Thursday, November 30, 2017

Crown Princess Margarita hosts Diplomatic corp

On November 29, 2017,   Crown Princess Margarita and Prince Radu welcome the Diplomatic Corps to an official gala held in the Hall of the Royal Palace in Bucharest.

Three of the Crown Princess' sisters,  HRH Princess Helen and her husband, Alexander McTeer,  HRH Princess Sophie and HRH Princess Marie, also attended the event.

Photos @ Daniel Angelescu

The Crown Princess gave her speech in English.

We are already talking about children?

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In the United Kingdom betting parlors are already taking bets on when  Prince Harry and Miss Markle will be having their first child  ... after they are married of course.

There are already heated discussions on Twitter about the status of possible children.  Royal ... Not Royal.  HRH  or no HRH.

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 In December 1917, King George V issued a Letters Patent that limited the the style and title of HRH Prince or Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain (and at that time) Ireland (now Northern Ireland.)

"Whitehall, 11th December, 1917.
The KING has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the 30th ultimo, to define the styles and titles to be borne henceforth by members of the Royal Family. It is declared by the Letters Patent that the children of any Sovereign of the United Kingdom and the children of the sons of any such Sovereign and the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales shall have and at all times hold and enjoy the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective Christian names or with their other titles of honour; that save as aforesaid the titles of Royal Highness, Highness or Serene Highness, and the titular dignity of Prince and Princess shall cease except those titles already granted and remaining unrevoked; and that the "grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes"."

This means the following:

Children of the sovereign.  HRH Prince or Princess
Grandchildren of the sovereign in the MALE line  HRH Prince or Princess
Eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales  HRH Prince.

and for the rest: "grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes".

This Letters Patent affected one Prince -- three-year-old HH Prince Alastair Arthur of Connaught, only child of TRH Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught.  Prince Arthur was the only son of HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria.

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 In 1864,  Queen Victoria issued a Letters Patent that extended the HRH to the children of the sons of the Sovereign.

"Whitehall, Feb. 3.
The Queen has been pleased by letters patent under the Great Seal, to declare her Royal will and pleasure that, besides the children of the Sovereigns of these realms, the children of the sons of any Sovereign of Great Britain and Ireland shall have, and at all times hold and enjoy, the style, title or attribute of Royal Highness with their titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their respective christian names, or with their other titles of honour; and further to declare her will and pleasure that the Earl Marshal of England, or his Deputy for the time being, do cause the said letters patent to be recorded in Her Majesty's College of Arms to the end that the officers of arms, and all others, may take due notice thereof."

Great-grandchildren (and further down) in the male line were Princes and Princesses of the United Kingdom but were entitled only to the HH.

This means that the three eldest children of TRH The Duke and Duchess of York (the future George V) were entitled to HH Prince Edward, HH Prince Albert and HH Princess Mary of York.)

In 1898,  Queen Victoria issued a Letters Patent that extended the HRH to the children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales.

"Crown Office, May 31, 1898
The Queen has been pleased by letters patent under the Great Seal, to declare that the children of the eldest son of any Prince of Wales shall have, and at all times hold and enjoy, the style, title, and attribute of "Royal Highness"."

Carl Eduard (Charles Edward), only son of Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, succeeded his paternal uncle, Alfred, as the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  His children were HH for Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (except the eldest son, as heir apparent, who was HRH) and HH as Princes and Princesses of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.   Prince Ernst August, the Duke of Cumberland, a great-grandson of George III and his male line descendants were HRH Princes and Princesses of Hannover, but their British rank was HH.

This brings us back to 1917.  The Letters Patent did not include a grandfather's clause that allowed those who already had the HH and title of Prince or Princess  to keep those titles. (The Hanovers were not happy about this as they represented the only direct male line from George III.  Ernst August and Carl Eduard were stripped of their British peerages with the passage of the Titles Deprivation Act.

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In the United Kingdom, the only person affected was the toddler Alastair.  He ceased to be HH and a Prince.  His mother was Duchess of Fife in her own right, so he was styled by her second title, Earl of Macduff.  He was the eventual heir to both the Connaught and Streathearn and Fife dukedoms.   Prince Arthur of Connaught died in 1938.  The Duke of Connaught died in 1942, and his grandson succeeded as the 2nd Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, as Your Grace and not Royal Highness.   The 2nd Duke died a year after his grandfather, and the Connaught and Strathearn dukedoms reverted to the Crown.  As Connaught is located in the Republic of Ireland, the title cannot be recreated.

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 Fast forward to 2013.   The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting her first child.  The new succession law (gender equal) had recently gone into effect, which meant that if the first child were a girl, she would remain ahead of any brothers born after her.   But if the Duchess' first child were a girl, she would not have the HRH and the title of Princess until Charles succeeded to the throne.  She would have been styled as the Lady Charlotte Windsor and her younger brother would have been styled as HRH Prince George of Cambridge.

On December 31, 2012, Queen Elizabeth II issued a Letters Patent that gave the HRH and title Prince or Princess to all the children of the eldest son of eldest son of the Prince of Wales.

 “The QUEEN has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 31 December 2012 to declare that all the children of the eldest son of The Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of Royal Highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.”

So where does this leave Prince Harry's children.  The 1917 Letters Patent makes it clear that his children who are "grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes".

Harry's peerage will be most certainly a ducal title, precisely because of the 1917 Letters patent.  His children will have the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes".

This already applies to the children of HRH The Duke of Kent, HRH The Duke of Gloucester and HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

There is a loophole in the 1917 Letters Patent regarding the styles and titles.  If Meghan's first child is born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II,   this child will be styled as Earl of whatever or the Lady Christian  Windsor.  Her second child is born during the reign of Charles III. This child, according to the 1917 Letters Patent, would be a Prince or Princess and HRH.   Does the wording in the 1917 Letters Patent allow for an upgrade to HRH and Prince/ess for the first born as all of Harry and Meghan's children will be grandchildren of the Sovereign.

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(Don't mention the Earl of Wessex's children.  No Letters Patent was issued for their style. According to the 1917 Letters Patent, Louise and James are HRH Princess Louise and Prince James of Wessex.  They are STYLED as The Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn, with the rank of children of an earl.)

The issue on how the children will styled must be clarified at the time when the first pregnancy is announced.

I fully expect that at the time of the first pregnancy ... or even on the day of the wedding when Harry's title is announced... that we will know how the children will be styled.  I believe the children will be styled as it states in the 1917 Letters Patent as children of a duke.    I do not think Her Majesty will issue a new Letters Patent giving the HRH and the title Prince/ess to Harry's children before Charles is king.   So what will happen when Charles succeeds to the throne?  Will Harry's children get an automatic bump up to HRH and Prince or Princess?  We do not know.  

We also do not (yet) what Harry and Meghan want for their children.  They may be content with the ducal status for their progeny.   

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Yes She will Be a Princess: Summing up the facts: Meghan and Harry

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Rachel Meghan Markle is beginning the transformation from American commoner to a royal highness.  Let's get a few misconceptions out of the way.

*   Meghan is not Roman Catholic. Going to a Roman Catholic high school does not make you Roman Catholic.     Kensington Palace has described Meghan and her mother, Doria, as Protestant, and her father, Thomas, as Protestant Episcopal.    The Palace also announced that Meghan will be baptized, according to the rites of the Church of England, and then will be confirmed before her marriage to Prince Harry, which will take place some time in May at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

In an article that I wrote on August 21st,  I stated that I believed that Meghan may not have been baptized as an infant.  This is not unusual in the United States as more and more Americans are members or active in Christian faith communities. I was right.  If Meghan had been baptized in a Protestant church, she would not need to be baptized in order to join the Church of England.  She was never baptized.

*  Miss Markle will become a British citizen, but she will go through the normal process, which will include leaving the UK before her wedding and returning to the United States to apply for the fiancee settlement visa (the marriage has to take place within 6 months of the application.)  She is currently entering the United Kingdom on a tourist visa.   The next step after the wedding will be to apply for a marriage settlement visa so she can remain living in Britain.   The future royal can begin the application for British nationality after three years, not five, because her husband is British.

There will be no fast tracking for British nationality for Miss Markle.   This has been confirmed by Kensington Palace.

During this time period she will remain an American citizen and will be using her U.S. passport.  She will not receive a British passport until she has received her British citizenship.

[Although Prince Philip went through the naturalization process before his marriage to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, it was realized later that the naturalization was not necessary.  The Sophia Naturalisation Act (1705) have British citizenship in perpetuity to the non-Roman Catholic descendants of the Electress Sophia of Hannover.  In 1948, the law was superseded by the British Nationality Act. However, descendants born before the new law went into effect in 1949, remained eligible for citizenship.  Prince Friedrich of Prussia, who married Lady Brigid Guinness (daughter of the Earl of Iveagh) and Prince Ernst August of Hanover, father of the present head of the house of Hanover, won their right to British nationality, according to the law.]

It is possible that Meghan will renounce her American citizenship after she becomes a British national.  This is not a requirement of the UK nor US governments.  The United States does not officially recognize dual nationality but accepts that other countries do.

This Washington Post article explains in detail the financial conundrum that the Royal Family could face if Meghan does not renounce her American citizenship.

*    It is nearly certain that Prince Harry will receive a dukedom (along with an earldom and a barony) on the morning of his wedding.  He does not stop being a prince, but how he is styled will change.  Yes, the papers will call him Prince Harry, but he will be officially HRH The Duke of whatever

*  Meghan will share her husband's status.   In Britain, a wife shares her husband's rank.  Harry is a prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern.  At present, he is STYLED  as HRH Prince Henry of Wales (officially) but will probably be styled as HRH The Duke of ... after the wedding.

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So what does this mean for Meghan?  Repeat after me:  Meghan will be a  Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland when she is Harry's wife.   She will not become Princess Meghan because she is not a princess of the blood royal.  In the United Kingdom, princess by birth are styled by their names,  wives of princes are not.  (It it is what was done at the German courts.)  Yea, it may be a bit out of date these days, but ... it is what is done in the United Kingdom so get over it!

This is why Meghan will have the status of a princess.

In 1923, after the wedding of the Duke of York to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, an official statement was released by the palace:

"In accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York with the status of a Princess."

Read it again, say it with me:   Meghan will have the status of a princess.  Share this with all your doubting friends.   People and People Magazine will probably call her Princess Meghan.   Don't get your knickers in a twist about this.  Most people are not royal experts and don't truly understand or care.

Just don't send a letter to HRH Princess Meghan.

*   She will not be HRH Meghan, Duchess of whatever.  No name in title.  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge  is incorrect as well.  She is HRH The Duchess of Cambridge.   Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge indicates one of two things:  a widow of a peer or the divorced wife of a peer.

When the Lady Diana Spencer married HRH The Prince of Wales (who has a bunch of other titles, too) she became HRH The Princess of Wales (as well as the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Princess Charles, and so on.)   After the divorce, she lost the HRH, stopped being a princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by marriage, and was styled as the former wife of a peer:  Diana, Princess of Wales.

If you do not believe this, invest in a copy of Debrett's Correct Form.

*  Meghan will continue to use Meghan as her name, although her first name is Rachel.  She has never used Rachel as her first name.   As a royal, she will sign her first name only.

I do not know everything and my crystal ball has been at the repair shop for years as the piece needed to see all is no longer available from the manufacturer.

I do not know the date of the wedding.  I do not know what tiara she will wear.  I do not know where they will in the future, but I expect Nottingham Cottage will not remain their London residence for long.    I also not know when her belongings will arrive in England.

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What I do know is this:  American-born Meghan Markle will have the status of a Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland when she is married.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A thank you from Charles

The official thank you from the Prince of Wales for his 69th birthday!

Monday, November 27, 2017

so what title will Harry get on his wedding day

It is certain that Prince Harry will receive a peerage on his wedding day, most likely a dukedom (with subsidiary earldom and barony) but this is not set in stone.  He could get an earldom and a viscountcy just like Uncle Edward (the Earl of Wessex. (When Charles is the sovereign, and the Duke of Edinburgh deceased,  Edward will be created Duke of Edinburgh.  He will not succeed to his father's peerage.)

For the sake of this post,  let me speculate on the possible dukedom.  Cross off your list the following titles:  Connaught,   Cumberland and Teviotdale and, perhaps, Albany.

Connaught is in the Republic of Ireland.    Cumberland and Teviotdale and Albany are in abeyance, although, the dukedom of Albany may be eligible for recreation.   The title was created by Queen Victoria for her youngest son, Prince Leopold, in 1881. He was created Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow.     Leopold died in March 1884.  His second child, a son, Charles Edward, was born posthumously in July 1884, and, at birth, succeeded to his father's peerages. Charles Edward, as Carl Eduard, succeeded his paternal uncle, Alfred, as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

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 The Titles Deprivation Act (1917) stripped Prince Ernst August of Hanover (1878-1923) and Carl Eduard, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1884-1954), who were on Germany's side during the first world war.   Ernst August was the head of the House of Hanover and Carl Eduard was a grandson of Queen Victoria.   The Titles Deprivation Act included a provision that would allow an heir to the title to claim it if he had not fought for Germany during the first world war.   This means Ernst August's son,  Prince Ernst August, the Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg, was also barred from succeeding because he served in the war.   The latter's son, Ernst August IV (1914-1987) was eligible to petition Parliament for reinstatement.   In the mid-1990s,  several German papers reported that the present head of the House of Hanover, Prince Ernst August V (1954) was going to petition the British Parliament for reinstatement for the peerages.   Ernst August issued a statement denying the reports.

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Carl Eduard's eldest son, Prince Johann Leopold (1906-1972) was too young to serve in the first world war. Johann Leopld's eldest son, Ernst Leopold (1935-1996) claimed the use of the Albany title, even used it on stationary (Herzog von Albany).  His eldest son, Hubertus Prinz von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha (1961) has the right to petition Parliament but has no interest in doing so.

The reason for the dukedom of Albany to be available is due to the Royal Marriages Act.   Carl Eduard was married in accordance of the Act, but his none of his children, including his sons, sought permission from the British Sovereign to marry.

Carl Eduard's eldest son, Prince Johann Leopold's marriage was morganatic and he and his male descendants were ineligible for the  Coburg titles and estates .  The succession devolved in Carl Eduard's youngest son, Prince Friedrich Josias, whose son, Prince Andreas, is the present head of the family.   Prince Johann Leopold's eldest son, Ernst Leopold Prinz von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, adopted the use of the title Herzog of Albany, although he never petitioned the British Parliament for reinstatement.

Patrick Montague-Smith would become the editor of Debrett's Peerage. This letter to the editor was published on July 30, 1949.

The marriages are Carl Eduard's children were not legal in the United Kingdom, according to Royal Marriages Act.   In other words, Carl Eduard's sons were not eligible for the Albany dukedom because Johann Leopold never sought approval for his marriage, thus, rendering the dukedom available for recreation.

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Sussex is a popular possibility.  The first Duke of Sussex (Prince Augustus) was given by King George III to his sixth son.  Both of Prince Augustus' marriages were in contravention of the Royal Marriages act.  Neither of his two wives were styled as the Duchess of Sussex.  Miss Markle would be the first consort Duchess of Sussex.

Clarence.  Another possibility.  Bad vibes about George Plantagenet (1449-1478), brother of Richard III, who was created Duke of Clarence in 1461.  Drowning in a butt of malmsey, allegedly.

Meghan is a descendant of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, son of Edward III.

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William IV, fourth son of King George III, was Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews before he succeeded to the throne in 1830.  Clarence House was named for this duke.

The most recent Duke of Clarence (and Avondale) was Prince Albert Victor (1864-1892) of Wales, the elder son of the Prince and Princess of Wales.  The cause of death was pneumonia.  He caught a chill at the funeral of his father's first cousin, Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg at the end of December 1891.

Kendal.  There were reports that Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Saafeld, husband of Princess Charlotte of Wales, the heiress presumptive to the throne, was going to be created Duke of Kendal.  Never happened.  George I created his mistress Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg as Duchess of Kendal.

Ross.   the peerage was created twice for sons of the King of Scotland, most recently for Alexander (1514-1515), the posthumous son of King of James IV.

Several people have mentioned the Dukedom of Hereford, which was created in 1397 for Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt.  The title merged with the Crown two years later when Bolingbroke usurped the throne from Richard II.

The title will not be recreated due to Viscount Hereford, the oldest extant Viscountcy in the Peerage of England.  The viscountcy was created in 1550.  The title was created for Walter Devereux, 9th Baron Ferrers of Chartley.

Strathearn. Another no go, as William is the Earl of Strathearn.

first photos of Harry and Meghan

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First photos of HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Miss Rachel Meghan Markle

AKA  Prince Harry and Meghan

It's official: Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle

The Prince of Wales has announced the engagement of his younger son, Prince Henry of Wales to Miss Rachel Meghan Markle.

Miss Markle is an American.  She was born in Los Angeles, California, on August 4, 1981.

Miss Markle is not Roman Catholic.  She went to a Roman Catholic.  She may not have been baptized in any religion.

Meghan's first marriage to Trevor Engerson is reported to have taken place in Jamaica on September 16, 2011.  This was probably a destination party as the real wedding  (probably a civil ceremony in Los Angeles) took place on August 16, 2011.  This was confirmed in Miss Markle's divorce papers (Information included in link below this paragraph.)

Don't listen to the twats who say that Meghan will not be a princess.  She will have the status of a British Princess because her husband is a prince.  Harry will not stop being a prince if the Queen bestows a dukedom on him.  He will cease to be a commoner because as a duke he will be a peer of the realm.

Read and save this paragraph:

In 1923, after the wedding of the Duke of York to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, an official statement was released by the palace:

"In accordance with the settled general rule that a wife takes the status of her husband Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage has become Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York with the status of a Princess."

Camilla, Catherine,  Sophie, Birgitte, Katharine, and Marie Christine are all princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ... not by birth but by marriage.
This because their husbands are Princes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Platinum Anniversary: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip celebrate 70 years of marriage

The Pitkin Pictorial publication on Elizabeth's wedding

the catalog from the exhibition of wedding gifts.  No photographs

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, celebrate 70 years of marriage today.  They were married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey.   The images and two publications are from my collection.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

King Michael: update on condition

October 2011  photo by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

In the days since the Nov. 6 communiqué, King Michael's general state did not get worse, the vital signs of His Majesty being on a constant platform. Doctor continue to give the King a medication to ease sleep and breathing.

However, His Majesty continues to be in a worrying state of health. The steep decline in physical capacity and communication capacity, as well as the impossibility to move without help, remained at the same level.

King Michael is cared for at his home with exceptional competence and with great care by a large medical team. Doctors evaluate the status of His Majesty on a daily basis.

The doctors have reported that, in the current state of His Majesty, the Princess Margarita may return to Romania for the time being to resume her public activities.

Doctors consider it too risky to move King Michael from the private home to the hospital. They are unanimous in recommending that the treatment administered to His Majesty should now focus on preventing suffering and preserving the physical and psychological comfort of the Sovereign.

His Most Holy Metropolitan Joseph of Western Europe was at the residence of Switzerland on several occasions and gave our King our share. His representatives also frequently travels to the royal residence.

Apart from the Crown Princess  and Prince Radu ,  presence at the private residence in Switzerland will continue to be limited only to the daughters of His Majesty and Metropolitan Joseph (or his envoy).

The staff of His Majesty's House will continue, with dedication and enlightenment, the mission to King Michael I.

Elisabeth Palace, November 19, 2017

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Congrats to Prince Philip & Princess Danica of Serbia

@HRH Crown Prince Alexander

The news is out!   Congratulations to TRH Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia, who are expecting their first child early next year.

This will be the first grandchild for Crown Prince Alexander and his first wife, the Duchess of Segorbe.

Thrilled to bits for everyone!!

Has Orly Lascelles found his Viscountess?

It seems that 'Orly' Lascelles, the second son and third child of the 8th Earl of Harewood and his first wife, Margaret Messenger, has married.  His wife is Annika Reed, whose birth was registered in September 1984 in Exeter). She is the daughter of William J. Reed and Rosalind S. Driver.

The couple was married on August 18, 2017 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens.

Orly's full name is Alexander Edgar Lascelles and he bears the courtesy title, Viscount Lascelles.  He is the heir apparent to his father's earldom and to the Harewood House estate.

He was born May 13, 1980, in Bath.  His older brother, the Hon. Benjamin Lascelles was born before their parents married in 1979 and cannot succeed to the Harewood earldom or the British throne.

Lord Harewood is the eldest of three sons of the late George, 7th Earl of Harewood, who died in 2011, and his first wife, Marion Stein.   Lord Harewood has a younger half-brother by his father's second wife, PatriciaTuckwell.

The late Earl of Harewood was the elder son of the 6th Earl of Harewood and HRH Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary.  The late Earl was a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, who is one of the present Earl's godparents.

Lord Lascelles, who has worked as a chef, has a 9-year-old son, Leo Cyrus Anthony Lascelles, by his former girlfriend, Laleh Yeganegy. Leo will not be able to succeed to the earldom or to the British throne.

Lady Lascelles is an artist. She teaches at Dulwich College in London.

A new statement from Nicholas Medforth-Mills

Nicholas Medforth-Mills released a statement this morning in response to the comments made by Andrew Popper.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Princess Elizabeth's gifts are on display

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November 17, 1947

Princess Elizabeth was present at a reception earlier today at Buckingham Palace where her wedding gifts were put on display, reports the Associated Press.   The gifts, according to court circles "was unsurpassed in the history of modern royal romances in Britain."

More presents for Princess Elizabeth and Lt. Philip Mountbatten - "from rare jewels to linen handkerchiefs" sent from "people of high and humble station."  The heiress presumptive to the throne has received enough gifts to "stock a small department store."

Tonight, the bride's parents hosted "as much of a feast at their realm's tight rationing laws permit" to entertain foreign royalty who have come to attend the wedding.

This was a select dinner-dance for 150 guests.

Earlier in the day, the Princess, accompanied by her parents and her younger sister, Princess Margaret Rose, welcomed guests after she spent a few hours with reporters looking at the gifts.

A second tea party will be held tomorrow for "persons from all walks of life,"including Mrs. Ella Wehage of Somerville, Massachusetts, who sent the bride a garter for good luck.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Transcript: Andrew Popper's TV interview discussing King Michael's condition & Issue of Nicholas Medforth-Mills

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Transcription of Romania 9 with Andrew Popper TVR1 15 November 2017


Issue: Romania 9

Host: Ionuţ Cristache

Invited: Andrew Popper, Head of His Majesty's King Michael
[Note:  I used Google translate for this article that appeared on Casa Regale.  It is not perfect.  I tried to fix a few of the statements, but for most part, this is the straight translation from Google.]

Host: For some time, the monarchs in Romania and those who respect the recent and real history of this country are lying in the mouth, waiting for news from Switzerland about King Michael's state of health. Unfortunately, these news are not among the best. Especially for two weeks now, it seems that the Majesty does not feel very well, and at the age of 96 she approaches the end of a tumultuous life, full of suffering and sacrifices. King Michael is the last head of state since the end of the Second World War still alive. Historians say his decision in August '44 shortened the war, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Detractors bring lying to him in lieu, spread for 50 years by the Securitate. The fact is that only King Michael is a symbol for everyone. For some, it is the symbol of hope reappeared in the '90s, which will go out at the same time as its Majesty. The disappearance of King Michael will mean the end of the ruling dynasty of the kings of Romania. After that, we will only regret the chance we did not have and a royal house protected by Republican laws. In order to discuss more about what is happening and what is going to happen to the Royal House, we invited him tonight and we have his Excellency with him, Mr. Andrew Popper, the head of His Majesty's House. Good evening, thank you for attendance! we will only regret the chance we did not have and a royal house protected by republican laws. In order to discuss more about what is happening and what is going to happen to the Royal House, we invited him tonight and we have his Excellency with him, Mr. Andrew Popper, the head of His Majesty's House. Good evening, thank you for attendance! we will only regret the chance we did not have and a royal house protected by republican laws. In order to discuss more about what is happening and what is going to happen to the Royal House, we invited him tonight and we have his Excellency with him, Mr. Andrew Popper, the head of His Majesty's House. Good evening, thank you for attendance!

Andrew Popper: And I thank you for the invitation.

Host: Pleasure is on my side and I am convinced that also on the part of those who are watching tonight and who are waiting for information that sometimes seems to be delaying from Switzerland. What is His Majesty's state of health?

Andrew Popper: The state of his Majesty is, as I said, very precarious. Doctors, at this time, are concentrating their efforts to keep His Majesty without pain and in a comfortable condition. Predictions are impossible in these cases. We can not say. There are better moments, worse moments. For the moment, fortunately, the situation has stabilized, but there is no doubt that this is a precarious situation, which we have expressed very clearly.

Host: Health you say has stabilized. If you can be more precise, is His Majesty aware, is he communicating?

Andrew Popper: Depends from moment to moment. He also has moments when he is aware, he has moments when he is less conscious. It is a normal development for that situation.

Host: Many scenarios have been woven into public space in Romania. I do not know if you are aware of everything, including scenarios from his Majesty's state of health, and many people have wondered why a health certificate signed by his Majesty's doctors was issued.

Andrew Popper: The reason is very clear. And we would like Swiss doctors to publish a medical report and I asked them for it. Unfortunately, they can not do it and explain why. Because Swiss law does not give them the right to communicate like this, and at the same time they are convinced that ethically they can not communicate with a patient's health. They are required to respect the medical secret and patient privacy. This is the only reason why official medical communications have not been given.

Host: Going on this logic of scripts and interpretations, photos of  His Majesty have not been released for a long time. Why? That this would have faded away from this scriptwriting that comes rolling over us these days.

Andrew Popper: In my opinion, it's very normal not to take pictures of his Majesty. As I have already said and as I have said since we addressed the public last year. His Majesty's situation, his health situation is precarious, not a good state. He degraded physically. So, in my opinion, it would appeal to his Majesty's dignity that these photos and pictures are being published at this time. It would be a violation of his dignity, and I say to you very openly, we do not want either the Royal House or the Princess or Crown Custodian or his Majesty, we want our Majesty to be remembered by those pictures that are not pleasant. It is normal and not unique, again, our desire for His Majesty to be in the memory of the Romanian people as it was when it was healthy, and I do not see any sense that these photos with physical degradation exist. It's morbid.

 Host: Just, when did you last see his Majesty? When did you last interact?

Andrew Popper: Last time I met His Majesty in March, at Aubonne, I made a long visit, spent my Majesty almost the whole day. I arrived there in the morning and left after dinner in the evening and, I tell you, I left satisfied. Of course, this physical degradation that I speak to you, but at the same time the most encouraging thing: I found him quiet and happy, and in a happy way. It filled me with joy to see him live in peace.

 Host: What did you talk about?

 Andrew Popper: We talked about what we always talk about, and probably I'm a little selfish in these conversations, because I always try to extract memories from His Majesty and we always talk about his childhood, the very difficult time of the war. I always ask him about the act of August 23, how he acted and so on. We always talk about the relationship he had with the Russians when they came here to Bucharest.

Host: How do you relate to those moments?

 Andrew Popper: He remembers all these events very well, and I can say that the sense of humor has remained or, at least, in March, when I saw him, I was still present when he talked about these events.

Host: Because you are talking about peace of mind, looking at the latest releases that the Royal House has made public, it was stipulated there that it received the Holy Communion, so it was confessed, forgiven, it acquired that peace of mind that you you met her. But if he has gone through all these spiritual stages, why did not he forgive the former prince Nicholas?

Andrew Popper: I do not know if he has forgiven or forgiven him. That's what we can not know. At the same time I remember one of his Majesty's favorite expressions: 'We can forgive, but we can not forget.' So I do not know if he forgave Mr Medforth-Mills or not, but there are two completely separate things. It is not about forgiveness, it is about the fact that he has clearly expressed that he does not want to see him. That does not mean that he has forgiven or forgiven him.

 Host: Very clear, what does it mean?

 Andrew Popper: It would be great to remember the chronology of the events, because it is important and has been somewhat insufficiently represented in recent days. If we return to the events of August 2015, when the Majesty removed the Prince's title and removed him from the line of succession, the Majesty said very clearly what the reasons were, in that he required certain qualities.

Host: But it would have been said that the withdrawal procedure would not have been authentic.

Andrew Popper: Of course it was authentic.

 Host: And it would not depend on the will of His Majesty, but that the entourage made up of members of the Royal House would have led to these consequences.

Andrew Popper: Finally, there are two different things. First of all, that he made this decision and this decision is authentic and it was his decision. The authenticity of this act has been discussed and I turn again to this chronological aspect, because these things are very tied. His Majesty signed this act in the presence of members of the Royal Council.

 Host: Have you been there?

Andrew Popper: I was not there because, unfortunately, I was in New York for medical treatment. But other members participated and the decision was taken very firmly by her Majesty before the Royal Council.

Host: What was wrong with Mr. Medforth-Mills? What was wrong with that? Because, looking at the Royal House releases, there was room for interpretation and there, and he insisted ...

Andrew Popper: Let me read from His Majesty's Letter: 'Those who are at the helm of Romania must do so, under the sign of modesty, well balanced, with moral principles, respect, and always with the thought of others.' So her Majesty, clearly, determined that Mr. Medforth-Mills did not have these qualities and withdrew his title. He has been monitoring Mr Medforth-Mills for a few years, and he realized he did not have these qualities and decided to withdraw his title. As you know, this situation occurred in which Mr Medforth-Mills was accused of paternity of a child out of wedlock  and his Majesty realized that as long as these suspicions exist and are not clarified, it is not fit with the quality of a prince of Romania.

 Host: Had these issues been clarified and Mr. Medforth Mills would have recognized that child, he would still have been Prince Nicholas of Romania and in the line of succession to the throne.

 Andrew Popper: That can not tell you.

 Host: What does your intuition tell you?

 Andrew Popper: It is important not only that he did not solve this problem at the request of His Majesty. We are going back to the issues raised by you: the authenticity and evolution of events. First of all, it must be remembered that Mr. Medforth Mills accepted the decision of His Majesty in writing and there is a signed document.

Host: That's what I wanted to ask you. How was Mr. Medforth Mills informed?

Andrew Popper: It was communicated to him by several members of the Royal Council and his Crown Custodian.

 Host: In writing?

Andrew Popper: Written, of course. This document was signed by His Majesty. Mr Medforth Mills has accepted this decision in writing and there is a document, we can give it to you, in which he states that 'I take that decision', that 'I admit that my behavior was not at the height' and I appreciate this decision of His Majesty and I accept it. ' This is actually said in this document. So there was no question about the authenticity of this document. The document was accepted as genuine by Mr. Medforth Mills, and he has undertaken not only to recognize this decision, but also to meet other requirements of his Majesty.

 Host: How would it be?

Andrew Popper: His Majesty's main requirement, and he accepted it, was to leave Romania. His Majesty offered him material support to resume his activities outside of Romania.

 Host: Supporting material?

 Andrew Popper: In the sense of a monthly grant, something like this.

 Host: What's going on now?

 Andrew Popper: No. He accepted the decision of His Majesty and in the letter from which I quote, His Majesty says very clearly: 'You are no longer a member of the royal family, but you are a member of my family, and I continue to have a certain affection for you.' He made this very clear. And after this decision was accepted by Medforth Mills, including the fact of living elsewhere than in Romania, because here in Romania there was an ambiguous situation that had a negative effect on the general activities of the royal family, His Majesty welcomed Mr. Medforth Mills and had a very friendly conversation with Aubonne in September 2015.

 Host: A moment that Medforth Mills invokes in an interview he gave for a Romanian television. This remuneration that he received and agreed with Mr. Medforth Mills as long as he was offered?

Andrew Popper: After this meeting and after Mr. Medforth Mills accepted the decision of His Majesty, he decided not to respect His Majesty's requirements and returned to Romania and engaged in activities that were inappropriate from our point of view, such as semi-public activity, although asked not to do so, in an ambiguous situation. Things started probably in October - November 2015, and then His Majesty again contacted Mr. Medforth Mills and said, "You did not respect our requirements and withdraw your grant." So it's very clear.

 Host: Returning to this episode in September 2015, a few months after he was expelled from the line of succession, tells Mr. Medforth Mills in an interview that he talked to his Majesty for a few minutes, and then it would be asked His Majesty if this problem had been solved, suggesting that Mr. Medforth Mills would not necessarily have been an act of his own will to exclude his reign from the line of succession, but rather an act of will of those in the vicinity of His Majesty, and that thought-given and then even more so now.

 Andrew Popper: It does not seem to me to be logical what he says, but it is important to think a little about the personality of King Michael. King Michael, who opposed Antonescu with great courage, opposed the Russians with great courage, proved in his life a great will and extraordinary character, it is inconceivable that he can be manipulated in the way described by Mr. Medforth Mills. He probably does not know the circumstances quite well. His Majesty is a firm man, a man who has very well-established opinions and can not be manipulated by anyone.

Host: Is the incident of the past days, above all, his Majesty being or was he aware of what happened, the incident caused by his nephew?

 Andrew Popper: That can not tell you. I do not know whether he was conscious or not.

 Host: You do not know if he has reached the ears of His Majesty.

 Andrew Popper: I do not know.

Host: Let's go back to the incident. How did it happen exactly?

 Andrew Popper: We can talk very clearly. I was not present, so I can only say what I was told. First of all, what I was told was that before coming to His Majesty's apartment, Mr. Medforth Mills gave a phone call to the Crown Custodian and spoke on the phone and he asked for permission to visit His Majesty.  He was told  for various reasons, primarily because his Majesty explained very clearly that he did not want to see him and that it would be a violation of His Majesty's wishes to receive him, and secondly, in this context, he would be a potentially dangerous shock from a medical point of view. He was told that he could not come to see his Majesty. He accepted the phone and acted on the phone in a seemingly reasonable way.

Host: Mr. Medforth Mills has been officially notified of the aggravating situation of his Majesty's state of health, learned from alternative sources, the Romanian media?

Andrew Popper: I do not know exactly, but I think he found out ... It was not officially transmitted to him as much as I know. He learned from the Royal House.

 Host: Would it not have been just a member of the family, as his Majesty said, to be informed of his grandfather's fate?

Andrew Popper:  do not think every member has been notified individually. He gave a statement and was undoubtedly informed his mother. I think that's the normal way of communication.

Host: Is there a chance, be it minimal, at the end of His Majesty's life to receive Mr. Medforth Mills?

 Andrew Popper: I can only express my personal opinion. Based on the information I have at the moment, I think not. I do not see any reason why Mr. Medforth Mills should be allowed to visit his Majesty. Only in the exceptional case where the Majesty directly asks to see him, then he will be received. But if His Majesty does not directly express the desire to see him, he will not be given this permission.

 Host: Did you personally, as a close friend of the royal family, describe the situation of Mr. Medforth Mills?

Andrew Popper: Of course this is an unpleasant and unwelcome situation. I'm thinking first and foremost of the pain he has caused to his mother. When you see these things in a family of course they are unpleasant things. But at the same time, we must see things from the perspective of King Michael's dynasty and personality. It is important to realize that these things do not happen because of the lack of a moral standard of the royal family, on the contrary. These things happen because His Majesty has always imposed very, very high standards of behavior and very, very high requirements, as is normal. Of course it is unpleasant,

Host: What is the current status of Mr. Medforth Mills in terms of the Royal House? Is he a civilian, like all of us?

Andrew Popper: Exactly. He is a private citizen, but at the same time he is a member of the King's family, which does not mean he is a member of the royal family. The quality of a grandson....

 Host: It's a kind of paradox that tells you.

Andrew Popper: It's not a paradox. The fact that he is the grandson of King Michael is a natural event that no one can take. But he is not a member of the royal family. So from a dynamic point of view, he is a citizen like any other.

 Host: But how do you explain the actions?

 Andrew Popper: It's very hard and I do not want ....

Host: What do you guys really want?

Andrew Popper: I do not want to engage in this game and begin to read my thoughts.

 Host: I look at his actions, and what the lawyer tells him about the stakes of these week's events. There seems to be a difference between the property of the Royal House and the wealth of the members of the royal family, and that it is important who actually manages the property of the Royal House. What can we understand from here?

Andrew Popper: This gentleman's assertion is completely wrong.  There is no separation between the property of the Royal House and the royal family. The only fortune that exists is the personal property of His Majesty King Michael. There are no other properties he owns. These properties will be clearly inherited by the 5 daughters, based on the provisions of the Civic Code in Romania and based on King Michael's will.

 Host: So what a possible action in court of Mr. Medford -Mill's could produce?

Andrew Popper: Absolutely 0 from a patrimonial point of view. Mr. Medford - Mills before and after August 2015 had no patrimonial interests in King Michael's estate. After this title was removed, there were no changes in the will. It has never been included in the King's will.

Host: I mean, he did not lose anything patrimonial with exclusion from the line of succession.

Andrew Popper: Absolutely nothing.

Host: In a non-enjoyable but inevitable perspective, after the end of His Majesty's life, and the succession will follow the course, and the royal family will come to more peaceful times in relation to family members, Mr. Metford - Mills be included in the succession line for His Majesty's will in time?

 Andrew Popper: It is technically, legally possible. Because the decision at that time will be taken by who will be the head of the royal family at that time. In this case, very clear, Princess Margareta is the crown custodian. So from a technical point of view, it is possible. However, it is unlikely that this will happen.

Host: There is a legislative initiative in the Senate on the status of the Royal House and a remuneration that the Royal House would receive from the Romanian state every year, plus various other benefits. You are one of the players of this game that is running these days between the Romanian state and the royal house. What can you tell us from within? 24 million euros were spent annually, which the royal house could receive from the Romanian state. Are the numbers correct?

Andrew Popper: Undoubtedly, first of all the law does not provide any figures for the moment. Secondly, this figure of 25 million is fantasmagoric. This level will never be reached. What the law proposes are three important elements: First, it recognizes the role of the royal family as an institution in the Romanian state, secondly, by recognizing the royal family and the Royal House as an institution, it is clearly legal initiatives, to partner with various governmental or non-governmental institutions, and third, to establish the existence of an administrative staff of about 20 people to support these activities. As I understand the law, it will pay mainly for this administrative staff. The amount of 25 million, of course, is ridiculous. There will be the salaries and expenses of these staff. The head of the royal family and the head of the royal house will not receive money from the Government. The only thing the government will do will be to pay for this administrative staff and pay for some projects that the Royal House will propose and the government can approve or not. And then it will go ahead with these projects.

Host: These things have happened so far. did not prevent the Royal House no one ,. On the contrary, he encouraged the philanthropic actions, at least of the Royal House, so far. Was there a need for a law stating exactly the role of the royal house in Romania?

Andrew Popper: It is a positive element, because it recognizes the role of the Royal House, formalises it and creates a constitutional compromise that seems to me to be of great value.

 Host: A royal house in the middle of a republic ...

Andrew Popper: The fact that this constitutional compromise is somewhat unique does not mean it is not very good. And in my opinion, at international level, it will be very well received. Because it shows that Romania recognizes its history and the value of the Royal House even within a republican constitutional framework. And when we talk about comments. We are, I am the head of my Majesty's home, to be fair and the whole royal family. We have not renounced that we believe constitutional monarchy is a superior form of government and we do not cease to express the hope that one day Romania will return to the constitutional monarchy.

Host: Would this be a first step?

Andrew Popper: That's what we could not say. But sure it is a step in the right direction. But it is not our role as the royal family to demand a constitutional change. This must come from other circles and must be democratically decided by the Romanian people.

 Host: We missed historical moments after historical moments. It's a Romanian word: it's never too late. But it looks like this is too late. Even so, in the end, I would ask you what is of your own royal family, because you are a close man, the future of the royal house, what does he look like?

Andrew Popper: Again, we go back to this law, in the context of the law and beyond this law, the activities will continue on the line that continues today. And what is very important to say is that I believe that the vast majority of the public in Romania is convinced that crown custodians, Princess Margareta, will be a worthy successor of His Majesty. He has proven all the qualities necessary to be the Head of the Royal House and to continue these activities. These activities will continue on plans that are normal for the royal family, be it a reigning family, such as in England, or a family recognized by the state here. First, all activities related to charity operations, national operations that confirm the national unity and the symbol of national unity. At the same time, what is extraordinarily important and I believe it is, is the roles that the royal family plays in Romania's image abroad. And contacts with other royal families. So the image of Romania will continue to improve and will continue to benefit from the support and activities of the Royal Family.

The Hesse air tragedy November 16. 1937

November 16, 1937
all photos from Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

Grand Duke Georg Donatus and Grand Duchess Cecilie of Hesse and by Rhine, their two young sons, Ludwig and Alexander, along with the Grand Duke's recently widowed mother, the Dowager Grand Duchess Eleonore, accompanied by several people, boarded a small plane bound for Ostend (to pick up other passengers) and then travel to London to attend the wedding of Georg Donatus' younger brother, Prince Ludwig, who was to marry the Hon. Margaret Geddes, on November 20.

The two little princes were to be pages at the wedding of Onkel Ludwig.

As the plane approached Ostend, the plane's wing hit a chimney.  The plane crashed, all aboard were killed.   The Grand Duchess was eight months pregnant.  The body of a stillborn child was found next to its mother.

Prince Ludwig and Miss Geddes were married privately the next day, and traveled to Ostend to bring the bodies back to Darmstadt.  There would be no honeymoon.  Left behind in Darmstadt was Princess Johanna Marina,  the youngest child of Georg Donatus and Cecilie,  just a year old.   She was adopted by her aunt and uncle.  On June 14, 1939, Princess Johanna Marina died of meningitis.

At some point during the day,  a student at Gordonstoun was called to the headmaster's office, where he was told of the tragedy.  Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was 16 years old when his sister and her family died.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Michael flies in London for royal wedding

November 15, 1947

King Michael of Romania arrived today in London, one of the first guest to arrive for Princess Elizabeth's wedding.  The Associated Press is reporting that the bachelor king, a "diplomatic and romantic puzzle in his own right," may be looking for his own bride.

The 26-year-old king is the only monarch "within the European nations neighboring Russia, flew from Romania in his own "two-engine plane" with his mother, Queen Helen, and his aunt, the Duchess of Aosta.

Even before his arrival, the British are wondering if Michael "has come for purposes other than attending the wedding."  Has the young king, playing the role of prince charming, come to woo, Princess Elizabeth's younger sister, the very pretty Princess Margaret Rose.

Members of the Diplomatic Corps are wondering whether "political reasons" prompted Michael to leave Romania for the first time since 1940, when he succeeded his father, Carol II.  Romania is now under the control by the Communists, and many are wondering of the king will choose exile, rather than return home.

This question was broached when he arrived in Munich, Germany.  He responded to reports that he was running away from Romania with the comment: "ridiculous and untrue."

Michael is keeping his counsel in London.  A "heavy guard" hustled the king from his plane and into a car to take him to his West End hotel in London.

In recent weeks in Romania, the Communists have tightened their grip on the country.  Ana Pauker, one of the Romania's leading communists, has been made Foreign Minister.  She is alleged to have photos of Lenin and Stalin in her office, but but not a photo of King Michael.

Duma's president asks Nicholas for better facilities for the press

Embed from Getty Images

November 15, 1907

Nicholas II met with President Khomyaoff in an audience today at Tsarkoe-Selo, reports the New York Times.  The meeting "advanced the relations between the Emperor and the President of the lower house to a considerable effort."

After the "exchange of formal greetings," the Emperor and Empress "expressed their satisfaction with the loyalty of the new Duma.  Nichokas "manifested a wish" to have the Duma President "report freely to the throne the progress made by the new House."

President Khomyaoff took advantage of the opportunity to ask for a larger press gallery, noting that the current size was "inadequate."

This suggestion brought out the "intimation" that Nicholas II approved the "enlarging of the facilities of the press."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Ten million and counting ,

Why does this happen when I am sleeping?  During the wee hours this morning,  the ten millionth visitor came to Royal Musings.  It may have been Harper or Sienna or both?   Seriously, thank you to all my readers ...

Innocent or not?

I think I found the poster