Thursday, December 31, 2009

Broadlands Archives in danger

The Broadlands Archives, which have been maintained by Southampton University since 1989, are in danger of being broken up and sold.

The archives include more than 4500 boxes of papers pertaining to Lord Palmerston and Lord Mountbatten. The University must raise £2.85 million by March 2010 in order to purchase the collection and keep it intact.

Here is the University's press release about the proposed sale by the Trustees of the Broadlands Archives:

Funniest story of the year: Fuzzy math

This has to be the funniest story of 2009. Lia Lambrino, the wife of Paul Lambrino, is said to be pregnant at age 56 years old.

Hmmm, it seems someone has shaved four years off her age as the former Lia Triff, who was once married to lawyer Melvin Belli, was born February 23, 1949, at Great Lakes, Illinois. She will celebrate her 61st birthday in two months.

Paul Lambrino, who was born in 1948, is the elder son of the late Carol Lambrino, elder half-brother of King Michael of Roumania. Paul pretends to be a Prince of Romania, but he is not entitled to the title of Prince or the style of Royal Highness. In the late 1950s, courts in France and Portugal acknowledged that the late Carol Lambrino was a legitimate son of King Carol and his first wife, Zizi Lambrino.

 This case was settled for purposes of inheritance of King Carol's property in France and Portugal. Carol Lambrino and his half-brother Michael were heirs to property in these two countries. In France, the inheritance was a house that was in desperate need of repair.

The courts of France and Portugal were not in a position to rule on Roumanian titles. The decisions handed down by the courts did not reference titles for Carol Lambrino, although he soon began to use the title HRH Prince Carol of Roumania. His elder son, Paul, has continued this pretense.

When Paul and Lia announced they were expecting a child in the fall of 1997, Lia's age was given as 48. Twelve years, she is described as 56. I call that fuzzy math! She married San Francisco lawyer, Melvin Belli, in 1972, in the same year, she graduated from the University of Maryland. She was 23-years-old at the time of the wedding - and her graduation. In 1984, when the then Lia Belli was running for the California State Senate, she was described as 35 years old.

She blamed "misunderstandings" and "staff errors" for mistakes on her campaign brochures. The campaign material included claims that Lia had received a master's degree in urban science from Occidental College in Los Angeles. School officials stated that she had "completed most of her credits and is certainly close to a degree." Although Lia had claimed that she had mailed her 80-page thesis to the school in 1983, the school's registrar stated that "it didn't get to us."

Lia's response: "I suppose I should have waited until I got the sheepskin or degree in hand before putting it on campaign literature." The campaign literature also included a statement that she had been awarded the Fulbright scholarship in 1971 to go to Romania. In fact, Lia had been selected for a Fulbright, but never picked up the grant. She said she declined the award "on the advice of the State Department, which cautioned that her uncle's defection from that country's soccer team would make her visit 'unwise,' " reported the Associated Press in 1984.

She also had to acknowledge that she did not graduate from the University of Maryland cum laude, which also appeared in her campaign literature.
"I did not put it on there. Someone in my office must have done it without checking ... I was just a graduate."

Melvin Belli was 64 when he married Lia Triff on June 3, 1972.

After 16 years of marriage, the couple was divorced in a very contentious divorce. Belli was ordered to pay Lia $25,000 per month in alimony. The couple did not have a prenuptial agreement. The couple's marital problems made the front pages of San Francisco's newspapers in 1988. Lia claimed that someone broke into the family home and fired two shots at her. She was not hurt. Belli, who was in the Soviet Union at the time, called home and asked about the couple's greyhound, Rumproast, and three other dogs. Lia claimed that Belli never asked about her.
In her statements to the police, Lia claimed that her husband had abused her and their 15-year-old daughter, Melia. After filing official separation papers, Lia "took possession" of the family mansion, and Belli moved to his yacht. He stated that he had "never laid a hand on her."

Shortly after the news of the separation was made public, Viscount Mandeville, 26, was questioned by the police regarding the shooting. He was not detained and stated that he was in Los Angeles at the time of the shooting. But he did admit to being in love with Lia. "I have had a lot of girlfriends, but she is the only one who has really lit my fire," he said.

A Knighthood for Salvador Moncada

Salvador Moncada, the 65-year-old husband of Princess Maria-Esmeralda of Belgium, received a knighthood in the Queen's New Year's Honors List. The Honduran-born pharmacologist is the director of the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, University College, in London. Professor Moncada, who can now be referred to as Sir Salvador, married Princess Esmeralda in April 998. They have two children, Alexandra, who was born four months after the wedding in August 1998, and Leopold, who was born in 2001.
Sir Salvador and Princess Esmeralda reside in London. I am not sure if the princess can be styled as Princess Esmeralda, Lady Moncada, because she has a foreign title. She can be styled as Lady Moncada, however, in the UK.
Princess Alexandra is HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, but she is a British princess whose late husband was the younger son of an earl, and later knighted.
The Princess is the youngest half-sibling of King Albert II.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Misconceptions that keep cropping up


The Church of England recognized the divorce of the Prince and Princess of Wales. The Church understands and accepts the civil law allowing divorce, and it recognizes "that when marriages break down the civil law must deal with the consequences of that breakdown." In the eyes of the Church of England, the Prince of Wales's first marriage ended in divorce. The Church of England does not recognize the Prince of Wales as a widower.
Divorced persons can remarry in the Church of England, but it depends of "the prerogative of the parish priest."

In the past two decades, many parish priests in the Church of England have performed marriages of divorced persons, even with former spouses still living. Marriages that take place in Anglican Churches are registered with the civil authorities.
It remains possible for Charles and Camilla to find an Anglican priest to marry them. They also could go to Scotland and have a Presbyterian wedding. The Church of England does make exceptions for the remarriage of a divorced person if the former spouse is still alive. One assumes that an exception could be made for Camilla because her husband is not Anglican, and he has already remarried in a civil marriage (which the Anglican church recognizes as a legal marriage.) The requirements set out by the Anglican church allow for the individual priests to make the decision to perform a marriage where bride or groom or both are divorced and having living former spouses.
It can be assumed that Charles understood that many - including the media - would criticize remarriage in the church, even though there were priests willing to perform the service. His position and profile made it difficult for Charles to enjoy the same opportunities that a commoner would have in the same situation. In the end, Charles and Camilla were married in a civil ceremony, which was followed by the Service of Blessing on their marriage. This service took place in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and the officiant was none other than the Archbishop of Canterbury.
There are no laws that prevent a divorced person from succeeding to the throne, or being crowned. George I, a divorced Lutheran, was crowned King.
The Church of England recognizes civil marriages. Members of the Church of England, who married in civil ceremonies, can have their civil weddings blessed in a ceremony entitled "Prayer and Dedication after a Civil Marriage." It is more commonly called a Service of Blessing. This is what the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall had following their civil wedding in Windsor.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are legally married in the eyes of the Anglican church, and both are full communicants.
Anglicans do not have their marriages annulled in order to be remarried in a religious ceremony. Divorced Anglicans can marry in other churches, such as the Church of Scotland. The Anglican church recognizes such marriages. The Princess Royal, a divorced woman, married Timothy Lawrence in the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), even though both she and her husband are baptized members of the Church of England.
The Church of England is one of a number of churches that are members of the Anglican communion. The U.S. Episcopal Church is also a member of the Anglican Communion, and this church largely allows remarriage of divorced persons following a civil divorce and permission from the local bishop.
There is no process of annulment within the Church of England. The only person who would need an annulment to remarry in the Catholic Church is the Duchess of Cornwall's former husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.
Parker Bowles is a Roman Catholic. His first marriage to Camilla Shand was according to the rites of the Roman Catholic church, although an Anglican priest also took part. Camilla has always been Anglican. Their two children, Tom and Laura, were baptised into the Roman Catholic church, but both married in Anglican ceremonies. Andrew and Camilla's grandchildren have been baptised as Anglicans.
In 1996, Andrew married Rosemary Pitman, with whom he had been involved for some years. They had a civil marriage, as Andrew and Rosemary are both divorced. Andrew Parker Bowles has not sought an annulment for his first marriage.
Camilla has chosen to be styled as the Duchess of Cornwall, even though she is also legally the Princess of Wales. It will take an Act of Parliament to deny her the title and rank of Queen Consort.

Milford Haven and Mrs. Simpson set the date

December 29, 1949

It was announced today in Washington D.C., that the wedding of the Marquess of Milford Haven and his American fiancee, Mrs. Pierce Simpson, will be married on February 4.
The bride's mother, Mrs. Clark McIlwaine, says that the wedding will take place at the National Presbyterian Church.
Lord Milford Haven was the best man for his cousin, the Duke of Edinburgh, when the duke married Princess Elizabeth.

Nicholas to visit Paris?

December 29, 1929

There is an "unconfirmed report" from Bucharest today, according to the Associated Press, that Prince Nicholas of Roumania, uncle to young King Michael, and a member of the regency council, has plans to meet in Paris with his older brother, Carol. The former Crown Prince has made Paris his home since going into exile after renouncing his rights to the throne.
Prince Nicholas is also reported to have said that a "return to Roumania by Carol would be harmless."
Dowager Queen Marie is "said to have advised against both steps."
Other reports state that Prince Nicholas will stand down as a member of the Regency, and be replaced by his mother, the Dowager Queen Marie.
Marie, the widow of King Ferdinand, has long desired being a member of the regency. She is unhappy as she has been "denied control" of her grandson's education, by the "firmness of his mother, Princess Helen."

Is the Prince of Wales to marry a Swedish princess?

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

December 29, 1925

Princess Astrid of Sweden is about to visit King George V and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace, and this news has set in motion a frenzy of reporting on both sides of the Atlantic. The New York Times reports that all London newspapers "are excited."

Astrid is the niece of the King of Sweden, and according to an unnamed Swedish diplomat, the princess, 20, is "one of the prettiest girls in Europe." She is said to be a "keen sportswoman and a delightful dancer."

It is also being pointed out that Princess Astrid has already met the Prince of Wales, as she visited London about a year ago.

But is Astrid's visit to the Palace a precursor to a royal engagement? A year or so ago, the late Queen Alexandra had a "delightful" Danish princess as her guest for several months, "and the Prince hardly went near her."

Princess Astrid is the daughter of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg of Sweden. Princess Ingeborg and King George V are first cousins as Ingeborg's father, Frederik VIII of Denmark, and Queen Alexandra were brother and sister.

Swiss fine princess for hoarding food

December 29, 1917

The New York Times reports about a recent legal case in Switzerland regarding the Princess of Wrede, whose husband is a chamberlain at the court of the King of Bavaria. The princess was "condemned" by a Vevey court for "buying up and storing large quantities of food stuffs at her villa at Territet," in violation of Swiss law. The Princess, who was sometimes accompanied by her husband, would drive around Montreux, purchasing food, which has since been confiscated by Swiss authorities.
The Princess, who celebrated her 50th birthday on Christmas eve, is married to Carl Philipp, the 4th Prince of Wrede. She is the former Princess Anna Lobkowicz.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Embassy staff attends funeral

December 28, 1897

The New York Times reports that "all the members of the staff of the United States Embassy" in Berlin attended today's "celebration of a requiem mass for the repose of the soul" of the late Princess of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, the wife of the Imperial Chancellor.
The Princess, who died in Berlin on December 21, was the former Princess Marie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. She is survived by her husband and six children.
According to her husband's memoirs, the Princess, who was 68, died after a "short illness."

Kira's engagement to celebrated tomorrow

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

December 28, 1937

The engagement of Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia and Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia will be "solemnized at a family reunion at Doorn tomorrow," according to the New York Times.

The Grand Duchess, 28, is the younger daughter and second child of Grand Duke Kirill of Russia, who is the pretender to the Russian throne, and his wife, Victoria Feodorovna, the former Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh. Prince Louis Ferdinand, 30, is the second son of the former Crown Prince Wilhelm and Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia. He is the future head of the house of Prussia as his older brother, Wilhelm lost his rights in 1933 when he married a commoner, Dorothea von Salviati.

The Prince is "now connected with Lufthansa in the capacity of special representative of its foreign department."

Grand Duchess Kira has been one of Europe's most eligible royal brides for more than a decade and she was mooted as a possible bride for King Boris III of Bulgaria and the Prince of Wales. She is a close friend of Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and was one of her bridesmaids. Kira also was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her first cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, who married in 1934 to the Duke of Kent. She is also a first cousin to King Carol II of Roumania and Queen Marie of Yugoslavia.

It is understood that the former Kaiser Wilhelm II has "gladly consented" to his grandson's engagement.

Miss Lawrance weds Prince Andre

December 28, 1919

Miss Frances Lawrance was married in Paris yesterday to Prince Andre Poniatowski, a son of Prince Andre Poniatowski. Miss Lawrence is the daughter of Mrs. Francis C. Lawrence of New York.
The bride's mother was before her marriage Miss Susan Willing, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Edward S. Willing of Philadelphia, and is a sister of Baroness Riddlesdale, "who before her marriage to the Baron last June was Mrs. John Astor, once the wife of the late Colonel John Jacob Astor," according to the New York Times.
Prince Andre's parents are well known in New York and San Francisco as Princess Poniatowski was Miss Elizabeth Sperry, who was raised in San Francisco. The bridegroom, who served in the French army with his father and brother during the war, was born in San Francisco. He is now serving with the Polish Army.

Countess sues Italian king for maintenance

December 28, 1907

Italian Countess Cesarina Gaddi Hercolani has filed suit again King Victor Emanuel "for provision for her son of whom she swears" was fathered by the late King Umberto, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The Countess "bitterly resents the aspersions cast upon her character" by the King's lawyers.
She has released the following statement to the press:

"Signor Rossi, the King's counsel, not content with denying as false what I know to be true, continues his persecution by defaming me. His underhand devices and his abuse of his power representing the Royal House, do no honor to the memory of an exalted personage, to that memory which he pretends to vindicate.

"My sole desire was that this painful affair should be settled quietly and quickly. But as King Victor Emanuel has thought it well to put upon me and the public the disputes affecting his father. I can tolerate this attacks no longer. Therefore, I break my silence.

"True, my honor is dead; it was killed when I was a girl of 15, but my childhood was passed under different conditions from those Signor Rossi represents. Reduced to misery, I asked humbly and submissively for some small compensation for what I have suffered from the King's father, which King Humbert himself promised, but his untimely death prevented.

"I know my plea reached the eyes of King Victor Emanuel himself, the brother of my son, but he rejected it. When, in desperation, I appeal to the courts for justice, the King's Counsel, knowing I have no redress, abuses his prerogatives to savagely and pitilessly assail my character.

"I protest against this infamous onslaught on a woman, weak, alone, abandoned. I claim justice against my base accusers by heaping defamation and falsehoods on me."

The countess is alleged to have had a relationship with the late King Umberto between 1880 and 1883. She gave birth to a son in 1882 when she was fourteen years old.

The first inklings of the Countess' suit was made public in August 1907. She declared that when she was 15, she met King Umberto at a ball. The king, "fascinated by her beauty," persuaded the young woman to become his mistress, according to the lawsuit. She claimed that Umberto promised to "provide for her handsomely," but the payments were never made, due to the king's "untimely death." In 1900, King Umberto was assassinated.

The Countess is seeking $100,000. The Quirinal had hoped to keep the matter quiet, but the countess' "extortionate demands prevented any agreement being reached."

On October 3, according to a Los Angeles Times dispatch, "the scandal of the suit shocks all of Italy." Public opinion is "strongly against the determination of King Victor Emanuel to fight the case." The royal family is contesting the Countess' suit in order to "put a stop to the numerous demands of other women, who claim they were victims of the gay Humbert."

Countess Hercolani announced that she "will not be deterred to from showing the kind of man that Humbert was."

The list of allegations "reads like a court intrigue of the times of 200 years ago." The Countess' father was a "gentleman of the provinces," who brought the family to Rome when Cesarina was 15. The family moved in the "highest social circles."

It was a ball where Cesarina first met King Umberto. A "few days later the intrigue began." A gentleman of the court sent for the young girl, knowing that her family sought a position for her brother in the royal household. He inquired about the family's interest, and by "wily methods finally brought the King and the girl together without her parents knowing of it."

After Cesarina gave birth to the king's son, "royal influence induced her family to make no scandal." After her father died poor, King Umberto "provided for the family," and arranged for Cesarina to marry Count Hercolani. The count died not long after, "leaving the Countess in poor circumstances." She asked Victor Emanuel for help, but after he refused, the countess filed suit.

Royal engagement

This morning King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie announced the engagement of their second son, Prince Nikolaos, to Tatiana Blatnik.
Prince Nikolaos, 40, and Miss Blatnik have been a couple for some years. No date has been announced for the wedding.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Prince Antonio de Bourbon-Orleans

The comment about Prince Antonio's renunciation of his Spanish titles made me want to see if there were earlier articles about Antonio in 1919.

On September 9 a Reuter dispatch provided information about reports in the Spanish newspapers: "The papers state that Prince Antonio of Orleans, Infante of Spain, who married Infanta Eulalia of Spain, and whose affairs, by order of the King of Spain, had been placed in the hands of a trustee, escaped on Sunday by motor-car in the direction of Portugal. It is believed that he intends to make for Italy." This Reuter report was published in The Times (London) on September 10.

September 11 - Special Cable to the New York Times, which reports that the Duke of Galliera has arrived in Italy. "The Infante Antonio Bourbon d'Orleans, who has escaped from Madrid to Italy, is very well known here, being Duke of Galliera." As duke, Antonio owned "an immense estate" that stretched between Bologna and Ferrara. It was said that "his possessions are so vast that it is often said he could never visit them all."

For a time, Antonio lived in the "ancestral palace of Galliera," but "owing to his excessive prodigality, especially when living in Paris," he was "compelled to live in Madrid," on the order of King Alfonso, who was "appointed administrator of his possessions in Italy."

Antonio has now said that he is "the rightful heir to the property." He chose to escape from Madrid and "prove his title as Duke of Galliera, recognized by royal decree since 1895."

On September 14, according to The Times' correspondent, Prince Antonio, after spending five days in Lisbon, "left on board a vessel specially freighted for London."

A report on December 1 recorded an announcement in the Spanish newspaper El Sol that "the Infante Antonio of Orleans, by an Act of Renunciation bearing yesterday's date, has renounced his title of Infante of Spain and all the privileges pertaining thereto. He also renounces at the same time his Spanish nationality as well, as all his family ties with the Spanish Royal House. The document is witnessed by two Italian personages of high standing." The original dispatch by filed by Reuter, and published on December 2, 1919.

A similar AP story, also filed on December 1 (and published in numerous US newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times) states largely the same thing. "El Sol announces today the Infante Antonio of Bourbon-Orleans, by acknowledgment signed November 30 renounced his title as infante of Spain and the privileges attached to the title.

" The newspaper adds that he also relinquished his Spanish nationality and severed family ties with the Spanish royal family."

The Chicago Daily Tribune published a similar story, also datelined December 1, but the source is the French news agency, Havas, which also quoted the Spanish newspaper, El Sol. The Havas report also included information about King Alfonso acting as guardian for Antonio's Italian estate, "owing to the alleged prodigality of the infante."

Soviets free 22 titled Poles

December 22, 1939

Prince Januscz Radziwill and 21 other members of the Radziwill family have been released by the Soviets and allowed to return to Warsaw, reports the Associated Press. Their release came about after an intervention from King Victor Emanuele and Queen Elena of Italy.
When the war broke out earlier this year, Prince Janusz was living at his estate in Wolhynia, which "he converted to a hospital and refugee home."
The prince and his family were arrested by the Soviets after they had seized eastern Poland. There were rumors that the prince had been shot.
Most of the women and children were taken to Shepetovka. One of the women was Prince Janusz's daughter, Christina, whose husband, Count Joseph Potocki, served on the Polish embassy staff in London for three years.
Prince Janusz was taken to Moscow, and other male members of the family were sent to other towns in the Soviet Union. The women members of the family had to live "eight in a room," but they spoke with no bitterness after their return to Warsaw.
Princess Marie Louise, the "venerable" 78-year-old grand dame of the family, a great-granddaughter of Catherine the Great, observed "it is better to read about history than to experience it."
Prince Janusz and his wife, the former Princess Anna Lubomirski, have four children, Edmund, Christina, Ludwik and Stanislaw.

Princess Hans is shot

Deecmber 23, 1919

Princess Hans von Ratibor, the wife of Prince von Ratibor, "while motoring today in Breslau, was shot in the arm by a would-be assailant," the New York Times reports in a dispatch from Berlin.
The alleged assailant escaped.
Princess Hans, 21, is the former Princess Marie Gabriele zu Windisch-Graetz. She married Prince Hans in January 1918.

The Duke of Galliera says he will become an Italian citizen

December 23, 1919

Prince Antonio de Bourbon-Orléans, who recently renounced his title - Infant of Spain and "his privileges of royalty, has given an interview to an Italian newspaper, where he announced that he would become an Italian citizen.
According to the report in the New York Times, Antonio said that "his interdiction by the Spanish court was the result of a plot to confiscate his property." He says that his daughter-in-law, Princess Beatrice, was behind this plot, and had "influence with his nephew, King Alfonso of Spain."

Prince Antonio, who is married to Infanta Eulalia of Spain, told the reporter that "I was watched constantly, and intercepted correspondence prevented me from withdrawing money from the banks." He also said that the King's "promises were never fulfilled."

"The real object was that the court wanted to take possession of my fortune in order to pay heavy debts." He claimed that Senator Ortega "succeeded in having a court administrator named in France for my property, from which he received large sums which were never accounted for. He then came to Italy with an order from King Alfonso to withdraw sums due me and to carry them in the diplomatic pouch to Spain."

Antonio added that the Italian court did not recognize "the validity of the order."
Last May, Prince Antonio said he was "informed that a decree was published by the King of Spain interdicting me was told that Alfonso wanted me to go to Madrid."

Prince Antonio did return, "accompanied by two Spanish officers." He was "immediately summoned" by the king, who inquired about his health. "It had even been said that I was smoking opium and using morphine. This is all nonsense, because I have never tried to find any artificial paradises."
He also said that King Alfonso "promised to arrange things, as soon as reports could be received from Italy." The king appointed Orega Moreyon as Antonio's "custodian."

"I've been accused of prodigality. I think they should ask my nephew, the King of Spain, if the 40,000,000 pesetas he takes yearly for his civil list is too little to satisfy the debts he incurs."

He added the Premier of Spain "might speak on this subject about the credits of his to the King amounting to 30,000,000 pesetas."

Antonio claimed that he was forced to "sign a power of attorney, but I escaped from Spain in time and checked their maneuvers. My interdiction was granted at the request of my children, instigated by my daughter-in-law, Princess Beatrice. You certainly know what her conduct has been at the Spanish Court. The scandal reached such a point that when the Queen of Spain returned to Madrid Princess Beatrice was invited to go abroad. In matters of that sort journeys abroad are still in vogue at the Spanish Court."

Note: the article refers to the Prince as Alfonso, his name was Antonio.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Everyone for Wagner

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

In Bayreuth, 1937
Duchess Woizlawa of Meckenburg-Schwerin, Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, Duke and Duchess Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia, Princess Cecilie of Prussia, the Crown Princess and Crown Prince of Denmark and DuchessThyra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Queen Alexandrine, Grand Duke Franz Friedrich, and Crown Princess Cecilie were siblings. This may have been one of the last occasions when all three siblings were together. In 1940, German troops invaded and occupied the country until 1945, following the Allied liberation.

On November 17, 1945, Friedrich Franz died at age 62,  in a Flensburg hospital, following an operation.

His elder son, Friedrich Franz, was also a member of the Nazi party.

Gala for Ingrid and Frederik's wedding

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection 

Now this is a grand gathering of royals for the wedding of Princess Ingrid of Sweden and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark in 1935

The Prussian Royal Family in 1867

A family group certainly filled with tension and discourse:

The Prussian Royal Family in 1867:

King Wilhelm I and the Queen Auguste, Crown Prince Friedrich and Crown Princess Victoria and their children, Wilhelm, Charlotte, Heinrich and Viktoria, and Dowager Queen Elisabeth, the widow of Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia.

Queen Elizabeth's Speech on BBC America

Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas Day speech will be shown at 12:30 p.m., Eastern Time on BBC America. My cable company also has BBC World News, the 24 hour news channel, which may also show the speech.
(My cable company, Cox, just added the BBC America HD channel.)
I called BBC America's press office in New York City, and got the answer from the head of the press department.)

Princess who sued Lord Rothermere arrives in US

December 22, 1939

Princess Stephanie of Hohenlohen-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst arrived today in New York. The Associated Press reports that the princess, who traveled under the name Mrs. M. Waldenburg, arrived on board the Holland-America liner Veendam.

The princess, a Hungarian national, recently lost a breach contact suit against British press baron, Lord Rothermere. In her court action, the princess "contended that she arranged a conference between Rothermere and Adolf Hitler."

The princess arrived with 106 pieces of luggage. She told reporters that she came to the United States for a "rest," and intended to travel to Nassau in the Bahamas.

Grand Duchess Kira in New York

December 22, 1929

Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia arrived today in New York from Washington, D.C. The Grand Duchess, who is the second daughter of Grand Duke Kirill and Grand Duchess Victoria, will be a guest at a dinner, which Mr. and Mrs. William Jay Shieffelin give at their home. Afterward, the hosts and their guests will head to the Colony Club for a dance hosted by Mrs. Shieffelin's brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Hennen Morris. The couple's daughter, Miss Alice Vanderbilt Morris 2nd, will be introduced to society.
The Grand Duchess, earlier today, attended the Bagby musicale, and was the guest of honor at a luncheon hosted by Princess Enrico Rusipoli.

Dowager Princess of Monaco has died

December 22, 1925

The Associated Press is reporting the death of the Dowager Princess of Monaco. The former Marie Alice Heine died suddenly today in Paris.

The daughter of a New Orleans banker, Alice Heine was born on February 10, 1858. She married the 7th Duke of Richelieu in 1875. He died in 1880.

After his death, Alice married in 1889 to Prince Albert I of Monaco. The new Princess of Monaco sought to establish the principality as a cultural center. Her marriage was not a happy one, and in 1902, the couple separated officially but were never divorced.

Marie Alice was born at 900 Rue Royale in New Orleans' French Quarter. Her French-born father Michael came from a prominent German banking family. He was also a cousin of the German writer, Heinrich Hesse. Her mother, Marie-Amelie Miltenberger, was the daughter of a New Orleans architect.
The Dowager Princess is survived by her son, Armand, the 8th Duke of Richelieu.

Toselli gives concert

December 22, 1907

Enrico Toselli, the music master, gave his first concert tonight since his marriage to the former Crown Princess of Saxony, reports the New York Times. The hall was "crowded and reached a climax," when Toselli's wife, the Countess of Montignoso, elegantly costumed, entered, taking a conspicuous place among the audience."
At first the reaction from the audience was cold, but "soon the audience began to show appreciation and applauded him liberally." The Countess appeared to be pleased, each time her husband was called out for more applause.
None of the Milan's aristocracy were present for the concert.

Monaco's succession law

Until 2002, Monaco's succession law was not entirely based on male primogeniture. The succession is defined in Article 10 in Monaco's Constitution, which limited the succession to the reigning Prince's descendants. This law excluded collateral lines, including Prince Rainier's older sister, Princess Antoinette, and her children. The Sovereign Prince was also permitted to adopt an heir, after he reached the age of 50. This was done in order for Rainier's mother, Charlotte, who was the illegitimate daughter of Prince Louis
Prince Louis, who was the son of Prince Albert, did not have any legitimate issue. But because there was a fear that Monaco could fall into German hands -- the next possible heir was the Duke of Urach -- legislation was effected to allow Louis to adopt Charlotte so she and her descendants could have succession rights.
Charlotte was declared heir apparent after her father succeeded to the throne in 1922. In 1944, she ceded her rights to her son Rainier.
Prince Rainier and his wife, the American movie star, Grace Kelly, were the parents of three children, Caroline, Albert and Stephanie. Under the old succession law, Caroline and Stephanie and their legitimate descendants, had succession rights only during their father's lifetime. Succession was limited to the direct or adopted heirs.
The new Constitution of 2002 amended Article 10. The clause about adoption was removed, and succession to the throne is now male primogeniture and limited to the Sovereign Prince and his siblings and their descendants. If the Sovereign Prince dies without legitimate heirs, the throne will pass to the descendants of his siblings. Thus, when Albert II dies, his sisters and their legitimate (or legitimated) descendants remain can inherit.
Prince Albert's two natural children, Jazmin Grimaldi, and Alexandre Costa, have no rights to the throne. Princess Antoinette and her descendants are also now excluded from the succession but the Constitution does include a clause that would allow for a Prince to be named from a descendant of a previous Sovereign Prince.
The current line of succession: Princess Caroline, Andrea, Pierre and Charlotte Casiraghi, Princess Alexandra of Hanover, Princess Stephanie and her two older children. Louis and Pauline Ducret. The two children were born before Stephanie married their father, Daniel, but were legitimated at the time of the marriage. Her youngest daughter, Camille, is not eligible for the throne because she is illegitimate.
Heirs must be born Monegasque citizens in order to succeed, but being Roman Catholic is not a requirement. Princess Alexandra of Hanover is Lutheran.
Should Caroline succeed her brother, her children and her sister and her sister's children remain eligible. But if Caroline dies before her brother, and Andrea succeeds Albert, Princess Stephanie and her descendants cease to be heirs. The succession will be limited to Andrea and his siblings and their eligible descendants.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another lovely family group

Here is another one of those superb family groups: Crown Princess Cecilie visiting her Mecklenburg-Schwerin relatives.

Back row: Hereditary Grand Duke Franz Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia and Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Front row: The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Duchess Thyra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Crown Princess Cecilie, the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin holding her youngest child, Duchess Anastasia, and Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. This photo was taken in late 1924, early 1925 as Anastasia was born in November 1923.

Prince Dedo's funeral

The funeral of Prince Dedo of Saxony took place today in Sigmaringen. Dedo, who died on December 6, was 86 years old.
The original plan was for Dedo's burial to take place in the Royal Chapel in Dresden, but the plans were scuppered after it was learned that Dedo's wish was to be cremated.
Instead, Rüdiger Prinz von Sachsen brought the urn carrying his uncle's ashes to the chapel at Schloss Sigmaringen. In 1945, Prince Dedo, after fleeing from his home, Schloss Morizburg, found refuge with the Prince of Hohenzollern and his family.
The prince's urn was placed next to his brother, Prince Gero's urn, in an alcove in the chapel. Prince Gero died in 2003.
The twelve mourners included Rüdiger and his three sons, Daniel, Arne and Nils, who was accompanied by his wife, Jedida, and their young son, Moritz. Hereditary Prince Karl Friedrich of Hohenzollern and his cousin, Prince Ferfied also attended. Karl Friedrich, a jazz musician, played "Lady Be Good," during the funeral service.
The head of the house of Saxony, Prince Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meissen, did not attend the funeral. The 83-year-old Margrave lives in Switzerland. He called his cousin's cremation "a sin." The Roman Catholic priest, at the end of his homily, also commented on Dedo's decision to be cremated. Referring to the urn, the priest said: "It is a pity that we have so little before us."
Prince Dedo was the eldest of three sons of the late Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony and Princess Sophie of Luxembourg. He was the eldest of King Friedrich August III of Saxony's grandchildren.
In the 1950s, Prince Dedo and Prince Gero became Irish nationals and took the name Saxony. They emigrated to Picton, Ontario, where they lived for many years. During the cold winter months, the two brothers would travel to Sebring, Florida.
Prince Dedo never married, nor did he have any children. Several genealogies have listed Maria Christina von Sachsen, born October 16, 1956 as his natural daughter. This is a mistake. Maria Christina is the illegitimate daughter of Dedo's first cousin, Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony, sister of the Margrave of Meissen.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All that snow has made us tired

It has been an exhausting day watching all that snow fall. Lots of snow. Tomorrow we will watch from the window as Mom starts to dig out and find our car. Mom paid a neighbor's teenage son to dig out ... and mom kindly shared our snow shovel with other residents of our condo ... total strangers. Mom said where she lived, and leave the shovel by the frog outside the door. It's there now, having been used by about a dozen or so residents of Victoria Crossings. We think our Mom went to the Pet store this afternoon and got our Christmas presents. Our stockings were empty this morning, and now they are full.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A few foreign tidbits

December 18, 1887

In its Current Foreign Topics column, the New York Times has several royal related news for today. In Potsdam, Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia "is seriously ill with gastric fever." The Crown Prince of Prussia, who is in San Remo, "took a long walk today," and was accompanied by his younger son, Henry, and his brother-in-law, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Mrs. Kingsland scorns her title

December 18, 1937

Mr. and Mrs. Walter F. Kingsland "used to be very much in the social news of Paris," according to the Chicago Daily Tribune's Paris correspondent. The couple has resided for the past few years in the United States but is now "on a short visit" to Paris and "will be much entertained" by friends.

Mrs. Kingsland is the former Princess Marie Louise d'Orleans, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Vendome. The Duchess of Vendome is the sister of the late King Albert of the Belgians. Princess Marie Louise, who eschews her royal titles and is "delighted to be simply Mrs. Walter Kingsland."

Her parents opposed to marriage to Walter Kingsland. Her brother, the Duke de Nemours has also married an American, the former Peggy Watson of Washington, D.C., and Newport. Mr. and Mrs. Kingsland will remain in Paris for the next few days, and then will travel to Pau, near Biarritz to spend Christmas with Mr. Kingsland's brothers, Harold and Arthur, who "more or less reside there."

Marie Louise and Walter were married in Chichester, West Sussex, on December 12, 1928. The couple has no children. Marie Louise's first marriage to Prince Philippe of Bourbon-Two Sicilies ended in divorce in 1925. They had one son, Prince Gaetano, who was born in 1917.

Grand Duke Michael died today

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December 18, 1909

Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievitch died today at his home in Cannes. The Grand Duke, who was a grand uncle of Nicholas II, was 76 years old. He was the "oldest representative" of the Imperial family, according to the New York Times' obituary. He was born in 1852, the fourth son of Nicholas I. He had a distinguished military career, which, "like those other Grand Dukes under the old system, commenced at an early age." Grand Duke Michael entered active service when he was 14.

He fought in the Crimean war, and in the Turkish war of 1877 and 1878, Grand Duke Michael "commanded the Russian army against the Turks in the Caucasian theatre of war."

In 1881 Grand Duke Michael "became President of the Council of State. He played an active role "in its deliberations" until the Council of State was reorganized in the establishment of the Duma. He was named as honorary president of the Duma.

In his later years, Grand Duke Michael lived "almost constantly at his villa in Cannes."

In 1857, Grand Duke Michael married Princess Cecile of Baden. She took the name Olga Feodorovna when she converted to Orthodoxy. Grand Duchess Olga died in 1891.

Grand Duke Michael and Grand Duchess Olga had seven children: Grand Duke Nicholas, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1919; Grand Duchess Anastasia, the widow of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Grand Duke Michael who lives in London with his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie Merenberg, Grand Duke George, who married Princess Marie of Greece, who was killed with his brother, Nicholas, and two cousins, Dimitri and Paul, in 1919, Grand Duke Alexander, the husband of Nicholas II's sister, Xenia, Grand Duke Sergei was killed with Grand Duchess Elisabeth and other members of the Imperial family in July 1918; and Grand Duke Alexis who died in 1895.

The Grand Duke is survived by his grandchildren who include the Crown Princess of Denmark and the Crown Princess of Prussia, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and numerous great-grandchildren.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Queen takes train

The Times article is hilarious. I love the comment about the only women left in Britain who wear headscarfs are the Queen, three dowager duchesses and a woman in Knightsbridge.

Victoria to remain at Windsor

December 17, 1899

The following announcement was made today by the "Court Newsmen:"
"The arrangements made for the Queen's departure from Windsor have been postponed until after Christmas, as owing to the present state of affairs in South Africa, the Queen is unwilling to be at a great distance from London."
This is the first time in many years that Queen Victoria "has decided to spend Christmas away from Osborne." Her decision to remain at Windsor allows her to keep in touch with her Cabinet and acknowledges the "gravity of the crisis and of the anxiety her Majesty feels for the welfare of the country."
Queen Victoria, 80, is "nevertheless, in fair health," and goes out for her usual drive.

Prussian prince and princess guests at dinner

December 17. 1929

R. Hans Waegen gave a dinner tonight at the Club St. Regis for Prince and Princess Friedrich Leopold of Prussia and Princes and Princess Chlodwig of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, the New York Times reports.

Alfonso not going to Italian wedding

December 17. 1929

The Italian press is reporting that King Alfonso XIII of Spain will not be attending the wedding of Crown Prince Umberto to Princess Marie José of Belgium next month. He has declined to attend himself and will be sending one of the infantas as his representative. His absence is "regretted in Rome's court circles," as he was expected to join four other sovereigns, who have already accepted the invitation. The Kings of Italy, Belgium, Sweden and Bulgaria will be attending the wedding, reports the Chicago Tribune wire service. The Kings of Italy and Belgium, are the fathers of the groom and bride, respectively.
The king did attend the wedding two years ago of the Duke of Apulia and Princess Anne of France. Diplomatic circles have provided "indiscreet" reasons for the king's decision, and many reasons have been offered, including the King seeing the marriage as "one chance less to find a suitable husband" for his two daughters, Infanta Beatriz and Infanta Maria Cristina.
King Alexander of Yugoslavia, who is Queen Elena's nephew, is also unlikely to attend the wedding.
Earlier reports stated that King Boris III of Bulgaria was not going to attend and would send his brother, Prince Kyril, in his place.

King Michael is piqued

December 17, 1927

Seven-year-old King Michael of Roumania and his mother, Princess Helen, were out for a drive in Bucharest when he noticed other little boys playing. Helen reminded Michael to "be good," and not to "go play with those boys."
The little king showed his mettle by telling his mother "Madame, I am the king," in response to her admonition. This story was reported first in a Roumanian newspaper and reprinted by the New York Times. The original report did not add if the young king got his way, but did discuss how Michael's life has changed since succeeding his grandfather earlier this year.
The boy king no longer enjoys himself as much because old friends and palace employees, "instead of playing with him as they used to, tip their hats and curtsey." The king would also like to keep the crown as one of his toys, but was finally persuaded that this was not possible.

Queen Margherita has pneumonia

December 17, 1925

Queen Margherita, the mother of King Victor Emanuele III of Italy, has pleural pneumonia, according to an Associated Press report. The queen's condition was announced in an official bulletin to the media.
The pneumonia's process is said to be mild, and there appears to be little concern for the dowager queen's condition. The fact that the queen's doctor has returned to his home is considered "a favorable sign."

Leopold II dead. Disinherits his daughters

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December 17, 1909

King Leopold II of the Belgians died early today in Brussels. He was succeeded by his nephew, Prince Albert, who will be known as King Albert.

The king has two young sons by Baroness Vaughan, but they do not have succession rights. According to the New York Times, there is a rumor that the "Vatican has confirmed a marriage a year ago" between the king and Baroness Vaughan. But the late king's legal adviser, Senator Winer, stated that if "there was only a religious ceremony the laws of the kingdom would prevent the accession" of the king's elder son, who is only five years old. However, Senator Winer does not believe that a religious wedding occurred.

If Baroness Vaughan is of foreign birth, it is expected that she will be expelled from the kingdom.
The King's will was filed today. 

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 He divided $3,000,000, inherited from his father, between his three daughters, Princesses Louise, Stephanie, and Clementine. This "practical disinheritance" of his daughters "foreshadows the launching of a gigantic legal battle" over the king's wealth.

The exact amount of Leopold's fortune "will probably never be revealed."

Senator Winer stated today that the king "had turned over a considerable portion" of his fortune to Baroness Vaughan and her two children. He had also created a "stock company of his estates in order to forestall a possible raid upon them by Princesses Louise and Stephanie or their creditors."

The Senator also said that "considerable portions" of Leopold's estate would be turned over to Belgium.

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 Princess Clementine will continue to receive a "special income from the Congo property."

Bailiffs have appeared at the home of Baroness Vaughan on behalf of Princess Louise, but she successfully prevented "the formal service upon her."

It is said that when the king died, the Baroness "threw herself upon the body, weeping bitterly and herself closed his eyes." 
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 The king's memory was violently attacked by the Socialist newspaper, Le Peuple, because "he repulsed his daughters and admitted his favorite to his bedside."

King Albert is married to the former Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria. They have three children, Prince Leopold, who becomes the new Crown Prince, Princess Marie-José and Prince Charles.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Princess Cecile works in drugstore

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

December 16, 1939

Princess Cecile of Prussia, 22, has found work as a druggist's assistant in the Potsdam Military Hospital. The youngest child of Crown Prince Wilhelm and Crown Princess Cecile, Princess Cecile reports to work each morning at the hospital's prescription counter. She travels by bicycle from her home, Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam.

Her cousin, Princess Luise of Prussia, 22, works next to her. Luise, who visited America, in 1936, is the daughter of the late Prince Friedrich Sigismund, "the internationally-famed gentleman tournament rider."

Princess Cecile told the Associated Press: "Like every patriotic German, I wanted to do my bit when the war's call for duty came. Hearing the army drug store needed two assistants, my cousin Luise and I volunteered.

Six months ago, Princess Cecile was a "diademed sponsor" at the baptism of her nephew, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, the first great-grandson for Kaiser Wilhelm II, who lives in exile in the Netherlands.

In perfect English, Princess Cecile said: "It has been a tradition of our family for all-male Hohenzollern males to learn some trade. Why shouldn't we women in the family also work as one?"

The chief surgeon of the Army Hospital said that "We were happy when their Royal Highnesses offered to work. We thus have the most competent assistance and I didn't have to increase my budget. The two young ladies are as hard-working as anybody here."

Their principal duty is to "fill orders for the various army units," where  
"Clichen (Cecile's nickname) also does all the typing for our department."

Queen Margherita has infuenza

December 16, 1925

Queen Margherita, the Dowager Queen of Italy, has influenza and is recuperating at her home at Bordighera, near Genoa, according to news reports. The Queen, who is 74 years old, is the widow of the King Umberto I who was assassinated in 1900. Her son, King Vittorio Emanuele III, remains in Rome as his mother is expected to recover.
The Associated Press is reporting that the queen is suffering from pleurisy in her right lung "and her condition is "causing some anxiety." Her brother, the Duke of Genoa, "was hastily summoned today," and the king and queen "are advised frequently" on her condition. Crown Prince Umberto "ordered services" in the cathedral at Turin for his grandmother's recovery. The mass was attended "by large crowds."

Communists seize American-born princess' chateau

December 16, 1917

The Bolsheviks have seized the Lithuanian chateau of the Prince and Princess Albert Radziwill, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune. The princess is the former Dorothy Deacon of Boston, a member of a prominent Back Bay family. The prince and princess were reduced to be "dependants" of the Bolsheviks.

Peasants have overrun "the vast estates and sugar refineries." Princess Radziwill is now living in Rome with her mother in one of the Borghese palaces.

The Prince's family did not approve of the marriage, despite Dorothy's wealth. A decree was issued shortly after their marriage in 1910 that denied succession rights to their children, although the marriage remains childless.

Dowager Queen Carola has died

December 16, 1907

The Dowager Queen Carola of Saxony died early this morning in Dresden. She was 74 years old. The New York Times reports that the Queen "will lie in state in the Winter garden of her villa, " until tomorrow when she will be transferred to the Catholic church to lie in state until the funeral on Wednesday.
Queen Carola was the widow of King Albert of Saxony, who died in 1902. Her illness was announced a month ago. She suffered from an abscess in the head, and specialists had been called in. A few days ago, she suffered a relapse and it she was not expected to recover.
The Queen was born in 1833, was a princess of Vasa, a member of the former ruling house of Sweden. She married Albert in 1853.
Ten days of mourning were announced by the Official Gazette. King Friedrich August of Saxony has received condolences from all over the world. The German emperor Wilhelm II sent a "long and sympathetic" letter to Friedrich August, and emphasized the high regard that the German Empress had for Queen Carola.
Carola was the daughter of Prince Gustav of Sweden and Princess Luise of Baden. Her grandfather, King Gustav IV Adolf, was deposed in 1809.
She was raised Lutheran, but converted to Catholicism, much to her father's dismay, when she married then Crown Prince Albert on June 18, 1853.
Queen Carola and King Albert were childless.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Will Sophie Winkleman make it on US TV

The newly married Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor headed for Hollywood where Lady Frederick -- whose professional name is Sophie Winkleman -- was to begin shooting a new series for NBC. Sophie was to star as Charlotte Payne in "100 Questions," a comedy series about a young woman looking for love and joining an online dating service.
Earlier this year, NBC announced that "100 Questions "would be included in the mid-season lineup that would begin after the Olympics. That schedule was released a few days ago, and "100 Questions " is not on it.
On December 7, NBC cut the order of episodes from 13 to six, and the cast was informed about this decision. A NBC network representative " said that the full-season pickups given to "Community" and "Parks And Recreation," along with a long break for the Olympics reduced the number of episodes needed of the show."
The show was to have been shown at 9:30 p.m., following the 90 minute "Biggest Loser," but "but it's unlikely the show would have sustained the ratings "The Biggest Loser" generated in its final half-hour."
No date has been set for "100 Questions," but with NBC cutting back the number of episodes, it is entirely possible that the program never make it to the lineup.

In other words, Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor may be heading home to England a lot sooner than they thought.

Princess Marie Jose gives to the poor

December 15, 1929

Princess Marie José, who is to marry Crown Prince Umberto of Italy next month, has given a farewell gift of $1400 to the poor of Brussels.
The mayor of Brussels issued a statement, thanking the princess for her generosity. "Her Royal Highness wants the people of Brussels to see in this gesture a testimonial of her feeling of affection toward them."

Joachim Ernst on world tour

December 15, 1925

Joachim Ernst, Duke of Anhalt, is traveling around the world "in order to broaden his mind." He spoke today to the New York Times at the Hotel Plaza, where he has been staying for the past week. The 25-year-old duke said he was most impressed "with the skill in which the police handled traffic. He was also impressed "with the organization of the New York Times," as he took a tour of the New York Times' offices.
The Duke has been accompanied by Professor Rudolf Kiessmann, his Grand Chamberlain, and Lieut. Col. Riedel, a former Prussian officer, "who acts as his guardian and adviser."
The duke and his party will stay in New York until after Christmas. Their American travel plans include stops in Niagara Falls, Washington, D.C., Chicago, the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles and San Francisco. This will take about two months. The final stops of the trip, which is expect to take a year and a half, will be in China and Japan.
Joachim Ernst was a student in Munich when his father died in 1918, and he succeeded as duke. His uncle, Joachim Ernst, who was acting as regent, was forced to abdicate when the Republic of Anhalt was declared.
The young duke is among the wealthiest nobles in Germany. He said that "New York was a most interesting contrast to Dessau," which he described as a "sleepy little German city."
He is an "ardent motorist," and enjoys music and opera, riding and hunting. During his stay in New York, he will "inspect theatres, hospitals, the Stock exchange and factories."

King Leopold rallies

December 15, 1909

A new bulletin has been issued regarding the health of King Leopold II of the Belgians: "The King's condition is somewhat improved: pulse 75, temperature 99.5."
The king is in a "tenacious struggle" against death, following an operation yesterday. His intestines are said to be paralyzed. It is believed that the king will not ultimately recover, according to the New York Times. Leopold's second daughter, Stephanie, Countess Lonyay, arrived today and "was respectfully greeted" at the Brussels rail station by a crowd. She is a "great favorite" among the Belgians, who call her the "golden haired princess."
The princess, described as "very mournful," said that she came not for financial gain, but because she loves her father despite "that he repulsed her at her mother's deathbed."
It is expected that further bulletins will be issued regarding Leopold's health.

Monday, December 14, 2009

In Memorium

William Allan Koenig - July 4, 1949 - December 14, 1999. My soulmate. The love of my life.

Queen Victoria attends services at Windsor

December 14, 1897

Queen Victoria today attended services at Frogmore as today is the anniversary of the deaths of her husband, Prince Albert, and daughter, Princess Alice, the New York Times reported.
The Queen was joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne.
Prince Albert died on December 14, 1861 and Princess Alice, who was the Grand Duchess of Hesse and By Rhine, died on December 14, 1878.

Crown Prince is worse

December 14, 1887

Doctors treating Crown Prince Friedrich of Prussia have found a new growth in his throat. There is an increasing in swelling. A special consultation of medical experts have been called. Dr. Mackenzie, at the request of the Crown Prince, is now en route to San Remo, where the Crown Prince and Crown Princess are staying. A dispatch sent from San Remo "says the Crown Prince's symptoms are alarming." There is now a genuine fear that "returning public hope" for Friedrich's condition has now been "shattered."
Prince and Princess Wilhelm have been notified and are ready to head to San Remo should the Crown Prince's condition continue to deteriorate.
Crown Prince Friedrich is the heir the German and Prussian thrones. His wife, Victoria, is the eldest child of Queen Victoria.
Prince Wilhelm is the eldest son of the Crown Prince and Princess. He is married to Princess Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein.

Carl Eduard's Gotha assets seized

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December 14, 1919

The "peoples' commissioners of the free state of Gotha," have forcibly opened the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha's vaults and removed the duke's "securities and other funds and deposited them to the credit of the state," the New York Times reports.

Duke Carl Eduard had filed suit against the commissioners, but they chose to act before the suit was settled. They asked Carl Eduard's lawyer for the keys to the Gotha vault, but he refused. The commissioners then called for a locksmith to open the lock.

The British-born duke is a first cousin of King George V. He was also the Duke of Albany, until an Order in Council stripped him of his British peerages. Carl Eduard served with the German military during the recent war. He succeeded to the Coburg title in 1900 after the death of his uncle, Prince Alfred, who was also the Duke of Edinburgh.

Louise's husband prevents sale

December 14, 1907

The New York Times reports that Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha "has privately purchased the dresses and jewels" of his estranged wife, Princess Louise, to stop "the scandal of a public sale" in Brussels.

Queen Amelia is not a doctor

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December 14, 1907

The British Medical Journal has published a story about Queen Amelia's alleged medical degree. The journal has officially denied that the queen, the consort of King Carlos, is a medical doctor.

This story seems to surface every time the queen visits England, the Journal reported.

"It came up the other day in connection with a tale of an accident to a workman who was conveyed to Eversham Cottage Hospital, where it was found his left thigh was fractured and his right ankle severely sprained.

"The Princess (Louise) and Queen Amelia of Portugal yesterday motored to the hospital. Queen Amelia, who was a qualified doctor, herself inspected the broken limb and rearranged the bed."

The journal's article went on to say that due to the frequent reports that the Queen was a doctor, the "fact" had become an "article of faith."

The journal stated that the Queen has neither a medical degree or any medical qualifications.

Queen Amelia has never been interested in "studying medicine, still less of passing exams." Her interest in medicine "is one of pure philanthropy."

Princess Anna Monica Pia is now an American woman's ward

December 14, 1907

Four-year-old Princess Anna Monica Pia of Saxony is "at last in a fair way to become a happy and useful member of society," according to a direct wire to the Los Angeles Times. The golden hair princess, at last removed from her "erratic"mother, the former Crown Princess Luise. She is now in the care of the American-born Baroness Schönburg, who lives with her husband in Brixen in Austrian Tyrol.
Princess Anna Monica Pia is seen every day with her Saxon governess, talking a walk on the esplanade. She is described as a "dear little flaxen-haired thing with blue eyes and a most engaging manner." The little princess is described as being very happy. The "peace, quietness and purity of her new home have done wonders," and her father, King Friedrich August, is expected to meet the princess in the spring.
Baroness Schönburg "has the most charming ways," and is described as "highly educated." Her husband, the Baron, "enjoys the complete confidence of the King of Saxony.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Little king has a cold

December 11, 1927

Child king Michael of Roumania "has been confined to bed for eleven days" with a severe cold, according to the Associated Press. He is a very unhappy little boy because he cannot play in the snow with his American sled, "which he loves more than his dog or his kite." Little Michael has complained that he cannot play in the snow like other little boys his age, which he would rather be doing than "wield the scepter as reigning sovereign over 17,000,000 people."

His mother, Princess Helen, has promised that there will be a visit from Santa and he will have a "big Christmas with many toys." This promise has "induced the blue-eyed tousle-haired monarch" to swallow the bitter-tasting cough medicine, "which is always followed with a lump of sugar."

Princess Helen has said she is not happy with "repeated requests from American and other foreign newspapers" for photographs and interviews with the young king. She has decided that King Michael will appear in public only on May 10, which is Roumania's National day.

"I have been obliged to decline all requests for interviews or photographs," Princess Helen said in a statement. "It seems to be that it is not keeping with the dignity or position as King to allow Mihai (Michael) to be advertised to the world as a curiosity by newspaper articles and photographs."

Helen "described as pure fiction recent quoted interviews" with her son.

Will Aosta be exiled?

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 December 11, 1907

The King of Italy is "incensed" by the behavior of his cousin, the Duke of Aosta, the Chicago Daily Tribune reports. This report is based on an "exclusive dispatch" from Rome. King Victor Emmanuel is considering sending the Duke of Aosta into exile because of the duke's "flagrant conduct in Naples with a coterie of young girls and Duchesses and Marchionesses of high rank."

Victor Emmanuel is "highly incensed" that his cousin is "lacking in all sense of pride and decency," and his actions have created one of the "greatest scandals" in Italian society.

The Duchess of Aosta has, apparently, denounced her husband to the king and queen, and has left him. She is now said to be in Egypt, recuperating. The former princess Helene of Orleans went to the king and queen and told them of her husband's behavior. The king demanded that the Duke of Aosta return home, where he "read him a lecture and demand that he mend his ways." The Duke of Aosta returned to Naples, however, where he "resumed his notorious carousels, opening flaunting his depravity."

The duke has been in the habit of inviting young women to his villa in Capodimonte, a suburb of Naples. These women were introduced to the duke by women of the highest aristocracy in Naples.

Several of these noble women were associated with the Duchess of Aosta. At different balls and other events, the duchess would hear "strange innuendos" about her husband's behavior. In time, she was able to "uncover everything," after returning home early from a ball, where she confronted the duke about "the stories she had heard about his conduct."

The Duchess left Naples and returned to Rome, where she met with the king and queen informing them of her husband's actions. She then went to England to attend the wedding of her sister, Princess Louise, and while she was in England, she "learned additional and distressing facts" about her husband and his women.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Princess charms at Imperial Ball

December 10, 1969

Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa was the guest of honor tonight at the 15th annual Imperial Ball at the Plaza Hotel's Grand Ballroom, reports the New York Times. The ball was actually a "pleasant enough dinner dance with the usual formally clad crowd of what are euphemistically known as the right people." The gala's primary focus is a fund-raiser for the Hospitalized Veterans Service of the Musicians Emergency Fund.

The Princess, 26, is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Ancona and is said to be an "expert horsewoman," who also plays the guitar and worked as a public relations associate for Air Express International Corporation in Rome.

Her parents live in Brazil, where they "cultivate coffee," rather than  have "chummy relationships with the International Set."

I've never sponsored anything like this before," she said. "It's quite a big responsibility I think."

Princess Maria Isabella wore a heavy white dress with pearl beading. In her long, dark hair, she wore an heirloom bracelet that doubled as a band of diamonds, "wide enough to pass for a tiara."

The princess is the only child of Prince Eugenio of Savoy, Duke of Ancona, and his wife, Princess Lucia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Eugenio is the youngest of Prince Tommaso of Savoy, Duke of Genoa, and Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria. He is the heir to the Dukedom of Genoa, as his brother, Filiberto, and his wife, Princess Lydia of Arenberg, do not have any sons. Filiberto succeeded to the title in 1963, following the death of the eldest son, Ferdinando, whose marriage was childless.

The Genoan line of the House of Savoy is a junior branch of the Italian royal family. Isabella's great-grandfather, Ferdinando, Duke of Genoa, was the younger brother of Vittorio Emmanuele II, King of Sardinia, who became king of Italy, in 1861.

Prince Tommaso's older sister, Margherita, married her first cousin, King Umberto I, who was assassinated in 1900.

Funeral for Philip's mother

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 December 10, 1969

The funeral of Prince Philip's mother, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, took place today at St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, assisted by the Very Reverend Archimandrite Gregory Theocharous, the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. Following the service, the princess was buried at Windsor, "not far from the spot where she was born 84 years ago."

Her son and daughter-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II, led the more than 40 royal mourners, who also included the princess's brother, Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Others at the private ceremony included her two surviving daughters, Margarita, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Georg Wilhelm of Hannover, her grandchildren, the Prince of Wales, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess Beatrix of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Prince Rupprecht of Hohenlohe-Langeburg, the Margrave and Margravine of Baden, Prince and Princess Ludwig of Baden, Prince Georg of Hannover, and Princess Frederika of Hannover

Also attending the burial were King Constantine II of the Hellenes, Princess Louis of Hesse and By Rhine, Prince and Princess Georg of Denmark, and the Count of Barcelona.

The other members of the Royal Family, who were present for the funeral were Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Mrs. Ogilvy, Lady Patricia Ramsay, and the Admiral the Hon. Sir Alexander Ramsay, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, the Marchioness of Cambridge, and the Duchess of Beaufort.

Princess Andrew was born Princess Alice of Battenberg, the eldest of four children of Princess Victoria of Hesse and by the Rhine, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and Prince Louis of Battenberg, who in 1917, relinquished his German titles, and was created the Marquess of Milford Haven. She was born on February 25, 1885, at Windsor Castle.

The Princess married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark at Darmstadt in 1903. They had four daughters, Margarita, Theodora, Cecilie, and Sophie between 1905 and 1914. Prince Philip was born in 1921.

The Princess was baptized in a Lutheran ceremony. Her confirmation, which took place at Windsor, was according to the rites of the Anglican church. Her wedding ceremonies were Lutheran and Greek Orthodox. Princess Alice did not convert to the Greek church until some years after her marriage.

Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark died at Buckingham Palace on December 5.