Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vorsten's popular princes

This story just popped into my newsreader: Dutch royals magazine, Vorsten, asked its readers to list their favorite prince. Prince Maurits of Orange-Nassau, who is the eldest son of Princess Margriet, was named by readers as Europe's most popular prince. I find the poll to be a bit dodgy. After all, Vorsten's readership is largely confined to the Netherlands and Belgium, as the magazine is not sold in most European countries. Prince Maurits, 41, is a largely private individual, and he does not carry out royal engagements. He is 10th in line to the Dutch throne, but he will cease to be a dynast when his first cousin, Willem-Alexander becomes king. Inb 1989, Prince Maurits married Marilene van der Broeck. They have three children, Anna, Lucas and Felicia. The children, who are not in line to the throne, have the surname van Lippe-Biesterfeld van Vollenhoven.
One of the requirements for succession to the Dutch throne is the relationship to the sovereign. An heir must be related within the third degree of consanguinity in order to succeed.
Since 2006, the Prince has run his own company, the Source, which "focuses on innovative concepts for products, services and systems for both business and government."
But is he the most popular of European princes? Well, yes, if you are looking at a very subjective poll, but if the poll was conducted by readers of Majesty magazine, one will assume that the list of names would be very different and would not include the largely unknown Prince Maurits.
One member of the Dutch royal family is exempt from the third degree clause in the succession law. By special legislation, Princess Margriet will continue to remain in line to the throne even after the ascension of her nephew, Willem-Alexander.

Peter wins blessing for marriage

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 July 30, 1943

Nineteen-year-old King Peter II of Yugoslavia has won his battle to marry Princess Alexandra of Greece, who is three years his senior.

Last May, the exiled ruler "threw one Cabinet into turmoil" when he asked for permission to marry the princess, who is the daughter of the late King Alexander of the Hellenes. Today, Prime Minister Milos Trifunovich officially announced King Peter's engagement, although the young king has been engaged to the "attractive" princess for more than a year.

According to the Prime Minister, there would no state events to celebrate the engagement, "due to the great sufferings of the peoples in the homeland."
When Peter originally asked for permission to wed, his Cabinet was split on a decision. Several members said that he should not marry until the Axis armies "had been driven from the soils of both countries." Other members felt that the marriage would strengthen King Peter's prestige and "result in favorable diplomatic relations between the nations."

King Peter has since reorganized his Cabinet, and mamed Trifunovich as Prime Minister.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent are on holiday in Munich

July 30, 1935

The Duke and Duchess of Kent are spending some time near Munich, "breaking their journey to Yugoslavia," where they will visit the Duchess' oldest sister, Olga, who is married to Prince Paul of Yugoslavia. The Duke and Duchess "motored" to Schloss Winhöring, near the Austrian border, which is the home of the Duchess' other sister, Elisabeth, who is married to the Prince of Toerring-Jettenbach. According to the report in the New York Times, the Duke of Kent has gone fishing on the estate and "today made a motor excursion to Kreuth in the Bavarian alps."
The Duchess of Kent expects her first child in October.

Duke's doctor denies restraint comments

July 30, 1923

Dr. Cromie, the Duke of Orleans' personal physician, has denied reports that his patient has been under restraint. In an interview with several newspapers, and reported by the New York Times, Dr. Cromie says that is is "absolutely absurd" that his patient has been under any sort of restraint. "Except for the ordinary servants in the house, there are simply myself and the nurses."
He said the duke of Orleans contracted malaria and dysentery during his last visit to Africa.

Don Marco Torlonia is approved by Elsie's dad

July 30, 1907

Don Marco Torlonia, a member of a prominent Italian noble family, has not only "captured the hand of a beautiful American heiress, but he has won the enthusiastic regard of her father," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Charles A. Moore, the millionaire machinery dealer, was not pleased when he learned that his daughter, Elsie, had fallen in love with an Italian nobleman. Unlike other wealthy American fathers, he was not eager for his daughter to marry a European. "A year ago I was radically opposed to them. When I heard that my daughter proposed to marry one of them, I rushed over to put a stop to the matter. I found it was a true love match and the young man was not looking for money. He is well able to support my girl in the style in which she has lived."
Moore is also president of the American Protective Tariff League.

Queen Maria Pia escapes assassins

July 30, 1901

The Dowager Queen Maria Pia of Portugal has escaped an assassination attempt, according to the Chicago Tribune. Her Majesty was "a course of the baths" in Aix-les-Bains, but "was so perturbed by the attack upon her" that she left Aix "hastily for Rome."
Maria Pia is the mother of King Carlos of Portugal and the sister of the late King Umberto of Italy. Details of the assassination attempt have not been made public, but police do have several clues regarding the identity of the attacker.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Juliana's second baby due in 2 weeks

July 29, 1939

Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands is expected to give birth in two weeks, according to the Associated Press. Dutch citizens are hoping that they will be able celebrate the birth of Prince Willem of Orange-Nassau, the first male heir to the throne in "almost a century."

The 30-year-old Crown Princess is the only daughter of Queen Wilhelmina. Her second child is due in mid-August. If she gives birth to a boy, there is no doubt that he will be named Willem as all kings of the house of Orange have been given this name, "and this precedent almost certainly would be maintained."

Preparations for the birth at the palace of Soestdyk are underway for the royal arrival. The princess' doctor has already taken up residence in the palace.
Crown Princess Juliana and her husband, Prince Bernhard, 28, have one daughter, Princess Beatrix, who celebrated her first birth last January 31.

Duke of Orleans is ill; guarded in London

July 29. 1923

The Daily Express reports today (and sent by cable to the New York Times) that the Duke of Orleans, head of the royal house of France is "detained at Inverness Lodge, a spacious villa in Roehampton," which is a suburb of London. He has male attendants with him at all times, and he is suffering from delusions "and often has been in a wild delirium." The Express reports that that duke occasionally cries: "I am a prisoner here. I, the King of France, a prisoner."

The Duke had been a guest of Mrs. Charles Jarrott, at Oaklea at Wimbledon, when he was taken ill. An ambulance brought the Duke of Orleans to Inverness Lodge, where he underwent "special treatment." The Daily Express says the duke complained that he was brought to Inverness Lodge against his will. This is contradicted by an official statement released to the Express by the Duke's chief financial agent in England:

"The Duke contracted an infection of paludeena fever (malaria) during his resident travels in Africa. He was in poor health when he came from Brussels to London three months or so ago, hoping that the change would do him good. When he came to London, he stayed at Oaklea, Wimbledon. There he became much worse. The advice of eminent medical men in London and from Paris was sought and it was agreed among members of the Duke's family that he should receive special treatment."

The duke's doctors agreed that the treatment could not take place at Oaklea, so arrangements were made to move the patient to the fully furnished Inverness Lodge. All of the Duke's family has been kept in form of his condition. King George V has also been informed of the Duke of Orleans' condition. The Duke's nephew, former king Manoel II of Portugal traveled to England for "the express purpose of telling the King."

The Duke of Orleans was unconscious when he was brought to Inverness Lodge. The Duke's financial adviser says: "the duke of Orleans is doing much better. "I am glad to say that the Duke, under treatment, is now very much better. He still gets very tired but his attacks have been fewer."

The Duke of Orleans plans to return to Brussels in a few months if there is further improvement in his condition. His sister, Queen Amelia of Portugal, comes frequently to see him.

Empress Friedrich not well

July 29, 1901

The condition of the Dowager Empress Friedrich is "not satisfactory," according to a report in the New York Times. The empress, who is the mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II, has not left her apartments at Schloss Kronberg for the last few weeks, although no medical bulletins have been issued. It is now anticipated that a medical bulletin regarding the empress will be released. Her second son, Prince Henry, has been "at the castle on a flying visit."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Zara and Mike buy a house?

First the house, then the marriage, then the baby in the carriage!

Queen Marie left very little in Ferdinand's will

Embed from Getty Images 

 July 28, 1929 

 The AP reports today that Queen Marie of Roumania is a "relatively poor woman," and may have to sell some of her jewels and other possessions into cash.

 Her late husband, King Ferdinand, left a fortune of about $1,300,000, which will be "apportioned equally among the king's five children, Prince Carol, Queen Elizabeth of the Hellenes, Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, Prince Nicholas and Princess Ileana. Each of the children will receive about $400,000. 

Queen Marie receives nothing apart from the use for her life of several of Ferdinand's properties. However, the Roumanian government is proposing to split the $180,000 Civil List which the king had received among Queen Marie, King Michael, the Princess Mother Helen, Prince Nicholas, and members of the Regency. 

Queen Marie would receive about $30,000 annually to pay for the maintenance of her homes and pay for staff salaries. The allowance would also cover "entertainment purposes and other expenditures." 

 She is "said to feel keen distress over her financial situation. Friends have been an effort to "induce the Cabinet to recommend to Parliament a liberal allowance" to allow the Dowager Queen to "maintain the former dignity and liberality of her court." The Queen will receive a fraction of the income of Ferdinand's estates, but her share of the holdings, which are valued at $180,000, "is almost negligible." The monies she received for her "American writings was insignificant as compared with the cost of her American trip."

Duke of Brunswick ill

July 28, 1917

A report from Vienna and published in the New York Times states that the Duke of Brunswick, who is married to Kaiser Wilhelm II's only daughter, Victoria Luise, "is to undergo treatment for a nervous breakdown." The Duke, a commander on the western front, has been ordered to rest for the next several months.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Willem-Alexander and Maxima are skiing in Argentina

The Prince of Orange and his family plan to spend a week to ten days at Villa la Angostura, in the province of Neuquén, Argentina. They arrived last Friday on a LAN Flight to San Carlos de Bariloche airport, and are reportedly staying at the posh Paihuen de Cumelén Country Club. The prince, the heir to the Dutch throne, is married to an Argentine, the former Maxima Zorrequieta. Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima have three daughters, Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. The family has been spotted on the slopes.

The exclusive resort where the Dutch royals are staying has 24 hour security and is located on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi Lake. It is the middle of winter in Argentina, which makes it possible for the family to enjoy skiing holidays in the summer.

Louise and Fife are married

July 27, 1889

According to cables to American newspapers and the Associated Press, Princess Louise of Wales was married today to the Earl of Fife, the eldest daughter of the Prince and Princess of Wales. It rained today in London, and the wedding was a private ceremony that took place in the chapel at Buckingham Palace.

This was the first royal marriage to take place in the chapel. Due to the small size of the chapel, only a limited number of guests could attend.

The bridegroom arrived privately. The Princess of Wales. the Crown Prince of Denmark, the King of Greece, and the Princes Albert Victor and George of Wales gathered in the Bow Library at 11:45 a.m, to await the arrival of Queen Victoria. They were joined by other members of the royal family, including Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and their son, Count Gleichen, the Duke and Duchess of Teck and Prince Francis of Teck, the Duke of Cambridge, Princess Frederica of Hannover, Baroness Pawel von Rammingen, and Baron Pawel von Rammingen, Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg, Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, and the Marquess of Lorne and Prince and Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein and their sons, Princes Christian Victor and Albert.

The bridal party, which included the Prince of Wales, Princess Louise, and her two sisters, Victoria and Maud, left Marlborough House for a short drive to Buckingham Palace.

The royal procession to the chapel was able to begin after Queen Victoria, accompanied by the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, arrived in the Bow Library. The procession made its way to the chapel several royal apartments. Members of the Royal Family sat on both sides of the altar.

The Earl of Fife, dressed in Highland dress and wearing the Duff tartan, and his groomsman, Horace Farquhar, took their position at the altar rail and waited for the bride.

The Prince of Wales and his daughter arrived shortly before noon and were escorted to the Bow library, where the bride was joined by her attendants, including her two sisters, Victoria and Maud, and two first cousins, Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein. Princess Victoria Mary of Teck and the Countesses Feodora, Victoria, and Helena Gleichen were also bridesmaids.

Princess Victoria Mary is the only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck. The Duchess of Teck is the former Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge and is one of the Queen's first cousins. The three Gleichen girls are the daughter of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his morganatic wife, Laura Seymour. Victor was named for Queen Victoria and is the son of the Queen's older half-sister, Princess Feodora.

The bridal party made its way to the chapel, and the wedding began at noon. Princess Louise wore a "Duchesse dress of white satin with flowering train, trimmed with orange blossoms, wreaths of orange blossoms and a point de gaze veil."

The bridesmaids wore gowns of "bluish pink faille and carried bouquets of pink roses." The bride was given away by her father, the Prince of Wales, and the officiating clergy included the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Windsor.

The choral service was sung by the choir of the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace. A specially composed anthem by Joseph Barnaby, "Perfect Love," was one of several special features at the wedding. After the benediction, the Queen, who wore a black brocade dress, "kissed the bride and cordially greeted the room."
Queen Victoria appears to be in "excellent health and spirits."

Two wedding breakfasts were held at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. The Queen, the bride and groom, and the other "royal personages," were at one, and the rest of the guests were at the other reception.

During the breakfast, Queen Victoria announced that she had created Louise's husband, Duke of Fife and Marquess of Fife.

Toasts were given to the bride and groom. After breakfast, the bride and groom, the Princess of Wales, and the bridesmaids returned to Marlborough House. The bride and groom rode in the first carriage. Thousands cheered the bride and her new husband, as their carriage traveled down the Mall.

Later this afternoon, the Princess and the duke of Fife left Marlborough House to travel to Sheen Lodge, the suburban home owned by the new Duke. The newlyweds will spend the first part of their honeymoon here.

When they arrived in Sheen, near Richmond, the newlyweds "were enthusiastically welcomed."

Xenia bars "Anastasia"

July 27, 1929

The Los Angeles Times reports exclusively today that "the great door of the palatial mansion" in Oyster Bay on Long Island, belonging to Princess Xenia of Russia, is "closed forever," to Mme Tchaikowsky, the mystery woman who has claimed to be Xenia's cousin, Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia.
(It is believe that Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Nicholas II, was killed, with her parents and siblings, by the Bolsheviks, in July 1918.)
Anastasia lived with Princess Xenia and her husband, Billy Leeds, for nine months. Princess Xenia released a statement to the media:
"The Princess Anastasia left here several days ago. She will not return. Princess Xenia has no comment to make. She does not know where the Princess Anastasia went."
For some months, Princess Xenia has "quietly championed" the woman's "claim to the Russian throne."

Princess Bona gives birth to a son

July 27, 1925

The AP reports today that Princess Konrad of Bavaria has given birth to a son, who will be named Eugen. The former Princess Bona of Savoy is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Genoa. The news of the prince's birth "has caused great rejoicing in Rome," and King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena have been informed.

Princess Bona and Prince Konrad were married in January 1921.

Eugene is the couple's second child. They have a daughter, Amalie, who was born in December 1921.
Prince Konrad is the youngest son of Prince Leopold of Bavaria and Archduchess Gisela of Austria. His two sisters, Elisabeth and Auguste, are married to Count Otto von Seefried auf Buttenheim and Archduke Joseph of Austria, respectively, and his elder brother, Georg's marriage to Archduchess Isabella of Austria was annulled a year after it took place.

Prince Eugen was born in Munich on July 16.

Hohenzollern house laws discarded in court case

July 27, 1921

In Berlin, the Common Court has awarded custody of Prince Karl Franz Joseph to his mother, Princess Marie Auguste, according to the New York Times. The court refused to recognize the house laws of the former ruling Hohenzollerns, and return the young boy to his mother.
Prince Eitel Friedrich, the second son of the former Kaiser and the legal head of the House of Hohenzollern, argued that he had the right to "dispose of life and limb in the Hohenzollern family." He also claimed the right to have his youngest brother's son, "alleging that the mother was not a fit person for his guardianship, inasmuch as she had run away from her husband and child, and it was rumored, not alone."
Princess Joachim pleaded in court that "she was heartbroken and shattered, which won the case for her."
Prince Karl Franz Joseph was the couple's only child. He was born in 1916. At the time of Joachim's suicide in 1920, he and his wife were largely estranged.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Michael new heir to the Russian throne

July 24, 1899

Nicholas II has issued a new decree that names his younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, as the heir to the Russian throne. Michael replaces his brother, Grand Duke George, as heir to Nicholas.
The Emperor and his wife, Alexandra, have three daughters, and no son. Women can succeed to the Russian throne only after all of the men. Should Michael die before his brother, the next in line of Nicholas' uncle, Grand Duke Wladimir, who has three sons.

The remains of Grand Duke George arrived today in St. Petersburg. A "great solemn gathering of members of the Imperial family and State officials met the the body at the station." Nicholas II and the Grand Dukes carried the coffin to the funeral car and the "imposing procession" made its way to the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul.
The body will lie in state for two or three days.

Ileana is now in Vienna

July 24, 1929

Princess Ileana arrived today in Vienna from Sinaia. She is a guest at the Roumanian Legation, and will attend a soiree and a ballet tonight. She leaves tomorrow for Sigmaringen by automobile, where she will visit her cousins, including the Prince of Hohenzollern. It is also understood that her visit to Bavaria will coincide with the announcement of her engagement to Prince Alexander zu Hohenlohe. It appears that Queen Marie "will concede the romantic marriage of her youngest daughter after having induced three of her five children into political matrimonial alliances."

Margarete of Hohenlohe convicted of aiding Ehrhardt

July 24, 1923 
Hermann Ehrhardt

 A court in Leipzig, Germany, today convicted Princess Margarethe of Hohenlohe-Oehringen "of perjury and abetting the flight of Captain  Hermann Ehrhardt. She was sentenced to six months in prison. 

The sentence was reduced to the "irreducible minimum in view of extenuating circumstances, chiefly that the Princess had been victimized and tricked into perjury by Captain Ehrhardt." The Imperial Court, from a political point of view, "practically convicted the absent Captain Ehrhardt of treason."

He was also referred to as "no gentleman," because he "induced the Princess to commit perjury to try and save him." He also escaped from the Leipzig jail, "leaving the Princess to stand trial alone." Before the judge imposed the sentence, he asked Princess Margarethe why "she hesitated to take back her perjured statement and had acted with such flapperish defiance."

"I was merely silly," the princess responded. The Chief Justice asked her: "You were then, victimized and misled?" "Yes, I see that now." 

This was the Princess' final comment before she was sentenced to six months in prison. The Judge referred to Ehrhardt as a leader of the Kapp Putsch. He added that there would be no amnesty. 

"The Princess must be convicted of perjury and giving a traitor aid and comfort. I realize Ehrhardt's splendid qualities of courage, bravery, and military discipline, but his bright escutcheon received a blot with his perjury. But he did not stop at that. The worst was his behavior toward the Princess. Through his powers of suggestion he made her commit the most wretched swindle, then during her preliminary interrogation, instead of warning her against it, he directly drove her into committing perjury. He capped his infamy by fleeing jail ten days before the trial started, leaving the Princess in the lurch. Perhaps his followers and admirers too will now recognize Ehrhardt's true character."

HSH Princess Margarethe Viktoria Pauline Dorothea Luise Helene of Hohenlohe-Ohringen was born July 20, 1894.  She is the youngest child and only daughter of HSH Prince Max (1860-1922) and Countess Helene von Hatzfeldt.

Connaught wedding set for October 15

It was announced today that the wedding between Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Duchess of Fife will take place on October 15 at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.
According to the Marconi Transatlantic wireless telegraph sent to the New York Times, Prince Arthur has asked the Prince of Wales to be his best man. Princess Mary is expected to be one of the bridesmaids.
Prince Arthur of Connaught is the only son of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. His future wife, Princess Alexandra, is the elder daughter of his first cousin, the Princess Royal. Last year, Princess Alexandra succeeded her father as Duchess of Fife by special remainder.

Has Mrs Keppel lost favor with the KIng

July 25, 1909

In an exclusive dispatch, the Los Angeles Times reports that there are "indications that the friendship between King Edward and Mrs. George Keppel, pronounced by the king as the most entertaining woman in Europe, is at an end." The reason for this assumption: Mrs. Keppel and her husband "were carefully omitted" from the list of guests invited by Ambassador Reid, who is the King's host at West Park. The omission of Mr. and Mrs. Keppel from the list of guests is causing great comment and gossip in London.
There has been "cautious intimation" that Mrs. Keppel's place "in the royal favor was not as secure as it has been."
Mr. and Mrs. Keppel continue to reside in a home near Buckingham Palace, which was given to them as a gift by the king.
"Today's development, however, is accepted as final proof by all that her reign as the royal favorite is at an end, and society is now eagerly inquiring as to the identity of her successor."

Father confirms Miss Moore's engagement to Italian nobleman

Embed from Getty Images

July 24, 1907

Mr. Charles Arthur Moore confirmed today the engagement of his daughter, Mary Elsie Moore to an Italian nobleman, Don Marco Torlonia. Mr. Moore made the announcement after his wife and daughter returned to New York aboard the White Star liner, the Oceanic. According to the New York Times, Miss Moore and her mother had spent an "extended" time abroad. Don Marco was also a passenger on the ship. Mr. Moore was waiting at the pier to greet his wife and daughter, and future son-in-law, when he talked freely of the forthcoming marriage.

The couple met two years ago when Miss Moore and her mother were traveling in Italy. The Prince fell in love with the American girl, and they corresponded for some time before "the marriage was settled upon and the father's consent was obtained."

Mr. Moore told a reporter: "Under ordinary circumstances, I am opposed to American girls marrying titled foreigners, but this is an exceptional case. The Duke is a man of good habits and he has not asked for a dot. He belongs to one of the oldest and most distinguished Italian families."

Don Marco followed Mrs. Moore and her daughter down the gangplank, where he "warmly greeted" Mr. Moore before getting into an automobile with his fiancee and Mrs. Moore. Mr. Moore remained behind to take care of the luggage.
Don Marco is a member of the Hunt Club in Rome, as well as several other clubs. He has also been decorated by the Italian king for "his advancement of the breeding of fine horses."

His older brother has been the mayor of Rome for 12 years.

The wedding is expected to take place in the fall. The Moores reside at 512 Fifth Avenue and at Belle Haven in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Miguel renounces throne because of romance with American

July 23, 1909

Prince Miguel of Braganza has demonstrated "the power of love," today when he "renounced forever" the rights to the throne of Portugal to marry the extraordinarily rich American, Miss Anita Rhinelander Stewart. Miguel is the eldest son of the pretender to the Portuguese throne.

According to a special cable to the Chicago Tribune, the engagement, which was announced on July 9, was the "culmination of a real 'love-at-first-sight romance."

The young couple met less than three months ago when Miss Stewart and her mother were crossing from France to Dover with their new French fashions for the upcoming London season. The prince knew nothing of the mother and daughter nor of him, but Miguel was "instantly attracted" to Anita Stewart. He was "on pins and needles for an introduction."

Miguel "moved heaven and earth in his endeavors" to find an opening to introduce himself. The Americans assumed a "haughty attitude" which made his advancements even more difficult. When they arrived in Dover, Prince Miguel tried to travel in their carriage, but this, too, failed because Anita's mother "had taken the precaution to engage beforehand a first-class compartment."

By this time, Mrs. Smith and her daughter were "thoroughly suspicious" and anxious" about the "handsome foreigner who was shadowing them." They asked a guard to lock them into their compartment, but even this action did not prevent Dom Miguel from hanging around the corridor.

In London, Anita and her mother entered their "motor brougham," for the ride to their house in Grosvenor Square. Prince Miguel offered a cab driver a sovereign if he could pace with Mrs. Smith's car.

The Grosvenor Square address "soon established the identity of the Americans. The rest was comparatively easy."

Prince Miguel was able to induce a friend to take him to Mrs. Smith's home. One of the first things he did was apologize for his behavior during the channel crossing. He said he "wanted so badly to know them."

Mrs. Smith did not think that Miguel had any "intentions" for her daughter, but after a half dozen visits to the house, Miguel made it clear that he wanted to marry Anita.

Mrs. Smith "refused point-blank" to accept Miguel's offer. She said she would not allow her daughter to "enter the life of political intrigue which must necessarily be associated with the personality of Dom Miguel."

Unfortunately for Mrs. Smith, Anita's affections were already engaged. Anita declared that she would be Miguel's bride. She admitted that she was underage, and she said she would wait, and "Dom Miguel would wait too."

Miguel, however, was not willing to wait. "Wait indeed! Certainly not," was Miguel's response. He told Anita that he "would run away with her to the end of the earth if necessary."

Perplexed, but "wholly delighted," Anita went to her mother to "coax her" to accept the marriage.

Mrs. Smith, "realizing the impetuosity and the determination of the foreigner, gave her consent."

The wedding is expected to take place in October.

King Alfonso secretly supported cousin's marriage

Embed from Getty Images

July 23, 1909

The Associated Press today received the details of the "romantic marriage" between Prince Alfonso of Bourbon-Orleans to Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg. The marriage has cost the Prince his position as a member of the Spanish royal house, and his military career.

The details now "reveal the fact that King Alfonso, instead of refusing his consent for the marriage," which was reported by Madrid to the press, "actually advised" his cousin to marry Beatrice secretly. He also "personally intervened by telegraph" with ecclesiastical authorities in Bamberg, to obtain a dispensation for the marriage.

The information about the marriage was obtained from Prince Alfonso, "and when it becomes known in Europe, it is likely to create a greater sensation than did the wedding and the Prince's disgrace."

Prince Alfonso and Princess Beatrice, who is a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, first met in 1906 at the wedding of King Alfonso and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, who is Beatrice's first cousin. The Prince, who was only 20 years old at the time, proposed marriage, but Beatrice refused.

A year later, Queen Ena and Queen Mother Maria Cristina, according to the AP report, tried "to induce Beatrice to relent." She declared, however, that she would never change her religion, but, finally, she stated that she would not object to her children being raised Roman Catholic. Queen Maria Cristina is reported to have said at the time. "Then there is not the slighted difficulty to the union. I have always said that if I had had a second son he should have married a Protestant" Queen Maria Cristina also added that "she herself had Protestant ancestors."

It was at La Granja where King Alfonso "formally asked for the hand of Princess Beatrice for his cousin." He gave his word that there would not be the "slightest difficulty concerning the religious phase of the union. Prince Alfonso then proposed marriage, and, this time, Princess Beatrice accepted.

Spain's Prime Minister Maura was consulted by the king regarding the marriage, but the Premier made it clear that a marriage of an infant of Spain to a Protestant princess "could not take place on account of government differences."

King Alfonso was said to be very angry, and disappointed by this comment.
Because of her friendship with Queen Ena, Beatrice said she would end the engagement. Her fiance, however, told the king that he would marry Beatrice "regardless of the consequences.

King Alfonso "warmly congratulated" his cousin, and told him that his "reply was worthy of a Bourbon," and even if Spain's constitution prevented him from giving an "official consent" to the marriage, he, as a Bourbon, "would do everything in his power for the couple."

Princess Beatrice and Prince Alfonso met with Pope Pius to ask for a dispensation to allow for the mixed marriage. The Spanish government, however, warned the Vatican about the situation, so the "dispensation neither was granted nor actually refused."

Prince Alfonso graduated from military school in Toledo on July 12. He volunteered to "go to the front in Morocco." However, King Alfonso granted his cousin a three-day leave and suggested that he go to Coburg to marry Beatrice. He also said he would send a wire to the Bishop of Bamberg "to grant a dispensation."

Prince Alfonso arrived in Coburg on the 15th, where he and Beatrice were married that morning in a civil ceremony. At 1 p.m., a priest on Coburg received a telegram from the Bishop of Bamberg with the required dispensation. Beatrice and Alfonso were able to confirm their vows in a Roman Catholic service, which was followed by a service in the Lutheran church.

The news of the marriage was to have been kept secret, but details were published in Spain. A royal decree was quickly issued and "the degradation of the Prince soon followed."

Prince Alfonso told a friend: "Maura, the head of a clerical party in Spain, and because he holds a majority in Parliament, forced the king to kick his own cousin out of the country and the army, to strip him of his title and honors for the crime of marrying a Protestant, who is a niece of King Edward, and a first cousin of the Emperors of Germany and Russia."

He also wired the King to allow him to go to the frontier, but it is believed the request will be denied. Prince Alfonso's mother, Infanta Eulalia, who is in Paris, is said to be "prostrate over the ruin of her son's career," even though she knows that the British and Spanish royal families "were in perfect sympathy with the marriage."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ileana to drive to Germany in her own car

July 22, 1929

Princess Ileana is to drive her own car to visit family at Schloss Sigmaringen in Germany, the AP reports. Accompanied by her English companion, Miss Marr, Ileana started her journey today. She will travel through Czechoslovakia and Austria, and will make stops in Vienna and Munich. The Princess is expected to spend three weeks with the Prince and Princess of Hohenzollern. Princes Friedrich and Franz and their wives are already at the castle, as are several members of the former imperial family. Several weeks ago, there were new reports that Ileana was about to become engaged to an unnamed German prince.

Hereditary prince's marriage to English princess brings back memories of another Swedish romance

Ebba Munck
July 22, 1905

The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that the recent marriage between Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Princess Margaret of Connaught was a love match, a "rare exception" among royal marriages. But there is no real proof of this "as was furnished by the marriage of another Swedish prince in England seventeen years ago and under different circumstances."

This match was truly a love match, "entirely of Cupid's making, no ceremonious fuss was made over it," and no European sovereigns were in attendance.

Prince Oscar Carl August of Sweden, Duke of Gotland, who was the second son of King Oscar II and Queen Sophie, was 25 years old when he fell in love with his mother's "prettiest and favorite maid of honor, Ebba de Munck." The young woman was a scion of one of Sweden's most distinguished families and "could claim to have more blue blood in her veins than the descendant of the man whom Bonaparte placed on the throne."

Prince Oscar tried to convince his father of Ebba's noble blood, but even Ebba's family tree did not soften the king's opposition to marriage. He insisted that his son should "wed within the charmed circle of royalty and be content with the pick of some half a dozen princesses."

Miss Munck "refused to listen to the prince's suit and absolutely forbade him to make any sacrifice for her sake." She resigned from her court position, returned to her father's home, and entered a hospital to begin training as a nurse. But Prince Oscar would not give up. He would rather renounce his title, his rank, his prerogatives to marry Ebba. In despair, he turned to his mother, Queen Sophie, who was "greatly attached to her favorite maid of honor," and she also loved her son. Oscar succeeded in convincing his mother that he would never be happy with any other woman.

Prince Oscar
The mother in Sophie "triumphed over the queen." She sought out Ebba, now a hospital nurse, and "pleaded her son's
cause -- with success."

Prince Oscar now had his mother's blessing, but convincing his father, the king, was entirely another matter. It was a difficult task, even for Queen Sophie, but when she was about to undergo a serious operation, where she might die, Sophie prevailed upon her husband when she "induced him to yield to what she urged might be her last request she would ever make of him."

Queen Sophie recovered from her operation, and she traveled to Bournemouth, England, to attend Oscar and Ebba's wedding. She gave away the bride. No other relatives of Prince Oscar attended the wedding.

Because Oscar had married a Swedish commoner, he lost his title and his right of succession. King Oscar granted him the title Prince Bernadotte, and more recently, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg created Oscar as Count of Wisborg.

Today, Prince and Princess Bernadotte live happily in a "rose-covered house" on the southeast coast of England, although they occasionally visit Sweden. They consider England to be their home. Their sons attend English schools and they "live the life of English country gentlefolk.

It is said that the Norwegians "would be glad to have" Oscar as their king, but he has "no desire to assume the responsibilities of a crowned head." The Princess "has lost much of the beauty that first won his admiration, but she has gained the crown, which only rests on the brows of happy wives and mothers, and his devotion to her is as fervid as ever."

Prince and Princess Bernadotte did not attend the wedding of his nephew, Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf to Princess Margaret of Connaught. His younger brother, Prince Eugen, was present for the ceremony, "but as soon as the grand function was over," the prince hurried to the rose-covered cottage. He remains a bachelor, and it has been said that he declared he will remain a bachelor "unless fate brings his way another woman like she who was Miss Ebba de Munck."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Anita's fiance a "poor bargain"

July 21, 1909

The Los Angeles Times today has an exclusive dispatch about Prince Miguel de Braganza, who is engaged to marry Miss Anita Stewart. According to the recent marriage contract, Miss Stewart's mother will "hand over" $1,000,000 to Miguel on the day he marries Anita. There are no strings attached to this dowry. But it seems that Anita, the daughter of Mrs. James Henry Smith and William Rhinelander Stewart, has made a "poor bargain," for the marriage.

Perhaps the "best thing" to say about Miguel is that "he is not quite as bad" as his younger brother, Francisco, but Prince Miguel has been ousted from several European clubs, ostracized by society, dishonorably discharged from the army of the nation that gave his family refuge and barred from every royal court."

Americans may not be able to "comprehend the status of a man barred from European clubs and society." The Austrian army has found him to be "unendurable."

Mrs. Smith will be providing the money to Miguel, as Anita has only the income on $500,000 of railroad stock and this comprises her all of her personal fortune."
Miss Stewart and Prince Miguel expect to be married in October. As Miguel's wife, Anita Stewart "cannot be received in any court of Europe or in society anywhere on the continent."

Miguel's family has been in exile since 1835, and they are barred by law from entering Portugal.

Prince Umberto of Savoy is baptised

Prince Umberto of Savoy, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Apulia, was baptised on July 19.

The infant prince was baptised by HRH Prince Alessandro of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, a Roman Catholic priest. Prince Alessandro is a second cousin of the Duke of Apulia, as Alessandro's mother, Princess Maria Cristina of Savoy-Aosta, and Prince Aimone's father, the Duke of Aosta, are first cousins. Father Alessandro is also related to Umberto's mother, Princess Olga of Greece. His maternal grandmother, Princess Anne of Orleans, was the older sister of Princess Francoise, who married Prince Christopher of Greece. Francoise and Christopher were the parents of Prince Michael, the father of Princess Olga. There is another family connection through the Greeks. Prince Christopher's niece, Irene, married Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Aosta, and their only son, Amedeo, is the present Duke of Aosta, and Umberto's grandfather.

Prince Umberto's godparents are Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy, for whom Princess Bianca of Savoy stood proxy and Count Carlo Radicati di Primeglio.
The guests at the ceremony, which took place in the Apulian village of Giuggianello, near Lecce, included the Duke of Apulia's two sisters, Bianca and Mafalda and their families, the Duke and Duchess of Aosta, Prince Michael and Princess Marina of Greece, Princess Alexandra of Greece and her family, Prince Casimir and Princess Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Don Alvaro-Jaime of Orleans-Borbon and his wife, Antonella. Prince Aimone and Princess Olga were present in Spain for the baptism of Alvaro-Jaime and Antonella's daughter, Eulalia.
It appears that the Duke of Apulia's mother, Princess Claude of France was not present. Claude provides yet another family genealogical connection to her grandson. Her father, Prince Henri, Count of Paris, was the brother of Princess Anne and Princess Francoise.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Victoria arrives in Osborne

July 20, 1879

The Court Circular reports that Queen Victoria has arrived at Osborne. She was accompanied by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Germany, their Royal Highnesses, the Grand Duke of Hesse and Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg, and the Infant Prince Alexander and their Grand Ducal Highnesses Princesses Irene and Alice of Hesse. The Royal party arrived at Osborne at 2 p.m, having traveled from Gosport on the royal yacht, Victoria & Albert.
Her Imperial Highnesses the Crown Princess of Germany and her daughters, Victoria, Sophie and Margarete, met the Queen at Trinity Pier, before joining the Crown Prince on the royal yacht.

It was also noted in the Court Circular that the King of Hellenes and the Duke of Sparta to not intend to "terminate" their visit with the Prince and Princess of Wales until after the Goodwood races. Today,

Crown Princess Cecilie arrives in London

July 20, 1935

The former Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia arrived in London today at Waterloo station. She was accompanied by her younger daughter, Princess Cecilie. The royal party were met by the German ambassador, Baron von Hoesch, and the Lady Zia Wernher, who is the Crown Princess' niece.

Helen will return to Roumania says Hohenlohe Prince

Embed from Getty Images

 July 20, 1931

The Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who is a first cousin of King Carol of Roumania, has told the Associated Press that Queen Helen will be returning to Roumania. He says that the Queen, who is the former wife of King Carol, left Bucharest to visit family in England, but she expects to return to Bucharest in the fall before her son, Crown Prince Michael's tenth birthday.
Prince Gottfried reached Paris this afternoon, "having traveled part of the way from Bucharest with the Queen, who went straight through to London."

He told a reporter: "There was no question of her being forced to leave Roumania. King Carol consented to the trip but that was all. I ought to know, because I was the intermediary.

"The Queen told me one day she would like to go abroad and when I put it to the King he said he expected people would say what they said -- that he forced her to leave.

"Both the King and Queen are sick of seeing wild stories about them in the newspapers. They are divorced like thousands of other people and they have a son which necessitates their seeing each other occasionally. They will meet again in the fall when she plans to return to plan Michael's education. There is no question of a reconciliation and there was never any question of annulling the divorce."

The Hereditary Prince stayed for three weeks in Bucharest, where he lived at the Royal Palace. He said he had "seen nothing to indicate that Mme. Magda Lupescu was in the city. The Hereditary Prince's mother, Alexandra, is the Dowager Queen Marie's sister. His wife, the former Princess Margarita of Greece, is Helen's first cousin.

Ferdinand dead; 5-year-old Michael takes the throne

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 News sources report today the death of King Ferdinand of Roumania, whose life came to an end at 2:15 a.m. He died in his wife's arms at Sinaia. His grandson, 5-year-old Michael, the son of the former Crown Prince Carol and his estranged wife, Helen, succeeds to the throne in a pre-arranged regency.

Carol remains secluded in Paris and will not make an attempt to return to Roumania as the government has secured the country's borders. The King, who had been ill for some months, was in a coma for much the day, although he woke briefly early this morning, when he murmured to Queen Marie: "I feel tired."
He closed his eyes, and "death came a few minutes later."

One of the king's final acts was to confirm the government of Ion Bratiniu.

The new king took part in his first ceremonies today. Sitting between his mother, Helen, and the Dowager Queen Marie, the little boy rode in an open car that wended its way through Bucharest. Crowds cheered the new king. After attending a brief religious service, King Michael was escorted to the National Legislature, where he sat on a "throne-like chair" between his mother and grandmother. His "chubby face was wreathed in boyish grins." Princess Helen and Queen Marie were dressed in deep mourning but Michael wore a white sailor suit that "was as conspicuous as a fleck of sunshine amidst dark shadows."

New King 

The three members of the regency, including Michael's uncle, Prince Nicholas, came forward to swear their allegiance and fidelity to the new king.

Arrangements for the funeral are not yet known. All three of the king's daughters, Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, Queen Elizabeth of Greece and Princess Ileana, were all present at their father's deathbed.

The Kingdom will ostensibly be ruled by the regency until King Michael reaches his majority, which will be his 18th birthday. His uncle, Prince Nicholas, is now first in line to the throne.

Princess Anastasia goes jewel shopping

July 20, 1921

Princess Anastasia of Greece has purchased the "most magnificent jewels in the Rue de la Paix shops," according to the Chicago Daily Tribune. The jewels, mostly pearls, are a wedding present for Princess Xenia of Russia, who is marrying Anastasia's son, William Leeds in September.
The jewels, which cost "millions of francs," will rival those of Princess Anastasia's The princess' jewels collection is considered to be the finest in the world. One of her more valuable pieces is a three-string pearl necklace that she purchased in 1917, and is now valued at 25,000,000 francs.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Is Lady Sarah's marriage in danger

Daniel Chatto, the husband of Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, wasn't on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour. The couple's 15th wedding anniversary was last week, but it appears that not all is well in the Chatto household.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Claremont House

It was announced on April 4, 1922, that Claremont House in Esher is "to be offered at auction during the coming season." The seller was the Duchess of Albany, the widow of the Duke of Albany, who was Victoria's fourth son.
The stately home, located on more than 300 acres, was first built in 1708 by the architect Sir John Vanbrugh, and it was owned by the Duke of Newcastle and the Marquess of Clare, "who gave it the name Claremont."

The house was purchased and rebuilt by "the great Clive" who hired the brothers Adam to redesign the house. After Clive's death, Claremont was purchased by the nation as a home for Princess Charlotte of Wales and her husband, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The future King Leopold I of the Belgians retained ownership of the home until his death in 1865. Queen Victoria lent the house to the exiled King Louis Philippe of France and his family.

On Christmas Eve, 1914, the Duchess "entertained the indoor servants with their wives and families, to a tea and entertainment at Claremont."

The Duchess of Albany left Claremont in 1916, and moved into an apartment in Kensington Palace. Sir Almeric Paget, MP, became the first tenant, and was expected to move into Claremont in late 1916. The Duchess died in September 1922, several months after the sale of Claremont to Sir William Correy, Bt.
Claremont was put up for auction again in 1930, four years after Sir William's death. (A German financier, Eugen Spier, had bought the house in 1926.)

The property, along with 34 acres, was acquired by a girl's school. Recognizing the house's tradition as a royal residence, the school retained the name Claremont. The estate became a National Trust property in 1949 and was open to the public in 1951.

The building is now the Claremont Fan Court School.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A son for Peter and Alexandra

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection  Baptism photo in October 1945

July 17, 1945

Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia gave birth to a son tonight, according to a communique sent to the media by King Peter's office. The Queen and the infant prince are both "doing well." The baby weighed 8.5 lbs.

A government commission "had already been appointed to certify the birth of a child and to proclaim it to the nation," although Yugoslavia has yet to vote to readmit the royal family, according to the New York Times
On June 8, the Yugoslav Legation had officially denied a report that Queen Alexandra had given birth to a son at their home in Sunningdale "last night." The news was published by the Daily Sketch, but Britain's Press Association reported that "the birth of Queen Alexandra's baby is not expected in the immediate future."
The new Crown Prince was born in London in Room 212 at the Claridge's Hotel. The room was temporarily deemed to be Yugoslav territory by the British government in order for the baby to be born on Yugoslav soil.
The name of the new prince has not been announced.

(The more recent photos were taken by me.)

British Embassy 1991

Carol "fails" to see Helen

July 16, 1929

A special cable to the New York Times reports that the meeting at Klagenfurt, Austria, between former Crown Prince Carol of Roumania and his mother, Queen Marie, "designed to effect the reconciliation of Carol with his family, ended in complete failure."
The attempt to arrange a reconciliation between Carol and his former wife, Helen, was "foiled by the abrupt departure of the Princess from Bled in Yugoslavia for Bucharest. The plans to "affect a reconstruction of the regency council to include Carol continues."
It is also being reported in Bucharest that the German Prince to whom is about to become engaged to Ileana is a member of the Hohenlohe princely family.

Hohenlohe Princess arrested for aiding Putsch leader

July 16, 1923

Princess Margarete of Hohenlohe-Oehringen was arrested today at her Munich home by the State Attorney General's office at Leipzig, the New York Times reports. The 29-year-old princess, "a noted beauty and reactionary," has been charged with "having given asylum" to the Kappist General Walther von Luttwitz, a fervent monarchist, and to Captain Hermann Ehrhardt. The princess is also believed to have helped Ehrhardt escape from prison.
The Kapp Putsch took place in March 1920. Wolfgang Kapp was a right-wing journalist who did opposed Friedrich Ebert, the Treaty of Versailles and the Weimar Republic. On March 13, 1920, Luttwitz seized Berlin and announced a new right wing government headed by Kapp. Although Kapp had the support of several of Germany's generals, the majority of the army did not follow with support. The military sided with Ebert, and this support, combined with a general strike called by Ebert, led to the putsch's collapse after only five days. The Putsch's supporters would soon be seen as members of a fledgling political party in Germany: the Nazi Party.
It is believed that Ehrhardt's wife also played a role in his escape from the jail and out of Germany. Police are now looking for her. They are also investigating the privileges she had at the Leipzig jail, where her husband was held. She may have furnished her husband "with duplicates of the jail keys."
Ehrhardt's escape "has led to a revival of civil war talk" in Germany
Princess Margarete "committed perjury" when she denied knowing Ehrhardt. She withdrew her statement "when confronted with proof to the contrary." She was arrested to prevent her from fleeing the country.
The Princess was born in 1899 at Sommerberg, the Hohenlohe family estate. She is the daughter of the late Prince Maximilian of Hohenlohe-Oehringen and Countess Helene von Hatzfeldt. The Princess has two older brothers, Prince Max, and Prince Waldemar.
(On July 24, she was convicted of perjury and "abetting the flight" of Hermann Ehrhardt. She was sentenced to six months in prison. After his divorce, Ehrhardt married the princess in August 1927.)

Saxon princess thrown from car

July 16, 1909

Princess Johann Georg of Saxony was thrown from her car today "while driving in the vicinity of the castle" in Dresden, reports the New York Times. The princess suffered several head injuries, but her doctor reported that the injuries are "slight." The Princess, 31, is the former Maria Immacolata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. She married Prince Johann Georg in 1906 in Cannes, two years after the death of the Prince's first wife, Isabella.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Young Victoria

When I was in London in April, I saw the movie Young Victoria, which is about the young Queen Victoria. As a movie, it was merely all right, enjoyable, from my perspective, but not always accurate. I also found it disconcerting that the producers were not even able to get exterior shots of Kensington Palace. The movie is already available on DVD in the UK, but the movie company has yet to announce a US release date. This is not surprising. The movie did not do well in the UK. It certainly will not do well in the USA. Why release something when the investment is not going to be paid back.
Well, what about ordering the DVD from the UK? There is a catch. A few catches, actually. There are 8 DVD regions. Region 1 includes the US and Canada. Region 2 includes the UK and Western Europe. North American DVD players and recorders are set to region 1. Yes, there is probably a way to tamper with the machine and set the Code to 0 (for all regions.) But ... and a big but here, folks ... setting your North American DVD player to 0 will not completely eradicate the problem. The US and Canada are on the NTSC system. Britain - and most other countries - use PAL. (France uses SECAM). NTSC and PAL ARE NOT compatible.
Your North American DVD player will not be able to read a PAL DVD even if you have broken the code for the regions. The majority of North American DVD players do not have built-in converters for PAL to NTSC. No converter=no converting.
I understand that a percentage of North American laptops can read both systems, but this is not a standard, and you can switch regions only a few times before the region is set to the last one used.
Although Mexico and most of Central and South America use NTSC, they are a part of Region 4 for DVDs. Japan also uses a NTSC variant.
With the advent of digital television, things will remain complicated, as the digital systems are different. With the exception of low power stations and the few remaining analog cable stations, the US switched from NTSC on June 12 to the digital ATSC standard. (Canada will do its switch in August 2011.) The majority of countries have adopted the DVB-T standard for digital television.
Here in North American, NTSC will still be used for DVD tranmission.

So what is a confused person to do? Multi-region - code free DVD players or recorders with built-in converters are available in North America. Stores do not stock them, but you can purchase the machines from firms that do a lot of Internet business. I am on my second all-region/code free DVD player -- well actually a recorder with VHS so I can copy my old tapes -- not copyrighted movies - to DVDs -- if I can figure out how it works. Prices vary. Definitely worth an investment. I bought both of mine on Ebay.
But do not fiddle with your current North American DVD player to make it all region if you do not have a converter for the PAL DVDs. If you bought your DVD player at a store in the US or Canada, your machine WILL NOT be able to play PAL DVDs, even if you are able to change the regional setting to 0. Incidentally, if you change the setting during the warranty period, and something happens to the player. Guess what? Your warranty won't be valid.
Multi-region code-free players/recorders with built-in converters are readily available, and the machines are not expensive.

Duke of Brunswick sells property

July 15, 1933

Is the Duke of Brunswick "hard up for cash"? According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the Duke, who is married to Kaiser Wilhelm's daughter, Viktoria Luise, was "forced to sell" a part of his estate to a German industrialist. The sale comprises 1500 acres in the Harz mountains. The Duke used to draw a "large income from the woods," but due to a fall in timber prices, "the cost for upkeep has exceeded the revenues in recent years."

Princess Beatrice of Coburg marries

This photo is from 1907.  There are no wedding photos

July 15, 1909

Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Saxony, was married today to Infante Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon, a first cousin of King Alfonso XIII. The Princess is a first cousin of Queen Ena.

State Secretary von Richter performed the civil marriage. As the groom is Roman Catholic and the bride, a Protestant, two religious weddings followed. A Roman Catholic service took place this afternoon at St. Augustin's church. This was followed by a Lutheran wedding, which took place in the chapel at the Edinburgh castle in Coburg.

The bride is the youngest daughter of the late Duke Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, second of Queen Victoria, and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Alexander II. Beatrice has three older sisters, Marie, who is married to the Crown Prince of Roumania, Victoria, the wife of Grand Duke Kirill of Russia, and Alexandra, whose husband is the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Beatrice, who is a British princess by birth, and is known in Britain as Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, did not seek permission to marry, according to the requirements of the Royal Marriages Act.

The Princess has at various times been reported engaged to the Crown Prince of Germany, Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, Prince Arthur of Connaught, Grand Duke Michael of Russia, and the King of Portugal.

Infante Alfonso, a great-grandson of King Louis Philippe of France, serves in the Spanish military. His mother is the Infanta Eulalia of Spain.

A son and heir for the de Sagans

July 15, 1909

The Los Angeles Times reports in an exclusive dispatch that the Princess de Sagan gave birth to a son today. The Princess is the former Miss Anna Gould, the daughter of the late railroad magnate Jay Gould. Her husband, Prince Helie, "expressed great satisfaction as the birth of a son not only secures the de Sagan succession," but also means that his child will share the fortune of the Princess with her three children by her first husband, Count Boni de Castlellane.
The Prince and Princess were married on July 7, 1908 in at the Registrar's office in the Strand in London. A religious ceremony, at a small French Protestant church in Soho on the same time. The Prince, who is a cousin of Count Boni, began his wooing of Anna after her divorce. In the spring of 1908, he followed her to America, and "although her family frowned upon the match," Anna accepted his proposal.
Shortly after the marriage, Anna's former husband, Count Boni, insituted a suit demanding $60,000 a year, and custody of the couple's three children. Last December, a French court ruled in favor of the Princess de Sagan, who received full custody of her children.
However, on May 27 of this year, another French court handed down a ruling that denied the Prince de Sagan to have contact with the Castellance children. The court asserted that "his influence tended to have a pernicius effect upon them."

A new title for Luise

July 15, 1903

"In compliance with her request," King Georg of Saxony has granted the title, Countess of Montignoso, to his former daughter-in-law, Luisa, according to a report in the New York Times. She will no longer be styled as Crown Princess or Archduchess, which was Luise's title at birth

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One article on Mary Drage

From the September 28, 1955 issue of Der Spiegel

Mary Drage
Mary Drage, 23, englische Ballett-Tänzerin, die vom Protestantismus zum Katholizismus übergetreten ist, hat es aus konfessionellen Gründen abgelehnt, die Frau des Lord Carnegie, 26, zu werden, der als Abkömmling des britischen Königshauses nur protestantisch heiraten darf. Trotz aller Zuneigung könne sie dem Lord zuliebe nicht auf den katholischen Glauben verzichten und wolle ihre Kinder "lieber Katholiken werden lassen als Grafen und Herzöge".

The article states that Mary converted from the Anglican church to the Roman Catholicism for confessional reasons. Lord Carnegie can only marry a Protestant. Despite her affection for Lord Carnegie, Mary is a devout Catholic who would want her children - the earls and dukes, to be dear Catholics as well.

A ballerina named Mary

In the mid-1950s, Lord Carnegie, heir to an earldom and a dukedom, wrote to his cousin, Queen Elizabeth II, requesting permission to marry a ballerina, Mary Drage. The romance between Lord Carnegie, a great-grandson of Edward VII, and the dancer, was largely unnoticed by the British media,  which was more interested in  Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend.

Lord Carnegie, who was born in 1929, was the only child of the late Princess Maud of Fife and the Earl of Southesk. Thus, he was the heir apparent to his father's earldom. He was also the heir presumptive to the Dukedom of Fife through his mother's older sister, Princess Arthur of Connaught, who was Duchess of Fife in her own right. The Duchess' only child, Alistair, Earl of Macduff, had died in Canada in 1943, unmarried and without legitimate issue.

In 1889, Princess Louise of Wales, the eldest daughter of the Prince and Princess of Wales, married Alexander Duff, the 6th Earl of Fife. Queen Victoria created the title Duke of Fife for her granddaughter's husband with the traditional heir's male succession. However, by 1900, it became apparent that Louise and Duff, who were the parents of two daughters, were not going to have more children. Queen Victoria issued a new letters patent, recreating the Dukedom of Fife to allow for the succession of the couple's two daughters and their male descendants. Thus, in 1912, when the Duke of Fife died, he was succeeded by his elder daughter, Princess Alexandra. (In 1905, Edward VII created Louise's daughters as Princesses with the rank of highness.)

Although Princess Alexandra was once briefly engaged to Prince Christopher of Greece, an arrangement that did not please her father, she married her mother's first cousin, Prince Arthur of Connaught at St. George's Chapel in 1913.

The couple's only child, HH Prince Alistair was born a year later.

In 1917, George V issued a Letters Patent that limited the title of HRH and Prince or Princess of the Children of the Sovereign, the grandchildren in the male line, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales. Three-year-old Prince Alistair lost his royal title and assumed the style of the eldest son of a duke, and was known as the Earl of Macduff.

In 1923, the very shy Princess Maud married the Earl of Southesk, a wealthy Scottish landowner. Her cousin, George V, who had not agreed with his father's decision to upgrade the Fife girls, suggested to Maud that she not use her title after marriage. Maud, who was never comfortable in public life, agreed, and after marriage, she was known as Lady Carnegie, and after her husband became earl, she was styled as the Countess of Southesk. There was never an official declaration of the renouncement, and Maud remained a princess for her entire life.
Maud preferred the private life, but due to her position in the line of succession, she served several times as a Counsellor of State during the early 1940s. She died on December 14, 1945.

The Duke of Fife, who was educated at Gordonstoun and the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, served with the Scots Guards for two years, completing his assignment in 1950. As the heir to an earldom and a dukedom - and with the land to match, Lord Carnegie was seen as a major catch during the 1950s. His main residence was a 20,000-acre estate that included Kinnaird castle. He was linked with several ladies, including Princess Margaret, but it was a ballerina, Mary Drage, who had caught his eye, and who had won his heart.

Ethel Mary Drage was born in 1933 in Basingstoke, the eldest daughter of Enid and Charles Hardinge Drage, a Lt. Colonel in the Royal Navy. (Charles Drage and the former Enid Lomer were married on July 20, 1928, at St. Margaret's Westminster. Charles died in 1983, and his funeral was held at St. Mary's Abbot Church in Kensington. Although Mary's father was a member of the Church of England, his wife may have been Roman Catholic, which would explain why Mary was Roman Catholic.)

In 1955, Lord Carnegie was mentioned several times in the Court Circular. On January 19th, the Court Circular published the following: "Lord Carnegie will be abroad from the middle of January until the middle of May. No letters will be forward." One can only guess the reason for the long departure from Britain. Was this trip in response to the Queen's decision to not approve Lord Carnegie's marriage?   Probably yes, although no public statement was made, and the official documents will probably remain private for some years.

In May, the young Lord underwent "a serious operation," but was not well enough to leave the nursing home until nearly the end of June.

In June 1956, the London Gazette published the Queen's consent to a "contract of matrimony" between Lord Carnegie and the Hon. Caroline Dewar, the eldest daughter of Lord and Lady Forteviot.

The couple was married on September 11, 1956, at St Ninian's Cathedral in Perth. The Royal guests included the Queen Mother, the Princess Royal, and the Duchess of Gloucester.

But what became of Mary Drage. In the 1950s, Mary was a member of the Sadler's Wells and Royal Ballet companies and danced in a variety of roles in London and abroad.

On April 2, 1958, Mary was one of five godparents for Rudolf Amadeus Josef Karl Ludwig Emmanuel, the infant son of Prince and Princess Rupert zu Löwenstein-Wertheim. Prince Rupert is best known, perhaps, as Mick Jagger's financial adviser.) Mary maintained her Scottish noble connections, when she married Roderick Fraser on April 9, 1956The wedding took place at London's Church of our Lady of the Assumption. Roderick, who lived in Leconfield, Southern Rhodesia, was the third son of the Hon. Alaistair Fraser and his wife, Lady Sybil.

Rory Fraser died in 1964. The couple had three children.

In July 1969, Mary married Edward Eyre, the son of Edward Eyre and the Hon. Dorothy Lyon-Dahlberg-Acton. Mary and Edward have four children.
Mary Drage retired from the ballet at the time of her first marriage.

The Duke of Fife's marriage ended in divorce in 1966.  He never remarried, although he was linked to several women.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Another engagement

July 13, 1889

The Chicago Daily Tribune today reports that Prince Eugen of Sweden has become engaged. His bride-to-be is Princess Kalakani of the Sandwich Islands. The Prince lives in Paris, where he studies painting.

Eugen's putative fiancee was more likely Princess Victoria Ka'iulani (1875-1899). She was half-British as her father, Archibald Cleghorn, was born in Edinburgh.

Her mother, Miriam, was the sister of Queen Liliuokalani, who was childless. The princess was heir to the Hawaiian throne and linked to two Japanese princes and several Hawaiian cousins. In 1898, she became engaged to Prince David Kawānanakoa, but she died before the marriage could take place.

[There was never an engagement between the Swedish prince and the Hawaiian Princess.]

Ileana says tax assessment too high

July 13, 1929

The AP reports today that a court in Jassy, Roumania, today "heard a complaint on behalf of Princess Ileana," who claims that her tax assessment on her annual income from her estate at Poeni is took high. The tax officials state that the Princess' income is %7500, but the Princess has stated that her income from the estate is only $4000. The commissioner are standing by their appraisal, and Ileana "must support her statement by proofs," the court has ordered.
This case has caused a "great sensation" in Roumania.

Prince of Wales investiture today

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 July 13, 1911

The investiture of the Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the British throne, took place today at historic Carnarvon Castle in Wales.
The jam in the streets is "practically impassable and food is impossible to buy," reports the New York Times. But "Wales is loyal even if it is hungry, and King George has never been cheered more lustily than he was today."
The cheers for the Prince of Wales were even greater. After his parents and other guests had taken their seats, the prince, "now in peer's robes, was conducted to them in all the pomp and circumstance, preceded by the Garter King of Arms." Prince Edward's face "was white and set, but he behaved himself like a man, and as he slowly walked up the great transept his father's face twitched with emotion and his mother's eyes beamed."
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 The Home Secretary, Winston Churchill  read the warrant. The regalia of the Prince of Wales was brought out, and the King put the coronet on his son's head and "girt him with the sword."

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 King George V and Queen Mary and their son, appeared "spellbound" but the magnificent music sung by Welsh choirs. The New York Times stated that "no Prince had ever so fine a greeting as that given to this slim, fair haired boy."

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Swedish royal family rescued from shipwrecked yacht?

July 13, 1907

King Oscar II of Sweden was rescued today from the royal yacht just off Castle Rosendal, when the yacht struck a rock. The King, who was accompanied by Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg, were rescued after a half hour by a passing boat, the Los Angeles Times reported. The yacht's propeller had been broken.

The Duke and Duchess of Vendome - first child

The Duke of Vendome has made it official: his wife is pregnant with their first child.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

WOW - I missed my own anniversary

Just realized that Royal Musings is now a year old. I started the blog on July 7, 2007. I appreciate all the comments, and I am delighted that so many people enjoy royal musings.
Thank you so much!

Czar forgives Kirill for marriage

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 July 9, 1909

Czar Nicholas II of Russia has forgiven his cousin, Grand Duke Kirill, for the latter's marriage to Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, whose first marriage to the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, ended in divorce. The Grand Duke of Hesse is the older brother of Empress Alexandra. Grand Duke Kirill, his wife, and two daughters, Maria, and Kira returned to St. Petersburg today and will live at Tsarkoe-Selo.

The Grand Duke was first permitted to return to Russia to attend the funeral of Grand Duke Alexis last November. After the death of Kirill's father, Grand Duke Wladimir, in February, Kirill's military rank was restored. Victoria Feodorovna, as Victoria Melita is now known, has appeared in court circles, "was due to the intercession" of Kirill's brother, Grand Duke Boris.

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 Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna and her husband are first cousins. She is also a first cousin to Nicholas II and to Empress Alexandra.

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Anita Stewart to wed Prince Miguel

July 9, 1909

Mrs. James Henry Smith announced the engagement of her daughter, Miss Anita Rhinelander Smith, to HRH Prince Dom Miguel of Braganza, who is a pretender to the Portuguese throne. The announcement was made at a concert dance in London last evening. An official announcement was made today by the bride's family, which was followed by a further announcement from the Austrian Embassy in London. Prince Miguel is an officer in the Austrian army.

The couple was introduced in April in Paris, "when he at once was attracted to her." Dom Miguel "has been seeing as much as possible of the young lady ever since."

His courtship of Miss Stewart has been "most assiduous, and the frequency with which they have been thrown together by mutual friends has been all along taken to mean that the fates were favorable," the New York Times commented.
Mrs. Smith's "big party last night" was held at the Berkeley Square house that she has rented for the social season from the Duchess of Somerset. The "scion of Braganza" and Miss Stewart were seen together, and many of the guests "had come to the conclusion that a match had been arranged, even before the announcement was made."

Several Austrians were also among the guests at the gala dinner. The entertainment was a "smart affair." Mrs. Smith received her guests, wearing black and a "beautiful string of pearls." Miss Stewart was dressed in a pink chiffon gown "over a cloth of silver."

The marriage may take place in London, but nothing yet has been settled. Today, Mrs. Smith and her daughter have left for Austria, where wedding details will be discussed with members of Miguel's family.

In the last few years, Dom Miguel has paid a lot of attention "to those daughters of Columbia whom he has encountered at various Continental resorts and who are reputed to be well endowed with this world's goods." In other words, Miguel has sought out an American heiress as a bride. Last year, he was "very attentive to Beatrice Mills, who is now the Countess of Granard.

Prince Miguel was born at Richeneau, Austria on September 22, 1878, the eldest son of Prince Miguel of Braganza and Princess Elisabeth of Thurn und Taxis.
Prince Miguel is a descendant of the junior branch of the Portuguese royal house. His grandfather was Prince Miguel of Portugal, the second son of King Joao IV and Queen Carlota. Joao's eldest son, Pedro, renounced his rights to the Portuguese throne in favor of his daughter, Maria, and became Brazil's first emperor.

Pedro's brother, Prince Miguel, did not accept Maria's accession to the throne, so he claimed the throne for himself. But in 1834, he accepted defeat and went into exile. Maria was restored to the throne, and Miguel and his descendants were excluded from the succession.

In 1851, Prince Miguel married Princess Adelheid of Löwenstein-Wertheim Rosenberg. Their son, Miguel, the current pretender, is Dom Miguel's father. Dom Miguel's mother, Elisabeth, died in 1881, a month after giving birth to a daughter. In 1893, Miguel's father married Princess Marie Therese of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. The young Miguel has two full siblings and seven half-siblings, including one half-brother, Dom Duarte, who will turn two years old in September.

Miss Stewart is the only daughter of Mrs. Smith by her first marriage to William Rhinelander Stewart. Before her first marriage, Mrs. Smith was one of "beautiful Misses Armstrong of Baltimore." Her sister is married to Anthony Drexel. William Rhinelander Stewart is the brother of Lispenard Stewart and Mrs. Frank Spencer Witherbee. He is also a descendant of Philip Rhinelander.

The Stewarts were divorced in August 1906, and, just a month later, Mrs. Stewart married J.Henry Smith, "the bachelor millionaire, known as 'Silent Smith.'"
Mr. Smith had inherited a large fortune from his unmarried uncle, George Smith, whose fortune had been made "in shrewd deals in railroad securities in Chicago and in New York."

He had always been "an intimate friend in the Stewart family, even before he acquired his wealth," so his marriage to Mrs. Stewart was not a surprise. The couple was married in Scotland, and shortly afterward, the newlyweds went on a yachting trip to India, where he died. James Smith left a life interest in $500,000 to Anita Stewart, who had been her mother's companion throughout the divorce proceedings in South Dakota and "afterward in England."
James Henry Smith's estate was estimated at $30,000,000.

Miss Stewart, 22, made her debut in the winter in New York in 1905. She is "an extremely pretty girl and has had much attention. Although she has visited New York, Miss Stewart has spent much of the last year abroad. This year, Mrs. Smith has "lightened her mourning," and has taken a "handsome house in London" for the season to provide further introductions for her daughter into society. Miss Stewart has also been presented at entertainments hosted by her aunt, Mrs. Drexel, and by Lady Cooper, who is the sister of the late Mr. Smith.

Miss Stewart is the first American to marry into Austrian royal circles. It has not yet been determined if this marriage will be morganatic, and, thus, might find herself as the consort of a king if both King Manoel II and the Duke of Oporto die without issue, and if the 1834 renunciation by Miguel's grandfather is lifted and rights are restored to his descendants.

There is also the question of religion. Dom Miguel is Roman Catholic and Anita Stewart is Episcopalian.
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