Monday, August 31, 2009

King Michael on World War II

Dutch article on Willem-Alexander

Wilhelm of Sweden visits Coney Island

August 31, 1907

Prince Wilhelm of Sweden put in a "strenuous" day today as his hand was "nearly shaken off at Dreamland." "Enormous crowds of patriotic Swedes and curious Americans" prevented the prince from "doing anything but shake hands and bow." He never had an opportunity to "shoot the chutes" at Dreamland, but, "on the contrary spent the evening very much as politicians spent their time during a campaign."

Before going to Dreamland, Prince Wilhelm stopped at the Kellman Swedish Orphan Asylum in Bay Ridge. He was due to arrive at 5 p.m., but he arrived at 6:30. He gave a "brief speech" to the waiting people and then "hurried to Atlantic Yacht club," where he had dinner as the guest of Melville Stone. After dinner, the prince boarded Pliny D. Fisk's yacht fro the trip to the Dreamland pier, where more than 10,000 people were waiting to greet him.

Unfortunately, Fisk's yacht, the Rambler, was too big to land at the pier, so the party had to go back to the Yacht club, where they all got into automobiles and were driven to the Surf Avenue and the main entrance to Dreamland.

One policemen were at the pier, but only one policeman was at the park's main entrance. By the time, Prince Wilhelm entered the park, a crowd of about 5,000 people, "started toward him, yelling in Swedish, cheering, jumping up and down, upsetting barkers' stands, and practically putting the whole Dreamland in confusion."

Lines were formed, and the prince "began to shake hands with the crowds" and the band played the Swedish national anthems and American patriotic medleys.
There seemed no end of people who wanted to shake Prince Wilhelm, but after an hour, the prince signaled that he was done, and he wanted to leave.

Earlier in the day, Prince Wilhelm had a chance to visit the Claremont and Grant's tomb. He also traveled to Hoboken, New Jersey, where he "inspected one of the German Lloyd ships."

Prince Wilhelm also consented to an interview. He smoked cigarettes throughout the entire interview. He laughed at some of the questions put toward him,
"America is very fascinating; very, very fine indeed. I came here at the desire of my grandfather, the King, to represent Sweden at the Jamestown Exposition. Never had I thought that I would find so much smartness, so much go, so much life as I have found here. I have been so busy ever since I came here, and everyone I have met has been very busy, too.

"It is a really wonderful country. Every one takes a pride in what he is doing and tries to do his best, and every one seems so happy and bright. No, I have not seen your slums yet, but if your working people are your poor people, then I can say that I have found your poor people more happy than any other poor people I have ever seen."

Prince Wilhelm gave a guarded response to a question about American women.
"American women," he said smiling, "are more or less good looking and they dress charmingly, better than the women of any other country I have visited, and I have seen almost every country in Europe. Nowhere else have I seen people dressed so well. Newport was a revelation to me. There I saw the wealthy people as well as the working people, and both are happy and contented. It is far superior in many ways to the European resorts."

He described New York City's tall buildings as "very clever," and he described the Brooklyn Bridge as "an architectural marvel."

He was glad "to find so many of my countryman helping to put up the large buildings. It has been a great satisfaction to me to find that Swedes in America area satisfied , and that the Americans are satisfied with the Swedes."

He was also asked about American newspapers. "Visibly embarrassed for a moment," he then laughed. "That is one of the hardest questions that has been put to me," he said. "What can I say? They are very clever, the American newspapers, and every enterprising. I have been photographed very often. It is great fun. What stories I will have to tell."

Prince Wilhelm refused, however, to compare the American navy with others, "but said he had seen a fine squadron at Jamestown." He also spoke fondly of "the reception that he had been accorded to him wherever he had been in this country, and said he would sincerely regret going away."

The prince will sail from Boston to Sweden on September 5.

Edward in Vienna

August 31, 1903

King Edward VII arrived today in Vienna from Marienbad, where "an enthusiastic reception was accorded him," according to the New York Times. Kaiser Franz Joseph, wearing the uniform of a British Dragoon Guards, accompanied several Archdukes and other nobles, greeted the British king at the railroad station. King Edward arrived at 5 p.m.
Their Majesties were driven to the Hofburg in a landau driven by six horses. "Immense" crowds lined the route toward the Hofburg.
After Edward had retired to his private apartment, he was officially visited by the Austrian emperor. In the evening, the king was the guest of honor at a state banquet. All of the archdukes and archduchesses were in attendances. In a speech, King Edward "expressed his thanks for the friendly sentiments expressed toward him."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bayern-Auersperg nuptials tomorrow

HRH Princess Alice of Bavaria will marry HSH Prince Lukas of Auersperg in a Roman Catholic wedding tomorrow at Kloster Andechs. The bride is the second daughter of Prince and Princess Luitpold of Bavaria. Prince Luitpold is second in line to the head of the House of Bavaria, and he also runs the successful Kaltenberg brewery.
I expect a plethora of princes and princesses to be attending this noble wedding.

Reporters without borders slams Dutch decision

Bravo to Reporters without Borders! Imagine if Dutch newspaper editors would band together and decide to not cover the Crown Prince and Princess Maxima's official engagements for the rest of the year. Would anyone actually notice? The next time an invitation is extended for an "official" photo shoot, the Dutch media should say "thanks, but no thanks," we have other stories to cover. Real news.

So what does the Prince of Orange actually do? Looking at his resume on the official website, it seems that he's interested in water management (and has given a few speeches on the subject). He also likes to fly, but what does he actually do every day. He does not seem to support Dutch charities or cultural organizations. Willem-Alexander and Maxima are patrons of the Orange fund, "which was set up to promote social welfare and social cohesion in the Netherlands."
The Prince of Wales is often criticized in the British media, but he certainly does a lot more as heir to the British throne than Willem-Alexander does as the heir to the Dutch throne. Willem-Alexander and his wife appear to spend more time planning their next holiday!

Princess Anastasia near death

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 August 28, 1923

The Associated Press is reporting today that Princess Anastasia of Greece is gravely ill in London. She is "lying near death" in her London home. Her husband, Prince Christopher of Greece, is by her bedside.

The American-born Princess, who is the widow of the tin magnate William Leeds, is s suffering from cancer. At times, the princess is in a "semi-comatose state, alternating with a lucid state, when she recognizes all around her. She is in no pain, but is in a weakened condition, and doctors hold out "scant hope" for her recovery. Sir Thomas Horder, the eminent cancer specialist who treated Prime Minister Bonar Law, has been called in for consultation. Dr. Turner, an American physician who resides in Paris and has treated the Princess, has also been summoned.

It is the hope of the Princess's family that her sister, Mrs. Green, who left New York today on board the Mauritania, will arrive in time.

Prince Christopher continues to minister to his wife, who does not "realize the gravity of her illness." The princess's only child, William Leeds, who is married to Princess Xenia of Russia, is also at her bedside. Young Leeds will receive the full interest of the Leeds trust after the death of his mother.

The "venerable" Queen Mother Olga of Greece, who has been living with the princess since she has taken ill, has also been a frequent visitor to the sickroom.
It is not known if Princess Anastasia has made any provisions for her husband, as he cannot inherit from the Leeds trust. The two appear to be "genuinely devoted to one another, and their domestic life has been characterized by exceptional happiness."

Empress Friedrich's will is made public

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 August 28, 1901

The will of the late Empress Friedrich, who died earlier this month, has been made public, according to press reports.

Her estate is worth 11,000,000 marks ($2,600,000).

Each of her surviving children received 1,000,000 marks, while her youngest daughter, Margarete, the wife of Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse, inherited Schloss Friedrichshof. The schloss, which is in Kronberg-im-Taunus, just north of Frankfurt-am-Main, was bought by the late empress with the money she had inherited from the late Duchess of Galliera.

The Empress's fortune includes nothing from Queen Victoria as the empress had renounced claims on her mother's estate.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prince Victor Napoleon's morganatic marriage

Yesterday, I wrote about an article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1905. The article was about eligible princesses in Europe and their chances for marriage. One of the princesses was Princess Clementine of the Belgians, who was in love with Prince Victor Napoleon. The article referenced a morganatic marriage between the prince and a Miss Beauclerq. I was asked if I had further information about the marriage, but I didn't. I researched the topic further and found the following.

In an article in the Los Angeles Times (August 17, 1909), there is a reference to the marriage. The article is about Princess Clementine's desire to marry Prince Victor Napoleon, a "Prince without a royal family and with no prospect of the throne." The writer also refers to another problem. Victor "long ago contracted a formal marriage (morganatic in form) with a French lady."

On June 4, 1911, the New York Times, in an article about Princess Louise suing to obtain a part of her father's estate, mentioned that Princess Clementine was married to Prince Victor Napoleon: "whose many love affairs and romance with Baroness de Beauclerq had been for years the talk of Brussels."

However, one wonders how accurate were the claims of a true marriage.

 According to a New York Times article in 1904, Prince Victor first proposed marriage to Clementine in 1899, but King Leopold II would not permit the marriage.

Perhaps, Victor had a long-term relationship with the Baroness, but never officially married her.

Boris apparently shot by assassin

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 August 27, 1943

There are unconfirmed reports, published in American and British papers, that King Boris III "was seriously wounded last Tuesday evening" on his return from a visit to Adolf Hitler's field headquarters. The report was received tonight in Berne, Switzerland, from a usually reliable Balkan source.

According to the report, the king received three bullet wounds in his abdomen, when he entered his car at a train station outside Sofia. He had traveled from Germany by train.

The report adds that the would-be assassin is a pro-Russian police inspector.
The king's condition is said to be "desperate." The Queen is at his bedside, having left Plovdiv, where the royal family is living following anti-government riots in Sofia earlier this year.

The King's indisposition was announced today in the Bulgarian press as an "illness," but without further explanation.

Riots have again broken out in the capital against the Philoff government and there are continued demands for an immediate break with the Axis powers.
According to Hungarian source, the Bulgarian premier has proposed a tentative committee to act as a regency with Queen Givoanna, should King Boris die. The tentative committee includes the Prime Minister, the War Minister and a diplomatic representative who currently out of the country.

The heir to the throne is six-year-old Prince Simeon, who has the official title of Prince of Tirnovo.

Windisch Graetz prince jailed for child abuse

August 27, 1905

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports that the dispatches about the arrest of Prince Joseph of Windisch-Graetz are untrue. The prince, who is nearly 80, lives in Vienna, and is one of the "principal dignitaries at the court of Vienna, where he commands the Archer Guard." It is his son, Prince Franz, "who was arrested in Buenos Aires for the gross maltreatment of his six year old son."

Prince Franz is married to Countess Margarete von Harrach, and they have five children: Joseph, Marie Margarete, Johann Nepomuk, Alexander, Antoinette, and Ferdinand, who was born in Petropolis, Brazil, earlier this year.

The prince has had to seek refuge in South America, "due to all sorts of unsavory financial scandals, following his insolvency." Despite his father's influence in Vienna, Prince Franz was forced to leave Austria. Family members provide an allowance for his wife and children, who have joined him in exile, on the condition that Franz remain on this side of the Atlantic.

The family first lived in Brazil, but have since moved to Argentina, where Prince Joseph's "influence with the Argentine envoy in Vienna," allowed Franz to find a position as an instructor of the cavalry. The prince once served as an officer in the Austrian military.

The prince's mother is the famed ballerina Maria Taglioni. She turned down a marriage proposal from Duke Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, as the marriage would be morganatic. However, she became the "honored wife" of Prince Joseph. Because of her position as an exceptional prima ballerina, Marie's marriage to Joseph was not considered a mesalliance. She rarely went to court, "but her salon became one of the most popular in Vienna." Marie died in 1891.
The abused child is Prince Alexander, who was born in September 1899.

Note: Joseph was married to the niece of the famed ballerine Marie Taglioni. The niece, also named Marie, was a ballerina, but not a prima ballerina.

Bravo to the Prince of Wales

He is on the right track:

Frederick and Sophie's wedding

The current issue of Hello on sale in the USA has an article on upcoming "royal" weddings (and also speculating on a few possible royal weddings.)

One of the definite "royal" weddings is the one that will take place at the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court on September 12. This is the marriage of Lord Frederick Windsor and Sophie Winkleman.

"A friend of the couple" has told the magazine that 350 family and friends will "cram into the palace's 16th century chapel." It will be a traditional Anglican wedding, which will be conducted by the Rt Rev. Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London. The bride as "chosen a stunning white dress and the chapel will be lit by candles."
There will be no sit down wedding breakfast to follow the wedding. "After the service the couple will have eats and Champagne at Hampton Court. They cannot see the point of a big sit-down dinner."
The couple are largely paying for the wedding themselves so it is understandable to try to keep the costs down.
Lady Annabel Goldsmith, who is a friend of Princess Michael of Kent, will be hosting a dance for the newlyweds at her Richmond home.
The Queen is not expected to attend. Hello's report also says that Lord Frederick's godfather, the Prince of Wales, will not attend. Memo to Hello: the Prince of Wales is not Lord Frederick's godfather. Princes William and Harry are also not expected to attend. Friends say that the security for the wedding will be "immense." I call that dramatic license as Hampton Court will be closed for the day, which means only the guests will have access to the palace grounds and the chapel.
One assumes that the royal guests will include the groom's parents, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, as well as other members of the Kent family including the Duke of Kent and his children and Princess Alexandra and her children. Perhaps even the Duchess of Kent.
Other possible guests might include the elderly Prince Alexander and Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia. Alexander's mother, Olga, was the older sister of the late Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. Marina was the mother of Prince Michael. I would not be surprised to see one or two members of the Toerring-Jettenbach family, who descend from Olga and Marina's sister, Elisabeth.

The newlyweds will be flying to Los Angeles shortly after the wedding as Sophie, who is an actress, will be working on a new project. She will continue to use her own name professionally, but her official title will be The Lady Frederick Windsor.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will these princesses marry for Love?

these images are from the Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

August 26, 1905

The Chicago Daily Tribune has published a fascinating look at Europe's eligible princesses, and wonders "how many of these princesses will marry for love?"
The articles focuses on a dozen or so European princesses, and their prospects for marriage.

"Among the Roman Catholic princesses there are none in so pathetic a position as are the Bavarian granddaughters of the heir presumptive and regent," as they have inherited genes of the mad king of Bavaria.

The four princesses, "who rejoice in the names" of Adelgunde, Hildegarde Wiltrud, Helmtrud, are the daughters of Prince and Princess Ludwig. Princess Ludwig is the half-sister of Queen Maria Cristina of Spain. The elder princesses are being considered as possible brides for the young King Alfonso, who following the marriage of the Crown Prince of Germany, "is the load-stone matrimonially for Europe." But some believe that Spanish court does not want to consider another marriage for a Spanish monarch with a bride who has Habsburg blood (Princess Ludwig was born an Archduchess of Austria) and the tainted Bavarian blood.

The strain, "which provokes insanity lavishes beauty and brilliancy upon those whom the curse misses," and Princess Wiltrud, 21, who is the next to the youngest of the four daughters, is considered to be one "of the most beautiful princesses in Europe." She has "absolutely perfect features, and wonderful dark eyes, is gifted musically and is a linguist." She is also an athlete, "skilled in riding, besides having other accomplishments."

In spite of her beauty and her accomplishments, Wiltrud has no wooers and she "promises to be left adversely alone by royal matchmakers in the same way that two of her older sisters have been."

Princess Adelgunde, 35, is said to be in "delicate health," and Hildegarde, is "not a beauty" but is called the "sunshine of the kingless court," on account of "her good spirits and happy ways." Eighteen-year-old Princess Helmtrud looks like Wiltrud, and "promises to be almost as beautiful."

One of the older and still eligible princesses is Princess Clementine of the Belgians. She is the third daughter of King Leopold II, and her "love affairs have kept everyone around the throne of Belgium in hot water." The princess is the only one who could get along with her reprobate father, and she was determined to marry Prince Victor Napoleon, despite his morganatic marriage to the beautiful Miss Beauclerc, "with whom he lived for many years." Prince Victor desired a marriage with Clementine "on account of the great fortune" she will inherit from her father.

Clementine "has not been free from tragedy" as she was once engaged to the Prince of Flanders, the heir presumptive to the Belgian throne. Prince Baudouin met "with a mysterious death a few days before the engagement was to have been announced."

Recently, the mother of the King of Saxony has visited Belgium, to arrange a marriage between Clementine and her son, who is divorced from Archduchess Louise of Austria.

Perhaps the most interesting of the Catholic princesses is Louise of France, the daughter of the late Count of Paris. She could marry Alfonso XIII, even though she is three years older. Louise is known to be "a merry and good natured princess although a wilful one when she chooses." She once saved her brother during a boar hunt, and she is popular in France and in Spain. But she also could be selected as a bride for one of the Protestant princes.

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Then there is Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain, who is "said to have a mind of her own and has contributed her share to the family dissensions." With her mother's consent, she corresponded "a little" with Prince Gennaro of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, a midshipman in the Spanish navy. Gennaro's brother, Carlos, was married to Maria Teresa's sister, Mercedes, who died in childbirth a year ago. Maria Teresa's mother, Queen Maria Cristina, a Habsburg by birth, was recently in Austria, and Emperor Franz Joseph suggested to her that Maria Teresa marry an Archduke.

Maria Teresa, however, has her heart set on Prince Gennaro, even though her mother opposes the marriage, and has tried to break off the engagement. Maria Teresa "has resisted her mother with a temper and determination." She has the support of her brother, King Alfonso, and "violent scenes occurred at the palace." Queen Maria Cristina is "doing her utmost to prevent Prince Gennaro from "accompanying his brother officers" aboard his ship on a recent trip. This action has caused further strain between the Infanta and her mother.

One eligible archduchess can be struck off the bridal list, as Archduchess Margareta Maria of Austria, is now engaged to her second cousin, Prince Georg of Bavaria, the third son of King Leopold. If this marriage goes through, it "will make one more of the ties in which both sides are exposed to hereditary insanity." The 20-year-old archduchess is the daughter of the Duke of Tuscany, and is "infatuated with her cousin and he with her."

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King Alfonso XIII has already been scorned by the British Princess Patricia of Connaught. Patricia, 19, has "won the hearts of the Spanish population," but she has no interest in marrying a foreigner. When Alfonso recently visited England, Patrica "was distinctly cold in her behavior towards him."
The truth about "Patsy" is that she is said to be "deeply in love with a certain captain in the army who is also a royal aid de camp."

Marriage is, however, out of the question. Patricia was obliged to renounce her commoner lover, but it is said that the prince she "fancies most" is Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia, the second son of the Kaiser, who "took a great fancy to her on his last visit to England."

Two of the most popular of the unmarried princesses are Princess Olga of Cumberland, 24, and Princess Ena of Battenberg, who is 19. Ena is "quite pretty and is charming and unaffected." It is a "pity that she will necessarily be restricted in her choice of a husband." Ena's mother, Beatrice, is a daughter of Queen Victoria, but her father, Prince Henry, is a Battenberg, a member of a morganatic branch of the house of Hesse and By Rhine. She will probably go "to some petty German grand duchy."

Ena "has had the good times that one girl in a family of three brothers is always sure to have." She recently made her debut and it "will not be long before she is provided with lovers."

Princess Olga is the third daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, and a niece of Queen Alexandra. She is "one of the prettiest princesses in Europe, and a favorite of the queen." She was considered as a bride for the Crown Prince of Germany, but she "has not lost her heart to anybody." She has a different personality in contrast to the "stiff manner of her sisters."

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 The daughter of the Crown Prince of Denmark, Princess Thyra, "has more of the look of the Danish family," than her cousin Olga. The Princess, 25, was at one time close to marrying Grand Duke Franz Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
The match was proposed by her grandmother, Queen Louise, who "was anxious to see her favorite granddaughter happily married." But after Louise's death, Thyra's engagement was called off.

There are several other princesses who are pretty, but who are "restricted on account of belonging to small principalities, which does not make them popular with the princes of the great powers and still debars them from ordinary matrimony."

Duchess Sophie of Oldenburg and Princess Hermine Reuss "are both pretty girls, and Hermine is only 19.

Princess Feodora, who is the daughter of the late Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, belongs to a "family that makes good matches." One sister, Auguste Viktoria, is the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm, and another sister, Luise Sophie, is married to Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia. Princess Feodora "has been of a studious turn of mine and has cared little for society." She is an author, and her brother-in-law the Kaiser "is especially proud of her achievements. She has been linked by gossips to the divorced King Friedrich August of Saxony, "but as Saxony us a hopelessly Catholic monarchy and the princess is of the strictest Lutheran persuasion, it is not likely to come about."

Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, "has had more real lovers than have fallen to the share of any other Protestant princess. At one time, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia "was seriously infatuated with her," and she was also reported engaged to her first cousin, Prince Arthur of Connaught. Grand Duke Michael and Beatrice are also first cousins, but the Russian Orthodox church does not permit marriages between first cousins.

Young Waldorf Astor is "the latest lover who has fallen in love with the charms of the happy, light hearted princess." Beatrice, whose father, Alfred, was the duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, has shown no real interest in Astor, but such a marriage "would be impossible." She also "positively refused to fall in love" with Grand Duke Michael" and she will not marry anybody "unless she has the man she loves."

The Princesses (and princes)

Princess Adelgunde: married in 1915 to Wilhelm Prince of Hohenzollern, as his second wife. No children.
Wiltrud and G

Princess Hildegarde: never married

Princess Wiltrud married in 1924 to the Duke of Urach, as his second wife. No children

Princess Helmtrud: never married.

(Princesses Wiltrud and Helmtrud were named for Kaiser Wilhelm II.)

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 Princess Clementine married in 1910 to Prince Victor Napoleon. Descendants.

Princess Louise d'Orleans. In 1907, Louise married Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infant of Spain, whose first wife, Mercedes, Princess of the Asturias, was the eldest sister of King Alfonso XIII. Their grandson is the present king of Spain.

Infanta Maria Teresa married in 1906 to Prince Ferdinand of Bavaria. They have descendants.

Prince Gennaro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies married in 1922 to Beatrice Bordessa. No children.

Archduchess Margareta Maria of Austria. Never married.

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 Prince Georg of Bavaria married Archduchess Isabella of Austria in 1912. The marriage was annulled a year later. Prince Georg eventually became a Roman Catholic priest.

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 Princess Patricia of Connaught did not marry until 1919. She married the Hon. Alexander Ramsay of Mar. They had one son.

Princess Olga of Cumberland never married.

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 Princess Ena of Battenberg became the queen of Spain when she married King Alfonso in 1906.

Princess Thyra of Denmark never married. The Grand Duke Franz Friedrich IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin was married in 1904 to Olga's older sister, Princess Alexandra of Cumberland.

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 Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg married Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia in 1906. They were divorced in 1926. The marriage was childless.

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 Princess Hermine Reuss married twice. Her first husband was Prince Johann Georg of Schönaich-Carolath. They married in 1907. The couple had five children. The prince died in 1920. Two years later, Princess Hermine married, as his second wife, Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Princess Feodora never married.

Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh married in 1909 to Prince Alfonso of Orleans-Bourbon, Duke of Galliera, Infant of Spain. They had three sons. 

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Franz Joseph refuses to receive Leopold

August 26, 1903

The Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph has refused to receive King Leopold II of the Belgians, according to a report in the Times and republished in the New York Times.
The Viennese correspondent for the Times says that announcement that Leopold left Gastein for Vienna is "contradicted." He went "to Innsbruck on his way to Zurich."
There are persistent rumors that Leopold has "sounded the Austrian court out" regarding a visit to Franz Joseph. Their "relations have long lacked cordiality and are positively strained" due to Leopold's treatment of his daughter, Stephanie, Countess Lonyay, following her mother's death.
Princess Stephanie is the widow of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, Franz Joseph's only son.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Albania selects a king

August 25, 1913

The Chicago Daily Tribune has published a report coming out of Bucharest regarding the European powers' decision to name Prince Wilhelm Friedrich Hermann Otto Karl of Wied, 41, as the candidate for the Albanian throne. The prince, who is a nephew of Queen Elisabeth of Romania, is the head of the House of Wied. He is married to Princess Pauline of Württemberg. The couple have two sons.

Note: the report is wrong on several counts. Wilhelm was married to Princess Sophie of Schönburg-Waldenburg, and not Princess Pauline of Württemberg. They had two children, Karl and Marie Eleonore

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another interview with Timothy Knatchbull

Rather nice reading

News about Lord Freddie's wedding

I do think that this story is largely nonsensical.

I sincerely doubt that Senior royals want Lord Frederick Windsor's wedding to be a "mature affair." Lord Frederick Windsor is an on-the-fringe royal. He and his sister, Lady Gabriella, are the ones who stand on the extreme ends of group photographs. Lord Frederick's parents are royal. He is not. He does not and will not carry out official engagements. He and his wife will be invited to only a few royal events, such as a major royal wedding. They will probably appear on Buckingham Palace's balcony after the Trooping the Colour. But that's about it.
Lord Frederick's children will have no titles.

If you are considering going to Hampton Court to catch a glimpse of the bridal couple, do not bother. The Palace will be closed for the day.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Prince Andrew: Professional golfer

Stop the presses: the Duke of York has lowered his handicap to four, which means he is eligble to become a professional golfer.

Princess Anne to snub veterans

What about a train?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In memory of John Mulroy and all who died on Pan Am Flight 103

I am appalled by the Scottish government's decision to free Abdel Baset al-Megrah, the Libyan who was found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing, on "compassionate grounds" as he is dying from cancer.

Compassionate grounds? Where is the justice here? Why should this man, who was convicted in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, when it exploded over Scotland on December 21, 1988, be freed?  All 289 passengers and crew aboard the plane were killed. Eleven people on the ground in Lockerbie were also killed.

Al-Megrah served only eight years of his life sentence. I applaud the White House and other U.S. officials for condemning this release.

I lost a co-worker on this flight. John Mulroy, 59, who was Associated Press' director of international communications, was on board that plane with five members of his family. I worked for AP as a news librarian. John's office was across from the library, and he often came in to visit and ask me for help. We both left the office at 5:30 on Monday, December 19, and we got on the elevator at the same time. I noticed he was carrying a small suitcase, and he said he was going to London. I pouted, and said, wish I were coming too. He smiled and said that it was to be a short trip and he would be back by the end of the week. "and I won't forget your Smarties, " he said.

I told him to have a safe trip.

The Associated Press began reporting on a missing Pan Am Flight on Wednesday afternoon. The next morning, as I came into the office, my boss took me aside to tell me that John was on the plane that went down in Scotland.

John Mulroy joined the AP in 1984 after spending 25 years with Pan Am as their director of communications. He was returning to New York with his son, Sean, and daughter-in-law, Ingrid, who lived in Sweden, and his sister, Bridget, and her husband and son. The entire family planned to celebrate the Christmas holidays together. John was survived by his wife, Josephine, of East Northport, New York, and a daughter, Siobhan, and son, Brendan.

Compassionate grounds! Where was the compassion by al-Megrah, when he took part in a terrorist attack that took the lives of more than 300 people?

What about justice for the victims?

Leopold's former wife denied aid

August 20, 1937

"Even hope was lost today for a destitute friendless old lady," reports the AP, "who was once beautiful Wilhelmine Adamovic Woelfing."
Wilhelmine was the postmaster's daughter for whom Archduke Leopold of Austria "sacrificed his royal rights." A provisional court in Vienna today "refused her pleas for an allowance from the Habsburgs."
The former Mrs. Woelfing, 60, is "dependent on the dole for her existence. She married Archduke Leopold in July 1903, and "was a dazzling figure in European aristocracy before the war."
Leopold had signed a contract "promising to live outside Austria-Hungary, surrender his prerogatives and accept a yearly consideration of 40,000 gold marks."
Leopold and Wilhelmine were divorced in 1907. Half of his allowance was "to go to his widow," but when Leopold died, Wilhelmine's allowance stopped.

Knud to wed next month

August 20, 1933

The AP reports today that Prince Knud of Denmark, the second son of King Christian X, will marry his first cousin, Princess Caroline Mathilde of Denmark, will take place next month at Fredensborg. After the marriage, the couple will live at the king's summer castle, Lyngby.
Prince Knud is 37 years old, and his bride, who is the daughter of Christian's younger brother, Harald, is 20.
The original dispatch was sent to the Associated Press in New York City by mail and was dated August 6.

Legation denies Yugoslav marital strife

August 20, 1931

The Yugoslav Legation in Washington, D.C., has denied officially rumors of marital discord between King Alexander and Queen Marie. Dispatches from Zagreb had mentioned that King Alexander and Queen Marie "spent the tenth anniversary of his ascension to the throne apart."
An official at the Legation explained that the date of the King's ascension is the same date as the death of his father, and "that date never was celebrated."
King Alexander and Queen Marie have three sons: Crown Prince Peter, Prince Tomislav and Prince Andrej.

Pope declares Rospigliosi marriage to be invalid

August 19, 1905

U.S. newspapers are reporting the announcement from Cardinal Gibbons regarding the marriage of Marie Jennings Reid Pankhurst and Prince Rospigliosi. The Cardinal states that the Pope has "definitely refused recognition" of the marriage. The Princess, whose marriage to Frederick H. Pankhurst of Bangor, Maine, was dissolved by divorce, married Prince Rospigliosi in 1901. Three years ago, the princess "was refused the services of a Catholic nurse in Rome on the grounds that her marriage to Prince Rospigliosi was nonexistent."

Official denial from Crown Prince Alexander

Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia has issued the following denial:


Belgrade, 20 August 2009 – Regarding the information published today in the daily newspaper “Blic”, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II Office would like to inform the public that rumours of soon to be engagement and wedding of HRH Hereditary Prince Peter are completely groundless and a total fabrication.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Grand Duke Boris starts lawsuit to gain funds

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 August 18, 1929

Grand Duke Boris Wladimirovich of Russia today "started an unusual suit against the National City Bank for some $25,000," according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Grand Duke is the younger brother of Grand Duke Kirill, the pretender to the Russian throne.

His New York attorney, Theodore F. Van Dorn has served the bank with a summons and complaint "in which he demanded return of $100,000 rubles, valued at about $13.000 in American money," as well as the interest since 1918. He states he deposited the money in the Petrograd branch of the bank in 1917, before the Russian revolution forced "surviving Russian nobles to flee the country."

The branch, due to the "chaotic state of affairs" in Russia, was "forced to discontinue business. According to Boris' suit, the National City Bank, based in New York City, "failed to establish mediums whereby fugitive depositors could recover their money."

Crown Prince Carol renounces rights to throne

August 18, 1919

Crown Prince Carol of Roumania has sent a letter to his father, King Ferdinand, "renouncing for himself and his heirs his rights and privileges as heir apparent" to the Roumania. The Bucharest Journal reports that Carol is entitled to renounce the throne under Article 38 of the Roumanian Constitution.
The newspaper also reports that Prince Carol's letter "has been communicated to the leaders of all the political parties" in Roumania.
Carol, 26, contracted a morganatic alliance with Zizi Lambrino, a Roumanian commoner. The marriage was annulled on the orders of King Ferdinand.

Alfonso grows a beard

August 18, 1909

A dispatch from San Sebastian and published by the New York Times states that King Alfonso XIII of Spain has cut his hair and grown a beard.
The King had traveled from Madrid to San Sebastian to see his wife, Queen Ena, and their children. His appearance "caused a mild shock among members of his court who had remained in San Sebastian when the King went to Madrid."
It appears that Alfonso had grown side whiskers "like those worn by his father King Alfonso XII," and also had his hair cut short.

Edward refuses to allow Patricia to marry Alfonso

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 August 19, 1905

King Edward VII is refusing to allow his niece, Princess Patricia of Connaught to marry the young King Alfonso XIII of Spain, according to a report in the Chicago Daily News. The news was made public in Spain today by Dr. Macho, the king's private chaplain. King Alfonso was informed of Edward's decision during his recent visit to London.

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 Dr. Macho said that King Edward appointed two physicians as a part of Alfonso's suite "with instructions to study Alfonso's physical condition." The doctors reported back to the British king that they believed that King Alfonso was showing signs of insanity, and is suffering from tuberculosis.

King Alfonso's father, Alfonso XII, died from consumption several months before Alfonso's birth.

King Edward VII apparently broke off the marital negotiations after learning of Alfonso's mental instability.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Carol marries Magda in second ceremony

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 August 18, 1949

According to a Reuters dispatch, former King Carol II of Romania and his third wife, Magda Lupescu, were married in a private religious ceremony "at his house near Lisbon last night."

The couple was first married two years ago in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil "in a bedside ceremony when she was seriously ill." That wedding was a civil ceremony.

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Carol's wife, now known as Princess Elena, recovered from her illness.
Today's ceremony was held in the "greatest privacy", according to the former King's spokesman. The service was conducted by the superior of the Roumanian church in Paris.

Carol, 53, first met Magda Lupescu in 1923, when he was married to Princess Helen of Greece. Two years later, he renounced his claim to the throne -- he was the Crown Prince -- when Lupescu was asked to leave the country. He followed her to Paris.

In 1927, Carol's father, King Ferdinand died, and he was succeeded by Carol's son, Michael. However, in 1930, Carol was able to stage a coup and take the throne. Michael became the Crown Prince. Ten years later, Carol was forced to leave Romania, and Michael ascended the throne. He remained as king until December 1947, when the Communists force him to abdicate. He lives in England with his wife, Anne, and infant daughter, Margarita.

King Carol has the measles

August 18, 1933

King Carol II of Romania has caught the measles from his young son, Crown Prince Michael, the New York Times is reporting. The king apparently caught the disease from his son when the two were spending time together at Constantza. Last night, the King's temperature was 101, but it is lower today.
Crown Prince Michael is also improving.
During their quarantine together, Carol and Michael are "seeing more of each other than the royal duties will allow." After his recuperation, Crown Prince Michael, 9, will "pay a long visit" to his mother, Princess Helen, who is in Switzerland.

Reports say Nicholas II and family heading toward Siberia

August 18, 1917

The New York Times is reporting news from telegrams sent from Viatka, "on the northern route to Siberia." The telegrams "report the passage of two special trains with lowered blinds which no one was allowed to approach." The trains, which are headed eastward, are "assumed to contain" the former Russian Czar Nicholas II and his family.
The Times also is reporting a story that was first published in the Bourse Gazette. The Gazette is stating that Grand Duke Michael, who is Nicholas II's younger brother, has rejected a suggestion that he live in England. The Grand Duke has "declared that he cannot leave Russia until the Constituent Assembly has determined the future form of government." Michael has made it clear that he will accept the throne only if this is the will of the people.

Princess Rupprecht has appendix opperation

August 18, 1903

Princess Rupprecht of Bavaria underwent an appendectomy today in Munich, according to news reports. The former Duchess Marie Gabriele in Bavaria is married to Prince Rupprecht, who is third in line to the Bavarian throne.
The princess became ill in Japan, and returned to Bavaria via the United States. The operation was performed by Dr. George Kiliani, who had accompanied the Princess back from Japan. The German-born doctor, who studied in Munich and in Halle. After receiving his medical degree, he was gazetted as an Assistant Surgeon with the Bavarian military. He later emigrated to the United States, and he now lives in New York City, where he is employed as a surgeon at the German Hospital
Princess Rupprecht is said to be "doing well."
Prince Rupprecht's grandfather, Prince Luitpold,is the Regent for King Otto, who is mentally unstable.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kaiser buys estate in Doorn

August 17, 1919

The New York Times is reporting that the former German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, who abdicated in November, has purchased an estate and house of Doorn in the village of Doorn, near Utrecht. The estate was purchased from the Baroness de Beaufort. Since leaving Germany, Wilhelm II has been living in Amerongen.

It is also being reported that Crown Princess Cecilie is expected to arrive in Holland "within a few days," and will stay at the small house at Wieringen with her husband, the former Crown Prince. She will "occupy the small room, meagrely furnished with a bed and washstand." The room is now being occupied by Major von Mulder, who serves as the Crown Prince's adjuntant. He will now have to seek "quarters in the village." The Crown Prince's children, who will also be visiting Wierengen, will be staying with the Burgomeister.

Hedwig of Austria's marriage a mesalliance?

August 17, 1917

The Marquise de Fontenoy writes that "it is a mistake to describe the impending marriage of Archduchess Hedwig of Austria and the American-born Count Bernhard zu Stolberg-Stolberg as a mesalliance." The Stolbergs is a mediatized house, "who in the days of the Holy Roman Empire, that is to say, until the beginning of the nineteenth century, exercised petty sovereign away in Germany, and which have retained many sovereign prerogatives, among others that of mating on a footing of perfect with members of the now reigning Austrians."
Archduchess Hedwig is a granddaughter of the late Emperor Franz Joseph. She is one of eight children of the emperor's youngest and favorite child, Archduchess Valerie, who is married to Archduke Franz Salvator, a member of the Tuscan branch of the Habsburg family.

Count Bernhard, who was born in Mankato, Minnesota, has served as a chamberlain to the Dowager Grand Duchess Luxembourg, and he holds a commission in the Austrian and Saxon armies. His mother, Mary Eddington, is an Irish woman, who had been a governess in the Stolberg family. She and Count Leopold zu Stolberg-Stolberg fell in love, but his family opposed the marriage because Mary was a commoner. This opposition led Count Leopold and his wife to emigrate in 1875 to the United States. They settled in Mankato, Minnesota, where all five of their children were born.

Count and Countess Leopold returned to Germany in 1890, where they resided at Linsen in Westphalia.

The family, especially Mary, are devout Catholics. Two of the daughters are nuns at the Ursuline convent at Breslau, while one son, Count Aloys, is a monk at the Benedictine monastery at Cottonwood, Idaho, where he is known as Father Martin.

The marriage will be considered equal, despite Bernhard's mother's commoner birth.

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An English bride for Manoel?

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August 17, 1909

Is King Manoel of Portugal about to become engaged to a British Princess? This is what the British papers are reporting, according to the New York Times. Although no official announcement has been made, it is believed that the princess is Edward VII's granddaughter, Princess Alexandra, 18, who is the elder of two daughters of Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife and the Duke of Fife.

Princess Alexandra is the heir to her father's dukedom. The King will be visiting London in the fall, and, according to the reports, the engagement to Princess Alexandra is expected to be announced at that time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An interview with Archduchess Walburga of Austria

Here is a link to a nice interview with Archduchess Walburga of Austria, who is the daughter of Archduke Otto, the de jure Austrian emperor. Walburga lives in Sweden with her husband, Count Archibald Douglas and their son, Moritz.

Henry passes Helicopter course

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A nice article on the Spanish royal family

From Sunday's (London) Times:

Thursday, August 13, 2009


From now on, anonymous responses will not be posted. You must sign your name to a comment, otherwise, I will not even read it. You can include your name within the body of the message.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

just back from England

Polesden Lacey

Last week, I visited England for the second time this year! I spent the first weekend in Surrey, where I stayed with a friend. We visited Hampton Court as I was eager to see the Henry VIII exhibit, Heads and Hearts. This year is the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne, and there are celebrations and exhibitions throughout England. Hampton Court, which was one of Henry's primary residences, featured an exhibition of portraits of Henry and his wives, which I saw before it closed on August 3. But the star attraction is Heads and Hearts, which employs historical interpreters portraying Henry VIII, Kateryn Parr, Anne Herbert, Thomas Seymour, and a servant. 

It's Henry's wedding to Kateryn Parr, and we get to be the guests.

Quite enjoyable and very historically accurate. When I was in London in April, I saw something similar at The Tower, but the focus was on Henry and Anne Boleyn.

You won't regret visiting Hampton Court to enjoy the preparation for Henry's wedding. You get to meet the bride and groom and talk with them and with the others, too.

I also visited Polesden Lacey, the home of the great Edwardian hostess, the Hon. Mrs. Ronald Greville. She was the illegitimate daughter of William McEwan, the millionaire Scottish brewer, and his housekeeper, whom he married when Margaret was 21. Maggie's bar sinister did not prevent her from marrying the Hon. Ronald Greville, the heir to 2nd Lord Greville. Margaret was the sole heiress to her father's fortune.

Polesden Lacey was bought by the Grevilles in 1906. They were "well-connected friends of Edward VII." The house, only 25 miles from London, was the scene of many weekend parties. Mrs. Greville's circle of friends included Queen Ena of Spain and Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia. The house is filled with Old Masters and photographs of numerous royals who visited Polesden Lacey. One table features portraits of Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia and her brother, Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (their mother was Grand Duchess Anastasia). Leaning over to get a closer look at a photo would set off an alarm. Let's just say I set off a few alarms.

I turned to my friend, and said, Oh, that's Franz Friedrich, Cecilie's brother. Makes sense because of the photo of their mom in the other room. One of the docents heard me and said in that very clear British accent: "Well done," Little did she know what I do.

I nearly freaked out when I saw a super photograph of Grand Duke Michael of Russia and his wife, Countess Sophie Torby. For one brief fleeting moment, I considered grabbing the photo and running as fast as I could ... but I knew I would be caught!

Polesden Lacey is where the newlywed Duke and Duchess of York spent their honeymoon in 1923. One sweet photo shows the couple visiting Polesden Lacey several years later with their little blonde daughter in tow, running through the rose garden, which is still extant. In 1942, Mrs. Greville bequeathed Polesden Lacey and her other property to the National Trust. Today, it is one of the top 5 most visited National Trust properties. A truly lovely place.

I saw the magnificent Henry VIII exhibit at the British Library and visited Buckingham Palace (2nd time) and Clarence House. On Tuesday, I took the Eurostar to Brussels (a 2-hour train ride), where I spent the day doing a lot of walking. My friend, Eric, met me at the Grand Place, and we took the tram to Laeken, where we walked and walked and walked.   That afternoon, I visited the Royal Palace and the Bellvue Museum, which is next door to the Palace. The Bellvue was the residence of Leopold III and his first wife, Astrid. 

It was very hot in Brussels. I certainly earned (and enjoyed)  the Gaufre and the Belgian beer.

Dolores of Bourbon-Two Sicilies married today

August 12, 1937

Former King Alfonso XIII of Spain was one of the guests today at the civil marriage of Princess Dolores of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Polish nobleman Prince August Czartoryski. The couple were wed in Lausanne, Switzerland. The religious wedding will take place on August 18.
Princess Dolores is the daughter of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and his second wife, Princess Louise of France. Carlos was first married to Alfonso's eldest sister, Mercedes, who died in childbirth in 1904.
Dolores' sister, Maria de las Mercedes, is married to Alfonso's son Don Juan.

Archduke Joseph swears fealty to the new republic

August 12, 1919

The Associated Press is reporting today that Archduke Joseph of Austria, head of the new Hungarian government, has issued a proclamation in which he states that there will no return to a monarchical form of government. He reminds people that he was "one of the first to swear fealty" to the new regime, even though he was formally "a true member" of the Emperor's family.
The AP's correspondent notes that the proclamation had a good effect on the crowd. Previously, students and officers had tried to proclaim Joseph as king, but he "reiterated his loyalty to the republic."

Heir to Russian throne celebrates 1st birthday

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 August 12, 1905

 The heir apparent to the Russian throne, Grand Duke Alexis Nicolaivich, celebrates his first birthday today. 

According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, his birthday was "celebrated in a festive manner" throughout Russia. "Great preparations" have been made at Peterhof in "anticipation of the joyous event." 

Hundreds of presents were bought, but almost every member of the Imperial family "fashioned some sort of toy with his or her own hands" for Nicholas II's son. Alexis' eldest sister, Grand Duchess Olga "made a wonderful clay model of Peterhof Palace," and Grand Duchess Tatiana's present to her little brother was a "little clay nest in which a hen sits on four eggs, all daintily colored by herself." 

Alexis' uncle, Grand Duke Michael "supervised the construction" of a toy train set that runs like clockwork on a switchboard line. Nicholas II's present to his son is a "dreadful looking wooden snake," that he spent several nights making. The toy was completed before the Czar left Peterhof to meet with the German Kaiser. The snake, which can move in several directions, has been painted with edible paint.

 Grand Duke Alexis has lost the appearance of delicacy, and has "grown into a fat and chubby boy." He has grown taller and weighs more than the average child. Empress Alexandra still "finds time to spend many hours in daily worship at the shrine of her little prince." She is said to be delighted that her son is very much like his father, although Alexis's hair is fairer and his eyes darker." Nicholas II has said of his son: " I wish my child to become a very clever man and to waste no time on useless 'baby language.'" Grand Duke Alexis is the fifth child of Nicholas II and Alexandra. He has four older sisters: Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia.

Empress Friedrich's body removed to Potsdam

August 12, 1901

The body of the Empress Friedrich was removed by torchlight tonight from the church to the railway station. The coffin was borne by 12 non-commissioned officers. Following the coffin were two of the Empress' daughters, Sophie, the Crown Princess of Greece, and Margarete, Princess Friedrich Karl of Hesse, and their husbands. They were followed court officials and townspeople who closed the procession. The "coffin was deposited in a car specially prepared and draped for its reception," according to the New York Times. The funeral train began its journey to Potsdam at 9:50 p.m.
By special order of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Empress' son, Kronberg residents were permitted into the Protestant chapel to pay their respects before the body was removed. They moved "in a long procession past the chancel." Almost all "had reason to remember personally" the Empress's "charities and kindness." Many cried, while others expressed deep regret at Victoria's death.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The recent news stories on the continued drug use by the Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull have mentioned the family home, Broadlands, in Hampshire. The Queen and Prince Philip spent their honeymoon at Broadlands, as did the Prince and the late Princess of Wales.
I have visited Broadlands several times. A lovely Palladian home. The house also featured the Mountbatten exhibit, which is fascinating. Most people do not realize that Broadlands is not currently open to the public. It will be closed this year and throughout 2010. The entire house is undergoing rewiring and major remedial work. The contents of the house were removed earlier this year.
According to Broadland's website, the 2011 visitor season may also be affected. In October 2008, it was reported that much of the house's piping was "lagged with asbestos." It will take more than two years to refit and rewire the entire house, as well as remove the asbestos. Lord and Lady Brabourne have had to move out of the main house, and will not be able to move back in until the work is completed.

Whose law?

The Prince of Orange is in a snit. He and his wife, the Argentine-born Maxima, and their three blond daughters, boarded a plane last week for Argentina, where they planned to ski and visit with Maxima's family. They chose to stay at a a posh, upscale, but very public ski resort, where several free lance photographers, and one photographer from the Associated Press, snapped photos of the schussing Oranges on the slopes. The AP is the largest news gathering organization in the world, and is well-respected in the international news community. Although the headquarters are in New York City, the AP is not an "American" news organization. The AP is a not-for-profit news cooperative. Yes, actual cooperative is American, but the AP has bureaus and offices around the world, and uses a great many local hires. The AP has a bureau in Amsterdam, for example.
American law does not apply to this case. Why? The photographs were not taken in the United States. If Dutch newspapers had published photos of the prince and his family during a ski holiday here in the USA, Prince Willem-Alexander could huff and puff and stamp his feet, and cry foul, but he would not be able to sue. Here in the US, courts have ruled that one surrenders a part of one's privacy the moment one opens the front door. Even Jackie Onassis could not fully prevent the original paparazzo Ron Gallela from taking photos of her and family. The courts ruled he could take photos but he had to be at least 250 feet away.
The photographers in Argentina were more than 250 away, but the distance is not relevant because the incident did not take place in the Netherlands. The Prince of Orange cannot get his way every day of the week. (The ruling also only applied to Onassis' case.)
He stepped out of the bounds of Media Code Land. His petulant and childish behavior are not becoming of a man who will one day be the head of state of the Netherlands. His actions also insult all those AP staffers who have been imprisoned for their work, have died on the job, or were taken hostage. On March 16, 1985, AP's Chief Middle East Correspondent Terry Anderson was taken hostage in Lebanon. He was not released until December 4, 1991.
AP journalists and photographers have been killed in the line of duty in war and in peace. They have also won Pulitzer Prizes for their stories and for their photographs. AP photographers are photojournalists, not paparazzi.
The Prince of Orange should pick and choose his battles. He might have a case if he or his family were followed and harassed by photographers. But he was not being harassed.
Heirs to the thrones are largely dependent on public assistance (taxes) to maintain their homes and lifestyles. Yes, there is an element of a private fortune, but Willem-Alexander was born to serve the Netherlands, and not to serve himself. If he and his family had chosen to go skiing in Europe (difficult this time of year), his claims would be validated under the stifling media code. But he was in Argentina, out of his cocoon.
If he doesn't want to act like a grown up, he might be advised to do a Staycation next time ... after all, in the current economic situation, it really is not a good thing to be seen jetting around and schussing down the Argentine slopes.
Outside the Netherlands, the Prince of Orange is not an important person. He comes across as a spoiled, petulant little boy.

Edward attends requiem for sister

Aigist 11, 1901

King Edward VII arrived in Kronberg today to attend a requiem service for his late sister, Victoria, the Empress Friedrich. Kronberg's streets were lined with throngs of crowds and soldiers, according to the New York Times. The British ambassador, Sir Frank Lascelles, was the first to arrive at the church. He sat down facing the wreath-covered coffin. Opposite him were four soldiers holding the standards of the Empire of Prussia and the Dowager Empress. The congregation included the Dowager empress' youngest surviving brother, the Duke of Connaught, and the Duke of Cambridge. At 4 p.m., a muffled drum roll announced the arrival of Kaiser Wilhelm II and King Edward VII. Wilhelm II escorted Queen Alexandra into the church and Edward followed with the Kaiserin, Auguste Viktoria. Princess Victoria was accompanied by Crown Prince Wilhelm. Their Majesties sat in the pew to the left of the chancel, which was the pew that was used by the Dowager Empress.
Other family members who attended the funeral included Prince Adalbert of Prussia, Prince and Princess Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Saxe-Meiningen, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Greece and their children, the Grand Duke of Baden, Prince and Princess Karl of Hesse and the Prince Reuss.
"After the last strains of music died away," King Edward and Queen Alexandra placed a wreath upon the coffin. He remained standing in front of the coffin for several moments, and then left the church. Both he and Queen Alexandra were "deeply affected while placing the wreath on the coffin and shed tears."
Edward and his older sister, Victoria, were born a year apart. Victoria was the eldest of Queen Victoria's nine children. She was born November 21, 1840. On January 25, 1858, she was married to the future Emperor Friedrich III. Their eldest son, Wilhelm, is the present Kaiser. The Dowager Empress died at Kronberg on August 5.

Princess Madeleine to marry

Sorry Prince William, but Madeleine is now officially engaged to her long term boyfriend, Jonas Bergström. Their engagement was officially announced earlier today in Sweden. The date of the wedding has not been announced, but it is expected to take place after Crown Princess Victoria's wedding on June 19, 2010. A general election will also be held in 2010, so do not expect a wedding until the fall of 2010. Bergström is a lawyer, who practices in Stockholm. I do not expect that he will receive a title as Madeleine is third in line to the Swedish throne. A press conference will be held later today in Stockholm, and further details might be revealed at that time.
The King has announced that Bergström will be styled as Duke of Häslingland and Gästrikland following the marriage. He will not be created HRH or a Prince of Sweden. Madeleine will continue to be styled by her titles, HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland. It is unlikely that their children will be titled, as the focus will be on Victoria's family.
Madeleine's ducal titles cannot be inherited by her descendants, and will revert to the Crown when she dies.

Photo credit: royal court

Monday, August 10, 2009

Nathalie Paley weds French designer

August 10, 1927

Princess Nathalie Paley, 21, was married today to the noted French dress designer, Lucien Lelong. The marriage took place at the Orthodox Church in Paris. The bride wore "a gown of white panne designed by her husband and a bonnet of tulle and fine lace with silver embroidery, also of her husband's design."

Lucien Lelong is the owner of the House of LeLong on the Rue Matignon in Paris. He is the "inventor of the kinetic theory of design in women's clothes."

The princess is the daughter of the late Grand Duke Paul of Russia, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1919, and his second wife, Olga. This was a morganatic marriage as Olga was of unequal rank. She was created Princess Paley, a title that was also borne by her children. Nathalie's brother, the noted poet, Prince Vladimir Paley, was killed in 1918 with Grand Duchess Elizabeth of Russia and several other relatives.

The marriage between the Princess and Lelong was not unexpected. Rumors about a marriage surfaced earlier this year in Paris after Lelong divorced his wife, Anne-Marie Audroy, in July, and was seen with Princess Nathalie. Their romance began several months before the princess joined LeLong's staff, as a saleswoman in his perfume department.

Nicholas Knatchbull continues to battle drugs

This is one of the saddest stories to report. 

 The Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull, who is the heir to the Brabourne Barony and the Mountbatten earldom, continues to battle drug addiction. This past week, the Sunday Mirror posted a video of the 28-year-old Nicholas, showing him using heroin and other drugs. Nicholas is the only son of Lord and Lady Brabourne, who live at Broadlands, in Romsey, Hampshire. The Brabournes are very close to the British royal family due to the Mountbatten connection, as Lord Brabourne is the grandson of the late Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Lord Mountbatten, the youngest son of the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven, created an earl in his own right due to his role in India's independence, is the uncle of the Duke of Edinburgh. Lord Mountbatten's two daughters, Patricia and Pamela, were childhood friends of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. 

In 1922, the then Lord Louis Mountbatten married the very wealthy Edwina Ashley, the daughter of Lord Mount Temple. She brought into the marriage a very large checkbook and a country home, Broadlands. As the couple had only two daughters, the Mountbatten of Burma earldom was created to allow for the succession of Patricia and Pamela and their male heirs. Thus, in 1979, following the assassination of Lord Mountbatten by the IRA, the Mountbatten earldom passed to his elder daughter, Pamela, the wife of the 7th Baron Brabourne. Her eldest son, Norton, was styled as Lord Romsey, the secondary title for the Mountbatten earldom. Lord Brabourne died in 2005. Lord Romsey succeeded his father as the 8th Baron. Although Norton remains Lord Romsey, he is now styled as Lord Brabourne, as he is a peer in his own right. 

 There is no courtesy title for the heir to Brabourne barony, which means Nicholas cannot use the Romsey title. This is reserved for the Mountbatten heir. Some may wonder about Nicholas' inheritance of the estate and fortune. Some years ago, the then Lord and Lady Romsey, following a precedent established by the Duke of Marlborough, whose eldest son and heir was a noted drug user, set up a trust to protect the estate's assets should Nicholas live to succeed to the titles and property.

 (When Lord Brabourne succeeds his mother, he will be styled as the Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The Brabourne title may be used by his son, as a courtesy title. Norton would remain the peer, but the earldom is a higher rank than a baron. There is a precedent for this. The present Duke of Fife is also the Earl of Southesk. During his father's lifetime, the Duke of Fife's son was styled as the Earl of Macduff, which is the courtesy title for the Fife dukedom.

 When the Earl of Southesk died, and the Duke of Fife inherited the earldom, the Duke announced that his son would be styled as the Earl of Southesk and his eldest grandson as Lord Carnegie. Lord Southesk has three sons so there are heirs to the Fife dukedom, but if the Fife dukedom would ever become extinct, the Southesk earldom will pass to another branch of the Carnegie family. So a similar announcement may be made after Norton succeeds as earl. Nicholas will most likely be styled as Lord Brabourne, and not Lord Romsey when his father is the earl. However, this all depends if Nicholas, who is named for Norton's younger brother, who was also killed in the IRA bombing on August 28, 1979, survives his drug use.) 

The family has been beset by so much tragedy, including the IRA bombing that killed Lord Mountbatten, the Hon. Nicholas Knatchbull, the Dowager Lady Brabourne, and Paul Maxwell, a 15-year-old local boy who worked for the family, and severely injured Lord and Lady Brabourne and the Hon. Timothy Knatchbull, Nicholas' twin. In 1991, Lord and Lady Romsey's younger daughter, Leonora, died in 1991 at the age of five from a cancerous kidney tumor.) The September issue of Tatler includes a profile on Timothy Knatchbull, who has written a book, On a Clear Day, about the bombing. 

 Unfortunately, the writer includes the familiar canard about Lord Mountbatten engineering the match between his nephew, Prince Philip, and Princess Elizabeth. This is untrue. Prince Philip was raised by Lord  Louis's older brother, the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, and not by Lord Louis. It was only after Philip joined the Royal Navy that he got to know his uncle Louis. Princess Elizabeth's circle of friends included Patricia Mountbatten, but she was closer to Georgina Wernher, who was the daughter of Sir Harold, Bt, and Lady Zia Wernher. (Zia's sister, Nada, was married to the former Prince George of Battenberg, who succeeded his father as the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven, who, of course, was Prince Philip's uncle and guardian.) 

Although Philip was close to his cousin, David, who was the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven (and was his best man at his wedding), his best friend was Alex Wernher, who was Georgina's older brother. Alex was killed in action in Tunisia in 1942. It is more likely that Elizabeth and Philip met through the Wernhers due to their friendship with Georgina and Alex. Today, Georgina, who is now Lady Kennard, remains one of the Queen's closest friends and confidantes.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Princess Beatrice turns 21

Princess Beatrice of York turned 21 years old today. However, her birthday celebrations were muted in comparison with the gala event for her 18th birthday. It seems Grandma intervened and requested that the birthday be celebrated with no ostentation.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lord Frederick's wedding

I was in London for a week, and returned home late last night. Last Saturday, my friend Katrina and I went to Hampton Court for the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's reign. I thoroughly enjoyed the Living History aspects with interpretors as Henry VIII, Katheryn Parr, Anne Herbert and Thomas Seymour. I also learned from one of the docents that Hampton Court will be closed to the public on September 12 due to the marriage of Lord Frederick Windsor and Sophie Winkleman.