Friday, February 28, 2014

Leap Year baby for Princess Alexandra

February 29, 1964

Princess Alexandra gave birth to a son today, according to the New York Times.  The leap year baby is 13th in line of succession to the throne, but he will drop to 16th after three other royal births "expected later this year."

Princess Alexandra, 27, was married last April to the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, second son of the Earl and Countess of Airlie.   The princess is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, and is the daughter of the late Duke of Kent and Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

The baby was born at their home, Thatched House Lodge in Richmond Park, Surrey.  His name has not been announced.  He will not have a title, as he is the son of a younger son of an earl.

Queen Elizabeth II expects a fourth child next month.  Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister, and the Duchess of Kent, sister-in-law of Princess Alexandra, are also expecting babies.

Princess Louise is ill

February 28, 1924

Princess Louise of Belgium is "seriously ill at Wiesbaden," according to a dispatch from the Associated Press.  The Princess, a daughter of the late King Leopold II, is 66 years old.  Her "fine constitution still permits hope for recovery," it is said. 

But her doctors "fear she will not survive" due to her advanced age and her "grief over the recent death" of Count Mattasich.

The Belgian court has been informed.  Her daughter, Dorothea, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein, has been summoned to her mother's bedside.

Is the Crown Prince trying to arrange a peace with Croys

February 28, 1914

Is Crown Prince Wilhelm, eldest son of the German Emperor, "acting as intermediary" between the Duke of Croy and his family?  A special cable from the New York Times' Berlin correspondent notes that "court circles" are wondering why the Crown Prince paid a visit to the Duke and Duchess of Croy at their hotel in Berlin.  Could this mean an "approaching recognition"  by Wilhelm II and his court of the Duke of Croy's American wife, the former Miss Nancy Leishman.

There are also reports that the Crown Prince is trying to bring about a reconciliation between the Duke and his family, who have been "estranged from him since his marriage."  He married against the wishes of his family, and they consider his marriage to Miss Leishman to be morganatic.

The Duchess did not accompany the Duke last week when he attended the wedding of "one of her former ardent admirers, Count Georg Fugger because of her ostracization by the Court set."

Royal Marriages Act still extant ... for now

At the most recent Privy Council meeting on February 11, the first order of business was "Declaration of Consent to the marriage of Edward David Lascelles and Sophie Emma Cartlidge."  

Although the British Parliament  passed the Succession to the Crown Act in 2013, the legislation cannot be implemented until all of the other 15 countries, where the Queen is Sovereign, also implement the law.  New Zealand recently passed the law, but Australia has not.  Canada faces legal challenges to the law, as well.

This means nothing has really changed.   Prince Michael and Lord St. Andrews have not regained their rights.  (The new law restores the rights of dynasts who have married Roman Catholics, but Roman Catholics still cannot succeed to the throne.)   The Royal Marriages Act (1772) was also tossed out.  The new law requires only the first six in the line of succession to seek permission to marry.

But with the new law not yet fully promulgated, the RMA is still the law, and still in use. 

The Hon Edward Lascelles is the fourth and youngest child of the 8th Earl of Harewood and his first wife, Margaret Messenger.  He was born on November 19, 1982 at Bath.   His two eldest siblings,  the Hon. Emily Shard and the Hon. Benjamin Lascelles, are not dynasts because they were born before their parents' marriage.  Benjamin is also not eligible to inherit the Harewood earldom, even though he is the first son.   The heir is the second son,  Alexander, who bears the courtesy title, Viscount Lascelles.  He is unmarried, and has a son, Leo, who has no succession rights.  

The Hon. Edward Lascelles is second in line to the Harewood earldom.   He and Miss Cartlidge most likely met in Bristol, where they both lived.  Miss Cartlidge is the daughter of  Nigel and Katharine (nee Hall) Cartlidge.

The Earl of Harewood is the son of the 7th Earl of Harewood, whose mother, Princess Mary, was the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary.  The late Lord Harewood and Queen Elizabeth II were first cousins.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Alessandra Torlonia formally presented

private collection

February 27, 1954

Donna Alessandra Torlonia, a "tall blonde, princess," a granddaughter of the late King Alfonso XIII of Spain and the late American heiress, Elsie Moore, was today "presented to royalty and society" at a gala ball in Rome, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Many of the female guests wore "diamond studded tiaras and coronets."

This was the first "royal presentation" since Italy became a republic nearly a decade ago.  It was the "most brilliant social event" of this season.

The coming out party was held at the Palazzo Torlonia on the Via Bocca di Leone, which belongs to Alessandra's father, Alessandro, the Prince of Civitella-Cesi, who is married to Infanta Beatriz of Spain, elder daughter of Kinf Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia.

The young princess was "presented formally" to her grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenia, her uncle, Don Juan, Count of Barcelona, pretender to the Spanish throne, and his wife, Doña Mercedes.   Members of Italian and Spanish aristocratic families were also presented.

There were also reports in the Italian press that Donna Alessandra's engagement to King Baudouin of the Belgians would be announced at the party.

King Baudouin was not present at the gala, and no announcement was made.  A spokesman for the Belgian Embassy in Rome said that "as far as he new the king had never met the princess."

Alessandra's father is the son of the late Don Marino Torlonia and Elsie Moore, the daughter of the late Charles A Moore, a New York millionaire.  Princess Torlonia died in New York in 1941.

von Starhemberg calls for ban on Habsburgs to be lifted

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February 27, 1934

Prince Ernst Rüdiger von Starhemberg, head of the "powerful Facist Heimwehr"  today declared that "laws banishing members of the Habsburg dynasty from Austria," be repealed, reports the Associated Press.

Prince von Starhemberg also calls for stop the confiscation of Habsburg property.

He was asked about the "possible restoration" of the monarchy.  He said it "is almost to answer while we are in the midst of our work of reconstruction, particularly because we are not sure it could be kept a purely Austrian question."

Nicholas receives communion

Embed from Getty Images
February 27, 1904

After "having fasted," Russian Emperor Nicholas II was driven this morning to Anichkoff Palace to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, reports the New York Times.   He was accompanied by Empress Alexandra and their eldest daughter, Grand Duchess Olga.  Both of whom "were dress in white in honor of the solemn occasion."

Nicholas wore full dress uniform.  The congregation include the Dowager Empress Marie and her younger daughter, Grand Duchess Olga, and the latter's husband, Grand Duke Peter of Oldenburg.

The Emperor received the "consecrated bread and wine" from the Court Chaplain, and "bestowed the bread, steeped in wine," upon Empress Alexandra, the Dowager Empress and Grand Duchess Olga. 

This evening there was a "touching scene" at the Nicholas train station when Grand Duke Kirill, eldest son of Grand Duke Vladimir, uncle of Emperor, left for the Far East.   Grand Duke Kirill returned to St. Petersburg earlier today, and went to "take leave" of the Emperor. 

Kirill's mother, Grand Duchess Marie "broke down at the last minute and embraced her son.  Grand Duke Vladimir, usually stern, also "shed tears.

The Grand Duke was also embraced by his two younger brothers, Grand Duke Boris and Grand Duke Andrei.  He will be traveling to Port Arthur to act as "chief officer of the flagship."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An heir for Hanover

Embed from Getty Images 

 February 26, 1954

The Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg gave birth this morning to a son in the Frauenklinik in Hanover, reports The Times.   The Duchess is the wife of Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

This is the second child for the couple.  Their daughter, Princess Marie, was born in 1952.   The former Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg married Prince Ernst August in 1951. 

No name has been announced for the infant prince, but it is expected that he will be named for his father and grandfather.

Duchess of Genoa has died

February 26, 1924

The Duchess of Genoa died this evening of "bronchial pneumonia," reports the New York Times.  She had been ill for "some days."

The Duchess was born Princess Isabella of Bavaria, third child of Prince Adalbert of Bavaria and Infanta Amelia of Spain.

In 1883,  Princess Isabella married Prince Tomasso of Savoy, Duke of Genoa, whose sister, Margherita was married to King Umberto I of Italy. 

She is survived by her husband and their six children,  Prince Ferdinando, Prine Filiberto, Princess Maria Bona, who is the wife of Prince Konrad of Bavaria,  Prince Adalberto, Princess Maria Adelaide and Prince Eugenio.

The Duchess of Genoa was 60 years old.

Royal Flush

Royal Flush

HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
In a story that could have been designed to inspire a wave of revolutionary fervour across Europe, it’s been reported that members of several royal families have signed up for a million-dollar buy-in tournament at Sydney’s Star Casino. The event will take place in March, and a press release from tournament director David Chen promises a $50m first prize.

Reports that Queen Elizabeth II is secretly a master of poker strategy were unconfirmed at the time of writing, but speculation is mounting about which members of the British, Danish and Monegasque royal families will be participating. The news feed at suggests that the royals’ appearance fees (and their winnings, if any) will be donated to charity, though that doesn’t seem to answer the question of where their buy-ins will be coming from.

King of Swaziland

48 players have signed up so far, and Chen suggests that “several African and Asian monarchy members” will also be involved, as well as a number of Hollywood stars and poker pros. The tournament is to be backed by property company Rainbow, supposedly known for its philanthropic work.
More sceptical readers may be beginning to wonder if this is all just an elaborate publicity stunt. The press release is noticeably coy about revealing any of the entrants’ names, whether Hollywood or actual royalty. While the prize pot would be the joint biggest ever, the official website is perhaps a touch basic for such a huge event.

Speculation over possible attendees will no doubt continue until the end of March, and it’s worth remembering that the term “member of the royal family” encompasses a great many individuals who most people would struggle to identify in a line-up. Viscount Severn, for example; while a full member of the British royal family, he’s unlikely to be attending as he’s only six years old.
HRH The Duchess of Gloucester

Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, is old enough at 67 and was born in Denmark, making her a prime candidate in some ways. However her duties as President of the Royal Academy of Music may hamper her ability to attend.
HRH Prince Harry of Wales
 A better bet might be Prince Harry. Known the world over for high jinks of varying levels of inappropriateness, it was reported in 2012 that he’d lost $50 million dollars playing poker in Las Vegas. Bear in mind however that these figures were quoted by the Weekly World News, the website that National Enquirer readers find insufficiently serious. We’ll just have to wait and see.

(Images courtesy of [x2],,








The name of Princess Madeleine's baby

HRH Princess Madeleine/

Christopher O'Neill/
Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill have named their daughter,  Leonore Lilian Maria -- she is HRH Princess Leonor of Sweden, Duchess of Gotland.  So much for Christopher's statement of five names.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Prince Philip calls Beatles helpful

February 25, 1964

Prince Philip thinks Britain's "rock 'n' roll quartet, the Beatles" are a "helpful" influence," reports Reuters.

He said he did not care about the noise made by people "singing and dancing."  Prince Philip told a group of foreign newsmen that he objects to "fighting and stealing."

"It seems to me that these blokes (the Beatles) are helping people to enjoy themselves, and that is far better than the other."

Prince Philip is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

Princess Margrethe sues furriers

February 25, 1948

Princess Margrethe of Bourbon-Parma has filed suit against Revillon Freres, a Parisian furriers, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune. 

In 1941, she brought the fur coat to the furriers to store it, but the Germans, then occupying Paris, seized the coat to "send it to a freezing German general on the Russian front."

The Princess is suing for 2 million francs, the value of the coat.  She said she wants the money or another fur coat to give to her daughter, Anne, as a wedding present.

Princess Anne is engaged to the exiled King Michael of Romania.

Revillon's defense is that Princess Margrethe "should be paid out of German reparations."

Queen Elena visits Marie

February 25, 1938

Queen Elena is visited Dowager Queen Marie of Romania today.  Queen Marie is at Merano in the Italian Tyrol, where she is "convalescing after her grave illness,: reports the New York Times.

Queen Marie is said to be "progressing rapidly."

Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz: Suicide

February 25, 1918

The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz's death has been ruled a suicide, according to a dispatch from Amsterdam to the New York Times.  The dispatch is based on a report from a Berlin newspaper, Lokal-Anzeiger.

The body of the Grand Duke was "found in a small lake, with a gunshot woumd in the breast."  He died two days ago.

The Lokal-Anzeiger states:  "Sad experiences. about which, as everything, the Grand Duke was silent and reserved, affected him perhaps more deeply than his entourage imagined."

Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich VI, was the third child and eldest son of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V and Princess Elisabeth of Anhalt. He succeeded to the throne on June 11, 1914.   He was 35 years old when he died, and unmarried.

He was reported to be engaged to several different princesses, including Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, who married the Duke of Brunswick in May 1913, and Princess Patricia of Connaught, youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught.

The heir to the Duchy is said to be the late Grand Duke's cousin, Duke Carl Michael, who lives in Russia and serves in the Russian military.   In 1914, he renounced his Mecklenburg citizenship, and became naturalized citizen of Russia.  He is the son of Duke Georg August of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Grand Duchess Catherine Mikhailovna of Russia.

Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich left his castle on Saturday evening, stating he was going for w walk.  After he did not return, members of his staff began a search, and his body was found.

Correspondence of Marie of Orleans up for sale

Oh, to be super rich right now. 

Three thousand photographs and four thousands letters between Princess Marie of Orleans, the wife of Prince Valdemar of Denmark, and family members, including Queen Alexandra,  the Duchess of Cumberland, Empress Marie of Russia, and other relations, are up for auction in France.

Prince Valdemar (1858-1939) was the youngest son of King Christian IX of Denmark and Princess Louise of Hesse-Cassel.  He was the brother of King Frederik VIII of Denmark, Queen Alexandra, King George I of Greece, Empress Marie of Russia and, Thyra, Duchess of Cumberland. 

In what was seen as a political match,  Prince Valdemar married Princess Marie of Orléans (1865-1909) in October 1885. 

Princess Marie was the daughter of Prince Robert, Duke of Chartres and Princess Francoise of Orleans.  She was a niece of the Count of Paris.

As Princess Marie was Roman Catholic, and Prince Valdemar a Lutheran, they agreed to raise their sons as Lutherans, and daughters as Roman Catholics.

They had five children:  Prince Aage (18887-1940) who married Matilda di Calvi Bergolo; Prince Axel (1888-1964) married to Princess Margaretha of Denmark, Prince Erik (1890-1950) married Canadian Los Frances Booth, Prince Viggo (1893-1970) to American Eleonore Green and Princess Margrethe (1895-1992), who married Prince René of Bourbon-Parma.

Although neither reported nor confirmed, it seems likely that one or more of Marie's descendants is selling this mammoth and truly historical collection.

Prince Aage and his wife had one son, Valdemar, whose marriage was childless. Prince Axel was the father of two sons, Georg and Flemming.  Georg's marriage to Anne Bowes-Lyon, the divorced wife of Viscount Anson, was childless. Prince Flemming has descendants from his marriage to Ruth Nielsen.

Prince Viggo's marriage was childless, but Prince Erik and Princess Margrethe have numerous descendants.  Two of Margrethe's children,  Queen Anne of Romania and Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma are still alive.

Queen Alexandra's paper trail is limited as she chose to burn her correspondence, diaries and other papers.   Knowing that some of her letters remain extant is great news for historian.

This inquiring mind wants to know:  did Marie discuss with her family her husband's relationship with his nephew, Prince George of Greece?

Carl XVI Gustaf to announce name and title on Wednesday

A cabinet meeting will be held at the Royal Palace of Stockholm on Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 15:00, in connection with the birth of H.R.H. Princess Madeleine's daughter. The following media sessions will be held.

At the cabinet meeting, H.M. The King will inform the Government of the title, name and given name of the child.

In the Karl XV Hall, H.E. Marshal of the Realm Svante Lindqvist will announce the title, name and given name of the child after the cabinet meeting.
The other attendees in the Karl XV Hall will be Speaker Per Westerberg, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Mistress of the Robes Alice Trolle-Wachtmeister.

3:00 PM Stockholm time.  8:00 a.m. on the US east coast.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vittorio Emanuele frees prisoners in honor of new granddaughter

February 24, 1940

King Vittorio Emanuele has granted amnesty to "thousands of prisoners in Italy, the African possessions, and on the Dodecanese Islands," reports the Associated Press.  His decree is in celebration of the birth of a new granddaughter, Princess Maria Gabriella.

Crown Princess Marie José gave birth to her third child earlier today at Naples.  Both she and the eight pound 10 ounce daughter are reported to be "doing well.  This is the third child for the Crown Prince  Princess.   Maria Gabriella joins  Prince Vittorio Emanuele, 3, and 5-year-old, Princess Maria Pia.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A son for the Ashley Chanlers

February 21, 1938

Mrs. Ashley Chanler gave birth to a son today at Doctors Hospital in New York City.  This is the second child for Mr. and Mrs. Chanler.  They have a daughter, Mafalda, who was born in April 1935.

Mrs. Chanler is the former Princess Maria Antonia de Braganca, a daughter of the late Duke Miguel of Braganza and his second wife, Princess Theresa of Lowenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg.

The baby will be named Anthony. 

The late Duke of Braganza was the pretender to the throne of Portugal, and is a descendant of the Kings of Portugal.  Mr. Chanler is a descendant of John Jacob Astor.

The Chanlers reside at 141 East 19th Street in New York.

Queen Elisabeth's condition has worsened

Embed from Getty Images 

 February 21, 1934

Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians is "prostrated by grief at the loss of her husband, King Albert," reports United Press.  Her condition has considerable worsened.

When she received word on Sunday about the death of her husband while he was mountain climbing, she sought "stoically to retain her composure."   Her doctors say her illness "is not critical," but she is not well enough to attend ceremonies on Friday, when her eldest son, the Duke of Brabant, becomes King Leopold III.

She recently was stricken with lumbago, and the sudden death of her husband "threatened to cause a collapse."

The Belgian government has taken "extraordinary precautions" to guard the funeral procession, which will take place tomorrow.  The Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, flew from London in his private plane, which was escorted by "nine bombing planes."

A "strong police detail" has also been placed around the Embassy of Italy, where Crown Prince Umberto is staying.  He is the husband of Princess Marie Jose,  King Albert's only daughter.

Belgian authorities did not want a "repetition of the attempt" to assassinate Umberto, when he visited Brussels in 1930.

Prince Wilhelm of Wied accepts throne

February 21, 1914

Prince Wilhelm of Wied today formally accepted the throne of Albania, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The offer was tendered by Essad Pasha, head of the Albanian delegation. 

The new monarch was presented with a "casket containing sand, earth and water from Albania."  Prince Wilhelm accepted this gift as "a symbol of his new sovereignty."

The new monarch accepted the honors "under strictly Prussian conditions."  He wore the uniform of a Prussian major.

The Albanian delegation was "great impressed" with the new Queen, Sophie, a princess of Schönburg-Waldenburg before her marriage.

Sophie was dressed in royal robes, and wore a "diadem on her hair."  She stood next to her husband, which is not the norm in Albania, a Muslim country.

Princess Pat keeps turning down suitors

Embed from Getty Images 

 February 21, 1908

Princess Patricia of Connaught is rumored to be engaged to the Count of Turin, but according to a Los Angeles Times dispatch, the pretty niece of King Edward VII, has no interest in such a marriage.

Those "best acquainted" with Princess Patricia's "peculiarities" believe the Count "will have no better luck" in wooing than others "who sought in vain" to win the princess' heart.

The princess has "upset all traditions" by refusing to allow her uncle or her parents "interfere with her matrimonial affairs."  She is not interested in an arranged marriage for "reasons of state."  When approached, she shakes her head and "send several monarchs about their business."

Princess Patricia of Connaught, the youngest of the three children of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, is said to have "golden hair, large soulful eyes" and a "complexion of marvelous delicacy."

She has apparently turned down the Crown Prince of Portugal, and when King Alfonso of Spain came to England to seek a wife,  Princess Patricia went to her father and told him: "I simply won't marry that horrid little man, so there!"

Grand Duke Michael of Russia and Prince Eitel Friedrich were also said to be suitors, but neither stood a chance of marrying Princess "Pat."

More babies!!!

Princess Viktoria of Bourbon-Parma, wife of Prince Jaime, gave birth to a daughter, Zita Clara, in an Amsterdam hospital.  This is the first child for Prince Jaime and Princess Viktoria, who married last fall.  

Zita is fifth granddaughter for Princess Irene of the Netherlands.   The newest princess of Bourbon-Parma was named for the late Empress Zita of Austria, Queen of Hungary, herself a princess of Bourbon-Parma by birth.

HH Duchess Tatjana of Oldenburg, who is married to Count Axel de Chavagnac, gave birth to a daughter, Astrid, at Paris on 31 January 2014.   This is the second daughter for Count and Countess Axel.  Their first daughter, Alexandrine, was born in September 2011.

A girl for Princess Madeleine

Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill have had a daughter

Thursday February 20 2014 at 10.41 pm local time, Princess Madeleine and Mr Christopher O’Neill had a daughter at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, USA.

Both mother and child are in good health. Mr Christopher O’Neill was present at the hospital throughout the birth.
To learn more about the maternity at New York Presbyterian, click on this link.  I am sure Princess Madeleine had a private room.

The new baby acquires United States citizenship by virtue of birth.  She is also a citizen of Sweden through her mother.  Chris O'Neill has dual citizenship: British and American.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bulletin: King Paul names Constantine as regent

February 19, 1964

Crown Prince Constantine has been appointed as Regent, according to a report from the Associated Press.   His father, King Paul, 62, will undergo surgery tomorrow for a "stomach ulcer."

The announcement was made by Premier George Papandreou.  A bulletin signed by the King's two personal physicians and two London surgeons, was released tonight.

"After a thorough clinical and laboratory examination of King Paul, we certify that the King is suffering from a narrowing of the pylorus due to an old ulcer. An operation is called for."

The royal decree appointed 23-year-old Crown Prince Constantine as Regent, was "drafted by the Government and sent to the King for signature.:"  King Paul signed it tonight, and it will be "promulgated in the official gazette.:

Crown Prince Constantine has acted as regent on previous occasions when his father was outside Greece.

Greek officials have been "shocked" by King Paul's appearance.  He "looked haggard" and appeared to be in pain during a ceremony yesterday at Tatoi, where 30 ministers were sworn in.  Usually the ceremony takes place at the Royal Palace in Athens.

King Paul married Princess Frederika of Hanover in 1938.  He succeeded his brother King George II on April 1, 1947.

The king and queen have three children:  Princess Sophie, Crown Prince Constantine and Princess Irene.

Sigvard won't break engagement

February 20, 1934

Prince Sigvard of Sweden, the 26-year-old second son of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf, was "disowned by the Swedish royal house tonight," according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

He "aroused the anger" of his grandfather, King Gustav V, for refusing to end his engagement to Erika Patzek, a movie extra.  They met at a Berlin film studio.

Miss Patzek is said to be the daughter of a Berlin businessman, who owns several stands at the central market.  Friends describe her as "beautiful, diminutive, and in her early twenties."

An official statement was released by the Swedish news agency which was "authorized to state that Prince Sigvard arrived in London recently and there made preparations to marry a woman of German nationality.  The Prince took this step against the express will of the king and the crown prince."

Prince Sigvard, whose mother, Princess Margaret of Connaught died in 1919, has been reported engaged on several occasions.  In 1929, he was said to be in love with Princess Maria, the youngest daughter of the King and Queen of Italy.  A year later, his father "officially denied a report out of Amsterdam that that he and Princess Juliana were about to become engaged.

Prince Sigvard's cousin, Prince Lennart, son of Prince Wilhelm, second son of Gustav V,  incurred the wrath of the Swedish royal family when he married a Swedish commoner, Karin Nissvandt, in March 1932.  He lost his royal titles, and is now known as Mr. Lennart Bernadotte.

According to the Associated Press, Count Folke Bernadotte, a cousin of the crown Prince, flew to London on Saturday to "appeal to Sigvard to respect the wishes of his family" and abandon his plans to marry.

Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf wanted to go himself, but as the King is in France, he, acting as regent, cannot leave Sweden.

Cousin won't kiss King Michael

February 20, 1928

Queen Marie of Yugoslavia arrived in Bucharest today with her two sons, four-year-old Crown Prince Peter and newborn, Prince Tomislav.  The queen, the consort of King Alexander, is visiting her mother, Queen Marie of Romania, reports the New York Times.

This is the first time that Queen Marie, widow of King Ferdinand, has seen her new grandson.

As the royal party alighted from the train in Bucharest,  six-year-old King Michael "embraced and saluted his younger cousin."    Apparently Crown Prince Peter was having none of it, and "failed to return the greeting."  Michael "grasped his arms and attempted to show him now."  

The boy king, who succeeded his grandfather King Ferdinand last year,  seemed perplexed by his cousin's lack of response.

Manoel and wife about to separate?

February 20, 1914

Former King Manoel of Portugal and his wife, Augusta Victoria, are said to be on the verge of separation, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The rumors about the state of their marriage have been revived following the reports that Augusta Victoria is being treated by doctors for the "same ailment which caused her to become a patient at Munich hospital last fall."

For the past few months, the couple have been living at Twickenham, and "back stair gossip" is "spreading the idea" that there is little harmony in their home.   Until the recent reports, many supposed that the couple had patched up their "marital differences."

The new rumors in circulation alluded to the "personal influence" of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and his wife, who have, it is said, " succeeded in preventing an open breach" between Manoel and Augusta Victoria when she first became ill.

The German Emperor and Empress have "advised" Augusta Victoria to "overlook  the misdeeds of her husband for a time," but if she found it "impossible to live with him," they would not oppose or object to a separation."

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Could this be the story that ends a marriage: Not sure what to think of Bunte's cover story

This is the is the cover story for the newest issue of Bunte, which came out today in Germany.  I have not seen the actual article.  A quick translations:  Charlene of Monaco. Caught.  The scandal photos.  That Prince Albert has not noticed.  He is in Sochi, and his wife is getting out of hand in the Caribbean.

Bunte has added the story to its website.  The man in the photo is an Anglican priest, Charlie  Vere Nicholl,  who runs a hotel with his wife, Mandie, in St. Barts.

In an attempt to contain a public relations disasters, sources close to the Princess of Monaco  tell Bunte that Charlene had been at a church service in St. Barts, after donating  lifesaving equipment.   Vere Nicholl and his wife, along with other community members, joined the princess  for a dinner at, Bonito, a luxury restaurant  with "well-stocked wines and men indulge in cigars."

Bonito is  where the well-heeled eat.    This is the five star hotel owned by the Vere Nicholls.

Prince Albert coming to the USA

February 19, 1898

It was announced that Prince Albert, heir to the Belgian throne, will be paying a "full, formal and prolonged visit" to the United States, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

This will be the first visit to the United States since 1860 when the Prince of Wales, traveling as Baron Renfrew.   

The heir to the British throne did not "travel in royal state," during his visit.  Prince Albert knows it will be impossible to hide his royal rank.  He will "submit to all the ceremony and publicity" during his visit to "this great republic.

He will "virtually be the guest of the nation.  The President will assign an army officer to escort him.

The 22-year-old Prince is unmarried.  He is the only son of the Count of Flanders, and the nephew of King Leopold II.

King Leopold has no son, and his daughters cannot succeed to the throne.  The Count of Flanders is only two years younger than his brother, and "will not occupy the throne long before leaving it to his son."

Brussels is said to be a "gay place."  Belgium's watering places are said to "be even more gay."   Neither King Leopold nor his brother have not shown "austere self-denial in the face of the temptations that have confronted them."

The "domestic relations" between the two brothers and their families are said to be "not entirely happy."  Leopold's daughter, Louise, married to Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotham recently ran off with an army office.

Prince Albert became second in line to the throne in 1891 following the death of his elder brother, Prince Baudouin, who was "shot and killed in the Avenue Louise in Brussels."  He was involved in a duel over a woman.

Belgian authorities tried unsuccessfully to "suppress every fact" concerning the shooting.   A recent report has made the "tragedy to be of a peculiarly horrible character."

If his older brother had not died, Prince Albert would have "devoted himself" to a military career, but as heir, his "plans must be changed."

The "fair-haired" prince is said to be "extremely popular" in Belgium.  He will inherit a large personal fortune, properties, castles and an impressive art collection.

He is also said to be "uncommonly virtuous" in contrast to the "illustrations of the wages of sin" among members of his family.

Carlos joins Irene for ski vacation

February 19, 1964

Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma has joined his fiancée, Princess Irene of the Netherlands for a skiing vacation in Kitzbühel, Austria, reports the Associated Press.

The Spanish-based prince is staying at a hotel 50 yards from the chalet where Princess Irene is a guest.

Leopold not king immediately

February 19, 1934

Crown Prince Leopold, "bowed with grief at the tragic death" of his father, King Albert," prepares to take the oath office and become King Leopold III of the Belgians.

The 33-year-old Prince will remain the Crown Prince until Friday when he is sworn in, reports United Press.   According to the Belgian constitution, he does not "automatically become King on the King's death," but only when he takes the oath of office.

In the meantime, the Belgian cabinet will act as the Regency, "with the Premier signing state papers instead of the monarch."

On Friday, the two houses of Parliament will convene, and Leopold will pronounce "to swear to observe the constitution and law of the people of Belgium and maintain our national independence and territorial integrity."  At the same time, Princess Astrid will become the Queen of the Belgians, and Queen Elisabeth, widow of King Albert, will "take the title of Queen Mother."

Louis Prince Napoleon

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection
Although I have postcards of Princess Clementine of the Belgians and Prince Victor Napolean and their young children, I had never seen a postcard of their son, Prince Louiis, as an adult. Just added this to my collection.

Prince Louis was born in 1914 in Brussels, the second and youngest of Prince Victor and Princess Clementine.   He married Alix de Foresta in 1949.  They were the parents of four children, twins Prince Charles and Princess Catherine (1950), Princess Laure (1952) and Prince Jerome (1957.)

Louis Prince Napoleon died in 1997, naming his grandson, Prince Jean Napoleon as his heir, bypassing Jean's father, Prince Charles.

The Duke of Alencon & the Duke of Guise

Duke of Guise

New to my collection:

The Duke of Alencon (1844-1910) and the Duke of Guise.

Prince Ferdinand Philippe Marie of France (1844-1910) was the son of Prince Louis Charles Philippe Raphael, Duke of Nemours, and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who was Queen Victoria's first cousin.

In September 1868, Ferdinand married Duchess Sophie in Bavaria, a sister of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

They had two children:  Louise (1869-1952) who married Prince Alfons of Bavaria and Emmanuel, Duke of Vendome, who married Princess Henriette of Belgium.

Prince Jean Pierre Clément Marie of Orleans, Duke of Guise (1874-1940) was the son of the Duke and Duchess of Chartres.   He married his first cousin,  Princess Isabelle of Orleans.

The current head of the Royal House of France, Prince Henri, Count of Paris, is the Duke of Guise's grandson.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Princess Caroline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

Marlene A Eilers Koenig
An attempt to look grand even though you are rather plain.

Princess Caroline Mathilde (1894-1972) was the youngest of six children of Duke Friederich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Princess Karoline Mathilde of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenberg.

On May 27, 1920 at Schloss Glücksburg,  Caroline Mathilde married Count Hans of Solms-Baruth, the third son of the Prince and Princess of Solms-Baruth.  Her elder sister, Adelheid, was married to Hans' oldest brother, the Hereditary Prince of Solms-Baruth.

Caroline Mathilde's older siblings all married well:  Viktoria Adelheid to Carl Eduard, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,  Alexandra Viktoria (Princess August Wilhelm of Prussia,) Helena (Princess Harald of Denmark), Adelheid,  and Wilhelm, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, who married Princess Marie Melita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Her daughter, Countess Viktoria-Luise, married her first cousin, Prince Friedrich-Josias of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

This photo may have been taken at the time of her engagement to Count Hans.

Princess Mafalda breaks sad news to Marie Jose

February 18, 1934

Princess Mafalda of  Hesse had the unenviable task of breaking the news of King Albert's death to her sister-in-law, Princess Marie Jose.

Mafalda, the wife of German Prince Philipp of Hesse and the second daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele, traveled from Naples to Rome to see Princess Marie Jose, the Princess of Piedmont," whose health at this moment is delicate," reports the New York Times.

The Prince of Piedmont is expected to leave for Brussels "immediately," but it is not yet known if the Princess will be able to accompany him.

Pope Pius has sent a personal message to Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, Albert's widow.

The Belgian ambassador to Italy, the Prince de Ligne, was at a shooting party when he learned of King Albert's death.  He left immediately for Brussels and asked the American Ambassador Breckinridge Long if he could accompany his daughter back to Rome.

Ambassador Long is also said to be "extremely grief-stricken," as he personally knew King Albert, "who had been his guest" during a trip to Washington, D.C.

Astrid tells husband of king's death

Marlene A. Eilers-Koenig Collection
February 18, 1934

It was Princess Astrid who broke the news of King Albert's death to her husband, Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant.  The couple were staying at a hotel in Adelboden, Switzerland, when word reached them of the King's death.

So consumed by grief, the Crown Prince found himself unable to talk with anyone who "tried to express their sympathy."

The Duke and Duchess traveled by car and train back to Brussels because the Prime Minister "objected" to Leopold's wish to return to Brussels by plane "in view of the possibility of another accident.

The 33-year-old heir to the throne is a "convinced democrat, a soldier and a sober, serious student of government.  He is "assured of a warm welcome" from the Belgian people.

The Duke of Brabant's marriage to Princess Astrid of Sweden was seen to be a love match.  They married in 1926, and Astrid soon won the hearts "of the Belgian working classes."  They live a life of "domestic virtue."

Leopold wooed his princess quietly, disguised as a "servant to escape public attention."

The royal couple has two children: Princess Josephine Charlotte,6, and three-year-old Prince Baudouin.   Princess Astrid expects a third child in the spring.

The Crown Princess is a niece of King Gustav V of Sweden. 

When the engagement was announced in 1926, King Albert said: "Their marriage is entirely on of inclination.  They are acting in complete liberty and independence, making their decision without interference from anybody.

After the birth of Princess Josephine Charlotte,  Princess Astrid was seen "pushing a baby carriage along the shady Avenue Louise," along with many mothers of the working classes.

The new Queen shares an interest in nursing with Queen Elisabeth, and often visits hospitals.  She is also interested in child welfare.

Belgium stunned by death of King Albert

February 18, 1934

King Albert I of Belgium was killed earlier today in "mountaineering accident," reports the Associated Press.  He was 58 years old.

He had long been "a devotee of mountain climbing."

The King's body was not discovered until 12 hours after his accident.  He was  "killed yesterday in a fall while scaling a cliff" in the Ardennes, near Namur, Belgium.

Belgians  awoke this morning to news of the King's death.  The country has been "plunged into deepest mourning."  

King Albert's body now lies in state  in his bedroom at his chateau at Laeken.

The funeral will take place on Thursday.  On Friday, Albert's elder son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant, will be proclaimed as King Leopold III.

Albert's widow, Elisabeth, "who is far from well, " was "spared the news" of her husband's death as "long as possible."  She was finally told at 6 o'clock this morning.  She collapsed to the ground, and has been confined to her rooms all day.

King Albert's body was found at 2 a.m., at the "precipice at Marche les Daumes near Namur."   Several weeks ago the area was "classified as a national preserve."  The king was familiar with area, and "once scaled the rocks."

He had been accompanied by his valet, on the automobile trip to the area.  He got out of the car, and asked his valet to wait.   Mr. van Dyck watched as the king "start out up the rocks," but soon lost his view of the king, and never saw him alive again.

As darkness approached, the valet became "uneasy" as he knew King Albert had an appointment at the Palais des Sports in Brussels.  Although he had "every confidence" in the king's "ability as an alpinist," he feared the King would be late for his appointment.  He made a telephone call to Baron Edmon Carton de Wiart, who has a chateau nearby to ask for assistant.  The baron called the palace at Laeken to say that the King had been delayed.  He joined the valet to start a search for the missing king.

They "shouted and searched" for sometime, and were joined by townspeople and the local police.  They spent a greater part of the night searching the King.

It was at 2 a.m., when the King's body was found by accident, when one of the searchers "got his foot caught in the rope that the King at attached to himself as an aid in scaling the rocks."

Albert's body was "bent double" and there was a "huge gash" on the left side of his head.  The climbing rope was still wrapped around Albert's waist.

His body was found at "the foot of a great pinnacle rock and in a little crevasse."  It appeared from the loose rock that the king had lost his footing.  He was about half way to the top of the summit when he suffered his accident.

Albert's eyeglasses were found on a rock "about thirty-six feet above where his body was discovered.  A canvas sack and his climbing axe were found near his body.

His body was taken to the road and immediately by car to Laeken, arriving at about 3:30 a.m.  His head was "swathed in bandages."

Late last night, Queen Elisabeth had been told that the King had been delayed by an automobile accident and would return to Brussels today.

The Duke and Duchess of Brabant were in Switzerland, where they were informed about King Albert's death by telephone.  The heir to the throne and his wife, arrived back in Brussels tonight at 10:45.   The Duke and Duchess got back on their train and traveled to the private royal station at Laeken.    Prince Leopold went first to "console his mother, Queen Elisabeth," and the went alone into the room where his father's body lay "clothes in a general's khaki uniform."

The Duke of Brabant's younger brother, Prince Charles, was in Ostend, when he also informed by telephone.  He drove his own car, and reached the palace at 7:00 p.m., tonight.

Princess Marie Jose and her husband, the Prince of Piedmont, heir to the Italian throne, are expected to arrive tomorrow.  She expects a child in about a month.

Ileana to marry a Spaniard

February 18, 1924

Bucharest is all abuzz with reports of a "projected visit" of Princess Ileana, youngest daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, to Spain,  in March to "arrange her marriage."

Queen Marie's youngest sister, Infanta Beatrice, who is the wife of Infante Alfonso of Bourbon-Orleans, a first cousin to King Alfonso XIII, is, according to the Associated Press' report, is "in charge of the negotiations."

The name of Princess Ileana's husband-to-be is not known.

Kaiser plays matchmaker for Greek marriage

February 18, 1914

Crown Prince George of Greece will marry Princess Elizabeth of Romania at Athens on May 21, according to a Bucharest dispatch to the German newspaper, Neue Freie Press.

The dispatch states that Emperor Wilhelm II "arranged the match" and will be a witness to the marriage, along with Queen Elisabeth of Romania.

King Constantine has already presented to Princess Elisabeth a castle at Tatos  and has "bestowed the title Duchess of Sparta upon her."

[Tatos is probably Tatoi]

Royal Romance Speculation

THE ONES THAT GOT A WAY   (A shorter version of this was published in Majesty some years ago)

Before the Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, he was rumored to be on the verge of marriage with pretty Americans, British aristocrats, and foreign princesses. In one instance, he was reportedly engaged to a princess he barely knew. In June 1977, the Daily Express splashed "Charles to Marry Astrid - Official." The article was written by the paper’s normally reliable political editor, who said the engagement would be announced on the following Monday. Charles and Princess Marie-Astrid of Luxembourg "fell for each other at that first meeting," which allegedly had taken place the year before. The Luxembourg Princess was Roman Catholic, and "a novel constitutional arrangement" would allow the sons to be raised Anglican, and any daughters would be Catholic.

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The story was false. Downing Street and Special Branch officers were able to provide the mole with inaccurate, but plausible, information about the Prince of Wales’s engagement that would be leaked to the paper. The plot worked, and the source was discovered, and "discreetly retired."

Yet, the story would not die, and the palace was obliged to release another statement: "They are not getting married this Monday, next Monday, the Monday after, or any other Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. They do not know each other and people who do not know each other do not get engaged. The Royal Family do not go in for arranged marriages."

Not knowing each other has never stopped the media from reporting the possibility of a royal engagement.

Queen Victoria encouraged marriages outside the traditional royal caste. She wrote to her eldest daughter: "that if no fresh blood was infused occasionally the races would degenerate finally - physically and - morally - for . . . all the Protestant Royal Families were related to each other and so were the Catholic ones!"

It was also a change acknowledged by King George V and Queen Mary. On July 17, 1917, the king wrote in his diary: "I've also informed the [Privy] Council that May and I decided some time ago that our children would be allowed to marry into British families. It was quite a historic occasion."

Then, as now, the American media, hungered for news of Britain’s royal family. The New York Times eagerly published reports about the British royal romances. In February 1909, it was reported that Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh, a niece of King Edward VII, was going to marry to King Manoel of Portugal. But Beatrice, a younger sister of Queen Marie of Roumania, was already engaged to Prince Alfonso de Orléans-Borbon, a first cousin of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

Manoel was determined to marry an English princess. The New York Times noted that negotiations were "in progress during King Manoel’s visit at Windsor with a view to his securing an English bride." The princess in question was Princess Patricia of Connaught, "the living embodiment of sweet English girlhood." Patricia was at the castle to meet Manuel, as was Princess Alexandra of Fife, "the other English princess in the running." Although some favored Princess Alexandra, the elder the two daughters of Princess Louise, the King’s sister, she "is still a child, and the yea and nay ordained by Scripture forms her sole contribution to conversation." Patricia, having already turned down King Alfonso XIII of Spain, was not interested in marrying a king. Manoel returned home without an English bride. A year later, he lost his throne in a revolution.

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In 1910, Princess Alexandra of Fife was linked to Prince Christopher of Greece. A headline, "Anglo-Grecian Romance," touted the engagement as Christopher had spent several weeks as a guest of her parents at Mar Lodge in Scotland. It was noted that Christopher "conceived a very obvious passion for the daughter of the house." This was not the story as related by Prince Christopher in his memoirs. Christopher, a nephew of Queen Alexandra, assumed that a marriage "would meet with everyone’s approval", as Louise’s younger sister, Victoria, had promised "to arrange everything."

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They "got engaged on the sly," but waited four days before approaching her parents. The Duke of Fife would "dispel any illusion" that Christopher would have in marrying his daughter.

In the early part of the 20th century, most of the press attention was centered on the Prince of Wales, but his younger siblings also received news coverage about possible marriages. In February 1926, the New York Times noted "the engagement of Prince Henry, third son of King George, to Lady Mary Scott, a younger daughter of the Duke of Buccleuch, it is understood, will be announced soon after the period of court mourning for Dowager Queen Alexandra, which ends tomorrow."

This marriage will "undoubtedly prove a popular match in Great Britain, where, since the war, there has been a strong sentiment in favor of royal Princes marrying the daughters of British houses instead of foreign princes."

Tomorrow came and went, and no engagement was announced. Three years later, Prince Henry, who had been created the Duke of Gloucester, was expected to announce his engagement the Duke of Buccleuch’s youngest daughter, 23- year old Lady Angela Scott, a "pretty brunette who loves open-air life and is a good rider to the hounds." The engagement was "likely to be announced soon," after King George recovered from an illness. The King recovered, but no announcement.

It was another Scott sister, Lady Alice who married Prince Henry, the Duke of Gloucester, in 1935.

When Princess Ingrid of Sweden arrived unexpectedly in London in 1932, she quickly "became the most talked about girl in Great Britain." Some assumed that Ingrid was going to marry King George V’s fourth son, Prince George, Ingrid, whose mother was a British princess, often spent time in England with her grandfather, the Duke of Connaught. This time, Ingrid joined Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone and her husband, Lord Athlone, and the Prince of Wales and Prince George for an "intimate dinner" at George’s York House apartment. The news of their dinner together only "strengthened rumors of an impending announcement" of Princess Ingrid’s engagement to Prince George.

Ingrid’s father and stepmother were expected to arrive in London a week later, and "it is believed that the engagement will be officially announced soon thereafter." The stories ceased after Ingrid had returned to Sweden. A year later, the paper reported that "there was a persistent rumor in English society that a marriage is being arranged" between Prince George, youngest son of the King, and an American heiress Grace Vanderbilt, daughter of General and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt of New York.

But it was the August 19, 1934, headline that really caught the attention of reporters on both sides of the Atlantic. "Prince George of Britain Sought as Husband for Greek Princess by King of Yugoslavia." The Greek princess in question was Princess Marina, the youngest of three daughters of Prince and Princess Nicholas. "The friendly matrimonial intrigue was directed by King Alexander "who wished to see Prince George marry the 27-year-old Princess Marina."
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On 26 August, Prince George, then in Salzburg, attending a music festival with Prince and Princess Paul and Princess Marina, told a reporter:"There is no truth at all in these rumors."

There are times when no means yes. The official announcement came two days later. The couple was married in November 1934.

The oft-rumored relationship between the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Greece was one of the rare occasions when the media was nearly always right.

In his diary in 1941, the American-born Chips Channon wrote: "....Philip of Greece was there. He is extraordinarily handsome .... He is to be our Prince Consort, and that is why he is serving in our Navy." He was spot on, three years before the newspapers began serious speculation about then Princess Elizabeth’s marriage. In September 1945, a New York Times headline read: "Greek Prince’s Name Linked to Elizabeth." The Palace denied that report, just as they denied a report a week earlier that the princess was going to marry the 41-year-old Prince Charles of Belgium. The paper also published a profile of Elizabeth’s future: "Marriage a la Mode Finding a husband today is a problem even for "the most eligible girl in the world."

"Time and time again stories have circulated in the press at home and abroad hinting at impending engagements," wrote Harry Vosser in 1945. "No doubt there will be many more before the engagement of Princess Elizabeth is officially announced from Buckingham Palace. "

Vosser also offered a list the names who were linked "with the world’s most eligible girl." The first name on the list was 23-year-old Prince Philip. Rumours of the marriage "circulated in diplomatic circles", but were denied by the Palace. The tale "sprang from the fact that before the war Prince Philip spent a lot of time in Britain and during the war spent many leaves at Windsor Castle." Other candidates included "an unspecified American," whose marriage "would strengthen the bonds between the United States and Britain; The Duke of Rutland; the Earl of Euston, and the aforementioned Prince Charles of Belgium.
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The rumours about Philip persisted through 1946. "Despite denials, Princess Elizabeth is believed engaged," headlined one article in November of that year. One month later, a front-page story declared "Princess Elizabeth and Philip to Wed; Troth Delayed." Their intention to "marry was confirmed by sources with close contacts with both the Government and palace, notwithstanding official denials that they are engaged." The delay, according to report, was blamed on the political situation in Greece. The paper also reported that the prince would become a British subject the following February and would renounce his right to the Greek throne. At that time, the Princess would be in South Africa with her parents and younger sister.

The official announcement came on July 9, 1947. "Everyone has been gossiping and speculating about this royal romance for months. Royalty live like goldfish in a Bowl and there was not a shopgirl or clerk who could not have told you long ago that Elizabeth was in love with her cousin Philip and that she was determined to marry him," was the comment in The New York Times front page story.

The late Princess Margaret would also be the subject of marital interest. In 1948, rumors of Margaret’s engagement to Prince Georg of Denmark, "became stronger" after he had been assigned "at his own request" as a military attache at the Danish Embassy in London. For some months, he had been seen "frequently in the company of Princess Margaret." It was understood, at least according to the report, that the engagement would not be announced until after Margaret’s 18th birthday in August of that year. Prince Georg, who was ten years Margaret’s senior, was married in 1950 to Margaret’s cousin, Anne Bowes Lyon.

Although Britons "were all aflutter" with newspaper reports in 1952 that Margaret was planning to marry the Earl of Dalkeith, Buckingham Palace issued a statement denying the story. "Therefore there is nothing to be said except that this young man has been invited to Windsor. Thus, a dinner invitation does not mean an engagement will follow.

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The Princess would also be linked to a German prince, Henry of Hesse, in 1959 after she spent time with him during a five-day Roman holiday. "Protocol offices and British diplomats were aflutter and romantic Romans were delighted" by the alleged romance. Henry, a distant cousin, was a successful artist and scenic designer. The prince was merely acting as Margaret’s host, as she was already involved in a relationship with Antony Armstrong-Jones.

The late Duke of Windsor was perhaps subjected to more rumors about marriages than any other royal. Nearly every eligible European princess from Astrid of Sweden to Beatriz of Spain was considered fair game. According to one recent biographer, the Prince of Wales "had never given serious thought to marriage with a suitable royal princess." Although King George V and Queen Mary had approved of their children marrying non-royals, apparently the word never got to David. He did have a serious relationship in 1918 with Lady Rosemary Leveson-Gower, although Queen Mary had cautioned him against marrying her. A year later, when Rosemary’s engagement was announced, David wrote to his then mistress, Freda Dudley Ward: "I can"t help feeling a little sad .... she was the only girl I felt I ever could marry & I knew it was défendu (forbidden) by my family."

Queen Mary"s opposition was due to "a taint of blood in her mother’s family."

King George V was not known as a great communicator, especially with his children, and it was not until 1932 when he asked David if he had ever thought about marrying an English woman. The Prince of Wales replied, "that he had never supposed it would be possible."

In a New York Times editorial, "Whom will the Prince choose," the writer weighed carefully the options available to the heir to the throne, and concluded that "the idea of limiting the Prince’s choice to the circle of the blood royal is generally poohed-poohed."

The Prince of Wales"s important relationships were sadly confined to married women, although at the time, the British press remained reverential in its coverage of the royal family. It would have been unthinkable at that time to have reported on the Prince’s misalliances.

In 1919, reports of the "impending engagement" of the Prince of Wales and Princess Jolana of Italy were "unfounded." The Prince of Wales, then on a visit to Paris, wrote to Freda Dudley Ward: "French papers are full of my engagement to the Queen’s [of Italy] eldest girl being as good as official today!!!! .... it naturally infuriates me particularly as the girl has a face like a bottom."

As early as 1916, the New York Times wrote that the Prince of Wales was to "seek the hand" of Princess Jolanda. This rumor came as a surprise to the Italians because it "was supposed that the British prince would marry one of the daughters if Emperor Nicholas II of Russia." A year later, the Prince "answered for himself the question whom he will marry." One London paper’s story, which was reported in the New York Times, said that David "has decided to ask for the hand of his first cousin, Princess Maud." In 1920, the American paper republished comments from a Times editorial suggesting that it was time for the Prince of Wales to marry, preferably an English girl. At the time, the favorite was a war widow, 31-year-old Lady Joan Mulholland, a lady-in-waiting to the Prince’s sister, Mary, and "the prettiest woman at court." The second choice was Lady Dorothy Cavendish, a daughter of the Duke of Devonshire. She appeared as a possible candidate because:"the Prince is said to have paid her attention during his Canadian trip."

"As matters stand, she need not be of royal blood. But she must be of royal demeanor. She must know by instinct what to do and when and how.... She must dazzle without being dazzled, "was the view of the author of a 1922 profile "The Prince, Prize Matrimonial. In January 1922, a newspaper headline read: "Prince of Wales to Wed Daughter of Scotch Earl." The engagement would be made official in the "next two to three days," and it was noted that the young woman in question, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, 22, was once "reported engaged to the Duke of York."

This was a case of the right girl, wrong prince. A few months later, Lady Elizabeth became engaged to the Duke of York.

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  Although the future Edward VIII never made an effort to give up his married mistresses, marry and produce and heir, newspapers continued to report on romances that never were, and never would be. When he visited Wales in May 1934, it was reported that there would be a "forthcoming announcement" of an "engagement with a young lady not unconnected with Wales." The prince had stayed with Lord and Lady Blythswood, the parents of a comely daughter, the Hon. Olive Douglas-Campbell. Lady Blythswood was rather blunt about the story: "There is no truth whatever in the rumour."

Three years before her alleged engagement to Prince George, Princess Ingrid of Sweden’s engagement to the Prince of Wales was "forecast" to be imminent. The Princess and her father and stepmother had dined with the Prince of Wales, and "belief is growing in some quarters here that announcement of the engagement" would be made in "the next two weeks."

It was also reported that the Prince of Wales was going to marry Princess Astrid of Sweden, "one of the prettiest girls in Europe, a keen sportswoman and a delightful dancer." Astrid had visited England as a guest of Queen Alexandra, but David "hardly went near her." Infanta Beatriz of Spain, whose grandmother, Princess Beatrice, was Queen Victoria’s youngest child, was also rumored to be the princess-most-likely to marry the Prince of Wales. Her father, King Alfonso XIII, would not allow her to visit London because "of rumors linking her with the Prince."

Even after succeeding to the throne -- and most of the world was aware of his relationship with Wallis Simpson - the media still offered hope of a royal marriage. "King Edward VIII may don his crown of England next May with a second cousin kneeling at his side," reported the New York Times on July 4, 1936. The two Princesses, "both talented and beautiful," were named as the favorites to marry the king were Princess Frederika of Hanover, a granddaughter of the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Princess Alexandrine Louise of Denmark. Some months earlier, Alexandrine’s father, Prince Harald had "vigorously denied" the story, although the rumors persisted until August 1936 when Alexandrine’s engagement to a Count Luitpold zu Castell-Castell was announced. The other "co-favorite" Princess Frederika married then Crown Prince Paul of Greece in January 1938.

Alexandrine of Denmark

In view of the Duke of Windsor’s eventual marital partner, the American-born Wallis Warfield Simpson, it is rather amusing to note that in 1919 a New York Times headline read: "Suggests Wales Wed an American." The newspaper was reporting on several stories published in the British press that suggested the Prince of Wales should marry an American woman. "The fact is that there is a keen desire that the Prince shall be allowed to choose for himself a British wife " if not an American. His marriage to a British bride would be exceedingly popular. If he should choose an American bride, the enthusiasm on both sides of the Atlantic would be unbounded and the dramatic possibilities would be opened up. The example would be infectious, and there is no telling where the consequences would end."

The "dramatic possibilities" led to the King’s abdication in December 1937. The consequences culminated with his marriage to a twice-divorced American woman. 

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