Thursday, August 30, 2018

True Royalty TV --- For royal watchers!

Yes, Virginia, there is an app for that ... that being a TV channel that shows programs about British royalty.    A royalty channel ... yes, you read that right -- a channel that shows programs on royalty ... modern and historical. 

The channel is called True Royalty and it is available to view in the US, Canada, the UK,  Ireland. Australia and New Zealand.

The Telegraph described True Royalty as the "Netflix for Royal Watchers."

True Royalty was launched by Nick Bullen, a British producer, whose program "The Queen's 90th birthday Celebration," earned him a BAFTA.  He also produced "Meghan Markle: An American Princess" for Fox.

Bullen, Gregor Angus and Edward Mason have formed ABM, the company that is running True Royalty.

The majority of the programs are BBC and ITV curated programs on the British monarchy.  At the time of the launch in June,  True Royalty had acquired about 150 hours of programming.    Bullen told reporters that he hoped to have more than 400 to 500 hours of programming by the end of 2018, by commissioning new works and, perhaps, signing a deal with BBC Worldwide to access their vault of royal programs.

In a statement at the time of launch, Bullen said: “From pharaohs to medieval kings to Meghan Markle, we take you across royal stories from across the world. I was thinking, wouldn’t it be great to have royal content at your fingertips whenever you wanted it?”

The channel commissioned its first original program,  Meghan and Harry: the First 100 Days, which premiered on August 24.

If this channel takes off, perhaps Bullen and his investors can also inquire about out royal-themed programs from North America and Australasia networks. 

True Royalty is a subscription-based venture, similar to Acorn or Brit Box, both of which show British programming.  (Acorn also has Australian programs).

I am rather old-fashioned about how I watch TV.   I have cable.  I like sitting on my couch with a remote.  True Royalty can be cast from or the True Royalty app to your TV.   (I do not have data on my smartphone -- and just use the phone for calls and texts -- and have no idea what casting means, but I doubt my 11-year old Sony Bravia  is capable of such things.)

For my appy readers, you can download the app and access ... but not sure why you would want to watch a TV program on a teeny weeny screen.    You can also watch the channel on any computer  (

True Royalty is not currently available on Roku players (I have a Roku stick for my TV) or Amazon Firestick, although this may happen in the future. 

(Acorn is the only subscription-based channel I have on my Roku).

True Royalty offers a 7 day free trial.   The cost for Americans is $5.99 a month or $59.99 per year. 

I have asked my Twitter followers if any have signed up for the channel.  So far, no one has.  One follower said it is not available in Sweden.  Another said she hopes it is available in Canada.  Several had not heard of it.  (All the comments come from my royal followers, not my Nationals followers, just to clarify.)   If any of my readers are subscribers or have subscribed, please leave a comment. 

As I do not subscribe to the channel, I cannot access the list of programs currently available on True Royalty.   

This article will be updated if I receive more information about what is available on the channel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The marriage of Crown Prince Harald & Sonja Haraldsen August 29, 1968

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty ImagesEmbed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

King Harald V and Queen Sonja Celebrate their 50th anniversary today.

all five photos @Heiko Junge, NTB scanpix

The couple celebrated their Golden anniversary with a Service of Thanksgiving.  The King and Queen were driven to the church in the same Lincoln Continental they use on their wedding day.

They were joined by their children, Crown Prince Haakon, with Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and Princess Martha Louise, and their grandchildren,  Princess Ingrid Alexandra, Prince Sverre Magnus,  Maud, Leah and Emma Behn.  The King's sister, Princess Astrid and her family were also present.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Princess Dorothea to marry

Embed from Getty Images

August 27, 1958

Princess Dorothea of Hesse, a niece of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is engaged to marry Prince Friedrich of Windisch-Graetz, according to a Reuters dispatch.

Earlier this year,  Princess Dorothea, 24, worked in a London antique shop.  She is the second of five children of the late Prince Christoph of Hesse, who was killed in an air crash during the second world war in 1943 and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, the youngest of Prince Philip's four older sisters.

Prince Friedrich of Windisch-Graetz, who is 41 years old, is the fourth and youngest child of Hugo, Prince of Windisch-Graetz, and Princess Leontine of Fürstenberg.

No date for the wedding has been announced.

Bulgaria in crisis as Boris is reported shot

Embed from Getty Images 

August 27, 1943

King Boris of Bulgaria has been "seriously wounded" last Tuesday evening after his return to Adolf Hitler's field headquarters according to a "usually reliable Balkan source" received by the New York Times tonight.

Embed from Getty Images 

The report states that the king received three bullet wounds in his abdomen as he was getting into his automobile at a "small station outside the capital," where his special train had returned from Germany.

Unconfirmed reports say that it was a "Pro-Russian police inspector" who was the assailant.   The King's condition has been described as "desperate."  His wife, Queen Giovanna is at his bedside, having traveled from Plovdiv, where they had been staying since anti-Government riots broke out in Sofia earlier this year.

Bulgarians have been told that the king is ill "without further explanation."   This has led to further demonstrations against the Philoff government.  Sofia remains under a curfew, with military police in control, according to a dispatch from Budapest.

Last night, Bulgarian premier Bodgdan Philoff called a special Cabinet meeting to discuss the "internal situation that could arise" if King Boris dies.

A tentative regency committee that includes the Prime Minster, the War Minister and a diplomat from abroad has been formed with the Queen to govern Bulgaria until 6-year-old Prince Simeon, the Prince of Tirnovo, reaches his majority

A Luxembourg bride for Crown Prince Rupprecht

August 27, 1918
Embed from Getty Images
Cupid has aimed his arrow at "war-worn veteran" Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, who, according to the New York Times, "amid the preoccupation of a series of victorious retreats"has become engaged to Princess Antonia of Luxembourg.

Antonia is a sister of Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide of Luxembourg.

Despite the disparity in their age -- Rupprecht is 49 and Antonia 19 -- the marriage will be a "happy one."

Crown Prince Rupprecht is far better off than his "distinguished rival" Crown Prince Wilhelm, eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II.  He has never displayed "an inclination of Wilhelm's habit of stealing clocks and silverware" from the homes where he is quartered.

Princess Antonia will certainly find a "well-furnished" home in Bavaria, as Rupprecht's throne is seen as "more secure" than Wilhelm's, when the "German people have the leisure to sit down and figure out whether the war was worth what it cost."

Crown Prince Rupprecht's first wife,  Duchess Marie Gabrielle in Bavaria, died in 1912. They had five children, although only one son, Prince Albrecht, 13, is alive.

Princess Antonia is a first cousin of the late Princess Marie Gabrielle, as their mothers were sisters.

Germany has occupied Luxembourg since August 2, 1914, and "German intrigue" has done its best to have Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide marry  a German prince, and "facilitate the inclusion of her realm into the German Empire."

Marie Adelaide has consistently refused Germany's requests regarding her marriage.  Now the third sister, Antonia, has been selected as the "sacrifice."

A marriage between a princess of Luxembourg and the future King of Bavaria can only help Germany's "work at the peace conference.  German kings are being selected for new thrones in Lithuania and Poland, and if a "good German bridegroom could be admitted to a share of the throne of Luxembourg he might be used as a counterweight" to the wishes of the Luxembourg people who "want the war to restore their independence.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Another QVD coming

Embed from Getty Images

Kata Hicks announced earlier today on her Instagram account that she and her husband, Ashley Hicks, are expecting a second child.  The baby, believed to be a second boy, will be born before their first son, Caspian, celebrates his first birthday on January 21, 2019.
Ashley is the second of three children of the late designer, David Hicks and his wife, Lady Pamela Mountbatten, younger daughter of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and the Hon. Edwina Ashley.

Ashley Hicks, a designer, has two daughters, Angelica and Ambrosia, from his first marriage Allegra Tondato.

Embed from Getty Images 

Ashley and Kata live with their son in London and Oxfordshire.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Hard work helps you lose weight says Prince Eitel Friedrich

Embed from Getty Images 

August 16, 1908

Prince Eitel Friedrich, the second son of the German Emperor, has "decided that hard work, and plenty of it," is the best cure for his obesity problem, reports the New York Times.

At his summer home, Schloss Ingenheim, near Charlottenburg in Berlin,  the prince "engages from morning til night in the most strenuous labor."

He "applies himself to gardening, tree-felling, cutting hedges, sawing wood, carpentry, and the building of potting sheds."   The estate's gardeners and other workmen on the fair-sized natural park on the banks of the Havel," find they have little leisure time, while Prince Eitel Friedrich is in residence.  He expects them to put in a full day of work every day of the week.

During the past week, the Prince has taken a "leading part" in the construction of a new riding school.  On one occasion, during the "great heat," he was chastised by his wife, Princess Sophie Charlotte, for "working so hard.

"Oh, this kind of work is good for my figure," he responded.  He continued to work as if he were a "paid laborer."

When he is not working on the estate,  the Prince and Princess enjoy long horseback rides, leaving the castle before 7 a.m.  They prefer to ride without a groom, and usually take a "light lunch" with them, which they eat in the forest.

The couple returned to the castle just in time to change for dinner. 

Other times, they drive together "in a dog-cart with a tandem team and a picnic in the woods."  The princess usually brings her sketchbook with her.  But even after their return to the castle, Prince Eitel Friedrich likes to apply himself to several hours of manual labor at the castle.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Note to the Markles -- just shut up, please

Embed from Getty Images 

Since the announcement of the engagement of Prince Henry of Wales to Miss Meghan Markle last November,  the British media, largely the tabloids, led by the we-do-not-believe-in-facts-but-we-pay-well Daily Mail, have feasted on the carcasses of comments spewed by the Duchess of Sussex's much older half-siblings,  Samantha and Thomas, and, more recently, by the non-stop whining by daddy dearest.

We do not know the entire story.  We -- meaning the general public  -- do not need to know about the apparent toxic relationship that the Duchess has with her half-siblings and her father.  There is no doubt that the Daily Fail and other tabloids waved big checks in front of dad to pose for photos and spill his guts for the entire world to see.

There is no doubt that Meghan's relationship with her father has been difficult for some time, long before the engagement was announced,  perhaps even before she met Harry.

That blowhard Piers Morgan stated this morning that Meghan needs to see her father before he dies.  Yo, Piers.  FYI.  This is not your fight.  Meghan's relationship with her father is  NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.  Let me repeat this:  Meghan's relationship with her father is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

Nor is it ours.

The tabloids continue to publish every ounce of excrement that comes out of the mouths of the Markles.  It has got to stop.  I realize that the Mail, for one, does not understand what integrity means, especially journalistic integrity. Never too late to learn.

Did these "reporters" skip the class on journalistic ethics?  What about sticking to reporting the news?   A lot is happening in the United Kingdom right now, politically, socially, and economically.  Boring, I know ... but real news.

I cannot imagine the pain that Meghan must feel when she wakes up in the morning to the reports of yet another Daddy exclusive.  She can confide in her family, call her mom,  get a snuggle from her husband, or a wet nose kiss from Guy, but nothing will totally assuage the pain or anxiety of what will the next day bring from the Markles.

It is time -- it was time months ago, actually -- for the tabloids to stop being the Markles' mouthpieces.  Do not give them money.  Do not offer them an opportunity to give what they perceive is their side of the story.

There is no doubt in my mind that racism is playing role in this tabloid's pathetic saga.  Would they have run similar stories about Cressida Bonas, whose parents have seven marriages between them?   Cressida has half and step-siblings.   But -- gasp -- Cressida's mother, Lady Mary-Gaye is the daughter of the 6th Earl of Howe.

No, they would not have run similar stories.   Cressida is an English rose, a granddaughter of an earl, unlike the Duchess of Sussex, who happens to be a bi-racial American.  The tabloids cannot get over the fact that Prince Harry's kids will probably have brown eyes, rather than the usual blue.  TDB.

Meghan Markle chose to accept Harry's proposal because she loves him.  She knew from the moment she said yes that her life would change.  A change that includes far more than learning protocol, the history of your new home, how the monarchy works, precedence, and making sure you have weights sewed into the hems of your dresses and skirts.

It came as no surprise that after the wedding it was announced that Meghan would be spending time during the rest of the year to learn more about the monarchy, the  Commonwealth, traditions, expectations, and so on.  Princess classes.  One of those classes was taught by the Queen when Meghan accompanied her on an official visit to Chester.  I think Meghan aced that class.

Dad tends to focus on himself  ..what I did do for Meghan?   Everything Meghan has is thanks to me.  Er. No.  Meghan certainly used family connections for early auditions -- that is not unusual in the business -- but what she has achieved - from her university degree to her co-starring role on Suits is due to her own hard work and initiative.   Yes, dad did pay the tuition for a private school, but Meghan, not dad, got the grades and did the work.  It was an 11-year-old Meghan -- let me repeat this --- Meghan was 11 years old -- when she discussed the sexist attitude of a dishwashing liquid and she wrote a letter to the company --- and Proctor & Gamble changed the commercial.

Let me repeat this again.  It was 11-year-old Meghan Markle's persuasive letter that affected change.  Not dad, although her parents were presumably very proud of her achievement.

It is time for the tabloids to stop writing about the toxicity that exists in the Markle family.  Samantha's jealous rants (she is estranged from her children ... hmmm, wonder why) and dad's speed dial remarks to British tabloids are all poison.  It is not the job of a NEWSpaper to publish this drivel.   None of these reporters could get jobs in real newspapers.  Hey, I have an idea -- send all of them to Afghanistan to cover what is happening there.  They probably could not hack it -- even though they are all hacks.

The Duchess of Sussex is not the first royal, certainly not the first person in the world, to not have a close relationship with a parent.  It does happen.

The Daily Fail and others have to stop providing coverage to the Markles.  Their hot air causes pain, not just to Meghan and Harry, but also to others who suffer from toxic family relationships. 

Earlier today, Sky News royal reporter Rhiannon Mills wrote a piece that is getting a lot of comments.   I am disappointed by her comments.

"But, what Thomas Markle gives us is a unique insight into the girl he watched grow up, and as someone who reports on her, I want to know more about Meghan; and that's not easy when the royal press pack is kept at a distance."

Insight?  Is that what you call Thomas's comments about not knowing her address or that Harry hung up on him?   No, Rhiannon, that's not insight.  Thomas is not providing insight on his younger daughter.  He is screaming for attention and playing the victim card.

He changes his story more often than I change cat food brands.   His victim card expired ages ago.

There is no doubt that the British media, especially the royal reporters, want to hear from Meghan. We all do.  She is an intelligent, inspiring woman.  That is not going to happen anytime soon.  Her first patronages have not been announced.  She is still learning the ropes.  She has a royal baptism-by-fire tour upcoming in the fall.   She is learning to live in a new country, where she cannot leave her home with a personal protector officer.

She has yet to become a permanent resident of the country.  Meghan applied for the fiancee visa before the wedding.  Now married, she must apply for a marriage visa, which will be good for 2.5 years.  Only after 2 and half years of marriage, can the Duchess of Sussex apply for permanent residency.  Meghan will be using her U.S. passport for at least the next five years until she can begin the process toward UK citizenship.

(No her mom is not moving to the United Kingdom.  Apart from the usual tourist visas, Dora is not eligible for any visas that would allow her to live full-time in the United Kingdom.  She can certainly fly over and spend a few months each year with her daughter, but she cannot move to the country.)

Thomas's words are not insight, but rather are streams of invective.  He is encouraged to continue the abusive content because the tabloids provide the opportunity.  He is not doing himself or his family any favors.   He's not hurting the monarchy, but he is causing great pain to a lovely newly married couple.

How to end this?   I would not recommend a meeting between father and daughter anytime soon.  Thomas would be wired and Piers Morgan would be hiding in the bushes with his phone, tweeting out the conversation. 

The end must come from the tabloids' paymasters.  Stop the payments.  Stop the offers.  Ignore the whines, the cries, the poor-me-I-don't-know-if-Meghan-got-my-birthday-cards comments and focus on the upcoming tour, on the issues, and the opportunities for the Duke and Duchess to wave their magic wands to help others.

Stop providing the Markles with an opportunity to lie, write false stories, change stories and attack two people who will not respond.  Two people with class.  Just stop it.  It is not reporting nor is it news.

The Markles keep digging downward, which means far less of a chance of a phone call from Nottingham Cottage.  The Daily Fail, the Sun, and the Mirror have been in hell for years.

One final thing is to stop using the word protocol for everything you think goes wrong, especially with clothing or crossing one's legs.   Surely the newsrooms still have dictionaries.  Look up what the word protocol means ... you will be surprised that you misuse the word nearly every day!

and from February

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Grand Ducal family in Cabasson

Back row:  Antonius  Willms, holding his son, Zeno,  HRH Princess Marie-Gabrielle of Nassau,  HRH Prince Jean of Luxembourg (father of Marie Gabrielle)  Front row:  The Grand Duke of Luxembourg,  Grand Duke Jean and the Grand Duchess

all four photos © Cour grand-ducale / Cyril Moreau / Bestimage

The Grand Ducal family on holiday in France.   Princess Marie Gabrielle of Nassau, accompanied by her husband, Antonius Willms, and their infant son, Zeno, and her father, Prince Jean of Luxembourg, are among the guests.   A good time to introduce Zeno to his great-grandfather.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Stunning Longwood Gardens

On Friday July 27, I visited Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.   The estate was once the summer home of Pierre DuPont.  A hot day, ending with an evening thunderstorm.

I had the pepperoni pizza and the Victory Longwood Seasoms: Summer Strawberry