Monday, April 30, 2012

Royal Death: Princess Marie of Württemberg

April 30, 1882

Princess Marie of Württemberg died earlier today at Villa Marienwahl, near Ludwigsburg, according to a dispatch to the New York Times.  She "was recently delivered of a still-born child."   The former Princess Marie of Waldeck und Pyrmont is the sister of the Duchess of Albany.

Marie, who was born at Arolsen on May 23, 1857, was the third child of Georg Viktor, Prince of Waldeck und Pyrmont, and Princess Helene of Nassau.  She married Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg at Arolsen on February 15, 1877.  He is the son of the late  Prince Friedrich of Württemberg and his wife, Princess Catherine, daughter of King Wilhelm I.

Prince's paternal grandfather was Prince Paul, the younger brother of King Friedrich I of Württemberg.

Her older sister, Pauline, is married to the Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt.  Another sister, Emma, is the Queen of the Netherlands, the consort of the elderly King Willem III.  

On April 27,  another sister, Helene, married Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, youngest son of Queen Victoria.

Marie is survived by her husband and four-year-old daughter, Princess Pauline.  A son,  Ulrich, died on December 28, 1880, at the age of five months.

King Gustav V celebrates birth of a grandson

April 30, 1946

King Gustav V is rejoicing "at the birth of a great-grandson, Prince Carl Gustav," the first "direct male to the throne of Sweden to be born in 40 years," reports the Associated Press.

A "salute of 84 naval guns" announced the birth of the infant prince this morning at Haga Castle to Hereditary Princess Sibylla and Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf.   The Hereditary Prince is third in line to the throne after his father, Crown Prince Gustav Adolf.

The new prince is the couple's first son.  They have four daughters, Princess Margaretha, Princess Desiree, Princess Birgitta and Princess Christina.  Women cannot succeed to the throne in Sweden.

The King held a brief session at the Cabinet Council. He announced that the his grandson will be named Carl Gustav Folke Hubertus, Duke of Jämtland.

Duke of Connaught honored by King Edward VIII

April 30, 1936

The Duke of Connaught, 85, was appointed as the first of King Edward VIII's personal aide-de-camps, according to the Canadian Press.  The appointment is effective tomorrow, the Duke's 86th birthday.

The Duke of Connaught is the only living son of the late Queen Victoria.  He is also a former Governor General of Canada.

He is said to be "in excellent health." 

Princess Lydia of Arenberg marries Italian duke

April 30, 1928

Princess Lydia of Arenberg and Prince Filiberto, Duke of Pistoia were married in Turin in civil and religious ceremonies today, according to the Associated Press. The civil ceremony took place at the Palace and was performed by Signor Tittoni, the President of the Senate.

This was followed by the Roman Catholic service at the Cathedral in the presence of members of the Italian royal family and the princely house of Arenberg and "others of the nobility."

Crown Prince Umberto and the Prince of Udine were the witnesses for the bridegroom. The Prince de Ligne and Lydia's brother, Prince Engelberg-Charles, were witnesses for the bride. The Prince of Udine is the bridegroom's elder brother, Prince Ferdinando, who is the heir to the dukedom of Genoa.

Cardinal Gamba, in his marital address, noted that King Umberto and Queen Margherita were also married in the same cathedral. He "rejoiced that another member of the royal house" chose to marry in Turin.

Princess and Duchess Lydia of Arenberg was born in Brussels on April 1, 1905. She is the daughter of the Engelbert, the 9th Duke of Arenberg, and former Princess Hedwige de Ligne, daughter of Prince Charles de Ligne. The Duchess of Arenberg is related to Prince Albert de Ligne, who is Belgium's ambassador to the United States.

The Duke of Pistoia was born in Turin on March 10, 1895, a son of the late Prince Tommasso, Duke of Genoa, and Princess Isabella of Bavaria.

The wedding luncheon was held at the Royal Palace, and afterward, the Duke and Duchess of Pistoia departed for London.

King Alexander makes secret trip to Paris

April 30, 1922

King Alexander of Serbia has arrived in Paris "incognito from Belgrade to pass two weeks here," according to an Associated Press dispatch.   He will marry Princess Marie, second daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania on June, and his visit to Paris "is in connection with plans for the ceremony."

Juan Carlos and the family jewels

On May 14 King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will celebrate 50 years of marriage.  The marriage is certainly one of the most grand dynastic alliances of the 20th century.  The elder daughter of the King of the Hellenes marries the future King of Spain. 

The crown eventually came to Juan Carlos in 1975 after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco.  Six years later, the king stood up to the democracy by not giving his support to a coup attempt that could have derailed Spain's fledgling democracy.

A year after the marriage, Sofia gave birth to a daughter, Elena.  Cristina arrived two years later, and in 1968,  Sofia gave birth to a son, Felipe, the future Prince of Asturias.

Privately,  the king and queen have lived largely separate lives for the past 30 or so years.  They have separate interests. He likes hunting, she likes visiting her family.   The King has also been unfaithful.  There have been rumors about the king and mistresses for some years.   The Spanish media have largely refused to report on such matters until the king's recent hunting trip to Botswana.   It is unlikely that the story about the king and Corinna Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn would have gone viral if the king had not broken his hip in Botswana and had to return to Madrid for surgery.  Corinna returned with him.  Queen Sofia, in Greece with her family for Orthodox Easter.  She returned to Spain three days after her husband entered the hospital. 

One Spanish newspaper reported last week that Juan Carlos wants to give his wife a splendid gift for their Golden Anniversary.  A nice jewel.  Actually very nice jewels: an aquamarine parure that once belonged to Queen Victoria Eugenia, Juan Carlos's grandmother.

The parure, which includes at tiara, necklace, bracelet, earrings, a ring and a brooch, was a gift to Ena from her husband, King Alfonso XIII, also a noted philanderer.  The parure was inherited by Ena's elder daughter, Infanta Beatrix, who married Alessandro, Prince of Civitella-Cesi.  The jewels are currently owned by her daughters, Donna Sandra and Donna Olimpia.

They are not interested in selling the jewels, which are kept in a bank vault in Switzerland. 

Ena admired a similar parure that belonged to her cousin, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia, the wife of Nicholas II.  She may have dropped a few hints to Alfonso as she received the parure as an anniversary gift.  Ena once said that the jewels go well with "my blonde hair, white skin and blue eyes."

King Juan Carlos has been in negotiations with his cousins for some months now, but he has not been successful. 

Neither sister needs the money. Donna Olimpia is the widow of French billionaire Paul-Annick Weiller.   Both ladies have also worn the jewels at several royal functions.   Sandra Torlonia wore the necklace and earrings to a gala dinner held in honor of the Prince of Asturias' wedding in 2004.   Queen Victoria Eugenia wore the tiara to a pre-wedding dance in 1962 in honor of her grandson, Juan Carlos, and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark.  

Sandra is not likely to leave the jewels to her daughter, Desiree, or her son, Alessandro, Count Lequio.   Donna Olimpia has four daughters, and one, Sibilla, is married to Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg.   It is possible that the parure could eventually be inherited by Sibilla. 

Or ... Juan Carlos and his first cousins could come to some arrangement to allow the parure to return to Madrid.  We shall see.

There will be no grand celebrations for the 50th anniversary.  Queen Sofia will be in England to attend Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee dinner at Windsor.

The Titles Deprivation Act of 1917

Duke of Cumberland

In early November 1917, the British Parliament passed the Titles Deprivation Act.  This law was given royal assent on November 8.

"Titles Deprivation Act 1917

1917 CHAPTER 47 7 and 8 Geo 5

An Act to deprive Enemy Peers and Princes of British Dignities and Titles.

[8th November 1917]

1 Forfeiture of the title of peer or prince held by the enemy.

(1)His Majesty may appoint a committee of His Privy Council, of which two members at least shall be members of the Judicial Committee, to enquire into and report the names of any persons enjoying any dignity or title as a peer or British prince who have, during the present war, borne arms against His Majesty or His Allies, or who have adhered to His Majesty's enemies.

(2)The Committee shall have power to take evidence on oath and to administer an oath for the purpose, and may, if they think fit, act upon any evidence given either orally or by affidavit based on information and belief, the grounds of which are stated.

(3)Such report shall be laid upon the table of both Houses of Parliament for the space of forty days, and, if by that time there has not been passed in either House a motion disapproving of the report, it shall be taken as final and presented to His Majesty.

(4)Where the name of any peer or prince is included in the report, then from and after the date of the presentation of the report to His Majesty.”

(a)The name of such person, if he be a peer, shall be struck out of the Peerage Roll, and all rights of such peer to receive a writ of summons and to sit in the House of Lords or to take part in the election of representative peers shall cease and determine:

(b)All privileges and all rights to any dignity or title, whether in respect of a peerage or under any Royal Warrant or Letters Patent, shall cease and determine.

2 Power of successor to petition for restoration of peerage.

It shall be lawful for the successor of any peer whose name has been so removed, to present a petition to His Majesty praying to have the peerage restored and his name placed on the Peerage Roll; and His Majesty may refer such petition to a committee of the Privy Council constituted as aforesaid; and should the committee be satisfied that such person has incurred no disability under this Act, and is well affected to His Majesty's Person and Government, His Majesty may thereupon direct that the peerage be restored and the name of the petitioner be placed on the Peerage Roll; whereupon all rights and privileges of the holder of the peerage shall revive and be in force as if the name of the peer had never been removed from the Roll.

3 Savings.

(1)Nothing in this Act shall affect the title or succession of any person to any estates or other property.

(2)The powers conferred upon His Majesty by this Act shall be in addition to, and not in derogation of, any other powers of His Majesty.

4 Short title and definition.

(1)This Act may be cited as the Titles Deprivation Act 1917.

(2)In this Act, the expression "enemy" be construed as referring to the enemies of His Majesty in the present war, and, for the purposes of this Act, a person shall be deemed to have adhered to His Majesty's enemies if since the commencement of the present war he has voluntarily resided in an enemy country or if he has served in the enemy forces or in any way rendered assistance to the enemy."

In May 1915, George V removed the names of eight Germans and Austrians from the Order of the Garter.   But it was not until March 28, 1919 when the King gave an Order in Council to remove the peerages. 


1919 No. 475

At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 28th day of March, 1919.


The King's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.

Seeing that there was this day presented to His Majesty at the Board a Report of a Committee of the Lords of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council (Present: The Lord Chancellor, The Marquess of Lansdowne, The Marquess of Crewe, the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Newton, the Lord Stamfordham, the Lord Sumner), dated the 1st day of August, 1918, in the words following, viz.:

" Whereas by virtue of the powers granted under ' The Titles Deprivation Act, 1917,' Your Majesty in Council was pleased by Order of the 27th day of November, 1917, to appoint a Committee of Your Privy Council to inquire into and report the names of any persons enjoying any dignity or title as a peer or British prince who have during the present war borne arms against Your Majesty or Your Allies or who have adhered to Your Majesty's enemies, and inasmuch as the Committee have considered the matters submitted to them in accordance with the aforesaid terms of reference and have carefully examined the evidence set forth in the two affidavits sworn to by Your Majesty's Procurator-General and Solicitor for the affairs of Your Majesty's Treasury, dated respectively the 25th and 27th July, 1918, copies of which are annexed to this Report:
" Their Lordships do humbly report to Your Majesty that the persons hereinafter named have adhered to Your Majesty's enemies during the present war:—
His Royal Highness Leopold Charles, Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow.
His Royal Highness Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, Earl of Armagh.
His Royal Highness Ernest Augustus (Duke of Brunswick), Prince of Great Britain and Ireland.
Henry, Viscount Taaffe of Corren and Baron of Ballymote."

And seeing that the Report has been laid before Parliament in the manner prescribed, and there has not been passed in either House a motion disapproving thereof:
His Majesty, having taken into consideration the said Report, was pleased, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, to accept the same.

Whereof Garter King of Arms, Ulster King of Arms, and all other persons whom it may concern are to take notice and govern themselves accordingly.

Almeric FitzRoy

The Titles Deprivation Act applied to four people:  HRH Prince Charles Edward, Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow; HRH Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland and Teviodale, Earl of Armagh; HRH Prince Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg; and Henry, Viscount Taaffe of Corren and Baron of Ballymote.

 Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing  1940, Washington, D.C.

Prince Charles Edward was the posthumously born son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, youngest son of Queen Victoria.  In 1900, he succeeded his paternal uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, as the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  As a grandson in the male line of a British sovereign, Charles Edward, who became known as Carl Eduard, was by birth HRH and a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Duke of Cumberland his son, Ernst August, were also Princes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but as they descended in the male line from George III, they were HH in Britain.   (The HRH was for their status as members of the Hanover royal family.)

In 1837, when Victoria inherited the British throne, succeeding her uncle William IV.  William was also King of Hanover, but the succession to this throne was defined by Salic law, which allowed only male heirs.  The Hanover crown passed to the next in line,  Victoria's uncle (and William IV's brother), Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.   He became King Ernst August of Hanover.

Members of the Hanover royal family continued to be members of the British royal house, until the first world war.  Ernst August was succeeded by his only son, Georg V, who lost the Hanover crown in 1866, after siding with Austria in its war with Prussia.  The Hanover royal family went into exile, living at their estate at Gmunden, Austria. 

Thyra of Denmark, youngest sister of Queen Alexandra, married King Georg V's son and heir, Prince Ernst August, who succeeded as de jure King of Hanover, following his father's death in 1878.  He chose to be styled by his British peerage: Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale.

There was no love lost between the Hanovers and Prussian royal houses due to the animosity set in motion by Otto von Bismarck, who confiscated a portion of the family's fortune, the Guelph fund. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland had three sons and two daughters.  The two eldest sons died young, and it was the third son, Prince Ernst August, who brought about a rapprochement with the Prussians.  The two daughters, Alexandra and Marie Louise married into the Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Baden families.

In Britain, the Cumberlands' children were styled by their British titles: princes and princess of Cumberland with the rank of HH.  On the Continent, they were HRH and Prince or Princess of Hanover.  In July 1914,  George V issued a Letters Patent that extended the HH to the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick's children, as a part of their British princely title, although they were styled as HRH as a part of their German titles.

All sought permission to marry, as required by the Royal Marriages Act.  In 1913,  Prince Ernst August married Princess Victoria Luise of Prussia.  They met in Berlin after Ernst August had asked to meet Kaiser Wilhelm II, to express his family's gratitude for the kindness shown to them following the death of his older brother, Prince Georg, who had been killed in a car accident in May 1912.  The accident occurred in Prussia, as the Prince was driving to Denmark to attend the funeral of his uncle, King Frederik VIII.

Prince Ernst August also met and fell in love with the Kaiser's only daughter, Princess Viktoria Luise.  They married on May 24, 1913.  This was the last major royal event before the first world war.  King George V and Queen Mary and Nicholas II of Russia were among the guests. 

As a member of the British royal family, he sought and received permission from King George V to marry.  A British representative was present for the birth of his first son, Prince Ernst August, born in March 1914.

The war changed everything.  The Duke of Albany, the Duke of Cumberland, and his son had become the enemies of the British crown.

Carl Eduard was the last member of his line to seek permission to marry.  His descendants have not.

The Titles Deprivation Act applied solely to four men, but not their descendants.   In 1931, the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg issued a non-binding, non-legal decree, restoring to himself and his male-line descendants the title Prince or Princess of Great Britain and Ireland.   He claimed that this was correct due to the position of being male-line descendants of George III. 

There was no real response from King George V.  Perhaps he rolled his eyes,  but the British royal house has never officially recognized this "decree." 

Since 1931,  most members of the Hanover royal family have sought and received permission to marry, according to the Royal Marriages.   The sole exception is Prince Georg Wilhelm, who married Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark in 1946.  The Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg made the request to King George VI on behalf of his son.  The British denied the application because there was still an "act of war" between the United Kingdom and Germany.   Prince and Princess Georg Wilhelm's descendants were also excluded from the Royal Marriages Act.

[Prince Georg Wilhelm's younger brother, Prince Christian, did not seek permission from Queen Elizabeth II, when he married 17-year-old Belgian commoner, Mireille Dutry, in 1963.]

In 1937,  Prince Frederika received permission to marry Crown Prince Paul of the Hellenes.   When her older brother, Prince Ernst August became engaged to Princess Ortud of Schleswig-Holstein, he asked for permission to marry.  On the day of the wedding, Prince Ernst August and Princess Ortrud received a telegram from King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.  The British couple addressed the newly married couple by their British royal titles.

In 1955,  Prince Ernst August filed a lawsuit in England regarding his British nationality.  He stated that he was entitled to British citizenship as a result of the Sophia Naturalization Act.  This lesser-known act was passed by Parliament in 1705.  Sophia was not born in England, and was not a citizen of the country, even though she was the heiress presumptive.  The act allowed Sophia to become a naturalized citizen, and she and "the issue of her body" became subjects.  Citizenship applied solely to Protestant descendants.

[The law seemed to be forgotten in 1947 when Prince Philip went through the naturalization process.  It was an unnecessary action as he was born a British subject as he was a non-Roman Catholic issue of Sophia's body.]

Ernst August lost the first round but prevailed in 1956.  This legal case had nothing whatsoever to do with the Titles Deprivation Act.  As he was born in 1914, he was far too young to take up arms against the British in the first world war.   But the final ruling in 1956 was based solely on the requirements of the Sophia Naturalization Act, and not the Titles Deprivation Act.   As stated above, the Titles Deprivation Act applied only to four individuals. 

There was a certain irony to the final ruling as the Sophia Naturalization Act had been superseded in 1949 with the passing of the British Nationality Act.  Thus,  descendants of Sophia born after this act became law are not entitled to British nationality (unless they had acquired through birth or other means as cited in the 1981 British Nationality.)

Those born before 1949 remained entitled to British nationality.

In 1956, at least 400 people (mostly German) were able to reap the benefits of this ruling.  Not only could they obtain British passports, as British nationals they were able to sue the Soviets and others for the loss of property during and after the second world war.

The present Prince of Hanover (Ernst August) has the right to petition Parliament for the restoration of Cumberland peerage.  In the 1990s, after several German magazines claimed he would seek reinstatement of the British peerages,  Prince Ernst August issued a statement denying the stories.  He said he had no plans to petition Parliament for restoration. 

Although the late Ernst Leopold Prinz of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (eldest son of Prince Johann Leopold, who was himself the eldest son of Carl Eduard), called himself Herzog von Albany, although he never made an official petition to the British Parliament.  His eldest son, Prince Hubertus, has no interest in pursuing the title.

Prince Ernst August and his siblings have received permission to marry from the British Sovereign.  He ceased to be a British dynast following his marriage to Princess Caroline of Monaco, a Roman Catholic.  Their only daughter, Princess Alexandra, was baptized as a Lutheran.  

[Alexandra became a Roman Catholic in 2018.   ]

The Cumberland and Teviotdale and Albany peerages are in abeyance. The Taafe viscountcy is extinct, and cannot be recreated as Taaffe was an Irish peerage.

Albany is a special case because the peerage may have reverted to the Crown in 1954, with the death of Carl Eduard.  Neither of his sons sought permission to marry, according to the requirements of the Royal Marriages Act.    Thus, the marriages of Prince Johann Leopold and Prince Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (who succeeded his father as head of the family, as Johann Leopold's marriage, was morganatic.) 

Even though the dukedom of Albany may be back with the Crown,  a British sovereign is unlikely to recreate it.

The 1953 edition of Burke's Peerage and Baronetage has an essay on this topic.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Do We really want to have our photo taken?

A new postcard for my collection:  King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden,  Queen Ingrid of Denmark, King Frederik IX of Denmark and Queen Louise of Sweden.   No date on the postcard.

"it was love at first sight."

copyright: Grand Ducal Court
"I'm very happy," Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg told a posse of press gathered at Schloss Berg.  He also revealed how the couple met. ""We met at a party of mutual friends.  It was love at first sight."

His 28-year-old fiancee, Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, said the relationship "gives me great pleasure."

Cameras focuses on the rather large diamond ring on her finger.  

Stéphanie said she was looking forward to discover Luxembourg and learning Luxembourgish.  She has already started lessons. "I have a very effective teacher," she said, laughing, as she looked at her fiance.

Before the "betrothal covenant was made,"  Guillaume introduced Stéphanie to representatives of state institutions at a reception for 40 people at the Grand Ducal Palace.   This was followed by a private lunch at Schloss Berg, which was attended Guillaume and Stéphanie's families.

The wedding will take place later this year, but not on September 8, which is when Guillaume's first cousin, Archduke Imre marries American Kathleen Walker.  They will be married at Mary the Mother of God Roman Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

Guillaume and Stephanie meet the people .. and the press

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg introduced his fiancee, Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy to the people of Luxembourg -- and to the press.

Earlier today,  the heir to the Luxembourg throne and his bride-to-be met with Luxembourg government, religious and military leaders at a reception the the Grand Ducal Palace.

Afterward, the young couple and their families traveled to Schloss Berg for an official photo call and press conference.

It is amazing to note that Stéphanie's father is a year younger than Guillaume's grandfather, Grand Duke Jean.

Kate's first year!

Feeling rather chuffed right now:

A patronage for Eugenie

Princess Eugenie is to become the patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Redevelopment Appeal.  She will be "the face of a £15 million appeal" to raise money for the hospital.  One of the "aims of the appeal" is build :an accommodation unit for the families of child patients, which will be named Princess Eugenie House."

When Princess Eugenie was 12, she underwent surgery at the hospital to treat scoliosis.

More surgery for King Juan Carlos

King Juan Carlos underwent surgery on Friday for issues related to his recent hip replacement.

Princess Martha Louise and family to move to London

The Royal Palace in Oslo confirmed earlier today that Princess Martha Louise and her family will be moving to London later this year.  No reason for the move was given, as the Princess will continue to carry out her duties for the royal family and run her angel business.  Her husband, Ari Behn, is a writer, and does not have official duties.

The couple's three daughters, Maud Angelica, who celebrates her ninth birthday on Sunday, Leah Isadora, 7, and Emma Tallulah, nearly four, will attend English schools.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy: the bride to be

Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy was born on February 18, 1984 at Ronse, Belgium, the youngest of eight children of Count Philippe de Lannoy Alix della Faille de Leverghem.  She grew up at the family's estate, Chateau d'Anvaing, in Hainault.  Her parents also have a residence in Brussels.

The young countess began her education at a Dutch language primary school, Sancta Maria in Ronse.  She later spent two years at College Saint-Odile in the north of France, before returning to Belgium to study at the Institut de la Vierge Fidele in Brussels.  She graduated in 2002.

After graduation, at the age of 18, she traveled to Moscow for one year, where she took classes in Russian and Russian literature.  She also continued studying the violin.

Stéphanie received a degree in German Philology from the Catholic University in Louvain.  She continued her education in Berlin, earning a master's degree.  Her thesis was on German influence on Russian Romanticism.

She also worked for the Belgian embassy in Berlin in the department for Walloon exports.  She returned to Belgium, and found a job in an investment company.

She loves classical music and has studied music theory, and she can play the piano and violin.  She also enjoys reading and learning foreign languages.  Her mother tongue is French, but she is also fluent in German and English.

Countess Stéphanie enjoys skiing and swimming. 

One of Stéphanie's first cousins, Countess Christine de Lannoy is married to Count Bruno de Limburg-Stirum, son of Princess Helene of France.  A more distant cousin, Countess Minthia, is married to Prince Lamoral de Ligne, youngest son of Princess Alix of Luxembourg.

Royal engagement: Luxembourg

The official celebration of the engagement of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy will take place tomorrow. The bride-to-be will be introduced at a formal banquet, where the invited guests will include government officials, diplomats and religious leaders. 

Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker told the press that Stéphanie, as the Hereditary Grand Duchess, will assist Guillaume in his duties.

After the wedding, which will take place later this year,  the couple will live at Schloss Berg. 

Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, 28, is the youngest of eight children of Count Philippe de Lannoy and his wife, Alix de Leverghem della Faille.  Her paternal grandmother, Princess Beatrice of Ligne, was the aunt of the late Antoine, Prince de Ligne, who married Princess Alix of Luxembourg, who is Guillaume's great-aunt.

It's official: royal engagement in Luxembourg

Copyright:  Christian Aschmann/Grand Ducal Court
Official:  HRH Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg is engaged to marrry .... Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy.

The wedding will take place later this year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zita in hospital for surgery

April 25, 1942

Former Empress Zita of Austria is in Doctors' Hospital in New York City, "for an operation," according to the Chicago Tribune.  She came from her "home in exile in Quebec" to enter the hospital.

Zita is the widow of Emperor Karl of Austria, who lost the throne after the end of the first world war in November 1918.  Their eldest son, Archduke Otto, is the pretender to the Austrian throne.

The reason for Zita's surgery has not been announced.

Emperor Karl warned about wife's family

Embed from Getty Images 

 April 25, 1918

The Berliner Tageblatt has published the following dispatch from its Vienna correspondent:

"The members of the Imperial House of Austria met at the Archduke's palace and decided through him to point out to the Emperor the prejudicial consequences which the activities of members of the House of Bourbon-Parma residing abroad might have for the interests of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine."

The complaint by members of the Imperial House refers to Prince Sixtus, one of Empress Zita's brothers.

On March 31, 1917, Emperor Karl wrote a letter to Prince Sixtus, an officer in the Belgian army, where he "made peace suggestions for unofficial submission to France and Great Britain."

The French government published the letter earlier this month, alluding to "France's just claims regarding Alsace-Lorraine," which Emperor Karl "promised to support."

The letter's publication led to further complications for Austria, including statements by several Austrian statesmen in an effort to explain and deny, and "heal Germany's injured feelings." 

Don Jaime: mute

April 25, 1912

Infante Jaime, second son of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, remains in Fribourg, Switzerland, under the care of Dr. Reymond.  The New York Times reports that Don Jaime, who was born June 22, 1908, will be "deaf and dumb for life." 

The child has suffered from a "chronic complaint in the nose and throat, and in the last few months, "has undergone two operations."

Edward opposes Beatrice's marriage

Embed from Getty Images 

 April 25, 1908

"Hostile influences savoring bitter intrigues" are at work in an effort to prevent the marriage of Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a niece of King Edward VII,  to Infante Alfonso of Orléans-Borbon, according to a cable sent to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The couple's engagement was announced in December, and they are said to be "devotedly in love."  The prince and princess are now in Nice, "anxiously awaiting the sanction from Pope Pius" to allow the marriage between the Roman Catholic Prince and the Anglican princess.  For "some mysterious reason" the dispensation has not been granted.

The young couple has also been "subjected to a campaign of pitiless gossip" with malicious intent by certain "exalted personages hostile to the match."  The names of King Edward and Queen Mother Maria Cristina of Spain have been "mentioned in this connection.   The British sovereign is said to be against the marriage because the groom is Roman Catholic, and Queen Maria Cristina is opposed because Beatrice is Protestant.

Not long after the engagement was announced a report circulated throughout Europe that the marriage was off Beatrice, who celebrated her 24th birthday this week, was too old for the 21-year-old Alfonso.  This was followed by another gossip item that the "betrothal had fallen through" because Beatrice refused to convert to Catholicism.

It was also reported about the same time that Princess Beatrice was unhappy because she loved another man, her "heart being in the keeping of a dashing young lieutenant of the kaiser's guard."

All of these "maneuvers" proved to be futile.  It has been stated authoritatively in Germany and Infante Alfonso has never asked Beatrice to become a Roman Catholic.   Her "continued presence at his side in Nice," also refutes all the reports that the engagement is over.

Alfonso is a first cousin and a childhood friend of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.  Princess Beatrice and Queen Ena are also first cousins and are said to be close friends. 

Beatrice and Alfonso "met and wooed practically under the chaperonage of their Spanish majesties" at La Granja outside Madrid.

"Big Dame Hunting"

From the Der Spiegel's English-language website:,1518,829123,00.html

An interesting set of godparents

Last night was a time to file clips.  I keep clipping files on British and European royals. The coverage is extensive and encompasses the late 19th century to yesterday.  The files include articles in English (largely US and British), German, Spanish, French, and a smattering of other languages as well.

I had one or two Aosta clips to file, so after putting the articles in the file folder, I decided to browse through the file.  It is nice to reminded of what information I have at my fingertips.  One article, a Point de Ve cover story, is about the baptism of Prince Aimone of Savoy, only son of Prince Amedeo, Duke of Savoia, and his first wife, Princess Claude of France.

The baptism took place at the small chapel located in the villa "San Domenico."  Aimone was baptised on October 13, 1967.  His parents selected three godparents:  Prince Juan Carlos (now King Juan Carlos of Spain), the Countess of Paris (Aimone's maternal grandmother) and Princess Helene, Countess of Limburg-Stirum (sister of Aimone's mother).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heinrich forced to give up army post

April 24, 1908

Another day of bad news for Duke Heinrich Borwin of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.  He was recently put on a tight allowance by the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and now he has "been forced to sever his connection with the German army.

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports  that Heinrich,  "held a commission of lieutenant in the Third Regiment of Prussia Hussars and in the Second Regiment of Mecklenburg dragoons."  He is the only surviving son of Duke Paul Friedrich and his wife, Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz.

The Duke is only 23 years old and has "managed to pile up debts of such a colossal amount," that no one in his family can help him "meet his obligations. As a member of one of Europe's oldest sovereign houses, he cannot "restore his shattered fortunes" by going into business.  The only career open "to men of his rank" -- the military -- is now closed to him.

Financial problems are not unknown to Heinrich and his family.  His parents were deprived of "the control of their fortune on account of insolvency" two years ago, and they were placed under a 'curatel.'  This means "the vestiges of their fortune and the remains of their income" were handed over to trustees who provided the ducal couple with an allowance and "who have the say in all their expenditures."

Under this curatel, Duke and Duchess Paul cannot undertake "any contracts or obligations," or even fulfill their civic duties without the trustees' consent.

Duke Paul is an uncle to the present Grand Duke.  He "forfeited his rights" to the throne when he married the "beautiful and fascinating" Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz.  Paul lost his rights because he married a Roman Catholic.  After he converted to the Roman Catholic faith, his father wanted not only to bar him from the succession but also wanted to disinherit him.  But the latter action was never carried out. 

After the death of Grand Duke Friedrich Franz III at Cannes ten years ago, Duke Paul was "obliged to waive his rights to the regency of his nephew" in favor of his younger brother, Duke Johann Albrecht.  
Duke Johann Albrecht now serves as the regent of the Duchy of Brunswick.

Duke Heinrich Borwin is the second son. His elder brother, Duke Paul Friedrich "met with a violent death in a strange and mysterious fashion" several years ago.  He died after breaking his neck "while skylarking after dinner one night" at his villa in Kiel.

Heinrich also has one sister, Duchess Marie Antoinette, who was "one of the candidates for the role of consort" to King Alfonso XIII of Spain.  When Alfonso visited Berlin, the young duchess "figured conspicuously as at the fetes given in his honor."

The young duchess did not "hit it off" with Alfonso, and he looked elsewhere for a wife and married Princess Ena of Battenberg.

Grand Duke Adolphe surrenders power

April 24, 1902

Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg has surrendered the "reins of government" to his only son, 50-year-old Wilhelm.  Grand Duke Adolphe is 85 years old. 

According to the Marquise de Fontenoy, Hereditary Grand Duke Wilhelm assumes the title of Viceroy and stadholder of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, "exercising the powers and prerogatives of regent."

Wilhelm was once "celebrated as one of the stoutest and most pleasure-seeking Princes of Europe."  He was seen as the "gayest of confirmed bachelors" until he suddenly "astonished all his friends" by marrying Infanta Maria Ana of Portugal, daughter of the late ex-King Miguel of Portugal, and sister of the Duke of Braganza, considered the legitimist pretender to the throne of Portugal.

Wilhelm and Maria Ana have been married for nine years. Although he is now the most devoted husband, Wilhelm said at the time of the marriage that "his sole object" in marrying was to secure the succession to the Luxembourg throne. 

This marriage has proved to be unsuccessful as a dynastic arrangement. Hereditary Grand Duchess Marie Anne has given birth to five daughters in a row, and females are barred from the throne due to the Salic law.  The people of Luxembourg remain hopeful that the hereditary Grand Duchess will do her duty and "provide the nation with a male heir to the grand ducal throne."

Grand Duke Adolphe has "laid down his scepter," due to age and weariness. He was once the sovereign duke of Nassau, only to be deprived of his throne by Prussia after the war in 1866.   Nassau had sided with Austria in the latter's battle with Prussia. He also lost his primary source of income, which had come from Wiesbaden's gaming tables.

For the next 23 years, Duke Adolphe lived in Austria, where he still owned a palace, living a quiet life.  That all changed in 1889, when he was notified of the death of his kinsman, Willem III of the Netherlands. He hurried to Luxembourg to take the throne, only to learn that Willem had not died.   Adolphe returned to Vienna.  A year later,  Willem died and was succeeded in the Netherlands by his ten-year-old daughter, Wilhelmina.

Adolphe was proclaimed as Grand Duke of Luxembourg.  He left Vienna, for Luxembourg, but only after Willem III's body was buried at Delft.

Wilhelm will remain as Regent until he succeeds as grand duke.

Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana in Romania

Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu of Romania have invited Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana of Greece to Bucharest.  The young couple arrived on Monday and will remain in Bucharest until April 25.

Prince Nikolaos, second son of King Constantine II, will present the award for Best Play at the Uniter Awards gala.

The prince and princess will also be the guests of honor at a dinner at the Elisabeta Palace.  Members of the government, representatives of the Romanian Academy and leaders of business and the arts have also been invited to the dinner.

The best play award is sponsored by the Royal House.

Princess Maxima in D.C.

From today's Washington Post

(I hate the new blog editor ...)

Monday, April 23, 2012

George to marry late brother's fiancee

Embed from Getty Images 

 April 23, 1892

The New York Times report today that Prince George, only son of the Prince and Princess of Wales, is expected to become betrothed to Princess Mary Victoria, only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck.  It is understood that an engagement has been "definitely decided on," and an official announcement will be made shortly.

No surprise is "occasioned by the statement. It was reported shortly after the death of Prince George's older brother, the Duke of Clarence and Avondale, "to whom the Princess was engaged, that such a marriage would be arranged.'

Queen Victoria is very fond of Princess Mary and is in favor of the betrothal.  It is due to her influence that Prince George and Princess Mary were brought together.

A marriage between Prince George and Princess Mary "would be greeted with much satisfaction by the people," as the young couple is "extremely popular."

Lord Leopold Mountbatten

April 23, 1922

Lord Leopold Mountbatten died this morning at Kensington Palace, reports the New York Times.  He was 32 years old.  

Lord Leopold was the youngest son of Princess Beatrice and the late Prince Henry of Battenberg.   His first cousin, King George V "has commanded that the Court shall wear mourning for fourteen days."

He died after undergoing an operation yesterday. 

When Lord Leopold was a student at Cambridge when a friend said: "Jolly nice-looking  girl you were with - who was she?"

Lord Leopold responded: "Oh, no one in particular. Only my sister, the Queen of Spain."

In 1917, Leopold, along with other members of his family, dropped the title Prince of Battenberg.  His new style was that of a younger son of a marquess, Lord Leopold Mountbatten.

He was unmarried.

Duke Heinrich to become a ward

April 23, 1908 Grand Duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin today issued decree, placing his cousin, Duke Heinrich Borwin, "under a wardship in consequence of his squandering the family fortune. The New York Times reports that in future Duke Heinrich will receive a small allowance. Duke Heinrich's father, Duke Paul Friedrich and his wife, Princess Marie of Windisch-Graetz, have also been "under a guardianship since 1906

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Savannah has a middle name

Two middle names.  The newest edition of Who's Who includes a section on the Royal Family.

Savannah Phillips' full name is Savannah Anne Kathleen.   The two middle names are in honor of Savannah's grandmothers.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Royal weddings -- updates

HRH Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Parma, daughter of Princess Irene of the Netherlands and the late Duke of Parma, and Albert Brenninkmeijer were married today in a civil ceremony in Wijk bij Duurstede.

Princess Irene lives in this town.  The groom is a member of the C&A clothing store dynasty, and is very rich.   Princess Irene and Maria Carolina's brother, Carlos, Duke of Parma, and his very pregnant wife, Annemarie, attended the ceremony.

The religious wedding will take place in Florence on June 16.

Yesterday, in Istanbul,  HSH Prince Rudolf of Liechtenstein married Miss Tilsim Tanberk, a member of a very wealthy Turkish family.   The groom is the son of Prince Philipp and Princess Isabelle of Liechtenstein.  He is a nephew of Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein. 

Guests at the wedding festivities included Princess Michael of Kent,  the Crown Prince of Belgium and Prince Michel of Yugoslavia.

Friday, April 20, 2012

the story that keeps on giving!

credit for all three photos: Casa Real
King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden were in Toledo, Spain.  The King, who was recently the recipient of bad press (due to allegedly bad behavior), was asked by reporters about the current situation in space regarding King Juan Carlos.

 The King said: "We all make mistakes. Who has not been wrong any time? Saying sorry is always hard, but that's why that apologies should be respected and those who apologise."

Queen Silvia also visited with Queen Sofia.  One can assume that the two royal ladies hugged each other and talked .. and talked ... and talked.  Not commiserate, but offer support to each other. 

Bild, the German tabloid newspaper, is offering a new perspective on events in Spain.  There are calls for abdication and divorce?

Let's look at this from another perspective.  Abdicate because the King has been sleeping with a woman who is not is wife.   It may not be the right thing to do.  Adultery is wrong.   But adultery is not new. Kings and commoners have been cheating on their spouses since forever.  Royal marriages were arranged for dynastic reasons.  The newlyweds did their duty, and soon there would be an heir and spare (and a few more, especially in the Roman Catholic royal families). 

Juan Carlos is following the pattern established by so many of his ancestors, including his father, the Count of Barcelona, his grandfather, Alfonso XIII and his great-grandfather, Alfonso XII.  All were unfaithful to their wives.  Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII fathered illegitimate children as well. 

Juan Carlos and Sofia have been living separate lives since the late 1970s.  They carry out their official lives together, attending events, and carrying out duties.  Privately, they spend very little time together.  Sofia spends a lot of time visiting her brother, King Constantine II, in London or in Greece.  Her closest friends are her sister, Princess Irene, and her cousin, Princess Tatiana Radziwill.

It was announced earlier this year that the King and Queen would not be having a major celebration in honor of their Golden Anniversary.  The current state of the Spanish economy was given as the official reason, but everybody knew the real reason.   

Juan Carlos and Sofia had no desire to celebrate a marriage that died decades ago.  It was perhaps a very good thing that Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee dinner is scheduled for May 14.   The Spanish royal couple was expected to attend.  Juan Carlos will still be recovering from his recent hip surgery.

I expect Queen Sofia, who is liked by her British cousins, will still attend the event.  She should be there.

Why file for divorce?  Corinna Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn is no Camilla Parker Bowles.  Camilla was meant to be with the Prince of Wales.  They are in love, and care deeply for each other. 

No, Corinna is not Camilla Parker Bowles.  She is the latest of a long line of women who have been bedded by Juan Carlos.  I won't be surprised if Corinna soon becomes the former mistress, if she hasn't already been dumped.

It's one think to walk on the red carpet behind the king, knowing that people will whisper, but not speak loudly, especially in the media.  Now everyone knows about the King and Corinna.  King Juan Carlos is astute enough to know that Corinna will need to be sacrificed -- at least I hope he is astute enough -- and get on with being a king, doing the right thing, which means putting Spain first. 

The public apology was the first step, but there are a lot more steps that need to be taken as the King begins a rehabilitation process, not only for the repair of his hip, but also the repair of his relationship with his family, and his people.

Divorce?  The King and Queen are Roman Catholic ... not going to happen.  Behind palace doors, Juan Carlos and Sofia will be continue to live separate lives, but, in time, they will again appear together ... for Spain and for their son's future.

A grandson for King Alfonso

April 20, 1936

Doña Emanuela, the wife of King Alfonso's second son, Don Jaime, gave birth to a son today in Rome, according to the Associated Press.

Emanuela is the granddaughter of the former Josephine Curtis of Boston.

This is the second grandchild for King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia.  The former King learned about the birth in Vienna, where he was to attend a royal wedding.  He is now on his way to Rome.

Much loved Marie Pavlovna gets congratulations

April 20, 1908

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, daughter of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, will marry on May 3 to Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, reports the Associated Press.   The young Grand Duchess has been receiving deputations from the local towns, the nobles, local businesses and the troops of the local garrison, and "was congratulated by them on her approaching marriage.

Muscovites have presented the Grand Duchess with various gifts and tokens, testifying to her great popularity in Moscow, where she has lived her entire life.  Many of spoken about her interest "in the poor of Moscow."

Prince Wilhelm, younger son of King Gustav V, will arrive from Sweden on April 30. He will be staying with Grand Duchess Elisabeth, the widow of Grand Duke Serge.  Grand Duchess Marie and her younger brother, Grand Duke Dimitri, have lived with Grand Duchess Elisabeth for some years.

Grand Duke Serge's palace, which has not been used since his assassination, is now being redecorated, and will be reopened for the wedding celebrations.

King Gustav V and Prince and Princess Carl of Sweden are expected to arrive on May 1.  They will be the guests of Emperor Nicholas II at Tsarkoe-Selo.

just a nice emerald necklace ..

The March 24 issue of La Otra Cronica, published by El Mundo, includes a rather interesting article about the sale of the jewels of Aline, Countess of Romanones.  One of the many items up for auction was a stunning emerald necklace. 

The necklace sold for 257,000 Euros ... and was purchased by ....

Corinna Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn ...  hmmm!

now this is amusing ...

A new claimant to the Swedish throne!

Corinna and King Juan Carlos: how close?

Today's Bild, a German newspaper that is a cross between the Daily Mail, the New York Post and the National Enquirer, features a story on who is this Princess Corinna, who has captivated a king.

The article was written by a journalist with impeccable sources.  The journalist asks the question: How close is the relationship between the 74-year-old Spanish king and the twice-divorced German-born Corinna Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn?   [My answer: very close!]

She has accompanied the king on official visits.  The first meeting was at a gala dinner held at Schloss Schöckingen, in Baden-Württemberg.  The then newly divorced Corinna sat at the head table, as did the king and other prominent guests.

When the King paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia,  he was accompanied by the woman who he calls his compañera, his companion.

Corinna was born in Frankfurt-am-Main and grew up in Bad-Soden, a leafy Frankfurt suburb.  She is the daughter of Danish-born Finn Bönning Larsen, who ran the European division of the Brazilian airline Varig.

A patron of the arts, Larsen and his wife, Ingrid, "sought the company of influential people."  Their favorite place to spend their vacations was at a VIP resort in Marbella, Spain.

It was in Marbella that "Corinna fell in love with the sweet life," according to a local resident who has known the Larsen family for many years.  "She has always sought the friendship of the rich and famous."

According to Das Bild, Corinna did not attend university.  When she was 27, she married an Englishman, Philip Atkins.  He left her after five years of marriage and one daughter.   The couple were separated, but still married, when she embarked on a relatitionship with billionaire, Gert-Rudolf Flick, an heir to the Mercedes-Benz fortune.  Gert-Rudolf is better known as "Muck" Flick.

Being Mrs. Philip Atkins was not enough for Corinna.  She wanted a title.  She apparently settled on Prince Casimir zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, 11 years her junior.  They married in a civil ceremony in London, as she still needed an annulment to marry Prince Casimir in a Roman Catholic ceremony.

Casimir is a younger son of the Prince and Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn.  They were not thrilled with their son's choice of a bride.  The family's opposition to the marriage led Casimir closer to Corinna. 

She got her title, but one of Prince Casimir's cousins told Das Bild that Casimir's marriage collapsed within six months. The couple's son, Alexander was born in February 2002 while the couple were living apart.

Corinna's father never approved of her "unconventional lifestyle."  Corinna's mother tries to understand, but has asked her daughter: "is this the only life?"

Corinna has apartments in Switzerland, Monaco and Madrid, a stone's throw from the palace.  She has two failed marriages, two children, and now the world knows her as the King's Mistress.  She is apparently now in Monaco, keeping a low profile.

Until the King broke his hip during a recent hunting trip to Botswana, Corinna was able to rely on the media's discretion about her relationship with Juan Carlos.  She has denied organizing the hunting trip, but she was certainly with the king in Botswana, and accompanied him back to Madrid. 

In Pilar Eyre's recent book, The Loneliness of the Queen,  Corinna was identified as a German Princess.  She now has a face, a name, and a job description. 
 [Eyre's book is in Spanish only.]

This Spanish article shows the cover of Bild.

Open season ... indeed

Now the venerated, respected National Public Radio is weighing in on the events in Spain.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Thank you from President Taft

April 19, 1912

The Duke of Connaught received today a reply to his message of condolence to President Taft.

"I thank you sincerely for your message of sympathy for our country in the great loss it has sustained through the terrible disaster of the sinking of the Titanic.  I also appreciate very deeply the tribute you pay to Major Butt. When I read that only part of the ship's company was rescued, I knew he went down with the ship. He was a soldier.
W.H. Taft."

Alfonso sends message to President Taft

April 19, 1912

King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain have sent the following cablegram to American President William Taft," according to the New York Times.

"We have learned with profound grief of the catastrophe to the Titanic, which has plunged the American Nation in mourning.  We send you our sincerest condolence and wish to assure you and your Nation of the sentiments of friendship and sympathy we feel toward you."

The King and Queen also sent a similar telegram to King George V and Queen Mary.

Corinna only wanted to be a princess

Frederic Prinz von Anhalt (ne Robert Lichtenberg) has spoken to Bunte about Prince Carl Alexander's failed marriage. He served as Carl Alexander's best man at the February 23rd ceremony in Las Vegas when the Prince, 41, married 21-year-old Corinna, described by Bunte as an Austrian model.   At the time of the wedding, von Anhalt noted that Carl Alexander's ex-girlfriends wanted to exclude him, but Corinna "wants to be with him."

Now, two months later, the wedding is over, and Corinna has filed for divorce.  According to von Anhalt, Corinna flew to Austria after the wedding to get her papers, and then decided to not return to the United States.

Prince Carl Alexander told the magazine" Four weeks ago, she called me and said 'I do not love you and do not come back.'"  Carl Alexander was understandably disappointed.   "For me it was love, but she just used me."

[Ya think!] 

Von Anhalt is surprised by Corinna's audacity.  He railed: "She just wanted the title of princess."   Corinna apparently sent her manager to Los Angeles to pay off Prince Carl Alexander.  He was supposed to receive $10,000 immediately and then a further $80,000 after Corinna officially changed her name. 

But, according to von Anhalt,  Corinna's managers tricked Alex, and gave him only $100.00.   But Carl Alexander was not "intimidated" by Corinna's people.  He set a trap, apparently aided and abetted by Frederic von Anhalt. 

"I ordered them to my house and explained that we would do whatever they wanted,"  von Anhalt said with pride.  "Then I called the police."   According to Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, who paid a large sum of money to the late Princess Marie Auguste of Anhalt, in order to be adopted so he could have the surname Prinz von Anhalt,  "Austrians peed in fear," and now Corinna's plans have come to naught. 

Poor Carl Alexander.  No wife, no money.  He said his dream wife should have "above all great character, and must not take advantage of me for my title."   He added: "I like German women, who prefer wearing a dirndl.  He also likes women with large breasts."

News for the Washington. D.C., area ...

The Queen is not coming.  Nor are William and Catherine ... but  Channel 26, WETA (PBS)  is launching a new channel, the WETA UK Channel.  Can you believe it?  Believe it!  The channel will go on the air on June 2.

What a great day!  The Nationals are the first team to win ten games in this season.  Yes, it is only April, but my Nats are in first place in the National League East and the Phillies are in last ... yes, the season is young, but even the New York Times has written about the promising Washington Nationals ...

and now an entire UK channel ... and we have BBC America, too (which isn't as good as it used to be)...   what a great day!

WETA Television Introduces New Channel

WETA UK to Launch June 2 with British Television Classics, Quirky Comedies and Contemporary SeriesFor Immediate Release: April 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On June 2, WETA Television will be launching WETA UK, an innovative channel devoted to presenting British television programming at its best, around the clock, seven days a week. The new, local channel will feature classics, new favorites, and contemporary series currently airing in Britain.
“British programming has long proven popular with our audience on our principal channel, WETA TV 26,” said Kevin Harris, vice president and television station manager of WETA, the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital. “WETA UK will offer television viewers throughout Greater Washington the opportunity to watch even more of the British drama and comedy that they enjoy. The channel will be a nice complement to our existing television services: WETA TV 26, WETA Kids and WETA HD.”
WETA UK presents a full schedule of what audiences clearly relish: great entertainment programming featuring drama, action, intrigue, romance, mystery, and of course that trademark, wry British humor — all delivered with an accent from the Isles. The channel will be a top destination for viewers seeking the finest television offerings — from an array of major U.K. producers — including classics from the BBC.
Among its many offerings, WETA UK will present a host of dramatic miniseries — including MI-5, Hustle, Waking the Dead, Primeval and New Tricks, several of which currently air in Britain — in addition to such popular classics as All Creatures Great and Small, Ballykissangel, vintage Doctor Who, Inspector Morse, Monarch of the Glen, Prime Suspect, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes and productions from the series Masterpiece (including classics such as I, Claudius). Each Saturday night, the WETA UK Movie will present the best in feature film-length contemporary drama, and beginning this fall, WETA UK will feature major specials.
These programs will air alongside an impressive roster of British comedies new and old, such as Chef!, Doc Martin, Outnumbered, Miranda, Fawlty Towers, My Family, Vicar of Dibley, Keeping Up Appearances, To the Manor Born, Last of the Summer Wine, Waiting for God, Are You Being Served?, and Red Dwarf. Each Friday, WETA UK will present comedy programming around the clock. The channel will also include episodes of the original BBC series Antiques Roadshow, which helped inspire its namesake — and antiques mania — in America.
Program and schedule information is available at WETA UK is available free over the air on Channel 26.2 in Greater Washington. On subscription services, the channel can be found on Comcast 265, Cox 800, FiOS 474 and RCN 39.

It's Over: Carl Alexander & Corinna

Bad news  to report.  So sad, after such a promising start.  Prince Carl Alexander and his bride, Angola-born Corinna, of TWO MONTHS have split.  I am shocked, truly shocked!

Prince Carl Alexander, 41, told the German newspaper, Das Bild, that the couple never had sex.  "Even kissing was forbidden," he said.    This statement comes two months after the wedding when Carl-Alexander raved: "Corinna is soooo sweet.  She does have such nice tits!"

The Prince, who does not have a private fortune, received $90,000 for the wedding "so she has my title."  He added: "But at least I could have gotten a cuddle from my wife."  In other words, Corinna was a willing accomplice to fraud, and she never intended to allow the marriage to be consummated. 

Carl-Alexander wants the marriage to be annulled.  Someone needs to tell Corinna that she does not have the title of Princess.  She has the surname Prinzessin von Hohenzollern.

It has not been a good week for Princesses named Corinna.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Belgian queen in secret visit to Denmark

April 18, 1926

The Danish newspaper Politiken has reported that Queen Elisabeth of Belgium "recently paid an incognito visit to the Danish Court," which was kept secret, according to the Associated Press.

The AP has learned from a diplomatic source that "there was talk of an alliance" between Princess Marie José of Belgium and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.   This has not been verified, however.

Denmark is one of the few European monarchies where "a future Catholic Queen and a Protestant King is feasible."  Denmark's constitution, according to the dispatch, states that the King "shall be Protestant," but the Queen and other members of the royal family "may be free in their choice of religious matters."

Joy for Vittorio Mazzetti d'Albertis

June 10, 2001
The marriage between Princess Filippa of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn and Vittorio Mazetti d'Albertis was a joyous occasion.  The couple were married at Sayn on June 10, 2001.  Less than three months later,  Princess Filippa, a promising photographer, was killed in a car accident in England. 

Vittorio was devastated, and he remained close to his late wife's family.  In 2005, Vittorio married Viola Cattaneo.  This marriage ended in divorce, and was annulled in 2010.

It was announced earlier this week that Vittorio, 46, has married for a third time. On April 14th at Florence, he married Vienna-born Leonie Leibenfrost, a graphic designer based in Italy.  I'd like to think that Filippa played a role in bringing Vittorio and Leonie together.

Leonie is Filippa's second cousin and a childhood friend.  Both she and Vittorio are members of the board that runs the Stiftung Filippas Engel, which was established by Filippa's mother, the Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn after Filippa's death.

Leonie, 32, is the daughter of Franz Leibenfrost and Isabella von Jedina.   Isabelle's mother, Baroness Margarete Mayr von Melnhof, is the sister of Baroness Maria Anna Mayr von Melnhof, who is the mother of Alexander, the Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn.   She studied graphic design at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

I am sure the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn family is delighted by the news, too, as it contrasts with the current exploits of Filippa's former sister-in-law, Corinna.
A photo of Leonie.

Juan Carlos apologizes for trip

King Juan Carlos has issued a public apology for his recent African adventure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Queen Marie to visit Belgrade

April 17, 1932

Queen Marie of Romania left Bucharest earlier today and is on her way to Belgrade to visit her daughter, Princess Ileana, who is married to Archduke Anton of Austria, reports the New York Times.

Royal Death: King Francisco of Spain

April 17, 1902

Former King Francisco d'Assisi of Spain died earlier tonight at his home at Epinay, France, reports the New York Times. He was 79 years old. 

Don Francisco, Duke of Cadiz, was born on May 13, 1822, at Aranjuez, Spain. On October 10, 1846, he married his double first cousin, Queen Isabel II.  On the same day, he was "proclaimed King of Spain."

Following the revolution of 1868, Queen Isabel and King Francisco were forced to leave Spain.  Isabel formally abdicated her throne on June 25, 1870, in favor of her son, the late King Alfonso XII, the father of the present king.

Former Queen Isabel and two of her daughters, Infanta Isabel and Infanta Eulalia, were at Don Fransisco's bedside when he died.

Royal News from Russia

April 17, 1902

The Duke of Mecklenburg's palace in southeast Russia was "recently pillaged and then razed by rioters," according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.  The rioting and destruction has been attributed to the murder of a government official Sipaguine.

Russian Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra, Grand Duke Michael, the heir presumptive and the Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses were present for the funeral of the slain Minister of the Interior.  His body was interred at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.

The Tribune also reports that an "unimportant newspaper" in Vienna states that Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna "recently eloped with a student," and that they were arrested in Warsaw.  The student was sent to Siberia.

The report is "discredited" in Vienna and in St. Petersburg.  Grand Duchess Helen, 20, is the only daughter of Grand Duke Vladimir and Grand Duchess Marie, a duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin by birth.

More on Corinna Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn

Corinna Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn is German-born (Frankfurt-am-Main), twice divorced, and 46 years old. She is the daughter of Danish-born Finn Bonning Larsen, European Director of Varig Airlines, and his wife, Ingrid.  According to recent reports, she has been romantically linked with King Juan Carlos I of Spain since 2006.  She is not the first of the King's many mistresses as he has been linked with numerous women since before his marriage to Princess Sophie of Greece.  One of his alleged conquests was Gabriele Prinzessin zu Leiningen, whom he allegedly passed on to the Aga Khan.

Corinna has a rich social life.  She is fond of sailing and hunting, "two passions she shares" with King Juan Carlos.  She spends a lot of time in Spain each year, and lives at El Pardo, near the Royal Palace.

It appears she may even used the King's name for her own benefit.  In 2007, she met with Prince Alwaleed, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and was received as the "representative of His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain."  At the time, an official spokesman for the King said that Juan Carlos "is not aware that Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn has represented His Majesty at any time."

There are two stories concerning how the King first met Corinna.  One story has them meeting in 2006, when the King made a private visit to Ditzingen, a town in southern Germany.    Portuguese publications assert that the meeting took place a year earlier, when Corinna took part in the Spanish Challenge, a sailing competition.   In 2007, they met again in Valencia at another sailing competition.

By 2010, Corinna moved into a house near Zarzuela Palace.  The former editor of ABC, the Spanish newspaper wrote an editorial about "the notorious failure" of the King's marriage to Doña Sofia," and the "close and intimate acquaintance of Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn was no longer a rumor."

Corinna has been married and divorced twice.  Her first husband, Philip Atkins, is the father of her daughter, Natassi,  born in 1992.  She was married in 2000 to Prince Casimir of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. They were wed in a civil ceremony in London.  A religious wedding in Salzburg, Austria, a year later, after Corinna's first marriage had been annulled.  They divorced five years later.  They have a son, Prince Alexander.  

Before meeting the King, Corinna had a long term affair with Muck Flick, heir to the Mercedes fortune.

It has been largely taboo for the Spanish media to discuss the king's health or his private life, or dared to discuss the lack of intimacy at Zarzuela.  Until now.

The hunt has begun.  It is now open season in Spain, especially.  Corinna will never win the hearts of the Spanish people.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Felipe Juan Froilan out of hospital

Don Felipe de Marichalar y de Borbon, elder child of Infanta Elena and her former husband, Don Jaime de Marichalar, is now out of the hospital.

Saxon prince may have to close castle

April 16, 1932

Schloss Sybillenort, the Silesian home of the late king Friedrich August of Saxony, may be closed, as his son, Prince Friedrich Christian "is unable to keep up the style of his ancestors," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Even members of the former ruling family of Saxony are subject to "hard times and high taxes."

Schloss Sybillenort is one "of the finest and largest palaces in Germany.   The estate includes 50,000 acres of farm and parkland, but "agricultural products return such low prices" that the Prince can no longer afford to pay the "host of flunkeys, gardeners and other servants needed for the upkeep of the palace."

The palace once belonged to Duke Wilhelm of Brunswick.  He died in 1884, and he did not have any direct heirs, he left the property to King Albert I of Saxony.

Former King Friedrich August died at Sibyllenort on February 18.
  When King Friedrich August died recently, he left the estate to his second son, Prince Friedrich Christian, as his eldest son, the former Crown Prince Georg, is a Jesuit priest and is "not entitled to earthly possessions."

Germany's current economic problems have also affected the late king's sister, Princess Mathilde, who can no longer afford to live in her home, Schloss Wachwitz, in Dresden.

Sibyllenort is now known as Szcodre in Wroclaw, Poland, formerly Breslau.

George & Mary horrified at Titanic disaster

Embed from Getty Images

April 16, 1912

King George V sent the following message to the White Star company:  "The Queen and I are horrified at the appalling disaster which has happened to the Titanic and at the terrible loss of life.  We deeply sympathize with the bereaved relatives and feel for them in their great sorrow with all our hearts.  George R I."

Queen Mother Alexandra also sent a message of sympathy to White Star: "It is with feelings of deepest sorrow that I hear of the terrible disaster to the Titanic and of the awful loss of life.  My heart is full of grief and sympathy for the bereaved families of those who have perished."

The Duke of Connaught, the Governor-General of Canada, issued a statement through his secretary:  "I desire to express through the owners of the Titanic my very deep and heartfelt sympathy with the relations and friends of those who have lost their lives in this terrible catastrophe."

The White Star Line has also received messages of sympathy from Kaiser Wilhelm II and his brother, Prince Henry of Prussia.