Friday, July 29, 2011

Heirs to Europe's thrones are all nearly minors

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 July 29, 1911

If a "sudden wave of disaster were to sweep over Europe and carry off its reigning monarchies,"  nearly all of the new monarchs would be children or infants, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Every royal house has nurseries, governess, and tutors, and the "sounds of children's laughter and flying fee liven up royal homes, many of which are not by any means the happiest."

The heir to the Russian throne is 6.  Spain's heir is 4; Norway's 8; Holland's 2; Belgium's 9; Italy's 6; and Great Britain's 17.

The Prince of Wales, the heir to the British throne, is in "his last year of childhood."  He will come of age next year when he will "have his own establishment and attendants."

In June, the prince was "made a Knight of the Garter," four weeks after he was invested with the title Prince of Wales, in a "ceremony nearly as ancient as the coronation itself."   He is expected to enter one of the colleges at Oxford, and may also spend some time at Cambridge.  The Prince is also expected to "make a tour of the British empire" with his brother, Prince Albert,  and then enter the army.

The Prince of Wales' first cousin, Crown Prince Olav of Norway is the "most press-ridden and most photographed child in existence."  He is also the heir apparent to the youngest kingdom in Europe.  His father, Prince Carl of Denmark, took the name Haakon when he became king of Norway in 1905.  His young son, Prince Alexander, was given the name Olav, the name of Norway's patron saint.

Crown Prince Olav is a "bright and pretty child," but not "over intellectual."  He is always full of high spirits," and a tremendous favorite "with the public both at home and abroad."  When he was first brought to Norway at the age of two, "his new subjects paid so much attention and were so fond of kissing him" that his mother, Queen Maud, kept in the palace grounds "for some time."

Young Olav is said to be the favorite of his grandmother, Dowager Queen Alexandra.

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 The young heir to the Russian throne, Alexis, who is the Tsarevitch,  is the youngest of five children of Nicholas and Alexandra.  He has four older sisters.   His birth six years ago brought great joy to his family, and to the nation. 

Little Alexis is the "richest and most heavily insured royal child."  When he was born, he was given an annual income of $2,000,000, which will cover his expenses until he reaches the age of 15, when he will receive a "further allowance."  Alexis will celebrate his 15th birthday on August 12, 1919.

Nicholas, who reigns over 180,000,000 people, "holds the theory" that his young son "must have his own way in everything."  Young Alexis "lords it over his sisters and nurses in no uncertain terms."

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Life is very different for two-year-old Princess Juliana of the Netherlands.  She is the only direct heiress to a throne, although a younger brother will surpass her in the succession.  Juliana is known as the "child of hope" because of Queen Wilhelmina's several miscarriages.   There were fears in the Netherlands that the throne would pass to a distant German cousin.

Every milestone in Juliana's life is "chronicled."  The news of her first tooth "occupied paragraphs" in every Dutch newspaper, and crowds look forward to her "daily walk" when she is in "residence with her parents in Amsterdam."


John said...

That article has a nice little tribute to young Crown Prince Olav. I wonder why The Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz referred to him as a "peaky boy" ?

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The article is fluff -- I expect the Grand Duchess' comment was more accurate

Rex said...

The Danish royals weren't noted for their intelligence were they? And the Wales sisters weren't overly bright from what I have read. And, Olav's parents, Carl of Denmark and Maud of Wales were first cousins so the poor kid didn't have much of a chance in the intelligence stakes, did he?

Also, thank you for maintaining this site. I enjoy reading it very much!

Rex (Australia).