Saturday, August 30, 2014

200th anniversary of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were in Maastricht today for the 200th anniversary celebrations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  They were joined by King Philippe and Queen Maxima of Belgium and Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

Arjan Bower took these photos.  He owns the copyright.   You can follow him on Twitter at @houseoflemon

Friday, August 29, 2014

Franz Josef extends invitation

August 29, 1888

Emperor Franz Josef of Austria has invited the Prince of Wales "to witness the Autumn maneuvers of the Austria troops," notes the New York Times.

The Times also reports that "in view of the betrothal of Princess Wilhelmine of Holland and Prince William of Nassau the latter's father has agreed to waive his rights as heir to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg."

King George of the Hellenes arrived in Copenhagen today, where he was "cordially welcomed at the station" by Queen Louise and other members of the royal family.

Constantine wedding plans announced

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection
August 29, 1964

The official schedule for the wedding of King Constantine II and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark was released today, reports the Associated Press.

The wedding will take place in Athens on September 13.  Twelve king and queens and 36 princes and princesses will be among the guests at the ceremony.   King Constantine will fly to Copenhagen on September 7 to attend "three days of farewell festivities" for Princess Anne Marie.  

The King will return to Athens on September 10 by airplane, and will be accompanied by the bride's eldest sister, Crown Princess Margarethe, in order to be present for Princess Anne Marie's arrival "aboard the royal Danish yacht Dannebrog the following day.:

The princess and her parents, King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid, will leave Copenhagen the same day as King Constantine, but they will fly to Brindisi, Italy, where they will board the yacht.

Prince of Wales to be best man at George's wedding

August 29, 1934

The Prince of Wales will be the best man at the wedding of his youngest brother, Prince George, report the New York Times today  Prince George's two other brothers, the Duke of York and the Duke of Gloucester will be the groomsmen.

Prince George will marry Princess Marina of Greece in November or December at Westminster Abbey, with the ceremony to be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The wedding will feature a "state procession along the Mall."  After the ceremony, the newlyweds will return to Buckingham Palace for a wedding breakfast.  About 1000 guests are expected to be invited including the former King and Queen of Greece, the former King and Queen of Spain, Queen Maud of Norway, and King Christian X of Denmark.

Princess Marina and Prince George are expected to return to England "shortly," where they will travel to Balmoral to see King George and Queen Mary.  The bride-to-be will then return to Paris to "rejoin" her parents, Prince and Princess Nicholas of Greece, and prepare for her wedding.  She will not return to London until shortly before the wedding.

The royal yacht, Victoria & Albert, will probably be sent across the Channel to bring Prince George and Princess Marina from Calais to Dover where they will receive a royal salute from Dover Castle.

The announcement of Prince George's engagement has been the "general topic of conversation," in Britain.

"Prince George has always been considered the 'ladies' man of the royal family," opined the Evening Star. "How many girls has he been attentive to, his favorite brother the Prince of Wales, may have some idea of. How many girls have been in love with him must be a figure  far more difficult to estimate."

One reporter was able to interview  Princess Marina from Salzburg:  "I cannot tell you how happy I am.  I hope we shall be married very soon.  We are likely to be married in London."

Infanta Eulalia of Spain, who has known Princess Marina for many years, said earlier today in Paris:  "She is the most beautiful Princess in Europe.  There is no doubt about it being a love match because she is so beautiful that any man would fall in love with her easily."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Official: Prince George to Marry Marina

Embed from Getty Images
August 28, 1934

The following announcement was made from Balmoral Castle today:  "It is with great pleasure that the King and Queen announce the betrothal of their dearly beloved son, the Prince George, to the Princess Marina, daughter of Prince and Princess Nicholas of Greece, to which union the King has gladly given his consent."

The announcement, according to the New York Times, was made after the King telegraphed his consent to Prince George, who "visiting Yugoslavia as the guest of Princes and Princess Paul."

Embed from Getty Images 

 Princess Paul is Marina's oldest sister,  Olga.

Prince George is expected to fly back to England with his fiancée in the next few days, and head straight to Balmoral.  He will also visit with Prince and Princess Nicholas before returning to England.

The date of the wedding has not been set, although it is expected that the ceremony will take place in Westminster Abbey.

The couple are expected to live in London after the wedding.

Prince George and Princess Marina first met five years ago in London.  When he traveled to Yugoslavia several weeks ago "rumors of an engagement began to spread."

The Prince of Wales, who is "closer to his brother than anyone else, " was one of the first to be told about the engagement.

The rumors intensified when Prince George, regarded as "one of the most artistic members of the royal family," arrived in Salzburg with Princess Marina and Prince and Princess Paul, to hear "Don Giovanni," at the music festival.

There will be no "political significance" to the engagement as former King George II of the Hellenes now lives in London. 

Prince George is sixth in line to the throne after the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose of York, and the Duke of Gloucester.

Princess Marina will celebrate her 28th birthday in November.  She is a grandniece of the late Queen Alexandra, and her father is a first cousin of King George V.  She is also a first cousin of Princess Helen of Romania.  

She shares Prince George's "love for music."   She speaks English well, and she shares interests in shooting and dancing with her future husband.    She is tall and brunette, and, according, to a close friend, she is a "typical modern girl who is very fond of outdoor sport."

It was on August 15 when Prince George left  England for Prince Paul's summer home on Bohinsko Lake.  It was here "amid the romantic surroundings of the Slovenian Alps," where  Prince George proposed to Princess Marina.  After she accepted,  he sent a telegram to Balmoral to ask for "the king's consent."

King George V and Queen Mary have met Princess Marina several times although she has never stayed at Buckingham Palace.

The engagement comes hot on the heels of advice George received from his uncle, the Earl of Athlone, in the spring. "You had better think of marrying soon."

It is expected that Prince George will receive a dukedom before his marriage.  He is only one of George V's sons who did not receive a ducal title before he turned 30.   One of the titles being mentioned is Duke of Edinburgh.

Alexandra and son safe in Crimea

Embed from Getty Images 
August 29, 1918

The New York Times is reporting on a dispatch sent to from Stockholm to the London Daily News, which was written in French and signed by "Hanson."

"I report under reserve a story published by the Svenska Dagbladet on the authority of a certain Erbs, conductor of a Swedish band, who has been serving as a volunteer at the German front in the Crimea, and who has arrived in Stockholm on leave.  Erbs states that the ex-Czarina, with the ex-Czarevitch and her daughters, has been living in perfect safety in the Crimea since May, that they have never been in Siberia, and that all official reports to the contrary have been manufactured for political purposes.

"As for the ex-Czar, Erbs knows nothing definite but mentions a rumor that he is alive and lives in security in a German town. The ex-Czarina would not be disposed to go to Germany, but has sent her jewels there."

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Auguste Viktoria suffering from a fever

August 27, 1884

Princess Auguste Viktoria, the wife of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, second in line to throne, continues to suffer from a fever with "unabated severity," reports the New York Times.    She passed a "restless night."

On July 14, Princess Auguste Viktoria gave birth to her third son, Prince Adalbert.

No romance says Colin

August 27, 1954

The Hon. Colin Tennant, 27, son and heir of Lord Glenconner, is denying a romance with Princess Margaret. reports the London Evening Standard.

The "romantic rumors blossomed" when reporters noticed Tennant was among the guests at Princes Margaret's 24th birthday last week at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Is Grand Duchess Olga living in Milan

August 27, 1928

Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, reported today that Grand Duchess Olga, eldest daughter of the Russian Emperor, Nicholas II, was living in Milan in 1921.    The article stated that Olga had married an "Italian officer of Venetian origin who had been a prisoner in Russia,"  who helped her to escape from that country.

The couple, according to the story, had lived in a boarding house on the Corse Buenos Aires.  The manger of the boarding house said that the "supposed Princess" spoke Russian, English and French, and "showed in every way superior breeding."

The woman said her boarder "relapsed into silence," when photographs of Grand Duchess Olga were published in "illustrated magazines."   She asked her guest "point blank" if she were "not really the Grand Duchess." 

The young woman replied: "I was once rich, and you see, I have nothing." 

The newspaper states that the story "was well embroidered by the boarding-house keeper and by a dyer and cleaner" in the neighborhood.   The Corriere della Sera "discards much of the embroidery," but says there may be "some foundation for the yarn."

Olga was born on November 15, 1895.   All "historic accounts" say she and her parents, three sisters and one brother, were "murdered by the Communists at Ekaterinburg in 1918."

There have been reports of "some members of the family" were able to escape, most notably "in the case" of the youngest daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia, but none of these tales have "withstood the tests of their authenticity."

Franz Ferdinand's children now in Switzerland

August 27, 1914

Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria has sent the three children of the late Archduke Franz Ferdinand to Switzerland "to remain during the war," a dispatch to the New York Times.

The children arrived this morning at Rorschach on Lake Constance, and will stay at Schloss Wartegg, owned by the Duke of Parma, who will be residing there  with the Duchess of Parma.

The Duke and Duchess of Parma will care for the "orphan children," whose parents were killed on June 28 at Sarajevo.  The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the then heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was the catalyst that hurled Europe into a  world war.

Royal Musings - famous in Indonesia

My piece on the marriage of Count Ludwig zu Waldburg und Wolfegg und Waldsee and Jessica Iskandar has been discussed on Indonesian TV.  Holy Moly Macaroni!

A profile of Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

An interesting and informative interview with Princess Cecile of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and her jewels.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jessica talks about her little count

Indonesian actress Jessica Iskandar is apparently back in Jakarta as she recently spoke to a reporter there, waxing lyrical about her newborn son. (German magazine Bunte reported the baby was girl, but it seems that the new bride of Hereditary Count Ludwig zu Waldburg von Wolfegg  und Waldsee did indeed give birth to a son.)

She says she's happy, and she doesn't get to sleep through the night because the baby wakes up and wants to have his diaper changed.

The baby's name has not been officially announced but there are rumors that he has been named Barack Alexander.

I have been quoted in several Indonesian news articles, which have cited my original Royal Musings post.

The couple are legally married, according to Indonesian and German law.   Religious weddings are not legal in Germany but  Germany does recognize religious weddings that take place in countries where religious weddings are registered as legal weddings.  (This is the case in the United States, for example.)   Jessica and Ludwig's wedding was officially registered in Jakarta.

Unless Count Ludwig, a Roman Catholic, sought a dispensation to marry, his marriage in a Protestant church would not be recognized as an official wedding in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church.

Incidentally, if Jessica did give birth in California, as reported,  anyone can obtain an informational copy of the baby's birth certificate. 

It is also not publicly known if the Prince of Waldburg von Wolfegg und Waldsee has approved his son's marriage.

The present Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode (Philip) succeeded his father as head of the house as his two older brothers ceased to be dynasts because of their marriages to commoners.

The eldest son of of the Prince Fugger von Babenhausen, Prince Leopold, 's marriage to Aninna Kammer is non-dynastic, and his younger brother, Alexander, is now the Hereditary Count.

The present Count of Schönburg-Glauchau succeeded his father in 1998.  His older brother, Carl-Alban, renounced his rights in 1995 when he married a commoner, Juliet Fowler.

Oh dear: is Prince Laurent the father of a teenage son?

Is Prince Laurent of Belgium the father of a 14-year-old son, Clement?  According to an article in today's Wort, a Luxembourg newspaper that is not a tabloid,  Prince Laurent, younger brother of King Philippe, is said to be the father of the younger son of  a Belgian pin-up girl and TV celebrity, Wendy van Wanten.

The claims are being made by Jackie de Moor, who was Wendy's long time personal assistant and body guard.

De Moor told Belgian magazine, Story, that Prince Laurent and Wendy met a fashion show in 1995.  Prince Laurent then asked Wendy to join him for dinner at a local restaurant.  De Moor waited outside.   This meeting began a "long-standing" affair between Prince Laurent and Miss van Wanten.

Wendy gave birth to Clement in 2000.  Clement, according to de Moor, doesn't know his real father.  He believes Dany Vanholme, who was Wendy's manager, is his father.

De Moor learned about the affair when he picked Wendy up in his car.  She was sitting in the back seat of the car.  She laughed and said: "I have butterflies in my stomach.  I'm in love.  I got a prince."

She confessed the details of her affair and her pregnancy. She thought she hit the jackpot.  De Moor said Wendy believed Laurent would marry her and she would become a princess.

Wendy became pregnant, and gave birth to a son, whom she named Clement.  Laurent ended the affair, but not without arranging for a court agreement between he and Wendy.   The alleged agreement stated that if Wendy kept silent about the illegitimate child, Laurent would provide financial assistance.  Wendy agreed.  To this day, she has maintained her silence.

Prince Laurent is also silent on the matter.   In 2002, he married Claire Coombs. They have three children: Princess Louise and twin sons, Prince Nicolas and Prince Aymeric.
Rumors about Prince Laurent being Clement's father are not new.  In December 2011,  Wendy's elder son, Dylan Vanholme told reporters that Clement's father was Danny de Waele,  Wendy's manager, who had died in 2006.  Dylan referred to De Waele as his stepfather even though Wendy and Danny never came out as an official couple.

"Of course, I was not at the conception," Dylan said in 2011, but when I look at my brother, I recognize more and more of my stepfather in him. So Clement must be his son."

He added:  "Danny was always the man in my mom's life."

Wendy van Wanten, now 54 years old, has maintained her silence regarding the rumors about her younger son's father.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Princess Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Countess Adelheid of Lippe-Biesterfeld married Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen on April 24, 1889. 

Adelheid's status was a concern as she was the daughter of Count Ernst of Lippe-Biesterfeld.  During the succession dispute in Lippe, there were questions about the position of Adelheid's brother Leopold and his right to succeed.  Their great-grandmother, Modeste von Unruh, was not of equal birth.  In 1905, Leopold was recognized as Prince of Lippe following the ruling of the Diet of Lippe.

Friedrich and Adelheid's six children were members of the Saxe-Meiningen dynasty: Feodora (1890-1972), Adelheid (1891-1971), Georg (1892-1946), Ernst (1895-1914), Kuise (1899-1985), and Bernhard (1901-1984)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grand Duke Nicholas cheers Serbs

August 20, 1914

Grand Duke Nicholas, commander of the Russian army, has sent a letter to Prince Alexander of Serbia, congratulating him on Serbia's victory, according to a St. Petersburg dispatch to Reuters.

He wrote: "Having received news of the brilliant victory of the Serbian Army, I send on behalf of the Pan-Slavic Army cordial congratulations on the first victory which God has given us.  The Russian Army shouts to you a vigorous cheer in honor of the victorious Serbs."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Royal travels

August 19, 1888

King Christian IX of Denmark and his daughter, the Princess of Wales and her daughters, traveled today from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt, where they "met and dined with the Prince of Wales," according to a dispatch sent to the New York Times.

The Princess of Wales will now travel to Gmunden, to visit her youngest sister, Princess Thyra, who is married to the Duke of Cumberland.

Margaret to announce engagement

August 19, 1950

Princess Margaret, who will celebrate her 20th birthday on August 21, is said to have a "birthday secret," according to an article in the Sunday Pictorial. 

The secret is expected to be an announcement of her engagement to the 26-year-old Earl of Dalkeith, heir to the Duke of Buccleuch.

The newspaper reports that many of Princess Margaret's friends "are certain she has a birthday secret.  They add it would have been announced already but for the birth of Princess Elizabeth's baby."

Princess Elizabeth gave birth to her second child, a daughter, on August 15.

The Pictorial features side-by-side photographs of the Princess and Lord Dalkeith.   The Duke of Buccleuch is the brother of the Duchess of Gloucester, who is married to King George VI's younger brother, Henry, the Duke of Gloucester. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Coburg prince dead at 19

August 14, 1888

A cable to the Chicago Daily Tribune announces the death of Prince Joseph Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.   He died from an "inflammation of the lungs.

Prince Joseph Ferdinand Maria Michael Gabriel Raphael Gonzaga was born on May 21, 1869 at the Palace Leopoldina in Rio de Janeiro.  He was the third son of Prince Ludwig August of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Princess Leopoldina of Brazil.

The prince was nineteen years old.  He died yesterday at Weiner Neustadt in Austria.

Text of George V's message to Nicholas released today

August 14, 1914

The text of King George V's message to Nicholas II, which was sent on August 1, was released today:

I cannot help thinking that some misunderstanding has produced this deadlock.
I am most anxious not to miss any possibility of avoiding the terrible calamity which
at present threatens the whole world. I, therefore, make a personal appeal to you
to remove the misapprehension which I feel must have occurred and to leave still
open grounds for negotiation and possible peace.

"If you think that I can in any way contribute to this all-important purpose, I will do everything .in my power to assist in reopening the interrupted conversations between the Powers concerned. I feel confident that you are as anxious as I am that all that is possible should be done to secure the peace of the world."

"I would gladly have accepted your proposals had not the German ambassador this afternoon presented a note to my government declaring war. Ever since presentation of the ultimatum at Belgrade, Russia has devoted all her efforts to finding some pacific solution of the question raised by Austria's action. Object of that action was to crush Serbia and make her a vassal of Austria. Effect of this would have been to upset balance of power in the Balkans, which is of such vital interest to my Empire.

"Every proposal, including that of your Government, which rejected by Germany and Austria, and it was only when the favorable moment for bringing pressure to bear on Austria had passed that Germany showed any disposition to mediate. Even then she did not put forward any precise proposal.  Austria's declaration of war on Serbia forced me to order a partial mobilization, though, in view of the threatening situation, my military advisers strongly advised a general mobilization owning to the quickness with which Germany can mobilize in comparison with Russia.

"I was eventually compelled to take this course in consequence of complete Austrian mobilization of the bombardment of Belgrade, of concentration of Austrian troops in Galicia, and of the secret military preparations being made in Germany.  That I was justified in doing so is proved by Germany's sudden declaration of war, which was quite unexpected of me, as I had given most categorical assurances to the Emperor William that my troops would not move so long as mediation negotiations continued,.

"In this solemn hour I wish to assure you once more that I have done all in my power to avert war. Now that it has been forced on me, I trust your country will not fail to support France and Russia.  God Bless and protect you."

It appears that Nicholas would have accepted Britain's proposals, but they came after Germany declared war.

Stork expected to visit Wilhelmina

August 14, 1908

It was announced today at Apeldoorn that an "interesting event is expected in the Dutch royal family," reports the New York Times.

Queen Wilhelmina is now staying at Het Loo, near Apeldoorn.

Churchill to marry

August 14, 1908

It was announced today that Winston Spencer Churchill, President of the Board of Trade, will marry Clementine, daughter of the late Sir Henry Montagu Hozier, reports the New York Times.

Mr. Hozier was for 32 years the Secretary of Lloyd's.

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill is the elder son of the late Lord Randolph Churchill, who was the son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough, and the American-born Jennie Jerome.

Mr. Churchill was born November 30, 1874.  He served in the British army for a short period of time, and then joined the Spanish forces as "an observer during the attempts to quell the insurrections in Cuba.  He worked as a war correspondent in South Africa during the Boer war.

He is the author of "books on economic, colonial, and other subjects," including a biography of his father.   In "certain circles," Churchill is seen as a "rising statesman who may attain the Premiership."

A new interview with Peter Phillips

Peter Phillips is the eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Don Gonzalo dead after car crash

Embed from Getty Images 

 August 13, 1934

Infante Don Gonzalo, the fourth of son of former King Alfonso XIII, died this morning at 1 a.m., of injuries suffered in a motor accident at 7:30 last night in Austria.  His death was due to hemophilia, which the 19-year-old Infante suffered along with several other members of the former Spanish royal family.

Don Gonzalo was with his sister, Infanta Beatriz, who was driving her own car from Klagenfurt to drive along "the shore of the lake.   Outside the small village of Krumpendorf,  Beatriz overtook a bicyclist who was zig-zagging over the road.    She tried to pass the man  at a "moderate speed" when he "suddenly swerved" in front of the car.

In order to avoid hitting the young man,  the infanta was forced to "swing her car sharply to the right" and hit the walls of Krumpendorf castle.

At first, neither Infanta Beatriz nor her brother was injured.    She drove home, and Don Gonzalo went to bed.  Unaware of anything being wrong, King Alfonso went to the Park Hotel and Casino at Poertschach, at about 10 p.m., and was told his son was unwell and had gone home.

The King then called for a doctor. 

Although Don Gonzalo suffered no external injuries, his condition grew worse, and he died a few hours after the accident, due to an "internal hemorrhage following heart failure and an advanced stage of hemophilia."

King Alfonso issued a statement following his son's death:  "My son was suffering from hemophilia to such a degree the slightest shock was always liable to prove fatal."

The cyclist was Baron Neimans, a well-known German jockey.  He was not arrested but remains at the "disposal of the police.

Countess Hoyos has confirmed that the Spanish royal family has been staying at her villa, where Don Gonzalo died.  She would provide no further information about his death.    Queen Victoria Eugenia, who is in Davos, Switzerland, has been informed by telegram of her youngest son's death.   She is now on her way to Austria.

The funeral will take place on Wednesday afternoon at Poertschach, where Infante Gonzalo will be buried.

Will Queen Maria Cristina be regent again?

August 13, 1924

Queen Maria Cristina of Spain arrived in Paris this morning from Switzerland, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.  She was met by representatives of President Doumerge and Premier Herriot, as well as the Spanish Ambassador.  Maria Cristina, the mother of King Alfonso XIII, is expected to leave for Spain on Saturday.

There are "conflicting rumors" about the political situation in Spain.  Newspapers are under "strict censorship, which allows nothing to escape from Madrid," except for information in the official communique.

There may be some credence to the report that the Queen Mother is returning to Spain to "take up the regency for her grandson on the abdication" of her son.  She has received "unusual attention" from the French and Spanish authorities, and while she remains in Paris, Maria Cristina is receiving protection from republican guards.  She has also received a "stream of political visitors" this afternoon and evening, all encouraging the belief that she is about to "return to the political arena."

Queen Maria Cristina served as Regent following the death of her husband, Alfonso XII in 1885.   She was expecting her third child at the time of his death.  The couple were the parents of two daughters, the elder, Mercedes, was the Princess of Asturias, and would have succeeded to the throne as Queen of Maria Cristina's third child was also a girl.  But in May 1886,  she gave birth to a son, Alfonso XIII.  She remained as Regent until he reached his majority.

The Dowager Queen is respected by all the political parties in Spain "for her political sagacity."  If King Alfonso abdicates, she would be the "only person" who would be able to form a new government, as the regent for the young Prince of Asturias.

Infant heir made colonel

August 13, 1904

The new heir to the Russian throne received his first military honor even before he was twenty-four hours old, reports the New York Times.

Tsarevitch Alexis was made the Honorary Colonel of the Finland Guards.  The colonel of the regiment traveled to the Alexandria Villa at Peterhof to "salute his baby chief."

The regiment is "so named because they took part in the war against the Swedes in Finland."

Alexis, who is the first son and fifth child, of Emperor Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra, is said to be a "strong, healthy baby."

The Emperor's younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, "joyfully surrenders his rights and prestige as heir apparent" to his new nephew.  He looks forward to being out of the public eye, and has been "exceedingly anxious" to go to the front, although it is improbable that he will be permitted to travel to the Far East.

The Duke of Vendome: interview

The Duke of Vendome described his grandmother, the Countess of Paris, as the "emotional cement" of his family.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dowager Empress is ill

August 12, 1914

The Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia arrived in Berne earlier today, reports the New York Times.  She is said to be "seriously ill," and she will undergo a "surgical operation."

The Dowager Empress is the sister of Queen Alexandra.  She was returning to St. Petersburg when she was stopped in Berlin on August 3.  She was persuaded to travel to Stockholm, and has now decided to remain in Switzerland for the duration of the war.

It's a boy!!! Russia celebrates

August 12, 1904

BULLETIN:   The Empress of Russia gave birth to a son today at 12:30 p.m., in St. Petersburg.  The empress and her infant son are "doing well," according to the New York Times.

Empress Alexandra, the consort of Nicholas II, gave birth not at the "great palace at Peterhof," but at the Alexandra Villa, one of a group of "small palaces in a secluded corner of the magnificent Peterhof Park."

The Empress had been staying in this palace for several weeks.  The other three palaces have been occupied by other members of the Imperial family, including the Dowager Empress Marie, and her two daughters, Grand Duchess Xenia and Grand Duchess Olga, and her younger son, Grand Duke Michael, as they awaited the birth of Nicholas and Alexandra's fifth child. 

The Alexandra Villa is a "more private spot" than the main palace.  The public has been excluded from this part of the park for "days past," as the four small palaces are hidden from view, "set in a thick forest of oaks, birches and lindens," hidden from view on "every side except toward the Gulf of Finland.

The announcement of the birth was followed immediately by a 101 gun salute from the "imperial yacht lying at anchor off the palace.  It was not until 2:45 p.m., when the "guns of the St. Peter and St. Paul Fortress," opposite the Winter Palace, "conveyed the glad tidings to the people of the Russian capital."

The effect of the announcement was "electrical," especially when the 32 gun was fired.  Only thirty-one guns are fired for a girl.  When the local citizens realized that the Empress had finally given birth to a son, the "whole city had blossomed out with flags and bunting."

Then the church bells began to "ring wildly."    The news of the birth was soon "telegraphed to the most remote corners of the empire.  The "clangor of bells" and the sounds of cannons reverberated throughout the country.  Services of Thanksgiving soon followed.

Tonight, the Emperor and members of the Imperial family attended a Te Deum at the chapel in the Villa Alexandra.

The baby will be named Alexis.  Should he come to the throne, he will be known as Emperor Alexis II.

Nicholas II released a statement tonight in response to the congratulations from court officials:  "I am happier at the birth of a son and heir than at a victory of my troops, for now I face the future calmly and without alarm, knowing by this sign that the war will be brought to a happy conclusion."

Nicholas married Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine in November 1894.  The couple's first child, Grand Duchess Olga, was born a year later.  Grand Duchess Tatiana was born in 1897, and followed by Grand Duchess Marie (1899) and Grand Duchess Anastasia (1901.)

Nicholas is not in robust health, and if he dies within the next few years, there will be a "long regency."   But many believe that the birth of Alexis will "bring the Czar and his people closer together."  Certainly the "enmity of the people", which has "hardly been concealed," will dissipate now that Alexandra has given birth to a son an heir.

Nicholas' younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, moves down to second in line to the throne.   The birth of Alexis also puts a damper on the "ambitions" of Grand Duke Vladimir and his family.   Vladimir, the eldest of Nicholas' uncle, will be "shattered" by the birth of a direct heir.  

Grand Duke Michael is said to suffer from consumption, and Vladimir and his three sons, Grand Dukes Kirill, Boris and Andrew, are the next heirs in the line of succession.

Some see the accession of one of Vladimir's sons to the throne as a "national calamity," due to the "constant intrigues" by members of Nicholas' family.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Empress abandons trip to Darmstadt

August 11, 1898

Empress Alexandra is to be "congratulated on her wise decision to abandon her trip" to Darmstadt, and remain "by the side of her husband," writes the Marquise de Fontenoy.

The change of plans "knocks on the head all the projects and intrigues organized for the purpose of estranging her husband from her" during her time abroad at her former home.  This intrigues were apparently "contrived" by members of the imperial family who "object" to Alexandra's "influence over the Emperor."

It has been arranged for Nicholas and Alexandra to leave St. Petersburg on August 20th to travel to Moscow for the "solemn unveiling of the monument to Alexander II in the Kremlin."

The entire Imperial family, with the exception of the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, will be present at the ceremony.

The Emperor and Empress will be staying with Grand Duke Serge and Grand Duchess Elisabeth at their country home at Illinsky.   Grand Duchess Elisabeth, "as everyone knows," is an elder sister of the Empress.   Grand Duke Serge is Nicholas II's uncle and brother-in-law.

After they leave Moscow, the Emperor and Empress will "proceed straight" to Livadia, the "lovely Crimean country seat on the shores of the Black Sea."   It was at Livadia, where Nicholas' father, Alexander III, "breathed his last," on November 1, 1894.

Pope wants to assist former Czarina and children

August 11, 1918

Pope Benedict XV has "taken steps" to assist former Empress Alexandra and her four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Marie and Anastasia, to leave Russia, according to the Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper.

The Pope has asked the Russian government to allow the widow of the "recently executed" former Emperor Nicholas II, and her four daughters to leave Russia.  He "pledged himself" that if they were released to his care, he would "provide for their suitable support."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee heir marries Indonesian actress

Hereditary Count Ludwig Franz Willibald Maria Josef Leonhard von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee is the eldest of three children of the Prince and Princess of Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee.   He is the Category Manager at the Lazada Group in Indonesia.   He received his college degree from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Lazada is described as Southeast Asia's "biggest and fastest growing e-commerce company."

Ludwig was born at Ravensburg, Germany, on July 12, 1990.  His father, Johannes, succeeded as the head of the house in September 1998 following the death of his father, Max Willibald.  

Johannes married at Fiesole, Italy, on April 29, 1989 to Viviana dei Conti Rimbotti.  Ludwig has a younger sister, Countess Vittoria, and a younger brother, Count Leonhardo.

The family lives at Schloss Wolfegg.  They are Roman Catholic.

On December 11, 2013,  Hereditary Count Ludwig married Indonesian actress Jessica (Yesisca)  Iskandar.  The wedding took place at the Gereja Yesus Sejati (True Jesus) Church in Jakarta.  The wedding was registered on January 8, 2014.   The Rev. Simon Jonathan officiated at the wedding.  I do not know if this church is a Roman Catholic church, but if  the couple were married in another Christian church without a dispensation for the groom, the marriage would not valid in the eyes of the Roman Catholic church.  (The marriage is legal according to civil law.)

Miss Iskandar was born on January 29, 1988 at Jakarta, the daughter of Hardi Iskandar and Wuri Wulandari.

She studied interior design at university, while working as an actress.  In 2007, she said in an interview that she would retire from acting when she turned 25 as she wanted to be a wife and mother.

The Jakarta-born bride and her husband are now said to be living in San Francisco, California, where, in May, she announced that she was expecting a baby.  A recent news report from an Indonesian newspaper states that Jessica recently gave birth to a son, presumably in the United States.

I am surprised that the German media have not written about this marriage and relationship.  Ludwig's parents have not made any announcements, and it is not known (publicly) if this marriage was approved by Ludwig's father. 

If this marriage is not approved by Prince Johannes,  Ludwig will cease to be the Hereditary Count.  The new heir would be his younger brother, Count Leonardo.  

To reiterate, the Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee family have not made any announcement regarding the marriage or the birth of a son. 

[Use the search box to find more posts about Jessica and Ludwig.]


King Ferdinand arrives in Germany

August 8, 1918

King Ferdinand of Bulgaria and three of his children, Crown Prince Boris and Princesses Eudoxia, and Nadezhda, arrived "unexpectedly" today in Nauheim, Germany, according to an Exchange Telegraph dispatch from Copenhagen.

The King says he "intends to remain a long time in Nauheim." He is traveling incognito as Count von Murany.

Well-informed sources in Copenhagen state that Ferdinand left Bulgaria because of "internal conditions there."  German newspapers report that "the reason for his sudden visit is known in responsible circles."

Vittorioe Emanuele's response to Germany

August 8, 1914

King Vittorio Emanuele of Italy has replied to the "insistence of the representatives of Germany and Austria-Hungary," who continue to augment their offers to obtain Italy's "active cooperation" in their fight against the Triple Entente, reports the Associated Press.

The Italian sovereign responded: "Neither friendship for my allies nor offers made by them, no matter how advantageous, would persuade me to sell my honor and that of my country."

Queen Elena and her children have returned to the Quirinal in Rome to be with the King during the "present grave situation."

"My place in case of danger is beside my husband."  

She was accompanied by her three children and her sister-in-law, Princess Natalie of Montenegro.

More details on Thurn und Taxis wedding!

I am not sure I would agree with Bild's statement that the wedding of Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis to the British artist Hugo Wilson will be the German nobility wedding of the year.

Princess Maria Theresia, 33, is the eldest of three children of the late Johannes, Prince of Thurn und Taxis, and his wife, Gloria, born a Countess of Schönburg-Glauchau. 

The couple, who met in London, will marry on September 13 at Schloss Garatshausen at Starnberger-am-See.  The property is owned by the bride's younger brother, Albert, Prince of Thurn und Taxis.

The wedding will be a glittering affair, but it will certainly not qualify as the noble wedding of the year.  Hugo Wilson is a British commoner.

Just two weeks ago, Theresa von Einsiedel married Prince Francois of 'Orléans, a scion of the former French royal house.  

The church wedding will, according to press reports, take place at St. Josef's church in Tutzing.  The bride is Roman Catholic. It is understood that Mr. Wilson will have been received into the Roman Catholic faith by the time of the religious wedding.  

Another recent press report states that the couple have meet several times with the church's priest, Father Peter Brummer.   The church's choir has been practicing music by Handel and Mozart since May.   Local hotels are booked for the weekend on September 12-14.   A request was made to local authorities to construct a "floating stage" at the castle. 

The reception will be held at Schloss Garatshausen.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Is Princess Margaret about to become engaged?

August 7, 1954

The Sunday Express is reporting a "swelling whisper" that Princess Margaret, 23, will soon announce her engagement to Colin Tennant, 27, son of Lord Glenconner.   Tennant is, according to the New York Times, "wealthy" and one of the "brainier types among Margaret's set."

The Express says Tennant is the Princess' "constant companion."

Queen Marie's heart to remain at Balcik

August 7, 1940

It is nearly certain that the heart of the late Queen Marie of Romania will remain "in its golden casket at Balcik," even though the town will be included in the part of Southern Dobruja soon to be ceded to Bulgaria," reports the New York Times.

The English-born Queen Marie loved Romania, "no less than any Romanian," and her favorite home was at Balcik, a small Black Sea port, where she had built a modest house in the "old Romanian style, half Byzantine, have Venetians, with terraces and gardens."

Queen Marie was fond of flowers, especially calla lilies.  Although she had "no love for Bulgaria," she purchased her lilies from that country.  Bulgarian gardeners "worked for many years to make the lilies grow."

The flowers are now like "fragrant sentinels around the little chapel where rests Queen Marie's heart."

In her will, Queen Marie stated that she wanted her body to be buried at Curtea-de-Arges, the royal family's crypt, near Bucharest, but she wanted her heart to remain at Balcik, which she hoped would forever remain Romania.

That is unlikely to happen, but the Bulgarians are touched by Queen Marie's final wish, and are likely to agree that "her chapel should be left as a small oasis of Romanian earth" with a guard of Romanian soldiers to "honor their dead Queen."

Duke of Vendome wants to serve

August 7, 1914

Prince Emmanuel of Orléans, Duke of Vendome, who is the brother-in-law of the King of the Belgians, has written to the French Minister of War, seeking permission to "serve on the eastern front, even as a common soldier," reports the New York Times.

French President Poincare met with the Duke personally, but "regretted that the law passed in 1886, forbids members of the former French royal families from serving in the French army.

King Frederik thanks Americans

August 7, 1908

King Frederik VIII and Queen Louise of Denmark had lunch today with a party of 400 Danish Americans in Copenhagen, reports the New York Times.

Colonel Listoe, who lives in New York,  conveyed President Roosevelt's greetings to the Danish sovereigns.  King Frederik responded gracefully with his "best wishes for the President Roosevelt and the United States."

The royal couple spent time talking with a number of the American, including several doctors.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge & Prince Harry of Wales in Mons

My thanks to Kori Lawrence, who has allowed me to post her photos from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry of Wales' visit to Mons on August 4.
Kori is the copyright holder.  Do not copy, use, post, publish, store electronically any of these photos without the expressed permission of the copyright holder.  This is the law.

all photos @ Kori Lawrence

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Princess Dorothea criticized for priest at wedding

August 6, 1898

Princess Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha has been censured for the "passive assistance" of a Catholic priest at her recent marriage to Duke Ernst Gunther of Schleswig-Holstein, reports the New York Times,.

The presence of the priest at the wedding has caused much discussion in the "Ultramontane press."  The Cologne Volks-Zeitung stated: "The priest committed a grave breach of faith and the Princess was guilty, by marrying according to the Protestant rite, of deadly sin."

The Augsburg Post Zeitung chimed in with: "The Coburg family has been guilty of another public nuisance."

Princess Dorothea is the daughter of Prince Philipp of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his estranged wife, Princess Louise of Belgium.    She married Duke Ernst Gunther of Schleswig-Holstein on August 2.  The Duke is the brother of Empress Auguste Viktoria, consort of Wilhelm II.

The new Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein is a Roman Catholic.  Her husband is Lutheran.  The couple were married in a Lutheran ceremony.

Princess Alice robbed

August 6, 1904

Princess Alice of Monaco was the victim of a robbery today at the Hotel Mercedes in Paris.  According to the New York Times, the princess was robbed of a "diadem valued at $12,000, other jewels and a sum of money."

The Princess was born Marie Alice Heine in New Orleans in 1858.   She was born Jewish but converted to Roman Catholicism when she married her first husband, the Duke of Richelieu in 1875.   He died in 1880, leaving his widow with a son, Armand, who succeeded as the 8th Duke of Richelieu, and Odile. 

Nine years after the death of her first husband,  Alice married as his second wife, Prince Albert I of Monaco on October 30, 1889.  In May 1902, the couple separated judicially, but there are no plans for divorce.

Royal Musings profiled by Luxarazzi

Thanks, Sydney

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Crown Prince: make visible the spirit and work of your glorious ancestors, the participants of the First World War

Belgrade, 5 August 2014. - His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander II invites all descendants of the participants of the First World War to participate in the making of the Album of memories of our ancestors who shed their blood and gave lives fighting for the survival of their homeland and their people in the Great War

The project "Album in Memory of our Ancestors in the Great War" has the main goal to increase visibility and sustainability of Serbian cultural heritage as an important part of the cultural heritage of European nations at the time of First World War. One of the primary goals is to empower citizens who chose to take part in it to give their personal touch by providing relevant documents and historic sources in marking the Centenary of the First World War.

The creation of this Album will give an opportunity for all to submit online scans of photographs of their ancestors, biographic texts, diaries, medals, letters of soldiers and other materials of importance for Serbian and world history. At the end of the project, 100 chosen photographs will be printed and exhibited at places of historic importance of this period.

Photos and other documents could be submitted via web site where all material collected so far could be seen.

"The history obliges us not to surrender to oblivion the cathartic experience that Serbia bears from the First World War but to become aware and start renewing common values: love, honour, culture of remembrance, creativity and above all - humanity. History calls us to take personal responsibility for the future of our descendants. On this occasion, I appeal to all the descendants of our giant heroes to be interested in the history of their ancestors and to talk with their loved ones and gather as much information and documentation about their brave ancestors, because any document, image, monument, diary, medal, autobiographical writing or postcard is invaluable and a great contribution to the beautiful and the sublime restoration of our historical self-consciousness as a defence and confirmation of truth and justice. This act will show that you are an important part of our community, aware of the importance and influence of the history on the contemporary moment, that you are conscientious and responsible to the challenges of your time, and that you are willing to give a clear and unambiguous answer to the question of what it means to protect and nurture own identity. Make visible the spirit and work of your glorious ancestors. Participate in the making of the Album of memories of our ancestors from the First World War" - said the Crown Prince Alexander II in its public invitation.

Crown Prince Alexander on World War centenary

Crown Prince Alexander II on the Centenary of the beginning of the Great War

It has been hundred years since the beginning of the war that is remembered in history as the Great War, as a first war that officially was called a World War that left tragic marks on our planet! The victorious parties named it as a Great war for civilization afterwards! The war began by the Austro Hungarian attack on Serbia. Serbia lived on, the Austro Hungarian Monarchy did not.
War of unequal, suffering of the innocent, feats of heroes and suffering of millions, struggle for survival and freedom and hunger for dominance and conquest have been around the embattled world during the long years from summer of 1914 till spring of 1919. War is a general term for a phenomenon consisting of hunger, diseases, destruction and death. The Serbian people and Serbia have known well the war as state of mind and a price that has to be paid for survival and life as free people should have lived in a society of free people run by the rule of law and justice! Our ancestors paid that great price, and we haven't forgotten their sacrifice nor their example they left to us even after 100 years.

My great grandfather His Majesty King Peter I ruled Serbia in 1914. During First and Second Balkan War we liberated our lands that were enslaved for centuries and our people that dreamt of freedom during those times! Nobody in Serbia wanted a new war, nor welcomed it, but when it came it was welcomed as an uninvited guest should have been: with courage and determination!
 We are witnessing today that new times and the new power balance could change history and relationships. Old alliances are disappearing, new ones are emerging and break away. Some all hatred is resurrect, some old passions are in work again, and some new interests feed themselves upon old ideas and fallacies. Nothing new and nothing we have not seen already. The idea of freedom, law and justice, although its old and outdated concepts, still have great value for us. We have not invented democracy, nor have we always implemented it and have been worth of it, but democracy has been the very essence of our society and our nation, and it still is.
 We are Serbs, and together with other nations we share our homeland and our destiny with, we do not mark this anniversary by celebrating war and war victory, but by paying respect to victims, warriors, volunteers who fought for the right of a small country to exist freely among the nations. We celebrate their sacrifice and their conscience that guided them. We celebrate their faith and commitment. We celebrate that we had the honour to be on the right side in a Great War for civilization!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Britain has declared war on Germany

August 4, 1914

Tonight  Great Britain and Germany went to war.   The "momentous decision of the British Government came before the "expiration  of the time limit" set by Great Britain in her ultimatum to Germany to respect Belgian neutrality.

According to Associated Press bulletins,  Germany has rejected Britain's request in regards of Belgium's neutrality.

The British Ambassador to Germany has received his passports, and the British government has notified Germany that a "state of war existed between the two countries."

The Prime Minister spoke in the House of Commons:   "We have repeated the request made last week to the German Government that they should give us the same assurance in regard to Belgian neutrality that was given to us and Belgium by France last week. We have asked that it should be given before midnight."

The response from Germany was unsatisfactory.  King George V and his Council met late in the evening, where the declaration of war was signed.

War was declared at 11:00 p.m.  The Foreign Office has released the following statement:

"Owing to the summary rejection by the German Government of the request made by his Majesty's Government for assurances that the neutrality of Belgium will be respected, his Majesty's Ambassador to Berlin has received his passports, and his Majesty's Government declared to the German Government that a state of war exists between Great Britain and Germany as from 11 p.m. on August 4, 1914."

More than a thousand people gathered outside Buckingham Palace late tonight and cheered until King George V, Queen Mary, the Prince of Wales and Princess Mary appeared on the balcony.

All of Europe "is now in arms."  On one side: Austria-Hungary and Germany, which are opposed by Russia, France, Great Britain, Serbia and Montenegro.

Italy has declared to be neutral but has been mobilizing.  Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland are also mobilizing.   Germany's request for free passage of its troops through Belgium was "answered with hasty preparations" by Belgium to resist the advance.

British royal family commemorate the start of the first world war

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Liege.  The Duke of Rothesay in Glasgow and Queen Elizabeth II at Crathie.   Also the King and Queen of the Belgians and the King of Spain.