Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Interesting pairing

I love looking at my Feedjit tracking to see what brings some people to Royal Musings.  Earlier today, one person was searching for Amedeo of Belgium and Alix de Ligne, and the search led to a Royal Musings post.

I am not starting or spreading rumors, but I do have to say ... A good combination, but there is no story, no romance that has been reported or suggested.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

QVD engagement

Captain Mark and the Hon. Mrs. Nicolson recently announced the engagement of their elder daughter, Louise Alexandra Patricia, to Charles Christopher Thomas Morshead, eldest son of Samuel Rodd Morshead and his former wife, Annabelle Carol Elizabeth Bates. 

Kate and Louise at their London home in 1985
photo by Marlene A Eilers Koenig

the baptism of Louise Nicolson

Mark and Kate in their London home in 1985
photo by Marlene A Eilers Koenig
The Hon. Mrs. Mark Nicolson is the Hon. Katharine Fraser, eldest of three daughters of Alexander Ramsay of Mar and the Hon. Flora Fraser, who succeeded her father as the 21st Lady Saltoun and Chief of the Clan Fraser.   Kate is the heiress apparent to her mother's title.  She married Captain Mark Nicolson in 1980.   In 1973, Kate was recognized with the surname Fraser by the Lord Lyon of Scotland.    The surname is carried by the couple's only son, Alexander.

The bride-to-be is a great-granddaughter of Princess Patricia of Connaught, youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, and, thus a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.  When she married the Hon. Alexander Ramsay, Princess Patricia chose to relinquish the use of the HRH and title of Princess, and was styled as the Lady Patricia Ramsay.

Lady Saltoun, as the widow of the son of a Princess, is still invited to royal events, including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  It seems likely that her future son-in-law is the same Charles Morshead who accompanied Kate Middleton to the Mahiki bar in 2007 after her brief split with Prince William.

Charles is a friend of Prince William, and was a guest at William's wedding.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Duke Christian August of Augustenberg

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection 

This card was probably part of a series of postcards published in 1898 to commemorate Schleswig Holstein Jubilee (1848-1898)

Duke Christian August II (1814-1869 OF Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenberg was the son of Duke Friedrich Christian II and his wife, Princess Louise of Denmark.

In 1848, Schleswig-Holstein rebelled against German nationalism.  The Duke of Augustenberg was determined to remain independent, and he was determined to assert his rights as sovereign.  He sought out help from Prussia.

Eventually the Duke renounced his rights in favor of his son Friedrich August.

He married in 1820 to Countess Danneskjold-Samsoe.  They had seven children.  His eldest surviving son, Friedrich married Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a niece of Queen Victoria. 

The Duke's youngest son, Prince Christian, married Princess Helena, Queen Victoria's fifth child.

Three lovely princesses

Princess Margarete, Princess Maria Alix and Princess Anna of Saxony in 1914, perhaps early in the year or just after the outbreak of the war.

Princess Margarete (1900-1962) married Friedrich, Prince of Hohenzollern.  Seven children.  Her son Prince Johann Georg celebrated his 80th birthday earlier this year.

Princess Maria Alix (1901-1990) married Prince Franz Josef of Hohenzollern.  Four children.

Princess Anna (1903-1976)  married Archduke Josef Franz of Austria.  Eight children.  Fifteen years after the death of her husband, Anna married Reginald Kazanjian .

Musical chairs

Two different images of King Friedrich of Saxony and his family, taken in 1914.  Take note: the King and the dog are in the same position in both photos.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nothing left to do but wait

Having grown up in New Jersey, I know what to do in a hurricane ...

I've bought water and batteries, although all the usual places were out of D batteries - WalMart, Target, the supermarkets, CVS, Home Depot ... but Barnes & Noble had plenty of D batteries.   Most people do not realize that Barnes & Noble sells batteries. 

Am making a roast chicken tomorrow, which should last a few days even if the power goes out. I have cereal, tuna, tortilla chips, salsa and wine!  Everything will be charged to the max on Monday. 

The bathtub will be filled on Monday as well .. just in case the water goes, which happened to me when Isabel hit.  (If you are wondering why I will be filling the bathtub ... then you've never been through a hurricane or a huge storm)

I have plenty to read! 

The only thing left to decide: leave the Halloween lights up on the balcony .. or take them down tomorrow! 

Lord Nicholas Windsor protests Australia's abortion law

Lord Nicholas Windsor, younger son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, was in Australia recently to protest Australia's pro-choice laws.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bucharest renames square for King Michael

Thanks to HRH Prince Radu for allowing me to use the photos

In honor of King Michael's 91st birthday, Bucharest has renamed a square in honor of the much loved former reigning monarch.

(I cannot believe it has been a year since I was in Bucharest for the King's 90th birthday celebrations.)

The plaza is at the intersection of Kiseleff and Strada Ion Mincu street

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Queen Silvia Happy about Madeleine's engagement

Well of course Queen Silvia is happy about Princess Madeleine's engagement to American Chris O'Neill.

"We are all very happy, of course.  He's very warm, likeable and a very nice person.  A true mother's dream,"  Queen Silvia told a reporter from the Swedish newspaper, Expressen, earlier today.

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia visited Madeleine and Chris last week in New York City."

The Queen says the ring "sparkles as much as Madeleine's eyes."

Princess Madeleine will retain her title

Svante Lindquist, Marshal of the Realm at the Court of Sweden, has provided more information on Princess Madeleine's engagement.

She will remain a princess of Sweden, and in the order of succession.  She will continue to receive her appanage (allowance.)  Christopher O'Neill will "support" the princess when she carries out official engagements.  He will also accompany his wife to official royal events.

Princess Madeleine will not apply for American citizen, and O'Neill, who has joint American and British citizenship, has no plans to become a Swedish citizen.  (The United States does not recognize dual citizenship, but it does recognize that other countries allow for dual citizenship.)

Christopher O'Neill is Roman Catholic.  He is not required to join the Swedish Lutheran church. 

The decision on Christopher's title will be made at the time of the wedding.  The couple plan to live in New York City after the wedding.

Princess Madeleine is also the Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland.  At the time of her first engagement to Jonas Bergström, the court announced that Jonas would be styled as Duke of Hälsingland and Gästrikland after the wedding.

Mr. O'Neill is not prevented from having a title, or even inheriting a title.  The U.S. Constitution is clear about Americans and titles:

"Clause 8. No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."
A select number of former Presidents and Secretaries of State have received honorary knighthoods from Queen Elizabeth II. This honors were granted AFTER the men left office
William Jennings Capell, 60, is the heir presumptive to the 11th Earl of Essex, who is 68 and unmarried.  Mr. Capell is Yuba City, California, grocer.
In 1987,  Rick Whortley, a resident of Maine, learned that his father's second cousin had died, and he was now the 5th Earl of Wharncliffe. 
Lord Wharncliffe's son Reed is Viscount Carleton.  It is unlikely that the family uses the titles in every day life in Maine, but Patrick was not barred from inheriting the title.  He did not lose his American citizenship. 
Sir Jean Ivor Dunbar of Mochrum, 13th Bt, served in the U.S. Army. He succeeded to the baronetcy in 1977 and died in 1993.  He was an American citizen.  His son succeeded as the 14th Baronet, and is Colonel Sir James Michael Dunbar of Mochrum.  He reached the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Air Force.  He his two sons, the elder is the heir apparent.  This baronetcy will continue to stay with the American descendants.

Prince Ernst August (jr) visits Hanover

It is nice to see Prince Ernst August (jr) of Hanover taking on more duties representing his family in Hanover.  (Rather partial to this family as my Eilers ancestors come from Hanover and environs).

Prince Ernst August, 29, and his first cousin, Prince Otto, 24, recently attended the 175th anniversary of  the Uniformierte Schützengesellschaft von 1837.

The Prince's father, Prince Ernst August, 58, is the patron of the organization.  

The young prince, who lives in London, said:  "These historical traditions and the story that interests me very much."

Prince Otto, the only child of the late Prince Ludwig Rudolf of Hanover, lives in Brunswick.

The official announcement

@ Patrick Demarchelier

The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce the engagement between Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill.
After His Majesty The King of Sweden had given his consent to the marriage between Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O'Neill, His Majesty requested the approval by the Swedish Government, in accordance with the procedures set out in the Swedish Constitution. The wedding date has not yet been decided but it is planned to take place during the summer of 2013.
Svante Lindqvist
Marshal of the Realm

Princess Madeleine to marry

 photo by Eva Marie Rundquist
 photo by Eva Marie Rundquist

Now that's what I call an October surprise!   Princess Madeleine of Sweden is to marry American Christopher O'Neill in 2013.  The official announcement was made earlier today.
Interview with Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill
Drottningholm palace Wednesday October 24, 2012
How does it feel to be engaged?
Princess Madeleine: We are both extremely happy and delighted. It is a very special day for us.
When and how did Christopher propose?
Princess Madeleine: Chris proposed to me at the beginning of October. It was a very romantic and intimate proposal, but more details about the proposal we want to keep to ourselves.
Christopher, were you nervous? Had you planned this for a long time?
I had been thinking about proposing for a while, but I wanted to wait until the right moment. But I have been sure all along that Madeleine was the one I wanted to marry.
Where did you meet the first time?
Princess Madeleine: We met through mutual friends. For me it started with a great friendship. We share the same humor and we have a lot of fun together. Christopher opened up my heart, he is my soul mate.
Christopher, when did you know Princess Madeleine was the right one?
From the very outset, I immediately felt something special with Madeleine.
What was your first impression of Christopher?
Princess Madeleine: I appreciate Chris for his warmth and his humour. He has a very big heart and he manages to make everyone in his presence feel good. Christopher is a very thoughtful and generous person.
Christopher, have you asked the King´s permission for Princess Madeleine's hand?
Yes, I met with The King and I asked His Majesty´s permission to marry Princess Madeleine.
What was the King´s response?
Christopher O'Neill: The King and The Queen were both happy, and touched as well, I think.

Christopher, do you know any Swedish?
I can say some Swedish phrases and am in the process of taking lessons so that I may speak fluently in due course.
Princess Madeleine, how do you feel about Christopher´s family?
I appreciate Christopher´s family very much. They have always been very nice to me and welcomed me with open arms. Christopher has a lovely family!
Christopher, how do you feel about Princess Madeleine´s family?
I know the Swedish royal family very well. They have been extremely welcoming to me and I felt part of the family right from the very beginning. Madeleine´s family is very warm and we have a very good time when we all see each other.
Talking about family, will you start planning for a family right away?
Princess Madeleine: Of course we look forward to getting married and someday building our own family.
Where will you live?
Princess Madeleine: For the time being we will continue to live in New York due to both of our current obligations. However, we will not exclude the possibility of moving to Sweden in due course.

Christopher, what do you think about Sweden?
Sweden is fantastic. It is such a beautiful country with very friendly people. I have mostly just been to Stockholm and Öland but I hope I will have the opportunity to visit Sweden a little more often now.

Lastly and most importantly, when is the big day?
Princess Madeleine: We will have to get back to you regarding that. The wedding will take place in Sweden sometime during the summer of 2013.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ella Walker marries Prince Alexander

October 24, 1932

Ella Walker, the recently divorced wife of James Hazen Hyde, was married on Saturday in Italy to Prince Alexander of Thurn und Taxis.  The New York Times learned about the wedding from friends of the new princess.

Ella Walker has been living in Italy since her divorce last May.

Prince Alexander, 51, was divorced in 1919 from Princess Marie de Ligne.  They have three children.

Princess Alexander is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin H. Walker of Detroit.  She was Hyde's second wife.  He is an American capitalist and  former president of the Equitable Life Insurance Society.  He remarried in Paruis n October 7 to Mrs. Andree Thome, the former Marthe Dervaux.

Mr. Hyde's first wife was Countess Louis de Gontaut-Biron, the former Miss Martha Leishman, daughter of John G.A. Leishman, who served as American ambassador to Germany before the world war.  Hyde's first marriage ended in divorce in 1919.

Hermine getting ready for her wedding

October 24, 1922

Princess Hermine Reuss is a busy lady these days as she has spent the last week at Doorn "actively directing" the preparations for her forthcoming marriage to former Kaiser Wilhelm II. 

According to a New York Times dispatch, the princess has been "arranging for the installation of furniture, the decoration of her apartments, and the making of other preparations."

Officially, her presence at Haus Doorn has been secret. She will leave Doorn on November 1, and return the following day, "officially announcing her arrival."

A Doctor Schmidt from Berlin is also a guest at Haus Doorn, but he is not treating the former Kaiser, but Princess Hermine, whose health "necessitates the presence of a specialist."

The Prince of Fürstenberg has also arrived at Haus Doorn, according to an official announcement.

Maria Theresa of Bavaria dead ...

October 24, 1912

The New York Times reported today, based on sources in Italy, that Princess Ludwig of Bavaria has died at Sorrento, Italy.
 She was the wife of Prince Ludwig, who is the heir to the Bavarian throne. The former Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria was born in 1849, the daughter of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Elisabeth. She married Prince Ludwig in 1868.

The princess is survived by her husband, five children (Rupprecht, Adelgunde, Maria, Karl and Franz) and numerous grandchildren.

[Note: Maria Theresa did not die on October 24, 1912. The Bavarian princess who died on October 24, 1912, was Princess Marie-Gabrielle, the wife of Prince Rupprecht.  This was not the first time that the press had reported Maria Theresa.  She was also reported to have died on March 1, 1909, in Cannes, where she had gone to recover from an illness.]

so ... who will marry next?

Now that Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg is on his honeymoon with his lovely Stéphanie, the attention turns to ....

[Update:  Princess Madeleine of Sweden is engaged to American Chris O'Neill/]

Hmmm, who will be the next royal bride or royal bridegroom?  I expect Prince Félix of Luxembourg to pop the question to his longtime girlfriend Claire Lademacher with a wedding in 2013.  Félix's sister, Princess Alexandra, and brother, Prince Sébastian, are university students, and probably won't marry in the next few years.

Thirty-three year old Prince Carl Philip of Sweden has been involved with Swedish model Sofia Hellquist since 2010. They began to live together a year later, but only time will tell if this relationship will lead to marriage. 

Carl Philip's younger sister, Princess Madeleine, 30, nearly made it down the aisle with her fiance, Jonas Bergström, a lawyer.  They became engaged in June 2009, but the official announcement was not made until August 11, 2009.  The wedding was expected to take place in late 2010, after the wedding Madeleine's older sister, Crown Princess Victoria, but by the early spring of 2010, it became apparent that the relationship was in trouble.

Although Queen Silvia tried to calm the media's nerves about the wedding by stating that everything was all right.  But everything was not all right.  On April 24, 2010, the palace announced that there would be no wedding, that the engagement was broken off.  The palace did not provide all of the lurid details, but we all soon learned that Bergström had cheated on his fiancee with a Norwegian college student.

Within a few days, the humiliated Princess headed to New York City, where she now lives.  She works for the World Childhood Foundation.  It was in New York where the Princess met her current boyfriend, Chris O'Neill, a financier.

Great Britain has three single royals: Prince Harry of Wales, 28, and his two first cousins, Princess Beatrice, 24, and Eugenie,22.

Princess Beatrice has been dating American Dave Clark for several years.  Princess Eugenie's boyfriend is Jack Brooksbank, a great-great grandson of the 2nd Earl Leicester.

As Harry is currently based in Afghanistan,  the status of his relationship with Cressida Bonas.  According to the Daily Mail, Prince Harry has been keeping in touch with Cressida, and they have (allegedly) discussed becoming serious after his return from the front.  Not sure how one discusses becoming serious.  I always assume that serious just happens!

When Cressida was a student at Leeds University, she dated Henry Wentworth-Smith, whose mother is married to the Marquess of Milford Haven, whose father, David, was a first cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh.

I do not believe that Cressida is a princess-in-waiting.  Harry is several years away from getting married, in my opinion, and his bride-to-be won't have Cressida's baggage, a mother who has married and divorced four times.
The marriages of the heirs to the heirs won't be taking place any time soon.

The eldest of the second in lines, Prince William, is married.  All of the other heirs to the heirs are children.

The eldest of these heirs to the heirs is Prince Josef of Liechtenstein, the 17-year-old son of Hereditary Prince Alois and his wife, Duchess Sophie in Bavaria.

In my view, I think Josef will marry a German princess or someone from the middle Europe nobility. 

The other seconds in line:  Princess Elisabeth of Belgium, 10, Princess Amalia of the Netherlands, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway, 8,  Prince Christian of Denmark, 7, Infanta Leonor of Spain, 6, and eight-month-old Princess Estelle of Sweden.

I am not going to speculate on the future spouses of these young children.  The real  burning question remains: who will the British sovereign send to their weddings?

Prince Philippe strikes back

A new book about the Belgian royal family is causing a great stir in Belgium.  The book, Question royale,  was written by journalist Frederic Deborsu, who apparently had made a lot of claims about the Belgian royal family, without actually verifying his sources.

Among other scandalous statements, Deborsu claims that the heir to the throne, Prince Philippe, prefers men to women,  and because of this, his marriage to Mathilde d'Udeckem d'Acoz was arranged and all four of their children were conceived by artificial insemination.  The Erasmus Hospital in Brussels where all four children were born apparently specializes in IVF.

Deborsu also claims Mathilde benefited from her marriage, as her father, Patrick, who was raised to rank of count on her wedding day, had serious financial issues.

The Duke of Brabant has now decided to hit back at Deborsu's claims.  "The day Mathilde said yes to my marriage proposal was the happiest day of my life.  Since that day our four children have surrounded us with love which we return in abundance."

During a recent trip to Turkey, the Duke and Duchess of Brabant spoke to the press.  The Duke said "Love is like a verb.  You get to work at it each day."  Princess Mathilde responded:  "Philippe, you're my best friend. I have 100% confidence in you."  

Deborsu told the press:  "I am reliable.  I can fall back on twenty years of experience as an investigative journalists.  I regret my sources are anonymous witnesses. If I had named them, no one would have doubted the credibility of my book."

In the decade or so before Prince Philippe's marriages journalists and others did write about the prince's alleged lack of suitably as heir.  Some said the real reason for the change in the succession law (from Salic to gender equality) was to allow Philippe's sister, Princess Astrid, married to Archduke Lorenz of Austria.  To further ensure Astrid's position, Lorenz was created Prince of Belgium.  Their children are also Princes and Princesses of Belgium.

In the 1980s, there were reports in the Times (of London) and other more reliable newspapers that King Baudouin wanted the throne to pass to his nephew, Philippe, because he believed his brother, the Prince of Liege was not suitable or prepared to be king. 

Philippe did not marry until he was 38 years old.  I do not recall any articles reporting on a romance between Philippe and Mathilde, and that the engagement announcement was a total surprise.

For the record, I am not jumping on Deborsu's bandwagon  But his claims about Philippe as the future king are not new, and were oft-reported long before his marriage. 

I also think it is easy to quickly dismiss something perceived as "scandal."  Consider all the recriminations that came out of Andrew Morton's books on the late Diana, Princess of Wales.  Morton also used anonymous sources.  We now know Morton did not write with forked tongue.

This book has been published in Dutch and French editions.  The book is not available in English.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A son for the Aostas

October 22, 1898

It's a boy for the Duke and Duchess of Aosta!  The New York Times is reporting that the Duchess of Aosta, the wife of Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta, was "safely delivered" of a son earlier today.

The Duchess is the former Princess Helene of Orléans, daughter of the late Count of Paris. 

The unnamed prince is the first child for the Duke and Duchess of Aosta, who married in June 25, 1895.

It's a boy for Knud & Caroline Mathilde

October 22, 1942

Princess Caroline Mathilde, the wife of Prince Knud, second son of King Christian X of Denmark, gave birth to a son today in Copenhagen.

The birth was announced by the DNB, the official German news organization, which reported the birth from the German-occupied capital. The broadcast in Berlin was recorded in New York City by the American news organization, United Press.

Princess Caroline Mathilde and her son are said to be "doing well."

The Eitel Friedrichs are divorced

October 22, 1926

The marriage between Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia and his wife Sophie Charlotte is now over, reports the New York Times.  The princess has received a decree absolute from Prince Eitel Friedrich, second son of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Very few details were released to the press.  The divorce decree "merely states" that Prince Eitel was the guilty party.

The Princess was the first to file for divorce.  Her estranged husband counter sued, stating that her "desire to become a movie star caused her to hang around movie studios, to the disgrace and humiliation of the royal family."

The couple have been living apart for more than ten years.  Prince Eitel Friedrich and Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg were married in February 1907.  They were introduced at the wedding of Eitel's older brother, Crown Prince Wilhelm, who married Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg in 1906.

Princess Sophie may soon be married to Major von Plettenburg, an old family friend and, one of the Princess' admirers.

A QVD keeping the tradition

I love when the name Victoria pops up in more recent descendants of Queen Victoria. 

Ebba Viktoria Lithander, who was born May 13, 2012 at Hamburg is the first daughter and second child of Sebastian and Tiana Lithander.  Sebastian is the son of the late Princess Xenia of Prussia, a daughter of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, late head of the Imperial House of Germany.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Just your typical mother and daughter pose

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

Typical if you are Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia posing with your first child, Princess Marie of Russia, by your second husband, Grand Duke Kirill, who also happens to be your first cousin.

The Grand Duchess was born Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Royal Marriage: Sweden-Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

October 20, 1932

Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden were married today at St. Moritz Kirche in Coburg.  The bride is the elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.   The groom, second in line to the Swedish throne is the son of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf and his first wife, Princess Margaret of Connaught, who died in 1920.

all the images are from my private collection
The Duke of Connaught, who is the groom's grandfather, was one of the guests.

The wedding of the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg

Stéphanie was escorted down the aisle by her oldest brother, Count Jean de Lannoy, as her 91-year-old father, Count Philippe, is confined to a wheelchair.  He was able to stand with assistance when Stéphanie arrived at the altar.  She and Guillaume greeted him with affection.


Credit for photos:   @Luxembourg Wort
Photo: Cour Grand-Ducale / Christian Aschman
Photo: Cour Grand-Ducale / Christian Aschman

Photo: Cour Grand-Ducale / Christian Aschman
I got up at 3:45 a.m., to watch Wort's livestream of the wedding and the balcony scene.   I went back to sleep about 8 a.m., and woke up a few hours later with one of my seasonal migraines.  It has taken an entire to rid myself of the pain and then the drain one feels.

The gown was designed by Elie Saab.  Stéphanie wore the de Lannoy family tiara, which her sisters and sisters-in-law wore on their wedding days.   Plenty of articles and photographs.  this blog is a great source of information

Friday, October 19, 2012

"you were made for each other"

@Cour Grand Ducale Guy Wolff

Henri toasts his son and daughter-in-law

Archduchess Marie Astrid and Archduke Christian of Austria
copyright: Luxembourg Wort
Princess Margaretha and Prince Nikoklaus of Liechenstein
copyright:  Luxembourg Wort

Prince Jean of Luxembourg and his wife, Countess Diane de Nassau
copyright:  Luxembourg Wort


Soak it up, folks

The wedding celebrations for Prince Guillaume and Princess Stephanie are truly grand.  Right now as I write this piece,  a gala white tie dinner is taking palace at the Grand Ducal Palace in Luxembourg.   Who cares what the men are wearing because the women are dazzling arrays of sparkle galore. 

Much to everyone's surprise,  Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg, the wife of Prince Guillaume, youngest brother of Grand Duke Henri, arrived wearing Queen Ena's aquamarine tiara.  Sibilla had kindly allowed her sister-in-law, Diane de Nassau, wife of Prince Jean, to borrow her own diamond tiara.

(This may be Diane's first official royal event in Luxembourg, as her wedding to Prince Jean did not go down well at the Palace.  Jean's first wife, Helene Vestsur, was also invited to the wedding.)

Several months ago, the Spanish press was speculating that King Juan Carlos II had purchased the aquamarine tiara as a 50th anniversary gift for Queen Sofia.  At the time, I thought the story was a bit far-fetched on several levels. For one thing,  most of the descendants of Infanta Beatriz (who inherited the tiara) do not need the cash.  Her youngest daughter, Olimpia, is the widow of the then richest man in France, Paul-Annick Weiller, who was worth billions.  

The fragile state of the Spanish economy is the second reason why Juan Carlos would not have bought the tiara, even if he got it a bargain basement price, and he paid for it with his own funds.  Such a purchase could fan the flames for further discontent in Spain.  Not the time to be making the big ticket purchase.

The third reason is the relationship between the King and the Queen.  A super tiara won't assuage all the pain that Juan Carlos has caused Sofia, so a grand tiara is not the kind of gift Juan Carlos should be even considering. 

The story was bogus, and the tiara has made a grand reappearance on the head of a very pretty princess.

This wedding will be the last grand royal wedding for some years to come.  All of the heirs to the throne are married.  The second in line to the British throne is also married.

The eldest of the heirs apparents' heirs is 17-year-old Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein.  His wedding will unlikely be a truly grand occasion on the same level as other European weddings.

In Britain,  Prince Harry's wedding will be major news with live television coverage.  It is unlikely that the weddings of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie will be televised live, especially if they do not become full working members of the Royal Family.

Sweden has two unmarried royals:  Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine.  There will certainly be interest by royalty watchers (and the Scandinavian media)  in the marriages of Crown Princess Victoria's younger siblings.  But the weddings will not be state occasions.

I won't be surprised if the next royal wedding announcement also comes out of Luxembourg with Prince Félix finally marrying his longtime girlfriend, Claire Lademacher.   Prince Félix and his brother, Prince Sébastian and their sister, Princess Alexandra are unmarried.  Alexandra and Sébastian attend college in the United States.

This means a definite dearth of gala royal events in the next two decades There may be a few state funerals and a Coronation, perhaps wedding anniversaries, but no major royal weddings for European reigning royal families.

A case of hatched, matched, and ... dispatched.

Enjoy this wedding.  The live streaming is not geo-blocked, and yes, on this side of the pond, we do have to get up early if we want to watch the wedding tomorrow.   It will be worth it!

Grand Duke Henri's speech

He spoke in French.  The Grand Ducal Court provided an English translation.

My dear Stéphanie,

My dear Guillaume,

On this, the evening of your wedding, we, your parents, would like to say how happy and proud we are that you are embarking on this journey together through life.

We have seen your love blossom for more than two years now. It has grown over time into this couple beaming with happiness, whom we have the pleasure of seeing before us today. You have travelled this path together. Therefore, you know that marriage is a union, a commitment which is renewed each day. It is aharbinger of continuity which will lead our cherished country towards a future that we fervently hope will be prosperous and peaceful.

My dear Stéphanie,

We welcome you on this day with overwhelming joy. We know that, through your sensitivity, your intelligence and your devotion, you will bring great happiness to our son. The fact that you have already endured the most difficult of ordeals, notably the sudden passing of your beloved mother, has shown us that you are capable of strength and courage in the face of adversity.

Alix, for those of us fortunate enough to have known her, will always remain an exceptional person. From heaven above, she will watch over you, so that you, too, will be a united and exemplary couple, as were Alix and Philippe. May their example guide you throughout your lives.

At the time of your engagement and your presentation to the national authorities, the Luxembourg people immediately adopted you as their future Princess. Your radiance, your beliefs and your tenderness make you the perfect person to assist and support Guillaume throughout his life. We love you and are happy and grateful that you have chosen our son.

We would like to thank your dear parents for the unconditional support that they showed during the blossoming of your love. Alix, your dear mother, shall remain in our hearts, especially during these celebrations. Your father Philippe is giving the hand of his final daughter, his youngest child, in marriage. We can imagine how he must feel.

The union between our two families, with well-established traditions, based on Christian values, passed on to their children, is also a pledge of strength for our young couple.

My dear Guillaume,

For Stéphanie and for you, now begins the grand and wonderful adventure of marriage. We have watched you grow up to become a responsible individual, resolutely committed to the service of others and, in particular, to those who are suffering. Your great ability to interact with others allows you to perform your duties with intelligence and ease. The trade missions which you lead with such skill are indispensable to the promotion of our country worldwide, particularly in the challenging situation in which we currently find ourselves.

Your wife shall be, as your mother is for me, steadfast in her support of the difficult but oh so rewarding tasks which await you. Yes, my dear Guillaume, we are proud of you, you are a man of duty and your guiding principle is the common good. We have every confidence in your judgement, but remember too that we shall always be there to support you and help you if you so desire.

Your Majesties,

Your Royal Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

Dear family and friends,

We would like to thank you, our guests, some of whom have travelled a great distance to attend the marriage of Stéphanie and Guillaume. We are honoured by your presence. Tomorrow you shall bear witness to this new union which, we all hope, will be happy and prosperous. With this, I invite you to raise your glasses and drink to the health and happiness of our young couple.

Long live the happy couple, long live Luxembourg!

A meeting with a Habsburg

An account of a meeting with Archduke Imre, including an unpublished interview with the archduke.   You can click on the link to find the link for the interview.

scroll down to see three photos from Imre's wedding :

Reports on the wedding

From German television:

Luxembourg Wort

Duchess Elizabeth: a new patronage

credit: DMSG
Duchess Elizabeth in Bavaria has become the patron of DMSG  (Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft) in Bavaria.

Her appointment was "pure coincidence" said Dr. Monika Himmighoffen because the previous patron, Baroness Stephanie von und zu Guttenberg was moving to the United States with her husband, and Duchess Elizabeth had recently returned from the United States.

She decided to become more socially involved when the call came to see if she would be interested in taking on the patronage of the society.  The official announcement was made at a reception held at the Schloss Nymphenburg on October 12.

The Duchess, who is married and has two small children, is one of five daughters of the Duke and Duchess in Bavaria.   Getting involved in the community is very important to the family.   Elizabeth's sister, Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein recently opened a counseling session for pregnant women in Feldkirch, Austria.

The Duchess made it clear in her speech that she wants to inform people about the "disease of 1000 faces."

The Prince and Princess of Monaco visit Auschwitz

Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco visited the Auschwitz death camp memorial today

A new Princess for Luxembourg  photo: Luxembourg Wort

Yes,  HRH Princess Stéphanie is now a member of the Luxembourg Grand Ducal Family, and she's delighted to be waving the flag.

The Princess's bridal suit was made by Chanel.  Photo by Luxembourg Wort

Earlier today, Prince Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy attended a reception at the Grand Theatre in Luxembourg.

Later this evening, a gala dinner and a concert!  Fireworks too.  Will will see the ladies wearing tiaras?  I hope so.

Newlyweds  photo by Luxembourg Wort.
Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy were married earlier today in a civil ceremony at Luxembourg-ville's City Hall.    The Belgian-born countess is now HRH Princess Stéphanie of Luxembourg. 

Tomorrow, by decree, she will be styled the Hereditary Grand Duchess.

The young couple, accompanied by members of their families, walked from the Grand Ducal Palace to the City Hall.  Guillaume was joined by his parents, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria, his brothers, Princes Félix, Sébastian, and Louis, his sister, Princess Alexandra, and his sister-in-law, Princess Tessy.  

The new princess' elderly father, Count Philippe de Lannoy, attended the ceremony in a wheelchair.   Stéphanie's eldest brother, Count Jehan, will be walking her down the aisle at tomorrow's religious wedding.

After the brief civil service, required by Luxembourg law, the newlyweds emerged to cheering crowds -- lots of young school children -- and bright sunshine.

I have never seen a newlywed couple work the crowd as Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie did today.  They took time to chat, pose for photographs, and meet and greet many of the people who had stood for several hours.  Stéphanie is a natural.  She has a forceful personality, and a confident, New York City-style walk.  She kissed kids (and they kissed her back).  She accepted flowers and handmade cards, which she and Guillaume would hold and pose with for the cameras.

Princess Stéphanie  will certainly be an asset to the Grand Ducal family. 

I also want to give a shout out to Thierry at Wort, one of Luxembourg's main newspapers, who has been so sweet and kind .. and has allowed me to use some of Wort's photos, as long as I provide the proper credit.  Not a problem. 

Yes, I will be getting up early tomorrow to watch Wort's livestream of the wedding. 

The marriages of Grand Duke Jean's children

The second of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine Charlotte's children,  Hereditary Grand Duke Henri was the first to marry.  He married Cuban-born Maria Teresa Mestre.  The couple had met while both were students at university in Switzerland.

They married on Valentine's Day in 1981.

The eldest child, Princess Marie Astrid, was the second to walk down the aisle.  She married Archduke Carl Christian of Austria on February 6, 1982.

Six weeks after Marie Astrid married,  Princess Margaretha walked down the aisle and married Prince Nikolaus of Liechtenstein on March 20, 1982.

Margaretha's twin brother, Prince Jean, who renounced his rights to the throne in 1986, has been married twice.  His first marriage took place on May 27,1987 in Paris, when he married French lawyer Helene Vestsur.  This marriage was dissolved by divorce in 2004.    He married for a second time on March 18, 2009 to Diane de Guerre,  in a civil ceremony at Roermond, the Netherlands.

The youngest child, Prince Guillaume, married Sibilla Weiller on September 24, 1994 at Versailles, France.

All the photos come from my personal collection. I do not have any photos from Prince Jean's first marriage.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The marriages of the children of Grand Duchess Charlotte

Princess Alix, the youngest of Grand Duchess Charlotte's six children, was the first to marry.  She married Prince Antoine de Ligne at Luxembourg on August 17, 1950.

Princess Marie Gabrielle married Danish Count Knud of Holstein-Ledreborg at Colmer-Berg on November 6, 1951.


The heir to the throne, Hereditary Grand Duke Jean, married Princess Josephine-Charlotte of Belgium, the only daughter of King Leopold III and Princess Astrid of Sweden.   It was largely an arranged marriage as the bride and groom had fallen in love with others.  But it would have been impossible for Jean to have married a commoner.  Josephine Charlotte, a goddaughter of Grand Duchess Charlotte, was the perfect choice, even though she loved another man.   One can see the sadness in Josephine Charlotte's eyes in many of the wedding photos.

Three years after Jean's marriage, Princess Elisabeth married Franz Ferdinand, the Duke of Hohenberg.  They married at Luxembourg on May 19, 1956.

Princess Marie Adelaide married Count Carl Henckel von Donnersmarck at Luxembourg on April 10, 1958.

Prince Charles married American Joan Douglas Dillon at Guildford, Surrey, on March 1, 1967.

All the photos are from my private collection.