Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Princess Beatrice escapes death in fire scare

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July 31, 1892

Princess Beatrice narrowly escaped death yesterday in a fire at Schloss Heilgenberg, reports the New York Times.  The fire was caused by her maid, carrying a candle, "approached too near a mosquito net covering the bedstead, starting the fire to the net." 

Princess Beatrice was already in bed when the fire started.  She managed to get out of the room with no time to dress, and "alarmed the household. 

The water hose near the bed did not work, and the entire wing of the castle was gutted.  The princess lost all of her clothes and jewels.

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 Her husband Prince Henry of Battenberg was "sleeping in a hunt box" in the woods when the fire broke out.  He hurried back to the castle after learning of the fire.

Schloss Heiligenberg is in Jugenheim, seven miles from Darmstadt.  

Death of Dowager Grand Duchess

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July 31, 1942

The Dowager Grand Duchess Marie Anne of Luxembourg died earlier tonight at Doctors Hospital in New York City, reports the Associated Press.  She was 81 years old.    The Grand Duchess had been in the hospital for five weeks following an abdominal operation. Her doctors issued a statement following her death, noting that the operation "could bring her but a temporary relief due to the advanced stage of her ailment."

Grand Duchess Marie Anne was the mother of Grand Duchess Charlotte, the sovereign of the tiny grand duchy in Europe.  She had fled Luxembourg with her daughter and her family when the Germans invaded Luxembourg on May 10, 1940.  They "barely avoided capture" as their car did not leave the country until "the Germans were in sight."   After their arrival in France, Marie Anne and Charlotte  "saw Nazi bombs fall in near-by fields."  Luxembourg's government-in-exile asserted that the Nazis had followed the car and "deliberately sought the deaths of the occupants."

Grand Duchess Marie Anne was born on July 13, 1861, as Infanta Maria Ana of Portugal.  She married Grand Duke Wilhelm of Luxembourg in 1893.

The couple had six daughters.   In 1907, the country's succession law was changed to allow for the succession of Wilhelm's daughters.  During her husband's illness in 1908,  Marie Anne was named the country's regent.  Wilhelm died in 1912 and was succeeded by their eldest daughter,  Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide.

Marie Anne and her family remained in Luxembourg during the German occupation in the first world war.  In 1919, Marie Adelaide abdicated in favor of her sister, Charlotte.

The Dowager Grand Duchess arrived with Grand Duchess Charlotte in New York City "by way of Lisbon, Portugal, on a trans-Atlantic clipper" in October 1940.

Two of Marie Anne's daughters, Grand Duchess Charlotte, and Princess Hilda of Schwarzenberg, and Charlotte's husband, Prince Felix, were present when she died.   Before she died, she was visited by her sister, the Duchess of Parma, and former Empress Zita of Austria.

Prince Albert of Saxony: conciliatory statement

Only members of the late Margrave of Meissen's immediate family were present in the small chapel at Brennbichl, near Innsbruck, for the funeral of the late head of the Saxon Royal Family.

HRH Prince Maria Emanuel of Saxony, Margrave of Meissen, Duke of Saxony, was laid to rest in a sealed zinc coffin, which was placed inside an oak coffin. 

The mourners included the late Margrave's grieving widow, Princess Anastasia Luise,  the late Margrave's brother, Prince Albert of Saxony, and the new Margrave of Meissen, Prince Alexander and his wife  Princess Gisela of Bavaria and their four children.

Prince Albert and Prince Alexander had a prior meeting in the chapel before the funeral. There appears to be a rapprochement between Prince Albert and his nephew, as the elder prince issued a statement: "I just want peace in the royal house." 


It's Silver for Zara and Team GB

Great Britain's Three Day Eventing team has won the Silver medal, having been edged out by Germany for the Gold.

Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, is a member of the equestrian team.

The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Zara's older brother, Peter Phillips were in the crowd when Zara competed. 


It was announced earlier this week that if Team GB medaled, the Princess Royal would present the medals.  How cool will it be for Zara to have her Mum place the Silver Medal around her neck.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Update on Zara Phillips

Seven members of the British royal family were present at Greenwich Park earlier today to cheer Zara Phillips, a member of Team GB's three day eventing competition.

Miss Phillips, the daughter of Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, is in joint tenth place after two days of competition.  Team GB stands in second place after Germany.

Zara was one of only five riders "from a field of 74 who managed clear rounds."  This was in spite of Zara's horse, High Kingdom, losing one of his shoes during the competition.

The home town crowds cheered loudly for Team GB.  Zara thought the cheering was "awesome," but the crowds "were so loud, you could not hear your stopwatch beeping."  
The seven members of the Royal Family who sat in stands cheering for Zara were the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.   The Princess Royal and Zara's husband, Mike Tindall, were on the course,  offering their support.

Captain Mark Phillips is the coach of the United States team.


Good Evening, Mr. Bond

I can't stop watching this ... so brilliant, so quirky, so British ... so perfect.

James Bond 007 is an agent for Her Majesty's Secret Service.   Special assignment ....


Not sure how long this link will last.  The IOC, not the broadcasters, owns the copyright to the broadcast, and they do find the uploads and have posters remove them.  The BBC had the link on its You Tube site for several hours before it was removed.   It is now on the BBC's site, but only available for viewers in the UK.  The BBC has the rights to televise the Olympics in the United Kingdom, just as NBC has the US broadcast rights.

Crown Princess Victoria cancels trip to London

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden has decided not to travel to London to cheer on the Swedish team.

"She has chosen to prioritize Princess Estelle, the trip would have been too tough to make with such a small child," said Royal Court spokesperson Bertil Ternert.

"Too tough?"   Baby gets put into carrier.   Nanny packs baby's suitcase.  Maid packs Victoria's suitcase.  Someone takes the suitcases and other items, including baby carriage, baby seat, etc., and transports them to the airport.  Victoria, baby in carrier, and the nanny,  get in car, and are driven to airport.  They travel first class.  Two hour or so flight to London. 

No need to find a taxi or catch the Heathrow Express to Paddington.  Tough is when you travel cattle class with your infant, and you have to fend for yourself ....


Saturday, July 28, 2012

And who is the new Margrave of Meissen

Despite the protestations of Princess Elvira of Sachsen, the wife of Prince Albert, younger brother of the late Margrave of Meissen, the new Margrave is indeed HRH Prince Alexander of Sachsen-Gessaphe.

Elvira and her husband signed the official and notarized document that named Alexander as the Margrave of Meissen's successor.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Princess Theodora of Greece & Denmark's new play

Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark is appearing in a new play at Los Angeles's Renegade Theater.  The Princess, a graduate of Brown University, is one of the theater's founding members.

She is currently appearing in My Romantic History.   Theodora uses the stage name Theodora Greece.

The play has been extended through August 16th.


war over the Saxon Succession

The war of the Saxon succession has begun.  The late Prince Max Emanuel, Margrave of Meisssen, died on July 23, without a direct heir as his marriage to Princess Anastasia-Luise was childless. 

In 1997, members of the former ruling family agreed to a pact regarding the succession.  This pact followed the death of Prince Johannes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who whose death in a mountain climbing accident has precipitated the succession crisis.

Prince Johannes, who died in August 1987, was the only child of Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Mathilde of Saxony, youngest sister of the Margrave of Meissen.  The Saxony succession is semi-salic, which allows for the succession of the sons of female descendants in the absence of a male heir.

The late Margrave's younger brother, Prince Albert, is now claiming to be the new Margrave, even though he agreed to the 1997 pact.   Born in 1934,  Albert married in morganatically in 1980 to Elmira Henke.  The couple have no children.   She tends to speak for her husband, who suffers from a debilitating illness, and is unable to speak for himself.  She said yesterday: "It is surely clear that we are the Margrave and Margravine."

Rüdiger Prinz von Sachsen, the son of the late Prince Timo, and his morganatic wife,  who is currently on vacation in Canada, also voiced supported for Onkel Albert.  "The new Margrave is my uncle Dr. Prince Albert of Saxony."

Albert was one of the signatories to the 1997 Family pact, which was signed during Pentecost.   The other signatories were the Margrave of Meissen and their first cousins, Princes Dedo and Gero of Saxony.

Dedo and Gero had moved to Ireland after the second world war, as their father Prince Ernst Heinrich and his second wife were living.  Several years later, they emigrated to Canada, where they dropped the royal titles, and used the Saxony name as a surname.  Neither prince married.  Their brother, Prince Timo married three times.  All three marriages were morganatic, and his two children have the surname Prinz or Prinzessin von Sachsen.

Rüdiger was not a party to the family pact because he is not a dynast. 

Prince Max Emanuel adopted Alexander as his son, as well.  The family pact signed by all the then living male dynasts, acknowledged that Prince Alexander was the Sachsen heir. 


The Margrave of Meissen's funeral will be held on July 30 at  Brennbich/Imst, Tirol, Austria.  A Requiem mass will be celebrated at Dresden's Hofkirche on August 3.

Funeral preparations are being made by Prince Alexander, whose family is now with Max Emanuel's widow.

Royals at the Olympics

London will be awash with royals -- and not only members of the British royal family ...


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You never know who might show up for the Torch relay

Earlier today while watching BBC's torch cam, I noticed a little activity on the sidelines ... the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall popped out of no where, and greeted the torch runner.  One assumes that this was a planned event, but it was fun to see it happen live  .. bet the torch runner was surprised, too.!

The torch relay will stop at Buckingham Palace tomorrow.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry of Wales will be outside Buckingham Palace to greet the torch as it moves closer to the Olympic Stadium.

The final day of the torch relay is on Friday. The relay will begin in the Maze at Hampton Court.


Just chatting ...

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
and sipping tea

HRH Princess Margaret and HRH Infanta Maria Cristina enjoying a cuppa at the Infanta's home in Turin, Italy. 

The photo was given to me by Infanta Maria Cristina.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Royal Death: the Margrave of Meissen

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

Prince Max Emanuel of Saxony, Margrave of Meissen, died peacefully yesterday in his home in La Tour de Peitz, Switzerland.  He was 86 years old.

His family announced his death in Dresden earlier today.

Prince Max Emanuel was the grandson of the last king of Saxony.   He is survived by his wife, Princess Anastasia Luise, Margravine of Meissen.  Their marriage was childless.

The Margrave has been succeeded as head of the family by his nephew, Prince Alexander of Sachsen-Gessaphe.  

Prince Alexander, who divides his time between homes in Dresden and Mexico, is married to Princess Gisela of Bavaria.  They have four children.

The family has not announced funeral plans. It is also not known if Prince Alexander will be styled as the Margrave of Meissen.



Royal Olympians

On Friday, XXX Olympiad, -- the Summer Olympics -- will begin with the Opening Ceremonies in Stratford, East London.   The competitors will include Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, and Princess Nathalie of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, a German princess who competes for Denmark.  She is the daughter of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, and Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.  Princess Nathalie, a Danish citizen, is the niece of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

This will be the second Olympics for Princess Nathalie.  She was a member of Denmark's dressage team at the 2008 Summer Games and won a bronze medal.

At the 1912 Summer Games in Stockholm, Sweden, Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland, younger brother of King Gustav V, organized the equestrian events.  His nephew, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, served as the organizing committee's honorary President.

Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia became the first member of a reigning royal house to win a medal at the Olympics.  He was a member of Germany's Equestrian Jumping team which won the bronze medal. 

Prince Friedrich Karl was born at Schloss Klein-Glienecke in Potsdam, the third child and second son of Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia and Princess Luise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenberg, who was a younger sister of Wilhelm II's wife, Empress Auguste Viktoria.

The prince was 19 years old when he won the medal, riding Gibson Boy.  During the First World War, Prince Friedrich Karl flew patrols.  His plane was hit by a bullet on March 21, 1917.  He was forced to land the plane in an unsafe area.   He managed to get out of the plane, despite injuring his foot, and was running back toward German lines, when he was shot in the back by Australian troops.  The Australians captured him, and he remained as An Australian prisoner of war until he died from his injuries on April 6, 1917, at Saint Etienne du Rouvray.

The bronze medal must not have been important for the family (the Olympic Games were not a media event in 1912) because there is no mention of it in Friedrich Karl's mother's memoirs.  Princess Friedrich Leopold (Luise Sophie) was the author of Behind the Scenes at the Prussian Court, which was published in 1937.   

Princess Luise Sophie wrote that her son had "thrown himself into his aviation training with his usual zest and had been sent straight to the Western front."   It was on the evening of March 21, when Fritz Karl's equerry arrived at Glienecke to speak with his parents.  The prince and princess were told that there was a rumor that Fritz Karl had been taken prisoner.   Princess Louise wrote that the "days were so full of anxiety," and she could not remember how she learned the details - from King Alfonso XIII or from Daisy, the Crown Princess of Sweden, whose mother, the Duchess of Connaught, was the sister of Prince Friedrich Leopold.

Friedrich Karl was able to write to his mother and have it sent through the British censor. He wrote the letter shortly before undergoing a serious operation.  "He thanked us all for what we had done for him during his short life and sent us all his love; he never mentioned the pain he was suffering."

In 1912, Grand Duke Dimitri Pavlovich of Russia also competed in equestrian events, but he did not win a medal.

Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst (1891-1947) represented Austria in fencing in 1912.   He competed in individual Men's Sabre but only made it as far as the quarterfinals.  Prince Ernst was the fourth child of Prince Egon of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst and Princess Leopoldine Lobkowicz.

Crown Prince Olav of Norway became the second member of a reigning royal family to win a medal at the Olympics when he won the Gold Medal in Sailing (6-meter class) at the 1928 Summer Games in Amsterdam.   Olav's Gold Medal diploma is now on display at the Norwegian Olympic Museum in Lillehammer.

Sailing was not the only thing on Olav's mind during the Olympic Games.  It was during the Amsterdam Games that the future King Olav V became engaged to Princess Martha of Sweden.  

His son, Crown Prince Harald, competed in sailing events at 1964, 1968, and 1972 Summer Olympic Games, although, unlike his father, he never medaled.   He also carried the Norwegian flag in the Opening Ceremonies at the 1964 Games in Tokyo.  Thirty years later, Harald's only son, Crown Prince Haakon lit the Olympic cauldron at the Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

At the 1964 and 1968 Games, Crown Prince Harald took part in the Mixed 5.5 meters class, where he finished 8th and 11th respectively.  At the 1972 Munich Games, the Crown Prince competed in the Mixed Three Person Keelboat and finished in 10th place.

Sailing has been the choice of most royals who have taken part in the Olympic Games.  Crown Prince Constantine of the Hellenes, who succeeded his father as King in 1964, won the Gold Medal in Sailing (Dragon Class) a the 1960 Games in Rome.

The 20-year-old Crown Prince Constantine had only been sailing for two years when he won Greece's Gold medal, sailing his Dragon Class Nirefs to "first place in that class."
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Constantine's finish "was the most exciting," due to his limited time as an experienced sailor.  The Greek Royal Family watched and cheered for Constantine from "their palatial yacht."

On September 12, Crown Prince Constantine returned home a hero and was welcomed in Athens by more than 300,000 people.   Constantine's older sister, Princess Sophie, was a reserve for Greece's sailing team at the 1960 Summer Games.

Princess Sophie married the future King Juan Carlos I of Spain 1in 1962.   Juan Carlos was also a passionate sailor.  In 1972, he competed in the Dragon Sailing Class competition in Munich, where he finished 15th.  He represented Spain.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia have three children: Elena, Cristina, and Felipe, the Prince of Asturias.  Infanta Cristina was a member of Spain's sailing team at the Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea in 1988.  Both were members of the sailing team.  Felipe was also a member of the sailing team that took part in the Summer Games in Barcelona in 1992.   Felipe finished sixth in the Soling class.

At the 1992 Games, the Prince of Asturias was no different than any other competing athlete. Several days before his competition, his "name came up by chance as the member of the Spanish team to be called upon to be tested for drugs."   The New York Times noted that the prince "had no problems with the process."

Felipe said: "I feel it is correct to have a random check.  It helps that your sport is treated as all the others.  I do not think sailing is a sport where you have problems with drugs, but it should be treated the same."
He was quite happy with the games to be in Barcelona. "The level of sports is excellent here, and the Olympics are good because they showcase Spain. "

In an interview with Felipe in Hello magazine before the Barcelona Games, his father said: "I was a competitor in the Munich Games in 1972 and I'm happy to be here to see the young people competing now."  He told Hello: "To represent Spain in the Olympic Games, especially in Barcelona 1992, is, as you can imagine a very great pleasure for me.  But more than that, it is a superb reward for all the hard work myself and the team have put in right up until the last moment."

Infanta Cristina's husband, Iñaki Urdangarin is also a Summer Olympian.  He was a member of Spain's handball team, competing in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympic Games.  The Spanish team won the bronze medals in the 1996 and 2000 Games.

Queen Elizabeth II's only daughter, Princess Anne, is also an accomplished Olympian.  The 61-year-old Princess is a member of the International Olympic Committee and the head of the British Olympic Committee.   She worked tirelessly and played a significant role in lobbying for London to win the 2012 bid. 

Sebastian Coe, a gold medalist in sprinting, who heads London's organizing committee, said of Princess Anne: "Her commitment and passion for this is absolutely extraordinary.  When we had a board meeting at midday, she had often opened two hospitals and a school by then.   Britain's Olympic Minister Hugh Robertson agreed with Lord Coe's statement.  "She is one of the great unsung heroes of this whole process. She played a key role in delivering the bid, she is president of the British Olympic Association, she sits on Seb's board, and she has 30 years of experience in international sport.  Because she is who she is she never asks for any thanks or praise, but she has played a remarkable role in this, and it is completely unheralded and largely unthanked."

The Princess Royal will be seen at many venues at the upcoming games, but, of course, it will be the equestrian events that will command most of her attention.

The Princess was a member of the 1976 Summer Olympic team in Montreal, Canada.  She competed in the Individual and Team Three-Day Events. Riding Goodwill, Anne finished 24 in the final standing of the Individual Event, but she did not finish the team event due to a fall off her horse.

The Princess suffered a "mild concussion, a bruised right arm, and a bruised cheek.  She spoke to the press the next day and said that the rest of the race was "a blur."

"I don't remember anything at all after the fall," she said.

More than half of the forty-nine horses in the competition "fell on the mud-slicked course." 

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Making the Olympic team had been a lifelong dream for the Princess who said she was "Disappointed obviously."  At the time, she added that Montreal might not be her last Olympics "If I have another horse as good as this one."
When the Prince of Wales and his younger brother, Prince Edward, joined Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew at the 1976 Olympics, it was "believed to be the first time that the United Kingdom has been without the Queen and all her immediate family at once, according to the New York Times.

 Her daughter, Zara, also a European champion in eventing,  will ride for Britain at the London Games.

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The Princess Royal's daughter, Zara Phillips, and her teammates will miss the Opening Ceremonies as their competition starts on Saturday.  "I'd rather get on with my competition than go to the opening ceremony.  It will be great to be a part of the Olympics and the atmosphere and the buzz of being a part of it."

Zara will be living in the Athletes' Village.  Zara missed the last two Summer Games due to her horse, Toytown, who was injured.   She told reporters "My family are very proud and right behind me.  I wouldn't be here without them."

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Princess Nathalie will be riding Digby, a 15-year-old horse, bred by the family in Bad Berleburg.  Earlier this year, the princess was profiled by the Danish magazine, The Horse Rider's Journal.  She said: "Digby has a special place in my life.  I've known him since he was a foal.  As with every foal you have so many hopes and dreams ..." Princess Nathalie told the interviewer that yes, Digby's a "bit spoiled, he always receives a lump of sugar before I mount.  I spoil him and in return, he gives me one hundred percent in the arena."

She also competed in the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Several royals have competed in skiing.  Prince Constantin of Liechtenstein finished 99th in Alpine skiing at the Winter Games in 1948.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, an active and enthusiastic sportsman, competed in the Two-Man Bobsled competition in five Winter Olympic Games, from 1988 in Calgary to the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

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The Olympics is in Albert's DNA.  His maternal grandfather, Jack Kelly, remains one of America's greatest scullers.  He won Gold in the Single and Double sculls at the 1920 Summer Games.  Four years later, in Paris, he won the Gold in the Men's Double sculls.

Prince Albert's wife, Charlene, swam for South Africa at the 2000 Summer Games.  She competed in the 200M backstroke, but her qualifying times were not good enough for the final eight.

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Prince Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, son of the late Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Ira of Fürstenberg, founded the Mexican Ski Federation in 1981.  He competed for Mexico for the first time in Sarajevo in 1984.  He qualified for the 2006 Games at Turin, Italy, but Mexican officials decided not to send a one-man team to the Games.    He competed in three more Olympic Games, including the Winter Games in Vancouver, in 2010.

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 As the only member of the Mexican team, Prince Hubertus carried the Mexican flag during the Opening Ceremonies.  He finished 78th in the Giant Slalom and 46th in the Men's Slalom.   He was 51 years old at the time, which made him the oldest athlete at the 2010 Winter Games.
Hubertus' uncle, Prince Max of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1931-1994), represented Liechtenstein in the 1956 Winter Games. The then 24-year-old prince finished 45th in the Men's Downhill.

Other non-European royal Olympians include Prince Karim Aga Hahn and Prince Haya of Jordan.  Prince Karim, now the Aga Khan, competed for Iran in Alpine Skiing in the 1964 Games at Innsbruck, Austria.    He finished 59th and 53rd, respectively, in Men's Downhill and Giant Slalom.  He did not make the final runs in the Men's Slalom.

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 Prince Haya is an equestrian, who competed in Mix Jumping at the 2000 Summer Games, where she finished 70th in the Qualifying round.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Archduke Felix meets the mayor

July 23, 1942

Archduke Felix of Austria paid a courtesy call earlier today to New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, reports the New York Times.  The two men "chatted for fifteen minutes at City Hall."

Archduke Felix, who lives at Essex House, has met the Mayor several times since arriving in New York three years ago.

Dorothee of Croy to marry an American

July 23, 1926

Princess Dorothee of Croy is to marry Louis C.Co. Lusson, Jr., according to the Associated Press.  The bride's family made the official announcement earlier today.

Princess Dorothee is the daughter of Princess and Princess Guillaume of Croy, who lies at the Chateau de Bellignies, near Bavay, France.  The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis C. Olry Lusson of Ardmore, Pennsylvania.

The wedding will take place at the bride's home in Bavay on August 11. 

Mr. Lusson first met the princess last year when he and his parents were on a tour of France.

American princess robbed of jewels

July 23, 1912

The American-born Princess Victor of Thurn und Taxis, who is staying at a hotel in Ostend, Belgium, has been robbed of her jewels, reports the New York Times.

The jewels are worth about $80,000.    The former Lida Nicolls married Prince Victor in November 11.  A previous marriage to Gerald Fitzgerald, an Irishman, ended in divorce.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lady Iris Mountbatten and that Roman Catholic wedding

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The engagement of Lady Iris Mountbatten to Captain Hamilton O' Malley, Irish Guards, was announced on January 17, 1941.  Although Lady Iris did not need to seek permission, according to the Royal Marriages Act,  the marriage was approved by her cousin, King George VI.  This was due to the provision that descendants of Princesses who married into foreign families were exempt from the Act.

[Lady Iris's parents also married without the need of the Royal Marriages Act.]

Lady Iris was the only child of the Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke   The Marquess was born HH Prince Alexander of Battenberg, the eldest son of Princess Beatrice, the youngest child of Queen Victoria, and Prince Henry of Battenberg.  Prince Alexander's engagement to Lady Irene Denison was announced on May 31, 1917.  Three weeks later,  the "conditions brought about by the present war" led to the announcement that "those Princes" of the King's family "who are his subjects and bear German titles, should relinquish these titles and henceforth adopt British surnames.."   The Duke of Teck, brother of Queen Mary, would be made a marquess.  His younger brother, Prince Alexander, married to Princess Alice of Albany, was made an earl.  Prince Louis of Battenberg and his nephew, Prince Alexander, were also created marquesses.

Alexander's new title was Marquess of Carisbrooke, Earl of Berkhamsted and Viscount Launceston.  The new Marquess' marriage to Lady Irene Dension, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Londesborough took place on July 19, 1917, at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.

Lady Carisbrooke gave birth to the couple's only child, Lady Iris Mountbatten, at Kensington Palace on January 13, 1920.  There would be no heir to Alexander's peerages.  This may not be a surprise as Alexander's marriage was probably arranged due to his sexual proclivities.  He had a long-time male companion, Simon Fleet.

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It can be safely said that Lord and Lady Carisbrooke were not hands-on parents. The family lived in a grace-and-favour apartment at Kensington Palace, where the only time Lady Iris "communicated with her father, mother or her royal grandmother, Princess Beatrice, was when a governess took her to the drawing room to say goodnight."

She witnessed her grandmother destroy many of Queen Victoria's diaries.   She was one of Princess Marina of Greece's bridesmaids when she married Prince George, Duke of Kent, in 1934.  Two years later, she was a train bearer at George VI's Coronation.

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There is not a lot known about how Lady Iris came to meet the half-American Hamilton O'Malley-Keyes.  Ham, as he was known, dropped Keyes not long before his wedding.  Iris was not his first fiancee.  In May 1938, his engagement to Angela Tod was announced in The Times.  The engagement came to an official end on December 15, 1938.

Hamilton O'Malley was Roman Catholic.   This made things difficult for Lady Iris as she lost her dynastic rights when she married Hamilton. 

According to all sources, including the report in the Court Circular, Lady Iris and Captain O'Malley were married on February 15, 1941, at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church, Hayward's Heath, in Sussex.  The marriage took place at 3 p.m. 

This marriage appears in St. Paul's Matrimonial Register,  but this wedding was not the legal ceremony. The wedding was registered by the church, but this is not the marriage that appears in the official records.  On the same day,  Lady Iris and Hamilton O'Malley were married in the Parish Church in Balcome, West Sussex.  This wedding ceremony was according to the "rites and ceremonies of the Established Church by Special License."

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Princess Beatrice was one of the witnesses to the wedding as her signature appears on the certificate along with Lady Carisbrooke and several others.  But why not publicize this wedding?   The couple obtained a special license for the wedding to take place.  This was the legal wedding and not the Roman Catholic ceremony. 

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It can only be assumed that Lady Iris's family wanted to take control of the wedding situation.  It is likely that Iris was rushing into a marriage with a man she barely knew.  She was marrying a Roman Catholic.  A Roman Catholic ceremony was arranged, but Carisbrookes and Princess Beatrice made sure that the legal wedding would be the Anglican wedding.  This means that the Roman Catholic was not the legal marriage as a special license was obtained for the Church of England ceremony.

Lady Iris's marriage collapsed rather quickly largely due to Hamilton's abuse.  She is alleged to have had affairs with black musicians.   Iris had no support from her family when she left Hamilton, and she was largely shunned by her family.  She was not allowed to attend her grandmother's funeral in 1944.

Hamilton served in the second world war, was briefly held as a prisoner of war, and after his return home in 1946, he and Iris were divorced. His second marriage took place in January 1947.

Lady Iris and Hamilton had no children. He did have four sons and one daughter from his second wife.

The Queen's message of Condolence

From Queen Elizabeth II to President Obama:

The following message of condolence was sent by The Queen to the President of the USA following the recent tragic loss of life in Denver, Colorado:
I was saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life earlier today in Denver, Colorado. Prince Philip joins me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to you and the people of America at this time.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and I wish the many who were injured a swift and full recovery.

Happy Birthday ... to my favorite actress

Today Dame Diana Rigg, DBE, celebrates her 74th birthday.  I have been an admirer of her work for many years, and have seen all but two of her stage performances since 1970, when my grandmother took me to see Abelard and Heloise in New York City.  I have had the pleasure of knowing Dame Diana for some years now.  I saw her last June in London, when she played Mrs. Higgins in a production of Pygmalion.    She played the definitive Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion directed by John Dexter in 1974, which I had the pleasure to see during a trip to London. 

These photos were taken in Dame Diana's dressing room in June 2011.  She looks good. I look dorky.

Earlier this year, Diana  underwent knee surgery, and is now recovered.  She recently appeared in an episode of Doctor Who with her daughter, actress Rachael Stirling.  She is currently playing the role of Olenna Tyrell,  Queen of Thorns, in the HBO series , Game of Thrones.  The third series begins on March 31, 2013.  [Memo: must add HBO to channel lineup next year.]

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The 100th anniversary of the Greek Monarchy

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection
Back row: Prince Peter of Greece, Princess Alice of Greece, Berthold, Margrave of Baden, Crown Prince Harald of Norway,  Princess Sophie of Greece, King Paul of the Hellenes,  King Frederik IX of Denmark, Princess Anne Marie of Denmark, Crown Prince Constantine of the Hellenes,  Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark, Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hanover,  Prince Michael of Greece
Middle row:  Margarita Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess Eugenie of Greece, Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta,  Princess Paul of Yugoslavia (Olga of Greece), Queen Frederika of the Hellenes, Queen Ingrid of Denmark, Queen Helen of Romania,  Lady Katherine Brandram (Princess Katherine of Greece), Princess Theodora, Markgravine of Baden, Princess Georg Wilhelm of Hanover (Sophie)
Front row: Prince Ludwig of Baden, Prince George Andrew Radziwill, Princess Tatiana Radziwill, Count Hans Toerring-Jettenbach, Princess Irene of Greece, Prince Karl of Hesse, Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Prince Max of Baden  (this photo appeared in The Inheritors of Alexander the Great.  The original photo was provided by Princess Tatiana, who also provided the key.)

The Greek and Danish royal families gather to celebrate the cententary of the Greek monarchy in 1963.

Dutch monarchy - a bit pricier than the Brits


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guests at the Mountbatten-Ashley nuptials

July 19, 1922

King George V and Queen Mary were present for the wedding of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Miss Edwina Ashley at St. Margaret's, Westminster.  They also attended the wedding reception at Brook House, Park Lane.  Other members of the Royal Family at the wedding included Queen Alexandra,  Princess Mary and Lord Lascelles, the Duke of York, and Prince George.

Embed from Getty Images 

 Other prominent guests included the groom's sister, Princess Alice and her husband Prince Andrew of Greece, Grand Duke Michael of Russia and his wife, Countess Sophie Torby, and members of their family.  Their younger daughter, Nada, is married to Lord Louis's older brother, Lord Milford Haven.  They have two young children, Lady Tatiana Mountbatten, and Lord Medina.

1500 wedding invitations were sent out.

Edwina's bridesmaids

July 18, 1922

Miss Edwina Ashley was attended by seven bridesmaids, all of whom were dressed, according to The Times, in "delphinium blue with silver caps and bouquets of delphiniums."

The bridesmaids were Princesses Margarita, Theodora, Cecile, and Sophie of Greece and Denmark, the bridegroom's nieces; the bride's younger sister, the Hon. Mary Ashley, and the Lady Mary Ashley-Cooper and Miss Joan Pakenham.

The bride is the daughter of Colonel Wilfrid William Ashley, MP.  She is through her late mother the granddaughter of the late Sir Ernest Cassel, who "left her a large part of his enormous wealth.

Shortly before the wedding, King George V promoted his cousin, Lord Louis, to Knight Commander in the Royal Victorian Order.

what the bride wore:

July 18, 1922

Lady Louis Mountbatten's wedding gown was a "simple ankle-length Reville gown of soft-silver tissue," with a low waistline, where "two narrow panels dropped at the sides.  Her train was the "conventional four-yard court rain, draped with 15th-century point Devenise lace.  

The bridal veil was made of silk tulle, "surmounted with a silver lattice coronet, surrounded by orange flowers, which were centered with diamonds."

Has the Prince of Wales found his bride?

July 18, 1922

Lord Louis Mountbatten seemed to be "inconspicuous" at his own wedding due to the fact that his best friend, the Prince of Wales, was the "center of attention."  There was also "considerable speculation" on the Prince's own marriage, and would he, too, soon "be marching up the altar."

Many in the congregation had their eyes on Lady Rachel Cavendish, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.  Lady Rachel, one of guests at the wedding, appears often "at the head of the list" of eligible women.  The eyes of many of the guests "wandered eagerly between the prince and Lady Rachel in search of any little clue" of affection between them.

Prince Hermann declared bankrupt

July 18, 1908

Prince Hermann of Saxe-Weimar, second in line in the succession to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, appears to be "following in the footsteps" of his profligate parents, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy,

Prince Hermann has been declared bankrupt, forced out of the army, where he was a commissioned officer in the lancers, and he has been placed under a 'curatel,' which will deprive him of the "right of owning or managing property."  His affairs are now in the hands of trustees.

The 22-year-old prince has been reduced to a "condition of legal minority."   Legal action was against Prince Hermann, due to his extravagance. 

Hermann is the eldest of three children of Prince Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and his wife, Princess Gerta zu Isenburg-Büdingen. 

Prince Wilhelm also has had his own financial problems and has been forced by the Grand Duke to live outside Weimar.  Wilhelm is heir presumptive to the throne as the young Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst is a widower.  His wife, Princess Karoline of Reuss died in January 1905.  Many assume that the Grand Duke will marry again, and ensure the succession is kept to the main branch.

Pregnancy rumors back on

about Tatiana Santo Domingo, who returned to Monaco yesterday with her fiance, Andrea Casiraghi.  I will not be surprised if the couple have their civil ceremony before the baby is born, and wait until Tatiana is back in shape to have their boho-chic religious wedding somewhere in Italy.   This is speculation on my part.  The reports of the pregnancy are also speculative. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Princely wedding: Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg-Castell-Rüdenhausen

The Duke of Braganza has revealed in an interview with Ricardo Mateos that Prince Dominik of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and Countess Olga of Castell-Rüdenhausen will have their religious wedding in Sintra, Portugal, on October 6.

Prince Dominik is the youngest son of Alois, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg and Princess Anastasia of Prussia.   Countess Olga is the second child and eldest daughter of Johann-Friedrich, Prince of Castell-Rüdenhausen and Countess Maria of Schönborn-Wiesentheid.

A destination wedding in Portugal is a bit of a tradition for Olga's family as her parents were married at the Quinta da Bela Vista in Piedade on June 11, 1983.  Her maternal grandmother, Donna Graziela Alvares Pereira de Melo, was Portuguese.  She was the daughter of Dom Antonio Alvares Pereira de Melo, Marqués de Cadaval, third son of Dom Jaime Caetano Alvares Pereira de Melo, 8th Duke of Cadaval.

Countess Olga is named for her maternal grandmother, Graziela, and for her maternal great-grandmother, Olga Nicolis di Robilant.

The present 11th Duchess of Cadaval, Diana Alvares Pereira de Melo, married to Prince Charles Philippe, Duke of Orléans, is the great-granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Cadaval. 


Sans husband, Infanta Cristina off to Marivent

El Mundo is reporting that Infanta Cristina and her four children will have a short holiday at Marvient in Mallorca next week.  Cristina and her children will be spending time with Queen Sofia and Infanta Elena and her two children. 

Queen Sofia will be attending the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in London on July 27, and then she will travel to Majorca to be with her daughters and their children.

Cristina's husband, Iñaki Udangarin, will not be joining her in Majorca, as he is no longer included in family events.  Neither the King nor the Prince and Princess of Asturias and their daughters will be in Majorca when Cristina is there.  They won't arrive until early August, after Cristina and her children return, presumably, to their exile (I mean home) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Neither Infanta Elena nor Infanta Cristina will be attending the official dinner at Marvient on August 8, where the guests will include the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other government officials.  The King will be present for this event.

The Prince of Asturias will be attending the closing ceremony for the Olympic Games on August 12.


A birth announcement

On July 17, 1947, at King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, to Rosalind, wife of Bruce Shand, a daughter.  From The Times (of London).

She was baptised Camilla Rosemary by the Rev. Francis Browne on November 1, 1947 at the Firle Church in Sussex.   Her godparents were Mrs. Lombard Hobson, Mrs. Heathcote Amory, Miss Vivien Mosley, Major Neil Speke and the Hon. Harry Cubitt.

Juan Carlos takes a pay cut

King Juan Carlos has decided to take a 7.1% pay cut, according to El Mundo, which also reports that the Prince of Asturias will also seek the same cut.  In fact, the cut will be applied to all the members of the Royal House.

The king's new annual salary will be 272,752 Euros.  The Prime Minister has also announced that he will reduce his annual salary.  The Prince of Asturias will see a cut of 10,000 Euros.  His new salary will be 136,376 Euros.

A further amount of $375,000 Euros will be shared equally by Queen Sofia, the Princess of Asturias and Infantas Elena and Cristina.

The royal house's public employees will also forgo the annual Christmas bonuses as will other public employees in Spain.  (Christmas bonuses are rare here in the United States.   I have been working full time since 1976 when I received my BA -- with a break while getting my master's in library science in the early 1980s --and I have never worked for a company, private or public, where employees have received Christmas bonuses.   When I worked for CNN in the early 90s, the only bonus given was the year we received a nice Turner/CNN picnic blanket.  Still have it.)



Infanta Eulalia to divorce?

July 17, 1912

The Daily Telegraph's San Sebastian correspondent tells the New York Times that "great annoyance has been caused in palace circles by the supposed plans" of Infanta Doña Eulalia to divorce her husband.

Apparently "official negotiations" are taking place to prevent the "realization" of Eulalia's plans.

"Well-informed sources" are saying that it is Infanta Eulalia's husband who is; desirous of obtaining a divorce," and because of this view, plans are being made to "obtain French nationality for the couple." 

Eulalia's estranged husband, Don Antonio, currently lives near Seville.

There are very "serious consequences to be faced," and "complex questions" which will be difficult to find a solution.

The Spanish Embassy in Paris is said to be working hard to continue the "domestic modus vivendi" between the Infanta and her husband.  There are rumors that Eulalia wants to wed a French writer.  She also has plans to write a book "explaining her past and present attitude."

The Spanish government is most concerned about Eulalia's intention and will be discussing the matter at the Council of Ministers next week.

Princess Amalie weds car dealer

July 17, 1908

There were "extraordinary scenes" at the wedding of Princess Amalie zu Fürstenberg, and ex-Lieut. Gustav von Koczian, "a handsome motor car agent," who ran off together last May.

The New York Times is reporting on  a story in the Nardoni Listy Czech, a "newspaper inimical to Germans" regarding the marriage of Princess Amalie and her driver, who is said to be a "descendant of a good family and an ex-cavalry officer.

The couple originally met in Karlsbad, and the von Koczian frequently took the princess out for drives.  They fell in love, but Amalie's family did not approve of the marriage.  They fled the country, but her family" intervened and the wedding was arranged."

The marriage took place on July 14 at the chapel at Schloss Kammerburg, in Hradek.

The wedding preparations were kept secret, as the princess' family "hoped until the last minute to prevent the marriage. "  The groom appeared at the castle shortly before the ceremony was about to begin.  He was "allowed to enter by the back door" and was taken to a small room, where he changed into the uniform of a Lieutenant of Dragoons.

The princess' mother "attempted with tears and reproaches" to persuade Amalie to "give up her sweetheart.   Her brother also "made a determined effort" to change his sister's mind.  After her mother entered the chapel, "she made a final appeal," to her daughter, who, overcome by her mother's entreaties, "fell in a faint on the floor."

When she recovered, she "insisted upon going through the ceremony."  She was so weak that she "had to be supported. " 

After the wedding, the newlyweds left for Prague.  Princess Amalie "embraced her husband in the presence of a crowed assembled in front of the castle."

Princess Amalie is the third and youngest child of the late Prince Emil Egon zu Fürstenberg and Countess Leontine von Khevenhüller-Metsch.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Celebrating their engagement

Andrea Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo celebrated their engagement with family and friends on July 15 with a party on board Andrea's mother, Princess Caroline's yacht, PachaIII.  

The yacht was moored off St. Jean Cap Ferret, France.  The celebrations continued at a private villa.

Andrea's sister, Charlotte, and half-sister, Princess Alexandra of Hanover, were among the guests.

Although Andrea has dynastic rights in Monaco, he is not a member of the Princely family.  His engagement is a private affair.  He does not need the permission of Uncle Albert to marry.


The ring shows up in photo 72.  It's big.  It is a rock.  I do not like it.

A son for Princess Maria of Savoy

July 16, 1942

Princess Maria of Savoy, youngest child of King Vittorio Emanuele III, has given birth to a son, according to the German Transocean agency via a dispatch from Rome, and "broadcast of Berlin radio."  The broadcast was recorded by United Press.

Princess Maria is married to Prince Louis of Bourbon-Parma.  This is the second child for the prince and princess. Their first son, Prince Guy, was born in 1940.

The second son's name has not been announced.  He was born July 14 at Cannes.

Ileana has entered a hospital for birth

July 16, 1932

Princess Ileana of Romania, who married Archduke Anton of Austria klast July, has entered a sanitarium in Mödling, near Vienna, where she is expected to give birth soon to her first child. 

Ileana's mother, Dowager Queen Marie of Romania, is expected to arrive on Sunday night.   Anton's mother, Archduchess Blanca, is already with Ileana at the hospital, according to the Associated Press.

Ena again expects visit from stork

July 16, 1912

Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain is "again expecting a visit from the stork," according to an exclusive dispatch to the the Los Angeles Times.

This will be the sixth child for Queen Ena and King Alfonso XIII.  The baby is due at the end of the year. 

The eldest son, Alfonso, Prince of Asturias was born in May 1907.  Infante Jaime arrived a year later, and Infanta Beatriz was born in 1909.  The Queen gave birth to a stillborn son in 1910.  A second daughter, Infanta Maria Cristina was born in December 1911.

Looking for Alexander von Waldenburg

July 16, 1908

German and American officials are trying to locate the whereabouts of Alexander von Waldenburg, the 38-year-old grandson of the late Prince August of Prussia and his "fair friend," Friederike Wichmann.   According to the Marquise de Fontenoy,  Wichmann was "ennobled and accord the name von Waldenburg" at the insistence of Prince August.

Prince August "left two families of illegitimate children" when he died.  Most of his "immense property" returned to the "reigning house," but he did leave several estates "in trust for his progeny."

Family members now want to sell "a certain portion" of the estates, and share the proceeds with the prince's living descendants.  The sale has been approved by all of the living descendants with the exception of Alexander von Waldenburg.  He was last living in Tottenville, Staten Island.

Alexander's consent is needed to finalize the sale of the properties.  His personal share will be about $25,000.

Prince August (1779-1843) was the son of Prince Ferdinand of Prussia, who was himself the younger brother of Friedrich the Great.  Prince Ferdinand left Bellvue Palace to his son, Prince August, who lived there with "women who have been wrong described as his morganatic wives."

One of these women was Friederike Wichmann.  The other woman was Marie Arndt, who was created Baroness von Prillwitz.  One of their daughters married Count Harry Arnim, who served as Germany's ambassador to France, and died in exile, having "incurred the enmity of Bismarck."

Friederike and Prince August had three daughters, all of whom died unmarried, and a son, Eduard, who eventually headed his father's household.  He had two sons and two daughters.  The eldest son, Eduard, married a Scotswoman, Selina Grieg, whose father was a gentleman-in-waiting to King George IV.   Their eldest son, Alexander, is the "man now being sought for."

Alexander's full name is  Edward Alexander Forins Charles Saunders von Waldenburg

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Princess Margarita of Baden celebrates 80th birthday

Photo by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig,  Belgrade September 2010

all six photos are from the Marlene A . Eilers Koenig collection

Princess Margarita Alice Thyra Viktoria Marie Louise Scholastica of Baden celebrates her 80th birthday today.  She is the eldest child of the late Berthold, Margrave of Baden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark.  She has two younger brothers, Max, Margrave of Baden and Prince Ludwig of Baden.

In 1957, she married Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia.  They had two children, Prince Nikola, and Princess Katarina.  Their marriage ended in divorce in 1981.

The Princess, who lives in Farnham, Surrey, is a niece of the Duke of Edinburgh.

For information about Princess Margarita's death:

A nice article about Felipe and Letizia


Friday, July 13, 2012

A young Prince Harry

Photo by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig
I took these photos at the Trooping of the Colour in June 1992

And the balcony appearance  -- no super long lens for me in 1992, but you can see at the bottom right a little girl in a red hat -- that's the Hon. Leonora Knatchbull, youngest child of the then Lord and Lady Romsey (now Lord and Lady Brabourne.)  She died later that year from cancer.

A lovely Mecklenburg group photo

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

This photo was taken not long before the death of the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in 1963.

Back row: Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg, his wife, Princess Barbara of Prussia, Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Franz and his wife Karin von Schaper

Middle row:  Duchess Thyra of Mecklenburg, Princess Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein, Grand Duchess Alexandra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin,  Princess Irene of Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Anastasia of Schleswig-Holstein (nee Mecklenburg), Princess Margaretha of Schleswig-Holstein

In front: Duchess Donata of Mecklenburg, Duchess Edwina of Mecklenburg, Princess Sibylla of Schleswig-Holstein and Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein.

Prince Vladimir of Serbia and his Mom

Photo by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig
I took this photo in 1992 - at the then home of Princess Lavinia of Yugoslavia.

This photo shows Prince Vladimir and his mom, Princess Kira of Leiningen.

Spanish uprising sends young Archduchess back to Vienna

July 13, 1898

A "threatened uprising against the Spanish dynasty" is the probable reason for the young Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria's hasty return to Vienna.  It is understood that she will "some day be betrothed to King Alfonso" if he is not "ousted from this throne," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The first rumors of a possible marriage between Archduchess Elisabeth, only child of the late Crown Prince Rudolf, and the young King Alfonso, surfaced earlier this year in London.

The King's mother, now Queen Regent Maria Cristina, was born Archduchess Maria Christina.

Princess Anne home

July 13, 1962

Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, returned home today after "a week long educational visit to France," according to Reuters.  The 11-year-old princess arrived at Buckingham Palace by car "from Southampton, after sailing on the overnight ferry from St. Malo."

Princely death: Dowager Princess of Windsich-Graetz

July 13, 1962

The Dowager Princess of Windisch-Graetz died yesterday at her home at her home in Trieste, Italy, reports the Associated Press.  She was 94 years old.

The former Princess Christine of Auersperg was born on February 26, 1866 at Vienna. She married Hugo, Prince of Windisch-Graetz, on May 16, 1885.

The Prince and Princess were members of the Imperial Court at Vienna during the final years of the Austro-Hungarian empire.  The princess was "particularly close" to Empress Elisabeth, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph.

The Princess gave birth to eleven children.

Prince Hugo died in 1920, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Hugo, married Princess Leontine of Fürstenberg.  He died in 1956, and was succeeded by their second son, Maximilian, who is married to Maria Luisa Serra di Gerace.

Oh Joy! A baby for Mafalda and Philipp

July 13, 1926

Princess Mafalda, second daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele, and wife of Prince Philipp of Hesse, is about to become a mother, reports the Associated Press.  The Princess, who married last September "with great ceremony" is planning to go to the family's castle at Racconigi until after she gives birth. 

Her mother, Queen Elena, is planning to remain with her.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Where was Mum?

Princess Eugenie received her degree yesterday from the University of Newcastle.  Her dad, the Duke of York, and her older sister, Princess Beatrice. attended the commencement ceremony.  But not Mum.

It appears that Sarah, Duchess of York, is in Thailand, where she is recuperating from surgery. It is not known where or when she had surgery (or for what .. but a certain gynecological procedure comes to mind), but it is unlikely that she had the operation in England ... someone would have spilled the beans.   


A popular Crown Princess Marie

July 12, 1902

Crown Princess Marie of Romania who came to London to attend the Coronation and remained after the Coronation was postponed due to the King's health, has "attracted more attention" than any other guest.

The New York Times reports that the Crown Princess, a niece of King Edward VII, is one of the "few pretty women of the Hanover-Coburg house."

She "rides gracefully and is an attractive figure in Rotten Tow mornings."  Reproductions of her portrait by Tini Rupprecht, one of the more popular fashionable painters, are much in demand.

Crown Princess Marie,25, is the wife of Crown Prince Ferdinand, heir to the Romanian throne. She is the eldest daughter of the late Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia. 

Marie was only 17 years old when she married Crown Prince Ferdinand in January 1893.  They have three children, Carol, Elisabetha and Marie.

Princely baby: Fürstenberg

Prince Antonius zu Fürstenberg and his wife, the former Countess Mathilde Borromeo are expecting their second child.  They were married in June 2011, and their first child, Prince Karl, was born on September 22, 2011.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Two royal weddings in England

July 11, 1818

The Duke of Clarence's marriage to Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen and the remarriage of the Duke and Duchess of Kent were to have taken place on Thursday.  The preparations were underway, and the "ancient silver plate to be used in the ceremony" was brought at an early hour from the Chapel Royal. St. James's and Whitehall, to Kew Palace.

Unfortunately, the weddings were postponed until earlier today.  This was due to the state of Queen Charlotte's health, according to the Times.

The Queen's health is in a much better state, which allowed her to be present for the two weddings.     Earlier this morning, a temporary altar was placed in the Queen's drawing-room, "which looks into Kew Gardens, on the first floor."    The rail was extended to accommodate "the four Royal personages."

Four crimson velvet pillows were placed on the floor before the altar so the couples could kneel, and the entire altar was covered in crimson velvet.  The "valuable  and magnificent communion plate," from the Chapel Royal and Whitehall made a "most elegant and splendid appearance."

Embed from Getty Images 

The two bridal couples and other members of the Royal family arrived shortly before 4 p.m. when the Queen "was conducted into the drawing-room and took her seat on the right side of the altar."   This is where she sat at the marriage of Princess Elizabeth with the Prince of Hesse-Homburg. 

Queen Charlotte was attended by her eldest son, the Prince Regent, "on her entrance into the drawing-room."  They were followed by the Duke and Duchess of York, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Augusta, the Princess Sophia of Gloucester, the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen, the Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Liverpool, Viscount Sidmouth, and the Count and Countess  Munster.

The Duke of Clarence and "his intended bride," and the Duke and Duchess of Kent took their places at the altar.  The Archbishop of Canterbury began the wedding ceremony, and was assisted by the Bishop of London.    The brides "had the honour of being given away" by the Prince Regent.  The Lord Chancellor "produced the sanction" of the Prince Regent in Council to the two marriages.

After the marriages were pronounced,  Queen Charlotte retired to her private apartment, where she had dinner.  The "state of her health" did not allow her to join the rest of the family for the wedding dinner.  At 5 p.m., the Prince Regent and the "remainder of the company sat down to a most sumptuous dinner."

Shortly after 7 p.m., the Duke and Duchess of Kent traveled in Prince Leopold's "chariot" to spend their honeymoon at Claremont.  The Prince Regent and other members of the Royal party "proceeded in open carriages to the Cottage" in Kew Gardens, near the Pagoda, to enjoy a cup of tea.    Afterward, the Duke and Duchess of Clarence traveled to the Duke's residence in St. James's Palace, "which was brilliantly illuminated."   They arrived at their new home at about 11 p.m.

Embed from Getty Images 

The Duchess of Kent's wedding dress was made from a "very rich and elegant gold tissue," with "two superb borders of scalloped lama flouncing, each border headed with rich gold trimming; the body and sleeves to correspond, richly trimmed with beautiful Brussels point lace, and tastefully ornamented with gold tassels; the robe of rich gold tissue, lined with white satin, and trimmed round with rich scalloped lama trimming to match the dress and fastened at the waist with a very brilliant diamond clasp."   The Duchess wore a "wreath of diamonds" on her head.

Embed from Getty Images 

 The Duchess of Clarence wore a "very rich and elegant silver tissue" gown, with "two broad flounces of beautiful point lace, each flounce headed with rich silver shell trimmings; body and sleeves superbly trimmed with Brussels point lace and silver tassels; the robe of rich silver tissue, lined with white satin, trimmed with Brussels lace, and bordered with silver trimming to correspond, fastened at the waist with a brilliant diamond clasp."   Her headpiece was a "superb wreath of diamonds."

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