Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding coverage

I got up at 3 a.m, to watch the Royal Wedding coverage on BBC America, which was taking the BBC 1 feed.

Although the coverage was devoid of commercials, I have to say I was disappointed by the coverage. It was BBC cameras in the Abbey, so everyone got the same feeds.  Lead anchor Huw Edwards was competent, but not inspiring, and the other reporters in the field (outside the Abbey or in Trafalgar Square) were all right with the exception of Fearne Cotton and Alex Jones.  William acknowledged the Americans joining in with BBC America, which I thought nice.  But he and the others covering the wedding could have done a lot better.  There were not that many celebrities at the wedding, but did we really have to see a dozen shots of the Beckmans or Elton John and his partner.  The BBC largely ignored the British and foreign royals, although Williams identified Lalla Salma of Morocco as Princess Lalla Salma of Thailand.    Actually Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand was in front of Morocco's consort.

I think viewers would have enjoyed knowing that King Michael of Roumania, who celebrates his 90th birthday in October, attended the weddings of Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales.  Three generations.  Or that Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia's is the Queen godson and he was baptised at the Abbey.  No attempt to explain why the Crown and Crown Princess of Greece was accompanied by only one of their children, Prince Konstantine-Alexios.  Most people would not have known that the young prince is William's godson.  The coverage seemed stilted, oh yea, a royal wedding, we have do to this.  But I do not think the BBC was able to harness the emotion to capture the pomp, the circumstance, and the panoply.  It seemed contrived and stilted. 

I did set the DVR for NBC's coverage.  NBC treated the Royal Wedding as a news event.  The Today Show will celebrate its 60th year on the air in early 2012.  The program is under the auspices of the news division, and is a combination of heavy news and fluff.  The program's producers and anchors largely treated the wedding (weeks in advance as a major event).  Meredith Viera spent a few days in London several weeks ago for pre-wedding coverage. One of her reports was a tour of the Abbey by the Dean of Westminster. 

All of the US networks hired British experts.  NBC had the Daily Express's Camila Tominey, along with historian Andrew Roberts, The Daily Telegraph's Celia Walden and Martin Bashir, among others.  I watched NBC's coverage today.  I was not disappointed. No one is perfect, but on balance, NBC largely got it right. There were fun pieces, usually centered around hats, but the wedding was treated as a major NEWS event.  Camilla and Andrew were more than talking hats, they offered good background information - and The Today Show's producers did their homework.   A week or so before the wedding, Meredith showed the Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley, who covered the Prince of Wales' wedding in 1981.  Brokaw left the program a year or so later to become the anchor of the NBC Evening News.

The current NBC Evening News anchor Brian Williams was in London to be a part of the coverage, but returned to the US to head to Alabama after the horrendous tornadoes.  Lester Holt, who anchors the Today Show on the weekend and the Evening News,  also returned to home for the same reason.

Royal watchers on this side of the Pond wanted to watch BBC America because there would be no commercials.  NBC had limited commercials in the first hour of coverage, and then nothing until after the wedding was over.  No voice overs, no commentary during the service with one exception:  the anchors and their British experts discussed the ceremony while the register was being signed. 

I was very impressed with Tominey, but Andrew Robarts needs a crash course in royal history.  He said the royal family did not use the balcony until after World War II, and then changed to the 1930s ... well, the balcony was used in the 1920s, certainly after the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York in 1923 and again when they returned from their tour of Australia.  Roberts also misidentified the Duchess of Kent, calling her the Duchess of Gloucester, but Camilla quickly corrected him.

When he was asked about Beckham's medal,  Roberts said he had an OBE, Order of the British Empire.  The O stands for Officer of the Order of the British Empire. 

The two British experts also made a rather huge gaffe as Princes William and Harry walked toward the aisle.  The two princes stopped in front of a group of people to say hello.  Roberts stated that they were talking to the Middletons, which made no sense at all as Catherine's mother had not yet left the Goring Hotel, and Catherine's father was still at the hotel with his daughter.   Neither British commentator recognized that William was talking with his Aunt Sarah and several cousins, while Harry chatted with Aunt Jane and acknowledged Uncle Charles, as in the Spencer family. [I found it amusing that none of the British commentators recognized the Spencers, but perhaps it is not all that unusual.  Some years ago, I was covering Queen Sonja's visit to Washington, D.C., for Leif Erikson Day.  A young Secret Service agent was not allowing an older distingiushed gentleman to pass the barrier and enter the VIP area. I looked at the agent, and said -- that's former Vice President Walter Mondale -- who is Norwegian-American -- and was to take part in the ceremony. The gate opened and Vice President Mondale was able to get to his seat before the queen arrived.]

 No one, the BBC included, noted that William walked right by Lord Spencer and did not say a word to him.  Harry's off-again-on-again girlfriend, Chelsy Davys was seated several rows behind the Spencer siblings.  It is a matter of fact that the relationship between Lord Spencer and his royal nephews is cool and distant.  The two princes are close to their maternal aunts.  [Prince William and Prince Harry are also not close to Aunt Anne.]     It is no coincidence that none of William's maternal family had a role in the wedding.

Diana's three siblings and their children were invited to the evening dinner-dance, which was limited to close (as in genealogical) family and friends.  The Duchess of Cambridge is not close to her Uncle Gary, her mother's brother, yet he was invited to the intimate dinner dance, hosted by the Prince of Wales.

Queen Elizabeth's four children live largely separate lives, and rarely socialize together, apart from major events, such as a wedding.   The baptism of the Princess Royal's first grandchild -- and the Queen's first great-grandchild -- was not reported in the media until an amateur photographer snapped a photograph of the Phillips family coming out of the church in Avening. It appears that Anne's three brothers or their families were invited to Savannah's baptism.   Peter Phillips' decision to sell his wedding to Hello appears to have left a bad taste in the mouths of other members of the Royal Family.  I expected that Savannah's baptism would have taken place not long before William's wedding, just as Zara's baptism took place a few weeks before the Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer.  

Peter Phillips and Prince William were touted to be close friends, so it would not have been a surprise to see Prince William as one of Savannah's godparents.  But this is apparently not the case.  The names of the godparents have not been made public.
Peter Alexander had a good vantage point at the end, as a part of the surging crowd toward Buckingham Palace.  After the commentary returned, Meredith told viewers that Camilla and Andrew and other British people in the NBC booth all sang "Jerusalem," and Matt noted that both Camilla and Meredith were moved to tears by the service.  Matt also noted how inspiring the service and atmosphere turned out to be.  He did not think that the day would be such an emotional one. 

The British press was full of cynicism prior to the wedding.  No real interest, blah blah.  More than one million people lined the streets in London.  Twenty four million people watched it on television in the United Kingdom.   Two billion watched it around the world, including the astronauts on the International Space Station.  Earlier the astronauts sent a message to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.   No other monarchy gets that sort of attention.

It also should be noted that commentary is not for those who know what's going on, but for those who don't.  Most people, including the Brits, were not interested in knowing the foreign royals.    This was the wedding of the second in line to the British throne.  We were all guests at the wedding.   The commentary has to reflect the overall viewership, and most are not going to care about intricacies of how Kate is titled.

NBC deserves kudos for its coverage.  There was reverence and respect, and over all the facts were correct,  but some of the major gaffes came not from the Americans, but from the British experts.

Interview with Georgia's ambassador to Germany: Gabriela von Habsburg-Lothringen

from the Financial Times,  Gabriela is also Archudchess Gabriela of Austria,  daughter of Archduke Otto and his late wife, Regina.

The Death of Lady Kennard

Kennard, Georgina. Died peacefully at home, aged 91, on 28th April 2011 surrounded by her family. Adored by Sacha, Nicky, Fiona, Marita and Natalia and their children and grandchildren. Funeral Service on Thursday 5th May at 2.30 p.m., The Chapel, Royal Hospital, Chelsea. No flowers but donations may be given to St. John Ambulance Brigade and/or Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Georgina Lady Kennard died on April 28 at her home in London.  She was 91 years old.  

Lady Kennard was born Georgina Wernher in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 17, 1919, the second of three children of Sir Harold Wernher, Bt, and Countess Anastasia Torby, eldest daughter of Grand Duke Michael of Russia and his morganatic wife, Sophie Torby.  She married Sir George Kennard, 3rd Bt., in 1992.  He died in 1999.

On October 10, 1944, Georgina married Lt. Harold Phillips (1909-1980).  They were the parents of five children, Alexandra, who is married to the Duke of Abercorn, Nicholas (1947-1991), Fiona, Burnett of Leys, Marita Knight, and Natalia, the wife of the Duke of Westminster.

Georgina and her younger sister, Myra, were childhood friends of Queen Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret.  Their older brother, Alex, who was killed in action during the second world war, was Prince Philip's best friend.    

Lady Kennard remained a lifelong friend of Queen Elizabeth II.  She was one of the Duke of York's godparents.  Her daughter, the Duchess of Westminster, is one of William's godmothers.

No honeymoon yet

The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be spending a quiet weekend somewhere in the UK, as William will return to his job as a Search and Rescue pilot next week.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A rather nice op-ed

My favorite part from this op-ed

"First of all, it would seem unique. There are other royal weddings – in Spain, or Sweden, or Swaziland – and I am sure they are very nice. But they do not stand for anything much in the eyes of the world. They don’t attract messages of support from the crew in the International Space Station – a particularly surreal touch in yesterday’s reports. They don’t echo in the imagination of humanity. Our one does."

and another superb Sarah Burton gown

for the evening reception

Sarah Burton's statement to the media:

It's official: Catherine is a member of the Royal Family

It's one thing to be made husband and wife by the Archbishop of Canterbury ... it's another to be called Your Royal Highness for the first time ... but you are not officially a member of the British Royal Family until you have made the website ...

and the DVDs

The official BBC DVD will be released in the UK and in USA.

A CNN piece on Prince Harry\

You have to watch the entire package  ! 

The Wedding reception

The Queen is giving a lunchtime Reception at Buckingham Palace for around 650 guests drawn from the Wedding Service congregation, representing the Couple’s official and private lives.

Guests will be served a selection of canapés, including:

•Cornish Crab Salad on Lemon Blini

•Pressed Duck Terrine with Fruit Chutney

•Roulade of Goats Cheese with Caramelised Walnuts

•Assortment of Palmiers and Cheese Straws

•Scottish Smoked Salmon Rose on Beetroot Blini

•Miniature Watercress and Asparagus Tart

•Poached Asparagus spears with Hollandaise Sauce for Dipping

•Quails Eggs with Celery Salt

• Scottish Langoustines with Lemon Mayonnaise Pressed Confit of Pork Belly with Crayfish and Crackling

•Wild Mushroom and Celeriac Chausson

•Bubble and Squeak with Confit Shoulder of Lamb

•Grain Mustard and honey-glazed Chipolatas

•Smoked Haddock Fishcake with Pea Guacamole

•Miniature Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Fillet of Beef and Horseradish Mousse

• Gateau Opera

•Blood Orange Pate de Fruit

•Raspberry Financier

•Rhubarb Crème Brulee Tartlet

•Passion Fruit Praline

•White Chocolate Ganache Truffle

•Milk Chocolate Praline with Nuts

•Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle

Guests will be served Pol Roger NV Brut Réserve Champagne with a selection of other soft and alcoholic drinks.

The wedding cake and a chocolate biscuit cake will also be served at the Reception. The wedding cake, designed by Fiona Cairns, is made from 17 individual fruit cakes (12 of which form the base) and has eight tiers. The cake has been decorated with cream and white icing using the Joseph Lambeth technique. There are up to 900 individually iced flowers and leaves of 17 different varieties decorated on the cake. A garland design around the middle of the cake matches the architectural garlands decorated around the top of the Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace, the room in which the cake will be displayed. The chocolate biscuit cake was created by Mcvitie’s Cake Company using a Royal Family recipe at the special request of Prince William.

During the course of the Reception, Governors-General and Prime Ministers of Realm Countries will be presented to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and the Bridal Couple. The Reception will include the cutting of the wedding cake and some speeches.

Guests at the reception will be entertained by Claire Jones, the official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales.
Approximately 10,000 canapés have been prepared by a team of 21 chefs, led by Royal Chef Mark Flanagan.

The Joseph Lambeth Method is derived from a style of decorating that was popular in England where chefs and decorators would use intricate piping to create 3-D scrollwork, leaves, flowers, and other decorations on a cake. A cake decorated in the Lambeth Method and accented with fresh fruit or flowers is the wedding cake of choice for anyone who wants a traditional looking, elegant wedding cake.

Each of the 17 different flower designs on the official wedding cake has their own individual meaning according to the Language of Flowers. They include:

•White Rose - National symbol of England

•Daffodil – National symbol of Wales, new beginnings

•Shamrock – National symbol of Ireland

•Thistle – National symbol of Scotland

•Acorns, Oak Leaf – Strength, endurance

•Myrtle – Love

•Ivy – Wedded Love, Marriage

•Lily-of-the-Valley – Sweetness, Humility

•Rose (Bridal) – Happiness, Love.

•Sweet William – Grant me one smile

•Honeysuckle – The Bond of Love

•Apple Blossom – Preference, Good Fortune

•White Heather – Protection, Wishes will come true

•Jasmine (White) – Amiability

•Daisy – Innocence, Beauty, Simplicity

•Orange Blossom – Marriage, Eternal Love, Fruitfulness

•Lavender – ardent attachment, devotion, success, and luck.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Both photos are copyrighted  by the British Monarchy

I love the second one with the Prince of Wales holding his stepgranddaughter, Eliza Lopes, so she can get a better view!

Charles really, really loves his sons ...

allowing Henry to do a few funny things to his beloved Aston Martin

The new Duke of Cambridge ...

is a great-great-great-great grandson of Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, 10th child and seventh son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. 

Embed from Getty Images

 On May 7 1818 at Kassel, he married Princess Augusta of Hesse (1797-1889), the third daughter of Prince Friedrich of Cassel.  A second ceremony at Buckingham Palace took place on June 1, 1818. 

  Embed from Getty Images  

 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had three children.  The first child, a son, George, was born in March 1819.  Princess Augusta was born three years later in July 1822, and the youngest child, Mary Adelaide, was born in November 1833.

The Duke of Cambridge died on July 8, 1850, at Cambridge House in London.  He was succeeded by his only son, George, as the 2nd Duke of Cambridge.   The new duke, who believed that "arranged marriages were doomed to failure," married for love.  But his marriage in January 1847 to an actress Sarah Fairbrother was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act, and, thus, did not exist in British law.   The bride was pregnant at the time of the marriage.   She was not entitled to the style of royal highness or the title of Duchess of Cambridge.  Although Sarah was devoted to her husband and bore him three sons, who had the surname FitzGeorge, the Duke of Cambridge also had several mistresses, including Mrs. Louisa Beauclerk.     

The Duke died on March 17, 1904, and with his death, his titles, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Tipperary, and Baron Culloden became extinct.

The ties to the present Duke and Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge come through a maternal line.   Princess Mary Adelaide, daughter of the first duke, and sister of the 2nd and last Duke was the mother of three sons,  Adolphus, Francis,  Alexander, and one daughter, Mary. 

Princess Mary of Teck was first engaged to Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, third in line to the British throne.   The Duke of Clarence, after attending the funeral of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, caught a cold, which developed into influenza, and then pneumonia.  He died in January 1892.  A year later, Princess Mary of Teck married his younger brother, Prince George, Duke of York, the future George V.

And now the dukedom has been recreated for Princess Mary Adelaide's great-great-great-grandson, Prince William.  This seems the right to do, as Princess Mary Adelaide, Queen Victoria's first cousin, was known as the People's Princess.

If you enjoyed this article, perhaps you can buy me a latte

The designer is ....


The Wedding Dress

Miss Catherine Middleton’s Wedding Dress has been designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.

Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing. Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work. Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress.

The dress epitomises timeless British craftsmanship by drawing together talented and skilled workmanship from across the United Kingdom. The dress design pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts tradition, which advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often Romantic styles of decoration. Ms Burton’s design draws on this heritage, additionally giving the cut and the intricate embellishment a distinctive, contemporary and feminine character.

The design

The lace appliqué for the bodice and skirt was hand-made by the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. The lace design was hand-engineered (appliquéd) using the Carrickmacross lace-making technique, which originated in Ireland in the 1820s. Individual flowers have been hand-cut from lace and hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle to create a unique and organic design, which incorporates the rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.

Hand-cut English lace and French Chantilly lace has been used throughout the bodice and skirt, and has been used for the underskirt trim. With laces coming from different sources, much care was taken to ensure that each flower was the same colour. The whole process was overseen and put together by hand by Ms Burton and her team.

The dress is made with ivory and white satin gazar. The skirt echoes an opening flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats. The train measures two metres 70 centimetres. The ivory satin bodice, which is narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips, draws on the Victorian tradition of corsetry and is a hallmark of Alexander McQueen’s designs. The back is finished with 58 gazar and organza covered buttons fastened by Rouleau loops. The underskirt is made of silk tulle trimmed with Cluny lace.

The Fabrics

French Chantilly lace was combined with English Cluny lace to be hand-worked in the Irish Carrickmacross needlework tradition.

All other fabrics used in the creation of the dress were sourced from and supplied by British companies. The choice of fabrics followed extensive research by Sarah Burton and her team.

The Royal School of Needlework

The Royal School of Needlework (RSN), based at Hampton Court Palace, assisted the Alexander McQueen team in accurately cutting out the delicate motifs from the lace fabrics and positioning the lace motifs with precision into the new design. The lace motifs were pinned, ‘framed up’ and applied with stab stitching every two to three millimetres around each lace motif. The workers washed their hands every thirty minutes to keep the lace and threads pristine, and the needles were renewed every three hours, to keep them sharp and clean.

The RSN workers included existing staff, former staff, tutors, graduates and students, with the youngest aged 19.

the RSN’s work was used primarily for the train and skirt of the Bride’s dress, the bodice and sleeves, the Bride’s shoes and the Bride’s veil.

Veil and Jewellery

The veil is made of layers of soft, ivory silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers, which was embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework. The veil is held in place by a Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen. The ‘halo’ tiara was made by Cartier in 1936 and was purchased by The Duke of York (later King George VI) for his Duchess (later Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother) three weeks before he succeeded his brother as King. The tiara was presented to Princess Elizabeth (now The Queen) by her mother on the occasion of her 18th birthday.

The Bride’s earrings, by Robinson Pelham, are diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pear shaped diamond set drop and a pavé set diamond acorn suspended in the centre. Inspiration for the design comes from the Middleton family's new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves. The earrings were made to echo the tiara. The earrings were a personal gift to the Bride from her parents for her Wedding Day.

Robinson Pelham have also designed and made a pair of diamond earrings for Miss Philippa Middleton. These earrings are more floral in nature to compliment the headpiece worn by Miss Philippa Middleton during the Service.

A tourmaline and diamond pendant and matching earrings have been designed and made for Mrs. Carole Middleton. Two gold stick pins, one with a single gold acorn at the head and the other with an oak leaf, are also worn respectively by the Father of the Bride, Mr. Michael Middleton, and the Bride's brother, Mr. James Middleton.

Wedding Shoes

The wedding shoes have made hand-made by the team at Alexander McQueen and are made of ivory duchesse satin with lace hand-embroidered by the Royal School of Needlework.

The Bride’s Bouquet

The bouquet is a shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth. The bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and draws on the traditions of flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers.

The flowers’ meanings in the bouquet are:

Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness

Sweet William – Gallantry

Hyacinth – Constancy of love

Ivy: Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection
Myrtle: the emblem of marriage; love.

The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.

The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.

The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858, and was used to signify the traditional innocence of a bride.

Miss Philippa Middleton’s Dress

Miss Philippa Middleton’s dress was designed and created by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen. It is of a heavy, ivory satin-based crepe, with a cowl front and with the same button detail and lace trims as the Bride’s dress.

The Young Bridesmaids’ Dresses

The young Bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by childrenswear designer Nicki Macfarlane to echo the Bride’s dress. The four dresses were hand-made by Ms Macfarlane and her daughter Charlotte Macfarlane at their homes in Wiltshire and Kent.

The Bridesmaids’ dresses have been created using the same fabrics as the Bride’s dress. The ballerina-length, full, box pleated skirt gives the dresses a sculptural quality, with the layering of ivory over white satin gazar adding depth of colour. They have all been hand-finished with delicate English Cluny lace, which is visible under the skirts, and four layers of net underskirt. The puff sleeves and neckline are trimmed with the same English lace as the Bride’s underskirt. The backs have been finished with the same button detail.

The sashes are made of pale gold, wild silk, which is tucked at the front and tied at the back in a sumptuous bow.

As a special memento, the Bridesmaid’s name and the date of the wedding have been hand-embroidered onto the lining of each dress.

Capes (These may or may not be worn dependent on the weather)

The waist-length capes, also created by Nicki Macfarlane, are made from ivory Yorkshire wool, edged in fine English lace and tied at the front in the same satin gazar as the dresses.


The Bridesmaids’ shoes were designed and made by Devon-based Rainbow Club. The classic Mary Jane style shoes are made from satin and finished with a Swarovski crystal buckle. Devon-based Rainbow Club have been designing, making and colouring handmade wedding shoes since the mid-1980s.

Bridesmaids’ Flowers

The Bridesmaids’ flowers were designed and made by Shane Connolly. The ivy and lily-of-the-valley hair wreaths worn by the younger Bridesmaids were influenced by the Bride’s mother’s own headdress at her wedding in 1981. The bouquets held by the Bridesmaids replicate the flowers used in the Bride’s bouquet, and they incorporate lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth.
Pages’ Uniforms

The Pages are wearing a uniform in the style of that worn by a Foot Guards officer at the time of the Regency (the 1820s). The uniform draws its insignia from the Irish Guards, whose Colonel is Prince William.

The tunic is Guards’ Red with gold piping, Irish shamrocks are on the collars and its buttons are arranged in fours, denoting the Irish – or Fourth – Regiment of Foot Guards. The buttons feature the Harp of Ireland surmounted by the Crown Imperial. The breeches are ivory and are worn with white stockings and black buckle shoes

The Pages will wear a gold and crimson sash (with tassel) around their waists. The sash is worn by officers in the Irish Guards when in the presence of a Member of the Royal Family.

The uniforms were designed in the Royal Household and were created by Kashket and Partners, who have also fitted Prince William’s uniform for his Wedding Day. The collars and cuffs were created by the Royal School of Needlework.


I have seen Andrew Parker Bowles,  Lord Spencer, his four children, and fiancee!  The Beckhams, Mr. Bean, and Ben Fogle, who after the ceremony goes back to reporting for NBC  ... for those us watching on BBC America, there is a few second delay as I learned while talking to a friend in England.

Just saw Lady Edwina and Dan Snow.  The former Lady Edwina Grosvenor is the second daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster. The Duchess is William's godmother.  Also saw Lady Tamara.

BBC  it's not Princess Lalla Salma of Thailand, but of Morocco - and you did not recognize Alexander and Katherine of Serbia ...  grrrrr

Among the foreign royal cousins,  the Landgrave of Hesse,  Prince and Princess Max of Baden,  Princess Margarita of Baden, the Prince and Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Max Soltmann.

The Prince and Princess of Oettingen-Spielberg, friends of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were also at the Abbey.

TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

The official announcement has been made.

Prince William has been created as Duke of Cambridge, Earrl of Strathearn and Baron Carrickfergus.   According to the 1917 Letters Patent, William's eldest son will be HRH and Prince during the Queen's lifetime.  All other children will be styled as the as children of a duke.  This will change when Charles succeeds to the throne.  However, the queen could change this to allow all the children to be royal.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Boy Windsor

One of the New York Times' editorials on June 22, 1982:

"'The possibility of perfection,' we said just a year ago, ''is, in the end, what a royal wedding is all about. It is inconceivable that the diamonds will be fake, the trumpets out of tune, or the horses spavined nags.'

The possibility of perfection is, in a way, what a royal birth is all about too. It is inconceivable that Baby Boy Windsor won't be dripping in lace at his christening. Won't ride in a well-sprung pram pushed by a well-trained nanny. Won't own a silver spoon, not to mention a silver knife, fork, pusher and cereal bowl. Will ever be dragged screaming through fifth floor furniture while his parents shop for a couch.

Bald, cranky and confused though he may be -which is to say like every other newborn - Baby Boy Windsor is, after all, a Prince. Princes, and Princesses, fuel fantasies. No wonder the British are rejoicing, or that one of the women who waited hours outside the hospital for news of his arrival exulted: ''The world must really envy us.'' The Prince and Princess of Wales's first child is not only a new link in an old and cherished chain but new magic for a nation's imagination."

Over the moon

June 21, 1982

"The Princess of Wales was safely delivered of a son at 9:03 p.m. today. Her Royal Highness and her child are doing well."

The Princess's father Earl Spencer told reporters late that night that "Diana is doing very well, and so is the baby."  He added that his son-in-law, the Prince of Wales was at his wife's side throughout the 13 hour labor.  "I've spoken with Charles, and he's absolutely over the moon."

It was after midnight when the beaming new father emerged from the hospital.   He said his wife was doing well, but "a bit tired."   The baby, he said, "was lucky enough" to not look like him.

The infant prince weighed seven pounds one and a half ounces at birth. The birth took place in the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

When he was asked about the names, the Prince of Wales said: "We've thought of one or two.  There's a bit of an argument about it, but we'll find one eventually."

The Prince and Princess took their son home the next day.  Still no name, but Charles told reporters: "I'm not going to let you know now, even if I have"

London bookmakers believed the new prince would be named George, as the Prince of Wales admired King George III.

The baby's name was announced on June 28.  The New York Times's headline said it all "A New Conqueror is named William."    HRH Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales.   The names of the godparents were also announced that day: King Constantine II of the Hellenes;  Princess Alexandra, Lord Romsey (now Lord Brabourne); Sir Laurens van der Post; the Duchess of Westminster; and Lady Susan Hussey.

Prince William was baptised on August 4, 1982 by the Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie at Buckingham Palace.   The ceremony took place on Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's 82nd birthday.

Prince alert

About 8:30 p.m., tonight, Prince William and Prince Harry out of Clarence House to shake a few hands on the Mall ...  I hope this was not a breakaway attempt for the groom, and Harry had to chase after him.
Prince William told one well-wisher:   "I just have to make sure I get my lines right

You cannot buy this publicity

From the Washington Post:

"Perhaps more than any other single event, the royal wedding Friday is exposing the members of the British royal family for what they really are: the original global celebrities. Despite the occasional grumbling from lads in the pub about those privileged freeloaders in Buckingham Palace, three out of four Britons still back the monarchy. Given the worldwide media frenzy over a wedding — even the proud republic of France is going gaga, with three national channels broadcasting live — it is easy to see why.

Although the sun set long ago on the British empire, the royals, for all their foibles, still give this quaint and foggy land outsize importance, making it so the eyes of the world are focused on a marriage that would otherwise be a 28-year-old air force pilot getting hitched to a 29-year-old Internet party supply heiress. In the end, it works out cheap for the British: You cannot buy this kind of publicity. "

“Oh, you can see it in this wedding! Never has one family so defined one country,” beamed Christopher Warren-Green, who will conduct the London Chamber Orchestra at Westminster Abbey on Friday. “Never has one family been so well known — and so watched — by the world

Gala dinner at the Mandarin

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II has arrived at the Mandarin. She was met at the hotel by her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Anson, who is the host of the event.   Lady Elizabeth gave her cousin an affectionate kiss on each cheek.

The Queen was the last of the guests to arrive. The Princess Royal, Zara Phillips, Mike Tindall, Peter and Autumn Phillips, Prince and Princess Michael and Lord and Lady Frederick and Lady Gabriella Windsor  arrived by bus.  

Other British royals at the dinner include the Duke of York and his two daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, and the Earl and Countess of Wesssex, Princess Alexandra and her son, James Ogilvy and his wife, Julia, the Duke of Kent and his family, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and their family. They were joined by King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes,  Crown Prince and Crown Princess Pavlos of Greece,  Prince and Princess Nikolaos of Greece, Queen Sofia of Greece, the Prince and Princess of Asturias, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, the Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Princess Salma of Morocco, the Prince of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock and The Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the drinks reception only, and return to Clarence House for dinner with William and Harry.

The list of names comes from the Telegraph.

No more room ...

Outside the Tent City set up in the area of Westminster Abbey ... all filled up, according to press reports.

Catherine has arrived at the Goring Hotel

Embed from Getty Images 

 Catherine Middleton, accompanied by her mother, Carole, and sister, Philippa, arrived at the Goring Hotel earlier this afternoon.  She smiled and waved to the cheering crowd gathered outside the hotel.  One assumes that Catherine and her family will not be leaving the hotel until tomorrow, when she emerges shortly before 11 a.m, gets into the car, and begins the ride into her future.

The Duchess of Cornwall went on a walkabout as she arrived at Clarence House, greeting well wishers.  She and the Prince of Wales will be attending the drinks reception at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, but will skip the dinner for the foreign royals, hosted by Lady Elizabeth Anson,  as they will be having a private dinner at Clarence House with Prince William and Prince Harry.

A dowry of million rubles for Jutta

April 28, 1899

Princess Jutta of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is not receiving a dowry of one million rubles ($500,000) from Nicholas II of Russia because she is "in any way related to him" but, according to the Marquise de Fontenay, the princess, who is engaged to marry the Crown Prince of Montenegro, is receiving the present because Nicholas and his late father, Alexander III,  "have made it a rule to give each of the numerous children of the impoverished Prince of Montenegro a million rubles on the occasion of their marriage."

The Prince of Montenegro, who has no personal fortune, is financially dependent on the Russian Emperor, and his daughters have all been educated in St. Petersburg at the expense of the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna.

Princess Jutta is said to be a "pretty girl," and well known in London.  She is a granddaughter of the reigning Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whose wife, Augusta, is a British princess, and sister of the Duke of Cambridge.   Augusta is also the aunt of the Duchess of York.

British princes have lunch with their cousin, Ena

April 28, 1931

The Prince of Wales and Prince George were in Fontainebleau, France, today for a luncheon with their cousin, Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain.   But they returned too late to Paris to fly to London, according to the New York Times.  The two British princes, sons of King George V, expect to "finish their 18,000 mile trip from South America to London" tomorrow.

The two princes also paid a "courtesy call" on French President Doumerge, whose term ends in June.   The Prince of Wales and Prince George will now fly from Le Bourget instead of the Orly Airdrome.

Back in England, at Windsor Great Park, a crowd had gathered to welcome the two princes back from their trip to South America.  The Associated Press reports, however, that the crowd went home "disappointed" after it was announced that the flight from Paris was delayed until tomorrow.

The Duke of York had also arranged to welcome his brothers' home, but he canceled his plans after learning of the delay.  The Prince of Wales' cairn terrier was also on hand "in the park and amused the crowd by dashing among officials to control him."

Queen will not be attending the evening reception

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will leave Buckingham Palace tomorrow afternoon following the buffet reception for a quiet weekend at Wood Farm at Sandringham. They will not be attending the evening reception hosted by the Prince of Wales.

The official Program

Countess of Wessex injured in riding accident

The Countess of Wessex, who is married the Queen's youngest son, Edward, was injured in a riding accident on Monday at Windsor.  She was taken to nearby St. Margaret's Hospital, where x-rays showed that the countess suffered bruises and a broken rib.  According to the Daily Mail, she is taking pain killers, and is determined to attend tomorrow's wedding as her daughter, Lady Louise, 7, is one of the bridesmaids.

The Countess was present for this morning's rehearsal at Westminster Abbey.

could it be ,,

Totally OT - but the media are buzzing with the names of the three men who got injunctions from British judges to protect their identies, but have left the women they bonked at the mercy of the Press ...

Perhaps the three gentlemen are soccer player Ryan Giggs, and actors Hugh Bonneville and Ewan McGreger ... hmmm ... 

an American view from Britain

Good piece

"Marlene Koenig, a royal genealogist, author of Queen Victoria's Descendants and prolific blogger on the Royal Musings website, says that interest in the wedding reflects an enduring American fascination with Britain and a shared history. "We're a diverse country, but we still look to the United Kingdom because that's where our language and our culture originate. The first royal visit was by the future King Edward VII in 1861 and the first reigning monarch to come here was King George VI in 1939.

"Eleanor Roosevelt ate rationed food off beautiful plates at Buckingham Palace in 1942. This is something that operates on many levels."
And, of course, Prince William's mother became a pop culture icon in America. "For a lot of people, mostly menopausal women, there's the Diana effect," says Mrs Koenig. "The wronged woman, the tragic death, Prince Charles as the ogre and all that."

In 1986, Mrs Koenig camped outside Buckingham Palace for Prince Andrew's wedding to Sarah Ferguson. She can't make it to London this time but will be getting up at 3am to make scones and watch everything as it happens. "

Hey New Yorkers

TLC has sent up a giant screen in Times Square for viewing the wedding.  British pubs, restaurants and hotels will be having viewing parties in cities and towns all across the United States.  I will be watching the wedding from the comfort of my living room, where the breakfast menu will be scones, Devonshire cream, strawberries and tea.

The gown!!

No,  this is not a post about the wedding gown, but about when we will see the wedding gown.  A gazebo has been built at the entrance of the Goring Hotel, which will allow Catherine Middleton to get into the coach without the billions of us getting a glimpse of the gown before she arrives at Westminster Abbey.

So no point in hanging outside the Goring Hotel to witness Catherine's departure.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another QVD going to the wedding

Ian Liddell Grainger, Tory MP, Bridgewater, will be attending the wedding. He is the only member of his family who was invited to Prince William's wedding.   Ian is the great-grandson of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and the Earl of Athlone. Ian has a double connection to the royal family. Princess Alice was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and Lord Athlone was a younger brother of Queen Mary, who was married to King George V, Alice's first cousin.

Ian is the eldest son of Anne Abel Smith and the late David Liddell Grainger. Anne was the second of three children of Lady May Cambridge and Sir Henry Abel Smith.

Grandpa England and his little granddaughter

A rather sweet picture of King George V, paying rapt attention to little Princess Elizabeth, and Queen Mary at Bognor.

More royal events in London

Kimg Michael of Romania, accompanied by his daughter, Crown Princess Margarita, and son-in-law, Prince Radu, arrived in London earlier today for a four day visit to the United Kingdom.  He and Crown Princess Margarita will be attending the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton.

Tonight, the King will be the guest of honor at a dinner given by Sir Gavyn Arthur, the 675th Lord Mayor of London at the  Guild of Freedom.

King Michael  will be the only foreign royal royal at Prince William's wedding who also attended the weddings of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales and the Lady Diana Spencer.   Five members of the Royal Family will also have attended all three of the weddings. Can you name them?
On Thursday, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will host a luncheon for the visiting royals at Kensington Palace. 

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will attend the drinks reception at Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London, but will skip the dinner, hosted by Lady Elizabeth Anson, and return to Clarence House for a private dinner with Prince William and Prince Harry.

A faulty memory

 Catherine Oxenberg, the elder daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia and the late Howard Oxenberg, is writing a new blog:

One of her first posts is about attending the wedding ball in 1981.    It would have been impossible for Miss Oxenberg and her mother to have arrived at the Palace to attend the ball after the wedding.   There was no ball after the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales.  The newly married couple returned to Buckingham Palace for a wedding breakfast, and then left by carriage for Waterloo station for the train ride to Romsey.  The Prince and Princess of Wales spent their first night as man and wife at Broadlands. 

On the night of July 26, 1981,  Queen Elizabeth "held a glittering ball for 1,500 guests at which Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer danced into the morning hours," according to UPI's Robert Musel.   Before the ball, the Queen hosted a private dinner for 90 guests.   

The then 19-year-old Miss Oxenberg  and her mother were guests at the pre-wedding ball.  She also said she was 18 at the time, three months younger than Diana.  Diana celebrated her 20th birthday on July 1.  Catherine was born on September 22, 1961, which made her 19 at the time of the wedding.

In her blog entry, she discusses how she had been molested as a child "by a royal prince."   This is not the first time that Catherine discussed the abuse.  In 1993, in an interview with London's Daily Mail newspaper, she said "to deal with the trauma of being sexually abused, and the victim of incest, of being ritually abused in a chapel and raped by a priest."   She told the reporter  that the abuse began when she was several months old and lasted until she was 12.  One assumes she was referring to the sexual abuse by the relative, and not the rape by the priest.

 She said to the Mail's Lisa Seward, that  "one of the symptoms of having been sexually abused is an eating disorder which is triggered by your first sexual experience as happened with me becoming bulimic."   She added that her first sexual experience was at age 16.

In an interview to promote her reality show, I Married a Princess,  she said she was abused as toddler by a relative -- and not her parents.

Catherine is now married to actor Casper Van Dien.  Their wedding ceremony took place at Las Vegas on May 8, 1999, several months after working together on two TV movies.  They have two daughters, Maya (born September 20, 2001) and Celeste Alma (October 3, 2003).   Van Dien's two children by his first wife. Carrie Mitchum, also live with them.

Catherine decided she wanted to be an actress. She made her debut in 1982 playing Lady Diana Spencer in The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana.   Two years later, she joined ABC's Dynasty as Amanda Carrington, the second daughter of Blake Carrington and Alexis Colby.  She remained in the role for two yeasr.

On June 7, 1991, Catherine gave birth to a daughter, India Riven Oxenberg, but never named the father.  

Her first marriage to producer Robert Evans, then 68, took place on July 12, 1998, but was annulled twelve days later.  According to news reports,  Oxenberg had been taking care of Evans, who had recently suffered a mild stroke, and one thing led to another, and they decided to wed.   Producer David Michaels, who said he had been engaged to Catherine for four years, called the marriage "unfathomable event."
Catherine's father, Howard, told a reporter: "We've been using his tennis court for 15-20 years. If someone lets you use their tennis court for 15-20 years, you should marry them."

Lord Spencer confined to Althorp

April 28, 1915

Earl Spencer "is confined to his residence at Althorp," reports The Times (of London).  Due to his illness, he "has cancelled all immediate engagements."

Who is last in line to the British throne

The lady in question is 38-year Karin Vogel, who lives in Rostock, Germany.  Karin's maternal great- great-grandparents were Duke Ernst of Württemberg and Natalie Eisborn.   Ernst (1807-1868) was the son of Duke Alexander Friedrich of Württemberg and Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, whose younger siblings included Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,  the Duchess of Kent, and King Leopold I of the Belgians.

Duke Ernst's marriage in 1860 to a commoner, Natalie Eischborn, was morganatic marriage.  Nathalie became Frau von Grünhof.    On August 10, 1861, she gave birth to the couple's only child, Alexandra Nathalie Ernestine  von Grünhof.

Ernst died on October 26, 1868 at the age of 61.  His widow did not remarry, and she died on April 12, 1905.

Alexandra was married to Robert von Keudell on September 15, 1883.  They were the parents of three children: Walter,  Otto, and Hedwig,    Hedwig, who was born in 1891, married Karl von der Trenck in 1918, adn they had five children.   The youngest child, Ilse (1930) married Wolfram Vogel in 1962.  

Karin Vogel, born February 4, 1973, is Ilse's third and youngest child.  She has two older brothers, Martin (1963) and Klaus (1964).

Interesting piece, and kudos for my friend Dan Willis

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grace and children arrive in USA

April 26, 1961

Princess Caroline and Prince Albert of Monaco arrived by plane today "for their first visit to the United States," reports the Associated Press.

The four-year-old princess and three-year-old prince were accompanied by their mother, Princess Grace, the former actress Grace Kelly.

The family arrived in New York, and are expected to go to Philadelphia tomorrow or Friday to visit Princess Grace's family,  Prince Rainier is expected to join them in a few days.

Has Pauline of Saxe-Weimar married morganatically?

April 26, 1901

The Marquise de Fontenoy's latest dispatch concludes that "morganatic marriages are becoming more and more frequent among the reigning houses of Europe."   The most recent of these misalliances is the marriage of the mother of the reigning duke of Saxe-Weimar, who during a visit to Rome, has married her chamberlain.   It may be a "love match as far as her sentiments are concerned," but it may be difficult to believe that the chamberlain "has been prompted in the matter of sentiments of disinterested affection and admiration.

The widowed  Dowager Hereditary Grand Duchess is said to be "extraordinarily fat and unwieldy," and one of the "most plain featured Princesses of Germany."  The Marquise describes her homeliness as "being of the crabbed and sour order, rather than a genial nature."

Princess Pauline of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was born at Stuttgart on July 25, 1852, the  daughter of Prince Hermann of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenbach and Princess Augusta of Württemberg.   She married  her second cousin, Hereditary Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach on Augbust 26, 1873 at Friedrichshafen in Baden-Württemberg.

The couple had two sons,  Wilhelm Ernst and Bernhard, who were born in 1876 and 1878, respectively.   Prince Bernhard died last October in Weimar at the age of 22.   Hereditary Grand Duke Karl August died in 1894, six years before his father, Karl Alexander.

Wilhelm Ernst succeeded his grandfather on January 5. 

Pauline and Karl August's marriage was far from happy, and "they were seldom together."   For the past few years, Pauline has been living in Italy.   Her marriage has not been approved by her son, and, thus, the marriage will not be recognized in Weimar.

King Constantine talks about his godson

Here is a link to King Constantine's interview on the Today Show earlier this morning

Monday, April 25, 2011

Savannah Phillips' baptism

On Saturday, April 23, Queen Elizabeth II was present for the baptism of her first great-grandchild, Miss Savannah Phillips, daughter of Peter and Autumn Phillips,   Peter is the elder of two children of Princess Anne, and her first husband, Mark Phillips.

The baptism took place at Holy Cross Church in Avening, Gloucestershire, near the Princess Royal's home, Gatcombe Park.

The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips, The Duke of Edinburgh,  Timothy Laurence,  and Peter's younger sister, Zara, and her fiance, Mike Tindall,  also attended the baptism.  

Peter and Autumn are back living in England after working for the Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong.

The article does not include the names of the godparents, nor Savannah's full name.  It appears that no other member of the Royal Family was present for the baptism.  I would have thought that Peter would have asked Prince William to be the godfather to his first child.  But perhaps the two cousins are no longer close, and can barely say Hello to each other!

Missing from the Guest List

Has anyone noticed that the King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan are not on the list of foreign royals attending the wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton?  This is in spite of reports that the newlyweds will be spending their honeymoon on Jordan. 

The newlyweds' London base will be at Clarence House, at least for the time being, as their primary residence will remain in Angelsey, where Prince William is based as a RAF search and rescue pilot.

There have been articles in some of the tabloids about Kate and William moving into an apartment at Kensington Palace.  This seems unlikely as there are plans stop using Kensington Palace as a royal residence. At this time, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent live in palace apartments.  Prince and Princess Michael, who do not carry out official engagements, are now required to pay rent for their apartment.

Princess Margaret's apartment was opened to the public several years ago, and is now used for parts of the exhibitions at Kensington Palace.  This includes the Enchanted Palace exhibit.    The former residence of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their two sons, which became Diana, Princess of Wales' home after the divorce, is now used for offices and storage.  

Thus, it seems unlikely that Kate and William will be raising their family at Kensington Palace.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Princess Alexandra of Greece on William & Kate

was quoted in Newsweek this week:

"I hope they have a fantastic life and I think they're an absolutely gorgeous couple. Unfortunately, I'm not invited, so ...."

Prince Alexandra is the daughter of Prince Michael and Princess Marina of Greece.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Royaty and sports ..

Rob Rains worked with my late husband, Bill Koenig.

I didn't expect to see a picture of my husband with the story.  I need a tissue, now.

Invited, but declined

The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that Caroline, Countess Spencer, Earl Spencer's second wife was invited to the wedding, but she declined the invitation because she felt it would be too awkward to be sitting near her ex -- their divorce went beyond the typical acrimony - and his Canadian fiancee.

Although official guest list does not include their names, it should be assumed that William's first cousins, the children of his Aunts Sarah, Jane and Uncle Charles, will be sitting behind their parents. 

King Michael of Romania

King Michael of Roumania will be the only foreign royal to have attended the weddings of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark,  the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer and Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton.

Michael, who will celebrate his 90th birthday in October, was a head of state when he attended Princess Elizabeth's wedding in November 1947.   His mother, Queen Helen, and the bridegroom, Prince Philip, were first cousins, as their fathers, King Constantine I and Prince Andrew, were brothers.   When he and his mother left for London, the new Communist government waved them off at the airport, and hoped that Michael would decide not to return.  But Michael, who loved his country, and was loved by his people, did return.  But on December 29, 1947, with a gun placed to his head,  King Michael was forced to sign his own abdication, and leave Romania not his own volition. 

As Queen Anne is frail, Michael will be accompanied by his daughter, Crown Princess Margarita.

Members of the British royal family who will be attending the wedding

Members of the British Royal Family

The Queen
The Duke of Edinburgh
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
Prince Henry of Wales
The Duke of York
Princess Beatrice of York
Princess Eugenie of York
The Earl and Countess of Wessex
The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Phillips
Miss Zara Phillips with Mr. Mike Tindall
Viscount Linley and Viscountess Linley
And The Hon. Charles Armstrong-Jones
The Lady Sarah Chatto and Mr. Daniel Chatto
And Master Samuel Chatto
And Master Arthur Chatto
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
The Earl and Countess of Ulster
The Lady Davina and Mr. Gary Lewis
Lady Rose and Mr. George Gilman
The Duke and Duchess of Kent
Earl and Countess of St. Andrews
Lord Downpatrick
The Lady Marina-Charlotte Windsor
The Lady Amelia Windsor
The Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor
The Lady Helen Taylor and Mr. Timothy Taylor
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
The Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor
The Lady Gabriella Windsor
Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy
Mr. and Mrs. James Ogilvy
Miss Marina Ogilvy
The Lady Saltoun

The Lady Saltoun is the widow of Captain Alexander Ramsay of Mar, only son of the former Princess Patricia of Connaught and the Hon. Sir Alexander Ramsay.  Princess Patricia was styled as Lady Patricia Ramsay after her wedding.    Lady Saltoun is a Scottish peer in her own right.

Membership in the Royal Family can extend to the children of a princesss (who is not the sovereign), but not the princess' grandchildren.

the official list of foreign royals to attend the Royal Wedding

Update:  Crown Prince of Bahrain has sent his regrets due to the problems in his country.

Members of Foreign Royal Families

The Prince and Princess of the Asturias
The Crown Prince of Bahrain
Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde of Belgium
The Sultan of Brunei and Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha
King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of the Bulgrarians
The Queen of Denmark
King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes
Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece and Prince Constantine of Greece
Sheikh Ahmad Hmoud Al-Sabah of Kuwait
Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso and Princess Mabereng Seeiso of Lesotho
The Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia
Prince Albert II of Monaco and Miss Charlene Wittstock
Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
The Crown Prince and Princess of The Netherlands
The King and Queen of Norway
Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said of Oman
The Emir of The State of Qatar and Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned
King Michael I of Romania and Crown Princess Margarita
Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and Princess Fadwa bint Khalid bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman
The Queen of Spain
The King of Swaziland
The Crown Princess of Sweden and The Duke of Västergötland
Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand
The King of Tonga
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi
Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Yugoslavia
The Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia

the first grandchild for Marie Astrid & Christian of Austria

Countess Marie Christine de Limburg-Stirum gave birth to a son, Leopold, on April 19, according to a family member.  Marie Christine, the eldest daughter of Archduke Christian of Austria and the former Princess Marie Astrid of Luxembourg, is married to Count Rodolphe de Limburg-Stirum.

Leopold is the first grandchildren for Archduke Carl Christian and Archduchess Marie Astrid.

Marie Christine and Rodolphe live in Argentina, where he runs a ranch.

Friday, April 22, 2011

a few interesting news articles

Much to my delight, a lovely color photo of Queen Elizabeth II above the fold on the front page of today's Washington Post.  The Style section has a front page article on the royal family.

The Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein send their regrets

The Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein have sent their regrets and will not be able to attend the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton.  The Prince and Princess have another commitment, the beatification ceremony for the late Pope John Paul II.

Although the Princely family is very large, most members do not live in the tiny principality and carry out official duties.  Official duties are carried out by the Prince and Princess and the Hereditary Prince and Princess.   The Prince's two younger sons, Prince Constantin and Prince Maximilian live with their families outside the country.  Prince Max is the chief executive officer of the Liechtenstein Global Trust.  Tatjana, who lost her title of Princess (but not her HSH), when she married Philipp von Lattorf, lives quietly with her husband and children in Austria.  She and her brothers are seen at the National Day celebrations, but do not take on any official duties.

Prince Hans Adam has two younger brothers.  Prince Philippe has lived in France for many years with his wife, Isabelle, and their family,  Prince Nikolaus, who recently retired as Liechtenstein's ambassador to Belgium, and his wife, Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg, have moved back to Liechtenstein, but neither carry out official duties.

The King and Queen of Jordan are not on the list of foreign royals.  It was said that they had confirmed, but perhaps due to the rising tensions in the country, the King and Queen have decided to forgo the wedding.

A successful visit to Amsterdam

April 22, 1879

King Willem III and Queen Emma have arrived in Amsterdam to "great rejoicings."  The city was well decorated, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The former Princess Emma of Waldeck und Pyrmont,  20, married King Willem at Arolsen on January 7.  She is his second wife.  The 62-year-old King Willem's first marriage to Princess Sophie of Württemberg took place in 1839.  She died on June 3, 1877. 

King Willem has had three sons by his first wife,  Willem, the Prince of Orange, who was born in 1840, and Prince Alexander, who was born in 1851.   Prince Maurits was born in 1843, and died at the age of seven in 1850.

The Prince of Orange is unmarried.  In the early 1860s, there were plans for the young prince to marry Queen Victoria's second daughter, Princess Alice, but she preferred the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, and they married in 1863.  A decade later,  he fell in love with a 19-year-old Countess Mathilde de Limburg-Stirum, but she was not of equal rank.  He was willing to marry Mathilde without his father's consent, but Mathilde's parents would not agree to a marriage. 

The Prince is now living in Paris with a mistress, where he leads a rather debauched lifestyle, much to his father's dismay.    Prince Alexander is also unmarried.

Infante Juan arrives in Paris

April 22, 1931

Infante Juan, considered to be the heir apparent to the Spanish throne, arrived this morning at 9:15 a.m., at the Gare de Lyon station in Paris.  Juan, the third son of King Alfonso XIII, had traveled overnight from Naples.  He was taken to Fontainebleau, where his mother, Queen Victoria Eugenia, is now living., reports the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, in London, former King Alfonso XIII, traveling in a "big purple limousine today," went shopping, while the members of the House of Commons cheered "an official announcement" by the Foreign Secretary that the British government had recognized the "the new Republican regime at Madrid."

The New York Times reports that King Alfonso "looked tired today," but "appeared as happy as he ever did in his days as reigning King.  He had breakfast with the Duke of Miranda, and read "English and Continental newspapers," and then left his hotel for a "two-hour shopping expedition."  The purple limousine was lent to him by  friend, the Marquess of Londonderry.  He stopped in at several "smart men's shops" on Bond Street, and bought clothes and other items for his "stay in London."

Whenever the purple limousine was sighted, crowds gathered and some shouted "Viva el Rey!"

The King receive only one visitor today: the Marqués Merry de Val, the former Spanish Ambassador to the Court of St. James.

It is understood that Alfonso will be visiting his mother-in-law, Princess Beatrice, at Torquay in the next few days.

Prince Hendrik's debts remain unpaid

April 22, 1901

The newly married Queen Wilhelmina is not happy, according to a dispatch to the New York Times.  It appears that debts accrued by her husband, the former Prince Heinrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, before his marriage.  He had promised "his creditors in Berlin and Frankfurt that he would pay one-third of his debts within a month of his wedding," but so far the prince has not paid any money to his creditors.

The lenders have not "formally applied" to the Queen, but she has declared that Hendrik "must pay his own debts" out of his state allowance.

Wilhelmina is also reported to be "very angry" over the news that the credits have formed a syndicate and "propose to negotiate" Hendrik's "paper on the Amsterdam Borse."

Preparing for the wedding

The Today Show, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary on the air in January 2012, has been looking back at its history.  This morning's program featured Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley, who were the main hosts of the program from 1976 through 1982, when Brokaw left to become the anchor of the NBC Evening News.  (Jane left the show in 1989.)   Their featured ended with a look back at their coverage of the wedding of Charles and Diana. Tom discussed about what they could not talk about at the time, that there was a sense that this was an arranged marriage.  He and Jane gave to Meredith Viera a tin Charles and Diana wedding tray, which Meredith then gave back to Jane.  She also showed Tom and Jane the humongous briefing book that NBC's reference department prepared for the Royal Wedding coverage.   Tom noted that they had something similar.  (Having worked in news libraries, I can attest to the creation of briefing books that are prepared for major events.  I remember working on several projects when I was the Library Manager at CNN's D.C. bureau.)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Death of the Duchess of Guise

April 21, 1961

Reuters is reporting the death of the Duchess of Guise, mother of the Count of Paris, pretender to the French throne.  The duchess, who was 82 years old, died in Larache, Morocco.  She is survived by her son and two daughters, Princess Pierre Murat, and the Duchess of Aosta.  A third daughter, Princess Christopher of Greece, died in 1953.

HRH Princess Isabelle Marie Laure Mercedes Ferdinande of Orléans was born at the Chateau d'Eu on  May 7, 1878, the fifth of eight children of Prince Philippe of Orléans, Count of Paris, and Infanta Maria Isabel of Spain.

On October 30, 1899, at Twickenham, England,  Princess Isabelle married her first cousin, Prince Jean of Orléans, Duke of Guise.  It was an advantageous marriage as the Duke of Guise,  succeeded Isabelle's older brother,  Prince Philippe, Duke of Orléans, as pretender to the French throne.

Princess Elizabeth celebrates her 15th birthday

April 21, 1941

Princess Elizabeth, "heiress presumptive to the British throne,  turned 15 years old today.  According to the Associated Press, the princess celebrated the day with her parents and her younger sister, Princess Margaret Rose at a "country palace."

Ena weeps as she moves to Fontainebleau

April 21, 1931

Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain and her entourage arrived at Fontainebleau "to take up residence in this historic town," according to the Associated Press.  She will be staying at the Hotel Savoy.  The former queen "burst into tears as she left Paris" for her new home. 

"Here I am on my way again," she said.  "Leaving Paris is like leaving my second home."  

The town of Fontainebleau is said to be an "ideal residence' for Alfonso and Victoria Eugenia.  It is near Paris and "not too far from Spain" should circumstances change, and Alfonso is able to return to home.  But according to the local police, he will be living in a neighborhood "where he can be guarded more easily and the fear of assassination will not be ever present."

The only foreign prince fighting for the British

April 21, 1917

Prince Antonio of Orléans-Braganca, youngest son of Princess Isabel of Brazil and and Prince Gaston of France, Count d'Eu, "can boast of being the only prince of any foreign royal house to be serving at the front" in the British army in the present war, writes the Marquise de Fontenoy.

Not long after the outbreak of the war in August 1914, he resigned his commission in the Austrian Hussars, and after "some delay managed to secure a lieutenancy in the Canadian contingent of the British Army."   With his "gallant service at the front against the Germans," Prince Antonio has recently been promoted to captain, and has been appointed Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig's personal staff.

Prince Antonio was born on August 9, 1881 in Paris.  At the time of his birth, his maternal grandfather, Pedro, was the reigning Emperor of Brazil.  According to the then constitution, "it was necessary that every member of the dynasty in the line to succession" be before on Brazilian soil.     Unfortunately, for the Princess Imperial,  her third son was born two months prematurely, and before she could sail from France back to her home in Brazil.

Thus, when the Princess went into premature labor, she was rushed from her hotel by ambulance to the Brazilian embassy, where she gave birth to Prince Antonio two hours later.  The Brazilian embassy " was figuratively and officially regarded as Brazilian territory."

Prince Antonio received his military training in Austria.  He has two older brothers,  Prince Pedro, who renounced his rights in favor of his brother, Luiz, after marrying a Czech countess, and Luiz, who made an equal marriage with Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

 Prince Antonio Gastão Luís Filipe Francisco de Assis Maria Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga is unmarried.

Prince Willhelm of Sweden is coming to America

April 21, 1907

Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, Duke of Sodermanland, is coming to the United States in July.  The prince, a grandson of King Oscar, will be commanding the Swedish cruiser, Fyigia, and will visit the Jamestown exposition for  week in July, reports the New York Times.  He will then go to New York, Boston "and other American ports."

Prince Wilhelm, 22, is the second son of Crown Prince Gustav and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden.

a new profile of the elusive Cinderalla -- Catherine Middleton

From the New York Times:

and on the  front page, albeit bottom fold, of the Washington Post:

Eighty Five Facts about the Birthday girl

Flowers for Queen Elizabeth II

Copyright  Marlene A Eilers Koenig

Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Bluegrass International Airport, Lexington, Kentucky on May 26, 1989.  Ten-year-old Amanda Case presents a bouquet and then curtseys to Her Majesty.  The Queen was on a private visit to Kentucky, where she was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. William Farish at their home, Lane's End, in Versailles, Kentucky.  Mr. Farish is the former US ambassador to the Court of St. James.

A princess for the Yorks

Embed from Getty Images

April 21, 1926

The Duchess of York, wife of King George V's second son, gave birth to a daughter this morning at the Yorks' home, 17 Bruton Street.
Great Britain's newest princess "held a truly royal reception," according to the New York Times, "though she herself, save for a few privileged visitors, was not on show."

King George V and Queen Mary were among the first visitors, having "arrived by motor car from Windsor to greet their first granddaughter." Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles, who is the mother of two sons, was also one of the first to see the princess, who is third in line to the throne, and the "fourth Lady of the Land."

The Prince of Wales, who is in Biarritz, has sent a telegram of congratulations. He was delighted by the news about the Duchess of York, "for whom the Prince's favorite name is 'Queen Elizabeth.'"

Queen Maud of Norway, who is visiting London, also "had a glimpse of the little one this afternoon."

The Duke of York's face "was wreathed in smiles like any proud father as he looks out from on the windows" of his London home. Crowds have been gathering all day long "opposite the mansion."

The princess is the only child "yet born to a son of the reigning king." It is expected that she probably will be named "Mary Victoria Elizabeth," after the late queen, the present queen, and the Duchess of York. She will be a royal highness and take precedence after Queen Mary, Princess Mary, and the Duchess of York.
She is also a "possible, though improbable, successor to the throne of England."

 This would require that the King, the Prince of Wales, and her own father predecease her "without other issue and that she herself should have no brothers." Should these "contingencies occur," the princess "would take precedence over Prince Henry and Prince George, the king's younger sons.

"trusty and well-beloved Catherine"

The absolutely official consent to the marriage ..

Prayers for William and Catherine

Only eight days to go...I better start go to bed early so I won't too tired when I get up at 3:45 a.m..