Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Royal wedding: Greece-Radziwill

Credit: Beeche
May 30, 1938

Princess Eugenie of Greece and Denmark exchanged marriage vows with Prince Dominik Radziwill, according to the Associated Press.  The 28-year-old Princess is the daughter of Prince George and Princess Marie of Greece.  The groom is the son of Prince Jerome Radziwill and Archduchess Renata of Austria.

The wedding took place at the Church of St. Louis des Invalides in Paris.  Tomorrow the couple will start their honeymoon on board the Ile de France en route to the United States.  They plan to drive across the United States.

The wedding guests included Prince Valdemar of Denmark, Prince Axel and Princess Margaretha of Denmark, Prince and Princess Viggo of Denmark, and Prince and Princess Christopher of Greece and Denmark.

Prince George of Greece is a younger brother of the late King Constantine of the Hellenes.

Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden take in the DC sites

May 30, 1926

Crown Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden and his wife, Crown Princess Louise, did not stop to rest today on the Sabbath, according to the Associated Press.  The royal couple have followed a heavy schedule of engagements since their arrival in Washington, D.C.

They have had a "strenuous round of official calls," mixed with visits to museums and "duty assignments."  This morning, the Crown Prince and Crown Princesses attended services at Luther Memorial Church in Washington, and then immediately afterward they traveled to the navy yard, where they boarded a naval yacht, Sylph.  A gun salute greeted the couple as they boarded the yacht.

When they arrived at Mount Vernon, the home of the first president, George Washington, the Crown Prince "proceeded at once" to Washington's grave, and, "there, bareheaded and with a bended knee, he placed a floral tribute.
This evening, the Crown Prince met Swedish residents of Washington at the Swedish chapel.  Tomorrow, the Crown Prince "will be an outstanding figure" at Memorial Day observations.   He will visit Arlington National Cemetery, where he will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Afterward the Crown Prince and Crown Princess will returned to Washington to meet with the Supreme Court Justices, headed by Chief Justice Taft.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess will leave for New York City tomorrow afternoon.

Levi Morton denies reports about Helen's marriage

May 30, 1908

Former Vice President Levi Morton has authorized the Associated to deny reports published in Paris and in the United States that his daughter, Helen, was engaged to Prince Augustus of Arenberg.

Helen was briefly married to the Duke of Valencay.  The marriage was dissolved by divorce.

[Helen's sister, Alice Morton, married Winthrop Rutherfurd.  After her death in 1917, he married Lucy Mercer.   In 1914, Lucy was hired as the person and social secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt.   Four years later, Eleanor discovered that her husband, Franklin, was having an affair with Lucy.   Franklin was issued an ultimatum by his wife and his mother to give up Lucy.  He said he did,  and in 1920, Lucy married Rutherfurd, who was once secretly engaged to Consuelo Vanderbilt.  However, Lucy remained in contact with Franklin, and was with him on the day he died in 1945.]

Frogmore for the Prince of Wales

May 30, 1902

King Edward VII as placed Frogmore House as the disposal of his son, the Prince of Wales, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy.   The Prince and Princess of Wales  will now have a country home "within easy reach of the capital." 

The Prince and Princess of Wales' children will be "able to spend the hot weather during the London season," at Frogmore, and their parents will be able to come down to Frogmore.

Frogmore House is "one of the most picturesque places in Windsor Park."  It has been redecorated, refurnished "and equipped with all the modern conveniences.

The Marquise describes the house as a "charming abode," stately enough but "dwarfed by the neighborhood of Windsor Castle."

The house was George III's favorite residence.  Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent, lived at Frogmore House for many years.  The present king and queen spent the first year of their marriage at Frogmore, and their first son,  Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence, was born at Frogmore.

There were reports that Princess Henry of Battenberg was planning to move into the house, but it has now been confirmed that Frogmore House has been turned over to the Prince and Princess of Wales and their family.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The runaway princess ...

May 29, 1908

Members of the princely family of Fürstenberg held a family council earlier today and have decided to not oppose the marriage of Princess Amelie of Fürstenberg and Gustav Kozian, reports the New York Times.

The Princess and Herr Kozian, who works for an automobile firm, recently eloped from Vienna.  The couple is now in Lucerne, Switzerland, and have stated that they will live abroad after the wedding.

The first reports of a runaway princess were published in Austria several days earlier.  On May 26, the press identified the Princess as 24-year-old Princess Amelie Luise, sister of Prince Emil Egon zu Fürstenberg.  On May 26, the New York Times reported that the police were "actively at work to locate the fugitives."

A day later, the Princess and Gustav Kozian, who worked for a local automobile firm, were traced to Zurich.  But as soon as they learned they had been discovered, the couple left for an unknown destination.

It was said that the Princess took with her "a large quantity of jewelry," including several tiaras.  Descriptions of these pieces have been sent to "the principal jewelers of Europe with a warning not to purchase."

Baudouin & Margherita: romance or not?

Embed from Getty Images

Did he or didn't come to Italy to woo a princess?  Two days after, Baudouin arrived in Italy,  Belgian's ambassador to Italy denied the reports of a possible engagement, stating that the 21-year-old King "was too young to think of marriage yet."

In Brussels, the King's Grand Marshall, also announced that King Baudouin was not engaged to Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta, the 22-year-old daughter of the late Duke of Aosta.

But a family friend of the Margherita's mother, the Duchess of Aosta, said she spoke with Princess Margherita before she left Rome:  "After all this public attention, of course, there won't be any announcement.  Just the same the King didn't come to Italy sightseeing."

Other friends of Princess Margherita "smiled at denials" that she would marry King Baudouin. 

Embed from Getty Images 

 In August 1953,  Princess Margherita became engaged to Archduke Robert of Austria, a younger brother of Archduke Otto.  They married on New Year's Eve in 1953.  One of their sons, Archduke Lorenz of Austria, married King Baudouin's niece, Princess Astrid of Belgium.

Baudouin slips a way "to woo a princess"

Embed from Getty Images
May 29, 1952

King Baudouin of Belgium, 21, and Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta, 22,  are "heading for meeting tonight in Italy", according to the Associated Press.

This meeting may lead to an announcement of a royal wedding.  Members of the Belgian and Italian royal families are already in Rome for a "preliminary get an acquainted gathering."

The meeting will probably take place at the "walled Villa Sparta," which is the home of former Queen Helen of Romania.  The villa is just outside Florence.

In "semi-secret, the King "slipped out of Brussels" this morning by train. Although his destination was said to be Rome, a spokesman at the Belgian embassy in Rome said "he is definitely not coming to Rome," but acknowledged that the King would be "somewhere else in Italy.

Princess Margherita and her younger sister, Maria Cristina, arrived in Rome last night.  Their mother, the Duchess of Aosta, has already arrived in Florence and is staying at Queen Helen's villa.  Her two daughters are expected to arrive at Villa Sparta tomorrow.

King Baudouin's stepmother, the Princess de Rethy, and his brother and sister, Prince Albert and Princess Josephine Charlotte, have been in Rome for three days.  Prince Albert visited the Vatican earlier today but did not meet with Pope Pius.

Police in Florence has been told to expect members of both royal families "in the next few days."

rumors of a marriage between King Baudouin and Princess Margherita have been circulating in Italy for several weeks.  The King's aunt, Princess Marie José, married the future King Umberto in 1930.  He lost his throne in 1946, and he and his wife now live in exile.

York Princess christened

May 29, 1926

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, was baptized today "in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace."  According to the New York Times, she is the first "royal baby to be christened in the chapel."

The ceremony was not very long.  The infant princess' grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary and the Earl and Countess of Strathmore, were present for the ceremony. Other royal guests included the Prince of Wales,  Princess Mary, the Duke of Connaught and Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught.

The Duke and Duchess of York arrived at Buckingham Palace shortly before noon to have lunch with the King and Queen.  Princess Elizabeth, the "fourth lady of the land, " was brought to Palace in the early afternoon by her nurse.  She was placed in a cradle, "kept at the palace for visiting infants," and "slept peacefully" before the ceremony.

The baptismal ceremony began with the arrival of the organist and the choir boys, "dress in crimson and gold robes, from St. James's Palace."

The princess was held by her nurse during the first part of the ceremony, but when it came time to name her, Queen Mary "took the baby and handed her to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Archbishop "made the sign of the cross on her forehead" with water from the River Jordan.  "In token that hereafter she shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified."

The hymn, "Praise the Lord, Ye Heavens, Adore Him," was selected by the Duchess of York.

After the ceremony was finished, the register was signed by the King and Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke Connaught, and the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.

Princess Elizabeth was "dressed in a robe of old lace several feet long," which was first worn in 1840 when Princess Victoria, eldest child of Queen Victoria, was baptized.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Forthcoming QVD

Several royal watchers noticed a very pregnant Hereditary Princess of Hesse at the wedding of her first cousin, Count Carl Alexander von Faber-Castell. 

The former Countess Floria von Faber-Castell married HH Donatus, the Hereditary Prince of Hesse in May 2003.  They are the parents of a set of twins, Prince Moritz and Princess Paulina, who were born in March 2007.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dear God ...

Thank you for my home, my food, my toys, my brothers, Buddy and Edison, and for my mommy.

Love, Sienna Rose

Sweet Sixteen - and kissed every day

My darling Buddy celebrates his 16th birthday today.  He will have a special chicken dinner tonight.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Even more embarrassment for Florida Governor Scott

This op-ed is priceless ... Yeehaw Junction indeed.   It is a shame that Scott cannot be recalled on account of his stupidity.

Count Carl Alexander von Faber-Castell's wedding

Count Carl Alexander von Faber-Castell and Turkish-born Melissa Eliyesil were married today in a Lutheran wedding at Martin Luther Kirche at Stein.

More than400 guests were present for the wedding, including Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia, the Prince and Princess of Schaumburg-Lippe, the Prince and Princess zu Castell-Castell, Hereditary Prince Donatus of Hesse and his wife, Floria, who is a first cousin of the groom, the Prince and Princess of Castell-Rüdenhausen,  Prince Dominik of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and his fiancee, Countess Olga of Castell-Rüdenhausen, and other members of the Castell-Rüdenhausen family.

Govt Scott's gaffe finally catches up with him

Note to my foreign readers:  not all Americans are stupid.  Not all American politicians are stupid and ill-prepared for meeting international visitors.  I will even say that not all Republicans are uncouth, ill-mannered and poorly informed.  I am no fan of Governor Scott.  I have a feeling however, that the Governor was ill-prepared by a member of his staff, who googled some information about the King and the elephant trip, but did not pick up the most salient facts that pertained to the king's discomfiture. Thus, the Governor, thinking he had a talking point in common, rushed into the conversation like an elephant in a china shop.  That said,  Governor Scott is an embarrassment, and does not deserve the honor of holding the highest office in Florida ... but his election also says a lot about the lack of good candidates in the Sunshine State.

But not all of our elected officials are as poorly educated as Governor Scott.  I am no fan of Governor McDonnell, but he would have been more prepared to encourage Spanish investment in the USA than Governor Scott.

Friday, May 25, 2012

a budding film star for a Belgian noble

Astrid Ullens de Schooten Whetnall is the third child of the late Charles Albert, Count de Schooten-Whetnall and Countes Marianne Bernadotte.  She was born in March 1971.  In 1996,  Astrid married Belgian filmmaker Lionel Jadot.  They have three daughters, Victoria, Josephine and Milla.

Astrid is a granddaughter of the former Prince Carl of Sweden, who lost his royal titles and dynastic rights, when he married Swedish Countess Elsa von Rosen.   Carl was the youngest child and the only son of Prince Carl and Princess Ingeborg of Sweden.   He was also the only child who had made a grand marriage, unlike his three sisters, Margaretha (who married Prince Axel of Denmark), Martha (Crown Princess of Norway), and Astrid (Queen of the Belgians.) 
Astrid may not be a movie star, but she works as an actress in French-language films, and is known as Astrid Whetnall.

Who will not be on the balcony at Buckingham

Most members of the Royal Family, actually.   The Duke of York, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Princess Anne and her family, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their family,  the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester,  Princess Alexandra, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent --  all of whom are largely the backbone of the Royal Family.

On Tuesday, June 5, the Queen and other members of the Royal Family will travel to St. Paul's Cathedral for a service of thanksgiving.  Most members of the Royal Family will be driven to the Church and back to the Palace.  Only seven members of the Royal Family will travel in carriages:  the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.  

But when the doors to the balcony open to accept the cheers of the crowd (which will include me),  most of the Royal family will stay inside.  Only the above mentioned seven members of the Royal Family will come out, according to Richard Palmer.

I think is important to acknowledge your other children and their spouses and your cousins, all of whom have represented you and the United Kingdom.  It is one thing to limit the carriages, but it is wrong to not include all of the royal family on the balcony.  We want to see all of them!

Princess Estelle: official baptism photographs

all photos: copyright
The Swedish royal house has released five official photos from the baptism of Princess Estelle, daughter of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.

The credit for all five photos is

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Count Carl Alexander von Faber-Castell weds on Saturday

Count Carl Alexander von Faber-Castell will marry Melissa Eliyesil on Saturday at the Martin Luther Church at Stein.   The couple's civil wedding took place last September.

Count Carl-Alexander is the only son of Count Anton Wolfgang von Faber-Castell.  His bride comes from a wealthy Turkish family.  

Melissa was born in Istanbul in 1984.  Her mother is Colombian.  She attended school in Switzerland and in the United States, where she studied business and fashion design. 

The couple were introduced while both were students at Columbia University in New York City.   Count Carl Alexander works as a strategy consultant with Roland Berger, a consulting firm.     The future countess is currently undertaking an internship with Hubert Burda Media in Munich.

More than 400 guests are expected to attend the wedding.  A traditional Polterabend will be held tomorrow night.

Carl-Alexander was born in Zürich, Switzerland on June 20, 1980,  six years before his father, Count Anton-Wolfgang married his mother, Luxembourg-born Carla Mathilde Lamesch.  They married in Las Vegas on June 16, 1986, and were divorced not long afterward.   Carla died in Little Rock, Arkansas, in May 2010.  Anton-Wolfgang married for a second time in 1987 to American-born Mary Hogan.  They have three daughters, Katharina, Victoria and Sarah, all of whom were born in New York.

Count Anton-Wolfgang is the head of Faber-Castell AG. 

The von Faber-Castell family is a non-dynastic branch of the princely family of Castell-Rüdenhausen.   Prince Alexander, the 6th child of Wolfgang, Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen, who was elevated to the rank of Fürst by the King of Bavaria in 1901.  In 1898, he renounced his titles, and was created Count of Faber-Castell, when he married Baroness Ottilie von Faber.  This marriage was considered unequal, which is why the Faber-Castells have no dynastic rights for Castell-Rüdenhausen.

Alexander and Ottilie, the heiress to the Faber pencil fortune,  were the parents of three daughters and one son, Count Roland (1905-1978).   They divorced in 1918.  Although Alexander had remarried and resumed his birth title, he remained head of the Faber-Castell business, which eventually passed to his son, Count Roland.

Anton-Wolfgang is the sixth child of Count Roland who married three times.  His mother was Roland's second wife, Katharina Sprecher von Bernegg. 

One of Carl-Alexander's first cousins, Countess Floria-Franziska is married to the Hereditary Prince of Hesse.

A daughter for the Kents

From today's London Gazette

Kensington Palace May 24.

"This morning at a quarter past four o'clock, the Duchess of Kent was happily delivered of a Princess.  His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, his Grace the Duke of Wellington, the Major-General of the Ordnance, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the Earl of Bathurst, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, the Bishop of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Right Hon. George Canning, First Commissioner for the affairs of India, were in attendance.

Her Royal Highness is, God be praised, as well as can be expected, and the young Princess is in perfect health."

How appropriate for the Duke of Wellington and the Hon. George Canning to be present for the birth of the Kent princess.

a debut for an Infanta

May 24, 1898

Infanta Maria de las Mercedes of Spain will not be having a festive debut into Society, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy. There will be no "coming out" frocks or balls to mark the occasion when the Infanta, who is also styled as the Princess of Asturias, turns eighteen years old in three months. 

Her mother, Queen Maria Cristina, believes that a grand celebration should not be held at this time as Spain is "passing through the too terrible crisis" to allow for "balls or festivities at court."

Instead, the young princess made her debut "at one of her afternoon receptions." She did not wear the customary white gown," but wore a "high visiting dress of blue satin of a rather dark shade."  She also no wore jewelry "worth mentioning."

Her long dark hair "was done up in long tresses as to form a sort of diadem."  She also wore for the first time a "long and train dress."

Infanta Mercedes is said to "have a serious and rather sad face, not devoid of charm or comeliness."  She has always been shy and reserved, and she has now made her debut into society under "singularity sad auspices."

From the time of her father's death until the birth of her younger brother, King Alfonso XIII six months later, Mercedes was the "full-fledged Queen Regent."   After her brother was born, the Infanta resumed her position as Princess of Asturias, heiress presumptive to the throne.

Otto to marry Maria of Bavaria

May 24, 1932

Archduke Otto of Austria is to marry Princess Maria of Bavaria, according to an unconfirmed report in Vienna newspapers today, states the New York Times.

Princess Maria is the daughter of Prince Franz of Bavaria, younger brother of former Crown Prince Rupprecht.   The famil6y lives for most of the year at their Hungarian estate Sarvar.  The princess is said to be fluent in Hungarian.

The report has not been confirmed by family members.

King Frederik VIII buried today

May 24, 1912

The body of King Frederik VIII of Denmark was laid to rest today at Roskilde Abbey, outside Copenhagen, "among the tombs of thirty-three predecessors on the Danish throne," reports the New York Times.

The burial followed a funeral service that lasted an hour.  The Lutheran service "was most impressive," featuring "hymns and anthems" sung by members of the Royal Opera.

King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine, their family and royal relatives all stood around the bier. Two hundred thousand mourners "thronged" the funeral procession's route from the railroad station to the cathedral.

Playing funeral marches, a military band led off the procession.  The hearse was followed by the Kings of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Greece "and all the male members of the Danish royal family."  Queen Louise and Queen Alexandrine and the Princesses traveled by carriages.

After the service, the coffin was taken to the Chapel of Frederik V, "where it was laid rest."  Members of the Danish royal family and other royal guests followed the coffin into the chapel, and remain "some time in prayer" after the coffin was put into the tomb.

Unammed Princess flees to London with lover

May 24, 1902

According to an exclusive report to the Los Angeles Times, a "princess of one of the most illustrious royal houses in Europe" has eloped with her lover and has "fled to London to be married in a registry office."

The princess was not discovered to be missing until some hours after she had fled.  Her disappearance has caused "consternation" in the unnamed royal house hold.

All European embassies of the government "have been ordered to stop the elopers at all costs."  

Police are checking incoming trains from London, Paris and Berlin.  French police have acknowledged that the princess is a member of the Austrian royal house, and police are "watching for a runaway Austrian princess."

Prince Philip profile from CNN

Queen Victoria's journals online

Woo hoo ....  The surving journals were released on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Princess Irene leaves home for her wedding

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

May 23, 1888

Princess Irene of Hesse and By Rhine, accompanied by her father, Grand Duke Ludwig IV, her brother, Prince Ernst Ludwig, and her suite, left Darmstadt today, reports the New York Times.

The Princess will marry her first cousin, Prince Henry of Prussia tomorrow in Berlin.  

When they arrived in Marburg, they were greeted by city officials, and "a reception was held."  From Marburg, the royal party proceeded to Cassel, where "12 maids of honor presented the Princess with bouquets."

Empress Victoria, accompanied by her daughters, Crown Prince Wilhelm, and Prince Henry, met Princess Irene at the Charlottenberg station and "received her with affectionate greetings." 

The road to the palace was "decorated with flags" and lines with "veterans and members of gymnastic and trade societies," and members of the general public, who "cheered enthusiastically.

Emperor Friedrich III was asleep when Princess Irene and her family arrived. He had "expressed a great desire" to see her when she arrived, but his physician, Dr. Mackenzie, "fearing the excitement would spoil his night's rest," suggested that the emperor wait until the morning.

All  houses en route to the palace were "illuminated with candles."  Busts of Princess Irene were displayed in many of the windows.  The bride-to-be was in white, and other royal ladies were in "light dresses."

This evening, Prince Henry and Princess Irene hosted a reception at the palace,  described as a "festal appearance."

The Prince of Wales, uncle to the bride and the groom, Prince Albrecht of Prussia, Grand Duke Serge and Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Russia, and the Crown Prince of Greece are among the guests who have already arrived to attend Prince Henry's wedding. 

Emperor Friedrich III has "ordered the Crown Prince to preside" at the wedding gala banquet in honor of Prince Henry and Princess Irene.

Yugoslav wedding postponed

May 23, 1922

The marriage of King Alexander of Yugoslavia and Princess Marie of Romania has been postponed until June 8, according to the Associated Press.  The postponement was requested by the bride's parents, King Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Romania because their eldest daughter, Crown Princess Elisabeth of Greece, is in "poor health."

Prince George of Battenberg to marry countess

Embed from Getty Images

May 23, 1916

Prince George of Battenberg, the elder son of Prince and Princess Louis of Battenberg, is to marry Countess Nada Torby, the "younger of the two very pretty daughters" of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia and his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie Torby, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.

The engagement was recently announced in London, and it is not a real surprise, as the couple "have long been devoted to one another."

The match between Prince George, who serves in the Royal Navy aboard the "great warship" New Zealand, and Countess Nada is "very suitable from every point of view."   Both are "of morganatic issues.  Countess Nada, 20, will inherit one-third of her father's fortune. 

Prince George's father, Prince Louis, served as Lord Admiral until late 1914.  Princess Louis, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, is the eldest sister of the Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, Princess Henry of Prussia,  Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Russia, and Empress Alexandra of Russia.

Prince George is a first cousin of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, whose father, Prince Henry, was a younger brother of Prince Louis.  George's older sister, Alice, is married to Prince Andrew of Greece.

Countess Nada Torby has spent most of her life in England, apart from a "few months each year on the French Riviera." Her father owns a large villa in Cannes.   Through her mother,  Nada is the great-granddaughter of the famed Russian poet, Pushkin.

Commoner bride accepted by Habsburgs

May 23, 1912

The Chicago Daily Tribune is reporting that Archduke Ferdinand of Austria has been restored to his imperial rank, and his commoner wife, Bertha Czuber, "a girl of much beauty, but no title," has been made a countess.

Prince Arnulf's retirement recalls his affair with a countess

May 23, 1906

Field Marshall Prince Arnulf of Bavaria recently announced his retirement from the First Army Corps of the Bavarian army, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy.   The retirement has been attributed, at least, officially to ill health. Others insist that the Prince has retired due to a quarrel with his older brother, Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.

The Marquise notes that this quarrel recalls a "sensational affair" that the Prince had during the lifetime of the late King Ludwig.

Prince Arnulf apparently fell "deeply in love with Countess Alfred Dürckheim-Monmartin" and became so "assiduous in his attentions as to compromise her in the eyes of the public." 

The prince's determination to woo her also caught the attention of the countess' husband, who tried to intervene and challenged the prince to a duel.  Prince Arnulf accepted the call, and the duel was about to take place when King Ludwig "happened to hear about the matter."  

Naturally, the king was furious with Prince Arnulf, and would not allow the duel to take place.  He ordered the prince to "apologize to the count and countess. " He publicly reprimanded him "for his offensive conduct.   The King appointed the count as his aide-de-camp, and the countess was given a position as lady-in-waiting to the widowed Queen Marie.

The Countess, born Countess Helen Bobrinsky, eventually divorced her husband.  But it is not astonishing that the count became "deeply devoted to his eccentric sovereign"  He remained with King Ludwig II until the latter's death.

Prince Arnulf was born June 8, 1852, in Munich.  He is the youngest son of Prince Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, and Archduchess Augusta of Austria.  He married Princess Therese of Liechtenstein in 1882.  They have one son, Prince Heinrich, who was born in 1884.

30 Dames and a Queen

30 Dames, including my absolutely favorite actress (and all around nice lady), Dame Diana Rigg, will be photographed with the Diamond Queen herself, Queen Elizabeth II ..

What Nick Clegg actually said about the succession changes

This is from Hansards, the official  source for Parliament (and, as usual, the Daily Mail gets it wrong)

Oral Answers to Questions

Deputy Prime Minister

The Deputy Prime Minister was asked—

Royal Succession

2. Mrs Helen Grant (Maidstone and The Weald) (Con): What plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on the rules governing succession to the Crown. [108461]

5. Mark Lancaster (Milton Keynes North) (Con): What plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals on the rules governing succession to the Crown. [108465]

The Deputy Prime Minister (Mr Nick Clegg): We are working closely with the New Zealand Government to secure the agreement of all the Commonwealth realms to the introduction of UK primary legislation on royal succession. Legislation will be introduced once we have secured this agreement and when parliamentary time allows.

Mrs Grant: If the birds and the bees of the romantic Isle of Anglesey were to conspire and bless our future King of England and his wife with the patter of tiny feet before this law was enacted, and if that royal baby turned out to be a little girl, would she succeed to the throne?

The Deputy Prime Minister: If the birds and the bees were to deliver that blessing to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—and, indeed, the nation as a whole—that little girl would be covered by these provisions and changes to the rules of succession, because they operate as from the time of the declaration at the Commonwealth summit last October. It is important to remember that the rules are de facto in place, even though de jure they still need to be implemented through legislation in the way I have described.

Mark Lancaster: Will the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that there are no plans to change the requirement for the monarch to be a communicant of the Church of England?

The Deputy Prime Minister: There are no plans whatsoever.

Paul Flynn (Newport West) (Lab): In the interests of democracy and dragging the monarchy and the office of Head of State into the 21st century, can it be arranged for the new Bill to permit alternative candidates to stand as Head of State, given the misgivings about King Charles III?

The Deputy Prime Minister: The hon. Gentleman mentions what sounds like another attempt to resurrect the alternative vote system, which I do not think was greeted with universal acclaim last year and would not apply in this area either. More seriously, I do not think he should belittle the enormity of this change. We are getting rid of some very long-standing, discriminatory anomalies on male primogeniture and the rule preventing heirs to the throne from marrying—uniquely among all religions—Roman Catholics. That is real progress that has not been achieved in a long time.

Most people do not realize that the 1917 Letters Patent does not include the HRH and the title Prince or Princess for the younger children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.   This means only the eldest son of of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales will be entitled to the HRH and the title Prince. 
But in view of the forthcoming changes to the succession, it seems probable that this Letters Patent will also be superseded in order a distaff heiress to have royal style and titles during the lifetime of her great-grandmother.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The King and Governor Scott

I would be sooooo embarrassed to have Rick Scott as my governor.  Governor McDonnell is bad enough, but Scott is in a class of his own ...

The Governor is leading a trip to Spain to tout Florida, and encourage investment in the Sunshine State.

Zara to carry flame on horseback

Zara Phillips will carry the Olympic flame on horseback.  She will be the final leg on Wednesday.  She will carry the torch while riding Toytown to the Cheltenham Racecourse, where she "will light a ceremonial cauldron at the evening event."

An adorable princess was baptised today

HRH Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary was baptised today according to the rites of the Swedish Lutheran church. 

The princess' godparents are the Prince of Orange, the Crown Prince of Norway, the Crown Princess of Denmark,  Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, and Anna Westling.

Royal guests included Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik of Denmark, the Crown Prince of Denmark,  the Duke and Duchess of Brabant, Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and his fiancee, Countess Stephanie de Lannoy.  This was the Countess' first appearance at a royal event, apart from the announcement of her engagement.

SVT televised the service.  Here is a link to SVT's coverage.

Zita has arrived in Madrid

May 22, 1922

Former Austrian Empress Zita has arrived in Madrid, according to the Associated Press.  She was accompanied by her children, and her mother, Maria Antonia, Duchess of Parma.

They were met at the train station by King Alfonso XIII, Queen Mother Maria Cristina, the Premier and the Foreign Ministers. 

Afterward,  Zita joined the royal family for lunch at El Pardo.

A new decree from Nicholas

May 22, 1908

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today on a recent decree, dated April 1, by Nicholas II, which could eventually affect the succession to the Russian throne.

The text of the decree is as follows: "Our much loved, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, having realized the truth of the Orthodox faith, and having recognized the justice of its teachings, has following the dictates of her heart, desired to join us in church and sacrament.  This day she has to our great satisfaction adopted our orthodox belief and received the holy anointment.  In communicating to all our loyal subjects these welcome tidings we command that her imperial highness shall be described from henceforth as an orthodox grand duchess."

The Marquise was right to note that this decree had a "political as well as a purely ecclesiastical bearing.  But she got it wrong when she said that Marie Pavlovna, a Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, was the only distaff member of the Imperial Royal Family to not have adopted the Orthodox faith.  Grand Duchess Elisabeth, the wife of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstanovich, never abjured her Lutheran faith.   Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna, the wife of Grand Duke Serge, joined the Orthodox church some years after her marriage.

The Marquise was also wrong when she stated that Vladimir's children did not have succession rights because Marie was not Orthodox.  The Fundamental Laws require that the wives of the Emperor and heir apparent must be Orthodox at the time of the wedding.   The children of Grand Duchess Marie and her husband, Grand Duke Vladimir, were born with succession rights.  This was noted following the Borki train crash in 1888, when Alexander III and his family were nearly killed when the imperial train derailed.  Twenty-three people were killed in the crash.  Russian constitutional experts at the time acknowledged that if Alexander and his sons had been killed, the throne would have passed automatically to Grand Duke Vladimir, despite the fact that his wife was not Orthodox.   Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna would have been required to convert at that time, however.

Fundamental Law 185 states: "The marriage of a male member of the Imperial House who might succeed to the Throne to a person of another faith may not take place until she embraces Orthodoxy."  Thus, Vladimir was permitted to marry Marie, who did not convert at the time of marriage, because he was not the heir to the throne.

Marie's decision to convert in 1908 was probably a political, rather than a spiritual decision.  The Marquise notes that it was difficult to believe that Marie "was prompted in the matter of religious principles."  She was seen as the "most worldly" member of the Imperial family, who introduced the "roulette as an indispensable article of furniture of leading houses" in St. Petersburg. 

But her retention of the Lutheran faith  "implied that she retained her German sympathies." 

The relationship between the Vladimirs and Nicholas II was strained.  Many rightly assumed that the Vladimirs "were held to be largely responsible for the ill will displayed in St. Petersburg society" against the young Empress Alexandra. 

There appears to be a change in atmosphere, however.  Nicholas II has largely forgiven Grand Duke Wladimir's eldest son, Kirill, who married his first cousin, Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, the divorced wife of the Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine.  [The fundamental laws make no reference to the marriage of divorced persons.]  

Victoria Melita, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was recognized as Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna. She converted to Orthodoxy shortly before the birth of the couple's first child, Marie Kirillovna.

In 1908, Grand Duke Vladimir was third in the line of succession, after Nicholas' only son, Alexis, and his younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, who was unmarried. The public did not know that the Tsarevich suffered from hemophilia, but other family members knew that something was wrong with the child.    It became apparent, even before the revolution, that the succession might pass to Vladimir's line.  In 1910, Grand Duke Michael fathered a son, George, by his mistress, Natalia Wulfert, whom he married without permission two years later in a clandestine ceremony in Vienna.   Michael retained his rights, but his son, Count George Brassov, was not a dynast.

It was certainly a perspicuous decision by Marie to join the Orthodox church.  It was not necessary for Grand Duke Constantine's wife to convert because her family was not as close to the throne. Her children certainly had succession rights, as Princess Tatiana renounced her rights in when she married Prince Konstantin Bagration in 1911.

But in 1908,  the Grand Duke Vladimir's family were already making contingency plans if the young heir apparent did not survive childhood, and if Grand Duke Michael did not make an appropriately acceptable marriage.  They were not making plans for a succession following a revolution and the murders of Nicholas II and his family.

Infanta Eulalia's husband not present for Alfonso's coming of age celebrations

Don Antonio de Orléans-Borbon, husband of Infanta Eulalia of Spain, was "conspicuous by his absence from the coming of age festivities of his nephew, King Alfonso," reports the Marquise de Fontenoy in her latest column.

As an Infant of Spain, Don Antonio was extended an invitation, but his "presence would have been awkward in the extreme," as he is separated from his wife, Infanta Eulalia, who played a major role in the ceremony. 

She is a favorite of her nephew, King Alfonso, and much loved by the Spanish people.

Thankfully, Don Antonio had the "good sense" to stay away, with a "timely accident," suffering a sprained angle when he got out of his car in Paris.  This injury prevented him, with "great sorrow and regret," from traveling to Madrid to attend the king's celebrations.

Don Antonio divides his time between his estate in Italy and a mansion at 28 Boulevard des Invalides in Paris.  Infanta Eulalia also has home in the City of Lights at the Palais de Castille on Avenue Kleber, near the Arc de Triomphe.  She lives in a wing of the Palace, which is owned by her mother, Queen Isabel.

The marriage between Infanta Eulalia and her first cousin, Antonio, had been arranged by her brother, the late King Alfonso XII.  He had learned that Eulalia was in love with the secretary of a foreign mission in Madrid.  The young man was quickly transferred to a new post abroad.

King Alfonso XII feared that his sister might run off and elope with the young man so he quickly arranged a marriage with Infante Antonio, who is the son of Infanta Luisa and her French husband, the Duke of Montpensier.

The Duke was never popular in Spain. He never showed any gratitude toward his sister-in-law, Queen Isabel, who was his "benefactress."  He was responsible for the "cowardly killing" of Infante Enrique,  Duke of Seville, and was sentenced to one month in prison for killing Enrique in a duel. He refused to refrain from "political intrigues of one kind and another," and supported the insurgents in the Spanish Revolution of 1868, betraying his sister-in-law, Queen Isabel.

The late Duke, a son of King Louis Philippe, never received the "esteem of all the right minded people" in Spain or abroad.  He was so mean that was sued for the lace bridal veil that he had given to Infanta Eulalia when she married his son, as he refused to pay the bill.

When he died, his "colossal fortune" was divided between his two surviving children, Isabelle, the widow of the Count of Paris, and Don Antonio.   Another daughter, Mercedes, was the first wife of King Alfonso XII. She died in 1868, not long after the marriage.

Don Antonio is also known as the Duke of Galliera, a title once borne by a "great Genoese contractor and railroad builder." The late duke's widow bequeathed her fortune to the late Empress Friedrich, daughter of Queen Victoria, the city of Genoa, and Don Antonio.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grand Duke Henri having a chat

The Grand Duke of Luxembourg chatting with Prince and Princess Serge of Yugoslavia at the Kalmedegan in Belgrade in July 2005.  Photo by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

Crown Princess Mette-Marit in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig 

A smiling Crown Princess Mette-Marit in Washington, D.C.

Russian Imperial Family

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

update: thanks to Svetebella, I now have a key to the persons in the photograph.
Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovitch (seen behind the window), Nicholas II, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovitch, Duchess Eugenie of Oldenburg, GD Sergei Alexandrovitch, Grand Duke Michael Nikolayevitch, Grand Duke George Mikhailovitch, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovitch, taken sometime in 1897 or 1898.

Duchess Eugenie of Oldenburg was born Princess Eugenie Leuchtenberg, second daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Nicolaevna of Russia and Maximilian Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg.  In 1868, she married Duke Alexander of Oldenburg, a grandson of Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia.  They were the parents of one son, Duke Peter Alexandrovich, who married Nicholas II's youngest sister, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna.  Duchess Eugenie was a very close friend of Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia.

One of the those phony stories!

Some years ago, when I was working on the first edition of my book, Queen Victoria's Descendants,  I was able to offer conclusive and new information about Duke Albert of Schleswig-Holstein's natural daughter, Valerie Marie.  She was born on April 3, 1900, at Liptovsky-Mikulas, Hungary, where she was adopted by a Jewish couple named Schwalb. 

Shortly before his death in April 1931,  Duke Albert, a grandson of Queen Victoria, wrote to his daughter and told her the truth.  Although she had been raised by a Jewish couple,  Valerie Marie was baptized Roman Catholic.

In 1939, Valerie Marie was able to change her surname to zu Schleswig-Holstein.

I was the first to write in detail about Valerie Marie's life.  I obtained a copy of the official letter that her aunts Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise wrote to Nazi authorities to establish the fact that she was not Jewish.  She was officially acknowledged as their niece. 

Duke Albert never told anyone the name of Valerie Marie's mother, although he stated that she was a woman of noble birth.

But she was not "Baroness Bertha von Wernitz", an alleged Prussian noblewoman, who died giving birth to Valerie Marie.   "Baroness Bertha von Wernitz" never existed.  She was not Valerie Marie's mother. 

My intuition tells me that Valerie Marie's mother was probably a member of a Hungarian noble family, who had a relationship with Albert, got pregnant, gave birth quietly, and made arrangements for the baby to be adopted.  There is no evidence that Valerie Marie's mother died in childbirth.

Do not fall for the "von Wernitz" story.  It is not true.  Never was, never will be.

Beatriz & Maria Cristina still get their dresses in Madrid

Infanta Beatriz (Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection)

Queen Ena and her two daughters, Beatriz & Maria Cristina, wearing matching coats.
Credit:  Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
May 21, 1932

Infanta Beatriz and Infanta Maria Cristina of Spain, the daughters of former King Alfonso, are still having their "gowns and dresses made by the Madrid shops with which they have always traded," the New York Times is reporting authoritatively.

Their mother, Queen Victoria Eugenia, has always "followed the Spanish custom of dressing daughters of the same approximate age as twins."  She has made arrangements "with their old shops for noble proxies to obtain dresses" and send them to Fontainebleau, where the Queen and her daughters now live.

Queen Victoria Eugenia prefers to buy her clothes in Paris.

Dream job for Spanish prince

Prince Alvaro, Infanta Alfonso de Orléans-Borbon and Infanta Beatriz, NYC, 1929, on the telephone with King Alfonso XIII.   (Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection)
May 21, 1932

Infante Alfonso of Orleans-Borbon, a first cousin of former King Alfonso XIII of Spain, has found his dream job in Paris.  He is working at a Ford automobile factory just outside Paris, reports the Associated Press.

He recently started as a clerk, and has quickly moved into a position as a "blue bloused mechanic."

Until the fall of the Spanish monarchy in April 1931, Infante Alfonso was "chief of the Spanish royal air squadron."

Much of Alfonso's "wealth dwindled" after the establishment of the Spanish republic, he turned his thoughts to America, as he regards "the mechanical field there as the 'most progressive in the world.'"

He traveled from Madrid to Zurich, where his two sons, who were formerly engaged to King Alfonso's two daughters, are now studying engineering.  Infante Alfonso wrote to Henry Ford, and "was offered a place in the Paris factory."    He hopes for a transfer to Detroit,

"This is a time when everybody should be doing something with his hands," Alfonso told the AP reporter.

The 45-year-old prince starts works at eight, "lunches on beef stew in the mechanics' canteen," and has dinner each evening with his mother, Infanta Eulalia in her convent pension. 

Infanta Eulalia, an aunt of former King Alfonso, is one of her son's greater supporters.  She bought his work clothes, and she has canceled "social engagements" so she can be home when he arrives from work."

Infante Alfonso's wife, Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a sister of Queen Mother Marie of Romania, is expected to join him in Paris in a few weeks.

Tragic death of Cumberland's heir

Credit:  Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection (both)
May 21, 1912

The New York Times has received an account of the death of Prince George of Cumberland from the Daily Mail's Berlin correspondent.  The report was sent to the New York Times by Marconi Transatlantic wireless telegraph.

Prince George of Cumberland, eldest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, was killed yesterday in an automobile accident near the village of Nackel, in Brandenburg, about 50 miles from Berlin.  The young prince was en route to Copenhagen to attend the funeral of his uncle, King Frederik VIII.

The Prince's elderly valet, Grewe, was also killed, while the chauffeur, Fricke, has "suffered grave injuries."

The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland were en route to Denmark from their home in Gmunden, Austria. They were informed of their son's death at 2 a.m., at their hotel in Dresden.   They have "abandoned all plans" to travel to Denmark.   The Duchess is the youngest sister of the late king.

Prince George was driving his car when the accident occurred.  Yesterday morning, he had left Prague for Copenhagen.  The area around Nackel is hilly, and the Prince was "traveling at sixty miles an hour," as he wanted to reach Schwerin "before nightfall," and then travel to Copenhagen today.

He "failed to observe" a stretch of road that had been "freshly remetaled and left unrolled."  Before he could apply the brakes, the "car skidded, dashed against a heap of loose stones, skidded again," and then hurled into several oak trees.

Prince George was killed instantly.  He suffered a fractured skull, a broken nose, "his right eye was knocked out," and a half dozen ribs were broken "by the "crushing of his body against the steering well." 

He was injured so seriously that his "countenance was almost unrecognizable."

A local forester discovered the accident.  Although badly injured, the chauffeur has been able to give an account of the accident.  The bodies of the prince and his valet were brought to Nackel, where the "villagers stood watch over the remains throughout the night."

German newspapers asserted that the death of Prince George would end the "Guelph claims to the kingdom of Hanover." The prince's younger brother, Prince Ernst August, an officer in the Bavarian cavalry, will succeed as Duke of Brunswick "on the demise of his father."

It is understood that Prince Ernst August does not "share in the compromising views of his father with reference to the throne of Hanover."

Prince Georg Wilhelm Christian Albert Eduard Alexander Friedrich Valdemar Ernst Adolf of Hanover, Prince of Cumberland, was born on October 28, 1880, at Gmunden.  He was 31 years old.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Queen Sofia ordered to not attend Jubilee luncheon

Although Queen Sofia had already sent back her RSVP card to the Diamond Jubilee luncheon at Windsor Castle, she has now been told by the Spanish government that she cannot go to London.  The change in plans has been blamed on the forthcoming visit by the Earl and Countess of Wessex to Gibraltar, which is British territory. 

This is not the first time that the Rock has stood between a Spanish Royal visit and a British Royal event.  In 1981, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia had to decline an invitation to the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer as the newlyweds were scheduled to visit Gibraltar on board the Britannia during their honeymoon.

More guests for Diamond Jubilee luncheon

Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia will be among the guests at the luncheon at Windsor Castle on May 18th.   They are also attending the dinner at Buckingham Palace that evening, hosted by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Christian zu Hohenlohe-Oehringen dead at 79

May 15, 1926

Prince Christian Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Oehringen, Duke of Ujest, died yesterday at his estate in Hungary.  He was 79 years old, and had been in declining health for some time, reports the Associated Press.

The late prince was described as the "wealthiest man in Germany.  His fortune was "acquired in landed properties and industrial undertakings.:

An "intimate friend" of the late Chancellor Otto von Bismarck,  Prince Christian had a "noted career as financier sportsman and club man."  He founded the Automobile Club of Germany.

During the World War, Prince Christian headed Germany's Espionage Service for France, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

Prince Christian Kraft was the eldest son of Hugo, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Oehringen, Duke of Ujest, and Princess Pauline of Fürstenberg.  He succeeded his father in 1897 as the Prince of Hohenlohe-Oehringen.

Prince Christian Kraft was unmarried. The title passes to his younger brother, Prince Hans.

A golden dress for Princess Marie

May 15, 1922

Princess Marie of Romania has received a "dress of pure gold," one of the "most conspicuous"  gifts given in honor of her wedding, according to the New York Times.

The Princess will marry King Alexander of Yugoslavia on June 1 in Belgrade.

The golden dress was presented to Mari by "the peasants of the country."

King Alexander has a received a "shirt of pure silver," from Serbians in Macedonia.  The shirt was "woken on  hand loom from a medieval design."

One of Alexander's gifts to his fiancee is a "magnificent crown of gold, embellished with diamonds, rubies and amethysts."  Each Yugoslav district contributed one "precious stone" for the crown.

Frederik's body unclaimed for five hours

May 15, 1912

The body of the late King Frederik VIII of Denmark was unclaimed for five hours in a Hamburg morgue, the New York Times is reporting.

The King died at 11:00 p.m., last night, after being "stricken with apoplexy" while walking alone in Hamburg.  He died in a taxi cab, "alone except for the policeman, who had picked him up as he was staggering back to his hotel, 300 yards away."

The policeman did not recognize the king, so he took the body to a municipal hospital, where the authorities "consigned the body to a public morgue," where it lay "forgotten and unattended for five hours among eight other unrecognized corpses."

The King had been accompanied to Hamburg by his wife, Queen Louise, and three of their children, Prince Gustav and Princesses Thyra and Dagmar."  It was not until the King's body was found at the morgue and brought to the hotel at 4 a.m., did Queen Louise and her children "learn of the King's death."

The Queen had assumed that her husband had "retired at his usual hour," and had not known that he had left the hotel for an evening stroll.

The body will be taken to Lübeck tomorrow by special train and taken aboard the Danish royal yacht Dannebrog, escorted by a Danish warship back to Copenhagen.

King Frederik and his family arrived in Hamburg from Frankfurt on Monday, having spent some time in Nice "to seek relief by change of air from the arteriosclerosis from which he had suffered in recent years."

He was traveling incognito as Count Kronberg.   According to observers, the Danish sovereign "looked and felt well" when he arrived in Hamburg.

Last evening, the King and Queen and their children dined at the Hamburger Hof Hotel.  Afterward, the King went for a "customary stroll," unaccompanied.   He left the hotel shortly after 10 p.m.  

His valet waited for his return,  and after 2 a.m.,  the valet went downstairs to wake the hotel's manager, Carl Wache.   The manager got dressed and accompanied the valet to police headquarters to give an "accurate description of the King.  They were about to leave the police station, and search the local restaurants, thinking the King "had set out on some adventurous trip of exploration," when of the officers mentioned a record of "some elderly, well-dressed man, identity unascertainable" had been found "staggering in the Goose Market, a major square in Hamburg. The police officer said that the man had died while being taken by taxi to the Harbor Hospital.

Wache asked for a detective, and they got into a taxi to the Harbor Hospital.  It took some convincing to get the night watchman to call the doctor in charge, but eventually, the valet and Carl Wache identified the late King's body.

It took a further two hours to persuade the Morgue's staff to release the body so that it could be taken back to the hotel in the "waiting cab." They arrived at the hotel at 4:30 a.m.   King Frederik "was laid on a simple single wooden bed."  His features were "composed and natural," and his death had "come painlessly."

Queen Louise and the three children were awakened at 6 a.m., by the Lord Chamberlain, and were told of the King's death.  A half-hour later, the Queen ordered flowers and strewn the coverlet covering her husband with red and white roses, Denmark's national colors.

Family members were also informed of the King's death.  Queen Louise received messages of condolences from King George V and Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra,  and other royals.  Kaiser Wilhelm II arrived shortly after 7 a.m., to offer his condolences to the newly widowed Queen.

Royals arrive for Alfonso's Coronation

May 15, 1902

Members of foreign royal families have begun to arrive in Madrid for the coronation of King Alfonso XIII, reports the New York Times.

Today's weather was "auspicious," without a single cloud in the sky.  The sun shone brilliantly, which favored the arrival of the Duke of Connaught, Prince Albrecht of Prussia, Grand Duke Wladimir of Russia, Prince Christian of Denmark, Prince Nicholas of Greece and the Crown Princes of Monaco and Siam.

The train with the royal guests pulled in at 4:30 p.m.  A guard of honor "presented arms" and the band played the Spanish Royal March.    Prince Albrecht was the first to alight, and he was followed by the Duke of Connaught and the other royal guests.  The British Ambassador, Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, "presented the Duke of Connaught to the Prince of Asturias.

They reviewed the guard of honor.  The Duke of Connaught and the Prince of Asturias walked together, followed by the other princes.  The Crown Prince of Siam, clad in a white uniform, was "conspicuous on account of his short stature."  Grand Duke Wladimir, who was walking next to the Crown Prince, "towered above him."

After the ceremony, the Duke of Connaught and the other royals were driven by carriage to the Palace, where they were received by Queen Maria Cristina, the Regent, and King Alfonso XIII.

Tonight a "grand banquet" is being held at the palace in honor of the royal guests.

Princess Estelle: sponsors at baptism

Princess Estelle of Sweden, second in line to the throne, will be baptised on Tuesday.  One Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, reported today that the infant princess will have five sponsors.  (Victoria and her younger siblings have four sponsors each.)  On March 20, I believed that the four godparents would be:

The Prince of Orange,  the Crown Princess of Denmark, Anna Westling Söderström (Prince Daniel's sister), and Prince Carl Philip.    Although no announcement has been made by the Palace, Aftonbladet confirms my thoughts and adds the Crown Prince of Norway. 

Crown Princess Victoria is godmother to Prince Christian of Denmark, Princess Amalia of the Netherlands and Princess Ingrid of Norway.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Widow Sozanni

Photo by Art Beeche
Donna Emanuela de Dampierre, the first wife of HRH Don Jaime, Duke of Segovia, second son of King Alfonso XIII, died on May 2 at her home in Rome.  She was born in Rome and she died in Rome.  Her first marriage took place in Rome. Her civil divorce from her first husband was recognized in Italy.  Her second husband was a wealthy Italian stockbroker.  He died in Italy.  Her long time lover, Federico Astarita, was an Italian lawyer, who died in 1974.

Although Emanuela and her second husband, Antonio "Tonini" Sozanni were separated for many years, they never got a divorce.  Sozanni, who supported Emanuela and her sons, died in 2007.  He was survived by his widow, Emanuela.

Emanuela, who was 98 when she died, was the daughter of a French viscount, Roger, Viscount de Dampierre, who had inherited a papal title, Duke of San Lorenzo.  He was married to Donna Vittoria Ruspoli, whose mother was American.   Emanuela's parents were divorced in 1930, and her father was the center of a scandal in Rome when he ran off with a much younger woman.

The French newspaper, Le Figaro, included a death notice, most likely placed by Emanuela's grandson, Luis Alfonso de Borbon y Bordiu, who is considered by Legitimists as the rightful King of France, or by someone on his behalf. 

Death notices are not always accurate as the information is provided by the family.   Emanuele is named as the widow of Don Jaime, Duke of Segvoia.  The death notice also stated that she was the mother of HRH Don Alfonso, Duke of Cadiz (1936-1989), the grandmother of Don Luis Alfonso and the great-grandmother of  Eugenia, Luis and Alfonso de Borbon.

The death notice has omissions.  Emanuela's younger son, Gonzalo, and his daughter, American-born Stephanie de Borbon and her four five sons, are not included.

Don Jaime married Emanuela not because he loved her, not because he wanted a true Christian marriage, and not because she was pretty.  He married her because she was not of equal birth.  He renounced his rights in 1933 due to his disabilities.  He was deaf and mute.   He acknowledged that he chose to marry a woman of unequal right because he and he descendants would not have rights to the Spanish throne. 

Emanuela told her biographer that her marriage had been arranged by her mother, and former King Alfonso XIII of Spain.  She was perfectly acceptable as a bride for Jaime, who no longer had rights to the Spanish throne.

This renouncement was made two years after the Spanish royal family went into exile.  The eldest son, Alfonso, the Prince of Asturias, renounced his rights not long before  his brother, when he married a Cuban commoner. Alfonso, who was created Count of Covadonga by his father, Alfonso XIII, suffered from hemophilia, a disease he had inherited from his mother, Victoria Eugenia. 

The new heir to the throne was Alfonso XIII's third son, Don Juan, the Count of Barcelona.  He made a most agreeable marriage with Princess Mercedes of Two Sicilies.  She was named for her father's first wife,  Mercedes, Princess of Asturias, the elder sister of King Alfonso XIII.

By the mid-1940s the Segovia marriage was over.  In reality, the couple never had a true Christian marriage.  They made vows they could not keep. Life for Jaime was made more difficult by his disabilities.   He was not well-educated, he did not have good job skills, and he had poor advisers. In other words, he was not prepared for a life in exile, a life away from Spain.

Jaime was not close to his parents, nor to his brother, Juan.   He was the son of an exiled king with no real purpose in life.   Alfonso XIII died in 1941.  By the end of the decade,  Spain's dictator, Francisco Franco restored the monarchy, but without a king.  It was largely determined that the Count of Barcelona's eldest son, Don Juan Carlos, would take on the mantle of the Spanish succession, although the Count of Barcelona did not give up his own claim to the throne until some years afterward.

Legal separations and divorce were not permitted in Franco's Spain.  Divorce did not become legal in Spain until 1981.   Don Jaime, who was not a Spanish dynast, and who did not live in Spain, and Emanuela applied for divorce in Bucharest in 1947.  This divorce was recognized in many countries, including Austria and Italy.  In 1949,  Don Jaime married a Berlin-born woman, Charlotte Tiedmann, who helped him get treatment for his disabilities.  

Emanuela also married for a second time in 1949.  Her new husband was Antonio Sozanni, a wealthy Italian financier, who paid for her sons' school fees, for their clothes and much else.  Don Jaime did not pay support for his children.  He was more interested in seeing how many titles he could claim.

 Several years after his father's death, he decided to reclaim the throne of Spain.  Never mind the fact, that his younger brother was recognized as Alfonso XIII's heir.  Jaime also decided that he was the rightful king of France.  He later added the title Duke of Madrid to his resume.

To try to understand Jaime's claim, one most go back to 1700, when King Carlos II of Spain died.  He named Prince Philippe, Duke of Anjou, younger son of the Grand Dauphin in France, as his heir.   Philippe was the the grandson of Carlos's half-sister, Marie Teresa, who was the first wife of Louis XIV. 

Although there was some criticism of this decision, Philippe's father, the Dauphin, pondered, and then pronounced a decision.  Philippe would inherit the Spanish throne, and he would renounce his rights and the rights of his descendants to the French throne.

Philippe agreed to this decision. He renounced all rights to the French throne for himself and for his descendants and he became King Felipe V of Spain.  King Juan Carlos is his direct descendant.  The Anjou title reverted to the French crown, and was created several times for other members of the House of France.

The French Revolution brought a temporary end to Bourbon rule in France.  The monarchy came to an end in 1792.  A year later, Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were executed. Their only surviving son, Louis-Charles, became the titular King Louis XVII. He died at the age of ten in June 1795.

After the revolution and the establishment of the First Republic, France went through a series of bumpy patches.  In 1804, a short Corsican declared himself Napoleon, Emperor of the French.  In 1814, he suffered a series of military defeats, and found himself exiled to Elba.

Enter a brief Bourbon restoration: King Louis XVIII, brother of the late King Louis XVI.  He managed to hold onto the throne for eleven months before the wily Corsican escaped from Elba. He reclaimed his throne in March 1815.  Less than three months later, he met his Waterloo, and found himself exiled on St. Helena.   

The Bourbons regained the throne with Louis XVIII again the king.  He died in 1824, and was succeeded by his younger brother, Charles, who reigned until his death in November 1836.  His eldest son, the Duke of Angouleme, was married to his first cousin, Marie-Therese, the only surviving child of King Louis XVI.  Sadly, the marriage was childless.  

Charles X's younger son, the Duke of Berry, was married to Carolina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.  The Duke of Berry was assassinated while visiting at Paris opera in February 1820.  His widowed Duchess gave birth to a son, Henry, eight months later.   He was known as the Duke of Bordeaux.

The infant duke was presented with the Chateau de Chambord, and the title Count of Chambord.

Charles X remained on the throne until August 1830, when the French had yet another revolutionary hissy fit.  [Meanwhile, back in Spain, Felipe's descendants still reigned.]  He abdicated in favor of his young grandson, after a family battle with his elder son, the Duke of Angouleme, who finally agreed to renounce his rights in favor of his nephew.   Alas, it was all for naught, and the throne passed to Louis Philippe, a scion of the Orléans branch of the family, a direct descendant of Philippe, Duke of Orléans, younger brother of Louis XIV.   In the line of succession,  the Duke of Orléans' descendants followed the male line descendants of Louis XIV.

Philippe's descendant, Louis Philippe, Duke of Orléans, became king of French.  Louis Philippe, the Citizen King, was swept away by revolution in 1848, with the establishment of the Second Republic.    This lasted for four years, when Napoleon III became Emperor. He reigned from 1852 until 1870. His reign came to an end with France's defeat in the Franco Prussian war.

When it comes to the French succession, the Bonapartes are largely seen as interlopers and parvenus.  Felipe V's descendants were in Spain, as Spanish dynasts.  Not French dynasts.  The last king of France of Louis Philippe I, a member of the Orléans branch of Bourbon family.

 I must include a sidebar here as the main Bourbon line still had their own contender:  Henri, the Count de Chambord.  Henri, married to Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, still has his own supporters, but the couple had no children.

After Napoleon III's defeat, Henri saw a glimmer of hope for restoration. He obtained the support from the Orléanists because they hoped he would be succeeded by Louis Philippe's grandson, Philippe, the Count of Paris.   Instead, France established the Third Republic.  Henri died in 1883, and Philippe did not get his throne.   But he did receive the support of many of Henri's supporters.  The present Count of Paris is a direct descendant of Philippe.

This brings us back to Emanuela's death notice, the use of titles, marriage and the non-existent French throne.  All of this reeks of hypocrisy.  Emanuela acknowledged her her memoirs that her marriage was an arrangement.  She loathed Jaime. He despised her.  The Segovia title was bestowed on Jaime by his father, King Alfonso XIII.  It is not a French title.  Jaime eventually adopted the use of the title Duke of Anjou, although he has no real claim to the French title.  

Emanuela ceased using  Segovia title after her civil divorce  and remarriage.  In August 1949, Jaime married Charlotte Tiedmann, and she was styled as the Duchess of Segovia.  Emanuela began to use the title again only after the deaths of her former husband and his second wife, even though she was still married to Antonio Sozanni. 

Emanuela's elder son, Don Alfonso, was married to Carmen Martinez-Bordiu y Franco, a granddaughter of the Spanish dictator.  Perhaps she truly believed that Franco would change his mind and give the throne to her son, and not to Juan Carlos.   She was not fond of her daughter-in-law, and made it clear, publicly in her memoirs, Emanuela de Dampierre, Memorias: Esposa y madre de los Borbones que pudieron reinar en España.

Her biographer, Begona Aranguren, noted that she was a very bitter woman.  Aranguren worked closely with Emanuela on her memoirs, which were published when Emanuela was 89 years old.  She personally approved everything that was published in the book. 

Yes, Emanuela suffered tragedy in her life. Her elder grandson, Francisco, was killed in an auto accident  caused by his father's reckless driving.  The Duke of Cadiz, whose marriage was annulled, died in a freak skiing accident.  Gonzalo, who was not his mother's favorite son, died from leukemia.

The death announcement in Le Figaro is a fairy story, not reality.  It is exclusionary, as the announcement did not name Gonzalo, his widow, nor his only daughter and her four sons.

Stephanie de Borbon never met her grandmother, although she very much wanted to get to know her.  This is understandable.  She spoke twice to her grandmother on the phone during visits to Madrid.  Emanuela never asked her how she was, never asked her about her life.   Luis Alfonso is assumed to be Emanuela's heir. 

Emanuela complained a lot. She complained about her life, her first marriage, her younger son.   She tilted her windmill at a non-existent throne, and acquired a false persona.  This strikes me as hypocritical. She and Jaime made vows, yet had no intention of keeping the vows.  Emanuela entered the marriage on false pretenses.  She did not have a Christian marriage.  Why would she want to be associated with a man who did not love her, a marriage made by arrangement?
Think of all the positive things she could have done after her divorce. She could have raised her sons to understand their real places in the world, and live not pipe dreams.  She could have used her energies to highlight the dangers of excessive driving or help raise funds to find a cure for leukemia.  She could have reached out to her granddaughter.  Emanuela was one quarter American. She could have shared her history with her American granddaughter and her American great-grandsons.  In fact, all of Emanuela's eight great-grandchildren were born in the United States. 

She didn't.  She chose to allow bitterness to permeate her life and her views.  In re-assuming the title Duchess of Segovia, she made a mockery of Christian marriage.