Sunday, November 29, 2020

Karl of Austria's not so secret divorce.

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Archduke Karl of Austria was recently interviewed about his new book, his 60th birthday, a new woman in his life, and a secret divorce from Baroness Francesca von Thyssen-Bornemisza.

He told Krone, an Austrian newspaper:  “Yes, since all of our three children came of age, Francesca and I have been divorced. We have never made this public before."

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 Karl added:  "Of course it is a very unfortunate affair for me. Because you see that two people living together does not necessarily always have to work. We tried to save the relationship, but all too often the children are the ones who suffer. That is why the well-being of our children has always been the most important thing for me and Francesca. "

Oopsies, Karl.  You should have checked with your ex-wife because she spilled the beans in a November 1, 2019 interview with the Financial Times. 

"Long gone is the wild party girl who became tabloid fodder in the 1980s. Since those days she married, and has recently divorced amicably from Karl von Habsburg, the grandson of the last Austrian Emperor, Charles I, and father of their three children."

In 2019 Francesca resumed the use of her maiden name.

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Archduke Karl's new book.

He also acknowledged his relationship with Christian Nicolau de Almeida Reid, the youngest daughter of the late Robin Reid and Elsa Andresen Nicolau de Almeida. Although he had British nationality,  Reid's family had lived in Porto, Portugal for more than 100 years before his birth.

Friday, November 27, 2020

India Hicks and David Flint Wood are engaged

She finally said yes.   After more than 24 years together  -- 4 children, one adopted son  -- India Hicks and David Flint Wood have announced their engagement.   India is the youngest child of the late interior designer David Hicks and his wife, Lady Pamela Mountbatten, the younger daughter of the late Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  

India is a goddaughter of the Prince of Wales and was one of the bridesmaids at his 1981 wedding to Lady Diana Spencer.

It was the Mail on Sunday on November 17, 1996, where the world first learned that India, 29, was the new love in the life of 36-year-old David Flint Wood, who was running the Ocean View Club on Eleuthera in the Bahamas, where India's family owned a vacation home.   David dated Lady Helen Windsor for four years before she met art gallery owner, Tim Taylor.  They married in 1992.

At the time, India was based in New York City where she modeled for Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent.

A day after the Mail on Sunday broke the news of India's relationship, the Daily Mail had another scoop.  India was expecting David's baby, and there were no plans for marriage.

"It's wonderful news and we're all delighted," India's older sister, Edwina told the Mail.

India and David spoke of their romance in Hello, only a week later.  "It's very complicated. I'm madly in love with a man I first had a crush on when I was a teenager, and now it feels like I've won the lottery. I'm going to have a baby and I'm living in paradise.  I have never been so happy."

They first met when India was 11.  "He used to drive down to my boarding school and come and take me out with Edwina for hamburgers.  He was like a wonderful, older brother, someone  I could play up and terribly naughty with."

David thought India "was a spoiled little brat in those days."   

They reconnected in the spring of 1996 after India's nine-year relationship with Aris Comninos had ended traumatically the previous fall. 

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In the Hello feature (November 23, 1996), India said: "I think marriage, whether it comes or not, can happen later.  And if I do get married I want to do it in the proper way, with my family and all our friends.  I don't want to skip off down the road and do it quickly just because I am having a baby." 

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The couple has four children: Felix Austen  May 23, 1997) Amory John (June 25,1999), Conrad Lorenzo  (April 25, 2003) & Domino Carmen (December 17, 2007, Miami, Florida).  All four children were born in Miami, Florida.

Lady Pamela and the Prince of Wales were "unfazed" by India's decision to have children without a wedding ring.  But her late father disapproved.  "We were never close," India told Tatler in May 2002.  "There was something about me that irritated him.  It became a matter of wills towards the end."

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The three boys were baptized in the parish church at Eweleme, near Lady Pamela's Oxfordshire home, where India was also baptized. Domino's baptism took place at St.Bartholomew's  Church in Brightwell Baldwin, where India's father was buried in 1998.

In 2011, India became the joint guardian of a local boy, Wesley, then 15 years old, after the young man's mother died from breast cancer, sharing custody with Wesley's aunt.   

India was certain that marriage was not for her.  "One would have thought that being stranded on a rock for 16 years would have had the effect of driving us apart, but it seems to have had the reverse effect and bonded us together.

"We have a relationship built on respect and humour -- lots of humour -- and  I think living life slightly less ordinary had made us stronger.

"It is also perhaps because I have a man who is an upstanding, moral, and good human being who I am still in love with,"  India told Hello in November 2011. 

She reiterated this feeling in another Hello interview in April 2015.  "The marriage thing was never important for me.  What was important was that the children knew they were the centre of our world, which they are."

India remains close to her godfather who wrote the introduction to her third book, India Hicks: Island Style.

India and David and their family live in Hibiscus Hill, a 2-story house on Harbour Island in the Bahamas.

"I carry with me an impressive historical background.  I've built a unique life here, where my children are free from smog, traffic, shoes.  But more than anything, I realise that to be loved and understood and to love and understand in return is to be truly blessed," she said in 2015.

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 The family now divide their time between Harbour Island and their country.  India owned some farmland in Oxfordshire "near but not too near to her mother", where they built a house with a small garden overlooking large fields.  The country retreat has been named America Farm.

India is a descendant of Queen Victoria.  Victoria - Alice - Victoria - Louis - Pamela - India.   Lady Pamela and the Duke of Edinburgh are first cousins.

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a latte

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Two noble deaths today: the Prince of Khevenhüller-Metsch & Princess Ilke of Wied

Two German noble deaths today, November 26, 2020.

 HSH Princess Ilke of Wied and the HSH The Prince of Khevenhüller-Metsch.

Princess Ilke was 83 years old.   At this time, I do not have the place of death.

Ilke Fischer was born on December 9, 1936 at Bonn, the daughter of Gottfried Fischer and Maria Mühlenbein.  She married HSH Prince Wilhelm Friedrich Urich of Wied(1931-2010) on December 2, 1968 in Munich,

She is survived by her two children, Prince Wilhelm Friedrich Ulrich (1970) and Princess Wilhelmine Friederike  Pauline Elisabeth Marie (1973). who is the widow of Duke Friedrich of Württemberg (1961-2018) and six grandchildren, Prince Friedrich (2001), Prince George  (2004), and Prince Philipp (2010) of Wied and Duke Wilhelm  (1994), Duchess  Marie-Amelie (1996) and Duchess Dorotheé of Württemberg.

The Prince of Khevenhüller-Metsch was 64 years old.  He died in Rome from COVID-19.  He had fallen into a coma a month and never regained consciousness. 

Maria Johannes Franz Xavier Lazarus Maximilian Felix Hubertus was the 10th Prince of Khevenhüller-Metsch.  He was born in Lugano, Switzerland, on November 20, 1956.  He was the eldest of six children of HSH Max Alfred Bartholomäus Friedrich Anton Franz Eduard Joachim Anna Maria Schnee Oswald Hubertus 9th Prince of Khevenhüller-Metsch (1919-2010) and Countess Wilhelmine Henckel von Donnersmarck (1932).

He married Donna Camilla Borghese (1962) on July 3, 1986, in Rome.  He is survived by his widow, Camilla, and their four daughters, Countesses Franziska, Helena, Sophie, and Cäcilie.

Johannes' brother, Maria Bartholomäus Lazarus Maximilian Hubertus (1958), succeeds as the 11th Prince of Khevenhüller-Metsch.  He is married to Doña  Cristina Sanchez de Movellán y Garcia Ogara.  They are the parents of four children.  The eldest, Andreas, is now the Hereditary Count.  He is married to Countess Johanna of Trautmannsdorff-Weinsnerg. a granddaughter of Count Ferdinand Kinsky who died earlier this week.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Count Ferdinand Kinsky (1934-2020)

Count Ferdinand and Countess Hedwig at the wedding of their daughter, Marie Valerie in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, in September 1987  (Private)

Count Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau died earlier today in Vienna.  The cause of death was COVID-19.  He was 86 years old.  Ferdinand was the older brother of HSH  Princess Marie Aglae of Liechtenstein, the wife of Hans Adam, Prince of Liechtenstein

Count Ferdinand Eugen Franz von Assisi Bonaventura Maria Theresia was born in Prague on October 25, 1934, the eldest of seven children of  Ferdinand Carl Bonaventura Antonius Maria (1907-1969) and Countess Henriette von Ledebur-Wicheln (1910-2002).  

His childhood was spent at  Horažďovice Castle, but he and his family had to leave Czechoslovakia after the end of World War II.

The family settled in West Germany, where the young count was educated.  He also became a German national.   He studied economics and philosophy at the University of Munich (1954-1955) and at the University of Frankfurt where he received a Master of Arts in sociology in 1958.   He received a post-graduate degree in international studies at the Institut Europeen des Hautes Etudes Internationales at the University of Nice.

A noted political scientist,  Count Ferdinand was a strong supporter of European unity and was one of the directors of CIFE, which trained "professionals and citizens in the subject of a united Europe."  He was also a devout Roman Catholic.

Count Ferdinand was married at Straubing, Germany on April 28, 1962 to Countess Hedwig von Ballestrem (1933).  They had five children: Countess Maria Theresia (1963, who is married to Count Alexander von Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg,  Count Johannes (1964-2008), Countess Marie Valerie (1966), the wife of Hereditary Count Maximilian zu Königsegg-Aulendorf, Count Friedrich (1967) and Count Wenzel (1969-1971).

Count Ferdinand and Countess Hedwig with Count Johannes zu Königsegg-Aulfendorf at the wedding of Ferdinand's granddaughter, Countess Alice zu Königsegg-Aulfendorf in 2017 @stefan

He is survived by his widow, Countess Hedwig, three children, seventeen grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and four sisters:  Countess Eleonore, Frau von Krempach,  Marie, Princess of Liechtenstein, Countess Aglae von Ballestrem, Countess Elisabeth zu Dohna-Schlobitten, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The Count's granddaughter, Countess Elisabeth Kinsky,  daughter of the late Count Johannes, is engaged to marry Count Konrad von Rechberg.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

a 73rd Wedding anniversary

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their 73rd wedding anniversary tomorrow, November 20.   The couple is looking at a card made by three of their great-grandchildren: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis of Cambridge.

Covid quarantine for Harald and Sonja

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From the Royal Palace in Oslo

Covid-19 has today been detected in an employee at the Royal Court. His Majesty the King is in self-imposed home quarantine. Her Majesty the Queen is in quarantine as a result of close contact with the person in question.

 The royal couple is asymptomatic. 14 employees at the Royal Court are also in quarantine.

 The court has routines that are in line with rules and recommendations from the authorities related to infection control, including the practice of distance regulations, the use of face masks, intensified cleaning and hand hygiene, as well as the use of home offices.

 As a result of the quarantine, His Majesty the King will lead the Council of Ministers next Friday by telephone from Bygdø Kongsgård. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince holds an audience with the President of Estonia. The royal couple's program will be updated.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

a girl for the Astors


The Hon Charles Astor and his wife,  Princess Eliane de Merode are the parents of a daughter, Astrid Henriette Elizabeth Astor, who was born at the Lindo Wing, St. Mary's Hospital, London.   The birth was announced on their Instagram accounts, which includes photos of the new baby.

This is the first child for the couple, who were married on June 17, 2017, at Chateau de Guignicourt in Guignicourt sur Vence, France, which is the home of Eliane's parents, Prince and Princess Lionel de Merode.

Astrid has several interesting ancestral lines and family connections.  Her father's paternal first cousin, Harry Lopes is married to Laura Parker Bowles, the daughter of the Duchess of Cornwall and her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles.

Charles Astor is the only son of John Jacob Astor, 3rd Baron Astor, and his second wife, the Hon. Elizabeth Mackintosh, younger daughter of  John Mackintosh, 2nd Viscount Mackintosh of Halifax.  He is the heir apparent to the Astor of Hever barony.   Until 1983, Hever Castle in Kent was owned by the Astor family.  It was purchased in 1903 by William Waldorf Astor, was the richest man in America following the death of his father, John Jacob Astor III.   Willam moved to England and became a citizen in 1899.  He was created Viscount Waldorf in 1917.  Lord  Astor died two years later and was succeeded by his eldest son, William, as the second Viscount Astor.  

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 Lord Astor's second surviving son, John Jacob Astor V married Lady Violet Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, daughter of Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 4th Earl of Minto, Viceroy and Mary Caroline Grey, a granddaughter of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey and the Hon. Mary Ponsonby, daughter of  William Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby.  

Lord Ponsonby's mother, Lady Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the 3rd Duke of Devonshire.

John Jacob Astor V was created by Baron Astor of Hever in 1956.   

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 His eldest of three sons, the Hon. Gavin Astor married Lady Irene Haig,  who was the daughter of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, Commander of the British Expeditionary Force in World War I.    

The first Lord Astor died in 1971 and was succeeded by his eldest son.  The 2nd Lord Astor of Hever was the Life President of the Times.   He died in 1984 and was succeeded by his eldest son John Jacob Astor, the present Baron Hever of Astor.

The Castle was sold in 1983 to Broadland Properties.  Lord and Lady Hever live in Kent.

Princess Eliane is the fourth child and only daughter of Prince Léonel de Merode and Countess Regina de Liedekerke.  The de Merode family is one of the oldest noble families in Belgium.  In 1929, members of the family (male line) were raised from the rank of Count or Countess de Merode to Prince or Princess de Merode

The first John Jacob Astor emigrated to the United States from Walldorf in Electoral Palantine in what was then the Holy Roman Empire.  He made his fortune in the fur business.   

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 The line of descent from John Jacob Astor to Miss Astrid Henriette Elizabeth Astor is as follows:

John Jacob Astor & Sarah Todd -- William Backhouse Astor & Margaret Armstrong (whose mother was a member of the Livington family) -- John Jacob Astor III & Charlotte Augusta Gibbes -- William Waldorf Astor, Viscount Astor & Mary Dahlgren Paul --John Jacob Astor V Lord Astor of Hever &  Lady Violet Mary Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound -- Gavin Astor, Lord Astor of Hever & Lady Irene Haig -- John Jacob Astor VIII, Lord Astor of Hever & Hon. Elizabeth Mackintosh -- Hon. Charles Astor & Princess Eliane de Merode.

Astrid is a descendant of Robert Livington the Elder (1654-1728) & Alida Schuyler (1656-1727).  The Livingstons were a prominent New York political family.   Margaret Armstrong's maternal uncle,  Robert Livington was a member of the Committee of Five, along with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Roger Sherman, that drafted the Declaration of Independence.

Eliane's family produces Wignac cider, made on their estate.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

The newest QVD

@Nicholas Medforth Mills

 A statement from the Romanian royal house

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Crown Prince Alexander with President-Elect Joe Biden


All three photos courtesy HRH Crown Prince Alexander

Crown Prince  Alexander and  Crown Princess  Katherine with President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden and Nancy Brinker

Friday, November 6, 2020

Countess Sarolta von Habsburg (1940-2020)


Countess Charlotte  Isabella Mária Krisztine Eszter Katalin Pia von Habsburg-Lothringen was elder of two daughters of HI & RHJ Archduke Albrecht Franz Josef Karl Friedrich Georg Hubert Maria of Austria, Duke of Teschen and his second wife, Katalin Bocskay de Felsö-Bánya.  The Arcduke was the ninth and youngest child (and only son) of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen and Princess Isabella of Croy.

Countess Sarolta in Hungary in 2015 at the opening of the Karapancsai Castle Park, which was once owned by her late father. @Rimóczi Irén 

She was known by Sárolta, the Hungarian version of Charlotte.   The countess married Ferdinand Joseph Wutholen (1927-2018)  on July 20, 1967.

She is survived by her four children,  Isabella Siddiqi, Alessandra, Marina, and Misha Wutholen, and four grandchildren, as well as her Ildiko Fortier.

Sárolta Wutholen died on November 2, 2020, near Geneva.

Monday, November 2, 2020

50th anniversary of King Peter II's death


King Peter and Queen Alexandra and Crown Prince Alexander 



Belgrade and New York, 3 November 2020 – A memorial service for His Majesty King Peter II (son of the great unifier His Majesty King Alexander I) is going to be officiated tomorrow Tuesday, 3 November 2020 by His Grace Bishop Jovan of Sumadija at the Church of Saint George in Oplenac.

King Peter II and Queen Alexandra 

According to protocol, the first wreath will be laid by Mr. Dragomir Acovic, chairman of the Advisory Bodies of the Crown on behalf of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander head of the Serbian Royal Family (son of His Majesty King Peter II) on the tomb of the late King.

In New York, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America will officiate a memorial service for His Majesty King Peter II in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine who will light candles in memory of the Crown Prince’s father, HM King Peter II, at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava. His Majesty King Peter II was very close to the cathedral during his time in the United States.


Queen Alexandra, Crown Prince Alexander and King Peter II (all four photos courtesy of HRH Crown Prince Alexander)