Thursday, September 30, 2010

Czar and Czarina head to Mar Lodge

September 30, 1896

The Czar and Czarina visited the Duke and Duchess of Fife at Mar Lodge today, according to the New York Times.  The Czarina and the Duchess of Fife are first cousins, as both are granddaughters of Queen Victoria.

Princess and Playboy free on bond

September 30, 1960

The AP reports from Mexico City that Princess Ira zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Francisco "Baby" Pignatari, the Brazilian playboy,  are free on bail "pending trial on charges of adultery brought by her husband."
The Italian-born Princess, 20, and her Brazilian boyfriend, 43, "each posted $2,400 bond to escape going to jail until the case comes to court."  Both have denied the charges.

The former Princess Ira zu Fürstenberg was only 15 when she married, Prince Alfonso zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, 43, in a "whirlwind romance."  The prince is seeking a divorce, and custody of their two sons, ages 4 and 1.

Princess Ileana to take naval test

September 30, 1926

Princess Ileana of Roumania has "enrolled as a navigation officer" for examinations, which will be held at Constanza, the AP is reporting.
The Admiralty has already breveted the Princess as "First Helmsman of the Fleet."  She is said to be so "well qualified that she may surpass her masculine competition in the examinations."
She is the "first woman" in Roumanaia to apply for this "test of seamanship."

Duke of Abruzzi reported engaged

September 20, 1900

News comes from Europe about the "probable engagement" of the Infanta Maria de las Mercedes, eldest sister of the young King Alfonso XIII of Spain, to the Duke of the Abruzzi.  It is expected that the engagement will be announced in Madrid, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.   It was thought that the Infanta would marry the Count of Caserta, "to whom she was generally credited with having given her hand."  But it seems the adventures of the Italian Duke in the Arctic regions "are said to have appealed to her Spanish love of romance." He renewed his suit with the Infanta after his return, and, he has been accepted "by the Infanta with the concurrence of her mother."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Death of Queen Louise

September 29, 1898

In its editorial,  The Times notes that the "death of the Queen of Denmark, at the age of 81, is an event of domestic interest and sorrow in many of the greatest Courts in Europe, and not least in that of England, where the Princess of Wales mourns a beloved mother."   She will have "the heartfelt sympathy of the entire nation."
When Princess Louise of Hesse-Cassel married her cousin, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, the young couple, "though connected with the highest families on the Continent, had no very brilliant prospects before them."  The newlyweds moved into a a palace near Copenhagen, "under the tutelage of their kinsman the King of Denmark."
In 1852, Prince Christian was recognized as heir to the Danish throne, "partly through the influence of Russia, with whom he was persona grata."  According to Denmark's old succession law, the right, "on the extinction of the elder line," passed to the Hesse-Cassel line.  The head of that house, Prince Ferdinand, renounced his right in favor of his daughter, Louise, who, in turn, ceded her right to her husband, Prince Christian.
With "great sagacity and prudence," Louise devoted "herself to the education of her children, all of whom made remarkable marriages."  Crown Prince Frederik, the heir to the Danish throne is married to a Swedish princess, and one of his sons, Carl, is the husband of Princess Maud of Wales;  King George of the Hellenes is the husband of Grand Duchess Olga of Russia; Princess Alexandra is married to the Prince of Wales;   Princess Dagmar is the Dowager Empress of Russia; Princess Thyra is the wife of the Duke of Cumberland, and Prince Waldemar is  the husband of Princess Marie of Orleans.
In this country, Queen Louise "was honoured and respected, like our own gracious Sovereign, as the type of the dignified head of a Royal Family.  She was not usually considered a factor in international politics, though it is quite within the bounds of possibility that she may have played a part in this sphere which has never been revealed to the public."   Her "conduct was a model for the Courts towards which she stood in an attitude of maternal authority."

The Court Circular reports that the "Queen of Denmark died at 5:40 this morning.  After passing almost the whole in an unconscious condition, the Queen slept last night.  Almost all the members of the Royal family, and Professors Petersen, Gram and Plum, had been present since the morning.  The King of Denmark, the King of Greece, and the Princess of Wales alternately during many hours held the hands of the dying Queen, who for a few single moments recovered consciousness, but could not speak.  The King of Denmark was moved to tears."
The king's doctors wanted him to rest, but he said to them: "I will stay at least while the Queen in conscious."
All of Denmark is "deeply moved by the Queen's death."   After she was dead, King Christian "kissed the body and then rested for some hours.  He rose early and made arrangements for the burial , which will probably take place on Tuesday."
The Princess of Wales "laid the the first wreath on the body of the Queen."
Reuters reports that the Queen "died quite peacefully.  At the last moments all the members of the Royal family were at the bedside.  When it was all over the bed was strewn with flowers."

The Times' correspondent reports that the "news of the fatal termination of the illness of the Queen of Denmark was received by the Queen at Balmoral and the Prince of Wales at Mar Lodge at an early hour."   The news was not unexpected as "telegrams have been passing constantly between the Royal Courts for the past few days."

The Bad Guys take control of Luxembourg

September 29, 1940

By wireless to the New York Times.

The new Nazi-controlled government running Luxembourg has had its first "public mass meeting" of the "folk German movement" since the occupation of the tiny Grand Duchy by the Germans.  The chief of the Civil Administration,  Gustav Simon, has proclaimed the birth of a "new order" for Luxembourg within the "framework of the Great German Reich."
Simon declared:  "Luxembourg is German."   He denounced the former government and Grand Duchess Charlotte, "who fled because of her guilty conscience."  Luxembourg, he added, was "entering a new order because she was faced with new facts. Germany has already taken over the development of the new order."
"Luxembourg derives from the German race and the population therefore must be treated as thought it was already German.  I really believe that Luxembourgers in their innermost being are just as good Germans as citizens of the Old Reich.  Yes, I even believe that Luxembourgers have for centuries been among the best Germans of the Reich.  That is no phrase, but historic truth."
Herr Simon also said that Luxembourg had never been independent, but was only a "weak vassal state of France."
By decree, the Grand Duchy has already been incorporated into the "customs sovereignty of the Reich."  Thanks to its "richly developed iron and steel mining industries,"  Luxembourg provides Germany with a "valuable asset." 

Duke of Apulia denies abdication rumor

September 29, 1926

The Duke of Apulia, cousin of King Vittorio Emanuele of Italy, is not taking seriously a report in a Brussels-based Italian newspaper that he will become the next king of Italy.

"It's what you Americans call 'plain baloney," the duke told an Associated Press reporter, shortly after his arrival with his bride, the Duchess of Guise.  The Duchess is the former Princess Anne of France.

The duke would not answer further questions.  The "tall, angular son of the Duke of Aosta" appears "not perturbed at all" when he was told of reports that King Vittorio Emanuele would abdicate in his favor.  He "scarcely appeared interested."

"Just passing through," was the duke's response to the media's questions. 
The Duke and Duchess of Guise arrived in Los Angeles from Canada, where they spent an "extended honeymoon" touring the Northwest.

The report was published by the Observateur, a newspaper published by Italian emigres living in Belgium.  It declared that the king "would abdicate as soon as the Chamber of Deputies a part of the official government."  

The article also stated that the Duke of Apulia, and not the heir apparent, Prince Umberto, would "succeed to the throne."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prince and Princess Christian tie the knot in Rome

A week after their civil marriage in Donauschingen,  the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Fürstenberg exchanged vows in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Rome on Saturday.
The ceremony took place at the church of San Salvatore which is opposite the Castel Sant'Angelo.  The guest was limited to family and friends, which included the Prince of Thurn und Taxis,  Count Leopold and Countess Debonnaire von Bismarck, the Prince and Princess Ruffo di Calabria, Prince Albrecht of Hohenzollern, who only a few days earlier attended the funeral of his father, the Prince of Hohenzollern, and Prince Dushan of Yugoslavia.;art372512,4497481

Prince Leopold of Bavaria dead at 84

September 28, 1930

Prince Leopold Maximilian of Bavaria died today of pneumonia, according to the New York Times.  He was 84 years old.

Prince Leopold, a former field marshal in the Bavarian and German armies, led the army "which captured Warsaw in 1915."  It was at his "headquarters that peace negotiations with the Russians in 1917 were begun."  The Prince "played an important role in the early German victories in Russia and Poland."   It was rumored at the time of Warsaw's capture that "he might be made king."  Since the end of the war, Prince Leopold lived in retirement.

He married Archduchess Gisela of Austria, the eldest daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elizabeth, on April 20, 1873.

The prince is survived by his wife, and four children, Princess Elisabeth, Princess Augusta, Prince Georg and Prince Konrad.  Prince Georg, who was once married to Archduchess Isabella of Austria and served as a colonel in the Bavarian army during the world war, became a Roman Catholic priest in 1921.  He is the canon of St. Peter's in Rome.  His marriage was annulled in 1913 by both the Bavarian Courts and the Holy See.

report: Nicholas II alive in France

September 28, 1926

The Transalpine News Agency has issued the following "circumstantial story about Czar Nicholas's escape from Russia," according to the New York Times.

"Information absolutely serious in character permits us to affirm that Czar Nicholas is alive and hidden in a little corner of the Riviera between France and Italy.  Nicholas II was only wounded during the massacre which befell the royal family of Russia, and was saved by one of the soldiers who participated in the killing of other members of the household.
"As proof of this statement there can be cited the two following disturbing facts:
"First, the refugees of the Russian royal family have never chosen a pretender to the throne.  One year after the the reported death of the Czar, Grand Duke Cyril tried to assert his right to the throne but he was immediately dissuaded by Grand Duke Nicholas who informed him of the existence of the Czar.
"Second, at the present time there is deposited in English banks a sizable sum in pounds sterling to the account of Czar Nicholas.  Neither these sums nor the official heritage of the Czar ever yet has been claimed by the rightful heirs and this proves that Czar Nicholas still lives."

Princess Joachim remarries

September 28, 1926

Princess Joachim of Prussia married yesterday to Johann Michael von Loen, only son of Hans von Loen, Court Marshall of Anhalt,  the AP is reporting. Princess Joachim is the former Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt.   She married Prince Joachim in 1916.  He committed suicide in 1921.

The mystery of the Princess Royal's operation

September 28, 1906

The Marquise de Fontenoy's latest dispatch focuses on the "extent old world royalty dreads publicity where its ailments are concerned."  This is the case with the "extraordinary mystery which has been observed in connection," with the Princess Royal, the wife of the Duke of Fife, who has recently undergone a major operation at Mar Lodge, her favorite home in Scotland.  The Princess, who is the eldest daughter of King Edward VII, "has been in bad health for some time past," and her doctors believed that an "operation was inevitable."  Queen Alexandra was in Norway visiting her younger daughter, Queen Maud, when she learned of Princess Louise's operation.  She wished to return immediately to England, but it was "only when Sir Frederick Treves was dispatched in hot haste by the king to beg her to remain abroad until the operation was over."  Alexandra reluctantly agreed to stay away. 
Sir Frederick promised the queen that he would be presented at the operation in "an advisory capacity," and insisted that the princess was not in danger.  But if Alexandra "interrupted her stay abroad and hastened to Mar Lodge public attention would be drawn to the condition of the princess." 
The press would have focused on Louise's health,  which would have caused her distress, and "consequently impair the success of the operation."   Queen Alexandra "yielded to these arguments."
The Princess Royal is the "shyest of all the members of the reigning house of England." She lives a very retired life with her husband and two daughters, Alexandra and Maud, and she "shuns publicity in every form."
Her marriage has "turned out to be  a happy one " in spite of the age difference with her husband. 
The princess is the fourth member of the royal family to undergo surgery in recent years.  King Edward VII, his daughter Victoria and his niece, Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein, have all undergone appendectomies.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Official photos

King Simeon, Crown Prince Alexander, King Michael, King Constantine

Prince Radu, Crown Princess Margarita, King Michael, Queen Anne Marie, King Constantine, the Patriarch, King Simeon, Queen Margarita, Crown Princess Katherine and Crown Prince Alexander
Photos: courtesy Crown Prince Alexander

NYT profile of Princess Haya

Today's New York Times has a nice profile cum interview of Princess Haya of Jordan who is the junior wife of the Ruler of Dubai.


So, yes, I did find the Costa Coffee in New Belgrade.  The shuttle to the airport did not leave until 11 a.m., so I was able to take a final walk.  The Costa Coffee was only a few minutes from Pet Centar.  Customers were smoking inside, which meant I preferred to sit outside.  A large vanilla latte.  Heaven!

Thank you to the Crown Prince and Crown Princess for their invitation.  I am glad I went back to Serbia.  I saw so many positive changes.  More banks, certainly more cars on the road.  Traffic jams are a sign of prosperity.  Only a few Yugos.   Two new shopping centers.  The same chains that you would see in European or American malls have opened in Belgrade.  KFC, McDonald's, of course.  McDonald's has been in Belgrade for some years.  No Starbucks ... yet.    That's okay ... I found my Costa! 

Five years ago, I was able to find one place on the Prince Michael street, where I could purchase a fridge magnet.  Now plenty of souvenir kiosks with fridge magnets for sale. I found one of the Royal Palace!  That's a true positive sign.  The country is embracing tourism and its history,  Streets names have been restored to their pre-communist names.   Serbia is also experiencing the growth of trade and investment by the European Union and European and American corporations.  U.S. Steel, Microsoft and Coca-Cola are among the major American corporations investing in Serbia.

There are no direct flights from the USA to Belgrade.  The most efficient way is to fly to Frankfurt with a connecting flight to Belgrade.  I booked my flight on British Airways, which was less expensive than Lufthansa.  There was one catch, though.  My flight arrived in London just after 9:00 a.m,, which meant I would miss that day's flight to Belgrade.  (It leaves at 8:30 in the morning.)  Oh dear.  I would have to stay overnight in London  ... what a hardship!  :)  

I think it is important to learn one word in the language of the country you are visiting.  Younger people speak English, and Serbians are very friendly.  They will go out of their way to show you how to get to a destination.

The Serbian word for Thank you is Hvala.
British Airways will stop flying to Belgrade in November.  Serbia's national airline, JAT, does fly between the two capitals, and Whizz! Airlines offers service from Luton to Belgrade.  Not sure if I want to fly on an airline with the name Whizz!
(I did the first one)  

Princess Katherine's charities

Tours of the Royal Palace are available.

The two royal palaces in Belgrade are not open to the public.  The Old Palace is the home of the Serbian President.  The New Palace is the city government ... and tourists are not allowed in.


Day 3 Brunch at the palace

the Crown Prince's office

Movie room
Tito's china service
Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Crown Princess Margarita, Prince Radu and King Michael
Yes Jersey plates

 September 19 Brunch at the Royal Palace

Saturday was a late night, so I slept in --- about 30 minutes extra -- as the bus was scheduled to pick us up at 10:45 to take the guests to the palace for Sunday brunch. Free seating ... and Crown Princess Margarita invited me to join her and her family at one table. The food selection was marvelous from omelettes to salads -- and, of course, the wonderful Serbian sausages .. and Serbian wine.
The dishes used for the brunch were from Tito's official china. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess believe that it is important to acknowledge the country's history, even the bad times. 

Private tours of the palace were held throughout the weekend, and I chose to do the Sunday tour. Prince Nikola joined me for part of the tour.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess live in the Royal Palace, which is also used for some official functions. Most of the royal guests stayed at the Beli Dvor, the White Palace, which was used for gala dinner on Saturday night. The White Palace was commissioned by King Alexander as a home for his three sons and their families. Alexander was assassinated at Marseilles in 1934, leaving his young son, Peter, as king. The Belvi Dvor was not completed until the late 1930s, and was used as the official residence of the Prince Regent Paul and his family.

The male line descendants of Paul's father, Prince Arsene, did not have succession rights to the throne, according to the family law.

The brunch was the final official event of the anniversary celebrations. We got stuck in traffic on the Gazelle bridge so I started a game of license plates with the American couple sitting across the aisle. We spotted Germany, and then Austria ... and I said "New Jersey!" Yes, New Jersey. A car in Belgrade with New Jersey plates!

I spent a part of the afternoon at the pool with a British couple, a former Tory MP and his wife, and then headed off to the Spa for a wonderful one hour massage. Wonderful. Then it was back to change for dinner as the Hyatt hosted a final dinner for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their guests. Most of the royal guests had already departed, apart from Prince Vladimir, Princess Birgitta, Prince Nikola and Princess Margarita.

In his thank you speech, the Crown Prince stressed the importance of family -- his family - in the development of the country. The Crown Prince is a king in all but name - and it is a title he deserves for he and the Crown Princess give their hearts and their souls to Serbia.

Happy Anniversary, Your Royal Highnesses!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Archduchess Adelheid in Austria

September 23, 1936

Archduchess Adelheid returned to Austria today after leaving Steenockerzeel, Belgium. She had left Austria "abruptly on the conclusion of the Austro-German agreement July 11, and it is believed her return may signalize the revival of Habsburg activity," reports the New York Times.
The archduchess "received an official reception at Innsbruck station" from local and military authorities. Archduke Eugen went from Vienna to meet the Archduchess, who is the sister of Archduke Otto, heir to the throne.
She will visit Tyrolese villages and receptions hosted by various military bodies, and many assume that the Archduchess is resuming activities "with official approval," which has caused excitement among German and Austria Nazi and Socialist circles."

Strained relations between Alexander and Nathalie

September 23, 1900 

 The strained relations between King Alexander of Serbia and his mother, Queen Nathalie, have "developed into an open rupture," since his marriage to Draga, who once served as Nathalie's lady-in-waiting.
The Marquise de Fontenoy reports that the Official Gazette, published in Belgrade on September 8, notes that the "ex-queen" Nathalie "has sent to her court marshal, who resides in Belgrade, an open postcard, on which she has written an attack on King Alexander and Queen Draga, couched in the most insulting terms." 

 The King has given notice through the Official Gazette "that all proceedings calculated to undermine the position and prestige of himself or of his consort will be regarded as treason, and the same measures will be taken against them as if they were traitors and rebels."
This may be the first occasion "on which a sovereign has publicly denounced his mother as guilty of high treason, and has threatened her with punishment as such."

Queen Nathalie lives in France and is beyond her son's reach, but he has banished her court marshal and representative from the kingdom, and "has seized all of her effects at Belgrade, and has given directions that she is no longer to be regarded either by the clergy or by the government of Servia as a member of the ruling house." 

King Alexander, "having cast off his father, has now done the same thing with regard to his mother." In the same issue of the Gazette, prayers are being asked in all the churches of Servia for the new Queen, and "of her presentation to the Servian people of an heir to the throne." The birth of a son would "contribute more than anything else to strengthen" Alexander's "dynastic position. He is in a unique predicament "among European sovereigns" as he does not have an heir," and if his reign were to come to a sudden end, either through violent or natural death, his father, as his nearest and only relative, would have the best chance of securing the throne." There is no real support for Milan's restoration to the throne. 

King Alexander and Queen Draga also received the good wishes of Nicholas II, who expressed his satisfaction with the marriage and offers his "best wishes for the prosperity and happiness of your Majesty, and of her Majesty the Queen. I remain your good brother Nicholas."

More Gala photos

Prince Guillaume

Princess Sibilla
Crown Prince Alexander

Princess Desiree of Sweden and her husband, Baron Niclas Silverschiold
Prince Vladimir and Victoria da Silva

King Constantine II of the Hellenes and Crown Princess Margarita of Romania

King Constantine II, Queen Anne Marie and Princess Irene

Allison &; Jackson Andrews, Princes Philip, Alexander and Peter

Victoria da Silva is wearing the gown her mother, Princess Katarina, wore to Crown Prince Alexander's 60th birthday.

Just a reminder - all of these photos belong to me and CANNOT BE REPRODUCED ANYWHERE!!!!!!!

The gala at the Royal Palace

Princess Irene
King Constantine II

Prince Peter and friend

Princess Sibilla
Crown Princess Margarita,  Marlene Koenig, and King Michael

Royal Cousins:  Princesses Lavinia and Katarina of Serbia
King Constantine II giving a speech

Princess Birgitta and Queen Margarita

Princess Birgitta and Prince Vladimir

Princess Isabelle and Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein

Saturday, September 18

Back on land, we got back on the buses for the trip back to the hotel for a respite before the gala dinner at the Royal Palace. Some took a rest, others went for a swim in the pool, while the noted royal expert and art dealer Guy Stair Sainty and I went shopping. Guy's wife Elizabeth was having her hair done and had run out of time to buy presents for their children. I knew where the shopping center was so Guy and I walked to the USCE Shopping Center, which was only a few blocks from the Hyatt. I had hoped that the mall would have kiosks selling Serbian products. No such luck, although we both enjoyed the display of all the towns in the US with the name of Belgrade.

I remembered seeing dolls and other items on sale at tables at the entrance to the Kalmegdan. Guy hailed a cab, and we were off across the Branko bridge to Prince Michael Street and the Kalmegdan. It was a successful trip. Guy found presents for his children, and I bought a hand made lace runner for my cocktail table. Women sit at the entrance every day selling their home-made lace products. As state pensions are small, this small group of entrepreneurial women can supplement their meager incomes. The quality of the work is excellent.

The shopping adventure over, we got into another cab for the ride back to the Hyatt, and time to get ready for official dinner.

It was back on the bus at 6:45 p.m. The dress code for the dinner was a black tie and long gowns. I must say everyone looked elegant ... and spiffy!

Even with the police escort, it was difficult to get through the maze of Belgrade traffic. Only two bridges are linking Belgrade and New Belgrade, and there are many more drivers as Serbians can now get credit for car loans. 

The stairs to the palace were decorated with flowers and luminations. We all went through the formal receiving line, and then into the reception rooms for cocktails. Princess Lavinia walked over to me to have a chat. I also met the American Ambassador Mary Burce Warlick, who was sworn in as ambassador in January. Her husband is the ambassador to Bulgaria. 

Dinner was free seating. Lavina and her husband asked me to join them at a table, but others were already sitting at the table as well so I decided to sit another table, joining Prince Vladimir, Princess Birgitta, Prince Nikola, Guy and Elizabeth Sainty, and several Serbians, including the head of the Heraldic society. Suffice to say it was a lively table.

The Serbian wine flowed, and the meal was delicious. The main course included beef, potatoes, vegetables, and a salad, served with Serbian rolls, made with a hint of salt. King Constantine, who was Crown Prince Alexander's best man, made a funny speech that elicited laughter and applause. Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine's children, Princes Alexander, Peter and Philip, and Allison and David Andrews, all spoke glowingly of their parents. The princes' introduced a video on the lives of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess also made brief speeches. It is evident that this is a couple who are so much in love, and also love Serbia. Then came the cake which sparkled -- literally!

The cake was served ... and more wine ... and eventually, the clock struck twelve, and it was time to get back on the buses. On the way out, the guests were handed a gift bag. Inside the bag was a glass commemorating the event.

Back on the bus, I could do one thing that I could not have done at the palace: I took my shoes off!

Funeral for Friedrich Wilhelm

Several hundred invited guests today attended the funeral of the late Friedrich Wilhelm Prince of Hohenzollern, who died on September 16 at the age of 86. The funeral mass was held at the Hedlinger Kirche in Sigmaringen. The church service was private and not open to the public. Among the prominent mourners included Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, the Prince of Thurn und Taxis, Duke Max in Bavaria, the Margrave Baden, accompanied by the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Baden, the Duke of Württemberg, the Prince of Fürstenberg, the Prince and Princess of Waldburg-Wolfegg,the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Waldburg-Zeil, Prince and Princess Leopold of Bavaria, the Prince and Princess of Leiningen, Prince and Princess Karl-Emich of Leiningen and the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe.,-In-schweren-Limousinen-faehrt-der-Hochadel-vorBuerger-verfolgen-Trauerfeier-fuer-den-Fuersten-ueber-die-L-_arid,4163338.html

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Alexander of Saxony plans move to Latin America

Prince Alexander of Saxony is planning to move from Dresden to Latin America in early 2012. He will be involved in the development to build photovoltaic systems for electrical power plants. The Prince, who is the heir to his uncle, the Margrave of Meissen, made the announcement today in Dresden.
He will be accompanied by his wife, Princess Gisela, and their daughter, Princess Maria Teresa.
Alexander will represent Saxon solar industrial firms in their quest to open up the markets in Latin America. Chile and Ecuador are seen as possible sites for the new solar firms. "In order to gain access to the the domestic electricity markets, I will come on site with the relevant state governments and energy companies," the prince told the press.
Prince Alexander will not be an official representative of the Saxon state. His position is purely private. He will also act as a representative of the Meissen porcelain factory in Latin America to help spur sales of the German-made porcelain.
In November, the prince and princess will travel to Latin America to find a suitable residence and location for the primary office. The short list includes Buenos Aires, Bogota, Colombia, Santiago, Chile, and Mexico City.
"We will celebrate Christmas in Saxony and then start the new year in Latin America."
Despite the move to Latin America, the couple will not break their ties with Saxony. "Our commitment to the Free State will continue to exist." Their three sons will continue their education in Europe.

The Cruise

Crown Princess Katherine

Crown Prince Alexander

Princess Birgitta and Prince Vladimir

Princess Birgitta and Princess Irene
Princess Margarita of Baden

Prince Radu, King Michael and Crown Princess Margarita

All of the photographs belong to me and may not be copied or reproduced elsewhere without my permission.

Serbia: Day 3 - the Cruise

a view from the boat
King Simeon of Bulgaria and Princess Desiree of Sweden
Crown Princess Katherine
Crown Prince Alexander and me

Prince Nikola, Princess Lavinia, me and Austin Pritchard Levy
Saturday, September 18

On Friday morning, I sat down for a huge breakfast at the Hyatt, which was burned off during the long walk through Belgrade. This morning I wasn't as hungry. I went for a swim, and then decided to check out what I could find open in the area. I had heard that Costa Coffee had opened several shops in Belgrade. Costa Coffee is a UK chain founded by 2 Italian brothers. I love Costa. It is the first place I head to when I get through customs at Heathrow -- and it's right outside the door in Terminal 5. HEAVEN!

I wasn't quite sure where the nearest Costa was, so I wandered down the same street where Victoria Station is located. I found Coffee Dream, a locally-owned coffee shop, where the barista made me a divine vanilla latte. I also tried the chocolate chip muffin. Back to the hotel to change into something appropriately casual for the luncheon cruise on the Danube. I must say I was not the only person wearing Ralph Lauren.

The bus picked us up at 10:45 a.m. Before heading to the marina, we were given a tour of the city's sites, many of which I had seen up close and personal the day before. We also passed one street with buildings destroyed during the NATO bombing. The Serbian government has yet to tear them the buildings down. Prime real estate, which could be used for something positive. A Costa Coffee shop!

The buses arrived at the marina just as all the cars with the royals, complete with the police escort. (We had one as well.)

The morning was overcast, but warm. Yes, it would have been nicer if the sun had come out, but let's consider the options. Luncheon cruise on the Danube .. or cleaning house in Alexandria. I choose the cruise, despite the lack of sunshine.

Luncheon was a pasta buffet with a varied selection of from penne to spaghetti, salads and breads, washed down with lovely Serbian wine. The desserts, too, were absolutely yummie.