Monday, September 29, 2014

Palazzo Papadopoli - Grand Canal

It appears that the newly married Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney (he's a Hollywood star, she's a high profile lawyer) had one of their wedding receptions this past weekend at the Aman Grand Canal hotel in Venice.

The hotel is the Palazzo Papadopoli in the San Polo area of Venice.  The palazzo is owned by Count Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga, who is married to HRH Princess Bianca of Savoy-Aosta, eldest child of HRH Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, and his first wife, HRH Princess Claude of Orleans, a daughter of the late Count and Countess of Paris.

Count Giberto and Princess Bianca and their five children  live on the top floor of the palazzo.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Death of Jane Scrivener, 4th cousin of George VI

From today's Daily Telegraph.

(Mary Alice Olga Sofia) Jane, previously Hohler, née Lane, widow of Ronald Scrivener CMG, died 20th September 2014 aged 95. Mother of Olga, Philippa, Frederick, and Robert, grandmother of 13, great-grandmother of 13. Funeral (family flowers only) at St. Etheldreda’s, Fulham on Tuesday 7th October at 2pm]

Jane was the daughter of Olga Mary Adelaide Fitzgeorge (1877-1928) and her second husband, Robert Charlton Lane (1873-1943.)   She was a fourth cousin of the late King George VI.

Olga was the daughter of Sir Adolphus Augustus Frederick Fitzgeorge (1846-1922) and his first wife, Sophia Jane Holden, and thus a granddaughter of HRH Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, who was a first cousin of Queen Victoria.   She was named for her godmother, Queen Olga of the Hellenes. On the occasion of her first marriage in 1897 to Archibald Hamilton, which took place at St. Peter's Church, Eaton Square,  Olga wore a pearl heart that Queen Olga had given to her at her christening.

Sir Adolphus was the second of three sons born to Sarah Fairbrother, and the Duke of Cambridge.  He was born in 1846, a year before the Duke married Sarah.  This marriage was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act, which meant that the three sons (two of whom were born illegitimate) would not have royal titles, succession rights to the throne, or to the Cambridge ducal title.  They used the surname Fitzgeorge, the Fitz largely signifying their illegitimate descent.  The Duke of Clarence's illegitimate children by Dorothea Jordan used the surname Fitzclarence.

Jane was born on June 4, 1919, in London at her parents' home on South Eaton Place.  The birth announcement in the Times was brief:   "Lane: on the 4th June at 1 South Eaton Place, the wife of Major R.C. Lane, RAF, a daughter"

Sir Adolphus was the first cousin to Queen Mary as her mother, Mary Adelaide, and the Duke of Cambridge were siblings.

Jane was married twice.  Her first husband was Edward Christopher Hohler. They married at the Church of Thomas a Becket on November 14, 1939.  This marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1961.  She married Ronald Stratford Scrivener (1919-2001) in London on May 14, 1962.

Jane and Christopher were the parents of four children: Olga Mary (1940), Philippa Caroline Jane (1942), Frederick Christopher Gerald (1943), and Robert Henry Adolphus (1947)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Little Princess gets ten names!

September 25, 1934

Italy's newest princess was baptized today in a private ceremony in Naples.  The "black haired baby" was born last night to Crown Princess Marie José and Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, reports the Associated Press.

The princess has received ten names: Maria Pia Elena Elisabetta Margherita, Melina Mafalda Ludovika Tecla Gennara.  She will be known as Princess Maria Pia.

Princess Maria Pia is the first child of the Crown Prince and Princess.  Her birth "set all Italy to rejoicing," and her grandfather, King Vittorio Emanuele III was so pleased that he "signed an amnesty releasing Italians prisoned for two years or less, for certain crimes."

The baby was baptized with the water from the River Jordan and from the River Piave, where Italian armies "won their great victory in the World War."

The baptism took place in the room next to the Crown Princess's chamber in the presence of Crown Prince Umberto, Queen Elena of Italy and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, the Crown Princess' mother.

Maria Pia weight 8 and 3/4 lbs.

An interview with Prince Michael of Kent

Prince Michael of Kent, a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II,  recently sat down with Country Life for an interview

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Duke Anton-Günther's death notice

Missing from this death notice:  Duke Anton-Gunther's brothers, Duke Peter (and his wife) and Egilmar.
Claudia Reiche is Duchess Helene's partner.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The baptism of Princess Katharina of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Princess Katharina of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was baptized on September 14 at Schloss Callenberg. She is the first born child of Hereditary Prince Hubertus and and his American-born wife, Princess Kelly.

About 60 guests attended the baptism, which was conducted according to the rites of the Lutheran church.  The little princess' godparents are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, Hereditary Prince Ernst August of Hanover,  Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, Countess Katharina of Faber-Castell and Prince Konstantin of Bulgaria.

Crown Princess Victoria's grandmother, Princess Sybilla was a princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who married Hereditary Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden (both were descendants of Queen Victoria.)   Hubertus'  paternal great-grandmother, Duchess Viktoria Adelheid, the wife of Duke Carl Eduard -- and parents of Princess Sybilla -- was born a princess of Schleswig-Holstein and a first cousin of Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein, who married Prince Ernst August of Hannover, the grandparents of the Hereditary Prince Ernst August.

The death of Duke Anton Günther of Oldenburg

Photos courtesy of Art Beeche/

Duke Anton Günther of Oldenburg died on September 20 at Gut Güldenstein at  Harmsdorf.  He was 91 years old.   He was the eldest son of Nikolaus, the last Grand Duke of Oldenburg and Princess Helene of Waldeck und Pyrmont.

Anton-Gunther Friedrich August Josiah Duke of Oldenburg was born on January 23, 1923 at Lensahn.  He succeeded as his father as head of the Grand Ducal house in 1970.

On August 7, 1951,  Duke Anton-Gunther married Princess Amelie of Lowenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg.  They had two children, Duchess Helene Elisabeth Margarete Bathildis (1953) and Duke Christian (1955).

He is survived by his widow, Duchess Amelie, his daughter, Helene, his son, Christian and his wife, Caroline and their four children, Alexander, Philipp, Anton and Katharina, his brothers, Duke Peter (who was married to Duchess Amelie's younger sister, Gertrud), Duke Egilmar, Duke Friedrich August, Huno, and his sisters,  Eilika, Princess of Leiningen, and Baroness Duchess Altburg, Baroness von Erffa, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Duke Christian succeeds his father as head of the Oldenburg grand ducal family.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Report Prince Adalbert dead

September 22, 1914

A dispatch to the London Morning Post to Copenhagen states that Prince Adalbert, son of the German Emperor, has died in Brussels.  The news has "greatly astonished" the German Embassy in Copenhagen as they declare they have not "received any information to this effect."

Prince Adalbert is the third son of Wilhelm II.  He married Princess Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningen on August 3.

Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz: 30 years of marriage

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

Walburga Countess Douglas out of Parliament

Trond Noren Isaksen's blog takes note that Walburga Countess Douglas (Archduchess Walburga of Austria) has lost her seat in the Swedish parliament.

Walburga Habsburg Douglas, who also served as vice-president of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly, was first elected in 2006.

During a visit to Virginia in November 2012, Walburga suffered a severe stroke and spent several months in a Washington, D.C., hospital.   She has since made a full recovery.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Constantine and Anne Marie celebrate 50 years of marriage

decoration:none;font-weight:normal !important;border:none;display:inline-block;">

The 50th wedding anniversary celebrations were held at the Yacht Club in Piraeus, Greece. 

The guest list:

Princess Alexia
Carlos Morales Quintana...
Crown Prince Pavlos
Crown Princess Marie-Chantal
Prince Nikolaos
Princess Tatiana
Prince Philippos
Princess Theodora

Queen Sofia of Spain
Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo
Princess Irene of Greece
Queen Margrethe of Denmark
Princess Benedikte of Denmark
Prince Michael of Greece
Princess Marina of Greece
Archduchess Helen of Austria
King Simeon of Bulgaria
Queen Margarita of Bulgaria
Count Ingolf of Rosenborg
Countess Sussie of Rosenborg
Countess Karin of Rosenborg
Princess Alexandra zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia
Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia
The Margrave of Baden
The Margravine of Baden
Prince Ludwig of Baden
Princess Marianne of Baden
Count Hans-Veit zu Toerring-Jettenbach
Countess Henriette zu Toerring-Jettenbach
Princess Tatiana, Mrs Fruchaud
Dr John Fruchaud
Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan
Princess Sarvath El Hassan of Jordan
Crown Princess Margarita of Romania
Prince Radu of Romania

Prince Ernst August of Hanover

what the 80s bride wore!

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

The marriage on May 31, 1980 between Hereditary Prince Johannes of Thurn und Taxis and Countess Mariae Gloria of Schönburg-Glauchau

Johannes succeeded his father, Karl August, as the 11th Prince of Thurn und Taxis on April 26, 1982.

Johannes was 53 years old at the time of his marriage.   He turned 54 on June 5, 1980.   Countess Gloria was 20 years old.

A selection of Romanov photos

All from my collection.

Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duke Michael

Empress Marie Feodorovna with Grand Duke George, Tsarevitch Nicholas, Grand Duchess Xenia, Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duke Michael in 1884

a young Empress Marie (Dagmar of Denmark)

Princess Xenia Georgievna of Russia, daughter of Grand Duke George and Princess Marie of Greece

Athens 1882:  Prince Constantine, King George I, Prince George of Wales, Queen Olga, Prince George, Prince Albert Victor, Princess Alexandra, Princess Marie & Prince Nicholas

Grand Duke Paul and Princess Alexandra of Greece

Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich

Russian, Greek and Danish royal families, perhaps at Fredensborg

Grand Duchess Marie and Grand Duchess Xenia

Nicholas II

King George I of the Hellenes, Empress Marie, Prince Nicholas, Queen Olga, Crown Prince Constantine, Alexander III, Princess Marie  at Peterhof

Grand Duke Alexis

Anne Marie and Benedikte walking

Although there is not date on this photo in my collection, I would say that it was taken before Anne Marie's marriage.  She is walking with her sister, Princess Benedikte

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

50th anniversary of the marriage of King Constantine II of the Hellenes and Princess Anne Marie of Denmark

all photos: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
King Constantine II of the Hellenes and Princess Anne Marie of Denmark were married on September 18, 1964 in Athens.  Today is their Golden Wedding anniversary, which they are celebrating with family and friends in Greece.


At the state funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra,  Queen Marie and Prince Andrej: photos by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kaiser cannot end Prince Wolfgang's romance

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
September 17, 1924

It is a "royal romance that always happens in the movies," but for Prince Wolfgang of Hesse and Princess Marie Alexandra of Baden,  their romance is the real thing.

Their relationship is the royal equivalent of Romeo and Juliet, according to the Chicago Daily Tribune.  Prince Wolfgang of Hesse is the nephew of former Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Marie Alexandra's father is the "gentle, democratic" Prince Max of Baden.

The Kaiser is said to hate the house of Baden.  Prince Max served as Wilhelm's final chancellor, and the former Kaiser believes that "Max sold the country to the Republicans," and he put a curse on the House of Baden "forever."

Prince Wolfgang is said to be Wilhelm's favorite nephew, and he has fallen "headlong in love" with Princess Marie Alexandra,  Max's daughter.

The feud between the two royal houses goes back to the final days of the world war, when Wilhelm appointed the democratically minded Prince Max as his chancellor.  It was Prince Max who advised the Kaiser to abdicate, and told him that a "revolution was raging."  He recommended that Wilhelm flee to the Netherlands, and Max remained in charge until the socialists took over.

Wilhelm II apparently regretted his decision to leave.  "Prince Max betrayed me and betrayed German into the hands of the republicans."

A year ago,  Wolfgang told his uncle about his love for Princess Marie Alexandra.  There were angry words and the Kaiser "threatened and finally parted with Prince Wolfgang reconciled."

Prince Wolfgang's mother, Princess Margarete of Hesse-Cassel, who is the Kaiser's youngest sister, traveled to Doorn to "plead her son's case."  Her "tears impressed" Empress Hermine, the Kaiser's new wife. 

Both pleaded with Wilhelm, and the "struggle was long," but finally Wilhelm acquiesced, and his heart was "softened by seeing both women in tears.
Wilhelm consented to the marriage, which took place today in Baden.  It was a "democratic affair."  Prince Max said "The times are too earnest and too sad for elaborate festivities."  He would allow only "greens from the forest and a few roses for decoration."

No music, and dancing was prohibited.  The guests included former Queen Sophie of Greece, another sister of the former Kaiser, the Duke of Cumberland (the bride's maternal grandfather), the Prince of Furstenberg and other members of the former princely and ducal families.

Is Marie the most beautiful Princess in Europe

September 17, 1904

Paris, said to be the "tribunal of beauty," has proclaimed Crown Princess Marie of Roumania as the "most beautiful princess in Europe," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Her beauty is said the be "beyond question."  All princesses are said to be "beautiful," but in most cases, they are the "plainest of all mortals."  But Crown Princess Marie would be "declared beautiful even if she were a peasant girl."

The blood of three royal families flows through her veins.  Her father, the late Duke Alfred of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was a son of Queen Victoria. Her mother, Marie, is the daughter of the late Alexander II of Russia.  Her first cousin is Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.

Unfortunately, for all the eligible princes, Marie, 28, is "happily married" to Crown Prince Ferdinand of Roumania, and the mother of three young children.

Although her marriage is described as a "political" arrangement,  it is a happy marriage.  She was chosen to be Ferdinand's bride to "cement the ties of friendship between Russia, Germany and Romania."

Marie and Ferdinand, heir to the Roumanian throne, is a "love affair as royal marriages in Europe can be," says the Tribune.

The couple live in a "picturesque palace in Bucharest," and spend summers at Sinaia, "over which artists grow enthusiastic." She is personally involved in her children's education, and she is well educated herself.  Crown Princess Marie speaks four languages, and is an accomplished musician and artist.  She loves sports and enjoys riding.  She also has a "great interest" in the army, and is an honorary colonel of one of guard regiments. 

She always takes a prominent role at annual army maneuvers and is the "idol of soldiers" who serve in the armed forces.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Elizabeth I or Elizabeth II in Scotland -

Embed from Getty Images 

 After the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952,  discussions were held in Parliament (and elsewhere) on how Elizabeth should be styled in Scotland.  Many Scots considered Elizabeth II to be historically inaccurate as the Act of Union occurred after the reign of England's Elizabeth I.

It was pointed out that other countries in the Commonwealth (none of the countries existed before the Act of Union), were using Elizabeth II, but several Scots MPs, according to the Times, were "asking nothing unconstitutional or revolutionary, but merely that the title for Scotland should be 'Queen Elizabeth,' without any numerals."

Another argued that "it would not be reasonable to argue that the Queen should be styled "Elizabeth the Second of England and the First of Scotland."

In Parliament on April 15, 1953,  Mr. Elliot, who represented a district in Glasgow, asked Prime Minister Churchill, "whether, in advising, the Sovereign to assume the title of Elizabeth II, he took into consideration the desirability of adopting the principle of using whichever number in the English or Scottish lines of Kings and Queens happens to be higher."

The Prime Minister responded: "The decision to assume the title of Elizabeth II was of course taken on the advice of the Accession Council and the form of the proclamation was approved by Her Majesty's Government.
Since the Act of Union the principle to which my right hon. and gallant Friend refers has in fact been followed. Although I am sure neither The Queen nor her advisers could seek to bind their successors in such a matter, I think it would be reasonable and logical to continue to adopt in future whichever numeral in the English or Scottish line was higher. Thus if, for instance, a King Robert or a King James came to the throne he might well be designated by the numeral appropriate to the Scottish succession, thereby emphasizing that our Royal Family traces its descent through the English Royal line from William the Conqueror and beyond, and through the Scottish Royal line from Robert the Bruce and Malcolm Canmore and still further back. Her Majesty's present advisers would for their part find no difficulty in accepting such a principle. From this, it naturally follows that there should not in their view be any difficulty anywhere in acknowledging the Style and Title of Her present Majesty."

In other words,  if the heir to the throne is named James, he would become James VIII, and not James III.

The Act of Union (1707)  is rather clear:  Notice the word FOREVER.

That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England shall upon the first day of May next ensuing the date hereof and forever after be United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain And that the Ensigns Armorial of the said United Kingdom be such as Her Majesty shall appoint and the Crosses of St Andrew and St George be conjoined in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit and used in all Flags Banners Standards and Ensigns both at Sea and Land

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Historical what if: Elizabeth I & the Stuart succession

Embed from Getty Images 

 March 24, 1603.   Queen Elizabeth I dies at Richmond Palace in Surrey at the age of 69.  She does not leave an heir.  The question of her successor had been a hotly debated topic throughout her reign as noted by E.W. Ives in his excellent article "Tudor dynastic problems revisited" (Historical Research: Volume 81, Issue 212, pages 255-279, May 2008.)  

Peaceful successions were largely unknown after the death of Edward III until 1603 when Elizabeth I died, and she was succeeded by her kinsman, James VI of Scotland. (There would be further blips along the way (execution of Charles  I in 1649, Charles II's restoration in 1660, the  Glorious Revolution in 1689 when James II fled & Parliament offered the throne to James's elder daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange, a dynast in his own right as James II's nephew, culminating in the Act of Settlement in 1701, establishing the succession of Sophia, Electress of Hanover and her Protestant descendants.)

 None of these latter events would have occurred if Parliament had not chosen to ignore  Henry VIII's will and the Third Act of Succession (1543).  This Act superseded two previous succession laws passed during Henry's reign. The heir to the throne was Henry's only son, Edward, born in 1537.  This new law restored the succession rights of Henry's two daughters, Mary and Elizabeth to the succession after Edward, his children, and any children Henry might have by his wife, Katherine Parr. 

Everyone knows how Henry VII came to the throne. He was the only child of Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor.  Margaret's own claim to the English throne was controversial as she was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, the third surviving son of Edward III,  and his third wife, Katherine Swynford (previously his mistress.)  Their children were legitimated by the marriage, but they were denied dynastic rights.  They did not succeed to the throne by inheritance but through force.

Margaret's grandfather was John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset.

There were no established laws for succession, although male primogeniture was the accepted practice. Women were not barred although their rights were not encouraged.

Edward III died on June 21, 1377, and was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II, who was the younger son of Edward's eldest son,  Edward (the Black Prince.)   He also had an older brother, Edward of Angouleme, but the Black Prince and his elder son predeceased Edward III, thus bringing Richard II to the throne.  

A real Game of  Thrones was about to begin.  In 1399,  Richard II's cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke (son of John of Gaunt by his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster), deposed Richard II (who died a year later.)   Henry was next in line to the throne, according to Edward III's entailment in 1376.  But he was not the senior heir, and, in 1399, Richard II had changed the entailment that gave precedence to the descendants of Prince Lionel (second son of Edward III.)  Richard, who was married twice and had no children, considered  Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, as his heir. 

This is where it gets even more confusing.  Edmund (1391-1425) was the grandson of Philippa Plantagenet and the 3rd Earl of March.  Philippa was the daughter of Lionel, Duke of Clarence.  Philippa's line of descent was superior to that of Henry of Bolingbroke.

Henry managed to convince the people and Parliament that his claim was superior to the Earl of March, and he became King Henry IV. (The Mortimer claim devolved through Anne Mortimer (daughter of the 4th Earl of March, and thus a great-granddaughter of Lionel) who married Richard,3rd Earl of Cambridge.  This branch will have their chance to fight for the throne. Keep reading!  )

Henry IV managed to stay on the throne until his death at age 46 on March 20, 1413.  He was succeeded by his son, Henry V, who died on August 31, 1422, at the age of 36. The Lancaster line seemed secure until Henry V's unexpected death.  His successor was his infant son, Henry VI.  Difficult to keep control when the sovereign still needs to have his diapers changed.

It was during Henry VI's reign that the War of the Roses began in earnest. Several family members were named as Regents for the infant king. His mother, Catherine of Valois, married Owen Tudor and had two more sons, Edmund and Jasper.  (Edmund Tudor married Margaret Beaufort, and were the parents of Henry VII.)

Henry, who became of age in 1437, was a deeply religious and pious man, opposed to war. He married Marguerite of Anjou in 1445.  She was certainly a forceful personality, a woman to be reckoned with, especially after Henry suffered a mental breakdown and she gave birth to their only child, Edward (1453-1471.) 

The story becomes, even more, complicated for the cousins  - the Lancaster branch descended from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and the York branch, then headed by Richard, 2nd Duke of York (1411-1460).  The Duke of York had two Plantagenet lines,   He had a direct male line claim through Edward of Langley, 1st Duke of York, and his first wife, Isabella of Castile.  He was their grandson.  He also had a more senior claim through his mother, Anne Mortimer, a great-granddaughter of Lionel.  Within a short amount of time, Richard became the heir to the Mortimer, Cambridge, and York claims to the throne,  His uncle, Edward, the 2nd Duke of York, was killed at the Battle of Agincourt.  

Richard, Duke of York, married Cecily Neville.   Cecily's mother, Joan Beaufort, was the daughter of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford.  She was also a half-niece of Henry IV and was the aunt of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, who would be known as the Kingmaker. 

The Duke and Duchess of York had seven surviving children including Anne (Duchess of Exeter), Edward IV, Elizabeth (Duchess of Suffolk,) Margaret (Duchess of Burgundy, George (Duke of Clarence), and Richard III.

At some points, the lines became blurred as close family members turned on each other changing sides, as the winds shifted.  Members of the two sides were killed in battle, executed, imprisoned, and forfeited estates and titles, but no dragons.

Henry VI recovered on Christmas Day 1454 but soon learned that the heads of several noble families, including the Earl of Warwick, were unhappy with the Lancastrians, and began to support the Duke of York as the eventual King. 

This led to further insurrection, and the Duke was killed in December 1460 by forces loyal to Queen Marguerite's forces. By early March 1461, Henry was deposed and imprisoned.  The Duke of York's eldest son, Edward, became King Edward IV.  Henry was able to secure his release after the second Battle of St. Albans but did not manage to keep his throne.    Henry and Marguerite fled to Scotland before Edward could catch them.  It seemed the Lancastrians were losing power.   

Edward would soon have a falling out with his brother, the Duke of Clarence, and the Earl of Warwick.  Clarence was married to Warwick's daughter, Isobel.  They were in cahoots with King Louis XI of France and Queen Marguerite.  Warwick's other daughter, Anne, was married to Marguerite's son, Edward.   Warwick would pay dearly for switching sides.

Now with the support of the Lancastrians, Warwick deposed King Edward, and Henry VI was restored to the throne on October 30, 1470.   The real rulers were Warwick and Clarence.   Henry VI's reign lasted for six months before Warwick declared war on Burgundy.  A bad decision as the Duke of Burgundy was married to Edward's sister, Margaret.  Burgundy provided the much-needed support to restore Edward to the throne in early 1471.   Clarence decided to break with Warwick and return to supporting his brother.  Warwick was killed in battle, and the Lancastrians suffered a major defeat on May 4, 1471, at the Battle of Tewkesbury, where Henry VI's son, Edward, was killed.  Already imprisoned in the Tower, Henry VI died several weeks after his son. It seems probable that he was murdered on Edward's order.  Marguerite was held prisoner until 1475 when Louis XI paid a ransom for her and she returned to France.

One of the primary reasons for Warwick's decision to change sides was Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, and the ascendancy of her family, especially her siblings who married members of the English nobility.

This battle was the final turning point for the House of York.  What would follow would be an internecine struggle among the brothers of the house.  With the Lancastrians defeated, the only rival left was Henry Tudor, son of Margaret of Beaufort, and he was living in Brittany, watching, waiting, and biding his time.

The widowed Anne Neville was the co-heiress with her sister, Isobel, to their mother's vast fortune.  This situation would lead to another family quarrel as the Duke of Clarence wanted to get his hands on the entire fortune.  His younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, wanted to marry Anne, but Clarence opposed the marriage.  He tried to hide Anne, but Richard found her and brought her to a sanctuary.  Richard and Anne were married, perhaps in the spring of 1472.   A year later, she gave birth to their only child, Edward.  He lived for only ten years, dying in April 1484.

Clarence was the family troublemaker.  He had tasted power and he liked it. Although he had originally reconciled with his brother, King Edward, he was found guilty in 1478 of plotting against him, was placed in the Tower, and killed, most likely downed in the butt of Malmsey.

Two years earlier, Clarence's wife, Isobel had died, leaving behind two children, Edward, the Earl of Warwick, and Margaret, eventually Countess of Salisbury in her own right.  The two children were placed in the Duchess of Gloucester's custody.

Keeping score?  Soon, this will be tied into what could have happened in 1603. 

King Edward IV's health began to decline in the spring of 1483. He added a codicil to his will naming his younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as Protector, after his death.   He died on April 9, 1483, and was succeeded by his 12-year-old son, Edward V.

If you could not trust one brother, why would you trust the other?  Richard III took the throne on June 26, 1483, supported by the Titulus Regius, which stated (rubber-stamped) that Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville and their children were illegitimate, and could not succeed to the throne.

How convenient for Richard III.  Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, were kept in the Tower of London, and never seen again after the summer of 1483.  In my view (others will disagree), the two young boys were murdered on the orders of Uncle Richard.  His own son, the young Edward, Prince of Wales, died in 1484.  Queen Anne died in March 1485, thankfully, before her husband's rather violent end. He apparently named his young nephew, the Earl of Warwick, as his heir.

Support for Richard III did not last long, as once-loyal supporters, such as the Duke of Buckingham, began to plan to overthrow Richard, and put Henry Tudor on the throne, and have Henry marry Elizabeth of York,  Edward IV's eldest daughter.  This was a plan that also had the support of Elizabeth Woodville and Margaret Beaufort, Henry Tudor's mother. 

It was on August 22, 1485, when Henry Tudor defeated and killed Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field.   The wedding took place in January 1486, unifying the House of Lancaster (albeit through a legitimated and distaff line) and the House of York (and Cambridge and March) with a new dynasty: the Tudors.

Embed from Getty Images 

Henry worked quickly to cement his own power.  Before heading to London, he ordered the arrest of 10-year-old Edward, Earl of Warwick (son of the Duke of Clarence). Warwick spent the rest of his life in the Tower of London.  He was beheaded for treason in 1499.  Warwick was the last of the direct male line from Edward III.  

Henry VIII was determined to snuff out all of the remaining Yorkist heirs.  William de la Pole, a son of Edward IV's sister, Elizabeth, Duchess of Suffolk, died in the Tower in 1539. A year earlier, he ordered the execution of Henry Courtenay, Marquess of Exeter, son of Edward IV's daughter, and Henry, Pole, Lord Montague, son of the Countess of Salisbury, who was executed without trial at age 66 on May 27, 1541.

Margaret Salisbury was the daughter of Isobel Neville and the Duke of Clarence, and sister of the Earl of Warwick, killed in 1499. 

Embed from Getty Images 

 Henry's three succession laws and his will further define the succession to the throne.  His final will and testament, signed on December 30, 1546,  maintained the succession of his children, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, and the descendants of his younger sister, Mary.  He excluded the descendants of his older sister, Margaret, who had married King James IV of Scotland, whose paternal great-grandmother, Joan Beaufort, was the daughter of John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset, and thus, a granddaughter of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford.   King James IV and Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, were third cousins.

Henry died on January 27, 1547, and was succeeded by his young son, Edward VI.   The young Protestant king, influenced by his Seymour relatives, issued a Letters Patent on June 21, 1553, naming his cousin, Lady Jane Grey, as his heir.

This was not an act of Parliament, however, and when Edward died at the age of 15 in July 1553, Lady Jane was queen for a brief nine days until Mary, as the rightful heir, was proclaimed Queen.   Mary died on November 17, 1558, and she was succeeded by her younger half-sister, Elizabeth, fulfilling the requirements of the Third Succession law and Henry VIII's will.

The succession law was never changed during Elizabeth's reign.  There was ample opportunity to have Parliament promulgate a new succession law.  The only other heirs to the throne were the descendants of Henry VIII's younger sister, Mary, and her second husband, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk.  They had two sons, both died young, and two daughters, Lady Frances (1517-1559) and Lady Eleanor.

Lady Frances was married to Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk.  They had three daughters, Lady Jane (the nine days' queen), Lady Catherine, and Lady Mary.  Lady Jane was executed in 1554 and Mary died without issue in 1578.  Thus, the focus was on Lady Catherine and her descendants.  She fell in love with Edward Seymour, Marquess of Hertford.  The marriage was clandestine and without Queen Elizabeth's permission.  She was sent to the Tower, where she lived where she gave birth to two sons, Edward (1561--1612) and Thomas (1562-1600).  She died at the age of 27 from tuberculosis on January 26, 1568.

The marriage was annulled in 1562, and Lady Catherine's two sons were declared illegitimate, but as the years went by, they were seen as possible heirs to the throne.

Lady Frances' younger sister, Lady Eleanor, married Henry Clifford, 2nd Earl of Cumberland.  Their only surviving child, Lady Margaret (1540-1596), married Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Derby.  They had four sons.  The eldest surviving son, Ferdinando (5th Earl of Derby) died only two years before his mother, rather unexpectedly, perhaps poisoned due to Catholic plotters who wanted him to claim the throne, although he rejected their support and turned them over to the authorities.

Lady Margaret Clifford's position as a senior heir was clarified as far back as 1552 when the Duke of Northumberland wanted to marry his son Guildford to her.  King Edward VI favored the marriage, but her parents disagreed.  Northumberland then arranged a marriage between Guildford and Margaret's first cousin, Lady Jane Grey.

She married the Earl of Derby in 1554. It was not a happy or successful marriage.  It seems the Countess of Derby was aware of her position and embraced it to her cost. She was arrested in 1579 after having a conversation about Queen Elizabeth's proposed marriage to the Duke of Alencon.  The Countess made it known that she was opposed to marriage because it could affect her own dynastic rights.  She was put under house arrest after she was accused of sorcery to predict Elizabeth's death.

Margaret's sorcerer was actually her own doctor.  He was executed but the Countess of Derby was never charged although she was banished from the court.  She sent frequent letters to the queen: "black dungeon of sorrow and despair....overwhelmed with heaviness through the loss of your majesty's favor and gracious countenance."

Thus, following Margaret's death in 1596, her granddaughter, Lady Anne Stanley (1580-1647) became the heiress presumptive to the English throne, according to Henry VIII's will.  (If she had come to the throne, her life would have been very different.  Lady Anne was married twice.  Her second husband, the Earl of Castlehaven, was found guilty on April 25, 1631, her husband, the Earl of Castlehaven, sodomy with one of his servants) and rape (of his wife,  restraining her while another of his servants raped her). He was beheaded on May 14, 1631. )

Others supported Lady Catherine Grey's eldest son, Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp, who was married to Honora Rogers, by whom he had six children.  The succession law was never changed, but Elizabeth did not favor her cousins who were legal dynasts.  It would have been easy for Parliament to pass legislation recognizing Catherine Grey's marriage, thus recognizing Edward's succession rights as the future Edward VII.   But Elizabeth was not keen on Lord Beauchamp, stating:  'I will have no Rascall to succeed me, as who should succeed me but a King?'

Henry VIII chose to exclude the descendants of his older sister, Margaret (1489-1541), the consort of James IV of Scotland, whom she married in 1503. One assumes this was done because Margaret married into a foreign royal house.   Ten years later, James died and was succeeded by his young, James V (1512-1542).  James V died only 6 days after the birth of his only surviving legitimate child, Mary, Queen of Scots.

Queen Margaret was pregnant when her husband died.  She gave birth posthumously to another son, Alexander, in April 1514.  He lived for about a year.  In August 1514, she secretly married Archibald Douglas, Earl of Arran.   She gave birth to a daughter, Lady Margaret Douglas in October 1515.

This marriage ended in divorce in 1527.  A year later, she married Henry Stewart, and created Lord Methven by James V. 

Genealogically, Margaret's line was superior to the descendants of her younger sister, Princess Mary.  Margaret's granddaughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, married her first half-cousin, Henry, Lord Darnley, whose mother was Lady Margaret Douglas, who married Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox.  Thus,  James VI was a double great-grandson of Margaret Tudor.

Embed from Getty Images 

By choosing to ignore her father's will, Elizabeth favored the true male primogeniture succession by recognizing that the descendants of her father's older sister, Margaret, took precedence over his younger sister, Mary's line, even though this favored a foreign king over English cousins.   This was the beginning of a personal union between England and Scotland.  Had Parliament chosen to follow the legal succession, by offering the throne to Edward Seymour or Lady Anne Stanley,  an Act of Union may never have happened, and British history would certainly be poorer without the foresight of Elizabeth I to bring together the two monarchies, uniting them with one sovereign. 

The succession of one of Elizabeth's English cousins would also have meant no Act of Settlement in 1701, no George III, or the American Revolution as we know it.

If you liked this article

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Norwegian royal family and FDR

About to start watching Ken Burns' program on the Roosevelts.   Recently added this photo to my collection.

Norwegian royal family and Eleanor Roosevelt and a statue of FDR.

King Haakon, Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha, Princesses Ragnhild, Astrid and Prince Harald

Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

Norwegian royal family - 1970s

New Photos to my collection - of the Norwegian royal family in the 1970s

Princess Astrid and her children and Crown Princess Sonja

Princess Astrid & her children, Crown Princess Sonja  & Princess Ragnhild

1973 Crown Prince Harald, Princess Ragnhild & Erling Lorentzen

Princess Astrid & children
all photos Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

If any of my readers have further identifications, please drop me a message here at the blog.

The Cumberlands

both  images: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland (the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Luneburg)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis marries Hugo Wilson

Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis married British artist Hugo Wilson today at St. Joseph's Church in Tutzing.

The bride was escorted into the church by her younger brother, Albert, the Prince of Thurn und Taxis. Her gown was by British designer Vivienne Westwood. The newly married Hereditary Prince and Princess of Isenburg, Princess Felipa of Bavaria and her husband, Christian Dienst, Princess Chantal of Hannover and her sons, Ernst August and Christian, were among the few noble and royal guests who attended the wedding. Andrea and Tatiana Casiraghi were also among the guests.