Monday, May 31, 2010

The booze made me do it ...

Sarah, Duchess of York, with access to a box of tissues, wept as she confessed her sins to St. Oprah of Winfrey. This taped confession took place before Sarah flew to England to discuss her situation with the man she betrayed: her former husband, HRH The Duke of York.

She said she succumbed to the temptation of accepting $40,000 as part of a payoff to meet Prince Andrew because of her financial situation. The alleged business deal was actually a sting engineered by the News of the World, a London Sunday tabloid.
The original ten-minute interview has now become an hour-long show, which will be televised Tuesday in the USA.

Sarah, whose image has taken a battering in the United States, where her bread is buttered, appeared "remorseful," and acknowledged that she had been drinking at the time of the interview.
No kidding, Sarah. That's pretty obvious in the tape, where you slurred and stumbled. Duh!

By talking first to Oprah, Sarah shows that she cares more about trying to repair an image that she has never had and tells the world that this action is far more important than facing the music with her former husband -- and perhaps her own demons.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Princess Nathalie marries Alexander Johannsmann

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Alexander Johansmann were married yesterday in a civil ceremony at Schloss Berleburg, according to a release from Princess Benedikte of Denmark's office.

Princess Nathalie is the third and youngest child of Princess Benedikte and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

The ceremony, which was officiated by the Mayor of Berleburg, took place in the Orangery. A church wedding will take place next year. Princess Nathalie will give birth to the couple's first child in July.

The princess will continue to use her own name. Alexander, 32, works with his uncle's international horse business. Princess Nathalie is an equestrian, who won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.

Princess Nathalie's parents, and her brother, Gustav, and sister, Alexandra, attended the private ceremony.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fergie quotes -- makes you wonder...

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how she manages her maintain a sense of true reality. In 2002, Sarah, Duchess of York, was the subject of a profile in Hello magazine. The interview was coordinated by Marquesa de Varela Intl Ltd. Sarah was photographed wearing designer label gowns in her new New York apartment, "overlooking Manhattan." The photo shoot took place before Christmas 2002, shortly after the introduction of Hartmoor, which has since gone belly up.

She was asked why she bought an apartment in New York.

"When I left the royal family I said to Her Majesty that it wasn't right to be commercial in the UK. I didn't want to receive a divorce settlement, so I went to work in America."

[At this time, Sarah seemed delighted by her new apartment in New York City - and it probably cost several million dollars. Please note Sarah refers to not wanting to receive a divorce settlement. Hmm ... interesting statement.]

She told the interviewer: "America allows you to be human. You're accepted; you can ask people's forgiveness, you can get it wrong and have a second chance. You are allowed to talk about insecurities and innermost feelings. You're just allowed to be yourself."

She said she commuted weekly between the US and the UK. "It's hard, but when I left the royal family, I gave my word to Her Majesty that I would not work commercially in Britain. She didn't ask for that commitment, but I did wanted to do this out of respect I have for her - that I have with all my heart."

The interviewer also asked: You're said to be a self-made millionaire now. Do you prize your hard-won financial security, for enabling you to look after your girls?"

"A millionairess? I'm not - don't believe what you read on that score. But I'm working hard at it. And I'm very excited that I have to work. I really do have to work hard to balance the budget. And that's why my team works very hard for me too .. it's not as if I'm sitting back having a manicure and pedicure every day."
[Sarah needs financial security for herself, not to look after her girls. The princesses have their own incomes, and will be set for life, thanks to investments. They are also now adults, and do not need for their mother to look after them. Sarah received £600,000 of the £2 million divorce settlement. The rest was put into trust to purchase a home for the princesses. This never happened. After the divorce, Sarah had to move out of her rented home, Kingsbourne, because she could not afford the rent. She moved back into Sunninghill. The trustees purchased Birch Hall in Surrey but Sarah said she could not afford the upkeep. The house was resold. Another home, Forest Lodge, near Windsor, was offered in 1998, but Sarah decided against it due to the cost of the upkeep, which would have been her responsibility.]

Fast forward to November 2009 and another interview with Hello (which noted that Sarah was not paid for the interview.) She wanted to counter comments in the press about her finances regarding the collapse of Hartmoor.

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She said: I'm not going broke, I'm not going bankrupt nor am I giving up." But she acknowledged the the collapse of Hartmoor left her "teetering on the edge of bankruptcy."
"I put all my money into Hartmoor, my American lifestyle company, everything I earned from the Young Victoria film [as producer] and my Little Red books and I lost it all.
"I am out of the woods now and I won't let down the people who invested in me."
[Seems like Sarah is deep in something, and it is not the woods, and she has let down a lot of people, and she may see fewer investments in her product -- which happens to be herself.]

"I understand that people may have their own opinions of me and that's fine. I am all for the freedom of the press, but, of course, I do take it personally...But I am not and never will be a victim. I want to make that perfectly clear. I know I am the luckiest woman in the world."
[I an delighted she likes the freedom of the press. Never a victim ... she's been playing the victim for several decades now.]

She said she walked away from Weight Watchers in 2007. "I had ten wonderful years with them and I left with real sadness." Hartmoor was going to produce a line of frozen foods and "other lifestyle products." Sarah said she knew she could not compete with WeightWatchers, and she was advised that her new contract "excluded me from working for any other food firm."

"It's been a very difficult and challenging time. I wasn't on the management team. I was an employee and an investor, and yes, I am of course very disappointed and upset at what happened. I had a little one bedroom apartment on East 72nd Street and I was very happy there. But as you've seen in other reports, Hartmoor spent money on offices and moving me into an apartment I didn't need. I could write a really interesting book about finance for women, and the first bit of advice I would give is never sign away your intellectual property. You won't have any control over your own life. That's what happened to me."

[She seemed happy enough in that apartment in 2002. Wasn't complaining about how it was bought.]

She also added that while working for Hartmoor, she could not work for anyone else. Sarah added that St. Martin's Press was publishing her first novel in 2010. [Bet this doesn't happen.]

"I haven't got a house and I haven't got an office, but I do have one asset, my property in Italy, so I must do something with that. I promised to turn it into a spa - and I will do it, but as you can imagine I have been a little distracted of late!"
[If I were Sarah, I might consider selling the Italian property, and give up the pie-in-the-sky dreams.]

She also said she had to buy back her mother's ranch in Argentina, which her mother had lost due to Hector Barrantes' debts. "I will do anything to keep it - my mother and Hector are buried there. One day I want it to become a place where children from inner cities can go."
[Get rid of the property. Concentrate on needs, not wants.]
Famous last words: "I'm just me and I'll never change. I always come out fighting."

[Yes, it's true, Sarah will never change.]

In an interview with Harper's in March 2007, Sarah said: "I wanted to work. It's not right for a princess of the royal house to be commercial, so Andrew and I decided to make the divorce official so I could go off and get a job....I left my marriage knowing I'd have to work."

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[Sarah left her marriage because she wanted to work! Now that's a new twist.]
In 2003, Sarah was interviewed by Ladies' Home Journal.

She was asked how "someone in your situation meet the right person. Her response was "Trust in destiny. Trust in God. Trust in faith. He will have to be very strong to not mind that I might get all the attention."
[Is this an honest statement, or someone who is deluding herself.]

She added: "Andrew and I believe we're the happiest divorced couple in the world... I'm fiercely loyal to him."

[So loyal that she was willing to accept money to exploit him.]

Sarah was interviewed by Parade magazine in 2001, where she talked about the collapse of her marriage. "I sabotaged myself -- brilliantly, because everything I do everything whole hog -- and the press was there to record it all."
It seems she has once again "sabotaged myself," and, yup, the press "was there to record it all."

Buddy is 14

Happy birthday to Buddy, who celebrates his 14th birthday today. He's doing what he does best: desk security!

Oh dear - she just doesn't get it

Sarah continues to joke about her situation.

What will happen? Well, we shall see, won't we? I hope Prince Andrew (and the Queen) impresses on Sarah the need to stop using Duchess of York as a part of her name if she continues in the business world.

She also plans to record an apology, which will be shown on Oprah's show next week. Why? It's not the American viewers of Oprah who need to hear a penitent true apology? Sarah needs to see Andrew face to face and apologize to him for what she did ... and to her daughters for not being a good role model.
The average American doesn't care about Sarah Ferguson or her escapades. By allowing Sarah to "apologize," Oprah will become one of Sarah's many enablers, one of whom is her own ex-husband.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Karl Stephan struck with "fashionable malady"

May 26, 1898

Archduke Karl Stephan of Austria, the "sailor member of the imperial house of Habsburg." is the "first scion of a sovereign house to be stricken with the now fashionable malady of appendicitis," reports the Marquise de Fontenoy. Archduke Karl Stephan, who is the brother of the Queen Regent of Spain, has been recovering for several weeks at a Berlin sanatorium. The surgery was performed by the eminent German surgeon, Dr. Sonnenburg, who successfully removed the archduke's "vermiform appendix." The Marquise said she placed "this operation on record" in her column because "it is the first occasion that a member of one of the reigning houses of Europe" has had an appendectomy.

Archduke Karl Stephan, who maintains a large estate in Poland, is married to Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria. They have six children: Archduchess Eleonora, Archduchess Renata, Archduke Karl Albrecht, Archduchess Mechtildis, Archduke Leo and Archduke Wilhelm.

Royal jewels safe after fire

May 26, 1930

Crown Prince Olav of Norway was finally able to access the fireproof vault under his home, Skaugaum, which was destroyed by fire on May 20. The area had finally cooled down, to allow for the opening today of the vault. The valuable contents, which included a diadem with 956 brilliants, a present to Princess Martha by the citizens of Stockholm on her marriage, were uninjured.
On the day of the fire, Crown Prince Olav and others were able to save furniture, paintings and other valuable items from rooms on the first floor, although everything else was destroyed. The fire started in a defective flue.

Archduchess asks government for permission to bury son in Habsburg crypt

May 26, 1930

Archduchess Blanca of Austria has made a request of the Austrian government to allow her son, Archduke Rainer Karl, who died yesterday in a Viennese public hospital, to be buried at the Capuchin, the traditional resting place of the Habsburgs.
According to the New York Times' wireless dispatch, this is the first request for a Habsburg burial since the fall of the monarchy. The request also "raises several interesting points" because there is "practically no room left in the section of the vault" reserved for the late Emperor Franz Joseph's family.
The late Archduke Rainer Karl descended from the Tuscany branch of the family.
If the Austrian government refuses Blanca's request, she will bury her son in Spain.
The late archduke stopped using his titles after the fall of the monarchy, and had "founded a prosperous motor transport business."

Little Princess brings Granny flowers for her birthday

May 26, 1928

Queen Mary turned 61 today, "but the most important figure in its celebration was not so much the Queen herself as her little granddaughter, Princess Elizabeth." The Princess, who is the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, "bids fair to oust the Prince of Wales from first place in popular affection," the New York Times reported by wireless.
This morning, the two-year-old princess went to Buckingham Palace with her father to "hand personally to her grandmother her own special birthday remembrance." She handed to Queen Mary a bunch of flowers, "as dainty and tiny as the Princess herself, who had held it tightly clasped in her small, impatient hand all the way to the palace."

Little princess attends Grandma's birthday

May 26, 1926

Little Princess Elizabeth, the one-month old infant daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, was one of the guests at a Buckingham Palace luncheon to celebrate Queen Mary 59th birthday today, according to the New York Times.
The baby Princess' nurse "carried her charge to the palace gate and showed her to a number of women and girls gathered there."
The Duke of York is the second son of King George VI and Queen Mary. He is second in line to the throne after the Prince of Wales, who is unmarried.
Queen Mary "received many presents of flowers and telegrams." Throughout the city today "flags were hoisted and bells were rung in her honor."

Bourbon count charges wife with adultery

May 27, 1910

Luigi,  Count of Roccaguglielma has started proceedings in Lucca, Italy, for a judicial separation against his wife, naming "the painter Campriani as co-respondent," according to the Marquise de Fontenoy.  He married  Enrica Weiss di Valbranca in  Nice on January 23, 1898.

The Count is the son of the late  Prince Louis of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Count of Roccaguglielma, who in 1869 in New York married the Havana-born Miss Amelia Bellow-Hamel. Amelia was "for all intents and purposes an American girl" as she lived in the United States until her marriage.

The Roccaguglielma marriage was as unhappy as Prince Luigi's marriage. After the birth of a son and a daughter, the Count and his American wife separated. He was "condemned to pay her $2000 a year in alimony.

The late Prince Louis neglected to "comply with the order." His mother Princess Januaria, a sister of the late Brazilian emperor, "furnished the funds instead. The payments ceased when Januaria died in 1901. Amelia filed a new lawsuit against her husband, but the claim was "unavailing" as Prince Luigi owned no property. 

Januaria bequeathed her son's share of her fortune to his two children, Maria Gennara, who is married to William Freeman, and Luigi, 

The late Count of Roccaguglielma died in 1909. Although his marriage to Amelia Bellow-Hamel was morganatic, and his children do not bear the title Prince or Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, his son succeeded to the countly title.

The present count,  born in 1872, served in the Italian army as Prince Louis of Borbone and recently held the commission as captain in the Italian cavalry. He was a favorite of the late King Umberto and his wife, Queen Margherita, and "it was largely owing to this that he succeeded in winning the hand, and incidentally the fortune," of Enrica Weiss, the daughter of an "immensely rich German merchant" who settled in Rome.

Luigi is familiar with the legal process in Italy and France, as he had to file seventeen suits to "secure possession" of his grandmother's fortune. Most of the suits against him were raised by his uncle, Prince Filippo di Borbone, his father's younger brother.

Luigi and his estranged wife have three children, Luigi, Gennara, and Carlo.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Four pages at the State Opening of Parliament

The four pages who attended the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament were:

Lord Stanley of Bickerstaff, Jack Soames, Andrew Leeming and Arthur Chatto.
Lord Stanley (1998) is the eldest son of the Earl and Countess of Derby. He was appointed as page of honour in 2008. Jack Soames (1994) was also appointed in 2008. He is the son of the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Rupert Soames. Arthur Chatto is the son of Lady Sarah Chatto and her husband, Daniel Chatto. Young Arthur is the grandson of the late Princess Margaret.

All four men were also pages of honour at the State Opening of Parliament in November 2009.

'Fess up now Sarah, or face a parliamentary inquiry

This may be the fall out of Sarah's acceptance of money in exchange for arranging meetings between businessmen and her former husband, HRH The Duke of York.

Sarah has gone and done it this time -- a real big OOPS!

Archduke Rainer Karl has died

May 25, 1930

Archduke Rainer Karl of Austria died today in a Vienna hospital. He was 35.
He was a son of Archduke Leopold Salvator, according to a wireless dispatch to the New York Times. After the World War, he chose to drop his title, and "devote himself to motor transport with considerable success." He also organized a system of motorcycle transport of film reels, which allowed for several movie theatres to show the same film "at practically the same time."

In February 1929, Rainer Karl was involved in a traffic accident, which was reported by the Times.

The cause of death was not announced.

Rainer Karl was the fourth of ten children of Archduke Leopold Salvator and Infanta Blanca of Spain. He was born at Zagreb on November 21, 1895. He was unmarried.

Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein celebrates the big 100

May 25, 1916

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today on the 100th birthday celebration of the Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein, who celebrated her birthday on May 9. The birthday celebrations at Lausanne on Lake Geneva, where the Princess lives, "in full enjoyment of mental and physical health, being still wonderfully alert and vigorous in spite of her age." She is the only centenarian who "for the last century or more has ever found a place in the pages of the Almanach de Gotha."

The princess was born Princess Leonilla Bariantinska, whose father was a "great dignitary of the Russian court." The princess was only 9 and living at the Winter Palace in Petrograd when she witnessed the "great Decembrist insurrection," which took place in December 1825 against Nicholas I. The large plaza in front of the palace teemed with "insurgents and military mutineers," all calling for Nicholas' death, and ordering that his older brother, Grand Duke Constantine, take the phone.

The Emperor knew he could not rely on his troops, as their loyalty was wavering. Nicholas moved toward a coup de theatre, which he knew might save his situation.

The coup "was his sudden appearance, without a single attendant, in the midst of the crowd." Nicholas was so tall he could dominate "by his gigantic stature. The crowd fell to silence "caused by his dramatic advent upon the scene, he, in a voice the metallic tones could be heard far and wide, ordered the crowd to its knees."

The crowd obeyed, and the insurrection came to an end. Nicholas had saved this throne.

Princess Leonilla is the only survivor left of this "historic spectacle." She witnessed the event from one of the windows at the Winter Palace, along with Empress Alexandra, the former Princess Charlotte of Prussia. The Empress, so overwhelmed "with anxiety for her husband," suffered a partial stroke, "which affected her facial muscles for the remainder of her life."

Princess Leonilla was also a witness to the July Revolution in Paris in 1830, again, eighteen years later, in Paris, when the revolution broke out and "a republic was proclaimed." She and her family proceeded to Berlin, where she was a "witness a few weeks later" when King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia and his consort "were obliged by the mob to stand on the balcony of their place, the king bareheaded, in token of respect for the dead bodies of the insurgents" that were paraded past the palace "in a never-ending procession."

In 1870, the Princess was staying with her close friend, Empress Augusta of Germany, when the empress, who desired peace, asked the princess if she knew anyone in France, who could initiate peace between Germany and France. Princess Leonilla offered the name of Mgr Dupanloup, the bishop of Orleans. The princess then left Koblenz and was accompanied to the train station by the Empress, where she left for France to urge the archbishop, then at Tours to undertake a peace mission. Augusta arranged for  Leonilla to be provided with "all sorts of safe conduct."

But by the time, Princess Leonilla reached Orleans, she received a telegram from the empress, who informed her that the archbishop "would no longer be accepted as an emissary of peace." This was due to Dupanloup having issued a pastoral letter inciting the members of his diocese, and indeed all Frenchmen, to resist to the very last the Prussians, who he compared to the Huns."

Princess Leonilla married Ludwig, prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, as his second wife on October 23, 1834. (His first wife, Princess Caroline Stephanie Radziwill died two years earlier.) She became stepmother to the Prince's two children, Marie Antoinette and Peter, as well as the mother of four children, Friedrich, Antoinette, Ludwig, and Alexander, who succeeded as Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn on his half-brother, Friedrich's resignation, and then resigned the title in favor of his son, Stanislaus, in 1883.)

Leonilla has lived in an Ouchy villa overlooking Lake Geneva for thirty years. For many years, her homes have been a "bourne of crowned heads and imperial personages." one of her oldest friends is the Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 94, who, until the outbreak of the war, would visit once a year. The Grand Duchess was born Princess Augusta of Cambridge and is said to be the only surviving great-granddaughter of George III.

If you liked this post, perhaps you can buy me a coffee

Police seek runaway princess

May 25, 1908

 Princess Amalie Luise of Fürstenberg has run off with "the local agent of an automobile company named Kozian," according to the New York Times. She is the sister of Prince Emil Egon zu Fürstenberg, head of the Königshof branch of the princely family. Austrian police are "actively at work trying to locate the fugitives." 

 Princess Amalie Luise is 24 years old. Her family owns large estates in Bohemia and a palace in Vienna. She was born at Lana on March 17, 1884. Her father, Prince Emil Egon, died in 1899. It is believed that the princess and her lover are en route to London, where they plan to marry in a registry office.

German nobles a twitter at Wrede case

May 25, 1906 

 The German nobility "is in a high state of excitement" owing to the recent disclosure that silverware stolen from leading European hotels was found at Basedow castle in Mecklenburg. The castle, which was owned by a Count Hahn, who had to "give it up on account of heavy debts," is being leased to Prince Adolf of Wrede, who is married to Carmen Dolores Josefa de Benitez, a wealthy Argentine. 

The prince was, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune, previously married to a "variety actress," Ludmilla Maldaner. They were divorced in 1902 in Munich, but a Paris tribunal did recognize the divorce. Princess Adolf's son from her first marriage is the owner of large estates in South America, and her daughter, Edda, is married to Adolf's first cousin, Prince Eugen's son, Prince Edmund of Wrede. Prince and Princess Adolf made plans to move into Basedow a few weeks ago with a "retinue of thirty servants and three automobiles." 

Their main residence is a "magnificent palace in Madrid filled with the rarest art treasures." But last week, their plans changed with one of the prince's servants arriving with the state's attorney of the district, and entering the castle, where they found "silverware which had been stolen from the leading hotels on the continent." Despite their financial problems, the Hahns were very popular in Basedow, but the same cannot be said of Prince and Princess Wrede, who were advised badly by the castle's housekeeper. 

Recently, a washerwoman sued the prince, declaring that she received only 13 cents for a day's work when she should have received 30 cents a day. The Prince and Princess love their cars, and they "keep no horses." The Princess keeps' "several colored female servants, who must kneel whenever they approach their mistress." She is also a kleptomaniac, "which explains her mania for stealing hotel silverware." The servant, who blew the whistle on his employers, has now been arrested at the request of Prince Adolf, who charges that the servant "endeavored to blackmail him for 50,000 marks for remaining quiet."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Death of a Grand Duchess

Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna of Russia died yesterday at La Paz Hospital, Tres Cantos, outside Madrid. Hospital. She was 95 years old. The Grand Duchess was the widow of Grand Duke Wladimir, the head of the Russian Imperial family, and the de jure emperor, who died in 1992.
Leonida was born in Tiblisi, Georgia, the daughter of Prince George Bagration and Elena Zlotnicka.
She was the last member of the dynasty to have been born in what was the Russian empire.
The family left Soviet George in the 1920s and settled in France. In 1934, Leonida married a wealthy American, Sumner Moore Kirby. They had one daughter, Helene, before divorcing in 1937. Moore died in a concentration camp during the second world war. His daughter, Helene, was his main heir. In 1948, after she moved to Spain, Leonida married for a second time. Her new husband was Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia, pretender to the Russian throne. Their only daughter, Grand Duchess Maria, was born in 1953. She is now the head of the Imperial House of Russia.
The Grand Duchess was in poor health for several years. On Sunday, her condition deteriorated rapidly, and she was rushed to the hospital, where she died shortly before midnight.
She will be buried next to her husband in the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Grand Duchess Leonida is survived by her daughters, Helene Kirby and Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna, and one grandchild, Grand Duke George of Russia.

Perhaps the Archbishop of Sweden should see this

The controversy regarding Crown Princess Victoria's decision to be escorted down the aisle by her father, the King, nothwithstanding, the Archbishop should see this video:

The wedding took place in a Lutheran church in the United States. The bride was not escorted down the aisle by her dad. She boogied. It's okay to be different.

when Sarah realized she screwed up

There is one scene in the video where Sarah, Duchess of York, realizes what she has done, but she is unable to extricate herself, and change her mind. It is the scene where she has the $40,000 in front of her, and she buries her face in her hands, and it appears she is emotional. This is not a happy emotion. This is the recognition that she has done something wrong, but she cannot turn back now because the stakes are too high. If Sarah had a true spine, she would have handed that money back, and said, no, this is wrong. I cannot do this to my former husband.
But she cannot see through her tears. She cannot see that accepting the money will only hurt Prince Andrew, and endanger her relationship with him, and with their two adult daughters.
It was at this moment when Sarah crossed the Rubicon. She has no one to blame but herself.

Andrew categorically denies knowing what Sarah did

One can only imagine the proverbial merde hitting the fan after Andrew returned home.

Is this a repeat performance for Sarah

Shortly after Iraq invaded Kuwait, sparking the first Gulf War, the Duchess of York invited the Iraqi oil minister, Ramzi Salman, for dinner at her apartment at her apartment in Buckingham Palace. The dinner invitation came at the prompting of her then lover, the American Steve Wyatt, whose stepfather, Oscar Wyatt, had close ties to Saddam Hussein's regime, even after the war had started.
Sarah's dinner invitation allowed Wyatt entertain the Iraqi oil minister and keep in tact the ties between his family and the Iraqi oil industry. This collaboration violated the fact that the US and the UK were at war with Iraq. After the dinner, Sarah, Wyatt and the Iraqi headed to La Gavaroche, a three star restaurant in London, as Sarah -- and Andrew -- had been invited to a party there by then Tory Party Treasurer Lord McAlpine.
Sarah had sent her regrets to Lord and Lady McAlpine as Andrew was away, but she decided to join the party after dinner, and brought along her lover and the Iraqi oil minister, neither of whom were invited. One wonders if Wyatt paid her a commission for allowing him to entertain the Iraqi oil minister at Buckingham Palace.
Lady McAlpine tried to diffuse the situation by placing Sarah between her husband and other titled guest, but Wyatt, raised in Texas, grabbed Sarah's hand, and announced: "Mah woman and I sit together," according to someone at the party. Another guest at the dinner was Lord Palumbo, who is one of Princess Beatrice's godfathers, and his Lebanese-born wife, Hayat, who refused to meet Dr. Salman.

Sarah and Wyatt's affair was not a secret, certainly not in royal circles, although, Andrew seemed oblivious. In December 1990, Sarah invited him to the gala dinner at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the birthdays of the Queen Mother (90), Princess Margaret (60), Princess Anne (40) and Prince Andrew (30).
It all came crashing down for Sarah when intimate photos of her and Steve were found by a house cleaner in Wyatt's London apartment. One photograph showed Wyatt holding 2-year-old Princess Beatrice in his lap. The photos had been taken in Cap Ferrat, France, where Sarah and her daughters had spent a brief vacation, with Steve, at a home owned by his mother, Lynn.

The publication of the photographs led to the end for the York marriage. It is safe to assume that then as now, Sarah, Duchess of York, is very naive, foolish, and at times, very, very stupid.

Upcoming Princely wedding

HSH Prince Johann-Georg of Isenburg und Büdingen is to marry Sabine Rittner, a dentist, on June at the chapel at Schloss Glücksburg. A private civil wedding will take place on June 4.

The Prince and his bride-to-be are already the parents of a daughter, Anna Carolina, who was born in January.
Prince Johann-Georg is the son of the late Prince Ferdinand-Heinrich of Isenburg und Büdingen and Princess Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein.
Dr. Rittner was born on May 5, 1977 at Flensburg. She works in a family run dental practice in Laubach, headed by her father, Dr. Dietmar Bittner.

Princess Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein is the eldest of four daughters of the late Prince Friedrich-Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein and Duchess Anastasia zu Mecklenburg, whose mother was Princess Alexandra of Cumberland. Friedrich-Ferdinand's mother was Princess Hertha of Isenburg-Büdingen.
Princess Alexandra of Cumberland's brother, Ernst August, who married Victoria Louise of Prussia. Their youngest son, Welf-Heinrich, married Princess Alexandra of Isenburg und Büdingen, the elder sister of Prince Friedrich-Heinrich.

Let's be honest:

Sarah, Duchess of York, is not the brightest bulb in the Christmas tree.

She's not greedy, but Sarah Ferguson lacks true intelligence and a moral compass.

When she accepted an award for charity yesterday, Sarah said:
"Thank you all so very much. When I got on that flight today I thought phew, I've had a heavy day.
I learnt today about making a difference. Most importantly I learned I hate grown-ups and I love children."

Now, that's the crux of the issue. Sarah Ferguson is a grownup. Her problems are not going to be solved by kids.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sarah says she's sorry

Just sorry? Oh, Sarah Margaret Ferguson, you've really done it this time. The British newspapers are frothing with delight at your latest escapade. The News of the Screws, to be blunt, screwed you big time. They laid a trap, and you fell for it. Were you inebriated? You were slurry your words .. and you were smoking! When did you take up smoking.
The tabloids and the broadsheets will provide the time lines and back story to what led you to sit down and accept cash in exchange for a meeting with Andrew. Andrew .. your former husband. HRH The Duke of York, second son of the Queen.
Everyone is going to rehash your life story, your problems with money, and how you ended up in debt to the tune of £2 million pounds .. and this was during your marriage.
Yes, you were able to work your way through the debts with plum assignments in America, including stints with Weight Watchers and Wedgwood. You got out of debt, but did you ever sit down with a financial adviser to prepare for your future. Obviously not!
It should be noted that Sarah's divorce settlement was in the range of £2 million. Most of settlement -£1.4 million was put into a trust fund to "ensure the financial security for the princesses." This left Sarah with £600,000, which meant that she would have to earn her own keep.
It's time to turn the clock back, and examine, albeit briefly, Sarah's early life.
She was born on October 15, 1959, the younger daughter of Ronald Ferguson and his first wife, Susan Wright. Sarah and her older sister, Jane, grew up at Dummer Down House, in Dummer, Hampshire. The family was comfortable, solid upper middle class, with impeccable family connections. Sarah has two lines of descent from Charles II. her paternal grandmother, Marian Montagu-Douglas-Scott, was the first cousin of Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.
Sarah's father, Ronald, served as the Prince of Wales' polo manager.
Sarah certainly suffered emotional upheavals in her life. In 1972, her mother bolted and ran off with an Argentine polo player. Sarah and Jane were left behind with their father, as Susan, bored with her life, put her relationship with Hector Barrantes before her role as mother to two impressionable daughters.
Ronald Ferguson was certainly not a good husband, and he, too, had his affairs, even after he remarried and became the father of three more children. He got caught in a prostitution sting.
Sarah was sent off to boarding school, where she made friends, but what did she learn? Not a lot, apparently. She completed her education, which was not very educating, and moved to London and attended secretarial school. She also found work as a chalet girl in Switzerland -- not very taxing -- and setting up a home with a race car drive, Paddy McNally, who was 22 years her senior, and a widower. He had no interest in marriage with Sarah. She didn't see the red flags.
In 1985, Prince Andrew re-entered her life ... they played together as children -- and it was love at first sight.
The couple were married on July 23, 1986 at Westminster Abbey. At first, Sarah was welcomed into the royal family as a breath of fresh air, but this air soon turned stifling as Sarah was unable to fit in, to accept her new role. Andrew, then a Royal Naval office, spent a lot of time away, and Sarah undertook royal duties, and giving birth to two daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, in 1988 and 1990 respectively.
It is unlikely that Sarah had princess classes before she married into the royal family. She was expected to pull her weight from day one, but Sarah was unprepared for this, and she failed abysmally. In time, she strayed from the marriage, committed adultery, and was kicked out.
According to a Daily Telegraph profile, which was published on March 19, 1992, just after the the couple separated, Sarah was, in one sense, "a remarkably dutiful member of the Royal Family. She did more than her fair share of official appearances and she associated herself with dozens of good causes. But that could never be enough: for all her enthusiasm she never achieved the dignity or understood its importance. And there are many who say she would not even try."
This makes a lot of sense. Sarah Ferguson was bubbly, warm, energetic, but she did not respect herself or her role as Duchess of York. This was largely due to her upbringing. Her parents certainly didn't teach her how one lives in society. Her boarding school education was largely limited because she did not attend an academic school She did not attend university. She speaks English, but no other language. Religion did not play much of a role in her life, either.
In marrying Andrew, she reached the brass ring, but the path to stay on course oozed with temptation, and Sarah, who had been assuaged and indulged by her father, did not know how to say know.
Sarah Ferguson does not have a moral compass. Yes, she supports charities, but many of her own projects have not done as well. Her name is on several books about Queen Victoria, but the books were actually written by Benita Stoney. Her children's' books and other projects have an element of being dodgy at time.
There are some who say that the Queen should have been more involved with Sarah's entrance into the royal family. But Sarah is an adult, and she is the one responsible for her debts, for her infidelities, and now, for attempting to obtain filthy lucre in exchange for businessmen meeting Andrew, who happens to be Britain's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment. This is an unpaid position.
There is no question that the Duke of York was involved or aware of Sarah's discussions with the phony businessman.
Their divorce has been an amicable one. Sarah and Andrew are hands on parents, although, perhaps, Beatrice and Eugenie, have spent far too much time with Sarah's rich friends, and less time learning how to be dignified British princesses.
Because Sarah has never been able to own a home of her own, she lives at Royal Lodge, Andrew's home. One wonders how long this will now last. It is also possible that Sarah has compromised her former husband's position.
What was Sarah thinking? She is again in debt, and she has few options. Her judgment, again, has been clouded, but she didn't think before she got trapped by the News of the World.
Sarah may also have legal troubles, including income tax evasion on both sides of the Atlantic. The sting took place in a New York hotel, and the News of the World may have broken New York state laws, regarding entrapment.
The tabloids have used the word greedy to describe Sarah. I do not think she is greedy. She has incurred serious personal and professional debts. She has to pay off these debts. She is also being sued, which means further debt. Although she attends parties on yachts, she is not a traditional jet setter. Often, the airfare to these events is picked up by her host. She does not live a truly lavish lifestyle, although she does not have the income to live in the life she has chosen. She's a former royal - by marriage -- and she continues to use the title, Sarah, Duchess of York, to which she is legally entitled. But the name -- and the connection to the British royal family - opens many doors. Doors that would not be open to a Miss Sarah Margaret Ferguson.
She is in serious trouble, once again, and she is the one solely responsible for her actions. But she's betrayed her daughters, and most important, she's betrayed the one person who continued to tilt windmills in her favor, the one person who was willing to stand up to his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, who warned the family, time and time again, about Sarah, the one person who gave her a home, who provided friendship even after divorce, her former husband, HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Sarah's foolhardiness is the reason that she now may also lose Andrew's lifeline.
And, it is her own fault.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oh, Fergie!

Well, the former Sarah Ferguson has really done it this time ... can only imagine what the Duke of Edinburgh said about the News of the World sting!

and here is the original story, complete with videos!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Swedish Bishop in an uproar over Victoria's decision to have her father escort her down the aisle

It should be noted that in Sweden, the father of the bride does not escort her down the aisle. This tradition is largely Anglo-Saxon, or indeed, Anglo-American. In Sweden, the bride and groom walk down the aisle together, which is a very fine tradition. The Swedish church, views the Anglo-American tradition "as a foreign anachronism with sexist overtones." Huh. I am am an independent woman, but when I got married in 1995, I asked my uncle to walk me down the aisle. I was married in a Lutheran church, where the wedding service includes: "who gives this woman in marriage," to which my stepmother stood up and said, "I do, on behalf of Marlene's mother and father." My parents dies in 1979 and 1990, respectively, so my dad did not have the opportunity to walk me down the aisle. I asked my uncle, the father of fours sons, and he was thrilled to bits.

When it was common for marriages to be arranged, the father walked the bride down the aisle in order to give his daughter to her husband. Women were property, which meant the father's presence included the handing over of the daughter. Of course, this no longer happens, but the tradition remains. It's a tradition. Dads love it. So do daughters. But it is not set in stone. A bride can choose to walk alone, or if her father is deceased or not in her life, she can ask someone else -- her mother, a brother, a friend, another male relative.
When I got married, I wore a veil, and when my uncle and I arrived at the altar, where Bill and his best man were waiting, my uncle lifted up the veil and pulled it over my head to reveal my face. This is a tradition, a very old tradition in fact. One of the consequences of the arranged marriages was that the groom did not see the bride until she arrived at the altar, thus the unveiling. Today, brides in the United Kingdom and North America choose whether they want the veil to cover their face. Lady Diana Spencer was veiled when she and father walked down the aisle.
IN the United States, the bridal attendants - the flower girls, the page boys, the ring bearers, the bridesmaids and the maid or matron of honor along with the groomsmen all proceed down the aisle before the bride. The bride and her dad come last, and when they walk down the aisle, the congregation stands. I have never liked this tradition, as it reminds me of a fashion show.
Bridesmaids are also known as bridal attendants, which means they attend the bride. This tradition grew out of a bride's need to be protected on her wedding day. The bride and her attendants would all be dressed the same, and all were veiled; thus, if someone tried to kidnap the bride on her wedding day, he would not know who was the bride.
In the United Kingdom, the tradition is for the bride to be followed by her attendants. This is what chose to do when I got married.
Although Philippa of England (1394-1430) may have been the first princess to wear white on her wedding. The daughter of Henry IV and Mary de Bohun, Philippa was married in 1406 to Eric of Pomerania. She wore a gown with a cloak made from white silk, which was trimmed with grey squirrel and ermine. But white was not the usual choice of a bride, until 1840, when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She wore a white gown, and, thus, a tradition was born. (White was the color of christening gowns, as blue, not white, represented purity.)
A number of Europeans have scoffed at Victoria's decision to have her father walk her down the aisle. Her aunt, Princess Margaretha, was escorted by her grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, when she married John Ambler in 1964.
There appears to be -- for wont of a better word - a snooty, look-down-your-nose at the Anglo-American tradition. One European -- let's call him Henry -- likened this tradition to something produced by Walt Disney. For one thing, Henry, most of the Disney princesses are fatherless, and usually head down the aisle sans father or other male relative. For another, Disney is a very successful corporation. (I do hate when someone uses the expression "Micky Mouse operation" in a negative manner. Mickey Mouse is very, very successful, and thus, the expression should be seen as a compliment.)
Henry, of course, doesn't see things this way. His nose scrapes the sky, and he denigrates what is a very fine tradition. It's a tradition, and should be acknowledged as such.
As for the head of the Church of Sweden, Anders Wejrd, he really should re-think his comments. Unlike Lutheran pastors in the United States, whose benefit packages are covered by their congregations, his salary is paid by the taxpayer. He should be more concerned with theology and figuring out how to get more bums in the pews, and not challenging the wishes of a bride-to-be, who happens to be the heiress apparent. It is Crown Princess Victoria's choice. Her great-grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, was escorted down the aisle, when she married Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf in 1906. The wedding took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, but, nonetheless, Victoria may have wanted to use this tradition merely because she liked it. She is her own woman, and she is a future queen. June 19, 2010 is Victoria's wedding day, and she is the star of the show.
I can only imagine what Henry would think if Daniel announced that he wanted a groom's cake (as well as the wedding cake.) Grooms' cakes are a Southern tradition here in the United States. Bill and I chose to have the groom's cake at the rehearsal dinner. This, too, is an American tradition, and usually paid for by the groom's parents. The bride-to-be and the groom, their parents, and immediate family, and the bridal party, usually go to dinner at a restaurant following the wedding rehearsal, which is the day before the wedding. Bill and I chose to have a pizza party -- and the groom's cake -- at my apartment. By 8 p.m., my bridesmaids and I kicked everyone else out, and we watched "Four Weddings and a Funeral."

Note to the super snob Henry: white doves at weddings came long before Hollywood. Such a silly boy. Henry also insults millions of independent American brides who CHOOSE to be escorted down the aisle. It is a choice. Henry is a selfish, sexist, preening peacock.

Grand Duchess Xenia's confirm's brother's death

Embed from Getty Images 

 May 21, 1920

Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russia's affidavit, which is on file in the principal probate registry in London, confirms the deaths of her brother, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, and his immediate family.

The affidavit, made on May 14, states that Nicholas II died July 16, 1918, at Ekaterinburg, intestate and that neither his wife nor any children survive him. Under Russian law, Nicholas' mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, who survives him, "has no interest in the estate or in the grant of letters of administration. The interest now vests in Nicholas' two sisters, Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duchess Olga, who survive him. 

A grant of letters of administration was granted to Grand Duchess Xenia. The English grant reads: "Be it known that His Imperial Majesty, Nicholas Alexandrovitch, Czar of Russia, of Petrograd, Russia, died on the 16th day of July 1918 at Ekaterinburg, in Russia, aforesaid, domiciled in Russia, intestate, leaving no widow or child."

Ena gives birth to a stillborn son

Embed from Getty Images
May 21, 1910

Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain was delivered of a stillborn son at 4:00 this morning, according to news reports. The "unhappy outcome is attributed to a premature accouchement," which, however, "was otherwise natural." The little prince will be "buried without ceremony" in the royal pantheon at the Escorial monastery.

Queen Ena "wept bitterly," when she was told of her loss. Her husband, King Alfonso XIII, is still in London, where he attended the funeral of King Edward VII.

The "last few weeks have been trying" for the queen. It appeared that the baby might arrive early, and court officials were summoned on two separate occasions, as the birth seemed imminent.

The dead prince's body was taken to a room adjoining the queen's chamber "for the official inspection by members of the royal family" and court officials who had been waiting there.

This appears to be the first instance of a stillborn child in the Spanish royal family, although Queen Isabel II gave birth to a child that lived only long enough to be baptized.

Queen Ena and King Alfonso have three children, Alfonso, the Prince of Asturias, Infante Jaime, and Infanta Beatriz. The King will leave for Madrid tonight to "comfort his afflicted consort."

Baby rumor confirmed in Holland

May 21, 1906

The New York Times reports today that "Queen Wilhelmina's accouchement" has been confirmed. She is expected to give birth in December. The Dutch queen is married to Prince Henry of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Royal Baptism

May 20, 1898

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today on the baptism of the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Calabria, which took place recently at the royal palace in Madrid "in the presence of the Queen Regent." The little prince represents the living fifth generation, which is unique.

Prince Ferdinand of Bourbon-Two Sicilies is a "young officer of artillery and a quiet and assuming young fellow, exceedingly hard up and almost entirely dependent upon the allowance granted to him by his cousin, the Queen Regent." Last year, he married his cousin, Princess Maria of Bavaria, and they now make their home in Madrid.

The new princess's sponsors were her grandparents, the "titular King and Queen of Naples," who is better known as the Count and Countess of Caserta. The infant was presented for baptism by her great-grandmother, Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, who is the mother of Queen Maria Cristina, the Queen Regnant of Spain. She was named Maria Antonietta Leona in honor of her great-great-grandmother, Grand Duchess Maria of Tuscany, who is still alive.
The Count and Countess of Caserta now make their home in Cannes, "where they have had many American friends and acquaintances."

The infant princess was born on April 16 in Madrid.

Helen & Irene to claim Greek jewels

May 20, 1930

Princess Helen, the Princess Mother of Roumania, and her sister, Princess Irene of Greece, are, according to court circles, in Vienna to "negotiate" with President Zaimis of Greece for the return of some of the property belonging to the exiled Greek royal family.
The president is in Vienna to be treated by an oculist.
It is understood, according to the New York Times, that the two princesses will "request the return of jewels, furniture and other semi-private property of the royal family."

George & Elizabeth reconciled?

May 20, 1930

Former King George II of the Hellenes is back in Bucharest after a trip abroad, according to the Associated Press. Reports in court circles said "that a recent disagreement with former Queen Elizabeth had been smoothed over." They are now guests of Elizabeth's mother, Queen Marie, at her palace of Baltchik.

Skaugum destroyed by fire

May 20, 1930

The "beautiful mansion" of Skaugum, which was a wedding gift last year to Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha of Sweden, was destroyed by fire today.
The young couple, who are expecting their first child later this year, had just returned from sailing on the lake and were hanging pictures in a first floor room, when the Crown Prince smelled smoke. He ran outside and noticed that the "whole roof was ablaze."
The Associated Press reports that the house was constructed entirely of wood, and the only "water available had to be carried in buckets from the lake." Crown Prince Olav quickly organized efforts to save "valuable paintings, tapestris and hundreds of wedding presents" from rooms on the first floor. He was one of the first to run back into the house, and he was "seen running out with a wicker cradle which the Princess had worked with fine silk trimmings for her expected baby."

Horseman sues princess

May 20, 1920

A lawsuit was filed today in Vienna against the Princess of Thurn and Taxis by Bernhard Francis S. Gregory, "noted whip and exhibitor of horses." The Los Angeles Times notes that the damages sought by Gregory are in the amount of $50,000
Gregory alleges that the "Princess slandered him in the Hotel Netherland in the presence of notables." He states that the Princes "asserted" that he "was nothing more than a former English coachman, and not a gentleman of good family."
This lawsuit has "aroused much talk in high circles." The princess is said to be a "noted entertainer and very popular," while Gregory "has for years had the entree of the best society in Europe."

Road Trip: oh where is the Duke of Montpensier

May 20, 1906

French Royalists are "much concerned about the safety" of the Duke of Montpensier, the only brother of the childless Duke of Orleans, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy in her latest dispatch. During the past few weeks, Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Montpensier, has been "engaged in a foolhardy automobile trip through the wilds of Cambodia." He is traveling only with his friend, the Count of Bernis, a manservant and a "native interpreter," and "nothing has been heard of the party for some time."

The "natives are intensely bitter against the French," and, indeed, against all the white races." The kingdom of Cambodia is also "infested with Chinamen," are also to the French.

The duke is "carrying his life in his hands," during this motor trip. He is taking a great risk by visiting "the more remote districts," where he could be attacked or robbed" due to the "racial hatred." The 24-year-old Prince Ferdinand has been a source of distress to his family because of his "wildness." His family approved of his desire to visit India, Siam, and the "French colonial possessions," due to the belief "that it would serve to keep him out of mischief."

Ferdinand serves in the Spanish navy and is far wealthier than the Duke of Orleans as he inherited not only the title, "but also the greater fortune of his grandfather," the duke of Montpensier, who married Infanta Luisa, the younger sister of Queen Isabel of Spain.

Should anything happen to the young duke, the next in line of the succession is his uncle, Prince Robert, the Duke of Chartres, who, during the American Civil War, served on Gen. McClellan's staff. He was known among his "comrades of the army of the Potomac," as 'Chatters.'

Prince Robert is 68, "older than his years, and he has only one surviving son, Prince Jean, Duke of Guise, who was educated in Denmark, as his sister, Marie, is married to Prince Waldemar of Denmark.

The Duke of Montpensier's family awaits word of his safe return home.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On the town

Prince and Princess George of Greece with their daughter, Princess Eugenie of Greece, in 1946

Queen Olga and her granddaughters

Queen Olga of Greece and her granddaughters:

Back row: Princess Elisabeth of Greece, Princess Xenia of Russia, Princess Theodora of Greece, Princess Nina of Russia, Princess Margarita of Greece

Middle: Princess Cecilie of Greece, Princess Irene of Greece, Queen Olga of Greece, Princess Sophie of Greece and Princess Helen of Greece.

and sitting Princess Katherine of Greece and Princess Marina of Greece

Archduke Karl Ludwig dead, brother of Franz Joseph

May 19, 1896

Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, the brother of Emperor Franz Joseph, died this morning at Schönbrunn. He was 62 years old, reports the New York Times. Dispatches from Budapest say that the "announcement of his death has created a feeling of sorrow throughout Hungary," where the Archduke was "very popular." His death also "casts a shade of sadness" over Hungary's forthcoming millennium celebration, which was scheduled for June 8. This event has now been postponed, due to the official mourning period.

Archduke Karl Ludwig's second son, Archduke Otto Franz Joseph, is now regarded as the heir to the throne. Karl Ludwig's eldest son, Franz Ferdinand, who became the heir presumptive after the death of Archduke Rudolf in January 1889, is "incurably ill," and incapacitated from succeeding to the throne.

Archduke Karl Ludwig had renounced his rights in favor of Franz Ferdinand.
Karl Ludwig Joseph Marie was born at Schönbrunn on July 30, 1833, the second son of Archduke Franz and Duchess Sophie in Bavaria. He was married three times, first to Princess Margarete of Saxony who died in 1856, just two years after the wedding; Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, who died in 1871; and Infanta Maria Teresa of Braganza, who survives him. By his second wife, Karl Ludwig had three sons and a daughter,  and two daughters with his third wife. He is survived by his wife and all of his children, although Franz Ferdinand is "supposed to be dying of consumption."

Archduke Otto will succeed his uncle unless Franz Joseph changes the succession, "which is probable," as Otto "is a drunken ruffian, detested by both the Emperor and his people."

Archduke Karl Ludwig was a "Habsburg of the most reactionary, narrow-minded, and bigoted kind." He was educated "under Jesuit influence, his Ultramontanism has always been thoroughgoing and fanatical." Karl Ludwig abhorred "the ideas of constitutional government and popular rights," and during his brother's reign, Karl Ludwig had been a "bitter foe of all the reform and progress." He "openly attacked" Franz Joseph's advisers, and "insisted on maintaining the Pope's temporal power, at least in Austria."

The hostility between the two brothers was well known. Many in Vienna believe that the Emperor will change the succession due to the fear of revolution if either of Karl Ludwig's sons succeeds to the throne. There is talk that the Emperor has already made arrangements to allow the crown to pass to the eldest son of his favorite daughter, Valerie, who is married to Archduke Franz Salvator.
Archduke Karl Ludwig has been an invalid for many years. He suffered a stroke in 1894, and his death "has been regarded as only a question of months."

Last month, he traveled to Territet on Lake Geneva where he intended to stay at the Grand Hotel for "some time."

Otto's engagement denied

May 19, 1938

Archduke Otto's spokesman made an official denial of reports that the pretender to the Austrian throne is not becoming engaged to Princess Maria Theresa, according to the New York Times. The newspaper also reported that a "similar denial" was also issued regarding a purported engagement of Otto's sister, Archduchess Adelheid.
The report did not identify which Princess Maria Theresa, but Otto was in Liechtenstein at the time. Prince Franz Joseph of Liechtenstein, heir to the principal;iity, had a sister, Princess Maria Theresa, born in 1908.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mother and Daughter matching hats

Grand Duchess Victoria Melita of Hesse and by Rhine posing with her daughter, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine. Notice mom and daughter are wearing matching hats!

Cute cousins

This photo was taken circa 1908 (as it was sent to Baroness Anny von Reigersberg, and signed by Hilde) and shows the two sons of Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, Princes Luitpold and Albrecht and their cousins, Count Carl Theodor, Countess Antonia and Count Hans Heribert of Toerring-Jettenbach.

The mother of the Toerring-Jettenbach children was Duchess Sophie in Bavaria, whose sister, Elisabeth, was the wife of King Albert I of the Belgians.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Archduke Rudolph and Countess Xenia

The engagement between Archduke Rudolph of Austria and Miss Xenia Czernichev-Besobrasov, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sege Czernichev-Besobrasov of 61 East 95th Street, New York City, was announced on April 30, 1953. Archduke Rudolph, the youngest son of late Emperor Karl of Austria, made his home in Tuxedo Park, New York, where the wedding was scheduled to take place in late June 1953. He lived with his mother on a "large estate" in Tuxedo Park.

The bride-to-be, an alumna of Miss Hall's School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, attended Smith College for two years. At the time of her engagement, she worked for Air France, and was based in New York City.

The couple were married on June 23, 1953 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Tuxedo Park, New York. The nuptial mass was performed by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. This was the first "imperial marriage in the United States," according to the United Press report.

One hundred and ten guests, including the groom's mother, Empress Zita, attended the wedding. Archduke Rudolph was a junior executive at Calvin Bullock, an American-Canadian banking firm in New York. He graduated from Laval University in Quebec.

The bride's father, Count Serge was a "Czarist courtier," who fled Russia during the revolution and settled in the United States.

Family members joined the bride and groom for a high mass in the private chapel on Zita's estate before heading to the wedding. The groom's eldest brother, Archduke Otto, and his wife, Regina, were unable to attend the wedding.
The bride had no attendants, but Prince Edward de Lobkowicz and his son, Prince Edward, were among the ushers.

The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father. She wore "a gown of ivory satin, cut along princess lines, embellished with rosepoint lace and made with a fitted bodice, long sleeves and a full skirt terminating in a long train," according to the New York Times report of the wedding.

Her veil was a 100-year-old heirloom, first worn by Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Altenberg at her marriage to Grand Duke Constantine in 1948. The veil was "arranged in cap fashion, with clusters of white blossoms at the side." She carried a bouquet of Easter Lilies."

The bridal procession made its way from the private chapel to the church, which included friends and family members Jean Hedrey, former Hungarian envoy of Belgium, who came to the United States in 1938 escorted Archduchess Charlotte, the bridegroom's sister; Count Henri Benenfeld, professor at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and a former tutor of the Austrian imperial family escorted Princess Bagration, the bride's sister. They were followed by Count Hilarion Woronzow-Dashkow and Archduchess Adelheid, another sister of the bridegroom; Prince Anthony de Ligne, Belgian Military Attache in Washington and Mrs. Alexander Besobrasov, sister-in-law of the bride; Prince Bagration, the bride's brother-in-law and Archduchess Yolande, the groom's sister-in-law; Archduke Carl Ludwig and Princess Vera of Russia; Alexander Czernichev-Besobrasov, the bride's brother, and Archduchess Anna Eugenie, the groom's sister-in-law, who were followed by Archduke Felix, the groom's brother, and the bride's mother, the bridegroom and his mother, and the bride and her father, who were the last in the procession.

The reception was held at Empress Zita's home, which was decorated with early summer flowers and Easter Lillies.

The honeymoon was spent in the South, and the newlyweds planned to make their home in New York.

Archduchess Xenia was killed in an automobile accident, near Soigny, France, in September 1968. Archduke Rudolph was "seriously injured," and was treated at a Soigny hospital. The couple were en route from their home in Brussels to Amiens, France, when their car collided with a truck.

Archduchess Xenia was 35 years old at the time of her death. She was buried at the Chateau Beloeil in Belgium. A memorial service was held at the royal palace at Laeken and was attended by King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola, Archduke Otto, and other members of the family. She was survived by her husband, their four children, her parents, her brother, and her sister, Princess Irene Bagration.
The archduchess' parents were visiting Brussels at the time of the accident

Queen Wilhelmina to marry Prince Bernhard

May 17, 1896

Young Queen Wihelmina of the Netherlands, who will celebrate her 16th birthday in August, "will be betrothed" to Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenbach, a grandson of the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. Prince Bernhard Heinrich the second son of the late Hereditary Grand Duke Carl, was born at Weimar on April 18, 1878. He is a Lieutenant in the Fifth Thuringian Infantry Regiment. His elder brother, Prince Wilhelm, is the heir to the Grand Duchy.
The present Grand Duke, Carl Alexander, is married to Princess Sophie of the Netherlands. Grand Duchess Sophie is heiress presumptive to the Dutch throne. She is the sister of Queen Wilhelmina's father, the late King Willem III.
Wilhelmina and Bernhard are first cousins once removed.

[Prince Bernhard Heinrich died from inflammation of the lungs on October 1, 1900 at the age of 22.]

Portuguese succession agreed

May 17, 1930

Supporters of King Manoel II of Portugal and Prince Duarte Nuno, the 23-year-old scion of the other branch of Braganza, have "agreed to bury the hatchet in order to build a monarchist dam against the rising tide of republican socialism," according to the AP.
The reconciliation has come about because of King Manoel's "lukewarm enthusiasm" for the monarchist cause and "his disinclination to take a leading a part" in a restoration movement.
The former king, who lives at Fulwell Palace, in London, with his wife, Augusta Victoria, is "happy among his books," and he has rejected the pleas of his supporters to lead revolts against the republican regime in Portugal.
He inherited the London residence from his uncle, the Duke of Orléans.
Unlike the "literary-minded sovereign," Prince Duarte Nuno, who was educated in Austria, "is consumed with ambition to brighten the tarnished escutcheon of his ancestors," who ruled Portugal for nearly 500 years.
The prince, who was born at Seebenstein, Lower Austria, is a "handsome youth. He is the heir of the legitimist branch of the Braganza family, which settled in Australia, after Duarte's grandfather, Miguel, was forced to leave Portugal.
Neither Manoel nor Duarte are allowed to live in Portugal. King Manoel, the last male member of the Braganza-Sax-Coburg and Gotha line, has no children Many of his supporters have been pressing him to acknowledge Duarte Nino as his successor for "the preservation of the dynasty.

Nicholas' sisters do the wash

May 17, 1918

Members of the former Russian imperial family are "living in seclusion on a small Crimean estate," and living in penury, according to a Kiev newspaper, which was receied by the New York Times in Amsterda,
The newspaper states that Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaivitch, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, and her two daughters, Grand Duchesses Xenia Alexandrovna and Olga Alexandrovna, and their families, are together, along with fourteen others.
During the February revolution, their residence was "frequently attacked by mobs, which were especially hostile to Grand Duke Nicholas." Empress Marie's farmhouse has been "shelled three times."
Grand Duchesses Xenia and Olga do the family's washing, and Grand Duke Nicholas provides the lessons for the children, "who owing to perpetual fright," have become "nervous wrecks."
The meals are largely "rough soldiers' fare," as meat and sugar are "unattainable luxuries." The prisoners are, however, allowed to garden and read, although it is difficult for the family to obtain books.
Grand Duchess Olga, it is reported, sold a part of her wardrobe to purchase books. "credit being refused."

more royals arrive for Edward's funeral

May 17, 1910

King Alfonso XIII and King George of the Hellenes arrived in London this evening. They were met at the railroad station by King George V, the Duke of Cornwall, the Duke of Connaught, and "other royal personages," according to the New York Times.
They are in London to attend the funeral of King Edward VII.
Prince Henry of Prussia, the late king's nephew, also arrived in London tonight, and he was met by the Duke of Connaught on behalf of King George V. Prince Henry will represent the German Navy at Edward's funeral.

Infant son of the Duke and Duchess of York christened today

May 17, 1900

The infant son of the Duke and Duchess of York was baptized today in the private chapel at Windsor Castle in the "presence of Queen Victoria, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, the Duke and Duchess of Fife, the Duke of Cambridge, and other members of the royal family," according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The regent of the Duchy of Brunswick, Prince Albrecht of Prussia, represented Kaiser Wilhelm II, one of the little prince's godparents.

Water "was brought from the River Jordan" and "contained in gold font," used in the baptismal service.
Queen Victoria handed her great-grandson to the Bishop of Winchester.  She "gave the child's name as Henry William Frederick Albert.

Prince Henry is the fourth child of the Duke and Duchess of York. The other children are Prince Edward, Prince Albert, and Princess Mary. He was born on March 31. It was announced earlier that he "was to be christened Patrick."

The infant prince's sponsors are Queen Victoria, Princess Henry of Battenberg, the Duchess of Cumberland (represented by the Princess of Wales), Princess Charles of Denmark (represented by Princess Victoria of Wales), the German Emperor (represented by Prince Albrecht of Prussia, Prince Regent of Brunswick), Prince George of Greece (represented by the Prince of Wales), and Prince Alexander of Teck (represented by the Duke of Cambridge) and Field Marshll the Right Hon. Lord Roberts, (represented by Sir Dighton Probyn.)

Other members of the royal family were who at the baptism included Prince Edward of York, Prince Arthur and Princesses Margaret and Patricia of Connaught, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Victoria Eugenie with Princes Leopold and Maurice of Battenberg,

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Archduke Rudolph dead at 90

HI & RH Archduke Rudolph Syringus Peter Karl Franz Joseph Robert Otto Antonius Maria Pius Benedikt Ignatius Laurentius Justiniani Marcus d'Aviano of Austria died on May 15 in Switzerland. He was 90 years old.

Archduke Rudolph was the sixth of eight children of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita of Austria. He was born in exile at Villa Prangins, near Nyon, in Belgium on September 5, 1919.

On June 22, 1953 in Tuxedo Park, New York, Archduke Rudolph married Russian Countess Xenia Tschernyschev-Besobrasow. Rudolph's older brother, Archduke Otto, as head of the house, decreed that the marriage was equal, although Xenia did not come from a royal or mediatized house.

The family settled in Brussels, where the Archduke worked in banking. The couple's first child, Archduchess Maria-Anna was born in 1954. She married Prince Peter Galitzine, and they now live in Moscow.

Rudolph and Xenia's second child, Archduke Carl Peter, was born in 1955 in what was then the Belgian Congo. He is married to Princess Alexandra of Wrede. They live in Luxembourg.

Archduke Simeon, who is married to Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, also works in finance and is based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

Archduchess Xenia was killed in a car accident in Belgium on September 20, 1968.
Three years later, Archduke Rudolph married for a second time. His new wife was Princess Anna Gabriele of Wrede, who is the aunt of her stepson, Carl Peter's wife.

Rudolph and Anna Gabriela were the parents of one daughter, Archduchess Catharina, who is married to Count Massimiliano of Secco d'Aragona. They live in Italy, where the count works in banking.

Archduke Rudolph last appeared in public at the funeral of his sister-in-law, Archduchess Regina, the wife of Archduke Otto.

He is survived by his second wife, four children, Archduchess Maria Anna, Archduke Carl Peter, Archduke Simeon and Archduchess Catharina, and 15 grandchildren. Another son, Archduke Johannes, who was born in in 1962, died in 1975. He is oldest survived by numerous grandchildren, and his two brothers, Otto and Felix.

The third photo shows Archduke Rudolph and Archduchess Anna Gabriela with Archduchess Catharina and Archdukes Carl Peter and Simeon. This photo was taken in 1994.

The black and white photos of Rudolph and Xenia were taken in 1967. These photos may not be copied or downloaded at all. Thanks.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Oh dear, do get your facts straight

When will people learn? Queen Elizabeth II broke precedent by attending the funeral of King Baudouin of the Belgians. This was the first funeral of a foreign sovereign she had ever attended. Her father, King George VI, did not attend foreign funerals or weddings after succeeding to the throne. Ditto Kings George V and Edward VII.

Check this list: How difficult is it for people to understand that the British sovereign sends representatives to weddings and funerals, and this has existed for more than 100 years. Very, very few exceptions. The last British king to attend a foreign royal wedding was in 1913!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Can the Queen Vote?

Well, sort of ...

The Soveriegn and members of the Royal Family do not exercise their right to vote. This applies to the Royal Highnesses, and not to the extended family. Viscount Linley and his sister, Lady Sarah Chatto, have been photographed at the polls in previous elections, and, they probably cast their votes in this election, too.

This self-imposed bar does not apply to Princess Anne's children, who are not royal highnesses.

Charlotte flees Luxembourg with children

Embed from Getty Images 

May 12, 1940 (delayed)

Luxembourg, described by a reporter for the Chicago Tribune news service, as "a fairy-tale kingdom [that] made one last gesture against an avalanche of realists, a beautiful Princess hurried her children through the barbed wire," as German tanks rolled across the Remich bridge, marking the second invasion of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 25 years.

The invasion of Luxembourg began at 3 a.m., on May 10. The tanks, "rolling over the bridge at Remich, quickly overpowering the guards, who, by the touch of a switch, might have tossed the long span into the river."

The parachute jumpers came, "to organize the tourists who a week ago had been inspecting the baggage of casual visitors to the Brasseur Hotel." The tanks moved first into Luxembourg, followed by the "dynamiters and the engineers and infantry."

Luxembourg's 350 soldiers, "well trained in the theory of musketry and tactics, did not fire a shot."

There was "complete panic in the capital." Luxembourg could not hold out against the German invasion. Within six hours, the country had capitulated and was under German control.

When Grand Duchess Charlotte received news of the invasion, she "went personally to awaken her children, and shoo them into an automobile, all except the baby who she kept with her."

The children were across the border in France before Charlotte stood in front of the Palace at Colmer-Berg, and said goodbye, just as her sister, Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide, had done 22 years ago. The Grand Duchess did not make any speeches, except to tell the Foreign Minister "that all would be well in her hands." And, then she "went out of her country."

Ileana sees Hochberg again

May 14, 1930

Earlier reports from Bucharest offered denials that Princess Ileana was herself responsible for telling Count Alexander von Hochberg that the engagement was off, now acknowledge that Princess Ileana insisted on giving Hochberg "his congé by word of mouth rather than leaving it to the newspapers to announce the news."

The Princess, who remained in Cairo after her mother, Queen Marie, returned to Bucharest, requested that Count von Hochberg, "who had meanwhile arrived in Egypt," be allowed to meet with her.

This meeting did take place, and "it is understood that the result was a complete breaking off of all contact between the two."

Princess Ileana is expected to return to Bucharest in a few days.

Taxi driver prince claims Serb throne

May 14, 1928

Just two weeks ago Prince Alexander Dabischa-Kotromanich, 33, was earning a meager living as a taxi driver in Berlin. Today, the Prince is "preparing an attempt to oust King Alexander from the Jugo-Slav throne." 

The Chicago Daily Tribune's report says that the "prince proposes to assert the rights of the Kotromanich family, which reigned in what is now Jugo-Slavia from 1163 to 1443." The prince claims he is the "sole direct heir."

He is married to Princess Ariadne Cantucuzene, a member of the "well-known Roumanian family."
The prince "makes no secret of the source of the sudden financial support," and his aide-de-camp, Capt. Grischka said, "emanates from Rome and London."

The Marquese Antionari, an attache at the Italian embassy in Berlin, is said to "have an active share in the negotiations for financing the prince." This support is based on the "view of the present Jugo-Slavian king's uncompromising refusal to deal with Premier Mussolini."

The British government "has not compromised itself directly," but, the prince claims "that private capital has been invested in the venture." This venture, he says, includes "the promise of a squadron of airlines."

The Kotromanovich dynasty is said to be older than the Karageorge or the Obrenovich dynasties, "which have been alternating in Serbia lately, marking each change with murder."

When the Turks overran Jugo-Slavia, the Kotromanovich family fled to Austria and settled in Russia, where members of the family "rose to high positions in the Russian army."

Prince Alexander said he was imprisoned by the Bolsheviks, "which prevented him from stating his claim at the Versailles peace congress."

Ena expects baby

May 14, 1910

According to the New York Times, "it is learned that the accouchement of Queen Victoria is expected within a month."

In modern parlance: Queen Ena of Spain is again pregnant, and is expected to give birth later this month.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A nice profile of Prince Hermann zu Leiningen

Prince Hermann is the elder son of the late Prince Karl of Leiningen and Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria, whose brother, Simeon, is the former king.
Prince Hermann is a descendant of Queen Victoria through his father, Prince Karl, whose mother was Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia, the eldest of three children of Grand Duke Kirill of Russia and Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, second daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, whose brother, Grand Duke Wladimir, whose son was Grand Duke Kirill who married his first cousin.

Princess Marie Louise is the elder of two children of King Boris III of the Bulgarians and Princess Giovanna of Savoy, daughter of King Victor Emmanuel of Italy and his wife, Princess Elena of Montenegro.
The present Prince of Leiningen - Andreas - is Hermann's first cousin. Prince Hermann remains a dynast, as does his brother, Boris, although neither are likely to ever succeed. The Leiningen house law does not require "equal marriage." Prince Karl Emich lost his position because his father did not approve of his marriage to a particular commoner, Gabriele Thyssen. Karl-Emich went against his father's wishes, married Gabriele, an action that infuriated his father, who called his lawyer, and changed his will. This was complicated by the establishment in 1925 of a family trust in order to protect the family estate. Karl-Emich, when he turned 35, had already inherited a percentage of the estate.
Although Karl-Emich's marriage to Gabriele Thyssen ended in divorce, and she moved on to a much bigger fish, he did not regain his rights. Although he is now married to a countess and is the father of a new-born son, Karl Emich (and his male line) are not dynasts.
Karl-Emich and his second wife were styled as the Prince and Princess of Leiningen after Emich's death. This was due to the legal maneuverings, as the case wended its way through the German courts. In the end, Karl-Emich accepted the decision, and ceased to be styled as the Prince of Leiningen, as if he had never succeeded his father. He accepted (as have other members of the princely family) that his younger brother, Andreas, succeeded their father, and is the Prince of Leiningen. The Leiningen house laws are specific in various matters, including the succession, but an equal marriage requirement is not included. The German courts ruled not on the succession issue, but on the requirements set out in the late Prince of Leiningen's will. A precedent had already been established with the court ruling regarding the will of the late Kaiser Wilhelm II, and how his will defined the succession and inheritance in Prussia.
The late Gustav, Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg's final will included clauses regarding inheritance, and, it is because of this will, his grandson, Prince Gustav, cannot marry his longtime love, Carina Axelsson, without losing his inheritance.

[Little fincky Finns should never meddle with a pro!]

Edward and Jolanda to wed!

May 13, 1920

According to the Los Angeles Times,  the "semi-official news" that the Prince of Wales is to marry Princess Jolanda of Italy is "significant as a survival of the old order of things, the perpetuation of monarchies and the political alliances of royal houses."

As usual with these reports, "an effort is made to enshroud the affair in romance, to insist" that the young couple have "fallen in love."  It is unlikely that Prince Edward and Princess Jolanda "have any such supreme luck," as love and romance can rarely be counted upon to conform" to political desires.

As "a matter of cold fact," the House of Savoy is "the only one left with a thoroughly eligible daughter suitable to become the consort of the future King." This marriage has "everything to recommend it - age, rank, and political advantage."

"We wish young Edward and Jolanda the best of luck if their alliance is duly consummated -- but, dear children, we hope the sacrifice won't be too exacting, for it will be surely in vain." Britain and Italy will "remain friends so long as their interests don't conflict. Otherwise, all the royal marriages under heaven won't weigh a particle in the balance."

[Editor's note: this article is too funny. There was never an ounce of truth in a romance between the Prince of Wales and Princess Jolanda. Apart from the fact that they never really met, Jolanda was Roman Catholic, and unlikely to have converted to the Anglican church before marriage with the Prince of Wales.]

Former Dowager Empress and 2 Grand Dukes held at Kiev

May 13, 1918

The New York Times reports on a dispatch from the Ukrainian Press Bureau, which has "received information from Odessa" regarding the whereabouts of the former Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaivitch, and Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch.
The three members of the former imperial family living at Dulbar, near Aitodor, in the Crimea, are now said to be in the hands of the Germans.

"Special dispatches from Moscow," published last Saturday, report that the Dowager Empress had arrived in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. It has also been reported that Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovitch is also in Kiev, and had taken a prominent role in the coup d'etat by "which the Ukrainian Radu was overthrown and a Dictatorship was established."

The Dowager Empress has lived in Crimea "in straitened circumstance." Grand Duke Nicholas is the former Commander in Chief of the Russian armies and "is regarded as one of the greatest of Russia's military leaders." He has apparently been living in retirement at his estate in the Crimea, "although there have been various reports connecting him with royalist plots."

Grand Duke Alexander, who is married to Nicholas II's sister, Xenia, has probably been living in the Crimea, although little has been heard about him since the Revolution.