Thursday, February 28, 2013

Queen Anne gives birth

February 28, 1953

Queen Anne of Romania gave birth to a daughter earlier today at a clinic in Lausanne.  The baby weighed 5lbs, reports the New York Times.  Mother and daughter are doing well

This is the third daughter for Queen Anne and her husband, King Michael of Romania.  The King has been living in exile since January 1948.

The baby's name has not been announced.

Dead at 25

February 28, 1933

Princess Elisabeth of Schaumburg-Lipped died at Grünau, Austria, today, according to the New York Times. She was 25 years old.

She was married twice.  Her first marriage to Benevenuto Hauptmann, son of the playwright, Gerhart Hauptmann, was annulled in 1928.  Two years later, she married Baron Johann Herring von Frankensdorff. 

Princess Elisabeth Hermine Auguste Viktoria was born at Bückeburg on May 31, 1908.  She was the ninth and youngest child of the late Stephan, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe and his wife the late, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg.

The cause of death was not announced.  She is survived by her husband.

[Note: the Princess died on February 25 but the death was announced a few days later.]

Wilhelm to be a father

February 28, 1923

Kaiserin Hermine is said to be expecting a child, at, least according to Potsdam gossip, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

There are also reports that Hermine's husband, former Kaiser Wilhelm II, wants to leave Doorn to travel to Corfu, where his estate, Achellion, was "confiscated by the Italian government," and Wilhelm is in the process of negotiating  for its return.

He has also voiced complaints that the German government "will not increase his allowance" until a settlement is reached with the Hohenzollern property.  Other members of the family, who still live in Germany, have already received their settlements.

When Hermine married Wilhelm II, she was required to leave "her private fortune for her children" in Germany, so she came to Doorn "dowerless."

Hermine is expected to visit Corfu with her children from her first marriage.

Spanish royal family not involved in Noos

King Juan Carlos of Spain and his family were not involved in the Noos scandal, according to the judge.

Happy birthday

all four photos were taken in Bucharest in October 2011.  Copyright Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

Happy birthday to a dear friend, Princess Irina of Romania, who is celebrating her 60th birthday today.  The Princess will be celebrating the day with her husband, John, and family and friends.  

Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu hosted a dinner this evening in Bucharest in honor of Princess Irina's birthday, although the princess was unable to attend.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It is a girl!

February 27, 1957

It's a girl for Princess Ragnhild Alexandra of Norway and her husband, Erling Lorentzen,  according to Reuters.

The Princess, a granddaughter of King Haakon VII, gave birth this morning to a daughter at the National Hospital in Oslo.   Princess Ragnhild married Lorentzen, a wealthy Norwegian shipowner in 1953.  Their first child, a son, was born in 1954.

Former wife of Archduke will get her daughter back

February 27, 1933

Dagmar Habsburg, the former wife of Archduke Leopold, will soon see her 11-year-old daughter, Maria Gabrielle, Habsburg, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Dagmar, who lies in the former palace of the Dukes of Tuscany, is the daughter of a Yugoslavian landowner, 80-year-old Baron Wladimir Nicolics-Podrinksa  Two years ago, after Dagmar and her then nine-year-old daughter visited her father in Zagreb,  the Baron kidnapped the little girl and took her to a small village in Romania.  He claimed that his daughter was an unfit mother.

She went to the police in Vienna and in Yugoslavia, and "diplomatic intervention" has lead to negotiations to "settle the matter peacefully."  According to reports from Zagreb,  Maria Cristina will be returning to Vienna.

Baroness Dagmar Nicolics-Podrinska married Archduke Leopold of Austria in April 1919.  This marriage was considered morganatic.  The couple's only daughter, Marie Gabrielle, was born in Vienna on May 15, 1921. 

Leopold is the fifth child of Archduke Leopold Salvator of Austria and Infanta Blanca of Spain.  He divorced Dagmar in 1931 and married Alice Coburn a year later.

Pope says yes to Albrecht's wedding

February 27, 1933

Archduke Albrecht of Austria learned today that he can marry Madame Bela de Rudnay in a Roman Catholic service, reports the New York Times.  His love for the former wife of the Hungarian minister to Bulgaria has already cost him "his hopes of a throne as well as the respect of his parents."

Two years ago Madame de Rudnay divorced her husband, and despite "strenuous obstruction from Albrecht's mother, Archduchess Isabella,  Albrecht married Madame de Rudnay in a civil ceremony in Brighton, England.

At the time, Archduke Albrecht was considered the Hungarian Nationalst candidate for the "vacant throne," has he is "considered of pure Magyar blood," while Archduke Otto, eldest son of the late Emperor Karl, is "regarded as an "alien Austrian claimant."

In an attempt to further diffuse his mother's opposition to the marriage,  Albrecht, visited Empress Zita, where he renounced his right to the throne and "swore fealty" to Archduke Otto.

The Pope has decided to sanction the marriage on the grounds that the former Irene Lelbach's first marriage to a Protestant was deemed to be "invalid."

Could Princess Madeleine's children lose rights to throne

It is possible, according to this article, should the Princess chose to remain in New York and raise her family outside of Sweden.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bulletin: Grand Duke Alexander is dead

February 26, 1933

Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia died today Villa Saint Theresa near Menton in France. He had been suffering from a lung illnes which was complicated by a spinal disease that his doctors were "unable to diagnose." He was 66 years old.

According to the New York Times, the Grand Duke's "death came without warning," as the most recent bulletin regarding the Grand Duke's health was considered hopeful. His wife, Grand Duchess Xenia, who was staying at a local hotel, hurried to the villa when she received word that her husband was dying. He was already dead when she arrived. The couple's only daughter, Princess Irina was at his bedside when he died.

The Grand Duchess, who was a sister of the late Nicholas II, has received condolences from King George V and Queen Mary, King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, the King of Sweden, the Duke of Connaught and the President of France.

Grand Duke Alexander was the son of the late Grand Duke Michael, and was a noted author. He wrote two autobiographies, Once a Grand Duke and Always a Grand Duke, as well as Twilight of Royalty.

He is survived by his wife, Grand Duchess Xenia, one daughter and six sons and numerous granddchildren.

Burial is expected to take place in Menton.

Dora visits her mother in sanitarium

February 26, 1903

The Duke and Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein recently visited the Duchess' mother, Princess Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha at Dr. Pierson's Sanitarium near Dresden.

The Duchess -- Princess Dorothea -- has not seen her mother, the eldest of the three daughters of King Leopold II of the Belgians, since before her marriage, which took place five years ago. 

Princess Louise was confined to the asylum about eighteen months before her daughter's marriage, according to the Marquise de Fonentoy.

The Duke and Duchess spent several hours visiting with the Princess, who accompanied them to the train station, where "she took leave of them in the most affectionate manner.

The meeting between Dorothea and her mother has provided non-stop conversation at the European courts.  It appears that the Princess is in "a far better state of health, mentally speaking, than has been asserted.

The timing of the meeting is also said to be significant as it follows "so closely on the sensational and scathing denunciation of Prince Philipp in the Hungarian parliament."

He was assailed by several MPs over his private life, especially "his treatment of his wife."  The members of Parliament offered so many "proofs in support of their assertions as to carry conviction in the minds of those present."

So far Prince Philipp has not defended himself against the attacks upon his "honor and upon his private character."  There have also been questions about the Prince's relationship with the late financier Baron von Hirsch.  Prince Philipp is said to be one of the "most unpopular of princes" who may "receive his just desserts," and his estranged wife may soon receive her liberty.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lady Frederick Windsor is expecting

It was announced today that Lady Frederick Windsor is expecting a child in August.  Lady Frederick is also known as actress Sophie Winkleman.  She is married to Lord Frederick Windsor, son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

This will be the first grandchild for Prince and Princess Michael.  The baby will not have a title but will be Miss or Master Christian name Windsor.

The mom-to-be as a recurring role as Zoey in CBS's comedy series, Two and a Half Men.

In an interview last year, Lady Frederick said:  "I just feel that I have a lot of things that I want to do first. Fortunately, Freddie’s fine with that."

Sophie's father, Barry Winkleman, is a non-practicing Jew, and her mother, Cindy, is a Protestant.  Sophie was baptised according to the rites of the Anglican Church.

The couple live in southern California.  Lord Frederick works in finance in Los Angeles.

Mabelle Corey postpones marriage to Don Luis

February 25, 1929

Due to the death of Queen Mother Maria Cristina of Spain, Mabelle Corey  told the press tonight that her marriage to Don Luis de Borbon-Orleans "would be unavoidably delayed" during the mourning period for King Alfonso's mother, reports the New York Times.

"I have conferred with the mother of Don Luis, the Infanta Eulalia, as I said I would last week, and naturally I agreed with her that no marriages among member of Spanish royalty could take place for quite some time yet.  In fact, it would be a disrespect to the memory of the beloved Queen Mother to announce an engagement at this time."

Infanta Eulalia is the King's aunt.  Mrs. Corey is divorced from William Ellis Corey, an American steel magnate.  She told reporters that she will remain for a "short time at her chateau" outside Paris  before she returns to San Remo on the Italian Riviera, where she "believes Don Luis is still sojourning."

Mrs. Corey received the chateau as a part of the divorce settlement.

Don Luis remains under a "French expulsion order," despite Mrs. Corey's unsuccessful efforts to remain permission for him to return to France. 

Mabelle Gilman is a former Broadway actress and singer who married William Ellis Corey, President of United States Steel, in 1907.  They married in an "improved chapel in the Hotel Gotham," at Fifth Avenue and 55th Street.  According to the New York Times, Corey "sacrificed the wife of his youth" in order to marry Miss Gilman.

They stood under "an arch of orchids and asparagus plumes," while they said their marriage vows.

They spent their honeymoon at the Chateau Villegenis, outside Paris, which was Mr. Corey's wedding gift to his bride.  At the time of the wedding, the chateau was valued at about $1,000,000.  The bride also received "many handsome jewels."

Mabelle Gilman was born on December 4, 1882 in San Francisco.  She divorced William Corey in 1923.

Duchess of Edinburgh off to Russia

February 25, 1893

It was announced today that the Duchess of Edinburgh is leaving "in a few weeks time" for St. Petersburg, where she visit the Emperor and Empress of Russia.  The Chicago Daily Tribune also reports that the Duchess will go to Bucharest in the spring where she will spend time with her daughter, Princess Marie and her husband, Crown Prince Ferdinand of Roumania.

More trouble for Cristina and King Juan Carlos

This gets uglier every day for Spain, for King Juan Carlos and the entire royal family.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A most beatiful Crown Princess

Princess Mathilde, Duchess of Brabant, on the occasion of her 40th birthday.

Princess Ida Reuss

Princess Ida Reuss (1891-1977) was the youngest child of Heinrich XXII Prince Reuss and Princess Ida of Schaumburg-Lippe.  

Her siblings: Prince Heinrich XXIV (1878-1927)
Princess Emma (1881-1961), Countess von Ehrenburg
Princess Marie (1882-1942) Baroness Ferdinand Gnagnoni
Princess Caroline (1884-1905)  Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Princess Hermine (1887-1947)  Kaiserin Hermine, second wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II

Ida married Christoph Prince of Stolberg-Rossla in 1911.

The Edinburgh Princesses always lovely

Grand Duchess Victoria Melita and her daughter, Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and By Rhine

Marie, Victoria Melita and Alexandra of Edinburgh

Friday, February 22, 2013

Another baby for Queen Ena

February 22, 1913

According to Lady Manning, who writes for the Los Angeles Times,  Queen Ena of Spain "will be seen neither in London nor Paris this spring or summer."

Ena, the wife of King Alfonso XIII, is about to have a "happy event," and the "little visitor will make his or her appearance" sometime in June. 

The Spanish people are said to be overjoyed by the news.  Due to the delicate condition of Infante Jaime, the "addition to the royal family will be welcomed all the more heartily."

Kaiser gives approval to niece's marriage

February 22, 1913

Kaiser Wilhelm II has given permission to the marriage of his niece, Princess Viktoria Margarete of Prussia to Prince Heinrich XXXIII Reuss, according to a cable sent to the Los Angeles Times.

The Princess is the only daughter of Prince and Princess Friedrich Leopold of Prussia.

Princess Viktoria Margarete, who is called Gretchen by her family, is "pretty and the young people are both receiving numerous congratulations and presents."

The couple have been "lover-like" for several years. Prince Heinrich recently visited the United States with the German fleet, and while here, sent a letter by "every mail" to his princess in Berlin.  It was his "proof that his heart was not straying towards some young and beautiful millionairess."

Prince Heinrich did not "succumb to the attractions of the belles of Washington and New York" because he was already in love.

Princess Viktoria Margarete, a niece of the Empress Auguste Viktoria, and the Duchess of Connaught, is nearly 23.  Her fiance is ten years her senior.  They were first introduced at the home of Prince Heinrich's cousin, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, who is married to another Prince Heinrich of Reuss. 

It was some time before anyone suspected that the couple "were in love with each other."

But before an engagement could be announced, permission from the Kaiser was needed.  He was said at first to "not quite willing" but eventually gave in after a long talk with his cousin, Prince Friedrich Leopold, who also is his brother-in-law.

The young couple were invited to tea with the Kaiser, where they received his blessing.

The Kaiserin, who "loves matchmaking," is very fond of her niece, and has been very encouraging of the romance.

Will Infanta Cristina be called into court

It is not looking good for Infanta Cristina of Spain, who shortly may be implicated in her husband's fraud case.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

An interview with Grand Duchess Maria

A lovely interview with Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

Where was I?

I took these two photos during my 1980 trip to London.  The first photo is a statue of William Shakespeare -- and I do not think it is inside Holy Trinity Church, which I visited later in the trip. 

The second photo is Cleopatra's needle .. cannot believe I forgot this. 

Prince Harry caught canoodling: press wants to know: Where's the ring?

Embed from Getty Images

Okay, Prince Harry was wearing ski clothes when he was photographed embracing Cressida Bonas, who might be the One!  Might be.

Cressida  celebrated her 24th birthday in Verbier, on February 18.  She's pretty, well-educated, very rich, and socially well-connected.  She attended Stowe, a private independent boarding school for the very rich, and studied dance at Leeds University  She previously dated Henry Wentworth-Stanley, stepson of the Marquess of Milford Haven, whose father was a first cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Cressida is certainly well-connected socially.  She is said to be a good friend of Princess Eugenie, who apparently said to her cousin:  "Hey, Harry, I have  girl for you."

She has also been described as a model for Burberry, but it is her half-sisters' half-sister, Gabriella Calthorpe (who uses the surname Wilde) who has modeled the iconic trench coats.

She grew up in Hampshire at Hinton Amner, a National Trust party, where financier, Christopher Shaw, was a tenant.  After her mother's divorce, the family moved to Jubilee Place in Chelsea. She is said to be sporty and loves the theater.  Last year, she played Desdemona in a production of Othello at the Edinburgh Festival.  She studied for three years at the Royal Ballet School, and more recently was enrolled at The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich where she studied contemporary dance.

[As a member of the Royal Family, Cressida could find her patronages among theatre, dance and literary societies, which would be a very good thing.]

She is said to be close to her mother and her half-siblings.  Her first cousin, Richard Dinan (son of her mother's sister, Lady Charlotte) starred in a reality TV program Made in Chelsea.

According to press reports, they became an item last July after being spotted canoodling (what else) during the premiere of the latest Batman movie, The Dark Night.

There may have been a brief hiccup in the relationship when Harry's Vegas escapades did not stay in Vegas, but while Harry was serving in Afghanistan, they apparently (through Skype?) kissed and made up.

Harry and Cressy were in Verbier at the same time as Harry's uncle, the Duke of York and his family, including his ex-wife, Sarah.  The Duke of York celebrates his birthday (February 19) every year with Verbier with his former wife and their daughters.  Andrew and family usually pose for an obligatory family photo while on the slopes, but this year they chose to forgo the snap, and now we know why.  [This is the first time that Harry has probably seen Auntie Sarah in a long time as she remains persona non grata from royal family events.

Will Cressida be a keeper?  Does she have what it takes to accept the attention and the loss of most of your privacy when you date a prince.  Several British bookmakers are taking bets on when the engagement will be announced. 

Hold your ski poles, please! This relationship is in its early days.  Harry has already skied off-piste at least once (in Vegas), and he and Cressida need a lot more time together as a couple to learn about each other, their wants, their needs, their future.  Unfortunately, for the couple, there are numerous red flags that must be addressed.  They also will need to ski down a lot of bumpy slopes before Harry gets on his knees and pops the question! 

The Duchess of Cambridge comes from a stable home with happily married parents.  Her parents are also self-made millionaires, something Americans, far more than the British, appreciate.   Cressida was born into a family oozing with money, most of it not earned.  Her mother, Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, a daughter of the 6th Earl Howe,  has lived as a largely self-indulgent party girl for most of her life.  She has been married AND divorced FOUR TIMES!    

Seriously, can you imagine how Cressida's family will be treated by the Daily Mail and other tabloids if she becomes Harry's wife.  It is bad enough for the self-made, hard-working Michael and Carole Middleton, who are subjected to utter tosh by the Mail.  But then again, the Mail's insufferable "journalists",  who have never fact checked a story in their lives, would consider Cressida's very rich family to be "eccentric."

Lady Mary's father was married twice.  After his first marriage to Priscilla Weigall ended in divorce, Lord Howe married Grace Wakeling, a South African.  He had two daughters, Lady Priscilla and Lady Jennifer by his first marriage and two more daughters, Lady Mary-Gaye and Lady Charlotte by his second wife.  He died in 1984, and was succeeded by his second cousin.

Cressida's father, Old Harrovian Jeffrey Bonas, has been married and divorced twice.  Not exactly the right conditions for Cressida to make a long and sustained marriage. 

Lady Mary-Gaye Georgiana Lorna Curzon was born on February 21, 1947. Her first marriage to Kevin Esmond Peter Cooper-Key took place on December 18, 1971.   One daughter, Pandora Lorna Mary Cooper-Key. They divorced in 1976. 

Her second marriage took place on May 27, 1977 at the Kensington Registry Office in London when she married John Austen Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe, youngest son of the 2nd Baronet.  The couple had three children: Georgiana Moireach Gay, Isabella Amaryllis Charlotte (who dated Prince William) and Jacobi Richard Penn.    Isabella is engaged to marry Sam Branson, son of Sir Richard.

Lady Mary's second divorce was granted in 1986.  Two years later, she married Jeffrey Bonas, a businessman.   Cressida was born in 1989.  The marriage ended in divorce in 1994.  

Christopher Shaw became Lady Mary's 4th husband.  They married on December 17, 1996.  This marriage was also dissolved by divorce.  No children.

Harry and Cressida are distantly related.  Lady Mary Curzon, daughter of the 1st Earl Howe by his second wife, married the 2nd Duke of Abercorn.  Their granddaughter, Lady Cynthia Hamilton, married Albert,  7th Earl Spencer, who were the grandparents of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Both the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and Sarah, Duchess of York, were raised in broken homes.  Diana's father won custody of his children following his divorce from their mother (on the grounds of her adultery), but he had little to do with the day-to-day raising of his children.  They were in the care of nannies and governess when they were not at boarding school.

Sarah's mother literally bolted, leaving her two daughters in the care of their father as she ran off to Argentina with her lover, Hector Barrantes, whom she eventually married.

Embed from Getty Images 

Prince Harry's former girlfriend, Zimbabwe-born Chelsy Davy had her own baggage, a father with allegedly deep ties to the Mugabe regime.

Cressy's dad, Jeffrey, has also had his day in court, and not to his liking, where a judge branded him as "untrustworthy."  The judge made the declaration during a 2003 court case over the issue of Bonas's divorce settlement to his first wife, Elspeth.

The judge stated: "I have preferred the evidence of persons other than Mr Bonas. He was, for a short span, a man of exceptional wealth and, perhaps to protect that position, cloaked his affairs with offshore Isle of Man trusts and Isle of Man and Swiss bank accounts.

"Anyone who goes to such lengths to achieve opacity but then later finds himself in debt can hardly complain when others conclude that it might be that he has more resources than he is claiming to have.  I cannot regard Mr Bonas as a reliable or candid witness."

Bonas, who gradated from Oxford, is the owner of MacCulloch & Wallis, a haberdashery and sewing notions store just off Oxford Street.

It should be remembered that William used a skiing holiday tell the world that he and Catherine Middleton were a couple.  As the Evening Standard's Robert Jobson noted earlier today, Prince Harry is stating unequivocally: “She’s my girl, and I don’t care who knows.”

We all know, Harry.  But what I want to know -- and I am willing to sit back and wait awhile -- will Cressida be the one who can turn the fun-loving, but sometimes irresponsible, Prince Harry, into a mature, respected member of the British Royal Family?

Is it time for a Pimm's No 1 Cup?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lord Mountbatten chosen to end British rule

February 20, 1947

Viscount Mountbatten of Burma, a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, first Empress of India, was "chosen today to close out British rule over the vast subcontinent she annexed to the Crown, reports the Associated Press.

The Viscount will serve as Viceroy to "liquidate" the raj, and as "Vice King," he will serve "as personal representative of his cousin, King George VI.

His mother, the Marchioness of Milford Haven, is a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Lord Mountbatten, known as Dickie "in royal society, is one of kingdom's "most popular war chieftains."

The 46-year-old Viscount, a Rear Admiral, first enlisted in the Royal Navy when he was thirteen years old.  His father, the late Prince Louis of Battenberg, was Admiral of Fleet at the outbreak of the first World War, but was forced to relinquish his "position and title " due to the "public clamor arising over his Teutonic antecedents."

The family changed its name to Mountbatten. 

Prince Philipp charged as criminal

February 20, 1903

Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is facing "sensational charges" in Austria, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The charges were made today in the Reichsrath by Herr Daszynski, the Polish leader, who has "denounced the prince as a criminal."  This is in reference to the imprisonment of Count Mattasich, the young Hungarian who ran off with Prince Philipp's wife, Princess Louise of Belgium several years ago. Last December, the count was sentenced to "four years' imprisonment" for forgery.  Daszynski alleges that while in prison, the Mattasich "drew up a formal accusation" charging Prince Philipp with coercing his wife "to encourage the advances of the late Baron Hirsch," and forcing her to "ask the baron for money."

After her elopement,  Princess Louise was confined to an mental asylum in Dresden for some months.

[One assumes this is the same Baron Hirsch who adopted Maurice and Raymond de Forest.]

Prince Laurent in ski accident

Prince Laurent of Belgium, youngest child of King Albert I, in an Austrian hospital following a skiing accident.

His injuries are not life threatening.  His wife, Princess Claire, has told reporters that "everything is all right."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New heir to meet aristocrats

February 19, 1889

By telegraph to the Los Angeles Times.

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria has "summoned the heir presumptive" Archduke Franz Ferdinand to Pest to "introduce him to leading political men and members of the aristocracy."

What the bride will wear!

February 19, 1893

Archduchess Margarete-Sophie of Austria, who is engaged to marry Duke Albrecht of Württemberg, is wear a wedding gown made from "ivory grosgrain silk embroidered with silver in a design of marguerites and myrtle," reports the Los Angeles Times.

The "low, round bodice and sleeves are trimmed with Indian muslin and real orange blossoms and myrtle." The "trained skirt" is trimmed with wreaths made from the same decorations.  The design also features "long panels of the silver embroidery," which fall from the bodice to the hem of the skirt."

The bride will also wear a mantle, made from ivory silk, "embroidered in silver, with a high collar  trimmed with marabout feathers."

She will also reeive the honor of the Golden Rose from the Pope.

Prince Miguel is "very ill"

February 19, 1923

Princess Miguel de Braganza and her daughter had only just arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, to arrange for an inspection of her summer home, when she received a phone call from her New York home.

Prince Miguel is said to be "seriously ill with an attack of influenza."   His wife, the former Anita Stewart, is now on her way back to New York City, and is expected to arrive tonight," reports the New York Times.

Archduchess Elisabeth: an appreciation

February 19, 1903

The Marquise de Fontentoy's latest dispatch comments on the recent death of Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, whose death has "thrown the court of Vienna into mourning in the midst of carnival."

The Archduchess was described as "one of the most remarkable women" in the Austrian imperial family, a  "princess of world renowned sagacity,"  a woman with an impressive knowledge of statesmanship.  Her cousin, Emperor Franz Josef would consult her on many matters. 

It was the Archduchess's daughter, Maria Christina, who benefited most from her advice.  As the Queen Regnant of Spain, for her young son, Alfonso, Cristina "succeeded in weathering the many storms and cataclysms" that she endured during the sixteen years of her regency. 

Archduchess Elisabeth often visited Madrid to be with her daughter through the difficult times.

She could be described as "trebly an archduchess.  She was born an archduchess, the daughter of the very popular Archduke Josef, Palatine of Hungary.  Her first husband was Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the last duke of Modena.  They had one daughter, who is married to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.

Princess Ludwig has inherited the Stuart claim to throne through her late father, who was the last of the Habsburg-Este male line. 

After Ferdinand's death, Elisabeth married again.  She wed Archduke Karl, whose father fought in the Napoleonic wars. 

Elisabeth's eldest son by her second marriage, Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen, is said to be the "cleverest soldier in the imperial," and the wealthiest, as well.    Archduke Karl Stephan, is the president of the Imperial Yacht club and is an admiral.

The youngest son, Archduke Eugen, one of the tallest members of the Imperial family, is the grand master of the "ancient Teutonic order, which binds its members like Catholic clergy to a life of celibacy."  He is said to be "exceedingly erudite," and would have entered the church if not for the opposition of the Emperor.

Archduchess Elisabeth will be "greatly misses," especially by her family.  As a young woman who was "wonderfully beautiful, and in her old age, she remained a "stately and imposing figure," and her voice was "wonderfully soft and melodious."

It is said that her cousin, Franz Josef, will feel her death deeply.

Kensington Palace - October 1977

Kensington Palace - a dreary October day in 1977

Kensington Palace - 1980

I am in the process of converting all of my photo albums (a slow process) to Shutterfly photo books.

I am scanning the album from May 1980, when I spent an entire summer in England.  I stayed with American friends who working in London and with the author David Duff at his home in Norfolk.
David Duff, author of Hessian Tapestry, watering his garden

Kensington Palace May 25 1980

Monday, February 18, 2013

Emmelie de Forest is NOT a great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria

Maurice de Forest
Emmelie-Charlotte-Victoria de Forest, is a 19-year-old Danish singer (she turns 20 on February 28), who will represent Denmark at the Eurovision Singing Contest at Malmo, Sweden, later this year.  She has made an extraordinary claim that has been picked up by the Danish press.  Shame on the Danish press for falling for the story. 

She claims that she is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.  As the author of the book, Queen Victoria's Descendants, and Queen Victoria's Descendants: A Companion Volume, I do know a lot about Victoria's descendants.  There are now more than 1100 descendants.   Some of the descendants are illegitimate.  I call them natural descendants.  These are the descendants who have been acknowledged by their QVD parent.   

I am also good at sniffing out the phony claims.  It is one thing to claim you are a descendant of Victoria.  It is another to prove it.  Trust me: I have busted more than one phony-QVD balloon. 

Victoria's eldest son, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, was a ladies' man. He may have fathered a few children, but nearly all of his mistresses were married, and he never acknowledged any illegitimate children. He certainly never met Maurice Forest's mother.

Emmelie claims her grandfather, Count Maurice Arnold de Forest, was the the  illegitimate son of King Edward VII (as Prince of Wales) and an Austrian princess, who was a member of the Habsburg family. [Distaff members are Archduchesses, not princesses.]  The story has a certain amount of embellishment about it.  De Forest's background was a bit sketchy, but I have two words to describe Emmelie's claim: bull dinkies!

Maurice Arnold de Forest was born on January 9, 1879 in Paris.  One source states he was the second son of Ferdinand Raphael Bischoffsheim and his wife, Mary Paine.  This is incorrect.

His birth was registered in Paris.    Records show that Maurice was the elder son of Edward de Forest (1848-1882) and Juliette Arnold (1860-1882), an American couple who worked in French circuses.  He had a younger brother, Raymond (1880-1912).  The family lived on the Rue Legendre in Paris.  Edouard and Juliette were originally from New York.   The source for the details about Maurice's parents is in Le Moïse des Amériques. Vies et œuvres du munificent baron de Hirsch by Dominique Frischer, which was published in 2002 by Paris-based publisher Grasset.

Edward and his wife were in Constantinople on tour, when they died in a typhoid epidemic in 1882. Their deaths were noted in church records in Constantinople.  The two young boys were soon adopted by German-born Baron Moritz (Maurice) von Hirsch.  He and his wife, Clara Bischoffsheim, the daughter of a Belgian Senator, lived in a very large home in Paris.  It is suffice to say the Baron was a multi-millionaire.

What was the connection between the two young boys and the very rich Jewish Baron and his wife? Was Clara a very understanding woman, who made a home for two boys who may have been fathered by her husband? Although several sources, including contemporary sources, state that von Hirsch was the natural father of the two boys, French civil records list an American, Edouard (Edward) de Forest, as the father.

Baron von Hirsch and his son Lucien funded orphanages in Russia, Belgium and France.  The two boys had been placed in the care of friends or an institution when their parents went on tour.  Now as orphans, they needed a home, and Moritz and Clara adopted them. 

Maurice and Raymond retained the de Forest surname, but added Bischoffsheim, which was Clara's maiden name.  They did not receive the von Hirsch surname because they were not the Baron's sons.  Nor were they Clara's nephews.

Baron von Hirsch amassed a huge fortune in banking, starting his career with the banking house of Bischoffsheim & Goldsmidt.  He married Clara Bischoffscheim 1855. 

The family had homes in Hungary and London, but their primary residence was in Paris.  Both Moritz and Clara were known for their philanthropic works.  On the occasion of Franz Joseph's 40th anniversary on the throne,  Baron von Hirsch donated £500,000 to develop primary schools in Galicia and Bukowina.  He also was a major supporter of providing financial relief for repatriating Russian Jews.

He parlayed his growing wealth with the development of the railroads in Austria, the Balkans and Turkey.  His father, the banker to the King of Bavaria, was created a baron in 1869.

Young Maurice attended Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.  In 1899, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, created Maurice and Raymond  as Baron von Forest.    It is unlikely that the 20-year-old Maurice was ennobled by the Austrian emperor because he was the illegitimate son of the Prince of Wales.  Both brothers were raised to the rank of baron.  There are two schools of thought for the reason why Maurice and Raymond were ennobled.  Baron von Hirsch had been successful in obtaining a Belgian baronial title for his legitimate son, Lucien, and may also have petitioned Franz Josef for titles for his two natural sons.  But there is no concrete evidence to assume that the baron was the boys' father.  The titles were not bestowed until after Moritz's death.

More likely they received the titles because of Baron and Baroness von Hirsch's numerous charitable bequests to Austro-Hungarian organizations.

This was noted in the Court Circular on March 6, 1899.  "The Emperor of Austria has given the title of Baron De Forest to M. Arnold Forest and to his brother M. Raymond De Forest, both the adopted sons of Baroness de Hirsch and Gereuth, widow of the late Baron de Hirsch." 

Von Hirsch died in Hungary at the age of 64 in 1896.  His wife died three years later.   Maurice inherited his adoptive father's Austrian residence, Schloss Eichhorn (now known as Veveri Castle, near Brno), and which he owned until 1925, when it was appropriated by the Czech government.  De Forest received £100,000 from the Czech government.

Maurice and Raymond were the main beneficiaries of Baroness de Hirsch's estate.  Maurice received 25,000,000 Francs, as well as her estates in Rossitz-Eichhorn, Austria.  Baron Raymond received 20,000,000 francs and the Chateau de Beauregard in Paris.  These legacies were held in trust until each man reached his 30th birthday. When he turned 35,  Maurice inherited a further $10 million dollars from his adoptive mother's estate.  One has to consider why Maurice and Raymond received the bulk of Clara's fortune?   Moritz and Clara left millions to charities as well.  Their only son, Lucien, was already deceased.

The brothers also inherited all of the Baroness' furniture, paintings, jewelery, "contained in her mains on the Rue de l'Elysée, Paris, as well as the two houses bearing the numbers 4 and 6 in the same street," reported Reuters.

Raymond died unmarried in 1912. It is likely that his older brother inherited his share of the von Hirsh fortune.

De Forest was naturalized as a British subject in 1900, and received by royal license the right to use his title in the United Kingdom.  This was done by direct command of Queen Victoria.  No reason for the grant was given.  In the same year, she commanded that Baron Boxall, whose title was bestowed by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, could use his title in Britain. 

Queen Victoria did not grant de Forest the right to use his year-old-barony in the United Kingdom on the basis that Maurice was her grandson.  He was not her grandson.  He was not the first nor the last naturalized Briton with a foreign title to be granted the right to use the title in Britain.

So what was the connection to the Prince of Wales?

Baron von Hirsch was a financial adviser to the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII).  They were introduced by the Austrian Crown Prince, Archduke Rudolf.  They first met sometime in the 1880s.  One of Edward's biographers, Sir Philip Magnus states that the first meeting took place in 1886.  Not long afterward,  Bertie visited von Hirsch at his estate, St. Johann, in Hungary.   Maurice was born in 1879.  In other words, it would have been impossible for Bertie to be Maurice's natural father. 

This is confirmed by one of Hirsch's biographers.   Crown Prince Rudolf met von Hirsch at a shooting party in September 1886.  It was in December 1886 that Hirsch "obtained an introduction to the Prince of Wales, from Rudolf in consideration of a loan of 100,000 gulden. After Rudolf's tragic  death in 1889, it was said in Vienna that his debt was waived in return for nobility conferred on Hirsch's natural sons whom his widow had adopted."

Sir Philip also wrote: "after losing his only legitimate son in 1887, Hirsch announced that humanity would be his heir."  This meant that Baron von Hirsch also had illegitimate issue,  again leading to the possibility that he was the father of the two boys.  Hirsch's Viennese obituaries noted that he had "lately had always been accompanied by two young boys, whose mother had been English, or American," according to Kurt Grünwald, the author of Türkenhirsch A Study of Baron Maurice de Hirsch.  The boys' mother was American.  So was their father.

Maurice de Forest certainly knew the Prince of Wales.  In 1899, he was a guest at a shooting party at Sandringham.  This connection was due not to fatherhood but to the Prince of Wales' friendship with Baron von Hirsch.    The Baron also entertained King Edward and Queen Alexandra at Spencer House.  It is very unlikely that Alexandra would have agreed to attend a dinner hosted by her husband's illegitimate son.

An engagement between Maurice and Mathilde Madeleine Menier, nee Letellier, widow of Albert Menier, was announced in April 1901, and would "shortly take place."  There are no further reports of the marriage, but it took place in Paris sometime in 1901.  In June 1903, the Chicago Daily Tribune reported "a great sensation was caused this week in sport circles by the divorce of the Baronne de Forest.  Though the differences had been discussed for some time, the actual proceeding was kept secret, until she came into court of Wednesday with the petition."

Madeleine was the daughter of Eugene Letellier, the owner of Le Journal, a French newspaper.

The Baroness was described as a "racing enthusiast" with many victories. Her estranged husband was said to be a "great votary of yachting, passing much time aboard his Nemesis."

Madeleine gave birth to a daughter, Mabel Béatrix Clara Mary Magdalen, on March 5, 1902.  (De Forest had been raised Jewish, and converted to Catholicism before his first marriage.  It seems unlikely that Bertie would have allowed for a child of his, even an illegitimate child, to be raised in the Jewish faith.)  As Maurice's real parents' deaths were registered in a church, it seems likely that he and his brother were not Jewish from birth.

Madeleine died in 1952 at the age of 82. 

Mabel was married three times.  Her first marriage took place in 1923 to a French politician Edmond Marcel Barrachin (1900-1975).  A second marriage to French tennis player Jean Barotra (1898-1994) took place in 1937.  The third marriage to Andre Louis Mariotti occurred in 1956.  I have no information on Mabel's death, but she did have three children by her first marriage and a son, Yves, by her second marriage.

At the time of her marriage to Barotra, Mabel was described as "fair and slim and a good tennis player."  She met her second husband at the British embassy in Paris in 1931.

After his first marriage was was annulled,  Maurice was free to remarry. On February 11, 1904,  he wed the Hon. Ethel Catherine Hannah Gerard, daughter of the 2n Baron Gerard.  The wedding took place at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Oswald, Garwood, Lancashire.  According to the report in the Court Circular, the "church was decorated with flowers."  The best man was Eric Chaplain, son of  Mr. Chaplin, MP.  The bride was given away by her brother, Lord Gerard, and she had seven bridesmaids:  Lady Marjorie Erskine,  Miss May and Miss Aline Beresford,  Miss Winifred and Miss Eve Gerard, and Miss Violet de Trafford.  Her train was carried by Miss Marjorie Lowther.

The reception was held at Garwood, and the couple's honeymoon was spent on the Continent.  One of the wedding gifts was an "enamelled umbrella handle studded with pearls" from Prince Christian, husband of Princess Helena.

Maurice was a keen yachtsman, and owned several yachts.  He also enjoyed horse racing and aviation.  Before the first World War,   the baron lived at Spencer House in London, leasing it for several years. 

The couple had two sons, Alaric Frederick Maurice (1905-1973), and John Gerard (1907)

The couple separated in 1910, due to the Baroness' adultery with a young man, Lt. Frank Ashton. There were legal battles, including a slander case.   In 1913, the newspapers reported that the couple had reconciled.  They moved to the South of France, where they maintained a large estate.

Edith was said to find "life intolerable, owing to her husband's foreign ways and his inability to accustom himself to English ethics and prejudice, in spite of his having been educated at Eton and Oxford."

De Forest was a close friend of Winston Churchill and his wife Clementine.  They made several visits to the baron's Austrian home, Schloss Eichhorn, including their honeymoon.

 He became an active member of the Liberal Party, and ran for Parliament in Southport.  He lost the election, despite the support from Churchill.  Later in the year, he was elected to the London City Council, representing Kennington.  He remained in this position until 1913.

A parliamentary by-election in West Ham North was held in July 1911.  De Forest ran for this seat, and won.  He held the seat until 1918. Largely due to his foreign title,  de Forest was considered by many to be in sympathy with the enemy.   He served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and the Royal Naval Air Service Armoured Car Section.

In a letter to The Times in 1915, the baron's lawyers wrote in response to an article about a meeting where the baron was described as a "naturalized British subject of Austrian birth." The lawyers responded: "...these suggestions are absolutely untrue. Our client was not born, and has never been, of Austrian or German nationality."

On January 16, 1920,  Maurice finally renounced his Austrian baronial title, and reverted to his birth surname de Forest.  In 1932, he was granted Liechtenstein nationality, and the Prince of Liechtenstein gave him the title Count de Bendern.  Bendern is a tiny village in Liechtenstein.  He also tried to distant himself from the connections to the von Hirsch family, which the de Bendern family have acknowledged.   Maurice's legitimate descendants are well aware of their father's ancestry, and the family tree does not include King Edward VII.

In 1924, Maurice sold his Georgian townhouse at 59 Grosvenor Street in Mayfair.  Three years later,  he applied for restitution for the loss of his Austrian estates, including Schloss Eichhorn, from the Anglo-Austrian Tribunal.  A settlement was reached in early 1928, and de Forest received £100,000 for his Austrian estates, which were now located in Czechoslovakia.

Maurice became known as Count Maurice de Bendern, and his two sons, Alaric and John dropped de Forest and were styled as Counts de Bendern.  After leaving England, Maurice settled in the south of France, in a mansion on Cap Martin. He had acquired an art collection, including Frans Hals' The Flute Player,  which was stolen in 1967.  He also maintained homes in England and in Switzerland.

The 88-year old count told The Times: "Two years ago this painting, with 20 other valuable pictures, was dispatched from my property at Prangins, Switzerland, into the custody of a Geneva bank where they remained until a few weeks ago.

"When, just before their removal from the bank to be taken elsewhere, their protective wrappings were taken off, it was found that a worthless object had been substituted for the Frans Hals.

"The  Swiss police have made little progress in the case.

"The Frans Hals was one of a collection of old masters, mainly Dutch but including a Turner, reserved as donations to the Principality of Liechtenstein after my death."

He added: "I have undertaken to pay to charities any sum recovered from the insurance underwriters.  But should the picture be retrieved it will be handed over immediately to Liechtenstein."

Alaric's death announcement was published in The Times on July 7, 1973.  He died "suddenly" on July 4, 1973 at Biarritz, son of the late Count de Benders of Vaduz, Liechtenstein, brother of Mabel de Forest and John de Bendern.  Alaric was 69 years old. He died unmarried.

John de Bendern, a British golfer, was married at least three times.  His first marriage was to Lady Patricia Douglas, daughter of the 11th Marquess of Queensbury. They were married at Brompton Oratory on January 27, 1938.  They had two daughters, Caroline (1940) and Emma (1950) and a son, Simon Frederick (1947).  This marriage ended in divorce in 1950 on the grounds of John's adultery. 

Emma de Bendern was once described as having the "naughtiest" face in London.  At age 17, she got involved with a petty criminal named Brian, and gave birth to his illegitimate daughter, Atalanta de Bendern, described in an article as Nigel Dempster's stepdaughter.

At age 21, she married the Daily Mail's gossip columnist Nigel Dempster.  The marriage lasted about a year.  Within six months of the marriage, Emma was off to the South of France for a brief fling with a married man.

They were married in 1971 and divorced in 1974.

In August 1975, Emma married married Giles Trentham. They had one daughter,  Amber Mercedes Trentham, a writer and editor. Mercedes is the first name of Emma's late stepmother.  This marriage ended in divorce

Emma's third husband was Prince Georg Galitzine, whom she married in 1986.  They had one son, Dimitri George, born in 1986.  This marriage was dissolved in 1992.

They remarried in 1998 only ten weeks before Giles' death from colon cancer at the age of 53.

The Emma de Bendern who is married to the sculptor, Neil Simmons, is more likely to be Emma Caroline de Bendern, daughter of Simon de Bendern.  Emma and Neil live in Somerset with their two children, Prosper and Romilly, a promising show jumper.

There are several other de Benderns who are members of the family, but I am not sure whose children they are.  Paul de Bendern, a former Reuters journalist and married to Pulitizer-prize winning war photographer Lynsey Addario. Paul has a BA  degree in Politics and History from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He speaks French, Spanish, English and Swedish.

Earlier this month, he became managing director of Veracity Worldwide, and is based in London.

Video of their wedding has been uploaded to YouTube with commentary by Caroline de Bendern.  Guests at the wedding including members of the Douglas/Queensbury and Hornak families.   Another guest was Samantha Grace de Bendern.  Could she be Paul's sister?

Samantha de Bendern is a journalist, now based in India.

This leaves us with Sasha Emmanuelle Jurdant, whose mother's surname is de Bendern.  He is also connected to Caroline de Bendern as is Michael de Bendern. 

Simon de Bendern married Ethel von Horn in 1974.  He also has a daughter, Emma Caroline de Bendern, born in 1970.

In 1953, John's engagement (described as the younger son of Count and Countess de Bendern of the Principality of Liechtenstein) to Mercedes, eldest daughter of Señor and Señor Gorina of Barcelona, was announced in the Times.  They were married in a civil ceremony in London on November 12, 1952.   Mercedes died at Neuilly-sur-Seine in June 1973.  John died in 1997.   John's last wife was named Barbara Hilda.  They lived in Tunbridge Wells.  Both died in Kent.

Ethel, Countess de Bendern died after a long illness on September 27, 1966 at Monte Carlo.

So where does Emmelie fit into the family tree?  She is the daughter of Ingvar de Forest (1938-2010),  said to be the natural son of Maurice de Forest and a Swedish woman, Irma Paula Margareta Engström. Ingvar 's birth was registered in Stockholm with the surname Engström.  It was not until he was an adult when he began using the surname de Forest.

Maurice never married Margareta, and he did not have an active role in Ingvar's life.  The de Bendern family have never made any claims to being descendants of Queen Victoria.  It is unlikely that Emmelie has any documentation to support her statements, especially about Maurice being the son of Bertie and an Austrian princess.  It is entirely possible that Ingvar concocted the story as an embellishment to his own birth.  He has been married several times, as well.  Charlotte has several older siblings or half-siblings, including Birgitta, Edward and Sophie de Forest.   They are in contact with their aunt Caroline.

But there are records to prove that Maurice was born in Paris.  His birth was registered in Paris with the parents of Edward de Forest and Julie Arnold, both of whom died in 1882.  We also know that the boys were adopted and raised by Hirsch and his devoted wife, Clara, who left most of her fortune to Maurice and Raymond.  As far back as the late 1890s, there were reports that Baron von Hirsch was the boys' natural father, and that the mother was either British or American.  Julie Arnold was American.  But the truth is another matter. The Baron and his wife adopted the two boys after the deaths of their American parents.

But Maurice Arnold de Forest was not the son of Edward VII.   Bertie did not meet Baron von Hirsch until 1886, seven years after Maurice's birth.  This is documented and acknowledged by serious historians and biographers.

In other words,  Danish singer Emmelie Charlotte Victoria de Forest has Swedish and Finnish ancestry, as well as American roots.  Her great-grandparents were -- gasp!  AMERICANS!

  But she  is not a descendant of Queen Victoria.  Period. Full Stop.

Friday, February 15, 2013

New additions

Crown Prince Friedrich and Crown Princess Victoria in the fall of 1864 with their four eldest children: Prince Wilhelm, Princess Charlotte, Prince Heinrich and the newborn, Prince Sigismund

Princess Marie Gabrielle of Luxembourg and Count Knud von Holstein Ledreborg.  The others, apart from Grand Duchess Charlotte, are not identified.

Princess Marie Gabrielle of Luxembourg, perhaps at the time of her engagement.

Proud Papa:  Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark with his toddler daughter, Princess Margrethe

John Orth said to be in Argentina

February 15, 1899

The Paris Correspondent for the Times (of London) reports: "According to a letter just received here from Argentina, the Austria Archduke John, alias John Orth,' is now residing with his morganatic wife on a farm on the River Parana, and is more than ever resolved to renounce the prerogatives of his birth."

Archduke Johann Nepomuk Salvator, youngest son of Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany, renounced his "rank and all of his Austrian military titles," in 1889, following an "irreconcilable quarrel" with the elderly Field Marshal Archduke Albrecht.

The young "impetuous" Archduke committed "the grossest possible breach of discipline."  He fitted out a small sailing vessel, and soon disappeared with his morganatic wife, the former opera singer, Mizzi Stubel.   They were not heard from again until October 1890, when it was reported that his ship, the St. Margaret, had been "lost off the coast of South America."

Soon afterwards, rumors of his escape soon began to be reported in the international press.  One rumor alluded that Orth and most of his crew had escaped before the ship foundered, and "landed near the mouth of the Plata."  It was alleged that Orth paid off his crew, and he traveled to Brazil.

Mizzi Stubel's mother believes that her son-in-law is still alive, and "one day will reappear among his old friends."

Moving day

February 15, 1937

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and their two young daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose, moved out of their town home, 145 Piccadilly, known as the "palace with a number," and are now residing in Buckingham Palace, reports the New York Times.

In order to accommodate the family, "extensive alterations" have been carried out.  Princess Elizabeth, 10, and her six-year-old sister, Princess Margaret, are the first royal children to live in the palace since the death of Prince John, King George V's youngest son, at the age of 13 in 1919.

The King and Queen will occupy the same suite as King George V and Queen Mary.  The rooms overlook the palace's private gardens.

The nurseries for the two princesses are located on the second floor.  Their windows overlook Constitution Hill and and be "identified by white painted bars across them."

The Piccadilly town house had been the residence of the King since his marriage to the then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923.  He succeeded to the throne in December following his brother, King Edward VIII's abdication.

Ferdinand wants wife to stop nursing invalid soldiers

February 15, 1913

Czar Ferdinand of Bulgaria has apparently commanded his wife, Eleonore, to "cease her labors for invalid soldiers," reports the Los Angeles Times in a special dispatch.

Eleonore has been "working very hard" at Bulgaria's front and in her own hospital in Sofia, where German nuns work as nurses.

Ferdinand is said to be "terribly afraid of infection, and will not visit a hospital or "have a surgeon or a nurse near him."

He has attempted to keep his wife in "perpetual quarantine" because of her work with the the sick and wounded soldiers. 

Ferdinand is said to have "aged much" since the war began, and he "works day and night, besides feeling tremendous responsibility."

Alfonso helps Manoel woo Beatrice

February 15, 1909

In an exclusive dispatch, the Los Angeles is reporting today that King Alfonso XIII of Spain is helping his hunting buddy, King Manoel of Portugal, wood Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, youngest daughter of the Duke of Edinburgh.

According to the report, Alfonso, for "personal and political reasons," favors the match, which will mean a lot to the English, Spanish and Portuguese governments, should the marriage take place.

A marriage between King Manoel and Princess Beatrice, a niece of King Edward VII,  would be enthusiastically approved by the Portuguese royal family, and is already "hailed with delight by the royal press."

Although no official information has been received, the Portuguese press "regards the match" as a done deal, and is "printing praises of the young King's decision."

King Alfonso left Villa Vicosa on Sunday for a special train to Madrid.  His wife, Queen Ena, is a first cousin of Princess Beatrice.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A great New Year!

Haakon gives consent to Ragnhild's marriage

February 14, 1953

King Haakon VII of Norway has given his consent to the marriage of his eldest granddaughter, Princess Ragnhild, to Captain Erling Sven Lorentzen, a Norwegian commoner.

Captain Lorentzen is a shipping executive, who received a degree in business administration from Harvard.

The royal family celebrated the engagement at Skaugum, the home of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha. 

The couple are expected to marry in May, reports the New York Times.

Princess Ragnhild first met her fiancee in June 1945, when Capt. Lorentzen "was one of the escorts for the Royal Family on their return to Norway," after the country was liberated from Germany.

The Princess has lived in Bethesda, Maryland, for nearly five years during the second world war.

Schuschnigg supports Habsburg restoration

February 14, 1937

Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg is has "openly committed his governmental party, the Fatherland Front, to support" the propaganda "for restoration of the Habsburg dynasty in Austria," reports the Associated Press.

Schuschnigg is also stating that a "plebiscite" will be held to allow the Austrians a say in the matter.

"The Austrian people will decide in a constitutional manner whether Austria is to return to the monarchy," he said in a speech in front of 1500 Fatherland Front district leaders.

Although he did not provide a date for the plebiscite, the Chancellor did declared that "the government and the Fatherland Front alone will choose the time when this issue will be referred to the people."

Official support will be given to "the campaign to place Archduke Otto," eldest son of the late Emperor Karl, on the throne.

Archduke Otto is 24 years old.

:"In connection with monarchist propaganda, the Fatherland Front has accepted as one of its missions to awaken and uphold the traditions of the house of Habsburg.  The form of the state will be decided by the Austrian people on the basis of the constitution."

But Dr. Schuschnigg warned that "no experimenting will be tolerated, and monarchist propaganda must be adjusted to the internal and foreign situation."

He does not support "impatient monarchists" who have been "toying with the idea of a restoration by coup d'etat."  The Chancellor is insisting that "legal methods" must be used.

The Chancellor does not support the pro-German elements what a "national front," and remains convinced that "Austria must remain independent."

He would not give any hints as to the nature of the plebiscite.  Currently, the mayors of Austria's cities elected the head of state.  It is not known if Archduke Otto will be recalled to Austria "at this juncture.

Archduchess Elisabeth dead, mother of Queen Maria Cristina

February 14, 1903

Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria died from pneumonia  this morning in Vienna, reports the New York Times.  She was 72 years old.

The archduchess was born on January 17, 1831 in Hungary, a daughter of Archduke Josef of Austria, and his third wife, Duchess Maria Dorothea of Württemberg, and a granddaughter of Emperor Leopold II.

She was married twice.  Her first marriage to Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor of Austria-Este, a member of the Modena branch of the Habsburg family took place on October 4, 1847.   She gave birth to a daughter, Maria Theresia in July 1849.   Archduke Ferdinand died on December 15, 1849.
Five years after the death of her first husband,  Elisabeth married her first cousin, Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria.    He died in 1874.

They had six children: Archduke Franz Joseph (1855-1855), Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen (1856), Archduchess Maria Christina (1858), Archduke Karl Stephan (1860), Archduke Eugen (1863) and Archduchess Maria Eleonora (1864-1864).

The late Archduchess Elisabeth's eldest daughter, Maria Theresia married Prince Ludwig of Bavaria in 1866.  He is the eldest son of the Prince Regent Luitpold.  They had sixteen children, of which thirteen survive.  Her younger daughter, Maria Christina, known as Christa, is the widow of King Alfonso XII of Spain.  She reigned as regent for her son, Alfonso XIII, who was born posthumously, until he reached his majority. 

Elisabeth is also survived by her sons, Archduke Friedrich, married to Princess Isabella of Croy, Archduke Karl Stephan, married to Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria, Princess of Tuscany, and Archduke Eugen, who is unmarried.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A new home for Princess Jolanda

February 12, 1923

Count Calvi di Bergolo has been looking at villas in Pinerolo in Piedmont, reports the Associated Press.  The Count has been trying to find a place to live after his marriage to Princess Jolanda, the eldest daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele.  The Count does not want to "allow his alliance with the royal family to interfere" with his work as an instructor at the cavalry school at  Pinerolo, said to be "one of the best in Europe."

Viktoria Luise's wedding to take place in October

February 12, 1913

Berlin sources are reporting that the marriage of Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Prince Ernst August, son of the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, will take place in October.

According to the New York Times, "the marriage will be the first step toward placing"  Prince Ernst August on the throne of the Duchy of Brunswick. He will enter the Prussian military, and "take the oath of allegiance to the Emperor as King of Prussia."

It is also expected that the young prince will also make  a "formal renunciation of the throne of Hanover after his father's death."

The Duke of Cumberland is said to "fully approve the betrothal.   Prince Ernst August is a first cousin of King George V, as their mothers are sisters.

A British princess for King Manoel

February 12, 1909

According to a New York Times dispatch a local Lisbon paper reports today that King Manoel II's engagement to a British princess will be announced shortly.

It is understood that the princess in question, is Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, the youngest daughter of the late Duke of Edinburgh, who was also the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
The Princess lives with her widowed mother, the former Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, in Coburg, but she is a frequent visitor to Britain.

Princess Beatrice was born in 1884.

where's the bump?

In a word: yawn  ..this Italian magazine has published photos of William and Kate in Mustique.  Do they really (really) think that the paparazzi are going to ignore them?   William needs to stop having temper tantrums about this    Here in the USA, walking on a beach is not deemed as private.
These snaps allegedly show the bump.  I may need a magnifying glass to find it.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Absolutely lovely

what the mailman brought me today. The inside of the card shows the photo on the left and the message (in English) on the right.  My silly scanner would not do it justice.

Alexander not wanted in Berlin

February 11, 1889

The New York Times is reporting that Kaiser Wilhelm II has "officially notified" Prince Alexander of Battenberg that he does not "desire his presence in Berlin, " in connection with the "settlement of the affairs of his father, Prince Alexander of Hesse," or with any "other business."

Mafalda to marry Leopold

February 11, 1923

The Associated Press, citing court circles in Rome, reports that the engagement of Princess Mafalda, second daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele,  to Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium, will be announced after the marriage of her elder sister, Princess Jolanda to Count Calvi di Bergolo.

Princess Mafalda is the second of King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena's five children. She was born at Rome on November 19, 1902.  Prince Leopold, the eldest son of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, is a year older than Princess Mafalda.