Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vittorio Emanuele visits two Grand Dukes

October 31, 1919

King Vittorio Emanuele, Queen Elena and their children arrived earlier today in Genoa aboard the royal yacht Yela, and then traveled by train to St. Margherita to visit Grand Duke Nicholas, former commander in chief of the Russian army, and his brother, Grand Duke Peter, and their wives.  This was the first official confirmation that Grand Duke Nicholas was able to escape from Russia.

The Italian royal family remained with the Grand Dukes for several hours before returning to Genoa, where they "boarded their yacht."

The Grand Duchesses are Queen Elena's sisters.

An Associated Press correspondent also met with Grand Duke Nicholas today.

The Grand Duke told the reporter: "We have received you only so that we may not appear discourteous and as a mark of appreciation to the United States. But heretofore we have received no journalists and granted no interviews."

Nicholas' wife, Grand Duchess Anastasia, "whose face still bears traces of the sufferings she endured during the war, was by her husband's side.  She interrupted the conversation, to state that they denied "all interviews attributed to us, as we have refused so far to make any statements, as any expression of our attitude, one way or another, might do more harm than good to our poor distracted country, and any causes we might wish to support.

"We desire in our past life, in our experiences, in all we have felt, that silence should reign.  This is our dearest wish, our most fervent request."

Grand Duke Nicholas resumed his conversation.  "We have come to Italy in this fairylike corner of the world, on the beautiful, smiling Gulf of Santa Margherita, seeking only peace and repose for our spirits and our nerves. We have determined not to talk with anyone on past sad events. All the tortures we endured must, for the outside world, be hidden in our breasts.  The only request we make is that our silence and our sadness be respected.

"For this reason, we lead most retired lives in this Villa of Spinola, half hidden in the woods, spending part of the day on the delightful shore of the Gulf, and the remainder with my brother, Peter, and his wife, Militza, who live nearby at a place known as 'Due Pini,' (Two Pines).  Our whole life is circumscribed within these narrow limits."

Grand Duke Nicholas was asked how long they would remain in Italy.

"We rented this villa until July 1920. but between now and then many things may happen to decide us either to prolong or to shorten our stay here."

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess usually have dinner in their own villa, and every evening, they are joined by Grand Duke Peter and his wife.  During the day, Grand Duchess Anastasia drives or walks with her husband to a local village, San Michele, which is known for its handmade lace.

This was the first confirmed report of the whereabouts of Grand Duke Nicholas.  In the past year or so, he has been reported dead, held by the Bolsheviks, and living "incognito in various places."

Belgians believe constitutional monarchy is the best form of a republic

Marlene Eilers Koenig Collection

October 31, 1903

The birth of a second son to Princess Albert of Belgium has, according to a New York Times dispatch, brought "widespread manifestations of loyalty to the royalty family from all classes of society."

The New York Times' Foreign Correspondent, based in Brussels, noted the "interesting site" of people from all classes signing the register at Prince Albert's palace.

From shopkeepers to working people mixing with "diplomats, courtiers and nobles," were seen outside the palace wanting to leave their congratulations to Prince and Princess Albert.

The birth of a second son fully secures succession to the throne.

One Liberal politician told the reporter: "You see that the Liberals and Conservatives alive, we all believe that our constitutional monarchy is the very best form of a republic.  No President of a republic, however, extended maybe his powers, could have achieved what King Leopold II has accomplishment during his reign, and this in every department of human activity, at home and abroad, in Africa as in Russia and China. You may object to me that we run the risk of having an undesirable sovereign someday; to this, I will answer that the Belgian people will not stand such a monarch for twenty-four hours.

"It certainly is a noteworthy if not surprising fact that republicanism makes no headway in Belgium. One reason for this may be that close relations exist between Belgium and France, and that the Belgian workingman has good cause to believe that his French brother is not better situated than himself."

Statement from Crown Prince Alexander


Statement by the office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander regarding media inquiries about little Tijana Ognjanovic

Belgrade, 31 October 2013 – In reference to the case of little Tijana Ognjanovic and due to many media inquiries, the Office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander is issuing the following statement:

“HRH Crown Princess Katherine Foundation has been helping all those in need for more than two decades. Thanks to HRH Crown Princess Katherine’s connections with the Houston Health Centre, which she visited last year during the charity event for Serbia, Her Royal Highness managed to reduce the price of the heart transplantation surgery, from 1 million US dollars, which had originally been agreed between the Hospital and the parents, to 700,000 US dollars, and to provide the family with the complimentary accommodation and transportation for as long as it was needed in the US, as well as a Serbian friend to be at their services in terms of communication and translation. The Royal Couple was extremely saddened by the death of Tijana, they attended her funeral and expressed their deepest condolences to her family.

Her Royal Highness and the Crown Princess Katherine Foundation have never had any accesses to the bank account, or to any of the transactions that took place between the Houston Health Centre Texas and the parents, which were strictly between them, and confidential under doctor-patient privilege. Therefore, we cannot comment on any of the matters other than this statement is about.  

However, Their Royal Highnesses are strongly supporting the idea, and find it necessary, that if any funds have remained from any humanitarian action as such, they should be used to support other sick children in Serbia”.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Charles and Camilla

A friend of mine, Russell, took these photos during the summer.

copyright for all three photos  Russell Biggs

Glimpses of the Russian Imperial Family

A dear friend of mine, Mark, recently visited Russia, and brought me back a nice selection of modern cards of the Russian Imperial family.  Thanks so much, Mark.

Nicholas II and Alexis on the Standart 1913

Alexis circa 1915-1916

Alexis with a watering can 1911

Alexandra 1913

Alexis on the Standart 1907

Alexander III

Grand Duchess Maria on the Standart 1906

Nicholas II and children on Standart 1912

Nicholas II and Alexandra and Olga 1895

Nicholas II hunting at Spala 1912

Nicholas II on the Imperial Train 1917

Olga and Tatiana in the uniform of their regiments 1910

Olga and Tatiana as nurses 1916

Nicholas II on board the Polar Star early 1900s

Nicholas II 1900

a girl for Madeleine and Chris

Trust a Swedish magazine to find a baby registry for Madeleine Bernadotte in New York ... with BuyBuyBaby.   Princess Madeleine is said to be expecting a girl on February 25th.  

Princess Madeleine appears to have removed or changed her name on the Buy Buy registry, probably due to the press coverage.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lovely Prussian photos

The first photo is most likely from the confirmation of Princesses Alexandrine and Cecilie of Prussia, daughters of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.  The images come from the collection of Gordon and Wendy Hawksley, who have kindly allowed me to post them here on Royal Musings.

Friday, October 25, 2013

No Russian marriage for Margaret of Connaught

Embed from Getty Images
October 25, 1899

Grand Duke Michael of Russia has been visiting the Duke and Duchess of Connaught at Abergeldie Castle at Balmoral, and "making the acquaintance of the Duke's eldest child, Princess Margaret," although it is unlikely that there will be an engagement announcement, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.

The Duke of Connaught is a soldier and Queen Victoria's favorite son. 

The engagement is certainly desired by the Grand Duke's family -- he is the younger brother of Nicholas II -- but the marriage is unlikely to take place. Because Princess Margaret is the desired bride,  Grand Duke Michael will do the opposite of what his family wants, and "marry someone else."

The Marquise also notes that Michael's older brother, Nicholas, was expected to marry Princess Helen of Montenegro,  as she was brought up at the Court of St. Petersburg, and "under the supervision" of Nicholas' mother, who believed Helen fitted the position of Empress of Russia.

But at the last moment, Nicholas "declined to conform himself to the views of his parents," and married instead Princess Alix of Hesse and By Rhine.   He, according to this report, experienced great difficulty in "obtaining his father's consent" to his marriage.  

Helen is now the wife of the Crown Prince of Italy.

Italian Crown Prince in car crash

October 25, 1933

Crown Prince Umberto and Crown Princess Marie Jose of Italy and his sister, Princess Mafalda, the wife of Nazi leader, Prince Philipp of Hesse, were involved in a collision between a motorcycle and their taxicab on the Potsdam highway today, reports the New York Times.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess have been in Berlin for several weeks, but were incognito.  Accompanied by Princess Mafalda, they decided to travel to Potsdam, traveling by an "ordinary taxicab."

The accident took place on the Potsdam Highway when the taxi hit the motorcycle. It was only after the arrival of the police were the identities of the passengers made known.   They were allowed to continue their journey after the police finished their inquiry.

Nicholas hoping for a son

Embed from Getty Images 

 October 25, 1913

The question of succession to the Russian throne may be "settled soon," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune's St Petersburg correspondent.   Europe is very interested in the announcement that Empress Alexandra is expecting another child.  For the past few months, the wife of Nicholas II has been "living in retirement" at Livadia, the imperial family's summer home in the Crimea, and is said to be "in fine health."

Empress Alexandra will remain at Livadia until the "interesting event occurs."

All of the couple's five children, except Grand Duchess Olga, were born at Peterhof.   The only son, Tsarevitch Alexis, is "slowly dying from necrosis."  A newspaper being circulated by the Nihilists "boldly declares" that imperial doctors have stated that the nine-year-old heir has only a few months to live.

Women can only inherit after the death of the final eligible male Romanov, which means Nicholas II's eldest daughter, Grand Duchess Olga, cannot succeed him.  Next in line is Nicholas's only surviving brother, Grand Duke Michael.  His marriage is morganatic, and his issue will not have succession rights.     All of the other grand dukes are said to be "generally unfit to reign."

In other Imperial news,  Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna is completing plans to move to England to live with her sister, the Dowager Queen Alexandra, at Marlborough House and Sandringham.  It is an "open secret" that the Dowager Empress and her daughter-in-law, Empress Alexandra "are not on the best of terms. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Four Generations: Luxembourg

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
December 2, 1981 - the baptism of Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, eldest son of the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess.

Grand Duke Jean (grandfather),  Grand Duchess Charlotte (great-grandmother) and Hereditary Grand Duke Henri holding his infant son, Prince Guillaume.

Sweden: 4 Generations

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

June 7, 1946 - the christening of Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden,  fifth child and only son of Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf and Hereditary Princess Sibylla of Sweden.

King Gustaf holds his great-grandson as his son, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf (King Gustaf VI Adolf) and his grandson, Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf, look on.

Royal Christening Photos

As I certainly cannot afford Camera Press' reproduction fees (and I won't violate copyright), here is a link to the four photos by Jason Bell (Camera Press.)

This inquiring mind wants to know why someone, perhaps the photographer, did not notice that the Queen refused to be separated from her handbag.

The Prince of Wales: Time Magazine's Man of the Week

I cannot wait for my Time magazine to appear in my mailbox !   The Prince of Wales is the cover story for the November 3, 2013.  I did read the online article (as a subscriber as I have access to the digital edition.)  Fascinating piece.,9171,2155616,00.html

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kaiser Wilhelm being sued

October 24, 1917

German Emperor Wilhelm II, who is facing mutiny from his soldiers and sailors and his subjects, is now about to face a lawsuit brought on by members of his own family.

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports today that Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia has brought a suit against the Kaiser.  The 22-year-old Prince, whose mother, Princess Luise Sophie is the younger sister of the Empress, has hired as one of his lawyers, Dr. Heine, a Socialist, who is one "of the most savage political critics" of the Emperor.

No one believes that Prince Friedrich Leopold will win, but his suit has "created considerable sensation throughout the German empire."  This may be the first time in the history of the Prussian royal family that a prince of the royal house has "invoked the intervention of the courts against the head of the house," the sovereign, and has "questioned the prerogative" governing members of the dynasty with "a rod of iron."

Prince Friedrich Leopold suffers from "an affection of the heart," and due to the "general delicacy of health," has been unable to take his place at the front, with his regiment, the First Prussian fleet guards.  Prince Friedrich Leopold has remained at university in Munich, continuing his studies, and "devoting a good deal of attention to art."

Wilhelm II apparently believes the malicious gossip about the Prince.  Friedrich Leopold was rumored to be "unduly extravagant and spending too much money.  Without contacting or consulting with the young prince's parents,  Wilhelm II ordered Friedrich Leopold to be placed under a "curatel." which deprived him of "paying out any money" or contracting any obligations.   

In other words, Wilhelm II took control of his nephew's private resources.

Prince Friedrich Leopold's father, also named Prince Friedrich Leopold,  was furious when he learned what the Kaiser had one.   The only brother of the Duchess of Connaught, Prince Friedrich Leopold has denied that his son has been extravagant.  He has resented the influence of the Kaiser in his private family life.  

The senior Friedrich Leopold has the full support of his wife, both of whom believe that Wilhelm has no business in deciding how young Friedrich Leopold should spend his money.

Luise Sophie has never forgiven the Kaiser for his actions last summer when she learned that her aviator son, Prince Friedrich Karl, was mortally wounded "within the English lines in France."  English and German authorities had made arrangements for the princess to visit her dying son, but Wilhelm stepped in and forbade from going to France. 

Prince Friedrich Karl was made aware of his uncle's "brutal action," and
died execrating him."

Wilhelm II's response to the lawsuit states that as sovereign and head of the house he has "absolute authority and entire control over all its members," whether they are young or older. He states that he has the "same control over them" just as "judicially appointed guardians have control over minors" or the mentally ill in care."

The Baptismal Service

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have chosen two hymns, two lessons and two anthems for the christening of their son, Prince George.
The Hymns are Breathe on Me, Breath of God and Be Thou My Vision.
The lessons are from St. Luke ch. 18, verses 15-17, read by Miss Pippa Middleton and St. John ch. 15, verses 1-5, read by Prince Harry.
The anthems are Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand (Richard Popplewell) and The Lord Bless You and Keep You (John Rutter).
Blessed Jesu! Here we Stand was written for Prince William’s baptism on 4th August 1982.
The anthems will be performed by The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal.
The Processional Organ Music will be J. S. Bach’s Fantasia in G (BWV 572).
The Recessional Organ Music will be C. M. Widor’s Toccata from Symphony No 5.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will baptise Prince George. He will be supported by The Dean of The Chapel Royal (The Right Reverend and Right Honourable Richard Chartres) and The Sub-Dean of the Chapel Royal (The Reverend Prebendary William Scott).
Notes to Editors
The Chapel Royal Choir
The Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal comprises six Gentlemen-in-Ordinary, who are professional singers, and ten Children of the Chapel Royal, boy choristers who hold the Sovereign's choral scholarships at the City of London School, and wear Gold and Scarlet State Coats, still tailored to the Royal Warrant of 1661.
At St James's Palace, the Chapel Royal choir sings on Sundays weekly in the Chapel Royal or The Queen's Chapel facing Marlborough Road, and at other events elsewhere as commanded by The Queen. These include the annual Royal Maundy service, the Remembrance Sunday Parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, and, in recent years, the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey, in addition to the Golden and Diamond Jubilee Services at St Paul's Cathedral.
Choirs of other Chapels Royal under the authority of The Dean of the Chapel Royal, whose Ordinary is The Queen, continue to operate simultaneously at the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace.

The Queen’s Guard
The St James’s Palace detachment of The Queen’s Guard has turned out today in Colour Court for The Queen’s arrival. The Queen will be received with the Royal Salute.

Royal Baptisms

The official photos from the baptisms of Princess Elizabeth of York and Prince Charles of Edinburgh!

All are from the Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection.

Prince George of Cambridge's baptism today

Kensington Palace has released the names of Prince George's seven godparents:|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=-&__utmk=218698649

Oliver Barker went to St. Andrews with the Duke of Cambridge

Mrs. David Jardine-Paterson (nee Emilia  Erlanger) went to Marlborough College with the Duchess of Cambridge

Earl Grosvenor, son and heir of the Duke of Westminster

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (former Private Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, now serves part-time.  His son was one of the pages at the Cambridge royal wedding.)

The Hon. Mrs. Michael Samuel (Julia Samuel was a close friend of the late Diana, Princess of Wales).   The former Julia Aline Guinness is the wife of the Hon. Michael Samuel, younger son of the 4th Viscount Bearsted.  Her older Sabrina, once described as the It girl, dated the Prince of Wales in 1979.  The late Diana, Princess of Wales was the godmother of Julia and Michael's son, Benjamin.

Mrs. Michael Tindall (Zara Phillips) daughter of the Princess Royal and first cousin to the Duke of Cambridge

Mr. William van Cutsem (childhood friend of the Duke of Cambridge.)

Lord Grosvenor, 22, is the son of the Duke and Duchess of Westminster.  The Duke is one of the wealthiest men in the United Kingdom.   The Duke and Duchess of Westminster are active supporters of numerous charities.  The Duke once said: "I will use my name. I will use it ruthlessly. If you are given a lot, I think you should give a lot back," the duke said in a May 1989 interview with the Associated Press.  At that time, he said he devoted about one-third of his time to charity work.

The Duke said "We still have a lot to do with those who have been left behind in the march toward prosperity."

Lord Grosvenor is the third of four children.  He has two older sisters, Lady Tamara, who is married to Edward van Cutsem, brother of William, and Lady Edwina is the wife of historian Dan Snow.  The late Diana, Princess of Wales was one of Lady Edwina's godmothers.  Edward van Cutsem is a godson of the Prince of Wales.

 He also has a younger sister, Lady Viola.

Lord Grosvenor is also a distant kinsman of the Duke of Cambridge.  The Duchess of Westminster -- who is one of William's godmothers -- was born Natalia Phillips, youngest daughter of Gina Wernher and Harold Phillips.  Gina (whose second husband, Sir George Kennard, Bt) was one of Queen Elizabeth's closest friends.  Lady Kennard was one of the Duke of York's godmothers. 
Gina Wernher was one of three children of Sir Harold Wernher, Bt., and Lady Zia Torby, who was the elder daughter of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia and his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie Torby (nee Merenberg), a granddaughter of the Russian poet Pushkin.  Gina's only brother, Alexander,killed in the second world war, was the Duke of Edinburgh's closest friend.  

Lady Zia's younger sister, Nada, married Prince George of Battenberg (2nd Marquess of Milford Haven), son of Princess Victoria, who was the Duke of Edinburgh's grandmother.  George's only son, David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven, was Philip's best man.

The Prince of Wales is one of Lord Grosvenor's godparents.  Lord Grosvenor was baptized on June 22, 1991 at Eaton Chapel.   Lord Grosvenor also shares the same place of birth as the Duke of Cambridge and Prince George: the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington.

It also should be noted the Lady Zia and Sir Harold were among the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's closest friends.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The marriage of the Prince of Thurn und Taxis & Infanta Elisabeth of Portugal

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection
A postcard showing the wedding of the then Hereditary Prince Franz Joseph of Thurn und Taxis and Infanta Elisabeth of Portugal.  They married at Schloss Bronnbach on November 23, 1920. 

It's a girl

The Duchess of Parma gave birth yesterday to a second daughter, HRH Princess Cecilia Maria Johanna Beatrix.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Archduke Friedrich ill

October 17, 1879

Archduke Friedrich of Austria is "dangerously ill with typhoid fever," reports the New York Times.  The archduke's sister, Archduchess Maria Christina, is engaged to marry King Alfonso XII of Spain.

The 23-year-old archduke is the eldest son of Archduke Karl Ferdinand and Archduchess Elisabeth. 

He married Princess Isabella of Croy on October 8, 1878 in Belgium.  They are expecting their first child in November.

The Spanish royal wedding will take place in Madrid on November 29. 

Austrian Crown Princess to marry

October 18, 1899

Archduchess Stephanie, the widow of Crown Prince Rudolf, will married Hungarian Count Elemer Lonyay in London on November 22, reports the New York Times.  

The American newspaper's report is based on a dispatch from the London Daily Chronicle's Vienna correspondent.

The Crown Princess is the daughter of King Leopold II.  Count Lonyay is the nephew of a former Hungarian prime minister.

Another baby for Empress Alexandra

October 17, 1913

There are reports in St Petersburg, Russia, that the Empress Alexandra is expecting a "visit from the stork." according to a cable to the Chicago Tribune. 

The Empress' physician recently left St. Petersburg for Livadia to join the imperial family.

400th anniversary of the Romanovs

Both photos: @HRH Prince Vladimir of Serbia

Photos taken in Livadia at the recent celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Romanovs. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Thank you from Andrea & Tatiana

In today's mail, a thank you card from Andrea and Tatiana Casiraghi (sent from the office of the Prince of Monaco)

George and Elizabeth to visit Roosevelt

October 16, 1938

A British newspaper, the Daily Herald, said today that King George VI will make  a state visit to the United States "at the end of his Canadian tour next spring, reports the New York Times.  The official announcement will be made "in his speech from the throne at the opening of Parliament November 8."

The British Embassy in Washington and the United States State Department were "arranging a provisional program" to be approved by the King and President Roosevelt.

The program would include a state dinner and ball at the White House, "a state reception by Congress at the Capitol, a dinner and reception given by King George and Queen Elizabeth at the British Embassy in honor of President Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt." 

The plans also include a visit to Mount Vernon and George Washington's grave. 

On their return to London, the king and queen will also visit Bermuda.

This will be first British sovereign to visit the United States.  Two Princes of Wales have visited the United States,  The future Edward VII visited several American cities, including New York and Washington, D.C., before the Civil War, and his grandson, then Prince of Wales, now the Duke of Windsor, visited the United States on three occasions, shortly after the end of the World War in 1923 and a year later.

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth are expected to charter the Empress of Britain, the 42,000 ton flagship of the Canadian Pacific fleet.

Officials at the White House and the State Department have "no word, official or unofficial" of the reported visit by the King and Queen.   The British Embassy also said "they had no information on the matter."

Grand Duke Kirill to marry divorced woman

Embed from Getty Images

October  16, 1903

A Bucharest newspaper is reporting the betrothal of Grand Duke Kirill, eldest son of Grand Duke Wladimir, to the divorced Grand Duchess of Hesse and By Rhine, according to a New York Times dispatch from Vienna.

The Grand Duchess was born Princess Victoria Melita of Edinburgh, second daughter of the late Duke of Edinburgh (Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha).  The Grand Duchess was divorced from her husband, Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, by the High Court  due to her "lively behavior."   She would, when "displeased" throw "table things or bric-a-brac at her husband."

The Grand Duchess lives with her mother, the Dowager Duchess of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Coburg.   The Dowager Grand Duchess was born Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia.

Victoria Melita and her first husband are first cousins.  She also shares a first cousin relationship with Grand Duke Kirill.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

King Alfonso to travel incognito

October 15, 1919

King Alfonso XIII of Spain is planning a trip to Paris, reports the New York Times.  He will be accompanied by his wife, Queen Victoria Eugenia, and they will travel incognito as the Duke and Duchess of Toledo.  The king and queen will travel from Bordeaux by a regular express train bound for Paris.  It is "becoming fashionable for royalty to travel on ordinary passenger trains."    Only yesterday, a dispatch from London stated that King George V, Queen Mary and Princess Mary traveled from London to Sandringham by an "ordinary train."

After the Spanish king visits Paris and Verdun, he and the Queen will travel to England.

100 Years ago today - the wedding of Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Duchess of Fife

All five images:  Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection
On October 15, 1913, HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught, only son of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Connaught, and HH The Duchess of Fife, elder daughter of HRH The Princess Royal and the late Duke of Fife, were married at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.

It was the last British royal wedding before the outbreak of World War I in August 1914.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The late Duke Philipp of Württemberg: not so favorable a portrayal

October 15, 1917

Perhaps it was war propaganda, but the Marquise de Fontenoy's profile of the recently deceased Duke Philipp of Württemberg is not flattering at all.

Although the late Duke Philipp was the heir presumptive to the throne, he was "regarded as the blackest of black sheep" in the Württemberg royal family.

Philipp was an "object of execration to his father-in-law," the late Archduke Albrecht, because of the "drunken brutality" that Philipp inflicted on his long-suffering wife, Archduchess Maria Theresa.  She often fled the marital home and found "refuge with her father in Vienna." She would remain for "prolonged periods of separation."  Everyone, including Austrian emperor Franz Josef, was aware of the problems between "the ill-matched couple," but the Emperor and the Crown Prince of Württemberg,  made numerous attempts "to smooth over the difficulties between Philipp and his wife for dynastic purposes."

Philipp was hated not only in Austria but also in Württemberg, where his Lutheran countrymen "feared and resented the idea of Roman Catholic princes coming to the throne."

Archduchess Maria Theresa has "found some compensation for her long martyrdom at the hands of her dissolute husband," in the presence of her three "good looking sons: Dukes Albert, Robert and Ulrich.

Duke Philipp was heir because the King of Württemberg has only sons by either of his two marriages.  He has only a daughter, Pauline, who is married to the Prince of Wied.  Due to the Salic law, Pauline cannot succeed her father.

Before the war, there was an organized effort to "alter the succession" in favor of the Duke of Teck, eldest brother of Queen Mary, consort of George V.  The Tecks are the children of the late Duke Franz of Teck and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge.  The Duke of Teck was the "issues of a morganatic marriage" between Prince Alexander of Württemberg, who stood higher in the succession than Duke Philipp, a member of a junior branch, and a Hungarian countess.

The Duke of Teck is Protestant, and there was real support to proclaim him as heir apparent to prevent the accession of a Roman Catholic line.  The "present war"  put an end to altering the succession.

Connaught -Fife wedding tomorrow

Embed from Getty Images 
 October 14, 1913

Prince Arthur of Connaught will marry the Duchess of Fife tomorrow in a ceremony of "remarkable simplicity," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The wedding ceremony will take place at noon in the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.  Due to the death last year of the duchess' father, the Duke of Fife, the wedding will be "a family affair," and "devoid of all processions and military style, which was the case when Wilhelm II's daughter, Princess Viktoria Luise, married Prince Ernst Augustus of Hanover earlier this year.

King George V will not be conferring a dukedom on his first cousin, who is already the heir apparent to the Connaught dukedom.  However, Prince Arthur has been created a Knight of the Thistle and was "promoted from a captain to a major of his regiment."

A large group of foreign royals, including the kings and queens of Denmark and Norway, Prince Henry of Prussia, the Dowager Empress Marie of Russia, and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Sweden, who is the groom's older sister.

This is not a state occasion, and the royal guests are attending "as relatives" of the bride and groom.

The Duchess, who is also Princess Alexandra, will be given away by her uncle, King George V. Her mother, the Princess Royal "will also support her at the altar."  Prince Arthur's supporters will be his father, the Duke of Connaught, and the Prince of Wales.

The wedding will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will be assisted by the Bishop of London and Canon Edgar Sheppard, the dean and sub-dean of the Chapel Royal.

The Duchess of Fife's bridesmaids will be Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George and Queen Mary, Princess Maud, the only sister of the bride, Princesses Victoria and Helena of Teck, daughters of the Duke and Duchess of Teck, and Princess May of Teck, only daughter of Prince and Princess Alexander of Teck.

The bride's trousseau is "British made and of British materials, so far as is possible."  The register will be signed in the "historic picture gallery" in St. James's Palace, which will be followed by a reception.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Duke of Cambridge plays football

Julie Windle and the Duke of Cambridge

Julie and Robert Windle with HRH The Duchess of Gloucester

Robert Windle receives his medal for services to football

all photos @ RWT Photography
The Duke of Cambridge was at the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the English Football Association, which was held at Buckingham Palace on October 7.  The Duchess of Gloucester was also present.

Friends of mine,  Julie and Robert Windle, were invited to Buckingham Palace.  Robert received a medal for his services to football.  The photos are courtesy (and copyright belongs to) RWT Photography. Please do not copy or use in any medium.