Friday, December 31, 2010

An advocate for Monarchy

Danas, 31 December 2010

Monarchy for Serbia
by Prince Alexander Karageorgevitch

The whole of my life I’ve been following and monitoring events in my country of origin and destiny. Over half a century I did that from far away, the last ten years from inside it! I am an optimist by nature, and have to be like that because of my origin and because of the future.

Serbia has come a long way since 1 December 1918 when it invested its sovereignty into the union of the South Slav nations called the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, until 21 May 2006 when the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro disintegrated following the referendum in Montenegro. Now that Serbia is an independent country again, there is no need for any kind of concession to other constituent nations or countries. Now we are on our own and responsible only for our destiny and our deeds. At this moment, we are pretty much left in-between of what we are, what we want and we could be, and what we are offered to be without alternative! Sometimes I believe that we are choosing between things where there is no actual choice.

They say “We want to go to Europe”, it is not about formal membership within some association, but about the choice of values that make Europe what it is. Who is stopping us to adopt these values, if we feel them as our own? But here it is more important which values we will adopt first, easy ones which bring just a superficial European look alike, or the substantial and hard to carry out ones. Who is stopping us to integrate with ourselves, if we want integration? Who is stopping us to unite with ourselves before we unite with Portugal, Malta or Finland?

Speaking of the image of the independent state of Serbia throughout time, we must say that than we speak mainly about the monarchy. Since 1830, when Serbia was granted a certain degree of independence as a Principality, until 1 December 1918, we are talking about 88 years of constant progress and development, liberating territories and being perceived as a part of Europe. There is no need for comparison with the last four years, not in length nor in quality. No matter if it is the Principality of Serbia under the Obrenovic dynasty, or the Kingdom restituted by King Milan in 1882 followed by his son Aleksandar and then King Petar I, it was always a European country. Not because of its geographical position, nothing has moved since than and we are in the same place, but for the perception of it, from the inside and from the outside. Ever since the First Serbian uprising, Karadjordje and his insurgent comrades knew that they were fighting for the liberty of European Serbia. At the dawn of the wars for independence in 1876-78, the Serbian Government commissioned a French journalist to publish at least one affirmative article per month in two leading Paris magazines. Do you think that this something that we can achieve today? The problem is that people usually fall into the trap of thinking that everything is starting from them, and here is another problem of ours. We claim that we know our history and respect tradition, but I am afraid that this is not the fact. When I speak about it, I equally praise the achievements of both our dynasties that paved the road for modern Serbia. Talking about all of this, I have to say: I am not in power and not in opposition! I am part of history as same as today will be the history tomorrow, as the future will become history as it happens! The future is based on history! A future without history is just like a house without a foundation!

Speaking of the image, today we have state symbols, a flag, a coat of arms and the anthem of the Kingdom of Serbia, It was not easy to re introduce them, but now, a few years later, people who were the hardest opposition to this “entering of constitutional monarchy trough the back door”, are the most enthusiastic promoters of our symbols. This is good, but this is not enough. If we want to know who we are and what we stand for, we must define these things before we join the European Union, as it will be too late to think about it afterwards. We need this kind of comparative advantage to the rest of the countries from so called “New Europe”.

I meet many people in our country and abroad. I have many friends and acquaintances. Friendship has to be constructed and nurtured. You rarely inherit friends, but have to make ones, and especially there where they are in short supply, where they are a minority. Countries are the same as people, they need friends. They need friends which can bring them into the circles of friends that they couldn’t reach on their own. This is the reason why I am using every opportunity to bring friends, important people to Belgrade to see and feel, to get their own experience of Serbia. I am very proud to contribute to different activities which are aimed to improve the image of Serbia, whether it was the City Break conference, Euro Song, some scientific conference or Belgrade candidacy for the European capital of culture. Of course there will always will be nasty comments in some media, like “they party again”, but they do not understand basic principles of friendship and bonding between people.

It is my obligation, as I am speaking critically, to mention that in many areas things have significantly improved. It is difficult to see due to the huge inherited and imported problems, but it is obviously present. That improvement shouldn’t be overestimated, but not to be underestimated, as well. In other, more stable and happier circumstances, such progress should be recognized and appreciated, but at the present it is constantly kept in shadow of collateral events. But, nevertheless, progress made gives hope and brings optimism. Of course, progress in one field which is not accompanied by progress in other fields is just in vain, because progress, as friendship, should be nurtured and maintained.

I firmly believe in the benefits of Constitutional Monarchy in Serbia. We need stability, unity and continuity. Arguments in favor of that can be seen everywhere. Look around you, and if you were hoping and fighting for that, then you are a happy person, and I congratulate you on that! But, look again, and see how many other people feel the same way! I am afraid that you won’t see much of them. If you believe that Republic is cheaper than Constitutional Monarchy, make another calculation. If you believe that a citizen makes a greater influence in a Republic than in a Constitutional Parliamentary Monarchy, reconsider what polity is present in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Spain, Japan, Australia, Canada, New Zealand … Reconsider if Pol Pot was better than Sihanouk, Mengistu than Selassie, Chaushesku than Michael, Zivkov then Simeon, or today’s Afghanistan comparing to the state of King Mohammed Zahir!

We shouldn’t follow ideological clichés. Each country and each nation has a better and worse option of polity at any given time. For Serbia today it is Parliamentary Constitutional Democracy!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

India Hicks - the Prince of Wales is the perfect godfather

India Hicks, the youngest of the three children of Lady Pamela Hicks and the late David Hicks, describes her godfather, the Prince of Wales, as "perfect."

It's a girl

Autumn Phillips, the wife of Peter Phillips, has given birth to a girl, according to a release from Buckingham Palace.  The infant girl, who weight 8lbs ozs,  was born on Wednesday at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.   The name has not been announced.
The baby is 12th in line to the British throne, and the first great-grandchild for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The last great-grandchild born during the reign of the sovereign was Prince Louis of Battenberg.  He was the youngest of four children of Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine, Queen Victoria's granddaughter, and Prince Louis of Battenberg.   Princess Louis gave birth to her son on June 25, 1900.   The infant prince's eldest sister, Princess Alice, was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  The day before the birth of baby Phillips, the Hereditary Countess of Toerring-Jettenbach gave birth to her fourth daughter, Elena.   Elena's late paternal grandmother, Princess Elisabeth of Greece and Denmark,  and Prince Philip were first cousins.

30 December 2010


Mrs Peter Phillips was yesterday safely delivered of a baby girl at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. The weight of the baby was 8lbs 8oz. Mr Peter Phillips was present at the birth.
The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, Captain Mark Phillips and Autumn’s family have been informed and are delighted with the news. The baby’s name will be confirmed in due course.
This baby is the first child for Peter and Autumn, the first grandchild for The Princess Royal and the first great-grandchild for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, and is twelfth in line to the Throne.

My choice for the name:  Winter Phillips -- and then try for a Spring Phillips and a Summer Phillips.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is Crown Princess Mary close to giving birth

The Crown Princess of Denmark is expecting twins,  so giving birth before the due date is not unusual when carrying twins.   She will not be taking part in the traditional New Year's celebration at Christianborg palace.  The expectant mother and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik (and their two young children, Christian and Isabella) have remained ensconced at Amalienborg palace, which is close to the hospital where Mary will give birth.

The Crown Princess' father, Professor John Donaldson, recently arrived in Copenhagen, arousing speculation that she will shortly give birth.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

If circumstances had been different ...

Christian Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden

Christian Ernst August Hubertus Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden is a respected Hamburg lawyer who would be the head of the house of Hannover, and not his younger half-brother, Prince Ernst August if his parents had married before his birth.

On October 2, 1941,  the engagement of Prince Hubertus of Prussia, the third son of former Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, and Baroness Maria-Anna von Humboldt-Dachroesen was announced in Potsdam.  At the time, the Prince was a First Lieutenant in the German Air Force.  They married on December 29, 1941, at Schloss Oels in Silesia.  It was a wartime wedding, without pomp.

There were also questions about the bride's status.  Maria-Anna was a mere baroness, and, not the usual choice for a bride in the house of Hohenzollern.  Hubertus' eldest brother, Prince Wilhelm, lost his succession rights when he married Dorothea von Salviati.   The second brother, Prince Louis Ferdinand, did well in the marriage stakes when he married Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, whose father, Kirill, was the de jure Russian Emperor.

Hubertus' marriage lasted for only a year.  It was announced in December 1942 that Prince Hubertus had divorced his wife, a "society beauty, but by Hohenzollern standards, Maria Anna was not eligible to marry into the family."   Was her lower rank the reason for the divorce, or was it something else?  Or someone else?

Prince Hubertus wasted no time heading to the altar for a second time.  On June 8, 1943, he married Princess Magdalene Reuss, a marriage considered equal. 

Was it possible that Maria Anna had fallen in love with another prince?  Was she an adulteress who cheated on Prince Hubertus with his first cousin, Prince Ernst August of Hannover, eldest son of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the Kaiser's only daughter?   By early 1943,  Maria-Anna and Ernst August were lovers.  She became pregnant.  On December 27, 1943,  Baroness Maria Anna gave birth to a son, Christian Ernst August Hubertus.  The child was given her surname, using the male version, Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden.  

One can only assume Ernst August's reaction was when he learned that Maria-Anna was pregnant.  Marriage was out of the question.  Maria Anna, a divorced woman, would certainly not have been accepted by the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg. 

Very, very little is known about this romance and the aftermath.  Was Ernst August prevented from marrying Maria Anna because she was divorced and of a lower rank?   Ernst August's parents expected a far better marriage for their eldest son.   In 1951, Ernst August obliged them by marrying Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein.   This marriage was not a love match.

In September of this year,  Ernst August's youngest son, Prince Heinrich, was interviewed by the German magazine, Bunte.   He recently published Mätressen und Favoriten by Anna  Eunike Röhrig.  The book is a biographical handbook about royal mistresses.  During the interview Prince Heinrich, the father of an illegitimate son, discussed his father's love affair.  "From this relationship, I have a brother.  We have a close relationship, he is 66, and he is a counsel with a Hamburg bank." 

Although Heinrich's mother knew about her husband's wartime romance and his illegitimate son,  the subject was never discussed by the family

Christian Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden was 66 years old when Heinrich was interviewed.   Since 2008, he has been the Syndikus und Rechtsanwalt with the Conrad Hinrich Donner Bank in Hamburg.  In 1979, he married Baroness Marie von Maltzahn.  They have two children, Alexandra (1980) and Ferdinand,(1982.)  

On October 23, 2010,  Alexandra married Count Ferdinand Guyard de Saint Julien von und Wallsee.

The late Prince Ernst August was long estranged from his mother, Princess Viktoria Luise.  Theirs was a difficult relationship, fraught with tension.  On the occasion of Viktoria Luise's 70th birthday,  Ernst August, the eldest son, had been expected to give a speech.  According to his mother's memoirs, he refused to speak to anyone, including the guests, leaving the job of making the congratulatory speech to his younger brother, Prince Georg Wilhelm.

Did the strife between mother and son begin with his relationship with Maria Anna?  His father would not give his permission for Ernst August to marry the woman he loved.  In 1951, Prince Ernst August married Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein- Sonderburg-Glücksburg .  They had six children.  Their second child and eldest son, Prince Ernst August is the head of the house of Hanover.

 Was he denied the opportunity to marry the woman he loved to maintain his own position as heir?    Ernst August died in 1987, and his wife, Princess Ortrud, died in 1980.

Baroness Maria Anna died in 2003. 


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Prince Ernst August and the Romanian ....

Fill in the blank..

Bunte, the weekly German glossy magazine, has been providing Princess Caroline with the evidence that her estranged husband, Prince Ernst August of Hannover, is a philanderer.  He is openly (and flagrantly) committing adultery,   Now, of course, Princess Caroline was in the same position as Simona, in the 1990s, when she was seen as the other woman.   Do we expect divorce proceedings any time soon?   It is unlikely that Ernst August will be accompanying his wife to her brother's wedding in July.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Baptism of Konstantin Johannsmann

Konstantin Gustav Heinrich Richard Johannsmann was baptised today in the chapel at Schloss Berleburg.  The infant is the son of Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her husband, Alexander Johannsman.  
The baptismal ceremony, according to the rites of the Lutheran Church, was conducted by Pastor Claudia Latzel-Binder.  The three godparents were Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, who is expecting twins next month,  Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, elder brother of Princess Nathalie, and Ann-Kathrin Johannsmann.
Princess Nathalie is an international competitor in dressage.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A new profile of the newly engaged couple

From Thursday's Telegraph:

No wonder Americans are hated ...

How absolutely vile  ... silly ... and ridiculous ... and based on a truly daft idea that she was born to come to England and marry into royalty - and the choice was Peter Phillips ... WHO IS NOT A ROYAL!

I looked at the prospectus, for Princess Prep.   Absolute tosh.  Jerramy Fine is described as a royal expert. Really?  She provides a list of princesses who will be discussed - and refers to some as reigning. 
 Only the sovereign reigns.   She refers to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as Princess Diana of Wales ... did Charles and Diana have a daughter named Diana?     Princess Victoria of England?   There has never been a princess Victoria of England.   This alleged royalty expert is referring to Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent who was a Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.  Or her daughter, HRH The Princess Royal (or Empress Friedrich). or, HRH Princess Victoria of Wales who became HRH The Princess Victoria when her father, George V, succeeded to the throne.

Or click on a photo of someone who is described as Crown Princess Letizia of Spain.  Really?   There is no such person.  The heir to the Spanish throne is the Prince of Asturias, not the Crown Prince, which means his wife is the Princess of Asturias.

Click on another photo -- showing Queen Elizabeth II - and the credit reads Princess Elisabeth.  Yup, Elisabeth.  This photo was taken after Elizabeth succeeded to the throne.

Has Fine secured copyright clearance for the photos she uses on her site?  She does not provide the copyright details!  Click on another photo - Mary Poppins - for a night out at the theater.  Mary Poppins closed in 2008 in London.

I believe the heroine of Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess was named Sara Crewe, not Sarah Crewe.

Will Fine be paying royalties to the movie companies for the movies she intends to show?   There is a hefty fee for the week in London ($3,995 sans flight), which means the movie audience will be a Paid audience.  In other words, Disney and other movie companies might not see the endeavor as fair use! 
This sort of tosh gives a bad name to scholarship. Serious biographers are having major problems in getting good books to publishers.   Instead, we get nonsense, trite, and piffle.  Perfect for parents who have lots of money, and really believe that this sort of trip is good for their darling little girls.  A great gift for the Paris Hilton wannabees. 

I love Disney, but I also know the difference between fantasy and reality. There is nothing real about Princess Prep ... what a waste of $4000 plus airfare.   Save the fantasy for Disney World (which I adore), and don't mix it with the reality of the depth of the panoply of British history.  Unlike Giselle or Ariel, real princesses are human and are not perfect.  Their lives on perfect.  They don't always get to live happily ever after.
Americans do not need to send their daughters to England to learn etiquette.  That's something that's learned at home.  Charity!  The families that can afford to send their daughters to fantasy camps are not always the ones who do charity.  Sure, take the family to Britain, rent an apartment, or stay in a charming hotel, and tour - but see history in its own terms, and not through rose-colored glasses. 
True charity begins at home.  What about taking your children to Sunday school and church?  Instruct your children about truly helping others by spending time volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter. 
I suppose this Princess Prep nonsense is for the daughters of the Nanny Diaries crowd!

Wilhelmina's wedding gown

December 22, 1900

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands' wedding gown is being made in Paris, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.  The gown is "described as the most marvelous gown ever designed in this city," and the chief feature "consists of the wonderful embroideries which are being made at the Royal School of Art Needlework."
The dress is being made from a cloth of silver, "of so exquisitely supple and fine texture that it suggests the India muslins of our grandmothers, which could be pulled through a ring.  Constructed from the "richest white glace silk, the gown's "front of the jupe" will feature a "tapering design, harmonizing with the train, being broad at the hem and narrowing towards the waist."  Wilhelmina's "full court train will run two and one-half meters on the ground."
The waistband will be made from "two broad bands of embroidery, giving the general idea of detached sprays of orange blossoms."   Very fine seed pearls will be used as buds, and the "foliage is indicated by silver threads and palettes."
There will be no embroidery on the bodice, which will be cut low.  This is a "Dutch custom for state weddings."  The gown will be draped "with Brussels lace," as Wilhelmina owns a collection of both modern and antique lace.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The marriage of Princess Thyra

December 21, 1878

Princess Thyra Amalia Caroline Charlotte Anne of Denmark was married today to Prince Ernst August Wilhelm Adolph Georg Friedrick, King of Hanover and Duke of Cumberland, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The ceremony "was a very quiet one," owing to two recent family deaths, the bride's uncle (younger brother of King Christian IX of Denmark), and the Grand Duchess of Hesse and By Rhine, sister of the bride's brother-in-law, the Prince of Wales.

The groom was also in mourning as his father, the former King Georg V of Hanover, died in Paris in July.

The wedding ceremony took place at 8 p.m., in the chapel at Christianborg castle, located on a small island, and accessible by several bridges from Copenhagen.  The ceremony was according to the rites of the Lutheran church and was officiated by Dr. H.L. Martensen, Bishop of Zealand.

The wedding was originally scheduled to take place at the Chapel at Fredensborg to allow Copenhagen's residents a chance to view the pageant.  The venue was after the recent deaths.

Princess Thyra wore a plain white silk gown with diamond jewelry.  The Duke of Cumberland was dressed in the uniform of an English general, with the Order of the Garter and the star of the Order of the Elephant.

The Prince of Wales, "as head of the Guelph family," attended the wedding, and served as his cousin's best man.  [Note: the news report is incorrect.   The Prince of Wales did not attend his cousin's wedding due to the death of his sister, Alice.]

After the ceremony, a "grand wedding banquet" was held at Amalienborg, where the royal family lives.  late in the evening, the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland traveled to Fredensborg.

After the death of his father, the Duke of Cumberland declared that he would "entirely and fully maintain all of his rights, prerogatives and titles," although, at present, he would use the titles Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale and Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg.

According to the Treaty of 1867, Prussia is "bound to return" to the duke "all the movable property of the Royal Family, and the castles of Calenberg and Herrenhausen."  Prussia is also required to pay the duke "the interest on $10,600,000, the requested property's value, and on the further sum of $3,000,000 invested in England."

Prussia has yet to carry out this agreement, but it is understood that Prussia "will do so and acknowledge the duke's right of succession to Duchy of Brunswick on condition that he will abdicate his rights to the Hanoverian crown."

The Duke of Cumberland is heir to the elderly Duke of Brunswick, 73, who is one of the richest men in the world.   In the not-too-distant future, Princess Thyra could become the consort of a sovereign duke.  Her eldest brother, Frederik, is the heir apparent to the Danish throne.  Her brother, Wilhelm. is now King George of the Hellenes, and her two sisters, Alexandra, and Dagmar are married to the heirs to the British and Russian thrones, respectively.

Thyra has a "beautifully shaped face, large and gentle dark eyes, and every sweet expression.  She is well educated, and she "rivals her sister Alexandra in musical and linguistic talents."  She paints with "much taste and is piquant and witty."

There have been numerous "suitors for her hand," including that "old scapegrace, the King of Holland," who is to marry "an even younger princess next month," the Prince Imperial of France, the Duke of Connaught, the Duke of Bavaria, and the late King of Sweden, Carl XV.  

Last summer, gossip said that Princess Thyra "was deeply in love with the son of Empress Eugenie, with whom also the Princess Beatrice of England was smitten."  It was said that the Prince of Wales favored Thyra's marriage with the young Napoleon in order "avoid having the French prince for a brother-in-law."

But the rumors of an engagement were "promptly disapproved" by the announcement of the betrothal between Thyra and the Duke of Cumberland.  The first hints of an engagement appeared in the press in October, but the official announcement did not come until November 19.   It seems "in reality to be a love match that was made in Rome three years ago."

 The negotiations were delayed due to King Georg V's death last July.  Princess Thyra has a very modest dowry of about $55,000. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland will be settling into their home at Gmunden, Austria.  

The duke is a great-grandson of George III.  His late father was Queen Victoria's first cousin.

The Times' coverage provides further details.  The bridal procession began at 7 p.m., in the State apartments to the church. The King led his daughter, whose "train was borne by six bridesmaids, dressed in white, with roses."   Queen Louise of Denmark was dressed in a "gold embroidered silver brocade" gown," which was complemented by a tiara and a necklace of splendid Crown Jewels."  Crown Princess Louise wore a white robe and a silver embroidered train of blue velvet, with a diadem of pearls and diamonds."  She was escorted by Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Waldemar of Denmark, and King Christian IX's three brothers.

Sir Charles Wyke represented Queen Victoria.  The Prince of Wales was represented by Lord Colville, and Colonel Teesdale represented the Prince of Wales.  The Duke of Cambridge, the King of Hellenes, the King of Sweden, and the Russian Tsarevitch also all sent representatives.

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Princess Stephanie vanishes

December 21,  1940

Princess Stephanie of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst, "a friend of Adolf Hitler and reputed Nazi propaganda agent," has disappeared, according to press reports.  She vanished a few hours before "the midnight deadline for her ordered departure" from the United States under a "threat of deportation.

On Tuesday, immigration officials in San Francisco informed the princess that she would not be granted an extension of her six months' visa.  She was ordered to leave the United States by midnight tonight.
Due to her close association with Nazis,  Princess Stephanie's presence in the United States was considered "inimical."  Britain's House of Commons described her as a "notorious member of Hitler's spy organization," and she is alleged to have been "involved in European intrigue for the last 15 years."

As the deadline for her departure grew closer, "no one seemed to know where she was."   Had she left the country already, or was she planning to leave?   The last time immigration authorities saw her was on Tuesday in San Francisco. She was with Capt. Fritz Wiedemann, an aid to Hitler, and Germany's consul at San Francisco.

In a statement to United Press. Captain Fritz Wiedemann said tonight that his "good friend,"  Princess Stephanie of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst has left the United States secretly. 
"I believe you can say she has left.  I am not in a position to say how she left the country, or where she is going."
She was not on board a Japanese liner bound for Yokama, as her name was not on the passenger list.  The sailing of the ship was delayed for twenty minutes as FBI agents boarded to the ship to search for the Princess. 
The princess may have gone to Mexico.

The princess arrived in the United States from England on December 22, 1939.  Her visitor's visa was extended once, but a request for another extension was denied in November.

In New York, Stephanie had left a mink coat and ermine cape at a fur refurbishing shop for repair.  The furs remain in the possession of the shop owner, who contends that the princess left  New York last May without paying a $100 hat bill.    The milliner tried to collect the funds through the Princess' account at the Swiss Bank Corporation in San Francisco, but "found her balance to be only $50."

According to the Los Angeles Times, "immigration authorities said the matter is out of their hands" unless Stephanie "overstays her visa and a warrant is issued against her. "  The Justice Department states that "deportation proceedings will be started immediately" if the Princess "fails to leave within the allotted time."

If you want to learn more about Princess Stephanie:

And now Mike can come to the wedding

''The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter Zara Phillips to Mr Mike Tindall, son of Mr Phillip and Mrs Linda Tindall."

And now that they are engaged, Mike will be accompanying Zara to Prince William's wedding.

Tindall, 32, gave Zara a solitaire diamond ring.  "I am delighted that Zara has agreed to marry me.  We are both very excited about the next stage of our lives together." 

Zara said she was "shocked" by Mike's proposal, but was "very happy to accept."  

The date of the wedding has not been announced.  Mike proposed last night at their Gloucestershire home.   The wedding is expected to take place in the summer or fall of 2011.

Michael James Tindall was born October 18, 1978 at Otley, Leeds, in West Yorkshire.  He is the son of Philip Tindall and Linda Shepherd.   Philip is a former rugby player for Otley.  He now works as a bank official.

Clarence House issued a statement on behalf of the Prince of Wales - Miss Phillip's uncle - the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Prince Harry.
It said: "Their royal highnesses are delighted with the news and look forward to conveying their best wishes to the couple."

This is the official photo:   Press Association

Monday, December 20, 2010

Washington Post - front page story

On Sunday - a nice surprise.

The Post does get it wrong when it says that Catherine will be Princess William because she is a commoner.  Even if she were Lady Catherine or HRH Princess Catherine of Lower Podunk, the style would remain the same because she is not a British princess by birth.

the death of Celia Gräfin von Bismarck

Celia Gräfin von Bismarck died on December 17, 2010 at Geneva, Switzerland. She was 39 years old and had suffered from cancer.   The former Celia Demaurex was born at Geneva on October 19, 1971. She married Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck 1997.  The civil marriage took place at Geneva on June 3.  Four days later, the couple were married in a religious wedding at the Cathedral of St. Pierre.  The marriage ended in divorce  in 2004.

The wedding photo was on the front of the card that the then newlyweds sent to me.

the latest on THE WEDDING GOWN

The name of the designer has not been revealed ... but the wedding gown is being made in Buckingham Palace, according to the Daily Telegraph:

Forthcoming royal marriages

December 20, 1878

The Chicago Daily Tribune reports on two forthcoming royal marriages.  The Duke of Cumberland, a great-grandson of George III, is to marry Princess Thyra of Denmark, sister of the Princess of Wales.  The official declaration of the engagement was made on November 20 at the castle of Fredensborg.  This was an "impressive ceremony."  

At 5:45 p.m., the Danish royal family entered one of the palace's large reception rooms, where several presentations took place.  Thirty minutes later, a "procession was formed and the company sat down to a magnificent banquet."  King Christian IX arose,  and announced, in French, the "betrothal of his beloved daughter, the Princess Thyra, and His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cumberland."  He asked all present to drink to the young couple's health and "to wish them every happiness and prosperity." The announcement was followed by the playing of "God Save the Queen."  

The Duke of Cumberland "expressed his gratitude to the King and Queen for having granted him the hand of the Princess."

The Duke is the son of the blind King Georg V of Hannover, who lost his throne to Prussia in 1866.  Thus,  the Duke is king in name only"  but he is "unlikely ever to regain his throne or his estates." 
The Prussian government was not represented at the betrothal ceremony.  Prussia's ambassador to Denmark "left Copenhagen rather abruptly" to avoid meeting the Duke of Cumberland.

The marriage of the Duke of Connaught with Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia will take place at St. George's Chapel on February 7. The wedding will be "performed with much state and with great festivities."  The groom's mother, Queen Victoria, is "expected to take a prominent part."  

Princess Louise Margaret, the daughter of Prince Friedrich Carl of Prussia, will be attended by eight bridesmaids, the daughters of two English dukes, two Irish Marquesses, and four Earls, two being Scotch and two English.  The dukes are Bedford and Marlborough, the Marquesses of Headfort and Conyngham, the Earls of Erroll,  Elgin,  Bradford, and Mount Edgecombe.

The Duke of Connaught is about to visit Berlin for the final time before his marriage.  He will stay with the Princess and her mother at their palace in Berlin. 

Irene learns about son's illness

December 20, 1898

Princess Henry of Prussia will learn when she arrives in Hong Kong that her eldest son, Prince Waldemar, "whom she was compelled to leave behind her at Kiel" has been critically ill with Diptheria.  His condition was so serious that Professor von Bergmann, a respected surgeon was summoned from Berlin to perform a tracheotomy.  The young prince is now out of danger, but, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy reports,  his mother cannot forget that her mother and a sister died of this disease.

The Princess was "forced sorely against her will" by her brother-in-law, Kaiser Wilhelm II, to "undertake the long and arduous trip to China for political purposes at the shortest possible notice."

Prince Waldemar "has always been particularly dear to his parents."  He is a "bright and clever boy," but frail, due to the "blood relationship between his parents," who are first cousins.

After hearing of the little boy's illness,  Princess Louis of Battenberg, Princess Henry's eldest sisters,  "hastened to his bedside."   Princess Louis, the mother of three small children, could not "bear the idea of her sister's boy" alone in the care of strangers, "no matter how devoted they were."

It has been said the Kaiser also wished to go to his nephew's bedside, but his physicians "would not allow him to leave Berlin."

Ferdinand wants to abdicate and name Carol as King

December 20, 1926

Former Crown Prince Carol of Roumania may soon return home "to receive the fatted calf in the shape of his country's throne," the Associated Press reports today.  He renounced his rights to the throne last January.  His father, King Ferdinand, "sick in body and tired of the task of wearing the crown, wishes to abdicate the throne," and be succeeded by his son, Carol. 

According to a "high authority," Ferdinand made this request at a "secret council meeting at Bucharest."

General Coanda was sent to Paris to speak with Carol "who is willing to comply with his father's wishes but under several conditions."

Ferdinand is reported to have told his Ministers:  "I am a sick old man.  I want to retire entirely from public life."  The secret council was attended by Queen Marie, Premier Averescu, Ion Bratiano, the "uncrowned king of Romania, General Coanda, and other leading Roumanian political figures.

"Whatever months or years I may have to live, and I understand the learned professors differ on that question," Ferdinand is reported to have said.  "I wish to devote to the care of my health and perhaps make the prophesies of the experts go wrong."

Carol remains at Neuilly, and "has not seized eagerly at this new invitation" to return to Roumania.  He has two conditions.  The first is that Ferdinand must accept a divorce between Carol and Helen, and she must leave the country before he returns.   And, second, Carol wants the present government "to be ousted" and a new government formed. He wants Professor Jorgan, leader of the opposition to former a new government.

Professor Jorgan has issued a statement declaring "that he would oppose Carol's return" unless he resumed a family life with Princess Helen and their son, Michael, the "present Heir Apparent."

"If Prince Carol wishes to come back to his wife and son and decide as an honest man to uphold the rights of his child, nobody should prevent him. But if he should attempt to make use of the army for some adventures liable to cause trouble in the country he would not find a greater adversary in all Rumania than myself.  Nobody has loved him more than I have."

The day before the Professor released his statement, he met with Queen Marie, who remains a force to be "reckoned with."  If Carol returns to Roumania, she will "retire into the background for the first time since her star shot across the Balkan sky."  It has been reported that she wants the succession to remain as it is, with Michael succeeding Ferdinand.  She also wants to have a place with the regency.   King Ferdinand, however, wants Carol to come home and succeed him.

It remains to be seen how the next Balkan act will be played.

Prince Christopher arrives in NYC

December 20, 1926

Prince Christopher Greece arrived today in  New York from Italy aboard Lloyd Sabaudo liner Conte Biancamano, reports the New York Times.   He was asked if his visit "had any connection" regarding the marital problems between his niece, Princess Xenia of Russia, and her husband, William B. Leeds, Jr.  He replied: "Oh, no!"
The Prince did refuse, however, to answer any political questions.  He was met at the dock by his sister-in-law, Mrs. Henderson Green.

Princess Albert and the question of precedence

December 20, 1900

The warm welcome that "poor little Princess Albert of Belgium" received when she arrived in Brussels as a bride three months ago has apparently dissipated, according to the Marquise de Fontentoy's dispatch.   At the first, the former Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria was adored by King Leopold and Queen Marie Henriette.  But "ere long there arose the trouble-some question of precedence," and, now a "full-fledged quarrel" had broken out between the King and Queen and their daughter, Princess Clementine, on one side, and on the other, Prince Albert and his parents, the Count and Countess of Flanders.

The Countess, who is married to King Leopold's only brother and first in line to the throne, ranks immediately after the Queen, but before Princess Clementine.   The Count and Countess and Prince Albert are insisting that Princess Albert "should follow immediately after the Countess of Flanders, and before Princess Clementine."

Although nothing official has been published, it is understood that Prince Albert will succeed his uncle, King Leopold, as the Count of Flanders "has decided to waive his own rights of succession owing to his many infirmities."  The Count is "stone deaf."

The King and Queen argue that Princess Clementine should "retain her place next to the Countess of Flanders and that Princess Albert should follow her"  as Clementine is the daughter of the reigning sovereign.  Princess Albert is the wife of the King's nephew, and, therefore, not as closely related to the King as Princess Clementine.

This has led to two "hostile camps" within the Belgian royal house.  It is now doubtful as to whether Princess Albert, the Countess of Flanders, and her two daughters, Princess Karl of Hohenzollern and the Duchess of Vendome, will attend King Leopold's annual New Year's reception at the royal palace.
The situation is similar to what Queen Victoria had to face after the marriage of her second son, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, to Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Alexander II.

The new Duchess of Edinburgh was furious that she -- the daughter of a Tsar -- would have to cede precedence to Victoria's daughters, Helena, married to a Prince of Schleswig-Holstein, and Louise, the wife of the heir to the Duke of Argyll. 

Victoria disagreed.  She declared that "save in the case of the Princess of Wales, the daughters-in-law of the sovereign must give way to the daughters, no matter whom the matter may have married."

Marie was furious.  She believed she should have ranked even ahead of the Princess of Wales.  It was only after her husband succeeded as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, did Marie, as the wife of a reigning sovereign, rank head of the Princess of Wales, the wife of the heir to the British throne.

Lord Nicholas Windsor says abortion is worse than Al-Qaeda

He calls abortion "the most single grievous moral deficit in contemporary life."

Here is the link to the original story.

  Lord Nicholas is not the first blood royal since Charles II to convert to Roman Catholicism.   Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha became a Roman Catholic some years after her marriage to Infante Alfonso of Borbon-Orleans.  Princess Beatrice, known as Baby Bee, was the youngest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and his wife, Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia, and thus a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Lord Nicholas, younger son of the Duke of Kent, is not a member of The Royal Family.  He does not carry out official engagements or invited to state dinners.  He has to work for a living although he married a very wealthy woman.
No one forces a woman to an abortion. It is a personal choice, a medical procedure that should be legal.  Governments  -- or younger sons of a royal duke -- should not be telling women what they or cannot do with their bodies. 
Lord Nicholas discusses only his desire to ban abortion. His essay makes no mention of encouraging couples to use birth control.   Abortion is not a form of birth control.  Abortions occur largely because the birth control has failed.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Catherine meets the family

Queen Elizabeth II hosted her annual family early Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace.  This is an annual event that has largely replaced the family gathering at Windsor.  This year more than 60 members of the family were present for the lunch.
This is a private family event.  The media are not invited inside the palace for a formal group photo. It is a time for the Queen and her family to spend a few hours together.   It is also a time to introduce new spouses, fiancees and babies to other members of the family.
Royal watchers and photographers were out in force to watch the arrivals and departures.
The guests included the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall; Prince William and his fiancee, Miss Middleton;  Prince Harry;  the Duke of York and his two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie; the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and Lord Severn;  the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Timothy Lawrence; Peter and a very pregnant Autumn Phillips;   Zara Phillips;  Viscount and Viscountess Linley and their two children, Charles and Margarita;  Lady Sarah Chatto and her husband, Daniel and their two sons, Arthur and Samuel;  the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Earl and Countess of Ulster, with their young children,  Lord Culloden and Lady Cosima Windsor; Lady Davina and Gary Lewis and their infant daughter, Senna;  Lady Rose and George Gilman and their infant daughter, Lyla;  the Duke and Duchess of Kent;  the Earl and Countess of St Andrews and two of their three children, Lord Downpatrick and Lady Amelia Windsor; Lady Helen and Tim Taylor and their four children, Columbus, Cassius, Eloise and Estella;  Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor and their two young sons, Albert and Leopold;  Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and their family; Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor and Lady Gabriella Windsor, and Princess Alexandra with her son James and his wife Julia and their two children,  Flora and Alexander Ogilvy.

Princess Margarita of Baden, the Duke of Edinburgh's niece,  also attended.  The Princess, who is the former wife of Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia, remains close the Duke of Edinburgh.   Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor, the elder elder daughter of the Earl and Countess of St. Andrews, appears to have been absent -- and most likely not on the guest list,  Princess Alexandra's daughter, Marina Mowatt and her two children, Zenouska and Christian.

Apart from the Trooping the Colour, this is the only time when the Queen can truly socialize with her extended family.  It was also the first time that Catherine Middleton met  most of the rest of the royal family. She was not the only newbee, however.  This was also the first Christmas luncheon for Lady Frederick Windsor.    Most of the guests at the luncheon will probably receive invitations to Prince William's wedding.

Princess Alice's funeral

December 17, 1878

The Prince of Wales, Prince Leopold and Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein have left London for Darmstadt to attend the funeral of the Prince of Wales' sister, the Grand Duchess of Hesse and By Rhine.

A royal engagement in Spain

December 17, 1900

Spanish Premier Gen. Azcarraga, in full uniform, stood before the Chamber of Deputies with an official announcement from the Spanish court.  The Princess of Asturias is to marry Prince Carlo, second son of the Count of Caserta.  The Princess is the eldest sister of King Alfonso XIII.  She will remain as Princess of Asturias until the birth the King's first child. 
Although former premier Sagasta is against the marriage,  the New York Times reports that "a committee drawing up a reply to the message, unanimously favoring the alliance."   Although Sagasta is [personally devoted to the Queen Regent and to the "Alfonsist branch of the Bourbons," he could not, in all conscience, give approval in the Cortes to  marriage between the Heiress Presumptive to the Spanish throne "to a Neapolitan Bourbon," son of the Count of Caserta who served as Chief of Staff to the Pretender during the last civil war, when "Don Carlos was confronted by Alfonso XII," father of the present King Alfonso and the Princess.

Italy delighted, Queen Elena is pregnant

December 17, 1900

The Italian newspaper Messagero "asserts" that King Victor Emanuele of Italy has informed Premier Saracco that the Queen "will be come a mother about six months hence," reports the New York Times. 
Just over four years ago,  many hoped that the then Prince of Naples would marry one of "English princesses, but he chose as his wife  the very attractive Princess Elena of Montenegro. 
However, "children have as yet resulted from the union,"  yet the couple remain very popular, "especially among the lower classes."
Victor Emanuele succeeded to the throne on July 29 following the assassination of his father, King Umberto.
An announcement of an heir has been long awaited.  As Messagero is not "one of the semi-official papers," it is not yet known if their dispatch is accurate.

Royal Marriages Act

The final meeting of 2010 for the Privy Council was held on Wednesday, December 15.   Prince William's marriage to Catherine Middleton was not on the agenda for this meeting, as many expected.  The next meeting will be sometime in January 2011.

Phillips-Wilson nuptials

Today's Daily Telegraph includes an engagement announcement for Mr. Edward P.N. Phillips and Miss Marina F.E. Wilson.  Edward Phillips is the son of the late Nicholas Phillips and Countess Maria-Lucie Czerin.

Nicholas Phillips inherited Luton Hoo, a stately home in Bedfordshire, in 1977 after the death of his grandfather, Sir Harald Wernher, Bt.   He wanted to develop a business park, Capability Green in the 1980s, and, unfortunately, amassed major debt, which was exacerbated by the property crash in the mid-80s. He committed suicide on March 1, 1991.  Nicholas Phillips was 43 years old.  His widow, Lucie,  tried to maintain Luton Hoo, which was filled with priceless antiques, including a large Faberge collection.  Nicholas's grandmother, Lady Zia Wernher, was the elder daughter of Grand Duke Michael of Russia and Countess Sophie Torby.  She and the executors of the estate had struggled to pay off the £23 million debts left by Nicholas.  She sold some of the family's artwork, and Luton Hoo was also rented out for concerts and film locations, most notably for Four Weddings and a Funeral and for a BBC version of Rebecca -- the house became Manderley.

In September 1997,  Luton Hoo was put on the market for £25 million.  The house was in a dilapidated condition.  Elite Hotels bought the estate in 1999 with plans to turn the house into a grand hotel.   The Russian Orthodox Church has been deconsecrated and is now used for meetings.

Edward's first cousin, Lady Edwina Grosvenor, was married several weeks ago to Dan Snow.

I visited Luton Hoo some years ago.  A lovely home to visit, and I loved all the family photographs on display in what was then the tea room.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Crown Prince's marriage postponed

December 16, 1880

The New York Times has received a dispatch from Pest: "The marriage of Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria with Princess Stephanie of Belgium, which was fixed for February, has been postponed until warmer weather out of consideration for the state of the bride's health."

Emperor Franz Josef and Crown Prince Rudolph have declined an offer from the city of Vienna to host a pre-wedding ball at the Opera House.  They have requested that the money "intended to be appropriated for that entertainment shall be given to the poor of Vienna."   Franz Josef and his son will also offer "liberal contributions themselves for the same purpose."

Princess Christopher will head Greek society

December 16, 1920

The Evening News, a London newspaper, has published a dispatch from Athens, stating that Princess Christopher of Greece, the wealthy American-born wife of Prince Christopher, will take her place at the head of Greek society, now that King Constantine is returning to his throne.
The dispatch, which was also published in the New York Times states:  "She drew up an ambitious scheme for reimbursing the Greek exchequer for the loss it was threatened with when the Allies first issued the warning that they would withdraw their advances.  It contemplated the conversion of Greece into a super-Monte Carlo, with casinos and hotels on a scale hitherto undreamed of.  With the country's climate and her influence in the United States she believed she could attract to Greece the American millionaires who now Winter on the Riviera.
"Princess Christopher, as she now is, has for some time been preparing for her triumphal entry into Greece and has ordered an elaborate trousseau of purple and white from Paris."

Princess Christopher visits Alexander's widow

December 16, 1920

Mme. Aspasia Manos, the widow of King Alexander I of the Hellenes, may see her circumstances change due to a Greek court, which will grant probate of the will of her late husband. The will recognizes the marriage and her unborn child as heir.  The King's estate, which includes money and valuables, is worth in the range of $175,000.
Mme. Manos has been living in "straitened circumstances" since her husband's death.  She receives a small income of 300 drachmas per month, which she gave to her seriously ill grandfather.  She lives "in seclusion," temporarily residing in the former residence of the Crown Prince.
Her "sorrow has softened the hostility of the royal family toward the morganatic union," and several members of the returning royal exiles "have called on her."  Princess Christopher has "shown special solicitude for her."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The death of Princess Alice

December 15, 1878

It was on Friday morning when the doctors "recognized the condition" of Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse and by Rhine "was hopeless," and sent "secret messages to that effect to England," reports the New York Times.  The Grand Duchess showed signs of suffocation at about 1 a.m., on Saturday on morning, but these symptoms subsided shortly afterward.  Her husband, Grand Duke Ludwig IV, was "induced to leave the room,", but his mother, Princess Elisabeth, remained, "ministering to the Princess until the last."
The Grand Ducal Court will go into mourning for twelve weeks. 

Princess Thyra of Denmark's marriage to the Duke of Cumberland will take place on December 21, "as originally intended," as the Grand Duchess' funeral has been set for December 18.

Princess Henry has arrived in China

December 15, 1898

Princess Henry of Prussia arrived today in Hong Kong, reports the New York Times. She will spent Christmas in Hong Kong with her husband, Prince Henry, younger brother of the German Emperor.  In February, she will travel to Kiao-Chau.  The Princess is the former Princess Irene of Hesse and By Rhine. Her brother is the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine.

Grand Duchess Marie of Russia dead at 68


December 15, 1958

Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna of Russia "passed away quietly" in Constance on Saturday, according to a cablegram received today by her secretary, Mrs. Sidney Tobias, reports the New York Times.  The Grand Duchess was 68 years old.   She was the daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia and Princess Alexandra of Greece.   Nicholas II was her first cousin.

She was two years old when her mother after giving her to her younger brother, Grand Duke Dimitri.  She suffered another tragedy when she was 12.  Her father, Grand Duke Paul, was exiled by Nicholas II after contracting a morganatic marriage with Olga Pistolkors.  Marie and her younger brother were raised by their uncle, Grand Duke Serge, Governor-General of Moscow until he was assassinated in 1905, and "their austere aunt," Elisabeth, whose younger sister Alexandra was Nicholas II's wife.

It was Grand Duchess Elisabeth who arranged for Marie to become engaged, "on a few minutes acquaintance," to Prince Wilhelm of Sweden.  Although most of Marie's family were not in favor of the marriage, and Marie herself, disliked the young man, they were married in early 1908.    

The Times reports that the wedding ceremonies "were carried out with the traditional splendour and with the Grand Duchess so heavily weighted by her dress that she was unable to rise from her knees without help."

A year later, Marie gave birth to the couple's only child, Prince Lennart. But even motherhood could not relieve "the boredom of her life" in Sweden. She visited her family often and even traveled for six months to the Far East, but nothing could save her marriage.  The marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1914.   She returned to her homeland to begin work as a nurse in a hospital. 

Her son remained in Sweden with his father.

Grand Duchess Marie became "more and more convinced of the coming collapse of the Imperial regime."   She herself felt the sting of revolution when in the spring of 1917, a "wounded soldier whose hand she had been bandaging jumped up and struck her hard on the chest."

She also fell in love for the first time.  She resumed a friendship with Prince Serge Poutiatin, whose father was the commander of the palaces at Tsarkoe-Selo.  They were married at Pavlovsk on September 19, 1917.    Ten months later, Marie gave birth to a son, Roman, whose baptism on July 18 took place the same day that Marie's younger half brother, Prince Vladimir Paley, had been murdered by the Bolsheviks, along with Marie's former guardian, Grand Duchess Elisabeth. 

The increasing chaos and the growing strength of the Bolsheviks made it impossible for Marie and her family to remain in Russia.  Marie's younger brother, Grand Duke Dimitri, was "associated with Prince Yusupov," in whose house Rasputin was murdered.  Grand Duke Paul attended his grandson's baptism.  At the end of July, he was arrested.

In October 1918, Marie "fled across the border into Roumania," where she found sanctuary with her first cousin, Queen Marie.  Roman was left behind with his paternal grandparents.  Some months later, the Grand Duchess received word that the infant died from an intestinal order.   Her married to Prince Poutian ended in divorce in 1923.

Marie was "warmly welcomed" to the United States in 1926  largely due to her "her royal descent, her connections with the events that had shaken Russia in 1917-18."  She returned to America in the 1930s, where she "gained more prominence" with the publication of two volumes of memoirs, Education of a Princess and A Princess in Exile.

Marie's younger brother, Grand Duke Dimitri, was "associated with Prince Yusupov," in whose house Rasputin was murdered.

 In October 1918, Marie "fled across the border into Roumania," where she found sanctuary with her first cousin, Queen Marie.   She lived for some years in New York City, where she worked as the director of fashions at Bergdorf & Goodman.

She is survived by her son,  Count Lennart, who was with his mother during her final illness.  She will be buried in the family vault at his estate on Mainau, in Germany.

Wladimir leaves London for Berlin

December 15, 1938

Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia left London for Paris today, where he will travel to Berlin.  He plans to spend Christmas with his sister, Grand Duchess Kira and her husband, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia.  He possibly might see Reichsführer Hitler.
The Grand Duke's London friends "declined to take seriously published reports that he might have a place in Hitler's ambitions to set up a Ukrainian state," reports the Associated Press.  His spokesman said he " 'might or might not' make a courtesy call on Hitler" during his time in Berlin.  Wladimir is expected to spend four days at the home of Prince Louis Ferdinand.
The Grand Duke became head of the Imperial House of Russia on the death of his father, Grand Duke Kirill, last October.

Zog to marry Bulgarian princess?

December 15, 1930

According to a special cable to the New York Times, Bulgaria's Minister at Rome, General Vikoff, "plans to cement Italy's Balkan bloc by a second marriage," that of Princess Eudoxia of Bulgaria to King Zog of Albania.  The report was published in Politika, a Belgrade newspaper.
Diplomats do not credit this report as King Zog "is a Mohammedan," and Princess Eudoxia,  sister of King Boris II of Bulgaria, is Roman Catholic. 

German princes marries Princess Sophie of Greece

December 15, 1930

Prince Christoph of Hesse, nephew of the former German Kaiser, was married today at Kronberg to Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, the youngest daughter of Prince and Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, reports the Associated Press. The groom's eldest brother, Philipp, is married to Princess Mafalda of Italy,

Former Kaiser is ill

December 15, 1926

Former Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was confined to bed today with "what was described as an 'influenza cold,'" according to an Associated Press report.
Wilhelm three weeks ago "suffered from an attack of rheumatism, following a severe cold which he contracted while tramping about the grounds of Doorn House."   The former Kaiser has lived in the Netherlands since abdication in 1918.
He was in bed for several days.  His eldest son, the former Crown Prince Wilhelm, came from Germany to visit him.
Wilhelm will celebrate his 68th birthday on January 27.

A new grandson for the Kaiser

December 15, 1916

Princess Joachim of Prussia, daughter-in-law of Kaiser Wilhelm II, gave birth to a son today at 4:38 a.m, in Berlin, according to a dispatch sent from Berlin via London to the New York Times. 
The new prince is the Kaiser's tenth grandchild, and the "fourth to be born since the beginning of the war."
Prince Joachim is the Kaiser's youngest son.  He married Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt on March 11 of this year.

What British royalty costs

Embed from Getty Images 

 December 15, 1900

From Chambers' Journal (and republished in the New York Times)

The Prince of Wales receives £40,000 a year, "an inadequate sum considering the public duties delegated to him" due to the "practical withdrawal" of Queen Victoria from public life.  This is supplemented by an annuity of £10,000 for the Princess of Wales.  Another annuity of £36,000 is divided among the Prince of Wales' children.  His elder sister, the Princess Royal, now the Dowager German Empress, still receives an annual allowance of £8,000.  
Parliament voted to give the late Duke of Edinburgh £25,000 a year when he reached his majority.  When he succeeded to the Dukedom of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, "one of the wealthiest inheritances in Europe," some in Parliament questioned the need to continue a British annuity "to one who had practically become a foreign Prince." 
Protests became "so threatening that there was every prospect of the Government being defeated," that a compromise was needed.  The Duke of Edinburgh announced that he would accept £10,000 a year, which was paid up until his death in August.

The Duke of Connaught "enjoys his full annuity of £25,000," as well as his army pay.  The Duke of Cambridge also received payment from the army as well as £12,000  annuity.

Queen Victoria's three daughters and the Duchess of Albany each receive pensions of £6,000.

These payments total £168,000, which is added to the £385,000 of the Civil List provided to Queen Victoria, which means the British royal family receives just over half a million pounds per year.
Then, as now, the annuities largely paid for the royals' staff.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Interview with Princess Marie Louise of Prussia: Princesses also go to the supermarket

Princess Marie Louise of Prussia, the wife of Count Rudolf von Schonburg-Glauchau,  recently interviewed by a local Spanish paper, Sur.

Princess Marie Louise is  described as "tall and elegant."  She resembles her cousin, Queen Sofia of Spain.  Home is Marbella Spain, where the Princess has lived for the past 40 years, as her husband, Count Rudi  plays a major role at the Marbella Club,  a "global benchmark of luxury" designed by the late Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. 
The Princess is the great-granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II.  "He had six sons and one daughter.  The only daughter was the grandmother of Queen Sofia of Spain.  My grandfather, Prince Adalbert, was the third son of Wilhelm.  The Queen's grandmother and my grandfather were sister and brothers.   So we are cousins.  Through my father.  My mother was a Countess Hoyos.  I have some Spanish bloood through the Hoyos line."
She had heard of Marbella before her marriage, but she believed that the people in Marbella were not serious, and their lives were easy.  As in James Michener's book, Children of Torremolinos. 
"I had never thought of coming here," the Princess said. 
It was in Somalia where Marie Louise first met her future husband.  She was working as a children's nurse.  Rudolf's older brother had written Marie Louise a letter, asking if she could come out to Somalia for three months to help his wife, who was then expecting her fourth child. 
The Princess agreed.  She flew out to the country to start her new position. 
[Rudi's older brother, Count Joachim married Countess Beatrix  Széchényi de Sárvár et Felsövidék in 1957.   They were the parents of Countess Maria-Felicitas, known as Maya, who married Friedrich Christian Flick, Countess Mariae-Gloria, now the widow of Johannes Prince of Thurn und Taxis, Count Carl-Alban, who renounced his rights of succession when he married Juliet Fowler in 1995; and the present head of the family, Alexander, who was born in Mogadishu in 1969.  Alexander is married to Princess Irina of Hesse, who is a descendant of Kaiser Wilhelm II's youngest sister, Margarete. Joachim and Beatrix were divorced in 1986.]]
Count Rudolf, known as Rudi, was on safari in Kenya with the Marbella Club.  He traveled to Somalia to visit his brother.  Marie Louise was staying in the family's only guest room, so she was asked to leave in order to make room for Rudi. 
"I was quite furious because I really liked Somalia, and I wanted to stay longer.  We met at the airport,   I got on the plane crying."
Rudi's grandmother and my great-grandmothers were sisters.   Marie Louise knew from the beginning that Rudi, 14 years her senior, was the man for her.   After their meeting in Somalia, Rudi became interested in the Prussian princess.  She fell in love.  He asked her to marry him, and she agreed.   Prince Alfonso organized a large engagement party at the Marbella Club that lasted a week.
"It was fantastic," the princess said.
After the wedding, which took place at Schloss Donaueschingen,  the Princess and her husband returned to Marbella to live.  Count Rudi continued working at the Marbella Club.  Marie Louise started to learn Spanish, but she realized she "needed something more." She went to see the local priest and Marbella's mayor to see if they could help arrange something.  She wanted to work with children, but the priest told her to focus on her husband, and her life in Marbella.
Eventually, Princess Marie Louise became involved with UNICEF, but after the births of her daughter, Sophie, and son, Friedrich, she spent more time with her family.  She also got involved helping those who suffer from AIDS.
AIDS is a bad lottery that touches many, she said.  "Yes.  Because we do not always know what a husband does when he travels on business.  You can have a night of fun, go home, and then spread the disease.  Or a woman does something she should have done, and then comes home and gives the disease to her husband.  The disease also affects drug addicts and homosexuals.  Today, the disease is spread by sex.  I suggest always, and everyone laughs, abstinence.  And if someone wants to sin, use a condom."
She believes in work.  "I could not spend my time here playing golf, drinking cocktail after cocktail. Or spend the summer under a palm tree.  That's not my life.  My life is to help.
"People think that a princess lives differently or thinks differently.  But we have the same problems, we go to the supermarket and try not to spend too much money on clothes.  We live like everyone else.
"Yes, on one hand, life is easier, but on the other it is more complicated.  For one thing, when you work and you have a degree you earn more than others.  I think this is more important than my name.  But there also many obligations.  Here at the Marbella Club, I have to be with my husband when meeting the important people."
The princess was asked about commoners who have married into royal families, including the Princess of Asturias.   "I think the princesses are more afraid because they know what it means to be queens.  The others do not, they still have the illusion of being princesses and queens.  The princesses know what it means and they do not want that life.  They know that there will be little time for themselves."

She added that Palace life "is normal.  But when you leave the palace, life is very rigid.  The press is around every corner.  There is very little privacy.  It is very hard, very hard."
Marie Louise also pointed out that holidays in Marbella are always as "fun in the gossip magazines."  
"There are fewer holidays," she said.   "There are some that are beneficial and where you see good people.  Unfortunately, nowadays you do not get anything for free.  You should always give something to others who give to you.  One hand washes the other.  Then we have to organize these parties to encourage people to come, that they have a good time and return the next year.  It is a lot of work for us to organize them.  We live on that money.  The State does not give us anything, and the City, recently."
She believes it is important to support charity.  The Marbella shops and boutiques sell clothes and employ people to selll those dresses.  With the Red Cross, I said that the rich can enjoy themselves in the name of a charity.   If a gala is money, why not buy a nice dress, go to the hairdresser and get a gem."
When Princess Marie Louise was a child, she dreamed of "marrying someone who had a house in the country."
She added: "I love nature. And my father, he liked hunting. He always said to me that he wanted me to marry someone with a great forest so I can go hunting.  In the end it was all wrong." 
So there are no Princes Charming?
"No, I'm sure. None."

The Princess is the president of Concordia Marbella , the Anti-AIDS Association. The annual fundraising gala is a must for the rich who vacation at Marbella's Mile.

I used a translation service to translate the article.  As online translators are not perfect, I did have to fiddle a bit with the wording, but I believe I was able to get the gist of the article.

Princess Alice is dead

December 14, 1878

The Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine -- Princess Alice of the United Kingdom '' died at 7:30 this morning of diphtheria, reports the New York Times.  She was in a "state of unconsciousness" from 2:30 a.m., until the "time of her death."

A telegram was received at Marlborough House at 8:25 a.m., which read "The Grand Duchess quietly expired at half 7 this morning."

Princess Alice Maud Mary was the third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria and the late Prince Albert, the Prince Consort.  She was born on April 25, 1843.  She married Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, on July 1, 1862, less than seven months after the death of the Prince Consort.

The wedding was "solemnized privately at Osborne, and was probably the least ostentatious royal marriage" in England in many years. 

 Queen Victoria, then "suffering in her recent severe affliction, attended in deep mourning, and in the most private manner.  The Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, Prince Arthur, Prince Leopold, Lord Palmerston, Earl Russell, Earl Derby, Earl Clarendon, the Duke de Nemours, and several Cabinet ministers were the only other wedding guests. 
Princess Alice was given away by her paternal uncle, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the wedding took place at an "altar erected in the drawing room."  All of the guests, apart from the bride, were "attired in mourning, and the entire ceremony was devoid of display or ostentation."
Despite the somber settings, the "alliance was well received."

Princess Alice was a "favorite, owing to her gentle and amiable disposition."   She and her husband had seven children, five of whom survive:  Victoria, born in 1863; Elisabeth, in 1864; Irene, in 1866; Ernst Ludwig, in 1868; Friedrich Wilhelm, in 1870; Alix, in 1872, and Marie, in 1874.

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm suffered from hemophilia and died in 1874 from injuries sustained in a fall from a window.  One month ago, on November 16, four-year-old Princess Marie died from diphtheria.
In a remarkable coincidence,  the Princess' father, Prince Albert died on December 14, 1861.

The blinds have been drawn at Buckingham palace, St. James's Palace, and Marlborough House.  Dean Stanley left London last night to "spend the anniversary of the Prince Consort's death." He remains at Windsor, although no memorial service was held.  The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Leopold and Princess Beatrice are also at Windsor with Queen Victoria.

The Queen's Ministers and her Government have sent expressions of sympathy.   The flag at Windsor Castle is at half-mast, according to a telegram received in London.  The bells are tolling at the Royal Chapel and at Eton College, and "nearly all the houses, public and private, in the royal borough, are closed."

In Copenhagen, King Christian X ordered that the marriage of his youngest daughter, Princess Thyra, to the Duke of Cumberland, be postponed until after Princess Alice's funeral.   Princess Thyra is the youngest sister of the Princess of Wales.

just Chris

December 14, 1960

Count Christian Castenskiold, one of several European nobles who have become American citizens, is featured in today's Los Angeles Times. 
The Count, who was named for Christian IX of Denmark, is a cousin of King Frederik IX of Denmark and King Olav of Norway.  Six months after he arrived on an immigration visa in 1951, he received a "very democratic summons from Uncle Sam, inviting him to join the army."
Christian spent 24 months in the service, "much of the time as a corporal driving a jeep in Stuttgart."  This was a "far cry" from his time in the second World War, where he served as a lieutenant in the Danish Royal Guard. 
But the "blond handsome Chris"  likes the contrast, just as he "likes his job" as the assistant to the western regional manager of Scandinavian Airlines Systems.  He is fluent in Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German and English. 
The family's estate in Jutland was built in 1594, and Count Christian Ludvig Gustav Fritz Castenskiold could return home and "resume the traditions and automatic position of leadership that were his birthright some 30 years ago."
Chris is the son of Princess Dagmar of Denmark and Count Jurgen Castenskiold.  He was born in 1926.   In 1952, he married Cecily Abbots, the daughter of a British father and a Danish mother in New York City.   They live in Sherman Oaks, California, where Chris is "just another suburbanite, commuting from his home to his office in Beverly Hills like many another young husband."

The names for the new baby are....

December 14, 1948

Buckingham Palace tonight announced the names of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh's son, four weeks and two days after his birth.
The new baby's full title is HRH Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh.  He will "known as Prince Charles of Edinburgh," reports the New York Times.
The first name "comes as a surprise," but was a personal choice for Elizabeth and her husband.  The new little prince is second in line to the throne. He will be baptised tomorrow at Buckingham Palace.

Wladimir wants Hitler to restore throne

December 14, 1938

Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia will go to Berlin on Sunday.  The New York Times reports that Wladimir, who calls himself Czar Wladimir II, will negotiate with Hitler "on the future status of the Ukraine, which Hitler covets.  The German dictator wants to establish a Nazi state in the Ukraine, which will be carved out of Ruthenia, the easternmost province in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Roumania and soviet Russia.
The leaders of the Paris-based White Russian movement "are convinced" that Hitler will agree to have the Grand Duke "proclaimed as emperor of 'all the Russians' on two conditions."
The first condition is that Wladimir's brother-in-law, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, grandson of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, and husband of Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, will be named as Regent for the 21-year-old Grand Duke until he comes of age.  The second condition will require that a loyal pro-German Cossack hetmen be "appointed for the Ukraine."
Russian monarchists have "received word" that the Germans will be action against the Ukraine in March, and by June, Germany plans to make a "protected leadership of the Ukraine" as a reality. 
French "observers are convinced" that Hitler "is counting on the cooperation of the Ukrainian church" to build his Ukrainian empire.
Members of the White Russia community will be in Paris to attending 'sending off' party for Wladimir.
Former officers of the imperial guard are required to attend "so as to convey the impression to Hitler that all White Russians in France" stand with Wladimir as he heads to Berlin.

Constantine leaves for Athens

December 14, 1920

King Constantine of the Hellenes and his entourage left their hotel in Lucerne to begin the journey to Athens, according to the New York Times.  The king's "joy in his departure was obvious and natural," but his seven-year-old daughter,  Princess Katherine "was very reluctant to leave the waters and her other friends on the staff of the hotel
A curious crowd gathered outside the train station, where the king's three carriages were kept at a separate platform.  His eldest daughter, Princess Helen, was seen carrying an English magazine.   Baskets of fruit were brought aboard the train.

The Associated press reports that King Constantine and Queen Sophie and other members of the royal family left for Athens "without ceremony."  They were cheered at the railroad station "by a great crowd."  Because the King does not have a passport, he was given a special document from the Swiss Government to allow him to cross the border into Italy.  
Constantine is expected to reach Venice on Wednesday.   He and his family "remained in seclusion" on the train.  A Greek cruiser will be waiting in Venice to bring the Royal family back to Greece, where Constantine will be restored to the throne.

Victor Napoleon a grandfather?

December 14,1910

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today on the "unfortunate coincidence" that has "excited a considerable amount at various courts in Europe, and more especially in Europe. It appears that Prince Victor Napoleon became a grandfather on the same day he married Princess Clementine of Belgium.
The prince has spent the last twenty four years in exile in Belgium, and has had "several feminine entanglements. The "most serious of these entanglements" was the prince's relationship with Mme. Bauclaire, by whom he has two daughters and two sons.
He has never contracted a morganatic alliance with Mme. Bauclaire, contrary to "what has been alleged." In fact, no marriage ceremony - religious or civil - took place between the prince and his mistress.

{note: some sources refer to the woman as Baroness Beauclerc.]

The King's Speech - Golden Globe nominations

The Golden Globe Nominations were announced this morning. 

The King's Speech received seven nominations, including Colin Firth (Best Actor), Helena Bonham Carter (Best Supporting Actress) Geoffrey Rush (Best Supporting Actor), and Best Picture (Drama).)

I doubt the Golden Globe folks know that today is the 115th anniversary of the birth of HH Prince Albert (Frederick Arthur George of York (in 1898, Queen Victoria issued a letters patent that extended the HRH to the children of Prince of Wales' only surviving son).    In 1920, King George V created his second son as Duke of York.  Following the abdication of Edward VIII on December 11, 1936,  the Duke of York succeeded as George VI.

The King's Speech has not been released nationally ... not even in Washington D.C.  Perhaps this Friday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

a new interview with Lady Edwina Grosvenor and Dan Snow

From Lady Edwina's hometown paper, the Chester Chronicle

Death of Princess Marie of Greece

December 13, 1940

Princess Marie of Greece, sister of the late King Constantine of Greece, died today in Athens.  She was 64 years old.  The cause of death was a heart attack, according to the Associated Press.

The princess was born in Athens on February 20, 1876.  She was the younger daughter of King Constantine and Queen Olga.  In 1900, in an Orthodox ceremony on Corfu, the Princess married her cousin, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia.  When the first world war broke out, then Grand Duchess Marie and the couple's two daughters, Princess Xenia and Princess Nina were in England and were unable to return to Russia.   Grand Duke George was shot by the Bolsheviks in January 1919.

Three years later,  she married a retired Greek admiral Pericles Joannides.
She was the aunt of King George II of the Hellenes and the Duchess of Kent.   Princess Marie is survived by her daughters, Princess Xenia, the former wife of William B. Leeds Jr., and Princess Nina, the wife of Prince Paul Chavchavadze, and two grandchildren, Nancy Leeds, and Prince David Chavchavadze.
William Leeds' mother was married to Princess Marie's brother, Prince Christopher, who died in Athens in January.

For more information on the life of Princess Marie of Greece: