Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A royal wedding at Darmstadt

April 30, 1884 

Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine, eldest daughter of the Grand Duke, was married today to Prince Louis of Battenberg.

The town of Darmstadt was "profusely decorated with flags" in honor of the wedding, and people lined the streets for a glimpse of the couple, reports the New York Times.

After the civil wedding, the bride was led to the palace chapel, by her paternal grandmother, Princess Karl of Hesse and By Rhine.   They were followed by a procession led by Queen Victoria, the bride's maternal grandmother, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Germany, the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Wilhelm of Germany, and  Prince Alexander of Bulgaria, the groom's brother.

In the "bridal procession,"  Princess Victoria and Prince Louis walked "between the Princesses of Battenberg.  When they exchanged their rings at the altar, "a salute of 36 guns was fired.

At the end of the ceremony,  Queen Victoria "embraced the couple."   Princess Victoria wore her mother, Princess Alice's, bridal veil.   Princess Alice died from diphtheria in 1878.

Apart from Queen Victoria, the wedding guests attended the evening banquet.  The only toast offered was to "the health" of the newlyweds. 

Afterward, Prince and Princess Louis left for Jugenheim "amid the plaudits of throngs of people.

The Times described the wedding as a "touching and imposing spectacle."

Queen Victoria wore a "black silk dress, with a wide coiffure of lace, diamond ornaments, and various orders. She entered the chapel "with a firm step", and was seated to the left of the altar.  The Grand Duke with his youngest daughter, Princess Alix, and Princesses Louise, Victoria, and Maud of Wales, all in white, was the next to arrive.

Crown Prince Friedrich of Germany, "knightly and stalwart, as ever," escorted the Princess of Wales, dressed in a "lovely robe of white, with a sparking diadem of gems and various orders."  The Prince of Wales, wearing the uniform of a British Field Marshal, led his sister, the German Crown Princess to a place on the left of the altar.

Prince Wilhelm of Prussia escorted Princess Beatrice, who "wore a rich white dress," made from Indian material, with "diamonds and orders."  Prince Albert Victor of Wales escorted the Landgravine of Hesse and Prince Henry of Prussia led his sister, the Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meiningen.  The Prince of  Bulgaria, "tall, dark, and soldier-like," escorted Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and By Rhine.  

Princess Elisabeth, the second daughter of the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine, is betrothed to Grand Duke Serge of Russia.

Princess Victoria was "arrayed" in a "lustrous and exquisite Duchesse satin robe with a long flowing train, bridal view, diamonds and wreath of myrtle" on her head. 

One of the younger guests,  Queen Victoria's great-granddaughter, Princess Feodora of Saxe-Meiningen watched the wedding from the opposite side of the altar, "near the organ."  It was in this area where the wedding photograph was taken.

The bride's veil did not cover her face.  She had no bridesmaids.

In commemorating the wedding, the bride's father, Grand Duke Ludwig,  "pardoned several prisoners."

Queen Maria Cristina appeals to Russian Emperor for help

April 30, 1898

Queen Maria Cristina, Regent of Spain has "appealed" to Russian Emperor Nicholas II, for assistance in her "conflict with the United States, according to the Berlin correspondent for The Sunday Special, a London newspaper.

She sent the request through Austrian Emperor Franz Josef.

Nicholas II "replied directly" to the Queen Regent. He "assured her of his deepest sympathy" with Spain, stating that the United States forced war on the country, but he does not see the situation "ripe for Russian diplomatic or military intervention.  He added he will do "whatever is possible at the proper time."

Irene and Carlos hide in Italy

April 30, 1964

The newly married Princess Irene and Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma arrived earlier today on the Amafi coast, reports United Press International.

The couple, who married yesterday in Rome, "slipped into Positano almost unnoticed."

They plan to stay in the area for two years, and "requested privacy," and would not be answering any questions from the media.

Princess Katharina of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha: the newest QVD

HH Hereditary Princess Kelly of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha gave birth to a daughter, HH Princess Katharina Victoria Elizabeth Cheryl, of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in Coburg earlier today

The 39-yearold American-born Princess Kelly is the wife of Hereditary Prince Hubertus38,  of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eldest child of TRH Prince Andreas and Princess Carin of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

This is the first child for the couple who were married in May 2009.;art214,695384

A new interview with Crown Princess Katherine

A rather nice interview with Crown Prince Katherine of Serbia

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Irene marries Carlos

April 29, 1964

Princess Irene of the Netherlands and Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma were married today in Rome.  The Roman Catholic wedding took place in the Basilica of St Mary Major.

According to the New York Times, the guests included "Spanish, Italian and French nobility," but "representatives of European houses were conspicuously absent."

After the wedding, the newlyweds were received in a "private audience" by Pope Paul VI.  

Princess Irene, the second of four daughters of Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard, recently converted to the Roman Catholic faith.

None of the bride's family, including her parents and sisters, did not attend the wedding.

Prince Carlos, 34, is the "scion of the Carlist line" of the Borbon House, which has claimed the Spanish throne since 1833.  His father, Prince Xavier, the Carlist pretender, has "little chance" again the main Borbon line, headed by Don Juan and his son, Juan Carlos, who is married to Princess Sophie of Greece.

It is from the mainline that Generalissimo Francisco Franco will eventually "designate a king, restoring Spain as a monarchy."

The 24-Princess Irene is no longer in line for the Dutch throne because she married without Parliamentary approval.

She wore a "white brocade gown" designed by Balmain and a diamond tiara, the gift of her new father-in-law.  As she did not have a member of her own family to give her away, Princess Irene was escorted down the aisle by Prince Carlos Hugo.

They received communion during the service.  Following their wedding, the couple was driven to the Vatican for a 10-minute meeting with the Pope. 

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A reception was held in a Rome hotel for 800 guests.    The newly married couple plan to remain in Rome for 24 hours before leaving for the Holy Land.

Prince Carlos Hugo and Princess Irene are expected to live in Madrid.

The estranged relationship between Irene and her parents may in time be healed  Prior to the wedding, Princess Irene telephoned her mother.

The Dutch royal family was able to watch part of the wedding ceremony on television but  they "missed the last part of the telecast  because of a power failure."  The Dutch premier Marijnen hoped the "warm feelings" between Irene and her parents and sisters "would be restored."

The relations between Irene and Queen Juliana "deteriorated" after the Princess "declared that she would actively support" Prince Xavier's claims to the Spanish throne. Things became worse after Carlos Hugo's family announced the date and place of the wedding without consulting Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard.

Princess Irene at first objected to her wedding being televised, but after meeting her father last week in Brussels, she changed her mind as Bernhard said her mother "would appreciate it."

A girl for Ingrid

April 29, 1944

Crown Princess Ingrid of Denmark gave birth to a daughter today in Copenhagen, reports the Associated Press from Stockolm.

This is the second child for the Crown Princess and her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, heir to the Danish throne. 

Their first child, Princess Margrethe, celebrated her fourth birthday on April 16.

Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas: It's over

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Prince Harry and British blue blood Cressida Bonas have ended their relationship, according to People magazine and the Daily Telegraph.

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 We will know in a few months if the couple is taking a break, on a "breather," or if it is really, really over.  Miss Bonas, the granddaughter of the 6th Earl Howe, recently started a new job in media.  She studied at Leeds University and the Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Read more:,,20395222_20811770,00.html

From 2010: Prince Heinrich of Hanover and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm in book discussion

all photos are the copyright of HRH Princess Birgitta of Serbia

two descendants of Queen Victoria: HRH Prince Heinrich of Hanover and HRH Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, who are second cousins

Princess Birgitta and Prince Vladimir with the  new book

Princess Birgitta with Princess Sibylle and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm

Prince Vladimir and Princess Birgitta with Princess Sybille  and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia

A little late - as this event took place in 2010, Prince Heinrich of Hanover and Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia took part in a reading of a new book, Mächtig verlockend Frauen der Welfen.  (This translates to, I think, the powerful, tempting women of the House of Guelph.)

The event took place at the Residenzmusem at the Castle in Celle. 

The discussion was moderated by German presented Rolf Seelmann Eggebrecht.

The book is actually the catalog for an eponymous exhibit at Celle on the lives of Eleonore d'Albreuse and her daughter, Sophie Dorothea, wife of King George I.

Thank you to Prince Vladimir and Princess Birgitta of Serbia, for allowing me to use their photos from the event.

Lady Nicholas Windsor expects 3rd baby in August

Lady Nicholas Windsor is expecting a third child in August.  The 44-year-old wife of Lord Nicholas Windsor, youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Kent is the former Paola Frankopan.  The couple have two young sons, Albert and Leopold Windsor.

The Mail's article does have a mistake (not a surprise.)  The Duchess of Kent was 44 when she became pregnant for the fourth time in 1977. In October 1977, in the final weeks of pregnancy, she lost the child.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Irene and Carlos arrive in Rome

April 28, 1964

Princess Irene of the Netherlands and her fiancé, Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Parma arrived in Rome earlier today.  They will be married in Rome tomorrow.

Reuters reports the princess was "smiling and waving" when she and Carlos arrived by plane from Paris.  Reports from the Netherlands state that the Princess, 24, is "very upset" because her family will not be present for the wedding.

Princess Irene and Prince Carlos, 34, son of the Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne, will spend tonight at the "plush" Grand Hotel before their wedding tomorrow.

Cardinal Paolo Giobbe will officiate the ceremony at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

Prince Carlos's parents, Prince Xavier and Princess Madeleine accompanied the couple to Rome.  Princess Irene will wear a Balmain gown and a $475,000 tiara that Prince Xavier gave her as a wedding gift.

Prince Xavier is also expected to give the bride away.

More than 500 people are expected to attend the ceremony including the Duke of Braganza, head of Portugal's royal house, and former Empress Zita of Austria, a princess of Bourbon-Parma by birth.

The princess, raised in the Dutch reformed faith, converted to Roman Catholicism some months ago.   Her conversion "sparked" a controversy in the Netherlands. 

It was learned earlier today that the Princess had a "secret meeting" with her father, Prince Bernhard, in Brussels on Saturday.

According to "usually reliable sources" in the Netherlands,  told the New York Times that Prince Bernhard gave a message to Irene from Queen Juliana, explaining why she and Prince Bernhard were boycotting her wedding.

Princess Irene's three sisters, Beatrix, Margriet and Christina, will also not be be attending the wedding.

A girl for the Kents

April 28, 1964

The Duchess of Kent gave birth to a girl earlier tonight, reports the New York Times.  The Duchess is the wife of the Duke of Kent, a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

The newborn infant weighed 7 and a half pounds.  She is 12th in line to the throne, but will move down a notch when Princess Margaret gives birth to her second child.   She is due to give birth in the next few weeks.

The Duke of Kent, who is serving with his regiment, the Royal Scots Greys, in Germany, learned of the birth in a telephone call from his mother, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent.

The 30-year-old Duchess gave birth at Coppins, the family home in Iver, Buckinghamshire.

This is the third royal birth this year.  Princess Alexandra, the Duchess' sister-in-law, gave birth to a son on February 29.  Queen Elizabeth's fourth child, Prince Edward was born on March 10.

Mother and daughter are reported to be doing well.  The baby's name was not announced.

Stork due in Italy

April 28, 1934

An official announcement that the Crown Princess of Italy is expecting her first child may be made tomorrow, reports United Press.

American Ambassador Breckinridge Long and envoys from Great Britain, France and Austria, were among the first to visit Crown Princess Marie José to offer their congratulations.

Crown Princess Marie José, 27, is the daughter of the late King Albert of the Belgians and sister of King Leopold III. She married Crown Prince Umberto in January 1930.

Zita's mother ordered out of Austria

April 28, 1918

The Duchess of Parma, mother of Empress Zita of Austria, has been "ordered to leave Austria" within 24 hours, and will not be permitted to return until the "termination of the war," according to a New York Times dispatch from Geneva.

Princess Maria Antonia is one of several persons "blamed by semi-official Austrian communications" for the now famous letter of Emperor Karl to his brother-in-law, Prince Sixtus of Bourbon-Parma, who is serving in the Belgian army.

In this letter, Karl "expressed a desire to restore Belgium and Serbia," and he would "support France's just claim to Alsace-Lorraine.

One of the claims made by the Austrian government is that the Duchess of Parma was the real author of the letter, and Emperor Karl "had merely added a postscript over his signature.

The Duchess's family "connections are closer to the Allied nation than with the Central Powers."

Melissa Ann Solms-Baruth: obituary

Melissa Ann Solms-Baruth was the wife of Count Christian-Friedrich Solms-Baruth, second son of the late Count Friedrich Hans of Solms-Baruth and Princess Oda of Stolberg-Wernigerode.  

She died at the age of 59 at her home in Leonardtown, Maryland.  Mrs. Solms-Baruth was a realtor with Coldwell Banker, and co-publisher (with her daughter, Oda Solms-Baruth) of regional magazines, including The Fairfax Woman, n northern Virginia and southern Maryland.

In 1991,  Christian and Melissa filed suit for damages regarding lead paint in their newly bought home in Leonardtown.   The "dust from lead-based paint had attacked little Carolina's nervous system came four months after they moved in."  The house was once a convent owned by the Roman Catholic church.  The couple lost the suit.

Count Christian-Friedrich is a first cousin of Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, whose mother, Countess Victoria of Solms-Baruth, was Friedrich-Hans' older sister.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Queen Mother's 87th birthday

all photos @ Marlene Eilers Koenig

I took these photos on August 4, 1987.  The Queen Mother's 87th Birthday.  Queen Elizabeth II is now a year older than her mother was in these photos.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Irene given $500,000 tiara

April 25, 1964

Princess Irene of the Netherlands will wear a diamond tiara at her wedding to Don Prince Don Carlos of Bourbon-Parma, reports the Associated Press.

The couple will be married next Wednesday in Rome at the basilica of St. Mary Major.

The tiara, valued at $500,000 was given to Irene by Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma, her fiancé's father, as a wedding present.  It once belonged to Princess Maria de las Nieves of Bourbon-Parma, the wife of Don Alfonso Carlos, a "earlier pretender" to Spain;s throne.

It is "almost certain" that the couple will be "received in audience" by Pope Paul VI shortly after the wedding ceremony."

Princess Irene's parents, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard will not be attending their second daughter's wedding.

Karl warned about wife's relatives

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April 25, 1918

The Berliner Tageblatt has published the following dispatch from Vienna:

"The members of the Imperial House of Austria met at the Archduke's palace and decided through him to point out to the Emperor the prejudicial consequences which the activities of members of the House of Bourbon residing abroad might have for the interests of the House of  Habsburg-Lorraine."

The New York Times, which also published the dispatch, noted that the complaint of the members of the Habsburg family is directed toward Prince Situs of Bourbon-Parma, the brother of Empress Zita.

Prince Sixtus, an officer in the Belgian army, was the recipient of a letter from Emperor Karl, written on March 31, 1917, where the emperor "made peace suggestions  for unofficial submissions of France and Great Britain."

The text of the letter was made public earlier this month by the French Government, which alluded to "France's just claims regarding Alsace-Lorraine," which Karl apparently offered to support.

The publication of this letter has led to the frustration of Austrian statesmen trying to explain and deny "to heal Germany's injured feelings."

Pope causing issues for royal couple

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April 25, 1908

"Hostile influences" are behind efforts to prevent a marriage between Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Prince Alfonso of Bourbon-Orleans, reports the New York Times.

The princess is a niece of King Edward VII.

The young couple, whose engagement was announced last December, is now in Nice "anxiously" waiting for word from Pope Pius.   Alfonso, a Roman Catholic, needs a dispensation from the Pope, in order to marry Princess Beatrice, a Lutheran.

The couple is said to be "devotedly in love."

The young couple has been subjected to a "campaign of pitiless gossip," set in motion for the "malicious purposes" by certain "exalted personages" said to be against the match.

The two names mentioned most in this campaign are King Edward VII and Queen Mother Maria Cristina of Spain, mother of King Alfonso XIII, a first cousin of Prince Alfonso.  Spanish Prime Minster Maura is also against the match, and is said to be "aiding and abetting the Queen Mother's plans."

All are opposed on the grounds of religion.  Princess Beatrice has no plans to convert to the Roman Catholic church, as did her cousin, Princess Ena of Battenberg when she married King Alfonso XIII.

Shortly after the engagement was announced, a report was circulating in Germany that the marriage had been called off because Princess Beatrice, who celebrated her 24th birthday this week, was too old for Prince Alfonso.  She is three years his senior.

This was followed by another spurious take "launched: in a London society newspaper and "widely reproduced on the Continent" that the engagement was over because Princess Beatrice refused to "embrace" Catholicism.

Another report soon surfaced that Beatrice was unhappy because she was in love with another man, a "dashing Lieutenant of the Kaiser's Guards."

An alleged "authoritative" telegram from Madrid declaring that the marriage was "impossible" has now been declared a fake.

It is  "authoritatively" stated that Prince Alfonso has never asked Beatrice to convert, and her "continued presence" in Nice is "adduced as a convincing refutation" of all the rumors.

The marriage also has the support of the King and Queen of Spain.  The lovers "met and wooed practically under the chaperonage" of the king and queen at their country estate, La Granja, outside Madrid.

War plans depend on stork

April 25, 1904

According to a Chicago Daily Tribune dispatch from St. Petersburg,  Nicholas II will go to "the seat of war some time in August," but the exact date depends on a "happy event," which is expected to take place around that time.

The event is said to be the "subject of engrossing interest in court circles."

Prince Laurent: I do not need my parents

A visibly weakened Prince Laurent of Belgium spoke to a reporter from the Sudpresse news group, telling them he does not need his parents.

"I am 50 years old.  I do not need my parents", Prince Laurent said. 

He made his first public appearance on Easter Sunday, when he accompanied his wife, Princess Claire, at a service in Bonerz, where Princess Claire's parents reside.

Prince Laurent looked very weak when he attended the service,  and was supported by his wife.  

"My recovery will be slow, very slow,"  Prince Laurent  said.  Yes, it is true, I was at the Easter Mass, but that was only possible because of Claire.  I can only move very slowly.  I won't better by tomorrow."

The prince, the younger brother of King Philippe, spent three weeks in a Brussel's hospital, where he was treated for a severe case of pneumonia.  He was placed in an artificial coma for several days.  When asked about the reports that he attempted suicide, he responded that he had not known about the reports that "I was in a coma."

Laurent's parents, King Albert II and Queen Paola, then on vacation in France, were criticized for not returning to Brussels immediately after learning of their son's illness.

"When you are fifty do you need your parents.  I am 50, and I do not need my parents," was Prince Laurent's response to the reporter's question about Albert and Paola's delay in visiting him.

As for his mental health, Prince Laurent said:  "I have told that my recovery will take a long time."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Questions abound over auction of Princess Marie of Denmark's possessions

The upcoming auction of royal letters, photos and articles owned by Princess Marie'd Orléans (1865-1909), wife of Prince Valdemar of Denmark, is responsible for a major family discord among her heirs.

The items in the auction were being auctioned in the name of Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma. His children, however, were not consulted by their father. Furious at seeing these family heirlooms dispersed to the four corners of the world, Prince Michel's offspring have joined forces and taken their father to court in an effort to prevent the spoliation of family legacy.

More than half the items that were listed in the catalogue have been removed from the auction. Also, the hours during which the auction was to take place have been drastically reduced.

Thanks to Art Beeche for allowing me to reprint his article, which was published earlier today on

Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma, 88, is a grandson of the late Princess Marie of Orleans, wife of Prince Valdemar of Denmark.  His mother, Princess Margrethe of Denmark married Prince René of Bourbon-Parma.

Princess Marie's fourth son, Prince Viggo of Denmark, inherited her papers, and the collection past to his wife, the American-born Eleonor Green, after his death.  Their marriage was childless.  After Eleonor's death, the collection was inherited by Prince Michel.

A lovely catalog.

Estelle meets Leonore - and you can go Ahhhh!

Foto: H.K.H. Kronprinsessan Victoria, / H.K.H. Kronprinsessan Victoria, The Royal Court, Sweden

Foto: H.K.H. Kronprinsessan Victoria, / H.K.H. Kronprinsessan Victoria, The Royal Court, Sweden

Earlier this month, Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her daughter, Princess Estelle paid a private visit to New York City to meet Princess Leonore, the infant daughter of Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill.

Earlier today, the Swedish Court released these two photos of two adorable princesses.  Princess Estelle is smitten with her new cousin, who will be baptized in June.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I wanna throw up

Seriously.  I feel a major hair ball coming on.  A big hair ball.  Just when you think Reality TV can get any lower,  all of the sudden the bar drops even further.

On May 27, Fox (same owner as the wretched faux news channel) will offer I Wanna Marry Harry.    Twelve women (bimbos?) will be competing to win a royal marriage proposal from ... are you ready?  Really ready?  

Prince Harry of Wales.  You know Harry: brother of the Duke of Cambridge,  younger son of the Prince of Wales, fourth in line to the throne.  War veteran. 

Prince Harry, who will celebrate his 30th birthday in September, does have a girlfriend,  and her name is not a secret.   His main squeeze is Cressida Bonas, a blue blood with fabulous blonde hair and a DNA to make royal genealogists squeak with delight.   Cressida has been on the cover of Tatler, which means EVERYONE knows about her relationship with Prince Harry.

I know this is "reality TV," but I cannot believe that here in America, especially in Texas, there are women who don't know about Prince Harry and his girlfriend.  Shakes head in total disbelief.  I am so embarrassed.  We Americans have such a wretched international reputation as it is ... now these chickie-poos will only make it worse.  

Stop the madness.  Memo to world:  not all of us on this side of the Pond are stupid, vain or the punch line of a blonde joke!  Most of us know that the show is using a Prince Harry impersonator.

Secret Princes ... and now I Wanna Marry Harry!    Stop the madness.  I want to get off, now!

The Daily Mail published today a story about these silly, vain and vapid women.

A recent interview with Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Wladimirovna of Russia recently spoke with Izvestiia, a Russian newspaper.

Your Imperial Highness, you have promised to ask your royal relatives to use all their influence to prevent an escalation of the conflict between Russia and the West. What in your view can your relatives hope to achieve?
In answer to a question from INTERFAX as to whether I would appeal to my relatives to intervene on the sanctions against Russia, I replied that, in the modern world, the heads and members of royal families, even those currently reigning, cannot substantively influence the policies of their countries. Whether that is a good thing or not, each person can decide for himself. But that is how modern political systems work. Therefore, to expect some kind of sensational or game-changing political gestures from Europe’s monarchs and heads of dynasties would not be realistic.
However, in the spiritual, social, and cultural spheres, Europe’s royal houses, whether they reign or not, continue to enjoy significant influence. And I will certainly try to familiarize my relatives with the history of the Crimean question and with the current situation there so that they are fully informed. I am sure that they can then exert a calming influence in the social and cultural climate in their countries.
Naturally, every country has its own national interests. It would be naïve to think that the geopolitical rivals of Russia would not protest against the return of Crimea to Russia. But sensible people can call for a stop to radicalism and hysteria, they can call for an even-handed and rational approach to the crisis even in the current circumstances if they do not agree, even partly, with what is transpiring on the ground. Such calls from members of royal dynasties are especially significant because they speak not from the point of view of a single concrete event, but from the broad perspective of historical processes.
What is the attitude of members of Europe’s royal houses to Russia today? Are there some royals who are sharply opposed to Moscow’s policy?
Europe’s monarchs, and the heads and members of Europe’s royal houses, are cultured and well-educated people. They know very well Russia’s literature and music, Russia’s rich traditions in dance and architecture, and Russia’s history; and they pay tribute to our country and recognize its significance to the entire world. Many are interested in the Russian language, in the life of the people, and are sincerely sympathetic to Russia.
But politics is another matter altogether. Both before the revolution and now, admiration for Russia’s cultural achievements and appreciation for Russian national character were not enough to overcome the competition and confrontation between Russia and other great powers. Each country has its own understanding of its place in the world and its own national interests. Royal dynasties share the position of their governments. It cannot be otherwise.
But the monarchist worldview is completely alien to any sort of radicalism. The experience of two world wars in the 20th century, which led to untold misery and, moreover, to the fall of many monarchies, suggests that any “clear intentions” against anyone whatsoever will be destructive not only to those against whom these intentions are directed, but also to those who are predisposed to give themselves over to emotion and lose all sense of proportion.
I have up to now not heard any member of a royal house make any sharp anti-Russian statements of any kind, and I very much hope that it will remain that way going forward.
What is your opinion on Crimea becoming part of Russia? How do you assess the actions of the Russian government?
When the alarming reports began to come out of Ukraine, I initially called on its citizens to remember the terrible lessons of the revolution and Civil War. I called on them not to succumb to fratricide and to make every effort to preserve the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. And if the situation in Ukraine had played out differently than it has, I would not have such a firm conviction now that the return of Crimea to Russia was appropriate and inevitable.
Unfortunately, events began to develop in the direction of the worse-case scenario. There was a coup in Kiev. The new government fell under the control of extreme nationalists. Those political groups that had triumphed began their rule not with calls for peace, not by taking steps to restore order, but, on the contrary, with chauvinistic and revanchist attacks on Russians and Russian-speaking citizens, with threats against the clergy and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church, and with anti-Semitic proclamations redolent of the Nazis.
The legitimate leaders of Crimea not only had the right, it had the duty to take steps to protect from harm the people who had elected them into office. Yet, the heads of government institutions in Crimea did not take matters into their own hands; they held a referendum. The referendum included the option of keeping Crimea part of Ukraine. But a clear majority voted in favor of Crimea becoming a part of Russia, and Russian authorities, naturally, could not ignore this outcome. To do so would have been not only a political mistake, but also an act of immoral indifference.
When various politicians speak about the situation in Crimea today, I sometimes get the impression that Crimea is some piece of property which had belonged to Ukraine and has now been seized and appropriated by Russia. But that is not the case. Crimea is not just some piece of real estate. It is not an uninhabited territory. It is populated by people who have their own feelings, thoughts, will, and aspirations to live in peace. It is necessary to think first and foremost about their well-being. In my opinion, the analogy here is not with property but with a child of porce who has to choose with which parent he is going to live. As sad as it was, in 1991 Russia and Ukraine went through a political porce. Crimea remained with Ukraine as a result of the completely arbitrary decision in 1954 by Nikita Khrushchev to transfer Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. But pro-Russian sentiments were always strong in Crimea. And when the course of historical events forced the people of Crimea to express their will, they chose Russia.
And just as when a child chooses to live with one parent he does not cease to love the other, so too will Crimea not lose entirely its connection with Ukraine in becoming part of Russia. I feel sure that, with time, tempers will cool, Kiev will again have a legitimate government, elected by the people, and many of the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine, which now seem so insurmountable, will be resolved in a way that is mutually beneficial to all. And Crimea will not be a stumbling block between Russia and Ukraine, but rather a valuable link—part of Russia, and to the greatest extent possible, close as well to Ukraine.
Were we to draw a parallel between pre-revolutionary Russia and present-day Russia, could we say that Moscow is now trying to revive the Russian Empire?
You can’t step into the same river twice, as they say. Neither the Russian Empire nor the USSR can be reestablished in the form in which they previously existed. Integration is possible, but only in new and different ways, taking into account the positive experiences of the Russian Empire and USSR, and also in analyzing the mistakes they made that led to their downfall.
The situation with Crimea is unique, and one can in no way see it as the beginning of some kind of revanchist action on the part of Russia. Setting the question up that way will only cause harm, will put strong trump cards in the hands of the rivals and critics of our country, and alarm many of our friends and potential allies.
I firmly believe that the territory of the former Russian Empire continues to be a single unified cultural space, which is actually far more important than political unity. Political unity can be ephemeral and fleeting, as the 20th century has amply demonstrated. But cultural unity, sewn together by centuries of spiritual, cultural, and social connections, is stronger, deeper, and more significant. And Russia, and the other sovereign states which arose after the fall of the USSR, must preserve and develop all that brings people together and serves the interests of peace and stability.
Could Western sanctions against Russia lead to positive results, in your view?
I know of no examples when sanctions of this sort have led to positive results. One can understand how, during periods of cooling relations, the privileges, exemptions, and preferences that existed in relations between countries during better times might be suspended. But to impose sanctions specially and clearly directed at causing harm to a country which is fulfilling all its financial and economic obligations to its partners, and which, moreover, is as large and powerful a country as Russia, during a time of today’s global economic crisis, is absurd and harmful. This is a blow not only to our country, but to all other countries, as well.
There are practically no actions in international politics that do not somehow elicit criticism from some party or that are entirely satisfactory to everyone. Those who today are criticizing Russia have many times themselves acted in ways that have violated the principles of international law when it suited their interests to do so. And now, speaking figuratively, they who live in glass houses want to throw stones at Russia. Double standards may be the easy road to take, but they only exacerbate problems.
Then one has to look at the purpose of sanctions. What is the objective and is it achievable? It is clear, after all, that Russia, regardless of the sanctions that have been imposed on it, has not because of them refused to accept the joining of Crimea to Russia. Just as the USA and the nations of Europe will not refuse, for example, to recognize the independence of Kosovo. Therefore the ending of tensions and the reconciliation of all sides should be realized not through threats and sanctions, but through negotiations between equal partners. One can and should seek reciprocal concessions on separate points of dispute, negotiate certain additional reciprocal guarantees which will lower tensions between the parties, and so on. It is an on-going process. But to try to dictate a resolution from a position of strength and with the presumption that your side is absolutely right and the other side is absolutely wrong is counterproductive.
Do you intend to visit Crimea during your next visit to Russia, which is planned for next August? Do you plan to raise the question of Romanoff property in the Crimea?
The itinerary for all my travels for the current year was arranged at the end of last year, and a visit to Crimea had not been planned.
Of course, I would be very happy to visit Crimea in the future, when my countrymen living there believe that my visit would be useful and appropriate.
Neither I nor my son, Grand Duke George of Russia, involve ourselves in politics. That is the permanent and fundamental position of the Russian Imperial House. We have, of course, our own views on events of the day, and we reserve the right to express those views, as is the right of any citizen. But we do not take part in politics of any kind. Our goal is to serve the cause of inter-confessional, interethnic, and civil peace; to preserve our country’s historical traditions; and to help the needy as much as we possibly can. I hope that everyone understands this and, consequently, will understand that at the present moment it would be inappropriate for me to rush to visit Crimea.

As far as property is concerned, I have many times publicly and officially voiced our consistent position.  The Russian Imperial House is in principle against the restitution of property and makes no claims on any property.  We are very pleased that properties that were constructed and owned by our ancestors  today serve the public, and we ask nothing for ourselves.  The wonderful Livadia Palace, so loved by Emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II, and also all the other homes and estates owned once by members of our dynasty, should remain the property of the state and always be accessible to all our countrymen as historical and cultural public spaces and health resorts."

Prince Christian chases robbers

April 22, 1954

It doesn't pay to snatch purses in New York City, as two young men found out earlier today when they were chased on foot by a real "prince of the blood,: reports the New York Times.

The hero of the day is Prince Christian Oskar Ernst August Wilhelm Viktor Georg Heinrich of Hannover, the fourth child of the late Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II, great-grandson of Queen Victoria and younger brother of Queen Frederika of Greece.

The two young men, residents of the Bronx, grabbed a handbag from Mrs. Florence Ross, who was entering her home on Madison Avenue.  The robbers jumped into a waiting car and sped off.  After running a red light, they crashed into a taxi cab and began to run "westward" on 73rd Street.

Prince Christian had not known about the robbery when he stepped out of his cab at the entrance to his "bachelor apartment" at 42nd East 72nd Street.  As he paid his fare, he witnessed the accident.

He said: "I knew nothing about the theft then.  I thought the men were just hit-and-run drivers, whom I hate.  Nobody was hurt, but at the moment, the accident looked worse than it was. So, I said to my driver, 'Let's go after them.'"

Prince Christian began running after the culprit.  He had been a "distance runnier and a skier" at school in Germany.  Now 34 years old, he keeps in shape by running two miles every morning before breakfast.

He "pursued the fugitives" to Fifth Avenue, "vaulted the stone wall into Central Park," and continued his chase.

The pursuit ended at  Conservatory Lake, drained for the winter, at 79th Street.  It was at this point that the two men, "who evidently had neglected to run two miles every morning."  They collapsed to the ground and "surrendered without a struggle."

Neither man was armed, and they "meekly allowed" the 6'2" tall Prince Christian, "built like the stroke of a champion crew" to march them toward the park's 72nd Street gate. 

The prince's taxi driver and the police were waiting. Everyone went to the local precinct on East 67th Street.

The two men were charged with petit larceny, as Mrs. Ross's handbag contained only $2.00. 

The police thanked Prince Christian. He replied that this was a "small return for the kindness the police, the press, and all New York had shown his sister and her husband, King Paul," when they paid an official visit last year.

Prince Christian is learning "the shipping business" in New York.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prince Philip: third man at court

April 22, 1948

Buckingham Palace announced today that the Duke of Edinburgh, will become third in precedence at the British court, after the Dukes of Gloucester and Windsor. He will precede the Duke of Gloucester, only when he accompanies his wife, Princess Elizabeth.  (The Duke of Windsor does not attend court events.)

The new list of precedence has Philip in two places.  The first is called "joint precedence," with the Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and the Duke of Edinburgh, following directly after the King and Queen.  The other section features "single precedence," where the Duke is below the King's two brothers, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother Mary and Princess Elizabeth are at the top of the women's precedence list, followed by Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal (the King's only sister, Princess Mary), followed by the Duchesses of Gloucester and Kent.

The new list has allowed King George to reconsider the precedence for his older brother, the former Edward VIII.  After his abdication in 1936,  Edward was "relegated to the bottom of the list."

The king's decision to give his brother "individual preference" over Philip was the "result of blood being thicker than water," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The Duke of Edinburgh, a former Greek prince, is a British royal highness, but "he is not by blood a British prince."

Young King Michael brings flowers to Mom

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 April 22, 1928

Princess Helen of Romania celebrates her 32nd birthday today. She spent part of the day "opening another clinic for sick mothers and their babies," reports the New York Times.

The estranged wife of Prince Carol devotes a lot of her time to "Red Cross and charity work."   She received "scores of birthday greetings" from royal relatives all over the world, but "no remembrance from her errant husband."

Prince Carol lives a leisurely life in Paris with Mme. Lupescu, on the "half-million dollars" he inherited from his late father, King Ferdinand.

Friends of the "deserted" Princess said she regards her marriage as a "closed chapter in her life," and if her husband ever returns to Romania, she "will leave the country."

Perhaps the "most touching" of her gifts was a "tiny bunch of flowers" picked by her young son, King Michael.

"You see, Mama, I haven't forgotten you like Papa has," he said as he "raced into the house bearing the fragrant bouquet."

Princess Helen graciously accepted the flowers, and kissed "the thoughtful youngster." 

She remains "the picture of health and beauty" despite the heartaches in her life.

Her estranged husband, Carol, however, is said to be in "bad health and straightened circumstances, according to friends who saw him recently in Brussels.

The former heir to the throne looked "wan and thin."  Carol told reporters that he was feeling unwell and in need of a long rest.

"I have come to Brussels for a rest and I hope I get it," he said.

The Prince had spent one day in the Ardennes with Mme. Lupescu, her brother, father, and two secretaries.  

They returned to Brussels earlier today.   Reporters noted that Carol's "cheeks were hollow and his face seemed to be wasting away."  He gives the "impression" of a man "whose health was ruined."

"I do not know what is going on in Romania just now," he said.  "I am living quietly here to have a vacation from political events.  I don't know how long I will be able to stay but I seem to be getting a better rest here than in France."

Duke of Anhalt : loved music

April 22, 1918

Duke Friedrich II of Anhalt died today at Schloss Ballenstedt, reports the New York Times in a dispatch from Amsterdam.  

The Duke was 61 years old.

He ruled a duchy that "embraced an area a little larger than 900 square miles.".  His capital, Dessau, was well known for its culture, especially the court theatre, celebrated throughout Europe "for its operatic performances."  The Duke devoted his life to music, and "he was rarely seen in uniform."

He was the second son of Duke Friedrich I and Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Altenburg.  He succeeded his father in 1904. He had become the heir apparent after the death of his older brother, Prince Leopold in 1886.

Three years later, he married Princess Marie of Baden.  Their marriage was childless.  The new Duke is his younger brother, Eduard.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Princess Elizabeth reaches majority age

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April 21, 1944

Princess Elizabeth, heiress presumptive to the throne, celebrates her 18th birthday day.  Having reached the age of majority, the princess becomes "automatically" a member of the Counsellors of State.  She will also have her own staff and a lady-in-waiting. 

The elder daughter of King George VI,  Princess Elizabeth also "goes a little deeper into the servitude of etiquette and the great office that awaits her."

Elizabeth has been preparing for her future role for nearly her entire life, "since she was old enough to learn," writes the New York Times.  She has studied modern languages.  She "rides and shoots and plays tennis and swims."   She very likely knows more about the United States "than most of us do."

The princess was raised simply by her parents in "Piccadilly, in Scotland, at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park."  She "has no more clothes coupons than any other girl," and she has "plenty of fun."

Princess Elizabeth "loves to dance," and some of "our American officers have danced with her."  She likes almost everything "except arithmetic," and can have "small thought of the long years of public cerium and function that are before her."

She is "kind, intelligent, unpretentious, democratic," and she is the eldest daughter of the "democratic king and queen of our ally and friend."  The New York Times' editorial also adds: "We all feel a friendly and not in the least snobbish interest in her and wish her all good fortune."

George and Mary arrive in Paris

April 21, 1914

King George V and Queen Mary arrived in Paris today for a three days
visit to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the entente cordiale between Great Britain and France, reports the New York Times.

Much work has been done by the British and French governments to "render the visit significant politically and pleasant personally."

Most of Paris' main streets have been decorated with "garlands of evergreens and intertwined flags of both nations."  Crowds of Parisians stood on the sidewalks as they "awaited the early arrival of their Majesties.
The greeting was certainly a "flattered one."  The royal procession made its way through the Avenue de Bois de Boulogne and the Champs Elysées to the Palace of the Foreign office, where "specially decorated apartments" have been made ready for the king and queen.

Their schedule includes lunch at the British Embassy, a trip to Vincennes to "attend a great military review,"  a visit to the Hotel de Ville in Paris, where the king and queen will receive local citizens, a banquet the British Embassy where they will entertain President and Mme Poincare, which will be followed by a gala performance at the Opera.

The King and Queen will also have the opportunity to attend a "race meeting at Auteuil" and they will be the guests of honor at a State Banquet.

They traveled to France on the royal yacht Alexandra, crossing the English Channel from Dover to Calais.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg: jewelry designer

@Bill Durgin
Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg is the eldest of three children of the late Kraft, 9th Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his first wife, Princess Charlotte of Croy.  She was born on December 16, 1967.  On June 6, 1998, Princess Cecile married Cyril de Commarque, a grandson of Princess Marie Clotilde Bonaparte (daughter of Princess Clementine of Belgium)

Their marriage was dissolved by divorce in 2008.  The couple did not have any children.

Princess Cecile is now a noted jewelry designer. 

My thanks to Mickey Boardman for allowing me to use Bill Durgin's photo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wilhelmina in Paris

April 16, 1898

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, and her mother, Queen Emma, the Queen Regnant, are in Paris, "incognito," for a few days, before they travel to Cannes to visit Queen Emma's sister, the Duchess of Albany, reports the New York Times.

This is the young queen's first visit to Paris, and she is "said to be delighted."  They are scheduled to meet with President Faure.

Margarethe comes of age

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 April 16, 1958

Princess Margrethe, the eldest daughter of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark celebrated her 18th birthday today with new duties and responsibilities, reports the New York Times.   

 Denmark celebrated this coming-of-age birthday day as a fete day.

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 This morning the "tall, vivacious Princess" began her new duties as a future Queen.  At a "solemn ceremony" at Parliament House, Christianborg Palace,  she was sworn in as a member of the State Council."  

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The princess will also sit with the King at the weekly Cabinet meetings and will act as regent when her father is "absent from Denmark.

No engagement for Juliana

April 16, 1934

The Royal Palace in the Hague today "authoritatively denied" that the Prince Consort's recent visit to Brussels was not made "with a desire to betroth" Princess Juliana,  heir to the  throne, to Prince Charles of Belgium, younger son of King Albert, reports the New York Times.

Marguerite is a duchess

April 16, 1928

Despite reports to the contrary,  Miss Marguerite Watson, the wife of Prince Charles, Duke of Nemours, is a duchess, according to the Associated Press.

Reports from abroad stated that she was not a duchess because she "failed to confirm with official regulations when she was married in England on Saturday."  These views have caused "great amusement" in French official circles and among the nobility.

"The people setting that rumor afloat seem not have heard of the French revolution," commented Count Fleury, a noted authority on titles.  "The third republic never abolished titles, but the only interest it takes in them is to levy a fat tax when nobles want their titles verified."

Another high member of the French nobility said: "The American girl who married the Duc de Nemours is as much a Duchess as he is a duke.  Nobody can change that since the de Nemours title is well enough established.  It is curious that while so many spurious titles are going around unchallenged, a real one should be questioned when one happens upon it."

The marriage between the Duke and Miss Watson is "legal" regardless of what the Duke's family thinks.  Consent of the parents "is not absolutely necessary" if the son demanded consent.

The Duke of Guise, head of the royal family, has had the last word:  "Bless you, my children."

Prince Emmanuel de Merode: shot in Congo Ambush

Brent Stirton/Getty Images
Prince Emmanuel de Merode, director of the Virunga National Park in the Congo, is recovering from surgery after being shot in the chest on Tuesday afternoon.

 Emmanuele, 43 was "driving alone when attackers opened fire on his vehicle"  on the road between Goma and the Virunga National Park headquarters.

Goma is described as "war-torn eastern Congo's main city."

The Virgunga National Park is home to about a quarter of the world's "880 remaining critically endangered mountain gorillas.

Pine Emmanuele was rushed to a Goma hospital, where surgeons removed several bullets from his chest 

"He's stable now and doing much better than he was yesterday," said Joanna Natasegara, spokeswoman for the Virunga National Park.  "There were two or three bullets that were taken out, so obviously we're still worried.  But he's being his usual strong self."

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but, according to the Daily Telegraph,  Prince Emmanuel "has made enemies of armed militias and poachers" during his six years as director of Virunga, which is Africa's oldest reserve.

Prince Emmanuel, 43, is married to Louise Leakey, daughter of the Kenyan conservationist, Richard Leakey.

Prince Emmanuel Werner Marie Ghislain de Merode was born at Carthage on, Tunisia, on May 5, 1970.  He is the second son of Charles Guillaume, Prince de Merode, and Princess Hedwig de Ligne. 

He married Louise Leaky in a civil ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, is December 2003.  A religious ceremony at Serrant took place in May 2004.   Princess Seiya was born at Nairobi on August 31, 2004.  Princess Alexia was born at Nairobi in September 2006.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Threats against Queen Victoria

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April 15, 1884

It has now transpired that Queen Victoria received "several anonymous letters threatening their life during her journey to Darmstadt," were received at Windsor Castle prior to departure, according to a World cable from London to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The threats left to the adoption of the "extraordinary measures" for the protection of Queen Victoria and her daughter, Princess Beatrice, who traveled to Darmstadt aboard her special train. 

Various safeguards were put into place including maintaining a "continuous control," and watching the track for "obstructions." 

The carriages "immediately in the front and rear" of the Queen's private carriage were filled "with Constables from Scotland Yard," and a detective should be next to the engine driver on "each of the locomotives."

Queen Victoria will travel to Darmstadt to attend the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine, who will marry Prince Louis of Battenberg on April 30.

Princess Victoria is the eldest child of the late Princess Alice, Queen Victoria's third child, who married in 1862 to the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine.

Prince William returns to the USA

April 15, 1964

Prince William of Gloucester, 22, returned to the United States today, "to continue his studies at Stanford University," according to Reuters.

Prince William is the elder of two sons of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and is a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Colloredo-Mansfeld in the processing of annuling marriage

Prince Joseph of Colloredo-Mansfield, head of one of "the great houses of the Austrian nobility, is in the procession of arranging an annulment of his recent marriage, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.

The proceedings are "unprecedented" and "sufficiently rare" to receive such attention.  Last year, he married Lucy Sophie Jonquet,  a widow, believed to be an "Englishwoman by birth.  They married in Paris last April, and spent the "remainder of the spring in the Riviera," and then traveled to Prague, where the prince has a palace.  He and his wife gave many parties and were often also "entertained a great deal."

A problem arose when it became time to present his wife at court.  Questions were raised about her lineage.  Wives of Austrian and Hungarian nobles must "prove to the satisfaction of the grand chamberlain in Vienna" that they are of "aristocratic parentage," on both sides, and be free of "bourgeois and plebeian strains" in order to be accepted at court.

The new Princess of Colloredo-Mansfield was unable to satisfy the court's requirements. She could not even prove that her parents were noble.   According to the Colloredo-Mansfeld family statutes, no male member of the house can marry a woman who does not belong to a "sovereign house or a mediatized family" without the consent of the adult male members of the house.

The marriage was approved because the Prince gave the impression that his bride was of "noble English birth.    This has proven to be false, and now the union will be viewed as "invalid," and the prince has begun proceedings to have the marriage annulled, due to the marriage having been "contracted in defiance of the laws of the house."

In Austria, the family statutes of the mediatized families "carry much weight" and are "acknowledged by national tribunals."   The marriage is expected to be annulled on the grounds that the princess did not "possess the necessary qualifications of birth and lineage," as required by the house of Colloredo-Mansfield.

[Note: the marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1925.]

A Catholic wedding for Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis

Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis will have a Roman Catholic wedding, according to her mother, Princess Gloria.

The London-based Princess Maria Theresa is engaged to marry fellow artist, British-born Hugo Wilson.

In a recent interview,  Princess Gloria, a devout Roman Catholic, told a reporter: "As far as I know, my daughter's fiancé is having catechism lessons and will become a Catholic."

Her faith intensified after the death of her husband.  "I try to attend the Holy Mass daily.  All over the world.  I was just in Vietnam. The Mass was in Vietnamese.  I had to smile, but it was funny to hear the prayers in a very  different language was downright funny."

Princess Benedikte to celebrate 70th birthday

The Danish weekly magazine, Billed-Bladet, will commemorate Princess Benedikte's 70th birthday with a special issue out this week.  She will be interviewed in next week's issue.  The special issue is said to have a nice display of photos of Princess Benedikte from birth to present.

Unfortunately, this magazine is not sold in the United States or Canada.  The magazine is available for sale in Denmark (of course) and the other Scandinavian countries, including Iceland.  I have heard reports of the magazine in London but not at Selfridge's on Oxford Street, which has a large international selection.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Former girlfriend of King Michael enters convent

April 14, 1948

The former "longtime" girlfriend of King Michael of Romania, has entered the Convent de Liarri, near Cassino, reports the Chicago Tribune Service.

Mariella Lotti, a blonde Italian actress, made this decision following the former King's announcement of his engagement to Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.

Miss Lotti first met Michael in 1939 when she was in Bucharest "as a member of an Italian theatrical company."  She left the troupe and decided to remain in Bucharest.  She and Michael were "seen together constantly."  

She returned to Italy after the start of the second world war, and she wrote to "the King daily."

[Mariella Lotti made her film debut in 1939 and continued to appear in films until 1954.  She died in 2006.  The story of her romance with Michael was baseless, according to  CBS reporter Don Hollenbeck.  At the time, he appeared on a program called CBS Views the Press.  The original story about Lotti appeared in the New York Journal-American, a daily newspaper (which ceased publication in 1966.)

Hollenbeck "dispatched" another CBS reporter, Peter Tompkins, to Rome to find out more about this story.  He reported that Signorina Lotti was currently at work on a movie, 'Guarany,' for Universalia, and would soon be heading to Brazil for location shoots.   Lotti told the reporter that she was not entering a convent.  She also stated she never "had a love affair with King Michael."

Hollenbeck chastised the Journal-American: "While the facts may often spoil a good story, outright fiction really ought to be labeled as such."]

Prince Michael of Prussia's funeral

Prince Michael and his first wife, Jutta Jörn

all photos: Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection
Nearly 100 people, mostly family and friends, attended the funeral on Friday of Prince Michael of Prussia, who died on April 3 at the age of 74.  

The black and white Hohenzollern flag was draped across the coffin, which was also covered with a wreath of roses from his widow, Birgitte, and his two daughters, Micaela and Nataly.  Another wreath, in the shape of a cross, was given by Michael's nephew, Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, and his wife, Princess Sophie.

Although no guest list was released,  it is believed that Prince Michael's surviving siblings, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Princess Marie Cecile and Prince Christian Sigismund were among the mourners, along with Michael's numerous nieces and nephews.

Hechigen mayor Dorothea Bachmann also attended the service as a guest of the family.

A reception in the castle's Grafensaal was held after the funeral.  A traditional potato soup was served.;art5612,2552239

Crown Prince Alexander's statement on "rehabilitation of the rehabilitated" Queen Maria

@ Crown Prince Alexander
Rehabilitation of the rehabilitated – Crown Prince Alexander’ statement


Belgrade, April 14, 2014 - The position of HRH Crown Prince Alexander on today’s rehabilitation of HM Queen Maria is that it was already done in 2001 and confirmed in 2011, therefore it was not legally required to run a specific process of rehabilitation in 2013 and 2014.

The facts relating to the rehabilitation of the Royal Family members are the following:

1. By Decree of the Presidency of the Presidium of the National Assembly of FNRY from 1947, the Karadjordjevic family members, including HM Queen Maria, were stripped of their citizenship and their property was confiscated.

2. By the Act of 2001 on the abolition of the Decree on confiscation of the property and revoking of the citizenship from 1947, the Decree was declared null and void.

3. By the Act of 2011, Article 5, paragraph 5, legal rehabilitation was established for the Karadjordjevic Family who were striped of  citizenship and dispossessed of property by the decree from 1947.

Thus, it was in 2001 that legal rehabilitation of Karadjordjevic family members was carried out, which was confirmed by the law of 2011.