Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Victoria and Ella are confirmed

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March 31, 1880

It was a "beautiful and radiant" day today in Darmstadt, where Queen Victoria witnessed the confirmation of two of her granddaughters, Princesses Victoria and Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine. Victoria, the elder at 17, was named for her maternal grandmother, and Elisabeth, 16, received the name of her paternal grandmother, Princess Elisabeth of Prussia.

Both princesses, according to the Times' dispatch, "are tall and well grown for their age, with very fair hair, light blue eyes, and fresh complexion." They bear a "striking resemblance to their aunt, Princess Beatrice, and still more to their cousin, Princess Charlotte, eldest daughter of the German Crown Prince." Charlotte,  married to the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, arrived in Darmstadt last night with her father, "to witness a ceremony in which she herself was not so very long ago the main actor."

Today's ceremony was held in the Grand Ducal Chapel of the old Castle, often used by the English colony. The Court chapel "seems well suited to supply the scanty ritualistic wants of a Sovereign family who adhere to the Lutheran form of worship".

The Cross and the Communion vessels were placed on the altar. "Verdant palms and tropical plants" were placed on each side of the chapel. The two princesses sat in the front, and were encircled by two rows of chairs for the "most illustrious participators in the ceremony."

Guests included members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Darmstadt, representatives from Hesse and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, ministers of state, government officials, and members of Victoria's Household.

Queen Victoria, leading her granddaughter, Princess Victoria, and supported by their father, Grand Duke Louis, made their way down the aisle and to their seats. Princess Elisabeth was escorted by her paternal grandmother.

Victoria's mourning dress was "relieved by bands and edging of whit.  She took her seat next to her son-in-law.

The Prince of Wales, wearing his Field Marshall uniform with full orders, escorted the Grand Duchess of Baden, and the Princess of Wales followed with the German Crown Prince. The other royal guests sitting in the first two rows with the confirmands were the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen and Prince Heinrich of Hesse.

Victoria and Elisabeth,  known as  Ella, were dressed in "white silk dresses and mantillas of the same colour, deeply edged with swans' down.

The German Lutheran service, which opened with an anthem, is not very different from "the English ritual."

Dr. Sell, the Lutheran clergyman, who "superintended" the Princess' religious education, gave a sermon, "though long, was never wearisome, being full of practical wisdom." This was also a bittersweet day for Princess Victoria and Princess Ella as they had to "listen to frequent mentions of their departed mother and her numerous virtues." The Queen was also "deeply affected" by the pastor's sermon.

The two princesses were catechized, and their answers to the pastor's questions were "alternately in the usual way, sometimes very long, being returned in a way which argued both surprising strength of nerve and length of memory on the part of the intending communicants."

The consecration followed, as the Princesses knelt before the altar, and each minister "laid each a hand on their heads and pronounced them responsible members of the Christian Church."

This was followed by the choir singing "Praise the Lord, O my soul," and with the Blessing, "the simple and affecting ceremony was over."

The Queen, deeply moved by the ceremony, rose and left the chapel, followed by her two granddaughters. She was followed by Princess Karl (Elisabeth) and they stopped for the Prince of Wales who stooped to kiss her hand.

After all the other guests left the chapel, the Queen, accompanied by Princess Beatrice, Grand Duke Louis and his brother, Heinrich, "returned to the altar to the Sacrament with her two granddaughters."

A luncheon was held at the old castle, where the queen is staying. In the afternoon, the Prince and Princess of Wales drove out with their "newly confirmed nieces,"dressed in sable. Victoria, accompanied by Princess Beatrice and the Grand Duke, rode out in an open carriage to the Rosenhohe to visit the mausoleum, where her daughter, Alice, and two grandchildren, Friedrich and Marie, were laid to rest. The Queen left a wreath of violets and white and yellow immortelles. The inscription read: A mark of tenderest love and affection from her broken-hearted mother."

Victoria spent 15 minutes at her daughter's grave before returning to the castle. Tomorrow she is expected to visit a hospital, supported by the late Grand Duchess Alice. The Grand Duchess died on December 14, 1878.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Queen Victoria in Darmstadt

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March 30, 1880

The special train carrying Queen Victoria arrived at ten minutes to 6 this evening, "punctual to the time announced," in Darmstadt. Victoria, traveling incognito as Countess Balmoral, arrived from the Villa Hohenlohe, near Baden-Baden. According to Victoria's "express desire, not the slightest approach to a formal reception had been prepared for her," according to the Times.
The newspaper's correspondent noted "the neat and clean residential town, painfully mathematical to a stranger in the precision of its streets."

After the train had stopped, Princesses Victoria and Elisabeth of Hesse -- "the young ladies whose ceremonious confirmation to-morrow will be witnessed by their Royal Grandmother" -- entered the Queen's carriage to greet Her Majesty. Victoria was also welcomed by her son-in-law, Grand Duke Ludwig IV gave Victoria his arm and escorted her to the special waiting room before everyone proceeded to their carriages.

It was a beautiful moment, and Victoria, willing to relax her incognito, allowed the closed carriage "to be flung open," as she was driven to the Grand Ducal Palace. She was accompanied by the Grand Duke and his eldest daughter, Victoria, and Princess Beatrice.

The crowd cheered "graciously" as the carriage wended toward the Palace.

The Prince and Princess of Wales arrived a few days ago in Darmstadt, and "were not in waiting" at the station. Crown Prince Friedrich of Prussia arrived this evening from Berlin, and the Grand Ducal family of Baden will come tomorrow.

The Princesses' confirmation ceremony "promises to be stately and affecting." After the ceremony, the Queen is expected to "make a pious pilgrimage to the tomb" of Princess Alice.

Boris stresses neutrality

March 30, 1940

By wireless to the New York Times.

King Boris III of Bulgaria today received 100 Deputies of the Sobranje (the Bulgarian Parliament) and "reassured them his policy was one of neutrality and peace." The Deputies included "eleven Communists returned in the last election."
The king "praised the unity of the Sobranje in matters of foreign policy." He also expressed his "happiness that the country was united at a time when the world's political horizon was so obscured."
The King was joined at the audience with Queen Giovanna and their two children, Princess Marie Louise, 6, and three-year-old Crown Prince Simeon.

New titles for Prince Henry

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 March 30, 1928

King George V is giving a nice present to his third son, Prince Henry, who celebrates his 28th birthday tomorrow.

It was announced this evening that the King will confer three peerages on Prince Henry, which will accord him the privilege of sitting in the House of Lords. The new titles are Baron Culloden, Earl of Ulster, and Duke of Gloucester. The official announcement also stated that the prince's new official style will be HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

The first dukedom of Gloucester was created in 1385 and became extinct in 1834. The first duke was Thomas of Woodstock, the younger son of Edward III. He lost his title after being convicted as a traitor during the reign of Richard II. The next duke was Henry IV's son, Humphrey, who received the title in 1414, was wounded in the battle of Agincourt, and often acted as Protector during Henry V's long absences. After Humphrey's wife was charged with "practicing sorcery against the King, Humphrey was himself arrested for treason. He died before his trial.

The third duke was Edward IV's brother, the future Richard III.

The title was extinct for 150 years when it was created for Charles II's brother, Henry, who died without issue. Queen Anne's eldest son, William (1689-1700) was styled as the Duke of Gloucester, but King William III never issued an official creation of the title. Prince William, the son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and the brother of George III was created Duke of Gloucester in 1764. He is the only duke whose title passed to an heir - his son, Prince William. The younger William died in 1834 without issue, and the title reverted to the Crown.

Princess Hohenlohe inhales narcotic flowers

March 30, 1928

Princess Hohenlohe was driving her "closed car on a steep street" with a woman friend in Zurich, when she had an "unusual accident." The Princess "felt dizzy, her hands relaxed the wheel, and the uncontrolled car descended down a slope," colliding with a street car, according to the New York Times. No one was hurt
Both women showed signs of being intoxicated. A local policeman called a doctor, who after examining the two women, stated they "certainly were intoxicated," not from liquor, but "from the perfume of a large bouquet of flowers in the car." The chief culprit was the "spurge-laurel, a plant whose berries provide strong poison used for medical purposes."
The Princess and her friend had been inhaling the drug "unknowingly for several hours" before the accident occurred. The Princess and her friend continued the drive to Lucerne after a "short rest," but the flowers were left behind.
Unfortunately, the newspaper did not identify the name of the princess, but this might because the original report from Switzerland neglected to include the princess' full name.

Queen Victoria of Sweden is ill with bronchitis

March 30, 1926

Queen Victoria of Sweden, "like members of other royal families, is ill," the Associated Press reported today. An official bulletin announced that Victoria, who is staying at Anacapri, Italy, is "suffering from bronchitis and heart trouble, but she is not confined to bed."
The Queen is the consort of King Gustav V, and the daughter of the late Grand Duke Friedrich of Baden.

Royal influenza victims making progress

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March 30, 1926

By cable to the Los Angeles Times.

The Prince of Wales and Princess Victoria appear to be making progress from influenza and pneumonia. The official news regarding their condition is "reassuring. Princess Victoria, King George's sister, "is maintaining her strength, with no extension of the inflammation of her chest." The Prince of Wales is "recovering rapidly, with no further bulletins issued."

The news of Princess Victoria's illness has caused great concern at Sandringham. She is a favorite of the royal family. It is believed that her illness was caused by the shock of her mother, Queen Alexandra's death. Victoria was an "inseparable companion" to her mother, and after Alexandra's death, the princess "was forced to go to Italy" to recover. More recently, she has been involved in moving from Marlborough House to a new home, "where she is installing most of her mother's late belongings." The task was nearly complete when Victoria fell ill with pneumonia.

Princess Victoria is the second of three daughters of the late King Edward VII.

The most recent bulletin for Princess Victoria was released this evening from Marlborough House: "Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria had some sleep. There is no extension of the pneumonic process, but the heart shows signs of strain."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lady Ella to work in Brazil's slums

Lady Gabriella Windsor, the 28-year-old daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, is heading to Brazil, where she will be volunteering in the Complexo de Maré, on of Rio's worst slums. In his column in Tuesday's Daily Mail, Richard Kay writes that Lady Ella has joined Projecto Uere, a charitable organization. She will be teaching English for three months to underprivileged children.

Ella's sister-in-law, Lady Frederick Windsor, better known as Sophie Winkleman, came to Hollywood with her husband, Lord Frederick, as she was set to star as Charlotte Payne in 100 Questions, a comedy series for NBC. The show was set to premiere after the Winter Olympics, but the network cut the from thirteen episodes to six. The show is set to be seen in this summer, and perhaps, if 100 Questions does well in the ratings, NBC could order more episodes.

German Prince says he's heir to the Monaco throne

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March 29, 1930

According to the Chicago Daily Tribune, Prince Albrecht of Urach, Count of Württemberg, has declared his intention to claim the throne of Monaco. The prince is the grandson of Princess Florentine of Monaco. He believes the scandal surrounding Princess Charlotte's divorce "will help him win his case." He is now in Paris in "an attempt to make good his claim."

The Urach family has never recognized Princess Charlotte because she was born illegitimate. She was adopted and legitimated by her grandfather, Prince Albert. The Urachs assert "that according to the Monaco constitution, such an adoption becomes illegal until all members of the family approve it."

The Urachs, a "German branch of the family," said they were never asked for their approval and never "approved of the adoption.

The Urachs' main residence is Schloss Lichtenstein, in Württemberg. but the castle is not "big enough for eight young Urachs," so Prince Albrecht decided to find a new home, by seeking the throne of Monaco, "about which his grandmother used to talk."

According to the Associated Press, diplomatic circles in Paris believe that Albrecht's pretensions "are not likely to be realized," despite reports in the German press. It has been reported in Paris that Albrecht's father, Prince Wilhelm renounced all rights to the Monegasque throne in 1924, and this renunciation "applied to all his heirs."

Princess Florestine was the sister of Charles III of Monaco. She spent the "winters of the last thirty years of her life, in Monte Carlo." Florentine was described by the Marquise of Fontenoy as "hard features, sour-faced, generally dressed in somber habiliments that set off the inflamed color of her complexion." She was "cordially disliked and was regarded as chiefly responsible" for the disastrous end of the marriage between Prince Albert and his first wife, Lady Mary Hamilton."

In 1910, it was reported that the Prince of Monaco planned to name the Duke of Urach as his heir. The Duke was married to Duchess Amalia of Bavaria, daughter of late Duke Karl Theodor in Bavaria, and a half-sister to Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians. Should Albert go through with this change in the succession, and remove his son from the succession, many Monegasque citizens will have the impression that Florestine's "malign influence extends beyond the grave."

Princess Florestine Gabrielle Antoinette of Monaco was born on October 22, 1833, in Fontenay-aux-Roses, the only daughter and youngest child of Florestan I and Maria Caroline Gilbert Lametz. On February 15, 1863, the 29-year-old Princess was married in Monaco to Count Wilhelm of Württemberg, son of Duke Wilhelm of Württemberg, and his morganatic wife, Baroness Wilhelmine von Tunderfeldt-Rhodis.

Wilhelm was 52 when he married Florestine, who was his second wife. His first wife was Princess Theodelinda de Beauharnais, daughter of the Duke of Leuchtenberg. They had four daughters, Augusta Eugenie, Marie Josephine, Eugenia, and Mathilde before Theodelinda died in 1857.
Florestine gave birth to the couple's first son, Wilhelm, 2nd Duke of Urach, in 1864. A second son, Karl, was born a year later. In 1867, Count Wilhelm was created Duke of Urach.

Duke Wilhelm I died at his home, Schloss Lichtenstein, on July 17, 1869, and was succeeded by his young son. The Duchess of Urach died in Stuttgart on April 4, 1897.

Young Wilhelm spent much of his childhood in Monaco as his mother often acted as regent for her nephew, Prince Albert when he was on his oceanographic explorations.

The Duke of Urach was second in line to the throne after Albert's son, Louis. He was not married and did not have any legitimate children. However, the French government did not want to see a German prince ruling in Monaco, so in 1911, Monaco passed a law recognizing Louis' illegitimate daughter, Charlotte, as the heir to the throne. Seven years later, she was officially adopted by her grandfather. This new act moved Wilhelm into third place in the succession, but his position was further changed in July 1918, when France and Monaco signed a treaty that required future princes to be Monegasque or French citizens. The Duke of Urach was not a citizen of either country.

In 1924, Duke Wilhelm renounced his rights in favor of a distant cousin, Count Aymard de Chabrillan. He died in 1928, and despite his renunciation, he never recognized Charlotte as his heir.

The present 3rd Duke of Urach, Karl Gero, is the second son of the 2nd Duke and his first wife, Duchess Amalie in Bavaria. He has eight siblings: Marie Gabriele, who died in 1908; Elisabeth, who is married to Prince Karl of Liechtenstein; Karola; Prince Wilhelm (whose morganatic marriage took him out of the succession; Margarete; Albrecht; Eberhard; and Mechtilde. Amalie died in 1912. Duke Wilhelm was married for a second time in 1924 to Princess Wiltrud of Bavaria, daughter of Ludwig III.

Neither Duke Karl Gero nor his younger brother, Prince Albrecht, are married. Prince Albrecht cannot succeed to the Monegesque throne because he is not a citizen of France or Monaco. 

The Count of Chabrillan line descends from Prince Joseph of Monaco (1763-1816), the second son of Honoré III. Prince Joseph's daughter, Princess Honorine (1784-1879) married the Marquis de la Tour du pine de la Charce, and their daughter, Josephine, in 1826, married Jules Guigues de Moreton, Marquis de Chabrillan. Their son. Fortuné married Princess Anne of Croy. The present Marquis succeeded his father in 1900. He is married to Felicite de Levis-Mirepoix, and they have a daughter Anne, who is married to Count Armand de Caumont La Force, and their ten-year-old son, Count Jean, would become the eventual heir to the Monegasque throne, if Prince Louis's daughter, Charlotte, and her two children, Rainier, and Antoinette, are removed from the line of succession.

Despite the marital problems of Princess Charlotte, her father, and the government are unlikely to amend the succession laws. Although Princess Honorine's descendants are French nationals, they have no ties to Monaco. It is more likely that Charlotte's son, Rainier, will become the heir to the throne.

No official announcement yet for Umberto and Marie José

March 30, 1926 

 The Italian newspaper La Tribuna says that the official announcement of the engagement between Crown Prince Umberto and Princess Marie José of Belgium will not be made public until after Umberto's visit to Brussels. The Italian court is in mourning for the late Queen Mother Margherita, reports the Associated Press. 

The Italian media is largely enthusiastic about a marriage that links the houses of Savoy and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Princess Marie José, 20, is the only daughter of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth. As early as 1922, there were "intermittent reports" of her engagement to Umberto. The Crown Prince of Italy is 22, and is one of Europe's most sought-after princes. Queen Marie "was reported to look upon him as a good husband" for her youngest daughter, Ileana. Umberto has also been linked to the Infantas Beatriz and Maria Cristina of Spain, the daughters of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Ena.

Duke off Guise new French pretender

March 29, 1926

By cable to the Los Angeles Times

The death of the Duke of Orléans, pretender to the French throne, at Palermo on Saturday, caused "scarcely a ripple in official circles," although his death "brought lengthy eulogies" by his supporters.
The Duke of Orleans was succeeded by the Duke of Guise, whose "future residence in France is made impossible," unless he chooses to renounce his claim to the throne. Royalist supporters believe that the the Duke of Guise will not give up his claim to the throne, and will renounce all his interests in in France, and "reside permanently abroad." The Duke "owns a fine estate in France," and until now, he has kept out of politics.
French government officials "were little disturbed" by the Duke of Orléans' death. They also believe the Duke of Guise will "assume all the prerogatives of the head of the royal house."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Princess Gundelinde of Bavaria

Princess Gundelinde Maria Josepha of Bavaria was born in Munich on August 26, 1891, the youngest child of King Ludwig III and Queen Maria Theresa, an Archduchess of Austria by birth. Her eldest brother, Crown Prince Rupprecht, was born in 1869.

On February 23, 1919, at Schloss Wildenwart, Princess Gundelinde married Count Johann Georg von Preysing-Lichtenegg-Moos (1887-1924). The marriage took place 20 days after the death of Queen Maria Theresa, also at Wildenwart. 

This also was the second marriage for Count Johann Georg. Only four years earlier, on September 18, 1915, in Munich, the count had married Countess Anna von Lerchenfeld.  Anna died on April 13, 1916, less than a year after the wedding.

Gundelinde gave birth to her first child, Count Kaspar on December 19, 1919. He was killed in action in 1940. He was the last male member of the Preysing family.  Her second child, Countess Maria-Theresia, was born on March 23, 1922, at the family's Schloss in Moos. 

Count Johann Georg died on March 17, 1924, in Munich. Gundelinde did not remarry. She died at Moos on August 16, 1983.

Maria Theresia inherited Moos, where she married on January 25, 1940, to Count Ludwig von Arco-Zinneberg, who was killed in the Second World War in Russia, on February 18, 1942. Ludwig, who had been studying medicine before the war, and Maria Theresia were the parents of one son,  Count Rupprecht-Maximilian,  born on January 14, 1941. 

A year after Ludwig's death, Maria Theresia married his younger brother, Count Ulrich-Philipp. The couple married at civil & religious ceremonies at Moos and at Niederdalteich Abbey on September 26, 1943. Maria Theresia gave birth to two more sons, Ludwig, who lived for only two months in 1944, and Riprand, born on July 25, 1955. He is married to Archduchess Maria Beatrice of Austria.

Countess Maria Theresia died at Moos on September 14, 2003.

Schloss Wildenwart was inherited by Ludwig III's younger daughters, Princesses Hildegard and Helmtrud. Today, it is the home of the Duke and Duchess in Bavaria. Schloss Moos is now in the possession of Maria Theresia's Arco descendants.

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Olga of Leuchtenberg goes bankrupt

March 26, 1930

Duchess Olga of Leuchtenberg has filed for bankruptcy, as her debts have totaled $3,500,000, and her assets, including a 36,000 forest, are worth only $2,700,000, according to the New York Times.
The duchess is married to Duke Georg of Leuchtenberg, a descendant of Eugene Beauharnais, the son of Napoleon's first wife, Josephine. Georg is related to the Russian Imperial family. Although he owns property in Seeon, Bavaria, he fought for Russia during the great war.
The Duchess' financial problems began when she purchased 36,000 acres of forest land in Carinthia. She paid $2,500,000 for the land, and expected "compensation through the sale of timber," but the dumping of Russian timber by the Soviet government has left the Duchess with severe losses.

Italian royal children look forward to former President Roosevelt's visit

March 26, 1910

The Italian royal children are "looking forward with the utmost impatience" to meeting the former American president, Theodore Roosevelt, who is expected to arrive in Rome in a few days.
The King of Italy has four children, Princess Jolanda, 9, Princess Mafalda, 8, Crown Prince Umberto, 6, and 3-year-old Princess Giovanna. The children "are admitted to companionship with their parents to an unusual degree for royal youngsters."

The children are naturally curious as to "how many and what wild beasts" Roosevelt will bring with him, and where will he house his menagerie when he is in Rome. Crown Prince Umberto wants the "wild creatures, especially if they are tigers," to stay in the Quirinal's gardens. He thinks it would be great fun to play with the cubs, but "he could shoot them if they attacked his sisters."

Yolanda did not like this idea, considering it too dangerous, and she would not like to "meet a lion or a bear when she turned an "innocent-looking corner" in the garden.

The royal children decided that the president could bring the cubs, by the adult beasts would have to stay "by invitation at the Vatican's garden with the Pope's lions," which were a gift from the King of Abyssinia.
There were a lot of tears when Queen Elena told the children that they might not get to meet "the hunter" as they called the President. Their "wailings were so loud" that Elena took pity on them, and promised to try and arrange a meeting.
The children's English nurse heard a conversation by the children, which she related to a friend.
Prince Umberto: "Well, I for my part would rather be a hunger than a King."

Princess Yolanda: "Umberto, how can you? To be a King is to be master of the world."

Prince Umberto: "I don't care. You can be a Queen when you grow up, and I shall be like the hunter."
Princess Mafalda: "But, Umberto, why don't you be both. The hunger is a Prince, too."

Umberto: "No, No, no." One can presume that the heir apparent to the Italian throne punctuated his comments with the stomping of his feet. "I shall tell Papa tonight I shall not be a King, but shall be a hunter, and then and be President of the United States so I can live with my animals."

Princess Yolanda: "Well, then, you are no brother of mine, and I shall be Queen and I shall have all your animals shot and ..."

The children's nurse walked into the nursery to try and prevent royal tantrums and tears.

Roller Skating Queen

March 26, 1910

Queen Elena and her children have "taken to roller skating," says the Marquise de Fontenoy in her latest column. Little Princess Yolanda has become especially adept, and "the great parqueted halls of the Quirinal, where formerly the popes held court and presided over great ceremonies of the church," now "resound with the clatter of the roller skates and with the merry laughter of the little princesses."
The Queen's younger sister, Princess Vera of Montenegro, and their niece, Princess Helen of Serbia, the daughter of King Peter, have also become roller skating enthusiasts, as have the queen's ladies in waiting. But despite "the entreaties of his children," King Victor Emmanuel will not join in, fearing he will fall, and "contents himself with looking on."
The presence of Princess Vera and Princess Helena has made the court "much gayer this winter and spring than at any time since the accession of King Victor Emmanuel." The king and Queen have "emerged from their retirement," and have been hosting and attending dances and balls, and going to receptions and entertainments.
And now, the Italian royal family has taken up the delight of roller skating.

Duke declines to talk about engagement to Miss Elkins

march 26, 1908

The Duke of the Abruzzi arrived tonight in Queenstown, Ireland, aboard the Lusitania, "looking well after a fine passage across the Atlantic," reports the New York Times.
Many expect that the Duke is heading to Rome "with the expectation that an official announcement of his engagement" to Miss Katherine Elkins, daughter of Senator Elkins of West Virginia, will be made.
The Duke, a cousin of King Vittorio Emanuele, granted an interview in his cabin to the New York Times correspondent, although he would not discuss the reports of an engagement. The reporter found the duke to be gracious, but when asked about reports that he and Miss Elkins are to marry, he said: "I don't wish to speak on the subject. He was told that "it was believed by many persons in America that he was going to Rome" to consult with the Italian king, he smiled and shook his head, and repeated: "I do not wish to discuss the matter."
He made a "similar reply" when he was asked about a probable engagement being made in Rome. He also asked "to be excused from saying anything whatever touching his relations with Miss Elkins."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is Lord Spencer about to tie the knot ... again

According to Richard Kay in Friday's Daily Mail, the 8th Earl Spencer has popped the question to the widowed Lady Eliot, whose late husband, Jago, was heir to the St. Germans earldom.

Lord Spencer's spokesman has confirmed the engagement. The wedding is expected to take place in September.

The Prince of Wales in Afghanistan

The Prince of Wales has made a secret and historic trip to Afghanistan to visit with British soldiers.

Stephanie to marry Archduke Franz Ferdinand

March 25, 1890

A "clerical paper of Meran" has announced the betrothal of Archduchess Stephanie, the widow of Crown Prince Rudolf, to Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne." according to the Los Angeles Times.

Duke of Connaught ill

March 25, 1930

The Duke of Connaught is ill with a cold, according to the Associated Press. The 80-year-old Duke, who is the third son of the late Queen Victoria, is in Mentone, France, where he has been "forced to remain indoors and has canceled all his engagements.
King George V is the Duke's nephew. The Duke of Connaught served as Governor General of Canada from 1911 to 1916.

Spanish prince seized at border disguised as a woman

March 25, 1926 

 Prince Luis Ferdinand of Bourbon-Orleans was discovered yesterday at Algarve, near the Portuguese border, "disguised as a Spanish woman, the Associated Press reports. Luis Ferdinand has been living in Lisbon "since his expulsion from France. 

 He has been under "police surveillance on suspicion of being implicated in the smuggling of cocaine." The police found "allegedly smuggled goods" in the prince's possession, but no drugs "were among them." The Prince, who is the younger son of Infanta Eulalia of Spain, has sent a telegram to the Queen of Spain, "protesting against the search."

Giovanna engaged to son of war general

March 25, 1926

By cable, an exclusive dispatch to the Los Angeles Times

Princess Giovanna, the 18-year-old daughter of King Victor Emmanuel and Queen Elena of Italy, is engaged to Armando Diaz, the "dashing young officer" and son of Gen. Diaz, who served as Italy's generalissimo during the World War. The official announcement is expected to be made after court mourning ends for Queen Margherita. Giovanna's oldest sister, Princess Yolanda, also married a commoner.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Margaret names her bridesmaids

March 24, 1960

The names of Princess Margaret's bridemaids were released to the media today. The bridesmaids are her niece, Princess Anne, 9; Marilyn Wills, 12, daughter of Maj. and Hon. Mrs. John Wills; Annabel Rhodes, 8, daughter of Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Denys Rhodes; Lady Virginia Fitzroy, 6; daughter of the Earl and Countess of Euston; Sarah Lowether, 6, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Lowther; Catherine Vesey, 6, daughter of Viscount and Viscountess de Vesci; and Lady Rose Nevill, 9, daughter of the Marquess and Marchioness of Abergavenny.

Princess Margaret will marry Mr. Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is expecting ...

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berlenburg, whose engagement to Alexander Johannsmann, is expecting a baby in July. No more horsing around for Nathalie, who is the youngestof three children of Princess Benedikte of Denmark and her husband, Richard, Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. Perhaps this is the reason why the engagement was announced without the release of official photographs.

The baby is due in July. Princess Nathalie said today she and Alexander will be married in a civil ceremony before the birth of the baby.
She says they will be married in a church wedding next year.

Here is the link to the current issue of Billed-Bladet, the Danish magazine, which has the "scoop."

I would love to be able to get a copy of this issue. The magazine is not available in the United States. The closet place is the airport in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Otto's cousin charged with "slurring Nazis"

March 23, 1938

Archduke Josef Ferdinand, head of the "illustrious Habsburg-Tuscany line," was arrested today at Mondsee, near Salzburg. He has been "charged with insulting the Nazi regime of greater Germany, reports United Press.

Nazi sources charge that Josef Ferdinand "made insulting remarks to the villagers of Mondsee." When he was arrested, the archduke tried to deny the charges.

Archduke Josef Ferdinand's main residence is at Mondsee. He is the "most illustrious of all the noblemen arrested since the Austro-German union. He is 65 years old and the son of the late Grand Duke Ferdinand IV of Tuscany. Josef Ferdinand, a colonel-general in the World War in the Austrian army, is a first cousin, once removed of Archduke Otto, the heir to the Austrian throne. This connection is through Josef Ferdinand's mother, Princess Alice of Bourbon-Parma, who was Roberto, Duke of Parma's sister. Empress Zita, Otto's mother, is one of Robert's many children.

More than three thousand people have been held as "political offenders" since the Austro-German union. At least 500 are in concentration camps. The number includes "scions of the most distinguished Austro-German princely families, who rose at 5 a.m. today in cells and breakfasted on coffee and bread."

Archduke Josef Ferdinand, who was born in 1872, was the second son of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess. He became heir to the throne after his elder brother renounced his claim. Grand Duke Ferdinand died on January 17, 1908, and Josef Ferdinand succeeded as head of the house. After the war, Josef Ferdinand remained in Vienna, where on May 2, 1921, he married a commoner, Rosa Kaltenbrunner. As Rosa was not of equal rank, Josef Ferdinand renounced his rights as head of the house. He was succeeded by his brother, Archduke Peter Ferdinand.

Rosa died in 1928. A year later, Josef Ferdinand married Gertrude Tomanek. They have two children, Claudia, who was born in 1930, and 6-year-old Maximilian.

Queen Sophie of Sweden prefers to live in England

March 23, 1910

Queen Sophie of Sweden, the widow of King Oscar, now makes her home "almost entirely in England," according to the latest dispatch from the Marquise de Fontenoy. She has homes in London, Buckinghamshire and a villa in Bournemouth. But it is "misleading to speak of her as an exile from Sweden," as she prefers to make her home in England, "largely because the climate is more beneficial to her health then that of Sweden." Even when King Oscar was live, Sophie would often spend the autumn or the winter in the south of England. The queen does have "pronounced views with regard to evangelical matters, to temperance and to puritanism," as she objects to "many of the ordinary forms of social entertainment as harmful frivolities." Sophie has an active role in "Salvation Army affairs."
Her views "were often a source of trouble" to the Swedish government during Oscar's reign. She found the "people and the conditions in Norway more congenial than in Sweden," even at a time when "relations between the sister kingdoms were exceedingly strained."
King Oscar could "exercise considerable influence" over Sophie, but the same cannot be said for Sophie's relationship with her eldest son, the present King Gustav. She cares very little for her eldest son, which has led "to more friction between herself and the Swedish authorities in the last two years."
The differences between mother and son are not solely based in their different views, but also are about money. King Oscar was not a very rich man, but Queen Sophie has a large fortune, inherited from her father, the last Duke of Nassau, "who obtained colossal revenues from the public gaming tables of Wiesbaden."
It was largely assumed, certainly by Oscar, that he would benefit from Sophie's inheritance, which would then be inherited by Gustav. However, Queen Sophie has "intimated her intention of leaving her fortune to her second son, Prince Bernadotte," who gave up his title and his right of succession when he married Ebba Munck.
The Prince and Princess share Sophie's views. The prince was forced to retire from the Navy, as the "chiefs could not countenance his preaching in the street, to the hymn accompaniments of his wife." The prince and princess also crusaded against places that served alcohol and the prince was known to criticize the "legislation and administration of the government in various social and religious matters."
Princess Bernadotte is not popular with her husband's family. King Gustav and other members of the family see the prince and princess has being undue influences on "the aged queen," because of the inheritance.
In England, Sophie is "so much freer to follow out her religious, philanthropic, and social work," without any interference from the Swedish government or her son. In England, she can enjoy a "liberty of action" which would be out of the question in Sweden.

Swedish royal wedding date set

March 23, 1908

It was announced today that the wedding between Prince Wilhelm of Sweden and Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna of Russia will take place on May 3rd.
The prince is the second son of King Gustav V and Queen Victoria of Sweden. Marie Pavlovna is the only daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and the late Princess Alexandra of Greece.

judge in Sanz case visits Queen Mother

March 22, 1908

The judges in the Elena Sanz case will visit the palace in Madrid to take the testimony of Queen Maria Cristina, according to the AP dispatch.
Elena Sanz was a Spanish actress who had two sons by King Alfonso XII. Maria Cristina is Alfonso's widow. The two sons are suing Alfonso XII's heirs "for an annuity which they claim was left to their mother by the King and which was to revert after to death to them."
Several days ago, Queen Maria Cristina desposed that after the death of her husband, Senor Salmeron came to see Senor Abella, then master of the household to tell him that Elena Sana "had in her possession certain letters from the late King, the publication of which would cause a scandal." Elena made it clear that she would give up the letters in exchange for $15,000, and Salmeron wanted a further $1000 "for his services in the matter."
Queen Maria Cristina trusted Salmeron, and paid the money, and "was assured by him that all the letters in question had been destroyed."
The present suit "is based on entirely upon letters identical with those which the Queen paid to have burned."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Princess Beatrice carries out an engagement

One expects she will take on more duties, after she receives her degree. This is a good start.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hereditary Prince Johannes zu Schwarzenberg marries

HSH Hereditary Prince Johannes zu Schwarzenberg was married today to Diana Orgovanyi-Hanstein. The religious wedding took place at Neuberg Cathedral at Neuberg an der Mürz, Austria. The groom, who was born in Vienna in 1967, is the eldest son of the Prince of Schwarzenberg and his wife, Countess Therese zu Hardegg auf Glatz.Karl and Therese were divorced in 1988. Shortly before the divorce came the announcement of the adoption of Therese's younger son, Prince Karl Philipp Ernst Alwig Kilian, who was born in 1979, by Thomas Prinzhorn. Karl now has the surname Prinzhorn as he was not fathered by Prince Karl. Twenty years after their divorce. Karel and Therese remarried on July 25, 2008.

Diana was born in 1971 in Vienna, and is an artist.
Johannes, known as Aki, and Diana decided to wear Styrian dress for their nuptials. As you will see from the photos, the bride was definitely a trend setter, wearing a bright red gown and very high heels. They chose to marry in Styria, as "without much pomp and fanfare." Diana gave a pre-wedding interview to the Austrian magazine, Woman, where she said "I have to stay in Austria, because we do not like to leave the dogs alone."
The newlyweds have been friends for more than 20 years, but became a couple only a year and a half ago. Weddings guests included the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Hohenlohe-Ohringen and Countess Claire of Schönborn-Buchheim.

Hereditary Prince Johannes's father, Karl (known in the Czech Republic as Karel), is a Senator from Prague, and the former Foreign Minister of the Czezh Republic. In August 2006, Johannes's marriage to society reporter, Nadia Weiss, was called off after Johannes learned that Nadia was also involved with another man.

The time is now for health care for all in the USA

“Comprehensive health insurance is an idea whose time has come in America. There has long been a need to assure every American financial access to high quality health care. As medical costs go up, that need grows more pressing. Now, for the first time, we have not just the need but the will to get this job done. There is widespread support in the Congress and in the nation for some form of comprehensive health insurance. … Let us act sensibly. And let us act now … to assure all Americans financial access to high quality medical care.”

Do you know who said these words? President Barack Obama? No. He didn't. These words were said by President Richard M. Nixon in 1974.

His plan was not so different from what is up for vote tomorrow in the House of Representatives.
Richard Nixon, a Republican, would have approved of President Obama's plan. I was 18 years old in 1972, and I cast my first vote for president in November of that year. I voted for Richard Nixon. He was paranoid, and he screwed up, but he did get some things accomplished, including Title IX. Perhaps if Watergate had not happened, we might be celebrating 36 years of universal health care - and we would be a healthier and more productive nation because of it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

I hate to see you go, I hate to see you go, hope the hell you never come back, I hate to see you ... and

Winter ... do not let the door hit you on the way out ... see ya, bye .... ta ta. Auf Wiedersehen!

"Welcome, sweet Springtime! We greet thee in song,
Murmurs of gladness fall on the ear,
Voices long hushed now their full notes prolong
Echoing far and near.
Sunshine now wakes all the flow'rets from sleep,
Joy-giving incense floats on the air;
Snow-drop and primrose both timidly peep,
Hailing the glad new year.

Balmy and life-breathing breezes are blowing,
Swiftly to nature new vigor bestowing.
Ah, how my heart beats with rapture anew,
As earth's fairest beauties again meet my view.

Sing then, ye birds: raise your voices on high;
Flow'rets awake ye! Burst into bloom!
Springtime is come! and sweet Summer is nigh,
Sing then, ye birds, O sing!"

It is about 73 degrees (F) right now, bright sun. Gorgeous ... Subfreezing temps, Snowpocalypse, Snowmaggedon, Snowfecta ... all that Snoverkill. All gone!

and my Nationals Season tickets arrived yesterday! Sixteen days until OPENING DAY!!!!

Prince Eugen to wed Olga of Württemberg

Embed from Getty Images

March 19, 1898

The Chicago Daily Tribune has received word from Rome that Prince Eugen, the youngest son of King Oscar II of Sweden, is engaged Duchess Olga of Württemberg. Eugen, known as the "Red Prince," for his "predilection for red in colors." He is an "artist of no means ability," and is very "democratic in his ways." Eugene mixes "in a familiar manner with brotherly artists, and takes part in their bohemian life."

He has a "large fortune of his own," and Duchess Olga is "one of the wealthiest princesses in Europe," and her mother is the former Grand Duchess Vera Konstantinova of Russia. Olga and her mother are in Rome, as is Prince Eugen, and King Oscar "is shortly expected."

4 Kings at Ingeborg's funeral

March 19, 1958

The Kings of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium were present today for the funeral of Princess Ingeborg of Sweden, according to Reuters,

King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden, King Frederik IX, King Olav V of Norway and King Baudouin, with Queen Louise of Sweden and Queen Ingrid of Denmark, sat in the front row of the Great Church at the royal palace in Stockholm, with Ingeborg's two surviving children, Prince Carl Bernadotte and Princess Margaretha of Denmark. Other members of the royal family were present for the service, and then "drove to Haga Castle," where Princess Ingeborg was buried in the cemetery. She died at her home last Wednesday at the age of 79.

Princess Ingeborg Charlotta Carolina Frederikke Louise of Denmark was born in Copenhagen on August 2, 1878. She was the fifth child of King Frederik VIII and his wife, Princess Louise of Sweden. On August 27, 1897, Ingeborg married Prince Carl of Sweden. The marriage had been arranged by their fathers, which Carl admitted on the occasion of the couple's 50th wedding anniversary in 1947. Ingeborg acknowledged that she "married a complete stranger. They had four children, Margaretha, Märtha, Astrid, and Carl.

Margaretha married her first cousin once removed, Prince Axel of Denmark. They had two sons, Georg and Flemming. Märtha, who died in 1954, was the Crown Princess of Norway as in 1929, she married her first cousin, then Crown Prince Olav of Norway. Princess Astrid became the wife of Crown Prince Leopold of the Belgians in 1926. Leopold succeeded to the throne in 1934. A year later, Queen Astrid, 29, was killed in a car crash. Prince Carl lost his royal titles and his right of succession in 1937 when he married Swedish Countess Elsa von Rosen. His brother-in-law, King Leopold III, created him as Prince Bernadotte.

Princess Ingeborg, who was known as "the mother-in-law of Europe," is survived by two of her children, Princess Margaretha of Denmark and Prince Carl, and her grandchildren, Princes Georg and Flemming of Denmark, Princesses Ragnhild and Astrid and Crown Prince Harald of Norway, King Baudouin and Prince Albert of the Belgians and the Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg) and Countess Madeleine Bernadotte, as well as numerous grandchildren.

Lord Milford Haven files for divorce

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March 19, 1958

The Marquess of Milford Haven, 38, first cousin to the Duke of Edinburgh, "today petitioned the London divorce court" to declare that his marriage to Romaine Simpson, 33, "has been validly dissolved," according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

There is a doubt that a divorce obtained by Lady Milford Haven in Juarez, Mexico, in May 1954 is valid in Britain. Lord Milford Haven is also seeking an English divorce.

The couple was married in Washington, D.C., in 1950.

Lady Milford Haven obtained the divorce on the grounds of "incompatibility."
She had abandoned "an earlier divorce petition in New York," where she named Hungarian actress, Eva Bartok, as the other woman. The Marquess filed a countersuit, alleging that his wife had an affair with Long Island polo player, Walter A. Micholis.

Lord Milford Haven is a great-grandson of Queen Victoria and the nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. He has been a frequent escort of Miss Bartok, and they are expected to wed after he receives his divorce. After the wedding, Lord Milford Haven is expected to adopt Eva's six-month-old daughter, Deana Grazia. Miss Bartok has refused to name the father of the child, "born out of wedlock."

Carl Eduard guest of honor at NY dinner

@Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

March 19, 1940

Duke Carl Eduard of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was the guest of honor at a reception and dinner at the Ritz-Carlton in New York City tonight. The event was hosted by Dr. Hans Borchers, the German Consul, and Mrs. Borchers. Duke Carl Eduard, a grandson of Queen Victoria, is the president of the German Red Cross and the vice chairman of the League of Red Cross Societies.

According to the New York Times, the guests included the foreign consular corps in New York and the New York chapter of the American Red Cross. The Duke has been in Washington, D.C., where he conferred with the Norman H. Davis, the head of the International Red Cross.

Tomorrow, a luncheon will be given for the Duke at the Crystal Garden at the Ritz-Carlton, and tomorrow night, he will be the guest of honor at a dinner of the German-American Chamber of Commerce at the Waldorf-Astoria.

King's grandmother very ill

March 19, 1910

The Dowager Duchess of Genoa, the grandmother of King Victor Emanule, "was stricken with apoplexy today and is grave condition," according to the New York Times. The Dowager Queen Margherita and Queen Elena have hastened to her bedside, and the King is expected to arrive in Turin as "soon as possible."

Will Luise separate from her singer?

March 19, 1908

The New York Times reports on dispatches in Berlin regarding "trouble between the Countess Montignoso, formerly the Crown Princess of Saxony, and her pianist husband, Toselli." These reports have apparently confirmed in a letter from the Countess to a friend in London. The unnamed friend is said to the source of a statement "that while a divorce is not imminent there is every likelihood of a separation."
A disagreement rose when the Countess "refused an offer to tour America with her husband."
Toselli is currently fulfilling professional engagements on the Continent. His wife is not traveling with him.

Is Queen Maria Christina opposed to Ena?

March 19, 1906

European newspapers, discussing the recent conversion to the Roman Catholic Church by Princess Ena of Battenberg, allege that her future mother-in-law, Queen Maria Christina of Spain "is bitterly opposed to the match" on the ground that Ena has been raised a Protestant, and "then goes on to declare that the family statutes, representing the views of the adult members, absolutely forbid unions, not only with Protestants but even with converts to Roman Catholicism from that church," writes the Marquise de Fontenoy in her latest column.

The Marquise points out that none of the statements made in the European media "have any foundation of fact." She points out that there is no evidence that the queen mother "entertains any objection to the bride of her only son." Queen Maria Christina is a devout Catholic, but she is " by no means a bigot."

She is the granddaughter of a Protestant princess, Duchess Maria Dorothea of Württemberg, who became a Catholic when she married Archduke Josef. His brother, Archduke Karl, also married a Lutheran princess, Henriette of Nassau, "who positively declined to abandon the church in which she had been reared."

Every Sunday, the Archduchess attended services at the Lutheran church in Vienna, and her presence there helped contribute to "emancipate its members from the restrictions, and even persecutions, to which, until that time, they had been subjected by the Austrian authorities."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Little Prince is Swedes' favorite film star

March 18, 1950

Little Prince Carl Gustav, who will celebrate his 4th birthday on April 30, is Sweden's "youngest and most popular film star." At birth, he received the title Prince of Jamtland, and at his baptism, where he received the names Carl Gustav Folke Hubertus, his great-grandfather, King Gustav V, "decorated him with the Royal Order of the Seraphim," according to the Chicago Tribune.

The prince, who is second in line to the throne, is officially known as Carl Gustav, but the "little boy speaks of himself as Ustaf."

To the Swedes, he is "the little Prince, a lively little boy with fair, curly hair and a mischievous smile."

Last summer, Carl Gustav appeared in a movie where he is shown "enjoying himself on a farm near one of his great-grandfather's summer homes." Carl Gustav  "loves everything about a farm, especially the animals."

He also likes to play in the sand, "paddle in the water and make sandcastles." He is a true Swede as in winter "he loves to roll in the snow and slide on skis and sleds."

Prince Carl Gustav is not a spoiled little boy. He is subjected to strict rules of behavior and conduct," and his education will prepare him to be king one day.

He was only eight months old when his father, Prince Gustav Adolf died in a plane crash in Denmark, and he lives with his mother, Princess Sibylla, and four older sisters, Margaretha, Birgitta, Desiree, and Christina.

The heir apparent to the throne is Carl Gustav's grandfather, Crown Prince Gustav Adolf.

Grand Duke Andrei's riches are gone

Embed from Getty Images

March 18, 1928

A million franc mortgage has been placed on Villa Alam, the home of Grand Duke Andrei of Russia, and this has led to the discovery that Andre's personal fortune "has been lost," reports the AP. Three years ago, the villa was said to be worth 16,000,000 francs.

Most of the loss can be blamed on Andre's wife, Princess Krassinskaya, who spent far too much time at the gambling tables of Monte Carlo where she "had anything but good luck."

Grand Duke Andrei received 20,000,000 francs "as his share of the money realized by the sale of family jewels brought out of Russia during the revolution." Andre was able to renovate an old family home and he "commenced to entertain in true court style." Now his servants are "leaving one by one," and only "seven faithful retainers" remain of the original "ninety that formerly tried to keep up in France the memories of royalty before the Russian revolution."
Princess Krassinskaya is described as the "world's unluckiest gambler."

In 1890, the former Mathilde Kschessinska, a prima ballerina, and former mistress of Nicholas II (He gave her up when he married Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine.)

Mathilde acquired great wealth through her Romanov connections, and it was on her balcony, in February 1917 where Lenin addressed the crowds following his return from Finland.

Mathilde fled to France, where she married Grand Duke Andrei is 1921. In 1902, she gave birth to a son, Vladimir, who has the title Prince Romanovsky-Krasinsky. He is known as Vova. His father is said to be Grand Duke Serge Mikhailovich, but Mathilde was living with both Serge and Andre, so it is possible that Andre may have fathered her son.

Grand Duke Andrei is now 49 years old, and Princess Krassinskaya is 62.

Olga found living in a box car

Embed from Getty Images 

March 18, 1920

The American Red Cross issued the following statement today, published by the New York Times and other news outlets.

"The Grand Duchess Olga, a sister of the last Czar of Russia and one of three surviving members of the house of Romanoff has been found by American Red Cross workers living in a boxcar near Novorossisk, South Russia. A report reaching the national headquarters of the Red Cross today that this survivor of the most sumptuous court in the world was discovered toiling among fellow refugees from the territory recently conquered by the Bolsheviki, giving such assistance as she could. However, she was clad in rags and grateful for any food.

"Refugees have been pouring into Novorossisk by the thousands, all reduced to the most abject poverty. The South Russian Committee of the American Red Cross has been caring for them to the limit of its resources, and it was in the midst of this work that the plight of the royal refugee was discovered."

Grand Duchess Olga was divorced from Duke Peter of Oldenburg, and she later married a young army officer, Nicholas Kulikovsky. She has two sons, "but the Red Cross report does not reveal the fate of these or her children."

Olga's older sister, Grand Duchess Xenia, lives in London, and their mother, the Dowager Empress Marie is in Copenhagen.

Olga was born in 1882. She married Duke Peter in 1901, and they were divorced fifteen years later. There are no children from the first marriage.

Konstantin of Oldenburg dead in Nice

March 18, 1906

Duke Konstantin of Oldenburg died today in Nice, reports the New York Times. He was born in 1850, and was a cousin of the reigning duke of Oldenburg. The late Grand Duke is a member of the Russian branch of the Oldenburg family. His grandfather, Duke Georg married Grand Duchess Catherine of Russia. They had two sons, Alexander (1810-1829) and Duke Peter (1812-1881), who in 1837 married Princess Therese of Nassau-Weilburg.
Duke Konstantin Friedrich Peter was the seventh of eight children. In 1882, h contracted a morganatic alliance with Aggripina Djaparidze, who was created Countess of Zarnekow. Konstantin is survived by his wife and five children, Countess Alexandra, Countess Catherine, Count Nicholas, Count Alexei and Count Peter. Countess Alexandra is the wife of Prince George Yurievsky, the son of Emperor Alexander II and his morganatic wife, Princess Catherine Dolgoruky, who was Princess Yurievskaya. Alexandra and her husband, George are the parents of the late duke's only grandchild, Prince Alexander, who was born in December 1900.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Michaels of Kent - December 1992

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at the National Symphony Ball in Washington, D.C. Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria also attended.

Prince Michael was born on July 4th. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one of his godfathers. Rather fun to have snapped the Prince with the American flag in the background!

James and Julia Ogilvy's wedding

Both photos @Marlene A. Eilers Koenig 

On July 30, 1988 at Saffron Walden, Essex, James Ogilvy, the only son of the late Hon Sir Angus Ogilvy and HRH Princess Alexandra, married Julia Caroline Rawlinson. I covered the wedding for The Royal Year, an annual magazine published by Berkswell.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To all the Americans who read RM

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! US Census Forms -- the Constitution requires that a Census be taken every ten years -- appeared in mail boxes today ... open it, read it, answer the questions --- this is very important for federal funding in the future, as well as genealogical information for our great-grandchildren.) The 2010 census will not be made public until 2083, although information from the census will be culled, cultivated and used as data.
The first census was in 1790. At this time, the most recent census available to the general public (where you can read the names, etc), is the 1930 Census. The U.S. Census will release the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012.
Now that you have answered the questions, put the form into the SASE and put in the mail ...

The Census is sooooo important. America, Americans ... STAND UP, BE COUNTED ... DO IT.
"we can't move forward until you mail it back."

Wilhelm's future bride is Augusta Viktoria, not Karoline

March 16, 1880

The New York Times reports the following dispatch from Berlin: "There seems to be little reason to question the truth of the statement that Prince William, eldest son of the Crown Prince, will soon be betrothed. The lady is Princess Auguste Victoria, eldest daughter of the late Prince Frederick of Schleswig-Holsten-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, and not Princess Caroline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein, as previously reported."

a Fourth son for the Louis Ferdinands

March 16, 1946

Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia became a father for the sixth time today when his wife, Grand Duchess Kira of Russia gave birth to a son. This is the couple's fourth son. The new little prince will probably be named Sigismund, according to the AP dispatch.
Louis Ferdinand is a grandson of the late Kaiser Wilhelm, and future head of the house after his father, Crown Prince Wilhelm.

Grand Duke Alexander says reds will fail

Embed from Getty Images

March 16, 1930

Grand Duke Alexander of Russia arrived today in Portland, Oregon, from British Columbia. He is en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Grand Duke, who is married to Grand Duchess Xenia, sister of the late Nicholas II, said in an interview with the Chicago Daily Tribune that he believes Russia's Communist government will fail. He declared that "Russia's 150,000,000 population is ruled and fed on by a central group of 1,000,000 'bandits,' who have built up a 'remarkable exploitation machine.'"

He also said it is impossible to predict how long the Communists will rule in Russia, as the government's position is "very strong."

"It controls the government, the railroads, the Red Army, and vast resources. Russia is more than six times as large as the United States and too large for its people to unite against Communism."

Three of Alexander's sons are working in the United States. One is a stockbroker in New York City, the second work for Marshall Field's department store in Chicago, and the third son works in a Connecticut airplane factory."

Italian court denies Abruzzi engagemenet

March 16, 1908

The Italian court today denied reports of an engagement between the Duke of the Abruzzis and Miss Katherine Elkins, the daughter of Senator Elkins of West Virginia.
The duke, a noted explorer, is a cousin of King Victor Emanuel.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Royals attend Prince Oscar's wedding

March 15, 1888

"A large number of guests" were present for Prince Oscar of Sweden's marriage to Ebba Munck in Bournmouth, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune. The guests included the Queen of Sweden, Prince Carl and Prince Eugene of Sweden, the Crown Princess of Denmark and the Duchess of Albany. The Lutheran ceremony was performed by Pastor Hostrow of Stockholm. The "weather was brilliant."

Prince Gaetano of Bourbon-Parma has party for relatives

March 15, 1940

Prince Gaetano of Bourbon-Parma is sailing on the Rex today en route to his home in Rome, Italy. Yesterday, he hosted a cocktail party in the Tower of the Waldorf-Astoria for his cousins, Mrs. Ashley Chanler, and her sister, Princess Philippa de Braganca. Others at the party includes Mrs. James Roosevelt and the Duchess of Talleyrand.
Mrs. Chanler is the former Princess Maria Antonia de Braganca. She married Ashley Chanler, a great-great-grandson of William Backhouse Astor, Sr. in 1934. They have two children, Mafalda and Anthony Chanler. Maria Antonia and Flippa are the daughters of Dom Miguel, Duke of Braganza and Princess Maria Theresa of Löwenstein-Werthem-Rosenberg.

Has Carol broken with Elena Lupescu

March 15, 1930

Reliable sources tell the Associated Press that Prince Carol, the father of the young King Michael of Roumania, has separated from Elena Lupescu, the woman for whom he renounced his rights to the thrine.
This is not the first report of a separation between Carol and Elena. The reports are usually followed by the couple making a joint appearance to let everyone know that they are still together.
Prince Carol is divorced from Michael's mother, Princess Helen.

Deportation Order for Zoubkoff

March 15, 1928

Alexander Zoubkoff, the "youth adventurous husband" of Princess Victoria of Prussia, will be deported from Germany, acccording to reports received in Cologne, the New York Times states. Zoubkoff failed to obey "the passport regulations laid down for foreigners," and was recently fined 500 marks. The Governor of the Rhineland ordered the deporation.
Although she is no longer a German citizen, Princess Victoria, a sister of the former Kaiser, was not included in the deporation order. The order cannot be enforced as Zoubkoff recently left the country, "presumably en route to the Congo district with a view of recovering from troubles rising from nerve exhaustion."
The princess is said to be "living quietly" at her villa in Bonn, "regretting the absence of her spouse of only four months."
According to the Associated Press, Princess Victoria "refuses to believe" that her husband "has been ordered expelled." When she was told that a deportation order had been issued, she called it "an infamous lie," and she repudiated the "allegation that her husband, anticipating expulsion, had fled secretly."
Victoria was also asked if she were contemplating a divorce. She responded that reports of a divorce were "utterly untrue and absurd. We are perfectly happy together. Only desire is to be left alone."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Summer 1907

Time to visit the grandparents. The Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha pack up the car and take their son, little Hereditary Prince Johann Leopold and head to Schloss Glucksburg for a visit to Oma and Opa (the Duke and Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein), Onkel Fritz and Tante Adelheid. This photo was taken in the summer of 1907 (the straw hats, white dresses) as Johann Leopold was born in August 1906.

One wonders if little Johann Leopold was fascinated by Oma's rather large hat!
Carl Eduard, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Princess Victoria Adelheid of Schleswig-Holstein were married in 1905.

Fritz -- Friedrich, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein (having succeeded his father in 1934) was married in 1916 to Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, whose mother, Alexandra, was the Duke of Saxe-Coburg's first cousin.

Princess Adelheid married Friedrich, 3rd Prince of Solms-Baruth, on August 1, 1914 at Potsdam.

The wedding of Princess Barbara of Prussia and Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg

Princess Barbara of Prussia and Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg, following their wedding at Schloss Glücksburg, July 11, 1954

One of those lovely family groups

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

This group photo was taken in 1961 or 1962 -

Back row: Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg and his wife, Barbara (nee Princess of Prussia) and Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz and his wife Karin
Middle row: Duchess Thyra of Mecklenburg, Princess Elisabeth of Ysenburg-Büdingen (nee Princess of Schleswig-Holstein), Grand Duchess Alexandra of Mecklenburg (nee Hannover), Princess Irene of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Anastasia of Schleswig Holstein (nee Duchess of Mecklenburg) and Princess Margarethe of Schleswig-Holstein
Front row: Duchess Donata of Mecklenburg, Duchess Edwina of Mecklenburg, Princess Sibylla of Schleswig-Holstein and Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg was one of 38 German royals who were to be rescued by Great Britain in the advent of a Soviet invasion of West Germany. The plans and the list of the 38 royals, prepared by the Foreign Office, were made public.
The list included Prince Philip's surviving sisters, Margarita, the Dowager Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and her children, Theodora, the Margravine of Baden, and her husband and Prince and Princess Georg Wilhelm of Hanover (Sophie) and their children.
Others on the list included the elderly Dowager Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, her son, the Prince of Hanover, his wife, and their six children, and her youngest son, Prince Welf, and his wife Alexandra.

At first glance, some may wonder why these royals were on a protected list. The Hanovers were also British royals, even though in 1917, the family lost their British titles when George V announced the new family name of Windsor, and limited the HRH and the title of Prince and Princess to the children of the sovereign and the grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line (and the Prince of Wales's eldest son's eldest son.) In 1931, the Duke of Brunswick issued a non-binding decree, stating that his male line would continue to use the British titles due to being the only direct male line descended from George III. Members of the Hanover royal family continue to use the older British title: prince or princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most members of the family also continue to seek permission to marry, according to the Royal Marriages Act. In 1956, the present Prince of Hanover's father won a court case that established his right of British citizenship (and the citizenship of about 400 others) due to the Sophia Nationality Act.
Prince Georg Wilhelm did not seek permission to marry when he wed Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark due to his marriage taking place in 1946, one year after the war had ended. The British King was not interested in hearing from a distant cousin who had fought for Germany.
The Count of Toerring-Jettenbach and Prince and Princess Ludwig of Hesse and By Rhine were also on the list. The Count was the widower of Princess Elisabeth of Greece and Denmark, the sister of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. Prince Ludwig and his British-born wife, Margaret were much loved by the British royal family.

 Prince Ludwig's late brother was married to the Duke of Edinburgh's sister, Cecilie.

The Duchess of Mecklenburg was born Princess Alexandra of Cumberland, as well as a Princess of Hanover. The Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg was her sister-in-law. She was born Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II. In May 1913, she married Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Their wedding was the last grand royal occasion before the outbreak of World War I. Viktoria Luise's wedding was also the final meeting between three cousins: Kaiser Wilhelm II, George V, and Nicholas II of Russia.

A divorce for the Hohenzollerns

Karl Friedrich, Hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern and his wife, Alexandra, who was born a Countess of Schenk von Stauffenberg, were divorced on January 21, 2010, in Sigmaringen. The couple has lived apart for several years. The divorce was, however, amicable. (The information for the divorce was confirmed to me by HSH The Hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern).
The couple were married in a civil ceremony on May 17, 1985 at Sigmaringen. Their religious wedding took place at the Klosterkirche on June 16, 1985. The couple have one son, Alexander, who was born in New York City in 1987, and three daughters, Philippa (1988), Flaminia (1992) and Antonia (1995.).
The Hereditary Prince is the heir apparent to his father, HSH The Prince of Hohenzollern, who was born in 1924. His mother, the former Princess Margarita zu Leiningen, committed suicide in 1996. Due to a family trust set up some years ago, Karl Friedrich has already inherited the family property and estates.
Prince Karl Friedrich is the vocalist and saxophonist for a jazz/swing band, Charly and the Jivemates.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prince Wilhelm to marry

March 11, 1880

Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, the eldest son of the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia, "will shortly become betrothed" to Princess Karoline Mathilde, daughter of the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, according to "well-informed circles" in Berlin, the Chicago Daily Tribune reports.
Wilhelm is the eldest grandchild of Queen Victoria. Princess Karoline Mathilde is a granddaughter of Queen Victoria's elder half-sister, Princess Feodore, the Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Edward VIII may marry Princess

Embed from Getty Images 
 March 11, 1936 

 King Edward VIII may be getting married, and today, the "king himself broached the subject." The topic of the king's marriage was in his royal message to the House of Commons, in the submission for the civil list. The statement included "His Majesty desires that the contingency of his marriage should be taken into account so that, in that event, there should be a provision for her majesty." 

The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that after the royal message was read by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain, one Labor member of Parliament asked: "Does his majesty give any assurance that he is going to get married?" Chamberlain did not reply. 

The new civil list includes "special provisions" for the king's brother, the Duke of York, currently the heir presumptive, and his family. Edward said he "would yield some of the revenue from the Duchy of Cornwall toward increasing the pay of the duke."

King Edward, 41, has been the "target of countless marriage rumors" for many years. At this time there are five princesses who are considered the most eligible: Princesses Irene and Katherine of Greece, Princess Eugenie of Greece, Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, and Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands. 

Juliana, however, is the heir to the Dutch throne and is unlikely to marry a king of another country.

 Well-informed sources tell the Los Angeles Times that Princess Eugenie, a cousin of the Duchess of Kent, is "the most probable choice if the King marries."

Austrian Fascists have plan for Habsburg restoration

March 11, 1926, by wireless to the New York Times.

Austrian Fascisti have revised their program for the restoration of the Habsburgs in four countries. The plan, which has been sent to Empress Zita, was revealed today, asks for the Habsburgs to renounce the idea of having "only one monarch on the throne." The new plan creates four monarchies, with Archduke Otto on the throne in Austria, Archduke Albrecht as King of Hungary, the eldest son of the late Archduke Franz Ferdinand as the ruler of Czechoslovakia, and one of Archduke Leopold Salvator's sons as king of Croatia.
Another option would be to have Archduke Robert, the second son of the late Emperor Karl and Empress Zita, rule Hungary, "theoretically as Viceroy, for Otto." The plans includes the "union of Austria and Germany," and Otto, as the new Austrian emperor, would be "required to accomplish" this goal.

Alice de Bourbon likes the Florida lifestyle

March 10, 1910

Princess Alice of Bourbon, who sailed from Naples for America in December, has "slipped into this country under the name of her present husband, ex-Capt. Lino del Prete, unnoticed," according to the latest column by the Marquise de Fontenoy. They spent several days together in New York "without attracting any attention." Alice and her husband are now "settled in Florida, where she has devoted a part of the considerable fortune she inherited on the death of her father last year to the acquisition of a large plantation," where she plans to raise horses and grow oranges.

Alice is passionately devoted to horses, and her husband was noted: "during his service with the cavalry as one of the crack riders and most daring horsemen of the Italian army."

In Florida, Alice will be able to live a "free and untrammeled life, without being subjected to all the humiliations and affronts which have fallen to her share during the last few years." She is very rich, and in the United States, she will be able to "forget the past and to live only for the present and for the future."

Princess Alice is a daughter of the late Don Carlos de Bourbon, the legitimist pretender to the Spanish throne, and his first wife, Princess Marguerite of Bourbon-Parma, whose father was the last reigning Duke of Parma.

One of Alice's sisters, Blanca, is the wife of Archduke Leopold Salvator of Austria; another sister, Beatrice, is the wife of Prince Fabrizio Massimo, and the third sister, Princess Elvira, whose romance with a Roman painter Folchi caused great scandal ten years ago. Divorce does not exist in Italy, so Folchi, who has a wife, and Elvira live together in Milan.

Alice's first marriage took place in Venice, where she married Prince Friedrich of Schönburg-Waldenburg. The marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1903, and three years later, the Roman Catholic church annulled the marriage. Alice and Friedrich had one son, who was born in 1902. The papal decree of annulment stated that the little boy was legitimate, members of Friedrich's family are in litigation to deprive the prince "of his name and title on the ground that he is not the offspring of the prince,  although born in wedlock."


Friedrich's relatives "base their pretensions on the extraordinary evidence" that Alice and Friedrich gave during the divorce trial. The boy, now 8, lives with his mother in Florida. Alice also has two children by her second husband, whom she married right after the divorce. A church wedding followed the annulment of her first marriage.

One of the reasons for the annulment was that Alice had been "literally forced" into marriage by her father, "whose cruelty was also largely responsible for Princess Elvira's flight from her unhappy home."

During the Russo-Japenese war in 1905, Alice was one of two royal princesses "to nurse the sick and wounded." The other royal nurse was Princess Eleonore Reuss, who is now the Queen of Bulgaria.

Since she arrived in America, Alice has dropped "all attributes of her rank," and she prefers to be known as Mrs. del Prete. Her husband's sister is married to a "prosperous Italian manufacturer" in New York City.

Alice's inheritance comes through her mother, the late Duchess of Madrid, who had been left a large fortune by her uncle and aunt the Count and Countess de Chambord, and from the last reigning duke of Modena.

The Duchess of Madrid, who was most certainly an abused wife, left her husband, Don Carlos, a life interested, which, unfortunately, "amounted to virtual control of her property," which she had bequeathed in equal shares to her son, Don Jaime, and her three daughters. The understanding was that Carlos "should make liberal provision for his children."

Don Carlos failed to do this. He married a much younger woman, Princess Bertha de Rohan, and he "drove his children" from their home, and refused to "contribute anything to their support."

Don Jaime often found himself in "pecuniary straits." He was forced to pawn in Paris "a celebrated necklace that had once belonged to Queen Marie Antoinette." Don Carlos also refused to pay Alice's dowery, which also contributed to her marriage's failure, and Princess Beatrice's marriage was so unhappy that twice she tried to commit suicide by "throwing herself into the Tiber."

Princess Elvira also suffered financially during this time, and it was only after the death of her father, that she finally received her "share of her mother's fortune."

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