the USA and in Europe to plan Tito's overthrow. The king acknowledged that he had heard of the movement, but "I have nothing to do with it myself." He added, however, that he would support such a committee. The Yugoslav royal family arrived on the Queen Mary, which arrived eight days behind schedule due to a longshoreman strike, heavy fog over England, and rough seas. 

The king and his family will remain in New York for two months.

Another visit from Baldwin

December 8, 1936

Prince Minister Stanley Baldwin arrived at Ft Belvedere today at 5 pm and stayed until ten. He was accompanied by Walter Monckton, Attorney General of the Duchy of Cornwall. Two of the King's brothers, the Dukes of York and Kent, were also at the dinner.
No one knows yet if this occasion was a farewell between the king and his First Minister or a "feast of reconciliation." But the long meeting between the two men and the copious amount of food and wine was interpreted by Whitehall and members of Parliament "as a sign that there is to be no abdication."
There is also the encouraging sign from Cannes, France, where Mrs. Simpson is staying, as her lawyer has arrived to arrange for the sale of her Cumberland Terrace home. Mrs. Simpson, it is said, "has no intention of returning to London for a considerable time."
Members of Parliament have been exchanging notes about what they are hearing from their constituents. Those representing the northern industrial areas report that no support for a marriage between the king and Mrs. Simpson.

Grand Duchess Victoria discovers crossword puzzles

December 8, 1924

Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia has discovered crossword puzzles. She is currently in New York City, and is staying at the Waldorf-Astoria, where she was found in her reception room working on one of the "brain-twisters."
"I was shown one of the puzzles and I have been working at them ever since," she told a reporter. "You know, one has to be shown their way about a but in these puzzles."
She said she ordered several puzzle books to take home with her her, and she agreed to allow a photograph to be taken of her sitting at a table with one of the puzzles before her.
She also attended a dinner in her honor at Sherry's, which was hosted by the Monday Opera Club. The club is acting as the Grand Duchess' official host here in New York City.
The Grand Duchess also told a reporter that she believes that American women are the best dressed in the world. "I had always the opinion that American women were the best dressed in the world, and after seeing them at tea, I am convinced they are the best dressed. They are certainly the last word in fashion. In addition, they are charming, and I am having an extraordinarily good time."