Friday, February 27, 2009

Martha's wedding set for March 21

February 27, 1929

New details were released today concerning the forthcoming marriage between Princess Martha of Sweden and Crown Prince Olav of Norway.
The wedding will take place in Oslo on March 21, and will be broadcast on the radio in Norway and Sweden.
The wedding will take place at 1 p.m., and Bishop Johan Lunde of Oslo will be the presiding minister. Members of the Swedish, Danish and Belgian royal families will attend the wedding. The Duke of York will represent King George V. It is "also possible" that Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands (the consort of Wilhelmina), Prince Nicholas of Roumania and Prince George of Greece will also attend.
It is expected that Princess Martha will travel by train from Stockholm to Oslo, and will be met by Crown Prince Olav at the first station "on the Norwegian side of the border."

In a Princess, out a Lady

Both images  Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

February 27, 1919

HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught was married today to Commander the Hon. Alexander Ramsay at Westminster Abbey, The wedding took place at noon and was the first royal wedding in Britain since the end of the war. "No other social event since the outbreak of the war has created such public interest," wrote the New York Times' reporter.

Crowds were out early, lining the streets from St. James's Palace to the Abbey. The throngs "waited patiently for a glimpse" of the popular princess, who had been a "public favorite" since childhood.

Queen Amelie of Portugal was the first of the Royal guests to arrive at the Abbey.   She was followed by Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, the bride's first cousin, who was accompanied by her husband, the Earl of Athlone, and her mother, the Duchess of Albany.

All of the royal guests were seated the Abbey's sacrarium.  The Earl and Countess of Medina were seated on the south side, along with King Manoel and Queen Augusta Victoria of Portugal, "who was completely clad in a long coat of chinchilla," the Prince of Wales, Princess Victoria, and Queen Alexandra.  Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught, "the latter wearing silver fox, were seated on the north side with the Crown Princess of Sweden wearing a "champagne-coloured georgette, embroidered in silk in a combination of champagne and cherry colour."  She was accompanied by the Crown Prince of Sweden.  The Princess Royal, Princess Helena, and Princess Beatrice were all seated in the north side as well and were joined by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Princess Marie Louise, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge,  Admiral the Marquess of Milford Haven and the Marchioness of Milford Haven.

King George and Queen Mary arrived shortly before the bride.  In an obvious compliment to the groom, the King wore the uniform of the Admiral of the Fleet, while the Queen was dressed in a gown of a "pale shade of silver-grey crepe broché, artistically draped and embroidered in silk beads and silk."

 Princess Patricia "looked radiant in her beautiful gown, which was Venetian in effect."

The Archbishop of Canterbury performed the wedding ceremony and was assisted by the Dean of Westminster. Princess Patricia entered the abbey by west door, "which is used only on occasions of importance." She wore a gown of "white brocaded panne over silver lace, the outer gown being caught up with the silver lovers' knots." Her bouquet was a gift from the Princess Patricia Canadian regiment and was tied with the regimental colors.

The bridal procession began with a choir singing "Praise, My Soul the King of Heaven." The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father, the Duke of Connaught. They were followed by the pages, the  Earl of Macduff (the bride's nephew), and the Hon Simon Ramsay,  bearing the bride's train. The bride's attendants were the Lady Jean Ramsay, Princess Ingrid of Sweden, Lady May Cambridge, Princess Maud, Princess Mary, and the Ladies Helena and Victoria Cambridge.

Princess Patricia was given away by her father. During the service several hymns were sung: the Sixty-Seventh Psalm, "O, Perfect Love" and "Who is Like unto Thee O Lord."

At the princess' request, the Abbey was not decorated. She asked, "that no attempt be made to supplement with flowers the classic beauty of the ancient edifice."

The Times described the princess' dress in detail.  It was "made of white broché panne on an under-dress of silver lace, over which the panne was caught up with the silver true-lovers' knots, fringed with silver acorns, there were long white chiffon sleeves, and the bodice was draped across a vest of silver lace.  A Venetian girdle of silver embroidery hung in long ends at the side, and was finished with lovers' knots and acorns, while a cluster of white heather and myrtle."

As the bride was of royal birth, she wore the veil off her face.  The veil was held in place by a "wreath of myrtle leaves and small buds."

All told, more than 3000 guests were in the Abbey for the wedding. The newly married couple were driven back to the Duke of Connaught's residence in an open Semi-State Landau, which was drawn by four horses and escorted by scarlet-coated outriders.

The princess entered the Abbey as HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught. At her own request, she chose to renounce her royal rank and style when she married and when she left the Abbey, she was styled as The Lady Patricia Ramsay.
As Noble Frankland noted in his biography of the Duke of Connaught's, Patricia's decision "made no difference to the regard in which she was held both within and without the Royal Family."

Embed from Getty Images 

Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, a first cousin of the bride, wrote in her memoirs that Patricia was "tall and beautiful, a talented painter and tireless war worker. She looked radiantly lovely in a Venetian-style gown of white broché with a Venetian girdle of silver embroidery....As I looked at her it was hard to believe that she was the same girl playmate with whom I had romped in my childhood, when we used to wear three-button-length skirts, straw "boater" hats, high-button boots or black heavy shoes with straps."

The "family luncheon party" was held at St. James's Palace.  When the newlyweds "drove away the crowd in the Mall was so dense that their open car was held up and it was some time before the police could clear a path for themselves," Princess Alice wrote.

thanks to Robert Golden

There were "roars of cheering" when Lady Patricia and Commander Ramsey left the Abbey.  The 50 guests at the wedding luncheon included all of "available members of the Royal Family and the family of the bridegroom."   King George V proposed a toast to the bride and groom.  After the reception, Lady Patricia was driven to Clarence House to "change into her travelling dress."  All of the members of both families were outside the main exit of St. James'sPalace to watch the departure of the bride and groom.

Commander and Lady Patricia Ramsay left by car at 3 p.m.  The car's hood was turned back to they could be seen "by many thousands of people" who were on the Mall.  The people cheered loudly and waved handkerchiefs and "shouted goodwill greetings."   The large police force found it impossible "to keep back the crowd."

Court mourning for the death of Prince John, the youngest son of King George and Queen Mary, was lifted for the wedding.

[Although after her marriage, Princess Patricia had the precedence before the marchionesses of England, she wore the robe and the coronet of a Princess of the Blood at the coronations of George VI and Elizabeth II.]

If you enjoyed this article

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Astrid gets a nice gift

February 26, 1927

Crown Princess Astrid of Belgium today received a wedding gift from the people of Belgium. She was presented with a jeweled diadem, which was made by "Belgium's most skilled craftsmen." The diadem, which took several months to make, is "ornamented with gems from Belgium's colonies and consists of a bandeau with brilliants set in platinum surmounted by eleven magnificent Congo diamonds."
The diadem can be taken apart "without difficulty" and can be made into other pieces, including necklaces, bracelets and rings.
The former Princess Astrid of Sweden married Crown Prince Leopold last November.

Will Carol return to Romania?

February 26, 1926

Rumours are sweeping through Europe regarding the return of the prodigal Prince Carol of Romania, who renounced his rights to the throne two months ago. It is now believed that King Ferdinand is on his way to Paris to discuss Carol's return. Carol will "resume his rights as heir to throne," but will also become "a strong factor in the politics of his country."
In has been asserted that for the past four weeks, Britain's King George has acted as a mediary between Carol and his parents. It is "now learned that through the King's reported intervention Queen Marie is soon coming to Paris to see her son."
Ferdinand, according to another report, is now actually on his way to Paris to talk with Carol.
Another factor in Carol's return is the "impending fall" of Premier Bratiano's government.
Prince Carol "has always been sympathetic to the Opposition," according to the New York Times. If the Opposition takes power in the next election, Prince Carol "would be in a very strong position to return as Crown Prince."
Friends of Prince Carol "attach the minimum of importance to Mlle Lupescu." They describe her as "only an incident and counts only as one lady favorite, more or less." His friends also predict that his estranged wife, Princess Helen will forgive him, "as she had already acquired that habit with respect to his amours before he renounced his right to the throne."
No one, not even his friends, "would take seriously the idea that Prince Carol's return would simply be the result of breaking off with Mlle Lupescu."

Little Boris is sick

February 26, 1901

In her column in the Chicago Daily Tribune, the Marquise de Fontenoy writes: "Poor little Prince Boris, son and heir of Ferdinand of Bulgaria has been stricken with typhoid fever at Philipopolis, and being a delicate child there are considerable apprehensions as to his recovery. In the event of succumbing to this malady, to which old world royalty seems to be so particularly prone, his younger brother, Cyril, now six years old, would become heir apparent."
The Marquise further notes that Prince Cyril is Roman Catholic, but according to constitutional requirements, the young prince would be required to convert to the Orthodox faith.
This action would certainly be controversial, as King Ferdinand was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic church after he had Prince Boris rebaptized, according to the rights of the Orthodox church. Ferdinand's wife, Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon Parma, a "devout and narrow-minded Roman Catholic," believed that her eldest son's "ernst salvation had been forfeited" when he joined the Orthodox church. She fled the marital home, but was persuaded to return to Bulgaria by the Pope, as he reminded her of her marital duty, and her duty to her other three children, who were being raised as Roman Catholics. The Marquise has suggested that Marie Louise pleaded with her husband to abdicate "rather than imperil the child's hereafter," as she "devoted her energies to quietly instilling Catholic teachings" in young Boris' mind.
In order to provide the young prince with a more Bulgarian and Orthodox, education, Boris' education was turned over to Russian governesses and Orthodox priests, "who watched with jealous care to prevent the unhappy mother from exercising in any way her influence on the little boy."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daniel Chatto

A question has been posed about the surname of Daniel Chatto, the husband of Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones. Daniel was born Daniel Chatto St. George Sproule on April 22, 1957 at the Princess Beatrice Hospital, Kensington. He was the son of Tom Chatto St. George Spraule and his wife, the former Rosalind Thompson. The birth was announced in the Times several days later .. in the births column, under Sproule. Tom Chatto St. George Sproule (pronounced Sprawl) was an actor, who used the name Chatto as his stage name. His father, James, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, came to London after the first World War, to marry his second cousin, Gladys Chatto, whose family founded the publishing house Chatto & Windus.
When Tom became an actor, he adopted the use of his mother's surname as a stage name. On September 28, 1987, the London Gazette published a notice that "by Deed Poll dated 26th June 1987 and enrolled in the Supreme Court of Judicature on 18th September 1987, DANIEL ST. GEORGE CHATTO ...a Commonwealth citizen, abandoned the name DANIEL CHATTO ST. GEORGE SPROULE and assumed the name DANIEL ST. GEORGE CHATTO."
Tom Chatto died in 1982. His widow, Rosalind, a literary agent, also uses Chatto as a surname.

Contrary to some rumors at the time of Daniel's engagement, Daniel is not the son of Robin Fox, nor is he the half-brother of Edward Fox. He is the son of Tom Sproule and Rosalind Thompson.

Swedish papers are lukewarm about the engagement

Some criticism about Crown Princess Victoria's engagement in today's Swedish papers

and an article in Bild (in English) by Alexander von Schonburg (who happens to be a Count, actually, and is married to Princess Irina of Hesse). Oh, he's also the younger brother of Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis.

King of Spain suffers a relapse

February 25, 1941

King Alfonso XIII of Spain has suffered a relapse from the "relative improvement registered yesterday." His condition is now described as "very grave." The most recent bulletin was released at 9 p.m. The king, who is in a Rome hospital, has suffered "a series of grave attacks involving insufficient respiratory action during the past twenty-four hours. The attacks continue."
The king's wife, Victoria Eugenia, and their two sons, Jaime, and Juan, remain at his bedside.

Prince Luis' wedding postponed

Embed from Getty Images 
 February 25, 1929 

 The marriage between Prince Luis of Orleans-Borbon, Infant of Spain, and Mrs. Mabelle Corey has been delayed due to the recent death of Queen Maria Cristina. "I have conferred with the mother of Don Luis, the Infanta Eulalia, as I said I would last week, and naturally I agreed with her that no marriages among members of Spanish royalty could take place for quite some time. In fact, it would be a disrespect to the memory of the beloved Queen Mother to announce an engagement at this time."

Mabelle Corey is the divorced wife of an American steel magnate, William Ellis Corey. She told reporters that she plans to stay at her chateau outside Paris for only a few days before traveling to San Remo on the Italian Riviera, where she believes Don Luis is "sojourning." She received the chateau as a part of her divorce settlement. 

Prince Luis was recently expelled from France, and Mrs. Corey has been unsuccessful in trying to have the expulsion order overturned. Several days earlier, she had denied that she was engaged to the Prince. The engagement was first reported in 1924 when the newly divorced Mrs. Corey gave the news to the media. Prince Luis Ferdinand refused to confirm the report. As Mabelle Gilman, she was a "famous beauty" and starred on Broadway in musical comedies. She was the second wife of William Corey, the one-time head of United States Steel.

Heir to Swedish throne to marry the wrong princess!

February 25, 1905

The Duke and Duchess of Connaught announced today the engagement of their youngest child, HRH Princess Victoria Patricia of Connaught, to HRH Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Norway, according to reports in the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. The news stories were based on reports coming from London.
The official announcement also stated that King Edward VII has given his permission for the marriage.
The Prince is the son of Crown Prince Gustaf, and is second in line to the Swedish and Norwegian thrones. Princess Patricia is 19-years-old, and recently turned down a proposal from the King of Spain. The Swedish prince is a "dashing army officer and sportsman, and is extremely popular with both Swedes and Norwegians."

(On February 25, 1905, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught announced the betrothal of the eldest child, Princess Margaret, to Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Norway.)

King Edward at Kronberg

February 25, 1901

King Edward VII and Kaiser Wilhelm II arrived today at Kronberg and were driven in a sleigh to Schloss Friedrichshof to have lunch with Edward's older sister and Wilhelm's mother, Empress Friedrich (the Princess Royal). The King spent about a quarter of an hour at his sister's bedside. It was "observed that His Majesty on leaving betrayed no special anxiety" regarding the Empress Friedrich's condition.
The Kaiser had driven over from Homburg to join the King and other guests for lunch. All told, seventeen people were present for the lunch. The Kaiser sat next to his uncle, and raised his glass in silence to him. King Edward VII returned the compliment.
The Kaiser also took ten minutes out of his busy schedule to visit his mother. He then returned to Homburg by sleigh, "traversing nearly six miles in twenty minutes, behind two Hungarian horses."
King Edward also traveled to Homburg by sleigh, where he had tea with the Kaiser, before returning to Kronberg.
At the King's "particular request," the Kaiser did not join him for dinner, and the King was able to dine quietly with two of his nieces, Crown Princess Sophie of Greece and Princess Margarete of Hesse.

My Weakness

As many of you know, I have a weakness for collecting royal postscards. I am always on the lookout for old cards - and modern cards - and I hope some of my readers can help me with new cards -- especially in Sweden, as I expect there will be a plethora of new cards commemorating the engagement ... and next year the wedding.
I know there is at least one postcard commemorating the engagement of Prince Joachim and Marie Cavalier. I have a card for their wedding, but not the engagement card. (I've seen it, so I know it exists.) I am also wanting to add new (mint) postcards from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Liechtentstein. Royal postcards in Spain are largely non-existant. The UK is covered!
Please contact me at


I accepted a comment this morning from someone named Liquidzen who wanted information about a photo of a Prince. Unfortunately, his comment gave no clue to the original post. I've searched the last few days, and did not find his comments. Other blogster who read this blog, do you know of a way to search for comments on our blogs?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A new article on Prince Max of Liechtenstein

From Monday's Times (London)

a nice article about the engagement

The Times has a good story about Victoria's engagement with good quotes:

Danish parliament passes new succession law

The Danish parliament today passed a proposal to change the succession in Denmark. The proposal, which must also be passed in a referendum, will allow for Denmark's constitution in order to allow succession of the first-born child, regardless of sex. The referendum will be held on June 7, which is same day as the European parliament elections. In order to become law, the referendum must be voted on by the majority of voters, and at least 40 percent of eligible voters, according to an article in the Danish newspaper, Politken.
The new law -- if passed -- will have no effect on the current line of succession as Crown Prince Frederik's first child is a son. Denmark will also become the fifth monarchy to move toward succession of the first born. The other four countries are Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium. The Spanish prime minister has stated his support for equal rights succession for the Spanish throne, but no legislation has been passed by the Cortes. Although the British press reports that members of parliament have discussed changing the succession, no bills have been presented in the Commons.
The succession laws for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Principality of Liechtenstein are semi-salic, which means all the eligible men are ahead of all the eligible women. Monaco's succession law is based on male primogeniture.

Belgian government asked Duke of Orleans to leave

February 24, 1899

The Belgian government has asked the Duke of Orleans, pretender to the French throne, to quit the country to "prevent misunderstanding." The Duke will return to Turin.

Grand Duke Alexander honored at dinner

February 24, 1929

Grand Duke Alexander of Russia was the guest of honor tonight at a reception and dinner given by 150 members of the National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park. The Grand Duke, whose wife, Grand Duchess Xenia, is a sister of the late Nicholas II, spoke on "the importance of brotherly love and cooperation in world fairs. His son, Prince Dimitri, was also at the dinner.

Rupprecht to marry Antonia

February 24, 1921

A Berlin newspaper, Kreuz Zeitung, today features the announcement of the engagement between Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and Princess Antonia of Luxembourg, younger sister of Grand Duchess Charlotte.
A previous betrothal between the couple was broken after "the revolution in Bavaria." The former Crown prince's first wife, Marie Gabriele, died in 1912. There is a 30 age difference between the prospective bride and groom.

Croy Prince is said to have taken his own life

February 24, 1901

The Viennese correspondent for the London newspaper, the Morning Leader, reports that Prince Carl of Croy has committed suicide because he was "jilted by a peasant girl." The prince, who was born, in 1859 was the "second child" of Rudolf, Duke of Croy and his first wife, Princess Natalia de Ligne. In 1888, the prince was married to Princess and Duchess Ludmilla of Arenberg, by whom he had four children.

Rather bad reporting by the Viennese correspondent of the Morning Leader. Prince Carl was actually the fourth child of Duke Rudolf, but was the heir apparent to the ducal title. He was also the only son, as he had three older sisters, Eugenie, Isabella and Anna.
The prince did not commit suicide in 1901. He died on September 28, 1906.

More on the engagement

Most of the news coverage regarding Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden's engagement, which was announced today, will be in Swedish. As the language of this blog is English, I will include only English-language news sources -- with a rare exception.

The first link is to the Swedish monarchy's official website:
the press release announcing the engagement is in Swedish and in English:

Crown Princess Victoria to wed

It's official (finally). HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, eldest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, is getting married to Daniel Westling. The engagement was announced today in Stockholm. The Princess and Mr. Westling have been dating for more than five years.
The wedding will take place in the summer of 2010. Yes, in more than a year.

Here is a link to Swedish television .. the interview with the family is in Swedish.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yolanda looks for home

February 23, 1923

Princess Yolanda of Italy, accompanied by her fiance, Count Calvi, and her lady-in-waiting, today visit the count's parents at their home in Turin. She and Count Calvi also looked at several prospective homes in the area. The Princess said that she will supervise the furnishing and decorating of her new home, "and she does not wish the installation of modern conveniences to alter the mediaeval character typical of the old Piedmontese country houses."

Duke Ernst Gunther of Schleswig-Holstein

February 23, 1921

Duke Ernst Gunther of Schleswig-Holstein died yesterday at his home in Primenkau, Silesia. He was the brother of the former German Empress Auguste Viktoria. According to the doctors who are treating the Kaiserin, she has not been informed about her brother's death, due to the frailty of her own health.
The Duke was married in 1898 to Princess Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. They had no children. The new duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg is the late duke's first cousin, Albert.
Duke Albert, is the second son of the late Prince Christian and his wife Princess Helena of the United Kingdom, a daughter of Queen Victoria. Duke Albert, who is a first cousin to the former Kaiser Wilhelm II and Britain's King George V, is unmarried.

Queen Marie flees Roumania

February 23, 1919

According to a Viennese dispatch received in Geneva, and reported in the New York Times, Queen Marie of Roumania and her daughter, Princess Elizabeth, have fled Bucharest, and are now in England. They fear a revolution in Roumania.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chef uses naughty words at lunch for Juan Carlos

Naughty, naughty

Princess Bride

Rather silly about the succession. Prince Alexander is barely related to the British royal family. He descends from the Mecklenburg-Strelitz family through the morganatic von Carlow branch.

Same article: different photo

Friday, February 20, 2009

Will Prince Max pay his taxes

Perhaps President Obama should consider Prince Max of Liechtenstein to be in the Cabinet! :)

Prince Max is the second son of the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans Adam, and his wife, Marie. He is married to the Panamanian-born Angela Brown, who is eleven years his senior. The couple, who live in Munich, have one son, Prince Alfons.

A brief bio sketch

Juan Carlos and Sofia in Pensacola

The best place to read about the king and queen of Spain's one-day visit to Pensacola, Florida, is to check the local paper and other local media outlets.

Here is a link to the newspaper coverage:

The Hon Benjamin Lascelles to marry

Benjamin Lascelles, who is the second child and eldest son, of Viscount Lascelles, heir to the Harewood earldom, is to marry Carolina Velez Robledo, who is Colombian, in April. Ben's marriage received the "Declaration of Consent" during the February 11, 2009 meeting of the Privy Council.

Ben did not need the Sovereign's permission to marry, according to the Royal Marriages Act. He was born before his parents' marriage, which means he cannot inherit the Harewood earldom or the British throne. His younger brother, Alexander, is the heir after Lord Lascelles.
Ben is the second of Lord Lascelles' children to marry. His older sister, Emily, was married last year to Matthew Shard. They are the parents of a set of twins, a boy and a girl. Middle brother, Alexander, who is known as Orly, is the father of a son, Leo, who was born in March of 2008. As Alexander is not married, Leo does not have rights to the earldom or to the throne. It seems history is repeating itself.

Here is the link the the Privy Council Order

Astrid stops briefly in LA

February 20, 1959

Princess Astrid of Norway made a stop at the airport in Los Angeles today, where she met briefly with her second cousin, Christian Castenskiold, a Dane, who lives in Los Angeles. The princess was changing planes and is en route to Phoenix, Arizona, where she will spend three weeks seeking treatment for rheumatism.

Blonde denies romance with Duke of Kent

February 20, 1955

A 35-year old woman, Rona MacLeod, idignantly denied as "utter nonsense" a suggestion of a romance with the 19-year-old Duke of Kent.
Miss MacLeod is an hostess at an Austrian ski resort, where the Duke is on vacation. She said she was a "chance partner" at a carnival dance when a photographer snapped a shot of the Duke with his arms around her.
The photo was published in London newspapers, which arouse speculation of a possible romance for the young duke who is a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II.

Duke of Brunswick to see art collection

February 20, 1929

The Duke of Brunswick is seeing a buyer for the Guelph collection of medieval art. He would like to keep the collection together, and he is seeking a a price of $10 million dollars. The collection is being offered to American collectors and museums. The duke's spokesman told the press: "For sentimental reasons, the Duke of Brunswick wishes to sell the treasure as a whole. It is painful to him to part with it, but his regret at giving it up would be lessened if the collection were taken over by a private collector or museum and preserved in its entirety, as it has been for centuries."
The spokesman said that the duke need the money to pay the wages and pensions of his employees who work on his estate.

Manoel: no Beatrice

February 20, 1909

The German "official world is much amused" over Lisbon reports that King Manoel of Portugal "aspires to the hand and heart" of King Edward's niece, Princess Beatrice.
The "very charming young woman" has been engaged to several months to Infante Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, elder son of Infanta Eulalia of Spain.
The couple plan to marry as soon as "Alfonso is out of college."

Kaiser finds a bride for king of Saxony

February 20, 1905

Kaiser Wilhelm II has been playing matchmaker again. It appears that he is encouraging the King Friedrich August of Saxony to remarry, now that the king is divorced from Princess Louise of Belgioum. He would like to see the king choose a German princess, and Wilhelm already has the bride picked out. The princess is question is none other than Princess Feodora of Schleswig-Holstein, who just happens to be the Kaiser's sister-in-law.
There is a little matter, however, about religion. Princess Feodora is Lutheran. The King of Saxony is Roman Catholic, and he would need to seek an annulment from the Vatican in order to remarry in church.

House debates President's condolences to the Czar

February 20, 1905

The U.S. House of Representatives today debated President Roosevelt's action to send condolences on behalf of the American people to the Czar concerning the assassination of his uncle, Grand Duke Serge. New York Congressman Baker stated angrily that the President's declaration did not "voice the real sentiments of the people of the United States." He proceeded to enter a resolution that stated "that while this House views with horror the deliberate destruction of human life, at all times and under all circumstances; yet it declares that reprehensible as was the murder of Grand Duke Sergius, it was no more wanton than the massacre perpetuated by the Russian government on Jan. 22, when thousands of unarmed men, women and children were butchered in cold blood as one of the most dastardly crimes ever perpetuated; that, in refusing to express the horror of people of this country at that fearful crime, while now asserting that 'both the American government and people' view the killing of Grand Duke Sergius with abohorrence, the president has not and does not voice the real sentinments of the American people."
On the floor of the House, Congressman Baker vehemently asserted: "I deny that the American people are shocked by the killing of Grand Duke Sergius." He insisted that Americans were shocked "by the wanton massacre on Jan. 22."
Congressman Thayer (D-Mass) interjected: "Do you wish it to go out to the country that the American people sanction the killing of Grand Duke Sergius?" The New York congressman responded by saying that the American people were shocked "by a government that refuses to take notice of the murder of thousands of its individuals, and yet pretends to be horrified at the loss of one human life."
Baker also noted the refusal of both Houses to adjourn "out of respect to the Russians" who were killed on January 22. Congressman Grosvenor(R-Ohio) took umbrage at this final comments. He said it would have been a "meaningless and stupid exhibition of ignorance. The public and the world knew that the American congress did not sympathize with riot and unncessary bloodshed."

Prince Philipp accused of profitting financially from scandal

February 20, 1903

Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha has been accused of profiting financially from his wife's relations with Baron Hirsch.
The accusations were made today in the Austrian parliament during a debate on the army bill. The Prince is an Austrian Field Marshall. The charges were made by Princess Louise's friend, Geza Mattachich, who was sentenced to four years imprisonment for forgery. The charges assert that Prince Philipp forced his wife "to encourage the advances of the late Baron Hirsch and with compelling her ask the Baron for money."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Duke of Orleans claims throne

February 19,1899

The Duke of Orleans, who is the pretender to the French throne, "delivered a violent speech expressing hope of soon restoring the monarchy." On hearing of the election of Loubet as President, the Duke proclaimed: "He will be the last President of France."

Ena to get belongings from Spain

February 19, 1935

Two packing cases, which contain personal belongings of Queen Victoria Eugenia, arrived today in England from the British consul at Santander. The British consul and the Spanish government were involved in long negotiations in order to return the queen's private possessions. None of the items were of great "intrinsic value to Spain," but were gifts to Ena from Queen Victoria and King Edward VII and King George V.
It is considered "significant" that the items are being sent to Ena's childhood, at Carisbrooke castle on the Isle of Wight. This is seen as yet another sign that the queen is "breaking with both Spain and King Alfonso."

Alfonso's "half brother" wants help for estate

February 19, 1923

Don Louis de Bourbon, who claims to be the half-brother to King Alfonso XIII of Spain, has forwarded a formal petition to the Pope and the Sacred College of Cardinals at Rome, requesting that the Spanish monarch be summoned to a hearing before the Papal court, according to a report in the New York Times.
De Bourbon is claiming a share of the estate of the late King Alfonso XII. He is seeking the inheritance "on a claim that he is the eldest son of the late Spanish ruler through a morganatic marriage." Louis states that he is two years older than Alfonso.
He "asserts that his father and mother were married by a high Church official, and that the ceremony was witnessed by the grandees of Spain," and he claims that he has been an exile since his birth on the orders of his grandmother, Queen Isabel, and "subsequently by King Alfonso."
Louis says that his mother, a member of the French nobility, lives in Paris, and "has consented to appear in his behalf at the papal hearing. He claims that one hundred witnesses from the present and exiled Spanish nobility "have volunteered to come from South America, Italy and Austria to testify." He adds: "I do not seek the crown of Spain, but I do seek my just share in my father's estate and recognition of my royal privileges. I am also doing this to vindicate myself from the Spanish Embassy at Washington, which branded me as an impostor."

[King Alfonso was born in 1886. If Louis was two years older than Alfonso, he was probably born in 1884. But Alfonso XII was already married to Archduchess Maria Cristina of Austria. They were married in 1879. The couple's two daughters, Mercedes and Maria Teresa were born in 1880 and 1882, respectively. Alfonso's first wife, Mercedes, died in June 1878, sixteen months before he married Maria Cristina. Looks like the Spanish embassy was right: impostor.]

Prince Miguel of Braganza very ill

February 19, 1923

Prince Miguel of Braganza is very ill with influenza at his home, 701 Park Avenue, in New York City. His wife, Princess Miguel, and their daughter, arrived in Newport yesterday to inspect their summer estate, when the princess received a telephone call, "advising her of the Prince's illness."
The Princess returned to New York City last night.
Princess Miguel is the former Anita Rhinelander Stewart of New York and Newport, Rhode.

Death of an archduchess

Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska and her children: Friedrich &  his wife Isabella, Maria Christina, and Maria Theresia, 1878

February 19, 1903 

 The death of Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria has thrown "the court of Vienna into mourning in the midst of carnival," according to the Marquise de Fontenoy.

 The archduchess was a "one of the most remarkable women of the imperial house of Habsburg, a princess of world-renowned sagacity, and whose knowledge of statesmanship was sufficiently remarkable to lead her cousin, Emperor Franz Joseph, to consult her in many a difficult crisis." Her daughter, Queen Maria Cristina of Spain, relied on her advice and support to help weather "the many storms and cataclysms which she was called upon to encounter during her sixteen years of regency."

The archduchess was often in Madrid or "hastening thither as fast as the railway could carry her." Elisabeth can be described as a treble archduchess. She was born an archduchess, the daughter of the popular Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary. She married her first husband, Archduke Ferdinand, the younger brother and heir of the last duke of Modena. They had one daughter, who is married to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria. 

 After the death of her first husband, Elisabeth married Archduke Carl, by whom she had four children, Queen Maria Cristina of Spain, and Archdukes Karl Stefan, Friedrich, and Eugen.

 Archduchess Elisabeth "will be greatly missed at Vienna, especially by members of the Imperial family." She was able to bring about a "bond between them all and it was her salon that used to be their rendezvous." 

She was a "wonderfully beautiful woman, and even in her old age, she remained a stately and imposing figure, added to which she had a wonderfully soft and melodious voice."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Anne to represent Queen at Australian memorial service

The Princess Royal will represent Queen Elizabeth II at a memorial service in Australia for the victims of the brushfires, where more than 200 people died.

Archduke Albrecht dies at 75

February 18, 1895

Archduke Albrecht of Austria died today at Arco from "congestion of the lungs. He was in his seventy-fifth year. Death took place at approximately at 1:15 in the morning. The late Archduke, who was born in Vienna on August 3, 1817, was the Field Marshall and the Inspector General of the Austrian army.
He was the son of the "glorious Archduke Carl, who defeated Napoleon at Aspern," and he "inherited his military dispositions, which his father guided."
In 1844, the archduke married Princess Hildegarde of Bavaria, daughter of King Ludwig I. They had two daughters, one of whom, Archduchess Maria Theresa, who survives him. Maria Theresa is married to Duke Philipp of Württemberg, the head of the Roman Catholic branch of the family, and heir presumptive to the throne.
Archduke Albrecht was one of the wealthiest members of the Habsburg family. He owned more than 300,000 acres in Hungary, and enjoyed a great collection of paintings and engravings and had the "reputation of being one of the world's great iconophilists."
For some years, he suffered from epilepsy, but his mind was not affected. His "popularity was profound, and his kindness to the poor was sincere and heartfelt."

Serbian baby to be born in Croatia

February 18, 1929

In deference to his Croatian subjects, King Alexander of Yugoslavia has decided that his third child "shall first see the light of day in that part of his kingdom."
King Alexander and Queen Marie will soon leave Belgrade for Zagreb, where the queen will remain until after the birth of their baby. The King and Queen are the parents of two sons, Crown Prince Peter and Prince Tomislav.

Prince of Wales' engagement is denied

February 18, 1919

Reports in the French media about an engagement between the Prince of Wales and Princess Jolanda of Italy are being denied in London. The French press is "discussing the simultaneous presence" of Queen Elena and her daughter and the Prince of Wales. The newspapers have suggested that the "Queen's visit is to fix a date for the formal engagement of the Princess and Prince." It has also been suggested that the engagement will be announced immediately after the signing of the peace treaty, and that the wedding will take place sometime in the Spring of 1920.

Serbian king to arrange a marriage for his daughter

February 18, 1911

King Peter of Serbia is currently in Italy, and it is "whispered that he has been approached in connection with a marriage for his daughter. Princess Helene is 27 years old, good looking, of a distinctly Slav type, but is said to be entertaining no ambition for a royal alliance."
The Princess has been living with the king and queen of Italy for some time -- Queen Elena is Helene's aunt -- and they are "said to view favorably a possible marriage with a Roman gentleman."

Grand Duke Paul gets his rank back


February 18,1905

Nicholas II of Russia has issued a decree that restores Grand Duke Paul's military rank. "The Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovitch will resume his military service as aide-de-camp to the Emperor and will attend the funeral of Grand Duke Sergius at Moscow."

This decision is considered to be a "gracious act" by the Russian emperor toward his uncle, who was forced into exile after contracting a morganatic alliance with Olga Pistikors, despite the disapproval of the Emperor. The Grand Duke's two young children were adopted by Paul's brother, Grand Duke Serge, and his wife, Elizabeth.
Paul will now be allowed to take "his rightful place with the other imperial mourners."

Is the engagement off?

February 18, 1905

According to a report in the New York Times, after several requests by his parents, the German Emperor and Empress, Crown Prince Wilhelm has finally left Florence. "Serious differences have arisen" between the Crown Prince and his fiancee, Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, "and it is strongly believed that the engagement will be broken off."

Grand Duchess Elisabeth

February 18, 1905

The Chicago Tribune reports today that the many cable dispatches on the assassination of Grand Duke Serge "are expressions of thankfulness of the people of Moscow that the Grand duchess Elizabeth was not with her husband when the bomb was thrown. Her charity work has endeared her to the Russian people, and it is not improbable that her husband's life was lengthened by the fact that he was usually accompanied by his wife when driving."
The Grand Duchess is the daughter of Edward VII's late sister, Princess Alice, who married the Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, and is a sister of the Russian empress.
According to this report, the Grand Duke forced Ella to renounce her Lutheran faith, and become Orthodox "on the advice of Father John, the miracle worker of Cronstadt, who laid the nonbirth of a boy in the grand duke's family to the grand duchess' religion. While residing in the same palace, the grand duke and grand duchess had not for years lived together as man and wife."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Juan Carlos' upcoming visit to Florida

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain will visit Pensacola, Florida, on February 19. Pensacola is celebrating its 450th anniversary.

Here is a link to the Pensacola News Journal's special Royal Visit section:

Not sure if tickets are still available for the luncheon.

A Budding romance for Juan of Spain

February 17, 1935

Another royal wedding may be on the horizon as Infante Juan of Spain, 21, is said to be involved in a "budding romance," with Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, who is the daughter, of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and his wife, the former Princess Louise of France.
Infante Juan is currently serving as an ensign in the British Royal Navy.
Prince Carlos is a Spanish citizen, due to his first marriage to Infante Maria de las Mercedes, the Princess of Asturias, whom he married in 1901. The Princess died in childbirth three years later.
The late princess was Infante Juan's aunt.

Grand Duke Wladimir is dead

February 17, 1909

Grand Duke Wladimr of Russia died this evening in St.Petersburg. His death was caused by an asthma attack, which was followed by heart failure. He was 61 years old.
The Russian court had just emerged from court mourning over the death of Grand Duke Alexis. Now all events, including carnival, will have to be canceled as the imperial court plunges again into grief and mourning.

The Grand Duke's death came as a complete shock, although he had suffered from asthma for many years. Earlier today, he had been taking tea with members of his household when he was seized by asthmatic spasms and died almost before a priest arrived to administer last rites. His wife, Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, was was with him when he died, and two of his sons, Boris and Andrei, arrived not long afterward.

Nicholas II, upon learning of the news of the death of his favorite uncle, immediately took a special train to St. Petersburg, and "entered the capital unheralded." He attended a requiem in his uncle's room, which was also attended by the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna.

Wladimir was "quite popular in St Petersburg, for his hearty manner and disregard for formality making an excellent impression upon those who came in contact with him."

He "mingled freely in the life of St. Petersburg," and was often seen at salons and exhibitions."

Grand Duke Wladimir was born April 10, 1847, and was the second son of Alexander II and Princess Marie of Hesse and By Rhine. He was third in line to the Russian throne after the Tsarevitch and Grand Duke Michael, the Czar's youngest brother.

In 1874, Wladimir married Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg. He is survived by his wife and three sons, Kirill, Boris and Andrei and one daughter, Helen, who is the wife of Prince Nicholas of Greece.

Grand Duke Serge blown to pieces!

Embed from Getty Images 

 February 17, 1905

Grand Duke Serge of Russia was killed today in Moscow by an assassin's bomb.
The New York Times reporter happened to be entering the Kremlin at 3p.m. when he "heard a terrific report."

"In the middle of the flames, I saw several black masses into the air and fall in pieces on the ground....A cloud of smoke was lifting, and scattered on the ground, amid a heap of debris, were pieces of a human body, smoldering beside splinters of wood and broken glass."

The correspondent noticed "in a handsome sleigh a young and pretty woman had fainted, and around her, a crowd, attracted by the explosion, was pressing." The correspondent recognized the young woman as Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, sister of Empress Alexandra, and wife of Grand Duke Serge.

"The terrible truth was at once made clear to me. The smoking human debris was all that remained of the Grand Duke. His head had been literally blown from his body and lay there, almost unrecognizable. Soldiers who had rushed from the guardhouse, aided by Generals and dvorniks, began to gather up the remains."

Grand Duke Serge "was driving to town in his coupé at the usual hour," when a "bomb was skillfully thrown under his carriage." Serge's body was "literally stripped of its clothing by the force of the explosion and was reduced to pulp."
Windows in surrounding buildings, including the Palace of Justice and the Arsenal "for a distance of 250 yards were shattered."

One of the assassins, who was injured, was quickly arrested.

The Grand Duke's remains were placed on a stretcher, and were "covered by a coat lent by a General to hide the horrible sight."

Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who had quickly regained consciousness, walked behind the stretcher. She was "enveloped in a blue cloak. Her head was bare, and she was pale as death." Several officers supported her as she followed her husband.
A few days ago, Grand Duke Serge moved into the Imperial Palace in the Kremlin as he was told by the police that they could not guarantee his safety in his residence on the Tverskalia. His wife had been "warned not to go out in the same carriage as the Grand Duke." Her sleigh had not been damaged by the bomb.

According to the New York Times reporter, "there is a rumor that this murder is the first of a long series which has been planned. Fourteen names are on the list, it is said, the second being that of the Grand Duke Vladimir."

Emperor Nicholas II was in St. Petersburg, meeting with General Gripenberg when he was told about his uncle's death. He became prostrate with grief. He returned to Tsarkoe Selo, where other members of the Imperial Family were entertaining Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia who is en route to the Far East to join the Russian army as an observer for the German emperor. The news of Serge's death "created the greatest consternation." All events honoring the Prussian prince were canceled as Nicholas ordered his family to the chapel, where a requiem was held for his slain uncle.

Nicholas released a manifesto to the public, where he lamented the death of his uncle. "He was stricken down by the ruthless hand of an assassin, who aimed at his life, so dear to us. Mourning in him an uncle and friend whose life of activity and care was always devoted to the service of our house and fatherland, we have firm confidence that all our subjects will share and sympathize in our sorrow and will unite their heartfelt prayers with our own for the repose of the soul of the departed."

Other European countries were not surprised by the death of Grand Duke Serge. The Chicago Tribune reported that a "wise choice was made in the selection of the first victim of the nation's revenge. It was Grand Duke Sergius more than Grand Duke Vladimir, and more than any other single member of the grand-ducal cabal, who imposed the regime of tyranny upon the czar."

Russia "has now entered the real crisis in its national existence."

King Edward VII, a first cousin to Nicholas and Alexandra and Grand Duchess Elizabeth, sent a telegram to the Czar, "expressing his horror and sympathy."
Grand Duke Serge was known to be unpopular due to his "haughty demeanor and hard, reactionary spirit." On the other hand, Serge's wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth was one of the few popular members of the Russian Imperial family.
Serge was once called the Ivan the Terrible of modern Russia. For years he was known in every European capital as "vicious, cruel, unprincipled, a fanatical enemy of Jew, Protestant and Roman Catholic, a leader of the reactionary party, the staunchest supporter of the autocracy, and the bitterest enemy to the aspirations of the Russian people for a more enlightened form of government."

He was also considered the wealthiest member of the Russian Imperial family, and he was "tall, handsome and cordial in manner, despite the ruthless fashion in which he exercised his authority" as the Governor of Moscow.

Grand Duke Serge's marriage was childless, although he and his wife were the guardians of his brother Paul's two children. Serge obtained custody of Grand Duchess Marie and Grand Duke Dimitri after Grand Duke Paul contracted a morganatic marriage and was forced to leave Russia.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What an undignified way to announce an engagement

Lord Frederick Windsor may not have been a royal, and he will never carry out official engagements. He's always going to be at the end of the official photos. But he is the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. His parents are members of the Royal Family because Prince Michael is the grandson of George V. He is the younger son of the late Duke of Kent (Prince George) and his wife, the former Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark.

The Duke of Kent was killed in an airplane accident on active duty several months after Prince Michael's birth in 1942.
The ducal title went to Michael's older brother, Prince Edward. The present Duke of Kent, who is 72 years old, continues to carry out engagements. The duke served in the British military, but eventually moved into the position as a full-time royal with his wife, the Duchess of Kent. The Duke and Duchess of Kent received a Civil List allocation to cover the expenses of their official duties. (The Queen now covers this expense.)

Prince Michael, as the younger son, was never expected to take on the mantle of royal duties. He was expected to find a caree, and make his own way in the way, although, of course, opportunities were limited. British princes have to be very careful about job opportunities, as Prince Michael has found to his cost.

In 1978, Prince Michael, who was largely unknown to the general public, became front page news when his engagement to a divorced Roman Catholic was announced. The Queen gave her consent, as required. Prince Michael ceased to be a dynast because of the Act of Settlement (1701), which excludes from the succession, Roman Catholics, and those who marry Roman Catholics.

The Czech-born Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz added a bit of glamour and controversy to the Royal family.

The couple had two children, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella. (The children have the style of younger sons and daughters of a non-royal duke.)

It is safe to say that the Michaels have lived on the fringe of royal life. The Prince and Princess are royal highnesses and attend many state functions. They have never received a civil list allocation although the Queen does take care of their expenses on the rare occasion that the Michaels are asked to represent her. The Prince and Princess have taken on charitable duties and patronages, but their engagements are not listed in the Court Circular or on the British Royal Family's official website. (They have their own website.)

Lord Frederick and his younger sister, Lady Ella, grew up living in Kensington Palace, and attending the best schools in the country. Lord Frederick received his degree from Oxford, while Lady Ella attended Brown University in Rhode Island. She now writes for several publications, including Hola.
Despite being on the fringe of royal life, Lord Frederick has seen his share of front-page stories, largely centered around drugs and alcohol. This is not what Princess Michael expected, perhaps, but Lord Frederick has been rather oafish at times.

Frederick and actress Sophie Winkleman have been dating for two years. Her father, Barry Winkleman, is a millionaire publisher who came up with the idea of the Times Atlas. Barry is of Jewish heritage but admits he is a non-practicing Jew. His second wife, Cynthia Black, is a children's writer. She was born Cynthia MacDonald, and it is unlikely that she is Jewish.
The future Lady Frederick was probably brought up in a non-religious home.
Frederick popped the question on Valentine's Day. In less than24 hourss, a press release announcing the engagement was sent out to the media. This was a surprise, and certainly not the most dignified way to announce the engagement.
Why so fast? Princess Michael is currently in South Africa. Why not wait until she returns home so an official announcement can be placed in The Times. The two sets of parents have yet to meet each other. One would have assumed that a meeting would have taken place before the engagement was announced.
Did Lord Frederick place a courtesy call to Cousin Lililbet? After all, he needs her permission to marry. Her approval is a mere formality, but just the same, it would have been nice to be a bit more formal.
An official announcement combined with the release of a formal engagement photograph of a beaming couple and the bride discreetly showing the ring along with a few photos of the two sets of parents and their two children. You know what I mean?
And the ring? Was there a ring? Prince Michael inherited a nice selection of his mother's jewels? Some of these jewels will be inherited by Lord Frederick and his family.
Will they marry at St. George's Chapel at Windsor? After all, Lord Frederick proposed at Frogmore. No doubt, Princess Michael will want a grand event for her son. I do find the timing of the announcement -- and how it was handled -- rather perplexing. Perhaps the answers will come. Lady Ella could interview her brother and future sister-in-law for Hello and Hola. Now that's a thought.

Victoria to become a great-grandmother again

February 16, 1885

The London World reports today that Queen Victoria is about to become a great-grandmother again, "by the accouchement at Windsor Castle of one of her granddaughters." The newspaper did not name the granddaughter, but the granddaughter is mostly likely Princess Louis of Battenberg who is expecting her first child within the next few weeks.
Princess Louis is the former Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine who married Prince Louis of Battenberg, her first cousin once removed, last April. Victoria is the eldest child of the late Princess Alice, who died in 1878.

KIng Alfonso keeps up "desperate fight"

February 16, 1941

The exiled King Alfonso XIII of Spain has been "holding his own" for the past twenty-four hours, as he keeps up the "desperate fight" for his life. In the last week, Alfonso has suffered three heart attacks, but his condition remains "unchanged" according to his Italian doctor, Cesare Fugoni. Two of the king's sons, the Prince of the Asturias and the Duke of Segovia, and his elder daughter, Beatriz, Princess Torlonia, are constant visitors at the Grand Hotel in Rome, where the king stays when he is in Rome.
Queen Victoria Eugenia is also in Rome, and "is waiting to be called" to Alfonso's bedside.
The king has issued a manifesto, where he has announced his rights to the throne in favor of his third son, Juan.

Grand Duchess Charlotte off to Montreal

February 16, 1941

Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg will travel today to Montreal, Canada, where her provisional government is in exile. She and her family have spent the last two days in Chicago, where they met 25,000 Chicagoans of "Luxembourg extraction."
The Grand Duchess, who is accompanied by her husband, Prince Felix, and their elder son, Crown Prince Jean, attended a high mass at St. Benedict's cathedral in Chicago.
The Grand Ducal family went into exile last May after the German army invaded the tiny grand duchy.

Prince Louis Ferdinand of Bourbon-Orleans must leave France

February 16, 1935

Prince Louis Ferdinand of Bourbon-Orleans must leave France within the next three days under a suspended deportation order, according to a police statement. The prince, who is the younger son of Infanta Eulalia of Spain and the Duke of Galliera, was "among those caught in a raid by the morality squad." In 1930, Prince Louis Ferdinand caused a great scandal in Parisian society when he married Princess Marie Charlotte de Broglie, who had inherited a sugar fortune. At the time of the wedding, the Princess was 73-years-old and Prince Louis Ferdinand was 42.
The prince is a first cousin to King Alfonso XIII of Spain. His older brother, Prince Alfonso, has lived a more respectable life. He is married to a British princess, Beatrice of Edinburgh, and they have three sons.

Crisis in Spain. Alfonso goes to mom's tomb

February 16,1931

A car traveling at high speed brought King Alfonso XIII of Spain from his palace to the Escorial, where he knelt in prayer at the tomb of his mother, Queen Maria Cristina. He was driven quickly home again, and few realized that the king had left the palace.

Karl and Zita to divorce?

February 16, 1919

The Los Angeles Times reports today that former Austria emperor Karl is "contemplating seeking a divorce from his wife, Zita, on the grounds that she assisted Italian victories." Zita, a princess of Bourbon-Parma, was born in Italy, and has "always considered herself an Italian princess."

Princess Clementine dead at 89

February 16, 1907

Princess Clementine of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died early this morning at her home in Vienna. She was 89-years-old.
Clementine was in 1817, the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France and his wife, Marie-Amalia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. In 1843, she married Prince August of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a member of the Roman Catholic branch of the family. The couple had five children: Prince Philipp (who married Princess Louise of Belgium), Prince August (who married Princess Leopoldine of Brazil), Princess Clotilde (Archduchess Joseph of Austria), Amelie (Duchess Max in Bavaria), and Prince Ferdinand, who was elected Prince of Bulgaria in 1887.

 Ferdinand has four young children by his late wife, Princess Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma.
Clementine's husband dies in 1881.

Madrid calm again

February 16, 1901

King Alfonso XIII and his mother, Queen Regent Maria Cristina, went for a drive today in Madrid, according an Associated Press report, which was published in the New York Times. "The drive was without incident,"and Madrid "is perfectly calm." The capital of Spain suffered repeated demonstrations by students and others as they protested the wedding of the King's sister, the Princess of Asturias to Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lord Fredrick Windsor to marry actress

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent today announced the engagement of their only son, Lord Frederick Windsor, to Miss Sophie Winkleman, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Winkleman. 

 Lord Frederick and Miss Winkleman have been dating for two years and became engaged on Valentine's Day. 

 Lord Frederick was born on April 6, 1979. He was educated at Eton and Oxford and currently works for J.P. Morgan's private banking division. His future wife was born on August 5, 1980, in London, and is the only child of millionaire publisher Barry Lester David Winkleman and children's author, Cindy Black, whose maiden name is MacDonald. Ms. Black is the author of a series of children's books whose main character is called Mojo Swoptops. 

Miss Winkleman is an actress, and recently played Princess Eleanor in the poorly received series, "The Palace." She has appeared in several TV programs and films, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe. She attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where she studied English literature. 

Although Barry Winkleman was born to Jewish parents (Leonard Winkleman and Fay Goldstein), on May 21, 1939, he has described himself as "a non-practicing Jew."

 No date has been set for the wedding. After the couple is married, Sophie's official title will be The Lady Frederick Windsor, and not The Lady Sophie Windsor, which would indicate that she is the daughter of a duke, marquess or earl. (Mr. Winkleman was previously married on December 8, 1968, to Eve Pollard former editor of the Daily Express. They have one daughter, Claudia, who is Sophie's half-sister. Mr. Winkleman's first marriage ended in divorce.) 

 Monday's Daily Mail - Richard Kay's column has a bit about the engagement - and a quote from Sophie, saying that the marriage will take place later this year, perhaps in September. The proposal took place at Frogmore House at Windsor on Saturday. 

 From the Telegraph: 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Princess of Asturias and Prince Carlo united in marriage

February 14, 1901

The Princess of Asturias -- Infanta Maria de las Mercedes -- and Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies were united in marriage today in a simple ceremony, which took place in the palace's chapel.

The royal family, "all of the aristocratic world, and almost every high official in the kingdom" attended the wedding, reported the New York Times.

The bridal party gathered in Queen Regent Maria Cristina's apartment before leaving for the ceremony. This included the bride, as well as her two siblings, the young King Alfonso XIII and her sister, Infanta Maria Teresa,, her aunts, Infantas Isabella and Eulalia, her uncle Archduke Eugen of Austria, and her grandmother, Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria.
At the same time, in Infanta Isabella's apartments, the bridegroom's party gathered, which included the groom and his parents, the Count and Countess of Caserta, his brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Calabria, his sisters, Princesses Maria Immaculata, Maria Pia and Maria Josefina.

Prince Carlo's party "emerged first and proceeded along the winding, massive granite corridors to the chapel." They were immediately followed by the bride's cortege from Maria Cristina's apartments.

Infanta Mercedes wore a white dress, "adorned with lace." On her head was a wreath of orange blossoms, "from which depended on a long veil." She was said to be "greatly unnerved," and she carried a handkerchief, "with which she constantly wiped her eyes." Maria Cristina was seen to be "weeping in sympathy with her.
Prince Carlo was dressed in a major's uniform with the Order of the Golden Fleece, while his father wore evening dress with the Spanish Orders that he received from Queen Isabel in 1861.

The bride and groom knelt at the altar, "thus remaining throughout the mass." Low mass was celebrated, "there being no singing, though solemn, sacred selections, including one written for the occasion by Zubicurre, were performed on the organ."

As the bride and groom "knelt upon cushions touching the steps of the altar, a white, satin-bordered veil, three yards long and half a yard wide, was spread over the head and shoulders of the bride, reaching the shoulders of the groom, but leaving his head uncovered," as a white satin ribbon, called a yoke, was tied about the neck of the couple. This is said to be a Spanish custom, "the knot being made between them, signifying their union."

The couple exchanged rings, which are "of great value and unique workmanship."
The Prince and Princess also observed another Spanish custom, where the groom gives coins to the bride. The number of coins must always be thirteen. Prince Carlo presented his bride with 13 gold coins, each weighing one ounce, and were previously used at the wedding of the bride's grandmother.

At the completion of the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds, "arm in arm, arose and left the chapel," and were followed by both their families, merging as one group, instead of leaving separately. They returned to Maria Cristina's apartments, "where a record of the marriage was entered into a special civil register."

The wedding breakfast in the State dining room was held after the wedding.

The Princess of Asturias and her husband will live in an apartment in the Palace. It is not known if they will take a wedding trip.

The wedding day was married by the establishment of martial law in Madrid, under the "practical dictatorship of Gen. Weyler."

President Obama phones King Juan Carlos

President Barack Obama has telephoned King Juan Carlos of Spain to say "that he's sorry he will miss the king's upcoming visit to Florida."

The President will be in Canada -- his first international trip as president -- when King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia arrive in Pensacola, Florida, to mark the 450th anniversary of the city's founding. They will also visit Miami, before traveling to Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Did Prince Affie take his own life?

February 13, 1899

Although his family have officially stated that the Hereditary Prince Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha suffered from "brain trouble," it is now believed that the young prince committed suicide at a sanitarium in Meran. He had been taken from Berlin to Meran, owing to a gambling scandal "compromising him gravely." The prince shot himself in the head, "the wound proving fatal after several days."

Giovanna vows to keep faith

Embed from Getty Images 

 February 13, 1931 

 Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria "upholds faithfully her Catholic religion, while her surroundings in Sofia just as staunchly oppose the influence of the pope on her." La Libre Belgique, a Brussels daily newspaper is, according to a report in the Chicago Daily Tribune, "indirectly inspired by the Vatican," and tells the story of Giovanna's religious struggles.

La Libre reports that "while incredible intrigues and maneuvers are going on around her, the young queen fulfills tranquility her obligations as a Catholic. She does not limit herself to attending mass in the chapel of the palace. Very often she attends solemn services in the Catholic church of Sofia, piously, modestly, and without any ceremony, quite like any simple parishioner." The paper also reports that Orthodox circles are trying to regain a total hold on the royal family by "ousting the papal legate, Cardinal Roncalli." 

 One Bulgarian Orthodox newspaper with ties to the clergy recently published an article that was largely inflammatory toward the cardinal. "Msgr. Roncalli, who of late has tried to play a political role in our country, has been recalled by the pope. The cause for this recall is well known to the initiated, but considering what high personalities are involved, we shall not mention the reasons. Please to heaven that the representative of the pope grow wiser and think no longer that Bulgaria is located in Afghanistan." 

However, the Pope has not recalled Cardinal Roncalli. It is known, however, that the battle between the Orthodox and Catholic clergy in Sofia has "grown intense," and Bulgarian newspapers have not been permitted to report on religious matters. The Pope's Christmas message "did not reach the Bulgarian public through the press. This may have been due to the Pope's remark that it was "scandalous" that the Orthodox church had had Boris and Giovanna go through a second Orthodox marriage after the Roman Catholic ceremony in Italy.

Japanese Crown Prince in England

February 13, 1921

"Court intrigue" is said to be the reason for Crown Prince Hirohito's visit to England, according to the New York Times. The case "is declared to form one of the most extraordinary incidents in dynastic history." There are allegations that the real reason for Hirohito's visit is to "bring about a cancellation of his engagement to Princess Nagako, daughter of Gen. Prince Kuni."
The household agency issued a statement that "rumors seem to be current concerning the engagement of the Crown Prince to Princess Nagako, but that the nation should understand that no change is contemplated concerning the marriage contract as informally settled."
The communication to the media also noted that the head of the household agency, Baron Nakamura, has resigned his position. Japanese newspapers report that the Baron planned to annul the engagement while the Crown Prince was abroad, and that he was supported by Field Marshal Yamagata,a respected elder statesman.
The Crown Prince's visit was "hurriedly arranged" and was decided upon even before the British court could respond to say that he was welcome. It has been suggested that one reason for the visit is the Anglo-Japanese alliance, although many Japanese are "opposed to the journey, saying that the alliance with Great Britain is one sided and of benefit to Great Britain," and not to Japan.
A leading Japanese newspaper also opposes the renewal of the alliance, "declaring it will be certain to create suspicion among Americans that the pact ultimately will be used against them.
It was also announced that Field Marshal Yamagata will also resign his position as president of the privy council, stating that he holds himself responsible for the "grave affair."
Crown Prince Hirohito is 20 years old. Princess Nagako is 18.

Crowds cheer Victoria Luise and Ernst August

February 13, 1913

Kaiser Wilhelm II was smiling today when his only daughter, Princess Victoria Luise and her husband, Prince Ernst August of Cumberland, made a "picturesque state entry" in Berlin. All of the details for this entry were made by the Kaiser for his favorite child.

The young couple, who were accompanied by the Kaiserin, arrived from Karlsruhe this morning at 8:30. Thousands of Berliners were outside the Potsdamer station to greet the newly engaged couple. The Kaiser commanded that four squadrons of the Red Hussars, "the regiment to which Prince Ernst has just been assigned, were drawn up with the Guards for escort duty."
Wilhelm II's face was "wreathed with smiles" when he greeted his wife and daughter after they alight from the train. He handed Auguste Victoria a bouquet of red and his daughter one of yellow carnations. Prince Ernst August was the last to come off the train. He is a "tall, slender figure and has a black, closely cut moustache." Victoria Luise blushed when the mayor presented her with a bouquet of orchids.
The Kaiser, the Kaiserin, Princess Victoria Luise and Prince Ernst, got into a four-horse carriage and and were driven to the palace. Large crowds that had gathered in the Tiergarten and Unter den Linden cheered loudly when the royal procession passed by.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New official website for British monarchy

Here is a link to the new and improved official website for the British monarchy.

Jersey Lily dead at 76

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February 12, 1929

Lillie Langry, the Jersey Lily, who was once a good friend of King Edward VII, died today at Monte Carlo. She was 76-years-old and succumbed to a serious attack of influenza. She was once known "as the loveliest woman of her day."
"Scions of royalty worshipped with the poets, painters and social aristocrats before the shrine of Lady de Bathe," when she was young and known as the Jersey Lily.

Two of Queen Victoria's sons, Prince Leopold, who showed his adoration for Lillie, by hanging her portrait over his bed, and the Prince of Wales who became a very close friend. The Prince and Mrs. Langtry, as she was then known, were often seen riding in Rotten Row, and "sought her company at social functions."

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She was divorced for some years from her first husband when she married Sir Hugo de Bathe in 1898. Hugo, who was 25 years Lillie's junior, inherited his father's baronetcy a few years later. It was rumored that he courted Lillie's daughter, but ended up marrying her mother.

Lady de Bathe, who starred on the London stage and also toured the United States,  is survived by her only daughter, Jeanne-Marie, Lady Malcolm and several grandchildren. Mother and daughter have been largely estranged for some years. A misunderstanding arose when Jeanne-Marie married Sir Ian Malcolm, and she cut off all contact with her mother. This caused disappointment to Lady de Bathe, who was deeply saddened by her daughter's actions.
Although Jeanne-Marie had the surname Langtry, she was not fathered by Edward Langtry. Her father was Prince Louis of Battenberg, who later married Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine. In 1917, Prince Louis renounced his German titles and was created Marquess of Milford Haven.

[Arthur Clarence Jones, an old friend of Lily, has been determined to be Jeanne-Marie's father, based on his personal papers.]

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Infanta Isabel Alfonsa's wedding postponed

February 12, 1929

Due to the recent death of Queen Maria Cristina, the wedding of her granddaughter, Infanta Isabel Alfonsa, to Count Maurice Zamoyski, has been postponed until March 9. The wedding will be a private and will take place in the Royal Palace's chapel. Queen Victoria Eugenia will be the bride's Matron of honor, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The count is the former Foreign Minister of Poland.
Infanta Isabel Alfonsa is the daughter of the late Princess of Asturias and Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, who were married on Valentine's Day in 1901. The Princess died October 17, 1904, shortly after giving birth to Isabel Alfonsa.

No American silk for Princess Patricia

February 12,1919

Sir Malcolm Murray, who serves as Controller and Equerry to the Duke of Connaught, is denying reports in a London newspaper that Princess Patricia's wedding trousseau will be made from American silk.
"It is all humbug," he said, "and I cannot think how such statements are made. The Princess would not dream of getting silk for her trousseau from America when British silk is available."

Countess wins battle to keep daughter

February 12, 1905

The Countess Montignoso has won a battle against her former husband, King Friedrich August of Saxony, concerning her youngest child, Princess Anna Monica Pia. For the time being, the little Princess will remain with her mother as lawyers have advised the king that it will be difficult to implement a court order to remove the child from her mother.

Turbulent demonstrations continue in Madrid

February 12, 1901

Madrid and other Spanish cities continue to see turbulent demonstrations protesting the forthcoming wedding of the Princess of the Asturias and Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies. Inside the palace, officials seemed oblivious to the ever-growing discontent in Spain. The Princess and Prince Carlo signed the civil contract connected with their wedding. The signing took place tonight and was witnessed by members of the Spanish royal family, court officials, the ministry, the Count of Caserta and his family, and "the chosen legal witnesses of each party." There were no invited guests.
At 9 p.m. the wedding party gathered in Queen Maria Cristina's reception room. The Queen, escorted by court officials, entered first, and was followed by the Infantas Isabella, Eulalia and Maria Teresa, the Princess of the Asturias, Prince Carlo, the Count and Countess of Caserta and their three daughters, the Duke of Calabria, Prince Gennaro, who is the younger brother of the Count of Caserta, and the Count's suite. The official witnesses for the bride and groom were also present.
The Minister of Justice, acting as notary agent, read the document, and announced that the only formality was the signing of the document. The Princess signed first, using her full legal name. Prince Carlo was next to sign, and was followed by the Queen Regent,members of the Cabinet, and the Generals who witnessed the signing on "behalf of the Prince."
After everyone had signed the document, the Minister of Justice affixed his stamp to it, which made the contract official. It will be published officially tomorrow in the official Gazette.
The bride and groom's families are both staying inside the palace.The general population will not have an opportunity to see the bride as the wedding is scheduled to take place in the palace chapel.

Close cousins

This family group photo was taken in the summer of 1920. The Mecklenburgs, Hannovers and Prussian royal cousins. Family ties: Crown Princess Cecilie's brother, the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, is married to Princess Alexandra of Hannover whose brother, Ernst August, is married to Princess Victoria Luise of Prussia, whose brother, Wilhelm, is married to Crown Princess Cecilie.
Back row: Wilhelm of Prussia, Alexandra of Mecklenburg, Ernst August and Victoria Luise, with their youngest son, Christian, Cecilie of Prussia and Crown Princess Cecilie.
Middle row: Ernst August of Hannover, Friedrich of Prussia, Franz Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Hubertus and Alexandrine of Prussia
Front row: Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Georg Wilhelm of Hannover, Thyra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia and Friederike of Hannover.

Prince Christian of Hannover was born in September 1919, and he looks about one year old in this photo.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lady de Bathe's health declines

February 11, 1929

Lady Malcolm left for Monte Carlo tonight due to the consquence of Lady de Bathe's serious illness. Lady de Bathe, 76, is the former Lillie Langtry, once known as the "Jersey Lily," due to her great beauty.

Ball held for Mercedes and Carlo

February 11, 1901 

 Spanish aristocracy came to the royal palace tonight to attend the ball in honor of Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies and the Princess of the Asturias. The palace, "a magnificent structure," which "was ablaze with electric lights, could scarcely accommodate the invited guests, whose carriages were wending their way thither as early as 9 o'clock." 

The guests entered by a white marble staircase, "at the top which Napoleon stopped at the time of his entry into Madrid, and uttered the famous expression, as he rested his hands on the marble lions, "At long last, Spain, I hold thee whom I have so long desired." Members of the Diplomatic Corps awaited the Royal Party, which arrived "promptly at 10 o'clock." The Queen Regent - Maria Cristina -- was escorted by the Count of Caserta, who is the father of the groom. They were followed by the Countess of Caserta with Archduke Eugen of Austria, the Princess of the Asturias with Prince Carlo, the Infanta Isabel with the Duke of Calabria, the Infanta Eulalia with Prince Gennaro (younger brother of Prince Carlo, and then three of the daughters of the Count of Caserta.

Queen Maria Cristina then welcomed members of the Diplomatic Corps. The US Minister Bellamy Storer was accompanied by Mrs. Storer. The queen walked toward Mr. Storer and gave him a "cordial personal greeting." The cordiality extended by all to Mr. and Mrs. Storer was noticeable considering the recent war between Spain and United States. The Royal party moved into the state dining room, "which is one of the most splendid salons in Europe." 

Maria Cristina and her partner opened the dancing "within a reserved space." The guests were "literally jammed in" and dancing was "virtually impossible for two hours." It was not until the Queen Regent on the arm of her brother, and followed by her mother and other members of the royal party, left the ballroom, that the guests could actually move about. It was only after midnight that the younger princes and princesses and members of the Diplomatic Corps were able to find room to dance. 

The New York Times described the evening as a "bewildering spectacle of Court grandeur, in which brilliant uniforms were really less noticeable evening dress." Note: the King of Spain, who was a minor at the time, did not attend the ball. Newspaper style used Princess of the Asturias, rather than Princess of Asturias, which is the standard today.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Christopher and Francoise marry in a civil ceremony

February 10, 1929

Prince Christopher of Greece and Denmark and Princess Francoise of Orleans were married this evening in a civil ceremony at the Orleans Palace in Palermo. The wedding was conducted by the Podesta of Palermo.

The bride's witnesses were the former King Manoel of Portugal, the Duke of Aosta, brother of the King of Italy. The bridegroom had as his witnesses Crown Prince Umberto of Italy and former King George II of the Hellenes. The same witnesses will serve tomorrow at the religious wedding at the Palatine Chapel.

The civil wedding was followed by a dinner for more "royalty and blue blood of Europe than had been assembled since the wedding of the bride's younger sister, Anne, to the Duke of Apulia at Naples on November 5, 1927."

The bride was given away by her father, the "tall Duke of Guise," who is the "heir of the Kings who in a thousand years made France."

Others in the wedding party include Francoise's aunt, Helene, the Duchess of Aosta, and her son, the Duke of Apulia.

Francoise's elder sister, Isabelle, who is married to Count Bruno d'Hartcourt, was unable to attend the wedding as she recently gave birth to a child.

Other royal guests included former queen Amelie of Portugal, former Queen Elizabeth of Greece, Prince Nicholas of Greece, Princess Margarita, and Princess Theodora of Greece, Princess Irene of Greece and Queen Helen of Roumania; Infanta Isabel of Spain, Prince Knud of Denmark, Prince and Princess Viggo of Denmark, Prince and Princess Olga of Yugoslavia and Count and Countess d'Orleans-Chaponay.

Most of the royal guests are staying at the Orleans villa and the larger Palermo hotels. There has been "a constant interchange of receptions and dinners with the Sicilian nobility."

But owing to the recent death of the Queen Mother of Spain and the "subsequent court mourning ordered decreed by King Victor Emmanuel, the festivities tonight and tomorrow were considerably curtailed." Instead of a procession from the palace to the Palatine chapel tomorrow, the guests will travel by limousines.

Yesterday it was cold and rainy in Palermo, but today it was sunny. Palermo was decorated with flags in honor of the Crown Prince, who arrived at the railway station with the Duke of Aosta. On their ride to the palace, they were met by cheering crowds "who pelted them with flowers. Umberto "was called to the palace balcony several times to bow to the crowd."

This is not the first marriage between the two royal families. Christopher's uncle, Prince Waldemar of Denmark, was married to Princess Marie of Orleans, a cousin of the Duke of Guise. Christopher, who is considerably older than his wife, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July 1888. On February 1, 1920, he married the late Mrs.William B Leeds, a wealthy widow from Cleveland, Ohio. King Constantine created Nancy Leeds a princess in her own as HRH  Princess Anastasia of Greece.    Nancy died in London in August 1923. The couple had no children.

Princess Francoise Isabelle Louise Marie was born in Paris on Christmas Day, 1902. She "received the traditional education of a daughter of the French nobility," and is said to be fluent in English, Italian, and Spanish.

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