Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pull it down, Charlotte

Pull it down, Charlotte, pull it down.  Sixteen-month-old Princess Charlotte of Cambridge heads straight for a balloon arch at a children's party earlier today at Government House in Victoria, British Columbia.  

Photo by Richard Palmer, Daily Express.  Thank you for allowing me to use it 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

World not supposed to know that George and Charlotte visited Children's farm.

The Cambridge kids  need to be entertained while Mummy and Papa do their thing for Queen and Country.  It appears that yesterday Prince George and Princess Charlotte visited the Beacon Hill Farm, a children's zoo, "located within beautiful Beacon Hill Park," in Victoria, British Columbia.    One assumes that nanny Maria and a phalanx of security personnel were along for the trip.

No photos of course.  A private visit. Let the kids have fun and all that.  Earlier today,  the Farm and Tourism Victoria sent tweets stating that the royal children had visited the farm yesterday.  The information had also appeared on the Beacon Hill Farm's Facebook page.

The British Columbia government requested that the tweets and Facebook posts be deleted.  Wonder who made the request to the  British Columbia government?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Will William and Catherine meet Cousin Frederika who lives in British Columbia

HRH Princess Frederika of Hannover, 5 years old, arriving in London with her parents on January 13, 1960.  She and her older sister, Princess Clarissa of Hesse, were among the bridesmaids at the wedding of Lady Pamela Mountbatten to David Hicks. (Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection)

I am going to assume that the Duke of Cambridge is aware that he has a first cousin once removed living in Vancouver, British Columbia:  HRH Princess Friederike Elisabeth Victoria Luise Alice Olga Theodora Helene of Hanover,  Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Princess of Great Britain and Ireland, who was born at Schloss Salem, Baden, on October 15, 1954. She is the youngest child of the late HRH Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark (1914-2001) and HRH Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hanover (1915-2006).

A month after her birth,  the infant princess was baptized, according to the rites of the Lutheran Church, at Schloss Salem.  Her godparents include Queen Elizabeth II,  Queen Frederika of the Hellenes (her paternal aunt) and Queen Louise of Sweden (her maternal great aunt).

The Princess, who has used Frederika as her name for most of her life, is a niece of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and thus, HRH The Prince of Wales' first cousin.  On her father's side, she is a first cousin of HRH Prince Ernst August of Hannover, the estranged husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco -- and the titular head of the House of Hannover.   King Constantine II and Queen Sofia of Spain are also first cousins, children of Frederika's namesake, her paternal aunt, Queen Frederika of the Hellenes (younger sister of Prince Georg Wilhelm)

Frederika is the youngest of Princess Sophie's eight children.  Princess Sophie was married twice, and her first husband was HH Prince Christoph of Hesse, a nephew of Kaiser Wilhelm II (as his mother, Princess Margarete, was Wilhelm's youngest sister.  Her second husband, Georg Wilhelm,  was a grandson of the Kaiser, as his mother Princess Viktoria Luise, was Wilhelm's youngest child and only daughter.  

The nearly 62-year-old Princess has lived in British Columbia for 40 years.   In 1977,  Frederika, then a student at Simon Fraser University,  was named  with three other German Princesses, as a possible bride for the Prince of Wales.  The story was fabricated by the tabloid Sunday newspaper, News of the World.

She was an art student at Simon Fraser, working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree.  The publicity from the story sent the princess into hiding in the Vancouver area, unwilling to speak to the press.     The press also camped out at her parents home in Neuhaus bei Schliersee in Bavaria.  A spokesman for the family said at the time that Frederika would not consent to interviews  but wanted it known that she loved living in Vancouver and attending Simon Fraser University.   The spokesman also said that the princess  was "enjoying a skiing holiday somewhere."   The skiing holiday was in British Columbia.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman denied "any romantic link" between Prince Charles and Princess Frederika.  "I must admit that I don't know her, " the palace spokesman said in a telephone interview.  Obviously, Prince Charles would know her if she is his cousin but there is nothing more to it than that."

The other three German Princesses touted as Charles' future bride were Frederika's first cousins, Princesses Marie, 25, Olga, 19 and Alexandra, 18, of Hanover.

On August 17, 1979,  Princess Frederika married  Jerry William Cyr, a British Columbia native.  They have two grown children, Julia Emma,  34, and Jean-Paul, 31.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

House of King Peter I in Oplenac has been opened for heraldry lovers

Topola, 22 September 2016 –

all photos courtesy of HRH Crown Prince Alexander's press office

Coats of arms of the Royal Family Karadjordjevic, as well as many interesting facts about heraldry and history of the Karadjordjevics, are expecting the visitors of the exhibition “House of Karadjordje Heraldry”, which opened in the House of King Petar I in Oplenac. At the opening there were present HRH Prince Mihailo with his fiancée Ms Ljubica Ljubisavljevic, Mr Dragan Zivanovic, Mayor of Topola and many distinguished guests.

The exhibition was opened by Prof. Momcilo Pavlovic, the director of the Institute for Contemporary History and Mr. Dragomir Acovic, chairman of the Crown Council. The authors of the exhibition are Mr. Acovic and Mr. Ljubodrag Grujic, the Herald of the Royal House. The exhibition will be open until the end of the tourist season in Oplenac. “Coats of arms were once the most important sign of recognition and carried important symbolism that was tied to a person or a family. Here today we have an insight into the entire rich heraldic history of the House of Karadjordje, which, along with the stories that accompany its emergence, will provide the visitors with a unique educational experience”, said Dragomir Acovic, chairman of the Crown Council and one of the authors of the exhibition.

House of Karadjordje Heraldry” is the third in a series of exhibitions this season in Oplenac, and visitors can still enjoy the setting of the “Orders of the House of Karadjordje” and “Forming of the church of St. George’s interior and Nikola Krasnov”.

A DNA Test coming for Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills

The His and Hers stories are now emerging in the Romanian press.   According to a statement released today to the media (via Facebook), Nicholas de Romanie Medforth-Mills recently received a letter from Nicoleta Cirjan.  In this letter, Nicoleta claims that Nicholas, the son of Princess Helen of Romania,  is the father of her daughter, Iris Anna, who was born at Bucharest on February 9, 2015,  nine months after Nicoleta  allegedly had a one night stand with Nicholas.

Through his lawyer, Radu Enache, Nicholas responded that he is willing to take a DNA test at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine ("Mina Minovici") in Bucharest.  He responded to her letter on September 3.

The Institute is the only source for DNA testing in Romania.  

 "If after a DNA test conducted at the National Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bucharest (Mina Minovici) that I am the father of Miss Cirjan's child. I will provide the notary statement of recognition of paternity, and I will take all legal obligations resulting from this situation. Given that so far there is no court order establishing paternity or notarized declaration of paternity recognize my part, I consider that any statements on this topic are unfounded."

In his response to Miss Cirjan,   Nicholas said that if the DNA test proves that that he is the father, he will acknowledge the child and provide support for her.   Miss Cirjan refused this request.

Several hours after Nicholas posted his statement,  Miss Cirjan responded by posting her response to Nicholas' letter on her Facebook page.  She said she had only wanted "quiet, peace and discretion," and responded "for the sake of truth and fairness."

"Dear Counsellor,

As results from our previous correspondence on paternity testing by your client, I have asked repeatedly that this test be done by the National Institute of Forensic Medicine "Mina Minovici" in Bucharest and an accredited private clinic, but your client refused this test and a test at an accredited private clinic.

I have not publicized the fact that Mr. Nicholas Medforth-Mills is the father of my child,  and your letter is intimidating and offensive, given that I have asked so many times for your client's discretion, and to take the paternity test at the institute and a private clinic to end this situation.  Moreover, I have kept secret the identity of the father  and did not comply with media request to speak about this issue in order to protect client's image, thought it damaged my image and reputation.

Your insistence to do the paternity test only at the National Institute of Forsenic Medicine "Mina Minovici" in Bucharest by September 19, 2016 arouses suspicion, and therefore, I insist that this test be performed first at a privately accredited clinic in Brasov, where I live with my baby, at mutually agreed date, and then at the IML in Bucharest.

I reserve the right to bring action in the courts to establish paternity, as this action is not subject to the statute of limitations"

Regards,  Nicoleta Cirjan."

Nicholas is the grandson of King Michael of Romania.  He was styled and titled HRH Prince Nicholas of Romania, and heir to the throne until last August, when the King removed his titles and his right of succession.

The National Institute of Forensic Medicine has branches throughout Romania.  DNA tests that are done in any of the branches are accepted as court evidence.  DNA testing done at private clinics do not carry the same weight in court decisions.

Nicoleta and her child can file paternity claims until Iris reaches the age of 18, but Iris can file her own paternity claim at any time in her life, according to Romanian law.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Happy 20th anniversary to Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu

Copyright Alain Morvan

Twenty years ago today, Crown Princess Margarita of Romania, eldest daughter and heir to King Michael, and Radu Duda (now HRH Prince Radu) were married in Switzerland.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A future princess celebrates her birthday today

both photos copyright Milana Bosnic

Ljubica Ljubislavljevic celebrates her 27th birthday today (Wednesday).  No doubt, the Belgrade-born young woman will be celebrating with her family and friends, and especially with her fiance, HRH Prince Michael of Serbia.

The couple will marry at the Church of St. George at Openlac, Serbia, on October 23.  They and their guests will return to Belgrade that afternoon for a reception at the White Palace.    

This will be the first royal wedding in Serbia since 1922, when King Alexander I married Princess Marie of Romania. Prince Michael is a grandson of King Alexander and  Queen Marie.  He is the youngest son of Alexander's second son, Prince Tomislav (1928-2000) and his second wife, the British-born Linda Bonney.

Miss Ljubislavljevic received a master's degree in pharmacy in 2013 from the University of Belgrade.   She is "in love with organic cosmetics and skin care." She works in social media management and online publishing, and currently works as a Digital marketing consultant.   

She and Prince Michael are both passionate about horses, and plan to raise and train horses after their marriage. 

Her many interests including playing the guitar, reading, skiing, bungee jumping, bike riding, writing .. and she is a member of Mensa! 

Miss Ljubislavljevic writes about women's health issues for English and Serbian language online publications.   She is fluent in Serbian and in English.

She is the daughter of Milorad Ljubisavljević and Vera Sokolović.

(Thank you, Ljubica, for allowing me to use the Milana's photos)

both photos HRH Crown Prince Alexander 9-15-2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Another Serbian wedding: Prince George and Fallon Rayman

Prince George of Serbia, the elder son of the late Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia and his second wife, Linda Bonney,  recently married Briton Fallon Rayman.  The couple are based in Plymouth..

The wedding took place on July 5.
Prince George of Serbia.   Royal Palace, Belgrade, May 2013.  Copyright Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

A new baby for the Prince and Princess of Prussia

both photos copyright Daniel Angelescu.
Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, head of the Imperial House of Germany, is confirmed that his wife, Princess Sophie is expecting a fourth child.
"I have three and a half children, " he said at the inauguration of the Innovation Campus at Empfingen.

The baby is due sometime in November, according to Gala magazine.

Twin sons, Princes Carl Friedrich and Louis Ferdinand, were born at Bremen on January 20, 2013.  Younger sister, Princess Emma Marie, born at Bremen on April 2,  2015.

Princess Sophie's bump was certainly visible when she and Prince Georg Friedrich attended an exhibit, "Carmen Sylva - a Queen from Neuwied at the Röntgen Museum in Neuwied.

They were accompanied by Prince Radu of Romania and Sophie's widowed sister, Isabelle, Princess of Wied.

The exhibit commemorates Elisabeth's life as a Princess of Wied.  She was born Princess Elisabeth Ottilie Luise of Wied on December 29, 1843, the daughter Hermann, Prince of Wied, and his wife, Princess Marie of Nassau.   She married King Carol I of Romania (nee Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen in 1869.)   They had one daughter,  Princess Marie, who died at the age three in 1874.

Queen Elisabeth of Romania died at Bucharest on March 2, 1916.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lord Ivar Mountbatten reveals new partner

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection (given to me by the then Lady Ivar Mountbatten)

London's Daily Mail has an inclusive --  Lord Ivar Mountbatten,  younger brother of the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven,  has acknowledged that he is gay and has a new partner,  James Coyle, an airline cabin services director.

Lord Ivar, 53, told the Mail:  "Being a Mountbatten was never the problem.  It was the generation into which I was born.  When I was growing up, it was known as 'the love that dare not speak its name,' but what's amazing now is how far we have all come in terms of acceptance."

As it should be.

The Mail -- and the other British newspapers that have picked up the story - offer the headline that Lord Ivar is the Queen's cousin.  Well, yes, both are descendants of Victoria but do not descend from the same children.  Queen Elizabeth II is a descendant of Edward VII,  Victoria's eldest son and second child.   Lord Ivar is a descendant of the third child, Princess Alice, who married Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and By Rhine, whose eldest daughter, Victoria, married Prince Louis of Battenberg, her first cousin once removed.

Victoria and Louis, who gave up his German titles and was created the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven and Earl of Medina in 1917, had four children:  Alice, the wife of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark; Louise, the consort of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden, George, who succeeded his father as the 2nd Marquess and Louis, later created Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven (Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection)

Lord Ivar's father, David, was the son of George, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven (who served as Prince Philip's guardian after he was sent to school in Scotland), was Philip's first cousin.   Philip is the son of Princess Alice.    David was  Philip's best man at his wedding to then Princess Elizabeth.

Lord Ivar and the Prince of Wales are second cousins.

The late 3rd Marquess was married twice.  His second wife -- the mother of his two sons, George (who succeeded his father as 4th Marquess in 1970) and Lord Ivar --was Janet Mercedes Bryce, the daughter of Major Francis Bryce, and she was a model from Bermuda.

The Queen and Prince Philip did not attend the wedding, although the date was changed to November 17, 1960, to allow David's aunt, Queen Louise of Sweden, to attend the wedding.   The wedding took place at St. Andrew's, Frognal, Hampstead.    The bride was attended by a page, Michael Naylor-Leyland, and five child bridesmaids: Fiona Phillips, Marita Phillips, Marilyn Butter, Rohays Butter, and Amanda Naylor-Leyland.

The new Lady Milford-Haven's first cousin, Harold Phillips, was married to Georgina Werhner, a first cousin of the groom.  Gina's mother, Lady Zia, and David's mother,  Nada, the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven were siblings.   Two of Gina's children, Fiona and Marita, were in the bridal party.  Marilyn and Rohays's mother is Gina's younger sister, Myra.    [Michael Naylor Leyland, who died in 2015, also had a royal connection: his second of three wives was Princess Saskia of Hannover.]

[David's first marriage to Romaine Dahlgren Pierce Simpson, ended in divorce in 1954.]

David's godparents were the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII), Lady Patricia Ramsay, Grand Duke Michael of Russia (his grandfather), Lady Zia Wernher, and Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty.   He died on April 14, 1970, after collapsing at London's Liverpool Street railroad station.

Lord Ivar and his older brother, George, grew up at Moyns Park in Steeple Bumststead, in Essex.  The estate had belonged to Major General Cecil St. John Ives, the maternal grandfather, of Ivar Bruce, Janet's uncle.  Ivar, a good friend of James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming, was married to Josephine Hartford, an A&P heiress (sister of Huntington Hartford), and when Josephine died in 1992. she left the estate to George and Ivar.  A year later, Lord Ivar, bought out his brother's share, as, at the time, Lord Milford Haven was having financial troubles.

He was educated at Gordonstoun and received a BA from Middlebury College, in Vermont.

Lord Ivar became engaged to Penny Thompson in 1993.   In an interview with Hello, Ivar said that it took him a while to propose.    "Everyone loves Penny.  I have never heard a bad word about her.  All my staff here at Moyns said I should settle down with her, but suddenly having someone else in your house for the rest of your life is difficult to come to terms with."

The couple was married on April 23, 1994, at the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, in Clare, Suffolk, and was attended by Princess Margaret, Prince Edward, a close friend of Lord Ivar, and his then-girlfriend, now wife, Sophie Rhys-Jones.  The reception was held at Moyns Park.   One of the pages was Galen Crawley, son of Marita Phillips.

The bride wore a Russian tiara that had once belonged to Lord Ivar's great-grandmother, Sophie, Countess of Merenberg, the morganatic wife of Grand Duke Michael of Russia.

Lord and Lady Ivar wanted to make the Elizabethan manor "commercially viable." Episodes of Lovejoy were filmed at Moyns.

The couple had three children:  Ella Louise Georgina (1996), Alexandra Nada Victoria (1998), and Louise Xenia Rose (2002).  Prince Edward is one of Ella's godfathers, and Sophie is Alexandra's godmother.

Lord Ivar is one of Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor's godparents.

In 1997,  Lord Ivar sold Moyns Park for £4 million, and bought Bridwell Park, a Georgian House, in a "secluded 173-acre estate near Tiverton," for about £1.15 million.  With a second child on the way -- and tired of hosting endless parties for businessmen - Lord and Lady Ivar wanted to live a more private life.

In 1998, Penny told Hello magazine: "At Moyns everything was so far away and there was always a feeling of upstairs/downstairs even though we bridged that gap because of the way the house was arranged. Here we don't  have that, which is good."

The couple and their growing family were often featured in the pages of Hello and Tatler.

In 2007,  Lady Ivar was appointed as the UK seller for Baron, a Swedish company that made luxury bags.  "It's great fun being a bag lady.  I've been doing this since March and have adored every minute. I've been married for 13 years and have three children, but because I don't want anymore my husband has told me that I've got to work and make money.  I think the bills for the children's school fees have been horrendous this year."

In April 2010, Lord Ivar was profiled by the Daily Telegraph as he promoted his Devonshire Red hens.   Later that year, in September,  Lord and Lady Ivar announced that they were separating.    A year later, Bridwell Park, was put on the market, briefly, but Lord Ivar eventually decided to turn the estate into a business.

The separation and divorce were amicable.  "It is quite true that we see each other all the time and we really are the best of friends.  I certainly haven't got anyone else in my life, and I don't think Penny has either, " Lord Ivar told the Daily Mail's Richard Kay, several weeks after the divorce was granted.

The couple's eldest daughter, Ella, made her debut in 2014 at Le Bal in Paris.

Bridwell Park remains a family home but has also become one of the most successful wedding venues in England.

As a sidebar, it should be noted that Lord Ivar is the first relative of the British royal family to acknowledge that he is gay, but he is not the first.    The former Prince Alexander of Battenberg (1886 - 1960), the eldest son of Princess Beatrice, youngest child of Queen Victoria, and her husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg, was a homosexual.   In 1917,  Alexander gave up his German titles and was created Marquess of Carisbrooke, Viscount Berkhamstead and Viscount Launceston.  Later that year, he married Lady Irene Denison, and they had one daughter, Lady Iris Mountbatten.  His titles became extinct upon his death.    Lord Carisbrooke's longtime relationship with Simon Fleet was revealed in Cecil Beaton's published diaries.

Lady Helena Gleichen (1873-1947) was the youngest of four children of Prince Viktor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and his morganatic wife, Lady Laura Williamina Seymour, sister of the 5th Marquess of Hertford.     Viktor was Queen Victoria's nephew, the 4th child and third son of her older half-sister, Princess Feodora of Leiningen, the wife of Ernst I, Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.  Laura was created Countess Gleichen, and her children were styled as Count or Countess Gleichen until the first world war.    Lady Helena's longtime companion was Nina Hollings, whom she had met in Germany during the first world war.

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a cup of coffee:

Lord Mountbatten's 70th birthday

copyright  Broadlands Archives Trust

A lovely photo of Queen Alexandra

I have had this photo in my collection for years -- note the signature on the back ...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Prince Michael of Serbia to marry

September 2013.  Both photos were taken by me in Belgrade at one the final reception following the state funeral for King Peter II, Queen Alexandra, Queen Marie and Prince Andrej.

HRH Prince Michael and  Ljubica Ljubisavljević  (copyright:Marlene A. Eilers Koenig)

HRH Prince Michael of Serbia will marry  Belgrade-born Ljubica Ljubisavljević  on October 23rd at the Church of St. George.   The reception will be held at the White Palace.

This will be the second  royal wedding in Serbia since June 8, 1922,  when Prince Michael's grandfather, King Alexander I, married Princess Marie of Romania.   Prince Alexander, son of Prince Paul, and Princess Barbara of Liechtenstein had an Orthodox wedding at St. George's in October 1996, 22 years after their civil marriage in Paris.

 The couple were introduced at a Belgrade restaurant more than four years ago.   "We discovered that we share the same values and we quickly became inseparable,"  Prince Michael told Blic, a Belgrade newspaper.

After the wedding the couple will settle down near Belgrade, where they will plan to raise horses and be surrounded by nature."

Prince Michael, who was born at London on December 15, 1985, is the younger son of the late Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia and his second wife, Linda (bee Bonney.  He has an older brother, Prince George, and two older half siblings, Prince Nikola and Princess Katarina, the children of Tomislav's first marriage to Princess Margarita of Baden.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

George VI halts vacation again to see doctors

September 15, 1951

For the second time in a week, King George VI has left Balmoral to fly to London to see his doctors.    The king, who is suffering from poor health, flew "from Aberdeen thru threatening clouds and rain for further treatment of a lung condition," reports Reuters.

Last weekend, he was seen by a radiologist in London.  King George VI is 55 years old.

The Palace has not provided further information on when the King will return to Scotland, where he had been on vacation, or how long he will need to seek treatment.  His wife, Queen Elizabeth, remains in Scotland.

The King's lung condition is believed to be the aftermath "of a catarrhal inflammation which attacked him last June."  His doctors have given "little indication" on how serious his condition is.   Newspapers and the public have been left to speculate with no more than a brief announcement from Buckingham Palace.

Recent photographs have shown King George to looking tired and strained.

There are no signs that a planned voyage to Australia and New Zealand at the beginning of next year will be canceled.  The King and Queen and Princess Margaret are expected to travel on the recently converted 15,902-ton liner, Gothic.

The Daily Express, owned by Lord Beaverbrook, has speculated that the king has been suffering from a blockage of the bronchus --one of the air tubes of the lungs.

"His symptoms indicate a typical pneumonia. Treatment for this consists of the use of a new drug Aureomycin and a long convalescence in the open air," reported the Express.

The Sunday Express reported that the King caught a chill while shooting at Balmoral, and this chill developed into "bronchial trouble."

Astrid to marry Leopold?

September 15, 1926

Princess Astrid of Sweden and Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium are expected to announce their engagement next week, reports the Associated Press, which based its report on a dispatch from a Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter.

According to the Dagens Nyheter, Crown Prince Leopold, the eldest son of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth.

The Grand Marshal of the Belgian court has officially pooh-poohed the report from Stockholm,  stating he was "unaware" of any engagement between Leopold and Princess Astrid.   He added that the Belgian press would be the first "to be informed of any such official news.

Wilhelm II's nephew killed

September 15, 1916

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Hesse, a nephew of Kaiser Wilhelm II, has been killed at Cara Orman,  according to the New York Times.  The dispatch is based on an announcement from the War Office in Berlin in "its report on operations on the Balkan front."   Cara Orman is in Romania

The Prince was born in 1893 at Frankfurt-am-Main, eldest son of Prince Friedrich Karl of Hesse and his wife, Princess Margarete of Prussia, a younger sister of Wilhelm II.  He was "reported wounded" in September 1914 while fighting in France.   His younger brother, Prince Maximilian, was killed in France in October 1914.    

Seven other German Princes - two from Saxe-Meiningen, three from Lippe, one from Reuss and one from Waldeck und Pyrmont -- have been killed during the war.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mail Call

From HSH Marie Louise, the Dowager Princess of Castell-Castell

HM Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes (70th birthday)

Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia - dead at 65

September 14, 1931

Prince Friedrich Leopold of Prussia, a cousin of former Kaiser Wilhelm II, died today at Flatow, Germany, reports the Associated Press.  He was 65 years old.

Since the end of the War, he lived for most of the time in Switzerland.   Prince Friedrich Leopold was once known as "Europe's greatest spendthrift, 'the King of the Dudes,'' and his fortune, as late as 1926, was estimated between $60,000,000 and $75,000,000.   While living in Switzerland, the prince was "rapidly contracting debts," and his estate in Germany was the subject of litigation.

In 1926,  it was reported that while Reichstag's judiciary committee was stating that "America was subscribing millions of dollars for the relief of starving Germans,"  Prince Friedrich Leopold was feeding "sweetbreads cooked in cream to his favorite lapdog," and he gave only the "choicest meat to his pack of eighty hounds."

It was said that he drank several bottles of champagne each night, and there were reports of excessive and mean behavior.  It was alleged that he would have a servant "crawl about a room on hands and knees, barking in imitation of a dog and -- to make the thing quiet realistic -- eating out of saucer."

He was married to the late Empress Auguste Viktoria's younger sister, Princess Luise Sophie,  whom he " was accused of having beaten with a riding whip for remonstrating with him for his attention to actresses and others."

Wilhelm II punished him on several occasions, and eventually "tore the decorations off his uniform," and dismissed him from the German army.    Afterward,  Friedrich Leopold's relationship with Kaiser Wilhelm II was "strained."

In 1928, Prince Friedrich Leopold won a "complete victory" over the the Prussian government regarding his "exclusive right" to his properties.  But last February, he put up for auction the "furniture and historical contents" from his home, Schloss Glienicke, near Potsdam, in order to pay his debts.

Wilhelm II, now living in the Netherlands, protested against the sale, but was unable to prevent it.

Prince Joachim Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Leopold of Prussia was born at Berlin on November 16, 1865, the fifth child of Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Princess Maria-Anna of Anhalt-Dessau,  He married Princess Luise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein at Berlin on June 24, 1889.

The couple had four children:  Princess Viktoria Margarete (1890-1923), who married Prince Heinrich XXXIII Reuss in 1913 (divorced in 1922), Prince Friedrich Sigismund (1891-1927),  Prince Friedrich Karl (1893-1917) and Prince Friedrich Leopold (1895).

Prince Friedrich Leopold is survived by his wife, Princess Luise  Sophie, their youngest son, Prince Friedrich Leopold and four grandchildren: Princess Marie Luise and Prince Heinrich II Reuss,  Princess Marie Princess Luise of Prussia and Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia (children of Friedrich Sigismund and Princess Marie Luise of Schaumburg-Lippe.   He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, including  Prince Arthur of Connaught and the Lady Patricia Ramsay, the younger children of the Prince's older sister,  Princess Luise Margarete (1860-1917), who married the Duke of Connaught in 1879.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg (1923-2016)


Countess Gunnila Bernadotte af Wisborg, widow of Count Carl-Johan Bernadotte af Wisborg, uncle of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, died on Monday, September 12, 2016.   She was 93 years old.

Countess Gunnila Märta Louise was the  daughter of Count Nils Wachtmeister af Johannishus and Märta De Geer af Leufsta  She was born at  Stockholm on May 12, 1923.  She married in 1942 to  Carl-Herman Bussler.   In 1988, she married for a second time, Count  Carl Johan Bernadotte (1916-2012), youngest son of King Gustav VI Adolf.

Count Carl-Johan's first wife, Kerstin, died in 1987.  On September 29, 1988, in Copenhagen,  Carl-Johan married Countess Gunnila.  They attended royal events in Sweden, and also visited the US on occasion.

She is survived by two children from her first marriage,  Madeleine (1948) and Carl-Fredrik (Fred) Bussler (1951)and their families.    

This article includes information on my meeting Count Carl Johan and Countess Gunnila at the Washington, D.C.,  home of Count and Countess Peder Bonde (whose daughter was once married to Carl Johan's.)  The Count and Countess wanted to meet me and invited me to lunch.

A more detailed blog post on Countess Gunnila's life.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bulgaria votes for a republic

September 8, 1946

The Bulgarian monarchy ended today when the country voted in a referendum on the "retention of the monarchy or the establishment of a people's republic," reports the New York Times.

The results in favor of a republic is a seen as a "foregone conclusion," as the Government and all opposition parties support a republic.  The first results, broadcast on Sofia radio, show "overwhelming majorities for a republic."  Rural villages showed only 5 percent for retaining the monarchy.

Bulgaria has been ruled by kings for nearly seventy years. Today was a national holiday.   Community leader Georgi Dimitrov said that Bulgaria would be a "people's republic, not a Soviet kind of republic."

The result of the election was "clear in advance," and 9-year-old King Simeon, his mother, Queen Giovanna and his older sister, Princess Marie Louise, were making preparations to go into exile.

Juliana engaged

September 8, 1936

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands announced today the engagement of her only daughter, Princess Juliana, to Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, reports the New York Times.

The "entire country" has been expecting "Juliana's betrothal as a matter-of-course duty," but today's announcement came as a surprise as "Swedish and British suitors have been frequently mentioned but ever a German one."

Juliana, the heir to the Dutch throne, and her fiance have known each other for about a year.  There have been frequent meetings, abroad and at the home of friends.  Last summer, Prince Bernhard, who is two years Juliana's junior, was a member of Queen Wilhelmina's vacation part.   Bernhard, who is known as Benno to his friends, is "described as very popular," and has a pleasant character and personality."    He is fluent in French and English and studied law n Berlin.  He is also "good at sports and an excellent horseman."

The newly engaged couple arrived at the royal palace this evening and were "greeted tumultuously by thousands who had braved a heavy rain " to get a glimpse of the couple.  

The "chorus of congratulations" was not unanimous.   A socialist newspaper, Het Volk,  would have preferred that the future Queen had found her consort "in some democratic country rather than in the Third Reich."

Friday, September 2, 2016

Greek Queens: Sophie supports Germany, while Olga sides with Russia

September 2, 1916

There has been a lot written about how the "masterful Queen Sophia of Greece and of the manner in which for two years she has been exercising her powerful influence on her husband," in connection with the present war that many have forgotten the Dowager Queen Olga, who will celebrate her 65th birthday tomorrow.

Queen Olga, the widow of King George, who was assassinated in 1913, has remained in Petrograd for the last 18th months.  She has refused to return to Greece as she will not sanction the "hostile attitude" that her son, King Constantine, and his German-born wife, have toward Russia and her allies, reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Olga was born in Russia, the daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nicholaivitch. the sailor brother of Alexander II, and "probably the most gifted and liberal-minded" member of the Russian Imperial Family.

Queen Olga believes that Greece "owes everything to Russia."   Until Constantine married Princess Sophie, a younger daughter of the late Friedrich III,  the people of Greece looked to Russia as the bulwark against the Turks.  Nicholas II's mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, was the sister of King George.  Two of Olga's daughters,  Princess Marie and Princess Alexandra, married Grand Dukes George and Paul, and Olga's son, Prince Nicholas, is the husband of Grand Duchess Helen.
Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

As Crown Princess Sophie was determined to eliminate Russian influence in Greece and replace it with a total Germanizing of the court.  This led to antagonism with Queen Olga,  as well as Constantine's siblings.   According to this dispatch,  Sophie became more aggressive when she became Queen.

The antagonism grew more acute as the years went by.  It was difficult for Queen Olga to support a cause, only to have Sophia "combat" the idea.  Olga, as the dowager Queen, found her position difficult.  She could not speak to her son, as he is  "under the sway of her German daughter-in-law."

So she remains in Russia, unable to provide, even tacit approval of King Constantine's position in the war."