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, 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 took 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's brother, the Duke of Orleans.

The New York Times reports that the "ceremony could have been a little grander," if the Duke of Orleans were 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 were worth $5 million dollars. Most of the presents are jewels. Several 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

Manoel seeks British bride

Embed from Getty Images 

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

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sequel to a snub

November 12, 1897

Nicholas II has issued an imperial ukase announcing the appointment of a permanent charge d'affairs in Karlsruhe, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Baden. Prince Cantacuzene, who has represented Russia at Stuttgart, the capital of the Kingdom of Württemberg, and at Karlsruhe, "has been relieved of his post at the court of Baden," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The changes are connected with the "slight put upon the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden" when the Russian emperor and empress recently visited Darmstadt, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Hesse.

The "affair soon created so much stir" that the German government "on the day the facts were published issued orders forbidding the telegraphing of any comments on the subjects," although many German newspapers "having already expressed strong resentment."

On October 26 a semi-official statement was issued in Darmstadt, "denying that there was any political significance to the Czar's reply to the intimation conveyed to him by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden."

It appears that Nicholas' response was "bungled through the maladroitness of the of the officials concerned."

It is more like that the response was sent through Prince Cantacuzene, and this "maladroitness" has caused him to be relieved of his post in Baden.

Nicholas II and the Baden Grand Ducal couple have since "exchanged letters of explanation," and the Czar has offered "an apology for the curt brevity of his telegram explaining his inability to receive the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden."

The new Russian minister to Baden has not yet been named.

Allies inform Wilhelmina & Leopold that a durable peace must result

King Leopold III and Queen Wilhelmina  State visit to Brussels in May 1939  

November 12, 1939

The New York Times reports today on King George VI's response to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and King Leopold III of Belgium "of their good offices in the war between Germany and the Allies."

King Leopold III and Queen Wilhelmina State visit to Brussels in May 1939

The King's message, which was read in conjunction with a message from the French president Albert Lebrun, was "the nearest approach yet to a clear, definite statement under which the democratic Allies would be willing to discuss peace with the Nazis." There was nothing in the King's message that "justified belief that in it an undefeated Hitler would find a basis of understanding with the Western powers."

The Dutch and Belgian sovereigns sent for "a renewal of their offer of efforts for peace" as Nazi troops press against their borders.

King George made it clear that the British, who were reluctant to take up arms, "were determined not to lay them down until satisfied that the bogy of German aggression had been banished and the people of Europe had been guaranteed independence and liberty."

King Leopold III and Queen Wilhelmina in Amsterdam in November 1938.  All three images: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection.

King George said he did not want the war to continue "one day longer than is absolutely necessary." He also promised Wilhelmina and Leopold that if they could communicate proposals from Germany "that would square with the aims of the Allies, the proposals would receive "earnest consideration."

Boris and family leave London

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection
November 12, 1937

King Boris III and Queen Giovanna of the Bulgaria and their four-year-old daughter, Princess Marie Louise, "started home today" after spending a week in London, according to the Associated Press.

Alfonso's son Juan may take throne

November 12, 1937

Germany and Great Britain "were reported in diplomatic circles tonight to have informally approved the restoration of the Spanish monarchy,under 24-year-old Don Juan," according to the United Press. This succession will occur in "the event of an insurgent victory in Spain."
Don Juan is the third son of former king Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia. His two older brothers, Alfonso and Jaime, lost their rights to throne when they made morganatic marriages.
The diplomatic reports followed rumors that "the wealthy Duke of Alba, who will be appointed Francisco Franco's 'agent' in London, had "assured the British government" that the Spanish monarchy would be restored and "would solidify British relations with the new Spain.
Although Britain and Germany's Führer Hitler "have supposedly approved the Infante Juan," the Vatican is said to "favor Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parme," who is the Carlist pretender to the throne.

No Politics for Grand Duke Boris

November 12, 1929

Grand Duke Boris arrived today in New York aboard the German Lloyd liner, Bremen, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune. This is Boris' first visit to the United States since 1925. He told reporters that he plans to visit friends, and he and his family "were out of politics and were possibly much happier for it."
When asked if he thought other members of the exiled Romanov family "dreams of overthrowing the Soviet regime," the Grand Duke responded: "you cannot shoot unless you have a gun."

Greek royals visit Bucharest

November 12, 1927

Princess Helen of Romania is hosting her brothers, former King George II and Prince Paul of Greece and younger sister, Princess Irene. The Greek royals arrived today in Bucharest from their home in Florence, according to an AP dispatch.
Princess Irene recently became engaged to Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe, who is the nephew of the King of Denmark.
Princess Helen is the estranged wife of Prince Carol, who renounced his right to the throne. Their eight-year-old son, Michael, is king of Romania, but as he is a minor, a Regency rules in his stead.

Kaiser places Sophie next to him at dinner

Embed from Getty Images 

 November 12, 1909

Kaiser Wilhelm II has offered "conspicuous honors" to the Duchess of Hohenberg, the morganatic wife of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne. The Archduke is on an official visit to Berlin, and his wife was permitted to accompany him.

At last night's state dinner, according to the New York Times report, the Kaiser placed the Duchess of Hohenberg next to him. On his other side was his sister, the Crown Princess of Greece.

All of the other Princes and Princesses of the German Imperial Family were present, as well as the Crown Prince and Princess of Greece. Dinner was "served at small tables."

This is the first time that the morganatic wife of a royal Prince "has been received on terms of social equality by the House of Hohenzollern."
The Kaiser's decision to offer equality to a woman who was once a lady-in-waiting at the Austrian court "is regarded in diplomatic circles as fresh evidence of the Kaiser's determination to leave nothing undone to bind the Austro-German alliance more firmly."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rumors about Alexandra denied

November 11, 1895

Embed from Getty Images

A dispatch to Darmstadt's Central News denies a report from Russia concerning the condition of Empress Alexandra, whose "accouchement is now momentarily expected." The denial, which has been published in the New York Times, denies that the empress has undergone a Caesarian and is expected to die "from its effects." The Empress' brother, Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and By Rhine "has received no alarming news" from St. Petersburg.

This is Empress Alexandra's first child. The former princess Alix and Hesse and by Rhine married Nicholas II in 1894.

Don Carlos dead at 79

November 11, 1949

Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies died today at his home in Seville. He was 79 years old.
Don Carlos, who also had the title of Infante of Spain, was the father-in-law of Infante Don Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona, who is the pretender to the Spanish throne, Reuters reports.
Don Carlos, who was the son of the late Prince Alfonso, Count of Caserta, was married in 1901 to the Princess of Asturias, Maria de las Mercedes, who was the sister of King Alfonso XIII. Mercedes died in childbirth only three years later.
In 1907, Don Carlos married Princess Louise of Orleans. The couple had four children, including a daughter, Mercedes who is married to the Count of Barcelona.
In 1931, after Spain was declared a republic, Carlos and his family moved to Spain. They returned to Spain in 1936 after the start of the civil war.
Don Carlos is survived by his wife, Princess Louise, and five children: Alfonso, Isabel, Dolores, Mercedes and Esperanza. His younger son, Carlos, was killed in the Spanish civil war.

Zita attends brother's wedding

November 11, 1927

Former Austrian empress Zita left her home in Spain to attend the wedding of her brother, Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma.
The New York Times reports that Prince Xavier and Madeleine de Bourbon-Busset were married in the "little town" of Lignières, France. The Archbishop of Bourges performed the Roman Catholic ceremony.
Among the guests were representatives of the King of the Belgians and the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, who is married to Zita's brother, Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma.
The bride is the daughter of the Count of Lignières, and a distant cousin of the her husband.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Prince Henry to rule Bulgaria

November 10, 1885

The Chicago Daily Tribune is reporting on an unanimous decision by the Ambassadors of the Powers at Constantinople. They are recommending "the complete autonomy of Bulgaria and Roumelia." This resolution of the union of the two states is considered to be a "fait accompli." The Powers have agreed to Russia's demand that Prince Alexander of Battenberg be removed as the Bulgarian sovereign. The British opposition to his removal was "overcome" by the offer of the vacant throne to Alexander's younger brother, Prince Henry, who is married to Queen Victoria's youngest daughter, Beatrice. Germany has objected to Prince Henry, but might consent to the election of Henry's eldest brother, Prince Louis, who currently serves in the Royal Navy.
Prince Louis' wife, Victoria, is one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters.

Prince Alexander is seeking counsel "on how to arrange matters" with the Bulgarian government "in the event of the conference of the Conference proving abortive or requiring the adoption of fresh measures."

George II accepts Greek throne

Embed from Getty Images

November 10, 1935

George II of the Hellenes has spent the last twelve years in exile, and today, "the eldest son of the unhappy King Constantine of the war" agreed to return to the throne that he had held for only fifteen uneasy months in 1922-23," according to the New York Times.

The invitation to become king again was made by three delegates from Athens. George, who wore "sombre morning dress," listened "with mounting emotion" when he was told that 90 percent of the Greek people "had voted for his return to the throne."

An official who was present for the ceremony said that the King's face "was deathly white and his eyes clouded over with tears as he replied:"
""Gentlemen, it is with the deepest emotion that I receive you -- representatives of the National Assembly, the government, and the armed forces of the country -- bringing to me the joyful message that the unanimous will of the Hellenic people I am invited to assume once more the exercise of my royal duties.

"In obedience to the imperative call of my country, I come home among you. In so far as it concerns me I will in the full consciousness of my obligations loyally carry out my duty in drawing the curtain over the recent past and looking forward only to the future. But through you, I appeal to all conscious of their own responsibilities to extend to me their unqualified support so we have together go forward in cooperation and concord.

"A soldier myself and the son of a soldier, I gladly accept the greetings of the armed forces of the nation as well as the assurance of their devotion to duty as the first auspicious beginning of this support which I particularly ask of all, so that with the help of God, we may see our Greece prosper."
Afterward, King George II, his brother, Crown Prince Paul, his sister, Princess Katherine, and his cousins, Princess Paul of Yugoslavia and Prince Peter, went to the Greek Orthodox church to "give thanks."

In the afternoon, the King went to Buckingham Palace, where he had lunch with King George V and Queen Mary. He expressed his gratitude to the British sovereigns, "who befriended him in his darkest days and are believed to have done more than anyone else to make his restoration possible."

If it had not been for the personal support of King George V, "it would hardly have been possible for this restoration to have been financed by a London banker -- as is commonly believed." The British government also apparently pulled numerous strings "in the Near East" to return George II to the throne.

The close ties between the British and the Greek royal houses will continue and maybe "convenient for Britain someday in the event of naval trouble in the eastern Mediterranean."

George II is said to be "a quiet person who would like nothing more than to be a constitutional monarch like his well-loved namesake in Buckingham Palace." His dream depends solely on whether Greece's turbulent past will pass, and allow the bloodshed and tragedy to end.

Ena at Buckingham Palace

November 10, 1929

Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain and her two daughters, Infanta Beatriz and Infanta Maria Cristina, "had luncheon today" with King George V and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace, reports the New York Times. Earlier today, Ena and her daughters attended St. James's Church with the Spanish ambassador and other members of their suite.

Princess Viktoria's condition

November 10, 1929

The condition of the former Princess Viktoria of Prussia "was very grave tonight." The pneumonia is now showing signs of spreading to the right lung. Viktoria's sister, Margarete, the Landgravine of Hesse, is at her bedside.
Viktoria is also the sister of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, who is in exile in the Netherlands.

Little Belgian princess is baptised

November 10, 1927

The infant daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Brabant was baptised today. The Duke of Brabant is the heir to the Belgian throne.
The New York Times reports that Princess Josephine Charlotte's baptismal ceremony took place this morning in the Royal Palace in Brussels in the presence of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, Prince and Princess Carl of Sweden, "and others of royal and princely blood."
The Archbishop of Malines, Cardinal de Roey, officiated at the ceremony with several other Roman Catholic priests.
The Princess' godparents are the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg and the Count of Flanders.

KIng Gustav arrives in Copenhagen

November 10, 1917

King Gustav V of Sweden is "making a private visit" to Denmark, where he met with King Christian X. Gustav's visit, according to the New York Times, "confirmed their continued concord and cooperation, and that happy results would be obtained for the two nations."
King Gustav's visit has spurred rumors of an engagement between his niece, Princess Martha, and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
Princess Martha is the daughter of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg, who is a princess of Denmark by birth.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grand Duke Boris dead in Paris

November 9, 1943

Paris radio is reporting that Grand Duke Boris of Russia, a cousin of the late Czar Nicholas II, died "last night" in Paris. He would have been 66 years old on Friday.

The AP's obituary notes that the Grand Duke "was a gay and colorful figure in the capitals of Europe before and after the Russian revolution."

Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovitch was born at St. Petersburg on November 12, 1877, the son of Grand Duke Vladimir and Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna. He served in the army in the Russo-Japanese war and in the first World War and "was decorated for gallantry." In 1917, Boris and members of his entourage "were arrested for a purported plot to place Grand Duke Nicholas on the throne."
During the Russian revolution, Boris escaped to Italy, and was active "in efforts to establish his elder brother," Kirill as Czar.

In the "turbulent post-war period considerable mystery" surrounded Boris' finances. In 1923, he acquired a chateau, and friends said he had "recouped his fortune." But two years later, when Boris came to the United States, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, then a member of Congress, "sought an inquiry into the source of his funds for the visit."

LaGuardia inquired if Boris was an "assisted alien visitor." The Grand Duke's friends called the "inquiry outrageous."

Although Grand Duke Boris's name "was linked to many eligible princesses," he chose to marry Zinaide Sergeivna Rachevsky in Genoa in 1919. The marriage was morganatic, and Zinaide was not styled as Grand Duchess. The couple had no children. Zinaide's brother, Vladimir, lives in the United States, and in 1930, was named head of the New York's Ambassador Hotel.

In 1929, during Boris' final visit to the United States, he filed suit in the New York Supreme Court against the National City Bank to "to recover a deposit of 100,000 rubles made in its Petrograd branch in January 1917." Boris lost the case because the bank was never able to recover its assets after "their seizure by the Soviet government."

Princess Viktoria very ill

November 9, 1929

The condition Princess Victoria of Prussia, has taken "a sudden turn for the worse," reports the Associated Press. The princess' doctors fear for her life.
The princess, who is seeking a divorce from her much younger Russian husband, Alexander Soubkoff, has been ill for several days. Yesterday, her temperature jumped to 104 degrees, and she "became delirious."
Doctors have diagnosed her condition as left lobar pneumonia.

Brunswick regent to wed again

November 9, 1909

In an announcement today made at Wernigerode, Prussian Saxony, Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Regent for the Duchy of Brunswick, is to marry Princess Elisabeth of Stolberg-Rossla. The marriage will take place on December 15.

Duke Johann Albrecht, who was born at Schwerin on December 5, 1857, was accepted as Brunswick's regent on June 5, 1907. His election was "apparently the last chapter in the long-drawn-out controversy over the succession to the throne of Brunswick." The Duke of Cumberland is considered the rightful heir.

Johann Albrecht's first wife, Princess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach died in July 1908.

Princess Elisabeth of Stolberg-Rossla is 24 years old and the third daughter of Count Botho of Stolberg-Rossla and his second wife, Hedwig.

Prince Viktor marries Hungarian countess

November 9, 1909

Prince Viktor of Erbach-Schönburg today married Countess Elizabeth Széchényi, reports the Los Angeles Times in a direct wire from Budapest.

The marriage was solemnized at Castle Somogyvár "with all the rich Hungarian pomp and display of the bridal procession," which consisted of "thirty-five state carriages and preceded by a herald blowing trumpets."

The bride was in the final carriage.

Prince Viktor, who was born in 1880, is the youngest son of the late Karl, Prince of Erbach- Schönburg and his wife, Princess Marie of Battenberg.

The Dowager Princess with her son, Alexander, the Count of Erbach-Schönburg, and daughter-in-law, Elisabeth, and daughter, were among the guests at the wedding. Other German princes and counts were also in attendance, along with fifty members of the the Andrassy and Széchényi families.

The former Gladys Vanderbilt, who is married to the bride's cousin, "took her place in this gorgeous assembly." The American heiress "was gowned in a delicious pale green toilette, and magnificent jewels."

The bride, 21, now becomes connected to the British, Spanish and Italian courts.