Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More details on the Grosvenor-Snow nuptials


Lady Edwina's historic home

Lady Edwina Snow, the new wife of historian Dan Snow, bought Inchmery House, Exbury, near Beaulieu, in 2009.  She purchased the house from convicted mercenary Old Etonian Simon Mann for more than £10 million.  Lady Edwina's father, the Duke of Westminster, is one of the Britain's richest men.

In the 18th century, Inchmery House was owned by the Mitford family. The house and estate was later acquired by Lord Foster, Governor General of Australia, who sold the home to to  Lionel de Rothschild in 1912.  Seven years later, he acquired the Exbury Estate in order to create a magnificent garden.  In 1943, Inchmery House was the base for the Bardsea operations during the second world war.  After the war, the house was returned to Lionel's son, Edmund.
During the 1930s,  the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Denis Berry had acquired the house, and it was offered for lease for two years until December 1931.  After the second world, it was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund de Rothschild.  They were still living at Inchmery House in the early 1970s.  Simon Mann bought the house in 1997.

The ten bedroom house has its own beach and overlooks the Isle of Wight and the Solent.  The sale, described as "substantial," was never marketed, and the offer was "life-changing" for Mann, then recently released from prison.
The Rothschilds now live at Exbury House, and they still own the Exbury Gardens.

Don Carlos to marry

November 30, 1898

It is being "asserted" in Madrid that a marriage "has been arranged between Don Jaime, son of the Spanish pretender, Don Carlos, and a Bavarian Princess," according to the New York Times.   The name of the princess was not included in the dispatch.
Don Jaime de Borbon y de Bourbon-Parma was born June 27, 1870, at Vevey, Switzerland, the only son of Don Carlos, Duke of Madrid, and Princess Margherita of Bourbon-Parma.

Bernadotte - Manville nuptials

November 30, 1928

The little village church in Pleasantville, New York,  "a building the capacity of which will be taxed to the utmost to accommodate even the 250 guests," will be the scene of a royal wedding tomorrow, according to the New York Times.
The wedding of Miss Estelle Romaine Manville, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward H. Manville of Hi-Esmaro, Pleasantville, and Count Folke Bernadotte af Wisborg, nephew of King Gustav V of Sweden, will be the first time that a member of a royal family "will have been married on United States soil."
Count Folke's father, Prince Bernadotte, is the younger brother of King Gustav V.  He forfeited his right to the throne when he married a Swedish commoner, Ebba Munck.
 Prince Gustav Adolf, eldest son of the Crown Prince, will be the best man.  Prince Sigvard, second son of the Crown Prince, will be one of the ushers.
There will be "one touch of European court glamor" as the the Swedish noblemen and officers will be wearing "their full dress uniforms as officers of the royal bodyguard.
Due to the small size of the church, only 250 guests have been invited to the church.  An "elaborate reception will be given at the Manville estate after the ceremony, to which more than 1,500 guests have been invited."
Other members of the royal party who have come to the United States for the wedding including, Count Carl Bernadotte af Wisborg, the bridegroom's elder brother, and his wife, Countess Marianne; the Countesses Elsa Bernadotte and Baroness Sophie Fleetwood, sisters of the bridegroom; Count Carl Bonde, Master of the King's Horse, and his wife, Countess Ebba; Count Nils Wachmeister, the bridegroom's brother-in-law, and his wife, Countess Martha; Countess Gunhild von Platen and Count Eric von Rosen.
Other wedding details have emerged.  The bride will enter the church when the organist begins playing the Wedding March from "Lohengrin.  During the service, the choir will sing "Oh, Perfect Love," by Barnaby.  The recessional will be Mendelssohn's "Wedding March."  A "program of numbers" will also be given by Mr. Gibson at the organ at Hi-Esmaro during the reception."  There will also be a string quartet and a harpist at the reception.
The reception will be held on the second floor at Hi-Esmaro.  The wedding cake will be cut by Count Bernadotte's sword.  This part of the reception will take place on the patio, which has been enclosed for the event.
"Elaborate precautions for the safety both of the guests and the thousands of wedding presents" have been made by the local police. State troopers and private detectives.

Grand Duke sniffs at democracy

November 30, 1928

Grand Duke Alexander of Russia gave an interview to reporters at his New York hotel.  He told the reporters that he was "more democratic than they were," reports the Los Angeles Times.  The reporters responded by asking why a "lecturer against materialism should be staying at one of the city's smartest hotels."

One of the reporters asked if the "vicissitudes of the years had altered his opinion of democracy?"

"I do not see a shade of democracy about you," was the Grand Duke's response.  The reporter asked for a more specific response, but the Grand Duke look baffled.

"It is hard to say, but I consider myself more democratic than you.  I am shocked at the way Americans treat their inferiors, or persons whom they consider inferior, their employees, their servants."

He does not hold the same view "toward other peoples?"

"No, I do not mean that. I like the pride you have as American citizens.  It may go too far, but it is a form of patriotism. Now I confess that I do not really understand what pure democracy can be or how it can exist in the world we inhabit for it implies universal equality and that is absurd. But there is such a thing as democratic intercourse with all people.

"Americans are more showy and plutocratic in Europe than they were before the war," declared the Grand Duke.

"You have become tremendously rich, and of course, people with money like to spend it.  Still, I believe that Americans are more capable of understanding my ideas. They have not the old tradition to combat they can better grasp the significance of new forms of life."

Regarding the situation in Russia, the Grand Duke said a change in government depends upon "how long the people's patience will last."

Royal sisters go under the knife

November 30, 1926

Princesses Irene and Katherine, younger daughters of the late King Constantine of the Hellenes, underwent appendectomies today in Florence, Italy, reports the Associated Press.
Their mother, Dowager Queen Sophie, was at their bedside.  The operations "were successful."   The two princesses are the younger sisters of Princess Helen of Roumania is the wife of former Crown Prince Carol.
Princessd Irene is 22 years old, and Princess Katherine is 13.

More on Wikileaks and the Duke of York

Vince Cable has weighed in on the matter.




Your Royal Highness,  I am American, and I am very, very good at geography!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Marriage for Lady Edwina Grosvenor

Lady Edwina Grosvenor, 29, and Dan Snow, 31, were married "secretly" on Saturday, according to Richard Kay's column in Tuesday's Daily Mail. 
"Neither of us wanted a big white wedding.  We are delighted we have  been to plan a simple and relaxed wedding exactly as we wished, with our families around us," the couple said in a statement released to the media.
The couple were married at Bishop's Lodge in Woolton, Liverpool.  The ceremony was conducted by the Bishop of Liverpool.  Only immediate family and friends attended the wedding.
Daniel Robert Snow was born December 3, 1978 at London, the son of  former Newsnight anchor Peter Snow, and the Canadian-born Ann Elizabeth MacMillan.   He is a great-great grandson of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George through his mother.
[Lloyd George was created Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor.  His daughter, Lady Olwen, married Sir Thomas Evans.   Their second daughter, Eluned Jane, married a Canadian Robert Laidlaw MacMillan.  Ann, who was born in 1946, was their second daughter.  Ann married Dublin-born Peter Snow in 1976.  Snow's first marriage to Alison Carter ended in divorce.]
Lady Edwina is a "philanthropist working in the criminal justice system," and has been Bishop Jones' Personal Assistant "in his capacity as Bishop for Prisons."  Dan is a historian and television presenter.
The newlyweds will go on their honeymoon in January 2011.
Trivia Fact:  Lady Edwina was the first godchild of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.  The private baptism took place in February 1982.
Lady Edwina and her husband live near the New Forest in Hampshire.  In 2009, Lady Edwina bought the Palladian mansion for £10 million from mercenary Simon Mann. 

A 2007 interview with Snow:

The photo is of the couple following their marriage.  Photo credit:  Press Association

Another foot in mouth for the Duke of York

I wonder how much longer the Duke of York will remain as the Special trade rep for the UK after the latest news


Coal in his Christmas stocking

Oh dear, oh dear!  Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck, once branded as Germany's laziest MP, is now at the center of a new scandal that may include a few harsh words with Mutti and a hunting rifle!  


Count Carl-Eduard is the eldest son of Prince and Princess Ferdinand von Bismarck, who is the head of the Bismarck princely family.

Report: George of Greece engaged to Victoria of Wales

Embed from Getty Images

November 29, 1898

By Special cable to the New York World and the Chicago Tribune.

Greek court circles are reporting today that Prince George of Greece is engaged to marry Princess Victoria of Wales.

Such a "marriage would unite two of the most interesting personalities in the younger generation of royalty in Europe.  The marriage would be "exceedingly popular" in England as Prince George, the second son of the King of Greece, "possesses all the robust virtues, including good seamanship, which enter into the English idea of manhood."
Embed from Getty Images

Prince George is said to be the idol "of his father's people and the pride of his family."  There is "no member of any royal family who approaches him in stature, vigor, and daring or independence of the restraints with which his order is hedged about."

Two years ago, during a severe storm in the Bay of Piraeus, "he "sprang overboard from the frigate under his command," to save a sailor who had fallen overboard.   By "sheer physical strength, he succeeded in saving the young man.

It comes as no surprise "that such a character should fulfill the unusually lofty ideal of the Princess Victoria of Wales."  The princess is "the most self-willed of the royal house of England and her matrimonial prospects have been a source of some anxiety to her father and grandmother."  The Princess has "repeatedly vowed that she would marry for love or not at all."

Helen to go abroad for Christmas

November 29, 1930

Queen Helen, the divorced wife of King Carol II, "is to be absent from the capital at Christmas time," according to the Associated Press.  Dowager Queen Marie will also be out of the country.  
Queen Marie will be going to France for the holidays.  Queen Helen will leave Roumania a "week or so before the holidays," but her destination has not been announced.
Meanwhile, the Roumanian Legation in Washington, D.C., denied today "a report that Mme. Magda Lupescu was living at the Royal Palace in Bucharest." 

Grand Duke Alexander arrives in US to lecture

November 29, 1928

Grand Duke Alexander of Russia, brother-in-law of the late Nicolas II, arrived in New York City late tonight on the Leviathan, reports the New York Times.
Alexander, a "tall, slender, gray-haired man of ascetic appearance," seem "overjoyed by the reunion at the pier with his son, Prince Dimitri," who has lived in New York for the past five years, and his niece, Princess Xenia, who is married to William B. Leeds.
Another son, Prince Rostislav, who lives in Chicago, and another nice, Princess Nina Chavchavadze, were unable to be present, "but the Grand Duke is looking forward to visiting them during his stay in this country."
The title of the Grand Duke's lecture series is "Out of My Life," and he will open the series at the Town Hall on December 12.  He was "also touch upon spirituality, which he asked be not confused with spiritualism, in his lectures."
Since fleeing the Revolution, the Grand Duke has lived in Paris, where he has written several books.
"A time has come in civilization when there is an overemphasis of materialism," the Grand Duke said, "and I am simply trying to point out that there can be no further progress unless the spiritual note is struck in man's life. A change is coming and that change will be wrought through a recognition of spiritual values.  I am not a philosopher -- a man given to flying in the skies.  I am an entirely practical man."
Although his niece, Princess Xenia, is one of the supporters of Anastasia Tchaikovsky, who claims to be Grand Duchess Anastasia,  the Grand Duke said "he had investigated the matter," and he did not believe that the "young woman was actually the Czar's daughter."
He also does not believe there will be a "speedy change in the political conditions in Russia."   The exile of Russia's former ruling class "has had its benefits as well as its adversities," the Grand Duke said. 
"It has taught us to be good workers, simple livers.  The aristocracy of Russia has renewed itself."
This is Grand Duke Alexander's third visit to the United States.  He came here "with a Russian squadron in 1893 to represent his country at the Chicago World's Fair."  He returned in 1913, when he visited New York and Newport.

Ferdinand yearns for prodigal son

November 29, 1926

By Wireless to the New York Times.

King Ferdinand of Roumania is suffering from acute cancer of the large intestine.  "Well-informed sources" in Bucharest believe that the King is very ill, but some think "he may temporarily recover and live for some time."
Most of the official information is "consistently misleading," and the public remains skeptical of official communiques regarding the true condition of the King's health. 
A Roumanian diplomat, who has close ties to the Court and Government, spoke to the New York Times regarding the "persistent rumors" that former Crown Prince Carol was returning to Bucharest.
"I know for a certainty that the King last night expressed bitter disappointment at his son's absence from his bedside while he is so seriously ill.  I know Carol wants to come and see his sick father.  I am also informed -- though may be wrongly - that Carol has not the slightest desire to return as Crown Prince."
The Roumanian diplomat was unable to explain "what was preventing fulfillment of the desire of the sick father and distant son to see each other."   The law that established the Regency  "forbids Carol to re-enter Roumania for ten years," but it is believed that "the present exception" could be made to allow Carol to see his father.   Former premier Bratiano and Premier Aversecu are both against allowing Carol to return to Roumania, albeit briefly.

Constantine readies return

November 29, 1920

By Special Cable to the New York Times.

King Constantine of the Hellenes and and his "fellow exiles" in Lucerne are making preparations for their return to Athens as soon as the results of Sunday's referendum are announced.  A special train "has been charted," and the Italian government has guaranteed "its safe passage through to Brindisi," where the King, Queen Sophie and other members of the royal family, will board a warship for their journal to Athens.
The exact date of departure has not been determined, but a member of Constantine's suite told the New York Times correspondent "but that doesn't matter, because our servants have everything so arranged that they can pack up in three hours."

Need to buy Christmas cards

Well, here is a great place to purchase your Christmas cards!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A girl for the Langenburgs

The Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg gave birth to a daughter, Marita Saskia Friedelind Charlotte Beatrix,  earlier today, as confirmed to me by a family member.   The Princess is the wife of the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who is a descendant of Queen Victoria.  His father, the late Prince Kraft, was the nephew of the Duke of Edinburgh.  Kraft's mother, Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark, married Gottfried, 8th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg in 1931.

The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg is the second child and only son of Prince Kraft and his first wife, Princess Charlotte of Croy.   He married Saskia Binder in 2003.  The new princess joins two older brothers,  Hereditary Prince Max,5, and Prince Gustav, 3.

The Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg is also a descendant of Queen Victoria's older half sister, Princess Feodora of Leiningen and her husband,  Ernst, 4th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

the date has been announced

Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton will marry on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey.


Princess Patricia of Connaught was the first member of the royal family to marry at Westminster Abbey since 1296 when Prince Edmund, son of Henry III, married Aveline de Forz.  Princess Pat, as she was known in the popular press, was the youngest child of the Duke of Connaught.  She married Captain Alexander Ramsay of Mar on February 27, 1919 in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
The princess, who renounced her royal titles when she married,  set a precedent for future royal marriages, at the Abbey. 

 * February 28, 1922:  Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary,and  Viscount  Lascelles (future Earl of Harewood)
*  April 26, 1923:  The Duke of York (George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
*  November 29, 1934   The Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark
*  November 20, 1947  Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten
*  May 6, 1960   Princess Margaret and Mr. Antony Armstrong-Jones
*  April 34, 1963   Princess Alexandra of Kent and the Hon. Angus Ogilvy
*  November 14, 1973  Princess Anne and Mr. Mark Phillips
*  July 23, 1986   Duke of York and Miss Sarah Ferguson

On November 6, 1935, the Duke of  Gloucester married Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott at the Chapel at Buckingham Palace.  The wedding was scheduled to take place at Westminster Abbey, but the ceremony was moved to the palace following the death of Lady Alice's father, the Duke of Buccleuch. 
Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, wrote in her memoirs:  "There was great consternation at his death, and much talk of the wedding being postponed; but since the King  seemed no less likely to die, it was decided to go ahead, in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace rather than the public splendour of the Abbey,  This suited the King very well, and I was only too glad not to have a grand wedding.  Immediate members of our families and close friends were the only guests, to the disappointment of members of the Diplomatic Corps and many hundreds of others."

Westminster Abbey is a royal peculiar, which comes under the the sovereign's jurisdiction, and not a Bishop. 
William will need his grandmother's permission to marry (according to the Royal Marriages Act).  He will also need her permission to marry at the Abbey.
In fact, marriages at the Abbey are limited to members of the Royal Family, members of the Order of Bath and their family, and those who live in the Abbey precincts.

Members of the Royal Family can marry in other  Royal Peculiars as well, which include St. George's Chapel, Windsor;  the Royal Chapel on the Windsor estate near the Royal Lodge;  the Chapel Royal and the Queen's Chapel  at St. James's Palace; the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court, and two chapels at the Tower of London.
Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife, and Prince Arthur of Connaught were married at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, in 1913.
Princess Maud of Fife and Lord Carnegie were married at the Chapel, Wellington Barracks, in 1923.
The present Duke of Kent's marriage to Katharine Worsley took place at York Cathedral in 1961.
Prince and Princess Michael were married in a civil ceremony in Vienna in 1978.
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones were married at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A real stretch ....

This is a real stretch ... the Daily Mail is stretching it a bit ...


Will it be Welsh gold for the wedding?

Silly question?

In a word: yes

Why: tradition, tradition, and, oh, tradition.  William is the future Prince of Wales.  He and Kate will be living in Wales.  He is Prince William of Wales.  

My response:  DUH!!!!

Princess Viktoria of Prussia marries

November 19, 1890

Princess Viktoria of Prussia, sister of Wilhelm II, and Prince Adolph of Schaumburg-Lippe was married in a civil ceremony, which was celebrated at 4.p.m., in Empress Friedrich's palace in Berlin, Emperor Wilhelm and Empress Auguste Viktoria, Empress Friedrich and the groom's parents were present.

At the ceremony's conclusion, the party, "escorted by the Queen's Dragoon, proceeded to the royal castle, according to the New York Times.   In the castle's chapel, a Lutheran ceremony was performed, which was officiated by the Court Chaplain, Dr. Dryander.  All the "royalties now in Berlin" were assembled in the chapel, besides the Court officials and "many illustrious guests.

There were "nearly sixty members of royal families present," including the Duke of Connaught, the Duke of Clarence, Prince and Princess Christian, the Duchess of Edinburgh and Crown Prince Constantine, and Crown Princess Sophie of the Hellenes.  The Duke of Connaught represented Queen Victoria and the Duke of Clarence represented the Prince of Wales.

The reporter for the Chicago Daily Tribune wrote that "a royal crown was placed on the head of the Princess" by her mother and her grandmother as she entered the chapel.  Her wedding dress "was of cream satin, brocaded and trimmed with costly lace."  Her train was "embroidered with wild roses and silver," and her veil was of "tulle interwoven with silver and surmounted by a wreath of orange blossoms and myrtles."

The German emperor and empress and the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe took their places behind the bride and groom.   Princess Viktoria, "after announcing the final 'yes,' turned to the emperor and to her mother, Empress Friedrich, who bowed her assent."

When all "had assembled, the chapel presented a most brilliant spectacle."  
A banquet was held afterward, at which Wilhelm II "offered a toast in honor of the bride and bridegroom."  He spoke in "feeling terms" to his late father and assured the newlyweds of "his protection and friendly care."

After the banquet, Prince and Princess Adolph proceeded to Potsdam for further celebrations.

 If you liked this article, perhaps you could buy me a cup of coffee

Emperor arrives at Messina

November 19, 1898

Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria arrived today at Messina on the Italian island of Sicily.  They will "resume their voyage tomorrow."
The New York Times reports that the imperial couple "landed to meet Princess Henry of Prussia," who is en route to China to join her husband, Prince Henry, the German naval commander "in those waters."

Littlte Alfonso won't be king

November 19, 1898

This dispatch, sent by Atlantic Cable, is an Associated Press Night report.

There is a "curious report in regard to Spain's future government" now making the rounds in diplomatic circles, which, "from its source, is entitled to weight."  It is understood that there will be a change of dynasty in Spain, albeit a peaceful change.  Queen Maria Cristina, the Queen Regent, is "said to be convinced of the hopelessness of her son ever reigning," and, has, on the advice of the Austrian Emperor, decided "soon after the peace treaty is signed in Paris, decided to "quit Spain with her family."  Don Carlos "will be proclaimed King."  Everything is "reported to be already arranged and the army and clergy are alleged" to have agreed to the change.  The report further states that Don Carlos, "so soon as things are running smoothly," will abdicate in favor of his son, Don Jaime.
The Peace Treaty should be signed in the next few days, according to dispatch.

Olav and Martha in US for private visit

November 19, 1950

Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway arrived in Washington, D.C., today for a private visit, according to United Press.  The Prince will meet with President Truman and Defense Secretary George C. Marshall.
The royal couple, who flew from Oslo, were greeted at National Airport by the State Department's Chief protocol officer. 
Olav will visit the President and Secretary Marshall tomorrow.  On Wednesday, they will be the guests at a luncheon "arranged by the President and Mrs. Truman.
They arrived at New York International Airport, Idlewild, Queens, at 9:15 a.m., today, and will spend two weeks in the United States.  They few to Washington, D.C., two hours later.  The royal couple will return to New York City on November 29 to attend the 40th anniversary dinner of the American-Scandinavian foundation at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.  This will be their "only public appearance in the United States during the present trip."

Queen Maud improving

November 19, 1938

By wireless to the New York Times

Doctors "are well satisfied with the progress" made by Queen Maud of Norway during the last 24 hours.  The Queen's husband, King Haakon, "who "speeded to England when the Queen became ill," has now left his hotel, and is staying at Buckingham Palace at the invitation of his brother-in-law, King George.

Another royal wedding?

November 20, 1930

The AP reports today about the possibility of "another royal marriage in Europe."  The Prince of Asturias, the 23-year-old heir to the Spanish throne,  is about to become engaged to 16-year-old Princess Maria del Esperanza, an "Andalusian beauty."  The wedding is reported "as likely to take place next year."
The princess is the daughter of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and his second wife, Princess Laura of Orléans.  Carlos' first wife, Mercedes, who died in childbirth, was the elder sister of King Alfonso XIII.

Yugoslav monarchs return home

November 19, 1928

King Alexander and Queen Marie of Yugoslavia arrived at Belgrade at noon today, according to an AP dispatch.  The king and queen were returning home after a visit to Paris.  They were met at the railroad station by the King's cousin, Prince Paul, his wife, Princess Olga, and Premier Korshetz.

Crown Prince Carol may wed Constantine's daughter

November 19, 1920

Is Crown Prince Carol of Roumania about to become engaged? He arrived several days ago in Lucerne, Switzerland, from Bucharest, and is "constantly seen in the company of Princess Helen of Greece," according to a London Times, which was published by the New York Times. The princess is the daughter of the former King Constantine and Queen Sophie of the Hellenes.
The engagement is expected to be announced within a few weeks. This betrothal is regarded "as likely to have an important effect on the future of the Balkans."

Crown Prince Carol and Princess Helen are second cousins.

Imperial family return home after 12 week break in Germany

November 19, 1910

By cable to the Chicago Tribune

Nicholas II of Russia, accompanied by his wife, Alexandra, and their five children, "left for Russia this week after a sojourn in Germany which lasted for nearly twelve weeks." This is the longest time that the Russian emperor "ever absented himself from the realm." The break "left his intimates in no doubt that such a breathing spell is thoroughly enjoyable."
Alexandra's "undermined constitution" was the main reason for the length of the vacation. She apparently "benefited substantially" from a cure at Bad Nauheim, and she plans to return there next year. Her malady "was diagnosed as acute neurasthenia, bordering on paranoia." The empress is said to "obsessed with the fear" that her children's live, especially, her eight-year-old son, Alexis, "are in imminent danger."
The emperor "profited immediately from the untrammeled life" among the hills and valleys of Hesse. He "derived the greatest pleasure from roving about the countryside like a free man."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Royal wedding to be a bank holiday

Prime Minister David Cameron has declared that the Wales-Middleton nuptials will be a national day of celebration!


My predictions

William's title ... if he does get a ducal title ... will be announced on the morning of the wedding. 

Kate will have access to the jewels Diana received during her marriage.

Kate will receive a few pieces, perhaps a tiara, in the first years of marriage.  The Queen is rather parsimonious in handing out jewels to the distaff members of her family, and may want to wait several years (to see if this marriage will stick) before dipping into the vaults for Kate. 

The Prince of Wales has inherited,  I believe, the Queen Mother's jewels.  He might present Kate with a few pieces from this collection.  He will also inherit the historical jewels, but the Queen might choose to leave pieces to other members of the family.  Most of the collection will stay intact.

Best Man -- William will not have a best man.  He will have one or two supporters.  Prince Harry is a natural, but I would not be surprised if William also asks his father to be a supporter.  William is said to be close to his first cousin, Peter Phillips, but one wonders how close.  William blew off his cousin's wedding to fly to Kenya to attend the wedding of Batian Craig, the brother of Jecca Craig, who was seen as the girl most likely.    The Craig family, including Jecca and Batian, will be invited to William's wedding.

Kate's family will not have to pay for the wedding although they may pay for a few things, such as the wedding gown.  Nor will the bride be sending out the invitations.   The Lord Chamberlain's office handles weddings and funerals.  I am sure the WEDDING button has already been pushed and the office has started the early prep work.  I do not think Kate's siblings will be in the wedding party as British brides tend to have yards of cute little kids in tow.  Pippa and James might get read the lessons.

The ceremony will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Or the Bishop of London, who is a close friend of the Prince of Wales.

The wedding will be televised around the world.  Prince Edward's wedding was seen on BBC America, as none of the US networks decided to take the international feed.  This will not be the case when Prince William gets married.  I am sure the folks at The Today Show are already arranging for their broadcast spot near the Abbey or Palace.    Please do not ask when the wedding will be seen.  The date has not  been announced.  Please be assured:  YOU WILL NOT MISS IT!

Honeymoon.  No yacht, no cruise.  Africa.

Guest List:  There will be guests from both sides of the family, with perhaps a few European royals sprinkled in for good measure.   Friends of the family, schoolmates, professors from St. Andrews, too. William's surviving godparents.

However, it is far too early to know who will be be invited, and who will be attending! 
Oh, the engagement ring is not cursed.  Charles did not select the ring.  He merely paid for it.  He let his bride-to-be have the honors of picking out the ring.  Garrard's sent a selection, and Diana chose the biggest honker on the tray  ... and Charles whipped out  the credit card!  (More likely, a bill was sent to Charles' office, and it was paid promptly.)

.... and before we have a wedding, we will have a birth ... and a christening of the Queen's first great-grandchild.   Autumn Phillips is in the final weeks of her pregnancy, and is expected to give birth in December.  No, the Queen will not be giving a title to Peter in honor of the birth.   The baby will be Miss or Master throw in a few Christian names Phillips.  The Queen will attend the Christening.  Prince William will be a godfather, and he will be accompanied by his fiancee. 

Future Princess Charlene prepares for humanitarian work

Charlene Wittstock, the future Princess of Monaco, plans humanitarian work, according to Prince Albert of Monaco, who was recently interviewd by Le Figaro.


The Prince of Monaco will wed the South African-born swimmer on July 3 in an outdoor ceremony.  Even though the Prince is a head of state, his wedding will be overshadowed by the Wales-Middleton nuptials scheduled for spring or summer 2011.
If I were Charlene, I'd toss the birth control right out the window after the wedding, and start working on the heir and spare.  Otherwise,  Princess Caroline could become a grandmother before Albert starts a legitimate line of kids.

Queen of Bavaria not dead

November 18, 1918

The report of the death of Queen Maria Theresa "is untrue," according to a Munich dispatch, and published by the New York Times.  The news was received by the Central News Agency "by way of Amsterdam."
The new dispatch adds that the Bavarian Queen is "seriously ill."

The New York Times also reports that the marriage of former Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and Princess Antonia of Luxembourg, which had been scheduled for this month, has been postponed until January.  This is based on a dispatch from Basle.  It is assumed that the delay has more to do with current events in Luxembourg and less to do with Rupprecht's mother's health.

Will Luxembourg become a republic?

November 18, 1919

A Luxembourg dispatch received in Amsterdam said that "the Chamber today adopted a motion demanding a referendum to decide the future form of government."
The Grand Duchess has been asked to abstain from "all governmental action pending referendum." 
Liberals and Socialists supported a motion demanding Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide's abdication and the the "establishment of a republic."  The motion was rejected by the Chamber.

A good story about royal advice

which proves, once again, the close relationship between Prince William and his stepmother.


and Kate will continue to work for her parents, but wind down her duties as the wedding day approaches.   I expect she doesn't have to worry about asking the boss for day off, if needed ...


the British style for princess

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Modernists will sniff at the British tradition of royal styles and titles.  The style is based on German royal tradition.  The wife takes her husband's rank and title unless she has a higher rank. 

Princesses in their own right were styled by their husbands' titles after marriage. Princess August Wilhelm of Prussia.  Princess Ludwig of Bavaria.   Duchess Albrecht of Württemberg, and so on.   If a princess married a prince whose style was different -- an HRH Princess marrying a prince who was a Highness (Hoheit) or a Durchlaucht (Serene Highness), she was known by his name, but she retained her higher style.  

This Anglo-Saxon tradition can also be seen in how a married couple is largely styled.  Etiquette rules have changed, but the tradition remains.  Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.  Mrs. John Smith.  Mary Smith.   Many married couples eschew the use of Mrs. and Mrs. His Name Smith, except on the most formal occasions.  (Approximately 90% of American women take their husband's surname when they marry.)

It is becoming more common to see John and Mary Smith or Mrs. Mary Smith, although the latter style has been used for divorced women and widows.  For those of us without titles, it is more a matter of preference these.

Different monarchies have different rules.  In Denmark, the former Alexandra Manley became HRH Princess Alexandra of Denmark when she married Prince Joachim.  Joachim's second wife, Marie, is now HRH Princess Marie of Denmark, not Princess Joachim. This is how the wives of princes are styled in Denmark. Their royal style was acquired through marriage.

 (Alexandra lost her HRH and was styled as HH Princess Alexandra after the divorce.  When she married for a second time, she ceased to be a princess and is now styled Countess Alexandra of Fredriksborg.  This is a personal title that is not shared by her second husband, nor will it be inherited by her eldest son.)

The British do things differently.  The wives of royal princes become royal themselves when they marry.  This does not mean they are royal princesses in their own right.  The royal status is attained through marriage and lost through divorce.   When Catherine Middleton marries Prince William, she will become HRH Princess William of Wales.  She will not become HRH Princess Catherine of Wales because she will not be a princess in her own right.  The Queen is unlikely to issue a letters patent or even a press release to state that Kate's official title will be "HRH Princess Catherine of Wales." 

This latter style would indicate that Catherine is the daughter of the Prince of Wales.  Her rank will be a princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  

Should William be created a duke on his wedding day, he will be styled by that title, and his wife will be HRH Duchess of something.  But her rank will be a princess because her husband is a prince. 

The British royal house includes four princesses by birth: Anne, Beatrice, Eugenie, and Alexandra, and five princesses by marriage: the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Duchess of Kent, and Princess Michael of Kent.

Although the Countess of Wessex's daughter, Lady Louise, should be a princess, she is styled as the daughter of an earl, and her rank reflects this as well. 
The Sovereign, as the fount of all honours, has the sole discretion regarding royal titles.  Catherine will not be the second lady in the land.  She will begin to take on royal engagements, slowly at first, and she will not be expected to take on a lot of patronages.  This will come in time, especially after Charles comes to the throne. 

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In April 1932, a Royal Warrant was issued that discontinued the use of foreign titles of nobility in England and Wales was discontinued.

 In 1934, when HRH Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark married HRH The Duke of Kent, she became a British princess by marriage and was styled HRH The Duchess of Kent.  The press still referred to her as Princess Marina, even though she was a British princess by marriage, and not by birth. 

  Now you ask - well what if George had not been given a dukedom?    Marina would have been styled as HRH The Princess George.  Her rank came from her husband.  Her mother, a Russian Grand Duchess, was styled in Greece as Princess Nicholas,  and not Princess Helen.  Her position as a Grand Duchess did not change, but her style and rank did.  She was HIH Princess Nicholas to be exact.  On the other hand, her sister-in-law, the very wealthy American Nancy Leeds, was created HRH Princess Anastasia of Greece in her own right by King Constantine I.  This was a smart mot because Nancy's money helped finance the restoration of the Greek monarchy.

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Marina could be snooty toward her Scottish sisters-in-law and was never close to them.  Lady Alice came from a fabulously wealthy family, and Lady Elizabeth got to be Queen Consort.  She referred to them as "common little Scottish girls. Marina was glamorous and popular but married to a former drug addict bi-sexual prince with a penchant for art and Noel Coward.  The Duke of Kent's tragic death in a plane crash in 1942 left Marina and her three young children with limited funds.  The Duke's Civil list allocation ended with his death.  His private income was also small.  King George VI helped pay the children's school fees.  Princess Marina, who continued to carry out engagements,  felt largely isolated. 

It has been noted that Kate will be the first commoner to marry a direct heir to the throne since the Duke of York -- the future James II -- married Anne Hyde.  (They were the parents of Queen Mary II and Queen Anne.) This is technically incorrect.  Lady Elizabeth-Bowes-Lyon, Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, and Lady Diana Spencer were commoners by law.  Their fathers were peers of the realm, but the children of peers of the realm are commoners.   The children of peers bear courtesy titles  -- titles by courtesy from their father's peerage.  The only difference between Kate and these three women is their noble lines, although Kate and William are 15th cousins. 

Sarah Ferguson and Camilla Shand are also commoners, albeit with many noble lines, and share with the late Diana, Princess of Wales,  descent from Charles II.   (Diana was also a descendant of James II and Arabella Churchill, sister of the first Duke of Marlborough.) 

The Queen could allow Catherine to be styled by her own name.  This will not require a Letters Patent, just a simple directive. It will not happen, however.

On May 23, 1961,  Kensington Palace sent out a release stating that "after the marriage of her son, the Duke of Kent on June 8, the Duchess of Kent wishes to be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent."    This was done because Marina did not want to be styled as the Dowager Duchess of Kent.  She made the request to include Princess Marina as a part of her title to HM the Queen, who gave her permission.

Marina's request set a precedent for her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Gloucester, following the death of her husband in June 1974.  Alice was briefly styled as the Dowager Duchess of Gloucester, which she did not like, so she wrote to the Queen and asked if she could be styled as Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.  
The Queen agreed.  Some years later,  the Queen's private secretary told me in correspondence some years later that this was a private decision by the Queen for a "beloved aunt."   The use of her own name was a matter of style approved by the Sovereign.  Alice was one of the unsung heroines of the Royal Family and carried out many duties during her lifetime. 

Neither Marina nor Alice was created a British princess in her own right.

There are several examples of a British princess by birth using her husband's title.   The eldest of Queen Victoria's daughters, Vicky, married Prince Friedrich of Prussia.   Until her husband's father succeeded as King of Prussia and Emperor of Germany,  Vicky's official title was HRH  Princess Friedrich.   Princess Helena was HRH Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.   Princess Beatrice was Princess Henry of Battenberg. 

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 In 1904, when HRH Princess Alice of Albany married HSH Prince Alexander of Teck, her official title became HRH Princess Alexander of Teck.  This change in 1917, when all German titles were abandoned by the British royal house,  Alexander was created Earl of Athlone, and his wife, a British princess in her own right, was styled as HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.    This change also allowed Helena and Beatrice to revert to their British titles.

The future George V was not pleased when the two daughters of his sister, Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife, were created Princesses with the rank of HH by Edward VII.  Thus, Lady Alexandra and Lady Maud Fife were upgraded to HH Princess Alexandra and HH Princess Maud.  In 1912,  Alexandra succeeded her father as Duchess of Fife, by special remainder. 
Her new style was HH Duchess of Fife.  This changed in October 1913, when she married her first cousin once removed, HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught.  Although she was a duchess in her own right (but not a royal duchess, the HH was due to her rank as a princess),  Alexandra was styled as HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught.  

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Alexandra's younger sister, Princess Maud ceased to be styled as HH Princess Maud after her marriage to Lord Carnegie, son, and heir to the Earl of Southesk.  It is understood that King George, who gave away his cousin at her wedding, was the one who suggested that she drop the royal style.   No letters patent was issued.  Her style after marriage was The Lady Maud Carnegie.

When Maud's father-in-law, the Earl of Southesk died in 1941, his obituary referred to Maud as Lady Maud Carnegie, formerly Princess Maud of Fife.)

The Countess of Southesk did not cease to be a member of the British royal family when she stopped using her title and style.  She reverted to the style of a daughter of a non-royal duke.  At the time of her death, Maud was 13th in the line of succession.  In 1943,  King George VI issued a letters patent naming Maud as one of five Counsellors of State during his absence from Britain when he visited Africa. 

The Countess of Southesk followed the precedent of her mother's first cousin, Princess Patricia of Connaught, who renounced her title and style when she married the Hon. Alexander Ramsay at Westminster Abbey.  Two Letters Patent were issued by George V concerning this matter.  The first Letters Patent allowed Patricia to relinquish her HRH and her title of Princess of Great Britain and Ireland.  The second gave her the "place, pre-eminence and precedence before Marchionesses of England."  Thus, Princess Patricia became Lady Patricia Ramsay.  These Letters Patent were issued the day before Patricia married.

No special decree was needed when Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married the Duke of York.   Several days after the wedding, the palace made an official statement: "in accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become her Royal Highness the Duchess of York with the status of Princess."  No decree.  No Letters Patent.  A mere clarification.

Princess Arthur of Connaught was the first to be styled by her husband's name. The sons and grandsons of Queen Victoria were created dukes (and, in the case of the heir apparent, the Prince of Wales) before their marriages.   When the Duke of Edinburgh married HIH Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, the new bride was styled as HR&IH the Duchess of Edinburgh.  Queen Victoria would not allow the Russian Imperial to come before the British HRH as Marie was marrying into the British House.  Prince Arthur was the only son and heir to his father, the Duke of Connaught, and had he succeeded his father, his wife would have been a royal duchess by marriage and a peer of the realm in her own right.  Prince Arthur died in 1938, five years before his father. 

The present Duchess of Gloucester was styled as HRH Princess Richard of Gloucester, until the death of her father-in-law.   Prince Richard did not expect to become the duke because his elder brother, Prince William was the heir apparent.  But when Prince William, who was unmarried, died in a plane crash in August of 1972,  Prince Richard became his father's heir.

Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz became HRH Princess Michael of Kent and not Princess Marie Christine of Kent.   Marie Christine's knickers will be in a twist if the Queen allows Catherine to use her own name as a part of the royal style. 

The real question: will the Queen give her grandson a dukedom on his wedding day.  Interesting question as William will become the Duke of Cornwall and the Duke of Rothesay when his father succeeds to the throne.  The new king Charles III would also, at some point, create William as Prince of Wales.  Between the accession and the time when Charles creates William Prince of Wales,  William will be styled as Duke of Cornwall and Duke of whatever, the Cornwall title taking precedence as it is the title for the heir to the throne.

When Edward VII succeeded to the throne in 1901,  his son, George, was styled as HRH The Duke of Cornwall and York.

It really doesn't matter what Catherine's first title will be.  By marriage, she will become HRH and a Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  In the fullness of time, she will be the Princess of Wales and Queen Catherine.   She will step out of the church, on the arm of her new husband, as  HRH Princess William of Wales or HRH The Duchess of something.   I am sure the Queen will consult with her advisers, with the Prince of Wales and Prince William regarding a possible dukedom.

If you are confused by this title situation, wait until William and Kate have kids.  If you think HRH Princess William of Wales sounds funny, wait until you see what the 1917 Letters Patent has in store for the kiddies. 

It only matters during the Queen's lifetime.  Let's say, Catherine's first child is a girl.  Congratulations and all that, but the little darling will not be a princess.  She will be Lady Christian name Mountbatten-Windsor.  Two years later, Catherine gives birth to a boy, who not only gets to move ahead of the little lady in the line of succession, he will be  HRH Prince.  Younger sons and daughters will also be Lord or Lady Christian name Mountbatten-Windsor

Charles becomes king,  William is now the Duke of Cornwall ... and the little 'uns are all upgraded to HRH prince or princess four names of Cornwall.  Grandpa names William as Prince of Wales -- cross out Cornwall and we now have HRH Prince George of Wales, HRH Princess Elizabeth of Wales, and HRH Prince Michael of Wales.

[Update,  In December 2012, Queen Elizabeth II issued a new Letters Patent that extended the HRH and title of Prince or Princess to all the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.]

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

things you didn't know


I like #30    Kate must wear Ralph Lauren, which would explain #30 ... all  I have to say:   great taste!

Duke Max has died

November 17, 1888

Duke Maximilian in Bavaria died at 8:30 this morning "at the green old age of 80, lacking a few weeks," writes the Marquise de Fontenoy.  His wife and two of his daughters, the Countess Trani and the Duchess of Alencon, were at his bedside when he died.  His third daughter, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who was fond of spending summers at her parents' home on Lake Starnberg, near Munich, was not able to be present, as she is now traveling "for her health."  The Empress did come when her cousin, poor King Ludwig, "was laid out in state" at the Castle Berg, "just across the water from Duke Max's castle.
The Duke leaves a widow, the daughter of King Maximilian I of Bavaria, and eight children, three sons and five daughters.  The eldest son, Duke Ludwig, will not succeed his father because of his morganatic marriage to Countess Wallersee.  The new Duke in Bavaria is the second son, Duke Karl Theodor, a "famous oculist who studied medicine and surgery in Berlin and has restored to hundreds of poor people their sight without relieving their pocketbooks of single mark."
The third son is Major General Duke Max in Bavaria.   The two daughters not already mentioned are the widowed Princess of Thurn und Taxis and the former Queen of Naples.

Queen Maud reported better

November 17, 1938

Queen Maud of Norway, who underwent abdominal surgery yesterday, was "reported to making continued progress tonight," according to the Associated Press.  The Queen's doctors said that her temperature and pulse were "satisfactory."
The 69-year-old Queen is the wife of King Haakon of Norway.

Constantine wants plebiscite to decide on monarchy

November 17, 1920

Former King Constantine of Greece has made his first statement respecting his "attitude in the light of the Greek elections" to an Associated Press reporter:
"I cannot go to Athens as the head of any one political party, and therefore insist upon a plebiscite for my return or the return of one of my sons.  It is for the Greek people to decide.  If the people want me, I shall return to Athens, unless, of course, prevented by unjust force.
"I know the mass of the Greek people were with me and had confidence and hope in me, as the elections have proved," the King declared.
"The autocratic rule of Venizelos could not continue. After the armistice Venizelos made a political mistake between himself and me, and he lost heavily. I shall accept whatever Government is election."
The reporter pointed out that "France and Great Britain are reported to be against your return."
King Constantine responded: "I count greatly upon the moral support of America, which is precious to me.  After nearly three years and a half of exile amid the lakes of Switzerland, I would be glad to return with my family to our southern climate.
"I cannot help being related to the Kaiser, but I am not a Germanophile, as my enemies declared.  I was born and bred in Greece, which I love, and which I hope soon again to see."
Only once did the former king show "bitterness toward Venizelos."  He spoke about how the Premier prevented Queen Sophie from traveling to Greece to be with her dying son, King Alexander.  This refusal, the king said, affected the Queen's health, and "she was still suffering."
The AP reporter described the King as looking "most cheerful" during their conversation.  After leaving the former king, the correspondent met with the King's daughter, Princess Irene, and "she evinced delighted over the prospect of returning to Athens."

A double wedding looms

November 17, 1920

Crown Prince Carol of Roumania will arrive in Lucerne tomorrow, accompanied by his mother, Queen Marie, who is now in Zurich, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.  It is reported that the Crown Prince's visit will lead to his engagement of Princess Helen of Greece, daughter of former King Constantine. 
Helen's brother, Prince George, is reported to be engaged to Carol's sister, Princess Elisabeth.   An announcement of "an arrangement of a double marriage" between the royal families of Greece and Roumania is expected on Friday.
Queen Marie and Queen Sophie are first cousins, and granddaughters of Queen Victoria.

Bolshies kill 5 Grand Dukes

By Chicago Tribune - New York Times Cable, dated November 14, 1918 (delayed).

Czecho-Slovaks have "found the bodies of five grand dukes" in a well at Alapayevsk.  Among them was Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovitch, whose wife is imprisoned by the Bolsheviks at Perm.
According to information from the Czech soldiers, the "dukes were taken from Perm, thrown into a twenty-five foot well alive and then hand grenades were thrown into the well."
In a forest near Ekaterinburg, where Nicholas II was killed,  the Czechs found unburied sixty-five bodies.  The dead were leading residents of Ekaterinburg who were shot by the Bolsheviks.

Latest royal engagement rumor

November 17, 1900

Here is the latest royal engagement rumor, according to a report in The New York Times.  Prince George of Greece, second son of King George and Queen Olga, "is engaged to one of the English princesses."
Queen Victoria is "said to have given her approval."
The Prince, a nephew of the Princess of Wales, is currently visiting England.  The princess has not been named.

Just to clarify

I think some people are confused, and think William and Kate did two interviews yesterday.  This is incorrect.  They agreed to a photo op with news organizations, print, TV and photos.   They also sat down with Sky News reporter, Tom Badby, for an interview that was seen on Sky and the BBC.  There was no separate BBC interview.  Sky provided pooled coverage to networks around the world.

Here is the link to the interview:

and a transcript 

Kate has a few American cousins

According to AP report,  Kate has a few (very distant) American cousins:


The Royal Marriage

Prince William of Wales' marriage must be approved by the sovereign -- his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II -- according to the Act of Settlement (1701).  He is over 25 and could get married without permission, but he would have to declare his intent to Parliament, and wait one year before marrying.   He is unlikely to choose the latter.
This means the Queen will declare her Consent at a meeting of the Privy Council.  The next meeting is scheduled for December 15.


American viewers take note:  Dateline: NBC will have two royal programs this week.  The first is tonight at 8:00 p.m.(DST), the rest of the US, check your listings. This program will be about William and Kate.   On Friday night, NBC anchorman Brian Williams will interview the Prince of Wales in an hour long program.  

Set your VCRS/DVRs!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prince William writes for Telegraph


Oh! James Whitaker

Who cannot remember a May wedding ...

er um ... Princess Margaret was married in May 1960

The Duke and Duchess of Kent married in June as did the Earl and Countess of Wessex.  Princess Alexandra married in April. 

William and Kate

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According to the interview -  Kate does not mind being called Kate or Catherine, but her family calls her Catherine.  The engagement took place in a lodge in Kenya, and Kate said it was a special moment.  William would not say if he got on his knee, he said that was private.  He said he chose to give his mother's ring to Kate so his mother could be a part of this -- and Kate was honored to have the ring.

Timing was right,  Glad I did it,  Prince William said.  Kate wearing a simple royal blue dress.  (Is this the dress she wore to the wedding two weeks ago.)

Kate is special.  I want to spend the rest of my life with her, William said

Kate: William is a "loving boy friend.  Very supportive."  About marrying into the Royal family:

"It's quite a daunting prospect, but hopefully I'll take it in my stride. William is a great teacher."

"Hopefully, I will take it in my stride, " Kate said.

 "As you may recognise now it is my mother's engagement ring, so of course, it is very special to me, and Kate is very special to me now as well. It is only right the two are put together."

Photo credit: REUTERS

It's wicked!

"It's wicked ...Brilliant," the Duchess of Cornwall just said.

Earlier today, the Prince of Wales said he was delighted.  "They've been practicing long enough!"

BBC will televise the first interview at 7 p.m..  That's London time.  2:00 p.m. here on the East Coast.

Kate's engagement ring

According to ITV's political editor,  Tom Bradby,  Prince William has given Kate his mother's sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

This is actually a nice touch.  The ring, now an heirloom, cost £30,000 in 1981, and it was purchased by the Prince of Wales.  He gave the ring to his fiancee, Lady Diana Spencer.   I am sure William talked with his father about giving the ring to Kate.

Clarence House has confirmed that Kate has been given the late Diana, Princess of Wales' engagement ring.

Paul Lambrino sued for 2 million Euros

From today's Bucharest Herald


Cross-government committee to oversee wedding

The BBC has just announced that there will be a cross-government committee, made up of persons from different government departments, to oversee the wedding details, including security.

From the Telegraph



The BBC World's streaming video.

It's tomorrow!!!!

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I've said for some months now that the engagement would be announced between "tomorrow and late March."

 It's tomorrow.

The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.

The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.

Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton’s father.

The date and place of the wedding have not yet been announced, although it will take place in the spring or summer in London.  The guest list has not been announced.  The designer has not been announced. 

 No new title for William has been announced, apart from the speculation that he might receive a dukedom on the morning of his wedding.  If he does not receive another title,  his wife's official title will be HRH Princess William of Wales.  Not HRH Princess Catherine of Wales, although the press will certainly call her Princess Kate or Princess Catherine, but never Princess Cathy.

We do not know where they will go on their honeymoon, but they will be living in North Wales after the wedding. 

We do not know who will carry the bride's train, but the attendants will be young boys and girls, culled from the ranks of godchildren,  
family members, and the children of friends.  Lady Louise and Lord Severn come to mind.  Grace van Cutsem and Prince Constantine Alexios of Greece are two of William's godchildren.

William will not have a best man, as royals don't do best men.  William will have a supporter.  I will hasten a guess: Prince Harry.  

The wedding guests will include family members from both sides of the family, including William's maternal relatives, as well as members of the royal family.   The Lord Chamberlain's office will send out the invitations, so William and Kate will not have to worry about those little reply cards.  Note to readers:  British wedding invitations do not include reply cards.  The proper way to respond to a wedding is with a handwritten note.  

The palace also has not announced when the first child will be born or what the name will be.  (Kate is  not pregnant.)  We do know that William's first son will be HRH, but none of the other children, during the lifetime of the Queen.  This is based on the 1917 Letter Patent that defined the title and styles of members of the British Royal Family.  If the first child is a girl, she will be styled as The Lady Christian name Windsor with the family name Mountbatten-Windsor.  William's younger children will automatically move to the princely rank when their grandfather succeeds to the throne.

It is also possible that if William's first child is a girl, a new letters patent will be established a new delineation of titles, but the birth will not precipitate a rush by Parliament to pass an equal rights succession law.

Following the marriage, the couple will live in north Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.

Friday, November 12, 2010

In Memorium: William Addams Reitwiesner (1954-2010)

 William Addams Reitwiesner, one of the best ever royal genealogists in the world, and a very good friend, died today at the age of 56.  He had suffered from rectal cancer for more than three years.  

I am going to miss you very much, Bill.  Lots of hugs!  and Thank You for all great lunches!



On Friday, November 12, 2010, William Addams Reitwiesner of Washington, DC. Beloved son of Home M. Reitwiesner and the late George Reitwiesner; loving brother of Andrew M., Dorothy B., John S. and Henry P. Reitwiesner. Also survived by several nieces and nephews. Services will be held at a later date

Bill's oft-quoted essay on mediatized houses   http://worldroots.com/brigitte/r

Habsburg-Savoy Union certain to be held in Rome

November 12, 1936

Well-informed court circles regard as certain the engagement of Princess Maria, youngest daughter of the King and Queen of Italy, to Archduke Otto of Austria.   The New York Times reports that the "engagement has already been concluded and remains only to be announced."
It is believed that the engagement "may coincide" with Admiral Nicholas Horthy's visit to Rome.   Horthy is the Hungarian regent.

Archduke Joseph renounces rights

November 12, 1918

Budapest newspapers received in Berne "contain details of a remarkable ceremony in which Archduke Joseph of Austria and his son, Archduke Josef Franz," renounced their titles and took an oath to the Hungarian constitution "as simple Hungarian citizens named Habsburg," according to the New York Times.  The two men gave up all imperial privileges.

Death of Crown Prince is confirmed

November 12, 1918

By Atlantic cable and the Associated Press.   The death of Crown Prince Wilhelm, eldest son of the former Kaiser, has been confirmed by The Hague correspondent of the German news agency Havas in Munich, according a dispatch to the Paris newspaper, Matin.   This report has not been confirmed by any other news agency.

The former German emperor special train left Maastricht yesterday morning, and is heading toward Amerongen.  More than 2000 Belgian refugees jeered the train as it pulled out of the station.  William Hohenzollern "did not show himself."

Another dispatch from Amsterdam reports that Workmen's and Soldiers' Council at Berlin announced that the former Emperor, former Empress and their eldest son, Wilhelm, have arrived in the Netherlands.

Another princely sacrifice to Cupid

November 12, 1906

An exclusive dispatch to the Los Angeles Times. 

Kaiser Wilhelm II is "vastly annoyed" over another royal mésalliance like that of Prince Albrecht of Prussia and an actress Marie Sulzer.

Hereditary Prince Eberwyn of Bentheim und Steinfurt has also decided to follow his heart and recently married Pauline Langenfeld, daughter of a provincial mayor, who also owns a shop.
[The Los Angeles Times refers to the bride as Fanny Koch and notes the prince recently announced his engagement.  The couple was married on October 1, 1906, in London.]

The prince is the son of Alexis, Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt, and Princess Pauline of Waldeck und Pyrmont.   He is a nephew of the Queen Mother of the Netherlands and the Duchess of Albany, and a first cousin to Queen Wilhelmina.

After Eberwyn informed his father of his decision to marry a commoner, Prince Alexis, as head of the house, "tried vainly to prevent the marriage. He told his son that he would forfeit his "birthright and titles" if he married the shopkeeper's daughter."

Prince Eberwyn is reported to have said: "I am willing to make the sacrifice."   He took an oath, renounced his right of succession, and swore that he would not "contest his brother's succession as Hereditary Prince. 
Eberwyn will also be "compelled to resign his position as captain of the guard."  His financial losses will also be great "as the loss of rank and titles."  In renouncing his dynastic rights, he will lose a future income of $1,000,000 a year.

The prince is twenty-four, and his bride is 23 years old.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

for your amusement - the latest in Fergie ...scapades.

Sarah, Duchess of York, is still living the high life, but it seems she's letting others pick up the tab!


$98 for a bottle of wine in Kalamazoo!



The latter two stories were published in The Sun.

Wally dines with Queen Mary

November 11, 1936

Mrs. Ernest Simpson, the American friend of King Edward VIII,  dined with his mother, Queen Mary, this week, according to an exclusive report in the Los Angeles Times.
Queen Mary's invitation, "tantamount to a command," was not prompted "so much by a desire for friendship with the Baltimore-born beauty," but, according to sources "close to the throne, Mary wanted to have a "heart-to-heart talk as a woman to a woman over her son's friendship" with Mrs. Simpson.  This friendship has created an uproar outside England and the repercussions now threatening home."
No one knows the result of the conversation, but it does not seem to have affected the King's friendship with Wally.
Insurance brokers on London's Stock Exchange "are doing a brisk business in policies" against the postponement of the King's Coronation.  This is the "direct result" of the latest rumors that the King plans to marry Mrs. Simpson.  A new rate for the policies is the belief that the King is determined to marry Wally, as well "as in his possible abdication."
Since Edward's succession in January, there have been "two parties around the palace."  One represents a more modern type of courtier, and the other "the older traditional courtier, headed by Lord Derby, " opposes the younger element.
The "old guard" disapproves of the new "court of moderns," and Lord Derby "is far too astute a politician to stoop to such methods," but many believe that the "older palace set started certain unsavory rumors, without Lord Derby's consent, connecting the King and Mrs. Simpson.
The old guard has two "valuable factors" for an attack: the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York.
The "old guard" appears to have had some success.  A rumor was spread in Aberdeen during the King's recent vacation in Balmoral that "he had turned down invitations to officiate at local functions in order to spend more time with Wally."  This rumor resulted in "insulting attacks" on the King written in chalk in large letters on the sidewalks of Aberdeen, "referring to his friendship with foreign ladies."

A son for Princess Lobkowicz

November 11, 1928

Princess Edward Lobkowicz gave birth to a second son on November 9 at the Harbor Sanitarium, reports the New York Times.  The Prince and Princess live at 969 Park Avenue in New York City.  The Princess is the former Anita H. Lihme, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Bai Lihme, also of New York.
On June 12, 1926,  the Princess gave birth to her first son, Edward.

More rulers out in Germany

November 11, 1918

The Associated Press is reporting that King Friederich August III of Saxony "has been dethroned."  The AP's report is based on an official telegram from Berlin.
It is "reported that the garrison at Dresden is in the hand of a provisional Workmen's and Soldiers' Council."
The Grand Duke of Oldenburg has "also been dethroned," and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg has abdicated, according to "dispatches from Hamburg.
A local newspaper, the Hamburg Nachrichten, says the Workmen's and Soldier's Council has also formed a government in Mecklenburg.
A  Wolff Bureau dispatch from Berlin has "confirmed the report that Hesse-Darmstadt has declared itself a free Socialist republic, until a German republic is established."
A revolution in Germany is "to all intents and purposed, an accomplished fact.  The revolt has not yet reach all of the former empire, but "fourteen of the twenty-six States, including all four kingdoms," are now under control of Socialists.
Grand Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg was born in 1852.  He succeeded his father in 1900. The Oldenburg house dates back to 1088.  The Grand Duke's eldest daughter, Sophie, is married to the former Kaiser's second son, Prince Eitel Friedrich.
Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin "has been on the throne since 1901."  He was born in 1882, and is married to Princess Alexandra of Cumberland, sister of the Duke of Brunswick and Princess Max of Baden.

Day of Peace may be world Holiday

November 11, 1918

Today the world war ended and November 11 "may become a national holiday."   "Tremendous spontaneous celebrations through the nation several agencies begain laying plans to make the new holiday a lasting one," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.  Congress may be asled to "take up the matter in conjuction with legislative bodies of other countries" to arrange for an "official proclamation making the day one of annual world-wide celebration."

[On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."  Armistice Day became an official Federal Holiday in 1938.     In 1953, Al Davis, an Emporia, Kansas, store owner wanted the holiday to honor all Veterans.   With the assistance of his local congressman, who helped sponsor a bill, Congress passed the new legislation in May 1954.  President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on June 1, 1954 (just 13 days before I was born.)  Since November 1954, the Federal holiday here in the USA is called Veterans Day.  No apostrophe.    http://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/holidays/vetsday/vetshist.html

November 11 is also commemorated in other countries, including the United Kingdom, where it is known as Remembrance Day, and a number of Commonwealth countries.]

Haakon and family reach England

November 11, 1906

King Haakon, Queen Maud and Crown Prince Olav of Norway  arrived at Spithead on board the royal yacht Victoria and Albert late tonight, according to The New York Times.
The Norwegian Royal Family will be the guests of King Edward and Queen Alexandra at Windsor Castle "during their stay in England.
Queen Maud is the youngest daughter of the British sovereigns.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wife's family gets missing Archduke's money

November 10, 1896

A Cantonal court in St. Gall, Switzerland, has ordered the Bank of St. Gall "to hand over to the relatives of the wife of the long-missing Archduke Johann Salvator of Austria  1,000,000 francs," which the archduke had deposited into an account at the bank "prior to his departure for South America."

In 1889,  Archduke Johann, youngest son of Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany, "renounced his rank and all his Austrian military titles owing to an 
irreconcilable quarrel with the late Field Marshal Archduke Albert."  He adopted the name Johann Orth and set sail for South America, "since which time he has completely disappeared from public knowledge."

During the recent Sino-Japanese war, there were extraordinary rumors that Field Marshal Yamagatta was "none other than the long-missing Archduke Johann.  This rumor proved to be false, but many in Vienna believed that Orth was still alive and "was hiding in some remote island from which he would one day reappear among his old friends."

After marrying opera dancer Milly Stubel in London, he purchased a ship, the Santa Margarita, and he and his wife sailed for South America.  Orth and his wife disappeared in February 1890, after he set off from Uruguay, and was bound for Chile.  His ship may have disappeared off Cape Horn.
Milly's mother, who will be one of the recipients of the funds, said with confidence. "John and my daughter are alive, and now that Archduke Albert is now more they will soon come back."

The decision of the Cantonal Court, however, "looks like an abandonment of hope," according to the former Archduke's friends.

Birgitta and Desiree attend reception

November 10, 1960

Princesses Birgitta and Désirée of Sweden were guests today at a reception given by "Swedish-Americans of the metropolitan area," reported the New York Times.
More than 400 guests attended the affair at the Biltmore Hotel.  In the morning, Princess Birgitta, 23 years old, and Princess Désirée, 22, were taken on a tour of the United Nations by Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, a Swede.
Later today, the two princesses, granddaughters of King Gustaf VI Adolf, will travel to Philadelphia "to continue their ten-day visit to this country."

New palace for Juliana

November 10, 1936

Queen Wilhelmina will give the palace of Soestdyk was a wedding present to Crown Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, according to the Associated Press.   The palace was originally "presented to the prince of Orange by the states of the Netherlands."  It will be "modernized and refurnished as a part of the wedding gift of the nation."
Crown Princess Juliana, heir to the throne, will be married on January 7.

Duke Ludwig in Bavaria, brother of Sisi, has died

November 10, 1920

Duke Ludwig in Bavaria, "the senior member of the House of Wittelsbach, has died, according to a dispatch from Basle, Switzerland.  He was 89 years old.

The duke, a brother of the late Empress Elisabeth of Austria, was born in Munich on June 21, 1831.  He had been married twice.  Both marriages were morganatic.  Two years ago, he received a divorce from his second wife.
As a young man, "he served in the Bavarian Cavalry and had attained the rank of General."  In 1859, he caused a scandal in his family, when he renounced his dynastic rights to "contract a morganatic marriage" with an actress, Henriette Mendel, who was created Baroness de Wallersee.  She died in 1891, and a year later, Ludwig married again.  His second wife was a Munich ballet dancer named Barth, "later called Frau von Bartolf."

The Bavarian Royal family "were moderately cordial" to Ludwig's first wife, but never accepted his second wife, who was forty-two years his junior."

Duke Ludwig was often in "financial difficulties."  He once was "compelled to sell a piece of royal property to a Munich brewery."  On several occasions, his sister, Empress Elisabeth, "warded off his creditors.

BULLETIN: Former Kaiser flees

Embed from Getty Images
November 10, 1918

Former German Emperor Wilhelm II and his eldest son, Wilhelm, the former Crown  Prince,  have crossed into the Netherlands.   Wilhelm is expected to travel to De Steeg, near Utrecht.

Field Marshall von Hindenburg is believed to be with the former German Emperor's party.   They arrived at Eysden at 7:30 in the morning, according to reports by a Daily Mail dispatch, sent to newspapers abroad.

Wilhelm was accompanied by "practically the whole German General staff,"  and "ten automobiles carried the party.   The cars "were bristling with rifles and all the fugitives were armed."

The former Kaiser was in uniform.  He alighted at the station, and "paced the platform, smoking a cigarette."

Wilhelm chatted with members of his staff.  He did not look "in the least distressed," according to the correspondent.

There are divergent reports, however, about Wilhelm's departure and arrival in the Netherlands.  A Reuter dispatch from Copenhagen says "semi-officially" that Wilhelm, accompanied by only ten men, had arrived in Arnheim and "occupied Count von Bentinck's chateau."

Another dispatch from Copenhagen, this time form the Exchange Telegraph Company quotes Politken, a Danish newspaper, as saying that when Wilhelm arrived at Maastricht, he was accompanied by his wife, Augusta Viktoria.

In Washington, D.C., the War Department authorized the following dispatch from the General Staff at the Hague:  "Press reports state that the Kaiser arrived this morning in Maastricht, Holland, and is proceeding to Midachten Castle, in the town of De Steeg, near Utrecht."

Midachten Castle is owned by Count Wilhelm Friedrich Carl Heinrich von Bentinck, a member of the Prussian Guards.  Before the war, the count was an attaché at Germany's embassy in London.