Monday, February 27, 2017

A budding singer: Princess Mafalda of Bulgaria

 photography by Bec Lorrimer

HRH Princess Mafalda Cecilia of Bulgaria has led a very privileged life, growing up in London, as the eldest of three children of HRH Prince Kyril of Bulgaria and his wife, Rosario Nadal.   She has a younger sister, Olympia and a younger brother, Tassilo.    Family vacations were spent on Mallorca, Spain, as Mafalda has extensive Spanish roots through both her parents.  Her paternal grandparents are King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria.  The Spanish-born Queen Margarita is the daughter of a Spanish nobleman, Don Manuel Gómez-Acebo y Modet.

Mafalda's father, Kyril, Prince of Preslav, studied physics at Princeton, and worked in finance for many years.  Princess Rosario has been described as the Italian designer Valentino's muse, and, she moves in a social circle that includes Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece and Lady Helen Taylor.

Lady Helen's son, Columbus, and Mafalda were childhood playmates.

Mafalda has been interested in music for nearly her entire life.  She is now 22-years-old.   Speaking to Paper Magazine's Mickey Boardman in December,  Mafalda -- who uses only her first name -- said she when she was a child she  "inherited her mother's IPod,"  and would "spend hours scrolling through and listening to the electic mix of music."   She began writing music when she was 14,  but her desire to follow a career in music jelled three years later during her first live concert -- held in a British pub -- that Mafalda realized "Music would become a very important part of my life."

 photography by Bec Lorrimer

Her audition in Valencia, Spain, for the Birklee College of Music, was successful, and she moved to Boston to study at the prestigious school, where she has "developed her rich, soulful voice and songwriting skills."   She has released several singles including "Don't Let Go," "Run" and "Awake."  Her website has links to her music, which also available on Spotify.

Another writer noted that one should "sit back" and admire Mafalda's vocals, and touted her ability to "be a big name in the months to come."

In the summer of 2016, Mafalda was invited to perform as after dinner surprise for Valentino, at Island, a private club on the Athens Riviera.   Princess Rosario is one of Valentino's muses.

You also can follow Mafalda's career on Facebook and Instagram

None of her interviews refer to her title or family connections.  Her parents were
were married in July 1989 in Palma de Mallorca in the presence of King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, and other members of the Spanish royal family.    Mafalda is one of eleven grandchildren of King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of the Bulgarians - and their eldest granddaughter.  She was born in London on July 27, 1994.

Although Prince Kyril, an investment banker, and Rosario have been separated for some years, they have never divorced.

Princess Mafalda is now based in New York City, where she continues to pursue her career.  She uses only her first name as a musician, but her legal name is Mafalda Sajonia-Coburgo.

 For more than two years now, she has been dating London-born Marc Abousleiman, who is now at Harvard studying medicine.  

My thanks to Mickey Boardman for allowing me to use two photos from his interview with Mafalda.

A royal thank you

From Queen Mathilde - for her birthday

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A girl for Prince Hubertus and Princess Kelly

Hereditary Princess Kelly of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha gave birth to her second daughter and third child on February 22nd.   The baby was born in Munich.

The proud father, Hereditary Prince Hubertus released a statement to the media:

"With great joy and gratitude, we announce the birth of our daughter Madeleine Aurelia Viktoria Carin of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha Mother and child are of the best health,  and we are very happy and grateful for the birth of our daughter. "

The Hereditary Princess is 42 years old.  She was born Kelly Jeanne Rondestvedt in Pensacola, Florida, on September on January 10, 1975.   Princess Kelly was working as an investment banker in New York City when she met Hereditary Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the eldest of three children of Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife, the former Carin Dabelstein.  Prince Andreas is the head of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The couple were married in Coburg in May 2009.

Hereditary Prince Hubertus, 41, now runs the family estate in Coburg.  He and his family divide their time between Munich and Coburg.

Madeleine joins two older siblings,  Princess Katharina Victoria Elizabeth Cheryl, who was born in April 2014, and Prince Philipp Hubertus Andreas Christian, who was born in July 2015.

I expect Princess Madeleine to be one of the infant princesses godparents.  Prince Andreas is one of Princess Madeleine's godfathers.

Prince Andreas and King Carl XVI Gustaf are first cousins.    The King's late mother, Princess Sibylla,  and Prince Andreas' father, Prince Friedrich Josias, were sibling.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Delphine Boel vs King Albert II

Delphine Boel has returned to a Belgian court to begin the process to be recognized as trhe natural daughter of King Albert II.

This will be a two step process, at the least.  The first part of her application will focus on the status of her legal father, Jacques Boel.  A DNA test has proven that he is not Delphine's biological father, and Boel has not disputed the test.  As it is impossible to have two biological fathers,  the judge is expected to grant Delphine's request to remove  Jacques Boel's legal status.   If the court accepts Jacques Boel's DNA and his official acceptance that he is not Delphine's natural father,

Should the judge grant this request,  Delphine is expected to pursue the second step, which will be to request that King Albert II, father of the present King Philippe, take a DNA test, to prove or disprove his paternity.   Another scenario would be for the court to set aside Boel's paternity and ask the former to take a DNA test to dispel any doubts.

Miss Boel ,49, claims to be the daughter of King Albert by his long time mistress, Baroness Sybille de Selys Longchamps.

Responding to the summons to court, Albert's lawyer said "We will plead our case."    The King did not attend the proceedings.

A judgment is expected before Easter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

King Harald V celebrates his 80th Birthday

On February 21, 1937,  Crown Princess Martha of Norway gave birth to a son, who was given the name Harald.  He succeeded his father, Olav V, as King of Norway, on January 17, 1991.

These images are from my personal collection, apart from the last two photographs.

Princess Astrid of Norway

I wanted to post a celebration in images of Princess Astrid of Norway, who celebrated her 85th birthday on February 12.  I was busy trying to finish an article on Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar (Lady Augusta Gordon Lennox), and never got around to do it ... so now, I have time.  All the images are from my private collection, apart from the last two photographs.

A boy for Martha and Olav of Norway

February 21, 1937

Crown Princess Martha of Norway gave birth to a son today, reports the New York Times.  Mother and child  said to be doing well.

The infant was born at Skaugum, the country residence of Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha. The home is outside Oslo.

A "cheering crowd assembled" outside Skaugum, and in Oslo, there was "general rejoicing."

This is the third child, and first son for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.   The infant prince is second in line to the throne, after his father.

It is believed that the prince will be named Sverre after the the Norwegian king who reigned from 1184 to 1202.

It is King Haakon VII who alone will decide the name of his grandson.  He is expected to "formally announce the birth: tomorrow at a council meeting at the Royal Palace.

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess have two daughters, Princess Ragnhild Alexandra, 6, and Princess Astrid, who celebrated her fifth birthday on February 12.

Prince Carol sees his son at Italian hotel

February 21, 1927

Former Crown Prince Carol of Romania arrived in Rapallo, Italy, today, and "went straight to the Hotel Excelsior," to see his son, Prince Michael, the heir apparent to the throne, reports the Associated Press.

Strict orders were issued to keep the press and others away from "approaching Carol," or even those who accompanied him.

Five-year-old Michael was brought to the hotel by his mother, Princess Helen, and he remained at the hotel to meet his father.  Princess Helen has returned to Bucharest to visit her mother-in-law, Queen Marie.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Tessy loses her royal title

The Nassau Family Pact and the Bylaws concerning the (Luxembourg) House Laws make it clear on the status of former wives Luxembourg royals.  On February 17, the day a London court issued a decree nisi to HRH Princess Tessy of Luxembourg on the grounds of Prince Louis' "unreasonable behavior."
The decree absolute will take place six weeks and one day after the decree was issued.

For more information, please click this link.

Friday, February 17, 2017

BULLETIN: Infanta Cristina Acquitted


Infanta Cristina of Spain has been acquitted of "tax fraud complicity" in the high profile corruption trial known as the Noos case

Her husband, Iñaki  Urdangarin was the mastermind of a business scheme "that obtained no-bid contracts" from regional governments in Spain.  He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Urdangarin was found guilty of embezzlement, fraud and influence peddling and tax crimes.  He received a fine of €512,000.

Although the 51-year-old sister of King Felipe V has been cleared of  all criminal charges, she will have to pay €2658 Euros fine.

A spokesman for King Felipe  have expressed "absolute respect of the independence of the judiciary."

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Infanta Cristina Verdict due on Friday

A court in Palma de Mallorca will issue its verdict tomorrow for Infanta Cristina and her husband Inaki Urdangarin.

The verdict will be announced at noon in Spain (6 a.m., EST).  

Infanta Cristina, the second of three children of former King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, faced criminal charges over reports that she helped her husband evade taxes.

If Infanta Cristina is convicted, she could face up to eight years in prison.  Her husband was charged with more serious crimes: embezzlement, forgery, influence peddling and money laundering. He could be sentenced to more than 19 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Several Spanish-language newspapers are reporting that Inaki's sentence could be cut in half, and Cristina will receive a small fine.

Infanta Cristina and Inaki married in 1997, and they have four children.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A Birthday Thank you

From HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

Day Old Italian prince gets 12 names

February 13, 1937

The one day old son of Crown Prince Umberto and Crown Princess Marie Jose of Italy was baptized today by the Archbishop of Naples in the chapel of the royal palace in Naples, reports the Associated Press.  The water from the Basilica of St Vincent de Paul was also used at the baptism of the little prince's grandfather, King Vittorio Emanuele.

The infant's father, Crown Prince Umberto and three grandparents, Queen Elena, who was with Crown Princess Marie Jose when she gave birth yesterday; King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elisabeth of the Belgium, the maternal grandmother, all attended the baptism=.

The little prince received twelve names: Vittorio Emanele Alberto Carlo Teodoro Umberto Bonifacio Amedeo Damiano Bernadino Gennaro Maria.

Countess Bossi-Pucci held the baby on a satin pillow during the baptismal ceremony.

In honor of the birth of Prince Vittorio Emanuele, his grandfather granted amnesty to thousands of political prisoners.

This is the second child for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.  Their first child, Princess Maria Pia, who was born September 24, 1934.

Princess Mary cries after leaving brother

February 13, 1937

Princess Mary, the Duke of Windsor's only sister, left Vienna earlier today on the Orient Express with her husband, the Earl of Harewood, reports the New York Times.  The Duke of Windsor accompanied them to the train station after "entertaining them at luncheon in the Hotel Bristol.

The Princess and her husband arrived in Vienna a week ago.  The "demeanor of the crowd" outside the train station has "undergone a curious change since the Princess Royal's arrival."   It was the first time that the "Viennese masses" had seen the Duke since the abdication, and they had cheered when he greeted his sister.  Now a week later, there is no cheering.  The "general atmosphere" appears to be more of respect "at the funeral of a distinguished person than the enthusiasm for a living patronage."

The Duke drove the car carrying his sister and her husband to Vienna from Enzesfeld  Castle.  They were accompanied by the Duke's equerry, Sir John Aird, and Major Metcalfe.

Princess Mary was dressed in a black sealskin coat and a red hat.  Her brother gave her a bouquet of red roses, which she carried onto the train.   There were no restrictions "on the public's use of the platform," apart from keeping the royal coach clear.  Just before the train pulled out of the station, the Duke "kissed his sister affectionately on both cheeks and she returned the embrace."

Two Austrian detectives remain with the Princess until she reached the border.  Princess Mary and Lord Harewood are traveling back to London with gifts from the Duke to his mother, his brothers, the Duke of Kent's new daughter, and Queen Elizabeth.  Lord Harewood was seen carrying large envelopes addressed to members of the British royal family

Earlier today, the Duke of Windsor "unexpectedly" met Princess Juliana of the Netherlands and her husband, Prince Bernhard,  in the Hotel Bristol's dining room.  The Duke gave Princess Juliana an "impulsive embrace," and they chatted for about ten minutes, mostly about skiing.

Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard are on their honeymoon.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wallis will outrank sisters-in-law

February 9, 1937

Mrs. Wallis Simpson will never be Queen, but she will become a royal highness, "if and when she marries the Duke of Windsor," reports the Chicago Tribune

She will also take precedence over her future sisters-in-law, the Duchesses of Kent and Gloucester.

There has been "much discussion" about Mrs. Simpson's "title and dignity" after her marriage to the former King Edward VIII.   The position of the Duke, who was born His Royal Highness Prince Edward,  will remain as such, and his right was not affected by his abdication.

Thus, by right of marriage,  Mrs. Simpson will become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Windsor.  As a royal duchess, she will have the "privilege of signing her Christian name without any suffix."  She will "receive the salutation of 'ma'am," and the curtsy from "those who come before her."

There is a "movement afoot in court circles" to modify the precedence of Mrs. Simpson if the Duke of Gloucester becomes regent for his brother in case of "illness or absence."    It would be unthinkable for the Duchess of Gloucester's precedence to be less than the Duchess of Windsor if the Duke of Gloucester is regent.

There is also talk of bestowing on the Duke of Gloucester an "order next in male precedence to the sovereign."    At present, the Duke of Windsor, as the king's older brother,  "would normally come next to the king and his wife."

One should not be too worried as it is unlikely that the duke or his wife "will set foot on the soil of England until Edward's abdication becomes completely consigned to history."

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

End of the road for Royals Magazine

The Belgian publication Royals Magazine will cease publication in March.  The magazine has been published monthly with two editions: Dutch and French, acknowledging the two main languages in Belgium.

The weekly Royalty program on the VTM channel in Belgium has been cancelled as well.

Not a good day for coverage of the Belgian royal family.

Hofjournal is a quarterly Dutch language magazine published in Belgium, covering the Belgian royal family.