Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Merry Christmas from the King and Queen of Spain

In today's mail, a card from the King and Queen of Spain and their daughters.

Christmas at Sandringham

all three photos @Russell Biggs

These three photos were sent to me by a friend who was at Sandringham on Christmas morning to see the Royal Family including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Zog to marry Hungarian countess

January 31, 1938

The announcement of King Zog's engagement to the Hungarian Countess Geraldine Apponyi was "read today in the Albanian Parliament," reports the Associated Press.  The reading was followed by a vote for approval of the king's marriage.

Parliament has been summoned "especially for the occasion.

The marriage between the 42-year-old king and the 22-year-old Countess will take place at the end of April.

Countess Geraldine is half-American.  Her mother is the former Gladys Virginia Stewart, who married in 1914 to Count Julius Nagyi-Apponyi, a member of one of Hungary's oldest noble families.

Ingrid's betrothal denied

January 31, 1928

The Royal Palace in Stockholm has issued an official denial of the "reported betrothal" of Princess Ingrid, daughter of Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

The heir to the Danish throne is visiting Stockholm in connection with the "Danish week" celebration in Sweden's capital.

Divorce possible for Duchess Marie

the wedding of Duchess Marie and Count Jametel

January 31, 1908

Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the daughter of Grand Duke Adolf Friedrich V,  is planning to file for divorce against her French husband, Count Georges Jametel, according to a dispatch from Berlin to the New York Times.

Their "romantic marriage in 1899 cause a stir"  among the German royal houses.

The New York Times has been unable to confirm the report.

It was alleged several years ago that Duchess Marie had an "adventure with a servant" in her father's household."  Afterwards, the young woman left German and went to France, where, at a seaside resort, she met Count Jametel, the son of a patent medicine manufacturer.

The couple were married in London in the presence of members of the British royal family.   The Duchess's father is a first cousin of the Princess of Wales.

It has been suggested that it was Infanta Eulalia of Spain who "engineered" the match between Marie and Count Jametel. 

Duchess Marie and her husband are the parents of two children,  Count Georges and Countess Marie Auguste.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The marriage of Archduke Karl of Austria and Baroness Francesca von Thyssen

For perhaps a decade or so,  Archduke Karl of Austria, the elder son of the late Archduke Otto, head of the Imperial Family, was determined to marry Camilla von Habsburg-Lothringen, a distant cousin.  According to the then house laws,  the marriage would not have been equal because Camilla was a mere Miss, a descendant of a morganatic branch of the Habsburg family.

Perhaps because of Karl's love for Camilla,  Archduke Otto decided to upgrade all of the morganatic descendants to the rank of Count or Countess.   Camilla became Countess Camilla von Habsburg-Lothringen, and, thus, eligible for an equal marriage with Karl.

The marriage never took place.

On January 31, 1993,  Archduke Karl married Baroness Francesca von Thyssen-Bornemisza at the Basilica at Mariazell, near Vienna.   Francesca, known as Chessie, is the daughter of the late Baron Heinrich von Thyssen-Bornemisza and his third wife, Scots aristocrat Fiona Campbell-Walker.

The marriage did not receive family approbation.  None of Archduke Otto's four brothers attended the wedding citing illness or unable to attend. Nor did their children.    Forty-three members of the Habsburg family sent written complaints to Otto about the marriage as all considered Francesca to not be of equal rank.  The dissent may also have had something to do with her much married and very rich father  -- and Chessie's pre-marriage behavior as a "social powerhouse" in London.

In a 2000 interview with W Magazine, Francesca said: "In the wild days, I used to dress outrageously, because that's what everybody did in London, and one went dancing as much as one possibly could.  But I didn't feel comfortable about certain things that I did. I didn't really have a sense of purpose, and I didn't have a sense of who I was at all.  Now I think I've more or less found what I'm comfortable with."   She was raised as an Anglican, but "inspired" by her meetings with the Dalai Lama, Francesca converted to Roman Catholicism before she even met Karl.

They were introduced by a mutual friend.  At the time, Karl offered Francesca a ride from Salzburg to Croatia, where she planned to organize an art conservation conference.  Two years earlier, she had ARCH - Art Restoration for Cultural Heritage.  Archduke Karl was traveling to Croatia to see the war zones.  He was a member of the Pan-European movement, headed by his father.

The couple had three children: Archduchess Eleonore (1994), Archduke Ferdinand (1997), and Archduchess Gloria (1999) before separating after ten years of marriage.   The separation was amicable.

"The problem is that when you are married you judge each other," she says. "But when you are not living together you have no right to do that, and you get on much better," Francesca said in a 2006 interview in The Telegraph.

Three years later, in an interview with the Independent, she said: "For those who know, I'm still throwing great parties. I get really offended when people say I've grown up. I did marry into one of the most conservative families ever and to this day I have never done anything that has upset them and in 15 years of marriage that is pretty good going – apart from the fact that I live separately from my husband. What I have done is manage to have a family; I have three really great kids and have managed to integrate into my husband's life, and I am very lucky in that respect."

"I am still that same person as I was in the Eighties. I haven't changed at all. Not one bit."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Stockholm

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on an official visit to Sweden and Norway.

Earlier today, the couple had lunch at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, where they met King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia and Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel.  After the lunch,  the Crown Princess and Prince Daniel and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge emerged from the palace for a short walk to Stortoget, the square in Gamla Stan (Old Town) to visit the Nobel Museum.

A friend of mine, Sofia Svanholm, was in the crowd, having waited 2.5 hours in the bitter cold weather, where she took these photos.

Sofia is the copyright holder.  These photos cannot be reproduced or posted elsewhere without her permission.  Thanks Sofia for allowing me to use your photos!

all photos @Sofia Svanholm

Monday, January 29, 2018

Still Christmas

The Duke and Duchess of Aosta with the Duke's children and grandchildren

I was surprised to receive a Christmas card from HM Margareta and HRH Prince Radu for 2017 so soon after King Michael's death in early December.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

BULLETIN: Royal House in talks to stay at Elisabeta Palace

@Marlene A Eilers Koenig

"The Romanian Royal House is having “promising talks” with the Government to find provisional solutions about their stay at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest, Andrew Popper, the head of the Royal House, said in a TV show, quoted by

This story will be updated when more information is published. 

The deadline to move out of the Elisabeta Palace is February 5.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The marriage of the Princess Royal

January 24, 1858

The Princess Royal was married today to Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia.  The marriage was celebrated in the Chapel at St. James's Palace.  The Times reported that the wedding had all the "splendour of modern state ceremonial."

The day was largely kept as an "holyday by all classes" in London, and the crowds "that collected in the Park" were larger than expected, but the "place did not allow much outdoor pageantry."

There were transient glimpses of "the Royal Party and foreign guests" were all that the crowd could see but it was enough to "keep those thousands together for many hours."

It was a "good and hearty popular feeling," which certainly was gratifying for all.

St. James's Palace, still "the palace of diplomacy and ceremonial"  has undergone renovation for the wedding, but St. James's is not" as much a residence but a tradition."

Although the "morning was raw and cold"  the crowd began to gather very early and with the "exception of the avenue reserved for the passage of the Royal carriages, " the space was completely filled with well-wishers.

As the clock approached noon, the "concourse of spectators was immense."

The bridal procession of 20 carriages, escorted by the Life Guards, left Buckingham Palace just before noon.  The first to leave the Palaces were the coaches carrying the Princess of Prussia, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Princes Friedrich Carl, Friedrich Albrecht, and Adalbert of Prussia, the Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, the Duke of Brabant and the Count of Flanders and their suites.

After a "short interval," the bridegroom followed in a State Carriage drawn by a black horse and escorted by the Life Guards.   He received a "most enthusiastic: welcome from the crowds.

The remaining coaches were occupied by Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort, the Princess Royal, and other members of the Royal Family.  The Queen and the bride rode together in a carriage "drawn by cream-colored horses"  and the "cheers which greeted their appearance were vehement and prolonged."

At St. James's Palace, the Royal party "alighted under a covered way erected at the private entrance from the garden."  The floral decorations were "marked by exquisite taste."

The Queen was escorted to the Royal Closet, where the walls are covered "with rich embossments in white and gold."   From the Royal Closet, the Princess Royal, accompanied by the Prince Consort and the King of the Belgians, to the Retiring Room.

The Queen's Procession began in the Throne Room, shortly after 12, "the sound of trumpets advancing from the inner apartments", heralding the arrival of the queen.

The Bridegroom's procession followed, again to the sounds of trumpets.   And then it was time for the bride, who "looked pale," but perfectly composed.

The Times' correspondent noted that "in these ceremonies, we believe the dress of the Bride ranks only next in importance to the celebration of the service." 

The Princess Royal's gown "was so thoroughly in good taste that it is difficult to remark anything, save that it is exquisitely becoming, beautiful, and white.

The wedding gown was made by Mrs. Darvill and designed by Miss Janet Fife and  "composed of a rich robe of white moire antique, ornamented with three flounces of Honiton lace."

The lace's design included "bouquets in open work of the rose, shamrock, and thistle."   At the top of each flounce on the front of the dress are "wreaths of orange and myrtle blossoms "-- the myrtle is the bridal flower in Germany.

The bridesmaids, all the "personal friends of the bride, carried her "rich train," were dressed in a "gloss of satin and glimmer of pearls."   Their gowns were made from a design from the "illustrious bride."
the bridesmaids

As the Princess Royal made her way toward the aisle, she stopped to make a "deep reverence to her mother," although she was nervous and her face flushed with crimson,"  She turned and rendered the "same homage to the Prince of Prussia."

The bride and groom took their places at the altar, with their "illustrious relatives" standing behind them in a "group of unequaled brilliancy."

Whom God has joined together let no Man put asunder.

The couple, kneeling with all the bridesmaids, received a blessing from the Bishop of London.  The ceremony ended with Handel's Hallelujah Chorus.  The newlyweds processed out of the chapel to Mendelssohn's Wedding March.

The new bride, "giving vent to her evidently pent-up feelings, turned and flung herself upon her mother's bosom with a suddenness and a depth of feeling that thrilled every heart."

One can wonder how the young Victoria felt, knowing at age 17, she was leaving her home forever and traveling to begin a new life with her husband in a new country.

Queen Victoria tried to "conceal her emotion," but found it impossible to do so. 

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm tried to comfort his new wife, but she pulled away, "tears now plainly stealing down her cheeks," as she threw herself into the arms of her father,   The bridegroom was embraced by his mother in a "manner that evinced all that only a mother's love can show."

But the most affectionate greeting was between the bridegroom and his father, the latter "overpowered with emotion.   There were also embraces between the Queen and the Prince Consort and the Prince and Princess of Prussia.  The Princess Royal regained her composure, only to lose it again when she was embraced by her younger siblings.

The procession proceeded to the Throne Room where the register was signed.

The Queen and the Prince Consort, the Prince and Princess Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, with members of the Royal Family,  the foreign royal guests, returned to Buckingham Palace for the wedding breakfast.
The bride's three sisters.  Only the youngest sister, Princess Beatrice,  was not at the wedding. She was nine months old at the time.

The guests at the reception included the Queen and the Prince Consort, the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, Prince Arthur, Prince Leopold, Princess Alice, Princess Helena, Princess Louise, the Duchess of Kent, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the Duke of Cambridge, the King of the Belgians, the Duke of Brabant, the Count of Flanders, Prince and Princess Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, the Prince and Princess of Prussia, Prince Friedrich Carl of Prussia, Prince Friedrich Albrecht of Prussia, Prince Adalbert of Prussia, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Duchess of Orleans, the Count of Paris, the Duke of Chartres,  Princess de Salerno, the Duke and Duchess of Aumale, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenbach and the Countess of Dornburg, the Prince of Leiningen, Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Prince Julius of Holstein-Glücksburg.

At 5:25 p.m., the bride and groom left Buckingham Palace in a state carriage, escorted by the Life Guards, for the Great Western Railway at Paddington.  The newlyweds traveled to Windsor Castle for their wedding night.

In the evening at Buckingham Palace, the Queen gave a State Concert in honor of the wedding. 

Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar was the first cousin of the Princess of Prussia (nee Princess Augusta of Saxe-Weimar), and the nephew of the late Queen Adelaide, consort of Wilhelm IV.  He was born at Bushy Heath in 1823 and served in the British military.  In 1851, he married Lady Augusta Gordon-Lennox, daughter of the 6th Duke of Richmond.  She was created Countess of Dornburg the day before her wedding by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, although she would later be styled as Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar.   Her youngest sister, Lady Cecilia, was one of the Princess Royal's bridesmaids.

The Prince of Leiningen was Victoria's nephew, the eldest son of her late half-brother, Carl.   Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg was the Queen's half-nephew, the third son of her older half-sister, Princess Feodora, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Prince Julius of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg was the eighth of ten children of Duke Wilhelm of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and Princess Louise of Hesse-Cassel, who was a first cousin of the Duchess of Cambridge.  The Duchess' niece, Princess Louise of Hesse-Cassel, was married to Prince Julius's older brother, Prince Christian, heir to the Danish throne since 1852.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

No real precedent for a peerage

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I have lost count of the number of questions, tweets, and comments about the possibility that Jack Christopher Stamp Brooksbank will receive a peerage when he marries Princess Eugenie of York later this year.

He will not receive a peerage.  There is no real precedent for Mr. Brooksbank to receive a peerage on his wedding day.

The only male spouse to receive a peerage on his marriage to a British princess was Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten (né HRH Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.)  George VI created Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich with the style of Royal Highness on November 19, 1947, one day before Philip married Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive to the British throne.

The next British princess to marry was Princess Margaret, who wed Mr. Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6, 1960.   Tony entered Westminster Abbey as a Mister ... and came out of the Abbey as a Mister.  He did not receive a peerage when he married Princess Margaret.   The princess did not use her husband's surname.  She remained styled as HRH The Princess Margaret and not HRH The Princess Margaret, Mrs. Armstrong-Jones.

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It was not until October 3, 1961, that Antony Armstrong-Jones was created Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley of Nymans.  One of the reasons that he chose to accept the peerage was "for the sake of his son," according to Anne de Courcy, the author of Snowdon, a biography of the late earl.  Although his child was unlikely to succeed to the throne, the new earl believed that "if it were a boy, it was then close in line to the throne -- and would it have done to have a former Mr. Jones as king?"

Princess Margaret gave birth to a son, David (named for the Queen Mother's favorite brother, the Hon. David Bowes-Lyon, who had died a few months earlier), who was styled as Viscount Linley.   The Princess's title also changed: HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.

Some years later, Princess Margaret told biographer Christopher Warwick that she had chosen to not use her married name as a part of her title because "I didn't want people to think I was a snob, taking a double-barrelled name."

After the Queen's first cousin, HRH Princess Alexandra married the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, younger son of the Earl of Airlie in April 1963, the Queen approached Alexandra and Angus with the offer of a peerage.   With a bit of humor, the Evening Standard offered Lord Ben Nevis or Count Killiecrankie as peerages for Angus, the son of a Scots peer.

Alexandra and Angus were adamant.  No peerage.  "I don't see why I should get a peerage just because I've married a Princess," the Hon. Angus Ogilvy was quoted in a profile of Royal Consorts by Anthony Holden in the Sunday Express (August 7, 1983.)

One can only assume how Alexandra's mother, Princess Marina, reacted to the decision to decline a peerage.  She had "contemplated" Angus' position after his marriage to her daughter.  Would he receive a dukedom like her cousin Prince Philip or an earldom that had been bestowed on Princess Margaret's husband?   If declining a peerage was bad enough, imagine Marina's reaction to Alexandra's decision to be styled as HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Mrs. Ogilvy.   Alexandra was the first to use Mrs. as a part of her title.  Princess Anne was known as HRH The Princess Anne, Mrs. Mark Phillips until she was created, Princess Royal.

The Queen bestowed the KCVO (Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order) on Angus on December 31, 1988.  His style changed to the Hon. Sir Angus Ogilvy, KCVO, and Princess Alexandra's style became HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy.

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In a pre-wedding interview in November 1973, Mark Phillips stated that he was not offered a peerage. There had been numerous press reports that he would receive an earldom.  

Princess Anne, named Princess Royal in 1988, expected that her children would need to find their own way in the world and their careers could be hindered by a peerage or a courtesy title.  [In fairness, Princess Margaret's son, David, parlayed his courtesy title into a successful design career.]

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In a 1988 profile by the Daily Express' Compton Miller, Angus Ogilvy acknowledged that he regretted his decision to decline the offer of a peerage.

Angus told a friend: "I should have accepted the Queen's offer of a peerage.  My not doing so created an unfortunate precedent which Mark Phillips used when he married Princess Anne 10 years later.

"It's clearly absurd that the Queen's eldest grandchildren, Peter and Zara Phillips, have no title, while, for instance, the Duke of York's children will have."

The Duke of York has two daughters, HRH Princess Beatrice, and HRH Princess Eugenie.  His children are royal because of George V's 1917 Letters Patent.  Children of the Sovereign and grandchildren of the Sovereign in the MALE line are HRH and Princes and Princesses of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  The Letters Patent included the HRH and the title Prince for the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales.  Several months before the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince the Queen issued a new Letters Patent that gave the HRH and the title Prince or Princess to all the children of the Duke of Cambridge.

This Letters Patent was in response to the new Succession law allowing for the eldest child, regardless of sex, as the heir apparent.  If the Duke and Duchess's first child had been a girl, she would have been styled as the daughter of a Duke.  Lady Charlotte Windsor and her younger brother, Prince George would have had the royal title.

Digressing here.  Back to Princess Eugenie.    She is not going to renounce her own title and Jack Brooksbank will not be given a peerage.   She does not have to use his surname as a part of her title.  She can remain HRH Princess Eugenie without adding Mrs. Brooksbank.

The York Princesses do not have official royal duties.  They have their own charities and patronages, but their engagements are not included in the Court Circular or in the charity database on the British Monarchy's official website.  Beatrice and Eugenie are the only two adult royals who do not have their own profiles on the website.  They are included in their father's profile.

The Duke of York recently offered the final word on titles: “It is a complete fabrication to suggest I have asked for any future husbands of the Princesses to have titles."

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Putting the Christmas cards away

here is a selection of the Christmas and thank you cards I received for 2017

The exterior of the thank you card from Lord and Lady Max Percy.  Lady Max was born HSH Princess Nora of Oettingen-Oettingen