Monday, October 31, 2016

The Pope visits Sweden for Reformation Kick off celebrations

All photos: copyright Jacob Regner

Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic church, had a meeting today in Lund, Sweden, with King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

"We too must look with love and honesty at our past, recognizing error and seeking forgiveness, for God alone is our judge," Francis said at an ecumenical service at the Lutheran cathedral in Lund.

"With gratitude we acknowledge that the Reformation helped give greater centrality to sacred scripture in the (Catholic) Church's life," he said.

The joint prayer service was held in the city where the Lutheran World Federation was founded 50 years ago.

October 31 is Reformation Day, which honors and celebrates Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Castle, igniting the fire that led to the Reformation and the establishment of the Lutheran Church.  Today starts the countdown to October 31, 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Luther's action.

Jakob Regner lives near Lund and got good shots of the King and Queen and the Pope.  Thanks, Jakob, for allowing me to use these photos.

Grand Duke Dimitri engaged to American heiress

October 31, 1926

Miss Audrey Emery, the youngest daughter of Mrs. Alfred Anson, is to marry Grand Duke Dimitri of Russia, reports the New York Times.

Her family learned the news yesterday "following cable messages to relatives from France," where Miss Emery and her parents have been staying for some time.

One message was sent by Miss Emery to the housekeeper at the Anson family home on East 68th Street in New York.  The housekeeper was formerly Miss Emery's nurse.  Another cable was sent to Miss Emery's sister, Mrs. Benjamin Moore, who lives in Syosset, Long Island.

Family and friends were caught off guard by the news as friends of the family had no idea that the Grand Duke and Miss Emery were acquainted.

Miss Emery is one of five children of the late John J. Emery of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Mrs. Anson, who married Mr. Anson, a younger brother of the Earl of Lichfield three years after the death of Mr. Emery.

Grand Duke Dimitri, the only son of the late Grand Duke Paul, killed by the Bolsheviks in January 1919, and the late Princess Alexandra of Greece, has lived in Paris since the Revolution. He is the "personal representative" of Grand Duke Kirill since Kirill declared that he had succeeded to the throne of Russia.

Grand Duchess Alexandra died soon after giving birth to Dimitri.  He and his older sister,  Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, were raised by Grand Duchess Elisabeth and Grand Duke Sergei, a brother of Grand Duke Paul.   Sergei was killed by an assassin's bomb in 1906.

He and Prince Felix Youssoupoff were believed to be responsible for the death of the monk, Rasputin.   The Russian people appeared to be pleased with their actions as they had resented Rasputin's "strange influence" over the Imperial family.

Nicholas II banished Dimitri from Russia, an order that saved his life after Nicholas abdicated, and the Revolution succeeded in bringing down the 300-year-old Romanov Dynasty.

According to the AP, Miss Emery "has a reputation as a huntress when she bagged a pair of lions" while on a big-game hunt last year in Africa.   Grand Duke Dimitri is 34 years old.  

Miss Emery is not the first  American woman to be linked to Dimitri.  In 1914, he was said to be infatuated with Princess Beloselsky, the former Susie Whittier of Boston.  A few years later, it was reported that he was willing to renounce his rights to the throne to marry an American girl, Miss Durham, whom he had met in St. Petersburg.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

King Albert II summoned to court

King Albert II of the Belgians has received a summons to appear in a Brussels civil court.   The summons is in connection with Delphine Boel's determination to be recognized as Albert's daughter.

According to Belgian legal experts, Albert, who abdicated in 2013 in favor of his elder son, Philippe, is no longer entitled to legal immunity.   "Even though we today still call King Albert a king, he isn't one.  King Philippe is Belgium's only king as defined under the Belgian constitution says Prof Paul van Orshoven,  a Belgian legal expert.  "Following his abdication the king was able to retain his title, but this has no legal ramifications."

Albert no longer "enjoys any of the prerogatives of the king as head of state. He does not enjoy any immunity or privilege and cannot count on preferential treatment, if the court insists that he must appear, then he must do so."

According to the professor, Albert has no "single legal argument" to refuse to appear.  But as this is a civil and not a criminal court,  the king cannot be forced to attend.  But "if he doesn't attend the court, the court cannot sanction him.  However, the court is able to draw it conclusions from his failure to appear."

Last year, King Albert changed the "nature' of his marriage contract with his wife, Queen Paola.  All of their properties are now jointly owned, which allows for Albert to "identify which possessions belong to the queen."  This decision could prevent Delphine Boel from inheriting a portion of Albert's estate.

In September 2014, a DNA test proved that Delphine was not the child of her legal father, Jacques Boel.    Shortly afterward, his lawyer stated that Boel "no longer opposed Delphine Boel's challenge to his paternity."

In his 1999 Christmas speech, King Albert briefly touched on Boel's claims, which were first published in a book published earlier that year that her mothe, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps, that an affair with Albert, the Prince of Liege, in the 1960s.

He stated in the speech that his marriage had gone through a "crisis" 30 years ear;ier, without further elaborating.

Delphine Michele Anne Marie Ghislaine Boel was born on February 22, 1968 at Uccle.

Marco Danneels, then only 18-years-old and still at school, published an unauthorized biography on Queen Paola.  Danneels included a reference to Albert being the father of a daughter born out of wedlock.   It didn't take long for the Belgian press to identify Delphine Boel as the alleged child.

At the time, Delphine Boel and her mother refused to comment on Danneels' claim, and the palace dismissed the book as pure gossip.

Albert alluded to the "gossip" in his annual Christmas speech.

"This Christmas feast is also the occasion for each of us to think to one's own family, to one's happy periods but also to one's difficult moments. The Queen and I have remembered very happy periods but also the crisis that our couple have experienced more than 30 years ago. Together we could, very longtime ago already, surpass those difficulties and find back a deep understanding and love. This period have been recalled to us short ago. We don't wish to dwell on that subject which belongs to our private lives. But, if certain people who meet today similar problems could get some reasons to hope from our lived experience, we would be so happy."

The Belgian press interpreted this statement as an acknowledgement of his affair with Sybille de Sélys Longchamps.

It was not until 2005 that Delphine Boel was interviewed on French TV, stating that she was indeed Albert's daughter.  She told the interviewer that she had telephoned the king, asking for his help, as her mother was being harassed by the press.  The king told her "Leave me alone with that story. You are not my daughter."

Delphine told a reporter that she learned about her true father when she was eighteen years old.

She has tried on several occasions to bring Albert into court, but until his abdication, the king had immunity from such appearances.  In 2013, she also summoned, Albert's two eldest children, Philippe, then the Duke of Brabant, and Princess Astrid, to court to provide DNA.   She was not successful.

That same year, Delphine's mother, Sybille, spoke to the press about her 18-year affair with Albert.   She stated that her daughter had suffered "discrimination" over her relationship the then Prince of Liege.

"Delphine is responsible for nothing .  It was a story between two adults, if anybody is responsible it is him and me, not her.  I therefore support my daughter in her move, after trying since 2001, to reach a behind-the-scenes arrangement."

"I want to "re-establish the truth."  Sybille also stated that Albert wanted to divorce his wife Paola, but it was she who said that would not be a good idea, and persuaded Albert to not go through with it.  At the time, Albert was heir to the throne, as his older brother, King Baudouin, and his wife, Queen Fabiola, were childless.  Sybille said that Baudouin and the government would have allowed te divorce but the conditions for Albert would have been "very very harsh."
She ended the relationship, and moved to England with her young daughter.   Delphine works as a multi-media artists.   She lives with her Irish-American partner, James O'Hare.  They have two children, Josephine, 13, and Oscar, who is nine years old.

An acknowledgement of paternity will not make Delphine a princess or give her succession right to the throne.  It will give her peace of mind to know the truth, if Albert answers the summons -- and agrees to a DNA test, about her parentage.

One can only assume that Albert's wife and children know the truth.  Why else would Albert have protected his assets so that Delphine cannot make a claim.  He is not the first member of the Belgian royal house to have fathered a child out of wedlock.  His uncle, Prince Charles,  was the father of a illegitimate daughter, Isabelle Wybo, and her position was an open secret in Belgium.  Charles never married.  Albert and Paola certainly had marital struggles in the 1960s - as both were unfaithful.

Although Delphine would like a relationship with the Albert, the best she may get is a forced acknowledgement.  She has two small children who may never know their grandfather or their cousins.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hitler planning to restore monarchy?

October 26, 1936

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler is planning to "re-establish a German monarchy to perpetuate Nazis, " reports the Associated Press, based on a Berne dispatch from the Swiss newspaper L'Information.

The dispatch cited "closely informed sources on German affairs," for the report.

Chancellor Hitler has apparently decided on Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg in preference to one of the sons of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who lives in exile in the Netherlands.

Hitler believes that a monarchy is the "best means of perpetuating the Nazi regime."  The Duke has apparently promised to make Hitler "Chancellor for life," and will guarantee continued Nazi power.

Prince Ernst August was married in 1913 to Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the only daughter of the former Kaiser Wilhelm II.  He was born at Penzing, near Vienna, in 1887, the third but only surviving son of Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland, and Princess Thyra of Denmark.

He is a grandson of King Georg V, the last king of Hanover, and a first cousin of the late King George V of the United Kingdom.

The Duke and Duchess have five children, Prince Ernst August, Prince Georg Wilhelm,  Prince Christian, Prince Welf Heinrich, and Princess Frederika.  They live in Gmunden, Austria.

Hitler "discarded" the Hohenzollerns and the Wittelsbachs as he felt that the former might be "a serious obstacle to his ambitions," and the latter dynasty "contained many Catholics."

Britons look to young princess as future Queen


October 26, 1936

Whether King Edward VIII marries Mrs. Wallis Simpson or not,  more and more Britons have their "heart set on a second Queen Elizabeth." reports the Associated Press.

Americans are fixated by the possibility that the Baltimore-bred woman might become Queen but it is "the little lady in whom the dreams of the average British subjects are centered on today."  The little lady in question is the "curly-headed, blue-eyed 10-year-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York."

If the King marries Mrs. Simpson, a twice-divorced woman, many British subjects will think that they have been "let down" by their king.    But if he chooses to abdicate to marry "Wally,"  Princess Elizabeth will become the heir to the throne.  But if they do marry, and Wallis becomes queen and bears the king a child,  Princess Elizabeth will move down in the line of succession.  

The average Briton has no idea what Wallis Simpson looks like, although she is well known to most Americans.    Princess Elizabeth is very popular, and "cheering crowds gather for her every appearance.  British newspaper photographers are "on her trail" at every opportunity.

The British would be pleased with a second Queen Elizabeth as the first represents "the Golden Age," when England ruled the seas by "smashing the Spanish Armada."

The little Princess is known as "Lilibet."    When she grew her first tooth, it was "an event of great national importance.   She nearly stole the show when she was a bridesmaid nearly two years ago at the wedding of her uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent, to the "glamorous" Princess Marina of Greece.     She received a lot of cheers when she joined her parents in the carriage procession for her late grandfather, King George V's Silver Jubilee procession.

Lord Harewood sells London home

October  26, 1931

The Earl of Harewood, husband of Princess Mary has "sold his famous town house, Chesterfield House," and rented his country estate, Goldsborough Hall in Yorkshire,  reports the New York Times.   Lord Harewood was forced to make these changes due to the increased income tax that he must now pay as one of "Britain's richest men."

Lord Harewood and Princess Mary are "making rigid all-around economies," and they are "endeavoring" to make sure that none of their employees lose their jobs.  The Earl has already sold some of his prized racehorses, and is now considering
"curtailing his Newmarket racing establishment," and plans to sell "some of his finest horses.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lady May weds Captain Henry Abel Smith

October 24, 1931

Lady May Helen Emma Cambridge, the only daughter of the Earl of Athlone and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, was married today to Captain Henry Abel Smith, of the Royal Horse Guards, reports the New York Times.

The wedding took place in the "ancient church" at Balcombe, a tiny Sussex village.   Queen Mary arrived with her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, who was once reported engaged to Lady May.  This alliance seemed a bit far-fetched as Lady May and the Prince of Wales are first cousins.

The Duke and Duchess of York were also at the wedding to see their five and half-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, make her debut as a bridesmaid.  Prince George and the Duke of Gloucester also attended the wedding.    Other royal guests include Princess Victoria, Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught, the Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke, Marquess, and Marquess of Cambridge, Lord Frederick Cambridge, Duchess of Beaufort, Hereditary Prince Gustaf of Adolf, the older brother of Princess Ingrid, accompanied his sister to London from Sweden.  Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise, Rear-Admiral the Hon. Alexander Ramsay and Lady Patricia Ramsay, Lord Carnegie, and Lady Maud Carnegie also received invitations and were present.

The wedding ceremony was performed by Archbishop William Carter, formerly the Archbishop of Capetown, who is a family friend of the bride and her parents.  He was assisted by the Bishop of Chichester and other clergymen.

She was attended by nine bridesmaids including the young Princess Elizabeth, Princess Ingrid of Sweden, Lady Mary Cambridge, Miss Jennifer Bevan, Lady Alice Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Hon. Imogen Rhys, Miss Kathleen Alington, Miss Verene Seymour, Moss Phyllis Seymour Holm, Miss Wenefryde Tabor, and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who is a first cousin of the bride.    Princess Ingrid's mother, the late Princess Margaret of Connaught, and Princess Alice, the bride's mother, were first cousins.

The revised wedding service was used, thus omitting the word obey.  Lady May and her parents were consulted by the archbishop about this decision.  Lady May is the first British royal bride to not make the promise to obey at the altar.
The bride arrived at the church with a "fanfare of trumpets".  She stepped out of the car, "radiant in soft-clinging robes of antique white satin, wearing the exquisite Brussels lace veil that was worn by Queen Mary and by the bride's mother at their own weddings."  The veil "fell from a double wreath of orange blossoms.  Her bouquet of lilies of the valley included sprigs of myrtle from the bush that had supplied bouquets for royal brides since Queen Victoria's time.

The bridesmaids wore "long blue velvet gowns and carried anemones" and crystal necklaces, which were gifts of the bridegroom.

The choirs of St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and the village church sang as Lady May was escorted down the aisle, joining her "tall, soldierly bridegroom" at the altar.

The best man was Major Cecil Weld-Forrester, a brother officer of Captain Abel Smith.

The reception was held at Lady May's parents' home, Brantridge Park, where she used her husband's sword to cut the "eighty-pound three-tiered wedding cake decorated with hunting scenes and figures of the Royal Horse Guards."  The Times reported that the reception had a "spirit of informality".  The Prince of Wales proposed the toast with a "few charming words."

Captain Abel Smith is 32 years old.  He is seven years older than his bride.  They met when he served as an aide to Lord Athlone when he was Governor-General of South Africa.

The bride and groom left by car for Didlington Hall, Norfolk, where they will spend part of their honeymoon.  Later they intend to travel to Ireland for "some hunting.

The young golden-haired Princess Elizabeth is said to have stolen the show at the wedding.  Possibly one day she could become Queen.

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a vanilla latte. Thanks

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What to do about the York princesses

In the mid-1990s, the Queen and other senior members of the British Royal Family founded the Way Ahead Group, which was designed to face and deal with the then-growing criticism of the royal family following the divorces of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, and, to a lesser degree, the Princess Royal and Mark Phillips.   The death of Diana, Princess of Wales in September 1997, further exacerbated the criticism toward the monarchy.

One of the primary goals of the Way Ahead group, which included the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, and the Duke of York, was to "modernize" the royal family.   The Prince of Wales' goal was a slimmed-down monarchy focusing on his sons and their families.

In 1917, King George V issued a Letters Patent that limited the HRH and title Prince or Princess to the children of the Sovereign, the grandchildren of the Sovereign in the male line, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.   (Several months before the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince George in 2013, Queen Elizabeth II issued a letters patent that extended the HRH to all of the Duke of Cambridge, the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.  This was done in case the couple's first child was a daughter, who according to the new succession law, would never be preceded by a brother in the line of succession.)

The 1917 Letters Patent provided for a royal family, where attrition would play a role in keeping down the numbers.   King George V and Queen Mary had five sons and one daughter.  The eldest son,  Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 and was succeeded by his brother, Albert, the Duke of York, who
 reigned as George VI.


King George VI and Queen Elizabeth had two daughters, Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive, and Margaret.   Shortly before Elizabeth gave birth to her first child, Charles, in November 1948,  her father issued a Letters Patent that gave the HRH and the title Prince or Princess to her children.  If this had not been one,  Charles would have been styled as the Earl of Merioneth and Anne as the Lady Anne Mountbatten, bearing the courtesy titles as children of a duke.   In the United Kingdom, children take their father's rank, unless their mother has a higher rank (Peeress of the realm or Sovereign.)

Princess Margaret married in 1960 to Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created Earl Snowdon and Viscount Linley shortly before Margaret gave birth to their first child, David, who is styled as Viscount Linley.  Neither Lord Linley nor his younger sister, Lady Sarah Chatto, have ever carried out official engagements, again because they are children of a princess, and their rank comes from their father.

George V's two other surviving sons, Henry (Duke of Gloucester) and George (Duke of Kent) established their own families.  The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were the parents of two sons:  Prince William and Prince Richard.  Prince William was the heir to his father's dukedom and was expected to undertake official duties, while his younger brother, Prince Richard, would be able to have a career and a largely private life.

A graduate of Cambridge - and post-graduate work at Stanford University,  Prince William joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving in Lagos, Nigeria, and Tokyo, Japan.  After his father fell ill, in 1970,  Prince William resigned from his diplomatic post and returned to England to become a full-time royal and manage the family home, Barnwell Manor.  He also served several times as a Counsellor of State.   His death at age 30 in a plane crash ended Prince Richard's private life.   Richard had intended to practice architecture full-time,  but his career plans were put aside when William died.    Only six weeks before William's death, he was the best man at Richard's wedding to Danish-born Birgitte van Deurs.

Richard succeeded his father as Duke of Gloucester on June 10, 1974.  He and his wife, Birgitte, are well-respected, full-time working royals.  They have three children, Alexander, the Earl of Ulster, Lady Davina Lewis, and Lady Rose Gilman, and six grandchildren.   Lord Ulster will succeed his father as the 3rd Duke of Gloucester, but he will be styled as Your Grace, not Your Royal Highness.

The late Prince George, Duke of Kent, and his wife, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, were the parents of three children: Edward (who succeeded his father in 1942),  Alexandra, and Michael.   Prince Michael was in the same position as his first cousin, Prince Richard: younger sons were expected to have their own careers and carry out few official duties.   Prince Michael and his wife appear at most state occasions but carry out few engagements on behalf of the Queen.  Their patronages and other engagements are not included in the Court Circular.  Their two children, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella are styled as younger children of a duke.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent, both of whom are now in their 80s, and the Duke of Kent's younger sister, Princess Alexandra, who will celebrate her 80th birthday on December 25, continue to work as full-time royals.  The Duke of Kent was recently in Canada and Princess Alexandra carried out several engagements in Washington, D.C., in early October.

Princess Alexandra was only 17 years old when she became a "fully-fledged working member of the Royal Family when she visited the British Red Cross.   Her early entrance into the life of a working royal came after Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation.   There was a "distinct shortage" of royals to undertake royal duties.  The Queen and Prince Philip were about to leave on a long tour of the Commonwealth.  The Queen Mother was still "grieving" the death of her husband.  This left the Princess Royal (Princess Mary, the only daughter of George V), the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester,  Princess Margaret, and the Duchess of Kent.

The Princess Royal spent most of her time at Harewood House outside Leeds.  She was widowed in 1947, and both of her sons, George, the 7th Earl of Harewood, and the Hon. Gerald Lascelles were married and had families of their own.  As sons of a princess, they took their rank from their father, and neither Lord Harewood nor his younger brother undertook royal duties.

According to the press of the day, the only two royals who had "the charisma to be newsworthy" were Margaret and Marina.  In 1953, the Queen decided it was time to prepare Alexandra to join the Firm.   The young princess was familiar with royal duties.  From the age of 11, she had accompanied her grandmother, Queen Mary, on several engagements.   She began her royal career accompanying her mother on engagements, starting in the summer of 1953, culminating in her first solo appearance in May 1954.

The Duke of Kent's three children, George, Earl of St. Andrews, Lady Helen Taylor, and Lord Nicholas Windsor are not royal and do not have royal duties.  The Kent dukedom will cease to be a royal dukedom when George succeeds his father.

Alexandra's husband, the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, turned down an earldom, offered by the Queen before the marriage.  He later regretted this decision because he felt it set a terrible precedent that led to Mark Phillip's statement in a pre-wedding interview that he had not been offered an earldom and did not want one The Hon. Sir Angus believed that all of the queen's grandchildren should have been titled.

James and Marina Ogilvy and Peter and Zara Phillips are commoners.  Due to their royal connections,  they are invited to state occasions, such as a Thanksgiving Service or a royal wedding.  None will ever carry out royal duties as children of princesses do not have public roles as working royals.  Women have equal rights to the throne, but the new succession law does not affect titles or the HRH.

More than anything else, attrition (through death) will bring down the size of the Royal Family.   The Dukes of Kent, Gloucester, Princess Alexandra,  and the Princess Royal will not be replaced as working royals by their children.

This leaves the Royal family down to the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall,  the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (their children will not be working royals for at least two decades),  Prince Harry,  the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.  Although the Earl of Wessex's children is technically HRH and Princess and Prince of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland due to the 1917 Letters Patent, they are styled and titled as children of an earl.    Lady Louise Windsor and her younger brother, Viscount Severn are not expected to become working royals.

This brings us to Camilla Tominey's excellent article, "Queen in centre of the royal storm as the Prince of Wales and brother Andrew in royal conflict," which was published in today's Sunday Express.

The gist of the article is that the Duke of York continues to fight for an official role for his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York. He has written to his mother, the Queen, declaring that his two daughters - princesses of the blood royal -- will be completely sidelined when Charles becomes king.  He feels that his daughters are "already being overshadowed by their first cousins, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.

[Memo to the Duke of York:  the Duke of Cambridge is second in line to the throne, but I get where you are coming from.]

One can understand the Duke's frustrations.  Beatrice and Eugenie are the only two adult princesses of the blood under thirty years old.   Princess Anne is 66.  Alexandra is 79.

According to Tominey,  the Queen was "so stunned" by Andrew's letter that she gave to her private secretary,  Sir Christopher Geidt, asking him to deal with it.    Sir Christopher "raised the matter directly" with the Prince of Wales who wanted a Government official to tell his brother that "he will continue to play a formal role in the Royal family," but his daughters will not be included in the Family Firm.

This really isn't a new story, just another chapter in the lives of the York Princesses.  They are the only two adult royals who do not have their own profiles on the official British monarchy site.  Their charities are not included in the royal family's charity database, also on the website.

This discomfiture goes back to the Way Ahead Group.  In March 1998, several British newspapers reported that the HRH might be further restricted to "those closest in line to the throne."    One Palace official said that there would be no question of "forcing people, particularly the older generation, to give anything up.  The issue will come down to Andrew's children. Should they keep what they have or should they fall in line with the new structure? It will be up to him to decide."

He, of course, was Prince Andrew.  It can be assumed that neither he nor his former wife, Sarah, were supportive of the proposal.

The Way Ahead group also discussed a review of police protection of some members of the royal family.  It was understood that the Duke of Edinburgh (and the Queen Mother) spoke out against some of the ideas, including the loss of the HRH and the title for the York girls, who were young children at the time.

But it was also implied at the time that neither princess would have a role as a working role when they reached adulthood.

A year later, in June 1999,  the Sunday Times reported that Buckingham Palace wanted the two princesses to renounce their titles when they came of age.  A source close to the Duke of York told the Times: "He thinks it is outrageous.  He blames the Queen's advisers."

The plan was for Beatrice and Eugenie to relinquish their royal titles and be styled as daughters of a duke: Lady Beatrice and Lady Eugenie.

It was eventually decided that removing the HRH and title Princess from Beatrice and Eugenie would be seen as "cruel."   Majesty Magazine's Joe Little told The Scotsman in 2006 that "Beatrice is very aware of her background. Her father has always been particularly conscious of his Royal Surroundings and he will have made sure that his daughters are aware of their duties as granddaughters of the monarch."

The newly married Earl and Countess of Wessex had already agreed that their children would not have royal titles.

I believe that if the Duke and Duchess of York had a happy, scandal-free marriage and lifestyle,  their two daughters would be working royals.  But the sins of the parents have certainly visited their children.

In September 2005,  Beatrice was featured on the cover of Tatler magazine.  She told Geordie Greig: "I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.  I know I'm very lucky. I love being who I am and feel very happy with that."

In 2008, The Telegraph reported that the annual cost of police protection for the princesses was £500,000.  It was noted in the article that Princess Anne's children did not have security -- as children of a princess, they were not entitled to police protection.  Prince Andrew was described as wanting to "preserve his daughters' status."  It is understood that as early as 2005, Scotland Yard wanted to remove the princesses' protection, solely due to the costs, but the Duke of York had vetoed the plan.  He was concerned that in the age of terrorism, his daughters should have police protection.

Retired Chief Superintendent Dai Davis said: "Given the pressure on security and policing budgets, I believe it is a gross abuse of taxpayers' money for Beatrice and Eugenie to receive this level of protection."

It is understood that Scotland Yard had completed a risk assessment, and concluded that the two princesses were in no greater danger than Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella Windsor, the children of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.  Prince Michael's children have never had police protection.

 A few months later, Richard Eden, then a correspondent for the Telegraph, reported that the two Princess would take on more charity work.  One courtier stated: "Because of their HRH titles and their security costs, there is a feeling in some circles that the Princesses have a 'debt' to pay."

An aide to the Princesses told Eden: "They have grown up to respect their heritage and acknowledge their privileged upbringing.  They will do their bit for the Royal Family, but they want to make their mark on life first - do well at university, pursue a successful career, and be independent."

It was also said that the Prince of Wales would be "involved in talks over his nieces' roles."  He remained supportive of a 'scaled down' royal family, but other courtiers believed that there remained a need for other young members of the royal family to carry out official duties.

As we have seen, the Prince of Wales has remained adamant in the decision to not include Beatrice and Eugenie in official duties.  The Duke of York continues to lobby on behalf of his daughters. "I could make use of them because they would take some of the burdens off me."

 In 2012, he was rebuffed when he asked if Beatrice could accompany him on an official trip to India.   The Palace also acknowledged that the Princesses would need to get jobs, but would also be required to attend the state and official events, such as the Trooping the Colour.

Both Princesses have added patronages to their portfolios of charities and other organizations. Visits to these organizations are not considered official, and, thus, are not listed in the Court Circular.   In January 2013, however, two Princesses traveled to Berlin and Hannover for official engagements.  "They were asked by No 10 to do it to support the Great Britain campaign, and were delighted to accept," said a Buckingham Palace spokesman.   The Duke of York paid for the standard economy airfare to Germany.   A year earlier, Princess Beatrice accompanied Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to York Minster for the annual Maundy Thursday Service.

Earlier this year,  Beatrice ended an eight-year relationship with the very wealthy American-born Dave Clark,  currently the senior adviser to Uber's CEO.  He is based in New York.  For nearly a decade,  he was the head of Astronaut Relations for Virgin Galactic.  In other words, he could afford the lavish holidays that he took with Beatrice.

Since 2015, Princess Eugenie has been an associate director at the Houser & Wirth art gallery in London.  Previously, she had worked for Paddle8, an online auction firm in New York City.

For some years the two princesses have shared an apartment in St. James's Palace. After Eugenie graduated from the University of Newcastle, the Duke of York began to pay rent on the apartment.  It is understood that he also picks up the tab for the princesses' security as Scotland Yard stopped providing protection several years ago.  Scotland Yard will not confirm when this decision was made.

Princess Eugenie is expected to announce her engagement to Jack Brooksbank later this year.  It has not been officially confirmed that she will be moving into Ivy Cottage on the Kensington Palace estate, although several British newspapers reported the story in August.

The Princess acquired her first patronage, the RNOH Redevelopment Appeal, in 2012.   She -- and her sister -- have been adding more patronages and charities.  Earlier this month, Princess Eugenie joined Prime Minister Theresa May at Westminster Abbey to commemorate the life of anti-slavery William Wilberforce.  She also released a brief video supporting the Salvation Army's program to raise awareness about modern slavery and human trafficking.

By all accounts, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie are lovely young women, well-educated, and acquit themselves well when they take part in duties, official or otherwise.  It is a shame that they cannot be a part of the royal rota, even part-time, with official duties.  Princess Alexandra has a large portfolio, and it would be nice if some of her charities and patronages could be taken over by Beatrice and Eugenie.   It might also be a good idea for the two princesses to meet and talk with Sir Christopher Geidt and other palace officials -- and perhaps, the Prince of Wales, as well, about how they can support the monarchy, even in an unofficial capacity.

Even if their parents have been branded as liabilities and have caused numerous offenses,  the York girls should not be branded with their parents' sins.  It is well known that the Queen is fond of her York granddaughters, and I doubt she enjoys their media discomfiture.  It would not be difficult to advise and assist the princesses, especially Beatrice, in finding new opportunities.   This has been a difficult year for the princess, as she moves further away from the emotional breakup with Dave Clark.

It might be in the best interests of all to meet halfway.  No real official roles for the princesses, but allow them and encourage them to take on more patronages and charity work.  They have a lot to offer and let's face it,  Princesses are always more popular than Princes.  Celebrate that fact!  Let these young women be the Princesses they were born to be.

If you liked this article

Royal wedding in Serbia



Church ceremony in Oplenac and reception at White Palace
Belgrade, 23 October 2016 –

 His Royal Highness Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic and Miss Ljubica Ljubisavljevic were united in holy matrimony in the Church of Saint George in Oplenac, which was followed by a reception given by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, for invited guests at the White Palace. The religious ceremony was officiated by Their Graces Bishop Irinej of the Eastern Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America and Bishop Pahomije of Vranje and Father Petar Lukic, Dean of Saborna crkva in Belgrade.

The wedding of Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic, the youngest son of the late HRH Prince Tomislav and HRH Princess Linda, and Ljubica Ljubisavljevic, was attended by over 300 guests – members and friends of the Royal Family Karadjordjevic, as well as by numerous distinguished guests from public life in Serbia and abroad. The wedding was attended by Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine with their children Prince Philip and Alison, Princess Linda Karadjordjevic (mother of Prince Mihajlo), Prince Djordje Karadjordjevic (brother of the bridegroom), Princess Fallon Rayman (wife of Djordje Karadjordjevic), Princess Elizabeth Karadjordjevic, Speaker of the National Parliament Maja Gojkovic, Minister of Education of Serbia, Science and Technological Development Mladen Sarcevic, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Serbia Mr. Denis Keefe, and many others.

Following the wedding at the reception at the White Palace, Crown Prince Alexander wished the newlyweds the bride and bridegroom a long and happy life together.
"It is my duty and privilege to welcome Her Royal Highness Princess Ljubica in our home, and to greet the bride’s and groom’s parents, wishing and hoping that good fortune, health, and family blessings follow the new couple and be in our homes, through them and in them", Crown Prince Alexander said in his speech.

Thanks to designer Anabella Vencanice for allowing me to use these two photos.

The newlyweds respected Serbian wedding customs, but they were also innovative, so beside the Serbian traditional music, guests had the opportunity to enjoy a cello concert by two young ladies, the winners of a National Contest. The food was based on Serbian tradition. Companies which donated the food are Hyatt, Metropol, Nuzy Bakery, Nada Butcher Shop, Pekara 30, wine was from the Royal Winery Oplenac and Aleksandrovic winery, cake and sweets were a gift by Anci Kolaci Company from Pancevo, and the company “Bean and Leaf” took care of the coffee and tea.

Prince Mihailo Karadjordjevic was born 15 December, 1985 in London. He grew up in a rural area, where he had a lot of time to learn about nature. He organized a number of humanitarian events, and in an effort to engage in the issues of his country he continues to lobby for Serbian interests in the world. Princess Ljubica was born and raised in Belgrade, where she completed her master studies at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade. She is engaged in marketing and writes columns on health and skin care.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Sophie Charlotte divorces husband

October 22, 1926

Princess Eitel Friedrich Prussia, wife of the second son of former Kaiser Wilhelm II. has been granted a divorce, reports the Associated Press.

The princess -- Duchess Sophie Charlotte of Oldenburg by birth - was granted a divorce on the "grounds of ill treatment, neglect and incompatibility of temperament."

The couple were married in 1906.  They had no children.

Both the prince and princess are expected to remarry.  The princess' future husband is said to be Harald von Hedemann, who is eight years her junior. He served in the royal dragoons, and is now a Potsdam police lieutenant.

Prince Eitel is said to be planning a marriage to the Countess Mellin,  a member of the Baltic nobility, who now lives in Potsdam.

The most recent royal wedding in Serbia was in 1995

@HRH Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia

The last royal wedding to take place in Serbia was on October 28, 1995 when HRH Prince Alexander and his wife, Princess Barbara of Liechtenstein were able to celebrate their religious wedding, which took place 22 years after their civil wedding at Paris.

Their Orthodox marriage took place at St. George's at Oplenac in Topola, thus the first royal wedding in Serbia since 1922 when King Alexander I married Princess Marie of Romania.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Queen Marie wears diadem to State Dinner

October 19, 1926

Queen Marie of Romania and President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge "exchanged official visits this afternoon with the utmost rigidity of ceremony and the utmost pomp of gold lace and clanking sabres possible in the American Republic", reports the New York Times.

This was the "first such ceremony" in the United States and Queen Marie is the first Queen to be so "received by the President on American soil."

The official welcome preceded the State Dinner, where Queen Marie wore a "diadem of diamonds and pearls to the White House.  She was the guest of honor at the White House dinner, which was the "first such function ever held in the United States."   The planning "presented delicate problems  in etiquette and precedence which were not disposed of until almost the minute."

It was a day of "extraordinary activity" for Queen Marie, the consort of King Ferdinand.  At times, it seemed that she was on a "split-second" schedule.   She arrived at "precisely" 3:59 p.m., at the White House to call on President Coolidge.    She had spent the earlier part of her day with her son, Prince Nicholas, and daughter, Princess Ileana, seeing the sights, which included a trip to Mount Vernon, George Washington's home.

Before heading to the White House, the Queen stopped at Arlington National Cemetery, where she laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At Arlington, she seemed "deeply impressed by the beauty of the setting of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier."

 She also laid a wreath on Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon.   Lunch was served in the banquet hall where General Lafayette was once a guest.  She was also appreciative of Mount Vernon.  "It's too lovely. Washington must have loved God very much to have chosen beautiful surroundings.  I love the velvety color of these trees.  They speak of God, don't they?  The love of God is a beautiful thing."

The Queen described Washington as "bigger and lovelier" than she expected.   After a brief return to the Romanian Legation to change their clothes, the Queen and her children were driven to the White House and were welcomed at the great portico on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the Executive Mansion.

Queen Marie was dressed in a brown brocaded cloth coat "enriched with gold threads, flaring at the bottom and trimmed with a heavy mink border, collar and cuffs.   She wore a "brown velvet crushed turban, brown leather shoes and taupe stockings."    Princess Ileana was dressed in a"navy blue velvet coat suit with a knee-length skirt and close-fitting hat," while her brother, Prince Nicholas, wore the dress uniform of a Lieutenant in the Romanian Navy.

The royal party was escorted to the Green Room, where they awaited the President and Mrs. Coolidge, who was waiting in their private apartment until it was time to go to the Blue Room, where the formal introduction would take place.

After the formal introductions, the Queen and her party left the White House, and returned to their hotel, to prepare for the state dinner.  The British-born queen, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was robed in a "creation by Patou, a straight-lined gown of white georgette crepe embroidered  in sequins."   The back of the gown was deeply pointed and the "neck was cut round in front."  This was complemented by a wing train that hung from the "right shoulder to the floor."  The Queen wore silver stockings and silver slippers."

Her tiara, worn as a diadem, "was the outstanding feature of her toilette."  It was made of "pearls and diamonds in pear-shaped clusters."  She had inherited the tiara from her mother, Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna of Russia.    The Queen also wore the blue ribbon of Romania's highest order.   She arrived at the White House "wearing a cloak of white messaline with gold brocade and trimmed with sable."

Princess Ileana's gown was far less elaborate.  She wore a blue crepe de chine gown embroidered with sequins.

Queen Marie was seated at the President's right.

The seven-course dinner began with anchovy canapé, followed by consommé.  The fish course was lobster in cream, and the main course was filet mignon. The menu also featured salad, ice cream, fruit, and coffee.

After the dinner, the men went to the President's study for "their cigars and cigarettes." while the ladies "retired to the Blue Room.  The Queen left the White House at 9:45 p.m.

The  Queen and her children are expected to remain in the United States and Canada for two months and return to Romania in December.   She is expected to open the Maryhill Museum in Washington State on November 3.  The Queen has brought 50 cases of Romanian art that go on display in the museum's Romanian room.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

King and Queen to attend Patricia's wedding

October 17, 1946

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth will among the guests at the wedding of the Hon. Patricia Mountbatten to Lord Brabourne at Romsey Abbey on October 26.  Miss Mountbatten is the elder daughter of Admiral Viscount and Viscountess Mountbatten of Burma.

Princesses Elizabeth, Margaret and Alexandra are expected to be bridesmaids at the wedding.

The service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Two hundred guests, nearly all "members of the family or close personal friends," have been invited.

Lady May will have several bridesmaids

October 18, 1931

Queen Mary's niece, Lady May Cambridge, and Captain Henry Abel Smith will marry at Balcombe on October 24, but a "little golden-haired bridesmaid with impish blue eyes is likely to steal the show," reports the Washington Post.

The little girl in question is 5-year-old Princess Elizabeth, elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York,  and "possibly some day queen of the British empire."

Two other princesses will be among the bridesmaids:  Princess Ingrid of Sweden and Princess Sybilla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who is a first cousin of the bride.  There is a chance that Princess Juliana of the Netherlands will also attend.

The bride's mother, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands are first cousins.

Lady May will wear the same veil that Queen Mary wore at her wedding 38 years ago.  It is a "piece of priceless Honiton lace, one of the most treasured family possessions of the queen."   The veil was also worn by Princess Alice when she married Prince Alexander of Teck (now the Earl of Athlone) in 1904.

The bride will wear a "perfectly plain pearl-colored satin antique cut on tight, modern lines, to suit the bride's slim, girlish figure."  The veil will be held by a wreath of orange blossoms.     Her bouquet will feature lilies of the valley, tied with a silver ribbon.

The adult bridesmaids will be wearing frocks made with "long, full, slightly trained skirts which fit neatly around the hips and flare at the hem," while their bodices are "draped in front and the long tight sleeves puffed at each shoulder."

The four child bridesmaids will be dressed in "soft powder-blue dresses," in the empire style and ankle length.  They will carry bouquets of anemones and all will wear pearl necklaces, a gift from the bridegroom.

All the bridesmaids' headdresses are "bandeaux of folded blue velvet " and all will wear silver shoes.

Lady May met her fiancé when he served as her father's aide.  He is wealthy and comes from an old London banking family.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Netherlands

A Dutch friend of mine, Arjan Brouwer, got a good spot for the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to the Mauritshuis Museum at The Hague, the Netherlands.

He was thrilled to have met the Duchess as she walked over to chat to people behind the barriers.   Arjan is on Twitter (@houseoflemon).  The copyright for these photos belong to Arjan Brouwer.
 Thank you for letting me publish the photos.