Thursday, July 31, 2008

Duke of Coburg dead

HRH The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died on July 30, 1900 at Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg. He suffered from a "paralysis of the heart." The Duke, who was the second son and third child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, was recently diagnosed with cancerous growth on his tongue. Although doctors predicted that Alfred would linger, he died rather rather suddenly. He had not been told the seriousness of his illness. He began to suffer "severe attacks of suffocation," and arrangements were made for a tracheotomy. The Duke died "without suffering severe pain.
He is survived by his wife, the former Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, and four daughters, Crown Princess Marie of Roumania, Grand Duchess Victoria Melita of Hesse and By Rhine, Alexandra, the Hereditary Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Princess of Edinburgh.

The new Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is Alfred's nephew, the young Duke of Albany, who is a minor. The Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg will act as the guardian for the young duke until he reaches his majority.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Victoria's bloomers sell for £4500

Someone is feeling rather flush

Vatican Row Blamed on Princess Beatrice

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 Madrid, July 30, 1910 (Los Angeles Times).

 According the newspaper's report, the "uncompromising Protestantism" of Princess Beatrice -- the mother of Queen Victoria Eugenia -- "is one of the causes of Spanish trouble with the Vatican." Apparently, Princess Beatrice turned one room at the palace into a private chapel, where are Protestant services are conducted. The Princess is said to travel with an English chaplain.

There is a said to be "a regular clique at court" that pays homage to the Ena's mother, but there are also reports that Princess Beatrice has tried to convert some ladies at the court.

King Alfonso XIII is "powerless" to stop his mother-in-law, and there are rumors, too, that Queen Ena joins her mother at the Protestant services. (The former Princess Ena of Battenberg was a member of the Anglican church before she converted to the Roman Catholic faith.)

It is also said that Alfonso's mother, Queen Maria Cristina, resents Princess Beatrice's "presence and pretensions."

There are some in Spain who believe that the Battenberg-cum-Protestant influence is too strong at the court. The Vatican, according to the newspaper report, is said to support the Carlist pretender, Don Jaime, as they believe he can restore Roman Catholic influence in Spain.

Happy Birthday Infanta Doña Pilar

On this day - July 30, 1936, the Princess of the Asturias, gave birth to a daughter, Pilar, in Cannes. The Spanish royal family went into exile in 1931 following a revolution that established a republic.

Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia receives political science degree

On July 30, 1908, Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia became the first member of his family to receive a degree in political science. Although, his father, Kaiser Wilhelm II had planned to send his fourth son to Harvard University, the Prince sat for exams at Strasburg university.

The prince, having completed his education, was now expected to announce his engagement to the very pretty Princess Alexandra of Schleswig-Holstein. Prince Auwi wanted  to ask for his parents' permission to marry two years earlier, but his father said he was too young, and he needed to complete his education. So Prince August Wilhelm "threw himself energetically into scientific work" and was able to pass the final examination after only two years. Usually, the degree was completed in three years.

Prince August Wilhelm received a doctorate in Political Science ... HRH Doctor Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia.

Prince August Wilhelm's engagement to Princess Alexandra of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg was announced a few weeks later. It was a marriage that certainly pleased two sisters the Empress Augusta Viktoria of Germany and Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein, the mothers of the bride and groom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alexandra Iosifovna's funeral

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Nicholas II was in Finland on vacation when he learned of the death of Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna. The widow of Grand Duke Constantine Nicolaievitch, Alexandra died on July 6, 1911, at St. Peterburg, and her funeral was held six days later. The Emperor arrived on board his yacht, the Standard, but he was not accompanied by his wife, Alexandra, who was said to be in poor health.

A launch was ready to take the Tsar up the Neva to the Marble Palace where a brief requiem was held for the late Grand Duchess. Nicholas and several Grand Dukes carried the coffin on their shoulders and then placed the coffin on the hearse, which made it's to the Fortress of St Peter and St Paul. Members of the Imperial family followed on foot. Numerous spectators and troops lined the route. Pine twigs, a symbol of resurrection, were tossed into the street.
Members of the Russian court, the Church, and the government were inside the Fortress for the funeral service. A final service for internment was held on July 13.

Alexandra's eldest son, Grand Duke Nicholas Constantovitch, banished to a remote part of Russia, had been denied permission to attend his mother's funeral

Archduke Wilhelm dead at 67

July 29, 1894

Archduke Wilhelm of Austria died today, following a fall from a horse. He had been riding in Baden, near Vienna, when his horse was frightened by an "electric car." The horse bolted, and the Archduke was thrown. One of his feet remained stuck in the stirrup, and he was dragged more than 100 yards. He died at 5:30 p.m, without regained consciousness. His death was attributed to a concussion on the brain.

Archduke Wilhelm was born in 1827, and was the son of the late Archduke Karl, Duke of Teschen. and Princess Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg.

The archduke, who never married, served in the military, and was Inspector General of the Artillery. He also served as Grand Master of the Teutonic Order of the Austrian Empire

He is survived by his brother, Archduke Albrecht, Duke of Teschen, and a sister, Archduke Maria Caroline, who is the wife of Archduke Rainer, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The archduke was 67 years old.

Did you know....

that King Ferdinand of Bulgaria was the only king to speak Yiddish!

and Hereditary Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, described as heir presumptive to the Dutch throne, is "immensely wealthy." He has a "million invested in a bank," and also owns a slaughter house ... and sells his meat. I am not sure this means that the heir to the Saxe-Weimar grand duchy, actually set up a meat pie stand outside the schloss ... or to local butchers ... I expect the latter.
These toasty tidbits were reported in the Chicago Tribune, July 30, 1907 ...

KIng Alfonso abandons plan to find an Austrian princess

Well, actually an archduchess ... such was the report in the New York Times - on July 29, 1879, the Spanish Cabinet, which King Alfonso XII presiding, decided to "abandon a project" for marriage between the king and an Austrian archduchess. This was described as an "unconfirmed rumor." The paper also noted that the woman who through a stone at the king, who was on his way to church the previous Sunday, was sent to an asylum.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Archduchess Clotilde

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Archduchess Clotilde of Austria, who died at the age 81 at her home in Budapest, on June 3, 1927, was "a real member of the Orleans-Coburgs, proud, energetic and ever anxious for the advancement of her family."

The princess was born Marie Adelaide Clotilde Amélie of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a member of the Catholic Kohary branch of the family. She was the third of five children of Prince Augustus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Clementine d'Orleans. Clotilde's siblings included two older brothers. Philipp (whose disastrous marriage to Louise of Belgium was chronicled by the media of the day), August (married to Leopoldina of Brazil), and a younger sister and brother (Amalie, the wife of Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria), and Ferdinand, who was the king of Bulgaria.

Clotilde's father was a first cousin to Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, and his older brother, Ferdinand, was the husband of Queen Maria II of Portugal.
Although there were ties to the British and Belgian cousins (King Leopold II was also a first cousin to August), the strongest connections came through the Orleans - the French royal family.

In April 1843, Prince August married Princess Clémentine at St. Cloud. This was only one of several marriages that strengthened ties between the Catholic Coburgs and the French Royal Family. Twelve years earlier. Clémentine's older sister, Louise, was married to August's uncle, King Leopold I of the Belgians. Her brother, Philippe, was married to August's sister, Victoria. (Their eldest son, Louis Philippe, was married to Isabel of Brazil, whose younger sister, Leopoldina, was married Prince August of Saxe-Coburg - Clotilde's brother.)
Thus, the strong ties between the family of King Louis Philippe and the Kohary Coburgs.

When it came to finding a husband for Clotilde, the family turned toward the Habsburgs - and to the Hungarian branch of the family. Clotilde was not even eighteen-years-old when she was married to Archduke Joseph of Austria, who was the head of the Hungarian branch of the Habsburg family.
The marriage took place at Coburg on May 12, 1864.

Clotilde and Joseph were the parents of three daughters, Elisabeth (who died as an infant), Marie Dorothea, Margarethe, and one son, Joseph.

The family ties between the Coburgs and the Orleans continued with Maria Dorothea's marriage to Philippe, Duke of Orleans. They were second cousins, as Philippe's grandfather and Maria Dorothea's grandmother, Clementine were brother and sister.

Clotilde was especially close to her younger brother, Ferdinand, despite a fifteen-year age difference.

The marriage between Maria Dorothea and Philippe was celebrated at the Hofburg on November 5, 1896, in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph II, the Queen of Portugal (Philippe's sister), and other foreign royals. The Duke of Orleans, accompanied by his uncle, the Duke of Chartres, and Archduke Joseph, was the first to make the procession from the state apartments to the chapel.

The bride, ostensibly nervous, made her way to the chapel, accompanied by her mother and her future mother-in-law, the Countess of Paris, the Austrian emperor and the queen of Portugal, the Duke of Connaught (representing Queen Victoria), the Duke of Aosta and Archduchess Maria Josepha of Austria.

The Archbishop of Vienna sprinkled the bridal couple with holy water, and the Court Chaplain married the couple. The marriage, which was childless, was full of discord. In 1913, Maria Dorothea filed suit in Brussels against her husband. She charged her husband for maintenance and for reimbursement for the money she had advanced him over the years.

Although Clotilde was a party to numerous political plots, especially concerning her brother and his throne, she was unable to avoid the ascent of Bolshevism in Hungary after the first world war. When Bela Kun came to power in Hungary, the Archduchess, persecuted by the Communists, was forced to flee the country, although she eventually returned to her castle in Alcuth, where she died in June 1927.

Lady Randolph Churchill remarries

Lady Randolph Church married George Cornwall-West on July 28, 1900. The bride was given away by the Duke of Marlborough in a ceremony at St Paul's, Knightsbridge. The church "was thronged with handsomely dressed women." No one was excluded from attending the ceremony but the wedding breakfast that followed was limited to close family and friends.
The American-born Jennie Jerome had two sons by her first husband: Winston and Jack Churchill.

King Ferdinand must go

July 28, 1888.

 The New York Times reported that King Ferdinand of Bulgaria "must go." This statement was based on reports emanating from Continental journals about the parlous state of affairs in the Balkan kingdom.
"There is agreeable evidence also that Ferdinand is packing is trunk, so to say."
Turkey is insistent that Ferdinand is an illegal occupant of the Bulgarian throne. The newspaper also noted that the Archduchess Clotilde of Austria and her daughters, Prince Augustus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his sons and the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier were all visiting Ferdinand's mother, Princess Clementine - and "this can mean nothing less than a Coburg-Orleanist council."

Prince Waldemar of Denmark was mooted as a possible successor to Ferdinand., who, it was believed, would be more amenable to the Bulgarians. This was due to Waldemar being Lutheran - and Ferdinand, a Roman Catholic. (The primary religion of Bulgaria: Orthodox."
It was also announced that Kaiser Wilhelm II and King Christian IX were planning to meet in Kiel to discuss the Bulgarian situation - a family matter for Christian. The Russian Emperor apparently favored a Danish Prince (Waldemar) as the new king of Bulgaria.
The second candidate, the Duke of Cumberland, who was married to Christian's daughter, Thyra, rejected the offer, however. He was not interested in taking on a shaky throne.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Grand Duchess Olga wanted to visit the USA

At least, this is what the Los Angeles Times reported on June 8, 1913. The paper's account, based on cables from Europe, stated that Grand Duchess Olga 's travel plans were to include Washington, Newport, and New York in "a few months." The newspaper erroneously described Olga as the heir presumptive (due to the "rather delicate heir apparent." Even in 1913, newspapers could not get their royal succession facts right!

Olga was "exceedingly anxious to visit America," but that her mother "stoutly opposes the idea, which simply enhances the determination of her daughter to put it into execution."

Although Prime Minister Witte was said to support the idea, as he believed that Olga's visit would "help materially to improve Russian-American relations," apparently strained during the William Howard Taft administration.

Utter tosh. Nicholas and Alexandra would never have allowed their eldest daughter to travel alone (although she would have a large retinue with her), prior to arranging a marriage for their daughter. Young and unmarried daughters of the Russian emperor did not get on ships to travel to the US to fly the flag to improve Russo-American relations.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Queen Names Charles as Prince of Wales

On July 26, 1958, Prince Charles, a student at Cheam, was called into the headmaster's office, where he and several classmates, watched the closing ceremonies for the Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales. Queen Elizabeth II had been scheduled to close the games, but was sidelined following a sinusitis operation. The Duke of Edinburgh deputized for her, and introduced a tape-recorded message. Charles and his headmaster knew in advance what the queen was going to say: "I intend to create my son Charles Prince of Wales today."
It is now known that the Queen regretted the timing of the announcement. It was a difficult time for her nine-year-old son. "I remember being acutely embarrassed when it was announced. I heard this marvelous cheer from the stadium in Cardiff, and I think for a little boy of nine it was all rather bewildering. All the others turned and looked at me in amazement. And it perhaps didn't mean much then; later on, as I grew older, it became apparent what it meant."

Of course, it can be said that the Prince of Wales has done a fabulous job - as the prince of Wales ... happy 50th anniversary.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ileana and Anton's wedding - July 26, 1931

The marriage between Princess Ileana of Roumania and Archduke Anton of Austria was a marriage encouraged and arranged by Ileana's brother, King Carol II.

As siblings are a largely dysfunctional family, Carol and Ileana were close. This changed with Ileana sided with her mother and Helen against Carol, and Carol turned against his sister. He wrote to his cousin, Friedel (the Prince of Hohenzollern), describing Ileana as "the lowest conniver of the entire family." He removed her from her positions as head of the Roumanian YMCA and the Girl Guides. He wanted, as he wrote to his cousin, to remove "the aching thorn" from his life.

Thus, he took on the mantle of finding a husband for Ileana. In 1929, during a visit to Spain, the Prince of the Asturias had asked Ileana to marry him, but she declined due to his hemophilia. She had fallen in love with the Hereditary Grand Duke Georg of Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine, whose father, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, was Queen Marie's first cousin. Don was the elder of two sons of Ernie's second marriage to Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. His first marriage to Victoria Melita of Edinburgh -- Queen Marie's sister -- had ended in an acrimonious divorce thirty years earlier.

Don made it clear to Ileana that he did not love her, and there would be no marriage between the Hessian prince and the Roumanian princess.

Following the debacle of the Hochberg engagement, King Carol made his move. He knew that Ileana had met Anton in Barcelona in 1929, where he and his family lived in limited circumstances. He earned a salary by pumping gas. Hardly the sort of prince that Queen Marie sought for her favorite daughter. Carol, however, thought that Anton was a "very nice, energetic, and serious young man." Queen Marie was, on the other hand, horrified by Carol's machinations. She tried to adapt to the situation, writing to a friend, describing Anton as "big, solid, trustworthy, he has not a penny except what he earns with his own hand."

More than 300 guests attended the wedding that took place at Sinaia, where the streets were "flagged and flower-decked." Although Ileana had not chosen to convert to the Roman Catholic faith, she and Anton were married in a Roman Catholic service. The Vatican would not permit the couple to also have an Orthodox service, and Ileana had agreed to raise all their children as Roman Catholics.

The couple was first married in a civil ceremony, where Ileana declared that she intended to remain a Roumanian citizen.

When the priest asked Ileana whether she was willing to take Anton as her husband, the princess turned to her brother, King Carol for approval. He provided his assent with a bow of his head. Ileana then said to the priest: "Oui, monsieur."
The wedding ceremony was full of emotion for the princess and for her mother, as both knew that Ileana would have to live outside Romania as per Carol's wishes. This was difficult for the princess as the priest's homily included references to "the many ties that bound" Ileana to Romania. She was in tears.

When the ceremony was over, King Carol embraced his sister with several kisses. Now that Ileana was the wife of an Austrian archduke -- and about to leave the country -- King Carol felt a bit relieved. Ileana turned to face her mother, whose face was streaked with tears. Ileana "dropped impulsively to her knees and kissed the hands of the sobbing queen mother."

The bride wore a "splendid white crepe de chine with silver embroidery" wedding gown, and her long white golden-embroidered train was carried by two Boy Scouts and two Girl Scouts. Upon her head was a diamond tiara. Before the religious wedding, Anton and Ileana agreed to meet the press for a brief interview. Ileana, apparently fraught with nerves, was unable to answer any questions when the microphone was placed before her.

The wedding guests included members of the Roumania royal family, which included the bride's two sisters, Queen Elizabeth of the Hellenes and Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, and Crown Prince Michael. The bride's maternal aunts, Grand Duchess Victoria Melita, with her daughter, Kira, the Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and Princess Beatrice and her husband also attended along with the Prince and Princess of Hohenzollern, the Prince of Leiningen and various members of Archduke Anton's family.

The Kings of the Hellenes and Yugoslavia did not attend, however. Nor did Princess Helen -- Michael's mother -- who left the country a week earlier. Ileana and Anton were among the members of the family who accompanied Helen to the airport on July 17, to say goodbye. It was said that Helen left the country to avoid embarrassment at not being able to attend Ileana's wedding.

The Princess and her husband received numerous wedding gifts including an airplane from King Carol and a silver service from Queen Marie.

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The Duke of Württemberg sells his Canadian property

In 1967, HRH the Duke of Württemberg bought Darkwoods, a large tract of land in British Columbia. According to the Globe and Mail, the duke bought the land on the "eve of the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia." The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia was in August 1968. The manager said that the Duke had bought Darkwoods "as a safe haven for his family." The Duke, who is married to Princess Diane of France, used to visit the estate once a year "until no-smoking regulations put him off long-distance travel."
Darkwoods was bought for $125 million (Canadian) dollars by Nature Conservancy Canada.

The engagement announcement

Ileana's engagement to Archduke Anton of Austria, Prince of Tuscany, was announced at Freiberg on May 4, 1931.
King Carol II, eager to remove his sister from Roumanian affairs as she had taken Helen's side in the divorce, arranged for his cousin, the Prince of Hohenzollern, to invite Ileana and Anton to the family's castle at Umkirch. This was done, and Ileana became engaged to the archduke. Other guests at the castle included Queen Marie, her brother-in-law, Grand Duke Kyril of Russia and his daughter, Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna and the Prince and Princess of Hohenzollern.

Ileana is said to have met Anton in 1929 when she accompanied her mother on a visit to Spain.

Ileana of Roumania's last day as a single lady

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When Princess Ileana accompanied her mother, Queen Marie, on a trip to the USA in 1926, she was the subject of much "romantic gossip." When she attended a dance at West Point, she was linked to a cadet, who invited her to attend a luncheon in Tuxedo, New York. (Would you believe that cadet eventually moved to Alexandria, VA, and I was introduced to him at a local political event party event,) 

 Queen Marie was an inveterate matchmaker, and managed to arrange marriages for three of her children: Carol and Elisabetha to Helen of Greece and her brother, King George II, and Marie to Alexander I of Serbia. None of these marriages were successful or happy. The first two marriages ended in divorce, and an assassin's bullet ended Alexander's life in 1934. 

After Marie and Ileana returned to Roumania, the queen announced that Ileana would not have objected to a marriage with an American, a "marriage of love." According to the queen, Ileana had received nine proposals during her stay in the United. States. A royal marriage was more likely. After press reports linked Ileana with the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VIII was quoted as saying: She's a jolly little kid and a great sport." 

Queen Marie, a British princess by birth, would have considered a British marriage for Ileana a major coup for the family. The princess was linked to the King Boris III of Bulgaria, Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, Prince Heinrich of Schaumburg-Lippe, and the Prince of the Asturias. It was said that the Princess truly loved Alfonso (whose mother, Ena, was Queen Marie's first cousin), but his hemophilia put a damper on the relationship. 

In January 1930, Ileana became engaged to Count Alexander von Hochberg. The count, who was known as Lexel, was one of three sons of the British-born Princess Daisy of Pless, who was one of Queen Marie's best friends. The wedding was scheduled for mid-February, but soon the papers were filled with reports that the engagement would soon be broken, and by early March, the official announcement was made: there would be no wedding between Ileana and Lexel

 The heartbroken princess was taken to Egypt by her mother, where Queen Marie told her why the marriage could not take place. Lexel was gay, and when he was sixteen, he had been involved in a homosexual scandal. In May 1930, Ileana met the count for one last time, and they would never meet again. But this was all in the past now. 

 A year had passed, and Ileana was now the bride-to-be of an impecunious archduke of Austria, a member of the Tuscan branch, a pilot with no real career plans -- and little money in the bank. It was hardly the grand marriage that Marie had wanted for her daughter. More than ten thousand tourists poured into Sinaia to witness the festivities. 

In the evening, Ileana, who wore a white and gold lace gown, was "cheered wildly" when she came out on the balcony. She was accompanied by other members of the Roumanian royal family. She responded to the crowd's cheers "Love live Ileana, child of the people," with a smile and a wave.

Queen Rania of You Tube

Snow and rain mar Ileana's pre-wedding festivities

Snow is not something that a bride-to-be expects when she has a summer wedding. But it did snow on July 25, 1931, the day before Princess Ileana of Roumania married Archduke Anton of Austria. The reception that the Princess planned to host for the media covering her wedding was postponed because of the "absence of sunlight." Ileana received further presents including a handemade inkwell from her nine-year-old nephew, Crown Prince Michael. The princess also received a delegation lead by Premier Jorga who presented her with a monetary gift (1,000,000 leis) in a purse set with precious stone. (The value of this gift in 1931 was $6300). Ileana gave 300,000 lei ($1900) to the poor on the day before her wedding.

Sinaia was "alive with excitement" and "flags flew from every window." Princess Ileana was much loved by the Roumanian people. Her wedding was far from being a love match, and had largely been arranged by her brother, King Carol II, who was perhaps jealous of Ileana's popularity.
The New York Times reported that Ileana received a visit from the Orthodox Patriarch to bless her before she joined the Roman Catholic Church. The paper also reported that two bishops sent by Pope Pius XI were Sinaia to baptize the Princess as a Roman Cath0lic. These reports were based on local news accounts coming of Sinaia.
The reports were, however, incorrect. The Princess did not covert to the Roman Catholic faith.
The bad weather also meant a change in plans for the evening garden party. Instead, the dinner was held at the Castle of Telsch.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A royal wedding

Another image from my collection: Prince Karl Aloys von und zu Liechtenstein and Princess Elisabeth von Urach, who were married at Tegernsee in Bavaria on April 5, 1921.

Duchess Pauline becomes a doctor's wife ... and a Socialist.

While looking through the wonderful Die Souveränen Fürstenhäuser Europas, which was published in 1898-1899, I noticed that the Württemberg section did not include a portrait of Duchess Pauline of Württemberg, the daughter of Prince Eugen and his wife, Princess Mathilde of Schaumburg-Lippe. Pauline, who was born in 1854, was still alive when the book was published. But she was no longer considered a member of the Württemberg royal family because of her marriage to a doctor -- and then there was the matter of her devotion to socialist causes.

Pauline first met her future husband, Dr. Melchior Willim, when he was called in to treat her mother. The young doctor, a year the Princess's junior, apparently "made a deep impression on the heart of Pauline," who informed her family that she could "never lead a happy conjugal existence with any other man."

 King Karl of Württemberg agreed to the marriage with certain conditions. The marriage would be morganatic, and the Princess would be required to renounce her royal titles and privileges. This she did willingly. On the day of her marriage, May 1, 1880, Pauline was created Frau von Kirbach. The marriage took place in Carlsruhe in Silesia, where the pastor remarked: "on the deep and unselfish nature of an affection which could induce a royal princess to sacrifice the advantages of the highest rank, and of luxury, at the altar."

Apparently, the pastor's comments offended the bride, who turned to the congregation and said: "I wish to affirm once and for all time, that in marrying the man of my choice, I am not conscious of having surrendered anything to which I attach the slightest importance."

Pauline never returned to Württemberg. She and her husband, a successful physician, settled in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), where they raised their family, two daughters, Marcella and Micaela and a son, Melchior, an eye doctor.
The former duchess never regretted her decision to give up her royal life. By 1886, she was a member of the Social Democratic Party and was also active in the fledgling women's' rights movement. She was one of "the most energetic spellbinders of the socialist party," and would give speeches from platforms, outdoor meetings and on street corners. She also converted her husband to the socialist cause.
Ted Rosvall collection

She had little contact with her royal relatives, and this was due to her socialist leanings, and not because of her marriage. When the Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen (the former Princess Charlotte of Prussia) came to live in Breslau, where her husband, Bernhard was in command of the troops, she "was compelled to hold aloof" from Pauline.

One journalist noted that in her later years, Pauline had "lost all traces if any beauty" she may have had, and she had become eccentric, "showing a decided preference for red blouses, which naturally were construed as a manifestation for her alleged socialist leanings."

At a meeting of the Socialist Congress in Breslau in October 1895, "the most striking figure in the congress was a tall woman of 40 years." Pauline von Kirbach wore a black silk skirt, a fiery red silk blouse, and a huntress' hat, and had attended each day's proceedings and had watched the debates "with the eagerness of a zealous partisan."

Although Pauline had renounced her titles, she did not lose her private fortune. She used her inheritance to help the poor.

In June 1899, a Washington Post columnist noted that Pauline "sports shirtwaists of the fiercest hue of red, and is renowned for her eccentricity, which occasionally leads her to wander about the streets followed by goats, cats, poultry and other domestic pets."

Melchior Willim died at Breslau in October 1910. He was 56 years old. Pauline survived him for only four years. She died on April 23, 1914, in Breslau. No royals attended her funeral. She was mourned by socialists who left floral tributes on her coffin.

Very little is known about her descendants.  There is little information on her two daughters, Marcella and Micaela, the latter of whom became a nun.

 Pauline's son Melchior became an eye doctor and emigrated to Paraguay. Today, Pauline's descendants live in Paraguay and in the United States.

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Lunch Guests

On July 25, 1913, King George V, Queen Mary and Princess Mary went to Marlborough House to have lunch with Queen Alexandra and Empress Marie of Russia -- Alix's sister, Dagmar. Afterwards, the king and queen went to visit Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg at Mall House, Spring Gardens.

and when I was only 4

Princess Margaret visited an army base at Chilliwack, British Columbia. This was the last phase of her two week-tour of British Columbia.

King Hussein of Jordan was interviewed by the BBC. He spoke of his aim for Iraq, where he hoped peace and order could be restored. He worried about the Communists taking control of the oil fields, and he was in sincere in his hope that Britain and the United States would come to Jordan's aid. "I hope it will not be said that in our struggle to defend what is right - to defend our independence and integrity -- our friends left us alone."

100 years ago today

On an official visit to Canada, the Prince of Wales reviewed troops in formation on the Plains of Abraham. Five hundred American sailors and marines from the New Hampshire took part. In the evening, the Prince of Wales attended a State ball in the Parliament buildings.
According to the New York Times reporter, the Prince "is bearing his part in these functions with all the dignity and good nature of his royal father."

And back at the OK Corral (I mean, Buckingham Palace), the Prince's royal father and mother were having lunch guests - Her Royal Highness Princess Frederica of Hanover and her husband, Baron von Pawel-Rammingen. Princess Frederica was the daughter of King Georg V of Hanover, who was Queen Victoria's first cousin. King Georg and Queen Marie, in exile, did not approve of their daughter's marriage with a mere baron, but the romance appealed to Victoria, who arranged for Frederica to marry in England with her permission -- as the Hanovers were also princes and princesses of Great Britain and Ireland.

I am sure that the luncheon was very good.

Princess Victoria visited the Hungarian exhibit at Earl's Court. King Alfonso XIII left La Granja for San Sebastian so he could attend his mother's name day celebration. Queen Ena and the babies remained at La Granja. Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia and their five children boarded the Standart for a cruise in the Gulf of Finland.
The Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden (formerly Margaret of Connaught) attended the opening night performance of Lady Frederick at the New Theatre.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More on Pauline of Saxe-Weimar

Using a nom-de-plume, the Marquise de Fontenoy, the American writer, Marguerite Cunliffe-Owen, wrote a gossip column that was published in American newspapers, including the Washington Post. Her article about the death of Duchess Pauline includes a tidbit that I had not noticed before:
She "had lived to a great extent in Italy, since a few years ago, she contracted a morganatic marriage with her chamberlain." She continued to be styled as grand duchess, "only by courtesy, and it is not probable that she will be mourned to any extent by her son's dominions, for she was quite the reverse of popular." According the marquise, Pauline "contributed even from a distance, to create the difficulties which rendered the position of her daughter-in-law, the present grand duchess, so extremely difficult during the first few months of marriage."

Pauline was "extraordinarily fat, and one of the most plain-featured princesses of Germany, her homeliness being of the crabbed and sour order rather than of a genial nature."
The morganatic marriage did not appear in the Almanach de Gotha, and had not been approved her Pauline's son, the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Thus, the marriage was not sanctioned by the Saxe-Weimar government.

The article did not mention the name of the chamberlain.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Interesting blind item in the New York Post

From the New York Post's page six column: " WHICH European princess managed to keep her breast cancer secret many years ago? The brave beauty lost all her hair from chemotherapy but blamed her baldness on alopecia."

It was in September 1996 that an Italian magazine, Oggi, published photos of Princess Caroline of Monaco looking "gaunt and bald." It was also at this time that her romance with the then-married Prince Ernst August of Hannover surfaced. Paris Match published several pages of photos of the two together in France, The Princess was seen wearing a turban on her head.
The Princess did not discuss why she had gone bald, but in November 1996, her brother, Prince Albert, said that her hair loss was a "dematological problem and that it will grow back." By late winter 1997, Caroline went public for the first time with a new head of hair. It was made known that she had suffered from alopecia areta, a skin disorder that can last a few months or a few years. Alopecia can be caused by stress.
By the summer of 1997, the romance between Ernst August and Caroline was fully in the public eye, and had Caroline's father's approval. The princess was photographed wearing a bikini.
If this blind item is true, I hope that the princess will come forward and acknowledge that she is a breast cancer survivor. Princess Caroline -- the Princess of Monaco -- is in a position to help raise money to fight the insidious disease - and there would be a lot of sympathy and support for her.
When Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller were diagnosed with breast cancer, they used their roles as First and Second Lady, to put the disease on the front burner. Millions of American women had mammograms because the two women were willing to be open about what they were going through.

Princess Sophie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

Princess Sophie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was the "first royal woman to be incinerated," according to a headline in the New York Times on September 20, 1913. Sophie was the youngest of three children -- and only daughter -- of Prince Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and Princess Gerda of Isenburg-Büdingen. She was born at Düsseldorf in 1888 and died at Heidelberg on September 9, 1913.

 She took her own life because her father would not allow her to marry the man she loved. At the time of her death, she was 25 years old, "a great beauty, and much admired in Court society for her charming ways."

She had retired to her room, "apparently in her usual spirits." Not long after midnight, a shot was heard coming from her room. She was found dead.

 Sophie had shot herself through the forehead.

Princess Sophie had been despondent for some time because she could not obtain consent for her marriage with Baron Hans Viktor von Bleichroeder, the son of a wealthy banker. Earlier in the year, there were reports of an engagement, but these reports were hastily denied by the Saxe-Weimar court. It was said that the Grand Duke -- Wilhelm Ernst -- would give approval to the marriage, but Sophie would have to relinquish her title. She would not agree to this. Her father appeared more willing to allow the marriage -- he had worked as a waiter in New York City, using the name William Rohde -- but when the Grand Duke threatened to cut off his allowance, Prince Wilhelm had to tell his daughter that there could be no marriage.

The von Bleichroeder family was Jewish, which was another reason for the family's displeasure.

But was the doomed love affair the reason for Sophie's suicide? One month earlier, Sophie, accompanied by Baron von Bleichroeder and her mother, Princess Gerda, checked into the Hotel Savoy in Fontainebleau. During their time in France, the three young people would take long drives in the country. One night, while driving at a high speed, they hit a little peasant girl, who was seriously injured. The next day, Baron von Bleichroeder visited the little girl's parents and paid them $3000 in compensation. The little girl did not survive. The chauffeur was originally charged with running over the girl, but the true facts came out in the trial that Princess Sophie was behind the wheel at the time of the accident. The chauffeur was acquitted.

The accident occurred on August 10th, and rumors were already circulating throughout Weimar that Sophie had been responsible for the little girl's death. Perhaps, because she could not face the scandal that would have ensued, the princess decided to take her own life.

A week after Sophie's death, a German newspaper reported that the German baron was not the man she loved, but that her life "was embittered by the tragedy of a hopeless love' for Lieut. Hans Edler von Putlitz. But because they both knew that a marriage would be out of the question, the couple separated. Edler von Putlitz rejoined his regiment and was sent to Athens where he died in 1908. The official cause of death was appendicitis, but the paper reported that the death was actually a suicide. According to this report, Queen Sophie of Greece (nee Princess of Prussia) followed the coffin, which "showed that she highly honored the young attaché, but she also knew and sympathized with his incurable passion."

Although her family maintained that Sophie died of a "disease of the heart," it was difficult to deny the rumors that were flying around Heidelberg that Sophie had taken her own life.
Von Bleichroeder was not permitted to attend her funeral. On August 1, 1915, the young Baron was killed in action on the Warsaw front.

So many sad stories. Sophie's eldest brother, Hermann, lost his titles and dynastic rights in 1909 when he married Wanda Paola Lottero. He was created Count of Ostheim. Sophie's other brother, Albert, was killed in action in France in 1918.

Several days after Sophie's tragic death, her father released a statement to the media: "Baron Hans von Bleichroeder, like all acquaintances of the House of Saxe-Weimar, had a farewell view of the departed, but he was expressly forbidden to take part in the funeral or to attend the cremation. As for the stories set in circulation in regards to a marriage between Princess Sophie and Baron von Bleichroeder, there needs to be repeated the oft-spoken statement of her father, that all the money in the world would never have sufficed to bridge the gulf between a Princess of Saxe-Weimar and Baron von Bleichroeder."

The photo accompanying this post comes from the book, Die Souveränen Fürstenhäuser Europas. This book, which was published in 2 volumes in 1898-1899, featured photographs of every member of all of the reigning royal houses in Europe. The book was prepared by F.U. Graf von Wangel.

Hereditary Grand Duchess Pauline of Saxe-Weimar

A new card for my collection - the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar - Princess Pauline Ida Marie Olga Henriette Catharina of Saxe-Weimar, who was born in Stuttgart in 1852 and died on board a train in Italy in 1904. She married her cousin, Carl August, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, in 1873. Carl August was only 50 when he died in 1894, thus predeceasing his father.

Pauline's parents were Prince Hermann of Saxe-Weimar and Princess Auguste of Württemberg. Her uncle, Edward, who lived in England and was a favorite of Queen Victoria, had made a morganatic marriage with Lady Augusta Gordon-Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond. In the United Kingdom, Augusta was styled as Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar, as decreed by Queen Victoria. And what was this connection to Victoria: Edward and Hermann's mother, the former Princess Ida of Saxe-Meiningen, was the younger sister of Princess Adelheid -- Adelaide -- consort of William IV. Queen Victoria was fond of her Aunt Adelaide, and Adelaide's family.

Pauline and Carl August had two sons, Wilhelm Ernst, who succeeded his grandfather in 1901), and Bernhard, who died in 1900. The current head of the Saxe-Weimar house is Wilhelm Ernst's grandson, Michael.
Pauline died suddenly of heart disease while on a train en route to Rome. The waiting room at the railway station in Florence was transformed into a "chapelle ardente" and religious services were performed over the body. The Hereditary Grand Duchess spent a lot of time in Italy in the final years of her life, and was "a frequent visitor to the Italian court."

Amazing for his age!

In June, the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated his 87th birthday. While most men of his age are playing golf and celebrating retirement, Prince Philip continues to carry out a fair number of engagements this year. Although he was briefly hospitalized earlier this year, Prince Philip is like the Energizer Bunny, and keeps on going. He is currently in Ghana in Africa for a two- day visit - here are links to stories from the local papers.

Thanks a lot, Fred

In the latest issue of Australian Womens' Weekly, Crown Prince Frederik talks about his courtship with his wife, the former Mary Donaldson. Frederik says that he did all the cooking when they were together because Mary doesn't cook. (She doesn't have to worry now about meal preparation.),25197,24063660-26103,00.html

I must try to get a copy of this magazine to read the entire interview.

Monday, July 21, 2008

If Only...

On January 6, 1901, the Los Angeles Times published an article: "Czar's Children All Girls; Throne without an Heir." To be specific, the Russian throne did have an heir, Grand Duke Michael, who was Nicholas II's youngest brother. But in 1901, there was no direct male heir. It was not yet known that the Empress Alexandra was pregnant with her fourth child, a daughter, Anastasia, who was born in June. According to this article, which featured a new sketch of the three young Grand Duchesses, Nicholas apparently said when Olga was born "Had our baby been a boy, he would have belonged to the nation, but our little Olga belongs to us."

The writer makes a comment, now seen to be wistful, "Although the little Grand Duchesses can never hope to inherit the throne, they can be pretty sure of becoming queens if they grow up." If they grow up. How prescient. According to this article, Queen Victoria, "who is the greatest royal matchmaker in Europe," had earmarked one of the grand duchesses as a future spouse for six-year-old Prince Edward of York (the future Edward VIII.) At the time this article was published, Queen Victoria had only three weeks left to live.

The article also noted that the Czarina was a first cousin to Kaiser Wilhelm II, "whose boys will be looking for suitable princesses before long."

Although it is unlikely that Nicholas II would ever have considered changing the succession laws to primogeniture, U.S. and British newspapers speculated that the law would be changed to allow for Grand Duchess Olga to succeed her father "in the event of the death" of her younger brother. This was reported in 1903, as well, a year before Alexis' birth. This was reported in the LA Times in November 1908.

Women had the right to succeed, but only after all of the men in the family.

In 1911, there were reports that Olga was going to marry Prince Boris -- the future King Boris III -- of Bulgaria, and that the engagement would be announced on November 15th. The Washington Post's article, which was written by the Marquise de Castellane, noted that Olga's chief regret would be to leave her younger brother to whom she was devoted. The engagement was approved by Russia, "but Bulgaria's defiance of Russia has shattered it. The Grand Duchess is said to be heartbroken."

A year later, the Los Angeles Times and other papers reported that Nicholas II was about to announce the date for the marriage between Olga and Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich. Dimitri was Nicholas' first cousin. "The wedding is to be a very brilliant affair, to be followed by a state ball at which the elite of Russian and foreign society will be present. It is in every respect a love match."

Pure fiction, perhaps. In 1914, it was reported that Dimitri was going to renounce his imperial rights to marry Miss Alice Durham, a young American woman, whom he met at a St. Petersburg ice rink.

A headline in the New York Times on November 9, 1914, stated "Marriage of Czar's Daughter and Roumania's Heir May Affect the War." The proposed marriage had been announced, according to the paper, the previous March, between Olga and Crown Prince Carol of Roumania. Earlier there also had been rumors that Carol was going to marry Olga's sister, Tatiana. In 1913, news reports linked Tatiana with the Prince of Wales: "Gossip has it that the heir to Great Britain's throne is very much in love with Princess (sic) Tatiana, second daughter of the Czar of Russia.

Another Romanov cousin, Grand Duke Boris, the son of Grand Wladimir Alexandrovitch and Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, pursued Olga. Alix wrote to Nicholas on January 28, 1916: "Oh could but our children be equally blessed in their married lives - the idea of Boris is too unsympathetic and the child would, I feel convinced, never agree to marry him and I should perfectly well understand her.

Tragically, the Grand Duchesses never got married. They were murdered with their parents, siblings, and loyal servants in July 1917. It is unlikely that Tatiana and Carol would have had a happy marriage, but at least, she would have survived the Revolution. The same could be said of the stories about Olga and Boris or Olga and King Alexander of Serbia (who was said to be fond of her). As Queen of Bulgaria, she may have been able to do something to secure her family's release.

There were also stories of romances with soldiers. Tatiana had become close to Dimitri Malama, an officer in the Life Guards Regiment. In 1916, Alexandra wrote to her husband after seeing Malama for the first time in more than a year: "Looks flourishing more than a man now, and adorable boy still. I must say, a perfect son-in-law he wld. have been. Why are foreign Pces. not as nice!" However, much Alix liked Malama, he would not have been a suitable husband for a Grand Duchess. Nor would Olga be allowed to develop a relationship with another officer, Pavel Voronov.

The war changed their lives. Marital opportunities came and went. The family grew closer, became more inclusive. By 1917, it was too late to find husbands for the two oldest Grand Duchesses. Nicholas had lost his throne, the family was under arrest, and in the next year, they would all be dead.

Aimone and Olga

Are they? Or aren't they? That is the question? Will they continue to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous speculation? They are not the most public of couples -- and they have been engaged for three years now. Prince Aimone of Savoy-Aosta, Duke of Apulia, and Princess Olga of Greece have been together for three years now. But there has been no movement toward arranging a wedding. Aimone, 40, and Olga, 35, have lived together in Russia, where Aimone works. Late last year, they attended the baptism of one of Aimone's relatives. I was sent photographs from this event but due to copyright restrictions (and family privacy), I cannot publish the photos. I can say, however, that Aimone and Olga came to the celebrations, as a couple.
Yes, Olga's biological clock is ticking away but perhaps she and Aimone are happy with the status-quo. Why do they need to marry? Is it perhaps because Aimone is the last male in line to the former Italian throne, as well as the only heir to the Aosta title? Is it because their marriage would be seen by royal watchers as a true dynastic alliance. Princess Olga is the younger daugher of Prince Michael of Greece (who ceased to be a Greek dynast when he married Marina Karella in 1965. ) Aimone's cousin, Emamuele Filiberto, is married to a French actress, and they have two daughters. (Princess Clotilde is young enough to have another child.)
Perhaps -- and this is speculation on my part -- Aimone and Olga have no real interest in a "dynastic marriage." There is no throne to inherit.
The Duke of Aosta, who now considers himself as head of the Italian royal family, would certainly announce an end to the engagement on his official website. Perhaps they are happy to live together!

Shrimp burgers

Yes, you can make shrimp burgers -- and a great alternative to the usual hamburger Finely chopping the shrimp and chilling the patties for at least 2 hours will help them stay together while cooking.

1 pound unpeeled, medium-size fresh shrimp, cooked (or largely the same amount of canned shrimp, but fresh is better

3 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped green onions (I tend to skip the green onions)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind -- Lemon rind is also sold in bottles - or use a dash or two of lemon juice

1 cup cornbread crumbs or soft breadcrumbs --breadcrumbs help keep the burgers together.

3 tablespoons low fat or fat free mayonnaise 1 large egg, beaten 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce 2 tablespoons canola oil

PreparationPeel shrimp, and devein, if desired; finely chop.
Combine shrimp and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

Add bread crumbs and next 5 ingredients, and stir until well blended.
Make 6 patties. Place patties on a wax paper-filled baking sheet; cover and chill at least 2 hours.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp patties 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Place the patties on hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls - and add the usual toppings, lettuce, tomato, etc ... and enjoy!!!!

Your summer BBQ can also include a lovely blue cheese potato salad ... a Caribbean chicken salad -- so yummy. I made the latter last week.

Interesting article about the Anhalts

Here is a link from a German newspaper about the head of the Anhalt family, Prince Eduard.

The headline writer went a little overboard with the comment about the Prince of Anhalt being Prince Charles' cousin ... very, very distant cousins, if at all.
Eduard was born in 1941. He succeeded his brother, Leopold Friedrich, in 1963 as head of the house. Leopold Friedrich, who was unnmarried, died in a car crash. Eduard is the last male heir to the Anhalt line. He and his wife, Corinna, have three daughters.

The Princess of Hannover

According to several German newspapers, Princess Caroline, the wife of Prince Ernst August of Hannover, must testify as a witness in the case against her husband.
Prince Ernst August has been charged with assault during an incident in Kenya. Caroline was to have testified in secret in May, but postponed her appearance because the media found out where she was to have appeared before the judge.

The former Princess Caroline of Monaco is the eldest child of the late Prince Rainier III of Monaco and his American-born wife, Grace Kelly. She is the heiress presumptive to to the Monagesque throne as her brother, Albert II, has no legitimate heirs.

Prince Ernst August is the head of the house of Hannover. If Britain had salic law, he would now be the king of the UK - and he probably would not be married to Caroline, who is Roman Catholic.
In 1837, when William IV died, the British throne was inherited by his niece, Queen Victoria. But because Hannover was males only, that throne passed to William IV's brother, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. The new King Ernst August of Hannover remained as first in line to the British throne until November 1840 when Victoria gave birth to her first child, Princess Victoria.

Ernst August has two sons, Ernst August and Christian, by his first wife, Chantal Hochuli, and a daughter, Alexandra, by Caroline.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

If you keep it in your closet ...

It is probably true to say that what goes out of fashion eventually comes back into fashion -- or in the case of the Princess Royal, she opened her closest and pulled out a dress that she may not have worn in 27 years. Haven't seen that in awhile, she may have muttered! Still have the hat, too. Different shoes, though.

This is not the first time that Princess Anne has wandered into her closet and pulled out something old ... she didn't buy a new dress for her second marriage, and she has been photographed wearing a dress that she wore 25 years earlier.
The dress and hat that Anne wore to today's wedding was first worn on July 29, 1981, when she attended the wedding of her brother, the Prince of Wales, to the Lady Diana Spencer!
What is even more amazing than Anne's general thriftiness is the fact that after 27 years, she can still fit into the dress!

Windsor-Gilman nuptials

Lady Rose Windsor was married today to George Gilman. The Anglican wedding took place at the Queen's chapel, adjacent to St. James's Palace.
Lady Rose, 28, is the youngest of three children of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The Duke is Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin.
Lady Rose and her two older siblings, Alexander, the Earl of Ulster, and Lady Davina, were raised largely out of the royal limelight.
The bride was given away by her father, the Duke of Gloucester, and was attended by her sister, Lady Davina Lewis, and three children. Two of her godparents, the Earl of Wessex and the Lady Sarah Chatto, read the lessons.
The royal guests included the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto, the Princess Royal, and Lady Ella and Lord Frederick Windsor.
The bride's gown was designed by Franka couture, and she wore a family tiara once owned by Queen Mary.
George Gilman is the son of Peter Gilmore, former director of the Leeds United soccer club.
Lady Rose and George Gilman have lived together in London for several years now. She has worked as an art assistant in the film industry.
Prince William's girlfriend, Kate Middleton, also attended the wedding. Prince William is currently serving on a Royal Navy frigate in the Caribbean.
Lady Rose had a good royal turnout. It is not unexpected that the Queen did not attend, nor the Prince of Wales. No member of the Royal Family was present (apart from the duke and duchess of Gloucester, as parents of the bride) when Rose's sister, Lady Davina married a Maori, Gary Lewis, in 2004.
Lord Ulster married Clare Booth at the Queen's Chapel in June 2002. The Royal guests included the Princess Royal, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. Lady Gabriella Windsor and Lord Frederick Windsor, along with Lady Sarah Chatto and her husband, Daniel. King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie were also guests at the Ulster nuptials.

Princess Alexandra - my favorite royal

Nice to see local coverage of Princess Alexandra's visit to Shropshire: and

Princess Alexandra, who was born on Christmas Day in 1936, is the sister of the Duke of Kent and Prince Michael of Kent.

Getting help

Mom, is this the file you are looking for - the Gleichen file.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Queen Elizabeth to abdicate!!

Got your attention! She's not, despite the "report" in one weekly German tabloid magazine, Frau mit Herz. It is obvious that the editor of this magazine does not know a lot about the British monarchy. The queen cannot abdicate in favor of Prince William (and bypass the Prince of Wales).An act of abdication comes from Parliament, and only Parliament can muck with the succession. Queen Elizabeth II won't wake up tomorrow and say, too bad, Charles, I am handing the throne to William. German magazine editors may dream up such scenarios, but reality is another matter.

This is a report from Saturday's Times :

The unheralded Egg Cream

I've been living in Virginia for nearly 20 years now. It was my decision to move lock, stock and battle (or books, books, and books) from my Heimat (New Jersey) to Northern Virginia. I commuted to New York City for about 15 years as a member of the B&T crowd (Bus and tunnel). Loved New York, loved the Mets (still do) and loved Egg Creams. If you are not from the New York Metropolitan area you probably have never tasted the delectable, refreshing egg cream. First things first: no eggs or cream are included in the recipe. It is also easy to make.
The egg cream was probably invented in Brooklyn - and some people call it a cheap ice cream soda ... no ice cream. Singer Lou Reed wrote:
"When I was a young man, no bigger than this
A chocolate egg cream was not to be missed
Some U-Bet's Chocolate Syrup, seltzer water mixed with milk
Stir it up into a heady fro', tasted just like silk
You scream, I scream, We all want Egg Cream"

From the BBC (but the recipe is wrong: you put in the seltzer after the chocolate syrup and milk)

Here is a link with a photo of an egg cream:

Fox's U-Bet is the best syrup for the egg cream but other chocolate syrups will do. Vanilla egg creams are also good. You can mix the selzer with a whisk. Get the straw -- and enjoy!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nicholas II and family

Today is the 90th anniversary of the assassination of Nicholas II and the murders of his wife, Alexandra and their five children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexis. Several servants and the family doctor were also murdered during the night of July 16-17, 1918. The murders were carried out by drunken louts also known as Bolsheviks. Here is a link to a story in today's Washington Post

No Financial Angels for Martha Louise

Norway's Princess Märtha Louise, 4th in line to the throne, runs an alternative healing center where you can get in contact with your inner angel. Or contact angels! However, Anstarte Education, is not making a profit. "It was while I worked with horses that I took up contact with angels. I later realized the value of this enormous gift, and will gladly share it with others," she says on the Anstarte website. Princess Märtha Louise, who is expecting her third child, may be able to talk to angels, but she's not getting any financial advice from them.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The remains of Alexei may be put on view!

Would it not be better if the remains of the Tsarevitch and his sister be interred with the rest of the family. They died together, let them be in peace together.

Video: Princess Elizabeth & Princess Margaret

Never before seen film of Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret playing with their corgies in 1936! The future queen's expression in the final seconds of the clip has remained the same throughout her entire life.

The Missing Hesse Jewels

My daily Google news trawl for news articles that include the word "Princess" brought up the following article from the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch.

The article cites AP stories from the late 1940s regarding the case. In the 1980s, I worked for AP as a news librarian, and I made copies of the original stories for my files. It might make a good article for the blog. (But not until after the Hymn Sing on Sunday.)

The Gloucesters - the unsung heros of the Royal Family

A plane crash in August 1972 changed the life of HRH Prince Richard of Gloucester. As the second and younger son of HRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Richard expected to live a largely private life. As a younger son of a younger son of a monarch (George V), Prince Richard was not expected to take on royal duties as a career. No civil list allocations. Born in 1944, Prince Richard spent his early life in Australia with his parents and his older brother, Prince William, where the Duke of Gloucester of Governer General. At the time of his birth, Prince Richard was 5th in line to the British throne after Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, The Duke of Gloucester and Prince William).
Prince Richard was baptised at the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle on October 20, 1944. His godparents were Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone (granddaughter of Queen Victoria), the 2nd Marquess of Cambridge (nephew of Queen Mary), Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein (another granddaughter of Victoria), Lady Sybil Phipps (sister of the Duchess of Gloucester, who was born Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott), Queen Elizabeth (consort of George VI and Sir Harold Alexander. Lady May Abel Smith stood as proxy at the baptism for her mother, Princess Alice, who was in Canada with her husband, the Earl of Athlone, who was the Governor-General of Canada. Lady Alexander represented her husband, who was unable to attend the ceremony.

In 1963, he entered Madgalene College at Cambridge University, where he studied architecture. He completed three years of the five-year degree program, leaving Oxford in 1966. He did a year's practical experience before returning to Cambridge to complete the degree program. He received his degree in architecture in 1969, and then went to work for a London architecture firm.
But on August 28, 1972, Prince William of Gloucester was killed in a plane crash. Prince Richard of Gloucester now became the heir apparent to his father's ducal title. He resigned his position in the architectural firm and began to take on more royal duties and the management of the family estate, Barnwell Manor.
Two months before his death, Prince William was his brother's best man when Prince Richard married the Danish-born Birgitte van Deurs. In June 1974, the Duke of Gloucester died, and Richard succeeded to the titles. He and Birgitte, who live in a grace-and-favour apartment at Kensington Palace, carry out numerous royal engagements each year on behalf of the Queen. These include overseas and military engagements.
The couple's three children, Alexander, Earl of Ulster, and the Ladies Davina and Rose, do not carry out official engagements and live largely private lives.
The Gloucester line has been largely free from scandal and the prying eyes of the tabloid press. The couple have been happily married for 36 years, and have one grandchild - Xan (Lord Culloden), who is the son of Earl and Countess of Ulster. Lord Ulster, who is a commissioned officer in the King's Royal Hussars, served in Kosovo and was believed to be serving in Iraq at the same time his cousin, Prince Harry of Wales, was in Afghanistan. Lady Davina is married to a Maori, Gary Lewis, and Lady Rose will be married this coming weekend to George Gilman.
The Countess of Ulster is a pediatrician, and is known professionally as Dr. Booth (her maiden name).
For more information about this self-effacing couple, see their official biographies
TRH The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester are certainly two of the most dedicated members of the Royal Family. They are the unsung heroes of the Royal Family,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Hohenzollern weddings

These cards are lovely, showing the wedding groups for Princess Margarete of Saxony and Hereditary Prince Friedrich of Hohenzollern and Princess Marie Alix of Saxony and Prince Franz Joseph of Hohenzollern - sisters marrying brothers!

The cats have a post

We provide intensive security. Where Mom goes we go! All the time. Everywhere she goes in the house, we go ... and we mean everywhere. We came to help Mom clean up the mess on the desk and the floor (Buddy pushed the papers on the floor). Edison thought it would be a great idea to sit on Mom's chair. This means she has to stand up and file ... Ella and Sienna are on sentry duty.