Thursday, June 30, 2011

Monaco Princely wedding: No US Network coverage

Live coverage that is.   No Dateline or 20/20 specials.  Here in the US, we can watch the wedding through live streaming:

UPDATE:  I CLICKED ON THE LINK AND GOT A MESSAGE STATING THAT THE CIVIL CEREMONY COVERAGE IS RESTRICTED TO MONACO TERRITORY. will have live streaming.  Euronews, a cable news channel from Europe, will have live coverage on Saturday.

Yes, there will be coverage on the evening news, and on the 24 hour news channels, but, as far as I know, none of the news networks have purchased the rights to the wedding.

However,  channel surfing is recommended.   It is entirely possible that one of the news networks, CNN, CNNI, MSNBC or FAUX News (also known as Fox) might break in to show parts of the ceremonies.

Monaco princely wedding: the guest list

Here is a link to the official guest list (which does not include the companions.)  For example, the Earl of Wessex will be accompanied by the Countess of Wessex.

Monaco princely wedding: the witnesses

The Prince of Monaco's best man will be his cousin, Chris LeVine.   Miss Wittstock's witness will be Donatella Knecht de Massy, the wife of Sebastien de Massy, Albert's first cousin once removed.

Sebastien is the grandson of the late Princess Antoinette of Monaco.  He is the son of the late Christine Alix de Massy and her first husband, American, Charles Wayne Knecht.   Sebastien was born in Philadelphia in 1972.

It seems unlikely that the wedding will be televised live in the United States, although it will be on the news!

Will she or ....

Will Charlene Lynette Wittstock say "I do" tomorrow in Monaco.  Or will she do a runner, bolt, or even swim out of Monaco?

To be honest, I have thought the relationship between Charlene, the South African swimmer, and Prince Albert to be rather ... strange, cold, and unemotional.   I am sure life in Monaco, even in a palace with Albert's credit card in your Hermés bag is difficult where you barely speak the language, and have made few friends.

On June 28, the French news magazine, L'Express published a story about Charlene trying to flee the country, but was apprehended at the airport before she could board the flight to South Africa.

L'Express is a serious, a very serious and well-respected French magazine  It stands by its story, and the newspaper's editor has refused to name the source for the story.   The Prince of Monaco's lawyer has threatened to sue, but, strangely, the story still remains on the newspaper's website.  The Palace has denied the story.

But the story won't go away.  Earlier today,  the bride-to-be's father, Mike told South Africa Radio 702 that he was "surprised" by the speculation about his daughter's marriage.  He claims that Charlene took her mother to Paris to go shopping, which would explain her why she was in the airport.

It has been alleged that the reason for the alleged bolt is that Charlene allegedly learned that her future husband is the father of a third illegitimate child.

Prince Albert has two acknowledged natural children, Jazmin Grimaldi, 19, whose mother is a former waitress, Tamara Rotolo, and Alexandre Coste, who will celebrate his 8th birthday in August.   Alexandre's mother, Nicole, is a former airline attendent from Togo.   Prince Albert did not acknowledge the children until after the death of his father.  He also sought DNA testing.  
Jazmin Grimaldi is a student at Fordham University in New York City.

It has been confirmed that neither child will be attending the wedding although Alexandre's mom was seen in Monaco today.

It is also being reported that the police confiscated Miss Wittstock's passport in order to persuade her to stay.

The Palace has not done a good job in denying the story.  The one person who has not spoken is the bride herself.  A good portion of the world's media will be focused on Monaco this coming weekend.  The civil marriage is scheduled to take place tomorrow afternoon, followed by a gala dinner.   The religious service is to take place on Saturday, and will be followed by an ab-fab reception.

Now about the allegations about the alleged third illegitimate child:

and who is Robert Eringer:  according to his blog's profile,  "Eringer was spymaster to Prince Albert II of Monaco and created the principality's first intelligence service."

Young Duke of Albany to succeed in Coburg

Embed from Getty Images
June 30, 1899

It was "officially announced" tonight that the Duke of Connaught, younger brother of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and his only son, Prince Arthur, "have renounced their claims to the Coburg succession in favor of the Duke of Albany, son of the late Prince Leopold of England," reports the New York Times.

The Duke of Albany, who was born in 1884, is the younger of two children of the Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and his wife, Princess Helen of Waldeck und Pyrmont.   He was born several months after the death of Prince Leopold.

The Duke will become the the  heir to the Coburg throne under under the guardianship of the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, who is married to the present duke's third daughter, Princess Alexandra.

Prince Arthur of Connaught "reserves the right to the succession in the event of the death of the Duke of Albany or the extinction of the latter's male line."

The Duke of Connaught chose to renounce his rights because of "his unwillingness to part from his only son and his feeling that he could not abandon his responsibility for the latter's care and education."  It was also noted that the Duke of Connaught wished for his son to remain in England, and he understood that the "heir to the throne of Coburg required a German education."

The Duke of Connaught added that Queen Victoria and the royal family, all had a "most tender love for Coburg, to which they were joined through the late Prince Consort."

The question of an heir to the duchy became paramount earlier this year when the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha's only son, Hereditary Prince Alfred died on February 6, three days after shooting himself with a revolver.

Nicholas Romanoff loses "rich property"

June 30, 1917 (report sent on May 25)

Nicholas Romanov, the former Russian Emperor Nicholas II,  has lost property valued at $700 million.  He had enjoyed the revenues for life.  But the property has now been confiscated by the Provisional Government, according to the Associated Press, which also reports that a special commission set up by the government has been discussing whether other properties owned by Nicholas and worth about $48 million should also be "sequestered by the government."

This commission is also considering whether the properties owned by the Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses, "worth about $210,000,000, should be seized for the benefit of the public."

One authority believes that Nicholas still "has on deposit in the Bank of England $35,000,000."  The money was placed there some years ago ago "in provision for the rainy day which now has come.   The former emperor's uncle, Grand Duke Alexis, left $10 million "on deposit in the Bank of France.

It is also understood that there are two Romanov trust funds.  One was set up by Alexander III shortly before his death in 1894.  This fund is now worth about $7,800.000, and is invested in Russia.  The other fund, which is worth about $24 million, was derived "by Alexander II when he liberated 4,000,000 serfs for $6.00 each in 1861."

Both of these funds are now in easy reach for the Provisional Government.  The Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses, as private individuals, owned more than 200 palaces and villas, said to be worth $70,000,000.  Among the richest estates are in the Crimea and the Caucasus.

Grand Duke Michael betrothed

June 30, 1901

A dispatch to the London Daily Telegraph from Moscow states that Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovitch, who is the heir presumptive to the Russian throne, is "betrothed" of Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, daughter of the late Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III, reports the New York Times. Duchess Cecilie's mother, Grand Duchess Anastasia, is the daughter of Grand Duke Michael Nikolaivich.

Two years ago, Cecilie's older sister, Duchess Alexandrine, married Prince Christian of Denmark, eldest son of Crown Prince Frederik.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Victoria kisses her great-grandchild

June 29, 1891

Queen Victoria, accompanied by members of the royal family, attended the christening at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, of the first child of the Duke and duchess of Fife.   The Queen is the chief sponsor for her great-granddaughter.  Among the other members of the royal family were were present include the Queen of Denmark, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Princess Victoria of Wales, and the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, reports the New York Times.

The water used in the baptismal ceremony was brought from the River Jordan for this occasion.   The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London officiated at the ceremony.  The baby, who is the first grandchild of the Prince and Princess of Wales, was named  Alexandra Victoria. She will be styled as The Lady Alexandra Duff.

The Queen "stood by the baptismal font, holding the baby in her arms during the main portion of the service."  At the end of the service, Queen Victoria gave her little great-granddaughter "such a hearty kiss that it echoed throughout the chapel."

The Times reports that the Queen came from Windsor to London to "act as sponsor" at Lady Alexandra's baptism.   She arrived at Paddington at 11:35 by special train, and was escorted to the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace. by a detachment of the Royal Horse Guards.  She was driven in an open landau to the Chapel.

When she arrived at the palace, she was met at the Ambassador's Court by the Duke and Duchess of Fife, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Princesses Victoria and Maud.  Victoria took the arm of the Duke of Fife, and "passed up the chapel to the seats placed for the sponsors on the right side of the altar."  She was joined by the other sponsors, the Prince and Princess of Wales.  

Other seats were taken by Princesses Victoria and Maud of  Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Edinburgh and her three daughters, Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne, the Duchess of Albany, the Duke and Duchess of Teck, Princess Victoria of Teck,  Prince and Princess Henry of Battenberg and Princess and Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar, who "were also of the Royal party."

Other guests included Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and their daughters, the Countesses Feodore, Victoria and Helena  Gleichen.

The christening was "of a private character," and there were very few present "besides the Royal Family and their equerries and attendants."   The altar was "prettily decorated with palms and lilies."

During the ceremony, the Princess of Wales took the infant from her nurse and placed her into Victoria's arms, who gave "the names Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise."

After the ceremony, the Queen returned "immediately to Windsor."

The Prince and Princess of Wales hosted a luncheon at Marlborough House for the other royal guests.

Princess Natalie Paley heads to Hollywood

June 29, 1935

Princess Natalie Paley, the youngest daughter of Grand Duke Paul of Russia and his morganatic wife, Princess Olga Paley,  passed through Chicago today en route to Hollywood "for her first venture in American motion pictures," reports the Chicago Tribune. 

The 29-year-old princess wore a dress designed by her husband, Lucien LeLong, a Paris couturier. She is accompanied by her maid and a dog, and her "conversational efforts were directed toward the problem of finding suitable American made biscuits for the dog."

Duke of Aosta in critical condition

Jne 29, 1931

The Duke of Aosta, cousin of King Victor Emanuel of Italy, is "dangerously ill in his palace in Turin," having suffered a heart attack, "complicated by pneumonia," reports the New York Times.

The most recently issued bulletin states that the Duke's condition is "desperate."  The Duchess of Aosta, and their two sons, the Duke of Apulia and the Duke of Spoleto, are at his bedside.

The Duchess of Aosta has informed Premier Mussolini of her husband's grave condition.  The head of the Italian government responded with a "telegram expressing his regret and wishes for the Duke's recovery."   Similar telegrams have been sent by members of the Italian royal family, and "from thousands of the Duke's retainers."

The Duke of Aosta had a "brilliant World War record as commander of the 'unconquered Third Army' throughout the conflict.

Princess Waldemar - royal sculptress

June 29, 1901

A sculptured hippopotamus received "the greatest attention at a recent charity bazaar" in Copenhagen was modeled by Princess Waldemar of Denmark.   The Princess, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune, "has long since preferred the study of art to social festivities," and is an accomplished painter.  She is now determined to "devote her time almost exclusively to sculpture," much to the delight of Denmark's leading art critics.

Princess Marie of Orleans is married to Prince Waldemar of Denmark, the youngest son of King Christian IX.  She is said to be "the most popular woman" at the Copenhagen court, and is a "remarkable character."  Not long after her marriage she had an "anchor tattooed on her shapely left arm."  She said afterwards: "I am a Danish sailor's wife, and I want to do just as the others do."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vacation time

Hyde Park, June 26
I have returned from a week in London - and posts will resume on Wednesday.  A friend took me to Clandon Park near Guildford - Plan B, as it was pouring, which meant scratching a visit to Savill Gardens and Virginia Water.

I also spent a day at Windsor, seeing the Prince Philip exhibit and toured the castle of the umpteenth castle, and walked across the bridge to Eton.   Had lunch in St. James's Park.  Stood in line to meet Barry Manilow and have him sign his new CD.  Saw Pygmalion with Dame Diana Rigg as Mrs. Higgins.  In 1974, she played the definitive Eliza Doolittle.  Got sunburn -- really -- while swimming in Serpentine at the Lido in Hyde Park.   Lots of walking.

Philippe and Mathilde in D.C.

and even mentioned in the Washington Post

Does Charlene have cold feet?

The Monagesque wedding is only three days away, and there are reports that Charlene Wittstock tried to flee to South Africa a few days ago ...

Gucci and Charlotte Casiraghi

Charlotte Casiraghi continues her collaboration with Gucci

CNN interviews Crown Prince Frederik

From CNN

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's trip to the USA

In California, the Royal Couple are delighted to able to contribute to deepening and strengthening the multi-layered links between the United States and the United Kingdom. Their visit builds on the momentum of Prince Harry’s visit to the East Coast last year and the year before that, The Prince of Wales’s recent visit to Washington, and President Obama’s State Visit to the UK this summer. The visit will support the interests of the United Kingdom through the prism of the Royal Couple’s interests.

The United States West Coast is a tremendously important market for British business. The Duke and Duchess will support UK technology investment as well as the creative industries through BAFTA. They will highlight the bond between the US and UK’s Armed Forces, particularly focusing now on the important next step of reintegration of servicemen and women into civilian life after they have finished active service. The Royal Couple will also build on strong existing links between the US and UK charitable sector through some established patronages, such as Tusk and Centrepoint, and the work of their Charitable Foundation.

A word on the engagements:

The Duke and Duchess will depart from Calgary by Canadian Airbus on Friday afternoon to Los Angeles, arriving early evening.

To recap, the purpose and objectives of the US visit are threefold: to lend direct support to the UK’s prosperity agenda, which is seeking to create jobs and investment, by deepening the strong bonds between the US and UK. Secondly, the visit aims to deepen and strengthen links between our respective Armed Forces, particularly on veterans issues, including reintegration into society – and create and tighten relationships in the charitable sector. Finally, the visit builds on the momentum of Prince Harry’s visit last year, The Prince of Wales’s visit this Spring, and the State Visit by President Obama.

The British Ambassador will meet the couple on arrival and they will go directly to an event in support of UK Trade and Investment.

This pre-planned business event brings together British and American technologists and Venture Capitalists to find new avenues for investment and create jobs in the USA and UK. A key priority for the event is generating support for the development of “Tech City”, a push to promote the Old Street area of London as a world-leading hub for developments in technology and software design. The couple will hear a short presentation by leading technologists, and then have an opportunity to meet some of the delegates at the conference.

The final engagement on Friday is a working reception at the Consul-General’s Residence in Los Angeles. This will include some of California’s political leaders, as well as providing a good opportunity for key contacts and friends of the United Kingdom in California (including philanthropy, business and the creative industries) to meet the couple.

The aim of the event is very much to strengthen and deepen the already strong and multi-layered links between the British Isles and the West Coast of the USA. The Duke and Duchess are delighted to able to support our Country, flying the flag in a way they have not had the opportunity to do overseas before.

On Saturday 9th July, the couple will travel to Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. The Club is celebrating its centenary and is hosting a “Foundation Polo Cup” in aid of The American Friends of The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. The charitable work of The Princes and The Duchess, notably through the Wedding Gift Fund and Prince Harry’s Walking With The Wounded expedition, has captured the imagination of many in the United States.

This event is an opportunity for the Foundation to raise its profile there, including its approach to “catalytic philanthropy”. The Cup will raise funds, and also hoist the flag for the United Kingdom. The Duke will play, and The Duchess will attend the event and hand over the prize to the winning team.

On Saturday night, the couple are very much looking forward to an event in support of the British Academy for Film and Television Arts – BAFTA. As you know, The Duke is Academy President, but he sees this as a tremendous opportunity to build on the momentum of British successes in television, film and video games. BAFTA are looking for concrete results from this event.

The aim is twofold: to connect the best, young, up-and-coming British talent with Hollywood’s movers and shakers; and to showcase the incredible skills, talent and strengths of the UK creative industries at home and in California. This will embrace film, television, video games and music.

It will be a red carpet event, in black tie, with a sit-down dinner. It will take place in a fabulously regenerated 1920s building, the Belasco Theatre, in Downtown Los Angeles, which is undergoing a renaissance. At each table, young British talent will be buddied with, and sit alongside, the Industry’s executives and studio bosses: We hope it will get them that big break, but also that it will generate more and greater interest in investment in the UK creative industries, whether it be film production, television, special effects, or computer game design. The Duke will make a short speech at this event.

The final day of the tour – Sunday 10th July – starts with a private engagement in support of Tusk USA. The Duke is Patron of Tusk Trust in the UK, and its work on conservation in Africa. This is its American branch, and The Duke is delighted to be able to participate in an event which will give more support to this important cause.

The next engagement brings the couple back into Downtown Los Angeles. They will visit Inner City Arts, an incredible organisation which uses visual arts and performance to give inner city kids – in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in the world – an oasis of calm, fun and learning. It seems to be at the direct meeting point of couples’ interests: homelessness is a massive issue in Downtown LA – 270,000 are homeless in Los Angeles. As we’ve discussed earlier, The Duchess is extremely interested in how the arts can help young people unlock their potential. It brings together these strands in a concrete, meaningful way.

Centrepoint from the UK, another of The Duke’s patronages, has connected with Inner City Arts as a result of this visit. The British Council in LA, with the support of the Embassy and Consulate-General, is also exploring ways of deepening the links between the UK and US charitable sector in this regard.

The couple are really looking forward to meeting the children participating in art programmes – mainly painting and pottery. The couple will then join an audience of children and supporters and watch a performance from the dance and drama classes.

The Duke and Duchess will then move on to the final event of the Tour which aims to strengthen further the links between UK and US armed forces. It focuses primarily on military families and the reintegration of returning servicemen and servicewomen – with an emphasis on training and employment, which is of real interest to The Duke and Prince Harry at the moment.

“Service Nation: Mission Serve” is an umbrella organisation, set up by the US government, which brings together a host of different service charities to support the reintegration of Servicemen and women to civvy street.

That Sunday, an enormous “job fair” is taking place at Sony Pictures Studio under the “Service Nation: Mission Serve” banner. The Duke and Duchess will attend and learn more about how the US is taking steps to support returning servicemen. The Foundation is taking a very close interest, too, and beginning to look at ways to work with “Service Nation: MissionServe” on this. The couple will meet the project’s supporters in a reception, and visit the job fair. The Duke will say a few words alongside a supporter of the project and a speaker from the US government. They will then help pack care packages for the families of Servicemen and women deployed on operations, and spend some time with one of the families who have benefitted from the programme.

Tat completes the engagements, and completes the Tour.

The couple will then depart by scheduled airline that afternoon and return directly to the United Kingdom.

A word, if I may now, about the entourage, as I know this has been of some interest. The couple will be supported by the following members of their Household on the Tour:

•Me – as the Private Secretary

•Chris Kealey – as the Tour Coordinator

•Miguel Head – their Press Secretary

•Patrick Harrison – The Prince of Wales’s Press Secretary

In addition, the Household will be supported by:

•Sir David Manning – Sir David, as you know, acts as an advisor to The Duke and Duchess and to Prince Harry.

•An administrative assistant, drawn from the Household Office.

•And a hairdresser – James Pryce – who will come along for The Duchess.

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Private Secretary to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about the tour of Canada

The first thing to say is just how much The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to their forthcoming Tour of Canada, and then travelling on briefly to California. The past two months have been a very significant time in their lives, and ending this period with a Tour of Canada – a country so close to the Royal Family’s heart – is truly fitting.

The Duke has had a genuine wish to go back to Canada for many years, and has been encouraging me – often pretty hard – to find an opportunity to do so. The Royal Couple are delighted that Canada will be their first Tour together, and the Canadians have put together an extremely welcoming and well-balanced programme of meaningful engagements, mixed with fun and lots of opportunities to get to know Canada and Canadians better.

Our Canadian colleagues have taken to heart the couple’s interests, and you can see this throughout the programme. There is a focus on Servicemen and women and their families, young people unlocking their potential, but for the most part their Tour will be a celebration of the diversity and vibrancy of Canada’s people and geography.

The Canada Tour starts and finishes with two very high-profile events: Canada Day, the national celebration of unity, with potentially hundreds of thousands in red and white on Parliament Hill in Ottawa; and finishing with the world-renowned festival of the Calgary Stampede.

In between, there is a kaleidoscope of activity:

•Montreal with its cuisine and international jazz festival;

•Quebec City, this great and historic place overlooking the St. Lawrence;

•Prince Edward Island, a stunningly picturesque Maritime Province;

•the North West Territories, in all its vastness and remoteness – including Yellowknife, a true frontier city with a hugely welcoming population.

•and Calgary in Alberta, and an introduction to Canada’s vast prairies and extractive industries, all framed by the mighty Rockies.

Now, if I may, the engagements in more detail:

The Royal Couple will arrive mid-afternoon by an Canadian Air Force jet – an offer kindly made by the Canadian Prime Minister.

On arrival, The Duke and Duchess will go straight from the airport to pay their respects at the Canadian cenotaph and tomb of the unknown warrior in central Ottawa – a monument of great dignity to those who have lost their lives in service of their country. The couple were keen for this to be their first act in Canada. Such memorials are always poignant, but particularly so right now as Canada’s combat role in Afghanistan is drawing to an end. Canada has lost, to date, 155 service personnel in Afghanistan, one of the highest for any ISAF ally. They have been fighting alongside British, Afghan forces, and US forces in Southern Afghanistan, focused on Kandahar, one of the most troubled cities and provinces. At the Cenotaph, the couple will lay the same wreath that The Prince of Wales laid during his Tour two years ago.

Following the wreath laying, the couple will attend their Official Welcome to Canada at the Governor-General’s Residence, Rideau Hall. Senior members of the Royal Family often receive an Official Welcome to country. This will take place at the Governor-General’s House and will include a parade and full Guard of Honour. The Duke will respond to the Welcome on behalf of the couple with a few words, and we anticipate crowds to have gathered to welcome them in the Residence’s grounds.

Later, in the early evening, the Governor-General will host an informal reception for young people from across Canada. The 120 Canadian young people have been invited by the Governor-General for their impact and contribution to the areas of voluntary service identified in the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund.

On Friday 1st July – Canada Day – the couple will attend a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony at the Museum of Canadian Civilisation.

The event is a regular “swearing in” ceremony for new Canadians, which happens almost every day all over the country. However, traditionally on Canada Day, the Governor-General presides over one such ceremony, and it is to this that the Royal Couple will be going. There, the couple will witness around a dozen “new” Canadians of varying ages from different parts of the world becoming Canadian citizens. It aligns fully with the second theme of Canada Day this year, “citizenship”, and will be a colourful celebration with flags handed out by the Royal Couple to each new citizen and, no doubt, plenty of smiling families – a celebration of Canada’s diversity. The Royal Couple’s attendance is particularly apt as swearing-in ceremonies include a pledge of allegiance to Her Majesty The Queen of Canada.

This engagement will be followed by the Canada Day “Noon Show”. This is the main ceremonial moment of the Tour. The couple will join the Governor-General and his wife and travel by landau to Parliament Hill, the focal point for all of Canada’s national day celebrations. Attendees normally number in the hundreds of thousands, festooned in red and white, and celebrating their country. The Noon Day show includes music, pageantry and speeches. The Duke will say a few words, as will the Prime Minister. The three main themes of the celebrations this year are: support for the Armed Forces and their families; citizenship, and a celebration of Canada’s Great Outdoors, with the 100th Birthday of “Parks Canada”, the body which protects the National Parks.

As part of the celebrations, there will be anthems, a flypast by the Snowbirds and a link-up with Canadian Forces in Kandahar in Southern Afghanistan.

After the event has finished, there will be a break in the programme for Their Royal Highnesses to recharge and prepare for the Canada Day “Evening Show”.

Celebrations are in two parts. The Noon Show is the traditional and more ceremonial moment. In the evening, there is separate show with a real party spirit – with spectacular fireworks and a rock and pop concert which is broadcast nationwide. Their Royal Highnesses will drop into the “Evening Show” and enjoy the entertainment, before attending a private diplomatic reception elsewhere in the city from where they will watch the firework show.

This will complete a pretty full and exciting programme celebrating Canada’s National Day.

In the morning of Saturday 2nd July, Their Royal Highnnesses will follow a long-standing and noble tradition in Canada of planting a tree in the grounds of Rideau Hall, the Governor-General’s residence. Many Members of the Royal Family have done this, and we understand that the Canadians have selected a local species for the couple to plant – the Canadian hemlock, which traditionally lives for up to 500 years.

The next engagement is at the incredibly impressive and moving Canadian War Museum. The couple will first privately visit a sanctuary to the Unknown Warrior at the Museum. It was designed so that, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a beam of light strikes a gravestone taken from the fields of Vimy. The Couple will have a moment for private reflection there.

The Couple will then join a reception for Canadian servicemen and their families from a range of campaigns in Canada’s modern military history: Afghanistan, the Balkans, Korea, and the Second World War. This takes place in a large open exhibition room of military vehicles, tanks, mobile units and so forth, from the various campaigns. Their Royal Highnesses will spend time with the veterans, including some injured servicemen, and unveil a new painting acquired by the Museum. They will then briefly tour the rest of the museum.

The couple will then board the Canadian Air Force Airbus for a short flight to Canada’s East Coast industrial powerhouse, Montreal. It is also known for its international flavour, great food, comedy, jazz and film festivals.

The first engagement in Montreal is the world-renowned Saint-Justine University Hospital Centre. This visit aims to highlight the work of one of the leading hospitals in the world specialising in children’s care. The hospital pioneers technology and new approaches to help children come into the world, and also in the treatment of children recovering from serious illnesses. The hospital takes a holistic approach, working with families as well as the children, stimulating their learning and keeping their minds active.

The couple are very keen to go to Saint-Justine, what with The Duke’s close links to the Royal Marsden Hospital here. And the way arts are used to stimulate the children was of particular interest to The Duchess, who has long held an interest in what is termed arts therapy.

Their Royal Highnesses will privately visit the neo-natal clinic where innovative methods have achieved miraculous results, spending time with a few families learning to care for their new born children. Finally, the Royal Couple will meet youngsters in the arts therapy room where carers encourage the children staying in the hospital to express themselves, learn and grow using hands-on arts and crafts. It will be a truly colourful, bright and uplifting visit.

The next engagement focuses on the couple’s shared interest in seeing young people unlock their potential. In this case, through a strength of the province of Quebec, at the L’Institute de Tourisme et d’hotellerie du Quebec.

This engagement celebrates one of Quebec’s tremendous assets: culinary arts and hospitality. The Institute trains young men and women for the catering and hospitality business all around the world. The graduates here are counted among the very best, and go on to join top hotels and restaurants.

Their Royal Highnesses will join the students in a tutorial in a working kitchen, learning to prepare a few dishes, putting on an apron, and rolling their sleeves up. They will then join a reception with the students. Then, the Premier of Quebec and his wife will join the Royal Couple over a private dinner to enjoy what the students and they have cooked.

That evening, Their Royal Highnesses will be piped aboard a Canadian frigate, HMCS Montreal, and travel up the St. Lawrence river to Quebec City. As it happens, by sheer coincidence, there will be an international fireworks competition very close-by as the Ship sets sail from Montreal quayside.

Arrival in Quebec on Sunday 3rd July will be spectacular as the naval vessel draws up beneath the walled city of old Quebec. Quebec City is a gem. A truly north American city, its heart plucked straight from late mediaeval France.

The first engagement of the day will be Morning Prayers, on the helicopter deck of the Montreal, with the Ship’s Company. We expect that clergy from the City will join the company on the ship.

Their Royal Highnesses will then depart for a terrific youth project in the city. Many of you will remember the engagement in Redfearn in Sydney last year. It will be in a similar vein, getting to appreciate some of the real issues facing young people in Canada’s cities – and of course it allies closely with The Duke’s ongoing support for charities that look after vulnerable young people here in the United Kingdom.

The next stop in Quebec City is to celebrate the Royal 22nd Regiment of Canada, the legendary “Vingt Douze”. The couple will observe a military ceremony in honour of the Regiment. The Regiment is a renowned and much respected component of Canada’s history and fighting forces, and the couple feel very privileged to attend this event.

The final engagement is a hop by helicopter into a lively community event with barbecues and fun stalls, the attendees still in full flush of Canada’s National Day on 1st July. This will be an opportunity for Their Royal Highnesses to meet Quebecois and experience again the diversity and vibrancy of this extraordinary part of Canada.

We will say more about all three of these engagements nearer the time.

It is then a short flight to Prince Edward Island, the most easterly point of the Tour and an introduction for the couple to Canada’s Maritime provinces. The Canadian Government anticipates that P.E.I. (as it is known) may be a focal point for many well wishers from across the Maritimes. P.E.I. is a terrifically welcoming place, and is well known as the home of the Anne of Green Gables. More importantly, P.E.I. also has an important place in the history of Canada, as it was where the Confederation of Canada’s provinces was signed in 1864.

On arrival in PEI, we hope the couple will join you and some Canadian media for informal, off-the-record drinks in Charlottetown. Mig will give you further details.

On Monday morning, 4th July, the couple will arrive at Province House at one end of Great George Street, the historic street in Charlottetown. The couple will meet the Premier and learn about the important place Province House has in Canadian history. It was here that representatives of the Provinces came together to form the Dominion of Canada. The couple will see the historic rooms and then meet – and be photographed with – the “Founding Fathers” and children, who will be in period costume.

The Duke will respond to some remarks by the Premier with a few words of his own. We anticipate there may be well wishers lining the route to the harbour, where the couple will travel in an open-top vehicle – probably a carriage. It’s a journey of about half a mile. At the harbour, they will watch a few moments of a short play. Following this lively finale, they will then depart for Dalvay-by-the-Sea, where they will attend a cultural event.

The beachside resort of Dalvay-by-the-Sea is a holiday destination with picket fences, large wooden houses with verandas, red barns, and green grass. It was used as a backdrop, reportedly, for some television adaptations of the Anne of Green Gables stories.

While Great George Street celebrated the past and heritage of Canada, the Dalvay engagement is very much a community event with plenty of colour, showing off the Island’s diversity.

First at Dalvay, The Duke will participate in a Canadian Air Force demonstration at a nearby lake. The Canadian Search and Rescue Force is the only one in the world to undertake “Waterbirding”, a technique whereby a Sea King helicopter makes a controlled landing on water. The Sea King, which operates below 500 feet or in a hover when conducting anti-submarine warfare or in search and rescue operations, does not always have a safe landing site should an emergency occur; the closest ship or land could be miles away. In the event of engine failure, a controlled landing on the water may be the only option. The Duke will take part as aircrew in a demonstration in a Sea King helicopter, undertaking a Waterbirding exercise at Dalvay.

Their Royal Highnesses will then team up with Dragonboat racers, taking a boat each – although I hasten to add, not themselves paddling, though probably steering – and they will race across the lake to the opposite bank where crowds will be gathered. After congratulating the winning team, the couple will be welcomed by First Nations people with a traditional “smudging” ceremony. They will then go on a walkabout, enjoying different types of music from the Maritimes, including Arcadian (with its roots in French music), Celtic and First Nations. We hope there will also be a chance for the couple to taste a couple of local delicacies, which might include raspberry cordial, chocolate covered potato crisps and P.E.I.’s famous lobster...

The end of the engagement is on the dunes of the beach. Young people will be engaged in a range of beach sports, and the couple will start one of the games and present prizes to the winners of various competitions.

The next and last engagement on Prince Edward Island is at Summerside, where the couple will join an event with the Canadian Force’s Search and Rescue Force. They will board a Coastguard vessel at the harbour, chat with serving officers and some of their familes, and meet people who have been rescued by the Search and Rescue crews. A helicopter crew will then do a short demonstration in the harbour, also entertaining crowds which will have gathered around the bay.

As you might remember, Canadian Search and Rescue was one of the recipients of the Wedding Gift Fund. The Duke and Duchess are delighted to include this element in the programme. Also, the Canadian Equerry for the Tour, Captain Jean Leroux, is a serving Search and Rescue pilot.

The couple will then depart from Summerside airport, a short-drive away. The next location, the North West Territories is the longest flight on the trip. This is the only big hop the couple will do. They will arrive quite late in the evening, but it will be light as we are heading “60 above” in latitude and it is likely that the sun will not set at all while we are there.

Tuesday 5th July begins with a wonderfully colourful engagement by the lake in North West Territories capital, Yellowknife. This is the opportunity to meet the people who may have travelled great distances to welcome the couple, and, once again, to get to know a little better how different and fascinating the great North can be. It was very much the couple’s wish to experience this part of the world.

The location is in the centre of the city next to a lake. NWT is famous for its thousands of inland lakes. There will be a welcome by First Nation peoples, and a few words to the crowd from the Premier and The Duke. During a walkabout, there will be demonstrations of Arctic Sports.

After a walkabout, they join the Premier, a former ice hockey player of some standing – for a game of “shinny” or street hockey. The Duke and Duchess will take part in some way – perhaps dropping or shooting a few penalties.

Following the shinny game, it’s then a short drive to the Provincial Legislative Assembly for discussions with the Province’s Youth Parliament. The building is modern and impressive, and it was opened by The Queen on the last official Royal Tour that took in the North West Territories, in 1994. In the centre of the open and light-wood chamber, reminiscent in design of an igloo, lies a large polar bear skin. The polar bear is the symbol of N.W.T. The young people will be having a debate about issues which matter to them, and the couple will be invited to join them, listen and ask questions.

Their Royal Highnesses will then attend a short reception with senior members of the Legislative Assembly. A few words will be said before departure.

The final engagement in this frontier Province is to bounce out into the real wilderness. Exploring Canada’s Great Outdoors was something the couple really wanted to do, and a visit to N.W.T. provides an unparalleled opportunity to do this. It is an extraordinary landscape on the edge of the tundra and the tree-line, peppered with thousands of freshwater lakes.

The couple will have an opportunity to do something else close to their hearts. The Duchess has a very strong interest in crafts and traditional arts and The Duke, you’ll remember from his recent visits to Australia and New Zealand, has an interest in understanding more about indigenous peoples, or First Peoples as they are known in Canada.

For this last engagement in the North West Territories, Their Royal Highnesses will go to an island about 30 minutes by air, east of Yellowknife. There will be two components here.

First, having arrived by Float Plane, the couple will meet volunteers and officers from the Canadian Rangers and Young Canadian Rangers. These hardy people explore, survey and protect the wilderness. They will demonstrate their military kit, how they camp and survive on patrol, and invite the couple to join them around the fire for some tea and “bannock”. There might be some traditional singing from the younger Rangers, too. You might recall that The Duke and his brother Prince Harry were made honorary Rangers during The Prince of Wales’s Tour in 2009, so this serial will be a particular honour and pleasure for The Duke.

The couple will then go to Blachford Lodge, a house built over a number of years on the island which serves as a retreat with modern facilities in the wilderness for tourists. It is also used as a base by De’Chinta, an educational organisation which brings together young people from across the Territories to teach and practice traditional arts and techniques such as preparing hides and skins, needlecraft and story telling. The couple will meet two women about the couple’s age, who run this programme. Their guides will introduce them to students learning local indigenous languages, and then move outside, where the couple will see hides being prepared for clothing and fish being smoked. At the end of the tour, the couple will join a campfire discussion with the young people about what it’s like to live in the Territories and learn how and why they have come to De’Chinta.

Finally in early evening (but with the sun barely dipping), the couple will take a canoe to a nearby island for a private barbecue with the De’Chinta team.

On Wednesday 6th July, following seven quite intensive days, the couple will transfer to Alberta province and there take some private time for 24 hours. The rest of the delegation will travel directly to Calgary.

Alberta and Calgary is very much Canada’s West, where the prairies meet the mountains. It is cowboy country – quite literally. The shiny high-rise City of Calgary will be preparing for its world-renowned Stampede, a kind of festival of the prairies through rodeo, music and the arts. Jeans, boots and cowboy hats will be out in force. It is another thrilling example of Canada’s diversity and vibrancy and will be a tremendous experience for the couple.

On arrival in Calgary on Thursday 7th July, Their Royal Highnesses will be “white-hatted”, a tradition which sees the provincial government presenting them with white cowboy hats.

But there is more to Calgary than the Stampede. The couple will first visit a teaching hospital under the auspices of the University of Alberta, where they will tour the Ward of the 21st Century Research and Innovation Centre. This centre pioneers new techniques and technology to improve patient care and training for medical staff.

The couple will meet– and get to treat “STAN”. STAN is a whacky but cutting-edge learning tool for doctors and nurses. Through computers and medical staff, Stan is a patient in bed who recreates the symptoms, conditions and complaints of a patient, meaning that the staff can respond in real time and be tested under pressure. The couple will also see some of the other technological advances the Ward is pioneering.

Later that evening, the Couple will join a reception hosted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mrs Harper at the main Stampede exhibition centre. In the courtyard outside, there will be an opportunity for Their Royal Highnesses to see a little of what the Stampede has to offer. The Duke will throw a “stove” into a “chuck wagon”, the traditional way to start one of the Stampede’s races. There will be a demonstration of bull riding, lasso-ing, and a welcome from First Nations peoples. A wonderfully colourful event.

Inside, the couple will join a large reception, and here the Prime Minister will invite The Duke to say a few words – his last in Canada.

Friday 8th July is an early start and the last day in Canada. The Stampede officially begins each year with a parade through the centre of the city. This is an exciting and colourful event which has a long history, with many Albertans lining the route. It is broadcast nationally in Canada. The Duke and Duchess will join up with the Honorary Parade Marshall, Rick Hansen, a legendary Canadian figure who has raised funds and profile for Spinal Injury charities through his own foundation and a tour of the world in his wheelchair. The couple will travel along the length of the route with Mr. Hansen before officially starting the Parade. They will then join guests of the Stampede to watch some of the wagons and floats roll by.

The penultimate engagement in Canada is hosted by Alberta’s Premier at Calgary Zoo. This is a reception in which the Premier will highlight some of the other high-tech research, particularly in the field of protecting the environment, taking place in the province. The Premier will say a few words.

Mirroring the Official Welcome in Ottawa just over a week before, an Official Farewell will be hosted by the Governor-General at a recently refurbished sports facility outside the city. This will involve a parade and military honours. The Duke and Duchess may also lay flowers at a tribute for Canadian Forces, a mural which is touring Canada and includes portraits of those who have died on active service in Afghanistan.

This will round off a tremendously exciting and varied programme in Canada, which The Royal Couple feel is an incredible opportunity to get to know Canada better, and start to build real and long-lasting relationships. As they wanted, the programme builds heavily on their existing interests, but also introduces them to the diversity and vibrancy of Canada.

Monday, June 20, 2011

An interview with Mike Tindall

The Daily Mail interviews Mike Tindall, English Rugby player and Zara Phillip's fiance.  The interview is good.  The text isn't ... Princess Anne is not in a position to give her children a title ... how difficult is it for the Mail to understand that in Britain, children take their rank from their father, not their mother, unless their mother is a Peer or the Sovereign.

Royal engagement: Mafalda to marry Philipp of Hesse

June 21, 1925

The King and Queen of Italy have given their consent to the engagement of their second daughter, Princess Mafalda, to Prince Philipp of Hesse, reports the Associated Press.

An official announcement will be made later today.

Narrow escape for Victoria of Sweden and family

June 20, 1915  (via Atlantic cable and the AP from Berlin via wireless to Sayville, N.Y.)

Queen Victoria of Sweden and the family of Prince Max of Baden "narrowly escaped injury from bombs dropped by French aviators in  raid on Karlsruhe," according to the Overseas News Agency.

One bomb hit the castle's roof above a bedroom occupied by Prince Max's young children, and another bomb exploded above the chamber of one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting.   Another resident of the castle, who was at home at the time of bombing, was the Dowager Duchess of Baden, an aunt of Kaiser Wilhelm II.

The Aostas did not attend Jolanda's baptism

June 20, 1901

The Duke and Duchess of Aosta were "conspicuous by the absence at the royal christening" of Princess Jolanda of Savoy, the first born daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy. 

Relations between the King and Queen and the Duke and Duchess "are so strained that all intercourse otherwise than strictly official has been suspended."    The Duchess of Aosta, who was Princess Helene of Orléans before her marriage, is "almost insanely ambitious."  She married the Duke of Aosta on the "understanding that King Victor Emanuel would never wed."   She has looked upon the King's marriage to Princess Elena of Montenegro as a "breach of faith," but she would have been "disposed to forgive" if the King's marriage had remained childless.

It is only natural that the young Queen "should have become a mother" and provided the nation with an heir to the throne, but the Duchess of Aosta has taken the birth to be a "mortal personal injury," since her prospects of becoming Queen of Italy are now diminished. 

But until the Queen gives birth to a son,  the Duke of Aosta remains the heir presumptive to the throne.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Monaco wedding

It now seems unlikely that the wedding of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock will be televised live in the United States.  CNN will have reports throughout the day on July 2, which is the date of the religious wedding, but decided not to purchase the broadcast rights for the wedding.

NBC has a long term contract with Wimbledon.  The Ladies' Final is on July 3. 

The American news organizations don't have the spare cash to splurge on another live royal wedding, as news budgets have been stretched by events in North Africa, the Middle East, the earthquak/tsunami in Japan, the tornados in the United States, and the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.    There will be far less interest in the wedding of the Prince of Monaco.  He is half-American and the son of Grace Kelly, but that connection won't be enough to warrant the networks to purchase the broadcast rights for a wedding where the language will be in French.

I also doubt that the BBC will televise the wedding.  The British networks did not purchase the broadcast rights for Crown Princess Victoria's wedding.  BBC America, which purchases programming from the BBC and other sources, won't be showing the wedding.   The BBC World News 24 news channel (which is shown on only three cable companies in the US, including mine),  will have reports but I do not think they will take the feed for full coverage.

I have contacted France 24, the 24 hour French-langage news channel, and asked about the wedding. When I receive a response, I will post the information.  France 24 is available on numerous cable companies in the United States.

I'm six today

No stripes as a kitten

It's my birthday!  I am six years old today.  Me.  Sienna Rose Koenig,  the youngest of the four Koenig cats.  I am cute.  I am adorable.  I am cat ... hear me purr!

I am the mediator.  When my older sister, Ella, a real diva, gets out of paw,  I break up the tense situations that she causes with my two brothers.  I love my brothers, Buddy and Edison ... and I love Ella, too.  But she doesn't cuddle like my brothers (she does like to cuddle with Mom -- we all like to cuddle with Mom.)

I am told I will have a special treat today because I am cute, adorable and I purr. I have the best personality.   I have the best home and Mommy!

The wedding of Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

the bride

All photos copyright Koenigs (not Koenig)

Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburgm, younger daughter of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, was married today to Alexander Johannsmann.

The religious wedding took place at the local church in Bad Berleburg.  The Lutheran service was officiated by Pastor Claudia Latzel-Binder, who baptised the couple's son, Konstantn Gustav Heinrich Richard, last December.

The wedding festivities began on Friday night with a barbecue for 230 guests at Schloss Berleburg, where the bride and groom and their son live.  The menu featured Danish beef, marinated potato salad, creamy pasta, scallop brochettes, tiger prawns, Tiramisu, Swiss double cream and a Danish cheeseboard.

This was an informal and causal event, where the men could wear jeans and open-necked shirts and the ladies wore skirts, summer dresses or pants.

There was also dancing and music, and the party ended after 1 a.m.  

Princess Nathalie and her father, Prince Richard, arrived at the church in a 1935 Rolls Royce Phantom 2 Sidelight Cabrio.  The bridegroom also arrived by car.  The guests staying at Schloss Berleburg traveled to the church by mini-bus.  

The bride and her father waited at the church entrance for several minutes as they waited for the arrival of the bouquet, which had been left at the schloss.

The bride's witness was her best friend, Emma Hindle, who traveled from England to attend the wedding.  Alexander Johannsman's best man was his best friend, Peter Loesser, who lives in Guetersloh, where Johmannsman was raised.

Princess Nathalie's gown was designed by Danish designer Henrik Hvlid. The dress was made from "heavy ivory satin with a silk organza lining."  The couple's monogram was embroidered at the bottom of the 3.2 yards train.  Her veil of Irish lace was first worn by the Princess' great-grandmother, Princess Margaret of Connaught who married Hereditary Prince Gustv Adolf of Sweden in 1905.
This veil was worn again in 1935 when Margaret's daughter, Princess Ingrid, when she married Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.  The veil has also been worn by all three of Ingrid and Frederik's daughters, Queen Margrethe, Princess  Benedikte and Queen Anne Marie on their wedding days.

Princess Benedikte's elder daughter, Princess Alexandra, and Queen Anne Marie's eldest daughter, Princess Alexia, also wore the veil when they married.  The most recent person to wear the veil was Mary Donaldson when she married Crown Prince Frederik.

The veil was held in place by a diamond tiara, which Princess Margaret of Connaught received as a wedding gift.  The tiara was also worn on their wedding days by Queen Margrethe II, Princess Benedikte and Queen Anne Marie,  Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark.

One person who may never get to wear the veil is the American-born Carina Axelsson, who is the longtime companion of Nathalie's elder brother, Hereditary Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgensgtein-Berleburg.  This is due to Gustav's grandfather's will, which included several clauses about equal marriages and inheritance.  If Prince Gustav marries Carina, he will lose his inheritance.

The guests included members of the bride and groom's families, Danish and German nobles and members of Danish, Greek, and German royal families, including Queen Margrethe II (having just returned from a trip to Washington, D.C., and New York City), Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark,  Queen Anne Marie of Greece, Crown Prince and Crown Princess Pavlos of Greece, Princess Alexia of Greece, Prince and Princess Nikolaos of Greece, Princess Alexandra of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and her two children, Richard and Ingrid, the Landgrave of Hesse and his former wife, Princess Tatiana of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg,  the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Hesse, Princess Mafalda of Hesse, Prince and Princess Philipp of Hesse, Princess Elena of Hesse, the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Hohelohe-Ohringen,  Prince and Princess Stephan zur Lippe, Princess Christina of Sweden (the bride's godmother) and her husband, Tord Magnuson, Prince and Princess Christian-Peter of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Prince Hubertsus of Sayn-Wittgenstein, Princess Marie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Olivier LeMaire,  Princess Natascha of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg,  Prince and Princess Otto-Ludwig of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Bereburg,  Prince and Princess Robin of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg,  Prince Bernhard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein and Katharina von Alvensleben, Princess Elisabeth of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, Prince and Princess Georg of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, The Prince and Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, the Prince and Princess of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich,  Count Franz zu Solms-Laubach and Victoria Unterreiner, Counts Gustav-Albrecht and Karl-Georg and Countess Madeleine of Solms-Laubauch,  Maria Princess of Stolberg-Wernigerode, Count Hans-Veit and Countess Henriette of Toerring-Jettenbach, the Prince and Princess of Waldeck und Pyrmont, the Prince and Princess of Oettingen-Spielberg,Count Michael Bernadotte,

The couple were married in a civil ceremony in the Orangery at Schloss Berleburg on May 27, 2010, two months before the Princess gave birth to a son, Konstantin, on July 24.

A reception and a dinner dance for 370 guests was held under a marquee at Schloss Berleburg.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A romance for Prince Christian of Hannover

Is Prince Christian of Hannover involved in a romance with wealthy young Peruvian, Alessandra de Osma Foy?   The couple have been dating for about a year, according to a Peruvian poster on one of the royal message boards.  

Alessandra, 22, studied law at the University of Peru.  She is the daughter of Felipe de Osma Berckemeyer and Elizabeth Foy Vazquez.

Prince Christian is the younger son of Prince Ernst August of Hannover and his first wife, the Swiss-born Hochuli.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sophie Lascelles marries businessman

On Saturday June 11,  Sophie Lascelles, the 37-year-old daughter of the Hon. James Lascelles, and his first wife, Fredericka Ann Duhrsson, got married.  According to the report in the Luton Herald and Post,  the name of the groom is not known.   The family made no announcement, and the details have been rather hush hush.  The ceremony took place at Luton Hoo, which was once owned by Sir Harald and Lady Zia Werhner.   Luton Hoo is now an exclusive hotel licensed for grand weddings and other events.

This wedding, according to a source, "wasn't an old style wedding.  It was quite grand, but there was a more modern vibe.  The table designs were very stylish and the bride looked terrific.  She had about a half a dozen attendants."

Sophie Lascelles is "a talent artist who has exhibited at the Slade School of Fine Art, Tate Modern and the Museum of Garden History."  She is a granddaughter of the Earl of Harewood,  whose mother, Princess Mary, was the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary.  

The groom is said to be a "senior businessman in the care industry."    No name.  What is even more intriguing is the fact that Miss Lascelles apparently did not seek permission from the Queen to marry.  This is required by the Royal Marriages Act.   Without the permission of the Sovereign,  Sophie's marriage is technically invalid in the United Kingdom. 

Her uncle, the Hon. Mark Lascelles, the son of the Earl of Harewood and his second wife, Patricia, recently received permission to marry. At the May Privy Council meeting, the  Queen gave her permission for two marriages, Zara Phillips and Michael James Tindall and the Hon. Mark Lascelles and Judith Anne Kilburn.

Mark Lascelles was born before his parents' marriage.  He was legitimated by the marriage, but does not have succession rights to the Harewood earldom nor the British throne.  However, one does not need to be a dynast in order to seek permission to marry, according to the Royal Marriages Act.

Marlene's Royal Book Store

I have opened a Royal Book Store on Amazon.  See the link on the right side of the blog.  The books come from Amazon, and not from me, although I will get a (very) small percentage of the sales.  I have not yet figured out if I can add books from the British, German and French Amazons,  but I am looking into it.  If you are planning to order a book or DVD from Amazon,  please use the store .. and if you don't see a book in the store (but you know it's on Amazon),  send me an email, and I will add it.

The Duke of Croy's funeral

The Duke of Croy's funeral will take place on Wednesday June 22 at 11 a..m., at the Klosterkirche St Jakobus zu Karthaus in Dülmen.    The Duke died on at Dülmen on June 14 at the age of 96.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

French court says Croys are German

The Duke and Duchess of Croy wanted their children to be "reared as French," but are destined to remain as Germans, according to the New York Times on February 11, 1921.

Although the origin of the Croy family is Belgian and French, many members of the family have interests and property in Germany.  Moreover,  the Duke of Croy and his two brothers fought in the Germany army during the war, which did not help their case in a French court at Valenciennes.

The Duke of Croy and his two brothers, Engelbert and Antoine, filed suit in France to recover their property and to "establish anew their French citizenship."   They presented a case based on the fact that their grandfather was a French noble.  The French court countered with the statement that the three Princes were French, but lost their citizenship "by serving in the German army." 

Although the court would not allow the citizenship to be restored, they would examine the question of the contested property.

The marriage between the Duke of Croy and Nancy Leishman ended in divorce in 1922.   She remarried in 1936 to Andreas Markus Oldenburg, the Danish ambassador to France.  He died in 1939.

German Crown prince acts a mediator

Is Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany acting as a mediator between the Duke of Croy and his estranged family.
On February 27, 1914, the Crown Prince visited the Duke and Duchess of Croy at their hotel in Berlin, and his visit is believed to be the first step to rapprochement with the Duke of Croy's family, who were against his marriage to an American woman, Nancy Leishman.

The Duke left his wife at their castle in Dülmen last week when he attended the wedding of one of her "former ardent admirers," Count Georg Fugger.   Nancy was not invited to the wedding because of her "ostracization by the Court set."

During the first world war,  Nancy, along with Anita, Princess of Braganza, and Bertha, Princess of Isenburg, served on a committee to raised money in the United States to aid "German wounded in the American Hospital in Munich."

Nancy Leishman snubbed by Gotha

The marriage of the Duke of Croy and Miss Nancy Leishman appeared in the 1914 edition of the Almanach de Gotha, which was published in December 1913. 

The annual volume stated that the marriage "is not a marriage of equal birth."   The New York Times' Berlin correspondent states that this "phraseology" was at the "instigation of the Prussian Royal Heralds' Office and is intended as notice to the Duke that his wife is not entitled to the privileges of the Kaiser's Court or the other royal courts of Germany."

After the engagement was announced in April 1913,  the match was "disapproved at a family council" called by the Dowager Duchess of Croy, the Duke's mother, and members of other branches of the family in Belgium, France, Prussia and Hungary.  

Several genealogical authorities assert that Miss Leishman could become the Duchess of Croy because the House of Croy "derived its nobility from France," and members of the family were not bound by German law.   But the Germany aristocracy and the Prussian Court contented that Croy, as a mediatized house,  once belonged to the Holy Roman Empire, and was subject to the rules "of all German royal houses regarding marriage and titles."

The Duke also has property in Austria, where his wife would be "less likely to receive recognition." This is due to the rules at the Court in Vienna, where a morganatic wife would have none of the privileges of her husband.  She would be allowed "only those which she inherits from her ancestors."

Croy-Leishman nuptials

The civil marriage between the Duke of Croy and Miss Nancy Leishman took place in the little village of Verosix, near Geneva, on October 27, 1913, according to the New York Times.

The ceremony was performed by Versoix's mayor, Marc Peter.   The couple were married in the afternoon, when the wedding party and their guests arrived in four automobiles at the city hall.   Twenty-two guests, including three journalists, were present for the civil ceremony.

Miss Leishman wore a "blue velvet down trimmed with chinchilla and a toque to match."  She and the Duke of Croy entered teh room first.   The ceremony took about fifteen minutes before the mayor pronounced the couple as husband and wife.   He also annouced that the "couple had been domiciled at Versoix since July 11."

The Duke's witnesses were his brother, Prince Antoine and Count Apponyi.  Irwin B. Laughlin and Norman Whitehouse,  Ambassador Leishman's secretary," were Miss Leishman's witnesses. 

The register was also signed by Mr. and Mrs. Leishman,  M.Lachenal, former president of Switzerland, and the American vice-consul.

The wedding had not been made public.   After the ceremony, a dinner for the couple was held at the Hotel National in Geneva, and hosted by the bride's parents.

The religious wedding, at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic  Church, Les Eaux Vives, Geneva,. took place in Geneva on October 28, 1913.

Duke to defy Kaiser and wed Miss Leishman

It was announced in Berlin on October 9, 1913 that the marriage between the Duke of Croy and Miss Nancy Leishman would take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 28, according to an exclusive report in the Los Angeles Times.

The marriage was opposed by the Kaiser and the Emperor of Austria, and, according to "well-founded reports," the Duke of Croy "snapped his fingers in the faces of other members of the house of Croy," who are opposed to marriage.  In Germany,  Miss Leishman will not be able to call herself Duchess of Croy or enjoy any rights at a German court.

Final arrangements were made last week in Berlin following Ambassador Leishman's retirement.  It was at this meeting where Mr. Leishman agreed to settled $10,000 a year on the Duke, in addition, to the Duke of Croy's income of $90,000 a year.  This would allow the couple to live on about $100,000 a year.

The Duke of Croy believes that his title being of French origin excludes him from the equality of birth laws in Germany.

A "closed shop"

The decision of the "Union of High German nobility" to exclude Nancy Leishman did not sit well with the editors at the New York Times.

Two days after the Association of High German Nobility announced that the "closed shop rule will be strictly enforced in the case of Miss Nancy Leishman" after she marries the Duke of Croy.

The newspaper's editors noted that "the very highest nobility of other countries profits occasionally from the infusion of fresh and pure blood."  But the Prussian brahmins  "set their faces against all intruders."   In other words,  they are not going to allow Miss Leishman to "have a union card."

Miss Leishman will have to content herself with being the wife of the Duke of Croy, but not be his Duchess.  It is a "terrible affliction for a young woman to bear" but she will "bear it with fortitude and the cheerfulness inherent in a happy nature."  She will be seen as a "scab" to members of the union, but she will not be "subjected to violent treatment."

If there is an "outbreak of sabotage"  the German police will be called in to "act valiantly" to uphold the right of a "good-looking, well-bred woman to serve as the wife of the man of her choice, with or without union papers, especially when she has the money."

The editors also wonder about the "qualifications a person must possess to gain admittance to this select and gracious circle."   The Duke of Croy's ancestors were "marauders, slayers of their fellow-men, stealers of cattle, hard fighters and harder drinkers."   Nor did the Duke's ancestors "exceed in number, excel in strength, or surpass in wit," in comparison with Miss Leishman's ancestors.

It is also unlikely that the German High Nobility "contains any woman comelier than Miss Leishman, better educated, or higher principles."

Nancy Leishman cannot be noble

It was at a meeting of the "Association of High German Nobility" in Frankfurt-on-Main on May 14, 1913, where the main topic was the forthcoming marriage between the Duke of Croy and Nancy Leishman.

The official statements from the Association were published in the Berlin press.  The Association "unanimously decided" that Miss Leishman, daughter of the American Ambassador "could never hope to be recognized by a German Court either as a Duchess or as a 'Highness.'"  The Association also determined that no marriage of the Duke of Croy could be recognized unless he married a woman of equal birth.

The local Berlin society newspaper commented on the Association's actions:  "Mr Leishman, who in turn in other respects enjoys the reputation of being a very intelligent businessman, appears not to have informed himself sufficiently regarding the changes which await his daughter in the case of her marriage to the sovereign Duke of Dülmen, Westphalia."

This action did not appear to interfere with the wedding plans, according to the New York Times' correspondent, who noted that Miss Leishman was now living in Paris with her mother and sister.   According to the New York Times, the wedding would take place in June.

Reports continue about the Duke of Croy's engagement to an American

It was on April 13, 1913 that the Chicago Daily Tribune reported that the news of an engagement between Miss Nancy Leishman and the Duke of Croy "did not come as a wonderful surprise to the many friends of the young woman in Paris."

It has been "current gossip" for some months that the "attractive and independent young German nobleman was deeply infatuated with Miss Leishman," and he didn't care "a copper who knew of it."  The Duke of Croy has followed Miss Leishman "about just as indefatigably as does any American youth the girl of his choice."  Wherever the Leishman party was there "would be found the Duke of Croy."

Miss Leishman "had already made herself felt in the social life of several European capitals."  She is very good looking and "has a manner that is perfectly natural and delightfully friendly."  She is "independent, gay, clever, and sparkling."  According to this report. she also has a fondness for "being entertained and for the attention she receives and the admiration given her."

She is, however, "American through and through, but with a polish that much travel and the mingling in a cosmopolitan society invariably give."

Miss Leishman not engaged to duke

The first report of the romance between Nancy Leishman, the daughter of the American ambassador to Germany, and the Duke of Croy was published in the Berliner Salon, a "popular society weekly," which according to the New York Times, that gave "public currency" to rumors about a pending engagement between Miss Leishman and a "young nobleman."

The Salon reported that a "leading topic of conversation at a ball in the Thiergarten Strasse" in the past week -- the report in New York Times was published on March 15, 1912 -- was Miss Nancy Leishman's "forthcoming betrothal to the Duke of Croy."   The Duke was 23 and a member of the "exclusive Gardes du Corps at Potsdam."

The Salon also reproted that this match would be particularly noteworthy" because it was the first "case on record of a 'Dollar Princess' marrying a European nobleman "richer than herself."

Ambassador Leishman's fortune was estimated at "only" four and five million dollars, but the Duke of Croy's annual income was $250,000.

Ambassador Leishman asked the New York Times' Berlin correspondent to state on his behalf that there was no truth to the report in the Salon that his daughter's engagement to the Duke of Croy or to another "report that she is engaged to the Prince Fugger," a scion of one of the wealthiest noble families.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Half-American HSH Carl, 14th Duke of Croy

all the photos are from my collection

Carl, the 14th Duke of Croy died at Dülmen late on Tuesday night.  He was 96 years old.  

HSH Prince Carl Emanuel Ludwig Petrus Eleonore Alexander Rudolf Engelbert Benno of Croy was half-American.  His mother, Nancy Leishman, (1894-1983) was the daughter of John  Leishman,  former United States Ambassador to Germany.   The marriage between the young American girl and the very rich Duke of Croy was fraught with difficulties largely due to Nancy Leishman's lack of a title. 

The engagement had been announced on May 10, 1913, although it had been rumored "in society circles in Berlin for some weeks."  The German aristocratic society said that "legal proceedings to prevent the Duke of Croy from conferring the rank of Duchess on his bride were inevitable.

There was a precedent for this attitude.  The 13th Duke, as a minor, had his guardian file a lawsuit to debar the children of Prince Philipp of Croy, who had married an Englishwoman, Elizabeth Mary Parnell.  The court ruled in the Duke's favor:  Prince Philipp's wife and children were not entitled to the prerogatives of membership in the princely house of Croy.

Now the 13th Duke of Croy was about to make a morganatic marriage.   An authority on the matter told the New York Times shortly after the engagement was announced:  "Two views may be taken as the Duke of Croy's position,  One is that the Duke of Croy's title is a French title and not subject to any restrictions regarding equality of birth."  This meant that Nancy Leishman and her children would enjoy the same rank and title as the Duke, even if the children could not inherit the Westphalian estates.
"The other view is that the Duke of Croy, who became a German sovereign in 1801, was thereby elevated to a rank above that of a French duke, which he previously was."  

This latter view meant that the Duke, as a mediatized sovereign, had to marry equally for his wife to share his rank.

The Duke was aware of the controversy, which was reported in newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic.  But he was determined to go with the marriage because he was in love with Nancy.

The marriage was opposed by both Kaiser Wilhelm II and Archduke Friedrich (married to the Duke's Aunt Isabella)  but even their opposition would not deter the Duke and Miss Leishman.  Some months before the marriage took place, the Duke of Croy resigned from the Kaiser's Gardes du Corps.  Once the resignation was accepted,  the Duke would not have needed Wilhelm II's permission to marry.

The couple was married in a civil ceremony in Versoix,  near Geneva, Switzerland on October 27, 1913.  A Roman Catholic ceremony was held the next day. An announcement of their marriage was made after the wedding took place.  It is believed that the Duke's mother, Ludmilla, attended the wedding, along with the Duke's younger sister, Isabella, who married Prince Franz of Bavaria.

Nancy gave birth to a son and heir on October 11, 1914, at Dusseldorf.  Her husband was at the front, and her own family in London, when on November 6,  John Leishman finally received news of the birth of a grandson.

In the late 1920s,  German courts ruled that the marriage was unequal, and young Prince Carl could not inherit his father's German properties.  The case was instigated by the Duke's younger brother, Prince Englebert.   By the time the Duke of Croy died in 1974, the situation was rectified, and the family estates passed to his eldest son, Carl, who was known by the very American nickname, Charlie.  The Croy marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1922, and the 13th Duke married three more times.

The  Duke owned the only herd of wild Dülmen ponies in Germany.  This estate now passes to his eldest son, Rudolph.

On June 18, 1953, at Schloss Nymphenburg,  Charlie married Princess Gabriele of Bavaria, daughter of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and  Princess Antonia of Luxembourg.  [Gabriele's sister, Irmingard, married the Duke's first cousin, Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.] 

The Duke and Duchess of Croy had three children: Princess Marie Louise,  Rudolf, who succeeds as the 15th Duke, and Prince Stefan.  He is survived by his wife, his three children, and ten grandchildren.

and other news...

June 15, 1905

Kaiser Wilhelm II left Potsdam this afternoon for a trip to Sigmaringen, where he will attend the funeral of the Prince of Hohenzollern.   The funeral will take place tomorrow at Sigmaringen.

It was announced earlier today that Grand Duke Alexis of Russia has resigned his post as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy.    The Grand Duke, the fourth son of the late Tsar Alexander II. began his naval training when he was seven years old.  He was only twenty years old when he was appointed lieutenant of the Russian Imperial Navy.

This was not an unexpected development. During the Russo-Japanese war in 1904, the Russian First Pacific Squadron and their reinforcements were destroyed during the Battle for the Yellow Sea.  One of the reasons  for the Russian failure was the Grand Duke's decision to purchase French-made battleships, which were of a poor design.