Monday, November 30, 2009

The Duke in Bavaria is dead

November 30, 1909

Duke Karl Theodor in Bavaria died today at Kreuth "from kidney trouble," according to a dispatch in the New York Times. The Duke "never figured prominently in military or political affairs," and chose instead to study medicine. He became an eye specialist, and ran several private hospitals "where the poor were treated free."

Karl Theodor was the head of the Ducal line of the Bavarian royal house. One of his sisters, Elisabeth, married Franz Josef of Austria and was killed by an assassin in 1898. A year earlier, another sister, Sophie, was the wife of the Duke of Alencon, and she was burned to death in a fire in a charity bazaar in Paris.
Duke Karl Theodor was born at Possenofen on August 9, 1839, the third son of Duke Maximilian in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria.

He was only fourteen when he joined the Bavarian army. After leaving active duty, the duke began his university education. He began to practice medicine in 1877 and was assisted by his second wife, Princess Maria Josepha.

In February 1865, Karl Theodor married his first cousin, Princess Sophie of Saxony. On Christmas eve in 1865, Sophie gave birth to a daughter, Amalie. She never completely recovered from the childbirth, and on March 22, 1867, she died after contracting influenza. Duchess Sophie was 22 years old.

In 1874, Karl Theodor married again. His second wife was Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal, a daughter of the exiled King Miguel and Princess Adelheid of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. They had five children, Sophie, Elisabeth, Marie Gabriele, Ludwig Wilhelm, and Franz.

Duke Karl Theodor is survived by his wife, and his children, Amalie (the Duchess of Urach), Sophie (Countess Hans Veit of Toerring Jettenbach), Elisabeth, who is married to Prince Albert, heir presumptive to the Belgian throne, Marie Gabriele, who is married to Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, son of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria; and his two sons, neither of whom are married.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The death of Prince Alexandre of Belgium

these images are from the Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

Prince Alexandre of Belgium died today at his home at Rhode-Saint-Genèse near Brussels. He was 67 years old. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism. The prince had suffered from heart disease for nearly his entire life.

Prince Alexandre was born at Laeken on July 18, 1942, the first of three children of King Leopold III and his second wife, Lilian, the Princess de Rethy.

Alexandre was the younger half brother of King Albert II of the Belgians, and the late King Baudouin and the late Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte of Luxembourg, who was his godmother.

In 1944, King Leopold and his family, who were under house arrest by the Germans, were transferred to Germany and then Austria, where they remained under house arrest until freed by the US Army a year later. The Belgian royal family was unable to return to Belgium until 1950 when the monarchy question was solved. In the interim, the family was in exile in Switzerland.

Belgian citizens voted to retain the monarchy and Leopold returned in 1950, but with the country on the brink of a civil war, Leopold abdicated in July 1951 in favor of his eldest son, Baudouin.

Thus, Leopold III, who retained his title, and his second family, lived a largely private life at Laeken.

Prince Alexandre, and his two younger sisters, Marie-Christine, (who was born in 1951), and Princess Maria-Esmeralda, born in 1957, were not Belgian dynasts, although they had the title Prince or Princess of Belgium, and the rank of Royal Highness.

In other words: royal without portfolio. Alexandre and his younger sisters did not have close relationships with their elder half-siblings.

In 1957, Prince Alexandre was brought to Boston to undergo heart surgery. He had plans to study medicine but decided instead on a career in business.

He studied at Belgium's Royal Military School, and he received a degree from the Catholic University in Louvain.

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On March 14, 1991, Prince Alexandre married Lea Inga Dora Wolman, a twice-divorced woman. The marriage, a civil ceremony in Debenham, Suffolk, was kept secret until 1998, as Prince Alexandre did not think that his mother, Lilian, would have approved of his marriage.

Princess Alexandre gave an interview to Point de Vue in 2008, where she discussed her husband's relationship with the royal family. She said that "...the children of the second marriage of King Leopold -- Prince Alexandre, the Princesses Maria Esmeralda and Marie-Christine -- have been raised in a certain manner: Prince and Princesses of Belgium, accorded the style of Royal Highness, yet excluded from the succession to the throne."

She also noted that her husband waited "to assume some official responsibilities." Although Prince and Princess Alexandre were included in the Royal Family's public appearances, the prince was never asked to take on royal duties.

Prince Alexandre is survived by his widow, Lea, his half-brother, King Albert, his sisters, Marie-Christine and Maria-Esmeralda, and two stepchildren.

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The funeral will take place on December 4 at the church of Notre Dame in Laeken, the Palace announced on Monday. The King and Queen will attend, according to the official announcement. Queen Fabiola, the Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz and Prince Laurent and Princess Claire will also attend the funeral. Prince Alexandre will be interned in a chapel adjacent to the Royal Chapel at Laeken.

Friday, November 27, 2009

No English princess for Manoel

November 27, 1909

King Manoel II of Portugal will live England without "having won an English Princess for his bride," according to the New York Times. When the king first arrived in England, newspapers asserted that the King would propose to one of several eligible British princesses. But it is now "very delicately hinted" that "to share the Portuguese throne would be anxious and dangerous business while its stability is open to question. For a Princess of the British royal house Manuel, a delightful boy as he is undoubtedly is, is no great catch."
The King was often seen in London incognito and traveling with a "single companion." He visited shops and attended the theater and "generally demeaning himself as if the thoroughly enjoyed the freedom which London affords certain foreign potentates whose movements are much more restricted in their own country."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. Thanksgiving is a largely unique American holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. It is a day to give thanks for all our blessings and to celebrate with family and friends. It is also a day where many Americans spend time helping the less fortunate, such as preparing Thanksgiving meals at homeless shelters. (Americans do this throughout the year as well, but today is a day to reflect on all that we have in this wonderful country, and we can never forget those who are less fortunate, especially in these economic times. We must also remember all the brave men and women who are serving in our military, many serving in distant and dangerous places. I do not believe war is the answer, but I firmly support our troops. God Bless you all.)
Canada celebrates a similar Thanksgiving in early October, but it is not a national holiday as it is here in the United States.
Most Americans -- thanks to the Pilgrims' PR -- believe that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated at Plymouth in 1621. Pshaw!
The first Thanksgiving was in 1619 at the Berkeley Hundred, 8000 acres on the James River, about 20 miles from Jamestown.
The 38 English settlers had a charter that their day of arrival be observed every year as a "day of Thanksgiving," to thank God for their safe arrival in the new world.
Thanksgiving is a major meal that usually includes a turkey, and all the trimmings. This is not set in stone -- I prefer a ham -- and the uniqueness of America allows us to have a Thanksgiving meal that reflects our heritage as well. Millions of Americans will sit down to meals that do not include a turkey or a pumpkin pie (fine with me -- I hate pumpkin pie) but all will give Thanks to God - whether we are Christian, Jewish or Muslim - or indeed, Hindus or Buddhists, while atheists, just might say Thank you ... without the God. That's okay, too.
Preparing the meal is a celebration too, involving everyone from the children to the men -- send them to the tv to watch football. The day starts with millions of Americans watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, sponsored by Macy's, in New York City. I love watching the Rockettes, and waiting for the Big Balloons, especially Snoopy.
I am about to go to friends for dinner, bringing a cherry pie (as I said, I hate pumpkin pie) and cranberry sauce.
Buddy, Edison, Ella and Sienna and I wish all of the American readers here, a Happy Thanksgiving ... and let's remember and help those in need, especially at this time of year.

The two Pilgrims in front with the turkey in the middle are candles, but always used as a part of my Thanksgiving display ... since the 1960s. The display also features a cat, as I am sure a cat attended the first Thanksgiving --- in Virginia.

Downing Street denies plans to change the succession

Contrary to reports in the London broadsheets on Wednesday, Downing Street has denied that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has plans to abrogate the Act of Settlement, and institute new succession laws that would have for members of the Royal Family to marry Roman Catholics, and remain in the succession, and for women to have equal rights of succession. At this time, the succession to the British throne is based on male primogeniture, sons before daughters, brothers before sisters. Male primogeniture is based on tradition, and not by an Act of Parliament.
The Act of Settlement, which was promulgated in 1701, defines the succession to the Protestant descendants of the Electress Sophia of Hannover.
The spokesman said that the succession laws (which would have to approved by several other countries, where the British sovereign is also the sovereign of their country) might be brought up, and "discussed on the fringes" at the upcoming Commonwealth meeting in Trinidad.
There are no present plans to introduce legislation in Parliament regarding the succession to the throne.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Elena & Jaime to divorce

Official sources at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid today confirmed what has been speculated on for the past few months: Infanta Elena and her husband, Jaime de Marichalar, "are in the process of getting a divorce."
In November 2007, the couple announced "a temporary separation." Jaime remained at the marital home, and Elena and the couple's two children, Froilan, 11, and Victoria, nine, moved to a new home in Madrid.
The couple will be seeking a civil divorce. They were married on March 18, 1995 in Seville's Cathedral. More than 1,300 guests attended the wedding, which was the first royal wedding in Spain since March 9, 1929, when Infanta Isabel Alfonsa, a niece of King Alfonso XIII, married Count Jan Kanty Zamoyski. Isabel Alfonsa was the third child of Mercedes, the Princess of Asturias and Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Mercedes died a week after giving birth to Isabel Alfonsa.
The photo shows the newly married Infanta Isabel Alfonsa and Count Jan.

Twins-to-be for Luis Alfonso and Margarita

The Spanish news agency EFE is reporting today that Don Luis Alfonso de Borbon y Martinez-Bordiu confirmed today that his wife, Margarita, is expecting twins in the spring. Luis Alfonso and Margarita, 26, have a daughter, Doña Eugenia, who was born in 2007. From his home in Caracas, Venezuela, Don Luis Alfonso said his wife is fine and "the babies are very healthy."

Don Luis Alfonso is the son of the late Don Alfonso, Duke of Cadiz, and his former wife, Doña Carmen Martinez-Bordiu y Franco, a granddaughter of the late Spanish dictator, Francisco Franco.

The former Margarita Vargas Santaella is Venezuelan.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Does Hitler have plans to revive the Empire?

November 23, 1935

The dream of a "Holy German [Roman] Empire under a Germanic-Saxon kaiser" has been revived in Germany, according to Sigrid Schultze of the Chicago Tribune Press Service.

Reichsführer Hitler "personally granted permission" to the children of the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick to call themselves "princes and princesses of Hanover."
"Bestowing this new title" on Princess Victoria Luise's five children is "of extraordinary importance." It is only "one of a number of developments" where many believe that the German Empire will be restored.

The Duke of Brunswick is a direct descendant of Henry the Lion, "who fired the imagination of his countrymen in the twelfth century." The Nazis "have been glorifying Henry the Lion and the culture connected with him." The city of Brunswick has been referred to as the "holy site of the true Germanic idea."

Victoria Luise is the only daughter of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, who lives in exile in Doorn. In May 1913, she married Prince Ernst August of Cumberland, whose father, the Duke of Cumberland, was the de jure King of Hannover, which was absorbed by Prussia in 1866. The marriage between the Kaiser's daughter and the heir to Hanover and the duchy of Brunswick ended a nearly 40 year feud between the Hohenzollerns and the Guelphs.

Until 1917, Ernst August and his family also bore the title Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The "ambitious" Victoria Luise is "firmly convinced that her son will be made the emperor by Hitler."
Victoria Luise's oldest brother, Crown Prince Wilhelm, is next in line to the old German throne.
At a recent Nuremberg Nazi party convention, Victoria Luise "stood in the pouring rain" so she could "salute Hitler."
Her second, Prince Georg Wilhelm, was recently a member of the Schutz Staffel (hand-picked guards, until he joined the German army earlier this month.

Postcards of Victoria Luise's only daughter, 18-year-old Princess Frederika Luise, can be bought in Brunswick shops. The young woman is wearing the uniform of the Nazi Association of Girls, and the photograph has the caption, "the Princess of Hanover."

The Hanoverians know that "Hitler is eager for British friendship," and the "new title is seen as a new Nazi bid for British official sympathy."

Duce plays Cupid for Giovanna and Boris

November 23, 1927

A prominent Bulgarian diplomat, according to the AP, who has recently returned from Rome, says that he expects the engagement of Princess Giovanna, third daughter of King Victor Emanuel, and King Boris III, will be announced before June.
One point "remains to be settled." Princess Giovanna, who is a Roman Catholic, must convert to the Orthodox faith, "which requires the assent, tacit at least, of the Vatican."
The Italian premier Mussolini is very desirous "of establishing a firm link with Bulgaria by a royal marriage in order to offset JugoSlavia's avowed hostility toward Italy." The Vatican also sees opportunity and is "eager to retrieve its lost temporal power" in Bulgaria.
The Italian government has always been "nervous" when Boris visited Belgrade en route to Western Europe. The King has visited Belgrade several times, and Italy fears for a "Serbo-Bulgarian rapprochement." On his last visit to Italy, Boris responded to Mussolini's request to not stop in Belgrade on his way back to Bulgaria. He told the king that the Italians would be pleased if he avoided Jugo-Slavian territory. Boris, accordingly, "made a long detour by traveling through Austria, Hungary, and Roumania."

Little Olav hides under the bed

November 24, 1907

By exclusive dispatch to the Los Angeles Times.

Queen Alexandra is fond of telling as a story about her grandson, Crown Prince Olav, whom she last saw during a trip to Oslo. Little Olav "was so full of mischief that his overfretted governess" had to complain to his mother, Queen Maud, "who promised to whip him."
The "heir to Norway, according to M.A.P., "took to his heels and sought refuge under a bed." Prince Olav was missing for so long that "the household grew concerned," and his grandmother, Queen Alexandra, volunteered to search for him.
At last, she was able to find her grandson. She "knelt down beside the bed to parlay the culprit."
Before the Queen could say a word, a voice appeared from under the bed. "Hello Grannie," whispered little Olav. "Is she after you too? Come under here. I will take care of you: It's perfectly beautiful."

Did the Duke of Windsor plot to take the throne?

A rather interesting article in today's Daily Telegraph.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two sisters

Marlene Koenig collection

From 1904 - a photograph of Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and her sister, Victoria Melita, the divorced Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine.

Elizabeth and Philip

On this day - November 20, 1947 -- Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten were married at Westminster Abbey.

Will Otto's dream come true

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November 20, 1939

Archduke Otto of Austria celebrated his 27th birthday in Brussels. It may be his last birthday celebrated in exile. Otto was only a child when his father, Emperor Karl I was forced to leave Austria after the end of the world war in 1918.

"By a freak of European tumult," the Habsburg dynasty "may regain its place in this war," reports United Press. "If it does it can thank the Allied powers, which 25 years ago were drawn into a war against Austria, as Germany's ally."

The plans to restore Otto have been "a matter as quiet as the king making plots of the Renaissance," as the idea hinges entirely on an Allied victory.

British and French leaders have discussed "the partition of Germany into a number of small principalities."

The idea is to stabilize South Central Europe, and to create a "Danubian federation" that would include Austria, Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, Rumania, Yugoslavia, possibly Bulgaria, and -- if the Allies win a smashing victory -- even Bavaria."

The countries would be linked by a customs union and by "close political ties."
Archduke Otto would "occupy the throne of Austria and possibly Hungary as well."

Little Kent prince christened

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November 20, 1935

The six-week-old son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent was christened today in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace. The family had originally decided on four names for the little prince, but last night decided to add Paul -- for the Duchess of Kent's brother-in-law, Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, who is one of three regents for the minor King Peter.

The Archbishop of Canterbury performed the "simple" ceremony. The baby was named Edward George Nicholas Paul Patrick. He will be styled as Prince Edward of Kent. The godparents are King George V, Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, Field Marshall the Duke of Connaught, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, and Prince Nicholas of Greece.

Prince Arthur of Connaught represented his father at the baptism. Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and Princess Arthur of Connaught were also present.

Queen Alexandra has died

November 20, 1925

Bulletin: Queen Alexandra is dead. Britain's

The Queen Mother died today at 5:25 p.m., at Sandringham. She was 80 years old. The Queen, who was the consort of Edward VII, suffered a massive heart attack, and she never rallied. Alexandra suffered several more attacks throughout the day.

Alexandra's death has plunged Great Britain into "in the deepest and sincerest mourning," as she was the beloved consort to Edward VII.

King George and Queen Mary were at Alexandra's bedside when she died, the New York Times reports. The Queen's three daughters, the Princess Royal, Princess Victoria, and Queen Maud, and a grandson, Prince Henry were also with the Queen for her final moments. Several other relatives and Charlotte Knollys, who entered Alexandra's service, when she, like Alexandra, "was on the threshold of life," and stayed with Alexandra for fifty-five years "of affectionate and unswerving loyalty."

By one p.m., the queen "was in a very serious condition." She rallied for a bit, and appeared to recognize members of her family "grouped around her bed."
A smile, "charged with poignant meaning, illuminated her face." The smile was brief, and she sank back into unconsciousness. The Queen suffered no pain, but passed gently from "one state into another."

The Prince of Wales, who canceled his engagement at the Guildhall, and the Duke and Duchess of York, left London by train, only to arrive at Wolferton, the station closest to Sandringham, one minute after the Queen had died.

It will be up to Queen Alexandra's son, King George V, to decide if his mother has a state funeral. He is aware of "how great a place in the hearts of his people his mother held." The most recent funeral of a queen consort was in 1849 when Queen Adelaide, the widow of William IV died.

Queen Alexandra was born December 1, 1844, in Copenhagen, the eldest daughter of King Christian IX and his wife, Queen Louise, a princess of Hesse-Cassel. In 1863, the princess married Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, and heir to the British throne. The couple had seven children, but only five survived into adulthood.

In January 1901, Queen Victoria died, and Bertie came to the throne as Edward VII, with his very popular wife, Alexandra at his side.

Edward VII died in 1910.

Queen Alexandra is survived by four of her children, King George V, Louise, the Princess Royal, Princess Victoria, and Queen Maud of Norway. She is also survived by her sister, Marie, the Dowager Empress of Russia. Her grandchildren include the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles, Prince Henry, and Prince George, the Duchess of Fife and Princess Maud, and Crown Prince Olav of Norway, and three great-grandchildren, the Earl of Macduff (son of the Duchess of Fife), the Hon George and the Hon. Lascelles, the sons of Princess Mary.

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Little Alexis never free from danger

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November 20, 1909

The Empress of Russia is a very worried woman, according to the Los Angeles Times. Rumors about her health were whispered last winter in St. Petersburg and Moscow, and now have taken a "definite form." Alexandra is described as an "unhappy lady, " who suffers from anxiety and a lack of sleep.

Visits to England and France and Italy have been canceled due to Alexandra being "incapable of seeing anybody or taking interest in anything." Many fear that "it would tax" Alexandra's health if she takes part in so many functions.

The Empress is only thirty-seven years old, and several doctors in attendance believe that she can be cured. Other doctors have other views because Alexandra will never recover due to her "anxiety for her son's and her husband's safety.
This is "the secret of her malady." Day and night, Alexandra is "haunted" by the thoughts that the family will be killed.

Alexandra has suffered a nervous collapse.

In the nursery, 5-year-old Alexis, the heir apparent to the throne, reigns supreme, and he "is fully aware of his super social position," and makes his sisters obey him in "everything."

The four grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia "are kept very much in the background."

Little Alexis spends much of his day in the "open-air" and his "sailor nurse has strict orders to let him do anything he likes." Alexis should be "persuaded, but must never be forced to obey."

The future Emperor's rooms are searched each day for explosives. and he has never left out of sight of his "faithful attendants."

Alexandra dreads all court functions, as she believes her husband could be killed outright. Unfortunately, "the imperial family have no holidays, no pleasant trips abroad," like King Edward VII.

Alexandra's fragile health, which is rooted in her fears for her family, can only get worse.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Time with Granny

A rather interesting photo from my collection - Queen Victoria surrounded by her family - and the ubiquitous boxes. The Duchess of Connaught appears to be reading a newspaper!

Queen Alexandra near death

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November 19, 1925

All the news services are reporting that Queen Alexandra, the widow of King Edward VII, suffered a major heart attack at noon at Sandringham. She is in "critical condition," and "holding her own, according to the official announcement.
Alexandra, who is the mother of King George V, has long been held in affection by the British public.

King George, Queen Mary, and other members of the family are now at the Queen's bedside. The Prince of Wales is in London and has telephoned the king, and will continue to carry out an engagement tomorrow, speaking at Guildhall, "though he may at the last moment be compelled to cancel this engagement." George V's second son, the Duke of York also remains in London but is keeping in close contact with Sandringham.Prince Henry is already at Sandringham.

The King and Queen are staying at York House on the Sandringham estate. They have been joined by Prince Henry and Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught. Queen Maud of Norway, who is Queen Alexandra's youngest daughter, is staying at Appleton House.

The Queen Mother has been living in "complete retirement" with her second daughter, Princess Victoria, at Sandringham. Her health had been failing for some time, but "no special alarm was felt regarding her health," despite her advanced age.

King George V had been shooting at a neighbor's estate when he received word of Alexandra's heart attack.

Members of the family are taking turns at the queen's bedside, including Queen Maud and Princess Victoria. It was also learned today that Alexandra's favorite sister, the Dowager Empress Marie of Russia, is "seriously ill" in Denmark, and "constantly asking to see her sister."

The news of Alexandra's illness "was non the less violent" as the Queen Mother "is very old." She is approaching her 81st birthday. She holds a "unique position in the hearts of her subjects."

Princess Radziwill seeks annulment

Dorothy Deacon (Library of Congress)

November 19, 1919 

 The American-born Princess Anton Albrecht Radziwill is seeking an annulment from her Polish husband "on the grounds that she was forced into the marriage," according to the New York Times. The former Miss Dorothy Deacon, the daughter of the late Edward Parker Deacon of Boston, was known as "the Boston Princess." She was noted for her beauty and "was prominent in society in London and Paris." 

 In April 1910, several months before the marriage, "news that the Prince Anton Albrecht's family opposed the match was in general circulation." The couple was scheduled to marry in June 1910 at St Mary's Roman Catholic church in London. A large crowd, aware of all the gossip, had gathered outside the church only to learn that the wedding was postponed "due to the absence of the bride and bridegroom."

 They married a month later in a smaller Catholic church located in Cadogan Square. Only a few guests attended, "and the cold, listless air of the bride was marked," and the Prince, "nervous to the point of agitation, was compelled to seat himself in a pew before the ceremony was finished." 

The Prince's mother did not attend the wedding, due to her opposition. The newlyweds moved to Warsaw, with the new Princess "charming Polish society," but her mother--in-law remained "relentless" in her opposition. The application for an annulment is the "first news of a final break between the couple." The Prince owned estates in Russia, "one as large as half of France," which have been appropriated by the new Bolshevik government. The couple has a 23-month old daughter, Elizabeth. 

 Duke Heinrich-Borwin of Mecklenburg-Schwerin has applied for an annulment of his marriage to Elizabeth Pratt of New York. The Duchess is the widow of Count Gasquet-James. The duke and duchess married eight years ago in England.

 Elizabeth, who is now more than 60 years old, is the daughter of the late Charles Watson Pratt, of Prattsville, New York. Pratt was a cousin of the late Jay Gould.

It is a boy!

TRH the Duke and Duchess of Vendome are the parents of a son, HRH Prince Gaston of France. The Duchess - the former Philomena Tornos -- gave birth earlier today in Paris.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My poor Sienna

Sienna has a cold. I rushed her to the vet this morning because she sounded congested, and was breathing hard. She had caught a cold, probably from Buddy, who was sick last week. He was sneezing all the time, slept a lot, had a fever, and was lethargic for a few days.
This was not the first upper respiratory infection that Buddy caught. Such infections are transmitted through the air, which means the virus could have been on me or come through an open window. My cats do not go outside.
Buddy was back to normal after about 5 to 6 days. Now Sienna has it, but she's wheezing and having other issues. The vet took an x-ray to see check Sienna's lungs. No congestion in the lungs, and she's eating. But she's got a cold. She's sleeping on a blanket on the couch right now, and I have the heating pad on low.
Ella and Edison have come cover to see her, but Buddy has been rather snarly and does not want to provide sympathy.

Keeping in the family

Today was the State Opening of Parliament. One of the four pages attending to the Queen Elizabeth's train was her grand-nephew, Master Arthur Chatto, the ten-year-old son of Lady Sarah and Mr. Daniel Chatto. The three other pages were Lord Stanley, Jack Soames and Andrew Leeming.

The matriarch and her family

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Browsing through my photo collection, I found this -- forgetting I had it -- a nice group shot of of Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven with her four children and their spouses: the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven; Prince and Princess Andrew of Greece; The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden; and Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten.

Perhaps Britain's most unknown Princess

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

This is a photo of the Prince and Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, taken in the 1930s. The Princess is British-born, HRH Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Saxony. She was the third daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia.

Alexandra was one of five children:
Hereditary Prince Alfred, who died in 1899; Queen Marie of Roumania; Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia; and Infanta Beatrice, Duchess of Galliera.

Kaiser - a good tipper

November 18, 1907

Kaiser Wilhelm II today departed Windsor Castle for Highcliffe Castle and left a tip of $10,000 to be distributed among the castle's servants, gamekeepers and stable attendants, according to the New York Times. During a previous to Windsor Castle in 1891, the Kaiser left a mere $2500 for tips. The Kaiserin has not accompanied her husband to Highcliffe House and has traveled to the Netherlands to visit Queen Wilhelmina.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Belgian news agency erroneously announces Fabiola's death

The Belgian news agency, Belga, has appologized for the erroneous report of Queen Fabiola's death. The news agency was a victim to a hoaxer who had posted on Twitter that the queen, the widow of King Baudouin, died because she was affected by the divorce of Prince Laurent.
The Twitter report was sent to all of Belga's clients. On the same day, "Belga journalists called for the new service to be scrapped, voicing concern that the uncontrolled dissemination of information could affect the agency's credibility." Indeed.

Queen Fabiola has not died. Prince Laurent is not getting a divorce.
Belga officials have apologized for the error.,27574,26360739-23109,00.html

Celebrations for new Grand Duchess

November 17, 1895

A Te Deum was sung "in the chapel of the Russian Embassy" in Berlin to celebrate the birth on November 15 of a daughter, Grand Duchess Olga, to Nicholas II and Alexandra. . Embassy personnel and members of the Russian colony in Berlin attended the religious service

A new prince for Bulgaria

November 17, 1895

Princess Ferdinand, the wife of the ruling prince of Bulgaria, gave birth today at noon to a second son in Sofia. The New York Times reports that the infant prince has been given the name Cyril.
The princess, whose Christian name is Maria Luisa, is the eldest daughter of the Duke of Parma.
The prince and princess's elder son, Boris, the heir to the throne, was born in January 1894.

An heir for Denmark

November 17, 1939

There was great rejoicing in Denmark due to the announcement that Crown Princess Ingrid is expecting her first child in April. The former Princess Ingrid of Sweden married Crown Prince Frederik on May 24,1935, the AP reports.
If the Crown Princess gives birth to a son, he will become second in line to the throne. But if Ingrid gives birth a princess, Prince Knud, Frederik's younger brother, will remain second in line, as women cannot succeed to the throne.

Zoubokff's fiancee threatens to write to the Kaiser

November 17, 1927

Mlle Odette Louis is indignant, and plans to write to Kaiser Wilhelm II about her "fiance's plan to marry the Kaiser's sister, Princess Viktoria of Schaumberg-Lippe. Louis, a "little blond mannquin," has "professed herself much vexed" by Alexander Zoubkoff's public declaration of love for the German Princess, according to the New York Times.
Mlle Louis claims that she is engaged to marry Zoubkoff, and she is convinced that he will not marry Princess Viktoria.
"Or if he does he won't stay with her a month before he returns to me in Paris, seeking to resume the Bohemian life we led together in the Latin quarter for so many months.
"I thought that it was just one of his many schemes to get money, the same as the love letters to the Princess that he used to concoct with my help and that of all our friends in Montparnasse. He said he would be gone only a short time and then return with plenty of funds to paint the town red."
Mlle Louis is worried about the stories appearing in the German newspapers about Zoubkoff's forthcoming marriage. She is also very concerned that "her letters to Zoubkoff remained unanswered."
She claims that a German recently offered her a lot of money for her letters from Zoubkoff as well as the Princess' letters to the young Russian, but she declined the offer because she wants to keep the letters for "her own uses."

Carol spurns crown

November 17, 1919 

 The Associated Press is reporting that Prince Carol of Roumania has renounced his rights to the throne, and has returned to his morganatic wife, Zizi Lambrino. 

 This act has sorely disappointed his parents, King Ferdinand and Queen Marie. He has also accepted a lower rank in Roumania's military.

Queen Marie said: "He has had all that a mother and a father could give to a son, and if he chooses to go this way we can't help it. We have pleaded and entreated with him until entreaty is no longer possible. "Youth and love, I suppose, will have their way in spite of kings and queens." 

King Ferdinand had forced Carol to separate from Lambrino and end the marriage.  Despite this, Carol has returned to his Roumanian commoner wife.

A true royal lunch at Windsor castle

November 17, 1907

It was a grand occasion today at lunch at Windsor Castle, where three kings, two of whom are also Emperors, and five queens took lunch together. According to the New York Times, "it was a larger assemblage of royalties than had ever taken place there."
Those present at the luncheon were the hosts, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, and their guests, Emperor Wilhelm II and Empress Auguste Viktoria of Germany, King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, Queen Maud of Norway, and Queen Amelie of Portugal.
Edward and Alexandra are also the Emperor and Empress of India, and Wilhelm and Auguste Viktoria are the King and Queen of Prussia.

The death of the Duke of Parma

November 17, 1907

The Duke of Parma died today at his home in Reggio, Italy. He was 69 years old. The cause of death, according to the New York Times, was heart disease.
Prince Roberto Carlo Luigi Maria of Bourbon-Parma was born in 1848. At the age of 12, he was deprived of his succession to the Parma throne, when the duchy was incorporated into the new Italian Kingdom.
He was married twice, first to Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and after her death, he married Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal. He was the father of 21 children, the youngest of whom, a son, was born in June 1905. The Duke leaves a fortune worth about $40 million dollars.

Monday, November 16, 2009

German princess drops suit

November 16, 1949

Princess Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, 55, has dropped her suit against Peter Schaefer, 43, a factory worker. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the princess filed suit against Schaefer "for return of valuables she alleged she gave him during a whirlwind romance," after the war.
The princess said she withdrew the suit because of "unwelcome publicity." Schaefer has since married another woman.
Under German law, "the giver of an engagement ring" can ask for it back if the engagement is broken.
Princess Stephanie, who was born in 1895, is the eldest child of Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern and Princess Josephine of Belgium. In 1920, she married Joseph Ernst, Fürst Fugger von Glött. They were divorced in 1943.

Torlonia Divorce goes public

November 16, 1927 

 The American-born Princess of Civitella-Cesi has "proved a match" for her husband's counsel "through several hours of cross-examination" in the princess' suit for divorce. The former Mary Elsie Moore is seeking a divorce from her husband, Marino Torlonia, the Prince of Civitella-Ceci. The proceedings are taking place in a court in Bridgeport, Connecticut. 

The princess is seeking custody of her minor daughters and her son. Her husband, however, is asserting that the princess and her children are Italian subjects, and is "contesting" the princess' divorce action, according to the New York Times. 

Marino, who is also the Duke of Poli and Guadagnolo, claims that his wife has no right to "bring the action in an American court. The couple was married at the princess' parents' estate Old Orchard, in Greenwich Connecticut in 1907. In court, the princess described the prince as her "brutal husband." She acknowledged that she had signed papers, agreeing to return to Rome with her three children, but she said her "one thought" was to return to the United States "for the purpose of taking steps to secure the return of her American citizenship." 

She made this decision after learning that her husband was having an affair with Marie Lorenzino, 23, who has been described as "beautiful." 

The princess said she tried to talk to the young woman "about the trouble she was causing the family," but she "gained no satisfaction. She also spoke to her husband "without effect." The princess' brother, Charles Arthur Moore of Greenwich, testified about to "efforts to effect a reconciliation." He said that the Prince told him that Marie was a "common woman," and he could "break away without difficulty." The reconciliation failed, and the Princes and Princess arranged for a legal separation. The Prince and Princess have three children: Alessandro, Cristina, and Marina. The couple's eldest child, Olimpia died in 1924.

Archduchess Isabella to marry a doctor

November 16, 1915 

 The Lokal Anzeiger, a Berlin newspaper, reports this morning that Archduchess Isabella Marie of Austria, the daughter of Archduke Friedrich, the commander in chief of the Austrian army, "has promised her hand" to Paul Albrecht, a Viennese doctor. 

In 1912, the Archduchess had a "short though unhappy romance" with Prince Georg of Bavaria, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune. 

The couple was divorced not long after their marriage. The Archduchess's succession rights, which she renounced at the time of her marriage, were reinstated after her divorce. She has since "devoted herself to nursing," using the name Sister Irmingard. 

It was in the "course of her work" with the Red Cross that she met Dr. Albrecht. It was during the honeymoon that Isabella and Prince Georg first quarreled, and then separated. Their families tried to arrange a reconciliation, but the "incompatibility of their temperament soon developed again," and Isabella Marie left the marital home for the final time. A divorce was pronounced not long afterward. No date has been set for the Archduchess' second wedding.

Grand wedding at Wood Norton

November 16, 1907

In a "picturesque ceremony" that was "strongly reminiscent of the old French court," Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Princess Louise of Orléans were married to at Wood Norton, Worcestershire, which is the country seat of the bride' brother, the Duke of Orleans.
The New York Times reports that the "ceremony could have been a little more grander," if the Duke of Orleans were actually the King of France, and not the pretender.
It was suggested that "political reasons accounted for some absences," but forty members of European royal families, mostly members of the bride and groom's families. The actual number of guests totaled 400, and included numerous ambassadors including the American ambassador to the Court of St. James, Henry White and his wife.
The civil marriage was conducted by the Registar in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Evesham at 8:30 this morning. The guests included the groom's former brother-in-law, the King of Spain and the Duke of Orleans, and "other necessary witnesses."
The family tried to keep this event a secret, but "quite a crowd gathered near the little church and heartily cheered the Princess, who is the most popular among the country people."
The religious wedding took place at noon "in an artistic temporary chapel" built for the occasion. The bride entered the chapel on the arm of her brother, and the procession included the King and Queen of Spain and the Queen of Portugal.
The bride and groom stood under a "canopy of royal blue velvet emblazoned with the fleur de lis." Princess Louise did not have any bridesmaids, which is in "accordance with the French custom." Louise wore a "superb lace veil of the finest point d'Angleterre," which she designed herself.
A wedding breakfast followed the ceremony. Members of the royal families and relatives of the bride and groom were served in Wood Norton's banqueting room, while the rest of the guests ate "in the far-framed museum" on the grounds of the estate.
Prince Carlos, 37 is the son of the late Count of Caserta. He also bears the title Infant of Spain, which was bestowed on him by King Alfonso's marriage at the time of his marriage to Alfonso's sister, Mercedes, the Princes of Asturias. The couple married in 1901. Three years later, Mercedes died in childbirth, leaving Carlo, a naturalized Spanish citizen, with two young children.
Princess Louise, 25, is the youngest daughter of the late Count of Paris. She has three sisters, the Queen of Portugal, the Duchess of Aosta and the Duchess of Guise. The Duke of Montpensier is her youngest brother.
The bride and groom received presents that are probably worth $5 million dollars. Most of the presents are jewels. A number of detectives, foreign and British, were hired to protect the gifts.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cecile von Preussen

There is a woman in Berlin who has the name Cecilie von Preussen.
Several anonymous posters have tried to convince me that she is Georg Friedrich's sister. I want to be sure that there is no confusion about this.
She is not - I repeat -- not Prince Georg Friedrich's sister, Corneli-Cecilie, who was born with a mental disability. This is acknowleged by her family, and was reported numerous times in articles.

"Cecile von Preussen" is on Facebook, but -- no surprise -- not a single real Preussen relative. She works for the Hotel Berlin, but she is not a member of the Prussian royal family. It is entirely possible that she is a descendant of another family with the surname von Preussen or, perhaps, her father was adopted by a von Preussen.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Princess Viktoria dies "lonely and alone"

November 13, 1929

Princess Viktoria of Prussia died today at her residence in Bonn. She was 63 years old, reported the New York Times.  She was "destitute and entirely alone."

Princess Viktoria was taken to the hospital on November 6 in "critical condition after a doctor had forced his way into a dingy room she had shared with a former servant." She was suffering from a high fever.

Her sister, Margarete, the Landgravine of Hesse, was in Bonn, "but was not allowed to see the patient," in Viktoria's final hours. Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile in Doorn, is said to have telephoned the hospital twice a day "during the crisis for news of his favorite sister, "whose recent moral and physical suffering wiped out the imperial anger of her last matrimonial venture."

Viktoria had suffered "a severe attack of influenza, complicated by a previous organic trouble," which "developed into acute inflammation of the lungs." Her doctors stated that the princess did not try to fight the disease, "realizing she had nothing left to live for."

She was the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, daughter of Friedrich III of Germany, and sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the widow of Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe.

Princess Friederike Amalia Wilhelmine Viktoria of Prussia was born on April 12, 1866, at the Neues Palais in Potsdam. She was the fifth child of Friedrich III and his wife, Victoria, the Princess Royal, and the eldest child of Queen Victoria. She was baptized on her grandmother’s birthday, May 24, in Potsdam, where the infant princess “was held during the ceremony by the King of Prussia and the Princess Marie of Hohenzollern.” She was named after her mother and grandmother.
Embed from Getty Images 

Viktoria was known by several nicknames, including Moretta, Vicky, or Vicksey.
The princess "gave up all her princely rank and German citizenship," when she married a Russian emigre, Alexander Zoubkhoff, in November 1927. She "disregarded social conventions, and particularly added to the agitations" of her brother.

Not a single member of her family was present when she married the "former waiter, dishwasher, professional dancer and movie 'extra,' in a civil ceremony at Bonn's town hall.”

She told the press that she was "seeking to exchange the title of 'princess' for that of a 'happy woman.'"

As a young woman, Princess Viktoria of Prussia was in love with Prince Alexander of Battenberg, who was the sovereign prince of Bulgaria. Her parents approved the marriage, but after her father died of throat cancer in 1888, and her brother succeeded to the throne, Viktoria was forced to end her romance.  Kaiser Wilhelm II and Otto von Bismarck were in strict opposition to a marriage (largely due to the concerns of Russia, as Sandro, the Sovereign Prince of Bulgaria, was closely allied with Russia - and the Tsar was his first cousin.  (Sandro was not close to Alexander III, and support for the young Prince waned, and he abdicated as Prince of Bulgaria in 1889.)

Wilhelm II and von Bismarck considered other marital options.

 Bismarck objected to Vicky’s “English influence” on her husband. He saw “great advantages” in having Moretta marry the Crown Prince of Portugal. In 1885, King Luiz of Portugal asked Moretta to convert to Roman Catholicism and marry his son, Crown Prince Carlos. She and her parents refused this offer. A year later, Carlos married a more suitable Roman Catholic princess, Princess Amelie of Orléans.

Young Viktoria's heart was broken, and she was sent to England to spend time with her grandmother, Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria and Windsor and Balmoral (Allen and Unwin: 1959) is a series of 27 letters that Princess Viktoria wrote to her mother, during her stay with Granny. Her romance with Alexander of Battenberg lasted for seven years, and it has been said that she never got over this disappointment. The late James Pope-Hennessy, who edited the letters, wrote: “It seems clear that the factor which spoiled her early adult life, and ruined her old age, was a simple and sympathetic one: Princess Victoria was a romantic. She could not marry “the handsome and dashing Battenberg, who seemed a hero in her eyes”, Viktoria was driven into a “humdrum marriage.”

She was described as a woman of “immense charm”, courageous, original, and the tallest of Empress Friedrich’s daughters. Her own mother once described her as “a lively skittish girlie ...often so difficult to guide and manage.” She was her father’s favorite daughter, and Fritz allowed her “to do as she liked.” The first rumors of marriage with Prince Alexander appeared in 1884. A year later, Moretta “was so much in love ” with Alexander that she told her mother that if “anything happened to him she would throw herself into a canal.” The family was visiting Venice at the time.

Viktoria's mother confided about her own daughter's disappointment, and asked for the queen's help: "You would indeed make me most happy and do me the greatest favour if you could induce Moretta not to be foolish about her food. Her one craze is to be thin. She starves completely, touches no milk, no sugar, no bread, no sweets, no soup, no butter, nothing but a scrap of meat and apples which is not enough. She will ruin her health. She has a fine strong constitution. She goes to bed too late and takes almost no exercise. I have begged and prayed, ordered, threatened, all to no effect." In the same letter, which was dated May 30, 1889, Vicky also mentions to her mother, several prospects of marriage for Moretta.

"As for her prospects, should it fail with this young Grand Duke (which is possible, but of which I trust I may hear more from you), I hear much of this Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe (Adolf) -- in a regiment in Berlin. He is nice and good-looking, but of course, it is nothing as to position. Should it not be possible for her to meet the young Russian which I still hope might be arranged, I am anxious for her to see this young Prince Adolf and this could be arranged when she comes back from England. I have also thought of the third Anhalt (Edward), a nice good young man with a nice fortune and not ill-looking, who would be sure to make a kind, nice husband and who has an amiable, cheerful disposition, and is a favourite everywhere. I think the young Russian would be far more to her taste, whereas either of the two others I should feel she could be quite safe with from all I hear and I have enquired very carefully. If only she would make up her mind to consider the possibility and not reject the thought altogether if other things fail. Please note to tell Moretta that I have written this."

Certainly, Queen Victoria, who had also approved of the Battenberg alliance, was in a position to assist in finding a husband for her granddaughter.

The Grand Duke in question was "young Grand Duke Alexander," as Queen Victoria noted, acknowledging that the Duchess of Edinburgh and the Princess of Leiningen "would do anything to help you" in regards to finding a husband for Moretta. Alexander Mikhailovich was the Princess of Leiningen’s nephew.
Duchess of Edinburgh, who was the daughter of Alexander II, also had a recommendation: Grand Duke Peter, the son of Grand Duke Nicholas.
Queen Victoria responded to her daughter with the news that "Moretta has expressed a strong wish not to marry now and I own I think you should let it alone for the present. Let her see people, but pray do not force it on, for if she has no inclination if she doesn't like anyone, it would never do." The Queen also cautioned Vicky: "But don't force or press her to marry for marrying's sake: that is dreadful. And I think it is hardly right or dignified for you to go about trying to marry your daughter and getting refusals. I had something of that kind to go through with Louise and suffered and it was very painful." She also informed Vicky that there was no chance for marriage between Grand Duke Alexander and Moretta, "for he does not think of marrying for some time to come and no prospect is held out of it in the future."

Kaiser Wilhelm informed Viktoria that she was to marry -- for reasons of the state -- Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, although it is difficult to understand how a marriage between the fourth son of the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe and the daughter of the late German emperor could be described as "reasons of state."

 But the Kaiser was determined to find a husband for his sister, “not least to pre-empt his mother’s active efforts in this direction,” according to Wilhelm’s biographer, John Röhl.

In early 1889, Wilhelm entrusted his close friend, Philipp zu Eulenberg with a “secret mission to investigate the private circumstances of Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe.” Wilhelm received the favorable report in February, and he thanked his friend “with all his heart.”

Prince Adolf, born in the same year as the Kaiser, “was good looking and not without means,” and in Wilhelm’s mind, the perfect match for his sister. Toward the end of that year, zu Eulenberg was sent once again to Bückeburg on another secret mission, where “after protracted negotiations” with the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, he succeeded in making arrangements for Adolf to pay a “discreet call” on Empress Friedrich and her two daughters, Viktoria and Margarete, who were in Italy.

Adolf proposed on June 11, 1890. Empress Friedrich wrote to her mother. "Now I have a piece of news to impart which is that yesterday the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe proposed to Vicky and she has accepted. In her depression and discouragement, feeling that the happiness she had hoped for is not to be hers, she accepts this. I hope it is a wise step, but it made my heart ache to think it is not what she dreamt of....William wishes this marriage particularly. I have cried so much I feel quite ill. But I think the young man is thoroughly trustworthy and good and I am sure he will try to make her happy, and she will try her utmost to do her duty...This has all come about rather suddenly. Prince Adolf came here to see me....He has seen very little of the world and has not travelled. I think it would do him an immense deal of good to go about little....I dare not think of parting with her as it will be dreadful and yet I am glad she should have a house of her own and someone to protect her in case I die, and I am also thankful to think she will not live very far off."

Queen Victoria noted that Adolf was a first cousin of the Duchess of Albany.

The engagement was announced by Wilhelm II to all the members of his family at a grand luncheon in the Marble Hall at Sansouci on June 17, 1890. The princess wore a "cream-colored dress and a hat trimmed with white flowers." The newly engaged couple sat between the Emperor and Empress. Wilhelm offered a toast to his sister and her fiancé.

(The family also denied that day that Margarete was engaged to marry Prince Wilhelm of Nassau.)

In her autobiography, My Memoirs, Princess Viktoria described how the engagement came about: "It was at Seegenhaus, near Neuwied, the residence of the Princess of Wied, the mother of the well-known Queen Carmen Sylva of Rumania, that I first met Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe. We were mutually attracted to each other, and I believe it as a case of love at first sight; for at Court I had met many good-looking and clever men, who had nevertheless failed to interest me in that particular way."

In July 1890, Viktoria and Adolf went to Berlin, where Adolf was presented to the Kaiser and Kaiserin. "He's a capital fellow," was the Kaiser's comment, "which quite amused me," Moretta noted.

A week later, Princess Viktoria, accompanied by her mother, Empress Friedrich, and her sister, Margarete, traveled to Schloss Bückeburg en route to England. Prince Adolf had gone on ahead to be able to welcome his fiancee and her family.

The widowed empress, however, was not completely convinced that Adolf was the right candidate. The only other possible candidate was Philipp of Württemberg, although he was a Roman Catholic. Vicky continued to work in secret to "find what she considered a more suitable husband for her favourite daughter." This continued even after the announcement of the engagement, and only months before the wedding. In the summer of 1890, Vicky introduced her daughter to the Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who was the grandson of Queen Victoria’s older half-sister, Feodora. She was thwarted once again by her eldest son, was who determined to “stick to his decision,” according to Röhl.

In a letter to Ernst’s father, Hermann, Vicky wrote bitterly: “My son has chosen this alliance.”

[In 1896, Ernst married Viktoria’s first cousin, Princess Alexandra of Edinburgh.]

The situation between Vicky, Moretta, and the Kaiser grew even tenser after he received a letter from his wife, Dona. It appears that Wilhelm and Dona had been “fully informed” about Moretta’s “new infatuation and the machinations of her mother and Queen Victoria.”

It appears there was another suitor, certainly in Moretta’s eyes. In fact, all three of the Victorias “had the greatest hopes” on an English naval office, Captain the Hon. Maurice Archibald Bourke, the son of the 6th Earl of Mayo. It was clear to everyone concerned that Moretta “was still in love” with Captain Bourke. Dona, who may have been aware of her husband’s plans for his sister, confided to her husband that she had recently heard from his eldest sister, Charlotte – an inveterate mischief-maker – who had received a letter from the Duchess of Edinburgh. Charlotte shared this letter with her sister-in-law.

“I must tell you that very disagreeable things are going on, for poor Granny (Queen Victoria) has got once more completely bamboozled by your Mama,” the duchess of Edinburgh wrote to Charlotte, “and the whole of the Bourke story was discussed with the most disastrous results.”

Queen Victoria, according to the Duchess of Edinburgh, “scolded” Moretta, who said that the relationship was not serious. “But when she talked it over with your Mama, who told her a very different story: that Moretta was still madly in love with the gallant Captain, would have waited for him five or six years in necessary, followed him to the end of the world, and more of that sort of bosh and nonsense adding that when Bourke broke it off it nearly broke Moretta’s heart.

“Whereupon dear ...Granny shed romantic tears of real sorrow over the sad episode telling your Mama that if she had known it before this new engagement with Adolph ... she (Granny) would have certainly helped Moretta to accomplish this match!!! Good heavens!....Moretta was obliged to accept this new partie but would never forget her love for Bourke.”

The Duchess of Edinburgh noted that they were right “to stop the whole thing” and tell Wilhelm about Moretta’s romance with Captain Bourke. The Duchess was certainly concerned about the scandal. “God preserve us from further scandals, but somehow, I do not feel reassurance yet, that Moretta will really marry that very nice Adolphe, so good looking, I think.” Marie also mentioned to Charlotte that she thought it a “bad thing” that Empress Friedrich and her daughters traveled to Greece for Princess Sophie’s wedding on the Surprise, “the very ship in which Captain Bourke was serving.”

Dona was indignant. She asked her husband, who was going to England to see Queen Victoria, “to give your Grandmamma a good talking to, for this is really going too far, for when a girl, particularly a princess, is engaged, that her own mother is probably trying to break it off!!!”

She also asked Wilhelm to make sure that Moretta did not return on the Surprise, “for the constant contact with the man, when someone like Vicky (Moretta) if she gets worked up, she might well do something quite frightful and then tell you that there were reasons which compelled her to marry the fellow.”
In August, Kaiser Wilhelm was at Balmoral, where he was able to convince his grandmother “of the advantages of the match.”

Young Moretta remained depressed. Her mother wrote to Queen Victoria: “The nearer the wedding approaches the more cast down she is.”

The date of the wedding and the gala events were announced on October 30. The date was set for November 19. On November 17, the bridal party and their families attended a gala performance at the Opera. The next day, Empress Friedrich hosted a banquet at her palace, and on the 20th, the bride and groom would host a lunch at the Schloss in Potsdam, before leaving for Schloss Bückeburg, en route to Malta and Egypt.

They also spent three days in Constantinople in February 1891, where they "visited the places of interest," and dined with the Sultan before boarding the Orient Express to Vienna.

The Lutheran wedding took place in the chapel at Berlin's Alte Schloss. The Duke of Connaught represented Queen Victoria, and the Prince of Wales was presented by his elder son, the Duke of Clarence. Empress Friedrich, the bride's mother, and Empress Auguste Viktoria placed a crown on the bride's head before she entered the chapel. Her gown was of "cream satin, brocaded and trimmed with wild roses and silver." Her veil was "of tulle interwoven with silver and surmounted with a wreath of orange blossoms and myrtles."

The chapel was filled with "nearly sixty members of royal families."

The bride "looking majestic in her bridal robe, which was borne by four bridesmaids, assisted by as many pages."

In the bridal procession, Kaiser Wilhelm II followed, escorting his mother, who "had put off her widow's weeds on this occasion and donned a most becoming dress of pale lilac." Empress Auguste Viktoria was on the arm of the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe and Prince Henry of Prussia escorted the Princess of Schaumburg-Lippe, who was followed by the Crown Princess of Greece between the Grand Duke of Hesse and the Duke of Connaught, Princess Margarete of Prussia with the Crown Prince of Greece and Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen, Princess Henry of Prussia between Princes Leopold and Albrecht of Prussia, the Duke of Clarence with Princesses Leopold and Friedrich Karl of Prussia, Princess Albrecht of Prussia with Prince Alexander of Prussia and the Prince of Roumania, the Duchess of Connaught with the Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and the Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein with the Grand Duke of Oldenburg, Prince Maximilian of Baden, the Hereditary Princess of Hohenzollern, Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse, "and several other princely groups - 20 in all," according to the Times of London.

A banquet was held after the wedding, where Kaiser Wilhelm II offered toasts in honor of the bride and bridegroom.

Empress Friedrich, in a letter to her mother, noted that there would be no Fackeltanz (torchlight dance). "There are difficulties about rank and so on and on account of Dona's health (she was pregnant) it was wished to curtail the ceremony as much as possible." Princess Viktoria was a royal highness. Her new husband was a mere Serene Highness, albeit the son of a sovereign prince.
On the day of the wedding, Count Alfred von Waldersee, a member of the Kaiser’s coterie, wrote: “I am quite sure that the couple do not suit each other and that the marriage can never be a happy one.”

After their honeymoon, the newlyweds settled in Bonn, where Adolf took up his military duties. Princess Viktoria noted in her memoirs that Adolf "was with me very little; but, as he was an able and conscientious office, I soon came to realize what military work meant, and appreciated his devotion to duty."

Embed from Getty Images

Viktoria's autobiography was published in 1929, the year of her death. She was writing for an audience, and for a paycheck. This is certainly obvious in her commentary about Adolf. "My husband was one of the kindest, noblest and best of husbands imaginable, chivalrous, courageous, and humane. No better husband could a woman have."

This was far from the truth. Viktoria was certainly unfaithful to Adolf and wanted out of the marriage.

Princess Viktoria suffered a miscarriage early in the marriage. She and her husband had no further children. For two years, Prince Adolf served as regent for the Principality, but despite his brother-in-law's support, the succession to Lippe was eventually passed to another member of the family.

The Prince of Lippe had died in 1895 without male issue. He stipulated in his will that Prince Adolf of Schaumburg-Lippe, who was the fourth son of the reigning Prince, should act as regent until Adolfe's son reached his majority.
Moretta's mother wrote in a letter to Queen Victoria (May 4, 1895): "Vicky and Adolf make their solemn entry into Detmold [capital of Lippe] today. They will remain there for the present."

Queen Victoria was furious with her grandson-in-law after he demanded Moretta end her stay with her mother in September 1895. "I am so provoked at Adolf hurrying off Moretta before the time (far too short as that was) that she agreed to stay. If one of my sons-in-law was to behave that way I should be furious and protest. A daughter has her duties to her mother, who has no child living with her and is a widow. It is too bad and selfish."

In 1901, the Princess celebrated her 35th birthday with a family luncheon at Schloss Friedrichshof. The 12 guests included Queen Alexandra, who earlier in the day had planted a tree in the gardens, and Viktoria's brother, Prince Henry. Earlier that year, she had gone driving in Bonn, where she was thrown from her carriage, but she did not sustain any serious injuries.

It was when she was married to Adolf that scandal was first attached to her name. Viktoria "contemplated divorcing her husband" because she was in love with his nephew and wished to marry him. After Prince Adolf died in 1916, Viktoria sought the consent of her brother to marry the nephew.

Kaiser Wilhelm II denied the request. The princess was said to "have taken the refusal calmly, but with a resolve to have more gayety in her life before she grew old."

The widowed Princess visited her brother in Doorn only once when she attended his second wedding.  Wilhelm's personal physician, Dr. Alfred Haehner,  recorded in his diary that Viktoria made an "appalling" impression at the wedding.  "The life she has led was written clearly on her face for all to see."  It was as if one had come "face to face with the madame of a brothel."

Viktoria may have suffered from porphyria. Her sister, Charlotte, had certainly inherited the disease. John Röhl noted that Viktoria had “made herself conspicuous by her behavior throughout her life – she was a nymphomaniac.” In 1893, she was treated for “pernicious anaemia,” at a clinic in Bad Schwalbach.

She left Berlin in 1915 and moved into a "luxuriously furnished castle," in Bonn. She was 50 years old at the time, "but very wealthy and young-looking."

Princess Viktoria met Zoubkoff in 1927 during a party "given at her castle to a number of students." Zoubkoff was studying law at the University of Bonn. The princess became infatuated with the young Russian, who was nearly forty years her junior.

Their engagement was soon announced, and the couple was married in a civil ceremony, as required by German law, which was followed by a Greek Orthodox wedding, where she wore "the famous lace bridal veil" that was first worn by her mother, Princess Victoria, when she married the future Friedrich III, in 1858.
Shortly after the wedding, Zoubkoff "became mixed in many escapades," which resulted in his deportation. He went to Brussels but was asked to leave there. He returned to Germany, only to be expelled for a second time. The same "fate met him in France."

Viktoria at first "declared her faith in him" and announced she would follow him to the Belgian Congo, where Zoubkoff drifted. Not long afterward, Viktoria was forced to move from her palace into a rented room because her "wealth had been dissipated." This past October, her personal belongings were sold at public auction to pay her creditors. When the auction was over, Viktoria was found "by a loyal servant clutching the trunk of an old tree in her garden, dazed by her misfortune."

Perhaps the princess believed that "at the last minute" her brother, the Kaiser, or other family members, "would come to her rescue and hold up the sale, but they failed her," reported the Chicago Daily Tribune. Earlier this month, the princess filed for divorce.

She recently told relatives: "Alexander of Battenberg's wooing was heaven, the Adolf episode was purgatory." One relative added: "Then Zoubkoff took her to hell."

Hell, however, was not how Viktoria first saw her romance with the much younger man. She recorded in her diary about their first meeting: "Baron Zoubkoff was here for dinner. He appears to be a most interesting young man -- slender, dark, and good-looking. He is very intelligent, and I shall continue to invite him."

Her diary revealed further emotions: "Baron Zoubkoff came today and we played tennis. I hope he will continue to call on me. He strikes me as an ideal companion for a lady, and I have an impression that is also fond of me. I wish there were more folks about the place, as I would not then feel myself so lonesome. I am becoming more attached to him every day, and I dread to think that he is to leave Bonn."

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But Zoubkoff never intended to leave Bonn and "egged on by his fellow emigres, who scented some easy money" -- arrived one morning at the palace wearing a "tennis kit and popped the question."

On the day she accepted Alexander's marriage proposal, she wrote in her diary: "I am entirely happy. The family's opposition to my marriage does not matter. I will overcome all obstacles. Rank, title, and money I will cheerfully give up, but my happiness I am determined to keep. He loves me, and I love him. I feel a new life opening up before me."

After the wedding, a beaming bride told reporters: "I am only too glad to have someone to protect and love me, and I shall be only too glad to fulfill the wishes of my husband and help him in every respect."

Within a few months, however, Sascha, as Viktoria called him, "was spending his nights and her money along the amusement highways that flank the Rhine."

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 The princess' fortune, which was estimated at more than 2 million dollars, "was rapidly being consumed" to cover Zoubkoff's overdrafts, "paying for his nocturnal escapades." The princess, in addition, was "brazenly being victimized by alleged legal advisers, who proved to be Zoubkoff's confederates."

In time, Viktoria was adjusted to bankruptcy, and all of her possessions were auctioned off last month. She moved into a "humble pension" near her former palace, where "she started on a life of spartan simplicity and severity."

Kaiser Wilhelm's spokesman in Berlin issued a statement regarding Viktoria's funeral. The Kaiser's attendance at the funeral was "wholly out of the question.".
My Memoirs was written before Viktoria's marriage crumbled. She concluded her autobiography with "I feel that a fresh life has opened out to me, one that, with the graciousness of Providence, will be full of happiness in my newly-found companionship. We mean to live a simple, quiet life, devoting a great deal of our time to work, and later travelling abroad and visiting friends."

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Manoel seeks British bride

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November 13, 1909

King Manoel of Portugal arrives in England tomorrow in a quest to find a royal bride. He is "assured of a warm welcome," according to the Chicago Daily Tribune, "because it is hoped that he will select an English princess for his bride."

The press is speculating on two eligible princesses: Princess Patricia of Connaught and Princess Alexandra of Fife, who is the elder daughter of the Princess Royal and the Duke of Fife.

Princess Patricia is "generally eliminated from the calculations of those who know," because of her fondness for an English peer.

Alexandra is also not expected to win the king's hand "because her parents can hardly bear her out of their sight."

Alexandra and her sister, Maud, have been brought up "in the strictest seclusion and have had no friends of their own age."

There are also religious differences. Princess Alexandra is an Anglican, and "a change of religion is not an easy matter" for King Edward VII's granddaughter.
Princess Alexandra "is rather insignificant in appearance, slender and petite, with a non-descript coloring." She "rides well and is fond of fishing and outdoor sports." Her education has been "entirely elementary and she and her sister were allowed to work at their studies or not, as inclination prompted them."
At the insistence of the King and Queen, Alexandra made her debut last season, but still wears "frocks to her ankles."

Some cite the example of Princess Ena of Battenberg, who converted to the Roman Catholic church before she married King Alfonso. But Ena was only a niece of the king and the daughter of a British princess.

According to the various news reports, King Edward would like to see his niece, Princess Patricia of Connaught, as Manoel's consort A coolness has set in between the king and his younger brother, the Duke of Connaught over the king's intentions. The Duke plans to go to Africa "in pursuit of big game," and this trip is due "to the means his majesty his taken to mark his displeasure."

Princess Patricia is said "to have a will of her own," and refused to stay in the same room when King Alfonso XIII of Spain came to England "to seek a bride."
Princess Patricia has formed an attachment to the Earl of Anglesey, who is "one of the most handsome and wealthiest bachelors in England." The Earl has been "the despair of matchmaking mammas of London society," because of his devotion to Princess Patricia.

Lord Anglesey believes "that his political ambitions take root in the idea that if he achieved distinction in the service of his country," his marriage to Princess Patricia would be approved.

Another daughter for Queen Elena

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November 13, 1907

Queen Elena of Italy gave birth to a third daughter today. The new princess has been given the name Giovanna, according to the New York Times. The "little stranger was ushered into the world in a room, that with respect to its hygienic conditions, is quite beyond reproach." King Victor Emanuel is said to be a "stickler for hygiene," and arranged for the birth room and the adjoining nurseries to be "kept thoroughly clean."

Everything in the room is white. The floors are made with white porcelain. The woodwork is "enameled in white, the curtains are of white muslin, and the rugs, which are of thick white cotton, are easily put through the wash."

The nursery is staffed with five nurses, all of whom are also wearing white. The only person who is not in white is the new infant's wet nurse. "This fortunate creature is gorgeous in a rich edition of the costume of her native town." She wears on her head an "immense crown of bright-colored ribbons on her head and streamers of ribbons adorning her gaudy skirt and her corset waist." The wet nurse also wears corals around her neck, and long earrings that "tickle her shoulders."

This "highly decorated person" will become one of the most important "personages in the Quirinal," and will rule the nursery for the first year of Princess Giovanna's life. She will eventually return to her home town, "rich for life, from the peasant's point of view."

King Victor Emmanuel and Queen Elena were married in October 1896. Their first child, Princess Yolanda was born in June 1901. Princess Mafalda was born in November 1902, and the heir apparent, Crown Prince Umberto, was born in September 1904.