Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Princess Clara moves to Benedictine abbey

August 31, 1907

Princess Clara of Bavaria, the abbess of the royal convent of the Dames of St. Anne at Würzberg, will shortly join the Benedictine Convent at Northwood on the Isle of Wight, reports the Los Angeles Times in an exclusive dispatch.

The princess, a "delightful and accomplished member" of the Bavarian royal family does not yet know the Mother Superior at the convent, "where she will spend the rest of her life."   The Mother Superior of the British convent is also royal, an ex-Queen, "in the world who wears the veil," who is the widow of Don Miguel, once King of Portugal.

Princess Elisabeth of Liechtenstein loves her cars

August 31, 1907

Princess Elisabeth of Liechtenstein loves motor cars, reports the Los Angeles Times.  The princess owns thirty-one motor cars and is "certainly the most enthusiastic motorist of all the imperial women in Europe.   The stables at her "beautiful castle at Stuhlweissenberg" in southwest Hungary has largely been converted to garages.  Stable boys have been replaced with chauffeurs and mechanics. 

She pursues her hobby rather "quietly and studiously."   The "great majority of the public" are not even aware of her large collection of motor cars.

The princess is the daughter of Archduchess Maria Theresa and niece of Emperor Franz Joseph.  Her "wonderful interest" in motor cars is unusual in the Imperial family, which has largely not "taken to this new means of locomotion."   The Emperor himself will "have nothing to do with motors and has never ridden in one."

Princess Elisabeth's half-brother, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne,  enjoys motoring, as does his cousin, Archduke Eugen, "who was snowed up in his car last winter when trying to reach his palace at Innsbruck."

The wealthiest member of the family, Archduke Friedrich, owns several cars, but most members of the Habsburg family have so far largely eschewed motoring.

Kaiser Wilhelm II's "enthusiasm" for motor cars is well known.  Austrian enthusiasts "frequently deplore"  Franz Joseph's aversion to "their wares as compared with the attitude of his imperial neighbor in Berlin."

Princess Elisabeth's husband, Prince Alois of Liechtenstein, does not share her enthusiasm.  He is a "man of studious habits."  Some describe him as a bookworm.

The head of the house of Liechtenstein "rules an odd little principality of that near the frontier of Switzerland."   The members of the princely family were always "considered as Austrian citizens" until Elisabeth's marriage in 1903.  At that time, Emperor Franz  Joseph decreed that the members of the Liechtenstein princely family "should henceforth be regarded as foreign princes." 

This action was taken in order for Elisabeth to retain her "rank and precedence as an archduchess," which she would have lost if she had married a subject of the Austrian empire.   Elisabeth did not want to lose her precedence so she persuaded her uncle to place her "husband's family in the category of foreign royalties."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

a baby for the Duke and Duchess of Anjou

Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Anjou. and his wife, Diana, 11th Duchess of Cadaval, will become parents in February 2012, reports the latest issue of Point de Vue.

The Duchess of Cadaval is 33 years old. She married Prince Charles-Philippe d'Orléans on June 21, 2008 at the Cathedral of Evora in Portugal.   Charles-Philippe, 38, received the title Duke of Anjou from his uncle, Prince Henri, Count of Paris, on December 8, 2004.  This was done with the agreement of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

The Duke of Anjou is the third of four children of Prince Michel d'Orléans and Béatrice Pasquier de Franclieu.  According to Béatrice's memoirs,  she first met Prince Michel when he was dating Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark.

Prince Michel's marriage took place at Casablanca on November 18, 1967, without the consent of his father, the Count of Paris.    Because the marriage was non-dynastic,  Béatrice nor the couple's four children were styled with royal titles.  It was not until 1976 when the late Count of Paris permitted Béatrice to be styled as HRH Princess Michel d'Orléans, Countess d'Evreux.  

Prince Henri, Count of Paris, after succeeding to the headship of the family, recognized Michel's wife and children as full members of the royal house.    Prince Michael and Princess Béatrice have been separated since 1994.   Béatrice, a fashion consultant for Dior, blamed the separation on her husband's lack of a career.  They have no plans for divorce.

The Duke of Anjou has two older sisters,  Princess Clotilde, Princess Adelaide, and a younger brother, Prince Francois.

Duke of Gloucester expected to wed later this year

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 August 30, 1935

Lady Alice Christabel Montagu-Douglas-Scott,  who is the Duke of Gloucester's fiancee, disclosed today that "the tall soldier Prince had proposed three weeks ago," reports the Associated Press. 

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She also "insisted that the date for the wedding has not been set."  However, it was "recalled royal engagements normally run about three months," with a royal wedding to take place in late November or early December.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Archduke Otto - Mass cards

Two different mass cards for the late Archduke Otto of Austria.

Friedenskirche - another royal wedding

Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia were not the first royals to marry at the Friedenskirche in Potsdam since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

On May 22, 1999,  Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and Countess Katharina "Tita" von Hardenberg were married in an ecumenical wedding at the Friedenskirche.

Princess Sophie's attendants

Princess Sophie of Prussia's attendants were Baroness Annunziata von Lüninck, Archduke Bartolomeus of Austria. Archduke Emmanuel Erzherzog of Austria, Countess Sophia von Schönborn, Count Georg von Schönborn, and Princess Luise zu Wied

The witnesses for the bride and groom:

Princess Sophie of  Baden, Dr. Stephanie Bermig,  Prince  Johann Georg  von Hohenzollern, Nicolai Nowak, Archduchess Katharina of Austria and Duke Konstantin von Oldenburg

Ratings for the Prussian royal wedding

According to RBB, 160,000 watched Saturday's live broadcast of the wedding of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Princess Sophie of Isenburg.   The program had a market share of 18.6 percent.  The annual average market share for this time period (11 a.m - 2 p.m.) was 2.6 percent.

Interview with Susann Prinzessin von Preussen

For Princess Susann von Preussen, the wife of Prince Franz Friedrich,  a great-grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the crowning finale of the wedding celebrations of Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia was the gala event at the Orangerie.

The former pianist lives in Potsdam with her husband.  She is involved in children and animal welfare charities.  She talked about Saturday's events with a reporter from the Märkische Allegemeine.

How do you feel the day after?  "Bad, thank you.  My husband and I can hardly speak, because we are so hoarse.  You have to imagine: my husband's family who came came to Potsdam.  Relatives living elsewhere in Peru, in Madrid, in Berne, Munich,  all came for the wedding.  In addition, we danced to four o'clock in the morning.   We rarely go out otherwise, so we wanted to take part in this great opportunity."

Were there many speeches?   "Yes,  Georg Friedrich gave a very speech about Sophie.  He repeated among other things, what he said at the charity concert on Friday at the Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt that one of Sophie's tasks is to take over the Prinzessin Kira von Preussen Stiftung.

What are the responsibilities of the foundation.  "The foundation allows children to have a vacation at the family's castle at the Swabian town of Hechingen.   Recently, a youth group of Israelis, Palestinians and Americans stayed there.   I think Sophie will fit the bill perfectly.  I have observed over the past year and at the occasion of the charity concert of the Foundation,.  She was very relaxed and very welcoming to children."

Sophie comes from a large family.   "Yes, she has two brothers and two sisters.  By nature she is very nice and very accessible."

The evening's menu included Brandenburg specialities.  "It was a four-course menu, a blend of white fish, venison also.  What was especially cute were the individual desserts for each person: a a small wedding cake with raspberries and blackberries."

The reporter then noted that the recent British royal wedding was less formal, and rock music was played.  The Potsdam wedding was gala dress with medals and tiaras.  That sounds like a stiff event.

"Not at all.  There was endless talk, and late into the evening Max Raabe and his Palastorchestor entertained the guests.   Earlier, the police band played in front of the Orangerie.  It was cold, but very beautiful.  Prince Georg Friedrich's grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand, was a composer himself and had a very close relationship with the Potsdam police orchestra."

So it was a relaxing evening?   "Yes, but before the wedding, many of the guests were fearful of riots.  But luckily everything went peacefully. It is wonderful how Potsdam has been so delighted with the couple, and, in turn, Georg Friedrich and Sophie are extremely pleased."

Do you think the General Administration of the Prussian House, which is in Berlin, will relocate to Potsdam?  "No, I do not think so.  The head of the General Administration, Michaele Blankart, lives in Berlin.  But the two cities are so close that the young couple are sure to be here often in the future."

Has Potsdam benefited from the wedding?  "I think so.  Many hotels were fully booked for the wedding.  Many guests were thrilled to be here for the first time.  We were peppered with questions about Potsdam, about the sites.  Everything was so stressful before the wedding that many are planning to come back for a visit."

How was the wedding?  "Unfortunately, I could not see because of all of the hats in front of me. But there were very poignant moments. What touched me deeply was the ring exchange.  The rings belonged to Georg Friedrich's parents, Prince Louis Ferdinand, and Princess Donata.   Donata kept her late husband's ring, and gave it along with her own ring to the younger generation."

Leopold Salvator will come to New York to wed his sweetie

August 29, 1931

Archduke Leopold Salvator will soon return to New York to marry Mrs. Alicia Coburn, the New York Times reports.  Their engagement was announced several weeks ago.

Archduke Leopold was arrested in New York "in connection with the theft of the diamond necklace" that belonged to Archduchess Maria Theresa.  His innocence in the matter was finally established.  But he did have "some difficulty" in returning to the United States.  These obstacles have now been resolved "thanks to the efforts of his fiancee."

The Austrian newspaper, Stunde, which reported on the archduke's "forthcoming departure," states that Leopold Salvator's family is not pleased with his decision to marry Mrs. Coburn, as tjhey remain "on the best of terms" with his former wife, Baroness Nikolio.

His engagement and Mrs. Coburn's active role in securing bail for him when he was in the Tombs for the theft of the necklace have been reported in the Viennese press. 

Mrs. Coburn is a Canadian national, but she now lives in New York City.  Efforts to speak with her have been unsuccessful.  Archduke Leopold Salvator went back to Vienna to seek "the aid of Church dignitaries in obtaining a dispensation from the Pope"  so he could marry Mrs. Coburn.  He has been granted a decree of separation from a Vienna court, but he cannot remarry under Austrian law.  But he is free to marry in Paris.

Viennese police have informed the archduke that he "would be unable to remain in Vienna for any length of time" as he failed to apply for "admittance to Austria until he had already been there for several weeks."

The archduke is the son of Archduke Leopold Salvator, who is very ill in Vienna, and Princess Blanca de Borbon y Borbon.

Helen and Irene go by third class

August 29, 1931

Former Queen Helen of Romania and her sister, Princess Irene of Greece, left London today by train -- and traveled third class -- to Scotland, reports the New York Times.

Both sisters wore "valuable pearls," settled into a small compartment for the "380 mile journey to Gullane, Scotland.

"Why shouldn't I travel third class?  It is very comfortable,"  Helen said, after a reporter said to her that "she was establishing a precedent as the first high royal passenger to ride third class in an ordinary train in England?    "We didn't want any one to know we were traveling."

Anita weds her prince

August 29, 1925

Miss Anita Lihme, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C.Bal Lihme of New York and Chicago, was married today at Watch Hill, Rhode, Island, to Prince Edward Joseph Lobkowicz, son of the late Prince August Lobkowicz and the former Countess Irma Palermy of Vienna.

The ceremony took place at 4 p.m., at the Watch Hill Union Chapel, reports the New York Times.  The ceremony was performed by John. F. Vincent, pastor of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church at Westerly.

Miss Lihme was escorted down the aisle by her father.  She "wore a gown of cream-white crepe de chine elaborately embroidered with pearls in a point de venise design."  Her "long square court train was suspended from her shoulders and was made of cream-white chiffon and velvet."   The wedding veil was made from net, and "held in place by a tiara of pearls."   Her bouquet included orchids and lillies of the valley with a "shower of small white orchids tied with silver ribbon."

Mrs. Clement A. Griscome 3d was her sister's matron of honor.  The groom's brother, Prince Ferdinand, was the bestman.

A reception for 500 guests was held at Norman Hall, the bride's parents' summer home.  The bridal party "received the guests under a pergola in the flower garden, which was decorated with masses of pink and white plox."

At the supper, the "forty-five members of the bridal party were seated at a long table on the lawn between a double row of cedars."  The guests sat at small tables "with gaily-striped umbrellas," facing the ocean.

The new princess changed into her "going-away costume," an ensemble of beige crepe de chine, with a brown velvet hat and brown suede slippers.   When the newlyweds got into their automobile, they "were showered with rose leaves and confetti."

Their destination remained unknown, but they will sail for Europe on the Paris, which leaves New York on September 5.  Prince and Princess Edward will visit the Prince's mother in Vienna before returning to New York in late November.

In December, they will move into a new home at 280 Park Avenue in New York City.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Other royal news for August 27th

The memorial service for the late 12th Duke of Arenberg took place today at the Notre-Dame au Sablon in Brussels,  Belgium.   This meant that the new Duke and Duchess of Arenberg were unable to attend the wedding of the duchess' first cousin, Princess Sophie of Isenburg, to Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia.

Princess Alice of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein and Prince Christian of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg were scheduled to marry today, but the wedding has been postponed due to the illness of Princess Alice's mother, Franziska.

Princess Alice, who was born in 1978, is the third of five children of the 9th Prince of Hohenlohe-Bartenstein and his wife, the former Princess Franziska of Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Spielberg.

Prince Christian is the elder son of Prince Christian of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his second wife, Judit Martonffy-Dudutz, a member of the Hungarian nobility. 

The couple were married in a civil ceremony at Schrozberg on August 26.

More photos from the wedding

The newlyweds
Prince Radu and Crown Princess Margarita

The Princess of Isenburg (bride's mother) and Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg (groom's stepfather)

Prince Jaime and Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon Parma

duke and duchess of Castro

The photos in this post were taken by Anuschka Becker.  The photos are her copyright, and please DO NOT COPY!    Thanks

Prince Georg Friedrich weds his princess

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My friend Paul and I visited Potsdam in the mid-1980s before the Berlin Wall crumbled in the fall of 1989.   Potsdam was located in the East,  not too far from East Berlin.  At that time, the only way to see the royal palaces in Potsdam was to book an organized tour in West Berlin.

We booked a day tour that included the Neues Palais and Sanssouci, as well as lunch at a local restaurant.   Paul and I were the only non-West Germans on the bus, which we boarded in West Berlin.   Our tour guide got on after we crossed through the Wall and traveled to East Berlin.  

The tour was heavy on Socialist propaganda.  As the bus headed toward Potsdam, our affable, but-by-the-book, tour guide pointed out a rather ugly Stalinesque apartment building,  She told us -- with a straight face - that 20,000 residents of the building lived in socialist harmony.  I turned to Paul and said:  "I don't think I want to live in Socialist harmony."

When we got to the Neues Palais,  Paul and I managed to get a few words with the tour guide,  We explained our interest in royalty, and I told her about my work as a royal genealogist, specializing in the descendants of Queen Victoria.  We asked if it were possible to visit the Friedenskirche, where Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Vicky, and her husband, Friedrich III, were interred.   The church was not included in the tour.  But when we got to Sanssouci - and the group was going to have tea at the Orangerie, our guide pointed out the path to the Friedenskirche, and said we had 20 minutes.

Paul and I ran as fast as we could.  The church needed work, but the East Germans had no interest in maintaining houses of worship.  We walked into the church and asked how to get to the crypt.   We were able to look through the grate to see Vicky and Fritz's tomb.   I gave $3.00 to the woman in the church, and she tried to say no.  I said that I was Lutheran (Evangelisch) and I wanted to give (this small amount) to the church.   The woman was very touched and accepted the money.  

After taking a few photos, Paul and I realized we had to hustle, and we hustled back to the group.  We thanked our tour guide, and when the tour was over, we tipped her rather well, for her kindness (and her willingness to let an American and a Briton step away from an organized tour to see the Friedenskirche.)

Fast forward twenty-five years.  East Germany is now a part of history.  Potsdam has regained an appreciation of its heritage and the role it played in Imperial Germany.  A majority of the former imperial family's palaces are located in Potsdam.

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 Thus, when Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie were looking for a church to marry,  they decided on the smaller Friedenskirche located in Sanssouci Park.   Georg Friedrich's grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand, who died in 1994, would have certainly approved of his grandson's choice.  He also would have been delighted by his grandson's fiancée.

Unlike Georg Friedrich, who does not own a palace or a castle,  Princess Sophie of Isenburg was raised at Schloss Birstein in Hesse.  She is one of five children of the Prince and Princess of Isenburg.  

Princess Sophie arrived at the church in a silver Rolls-Royce.  She was escorted down the aisle by her father, Alexander.   Her gown was designed by Wolfgang Joop. The veil was made in 1830 from Brussels lace, and the diamond tiara are traditionally worn by Isenburg brides.
Prince Georg Friedrich, dressed in a morning suit and a top hat, was escorted to the church by his mother, Duchess Donata of Oldenburg and his younger sister, Princess Cornelie-Cecilie, who is mentally handicapped.

The service was according to the rites of the Lutheran church, but as the bride is Roman Catholic, a Catholic priest also took part.   The Rev Michael Wohlrab of the Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria Foundation at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem was assisted by Gregor Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck.

The newly married Prince and Princess emerged from the church to strains of Mendelssohn's Wedding March.  They posed for the photographers, and then got into the landau for a carriage ride through the streets of Potsdam and back into Park of Sanssouci to the Neue Kammere, to attend a reception for 1300 well-wishers including political and religious leaders.  In the evening, a white-tie dinner for 350 guests was held at the Orangerie.  At this reception,  Princess Sophie wore the Prussian Mander tiara, which Crown Prince Wilhelm gave his bride, Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg in 1905.    This tiara was also worn by Grand Duchess Kira during the religious wedding in Potsdam.

Officially, royalty does not exist in Germany.  Not since 1919, after the fall of the empire and the establishment of the Weimar Republic.  In 1919, titles became one's surname.   But pick up any of the weekly women's magazines, including Bunte, and you will find numerous articles about the Adels  (nobility.)   Germans are particularly interested in the British, Swedish (Queen Silvia is German-born), and Monaco royals.   

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 The RBB channel in Brandenburg decided to capitalize on the royal interest as millions of Germans tuned into watch the recent British and Monegasque wedding.   The channel, seen on cable networks throughout Germany, decided to televise the royal wedding.  Although several local left-wing politicians griped about the programming, most people thought it a positive event. 

For one day,  Potsdam returned to its imperial past with the celebration of a young couple, Georg Friedrich and Sophie Prinz und Prinzessin von Preussen.

The memoirs of the Crown Princess Cecilie

Friday, August 26, 2011

Prussian - Isenburg nuptials: guests

German royal watcher Anuschka Becker has learned the names of some of the guests, which include Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna of Russia and her son, Grand Duke Georg (perhaps he will meet a nice princess at this wedding),  Duke Philipp and Duchess Marie of Württemberg,   the Prince and Princess of Leiningen, Prince and Princess Karl Emich of Leiningen, the Duke of Bavaria with his boyfriend,  Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria and her husband, Daniel Terberger,  the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,  the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Reuss,  Princes Alexander and Princess Gisela of Saxony-Gessaphe,  the Landgrave of Hesse (whose paternal grandmother was a Princess of Prussia),  the Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe; the Margrave and Margravine of Baden and their son, Prince Michael,  Prince and Princess Ludwig of Baden,  the Dowager Princess of Hannover,  Prince and Princess Arnim of Lippe and Prince and Princess Leopold of Lippe, the Prince and Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (the princess is a Prussian princess by birth),  Prince Dominik of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg;  Count Rudolf of Schönburg-Glauchau and his wife, Princess Marie Louise of Prussia,  Archduchess Gabriela of Austria,  Archduke Georg and Archuchess Elika of Austria;  Duchess Donata of Mecklenburg and her husband, Alexander von Solodkoff (Donata's mother was the late Princess Barbara of Prussia),  the Prince and Princess of Castell-Castell, Duke Konstantin of Oldenburg, Duke Huno and Duchess Fenita of Oldenburg, the Prince and Princess of Hohenzollern, Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern, Archduke Martin and Archduchess Katherina (the bride's sister),  Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan, members of the Solms-Laubach and Stolberg-Wernigerode families.

Indifference for German royal wedding,,15345825,00.html

Including the former Robert Lichtenberg does the article on disservice as he is not a member of the Anhalt family.

and another view from the Wall Street Journal.  Decent article although the author (and the editors) are a bit confused by tossing in a photo of Archduke Otto of Austria's marriage.  Different empire.  WSJ's standards have slipped since Murdoch bought the paper.

Prussian-Isenburg nuptials: guests

An official guest list has not been released for the wedding of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Princess Sophie of Isenburg, but it can be safely assumed that the list will include members of many German royal and princely families.  The German magazine, Bunte, reported earlier today that the guest list includes the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein, the Prince and Princess of Schaumburg-Lippe and the Prince of Hanover, whose paternal grandmother, Viktoria Luise, was the sister of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, the great-grandfather of the groom.

Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu of Romania are also said to be on the guest list.

Georg Friedrich's paternal uncles have not been invited to the wedding, according to a German newspaper.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Controversy mars upcoming royal wedding

The German newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel,  reports today on the controversy within Georg Friedrich's family.

The marriage between Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and his childhood sweetheart, Princess Sophie von Isenburg, is meant to be "a very private affair," in spite of the fact that the Prince is the great-great-grandson of Germany's last emperor, Wilhelm II.

Well, not so private, actually.   The German broadcaster, RBB, will provide three hours of coverage of the wedding ceremony and carriage ride on Saturday, treating the event as a royal wedding in a reigning dynasty.

News agencies, including Reuters and AFP, are "falling over themselves" in "homage reports."  The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday (FAS) describes the wedding as the social event of the year in Germany.

This might please the groom whose website "proudly notes" that the marriage of his parents, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussian and Countess Donata zu Castell-Rüdenhausen was the "media event of the year" in 1975.

The FAS profile describes Georg Friedrich as "polite, reserved, sometimes a bit shy," but there are people who know him "describe him as otherwise."   Critical reports in newspapers have been met with legal action.   Der Taggespiegel's written request for information about the wedding was denied.  Interview requests with the young couple have also been denied due to a risk of being asked critical questions.

Many of these concerns fall back to the family quarrels regarding the inheritance.  Prince Louis Ferdinand's two eldest sons, Princes Friedrich Wilhelm and Michael, married commoners in the mid-1960s.  They ceased to be dynasts.   The third son, Prince Louis Ferdinand, made an equal match, when he married Countess Donata zu Castell-Rüdenhausen in 1975.   Georg Friedrich was born a year later.

Following the young Prince Louis Ferdiand's death in 1977,  the young Georg Friedrich became the heir to his grandfather, and he succeeded as head of the house in 1994.

But trouble was brewing, as the two eldest uncles fought Georg Friedrich's inheritance, which was based on the late Kaiser Wilhelm II's will.    Wilhelm's will stipulated, among other things, that the heir and the next heir, were required to marry of equal rank.   In 1933,  Crown Prince Wilhelm's eldest son, Prince Wilhelm, married Dorothea von Salviati.  This marriage was morganatic.   Wilhelm, who was killed in the second world war in 1940, ceased to be an heir.  Five years later, his brother, Louis Ferdinand,  who became the heir, married Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, a truly grand and dynastic marriage.

Wilhelm II died in 1941.   Although his eldest son, Crown Prince Wilhelm, succeeded as head of the house,  the estate, largely for tax purposes, was inherited by Louis Ferdinand.    Unfortunately,  a major portion of the family's assets, located in what would become East Germany, were lost after 1945.

But Prince Louis Ferdinand was able to rebuild the family's finances.  All of his children received allowances and homes, but the allowances largely came to an end after his death.  All of his surviving children received a percentage of his estate, as required by German law, but the bulk of the fortune was inherited by Prince Georg Friedrich.

The lawsuits soon followed.  Friedrich Wilhelm tried to claim that his second marriage to Ehrengard von Reden was of equal rank.  It was not, and it didn't matter,  Friedrich Wilhelm lost his right to succeed at the time of his first marriage.   There were various twists and turns to the case, but eventually, the high courts ruled in Georg Friedrich's favor. 

But the damage was done.   Lots of money went to legal fees, and Prince Georg Friedrich began selling the homes that his uncles had lived in for many years -- for which they lived largely rent free. 

Der Taggespiegel reports that Georg Friedrich's three uncles, Princes Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince Michael and Prince Christian-Sigismund have not been invited to the wedding.   [It should be noted that Prince Christian Sigismund's marriage was approved by Prince Louis Ferdinand.]

 Read more about Prince Louis Ferdinand in his memoirs, The Rebel Prince.

Prince Georg Friedrich - a profile

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia was born at Bremen on June 10, 1976.  His parents, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, third son of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia and Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, and Countess Donata of Castell-Rüdenhausen, were married in May 1975 and settled into a comfortable home in Fischerhude near Bremen, where the young Prince Georg Friedrich was raised.

Princess Donata was widowed in July 1977.  She was pregnant with the couple's second child.  A daughter, Princess Cornelie-Cecilie, was born posthumously in January 1978.

Prince Georg Friedrich attended schools in Bremen and Oldenburg before he was sent to a boarding school, Glenalmond College, near Aberdeen.   He did his military service in Bavaria.   In a television interview, the prince spoke of his military service.  "It was very relaxed there. The only usual unusual thing for me was the name von Preussen on my uniform."

Georg Friedrich was only 18 when he succeeded his grandfather as head of the house.  In 2004, he told a Potsdam reporter: "Many ask me if my grandfather was a father figure to me.  I don't think so.  I have always seen him as my grandfather.  He did a lot with me.  Playing the piano, horseback riding, he was always there for me."

The Prince announced his engagement to Princess Sophie of Isenburg in January.  Since then, the young couple have moved into the limelight. There is a curiosity, even in Germany, about the romance between the current Emperor of Germany and a beautiful princess.

Friends of the prince describe him as "very nice, but publicity-shy and discreet."  Prince Georg Friedrich's goal, as head of the family, is to try to "keep the family together."  He is a modern Prussian, and does not seek a return of the monarchy.

Georg Friedrich's first cousin, Duchess Rixa of Oldenburg, 40, said recently:  "I am so happy for him.  Sophie is just right.  The two are perfect for each other."

A profile of the new Kaiserin

Princess Sophie of Isenburg has known Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia for thirty years, friends since childhood. Six years ago, they became a couple.  According to a profile of Princess Sophie in the German newspaper, Bild,  Sophie and Georg are the "proverbial childhood sweethearts."

The "petite princess with reddish-brown hair" and a pretty smile was born on March 7, 1978 at Frankfurt-on-Main, the second youngest of five children of the Prince and Princess of Isenburg.  She grew up at the family's home, Schloss Birstein, northeast of Frankfurt.   The castle has been the home of the Princes of Isenburg since 1517.

Sophie was raised in a "wonderfully warm family" that remains close, according to family friends.  She attended a girl's boarding school, the Internat Klosterschule in Baden, Württemberg.  From there she studied business administration at the University of Freiburg, as did Prince Georg Friederich.  She also attended the University of Berlin.  After receiving her degree, she traveled abroad for internships in Shanghai, Hong Kong and at Sotheby's in London.  She also spent time as a intern with Germany's Bundestag.

Today, the Princess works at a consulting firm for non-profits in Berlin.  She has two brothers,  Hereditary Prince Alexander, 42, who lives at Schloss Birstein, and Prince Victor, 32, who lives in Vienna.  Sophie's two older sisters,  Princess Katherina, is married to Archduke Martin of Austria, and Princess Isabella, is the wife of the Prince of Wied.

Princess Sophie's marriage to the head of the house of Prussia is the grandest marriage of all.

Prussian - Isenburg nuptials: civil wedding

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and Princess Sophie of Isenburg were married today in a civil ceremony at the Potsdam's town hall.   The 35-year-old prince, who is head of the royal house of Prussia. and his 33=year-old fiancee, slipped into the town hall at noon.  They emerged an hour klater and were congratulated by Potsdam's mayor, Jann Jakobs, who had performed the wedding ceremony, which is required by German law.

Princess Sophie was dressed in a cream colored suit and carried a small nosegay of white flower.  Her new husband wore a blue suit with a blue tie.

After the ceremony, they were given a police escort to the Sanssouci Park.   The religious wedding will take place at the Friedenkirche in Sanssouci Park.

A selection of photos following the civil wedding.  Photo 5 shows Georg Friedrich's mentally-handicapped sister, Princess Cornelie-Cecilie.

Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie have known each other since childhood.  If the monarchy still existed, Georg Friedrich would be der Kaiser, and his new bride, the Kaiserin. 

Approximately 720 guests will squeeze into the Friedenskirche to attend the Lutheran wedding, which will have an ecumenical bent, as the bride is a Roman Catholic.  She will retain her own faith. 

The Friedenskirche was modeled on a Northern Italian monastery and built at the request of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia (1795-1861.)  The bride will arrive at the church in a gray Rolls-Royce.  If the weather cooperates,  the newly weds will come out of the church and get into an open carriage for a ride through the park to the Neuen Kammern for a reception.  A gala dinner for 370 guests will be the final event in the day's celebrations.

Prince Georg Friedrich, who succeeded his grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, in 1994, is the only son of the late Prince Louis Ferdinand and Countess Donata zu Castell-Rüdenhausen.   The young Prince Louis Ferdinand died in 1977 as the result of an accident while on military manuevers.      Prince Georg Friedrich was a year old when his father died.

Princess Sophie, who was born in 1978, is the daughter of the Prince and Princess of Isenburg.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kirill asserts he is Emperor

August 24, 1925

Grand Duke Kirill of Russia was interviewed at Coburg by a correspondent with Politiken, a Copenhagen newspaper, and republished by the New York Times.

In a small palace in Coburg, "next to the great castle" where the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha lived until the revolution in 1918, His Imperial Majesty Kirill Vladimirovich, Czar of the all the Russias, lives.

This scion of the Romanovs  "claims for himself the throne left vacant by the assassination of Nicholas II," although he is acknowledged as emperor only by  "a small group of exiled Russian noblemen surrounding him."  The style must also be used by the reporter "received into his presence."

Kirill "has nothing to rule over," but he is "very much a monarch - albeit to the outside world  he is a mere Grand Duke."  But he is the closest living cousin to the late Czar, and therefore the heir to the throne. He considers himself a "full-fledged Emperor and an autocrat to boot."    Kirill is convinced that he "will one day oust the Bolshevik usurper from the seat of power" and sit on the throne - "patriarchally and autocratically.

He is convinced that the Russians still desire an autocratic empire.   Kirill has "no more use for democracy than he has for communism," although, according to the reporter, he is "democratic and affable."

Kirill was dressed in a light sport suit when he received the reporter.  He is almost 50, but looks younger, "perhaps because of his close-clipped English mustache."  His "air is distinguished and full of charm."

The reporter asked Kirill if he believed that the Soviet "regime is in the process of consolidation or destruction?"

"All of our information from Russia is to the effect that extraordinary dissatisfaction prevails.  And that is easily understood for Russia has been thrown back four centuries."

The reporter mentioned a recent report by a British trade union delegation that "painted conditions there otherwise."

His Majesty smiled sarcastically.  "Yes. we have read the report. It is laughable, grotesque.  Everything is one-sided and gives the impression that it is meant for home consumption."

He believes change will not come "through evolution.  Probably through a sudden upheaval from within, perhaps with the help of a little push from without.  Within Russia's boundaries there is strong depression, and through the momentary distribution of means of force, it is impossible to start anything.  Moscow is strong, the Red Army is well-armed. But on the other hand, the soil is ripe for upheaval."

Kirill also believes that "there is only a small circle" of Communists "who hold the chief positions in Moscow."   He added: "One million out of 100,000,000 who live outside Russia's country.  Five million who live abroad are all opponents of Bolshevism."

There was a pause when Kirill was asked about who his supporters would be in Russia.  Where would he seek his primary support?
"The Russian intelligentsia has either been massacred by the Bolsheviks or are abroad. Those few remaining in Russia are crushed and stand under perpetual supervision of the Cheka."

He goes on to talk about the Cossacks and the peasants.  He believes that neither are "Communists or Republicans and agents of the Communist Government.... The Cossacks and peasants are the pillars of the legitimate Emperor and form 90 percent of Russia's entire population.

"But the workers too, with the exception of the few privileged Communists, have realized the ruin wrought by socialism and I am convinced their majority would great restoration of the monarchy with joy."

When he is restored to the throne, he would bring about the "restoration of private property rights, rigorous enforcement of law, order, security, personal rights and freedom of nationalities and confessions."

He added, gravely:  "Russia endured a frightful blow of fate in the day of the Petrograd revolt and the abdication of Czar Nicholas II.  Her very nature makes it impossible for Russia to exist without a monarch."

Kirill was asked if he planned to "absolutely or with aid of a Parliament.  "To heal her numerous and deep wounds Russia needs a folk's Czar -- one who will stand close to the people in their needs.  Therefore no bureaucratic system which separates the monarch from his people can be permitted.  The people must cooperate  in the reconstruction of its destiny and consequently  there must be a widely expanded decentralization of government power through which autonomy must be accorded to certain domains and peoples and for others the principle of federation."

When pressed further about his intentions to rule "with the help of a Parliament or perhaps several national Parliaments," Kirill exclaimed:  "The Czar is Parliament!"
"Every individual nationality will send him its best men who will group themselves about him and support his policies.  Perhaps Russia's future regime will approach that of the United States - a row of independent individual States united in a centralistic union....There must be no purely theoretical solutions, but only those which are practically opportune and beneficial to the Russian people.

"The monarchy in Russia means freedom, order, progress.  Hence it will mean swift exploitation of Russia's great national riches, primarily in agriculture.  Russia, freed of tyrants, has a splendid economic outlook and will not have to try to attract foreign capital through concessions, for capitalists will come to us of their own accord."

He said "monarchical Russia" will not recognize "financial obligations incurred by abroad by the Soviets."

"Certainly not," he responded.  But, of course, we will recognize our pre-war obligations and also all war debts up to 1917."

During the interview, Kirill's wife, Victoria Feodorovna, and their eight-year-old son, Grand Duke Wladimir, came into the room.  Victoria Feodorovna recently visited the United States.

"This trip," Kirill said," pursued no political aims.  Her Majesty received a most favorable impression of American society and the conviction  that Russia, freed from tyranny, would find in that country true friends and assistance which our fatherland has so obtained there in the past."

Emperor Kirill will not place himself at the head of the White army and "make an end of this state of affairs."

"No, I categorically declare I am unwilling to invade Russia and seize power through the force of arms. I declare that according to the law I am Emperor of all the Russias and realize my duties and I know that the time is coming when Russia will need a legitimate Czar. I must demand of all that they do their duty toward the fatherland, and so I must be first to do mine."

Kirill' wrote a memoir,  My Life in Russia's Service. 

Another royal baby due in January

An official announcement in Copenhagen:

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Joachim and Princess Marie are happy to announce the pregnancy of Princess Marie.

It is expected that the birth will take place at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen (Copenhagen University Hospital) at the end of January, 2012.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake 5.8 here in VA

The epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia ... 5.8 on the Richter scale ... A whole lot of shaking.  I was at my desk helping a student when I felt rumbling underneath my feet.  I knew it was not Metro. I shouted earthquake  ... doorway and pushed students toward the doorway, where we huddled together for about ten minutes before I made the decision to send everyone outside.

 Books stayed on the shelves, apart from the one that hit me on the head as I ran out ... and we lost the chimney on one of our buildings!   Classes were canceled, and we were sent home.  A few items fell off shelves at home and broke, but no real damage.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Duke of Arenberg's death notice


photos by Stefan Sohn
Prince Ludwig of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn and Countess Philippa Spanocchi were married on Saturday at the Jacobskirche in Rohrbach, Austria.  A reception followed at the bride's home, Schloss Sprinzenstein.  The couple were married in a civil ceremony at Schloss Sayn in May.  Prince Louis is the third child  of the Prince and Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn.  His bride is the daughter of Count and Countess Hieronymous Spanocchi.

The bride's gown was designed by the Linz-based designer Gottfried, and she wore a tiara and veil that has been worn by Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn brides for the past 150 years.  The bride's attendents were young children, Philippa Karamat, Countess Elisabeth Hunyadi, Countess Anna-Maria of Schönborn-Buchheim, Counts Clemens and Philipp of Schönborn-Buchheim and Prince Alexander of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.,693291

According to Stefan Sohn, who traveled to Rohrbach to see the wedding.   Here is a link to his blog, with more details.

Thanks to Stefan Sohn for the use of his photographs.

Lady Patricia to travel to Bermuda

August 22, 1925

Lady Patricia Ramsay sailed from Southampton today on the Empress of Scotland, reports the Associated Press.  She will travel to Quebec first and then go to Bermuda, to join her husband,  Captain the Hon, Alexander Ramsay, "who is stationed there."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Arenberg

Several photos from my collection - this are copyrighted.  DO NOT COPY.   HSH Prince Jean-Engelbert and HRH Princess Sophie, Duke and Duchess of Arenberg.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Camilla adopts a new puppy

What a heartwarming story -- almost wrote heart worming  -- about the Duchess of Cornwall and her new puppy, Beth.

Highgrove and Raymill had to be vetted as proper homes for the new puppy!

Anna's conversion creates scandal in Germany

Princess Anna
August 19, 1901

The Marquise de Fontenoy's current dispatch tells about the latest royal "sensation" in Germany.  Anna, the Dowager Landgravine of Hesse, has "gone over to the church of Rome."  This conversion has caused controversy for the German Imperial House, as Anna, the widow of Landgrave Friedrich Karl, was born a Princess of Prussia.  She is the sister of the late Prince Friedrich Carl, the famous cavalry General, who was known as the Red Prince.  Friedrich Karl was involved in the battle at Metz, a French stronghold that capitulated in the war of 1870.

Anna's father, Prince Karl, was a younger brother of Emperor Wilhelm I.  She is a first cousin to the present Kaiser's late father, Friedrich III.    Her younger son, Friedrich Karl, is married to Kaiser Wilhelm II's youngest sister, Margarete. Friedrich Karl is "destined" to inherit Hesse-Cassel as his oldest surviving son, Alexander, the reigning Landgrave, has no male issue.

Prince Alexander, who is blind, is a noted composer and violinist.  He became the heir after the eldest son, Friedrich Wilhelm, "mysteriously disappeared" while on a trip "around the world.  He was aboard a steamer en route from Batavia to Singapore.  He retired to his cabin to take a nap, and when he failed to return, the door to his cabin was forced open.   The prince had vanished, there was no trace of him, and the "portholes of his cabin were far too small" for an adult to slip through into the sea. 

 Princess Anna is only the second member of the Prussian royal family to convert to Catholicism.   The first was Princess Marie of Prussia, who "abandoned Lutheranism," when she married King Maximilian of Bavaria.  She was the mother of the late King Ludwig of Bavaria and his "unhappy successor, the present lunatic" King Otto.

It has also been reported that Princess Friedrich Carl, Anna's sister-in-law,  is also a Roman Catholic.  Credence is given to this story due to the "fact that each year she visits Rome, and has a long audience with the Pope, who receives her with royal honors."    It has also been said that the Pope has blessed her secret union with her chamberlain, Baron von Wangenheim.

This is "mere gossip," however, a morganatic marriage between the princess and Baron von Wagenheim, has not been "officially sanctioned" by the Kaiser, nor does it appear in the latest Almanach de Gotha.   Princess Friedrich Carl is the former Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau.  She rarely comes to Berlin, and is "immensely rich," and, thus, is independent of Wilhelm II.   Her only son, Friedrich Leopold, is married to Princess Luise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein, a younger sister of Empress Auguste Viktoria.

It has also been "asserted" that late Empress Auguste, the wife of Wilhelm I, was also a "secret convert" to the Catholic church."  This view is based on the late Empress' "frequent correspondence" with the previous and present Popes.  She also had "numbers of sacred images of one and another in her private apartments" at her palace in Koblenz. 

The Marquise de Fontenoy notes, however, that nothing "is known" about the matter of Auguste's alleged conversion.  Her funeral was according to the rites of the Lutheran church.

Members of the reigning house of Prussia are bound to the family statutes, but not to the "terms of the Constitution" or the "laws of the land to the Protestant church."  Members of the non-reigning branch of the Hohenzollerns are all Roman Catholic and have been for more than 100 years.

Kaiser Wilhelm II will "seriously resent" Princess Anna's conversion. He was furious with his younger sister, Sophie, the Crown Princess of Greece, who joined the Orthodox church -- the church of her husband and family and her adopted country -- after her marriage.   Wilhelm was so angry with Sophie that he broke off relations with her for several years before a difficult reconciliation was achieved.

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

Down and out earl of Cardigan needs to sell plate for food

The present Earl of Cardigan is in financial straits and is seeking permission to sell his family's plates to put food on the table.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A second child for the Vendomes

The Duchess of Vendome is expecting a second child in January.  She and her husband and their cute little son are profiled in the latest issue of the Belgian magazine, Royals (the French edition.)

The former Philomena de Tornas married Prince Jean, Duke of Vendome, in the cathedral at Senlis, France, on May 2, 2009.   On November 19, 2009,  Princess Philomena gave birth to a son, Prince Gaston.

Prince John - ecumenical godparents

Embed from Getty Images 

 August 18, 1905

Prince John, the youngest son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, will be "well cared for in a spiritual sense," writes the Marquise de Fontenoy in her latest dispatch.  His sponsors, who "pledged themselves at his baptism to look after his religious welfare," are members of the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox church, the Lutheran, Presbyterian churches, and the Church of England. 

The "fat and jolly" King Carlos of Portugal is the Roman Catholic sponsor.  The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Greece are Greek Orthodox, although the Crown Princess was raised Lutheran.  She joined the Greek church after her marriage. 

The infant prince was baptized at Sandringham. The water used for the act of baptism "was that of the River Jordan, of which a stock is always kept at Windsor, Potsdam, and the imperial palace at Vienna."

During the service, the baby received three names, John Charles Francis.  The latter of these names is in honor of the Princess of Wales's father, "the kindly and popular" Duke Franz of Teck. John is said to be in honor of Queen Alexandra's uncle, old Prince Johann of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, "a great favorite" of the British royal family, and Charles is for the King of Portugal.

Neither John nor Charles are names that "figure auspiciously in English history.  Charles I and Charles II, as well as the old and young pretenders, were "particularly unfortunate" and the reign of the only King John is "distinctly sinister."

 Prince John was born on July 12, 1905, at York Cottage at Sandringham.  His baptism took place on August 3, 1905, at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene at Sandringham.  His godparents were the King of Portugal,  Prince Carl of Denmark, Prince Johann of Glücksburg, the Duke of Fife, and the Crown Prince of Greece, the Crown Princess of Greece, and Princess Alexander of Teck.

The Princess of Wales, with her children, Princes Edward, Albert, Henry, George, and Princess Mary of Wales, were present.  The Prince of Wales represented the godfathers and Princess Victoria represented the godmothers.  The only godparent who was able to attend was Crown Prince Constantine of the Hellenes. 

According to The Times, "rain had fallen heavily throughout the morning, but ceased for about half an hour before the ceremony began."  A large awning that been constructed over the pathway "leading from the park gate to the church door."

The chancel was decorated with flowers from the greenhouses at Sandringham.   The communion table was "decked with lilies of the valley and hollyhocks."  The gold christening font, "used at most Royal christenings" was used for this baptism. 

The ceremony began at 3 p.m.  Shortly before three, a brougham arrived from York Cottage with two nurses dressed in white, one of whom carried the infant Prince "dressed in white with a white bonnet." They were inside the church when the Prince and Princess of Wales arrived with Princess Victoria.  The Prince of Wales was accompanied by his cousin, the Crown Prince of Greece.

The Princess of Wales "was looking well," wearing a "cream-colored silk gown with blue trimmings, and a white toque."

Princess Victoria received the infant prince from his nurse and haded him to Canon Dalton, who performed the baptism.   The ceremony concluded with Stainer's "Sevenfold" Amen."   The infant Prince was then "carried round the church" so members of the congregation could see him.

After the service, members of the Royal Family returned to York Cottage.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The death of the 12th Duke of Arenberg

Arenberg Foundation
HSH Prince Jean-Engelbert-Maria-Paul-Werner-Antoine-Guillaume-Gaspard-Joseph, 12th Duke of Arenberg, died on August 15, 2011 at Lausanne, Switzerland.  He was 90 years old.

The Duke of Arenberg was the son of Prince Evrard-Engelbert-Marie-Antoine-Jean-Melchior-Joseph of Arenberg and Countess Anne-Louise de Merode.  He was born at the Hague, the Netherlands, on July 14, 1921.   On January 20, 1955, he married HRH Princess Sophie of Bavaria, the youngest daughter of Crown Prince Rupprecht and his second wife, Princess Antonia of Luxembourg.

The late duke is succeeded by his wife, their five children, Léopold, Charles-Louis, Marie-Gabriele, Henri, and Etienne.  

Prince Léopold succeeds as the 13th Duke of Arenberg.  He is married to Countess Isabel-Juliana zu Stolberg-Stolberg.  They have three children, Princess Natasha, Prince Philippe-Léopold, and Alexandre. 

The late duke was also the 18th Duke of Aarschot, 7th Duke of Meppen and 7th Prince of Recklinghausen.  His eldest son also succeeds to these titles.  The late duke received a Master's of Arts from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  His dissertation was titled The Lesser Princes of the Holy Roman Empire in the Napoleonic Era.    The dissertation was published in French in 1951 with the title:  Les Princes du St-Empire a l'epoque napoleonienne.

Crown Princess Victoria is ....

expecting a baby in March 2012.  This will be the first child for the Crown Princess and her husband, Prince Daniel, and the first grandchild for King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.  
The new baby will be second in line to the throne.

Crown Princess Victoria and the former Daniel Westling were married on June 19, 2010.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Greece-Schaumburg-Lippe engagement

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

In 1927, King George II of the Hellenes announced the engagement of his youngest sister, Princess Irene, to Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe. Princess Irene broke off the engagement in May 1929.

Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna as a bride

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection 

The formal portrait of HIH Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia on her wedding day in 1925 to the Prince of Leiningen.

The three Hesse Princes

HRH Prince Moritz of Hesse and his two younger brothers, HH Prince Heinrich and HH Prince Otto.

Marital problems for Yugoslav monarchs?

August 16, 1931

Queen Marie of Yugoslavia's decision to not return to Belgrade for the tenth anniversary of her husband, King Alexander's reign in Serbia has "provided a topic for considerable speculation" in Belgrade, reports the Associated Press.

Marie, the daughter of the late King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Roumania, has remained in Roumania ever since she arrived to attend the wedding of her younger sister, Princess Ileana, to Archduke Anton of Austria on July 26.

King Alexander did not attend the wedding with his wife, and a "report which was circulated widely" in Yugoslavia said that the Queen "was annoyed at her husband's failure to go."   Marie is now living at Dowager Queen Marie's castle at Balchik, and today she attended a "naval review at Constanza," while King Alexander spent his anniversary "shooting on his summer estate."

The three sons of the couple, Crown Prince Peter, Prince Tomislav, and Prince Andrej are neither with their mother nor their father.

King Peter of Serbia is dead

August 16, 1921

The Associated Press is reporting the death of King Peter of Serbia.   He had been ill for some months, and in June, he was reported to be suffering from pleurisy, and was said to be in "serious condition."

Several days ago, a dispatch was issued in Belgrade, stating that the "aged king" was "seriously ill with congestion of the lungs" He "sank into unconsciousness," and his condition worsened and "failed until the end."

Peter Karageorgevich came to the throne "comparatively late in life" as King Peter I of Serbia, following the assassination of King Alexander I, of the rival Obrenovitch line.    His reign was marked by the "shaking off" of Austrian influence on Serbia, and the "constant triumphs in the wars of 1912 and 1913, followed by the attack on Austria, "which led to the general European war."

King Peter was born in Belgrade on June 29, 1844, the son of Prince Alexander, whose father Kara George, was the then ruler in Serbia.  He was educated in Geneva at the French military academy at St. Cyr.  He also served in the French Foreign Legion. 

Under an assumed name, Peter led the revolt of the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The rebellion was thwarted by the Turks.  The following year, Serbia declared war on Turkey.  Peter offered his services to King Milan Obrenovitch "with the promised that he would undertake no anti-dynastic action."

King Milan declined the offer.  Peter played no role in Serbia's unsuccessful war against Turkey, and he spent the next thirty years in exile in Montenegro, Switzerland, and Paris.   In 1883, he married Princess Zorka, the eldest daughter of King Nikola in Montenegro.  They lived in Paris until Zorka died in 1890.

Following the murders of King Alexander Obrenovich and Queen Draga in 1903, the Serbian throne was vacant.  Alexander had been unpopular largely because many thought he "was too strongly under Austrian influence."   Although Peter denied emphatically that he had no foreknowledge of the murders, "opinion generally seized upon the fact" that he was the "one who profited by crime -- for he accepted the offered throne four days later -- and held him responsible."  This idea was largely fomented by Austrian propaganda, as Peter was sympathetic to Russia.  His sons were educated in Russia, and not Austria.

After he accepted the throne, Great Britain broke off diplomatic relations with Serbia, and "refused to send a minister" for some years.  Europe's sovereign's treated Peter as a pariah.

In Serbia, Peter was seen in a more positive light as his "rule was beneficent to Serbia."  He "respected the constitution, fostered the national spirit" but continued to maintain "great caution" when Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, thus avoiding a "suicidal war."

He was a "constitutional ruler," and because of his age, "he played no great personal part in the two Balkan wars."  Nor did he have a major role in the "diplomatic negotiations by which the Balkan allies were cheated of part of their conquests.

Austro-Serbian relations deteriorated further following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914.  The elderly Peter named his son, Crown Prince Alexander, as Regent only three days before the assassination.  Although Alexander now fulfilled the functions of the Crown, Peter, following the evacuation of Belgrade, visited the front trenches at Valjavo. 

A year later, Serbia "was crushed by the combined German-Austro-Hungarian-Bulgarian onslaught."  Peter "shared the incredible hardships of his army's retreat in Albania."  He spent time in exile in Italy with his brother-in-law, King Vittorio Emanuele.  For a time, he was also a guest of the Greek government.

It was only after Bulgaria's defeat by the Allies, King Peter returned to Belgrade, where he remained, as his health continued to fail.

King Peter is succeeded by his son, King Alexander I.

Princess enters convent

August 16, 1915

Princess Francesca of Bourbon-Parma, a sister of Archduchess Zita of Austria, "made her profession as a nun" yesterday at St. Cecilia, a Benedictine convent at Ryde, Isle of Wight.  The profession was made in the presence of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Portsmouth.

Two of Francesca's brothers, Prince Sixte and Prince Xavier, who are serving officers with the Belgian Army in Flanders, were able to travel to Ryde to attend the ceremony, reports the New York Times.  Francesca is joining her older sister, Princess Adelaide, who is now known as Sister Maria Benedicta.

Four years ago, Princess Zita, then only nineteen years old married, married Archduke Karl Franz Joseph of Austria, the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

The new young novice has six brothers and six sisters, three half brothers and three half sisters.  Another half sister, Princess Maria Immacolata, died "a little over a year ago."   She is the daughter of the late Duke Roberto  of Bourbon-Parma and his second wife, Princess Maria Antonia of Portugal.  His first wife was Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, who died in 1882.  She left her husband with three sons and five daughters, only "one of whom is said to be normal."  

Archduchess Zita is the only child of the Dowager Duchess of Bourbon-Parma who has married.

Princess Francesca was born April 22, 1890.  She is two years older than Archduchess Zita.

Sad news to report

Prince Harry of Wales has ended his relationship with British aristocrat-cum-lingerie model, Florence Brudenell-Bruce, according to British newspapers.   Prince Harry and Flee dated for about two months.

The Prince wants to concentrate on his military career.

Mass card for the late Duke of Croy