Thursday, December 26, 2019

More photos from Sandringham

Here are more photos from Christmas Morning at Sandringham.  These photos were taken by Ken Stone.  He has kindly allowed me to use them.  Thank you, Ken.

Princess Beatrice and her fiance, Edo Mapelli Mozzi

Lady Sarah Chatto and her son, Arthur

Viscount Linley and Samuel Chatto, first cousins

The Countess of Snowdon

The Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones and the Earl of Snowdon

all photos @Ken Stone

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Ari Behn is dead

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Ari Behn, the former husband of Princess Martha Louise of Norway, committed suicide earlier today at Lommedalen.  He was 47 years old.

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His death was confirmed by his manager, Geir Hakonsund.

“It is with great sadness in our hearts that we, the closest relatives of Ari Behn, must announce that he took his own life today. We ask for respect for our privacy in the time to come.”

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Ari Mikael Behn, a noted author and visual artist, was born on September 30, 1972 in Aarhus, Denmark.  He spent his early years in Denmark and England before his family moved to Norway when he was six years old.

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He was born with the surname Bjorshol, but changed it to Behn, his grandmother's maiden name.

The wedding took place at Nidaros  Cathedral on May 24, 2002.  They separated ed in 2016 and divorced a year later.

King Harald V and Queen Sonja released a statement regarding the death of thier former son-in-law: “It is with great sadness the Queen and I have received the message of Ari Behn’s passing. Ari has been an important part of our family for many years, and we carry warm, fond memories of him. We are grateful that we got to know him. We grieve that our grandchildren have now lost their beloved father – and have deep compassion for his parents and siblings, who have lost their beloved son and brother. We pray that Ari’s immediate family will be at ease during this painful time. ”

Martha Louise's younger brother, Crown Prince Haakon, and his wife, Crown Princess Mette Marit, also released a statement: “For us, Ari was a good friend, a dear family member and an amazing uncle, with whom we shared many of life’s small and big moments. It is with great sadness that we have received the message of his passing. We were all very fond of Ari. Our thoughts go especially to Maud, Leah, Emma, Princess Märtha Louise and Ari’s immediate family. ”

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Ari Behn and Princess Martha Louise have three daughters: Maud Angelica (2003), Leah Isadora (2005), and Emma Tallulah (2008).

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband, Prince Daniel, also issued a statement." It is with great sadness that we have received the message of Ari Behn's passing. We will remember Ari as the warm, cordial and spiritual man he was. It was a privilege to get to know Ari. Our thoughts go to his daughters and family."
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Even after his divorce,  Behn maintained a good relationship with the king and queen.  "They are my children's grandparents and I am very fond of them," he said in an interview.

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Merry Christmas from Sandringham

I must thank Karen Anvil for allowing me to use her photos here on Royal Musings.  Karen snapped the photo of Fab Four on Christmas Day 2 years ago.  That photo provided Karen and her daughter with a well-deserved financial windfall.

I met Karen on the Long Walk in May 2018 for Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle. We were both doing reports for BBC -- and much to my surprise, Karen recognized me. I was flattered, to say the least. 

Princess Beatrice and her fiance Edo Mapelli Mozzi

this is my favorite photo: Charles smiling for Karen

the handmade doll .. gorgeous

Karen and her daughter were back at Sandringham this morning, ready to take photos of the Royal Family going to and from church ... well, she did it again.  A friend of hers made a doll for Princess Charlotte and Karen was able to present Charlotte with the doll.  And she got several superb photos ... and she is letting me use them here.

The photos are Karen's copyright. No one has the right to use them without her or her rep's approval.

I am grateful for Karen's kindnesses and her friendship.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Rowan Lascelles sentenced to jail

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Rowan Nash Lascelles, 42, has been sentenced to 16 weeks in jail for a "racially aggravated crime."

Lascelles is the second child of the Hon. James Lascelles and his first wife, Frederika Duhrsson, an American. The Daily Mail has had several articles on Rowan's legal issues. He is 61st in line to the throne, not 65th. He is not an aristocrat. He is the son of a younger son of an earl. He is a commoner. His father is the second of three sons of the late George, 7th Earl of Harewood, and Marion Stein.  Rowan's uncle, David, is the present  - and 8th -- Earl of Harewood.

He is also not a royal.  Yes, Rowan is a great-great-grandson of King George V.  His great-grandmother was Princess Mary (1897-1965), King George V's only daughter, who married the 6th Earl of Harewood.  The late 7th earl was one of Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin. 

James and Frederika lived in a commune in Suffolk when their children were young.  He was a co-founder of the band,  Global Village Trucking Company.  The commune was located in a farmhouse in Suffolk owned by James and his younger brother, Jeremy, who was the band's manager.

In 2006,  Rowan was in Cambodia, when he was arrested for throwing a Russian man's laptop into a Phnom Penh lake.  He was given the nickname Mr. Lop Lop (Mr. Silly) refused to apologize for his behavior.  His passport was briefly confiscated by the local police.

According to his Linkedin profile, worked for the Footsbarn Theatre company, an international touring company, based in France since the 1990s, when he and his sister, Sophie, and their mother, Fredericka, who made masks for the company.  It appears that Sophie met her future husband, Tim Pearce, through the company, as he also worked for Footsbarn.   Since 1991, Fredericka has been married to Paddy Hayter. the company's artistic director.   Footsbarn began in Cornwall but is now based in Maillet, France.  

[The couple met at a festival in 1980.  Fredericka left her first husband to join Footsbarn.]

In 2016,  he was with Footsbarn, but it appears that he is no longer with the traveling company.  His father,  James, has two more children by Lori Shadow, a Native American, and is now married to a Nigerian actress, Joy Elias-Rilwan.   They live in London.  James Lascelles is still a musician.  In 2008, the Prince of Wales hired James and his group to provide music at an event at Highgrove.

Rowan has been living in a homeless shelter named for his great-great-grandfather.

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The Duke of Edinburgh leaves the hospital

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HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was discharged from the King Edward VII hospital in London earlier today and was driven back to Sandringham.

The 98-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II spent for four nights in the private hospital for a pre-existing condition.

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It is about the continuity of succession!

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This photo was released yesterday by Buckingham Palace in advance of Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas speech tomorrow (which was taped at Windsor Castle).

The photo includes four photographs:  George VI,  the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall,  the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, and the Duke of Edinburgh.

This display caused outrage, indeed, frothing from the mouths and need to change their Depends, from Meghan stans.  A stan is an obsessed fan, someone who is crazed out of their mind.  In other words, they are clueless and refused to understand anything about the monarchy.   These pants wetting stans were oozing hate about the Queen saying she snubbed the Sussexes because their photo was not included  in the display.    

A photo of my favorite royal, Princess Alexandra, is not included.  I mean, really, no photo of Alexandra, who is the Queen's favorite first cousin, as well as the first cousin, once removed, of the Duke of Edinburgh.

There is a huge difference between Meghan stans and fans of the Duchess of Sussex,  a large group of the latter have been dubbed the Sussex Squad, a group that has taken on charitable projects in honor of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  They are also vocal in their defense against the numerous racist press coverage of the Duchess.

Stans, of course, are another matter.  They are as bad as those who hate Meghan. This latter group is largely pro-Trump (YUCK) or pro-Tory, white, older women who spew hated, bile, bigotry and racism, on a daily basis -- and the main subject of their bile is one who does not deserve this hatred: the very lovely Duchess of Sussex.

Here is last year's released photo.  Notice again, the product placement - the product being the monarchy and the placement of the photos.

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From 2016.    Notice a pattern.

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From 2008 - again the photos are of those closest to the throne.

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From 2004     

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And from the Queen's first televised Christmas speech

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Seriously, if you do not get it now ... there are a lot clueless people on Twitter.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Duchess of Manchester leaves bracelet to queen

December 20, 1909

The late Consuelo, Duchess of Manchester's will was filed for probate today, reports the New York Times.  Her bequests included "My rub and diamond bracelet which I would ask her Majesty Queen Alexandra to be graciously pleased to accept as a token of my respected affections and regard."

The bracelet was one of a number bequests in the Duchess' English estate, which was valued at $1, 624,330.  The American-born Duchess left a ruby and diamond tassel to Louise, Duchess of Devonshire; a sapphire necklace to her grandson, Viscount Mandeville; other jewels were left to her granddaughter, Lady Mary Montagu and a box marked 'Alice,' was left to the second daughter of her son, the Duke of Manchester.

The Dowager Duchess also left to her sister, Emily Yznaga, an annual settlement of $5000 a year.    She also made several charitable requests including $5,000 to the Society of the Cruelty to Children. 

She also made "provision for her grandson, Viscount Mandeville," and she settled $250,000 on the younger children of the Duke of Manchester.  The Duchess "left the residue in trust" for her son, the Duke, his wife and children, during his lifetime.

Consuelo Ynzaga was born in 1853 in New York City, the second child of a Cuban diplomat Antonio Modesto Yznaga de Valle and Ellen Marie Clement, whose father was a steamboat captain.

One of Consuelo's childhood friends was Alva Smith, who married William Kissam Vanderbilt, and after their divorce, she became the wife of Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont.   The Dowager Duchess of Manchester was the godmother of Alva's daughter, Consuelo, who married the 9th Duke of Marlborough. 

It was at her father's country home in Morristown, New Jersey, in late 1875, where Consuelo Ynzaga first met George Montagu, Viscount Mandeville, heir to the 7th Duke of Manchester.   They were married at Grace Church in New York City on May 22, 1876.   After the wedding, the couple settled in County Armagh in Ireland, where the Duke of Manchester had an estate.   The marriage was not made in love but in finance as Consuelo brought a great fortune into the marriage.

Lord Mandeville succeeded his father in 1890.   He died two years later on August 18, 1892, at the age of 39.

The Duke and Duchess had three children:  William Montagu, 9th Duke of Manchester and twin daughters, Lady Jacqueline Mary Alva Montagu and Lady Alice Eleanor Louise Montagu, born in 1879.   The twin sisters both died from consumption, Lady Jacqueline in 1895, and her sister, five years later.   

The Duchess inherited $2,000,000 from her brother, Fernando Ynzaga after his death in 1901.

The Dowager Duchess of Manchester in London on November 20.  She was 56 years old.   She is survived by her son, William, four grandchildren, Lady Mary Alice Montagu, Alexander, Viscount Mandeville,  Lord Edward Montagu and Lady Ellen Montagu, and her sisters, Lady Lister-Kay and Emily Yznaga.

The Duke of Edinburgh admitted to the hospital

The admission to the hospital was pre-planned and the Duke, 98, did not travel by ambulance to the hospital.   He developed a cold in the last few weeks,  so his doctors decided that he should be admitted to the hospital.  The Duke will be a patient at the private London hospital today.

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Earlier today, the Queen left by train for Sandringham for the start of her Christmas holiday.

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Serbian cuteness

Prince Philip & Princess Danica with their adorable son, Prince Stefan

all four photos @Crown Prince Alexander/Serbian Royal Family

Last week, Prince Philip and Princess Danica and Prince Mihailo and Princess Ljubica and their daughter, Princess Natalija, were in Oplenac for a special service. 

Prince Philip is second in line to the Serbian throne after his older brother, Prince Peter.  He has a twin brother, Alexander, who is  few minutes younger.   Prince Milhailo is a first cousin of Philip's father, Crown Prince Alexander, as their fathers were brothers. 

Philip and Natalija are second cousins.

Tsar's sister-in-law says Russia is in the hands of the mob

December 20, 1929

Princess Stephanie Dolgorouky  declared today in a lecture at the Hotel Plaza that "Russia is still in the hands of the mob, and the people are living, not under a form of government but a cruel burlesque of one."

According to the New York Times, the princess "said she had received authentic information from her American friends who had recently visited Russia," who informed her about the present living conditions in the country.  She predicted that the end of the "present Soviet rule was near."

The princess is the widow of Prince Anatole Dolgorouky, brother of Princess Catherine Yurievskaya, the morganatic wife of Alexander II.    The former Baroness Stephanie Cumbo married the prince in Moscow in 1913.

Royalty Digest Quarterly

RDQ is a superb, high quality royal history magazine that is published four times a year by Rosvall Royal Books.  You can purchase annual subscriptions or individual issues.  Looking for a gift to give yourself ... well, this is the magazine for year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Princess Esperanza weds

December 18, 1944

Princess Esperanza of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was married today in Seville to Dom Pedro de Alcantara of Orleans-Braganza, a scion of the former imperial house of Brazil.

The marriage took place at Seville's 13th century cathedral.   The New York Times reports that "royalty flowered again in the pomp and pageantry of Spanish tradition."

The couple's civil wedding took place yesterday.

Members of nearly all of Europe's royal houses attended or sent representatives to the wedding, which was officiated by Cardinal Segura, archbishop of Seville.

The bride was escorted by her father,  Infante Don Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and the bridegroom by his mother, Princess Elisabeth.

More than five thousands "guests and spectators" were in the cathedral and many more were crowded in the street to view the bride and groom.

Princess Maria de la Esperanza Amalia Rainiera Maria Rosario Luisa Gonzaga of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, was born at Madrid on June 14, 1914, the youngest daughter of Prince Carlos of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, Infante of Spain, and Princess Louise of Orléans.    Her sister, Princess Maria de las Mercedes, is the wife of Infante Don Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona, the heir to the Spanish throne.

Although HRH Prince Pedro de Alcântara Gastão João Maria Filipe Lourenço Humberto Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga de Orléans-Braganza was born at Eu in France on February 19, 1913, he is a member of the exiled Brazilian Imperial family.  He is the son of Dom Pedro de Alcantara of Orléans-Borbon and Bohemian noblewoman Countess Elisabeth Dobrzensky of Dobrzenicz.   Dom Pedro renounced his rights to the defunct throne following his marriage to the Countess.

Two of Dom Pedro's sisters  Princesses Isabelle and Maria Francisca, have also married into former ruling families.  In 1931,  Princess Isabelle married Prince Henri of Orléans, Count of Paris, pretender to the French throne.   Two years, ago, Maria Francisca wed Dom Duarte-Nuno, Duke of Braganza, heir to the former Portuguese throne.

 The groom's paternal grandmother,  was Isabel, Princess Imperial of Brazil,  daughter of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and Princess Teresa of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 

the Annual Christmas lunch hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace

No official photos are ever released from this private event.  Queen Elizabeth II hosts an annual Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace,  The guest list includes close family and the cousins and their families.

The guests included the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children,  Princess Anne and her husband, Timothy Laurence,  Zara & Mike Tindall and their elder daughter, Mia, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York (sans Fiance), Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank,  the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their daughter, Lady Louise and son, Viscount Severn, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Earl and Countess of Ulster and their children, Lord Culloden and Lady Cosima Windsor,  Lady Rose Gilman and her daughter, Lyla, the Duke of Kent with his two granddaughters, Lady Marina-Charlotte and Lady Amelia Windsor,  the Earl and Countess of St. Andrews, the Earl and Countess of Snowdon and their daughter, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Lady Helen and Tim Taylor & their daughter Estella, Lady Gabriela Kingston and her husband Tom, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor and their daughter, Maud. Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto,  Flora Ogilvy and her fiance, Tim Vesterburg, 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent their regrets, as they are on a six week break and will return to royal duties after the Christmas holidays. 

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Princesses more important than Princes

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December 18, 1909

The Washington Post reports that "royal marriages do not affect international relations as they once did, but they have their influence."

Royal families "make more fuss" over sons than daughters.  German Emperor Wilhelm II would be better off he had more daughters.  He has six sons and one daughter.    He does have female cousins,  but it is more "satisfying to a monarch or a Prince to marry daughters and granddaughters of a King or Emperor than his cousins."

Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain  is a granddaughter of the late Queen Victoria, which means Spain has become a "virtual ally" of the United Kingdom.  Portugal may find itself in the same position if King Manoel is able to marry a British princess, perhaps Princess Patricia of Connaught, another granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

King Edward VII's daughter, Maud, is married to King Haakon VII of Norway.  Princess Patricia's older sister, Princess Margaret, is married to the Crown Prince of Sweden.

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Two more granddaughters of Victoria, Princess Alix of Hesse and By Rhine, and Princess Sophie of Prussia, are married to the Russian Emperor and King of the Hellenes, respectively.

Queen Elena of Italy, the consort of King Vittorio Emanuele, "inherits hostility toward Austria with her Montenegrin blood. She has said to have played a role in Italy's weakened ties with the triple alliance.    Ferdinand of Bulgaria, who is German and French, and is a close relation of King Manoel.

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 Most of the European sovereigns have found brides outside Germany.  King Edward VII "has played his cards well," as "daughters and granddaughters and nieces are cheaper than Dreadnoughts."

Friday, December 13, 2019

King Albert's appeal rejected

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 King Albert of Belgium's appeal to provide a DNA sample to show that he is the father of Delphine Boel, has been rejected by the Court of Cessation.

Delphine Boel, 51, claims that Albert, had a long-standing affair with her mother, Baroness Sybille De Selys Longchamps.  The affair allegedly began in 1966 and ended in 1984.  At the time, Sybille was married to a French industrialist Jacques Boel, who was seen as Delphine's legal father.

King Albert,  then the Prince of Liege, and heir presumptive to the Belgian throne, married Donna Paola Ruffo di Calabria, in 1959.  They have three children,  King Philippe, Princess Astrid, and Prince Laurent.

A Dna test, however, proved that Jacques is not Delphine's biological father.
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King Albert cannot appeal this ruling nor does the court provide a decision on Delpine's paternity.  Delphine and King Albert, now 85 years old, were ordered to provide a DNA sample by the Court of Appeal.  Miss Boel complied, but King Albert vacillated until he was required by another court ruling on the condition that the analysis would remain private until the Court of Cessation's final ruling.

The final ruling was made earlier today.  It will be up to the Court of Appeal to order Albert's sample to be opened and the analysis be shared with Miss Boel.   

The date for Court of Appeal's hearing has not been set.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Baptism of the heir to Isenburg

@Fürst von Isenburgische Rentkammer

The infant son of the Prince and Princess of Isenburg was recently baptized at Birstein.  He was given the names Franz Salvator Ferdinand Bonifatius Wilhelm Maria.

The Hereditary Prince was born on August 8.

He was baptized according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, and he wore a an 18th century baptismal gown that once belonged to the Dukes of Ossuna.

The godparents are HI & RH Princess Sophie of Prussia (sister of the Prince of Isenburg), Dr. Simon Lorenz (brother of the Princess of Isenburg), Baron Franz Mayr-Melnhof-Sarau, Kai-Harald Solmitz and HSH Hereditary Prince Casimir of Ysenburg und Büdingen.

Pope Francis sent the Prince and Princess an apostolic greeting that was read at the baptism.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Queen Marie of Romania film now available for rental

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The new Romanian film,  Queen Marie of Romania, is now available for rental through a company called Vimeo.

 I have never heard of Vimeo so not sure of the source.  The cost is $5.00 and is subtitled in Romanian, English and French.

Romanian actress Roxana Lupo plays Queen Marie.  The movie is set in `1919 at the Paris Peace talks.

@Abis films

Friday, December 6, 2019

Baby for Guillaume and Stephanie

© Cour grand-ducale / Marion Dessard

What wonderful news. After seven years of marriage, Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg is expecting a baby in May. Luxembourg's succession law is gender equal, which means that if Stephanie gives birth to a daughter, she will remain in second place (and future Grand Duchess) even if she has younger brothers.

This will be the fifth grandchild for Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa.  Prince Felix and Princess Claire have two children, Princess Amalia and Prince Liam of Nassau and Prince Louis and his former wife, Tessy Antony, have two sons, Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah of Nassau.

The current line of succcession is Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, Prince Felix, Princess Amalia, Prince Liam, Princess Alexandra and Prince Sebastien.
Prince  Louis and his two sons do not have dynastic rights as Louis renounced his rights before Gabriel was born.

Countess Stephanie de Lannoy and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume were married on October 20, 2012.

The couple had been living in London since September 2018 as the Hereditary Grand Duke was taking classes at the Royal College of Defence Studies.   Guillaume told RTL tonight:

"We have been expecting this moment for a long time, and now it is here. The people are enthusiastic, they are happy for us and of course that makes us very happy."

Stephanie added:  "We are happy to be here as three."

The couple have moved in  Schloss Fischbach.

all five photos © Cour grand-ducale / Marion Dessard