Sunday, August 31, 2008

Why did Princess Clara take the veil?

Interesting question.

Princess  Clara Eugenie Christina Gabriele Alexandrina Marie Theresia Euphemia Zenaide was a member of the Bavarian royal family, a deeply devout Roman Catholic family. But it was unusual for a Bavarian princess to give up worldly life and become a cloistered nun. Clara was the fifth and youngest child of Prince and Princess Adalbert of Bavaria. She was born at Schloss Nymphenburg on October 11, 1874, and it was assumed that she would marry well. 

Her father Prince Adalbert of Bavaria was the ninth child of King Ludwig I and  Princess Therese  of Saxe-Hildburghausen.  In 1856, he married Infanta Amelia of Spain, the eleventh child of  Infante Francisco de Paulo of Spain, Duke of Cadiz, and Princess Luisa of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (who was also his niece).

Adalbert and Amalia's (as Amelia was known in Bavaria) eldest son, Prince Ludwig Ferdinand wass married in 1883, to  Infanta Maria de la Paz, the  daughter of  Queen  Isabel II. The second son, Alfons, also made a grand marriage, when he married Princess Louise of Orleans in 1891.

The two sons were followed by three daughters, Isabella, who married Prince Tomasso of Savoy, Duke of Genoa, Elvira, and Clara.

Elvira's marriage to Count Rudolf von Wrbna-Kaunitz-Rietberg-Questenberg caused consternation as he was not of an equal rank.  Prince Luitpold, the Prince Regent, reluctantly agreed to the consent of Elvira's marriage, which took place in 1891. Count von Wrbna was not a member of a reigning royal house or even a mediatized princely family. He was, however, a very wealthy man, as Count Rudolf was the principal heir to the fortune of Prince Kaunitz, who had served as Empress Maria Theresia of Austria's chancellor.

Princess Clara was not to be so lucky. It was said that she had fallen in love with a very wealthy man, Baron Theodor von Cramer-Clett. He was a multi-millionaire, and a Lutheran, who made substantial donations to Benedictine orders and other Catholic charities. Princess Clara is said "to have lost her heart," to the Bavarian nobleman. More "amiable than comely," Princess Clara was considered as a bride for the Count of Turin, but "he absolutely refused to marry her in consequence of her looks."

Yet, now, here Clara had a true suitor, someone who loved her for herself. But it was not meant to be. The Prince Regent would not permit the marriage. Baron von Cramer-Klett's father began his career in journalism before turning to manufacture where he made his money. He apparently went insane and died in an asylum from cancer of the throat. Thus, two strikes against the young Baron. A plebeian ancestry, and insanity, which is something that the Prince Regent knew about. He was the regent of his mentally ill nephew, King Otto.

There would be no husband for Clara. Her home life "can scarcely be agreeable," and she is "doomed to be the companionship of her eccentric mother," who the Marquise de Fontenoy described as "the craziest of royal personages in Europe that are outside the bars of a lunatic asylum."

Perhaps Clara saw a cloister as a way to escape from such an empty life. No husband, no children, just the deary existence of providing companionship to her mother.

In 1903, a year after his engagement to Clara had ended, Baron Theodor married Anna von Würtzburg. He converted to Catholicism and became one of Bavaria's most prominent Catholic laymen. He also served as a Papal Chamberlain. He died in January 1938, several months after he had hosted Charles Lindbergh at his castle in Bavaria.

Princess Clara died in Munich on May 29, 1941.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Gossip about Boris

Ida von Claussen  (Library of Congress) 

Talk about dissipated and being a roué. Grand Duke Boris of Russia would win both categories hands down. Grand Duke Boris, who was the second son of Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia, and thus, a first cousin to Nicholas II, was about to become engaged, according to gossip reports making the rounds in Europe in 1907. 

 The woman in question was an American, Ida von Claussen, whose father, Adolph von Claussen, was a wealthy merchant. When she was only 19 years old, Ida married William Francis Honan. They were divorced in 1905. Ida resumed her maiden name and moved to Coburg, Germany, with her eldest daughter. She was "tall, with a splendid figure, and a most engaging manner," according to one report, Ida was about to become engaged to Prince Paul Ouroussoff, the son of Russia's ambassador to Austria. The Ouroussof family, according to the Los Angeles Times, was one of the oldest noble families in Russia, and after the Romanovs, the Ouroussof family "claim the next right to the throne." Prince Paul proposed marriage after only knowing Ida for a week, but he wanted the engagement to be kept secret, from his family. 

Library of Congress 

 Enter Prince Paul's best friend: Grand Duke Paul. He told the grand duke about his new love. Boris decided he needed to head to Germany to pay his respects to Paul's fiancee. Boris found the American woman to be "entrancing." He fell "head over heels" with Ida von Claussen, and was determined to make her his wife. Boris did not tell Ida that he was a Grand Duke. He introduced himself as a Russian nobleman and used a princely title as a nom de plume. Ida, flattered by this attention, told Boris "Even if you were a Grand Duke of Russia, I would not break my word with my fiance." Boris' allegedly responded with: "I am proud that my friend has such a brave bride, and I shall be with him, though his family opposes him." 

It is said that Prince Paul's father has asked the Czar to interfere and forbid the marriage. Prince Paul fled Russia, and his family feared that he will run off with his American love. He didn't, although Prince Paul did pursue Ida to Rome, where she allegedly was also in love with an Italian prince. She married neither man. Ida von Claussen featured often in the pages of the papers in the first decade of the 20th century. Due to her erratic behavior, a New York Court in 1910, asked her father to have her committed to an institution. He declined. In 1911, a judge sent Ida to the Bloomingdale State Hospital for the Insane. She was released several months later into the custody of her brother. In April 1913, her engagement to a Briton Fred L. Davis. 

 Later that year, she was sent to jail for threatening the life of the head of New York's Water Board. In September 1920, she married Raymond H. Mayberry, a "cinema artist." Six days later, she filed for an annulment, saying she married Mayberry "to get rid of him. He had been following me around the country for two years, begging me to be his wife. He threatened to take poison if I did not become his wife." Not surprisingly, Mayberry told another story. He said that he now believed that Ida was still married to her second husband, Frank Donagan, whom she married in 1913, no longer after she had been released from a mental institution. Ida von Claussen Davis Dona Mayberry (as she was referred to in the New York Times) withdrew the suit against Mayberry. She said she would return to him if he paid her $50,000 for the reconciliation. 

 She also told the judge that she was still married to Dona (the name she used for Donagan), but she did not consider him her husband. She said her brother forced her to marry Dona/Donagan. Ida said she would remain in Reno, Nevada, where "the divorce courts are handy." After spending seven years in Europe, where she tried to establish the legal right of a son who she said was born in Germany, Ida made "a frantic attempt" to re-enter the U.S., to claim a share of her grandfather's estate. Ida was a frequent litigant in court cases in New York. By the late 1920s, she faded into obscurity.


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Princess Elisabeth of Liechtenstein loves her cars

August 31, 1907 

 Princess Elisabeth of Liechtenstein has a "motor craze." She has, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, 31 cars and no horses. 

She is described as one of the "most enthusiastic motorists of all the imperial women." At her castle in southwestern Hungary, Elisabeth has converted the former stables into garages, and the stable boys and groomsmen are gaining new skills in auto mechanics and are also being trained as chauffeurs. 

 The former Archduchess of Austria is the niece of Emperor Franz Joseph. In 1903, she married Prince Alois of Liechtenstein. They have a son, Franz Joseph, who turned a year old on August 16.

The Reuss Sisters

A charming photo of five sisters was taken in Greiz, the capital of the principality of Reuss, in 1903. The five princesses, who were the daughters of Heinrich XXII, Prince of Reuss zu Greiz, and his wife Princess Ida of Schaumberg-Lippe. The Prince had died a year earlier, leaving the throne to his only son, Heinrich XXIV, who was mentally handicapped and confined to an institution. When Heinrich XXIV died in 1927, the Reuss zu Greiz (the older line) became extinct.
The five sisters were Emma, Marie, Karoline, Hermine, and Ida. This postcard was mailed on May 14, 1903, the day of Emma's wedding to Count Erich Künigl-Ehrenburg. The couple was married in Greiz. The couple had become engaged a year earlier, and most likely after the death of Emma's father, as the official engagement photo shows the couple dressed in black. The couple had three children: Marie Hermine, Ferdinand, and Heinrich.
I suspect there are more postcards published in 1903 in connection with this photoshoot. The photo of Ida with her dog, Pucki, appears to have been taken on the same day.
Emma was not the first of the sisters to marry. One month earlier, Karoline was married at Bückeburg to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. This was certainly a brilliant match in dynastic terms. But it was certainly not a happy marriage, and the princess died two years later.

Hermine was the only sister to have married twice. In 1907, she married Prince Johann of Schoenaich-Carolath. He died in 1920. Two years later, Hermine, the mother of five young children, made a truly grand marriage when she became the second wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Ida was the last to marry. In 1911, she became the wife of Christoph Martin, the Prince of Stolberg-Rossla.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Max and Helen

So what happened? Why didn't they marry? On paper, the marriage between a Russian Grand Duchess and Prince Max of Baden was a stellar arrangement. Max's maternal grandmother was a Romanov, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaievna. Although Max was a member of a collateral line, it was apparent that he would eventually succeed as grand duke. Friedrich I was in his seventies, and his only son, the future Friedrich II's marriage to Hilda of Nassau was childless. Thus, Max, whose father was a younger son of Grand Duke Leopold, was seen as a good prospect for Helen.

The engagement was announced in October 1898, with a wedding scheduled for early 1899. Helen had only just turned sixteen when she became engaged. The Baden engagement was a coup for Helen's formidable mother, Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, who was born a Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. She had ambitions for her only daughter, who had little say in the marital arrangement.

But just before the marriage was to take place, Max broke off the engagement, according to the recent book, The Grand Duchesses. Grand Duchess Marie was "shamed," and Helen was utterly bereft, saddened, and unsure why Max had changed his mind.

Grand Duke Kirill, who served in the Russian navy, was in the US on January 1, 1900, en route home to attend his sister's wedding, according to several US papers. The Grand Duke had been on duty with the United States Navy Pacific squadron.

According to the Chicago Daily News, the Baden-Russia nuptials were seen "as an additional guarantee of peace with Russia." Helen and Max would celebrate their marriage with ceremonies in Baden and St. Petersburg, according to the paper's reporter.

On June 9, 1899, a Berlin dispatch reported that the engagement between Max and Helen "had been definitely broken off."

But was Max responsible for the break-up? A great deal of preparation had gone into this wedding. Grand Duke Kirill had made it home in time. Was there a cover-up to protect Max's reputation at the expense of Helen's? Or vice-versa. On August 25, 1899, the Marquise de Fontenoy wrote: "Grand Duchess Helen of Russia must be congratulated on her escape from Prince Max of Baden." The Marquise -- Marguerite Cunliffe-Owen -- stated that Helen jilted Max. She claims that Prince Max "is at the present moment under restraint at the same lunatic asylum" in Vienna where Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had been confined.

Max had shattered "not only his nervous system but likewise his mind by his excesses and dissipation." Because of his "misconduct," Helen was obliged to end the engagement. This final action "proved the blow that wrecked what remained of his reason."

The insanity, according to the Marquise, was genetic, as the elder brother of Grand Duke Friedrich, had been deposed because he was insane. The Marquise does note that there was no truth in the story that the engagement was broken so that a marriage could be arranged between Helen and her first cousin, Grand Duke Michael of Russia. (A marriage between first cousins was not permitted by the Orthodox church, as the Marquise states in her column.) The Marquise said she was not surprised that the engagement came to an end. The Prince is a "dull and dissipated man of 35, who has lived fast, and who represents not what is, best but what is the worst in the German cavalry officer." Max is described as "slightly bald," and a heavy drinker. Helen is a "thoroughly spoiled child, impulsive, clever, brilliant, [and] hot-tempered." It was said that Russian police were ordered to confiscate all photographs of the young couple.

Religion did not play a role in the break-up. Prince Max is Lutheran, as is Helen's mother, Marie, who is described by the Marquise de Fontenoy as a "rabid Lutheran," who has refused to "assume the religion of her adopted country. Grand Duchess Helen is Russian Orthodox, but a mixed marriage would not have been a problem.

Princess Margarete of Prussia was fond of Max and wanted to marry him, but he was not interested in her. She eventually married his best friend, Friedrich Karl of Hesse. Max, however, had proposed to Princess Sibylle of Hesse, but she turned him down and married Baron Friedrich von Vincke.

In early 1898, Princess Pauline of Württemberg was reported to be engaged to Prince Max, but she declared that she "will never give her hand where she cannot give her heart." The Marquise de Fontenoy, who wrote a column that appeared in US newspapers, noted that Pauline "rejected the suit of Prince Max," because she had "fallen violently in love" with Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, a grandson of Queen Victoria. But the prince, a mere second son, was considered "impecunious" by the King and Queen of Württemberg, and, thus, not a good match for their only daughter. (In October 1898, Pauline married the Prince of Wied.)

Three months after the official announcement that Max and Helen were not going to marry, another dispatch was denied. Helen was not engaged to the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Nor was she going to marry Prince Albert of Belgium, although Helen had hoped for this match as Albert was the heir to the throne. But Helen was an afterthought for Albert who was interested in marrying Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria.

By February 1900, the Marquise was reporting there was talk in Greece that Prince George of Greece was going to marry Helen, "who last year jilted that dissipated and prematurely aged Prince Max of Baden." In the same month, the Chicago Daily Tribune reported that Max was in Vienna "in quest of a bride." And the bride in question: Archduchess Maria Annunciata "Miana" of Austria. Perhaps. Perhaps not. The Archduchess was a devout Roman Catholic, and unlikely to marry a Lutheran prince. Miana, however, was not the reason for Max's trip to Vienna. In March, Max became engaged to Princess Marie Louise of Cumberland, the elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, the de jure King, and Queen of Hanover.

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland agreed to the marriage even though they were well aware of Max's homosexuality.  He was also the heir to a Grand Duchy.

By the end of World War I, Max was one of the few respected German royals who served briefly as Kaiser Wilhelm II's last chancellor.

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Boris' Pro-Axis sister may play "important role"

August 29, 1943.

 It is believed that that the late King Boris of Bulgaria's sister, Eudoxia, "will play an increasingly important part in Bulgarian politics." King Boris died yesterday under mysterious and unexpected conditions. Boris' six-year-old son, Simeon, has been proclaimed king, but a regency will be needed to rule the country, which has suffered a fractured political climate for some time. Eudoxia, who is unmarried, appears to espouse pro-Axis views.

Queen Astrid killed in car crash

both images from Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

August 29, 1935

Queen Astrid of the Belgians, 29, was killed today in a car crash that also injured her husband, King Leopold III. The couple were on vacation in Switzerland and were planning to do some mountain climbing. 

 The queen was fatally injured when she was thrown from the car, which was being driven by her husband. King Leopold had taken his eyes off the road for only a few seconds, to look at the map that Astrid held in her hands. The car swerved and hit a tree. Astrid suffered a fractured skull, and she apparently died in her husband's arms. Leopold's father, King Albert I, suffered a similar fatal injury, while rock climbing only eight months earlier.
Leopold and Astrid, a princess of Sweden, were married in 1926.
The Queen, who was raised Lutheran, joined the Roman Catholic church several years after her wedding.

The couple has three children, Josephine-Charlotte, 6, Baudouin, 4, and 14-month-old, Albert.
King Leopold accompanied his wife's coffin for the "sorrowful journey" back to Brussels by train.

Prince Henry to marry

Embed from Getty Images

August 29, 1935

"It is with great pleasure that the king and queen announce the betrothal of their dearly beloved son, the duke of Gloucester, to the Lady Alice Montagu-Douglass-Scott, daughter of the duke and duchess of Buccleuch and Queensbury, to which the king has gladly given his consent."

Prince Henry is 35. His bride-to-be will celebrate her 34th birthday on Christmas Day. Lady Alice is a "lover of horses, sports and dancing." She and the Duke of Gloucester often were seen hunting at her family's estate, Drumlanrig. The Buccleuchs are an old historic family with a genealogical connection to Charles II. The future duchess of Gloucester has spent a lot of time in Kenya, and shares an interest in Africa with Prince Henry.

Princess Anastasia of Greece dies in London

Princess Anastasia and her son William Leeds

August 29, 1923 

HRH Princess Anastasia of Greece died today at 11:48 p.m., at Spencer House in London. Her third husband, Prince Christopher of Greece was at her bedside when she died. The former Nonnie May Stewart was born in Zanesville, Ohio. She was first married to George Worthington. They were divorced in 1898. In 1900, she married William Bateman Leeds, the Tin plate king, who was worth between 25,000,000 and 40,000,000. He died only eight years later, leaving the bulk of his fortune to his widow. The couple also had a young son, William.

Nancy Leeds and Prince Christopher were married in Vevey, Switzerland, on January 21, 1920. She was created HRH Princess Anastasia in her own right by King Constantine I.
A year after her own marriage, her only son, William, 19, married Princess Xenia of Russia, whose mother, Marie, was Prince Christopher's sister.

Prince Wilhelm plays tourist

August 30, 1907 Prince Wilhelm of Sweden "marveled at the magnificent panorama of New York," when he visited the twenty-ninth floor of the Singer Building, which is the world's tallest building. The Singer building is located at Broadway and Liberty Street.
For more than 30 minutes, the prince surveyed the sights of New York city and New Jersey. "It is simply magnificient. Beyond all doubt it is the grandest sight I have ever beheld in my life." The Prince seemed impressed with the skyline, and commented on the the Palisades and asked about New Jersey rock formations.

Several thousand Swedish-Americans were in the crowd and shouted a cheer for the grandson of King Oscar II.
Later in the afternoon, the prince visited an orphanage, where the young children sang in Swedish.

FYI: The Singer building was completed in 1908. It was the tallest building in the world until 1909, when the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower building opened on Madison Avenue. The Singer building was demolished in 1968. This building is still extant The US Steel Building (also known as One Liberty Plaza) was built on the Singer building site, which is next to where the former World Trade site.

Kaiser plans Victoria Luise's marriage

Embed from Getty Images 
 August 29, 1907

 According to the Los Angeles Times, Kaiser Wilhelm II is said to be arranging the marriage between his only daughter, Princess Victoria Luise, to his first cousin, Prince Leopold of Battenberg. Prince Leopold is the third child and second son of Princess Beatrice and her husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg.
Victoria Luise, who is approaching her 15th birthday, is said to be "an unaffected and clever girl."

 The engagement is expected to take place in the fall, but a wedding will not be celebrated until the princess reaches her 18th birthday. Leopold's only sister, Ena, is married to King Alfonso XIII of Spain. It has been suggested that Alfonso wanted to marry Victoria Luise, but "her Lutheran papa frowned on the Spanish king and would hear of her embracing the Roman Catholic faith." 

Embed from Getty Images 

 [Prince Leopold was a hemophiliac, and it is unlikely that the Kaiser would have considered Leopold as a husband for his daughter. Wilhelm and Leopold were both grandsons of Queen Victoria, but Leopold's father, Henry, was the product of a morganatic alliance. If Wilhelm did not want his sister, Viktoria, to marry Alexander of Battenberg (Henry's brother), he was not going to allow Victoria Luise to marry Leopold of Battenberg, who had two strikes against him: hemophilia and the Battenberg strain.]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Grand Duchess Helen of Russia gets married

August 29, 1902

Wearing the imperial bridal gown and crown, Grand Duchess Helen Wladimirovna of Russia was married today to Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark, the third son of King George and Queen Olga of Greece. The betrothal ceremony took place at Tsarkoe-Selo, which was followed by the Orthodox wedding service at the palace church. The Metropolitan of St Petersburg presided at the wedding.
A "grand State dinner" was held in the palace in the evening, and it was attended by members of the imperial family and other "distinguished guests."

Nicholas and Helen had become engaged on June 13, 1902. Nicholas noted that Grand Duke Wladimir's daughter was "lovely and fascinating. This was not the first marriage between the Russian and Greek Royal families.

Queen Olga was the daughter of Grand Duke Constantine. Two of Nicholas' sisters, Alexandra and Marie, had also married into the Russian Imperial family. Alexandra died in childbirth in 1891, only two years after her marriage to Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich. In 1900, Princess Marie married Grand Duke George Mikhailovich. This marriage took place in Greece, rather than Russia, as the Princess remained loyal to her homeland.

Nicholas and Helen's honeymoon was spent at Ropcha, near St. Petersburg. Within the month, they were in Denmark where Nicholas introduced his new wife to his Danish relatives, and then it was back to Russia, where Helen said goodbye to her family. The final stop before heading to Athens was in Crimea where the newlyweds spent time with Nicholas and Alexandra. Then it was home to Athens to their new home -- a wedding gift from the Russian Emperor and Empress. Nicholas considered himself a happily married man. "From the moment my wife arrived in Greece, she took the keenest interest in her adopted country, and did all she could to help charity works and all social welfare."

But Nicholas' was not Helen's first love. In 1898, Helen had become engaged to Prince Maximilian of Baden, the heir to the Grand Ducal throne. Their engagement was broken only days before their wedding in June 1899. 

Grand Duke Boris attends service for Helen's wedding

August 29, 1902

Grand Duke Boris of Russia, who is staying at the Waldorf-Astoria, got up at midday today. Although he had his own valet, he requested an American barber "be called to perform the morning toilet" because he "liked to prove that the American barbar is loquoacious."

He attended lunch at the University Club, and in the afternoon, shopped at Tiffany's at Union Square, where he bought two vases. He was driven to the Russian church on East 97th street, to attend a service that celebrated his sister, Helen's marriage to Prince Nicholas of Greece. He kissed the crucifix, and took part in the prayers to the Imperial Family. A Te Deum, sung to an old Gregorian chant.

In the evening, the Grand Duke and his suite occupied a box, at the Casino, to watch the evening entertainment. It was suggested that he had received a letter from two chorus girls who has asked him to compare the beauty of Chicago and New York chorus. He said that when he was in Chicago, he thought the chorus girls there were the prettiest, but having arrived in New York, he was now convinced that "the New York girls would surpass the Western girls."

Grand Duke Boris arrives in NYC

Embed from Getty Images

August 28, 1902

 Grand Duke Boris has arrived in New York City after spending several days in Chicago. He told reporters that he liked Chicago, "except that there had been more freedom of the press than he had known at home." The Grand Duke was convinced that the reporters were overzealous in their reports about his actions, and had "written events that he was sure had never happened." Much was made of a story that the Grand Duke had drunk wine out of a woman's slipper. Boris told reporters that he was certain "that he did not drink from the slipper."

The Grand Duke if staying at the Waldorf-Astoria. He arrived at the hotel in a closed carriage, which he disliked because he liked the smell of New York's air. "It's like champagne," he said.

One of the first things that the Grand Duke did after checking into his hotel was to send a telegram to his sister, Grand Duchess Helen, who marry Prince Nicholas of Greece, tomorrow. He sent his "sincere congratulations and good wishes."

The Grand Duke was effusive in his description of the United States. "What a wonderful country this is. It's nothing but electricity here, there and everywhere. Your street cars move becaues of electricity and you even illuminate your stores and places of amusement with letters made of many electric globes. What strikes me most, however," the Grand Duke said," is the beauty of the American women. They are a distinct type, and whenever I see a lovely woman anywhere in my tour around the globe, I will be sure that she was born in America."

Grand Duke Boris also said they he liked President Roosevelt. "I hope to seem him and I mean to see him as soon as I can." He also noted "the wonderful, aggressive, active people here."

Princess Margaret linked to a gangster

What will they write next:

Here is a link to a Telegraph article about a new TV program in the UK about Princess Margaret - and her relationship with a gangster

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Princess Henriette of Schleswig-Holstein honored guest at Terrace Garden

August 27, 1888

Princess Henriette of Schleswig-Holstein and her husband, Johann Friedrich von Esmarch, were the guests of honor at New York City's Terrace Garden. Dr. von Esmarch is a professor at Kiel University and also serves as a surgeon-general in the German Army. The dinner was hosted by German-Americans prominent in German committees and the Schleswig-Holstein Society.

 The dinner commemorated the contribution of Schleswig-Holstein Germans in Germany and in the USA. The princess presented a financial gift that would be used for poor Schleswig-Holsteiners living in New York City. After the speeches were complete, Princess Henriette left the event, but her husband and stepson, Erwin, remained "to take part in a handsome repast." The princess' stepson also told other guests that his parents enjoyed the reception very much.

Princess Henriette wore a black gown to the dinner, and is "personally well-mated to her handsome husband, whose high forehead, fine features and snow white hair and beard would make him a prominent figure anywhere."

The von Esmarch family will travel to Washington, D.C., where the doctor will attend a medical convention, "where he will be a distinguished person because of his contribution to surgery." The doctor is noted for his expertise as a military surgeon.

Princess Henriette and Dr. von Esmarch were married at her family home, Primkenau, in 1872.

Her brother, Christian, is married to Princess Helena of Great Britain, and her niece, Auguste Viktoria, is the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

The princess and her family arrived in New York on August 24th, having sailed from Bremen on the steamship Trave.

Ooops ... there was a copy

August 27, 1912

A Swiss newspaper reports that the memoirs of the late KIng Milan of Serbia will be published shortly. It seems that the the former king, who "was ruined by gambling," had moved to Paris to write his memoirs. The sale of his titillating tales -- and on the political situation among Russia, Austria and the Balkans -- would certainly fatten his bank account. According to sources, Milan's description of his former wife, Natalie, was unkind and cruel. But afterwards, Milan apparently reconciled with his former wife, and he decided he was not going to publish his memoirs. It was said that he threw the manuscript into the fireplace. But in 1900, when he was living in Vienna, Milan rewrote his memoirs, but had the manuscript hidden in the Austrian court's secret archives. Milan received $160,000 from the Austrian court to keep the manuscript hidden. However, it has been alleged that a Serbian politician has managed to get his hands on the manuscript, and will arrange for publication.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prince of Naples not engaged ... yet

August 26, 1888

Don't believe those rumors about a marriage between the Prince of Naples and Princess Clementine of Belgium. According to a report in the New York Times, based on European sources, such a marriage would not be popular in Italy or in Belgium. Perhaps in a few years, such a marriage might be considered. But due to the Prince's age -- he will be 19 in November -- no marriage is now expected to take place. He looks younger -- about 16 -- and is described as being "very delicate." King Umberto and Queen Margherita are said to want their son, Vittorio Emanuele, to Princess Margarethe of Germany, who is Kaiser Wilhelm II's youngest sister.

A second son for the Duchess of Gloucester

August 26, 1944

The Duchess of Gloucester gave birth today to a second son. The new prince is fifth in line to the throne after the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret, the Duke of Gloucester and Prince William of Gloucester. The Duchess and her son are reported to be in "satisfactory condition."

Archduke Albrecht presents new wife

Embed from Getty Images

August 26, 1930. 

 Archduke Albrecht of Austria and his new wife, Irene Hudnay, made their first public appearance today on a tennis court on Margaret Island in the Danube. They also went swimming. 

According to one Hungarian newspaper, Albrecht, who was then in Brazil, wrote a letter to his formidable mother, Archduchess Isabella, to say that he was going to visit the Brazilian interior. Instead, he caught a ship to England, where his bride-to-be was waiting for him. 

 The couple was married in a civil ceremony in Brighton on August 16th. The registrar described the bride as a "tall and very pretty woman." Albrecht and Irene stayed at a local hotel for two weeks prior to the ceremony, as required by English law. After the ceremony, the couple traveled to Vienna and then to Budapest. 

 Leaving his wife behind, Albrecht summoned the courage to face his mother, Isabella, who appeared not to believe the news about the marriage. He showed her the marriage license. Isabella, "expressing bitter disappointment at his gratitude for all her efforts to secure for him the Hungarian throne." 

The New York Times reports that Isabella did come around, but Albrecht's father, Archduke Friedrich remains adamantly opposed to the marriage and refuses to see Albrecht. Even before Albrecht told his parents about the marriage, he sent telegrams to Empress Zita and King Alfonso XIII of Spain, hoping to enlist their support. It is understood that Zita, who has strong ties to the Vatican, was asked to help arrange an annulment for Irene's first marriage. The Habsburg family law regarding equal marriages may be difficult to enforce for the Hungarian throne, as Hungarian law does not "recognize the disadvantages attaching to a morganatic marriage." 

Despite this, it is understood that Albrecht will "bow to any decision" from Empress Zita regarding his title and name. But she is unlikely to deal with the situation because Albrecht's marriage largely removes him as an alternative candidate to her son for the throne. Albrecht and Irene will reside at one of his Hungarian estates. The archduke remains a wealthy man and is expected to inherit 60,000 acres of land in Hungary. Archduke Friedrich also owns estates in Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania, and Austria. But the majority of the family's wealth comes from Archduchess Isabella, who was born a Princess of Croy, and owns a fabulous jewel collection.

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm killed in battle

August 26, 1914

According to reports from Rome, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Lippe was killed on August 6 in battle before Liege. His infantry was surrounded by Belgian soldiers and he was "struck by two bullets while standing among his men."

 The prince was killed instantly. Prince Friedrich was married in 1895 to Countess Gisela of Isenburg. They had three children, Calixta Agnes, Barbara, and Simon. 

German authorities are reporting that Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen was killed in battle at Namur on August 23. The prince was killed by a shell. He was married to Countess Adelheid of Lippe-Biesterfeld and the father of six children, Feodora (Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Adelheid (Princess Adalbert of Prussia). Georg, Ernst, Luise and Bernhard.

Prince Friedrich was the son of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen and his second wife, Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a niece of Queen Victoria.

Princess Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen was the niece of Prince Friedrich Wilhelm.

Belgian queen refuses to leave

August 26, 1914

Despite the wishes of her family, Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians refuses to leave the country. She continues to work each day at Red Cross hospitals.

Is Prince Arthur of Connaught seeking a Russian bride

August 26, 1911 

 Prince Arthur of Connaught, 28, is in Russia, and many believe that he is "hunting for a bride." It is expected that the Imperial court will soon announce the prince's engagement to Princess Irina of Russia. Prince Arthur is the son and heir of the Duke of Connaught, and he possesses "charming manners." 

 He often represents his uncle, King Edward VII, on official engagements. Sixteen-year-old Irina is the only daughter of Grand Duchess Xenia of Russia and Grand Duke Alexander. This visit to Russia is apparently the result of three months of negotiations between London and St. Petersburg. No official reason was given for the Prince's visit to Russia, and this led to speculation about marriage with Tsar Nicholas II's only niece.

Princess Louisa of Saxony publishes a book

August 26, 1911. Archduchess Louisa of Austria, the former crown princess of Saxony, has written her memoirs. "My Own Story," will be published in September by G.P.Putnam. The former wife of the Crown Prince of Saxony said she wrote her memoirs so that her "children may read and know the true story of their mother's life." and why she fled the palace with their French tutor. She does not, however, "quite explain the episode of M. Giron," but she does "exonerate him from any fault." The Archduchess, the daughter of Grand Duke Ferdinand IV of Tuscany, said of Giron that he promised to stand by her if she ever asked for his protection.
Louisa was married at 21 to Crown Prince Friedrich August of Saxony in 1891. They had five children, three boys and two girls. Louisa was, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune, "young, full of animal spirits,unconventional and affectionate."
She found court life to be "irksome," and she "chafed under it.

Wilhelmina of the Netherlands engaged

August 26, 1900. Sources tell the New York Times that young Queen Wilhelmina is to announce her engagement to Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg, heir apparent to the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Editor's note: we shall see :)

Bulgarians in Spain pray for Kardam

Bulgarians who live in Spain took part in an Orthodox Service, and prayed for Crown Prince Kardam, who remains in a coma in a Madrid hospital. King Simeon and other members of the Bulgarian royal family also attended the service.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Felipe & Letizia visit Kardam

The Prince and Princess of the Asturias visited the 12 de Octubre Hospital to meet several of the survivors of the Madrid plane crash. The Prince and Princess also visited Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, who is also undergoing treatment at the Madrid hospital.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

look who is the richest Sovereign --

and it is not Queen Elizabeth II -- this is according to Forbes

A second son for Princess Mary

August 21, 1924.

Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles gave birth today to a second son. The princess, who is the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, married the future earl of Harewood in 1922. The new baby, who will bear the courtesy title, Honourable, was born at Goldsborough Hall in Yorkshire, one of the Lascelles' family homes. Princess Mary's elder son, George, was born in February, 1923.
The new baby, whose name has not yet been announced, is seventh in line to the throne after the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Mary, and the Hon. George Lascelles.

King Alexander doing better

August 21, 1921.

King Alexander of Jugo-Slavia is showing a "marked improvement" in his health, according to a report published in the New York Times. The king remains in Paris. He is refusing to return to Belgrade to "ascend the throne." Alexander's "hesitancy to accept the crown has now grown into a decision to refuse throne," according to a local paper, The People. "Two loving hearts in a cottage are preferable to a throne and subjects in a our day."
A Belgrade newspaper is reporting that Alexander will become engaged to Princess Sophie of Orleans, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Vendome. A previous report about an engagement between Alexander and Princess Mary of the United Kingdom was officially denied.

[Note: Sophie was mentally handicapped, and never married.]

Grand Dukes want to vote

August 21, 1917

Several members of the former Russian imperial family have sent a letter of protest against the prohibition of their participation in upcoming elections. The letter was sent to Vassili Makaloff, who is in charge of putting together a plan for a new elected assembly. The protest was signed by nearly every Grand Duke and Grand Duchess and "states that the former Emperor also joins in the protest."
It was also reported today that that Grand Duke Paul has petitioned Alexander Kerensky for the right to move to Sweden, "alleging that the finds the cost of living in Russia burdensome."

Grand Duke Boris wins polo match

August 21, 1902. Grand Duke Boris of Russia, who is visiting the United States, played polo at Lake Forest, Illinois. He was on the winning team. He also had the opportunity to "take luncheon," and watch military manuevers of two companies of the calvary. He received a military escort back to his hotel in Highland Park.

Queen Helen to enter a convent

August 21, 1930. According to a report in the Daily Herald, a London newspaper, Queen Helen of Roumania, the former wife of King Carol II, has decided to enter a convent. The newspaper's correspondent had accompanied Helen during her visit to a hospital near Bucharest, and telegraphed his editor that Helen "is contemplating a final renunciation of the world and entry into a convent."
The reporter confided that Helen "has attended this hospital regularly for many months and share with the convent sisters their service to women patients. Doubts and anxieties as to her future have left their traces on the unhappy Queen."
Queen Helen has been "devoting considerable time to religious books, and final preparations are being made for the day when she will take her vows. Her decision has been taken and the place chosen."

"The lassie's got her bairn"

August 21, 1930. 

 The Duchess of York gave birth today to a second daughter, at Glamis Castle. The new princess is fourth in line to the throne, after her Uncle David, the Prince of Wales, her father, the Duke of York, and her older sister, Princess Elizabeth.

Glamis Castle in Forfarshire, Scotland, is the Duchess' family's ancestral home. She is the youngest daughter of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.

Due to a "downpour of rain," a beacon will not be "fired until tomorrow." The beacon is a "time-honored custom" to convey the news of a birth in Strathmore's green valleys.

The new baby is the fourth grandchild of King George V and Queen Mary. Princess Mary,Viscountess Lascelles, has two young sons, the Hon. George and the Hon. Gerald Lascelles.
As the news spread throughout Glamis, one Scottish housewife shouted to another: "the lassie's got her bairn."

The princess is only the second royal baby to be born in Scotland in more than 300 years. In 1887, Princess Henry of Battenberg (Princess Beatrice), gave birth to a daughter, Ena, the future Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, at Balmoral.

The baby's name was not announced although "loyal Scotsmen are suggesting Margaret, the old Scottish royal name."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Police say that Kardam was speeding

It is now believed that Crown Prince Kardam was driving over the speed limit when his car crashed into a tree, according to preliminary police investigations. The prince, who was at the wheel of the Jaguar, was clocked at 93 mph, more than 30 miles over the speed limit for that dangerous stretch of the Madrid highway.
The prince did not attempt to slow down as he went into the turn, and his car left no skid marks.

While paramedics were assisting the couple, robbers made off with the one of the parademics' handbag, which contained money, documents and her cell phone. According to press reports, the thief also stole Kardam's cell phone.

She's Elizabeth, not Betty says Queen Mary

August 20, 1927. When Queen Mary opened Crosby Hall, a new womens' center in Chelsea, she noticed that several people referred to her 15-month old granddaughter, Elizabeth, as "Betty." One of the rooms at the hall is named for the little princess, who is third in line to the throne. The next day, Queen Mary sent around a photo of herself and the princess. The photo was signed "Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth."
Little Princess Elizabeth of York is often called Princess Betty by the British press.

Queen Margherita escapes assassination attempt

August 20, 1905

Queen Margherita of Italy survived a "dastardly attempt" on her life today. Margherita, who is the mother of King Vittorio Emanuele III, has been touring the Alps by automobile. As her car made its way up Little St. Bernard, it hit a stone barrier that had been erected in the middle of the road. The barricade had been placed at a dangerous turn in the road. The Queen and her party escaped unhurt. Two persons of interest were arrested.

Crown Prince Kardam update

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria remains in a coma in the intensive care unit at 12 de Octubre Hospital in Madrid. He remains in a sedated condition, according to the latest report from the hospital. He suffered severe brain and skull damage when the car he was driving crashed into a tree on a Madrid highway on October 15th. It is also understood that the prince suffered numerous fractures to both arms and hands. According to one Spanish magazine, Princess Carla, who is married to Kardam's brother, Kubrat, says that the family remains "very worried" as they wait for Kardam's cerebral hemorrhage to stop. She added the family continues to pray for both Kardam and his wife, Miriam, who was also in the car. She is recuperating at another Madrid hospital, as her injuries were less severe.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

France to restore Bourbons ????

August 19, 1941 It was reported today by diplomats that there may be an Axis-sponsored restoration of the French throne. A new scheme was "being considered at Berlin and Vichy," that may put 32-year-old Prince Henri, Count of Paris, on the French throne. He currently lives in Morocco with his family, as he awaits a possible call back to Paris. Henri succeeded as head of the house on August 28, 1940 following the death of his father, Prince Jean, Duke of Guise.

Prince Bernhard saves family from drowning

August 19, 1939. Prince Bernhard, the husband of Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, saved a father and his three children from drowning today. Bernhard's speedboat collided with the young family's motorboat. The motorboat sank, but Prince Bernhard was able to pull all four aboard his boat, and bring the family back to land.

Crown Prince Olav loves the sea

August 19, 1926. Crown Prince Olav of Norway said today that he wished he could have a career in the Navy. He "has an intense love of the sea," and he would have "elected the sea for his career," if he had the choice. But Olav, who is the only child of KIng Haakon and the British-born Queen Maud, is the heir to the Norwegian throne. Maud is the youngest sister of Britain's King George V.

King Edward rejects Spanish marriage

August 19, 1905:

It was reported today in Madrid that King Edward VII will not allow his niece, Princess Patricia of Connaught, to marry King Alfonso XIII of Spain. The announcement came from Alfonso's private chaplain, Dr. Macho, who told the media that King Edward appointed two physicians to Alfonso's entourage during the Spanish king's recent visit to England. The two doctors reported back to the British king that Alfonso "shows signs of insanity and is suffering from tuberculosis."

After receiving this report, King Edward "broke off the negotiations for the marriage," according to an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune.

King Alfonso XIII succeeded to the throne at birth as his father died from consumption several months earlier.

Kardam remains critical but unchanged

Here is the latest update concerning Crown Prince Kardam, which has been released by his father's office. The Crown Prince remains in a coma. There has been no change in his condition, which remains "critical but stable." He has suffered a "serious head trauma."

Kardam's siblings, including his brother Kyril and sister Kalina, have visited him in the hospital, and his parents, King Simeon and Queen Margarita continue to maintain a vigil at his bedside.
Family members have also visited Crown Princess Miriam, who is recovering from her injuries in another Madrid hospital.

Europa press is reporting that the family will not release further information to the media unless there is a change in Prince Kardam's condition.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Prince Kardam update

The Sofia (Bulgaria) news agency is reporting that Crown Prince Kardam remains in a coma due to the brain injuries that he received in the car crash. The agency also reported, based on statements from King Simeon's representative, that Kardam's hands are "motionless." There is a cautious optimism as the prince's breathing and vital signs remain stable.
The King and Queen have remained at their son's side.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Crown Prince Kardam remains in critical condition

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria remains in critical condition, but "his breathing and vital signs have improved," according to King Simeon's spokesman.

King Simeon is with his family at the Madrid hospital. Crown Princess Miriam is in "stable condition."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

West end star talks of her 5 year romance with Prince Edward

West End musical star, Ruthie Henshall speaks publicly about her five-year-romance with Prince Edward. Their romance ended before Edward met Sophie Rhys-Jones, whom he married in 1999.

Kardam in a coma

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria, who was in a serious car crash yesterday, is in a coma, according to his doctors. Kardam, the eldest son of King Simeon of Bulgaria, was driving his Jaguar when the car veered off the road, hit a tree and then flipped over on the roof.
"The patient has a serious brain injury," said his doctor Jesus Medina. He added that the prognosis will not be known until the prince is brought out of the coma. "His vital signs, the frequency of his breathing and so on, have been stable since yesterday. There have been no major changes."
Kardam's mother, Queen Margarita and his three brothers, Kyril, Kubrat and Konstantin, were all at the hospital. Prince Kubrat, who is a medical doctor, told the press that the family remains optimistic about Kardam's condition.
The Crown Prince, who has lived in Spain for his entire life, is 46-years-old. He is married to the former Miriam Ungria. The couple have two sons, Boris and Beltran. The Crown Princess was also in the car, but it is believed that she suffered far less serious injuries including a broken elbow.
The Crown Prince is in the Doce de Octubre Hospital in Madrid. His wife was taken to the Las Paz hospital.
Crown Prince Kardam graduated from Penn State with a degree in economics.

Here is a link to an article that includes a recent photo of the Crown Prince and his family, when they visited Bulgaria in June.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria seriously injured

Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria was seriously injured today when the car he was driving hit a tree on a Madrid highway. He sustained severe injuries to his head and his hands. His wife, Crown Princess Miriam, was also in the car. The couple were taken to separate hospitals. The Crown Princess' injuries were not severe.
The 46-year-old Prince lives in Madrid with his wife and two sons. He is the eldest of five children of King Simeon and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria.

Ileana has a son

August 15, 1932: Princess Ileana of Romania, who is the wife of Archduke Anton of Austria, gave birth to a son, Stefan, today. He was born at 3 a.m., at the family's villa outside Vienna. Mother and baby are doing well, according to the family doctor. The new archduke will take his father's nationality, according to a press announcement.

New Yugoslav baby formally named

King Alexander announced today (August 15, 1929) that his infant son, will be named Andrej, which is the Slovenian version of Andrew. In his son's honor, the King granted amnesty to several hundred prisoners. Prince Paul of Yugoslavia and Queen Elizabeth of Greece were the baby's godparents in a ceremony that was considered a formal reception into the Orthodox Church. The little prince was baptised on the day he was born, and had received a provisional name, Paul. Queen Elizabeth, who is the baby prince's aunt, also represented Britain's Duke of York, the chief sponsor, who was unable to attend.
King Alexander married Princess Marie of Romania in 1922. The Dowager Queen Marie of Romania, the baby's grandmother, also took part in the ceremony.

Boris of Bulgaria

August 15, 1927. King Boris of Bulgaria, traveling incognito as Count Rilsky, is expected to arrive in Switzerland today. It is believed that he is to meet Princess Martha of Sweden, who is with her family on holiday at Engadine. Royal watchers believe "that an engagement is likely to follow their meeting."
King Boris is accompanied by his sister.

A Prussian-Connaught marriage

Princess Patricia of Connaught

August 15, 1901

Is Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia about to propose to Margaret or Patricia of Connaught? That is one of the media rumors today. The Prince, who is the eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, is about to arrive in London. His visit to Britain is apparently "the fulfillment of a long-standing promise," and the revival of a rumor of a "matrimonial suit for the hand of one of the daughters of the Duke of Connaught." 

Prince Wilhelm was expected to head to the North of Scotland for the grouse shooting.

Grand Duke Michael to be regent in certain circumstances

The Russian Emperor Nicholas II signed a decree today (August 15, 1904) regarding the succession to the throne. He named his younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, to serve as regent for the Tsarevitch if Alexis succeeded to the throne before he reached his majority.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Princess Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

Congratulations to Denmark for winning the bronze medal in Dressage today in Hong Kong. The three-member team included Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, whose stellar performance, helped boost the Danish team's standings. Riding Digby, Princess Nathalie received a score of 70.417.
Princess Nathalie is the youngest child of Princess Benedikte of Denmark and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. She is the niece of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes Uncle Constantine -- King Constantine II of the Hellenes -- who is an Olympic gold medalist in his own right, presented the Danish team with their bronze medals. The exiled king is a member of the IOC.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grand Duke Alexis leaves Paris

August 13, 1891

Grand Duke Alexis of Russia has left Paris for Vichy. Newspapers had published his departure time, which meant that crowds were outside his hotel to see the grand duke get into his carriage and drive off. Crowds "cheered him enthusiastically," and Alexis responded with a bow. There were shouts of "Vive le Russe et la France" and "Vive le Czar!"
Grand Duke Alexis arrived in Vichy later in the afternoon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alexis celebrates his first birthday

The heir to the Russian throne, Grand Duke Alexis Nicolaievitch (the Tsarevitch) celebrates his first birthday today (August 12, 1905). His birthday was celebrated in a "festive manner throughout Russia." Alexis is described as a "chubby, strong boy," and no longer a delicate infant. He is said to be "much taller and weighing considerably more than the average child his age."
Alexis received more than 100 presents, many of which were handmade by family members. His eldest sister, Olga, fastened a "wonderful clay model of Peterhof," while Grand Duchess Maria made a clay bird's nest with a hen sitting on four eggs. Uncle Michael - Grand Duke Michael - gave his nephew a train set, "which runs like clockwork on a sort of switchboard line."
Nicholas II has decided that baby talk will not be used. "I wish my child to become a clever man and to waste no time on 'useless baby language.'" One court doctor notes that the little grand duke can already "lisp several proper 'grown up' Russian words."
In 1905, the Russian Imperial Family was certainly able to present a rosy picture of the heir to the throne. The last thing that Nicholas and Alexandra wanted was the public to know about Alexis' true health.

Portuguese court rules that Queen Maria Pia can be sued

August 12, 1910. Queen Maria Pia of Portugal, the grandmother of King Manoel II, can be sued by a Lisbon dressmaker for non-payment of a bill. The dressmaker is owed $20,000 for dresses ordered by the queen. But the bill was not paid. The Queen's counsel stated that Maria Pia, as a queen consort was exempt from being sued. A lower court agreed. But the dressmaker refused to give up and pressed the court further. A higher court ruled that only the king -- the sovereign -- is entitled to this privilege. The court stated that Maria Pia was a subject, not the sovereign, and was required to pay the bill.

Maria Pia (1847-1911) was the daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele I and Queen Maria Adelaide of Italy. She allegedly made the statement: "If you want a queen, you have to pay for a queen." This was apparently in response to Portugal's Parliament questioning her excessive spending.

It's a Boy -- Russia celebrates birth of an heir

August 12, 1904. Her Imperial Majesty Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia gave birth today. The birth took place at the Alexandria Villa, which is located on the Peterhof estate.
The baby, who has been given the name Alexis, was born at 12:30 p.m. He will have the title Tsarevitch. A 101-gun salute was fired first from Peterhof, and then throughout St. Petersburg. After the 82nd gun was fired, there "were scenes of rejoicing," as the city celebrated the birth of a direct heir to the Russian throne. Women can succeed in Russia, but only after all the males. The Emperor and Empress have four daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.
In response to the Russian court's congratulation. Nicholas said: "I am happier at the birth of a son and heir than at a victory of my troops, for now I can face the future calmly, knowing by this sign that the war will be brought to a happy conclusion."
Not long after Alexis' birth, the family learned that the much wanted heir to the throne suffered from hemophilia, a disease that he inherited through his mother. Empress Alexandra was a carrier of the the gene that caused the disease. Her brother, Friedrich Wilhelm, suffered from the disease, and died from injuries after all falling from a window. Alexandra's older sister, Irene, the wife of Prince Heinrich of Prussia, was also a carrier. Two of her three sons were hemophiliacs.

King Edward VII off to Austria

August 12, 1902 King Edward VII has boarded the royal yacht, Victoria & Albert, at Port Victoria, which is at the mouth of the Thames. He will be sailing to Flushing, Belgium, and then onto to Marienbad, Austria, "to take the waters for a fortnight." The King will be traveling incognito as the Duke of Lancaster. He resumes his royal role on August 31, when he travels to Vienna to meet with Emperor Franz Joseph.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A previous engagement for Carmo

One can perhaps understand Empress Hermine's concern for her daughter, Carmo's marriage possibilities. Hermine was, of course, one of five daughters of Heinrich XXII, Prince of Reuss-Greiz and his wife, Princess Ida of Schaumburg-Lippe. She also had one brother, Heinrich XXIV, who had died, insane, in 1927, and was the last of the Greiz line. Hermine's first marriage to a Prince of Schoeniach-Carolath, a minor Silesian noble house was hardly a grand match. She scored a coup, however, when she became the second wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Even though, the marriage took place after the Kaiser had gone into exile, Hermine's children by her first marriage would, perhaps, have better chances of marrying well.
This seemed the case when Princess Caroline's engagement to Heinrich XLV, Prince of Reuss zu Schleiz on May 22, 1931.
The 36-year-old Prince Heinrich had served as a First Lieutenant in the German army until the "new regime had forced him to seek other employment." He was currently living at his family's castle, writing plays.
The marriage between Carmo and Heinrich did not take place. Prince Heinrich never married. He was reported missing in 1945, and declared dead in 1962.

Hermine's jewels recovered

Embed from Getty Images

Thanks to US Army investigators, 31 pieces of jewels belonging to the late Kaiserin Hermine have been recovered. The Americans found the gems after the arrest of the "raven-haired" and "shapely" Vera Herbst, described as a friend of Prince Ferdinand of Schoeniach-Carolath, who is one of Hermine's five children. Herbst was booked on "a suspicion of murder and theft." She was charged with the "sudden death" of Ferdinand's mother. Herbst, who was released after more than 13 hours of questioning, denied that she had any involvement in Hermine's death. But she did acknowledge that she was responsible for smuggling more than $5,000.000 of jewels into Berlin's American sector. She had removed the jewels from Hermine's home in the Frankfurt-am-Oder, in the Soviet sector.

Vera Herbst told police that some of the jewels had been given to Prince Ferdinand, although some of the jewels "had been marked" for Hermine's daughter, Carmo, who lives in the American sector.
She said that she and Ferdinand had lived together for about a year, but had broken up because Ferdinand told her that he still loved his "pretty and blond" former wife, Rosa, whom he had divorced in 1941. (They remarried in December 1941.)

Six of the jewel sets that were still in Vera's possession were to have been turned over to Carmo, according to Herbst. But she never had time to give the jewels to the princess. Carmo, whose real name was Caroline, surrendered to the police another 25 pieces of the "crown jewels."

The case broke when Prince Ferdinand noticed that 29 pieces that he had hidden in a strong box in his apartment were missing. He reported the theft to the police, only two days after his mother died "suddenly and mysteriously" in Frankfurt-am-Oder. The Americans, who were investigating the case, first believed that Hermine's death was connected to the jewel theft. They turned to the Russians and requested an autopsy on Hermine's body.

But this theory soon unraveled when Vera provided further information to the Americans. She acknowledged that she had made two trips to Frankfurt to bring back to Berlin 95 pieces of jewelry. The jewels were only a portion of a collection that Hermine had hidden in her home in Saxony at the start of the second world war.

The Americans soon withdrew from the case because no Americans were involved in the theft of the jewels. Vera Herbst told the Americans that both Ferdinand and Carmo were "trying to get a lion's share of the jewels."

Apparently, when Princess Caroline learned that her mother had hidden the jewels, she went to visit her and brought numerous pieces back to Berlin. She returned to Frankfurt-am-Oder after her mother's death to get another part of the collection.

Military officials believe that Ferdinand and Carmo were doing the "double-double cross" by trying to obtain control of the jewels without the other knowing it. Carmo had turned over to the police the jewels in her possession, but still missing were the jewels taken from her brother's Berlin apartment.

And how did Vera get those jewels passed the Russians as she traveled into the American sector? Feminine wiles, of course. She distracted the guards by "smiling and fluttering her eyes at them to distract their attention from her luggage."

Will Elizabeth promise to Obey Philip

August 11, 1947.

 The British government may have to rule on whether or not Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive to the throne, will "obey" Lt. Philip Mountbatten following their wedding in November. 

 The princess has received a prayer book from Anglican bishops that includes a wedding service that omits the word "obey." Although this wedding service is in use in churches throughout England, the official Book of Common Prayer, which has Parliamentary approval, and includes the word "obey."

The bride-to-be will have the opportunity to look at both services before making a decision.

Princess Patricia of Connaught to visit Newport

It was announced today by cable (August 11, 1912) that Princess Patricia of Connaught, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught will spend a few weeks in Newport, Rhode Island. She will be the guest of Commodore and Mrs. Vanderbilt. Princess Patricia will be the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by Mrs. Vanderbilt, where she will meet a "select party of friends."
The Duke of Connaught is currently serving as the Governor-General of Canada. The very popular Princess Pat, has two older siblings, Margaret who is married to the Crown Prince of Sweden, and Prince Arthur, who is not married.

Archduchess Hedwig engaged

August 11, 1917

Archduchess Hedwig of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, has become engaged to the American-born Count Bernhard of Stolberg-Stolberg, according to several news reports.

 Count Bernhard was born in Mankato, Minnesota, in 1881 where his parents lived for a time. He is the son of Count Leopold of Stolberg-Stolberg and the Dublin-born Mary Elizabeth Eddington.

Archduchess Hedwig is the fourth child of Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany, and Archduchess Valerie of Austria, the youngest child of the late Emperor Franz Joseph.

Count Bernhard is from a devout Roman Catholic family. One brother, Aloys, (Father Martin), is a priest at a Benedictine Monastery in Cottonwood, Idado. Two sisters, Marie and Elisabeth, are nuns in convents in Breslau.

Due to Count Leopold's marriage to Mary Eddington, the family emigrated to Minnesota in 1875. Mary had been a governess in the Stolberg family when she met and fell in love with Count Leopold. The marriage was considered a mesalliance at the time although the marriage would eventually be accepted by the head of the house.

Leopold and Mary, "a devout Catholic," lived in Mankato from 1875 until 1890, when they returned to Germany. They currently reside at Linsen in Westphalia.

Until recently, the young count served as the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg's chamberlain. He has the rank of captain in the Saxon and Austrian armies.

The marriage will take place at Schloss Wallsee on April 24, 1918.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grand Duke Friedrich II of Baden dead at 71

The former Grand Duke of Baden, Friedrich II, died today (August 9, 1928). He was 71-years-old. Friedrich succeeded to Baden's throne, one of the most progressive of the German states, in 1907. He was "probably the most liberal and popular ruler during the monarchic period of his day."
Grand Duke Friedrich was the son of Friedrich I and Princess Louise of Prussia. In 1885, he married Princess Hilda of Nassau. The marriage was childless. He is survived by his sister, Queen Victoria of Sweden.
The new Grand Duke is Friedrich's first cousin, Prince Maximilian, who is married to Princess Marie Louise of Hanover.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Did Carmo marry Wunderlich and live happily ever after?

On August 20, 1935, Princess Caroline of Schoenaich-Carolath "surrendered to the pressure of her mother, courtiers, and a duenna," when she signed a typewritten statement that declared that the "news of my engagement to Herr Wunderlich is inaccurate and no such engagement is planned."

Caroline's handwriting was cramped, a sign that she was under emotional distress.

Wunderlich had remained in a local hotel room, surrounded by photos of the 25-year-old princess.

 "I do not want to speak about it because it is all too evident that the princess signed it under duress."

Sixteen months later, Empress Hermine, announced Carmo's engagement to Hugo Hartung, a German businessman. Despite Hermine's determination to introduce her daughter to titled men, she agreed to Carmo's marriage to Hartung.


The couple's civil wedding took place at Wilmersdorf on December 10, 1935, and two days later they were married in a Lutheran service at Schloss Saabor. The couple had no children. Imprisoned by the Russians, Hartung was killed on December 31, 1945. 

It is not known if Princess Caroline ever remarried.  She may have died in 1992, but this has not been confirmed.