Sunday, November 30, 2008

Princess Eugenie - Taj Mahal Hotel

Princess Eugenie, the younger daughter of the Duke of York, was a guest at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai but had left the city before the terrorist attacks. She is on her gap year, and is visiting India. There are unconfirmed reports that one of the terrorists was shot and killed in the room where she had slept.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Prince Jean of France is engaged

HRH The Count of Paris and HRH The Duchess of Montpensier are pleased to announce of their engagement, HRH Prince Jean, Duke of Vendome, to Miss Philomena Tornos y Steinhart.

Philomena, who works in the maritime industry in France, is the daughter of Alfonso Tornos and his wife, Maria Antonia Steinhart. She has at least one brother, David.

Philomena's grandfather, Juan, was the head of the late Count of Barcelona's secretariat. Although some have used "de Tornos", in their articles, the family is not noble. Alfonso and the Austrian-born Maria Antonia live in Vienna.
The media first got wind of this relationship in September when Philomena accompanied Jean to the gala at Versailles, celebrating the reopening of the Petit Trianon.

No date has been set for the wedding.

Prince Jean is the future de jure king of France. A previous engagement to HH Duchess Tatiana of Oldenburg ended some weeks before the marriage was to have taken place.

Friday, November 28, 2008

National Geographic and the Investiture of the Prince of Wales

November 1969

While I was filing some articles, I started browsing through one of the clip files that I have on the Prince of Wales. This was the first file (pre-marriage), and it includes articles on Charles' investiture as Prince of Wales (July 1, 1969). This was televised in the United States, incidentally. Nearly the entire British royal family were present for the ceremony: the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh,the Queen Mother, the Princess Anne, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, the Duchess of Gloucester, Prince Richard of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Alexandra and her husband, the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, and Lord Mountbatten. The Prince of Wales was also present, of course!

The Court Circular does not include the foreign guests, but the front row did include several dignitaries: William Tubman, president of Liberia, Lady Rachel Pepys and Lady Anne Fitzalan-Howard (daughters of the Duke of Norfolk, who directed the ceremony) Tricia Nixon (President Nixon's elder daughter) and HRH Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg.

The Illustrated London News' coverage of the event includes the photograph of one foreign guest: Tricia Nixon. The US delegation included Nixon, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and his wife, Murial and US Ambassador to the Court of St. James and Mrs. Annenberg.

The Prince of Wales is Charles' official title in England and in Wales. In Scotland, his official title is the Duke of Rothesay. From birth until his mother succeeded as queen, Charles' official title was HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh. Not long before his grandson's birth, King George VI issued a Letters Patent, which would allow Elizabeth's children to be HRH and Prince or Princess. Thus, Charles' first official title was HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh, as his father was Duke of Edinburgh. If George VI had not issued the Letters Patent, Charles would have been styled as the Earl of Merioneth until his mother became queen. Princess Anne would have been styled as The Lady Anne Mountbatten.

As he knew that Elizabeth's children would be in the main line of succession, George VI decided that he wanted Elizabeth's children to be royal from birth.
When Elizabeth succeeded to the throne, Charles ceased to be styled as HRH Prince Charles of Edinburgh, and was officially known as HRH The Duke of Cornwall (and HRH the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland.) On July 26, 1958, Queen Elizabeth II, during a visit to Cardiff, announced that she was creating her son as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. This announcement meant that Charles would have a new official title: HRH The Prince of Wales, and this title takes precedence (except in Scotland.)

The date of the National Geographic article is November 1969.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Queen wants her family to show support for those in crisis

King's friend gets extra police protection

November 26, 1936

Mrs. Simpson, who is described as a good friend of King Edward VIII, has received extra police protection because of the "scores of threatening letters" that she has received. Every package and letter that is sent to her London home is carefully examined "before it is admitted." There is great controversy over whether the king should marry the "vivacious American," who receives more than 300 letters a day. Some of the letters are "couched in the friendliest terms, expressing admiration for Mrs. Simpson," most of the letters that she receives are antagonistic.

Princess Paley sues for art

November 26, 1928

Today in London, Olga, Princess Paley, contested the sale of art treasures worth $240,000. She has demanded the immediate return of paintings, tapestries and art work from a syndicate of dealers who bought the items from the Soviet government last spring.
The Princess never transferred the ownership of the items when she fled Russia in 1919. She later learned that the possessions had been sold, and she discovered that some of items were in a dingy warehouse in Wapping.
Olga is the second wife of Grand Duke Paul of Russia, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in January 1919.

Count Folke has arrived for his wedding

Embed from Getty Images
November 26, 1928

Count Folke Bernadotte, who is the nephew of the King of Sweden, arrived today in New York City on the Swedish-American liner Gripsholm. The Count is engaged to marry Miss Estelle Manville, an American, and the wedding will take place at Pleasantville, New York, next Saturday. He was welcomed by Miss Manville and her parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. Edward Manville, "who experienced some difficulty in boarding the liner because they did not have the passes."

Count Folke was accompanied on the ship by his wedding party, which includes brother, Count Carl Bernadotte and his wife, Marianne; Countess Elsa Bernadotte (sister), Baroness Sophie Fleetwood (sister), Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, who will act as Count Folke's best man; Prince Sigvard of Sweden, Count and Countess Bonde, Count Wachtmeister, Baron Carl Eric von Platen, Count Eric von Rosen, Baron Sigfried Raalamb, and several others.

The Swedish royals were rather affable, and actually sought out reporters. He told them that his father, the Crown Prince, had sent his regards. "He told me that when you asked me who Babe Ruth was I should be sure to know. He thought it was a great joke that he did not know who Babe Ruth was. But of course, I know all about him."

Count Folke said that after the wedding he and his wife would return to Sweden, where he is a lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards. When asked about American women, he said that he did not think such a question was necessary. "I've picked one of the best," he said.

The royal party is staying at the Mayfair House. Tomorrow they visit the Stock Exchange and will be the guests of J.P. Morgan at lunch. It is also possible that Count Folke will make a short visit to Washington, D.C.

Tonight Count Folke and his party occupied boxes 17 and 19 and orchestra seats at the Metropolitan Opera House as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Manville, where they saw a performance of "Norma." Later tonight the Estelle's parents  will host a dinner at Mayfair House.

Grand Duke Nicholas has married a divorcee

Embed from Getty Images

 November 26, 1906 

 There is neither a confirmation nor a denial of the report concerning the possible marriage between Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia and Duchess Anastasia of Leuchtenberg. The confirmation nor denial is the "customary reticence in matters affecting the imperial house."
 The marriage is said to have taken place yesterday, and is "the absorbing topic of discussions in court circles."

 The Grand Duke, who is 50, has not been married before. Anastasia, who was born a princess of Montenegro, was recently divorced from Duke George of Leuchtenberg, although the court has not made an official announcement. Their separation was "a matter of common knowledge," and Duke George is now said to be living abroad and has contracted a morganatic marriage.

Only a few months ago, many assumed that Grand Duke Nicholas would marry Grand Duchess Elisabeth, the widow of Grand Duke Serge.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Prince Johann-Georg of Saxony dead

November 24, 1938

Prince Johann-Georg of Saxony died "late last night" while visiting his brother-in-law, Duke Albrecht of Würrtemberg. He was 69-years-old, and had been ill with "an attack of the grippe."
He was the younger brother of the late King Friedrich August III of Saxony.
During the World War, Prince Johann-Georg had been active with the Red Cross in effecting the release and transfer of prisoners. He "was also a student of history and early Christianity," and was the author of several books.
In 1894, he was married to Duchess Marie-Isabelle of Württemberg. She died in 1904, and two years later, he married Princess Maria Immaculata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.
The funeral will be held in Dresden.

Queen Marie sails for home

Embed from Getty Images 

 November 24, 1926

 Queen Marie of Roumania departed today on the Berengaria bound for Bucharest by way of Paris. The Queen and two of her children, Nicholas, and Ileana, spent five weeks in the United States. The departure from New York City was without fanfare, no bands, no flags, and no cheering crowds. Marie was "royally pleased" to have her last "contest" with the "pressmen."

 She had boarded the Berengaria at midnight, after dining at the home of Vincent Astor. Princess Ileana arrived on the ship at 1:00 a.m., and Nicholas did not come on board until about "nearly 4." The prince and princess had dined at the Park Avenue home of Ira Nelson Morris and accompanied Morris and Walter D. Odgen to see George White's Scandals. However, Ileana's lady-in-waiting decided that White's production was "perhaps a little too sophisticated" for the 17-year-old princess, so she was taken to see "Castles in the Air." 

 Prince Nicholas remained to see the entire Scandals show. Later in the evening, the prince and princess joined their mother at the Astors but were allowed to go to a private dance at the home of Schuyler Parsons with Mr. Ogden. Ileana stayed until about 1, but Nicholas, who was having a wonderful time, stayed for several hours longer. His mother "gently reproved him at breakfast. 

Thirty minutes before sailing, Queen Marie met with the press for the final time. "All I can say is that I have been very, very happy in your country, and was very much distressed to leave before I wanted to....America has been a real friend to me, and I hope the American people will remember me in the same gracious way they have received me everywhere." The Queen was asked what impressed her most in the United States. "Oh, the immensity of everything, the way the country is progressing. It's enormous possibilities, the big things and, to use your own language, your efficiency in everything." 

She also added that she wanted to thank the police in America, "especially the police in New York, for their good-natured protection. I never was so well protected in my life." She repeated her sentiments about the United States and the American people. 

"We have in Roumania a feeling of trust and love for America, just as I believe America has for Roumania, and I feel this is not my last visit. America and Americans are loved by us all." It was apparent that Princess Ileana was not looking forward to going home, having truly enjoyed her time in the United States.

 She told a reporter that "I truly love America and feel very sorry to go away. I have been fully a half less homesick in America than in any other foreign country I have ever been in. Really, I never felt that I was a foreigner in America. That is true, and I am coming back as soon as I can." 

 Cunard officials stated that the Queen is staying in the regal suite, although she paid the minimum first-class fare of $250 for herself and $175 each for her servants. When she came to the USA from Cherbourg on the Levithan, Queen Marie traveled for free.

Pedro to give up Countess?

November 25, 1908

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today that Prince Pedro of Orleans-Braganza, eldest son of the former Crown Princess of Brazil, has "abandoned his pretentions to sovereignity of Brazil" by marrying Bohemian countess Elizabeth Dobrenzsky. The marriage is a mesalliance, according to the "monarchial view." Prince Peter's bride will never be accepted as royal by the nobility in Europe or in Brazil.
The new heir to the throne is Peter's younger brother, Louis, who is described as the more "dashing and popular" of Isabel's sons. He was married earlier this year in Cannes to the daughter of the Count of Caserta.

Olav charms crowds

November 24, 1906

Little Crown Prince Olav of Norway was the "hero of the hour" today, when he insisted on shaking the hands of all of the officials at the Windsor train station. He shook the hand of the Windsor mayor and was making his way down the line of railroad officials when his aunt, Princess Victoria, took him by the hand, and said it was time to go.

Large crowds were on hand when the royal party arrived in London. Olav sat in a carriage with his grandmother, Queen Alexandra, his mother, Queen Maud, and Princess Victoria. He "frequently acknowledged the cheers of the people by gravely raising his hand to his cap."

During an official photo session with his grandmother, Olav resorted to a baby tantrum as he insisted that his favorite toy elephant and a toy gun be included in the photograph. He was not content to sit on his grandmother's lap without the addition of his toys.

Crown Prince Olav is three-years-old.

Carlos of Portugal goes to Blenheim

November 24, 1902

King Carlos of Portugal "bade farewell" to his cousin, King Edward VII this morning. He then proceeded to Blenheim, where he had lunch with the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. The king was met at the train station by the Duke, and they were driven to Blenheim, where the Duchess of Marlborough was waiting to greet the king.
Carlos was given a tour of the Palace, and then later traveled to Norfolk. He is in England on a private visit.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More on Queen Sofia

Sophie gets her shoes resoled

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh My

Of course, dear readers, the First Thanksgiving took place not in Massachussetts, but in Virginia at the Berkeley plantation near Williamsburg in 1619.

The pesky Pilgrims appear to have a better press agent though

Shawcross's biography on Queen Mum due out next year

Friday, November 21, 2008

Judge halts Leopold's trial

November 21, 1930

Judge Bertini will make it known on Monday if he will dismiss the indictments against Archduke Leopold of Austria or let the case go to the jury, which has been hearing evidence for three days.
Leopold has been charged with the theft of $450,000 diamond necklace that belonged to Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria.

(The necklace was given by Napoleon to his second wife, Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, as a gift for the birth of a son. The necklace remained Marie Louise's possession, even after Napoleon's exile and her return to Austria. When Marie Louise died in 1847, the necklace was inherited by Archduchess Sophie of Austria, the wife of Sophie's nephew, Franz Karl.
When Sophie died, the necklace was left to her three sons, Franz Joseph, Ludwig Viktor and Karl Ludwig, who bought out his two brothers' share in the necklace. Karl Ludwig died in 1914, and the necklace was inherited by his third wife, Maria Theresa of Portugal.
By the late 1920s, Maria Theresa was in need of money, and she decided to sell the necklace. She found two people, who called themselves Princess Baronti and Colonel Townsend, who agreed to sell the necklace in the US for $450,000. But due to the depression, the two realized that the asking price was impossible. They signed on Maria Teresa's grandnephew, Archduke Leopold, to vouch for the necklace's authenticity. Harry Winston was among the jewelers who began negotiations to buy the necklace, which was eventually sold for $60,000 to a New Yorker, David Michel. Maria Theresa received about $6,000 from the sale as Townsend and Baronti claimed more than $53,000 in expenses.
The archduchess then went to court to regain her necklace. Leopold was jailed, and Townsend and Baronti fled the authorities.
The necklace was returned to the archduchess, who died in 1944. Four years later, Maria Theresa's heirs sold the necklace to Paul-Louis Weiller, the French industrialist, who held onto the necklace until 1960, when he sold it Harry Winston. That same year, Winston sold the necklace to the American heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. She donated the necklace to the Smithsonian institution in 1962. The necklace is on display at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. )

American troops in Luxembourg

November 21, 1918

American troops will pass through Luxembourg City today. General Pershing, who is accompanying the soldiers, will call on Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide. A proclamation has been addressed to the Luxembourg people assuring them that the American route through Luxembourg is "necessary and guaranteeing the discipline and friendliness of the soldiers toward the population."

Czar walks funeral procession

November 21, 1908

Surrounded by lines of troops on both sides of the road, Czar Nicholas II followed the coffin of his uncle, Grand Duke Alexis, "through the crowded and silent streets of St. Petersburg." Nicholas was accompanied by thirteen Grand Dukes and 100 generals and admirals
Grand Duke Alexis was interred in the new mausoleum within the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Empress Alexandra and Empress Marie and several grand duchesses met the body at the railroad station, and then got into carriages, which followed the other mourners.
"Great crowds turned out to witness the parade," according to the New York Times reporter, who added that "the prevailing desire seemed to be to get a glimpse of the Emperor, who has hardly been seen by the residents of St. Petersburg for ten years."
At the conclusion of the Orthodox funeral service, Nicholas and other members of the Imperial Family "advanced and kissed the forehead of Grand Duke Alexis." The coffin was then closed, and carried to the adjacent mausoleum, where a brief service was held, and then the coffin was placed beneath a marble sarcophagus.
A luncheon for members of the Imperial Family was held at the Winter Palace.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Queen Silvia in NYC

Queen Silvia of Sweden is in New York City to carry out engagements on behalf of the Mentor Foundation. The Queen is the president of the Mentor Foundation, which "works in the field of global education and the prevention of substance abuse among children and young people. Queen Noor of Jordan, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and the Prince of the Asturias are among the International Royal Trustees.
Tonight, Queen Silvia attended The Royal Gala at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City. The evening began at 7:00 and was expected to end at 10:30 with cocktails, dinner and a live auction.
The Waldorf=Astoria is the perfect place to hold such an event. One presumes that the Queen is staying in one of the suites in the Towers.
I stayed at the Waldorf in October .. lovely, absolutely lovely, and will be going back in late February for a weekend in New York - at the Waldorf=Astoria.

rather interesting photo of the queen

The final paragraph is the Times has a glaring error. The writer has confused Bobo MacDonald with Marion Crawford.

The Daily Mail article has more photos:

Allegra Hicks' firm goes bust

Allegra Hicks is the Italian-born wife of architect Ashley Hicks, and thus, a granddaughter-in-law of the late Earl Mountbatten.
Ashley's mother, Lady Pamela Mountbatten was married to the designer David Hicks.

Royals go to Church

November 20, 1898

King Oscar II of Sweden and his family attended church today, who the court Pastor Mazer preached. The topic of the sermon the 25th Chapter of Matthew -- "the Last Judgment."
Emperor Franz Joseph and his daughter, Gisela, were present for Mass today in the Goedeloelloe Castle Chapel. The priest read from Matthew 24.
Leopold II, Queen Marie Henriette and Princess Clementine attended mass in the private chapel at Laeken. The court chaplain officiated but "there was no preaching. Sermons here are unusual." (Not a surprise. In Leopold's case, the words probably would have gone in one ear, and out the other."
Young King Alfonso XIII of Spain and his mother, Maria Cristina, heard mass at a private oratory today. There was no sermon.
Nicholas II and Alexandra "attended service this morning at the private chapel" in Yalta, where they are staying. No sermon.
King Carlos of Portugal attended a private mass in the royal chapel. No sermon.

Farida goes home to Dad

November 20, 1948

Former Queen Farida of Eygpt has returned to her father's home in Cairo after her divorce from King Farouk was made final. She was accompanied by her youngest daughter, Princess Fadia. The former queen will also revert to her maiden name Saflinaz Zulfikar. It is understood that she will also receive her own home in Cairo.

Carol and Michael in Paris

November 20, 1938

King Carol II and Crown Prince Michael of Roumania are in Paris for an official visit. They are staying at the Hotel Meurice, which is also the residence of a certain red-haired lady Magda Lupescu. Madame Lupescu has not been seen publicly with the king, and is largely ignored by officials. The king, however, has sent a bouquet of red roses to Madame's room.
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are also staying at the Meurice. Carol once renounced his rights for the women he loved - Magda - but later took the throne in a 1930 coup d'etat. The Duke of Windsor abdicated nearly two years ago, but he's unlikely to stage a coup against his brother, George VI.

Prince killed in Spain

November 20, 1936 

 Prince Alonso of Bourbon-Orleans was killed today "in a forced landing of an Insurgent plane near Madrid." 

 The prince, a nephew of Queen Marie of Roumania, left London on October 31 with his older brother, Alvaro, "announcing they were going on a holiday in Lisbon. 

The prince's mother, Infanta Beatriz, "was prostrated in a London hotel by the news of her son's death." Alonso's father, Alfonso, a first cousin of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, is in the United States. When they left London, Prince Alvaro was asked if he and his brother planned to join the insurgent troops. "My family and I will fight communism wherever we may happen to be," Prince Alvaro said at the time.

 Infanta Beatriz is a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and is a British princess by birth.

Swedes believe Ingrid and George are engaged

November 20, 1932

Swedes are absolutely convinced that Princess Ingrid is engaged to Britain's Prince George, and newspapers are reporting that the engagement will be announced on Saturday. According to the latest rumors, the engagement will be announced at the welcoming dinner Ingrid's brother, Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf, and his bride of one month, Princess Sibylla. There has been no official denial of the engagement story from Palace officials.
In the meantime, Swedes can look forward to the arrival of their future king and queen as three days of public and private events are planned to welcome the newlyweds, who are returning from their honeymoon.
Princess Sibylla, 24, and her husband will be created at the railroad station by King Gustaf V. They will all travel by carriage to the Palace. The evening will culminate with a private family dinner. Other events for the newlyweds include a special church service, a gala dinner and an operatic program at the Royal Theatre.
Although the Swedes have a lot to celebrate with the arrival of Princess Sibylla, they are also looking forward to the news of their princess Ingrid's marriage to a British prince.
Ingrid and George are second cousins, as Ingrid's mother, the late Princess Margaret of Connaught, and George's father, King George V, were first cousins.

News tidbits

November 20, 1918

Rumors are circulating in Spain that Queen Victoria Eugenia will leave the country to visit England.

The former king of Saxony and his family have moved to a new home, Schloss Sybillenort in Silesia, where they are under the protection of Silesian soldiers. Auguste Viktoria, the former empress of Germany, has left the imperial palace in Potsdam and is now living with her son, Eitel Friedrich, at his villa.

An Imperial heir is born

November 20, 1912

Archduchess Zita of Austria gave birth to her first child, a son, today at Reichenau, near Vienna. The Archduchess is the wife of Archduke Karl, who is the heir apparent to Emperor Franz Josef.
The emperor was awakened with the news of the birth, and expressed his delighted. He also said that he would go to Reichenau and "act as godfather to the child."
The former Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma and Archduke Karl, who is Franz Josef's grand-nephew, were married in October 1911.
The new archduke is second in line to the Austrian and Hungarian thrones, and may one day, succeed as emperor.

Princess Charlotte arrives in New York City

November 20, 1908

Princess Heinrich XVIII of Reuss arrived today in New York City on the Lusitania. The former Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin is en route to Havana, where her son, Heinrich, a naval office, has taken ill with a fever. The princess has been making "record-breaking time" in an effort to get to her ill son. The Princess was at her home in Germany, when she received a telegram that her son was ill. Within two hours, she was on board a train for London, and then Liverpool, where she caught the Lusitania. Arrangements were made for a tug to meet the princess and her maid when the Lusitania was docked for quarantine. Arrangements for the tug were made by the German consulate through the Hamburg-American line.
The Princess and her maid were taken to Pennsylvania station where they boarded the 9:40 train heading to Port Tampa. From there, they will head to Knight Key, Florida, to take a steamer to Havana, which is expected to arrive on November 23 at 6:30 a.m.
All told, the Princess' trip between London and Cuba will have taken eight days and eighteen hours.

Czar fears assassination attempt

November 20, 1908

Nicholas II is said to be "slightly indisposed," and is not expected to walk the three miles through St. Petersburg for the funeral of Grand Duke Alexis, which will take place tomorrow. Journalists and other officials have suggested that the Emperor fears that at an attempt could be made on his life if he takes part in the procession. The entire route will be lined with troops, "but there is considerable apprehension for the safety of the emperor."
Several inches of snow fell today in St. Petersburg, and more snow is expected tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A boy for Anita and Pieter-Christiaan

November 19, 2008

Princess Anita of Orange-Nassau gave birth to a son, Pieter Anton Maurits Erik, in the Hague. Pieter weighed 8lbs. 4ozs.
Anita is the wife of Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau, whose is the third of four sons of Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband, Pieter van Vollenhoven
Prince Pieter-Christiaan and Princess Anita also have a daughter, Emma, who will celebrate her second birthday on November 26.
Pieter-Christiaan's children do not have royal titles and have the surname van Vollenhoven.

Duke Ludwig marries again

November 19, 1892

Due Ludwig in Bavaria, who is the brother of Duke Karl Theodore, head of the Ducal House, was married morganatically today. His wife is Antonia Barth. The regent of Bavaria has ennobled Ludwig's wife who now has the surname von Bartolf. This is Duke Ludwig's second morganatic marriage. His first wife, Henriette Mendel, was created Baroness von Wallersee. She died on November 12, 1891.

Double divorce

November 19, 1944

The New York Times' reporter, Clifton Daniel writes "that the simultaneous dissolution by divorce of two notably unsuccessful royal marriages is an event probably unprecedented in history." King Farouk of Egypt and the Shah of Iran have respectively divorced their wives largely due to the births of daughters. Farouk has three daughters by Queen Farida, and the Shah' has one daughter by his wife, Fawzia, who happens to be Farouk's sister.
It has been "public knowledge" for several years that both marriages were in trouble. Empress Fawzia, is is said, did not like Teheran. She considered Iran's capital to be a backwater in comparison with cosmopolitan Cairo. Fawzia has been living in her brother's palace for nearly two years now. The "grave, shy and quiet empress" often accompanied her brother to palace functions, while his wife, Queen Farida was scarcely seen with her husband. Her "role in public life became a minor one."
Fawzia's marriage to the Shah of Iran was considered to be a major diplomatic achievement, uniting two branches of the Islam faith. The Egyptian royal family belongs are Sunnis, while the Iranian imperial family are Shiites.
Iranian-Egyptian relations are not likely to be affected by the divorces. It is presumed that the two divorces were announced simultaneously to "dispose of two embarrassing problems at a single stroke and thereby try to minimize public opinion."
Both sovereigns are expected to remarry as neither has a male heir. Women are not permitted to rule in Islamic countries.

Wallis' name appears in British newspapers

November 19, 1936

For the first time "since the routine report of her divorce", Mrs. Simpson's name was published in several British newspapers, including the Times. The American woman, described by the Chicago Tribune as an "intimate friend" of King Edward VIII, was included in a list of committee members for a Russian cabaret ball, "which is to be held for charity."
The Marchioness of Milford Haven, who is the daughter of the late Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia, is the head of the committee for the ball, which will benefit the Russian Red Cross Society. The ball will be held on December 17 at the Dorchester Hotel.
Last Saturday, Mrs. Simpson's name was also included in a guest list for a concert at the Yugoslav Legation, but the Times struck her name out before the list was published in the newspaper.

Meanwhile, there is concern in the United Kingdom about the king's possible marriage. The Mothers Union, with 577,000 members, is considering voicing its disapproval over the king's relationship with Mrs. Simpson. The Mothers Union, whose patron is Queen Mary, has strong ties to the Church of England. The head of the organization, Mrs. Theodore Woods, is "gravely concerned" about the situation, and believes that the country's mothers should "do something to show their disapproval." The organization is bitterly opposed to divorce.

Yugoslav sovereigns return home

November 19, 1928

King Alexander and Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, who were in Paris for a private visit, returned today to Belgrade. They were greeted by the Yugoslav premier and Prince and Princess Paul.

Archduke Karl to become co-regent

November 19, 1916

Emperor Franz Joseph is expected to announce on December 2 -- the sixty-eighth anniversary of his reign -- that his heir, Archduke Karl, will be named as a co-regent. The Austrian emperor will "proclaim the extension of his sovereign right" to his great-nephew.
Franz Joseph, 86, has been in bad health for some years now, and the "burdens of the war are proving a heavy load."
Archduke Karl, barely 30, is in "robust health." He is married to the former Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, "who has won her way into the affections" of her husband's future subjects.

Nicholas and Alexandra return home after 12-week holiday

November 19, 1910

The Russian Emperor and Empress and their five children have returned to Russia after a 12-week holiday in Germany. This was the longest time that Nicholas II had ever spent outside his country. Friends have learned that "such a breathing spell is thoroughly enjoyable."
The prolonged holiday was largely due to Alexandra's "undermined constitution." It is said that she "benefited substantially" from the cure at Bad Neuheim. The empress' illness has been diagnosed as "acute neurasthenia, bordering on paranoia." She is apparently "obsessed with a fear" that her five children, especially, her son, Alexis, are in danger.
Nicholas "profited immediately from the untrammeled life" that he was able to lead during the stay in Hesse.

Another girl for Queen Elena

November 19, 1902

Queen Elena of Italy was "accouched of a daughter this morning," according to the Associated Press. Mother and daughter are both doing well, although all of Italy had hoped for a son. The "accouchment occurred one month earlier than expected," as King Vittorio Emanuele was shooting on the island of Monte Cristo, when he received word that the Queen had given birth to their second daughter.
United States Ambassador Meyer was the first "outsider to personally congratulate the King."
The new princess has been named Mafalda. She is the couple's second daughter. Princess Yolande was born in June 1901.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everyone - start singing

You know the words ... Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, dear Mickey, Happy Birthday to You!,8599,1859935,00.html?imw=Y

The world's favorite mouse turns 80 today ... Eighty-years-old. Wow. What an achievement for a little mouse, created by a true genius - and that mouse has done good .. a lot of good. Oh, I realize that some people do not like this Mouse, and do not understand the Magic at Mickey's house. I dare you nay sayers to visit the Shrine to St Mickey, and watch the children (okay, the big kids, too), but especially the children. Watch their eyes light up, as Mickey gets closer, and then the screams "Mickey Mouse," perhaps the only English that some of these children know.

Who's the leader of the club
That's made for you and me
Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there
You're as welcome as can be

Mickey Mouse!

Mickey Mouse!

Forever let us hold our banner
High! High! High! High!

Come along and sing a song
And join the jamboree!

Mickey Mouse club
We'll have fun
We'll be new faces
High! High! High! High!

We'll do things and
We'll go places
All around the world
We'll go marching

Who's the leader of the club
That's made for you and me
Hey! there, Hi! there, Ho! there
You're as welcome as can be

Mickey Mouse!

Mickey Mouse!

Forever let us hold our banner
High! High! High! High!

Come along and sing a song
And join the jamboree!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Another silly article in the Mail

I do not know what other countries do when dignitaries visit their countries, but the US does not skimp on security, even if the dignitary has his own protection. Even if the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester left their PPOs at home, they would have been entitled to State department security here in the USA. Heads of State get Secret Service while other important dignitaries, such as members of royal families are entitled to State Department security.

Update on Prince Kardam

Although Prince Kardam of Bulgaria is no longer in a coma, he remains in critical condition. Coming out of a coma does not necessarily mean that he is able to speak or fully communicate with his family, as Kardam suffered a major brain injury, which will make recovery very, very difficult.

Will the baby be called George?

November 17, 1948

London newspapers are predicting that Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh's son will be named George, which is the name used by the little prince's grandfather, George VI.
The king's real first name is Albert, and is known within the family as Bertie.

Ileana to marry Archduke

November 17, 1926

The "latest sensation" in Europe concerns Princess Ileana of Romania, who is currently touring the USA with her mother, Queen Marie, and her brother, Prince Nicholas. According to a newspaper report, the Princess is to marry Archduke Albrecht of Austria. This marriage will allow Albrecht to be named as king of Hungary, and Ileana, will succeed her father on the Romanian throne. The latter act will require a change to the Romanian constitution.

Four more principalities become republics

November 17, 1918.

Duke Carl Eduard of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV have abdicated their thrones. The Grand Duke, his wife, Alexandra, a British princess by birth, and their children have arrived in Copenhagen, where they were welcomed by the Grand Duke's sister, Queen Alexandrine.
The former duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, which was ruled by Duke Bernhard, has been proclaimed a republic. This has also happened in Baden, where the Grand Duke has abdicated.

Bodies of five Grand Dukes found

November 17, 1918

Czechoslovaks today found the bodies of five slain Grand Dukes in a well in Allispavik, near Perm. It has been said that the Bolsheviks pushed the Grand Dukes into a well, and then threw grenades on top of the men, all of whom were killed. The well was about 25 feet deep. The five men include Grand Duke Constantine Constantovich, whose wife is currently being held by the Bolsheviks at Perm. The New York Times did not name the other four Grand Dukes.

Queen Elisabeth of Romania sends letter to a friend

November 17, 1912

Queen Elisabeth of Romania, the consort of King Carol, and better known as the writer, Carmen Sylva, has written to a Hungarian friend about her pain over the Balkan war.

The letter was sent to Baroness Berthan von Suttner. "Dearest Madame, Your letter came to me almost like an outcry of pain on the very day when a fresh war is breaking out before our very doors. Only the Danube rolls its big swollen floods between us and the dire disaster. The King has done what was in his power to make peace between all those excited peoples, these young nations, who want to feel and manifest their strength in the only manner known upon our dark earth. I cannot write more, as I do not not know what the small hours of the rising day announce. All is dark like the torrents of rain that hid the sky since so many months. May your work prosper in the enlightened countries you are visiting -- this is my great wishes, dear Madame, Ever yours, Elizabeth (Carmen Sylva)"

engagement rumor denied

November 17. 1902

A proposed marriage between Princess Xenia of Montenegro and the divorced Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine is being denied in official quarters. The rumors began when the Princess in Darmstadt for a "prolonged stay" with her sister, Princess Franz Josef of Battenberg.

New Interview with Archduke Otto

Just in on my news feed

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A cute story

A new article on Queen Sofia's comments

Friday, November 14, 2008

Interview with Lord Fellowes

more perspective on Charles' birthday

an American husband for Maria of Isenburg

November 14, 1908 

 Princess Marie of Isenburg-Büdingen is currently visiting the United States. She arrived in the US on the North German Lloyd liner Kronprinzessin Cecilie several weeks ago and was accompanied by Professor and Mrs. Robert Hilprecht, with whom she had traveled from Darmstadt. Professor Hilprecht is a celebrated Assyriologist at the University of Pennsylvania. 

The Princess is apparently about to become engaged to the Professor's stepson, Attmore Robinson, a Baltimore-based millionaire. The couple first met while traveling through Italy several years ago, and they have spent time together in Germany. Marie's "decision to acquire a Yankee husband is marked as an epoch-making event." This would be the first time that a "European princess has done such a wholly unconventional thing." 

It is said that Maria's parents "have given their consent to the alliance reluctantly." 

She is the daughter of the Prince and Princess of Isenburg und Büdingen

This would not the first marriage between a member of the Isenburg princely family and an American. Prince Karl zu Isenburg-Birstein married a New Orleans girl, Bertha Lewis, in 1895. Karl's older brother, Leopold, "paid court" to Miss Mary Pullman, whose father was the sleeping car magnate, but failed "to get either the girl or her dollars on account of the opposition of her thrifty father." 

(This story was pure speculation. No engagement was announced. In 1910, the Marquise de Fontenoy reported that Marie had just become engaged to Dom Domenico Aloisi. This marriage took place on June 23, 1910. The couple had six children: Mariangela, Mario, Carlo Federico, Anna, Ramonda, and Franca.)

Grand Duke Alexis dies in Paris

November 14, 1908

Grand Duke Alexis of Russia died in Paris today. The cause of death was pneumonia. He was 58-years-old. The Grand Duke, an uncle of Nicholas II, had lived in Paris since 1905, when he retired as the Imperial Navy's supreme director.
"Charges of mismanagement and inefficiency against the marine department had been current for years, and after the war with Japan they increased ten-fold," according to the Grand Duke's obituary in the Chicago Daily Tribune. Nicholas II tried to mitigate the situation by stating that his uncle had "long importuned to be relieved of responsibility for the navy."

Grand Duke Alexis was a younger son of Alexander II. In 1872, he made an extensive visit to the United States, and was "given a cordial welcome on all sides."

He was described as a bachelor, although had entered into two morganatic marriages, according to the Tribune. Alexis was very much in love with a woman of a lower rank, who bore him a son. He was forced to end the relationship at the time of his American visit. Alexei,"the son of this left-handed alliance grew to manhood," and was recognized by the Grand Duke. He was given the title Count Belevsky. He is married to Princess Marie Troubetskoy, and they have four children.

Grand Duke Alexis was a "a handsome man, with a sturdy frame, bewhiskered, and with a Kaiser Wilhelm way of wearing his mustache."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cecilie with her Mecklenburg relatives

This is a new postcard to my collection. Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia with her Mecklenburg relatives. I do not know when it was taken - 1930s, perhaps. The photo does not appear in books about Crown Princess Cecilie nor in Christian Ludwig's books on the Mecklenburgs ...

The photo was taken in Rostock.

New portrait of Charles

You have to click on the link in the article

I think Charles looks yummy.

Hmmm Where's Kate?

So far not a single pip from the British media regarding Kate Middleton and the Prince of Wales' birthday party. Kate has attended several royal family events in the last year or so, but so far no one has reported if she is at this party ... or not. Kate and William are an acknowledged couple, even by Clarence House, although no engagement has been announced.

However, it has been quiet on the Kate and Wills scene for some weeks now. This inquiring mind wants to know if the couple are in another cooling off period, or ... what. All of sudden, the story has grown cold with no mention of Kate. The Times (November 12) does mention that Kate and Chelsy Davy will be present at the family party for Charles on Saturday at Highgrove.

another nice piece about Charles

The Guests have arrived

The guests are arriving at Buckingham Palace for the Prince of Wales' 60th birthday party, which is being hosted by his mother, the Queen.

The guests include the The Duke of York, and Princess Beatrice, Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Brabant, the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, the Crown Princess of Sweden, the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark,the Prince and Princess of the Asturias Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Daniel and Lady Sarah Chatto, Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor, Kady Rose Gilman, Queen Sonja of Norway, the King and Queen of the Hellenes, and Crown Prince and Crown Princess Pavlos of Greece, Prince Nicholas of Greece, the King and Queen of Sweden,Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan and Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, the Emir of Bahrain. The guest list also includes friends of the Prince of Wales, as well as cousins from both sides of the family.

It is a formal black tie affair. No tiaras for the ladies.

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 This is a private event. The palace has released photos of the Prince of Wales and his immediate family (Wife, Sons, Mom and Dad) walking into the reception.

New Charles article

Rather nice piece, but I wish British journalists would check their facts. The Prince of Wales cannot voluntarily step aside for William. Only an Act of Parliament can change the succession, just as only an Act of Parliament can allow for an abdication from the throne.

Crowds grow outside palace

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November 13, 1948

Crowds continue to grow outside Buckingham Palace, as the world awaits the birth of Princess Elizabeth's first child. The baby will be second in line of the British throne. Today, the princess was seen by two of her four doctors. She took a walk in the palace garden with her corgi, Susan, and two of Susan's puppies, and she had lunch with her husband. In the afternoon, the Duke of Edinburgh took part in a meeting of Navy League Sea Scouts, and pronounced his wife "very well and in good spirits." When he returned to the Palace, the crowds cheered, and one shouted "Good old Philip!"

It was noted that many Americans are in the crowd and "are as thrilled over the event as we are," as one Briton told a reporter.

The New York Times reported that "a reticent people are not reticent when it is a question of royal offspring."

Sir William Gilliatt visited the princess at 8 p.m., and made the decision to stay overnight at the palace.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth have decided to stay at the Palace for the weekend, and not drive down to Windsor Castle.

By evening, the throng outside the palace numbered more than  thousand.  It is now only a matter of time before the Princess gives birth.

Marital rumors swirl around Giovanna

November 13, 1926

Princess Giovanna of Italy celebrates her 21st birthday today as marital rumors are beginning to reach a peak. The most obvious candidate is King Boris III of the Bulgarians, although officials deny or ignore the stories. It is noted that a marriage between the Bulgarian king and the princess would have immense political value between the two countries, and increase Italian influence in the Balkans. Another possible contender for the princess' hand is Prince Charles of Belgium, the Count of Flanders, although the princess is said to admire the Marquise de Pinedo, the aviator, who was recently honored by the United States when he received the Distinguished Flying Cross. At one of the two court balls last season, the Princess led off with the Marquise, who was also a guest in the royal box at the Davis Cup in the Spring.
A marriage with a member of the Italian nobility would not be a surprise as Giovanna's oldest sister, Yolanda, is married to the Count Calvi di Bergolo.
One king is not consider a candidate. King Zogu of Albania is a Muslim, and the Catholic church is unlikely to grant a dispensation for a marriage between a non-Christian and a Roman Catholic princess.

More German rulers out

November 13, 1918

The Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar abdicated today to "avoid civil war,"according to the New York Times, which bases its report on a Berlin dispatch.

The Prince of Lippe-Detmold has renounced his throne, as well. In Hesse, revolutionaries have confiscated all Grand Ducal lands and all "hereditary entails abolished."

Queen Maria Theresa of Bavaria is reported to be dying.

Prince Henry supports new government

November 13, 1918

Prince Henry of Prussia, the younger brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, is living at Duke Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein at his castle in Eckernförde on the Schleswig coast. He "declares himself in accord with the new regime in Germany."

Where will Wilhelm II live

November 13, 1918

William Hohenzollern - the former Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany -- has arrived at Amerongen, the home of Count Bentinck, in the Netherlands. He took a walk today, and appears to "have resigned himself to his new life."
It is understood that Wilhelm will remain at Amerongen for a short time, and will reside permanently at his villa on Corfu. It is also understand that Lt. Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, the husband of Bertha Krupp, fled with the Kaiser.

Wilhelm II's wife, Auguste Viktoria, and the former Crown Princess Cecilie and her children have remained at the New Palace in Potsdam and are under the protection of the local soldiers and workers' council. Auguste Viktoria has expressed her thanks to the council for her family's protection.

Leopold Woefling sues journalist

November 13, 1908

Former Archduke Leopold of Austria, who is now known as Leopold Woelfling, has filed suit against a journalist for defamation of character. The journalist has threatened retaliation by reading letters from the Austrian Emperor to the Grand Duke of Tuscany. These letters are alleged to contain revealing information about Leopold, who is the son of the Grand Duke.

Leopold was cast out of the family when he he became "enamoured" with a Bavarian actress, Wilhelmine Abramovic, whom he married without the approval of the Emperor. Franz Joseph struck Leopold off the army list and stripped him of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Having lost his archducal status, Leopold assumed the surname Woelfling.
He divorced his wife in July 1907 because "she joined a sect of vegetarians and was in the habit of taking sun baths without her clothes." Leopold was recently married in a civil ceremony in Zurich, Switzlerland, to Maria Magdalena Ritter, whose father, Albert, owns horses.

Leopold's sister, Louise, has lead an equally scandalous life. Once the wife of the Crown Prince of Saxony, she is now known as Countess Montignoso.

Duke of Rutland denies that his daughter will marry Prince Arthur

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November 13, 1906

 For some weeks now, British and American newspapers have reported the alleged romance between Prince Arthur of Connaught and Lady Marjorie Manners. Despite an official denial by Lady Marjorie's father, the Duke of Rutland, the rumors continue. It has been suggested that the couple are "infatuated with one another," but that King Edward VII and the Duke of Connaught objected to the marriage with a "non-royal woman." 

 One report suggested that the family opposition was due to the fact that Prince Arthur is an heir to two thrones, Britain and Saxe-Coburg. But it has been pointed out that Prince Arthur renounced his rights six years ago to the Coburg throne. In Britain, Prince Arthur remains in succession, but only after his first cousins, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Fife, Princess Victoria, and Queen Maud of Norway and their families. The story of this "romance" was first published in one of London's society columns. 

 Prince Arthur nor his parents chose to deny the story because it would have "seemed to be a reflection upon the young girl and her parents." It was left to the Duke of Rutland to issue a denial in an "uncertain manner, indicating his distress at the way in which his daughter's name has been bandied about in connection with the affair."

Franz Ferdinand may never reign

November 13, 1902

The Associated Press published a report today concerning conflicts over Austrian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Despite official denials to the contrary, the Hungarian newspaper, the Neue Budapester Abenblatt reports of Franz Ferdinand's alleged abdication in favor of his 15-year-old nephew, Archduke Karl. The current order of succession also includes Franz Ferdinand's brother, Otto, who is Karl's father, and who also would renounce his rights to the throne.

The idea of this abdication is based on current political views in Viennese and Budapest circles, where it is believed that Franz Ferdinand's views are contrary to the views of the majority of his future subjects. The AP writes: Franz Ferdinand's "clerical and anti-German tendencies do not please the bulk of the Germans in Austria. and his clerical views are equally distasteful to the liberal Magyars in Hungary." Another heir, the report noted, might be less compromised with his views.
Franz Ferdinand is seen as a man of "exceptional independence of character, whose iron determination has before now broken down very powerful opposition to his own views."
Many in the Austro-Hungarian empire attribute this to the "clever ambitions" of Franz Ferdinand's morganatic wire, the Princess of Hohenberg.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Charlie became German

Marlene A  Eilers Koenig Collection

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the second and younger son of Duke Ernst I. It was expected that Albert's older brother, Ernst, would marry and have sons to carry on the dynastic line. The marriage treaty between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert contains no reference to the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the possible succession of Albert's male heirs.

One clause stated: "The sons and daughters of the said marriage shall be brought up according to the laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in that respect, and no children of this marriage shall be allowed to marry without the consent of Her Majesty the Queen or of the King or Queen of the United Kingdom for the time being.

Two years after Albert's marriage to Victoria, his older brother married Princess Alexandrine of Baden. The marriage was childless. Thus, it was now apparent that the succession would eventually devolve to Albert's line. This would prove problematic. Mindful of the earlier ties to Hanover, whereby the British Sovereign and the Hanoverian king were one in the same, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert did not want to create another situation where the British sovereign would also become a German sovereign.

(In 1837, when William IV died, his niece, Victoria, got the grand prize by inheriting the British throne, and his brother, Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, became the King of Hanover.)
Thus, Victoria was not going to allow her eldest son and heir to also succeed in Coburg.

In 1855, a Fundamental law was passed in Coburg that would have Albert's line renounce their right of succession. But this could not be done until the Prince of Wales reached his majority.

"We, Albert Edward, Prince Royal of Great Britain and Ireland &c, make known that having acknowledged the adhesion given by our father, dead to the Lord, to the law of March 1, 1855, as to the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and the fundamental law decreed by it, May 3, 1855, for the Duchies of Coburg and Gotha, we have seen that the desire of our father was that his posterity should completely renounce the right of succession to the throne of the Duchies of Coburg and Gotha. In consequence, we have the intention of realizing this paternal wish, which hitherto has not been in our power because of our minority; we wish to realize it in as complete a manner as possible, and by that add, according to our power, to the prosperity of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland as well as that of the Duchies of Coburg and Gotha, while giving our brothers as evidence of our fraternal love."

The text continued with Albert Edward's renouncement of the Coburg succession "for us and for our heirs," in favor of Albert Edward's younger brothers, Alfred, Arthur, and Leopold, and their male successors.

Thus, the Prince of Wales and his male heirs were removed from the Coburg succession. The act did include a clause: "In the case, nevertheless, of our brothers and their male line becoming extinct before us and our male branch, we reserve to ourselves, for us and for our male successors, this right of succession to the throne of the Duchies of Coburg and Gotha."

As Ernst II's marriage was childless, the next in line was his nephew, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, although he remained in Royal Navy, and was very much a British prince. Alfred and his wife, Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, were the parents of one son and four daughters. The son, Prince Alfred, was sent to Germany to be educated. He grew up to live a dissipated life, much to the dismay of his parents. A marriage was arranged between young Affie and Duchess Elsa of Württemberg (officially announced in the Court Circular) in 1895, but the relationship was finally ended by Elsa's parents, as they learned more about Affie's lifestyle, which was well-documented in the German media.

The Duke of Edinburgh succeeded as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1893. Young Affie's death six years later precipitated another look at the succession.

According to the fourth paragraph in the Coburg constitution, the reigning duke was "bound to reside" in the duchy. Coburg's Parliament prevailed upon the government "to use its influences in the highest quarters in order that Prince Arthur of Connaught, who in all human probability will someday be called upon to succeed to the throne should as soon as possible take up as his principal residence in the Duchies of Coburg and Gotha, receive a German education, and make himself personally acquainted with the circumstances of his new home."
This statement was made on May 31, 1899. It was also noted that the British Court decided that Prince Arthur would remain at Eton for a year and a half before moving permanently to Coburg.

One month later, the Coburg Diet was informed of the renunciation to the throne by the Duke of Connaught and his son, Prince Arthur of Connaught. The new heir presumptive was the young Duke of Albany, Prince Charles Edward, 14, who also was at Eton. The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg was appointed as Charlie's guardian. (The prince was the Duke of Edinburgh's son-in-law.)

It was also noted that "the renunciation of the eldest son of the Duke of Connaught is conditional upon the Duke of Albany's living to assume the Throne or leaving direct heirs."

It is understood that the Duke of Connaught's eldest sister, Victoria (Empress Friedrich) played a subtle role in the duke's decision to renounce the Coburg succession for himself and for his son.

After young Affie's death, Vicky wrote to her mother, Queen Victoria, suggesting that the Duke and Duchess of Connaught should visit Coburg with their children, Margaret, Arthur, and Patricia. The Queen passed on the letter to her son.

Vicky suggested that no decision be made regarding young Arthur's education, but that they should visit her son, the Kaiser, and ask that he give young Arthur an honorary commission.

Thus, young Arthur could remain at Eton, go to Sandhurst, but make "the odd visit to Coburg, and perhaps take a course at Heidelberg University." Vicky felt this would appease the locals, and young Arthur could remain a British prince. She knew that the Coburg Parliament had no say in the succession.

The Duke of Connaught did not agree with this view. He held a more "modern view," and believed "that it was advisable to show some consideration for the voice of the people."

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Queen Victoria did not share this view, however. She had assumed, rightly as it turned out, that Arthur and his son would renounce their rights, and Charlie would become the heir. The widowed Duchess of Albany was not thrilled with this proposal because she did not want her son to move to Germany, and she did not want to be brought into a "collision" with Kaiser Wilhelm II.

The Kaiser had other ideas. He was determined that Affie's heir would move to Germany and be educated there. The heir to the duchy must be German, not British, the Kaiser argued.

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After visiting his brother at Coburg, Arthur made the decision to renounce himself and for his son. The Connaughts preferred to remain British princes.

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In her autobiography, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, writes: "It was a very great heart-break for my mother that my brother had to succeed to Coburg. 'I have always tried to bring Charlie up as a good Englishman, and now I have to turn him into a good German.'"

It was Queen Victoria's wish that Charlie become the heir, and the Duchess of Albany did not have the power to say no, and Charlie was too young to make the decision on his own. Victoria made it for him.

If you liked this article, I would love a coffee ... thanks...

More on Charles as the big day approaches

Ahh, Thanks Mama

Don't forget PBS tonight

Check your PBS stations tonight - as Monarchy: Royal Family at Work premieres tonight at 8 p.m. I've noticed that a selection of PBS stations are also showing this week "Born to be King: Charles at 60," a new documentary. Check your local listings.

BBC America has no programs planned for the Big 6-0. But their website is advertising Monarchy: Royal Family at Work - click on the link, and you are taken to the PBS site.

BBC America is not the same as the BBC. BBC America is a separate network, and all of the programming you see on BBC America must be purchased from the BBC (through their international sales division.)

In some instances, BBC America allows PBS (or A&E) to purchase first rights to a BBC program. In time, the program might also appear on BBC America.

BBC Canada operates somewhat differently, however, due to a Canadian law that requires all Canadian stations to show 35 percent of original Canadian program. This programming must be shown during peak hours. This is why BBC Canada shows Canadian programs as well as programs purchased from the BBC. BBC America, on the other hand, is all Beeb, all the time.
I do not expect BBC's 24 hour World News Channel (seen on a very select number of cable companies in the USA, including Cox and Fios) to offer special programming.

Crowds gather at Buckingham Palace

November 12, 1948

Crowds have begun to gather outside Buckingham Palace in anticipation of the forthcoming royal birth. Nothing has transpired regarding the "great event," as Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh left the palace tonight for dinner with Lord and Lady Brabourne. The Duke of Edinburgh and Lady Brabourne - the former Lady Patricia Mountbatten - are first cousins.
The Princess' doctors have pronounced her in "excellent health," It is the view of Sir William Gilliat, the princess' gynecologist, that the baby, who will be second in line to the throne, will be born tomorrow or the next day.

Maria of Savoy's engagement

November 12, 1938

It is certain now that an announcement will be made shortly regarding the engagement between Princess Maria of Savoy and Archduke Otto of Austria. According to "well-informed court officials," the engagement has already been concluded, and the only thing left to do is to make the official announcement.

It is believed that the announcement may coincide with Admiral Nicholas Horthy, the Hungarian regent's visit to Italy.

Prince Johann celebrates 70 years on the throne

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November 12, 1928

The Prince of Liechtenstein celebrated 70 years on the throne today, as he received felicitations from his subjects and from fellow sovereigns. The Prince is in Vienna, where he is expected to undergo cataract surgery.

In Liechtenstein, where the population hovers around 11,000, the country celebrated the the princely anniversary.

Prince Johannes, 88, is not married. The heir to the throne is his 75-year-old brother, Franz, who is also not married.

The succession, however, is expected to devolve on a cousin, Franz Josef, who was born in 1906 and is the eldest son of Prince Alois and his wife, Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria. 

In 1923, Prince Alois renounced his rights in favor of his son. 

(This renouncement was done in order to protect the family fortune. Five years later, when Franz Josef turned eighteen, he was named as heir apparent to Johann's estate. This action was taken to minimize the effect that death taxes would have on the family's wealth. Prince Johann died in 1929, and was succeed on the throne by his brother, Franz, who in 1938, turned the reigns of government over to Franz Josef, who had already inherited the bulk of the family's immense fortune.)

Archducal renunciations

November 12, 1918

Budapest newspapers report that Archduke Joseph of Austria and his son, Archduke Joseph Francis, have taken an oath to the Hungarian constitution as "simple Hungarian citizens named Habsburg."

Swiss newspapers are reporting that a revolution has broken out in the Principality of Liechtenstein, which has 10,000 citizens.

Anglo-German duke to wed German princess

February 16, 1905

The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha today announced his engagement to Princess Victoria Adelheid of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. The announcement was made at a Court ball.

The Duke, who is also the Duke of Albany and a British prince, is a nephew of King Edward VII. His future wife is a niece of German Empress Auguste Viktoria.

Prince Charles Edward of Albany was not born to be a German duke. He is the only son of the late Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and Princess Helen of Waldeck und Pyrmont. Charles Edward was born in July 1884 several months after the death of his father. In 1899, his first cousin, Alfred, the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died, leaving the Coburg duchy without a direct male heir. The next in line, according to the family agreement, was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and his son, Prince Arthur of Connaught. They renounced their rights, which pushed little Prince Charles Edward into the position as heir to his uncle, Alfred, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The British prince, a grandson of Queen Victoria, was now required to grow up in Germany, and become German. Charles Edward morphed into Carl Eduard. In 1900, Duke Alfred died from cancer, and the young Carl Eduard succeed as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Due to Carl Eduard being a minor at the time of succession, a Regent - the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg - was named. The prince's wife, Alexandra was the late Duke Alfred's third daughter.
Carl Eduard will come of age in July.

October 11, 1905

The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Viktoria Adelheid of Schleswig-Holstein were married today at Schloss Glücksburg in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria.
The bride is the Empress' niece.

All of the Kaiser's children were present, except for the Crown Prince. Prince Arthur of Connaught, the groom's first cousin, represented Edward VII. Other guests included the groom's mother, the Duchess of Albany, and his brother-in-law, Prince Alexander of Teck. The groom's sister, Alice, did not attend the wedding.

Because the castle was too small to host all the guests, the German Imperial family stayed on board their yacht, the Hohenzollern.
The couple was married first in a civil ceremony, which took place in the castle's wide hall. Then "as many of the royal guests and their suites as could be accommodated," made their way up the stairs to the castle's tiny chapel, where the religious marriage, according to the rites of the Lutheran church, was performed.

The princess, who was dressed in white silk and wore a veil, "led the way, walking between" the Kaiser and her father, Duke Friedrich Ferdinand. Six bridesmaids followed, and "then came the bridegroom in the light blue and gold uniform of the Ninth German Hussars." He also wore the Order of the Black Eagle, which had been conferred on him earlier in the day by the Kaiser.
On either side of the duke were his mother and the German Empress.
Prince Arthur of Connaught escorted the Grand Duchess of Oldenburg.

A wedding breakfast was served in the castle's Grand Hall. At 3:30 p.m., the newlyweds left for Schloss Luisenlund, where they will spend a few days before traveling onto Schloss Greinburg in Austria for their honeymoon.

After the wedding, the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha appeared on the balcony and were cheered enthusiastically by the crowds. The New York Times noted that the "marriage is unusually popular with the German people, and will entirely remove the suspicions that have obtained against the Duke as an English prince."

The marriage between the duke and the Empress's niece also meets "all of the political requirements," although sources close to the couple say that "it is entirely a love match."

Among the wedding gifts is an oil painting of Claremont, where the Duke was born, which was given to the royal couple by the citizens of Esher. The Emperor and Empress gave the newlyweds a porcelain dinner service. King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra's present consists of "costly furniture and a parure of diamonds for the bride." The Duchess of Albany also gave her daughter-in-law a diamond parure. The Prince and Princess of Wales' gift is a silver cup.

Guests at the wedding were also on hand to celebrate the engagement of the Kaiser's second son, Prince Eitel Friedrich, to Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg, which was announced on October 10.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What a silly article

All of this was discussed at the time of the Prince of Wales' wedding.

The Prince of Wales' civil marriage with Camilla Parker-Bowles is a legal marriage. The Church of England recognizes civil marriages as legal marriages. This marriage was blessed by the Church of England, although the couple were not married, according to the rites of the Church of England.

The Church of England recognizes civil divorce. Remarriage of divorced persons is permitted in the Church of England, although a local priest might choose not to perform a marriage of divorced persons. If this happens, the couple cannot seek out another minister to marry them because of the Church of England requirements regarding where a bride and groom may marry. In most cases, the bride and groom must marry in either's parish church

It was entirely possible for the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry Charles and Camilla, but it would have been a controversial decision. The Church of England has several policies regarding the marriage of divorced persons. But many Anglican priests do allow divorced persons with living spouses to remarry in their parish church. A growing number of divorced persons with living former spouses marry in the Anglican church each year, due to the changes in the official policy.

The Princess Royal's second marriage took place according to the rites of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), which has a more liberal view regarding the marriage of divorced persons. The Church of Scotland is not a part of the Anglican Communion, although the Church is in full communion with the Church of England. (This means members may take the Sacrament in each other's churches.)
The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the Anglican communion.

This marriage did not affect her membership in the Church of England, which recognizes other Christian marriages. Anne did not need permission from the Church of England to marry in the Church of Scotland, although her mother may have mentioned it to the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Princess Royal remains a fully communicant member of the Church of England.
The Church of England recognizes and accepts her second marriage. Why? Easy. The marriage is a legal wedding. The Church of England cannot disavow a marriage that is recognized in law,
Nor did Anne need a dispensation to marry in a church other than her own. She and Tim could have flown to the US for a wedding in an Episcopal or a Lutheran church, and the marriage would have been recognized and accepted by the Church of England.

When the British royal family are in Scotland, they worship at Crathie Church, which is Church of Scotland.

The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Princess Royal are members of the Church of England, which does not deny communion to divorced or remarried members. As I stated above, the Church of England recognizes marriages performed in other Christian churches. Thus, a divorced Roman Catholic who joined the Anglican church is subject to the same policy on remarriage. The first marriage, even if it took place in the Catholic church, is a legal wedding. Joining the Church of England is not a way to wipe away previous marriages and divorces.

Wallis and Queen Mary dine

November 11, 1936

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Mrs. Simpson and Queen Mary, mother of Edward VIII, dined together at Marlborough House for a "woman to woman" chat about Wallis' romance with the king.
The Queen's invitation, "tantamount to a command," was not about exploring a friendship with Mrs. Simpson. Queen Mary is said to be worried and concerned about her son's romance because of the "uproar it has created outside England and the repercussions now threatening at home."
British newspapers are unable to report about the romance, which is front page news in the United States and abroad.

A son for the Lobkowiczs

November 11, 1928

Princess Eduard Lobkowicz gave birth to a son on Friday, according to the New York Times. The Princess and her husband live at 969 Park Avenue in New York City. The little prince was born at the Harbor Sanitarium.

Princess Eduard Lobkowicz is the former Anita H. Lihme, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Bai Lihme of New York City.

Great joy in London

November 11, 1918

There are great demonstrations of joy in London, at Buckingham Palace, Mansion House and Downing Street as Britons celebrate the end of the war. King George V made a brief speech at Buckingham Palace. "With you I rejoice. Thank God for the victories which the Allied Armies have won and have brought hostilities to an end. Peace is within sight."

Prime Minister Lloyd George also speaks to the crowds outside Downing Street.

Three more rulers out

November 11, 1918

On a day that should be declared a world holiday, according one report, three more German sovereigns have lost their thrones.

An official telegram announces that King Friedrich August of Saxony has been "dethroned," and Dresden is now in the hands of Workman's and Soldiers Council.

The Grand Duke of Oldenburg has also been "dethroned," and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin has abdicated, according to a report in the Hamburg Nachrichten. Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg succeeded to the throne in 1901. Since 1904, he has been married to Princess Alexandra of Cumberland.

Luxembourg's Grand Duchess Thankful for Peace

November 11, 1914

According to a report in the New York Times, Grand Duchess Marie-Adelaide opened Parliament with a speech from the throne. The speech was quoted in a Reuter dispatch "by way of Amsterdam."

"We are all deeply affected by the appalling spectacle of the murderous war in which our neighbors are lacerating one another. Our neutrality has been violated. We hurriedly lodged a protest informing the guarantee powers. The Chamber has approved the proceedings. Our rights, though violated, remain.
Indemnity for the wrong done us is promised. We have received already indemnity fir the damage caused by the passage of troops.
I thank the people for their correct attitude, whereby disagreeable events have been prevented. God protect our dear country!"

The New York Times also reported that Luxemburgers are "restive under German rule."

Kaiser sends congrats letter to sister

November 11, 1912

Kaiser Wilhelm II has sent a letter to his sister, Sophie, Crown Princess of Greece, congratulating her on Greece's capture in Salonika.
Sophie is married to Crown Prince Constantine, heir apparent to the Greek throne.

Kirill denies rumors of romance

November 11, 1904

An official denial of a romance between Grand Duke Kirill and his first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, has been made in St. Petersburg.
Rumors of a relationship between the Grand Duke and the former wife of the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine first surfaced two years ago. The Grand Duke recently returned from the "the seat of war, wounded and his nervous system wrecked by the explosion and sinking of the flagship of Admiral Makaroff," with further news about a romance. Kirill is recovering at his father's estates, and is now expected to travel to Italy. It is understood by this official denial that the Grand Duke was unable to persuade his cousin, Nicholas II, to grant permission for the marriage.
It is also possible that Kirill defy his cousin, and follow the example of Grand Dukes Alexis, Paul and Michael Mikhailovich, and "wed in opposition to the wishes and commands of the emperor."

Hit the record Button

Tomorrow night, PBS will begin showing Monarchy The Royal Family at Work. This program was seen in Britain last year.
Check your local PBS station's for time. PBS stations are largely independent, which means that a local station does not have to take the program, even if the program is on the national feed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nils Prinz von Sachsen marries

A lawyer, Dresden-born Jedida Taborek married Nils Prinz von Sachsen on Sunday at Moritzburg. Nils is the youngest of three sons of Rüdiger Prinz von Sachsen and his first wife, Astrid.
This branch of the Wettin dynasty is considered morganatic due to the marriage of Prince Timo (Rüdiger's father) to Margit Lucas, a butcher's daughter.
Nil's 86-year-old uncle, Prince Dedo, traveled from Canada to attend the wedding. Dedo, Timo and their late brother, Gero, were the sons of Princess Sophie of Luxembourg and Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony.

A separation for Francesca and Karl say Richard Kay

Old news.

Richard Kay's column in Tuesday's Daily Mail mentions Archduchess Francesca of Austria, who is the estranged wife of Archduke Karl, the heir to Archduke Otto. This is not news, however. Karl and Francesca have been living apart for several years now. Karl lives in Salzburg and Francesca's main residence is an apartment in Vienna.

Karl and the former Baroness Francesca von Thyssen were married in 1993. They have three children, Archduchess Eleonore, Archduke, Ferdinand and Archduchess Gloria.

Kay describes Francesca as Scottish-born. She was born in Lausanne. Close. Switzerland, like Scotland, starts with a S.

a profile of Francesca that was published in the New York Times Magazine in 2007

200,000 cheer Leopold & Astrid

November 10, 1926

More than 200,000 Belgians, "enthusiastic over the real romance", lined the streets of Brussels, cheering for their new Crown Princess.

Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium and Princess Astrid of Sweden were married today in a Roman Catholic service at the Church of SS Michael and Gudule. The church dates back to the 13th century.
The sun "shone brilliantly" throughout the day, and largely the entire population of Brussels piled into the streets to celebrate the marriage of their future king.

More than 9000 were present in the congregation, the largest-ever gathering in the medieval cathedral.
Female guests were requested not to wear black (mourning) or white ("too obtrusive.") Instead, the distaff guests were dressed in "harmonious pale shades of blue, mauve, maize or yellow." Women were given special permission by the church to not wear hats or cover their heads, although some guests chose to do so.

The first group of royals to arrive included the King and Queen of Denmark, the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and her husband, Prince Felix, the Crown Prince of Norway, Princess Marie-José of Belgium, Prince and Princess Axel of Denmark, Prince Henry of Great Britain, the Count of Flanders, Prince Carl and Princess Martha of Sweden (the bride's brother and sister), Prince René of Bourbon-Parma (whose wife is a Danish princess), Prince and Princess Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, Princess Ingrid of Sweden, and her brothers, the Dukes of Vasterbotten and Uppland, and her uncle, the Duke of Narke, Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma, Prince and Princess Bernadotte, and their sons, Counts Carl and Folke Bernadotte.

The bridal party was scheduled to arrive a few minutes after the first cortege. The congregation grew "restless and apprehensive" as the delay grew to 15 minutes, and then a half hour. Finally, at 11:35 a.m., "the roar of the voices outside gave notice" that the King and Queen and the bridal party were about to arrive.

The second cortege included three carriages. The first included the ladies and gentlemen of the court, King Albert and Queen Elisabeth, and their son, the Duke of Brabant were in the second carriage, and the third carriage conveyed the bride and her parents, Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg.

The bridal party was met by the Archbishop of Malines, who conducted the service.

Princess Astrid was "altogether charming in white, which always becomes her." She wore a Brussels lace veil, and her train was carried by four pages, all in white, "drawn from the families of the old Belgian nobility."

The wedding did not include the nuptial mass because the bride is Lutheran. She has agreed, however, to raise her children in the Roman Catholic faith.

The Duke of Brabant and his new duchess walked down the aisle to the strains of the Hallelujah Chorus. As the doors to the church opened, the crowds began to cheer, once more, for their handsome prince and his beautiful bride. At the palace, the couple did come out on the balcony, to more cheers.
A luncheon was held at the palace for the bride and groom and their families and witnesses. Later in the afternoon, the Duke and Duchess also attended a reception for more than 3000 guests.

The Duke and Duchess left the palace this evening at 6:00 p.m., in a car, and were believed to be en route to a chateau in the Ardennes to begin their honeymoon.