Thursday, March 30, 2017

Royal Palaces in Belgrade ... open for the season

If you are in the Belgrade area or planning a trip to Belgrade,  the palaces are a must see.  


Belgrade, 30 March 2017 – Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine opened the tourist season 2017 and invited everyone interested in visiting the Royal Palaces to join the tours during the period from 1 April to 31 October. Media representatives who joined the first tour had the opportunity to refresh themselves with coffee from a wide range of “Bean and Leaf” products.

Visitors will be accompanied by professional tourist guides and will have the opportunity to visit the Royal Palace, the White Palace, the Royal Chapel of St. Andrew the First-Called and the Royal Park, as well as when available to be greeted by Their Royal Highnesses. The tour is a pleasant 1½ hour walk to get acquainted with history, art and culture of our country.

“I am delighted to open the Royal Palaces for another tourist season. The history and memories contained in the Royal Compound are immense, it is very important that they are conveyed to our younger generation. It is often the case that our people are not fully aware about the history and important works of art which are here. The organized tours are a great opportunity to see the art and learn something new”, said Crown Prince Alexander.

Tourist Organization of Belgrade (TOB) organizes visits to the Royal Palaces every Saturday and Sunday from 1 April to 31 October, at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, with the possibility of organizing group visits during the week by appointment. Ticket purchased from Tourist Organization of Belgrade include organized bus transportation from Nikola Pasic Square to the Royal Palaces. The number of people in a group is restricted to maximum 50 visitors. For schools, students and pensioner associations please see below.

“Like other European cities who have had or have a monarchical tradition and have opened their Royal Palaces to fellow citizens and tourists, so did Belgrade open the doors of its Royal Palace that represents rich history of the Serbian people and the capital city of our country. This tourist program, which for fourteen years has been continuously organized by the Tourist Organization of Belgrade, the Royal Palace and the SP "Lasta" is the most visited program of sightseeing and because of the increased traffic of tourists in our city, we expect even more visitors this year”, said Miodrag Popovic, acting Director of the Tourist Organization of Belgrade.

For information and reservations, tourists must visit the Tourist Information Centre in Belgrade, Knez Mihailova 6, phone: 011 26 35 622, e-mail:, contact person Sanja Pavlovic, website

Schools, students and pensioner associations can visit the Royal Palaces in Dedinje in announced group visits every working day from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm with the mandatory notification to the Office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander, +381 11 306 4050 or via e-mail: Each group must consist of at least 15 visitors and up to a maximum of 50 visitors. Website:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Albert II is not Delphine Boel's legal father

A Brussels court ruled today that Jacques Boel's acceptance that he is not Delphine Boel's natural father, is "unfounded," and Delphine Boel's case, seeking acknowledgement that King Albert II is  her legal father is "inadmissible."

Thus, Albert, who had a long term relationship with Delphine's mother, Sybille de Selys Longchamp, is not Delphine's legal father.   A DNA test proved that Jacques Boel is not her biological father.

Sybille and King Albert began a relationship in 1966, lasting until 1984.  It was not until 1999, when a biographer named Delphine as Albert's natural child.  Later that year, the king acknowledged that he and Queen Paola had marital problems in the 1960s and 1970s, but he would never acknowledge that Delphine was his daughter.

The Court argued that the "tie of filiation is not reduced to biological data."  There are other essential elements, including a child's integration into a family structure.

The Court also acknowledged that the long period of affection - parent and child - between Jacques and Delphine -- demonstrated the role of filiation in Belgian civil law.  Miss Boel was unable to satisfy the burden of proof despite the fact that Jacques Boel is not her biological father.

Miss Boel's lawyer said that the judgment is a "disappointment, but a momentary disappointment."     Her lawyer added that "You can lose battles, but win the war, and I'm determined to win this war, especially as this decision seems to me in many ways to be questionable."

An request for an appeal will be filed in the next few days.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Princess Stephanie of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to marry

Princess Stephanie of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is engaged to Jan Stahl, an engineer with BMW.  They have been dating for several years.

Princess Stephanie was born in January 1972, the first of three children of Prince Andreas and Princess Carin of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Prince Andreas is the present head of the Ducal House.

The Princess is a trained therapist in Bowtech,  a"gentle, non-intrusive hands-on therapy that stimulates the muscles in the body to aid in healing" horses, dogs and other animals.

The couple expect to marry in 2018.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Prince Hermann zu Leiningen weds Isabelle Heubach

@Ulrike Bartsch

HSH Prince Hermann zu Leiningen, 30, the youngest child of the Prince and Princess zu Leiningen, was married yesterday (March 25) in a civil ceremony at refectory at Schloss Amorbach to 28-year-old Isabelle Heubach.

The 45-minute ceremony was conducted by Amorbach's mayor Peter Schmitt.

The reception took place in the refectory following the marriage ceremony.

The civil wedding is required by German law.   The couple's religious wedding will take place on July 1, 2017 in Austria.

Prince Hermann and Princess Isabelle have known each other for six years.  He recently completed his degree in industrial engineering.
Hereditary Prince Ferdinand of Leiningen and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia @Ulrike Bartsch 

The groom's older brother,  HSH Hereditary Prince Ferdinand will marry Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia on April 29 at Amorbach.  Their religious wedding will take place at Amorbach on September 16, 2017.
Princess Mechtilde of Leiningen (Frau Bauscher) & Princess of Leiningen @Ulrike Bartsch

Rainer Heubach and The Prince of Leiningen @Ulrike Bartsch,4457831

 Thank you to Ulrike Bartsch for allowing me the use of her photos. She is the copyright holder.  She has allowed me to publish them here on Royal Musings.  No one has the right to use them without Ulrike's permission.  Thanks.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

a new sibling for Prince Alexander

Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia are delighted to announce that The Princess is expecting their second child. The birth is expected to take place in September 2017. "We are happy to announce that we are expecting a child, a sibling to Prince Alexander. We are looking forward to welcoming a new little member to our family," says Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. No changes in the schedule of The Prince Couple's public engagements are planned during the spring and summer of 2017.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The wedding of Sophie Brandram and Humphrey Voelcker

Both photos courtesy of Sophie Voelcker

On a rainy and damp Saturday in February (11th), Miss Sophie Eila Brandram married Humphrey Walter Voelcker at the Church of Holy Trinity and St. Thomas of Canterbury in Ettington, Warwickshire.

Sophie is the eldest of three children of Mr. Paul Brandram and his first wife, Jennifer (now Mrs. Robert Enslow).   She is a soliciter with a London firm, New Quadrant Partners.

Humphrey works for Motcomb Estates Ltd. His mother is a descendant of a Dutch noble family.

The reception was held at the home of Sophie's father, Paul Brandram, near Combrook, Warwickshire.

Paul Brandram is the only child of the late Richard and Lady Katherine Brandram, nee HRH Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, youngest child of King Constantine I and Queen Sophie.   When Paul Brandram married Jennifer Steele at the Wellington Barracks in 1975,  the Duke and Duchess of Kent were among the guests. Their daughter, Lady Helen, then 11 years old, was one of the bridesmaids.

Paul's best man was his first cousin, King Constantine II of the Hellenes.

The family contacts remain strong between the first cousins as the wedding guests included King Constantine II and Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes,  Queen Sofia of Spain and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark.   The bride considered it a great honour that her godmother, Queen Sofia, was able to attend the wedding.

The Queen and her younger sister, Princess Irene, stayed in Warwickshire, and were able to spend time with Paul and his wife, Kate, after the wedding.

The bride's tiara came from her mother's family, but her earrings once belonged to Princess Katherine.

From left to right:  Tamara Warhurst (wife of Sophie's stepbrother, Henry), Will Hicks (husband of Alexia Brandram), Queen Anne Marie, Humphrey Voelcker, Sophie Voelcker, HM King Constantine II, HM Queen Sofia of Spain, Paul Brandram, HRH Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark, Nicholas Brandram, Alexia Hicks,  Jennifer Enslow, Kate Brandram & Henry Warhurst.

These photos cannot be used or copied by anyone as I am not the copyright holder, and only the copyright holder can given permission.

A future Duchess of Westminster?

@Deverell Smith

The young Duke of Westminster is said to be "officially off the market." after he was photographed with his new girlfriend, Harriet Tomlinson.

The young couple were photographed during a "romantic getaway abroad," according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Duke and Miss Tomlinson, both 26, "have a lot of shared interests and are both very down to earth and family oriented."

A spokesman for the Duke of Westminster said: "She's a really lovely girl and very much the love of his life."

They met as young children when both were pupils at Ellesmere College, a private school in Shropshire.

The couple recently spent time in California at the "exclusive" Ventana resort in Big Sur, overlooking the Pacific.

"He is happiest when he is enjoying time with Harriet and their close circle," said a source close to the Duke.  "He was left crushed when his father died but Harriet has been a huge ­support and is helping him to get used to his new responsibilities. "

"They're a lovely couple and ­deserve all the happiness in the world."

The Duke of Westminster inherited most of his father's £8.3 billion fortune.  He is the third richest person in the United Kingdom.  His father died on August 9, 2016 at the age of 64.

Harriet Taylor M. Tomlinson was born in late 1990. Her parents, Grahame Montgomery Tomlinson and Anne L. Taylor were married in Chester in September 1988.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Hereditary Prince Ferdinand zu Leiningen to wed ....

@Stig Sivebæk Nielsen

Confirmed...  Hereditary Prince Ferdinand of Leiningen, eldest son of the Prince and Princess of Leiningen will marry Princess Viktoria Luise von Preussen, only daughter of the late Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia and Ehrengard von Reden.   Their civil wedding will take place on  April 29 at Amorbach.   The religious wedding will take place on September 16.

Can I say that I am over the moon about this marriage.  This is a young couple in love, soon to make a life-long commitment to each other.  In the true scheme of things: titles mean nothing, What is important -- most important -- is the love and respect that this couple have for each other.

For me, this is a terrific story.   I have spent more than 40 years(!) studying, updating the descendants of Victoria and Albert.   Two books.  I try to keep the descendants up to date.  This will be a truly grand wedding in Amorbach in September.

This will be the first marriage between two descendants of  Queen Victoria since the 1981 marriage of Ferdinand's parents, Prince Andreas of Leiningen and Princess Alexandra of Hanover.

Ferdinand and Viktoria Luise are third cousins through Victoria's eldest daughter, Victoria who married Friedrich III of Germany.   Both descend from Vicky and Fritz's elder son, Kaiser Wilhelm II.   They both have direct descent from Wilhelm's wife, Princess Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein, whose grandmother, Princess Feodore of Leiningen was Queen Victoria's older half sister.

The couple are both double descendants of Queen Victoria.   Both also descend from Victoria's fourth child, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, through his second daughter, Victoria Melita, and her second husband, Grand Duke Kirill of Russia.  

Victoria Melita and Kirill's elder daughter, Grand Duchess Marie married  Karl, 6th Prince of Leiningen.  Ferdinand is their great-grandson.    Their younger daughter, Grand Duchess Kira, married Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, the grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm II.  Viktoria Luise, who was named for her great-great-aunt, Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who, in 1913, married Prince Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Brunswick und Lüneburg.  Hereditary Prince Ferdinand is the late Duchess' great-grandson.

The couple became engaged in January.

Hereditary Prince Ferdinand Heinrich Emich Christian Karl of Leiningen was born on August 12, 1982 at Frankfurt-am-Main.  He is the heir apparent to Schloss Amorbach and the family estates.

Princess Viktoria Luise Kira Ehrengard von Preussen was born on May 2, 1982 at Berlin.

In 2010,  Viktoria Luise made her debut at the Hotel Crillon ball.   She has an older half-brother, Philip, from her father's first marriage, and two full brothers,  Friedrich Wilhelm, a lawyer, and Joachim, the manager of Accenture Strategy in Berlin.   Prince Philip is the pastor at the Lutheran church in Birkenwerder, near Berlin.

Viktoria Luise attended the Lakefield College School in Ontario, Canada, and studied at the American University in Paris.   Since August 2013, she has worked for Hauck & Aufhäuser, a private German bank, established in 1796.  She is the Business Manager CFO/COO (Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Office) in the bank's Frankfurt-am-Main office.

UPDATE: Leiningen princely weddings

From the Amorbach Stadtkapelle (the town's website):

Standesamtliche Hochzeit Fürstenhaus am 25. März 2017 11:00  (Hermann)
Standesamtliche Hochzeit Fürstenhaus am 29. April 2017 11:00  (Ferdinand)

One of the two civil weddings is HSH Prince Hermann zu Leiningen 29, the youngest child of the Prince and Princess of Leiningen and Miss Isabelle Heubach.   The couple became engaged in early 2016.  The other civil marriage is HSH Hereditary Prince Ferdinand zu Leiningen and Viktoria Luise Prinzessin von Preussen, daughter of the late  HRH Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia and Ehrengard von Reden.  

Hermann and Isabelle's religious wedding will place on July 1.

Isabelle Franziska Sophie Heubach is the daughter of Hans Rainer Heubach and his wife, Gabriella.  Her father is the head of Heubach, a firm that the family has owned for more than 600 years.

In 2012, Miss Heubach renounced her US citizenship.  She was born on January 27, 1989, perhaps in the United States, as Heubach has its US headquarters in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania.   The US subsidiary was founded in 1988.

Rainer and Gabriella Heubach have had residences in Fairless Hills, PA, and Princeton, New Jersey.

Isabelle is the fourth of five children. Her older brother, Johann, is married to Countess Stefanie von Herberstein.

If you live in the Amorbach area, you might to check out the Standesamt on the two days.  Both weddings are at 11:00 a.m.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

No state funding for Duke of Windsor

March 16, 1937

The Duke of Windsor has been excluded from the new civil list, which King George VI has sent to Parliament, reports the New York Times.

This is the first indication that the former king will not receive a State pension.

George's message, placing "unreservedly at the disposal of the House of Commons those hereditary revenues so placed by his predecessor,"  includes a request for "suitable provision" for Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Gloucester.

"It is, however, His Majesty's intention, as long as the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall are vested in himself to make provision for Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Gloucester, and in so far as these revenues are sufficient, to provide for the civil list and, in the event of the birth of a Duke of Cornwall, to assent to arrangements similar to those which were assented by his predecessor."

It is expected that David Lloyd George will champion former King Edward's cause with his "declared plan to demand an annuity for him."

This does not have the support of Prime Minister Baldwin or the five members of the Labor members of the select committee to review the civil list.  All are opposed to a State annuity for the Duke of Windsor, and the Government is unlikely to accept Mr. Lloyd George's proposal.

The King has suggested $15,000 for Princess Elizabeth and $25,000 for the Duke of Gloucester.

Nicholas II's whereabouts are unknown

March 16, 1917

The whereabouts of former Russian Emperor Nicholas II are said to be unknown, reports the Daily Chronicle's Petrograd correspondent.

In his telegraph to London, the reporter said the Emperor was stopped about 200 miles from Petrograd on the "direct railway from Moscow."  He remains at Bologoe with a "small neutral guard."

The newspaper also reports that Empress Alexandra is at Tsarkoe-Selo.  The commandment of the palace assured the Duma's representative that Alexandra "would not attempt to escape"

The reports coming out of Petrograd are confusing.  Another dispatch states that Nicholas was "held up by soldiers."  The Empress was said to be in a "hysterical condition," and the young Tsarevitch is suffering from the measles or scarlet fever.

Nicholas' abdication, on behalf of himself and his son, took place at midnight on October 15.  The next in line to the throne is Nicholas' younger brother, Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovitch,  was briefly named as Regent.  Today, however, at 2:30 p.m.,  Grand Duke Michael himself abdicated, thus ending more than 300 years of Romanov rule in Russia.

The new Government, according to the New York Times, will be vested in the Executive Committee of the Duma and the Council of Ministers.

Unless "improbable events occur,"  Russia has ceased to be a monarchy and is now a republic.

It is being reported in London by the Manchester Guardian that the former Emperor blocked British efforts to avert a revolution.

Viscount Milner recently traveled to Russia to "bring about a compromise" between Nicholas and the Duma, in order to avert a revolution.

Lord Milner is a member of the British war council.

Nicholas II had informed his cousin, George V, that he expected something to happen, but he was "confident that he could suppress it."

The Guardian stated: "Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador at Petrograd, has kept his government well informed and has been throughout a staunch supporter of the duma and liberal element.  It is said Lord Milner urged the emperor to appoint a ministry responsible to parliament."

Nicholas rejected the proposal on the "grounds that it did not harmonize with Russian institutions."

Lord Milner then suggested that Nicholas appoint a minister acceptable to the Duma.  He recommended the Russian ambassador to London, Sergius Sazonov, for the position of premier and foreign secretary.

Nicholas rejected this and every other proposal. He remained obdurate, declining the recommendations and assistance of Lord Milner and others.

it is no coincident that the outbreak occurred shortly after Lord Milner returned to London.  His mission to work with Nicholas and the Duma, thus trying to effect a compromise or a solution to the political divisions.

Now Russia must "work out their own salvation."

Has Prince Francis of Teck found his Princess

March 16, 1907

Washington and Virginia society are following with deep interest a rumor from London about Miss Nora Langhorne, the youngest of the "five handsome daughters of C.D. Langhorne of Albemarle County, Virginia."  

The New York Times is reporting that Miss Langhorne has "captured the heard and received an offer of the hand of Prince Francis of Teck, the good looking brother of the Princess of Wales."

Prince Francis's family is certainly hoping that he should marry a wealthy American,  but Miss Langhorne does not have a "great fortune."

Her sister,  Nancy, is married to Waldorf Astor, whose father, William Waldorf Astor has "more money than they know what to do with," and the Astors are said to he "heartily in favor of an alliance that would place them in the innermost circle of English society."

Mrs. Astor chaperoned her younger sister, Nora, who made her London debut last season and at once, "attracted the admiration of the smart world.

If this marriage does take place, the Astors will "receive full credit for the match."  Without their support, it would be "impossible" for Prince Francis to "think seriously of marrying the charming Virginian."

Prince Francis is 37,  while his putative fiancee will celebrate her 20th birthday in September.

Wilhelm II would love to visit the USA

March 16, 1907

When Kaiser Wilhelm II recently visited the American Embassy in Berlin,. he was asked by one American if he hoped to visit the United States, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"I certainly would gladly visit the United States, not as emperor, but as a private gentleman; not for a fortnight like a globe trotter, but at least for three months," Wilhelm responded.

"But who would replace me meanwhile?  And what would my colleague, President Roosevelt, think if I acted contrary to his theory of hard work and little play?"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

More new additions

January 24, 1967.  Countess Elizabeth Douglas with several of her attendants.  The boy standing is is Fürst Alexander von Quadt zu Wykradt und Isny (1958). The laughing girl is Countess Walburga von Waldburg zu Zeil u.Trauchburg (1958).  Countess Elizabeth married HRH Prince Max-Emanuel of Bavaria. The other attendants were Alexander's sisters, Marianne amd Gina,  and Walburga's siblings, Erich, Gabrielle and Monika,  but not all are in the photo.
Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain with her children & grandchildren and their spouses

The Countess of Barcelona with Infantas Pilar, Margarita, Alfonso and Juan Carlos

Engagement of Infana Pilar of Spain and Don Luiz Gomez-Acebo

Queen Anne of Romania with Princesses Helen and Margarita

BULLETIN: Revolution in Russia. Nicholas II out, brother new Tsar

March 15, 1917

Emperor Nicholas II of Russia has abdicated his throne, according to multiple news sources.  His younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, has been named Regent.

The New York Times is reporting that the Russian Ministry, "charged with corruption and incompetence," has been swept out of office.   A new national Cabinet, headed by Prince Lvov, as President of the Council, is said to be "close to the Russian people.

Petrograd (former St. Petersburg) has been the "scene of one of the most remarkable risings in history," beginning with the "minor food riots and labor strikes last week."

The Imperial Council also understood the "gravity of the situation," and appealed, with others to the Duma, for the Emperor to "take steps to give the people a policy and government in accordance with their desires."

Nicholas hurried back to the capital, only to find that the "revolution had been successful," and a new Government had taken power.

It has been alleged that Empress Alexandra has been "influential in the councils, opposed to the wishes of the people," and it is being reported that she has fled or is in hiding.

The Imperial Palace at Tsarkoe Selo is said to be "in a state of siege."

Nicholas II's abdication has followed a "Liberal Revolution."  He had no other choice as he was "unwilling or unable to lend sufficient intensity to the successful prosecution of a foreign war."

He has been a "man of excellent intentions, but vacillating resolution.  He came to the throne on November 1, 1894, following the death of his father, Alexander III, who reigned for thirteen years.

Nicholas' younger brother, Michael, will succeed his brother,  as Nicholas abdicated for himself and his only son, Alexis.

The young Tsarevitch has been in delicate health for some years.   The concern over his health began in 1912 when he suffered a serious injury onboard the imperial yacht, the Standart.  The palace had never clarified what had actually happened, whether he was ill or had been injured.  His health has been the "subject of much discussion and a never-ending swarm of rumors.

It is not known whether he has recovered "without permanent disability", and reports as to what happened on the Standart include falling while in his bathtub or slipped while climbing on a chair, or got hurt while diving.

Alexis was born at Peterhof on August 12, 1904. His birth was celebrated throughout the Russian Empire, as he was the first son born to Nicholas and Alexandra, after four daughters.

Inheritance to the Russian throne is semi-Salic,  meaning that all of the eligible male members of the Romanov family, precede all of the female members, including Nicholas' four daughters, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia.

The "undeniable fact" is that Alexis was seriously ill for many months.  Recently, he has visited some of the armies, but it is uncertain if he has recovered his health.

The "talents, inclinations and capacities" of Grand Duke Michael have been "obscured," due to having lived in exile in England for several years after contracting a marriage with a woman of lower rank.    At the outbreak of the war, Michael returned to Russia and "commanded a division with distinguished success during" an attack on the Carpathians in early 2015.  Little has been heard about Grand Duke Michael since then.

He was born on November 22, 1878, the third surviving child of Alexander III and Empress Marie.  Nicholas is ten years his senior.  He has two sisters, Grand Duchess Xenia, who is married to Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch, and Grand Duchess Olga, the wife of Duke Peter of Oldenburg.

The British Government has "hailed" the Revolution.  Well-informed sources have told the New York Times that Nicholas' overthrow was "expected," and observers are "confident" that Grand Duke Michael "will have the support of the war party./"  They are also "equally sure" that the new government will be able to eliminate any element "with a pro-German taint."

As explained to the New York Times, the "revolution simply means that the German sympathizers within the Russian Government have been overthrown," and there is no chance for a separate peace with Germany.

The revolution finally reached a boiling three days ago, when the military, supported by the Duma, started outbreaks in Moscow and Petrograd.

Earlier today, the Daily Chronicle led with a glaring attack on Empress Alexandra/  "From an early period the German-born Czarina and the clique of pro-German reactionaries whom her influence made powerful with the Czar were bent on ending the war prematurely in the interests of reaction."

The Chronicle also stated that the "Czar's blindness was incurable. In a kind of panic he got rid of every remaining progressive Minister; a non-entity of no importance was made Prime Minister, and the real power fell to Protopopoff, the strong man of the camarilla, who was to see their design through."

This afternoon, the Daily Chronicle reported that Empress Alexandra "has been placed under guard."

Her whereabouts are unknown.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

From my collection

While looking through my Danish album, I found this two photos.

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (Frederik VIII)

Princess Dagmar of Denmark (Empress Marie Feodorovna of Russia)

Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (1934-2017)

"It is with great sorrow that I, on behalf of Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte, announce that His Highness Prince Richard has passed away.
His Highness died suddenly at the castle in Berleburg yesterday evening, Monday 13 March.

Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte travelled home to Berleburg on Tuesday morning after a short stay in Denmark.
Tommy M. Paulsen, Private Secrtary for HRH Princess Benedikte

Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, the husband of Princess Benedikte of Denmark, died on Monday, March 13, 2017, at Schloss Berleburg.  The Prince was 82 years old.

HH Prince Richard Casimir Karl August Robert Konstantin of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg was born at Giessen on October 29, 1934, the eldest of five children of  Gustav Albrecht, 5th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg  and Margareta Fouché d'Ortrante, a member of Swedish noble family.

The prince was named for his paternal grandfather, Richard, who had been killed in a car accident in 1925.

One of Prince Richard's godmothers was Queen Ingrid of Denmark, a princess of Sweden by birth. Margareta Fouché d' Ortrante was one of Ingrid's friends from childhood. They had grown up together as Marguerite's father, Charles Louis, Duke of Otrante, was equerry to Ingrid's grandfather, King Gustav V of Sweden.  Both the Bernadottes and the Fouchés came to Sweden from France.

A year before the end of the second world war,  Gustav Albrecht disappeared in the eastern front of the war.  He was officially declared dead in 1968.  Shortly after Germany's capitulation,  Margareta took her children to her parents' home near Stockholm.  Richard and his siblings were enrolled in Swedish schools.   Margareta was named as Richard's guardian until his 21st birthday in 1955.

He matriculated from Sigtuna, and, following his Swedish exams, he returned to Germany to study forest science at Munich University, and begin preparation for the running of the Berleburg estates in Germany and in Canada, where he also spent time studying.  He received a forestry diploma from the University of Göttingen.

Prince Richard and Princess Benedikte first met at the wedding of Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands in March 1966.

The first hints of an engagement came on March 1967, when the Palace in Copenhagen acknowledged their relationship.  A Palace spokesman told the press that the engagement was "still unofficial" because Princess Benedikte's father, King Frederik XI and the Danish Parliament had to give their assent.

The official announcement came on June 4, 1967, after the engagement had been "cleared through the State Council" after  all the "political groups in Parliament had approved the plans in talks with Premier Jens Otto Krag," reported the Associated Press at the time.

[In September 1966,  a Copenhagen newspaper, Ekstrabladet, reported that Benedikte was about to become engaged to Prince Robin, 28, of Sayn-Wittengstein-Berleburg.  Right family, wrong brother!)

Princess Benedikte, who was nine years Richard's junior, is the second of three daughters of King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid.  Her younger sister, Anne-Marie married King Constantine II of the Hellenes in 1964,  and her elder sister, now Queen Margrethe,  married Henri de Laborde de Monpetzat, six days after the official announcement of Benedikte's engagement.

The marriage between Princess Benedikte and Prince Richard took place at chapel at Schloss Fredensborg, 25 miles north of Copenhagen.   The bride;s gown was of, according to the New York Times, "off-white diamond satin with matching lace."   She wore the same veil  worn by her mother, Queen Ingrid, and her two sisters, Margrethe and Anne-Marie, at their weddings.  The veil was a wedding gift to Queen Ingrid's mother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, from Irish women, when she married Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden in 1905.

Princess Margaret was the eldest of three children of the Duke of Connaught, the seventh of nine children of Queen Victoria.  More than 200 guests attended the wedding and the reception held in the great hall of Schloss Fredensborg.

The guests included the bride's maternal grandfather, King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden,  her godmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, King Olav V of Norway.   After their honeymoon, the couple moved into a wing in Schloss Berleburg.

The couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 1993 in Copenhagen, after they had abandoned plans to celebrated at Schloss Berleburg.  Due to Germany's then "difficult economic situation," Prince Richard was forced to downsize his staff at Schloss Berleburg.  Queen Margrethe II came to her sister and brother-in-law's rescue, and offered to host the party in Denmark.

Prince Richard and Princess Benedikte, who chose to remained styled as HRH Princess of Denmark, divided their time between Schloss Berleburg and Denmark, where the Princess has continued to carry out official engagements.

In 2004, in an interview with the Hindu Business Line, Princess Benedikte was asked if her marriage was arrange or if she married for love.

"No, mine was not an arranged marriage. I met my husband at a wedding in Holland."

The princess was asked if the meeting was "love at first sight?"  

"Actually I quite fancied him." She added that there were some problems "because my husband was not totally royalty ... But we were in love and overcame the problems.  He is German and luckily he had a strong Swedish family tie -- his mother was from the Swedish noble family -- and there were other ties too."

At the time of their wedding, Prince Richard was described as a "practical businessman with no presentations with a disarming sense of humor."

At the time of his 75th birthday,  Prince Richard spoke to the media.  He talked about rejecting a Danish princely title: "I never regretted, and I never took the proposal seriously.  Neither did I take it seriously when it was suggested from Danish quarters that I should give up Berleburg and settle in Denmark.  I said 'No' as fast as I could."

Benedikte retained her succession rights, but because her children were German citizens and educated in Germany,  they have no rights to the Danish throne.

"It would have been a catastrophe for me if Benedikte had become queen. I was not born to that sort of life.  Had it come to that, I should have dentures by now, as I should have been grinding my teeth from morning to night."

Prince Richard said that Queen Ingrid (his godmother) was "downright unhappy" that Benedikte "chose me -- it was the last thing she wanted. She hated Germans until her death.  My luck was that Benedikte is as stubborn as her mother."

He also said that he "learned a long time ago" to never ask Queen Margrethe "about Danish history.  If I do, I get a never-ending lecture."

Prince Richard suffered with prostate cancer for many years.  He was also treated for skin cancer.  "Princess Benedikte didn't know how to help me, when I was ill.  She can't cope with illness, and she doesn't understand tell me when she is ill herself.  She tries to be kind-- she does, but I just don't think she understands how hard it is to be ill."

He preferred country life to cities.  "I hate cities," he said. "Then you have to go shopping with your wife. It's terrible -- a ground for divorce," Prince Richard added with a laugh.  It's the worst you can do.  Then she has to look at shoes, at least 20 pairs, it takes time, and none of them fit,.  Then we walk around the next corner another shoe shop. I can't stand it."

Prince Richard was raised in the Lutheran church.  He said, however, "Religion does not matter at all to me.  I know as little as anyone if there is a God or something else, but it means nothing for my part.  I am a declared Protestant and I certainly do not agree with the Pope, who preaches that you may only sleep with one particular woman to father children.  God is not to decide when I sleep with my wife, and if one should follow the Pope's words, one could hardly ever have an intimate moment in the marriage."

[The original interview was translated by Stig Sivebæk Nielsen.]

In 2013,  Prince Richard made plans to release a small herd of bison into the wild in North Rhine Westphalia, for the first time in nearly three centuries.  The Prince had a passion for animals since a childhood, a passion shared with his son, Gustav, who has run the estates since shortly after reaching his majority.

Prince Richard is survived by his widow, Princess Benedikte, their three children,  Prince Gustav, 48, Princess Alexandra, 46, the wife of Count Jefferson von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth, and Princess Nathalie, 41, who is married to Alexander Johannsmann, and four grandchildren, Count Richard and Countess Ingrid von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth and Konstantin and Louisa Johannsmann.   He is also survived by his brother, Prince Robin, and his three sisters, Princess Madeleine, Countess zu Solms-Laubach; Princess Tatjana and Princess Pia, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In Denmark,  the late King Frederik XI gave an Order in Council that Prince Richard and his children would be styled in Denmark as His or Her Highness.   In Germany and elsewhere, the family remains Serene Highnesses.   Princesses Alexandra and Nathalie are naturalized Danish citizens (this action did not give them succession rights), and Nathalie has been a member of the Danish equestrian team.  In 2008, she was a member of the Danish dressage team that won the Bronze medal at the Summer Olympic Games.

Hereditary Prince Gustav succeeds as the titular 7th  Fürst of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

Prince Richard's death was sudden.  Princess Benedikte was in Denmark when her husband died.  She returned to Berleburg earlier today.

The funeral will be held on March 21 at 2 p.m., at the Evangelischen Stadtkirche in Bad Berleburg.

Marlene Eilers Koenig Collection

Marlene Eilers Koenig Collection

Marlene Eilers Koenig Collection

Monday, March 13, 2017

Grand Duchess Victoria responsible for Russian plot

March 13, 1927

The German monarchist newspaper, Nautschaugabe, reports today that Grand Duchess Victoria of Russia, sister of Queen Marie of Romania, is "planning and plotting to win the throne of Russia," according to the New York Times.

Victoria's husband, Grand Duke Kirill recently proclaimed himself as the new Russian Emperor, but most of the Russian nobility have refused to follow him because he was "one of the first to abandon" Nicholas II when the Russian Revolution broke out.

Grand Duke Kirill and Grand Duchess Victoria have "established a small court in a palace in Coburg," where former King Ferdinand of Bulgaria also lives.   Grand Duchess Victoria, a British princess and a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, lived for several years in Coburg as her father, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh had succeeded to the Coburg Duchy.

Kirill has only $480,000, which is not enough to "sprout an army out of the ground to conquer Russia."    Victoria is determined to "obtain a greater empire," than her sister's.  She is busy trying to raise funds for the "cause of the white race against the red Internationale."   Victoria has told her followers that American financiers have promised the $40,000,000  for her cause.

According to the Nautschausable, Count Faber-Castell loaned Victoria $4,000 so she could travel to Paris to "perfect negotiations" with the American financiers.  When the count was unable to get his money back from Victoria, he lost belief in Kirill's cause.

The newspaper also inferred that Grand Duke Kirill is selling "Russian concessions" to the Americans on the "strength of his future conquest of Russia."

2nd reading of bill to remove titles of foes

March 13, 1917

The House of Lords today passed the "second reading of the bill to deprive enemy princes of British titles and dignities," reports the Chicago Daily Tribune.   This vote took place after the British government promised to "refer the bill to a special committee" for further consideration.

The Marquess of Lansdowne agreed that this bill applied only to the Duke of Albany, the Duke of Cumberland, and Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein, all of whom are related to the British related to the royal family.

Lord Landsdowne admitted that the bill is a "mere concession to public opinion, and requires more examination than had previously received."

The Duke of Albany is also the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  He was born Prince Charles Edward,  the posthumous son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, youngest son of Queen Victoria, and Princess Helen of Waldeck und Pyrmont.

The Duke of Cumberland is married to Princess Thyra of Denmark, youngest sister of Queen Alexandra.   He is the son of the late King Georg V of Hannover, who was born Prince George of Cumberland, the only child of Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, fifth son of King George III.  In 1837, following the death of his brother, King William IV,  the Duke of Cumberland succeeded to the Hanover throne as his niece, Victoria, the new British queen, was barred from the Hanoverian succession due to Salic law.  

The Duke's only surviving son, Prince Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, is married to Kaiser Wilhelm II's only daughter, Viktoria Luise.

Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein is the second, but the eldest surviving son of Princess Helena and her husband, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein.  He is the heir presumptive to his first cousin, Duke Ernst Gunther of Schleswig-Holstein.

Both the Duke of Albany and Prince Albert were born in England, and are grandchildren of Queen Victoria.  They are first cousins of King George V.    The Duke of Cumberland is the King's uncle.  Both Dukes are British princes.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Adding to my collection

I didn't win all the cards I wanted ... but not a bad haul.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Adolphus & Augusta), Prince George of Cambridge, the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (Princess Augusta of Cambridge) and Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge

Prince Ernst August, Prince Georg Wilhelm, Princess Frederika, Prince Christian and Prince Welf-Heinrich of Hanover

circa 1966  Princess Irene, Duchess of Aosta; Queen Helen of Romania, the Duke and Duchess of Aosta (Claude of France) and Princess Paul of Yugoslavia

Princess Marie Wilhelmine Luise Ida Friederike Mathilde Hermine of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1859-1941) was the fourth child of Duke Friedrich Ferdinand and his wife (whom he married twice), Princess Adelheid of Schaumburg-Lippe.  Marie never married.

The baptism of Prince Nikola of Yugoslavia with his parents, Prince Tomislav and Princess Margarita (nee Baden). Her father, the Margrave of Baden is in the background

The Duchess of Cumberland (Princess Thyra of Denmark) with her children,  Princes Georg Wilhelm, Christian, Ernst August, Princesses Alexandra, Marie and Olga

the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Württemberg (nee Diane of France)

The Duke and Duchess of Württemberg

1st Communion for Princess Marie Astrid and Princess Margaretha of Luxembourg

Queen Helen of Romania, circa 1968

Queen Frederika with her granddaughter, Infanta Elena, and Infante Juan Carlos

Queen Victoria Eugenia holds her great-grandson, Felipe (1968)

Queen Ena with her daughter, Infanta Beatriz and her granddaughter, Princess Sandra Torlonia

Princess Irene of Greece, Duchess of Aosta, 1960

Infanta Beatriz (Princess Torlonia), circa 1935-1936