Friday, June 29, 2018

Dutch princess baptized in Ottawa

June 29, 1943

Princess Margriet Francisca, the infant daughter of Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard of  the Netherlands, was baptized earlier today at St. Andrew's Church in Ottawa, in the presence of her grandmother Queen Wilhelmina. The service, according to the New York Times, was conducted partly in English and partly in Dutch.

The Earl of Athlone, Governor General of Canada, represented his sister, Queen Mary, as one of the princess' godparents.  Another godparent is a woman "whose husband was shot as a hostage by the Nazis in the Netherlands.  Her name has not been made public as other members of her family remain in occupied Netherlands.''

Margriet is also the godchild of "the officers and men of the Netherlands Merchant Marine. 

The baptism was broadcast by shortwave and will be relayed to the Netherlands.

Bolshevik official denies Nicholas is dead

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June 29, 1918

In a dispatch from Amsterdam, the New York Times reports that the "rumors that the former Emperor Nicholas II has been murdered" are false.  The President of the Executive Committee at Ekaterinburg states, in a message dated June 24, that the claims are "lies designed to incite the public.:

The message was sent by telegraph from Moscow by way to Berlin to Amsterdam.

Duchess of Connaught and Princess Patricia at Cliveden

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 June 29, 1908

The Duchess of Connaught and her younger daughter, Princess Patricia spent the weekend at Cliveden as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Waldorf Astor, reports tje New York Times.   Today, Mrs. Astor gave a "brilliant garden party in aid of the Barnardo Homes.

The Bishop of Virginia presided.  The Duke of Connaught came "specially for the occasion," and both men made "sympathetic speeches" about the Barnardo movement.
Nancy Astor

Mrs. Astor is a native of Danville, Virginia.  She was born Nancy Witcher Langhorne on May 19, 1879, the exact same date as her husband.   Her first marriage to Robert Gould Shaw II ended in divorce.  In 1905, she met the American-born Waldorf Astor on board a passenger ship bound for Britain.

Their marriage took place in May 1906.  Mr. Astor's father, Viscount Astor, gave Cliveden to the couple as a wedding present.

Last August 7,  Mrs. Astor gave birth to the couple's first child, William Waldorf Astor II.  She also has a son, Robert Gould Shaw III, from her first marriage.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

It's a girl for Carl Ferdinand and Elna-Margret of Bentheim und Steinfurt

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 Hereditary Princess  Elna-Margret of Bentheim und Steinfurt, gave birth to her second child, a daughter, on June 22 at the family's home, Schloss Burgensteinfurt.

The infant princess has been named Wilhelmina Pauline Helene.  She weighed at birth 7lbs 5 ozs and is 20.5 inches tall.

The name Wilhelmina is not uncommon in the Bentheim und Steinfurt princely family.

Ludwig, the first Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt (1817) married Princess Juliane Wilhelmime of Holstein-Glücksburg.  Their son, Alexis, Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt, married Princess Wilhelmine of Solms-Braunfel.

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Hereditary Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt, Carl Ferdinand,  40, married Elna-Margret Rinn on July 21, 2007.  Their son, Prince Jonathan Alexei Victor was born at Münster on December 24, 2008.

Princess Elna-Margret told a reporter earlier this year, after her second pregnancy was announced, that conceiving a second child had been difficult.  She celebrated her 39th birthday on June 14.

"We did not want to have such a big age difference between our children." she told the German magazine, Gala.  "It felt like all of our friends were having baby after baby, but it did not work out for us.  We are really looking forward to our child."

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The original interview with Gala was on January 16, 2018.  At the time, Princess Elna-Margret said she hoped that their second child would be a girl.

Carl-Ferdinand is the eldest of four children of Prince Reinhard and Angelica Emmerman.  He is the adopted heir of his uncle, Christian, the Prince of Bentheim und Steinfurt, who will celebrate his 95th birthday in December.   Prince Christian and his late wife, Countess Sylvia von Pücker, were unable to have children of their own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Kaiser dreads a war

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June 27, 1908

It is "well known in Austrian court circles" that Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany has a "superstitious dread of war," despite an overtly bellicose manner.   The French newspaper, the Echo de Paris quotes "an anonymous member" of Emperor Franz Josef's entourage that Wilhelm's fear is based on "two old prophecies" that say he is destined to be the "last Hohenzollern ruler."

The first prophecy was said to be made by an "old monk of Tehnin," is largely unknown, but the other prophecy that found its origins in "an ancient monastery" in Mayence is known.  Both prophecies allegedly foretells the end of the Hohenzollern dynasty and the "death of the last Kaiser would be caused by a great war."

Wilhelm's wife, Empress Auguste Viktoria, shares his fears and is "eager for peace.  It is said that she is concerned for her husband and their children.

The Echo reports that the Kaiser's "certain contradictions and acts of indecision" can be attributed to this "superstitious fear of war."

and Zara and Mike name their baby

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It was announced today that Zara and Michael Tindall have named their second daughter, Lena Elizabeth.   The first name is pronounced Layna, not Leena.

From the official statement for Lena's birth.

“Mrs Michael Tindall was safely delivered of a baby girl on 18th June, at Stroud Maternity Unit. Mr Tindall was present at the birth. The weight of the baby was 9lbs 3oz.

“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, Captain Mark Phillips and Mike’s parents, Mr Philip and Mrs Linda Tindall, have been informed and are delighted with the news. The baby’s name will be confirmed in due course.

“This baby is the second child for Zara and Mike, the fourth grandchild for The Princess Royal and the seventh great-grandchild for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.”

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Lena has a four-year-old sister, Mia Grace.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Princess Stephanie of Saxe-Coburg to wed in July

Princess Stephanie of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha will marry Jan Stahl in a civil ceremony at Schloss Friedenstein in Gotha on July 5.  The wedding will take place at noon.

The marriage in Schloss Friedenstein will be the first royal wedding in Gotha for more than 200 years.  The last marriage to take place at the baroque castle was on July 31, 1817, when Princess Luise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg married Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, the great-great-great-great-grandparents of Princess Stephanie.

Duke Ernst and Princess Luise were the parents of two sons, Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria.    Albert and Victoria were first cousins as her mother,  Princess Victoire, was Duke Ernst I's sister.

HH Princess Stephanie Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is the eldest child and only daughter of HH Prince Andreas and his wife, Carin Dabelstein.  She was born at Hamburg on January 31, 1972.  She has two younger brothers,  Hereditary Prince Hubertus, who is married to American Kelly Rondesvedt, and Prince Alexander. 

Princess Stephanie and Jan Stahl, an engineer with BMW, have been a couple for several years.  This will be the first marriage for both, although Mr. Stahl has a son from a previous relationship.    He will celebrate his 50th birthday on September 1

The princess works as a muscle release therapist for horses and dogs and other animals.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Royal Ascot Day 5 The Carriages

Today was the final day of Royal Ascot for 2018.

The first carriage featured the Queen, the Duke of York, Lord Valentine Cecil and John Warren.

Lord Valentine Cecil is the 4th son of the 6th Marquess of Salisbury.

Mr. Ian and Lady Emma Balding and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hallé were in the second carriage.   Ian is a racehorse trainer and his wife is the sister of the present Earl of Huntington.

Thoroughbred racehorse trainer William Haggas and his wife, the daughter of famed jockey Lester Piggot, were joined in the third carriage, but Irish trainer Willie Mullins and his wife.

The fourth carriage included Lady Oaksey,  Lt. Colonel Sir Andrew and Lady Ford and Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah.

Lady Oaksey, Vice Patron of the Injured Jockey Fund, is the widow of Lord Oaksey, an amateur jockey and racing journalist.  Sir Andrew is the Comptroller of the Lord Chamberlain's office. Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah is a Ghana-born officer and an Equerry to the Queen.

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Royal Ascot Day 4 The Carriages

Day 4.   The Queen was accompanied by her nephew. the Earl of Snowdon, and Mr. Peter Troughton and Mr John Warren in the the first carriage.    Mr. Warren is the Queen's Racing manager.  Mr Troughton was in the carriage procession on Thursday, accompanied by his wife. Sarah, a first cousin once removed of the Queen.

The second carriage included Sir Nicholas, who was in the first carriage with the Queen on Thursday,  and Lady Bacon.   The Hon. Edward Tollemache, is the eldest son and heir to Baron Tollemache.   He is a godson of the Prince of Wales.  The Hon. Mrs. Tollemache is the former Sophie Johnstone.   From 1988 until 1990, Edward was a page of honour to the Queen.

Mr and Mrs William Wyatt, Lady Caroline Warren (wife of of John Warren) and Lt. Colonel Charles Richards, who rode in the 4th carriage on Tuesday.   Mr. Wyatt, chief executive of Caledonia Investments, is the head of the Newmarket Racing course.

The fourth carriage included Lt. Colonel and Mrs. James Gaselee and Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Henderson.   James is the Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry.  His sister. Sarah, was one of the bridesmaids at the wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.

Mrs. Gaselee was born Sophie Leschalles.  She is a great-granddaughter of Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon, an elder sister of the late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, who married the 16th Baron Elphinstone.  She is a third cousin of the Duke of Cambridge (or a first cousin twice removed of the Queen.)

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Helen divorces Carol

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June 21, 1928

The tumultuous marriage between Prince Carol and Princess Helen of Greece ended today in divorce in Bucharest, reports the New York Times.

The divorce was pronounced in a "small, sombre, unadorned court room."  Neither the former heir to the Romanian throne nor his estranged wife were present for the pronouncement.  There were no witnesses to offer a "good word for the absent Prince," apart from his lawyer, "who read a brief defending the disinherited Prince."

The indictment against Prince Carol in the name of Princess Helen, stressed in "vigorous terms" the 'violation' of the "sanctity and dignity of his marriage" to Helen in 1921.   The princess' lawyer also charged Carol with abandoning his young son, King Michael.

After the arguments were heard,  the Court's decree was announced, granting an "absolute divorce" for Princess Helen.''

Carol has five days to appeal, but his lawyers noted that the procedure would be "futile."

The Court also ruled that the custody of the young King Michael had already been established as the "result of his kingly status" and court not be altered.

Princess Helen filed the petition to divorce two weeks ago following Carol's alleged plot to regain the throne while he was in England.

She was gracious, rather than joyful, about the end of her marriage.

Speaking about her former husband, Princess Helen said: "I hope that now he will begin a better life and will find the happiness that he apparently failed to find with me. I can forgive , but never forget the wrong he did to me and my child."

Helen is now free to marry again, but she said she will "devote her life to her adopted country and to making a good king out of her small son, Michael."

Royal Ascot Day 3 the carriages

Day 3 for Ascot.

The Queen was in the first carriage with the Duke of York, Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and Sir Nicholas Bacon.   Salman is the Executive Director for banking operations at the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Sir Nicholas Bacon is the Premier Baronet of England.  In the late 1960s, he served as a page of honour to Queen Elizabeth II.

The second carriage included The Princess Royal and her husband, Sir Timohty Laurence, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Earl and Countess of Snowdon were in the third carriage and in the fourth carriage were Mr. and Mrs. Peter Troughton and Sir Marcus and Lady O'Lone.   Mr. Troughton is a financier. Mrs. Troughton is the Lord Lieutentant of Wiltshire. She was born Sarah Rose Colemn, the eldest child of Sir Timothy Coleman and Lady Mary Bowes-Lyon, a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth.  From 1990 to 2000,  Mrs. Troughton served as Lady-in-Waiting to the Duchess of Kent.  She was also an extra lady-in-waiting to Princess Alexandra.

 Sir Marcus is the Queen's land agent at Sandringham.  He received the Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in December 2017.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

HH Princess Elisabeth of Denmark (1935-2018)

all images  Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

HH Princess Elisabeth of Denmark has died after a long illness surrounded by her family.  She died at a rehabilitation center, Fortunen, at Lyngby.  The Princess was 83 years old.

Elisabeth Caroline-Mathilde Alexandrine Helena Olga Thyra Feodora Estrid Margrethe Désirée of Denmark was born on May 8, 1935 at Sorgenfri Palace in Copenhagen. She was the eldest of three children of TRH Hereditary Prince Knud and Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde.   She was King Christian X's first grandchildren.  Although at the time of the birth, she was not in line for the throne, her birth was "greeted with a cannon salute and the flying of flags."

Knud was the younger son of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine.  In September 1933, he married his first cousin, Princess Caroline-Mathilde of Denmark.

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Elisabeth had two younger brothers, Prince Ingolf (1940) and Prince Christian (1942-2013.)   

Prince Knud was the heir to his brother, Crown Prince Frederik, who succeeded as King Fredrerik IX in 1947.  Frederik and his wife, Princess Ingrid, were the parents of three daughters, Margrethe (1940), Benedikte (1944) and Anne-Marie (1946).   Denmark's succession law was Salic, meaning males only so it was largely assumed that Knud, who was the father of two sons, would succeed his brother.   

Certainly to Knud's disappointment, the succession law was changed to male primogeniture, which would allow for female succession.  The new law, which went into effect in 1953, was based on male primogeniture: sons before daughters, brothers before sisters. This meant that Frederik's three daughters moved into the line of succession after their father and before Uncle Knud.   As the line of succession is limited to the descendants of Christian X,  Elisabeth was 12th in line to the throne, the last eligible person.

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Knud, who died of a heart attack in 1976, never "concealed his bitterness at the change that deprived him of a throne."  There would be a great strain between Knud and his older brother and his family for some years.  This was in spite of the fact that Knud continued to receive an allowance as the Hereditary Prince.
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Princes Ingolf and Christian lost their titles and rights of succession when they married without official consent.   Both were created Counts af Rosenborg.

Princess Elisabeth never married.   She lived for many in Holte with Danish director and filmmaker Claus Hermansen,  They never married.   In an interview, the Princess once said that she had not wanted children.  After Claus' death in 1997, the Princess returned to Sorgenfri, where she lived in an apartment in one wing of the palace.  

The princess's niece, Countess Camilla af Rosenborg, was with her aunt when she died.    She said her aunt died from old age.  "She got weaker and weaker, and we've been there for her all the way, but unfortunately it was old age."

Elisabeth was "incredibly social," said Camilla.  "She always had time for us.  One of her favorite expressions was 'Let's go bananas!'"

As Elisabeth and Claus had decided they did not want children,  the princess lavished love and attention on her three nieces, the twins, Countess Camilla, Countess Josephine and their younger sister, Countess Feodora, and their families.

"After the deaths of my children's' grandparents. Elisabeth became their grandmother.  We are all very affected by her loss," said Camilla.
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Princess Elisabeth's funeral will take place at Lyngby Church on June 25.  The church is the perfect place for the funeral as the princess had been baptized and confirmed there.  She will be cremated and her remains will be buried next to Claus Hermansen, at the Sorgenfri cemetery.

Princess Elisabeth is survived by her youngest brother, Count Ingolf, her nieces, Camilla, Josephine and Feodora and their families.  

For more information on Princess Elisabeth's life and career, please click the link.

Day two - Carriages at Royal Ascot

The only members of the Royal Family who were in the carriages today were the Queen, Princess Alexandra, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.  The Princess Royal's son, Peter Phillips and his wife, Autumn, were in the second carriage with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Accompanying the Queen in the first carriage were her first cousin, Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Harry Herbert and Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt.

The Hon. Harry Herbert (1959) is the younger brother of the present Earl of Carnarvon.   Harry's sister, Lady Caroline Warren, is married to the Queen's Bloodstock and Racing Adviser.

Charles Anthony Johnston-Burt, CB, OBE, is Master of the Queen's Household.

The third carriage: Lord and Lady Vestey and the Lord and Lady de Mauley, The 3rd Baron Vetsey is Master of the Horse to the Royal Household.

The fourth carriage:  Mr. and Mrs. Michael Magnier, the Lady Susan Hussey and Lt. Colonel Charles Richards.

Mr. Magnier is Ireland's leading thoroughbred stud owner.   Lady Susan Hussey is one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting.  Anthony Charles Richards, CVO, is an Equerry to the Queen and Deputy Master of the Royal Household.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lord Ivar Mountbatten to marry James Coyle

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This is wonderful news.  Lord Ivar Mountbatten  is to marry his partner, James Coyle, an airline cabin services director, later this summer, at his home, Bridwell Park, in Devon.

The tabloids and a selection of royal websites are touting this marriage as the first same sex marriage in the Royal Family.   The papers and sites describe the 55-year-old Lord Ivar as as Queen Elizabeth's cousin.

Yes, the words Royal Family and Queen's cousin get the clicks and the attention.  But it must be stressed that Lord Ivar is not a member of the Royal Family.  He is Queen Elizabeth II's third cousin once removed, which is not that close.

Victoria - Edward - George - George -Elizabeth
Victoria - Alice - Victoria - George -David -Ivar

What these journalists and bloggers are omitting are the real family connections.  Lord Ivar's father, David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven (1919-1970), was Prince Philip's  FIRST Cousin.  Childhood playmates.   David's father, George, who was married to Countess Nada de Torby,  was Prince Philip's guardian until his death in 1938.

George had two older sisters, Alice (Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark), Louise (Queen of Sweden) and a younger, brother, Louis, known as Dickie, known as Lord Louis Mountbatten after the family relinquished their German titles (Princes and Princess of Battenberg) for a British peerage.   George's father. Prince Louis of Battenberg, a naturalized Briton, who rose to the position of First Sea Lord, was created Marquess of Milford Haven, Earl of Medina and Viscount Alderney.  His wife, Victoria, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was offered the opportunity by her first cousin, George V, to retain her own title of Princess (dropping the of Hesse and By Rhine) but she preferred to be styled by her husband's new title.  Princess Victoria, whose mother was Princess Alice, Queen Victoria's second daughter and third child, had new style and title:  Marchioness of Milford.

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Victoria, as Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven lived in a grace and favor apartment in Kensington Palace until her death in 1950.

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It is important to stress Lord Ivar's relationship to the Royal Family without insisting that he is a member of the Royal Family.

David and Philip were childhood playmates, good friends, along with David's first cousin, Alex Wernher.  Alex (1918-1942)  was the son of Sir Harold and Lady Zia Wernher (nee Countess Zia de Torby, sister of the Marchioness of Milford Haven.)   Alex was Philip's mentor and very much like a supportive older brother.  Philip was devastated when he learned that Alex had been killed in action in 1942.

David Milford Haven was Philip's best man at the latter's wedding to the the Princess Elizabeth, in November 1947.    But after Philip's marriage, the friendship between he and his first cousin dissipated as Lord Milford Haven may have blotted his copy book with his royal cousin.   The palace -- and especially Philip, may have been disappointed in the choices that David made and the hard-partying friends that he made among London's demi-monde society.

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Lord Milford Haven caught the attention of the press when he became engaged to an American, another Mrs. Simpson, who was born Romaine Dahlgren Pierce (1923-1975).  The marriage took place in Washington, D.C., in 1950.  The marriage did not last long, as Lady Milford Haven sought a divorce four years later in Mexico.

In 1958, David petitioned the High Court of Justice to have the Mexican divorce recognized as valid in the United Kingdom.  The Mexican divorce was ruled invalid and in July 1960, Lady Milford Haven filed a divorce petition in London.  A week later,  a judge granted a decree nisi to Lady Miford Haven on the grounds of Lord Milford Haven's adultery.

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In November 1960, Lord Milford Haven announced his engagement to Bermuda-born Janet Mercedes Bryce.  The only member of David's family to attend the wedding, which took place on November 17, 1960 at St. Andrew's, Frognal, was his aunt, Queen Louise of Sweden.

The new bride and groom shared a family connection.  Janet's paternal aunt Mary Mercedes Bryce married Col. Joseph Harold John Phillips.  Their younger son, Lt. Col. Harold Pedro Joseph Phillips (1909-1980) married Georgina Wernher, David Milford Haven's first cousin.

The couple had two sons:  George, the 4th Marquess of Milford (1961) and Lord Ivar Mountbatten (1963).

Lord Milford Haven died on April 14, 1970 after collapsing at Liverpool Street Station.  The Duke of Edinburgh was present for the Memorial Service, held in the Queen's Chapel, St. James's Palace, on June 23, 1970.

Lord Ivar attended Gordonstoun.  He decided to attend university in the United States and received a BA in geology from Middlebury College in Vermont.   After spending several years working as a mining expert in Venezuela,  Ivar returned to England to live.  He and his older brother had inherited Moyns Park, a stately home in Steeple Bumpstead in Essex.  The estate had been left to the brothers by Josephine Hartford Bryce, the widow of Janet's first cousin, Ivar Bryce.  Josephine was a heir to the A&P fortune and the sister of Huntington Hartford.

Ivar Bryce was a long time friend of Ian Fleming.

Lord Ivar moved into Moyns Park and planned to make it his home.  He bought his brother, George's half of the inheritance.   In 1994, Ivar married Penelope Thompson,   The guests at the wedding including Princess Margaret, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones.  Edward and Lord Ivar have been friends since childhood so it was not a surprise that Lord Ivar was named as one of Lady Louise Windsor's godparents.

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 They lived in Moyns Park for several years before deciding that they wanted to raise their family in a more quiet setting.  Moyns Park was more business than home as the house was rented out for conferences and other events.

Lord Ivar sold Moyns Park for £4 million in 1997 and purchased Bridwell Park in Uffculme, Devon, not long afterward.   The first reports of marital discord surfaced in September 2010.  They divorced a year later.

Lord and Lady Ivar are the parents of three daughters, Ella Louise Georgina (1996), Alexandra Nada Victoria (1998) and Louise Xenia Rose (2002).   The Earl of Wessex is a godfather to Ella and the Countess of Wessex is one of Alexandra's godmothers.

It was not until the fall of 2016 that Lord Ivar decided to go public about his homosexuality and that he had fallen in love with a man who attended the same yoga class as his former wife.

He spoke to the Daily Mail about coming out and acknowledging his relationship with James Coyle in a very public manner.

"Being a Mountbatten was never the problem. 'It was the generation into which I was born. When I was growing up, it was known as "the love that dare not speak its name", but what's amazing now is how far we have all come in terms of acceptance."

The two men met in Verbier in March 2015.

Lord Ivar realized he was bi-sexual when he was a teenager, but "I just did not want to go there because there would have been so much grief.

"I never thought I would get married because I didn't want to be untruthful. Penny was aware before we got married. I told her I was bisexual, that my attraction went both ways. She was understanding and I will always be grateful to her. We had a lot of fun, we have three fabulous daughters and I don't regret any stage of my life.

"Ultimately, Penny did not feel sufficiently loved and she wanted more from a husband than she could get from me. Given my sexuality, I was quite surprised she married me in the first place. It was brave. Perhaps she thought she could change me but in the end she realised she couldn't."

Last week, Lord Ivar announced that he and James will marry later this summer.
The marriage has the support of his former wife and their three daughters.  In fact, Penny joined Ivar and James for their first interview.

Penny will be giving Lord Ivar away at the ceremony.

"It was the girls' idea.  It makes me feel quite emotional. I'm really very touched"

Lord Ivar said that the marriage "has the full blessing" of their family and friends, including the Earl of Wessex. "Sophie and Edward know of our plans and are really excited for us.  Sadly they can't come to the wedding. Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they're not around, but they adore James. Everyone adores him."

Lord Ivar is a descendant of Queen Victoria,  Peter the Great and Alexander Pushkin.  Although he is closely related to the Duke of Edinburgh  -- and the Prince of Wales is his second cousin -- he is not a member of the British Royal Family.  He is the younger brother of the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven and is related to all of Europe's royal houses.  Through his maternal grandfather, Lord Ivar has Peruvian ancestry.

Ascot day one - the carriages

Lord Vestey is Master of the Horse to the Royal Household . 

Rupert Charles Ponsonby is the 7th Baron de Mauley.  He is married to Hon. Lucinda Royle, daughter of Baron Fanshawe of Richmond, a life peer.

This was the first appearance at Ascot for the newly married Duchess of Sussex.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Friedrich III is dead

June 15, 1888

German Emperor Friedrich III died peacefully earlier today at the Neues Palais in Potsdam.   This is the second time in "the short space of three months the loyal German nation have renewed their pledge of fealty, as the devoted land has darkened with the shadow of the imperial death," reports the New York Times.

Friedrich III was 56 years old.

The emperor's death took place "quietly and painless" at 11:12 a.m.  From midnight until 3 a.m., there was "no material change" in Friedrich's condition. His doctors noticed a change between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., and all of the members of the Imperial Family were summoned to the dying emperor's bedside.

Family members had said their farewells yesterday afternoon. Friedrich III had a period of consciousness, but it was brief.  Having spent nearly 24 hours with her husband, Victoria left his side at midnight for a rest, only to return four hours later and she remained with him until his last breath.

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 The news of Friedrich's death spread quickly throughout the city. The Ministry quickly assembled and Prince Bismarck made the formal announcement that Friedrich III had died and his elder son, Wilhelm II had succeeded to the throne.

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The late emperor's body will probably lie in state in the Garrison Church in Potsdam.  The body is expected to be interred in the Friedenskirche.

The official announcement of the Emperor's death was announced in the Reichszeiger, the official government newspaper.

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The new emperor, Wilhelm II, is 29 years old.  He is the eldest grandchild of Britain's Queen Victoria.

He is married to Princess Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein.  They have four sons, Princes Wilhelm, Eitel Friedrich, Adalbert and August Wilhelm.   The eldest child, six-year-old Wilhelm, has become the Crown Prince.

The new Empress expects a fifth child later this summer.

The late emperor is also survived by his widow, Victoria, the eldest child of Queen Victoria,  his younger son, Henry, who married his first cousin, Princess Irene of Hesse and by Rhine on May 24, four daughters,  Charlotte, the Hereditary Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen,  Viktoria,  Sophie and Margarete and five grandchildren, including the four sons of the new emperor and the Hereditary Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen's daughter, Princess Feodora.

Read more about Friedrich III

Prince Georg Constantin's funeral will be in Weimar

The funeral of Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach will take place on July 2 at the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Weimar.  The church is also known as the Herderkirche.

It is not yet known if the Prince will be buried in Weimar.  He and his wife, Princess Olivia, maintained a small home in Weimar.  Only last week Prince Constantin had been in Weimar to discuss plans for the 200th birthday celebrations of Duke Carl Alexander.

The late prince, heir to the de jure Grand Duke Michael of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, died in a riding accident of June 9 at Apethorpe Palace in Northamptonshire.  He was 41 years old.

Constantine's second cousin, Princess Leonie, who will provisionally take over Constantine's rights and duties, as heir, was said to be close to the late prince.   Prince Michael told reporters:  "It is very difficult for her now to not know him by her her side."    Princess Leonie, 31, and Constantin often exchanged plans for the Klassik music foundation and other Weimar cultural centers that continue to have ties with the former ruling family.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Princess Leonie named as heir

Prince Michael of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach has named his only child, Princess Leonie, as his heir following the tragic death of Prince Constantin of Saxe-Weimar in a riding accident on June 9.

Prince Constantin, who lived in England with his wife, Olvia, was 41 years old when he died.  He was the presumed heir to Michael, the de jure Grand Duke, who was his first cousin once removed.   Constantin was the only and younger child of Prince Wilhelm,  who is Michael's first cousin.

The 71-year-old head of the house of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was said to be "deeply shocked" at the news of Prince Constantin's death.  In a statement, Michael emphasized the "warm and trusting" relationship" with Prince Constantin.  This relationship had been "cruelly ended" with the younger prince's death.

However, that did not stop him from announcing earlier today that his 31-year-old daughter, Princess Leonie, will succeed him as the head of the family businesses and several Weimar cultural organizations including the Klassik-Stiftung in Weimar, the Wartburg Stiftung in Eisenach and the Wartburg Wirtschaftsbetriebe.

Succession to the headship is based on Salic law -- males only -- so it has not yet been officially confirmed if Prince Michael will make a change to the house to law to allow Princess Leonie to succeed him as the de jure Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

I find Michael's announcement a bit presumptuous as the funeral plans for Prince Constantin have not been announced.   This announcement could have waited until after Constantin's funeral and burial.

Princess Leonie is a reporter with RTL Deutschland in Berlin.  She attended Schule Schloss Salem and received a BA in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of the Arts in London.

Princess Leonie is unmarried.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach dead at 41

@Arturo Beeche

Prince Georg-Constantin of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach died in a riding accident on Saturday June 9, near Aplethorpe Palace in Northamptonshire.  He was 41 years old.

He was thrown from a horse while while riding with his friend Jean Christophe Iseux, Baron von Pfetten, a senior adviser to the Chinese government. Prince Constantin had been visiting Baron von Pfetten at his home, Apethorpe Palace.

The accident happened shortly after 8 p.m,, as emergency services were called at around 8:30 p.m. His injuries were severe and he was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the German magazine, Bunte, which first reported his death.

HH Prince Georg-Constantin Friedrich Wilhelm Johannes was born at Munich on April 14, 1977, the second and youngest child of Prince Wilhelm Ernst Emich Georg Rudolf of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and his former wife, Eva Kovarcz.

He married Briton Olivia Rachelle Page in a civil ceremony at Weimar on August 29, 2015.   The met at a concert at Hyde Park in 2011.   Constantin proposed to Olivia at Apethorpe Palace.

A close friend of Constantin, Alexander Fiske-Harrison, shared a remembrance on Facebook. 

The prince was known professionally as Constantin Sachsen-Weimar.  He was a founding partner at Sustainability Factory Ltd., based in London.  Princess Olivia was a director at the firm until April.   She is the office manager in the London office of Edmiston, "a world leader in the super yacht industry."

Georg-Constantin was the designated heir to his first cousin once removed, Michael, the Prince of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach,  the 71-year-old head of the family.  Michael has one child. Princess Leonie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, but as a female, she cannot succeed to the headship of the family.   Apart from his elderly father, there are no other male heirs in the family.

The prince is survived by his widow, Princess Olivia, along with his parents and his sister, Princess Désirée, who is married to Count Florian von und zu Hoensbroech, and his 98-year-old paterna grandmother, Princess Felicitas of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (nee Princess of Salm-Hortsmar.)

Several genealogical mistakes in the Daily Mail article.  Constantin was not Michael's nephew, but his first cousin once removed and he was not heir to the Kingdom of Saxony, but the former Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Thank you from Charlotte

A thank you for Princess Charlotte's third birthday.  This photo was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge for Charlotte's first day of school.