Sunday, February 28, 2021

Princess Mary marries Lord Lascelles


All images: Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

On February 28, 1922, Princess Mary, only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, married Henry, Viscount Lascelles, elder son and heir apparent to Henry, 5th Earl of Harewood.

This was the second wedding at Westminster Abbey since the end of the first world war.  King George's first cousin, Princess Patricia of Connaught and the Hon. Alexander Ramsay of Mar married on February 27, 1919.

Crown Prince George Marries Elisabeta of Romania


The marriage of the Diadoch, heir to the Greek throne,  Crown Prince George, and Princess Elisabeta of Romania took place in Bucharest on February 27, 1921.  

The bride and groom were second cousins as their mothers, Queen Marie of Romania and Queen Sophie of the Hellenes were first cousins, granddaughters of Queen Victoria.

It is interesting to note that the wedding did not receive a lot of attention in the British and American press.

This was The Times's coverage.

The Times March 1, 1921

The wedding ceremony, which took place in Bucharest's Orthodox Cathedral, was reported by the Dundee Evening Telegraph.

Princess Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, "with the custom of the country, wore gold thread over her bridal veil."  The gold thread was one of the gifts she had received from Roumanian women, who had "preserved from their own weddings."  

For six years, the Princess had turned down George's repeated proposals of marriage.    She finally accepted when he was an exile as it was apparent that she had no chance of becoming Queen of the Hellenes.

The Greek monarchy was restored six weeks after Elizabeth finally said yes.   King Constantine, Queen Sophie, and Crown Prince George returned to Athens last December 19.

Queen Marie is the daughter of the late Duke of Edinburgh, and she has introduced "many English customs into her adopted country" and her three daughters have been raised as "British girls."   Princess Elizabeth briefly attended a British boarding school.

The 26-year-old Princess remains drawn to Romania's "traditions and romantic customs.

There were no bridesmaids, although Elizabeth's youngest sister, Princess Ileana, 12, "who has her full share of the family's beauty," carried the bride's train.   Ileana wore a white and silver dress and on her hair was a wreath made from silver daisies.

A part of the Palace had been turned into a hospital during the world war, and many of the rooms have only recently been restored and "were opened again for a festive occasion.:

As both Royal Families are in mourning, the wedding was "very simple for a royal wedding."   Since the end of the war, King Ferdinand and Queen Marie, acknowledging the poverty in their country, "have avoided all display," at Court functions.  

An evening reception at the palace followed the wedding where the Crown Prince George, 30, and the new Crown Princess received the congratulations from their guests.  None of Queen Marie's three sisters,  Grand Duchess Victoria of Russia,  the Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and Infanta Beatrice of Bourbon-Orleans were unable to attend the wedding although Beatrice's husband, Infante Alfonso did attend the wedding.  

all three images: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

Princess Elizabeth is said to be a "highly accomplished young woman."  She enjoys painting and singing with a "fine contralto voice."  She is also known to be a patron of Romanian art.  

She has never wanted to be a Queen, and her "idea of happiness" is living in a nice area of Bucharest, where she would give parties and entertain friends and live "the simple life of a Roumanian lady."

Crown Prince George and Crown Princess Elizabeth will have only a brief honeymoon because they need to be in Athens in ten days when Elisabeth's brother, Crown Prince Carol, will marry George's sister, Helen.  All of the members of the Romanian royal family, except King Ferdinand, will travel by ship to Greece.   Elizabeth's younger brother, Prince Nicholas, a student at Eton, has been given leave to attend both weddings.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Mail call


Princess Arthur of Connaught

Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, the matron of Fife Nursing Home on Bentinck Street in London attended to a young girl who had been brought into casualty. As the 52-year-old matron turned to leave, the girl’s father pressed a coin into her hand. “Ere you are Miss, get yourself a cup of tea or a packet of fags.”

The matron – HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught – knew that the man had no idea that she was a granddaughter of Edward VII. She later wrote that she considered the sixpence to be one of her most valuable possessions.

The princess, whose Christian name was Alexandra, was the eldest daughter of Princess Louise, and the Duke of Fife. Louise’s marriage was not without controversy, and concerns were raised when she became engaged to Alexander Duff, the then 6th Earl of Fife. Louise was fourth in line to the throne, and her children, who would not be born royal, would come to the throne if neither of her elder brothers had children. A former member of Parliament, Lord Fife was a wealthy landowner and a great-grandson of King William IV.

In July 1889, Louise and Fife were married in the private chapel at Buckingham Palace in the presence of Queen Victoria, and other members of the royal family. Queen Victoria’s wedding present was the title Duke of Fife for Louise’s new husband.

The newlyweds moved into one of his “more modest and charming residences,” East Sheen Lodge, “a white, ivory-colored mansion,” near Richmond Park. Alexandra was born at East Sheen Lodge on 17 May 1891, a year after Louise’s first child, a stillborn son. A second daughter, Maud, was born in 1893.

Queen Victoria was the chief sponsor at Alexandra’s baptism, which took place at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Place on June 29, 1891. Victoria “stood by the baptismal font, holding the baby in her arms during the main portion of the service.” The infant was baptized Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise and was styled as The Lady Alexandra Duff, but she was always known as Alix

Alix and her younger sister, Maud, “grew up together, inseparable companions in the nursery, in lessons, in play, and in travel,” and most of their time was spent at Mar Lodge in Scotland or in Brighton.

As Louise’s health was fragile, it was unlikely that she would bear a son to inherit the dukedom. Thus, in 1900, Victoria recreated the dukedom that would allow for Alix and Maud (and their male descendants) to succeed.

On the occasion of his 60th birthday on 9 November 1905, King Edward VII bestowed the title Princess Royal on his eldest daughter, Louise (the previous title holder, Bertie’s eldest sister, Victoria, had died in 1901), and he created Alix and Maud Princesses with the rank of Highness.

Winters were often spent in Egypt, due to Louise’s poor health; and in December 1911, the family boarded the P&O Delhi for a voyage that included stops at Gibraltar, Tangier, and Egypt. In her privately printed book, Egypt and Khartoum, Alexandra recounted the tragedy that began in the wee hours of December 13, when the Delhi, in a fierce storm, ran aground at Cape Spartel, Morocco. Alix woke up at about one a.m.

Everyone was ordered to come to the deck. “Quick as lightning I flung a cost over my nightdress, slipped on some shoes, and rushed upon deck, “ Alexandra wrote.

The stewards ushered the passengers into the ship’s saloon, serving coffee and biscuits. “We all sat there with our lifebelts until daybreak... Every few seconds we received awful shocks, as enormous waves crashed up against the sunken side of our ship, making her give sudden lurches which nearly threw us out of our seats.”

The ship was sinking. Alix, who remained with her parents, and her mother’s doctor, wrote that she wasn’t afraid, “only anxious... I felt all the time that God was with us, and that somehow we would be saved, whatever happened, and I felt that we would be given strength for whatever we were called upon to face.”

The royal party was the last to get into the lifeboats, and they were only a few yards from land when their lifeboat was overcome by fierce waves. Alexandra was struck in the face by one wave and pulled into the water, and the surf sucked her under the water. “As I was coming up, I was aware of a heavy weight on top of me, and I fought for my life. My breath and strength were failing me fast, and I went down. I felt the water rushing into me through my nose and I was swallowing it in great gulps. This is death, I thought.”

The strong arms of another passenger pulled Alexandra out of the sea. Maud had also washed out into the sea, but she was closer to land, and her parents managed to grab her, and all three waded to the shore, where they waited anxiously for Alexandra. Eventually, everyone began the five-mile walk through blinding rain across Cape Spartel’s rocky coast. All their baggage and jewels were lost. The duke was wearing only a nightshirt, and the princesses were “hampered at every stage by the weight of their wet night-clothes.” Guided by British sailors and local Moors, the party eventually made their way to Cape Spartel’s lighthouse where they found shelter until mules could be brought to bring them to the British Legation at Tangier. The royal party remained at Tangier for several days before continuing on to Egypt.

The trip to Khartoum, where they were to attend the consecration of the cathedral, was canceled after the Duke of Fife, caught a chill, “which rapidly developed, and in ten days he died of pneumonia,” at Aswan on January 29, 1912.

Alexandra succeeded her father and was now styled as HH The Duchess of Fife. As a granddaughter to one king and the first cousin to another (George V), Alix was one of Britain’s most eligible royals. But she had inherited her mother’s shyness, “to a marked degree. As a girl, she would turn deathly white and shiver from nervousness if being addressed.”

In 1910, Prince Christopher of Greece, who was one of the Princess Royal’s first cousins, was a guest of the Fifes at Mar Lodge in Scotland, where he “conceived a very obvious passion for the daughter of the house.” He assumed as he wrote his memoirs, that the marriage “would meet with everyone’s approval,” as Princess Louise’s younger sister, Victoria, “had promised to arrange everything.”

Christopher and Alix “got engaged on the sly,” but waited for four days before speaking to the Duke of Fife, who, as it turned out, “dispelled any illusion” about a marriage between Alix and Prince Christopher.

Three years later, in July 1913, Alix’s engagement to another of her mother’s first cousins was announced. Prince Arthur of Connaught, was the only son of the Duke of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s third son. Born in 1883, Arthur was destined for a military career, following in the footsteps of his highly-regarded father. He went to Eton, passed out at Sandhurst, and entered military service in 1901, where he received a commission in the Seventh Hussars. He later transferred to the Scots Greys. Prince Arthur carried out numerous royal engagements, and served as a personal ADC to King Edward VII and King George V, representing the sovereign at different events. He also served as a Counsellor of State.

In one of the last major royal events before World War I, King George V gave away his niece at her wedding on October 15, 1913, at the Chapel Royal at St. James’s Chapel. The bride spoke in a tone “so low that it was almost inaudible.” She wore a bridal gown made from “white satin charmeuse, heavily embroidered with pearls,” and the “veil of tulle [was] richly embroidered with Brussels lace. On her head was a wreath of orange blossoms and heather,” and “ a magnificent rope of pearls” hung around her neck, which was a gift from her mother.

Nearly all of the royal family was present, although no foreign royals were invited, apart from close family members: Queen Maud and King Haakon VII of Norway, and Arthur’s older sister, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden. Grand Duke Michael of Russia and his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie Torby, were also among the royal guests.

The bride was attended by her younger sister, Maud, Princess Mary (George V’s daughter), and Princesses Mary, Helena, and May of Teck. Prince Arthur was supported by his father, the Duke of Connaught, and the Prince of Wales. A reception followed in the throne room at St James’s Palace, and when the newly-married TRH Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught left the palace, “the crowd cheered frantically.... and the King and Queen pelting the bride and bridegroom with rice.”

The honeymoon was spent at Waldorf Astoria’s home, Rest Harrow, at Sandwich Bay, which was located next to a golf course, where Prince Arthur was able to indulge in his passion for golf.

Marriage to Prince Arthur brought a great change to Alix’s personality, as she had lost her “shy manner.” During a trip to Madrid in November 1913, the former “timid, embarrassed girl,” had “come out wonderfully since her marriage.” During her stay with her cousin, Queen Ena of Spain, Alix was “transformed into a smart, merry woman of the world, smoking cigarettes, and dancing the tango.”

London society was, according to a report in The New York Times, amazed by Alix’s transformation, and predicted that “the wealthy bride will shine radiantly.” Queen Ena and her brother, Prince Alexander of Battenberg, were given credit for Alix’s new confidence.

On August 9, 1914, Alexandra gave birth to the couple’s only child, Alastair Arthur. The little prince was christened on 25 August, in the presence of King George V and Queen Mary. His godparents included the King, King Alfonso XIII of Spain, Queen Alexandra, the Princess Royal, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, and the Duke of Connaught. For the first three years of his life, Alastair was styled as HH Prince Alastair of Connaught. When George V issued a Letters Patent in July 1917 that limited the title of Prince or Princess to the children of the sovereign and the grandchildren of the sovereign in the male line, little Alastair ceased to be a prince. He received a surname – Windsor - and was styled as Earl of Macduff, the secondary title of his mother’s dukedom.

During World War I, Prince Arthur saw active service as a captain in the Scots Greys. The war found Alix taking on new challenges, too. She was very much interested in nursing, and she wrote in her privately printed book, A Nurse’s Story, “... the lives of most people were abruptly and unmistakably changed.” The princess could have been referring to herself as well. Alix wanted to do something more useful than the usual official visits to visit wounded soldiers in hospitals. She became a nurse.

“Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a nurse.... but I never thought there would be the remotest possibility of my dream coming true,” she wrote. “When I married, my dream of being a nurse was further off than ever. Then the war came, and opportunity beckoned.” Prince Arthur was “the first to approve,” and he took his wife to St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, to meet the matron. The princess began her medical training, feeling “very much alone.” She passed her nursing exams, using the name “Nurse Marjorie.”

In 1915, she joined the staff at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, where she worked as a fully trained nurse until the war's end. She continued to train at St. Mary's, where she became a state registered nurse in 1919. She received a first prize award for a paper she had written on eclampsia, and she was awarded a certificate of merit at Queen Charlotte's Hospital, where she had specialized in gynecology.

In 1920, Prince Arthur was appointed Governor-General of South Africa where he and Alix were immensely popular -- the Princess was active in hospitals, child welfare, and maternity work. The couple returned to London three years later, and the princess resumed her nursing career. She worked at University College Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital, where her specialization was surgery, and she was capable of performing minor operations. In July 1925, she received the badge of the Royal Red Cross for her service to the nursing profession.

Prince Arthur died of cancer in 1938. A year later, Alix opened her own nursing home in Bentinck Street, London. She financed the entire operation, including the purchase of the equipment. The Fife Nursing Home was open for more than ten years; it was only until Princess Arthur's health -- she suffered from acute rheumatoid arthritis --that forced the closure of the nursing home in 1949. The Princess retired to her home in Regent's Park.

The Princess had also served as a Counsellor of State during King George VI's absences abroad. She was also the president and patron of the Royal British Nurses' Association and the patron of the Plaistow Maternity Hospital.

In 1942, Alix’s father-in-law, the Duke of Connaught died and was succeeded by the Earl of Macduff, who was also heir to his mother’s dukedom. A year later, the 28-year-old Duke died in Ottawa, Canada, where he was the guest of the Governor-General, the Earl of Athlone, and his wife, Princess Alice. Alastair was, according to biographer Theo Aronson, "a pleasant, but utterly vague and feckless young man ... his irresponsibility was such, in fact, that it killed him.”

The cause of death was hypothermia, as the Duke was found dead in his bedroom, lying on the floor, near an open window.

For Alexandra, the death of her only child “was a crushing blow and a great shock.”

Ill health kept Alix from playing an active role in the final years of her life. Several days after developing pneumonia, HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught, Duchess of Fife, died on 26 February 1959. The heir to the Fife dukedom was Alix’s nephew, James, the son of Princess Maud, who had died in 1945, and her husband, the Earl of Southesk. The princess’s two books, A Nurse’s Story, and Egypt and Khartoum were printed for private circulation by John & Edward Bumpus Ltd, in 1955 and 1956, respectively.

If you enjoyed this article

This article was first published in Majesty magazine.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The cutest little Prince

@HRH Prince Philip


Belgrade, 25 February 2021 – His Royal Highness Prince Stefan is celebrating his third birthday today. 

“My wife HRH Crown Princess Katherine and I wish dear Stefan a very happy third birthday filled with joy and fun” said HRH Crown Prince Alexander. 

His Royal Highness Prince Stefan is the great grandson of Their Majesties King Peter II and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia, the grandson of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia.

These 2 photos @Crown Prince Alexander

With the blessing of His Holiness the Late Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, the bells of Belgrade’s St. Sava Temple tolled heralding the birth of the newborn member of the Serbian Royal Family. That was the first time that the 49 bells of the biggest orthodox temple in the Balkans announced such a birth. In addition, the bells of St. George Church in Oplenac and Zica Monastery tolled heralding the birth. This birth of a male child was the first one in the Royal Family in Serbia after 90 years when HRH Prince Tomislav was born in Belgrade, who was the brother of HM King Peter II, the grandfather of HRH Prince Philip.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Lord Frederick Wellesley to marry


Lord Frederick Charles Wellesley is the youngest of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington. He was born on September 30, 1992, at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London.  The Duchess of Wellington was born HRH Princess Antonia of Prussia, one of five children of HRH Prince Friedrich of Prussia, third son of Crown Prince Wilhelm, and Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and Lady Brigid Guinness, daughter of Rupert Guinness, 2nd Earl of Iveagh.

He is a godson of the Prince of Wales.

Lord Frederick, a Captain, Blues and Royals, is a descendant of Queen Victoria.

Victoria - Victoria - Wilhelm II - Wilhelm -Friedrich - Antonia - Frederick

Katherine Emma Lambert was on July 25, 1992, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.  Her parents are Nicholas Lambert and Fiona Jane Burn.  She has an older brother, Angus Thomas F. Lambert, who was born in early 1991 in Yorkshire, and a younger sister, Rosanna Mary (1995).  She is a graduate of Sandhurst.

Nicholas Thomas Lambert is a Former Partner at Sarasin & Partners LLP.  He was born in February 1957 in Bradford, the son of Thomas P Lambert and Davinia M. Walford.

Katherine's parents live in Hertfordshire.

Another royal genealogist has pointed out that Katherine is a descendant of Charles II and Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, through their son, Charles Fitzroy, 2nd Duke of Cleveland, and his second wife, Anne Pulteney.   The line of descent is from their eldest daughter, Lady Grace Fitzroy who married Henry Vane, Earl of Darlington. The connection is through Katherine's paternal grandmother, Davinia Walford.

Katherine's paternal grandfather died only days before the official announcement of her engagement.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

August Philip Hawke Brooksbank

Embed from Getty Images 

 Earlier today Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank announced the names of their son.  He has been named August Philip Hawke.

Eugenie, the younger daughter of the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York, gave birth to her first child at the Portland Hospital on February 9.

  Embed from Getty Images

The names honor the baby's great-grandfather, Prince Philip, and two 5 five times grandparents:  Prince Albert (1819-1861), the consort of Queen Victoria, and the Reverend Edward Hawke Brooksbank (1789-1893).

Prince Albert was the younger son of Ernst I, Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld and Princess Luise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.  

His grandmother, Auguste, Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Saafeld, wrote in her diary on August 26: "a healthy little boy has been born.  I hurried here, and found mother and child as well as possible, and Ernest overjoyed."

Augusta, a Countess of Reuss-Ebersdorf by birth, may have been named for her great-grandfather, Georg August, Count of Schönberg-Fürstenau. Heinrich is the only name for male members of the Reuss princely family.

"Ernest wishes him to be given the old Saxon name of Albert." Augusta wrote in her diary.   His full name given at his baptism on August 29, 1819, was baptized Franz Albrecht August Carl Emmanuel. 

Albert's older brother, Duke Ernst II's names also included August: Ernst August Karl Johann Leopold Alexander Eduard. 

Ernst August, Elector of Hanover, father of George I

August is the German version of Augustus.  George I was the son of Ernst August, Elector of Hanover.   George's younger brother, Friedrich August, who died in 1691 in battle, was known in the family as Gutschen.

King George I's full name was George Augustus, although, in Hanover, where he was also the sovereign, he was styled as Georg II.   

George II's seventh child was named William Augustus.  William was created Duke of Cumberland and is best known for defeating the Jacobite rebellion at the Battle of Culloden (1746.)

Frederick, the Prince of Wales, eldest son of King George II, married Princess Auguste (Augusta) of Saxe-Gotha.   Their eldest child, Princess Augusta, married Carl, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.    She and her husband were the parents of seven children, including a daughter, Auguste, and a son, August.

Prince Frederick's second son was given the name Edward Augustus.  

The Prince of Wales died in 1751, leaving his young son, George as the heir to George II.   George III succeeded in 1760.  A year later he married Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.   Several of their fifteen children had the name Augustus or Augusta.   Their eldest son, the future George IV, was named George Augustus Frederick.   Augustus was also the middle names of their second and fourth sons, Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, and Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn.  The Duke of Kent was Queen Victoria's father.

George's eldest daughter was baptized Charlotte Augusta Matilda.   

Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent & Streatheard, father of Queen Victoria

George III's second daughter was named Augusta Sophia.

George looked back to his Hanover roots when he named his fifth son after his great-great-grandfather, Ernest Augustus, a double first name.

Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale, succeeded his brother William IV, as King of Hanover. His only child, King Georg V lost his kingdom after siding with Austria in the Austro-Prussian War.  Prussia's revenge was to annex Hanover into the Kingdom of Prussia.   Georg V died in 1878.  His only son and heir Prince Ernst August married Princess Thyra of Denmark.  Prince Ernst August chose to be styled as Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale.

Ernst August and Thyra were the parents of three sons and three daughters.  The youngest of the three sons was named Ernst August, who became heir after the premature deaths of his two older brothers.  

This Ernst August, who became the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, married Kaiser Wilhelm II's daughter, Victoria Luise. Their eldest son was named Ernst August, whose eldest legitimate son was named Ernst August as well.  This latter Prince Ernst August is separated from his second wife, Princess Caroline of Monaco.  He has two sons by his first wife, Chantal Hochuli. They named their elder son Ernst August,  continuing the tradition for four generations.  This tradition came to an end when the Hereditary Prince Ernst August and his wife, Ekaterina, named their first son, Welf August. 

George III's sixth son was Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex.  He married twice in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act.  His first wife was Lady Augusta Murray, daughter of the 4th Earl of Dunmore.  They had two children, Augusta and Augustus.

George IV and his wife, Princess Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (whose mother was George III's older sister, Princess Augusta) had one daughter,  Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales.

Several of George III's grandchildren, including the aforementioned Augusta and Augustus d'Este, had the name Augusta as a first or a middle name: George Augustus Frederick Fitzclarence, 1st Earl of Munster, Lady Augusta Gordon, Lord Augustus Fitzclarence,  Princess Charlotte Augusta Louisa of Clarence.

Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, the seventh son of King George III, married Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel.  They had three children.  Their second child and eldest daughter's first name was Augusta.  The British royal family are descendants of the third child and second daughter, Princess Mary Adelaide.

Mary Adelaide and her husband, Franz, Duke of Teck had four children. Their only daughter was named Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes and the youngest child Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George.  

The name Augusta was used only once by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  Their third daughter was named Helena Augusta Victoria.  Princess Eugenie's middle names are Helena and Victoria. 

  Embed from Getty Images 

Princess Eugenie has met  Hereditary Prince Ernst August of Hanover on several occasions.  She and her older sister, Princess Beatrice, represented the Queen at the 2013 reopening of Schloss Herrenhausen in Hanover.   Prince Ernst August and his wife, Ekaterina, were guests at Princess Eugenie's wedding Eugenie and Beatrice attended the wedding of Prince Christian of Hanover to Alessandra de Osma in March 2018. 

  Embed from Getty Images

Although August honors Prince Albert (as the 5x grandparent), it is a name that appears often in Eugenie's maternal line through Queen Victoria (the Hanovers) and Albert (through his paternal grandmother's family).

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The marriage of Princess Feodore

Embed from Getty Images


February 18, 1828

Princess Feodora of Leiningen and Ernst, Prince of  Hohenlohe-Langenburg were married today at the residence of her mother, the Duchess of Kent, in the King's Palace at Kensington.  

A large crowd gathered outside the palace, "in expectation of beholding their beloved Sovereign," the Times's correspondent.

The Kensington Church bells "struck up a merry peal" shortly before the ceremony took place and "continued to ring at intervals during the afternoon and evening."

Members of the Royal Family began to arrive at the palace after 2 p.m. and were received in the Grand Hall by Sir John Conroy, the Duchess' Principal Equerry, and Private Secretary, who escorted them to the north vestibule.  Nearly every member of the royal family in England attended the wedding including the Duke and Duchess of Clarence, the Duke of Sussex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Sophia, Princess Sophia Matilda, and Prince Leopold.  Princess Augusta, who is in Brighton, was unable to attend.

Shortly after 3 p.m, the royal family proceeded to the Grand Saloon adjoining the Vestibule where a temporary altar had been set up.   Dr. Kuper, the chaplain of the Royal German Chapel, united the young couple in marriage according to the rites of the Lutheran Church.

Princess Feodora's older brother, Carl, Prince of Leiningen also attended the wedding along with the Duchess of Kent's staff.

The bride and her "Royal sister the Princess Victoria," wore British-made dresses made from "Buckinghamshire thread lace."  Victoria and Princess Amelie of  Carolath-Beuthen were Feodora's bridesmaids.   Amelie, 5, is the daughter of Heinrich, Prince of  Carolath-Beuthen. The Prince is a first cousin to the Duchess of Clarence.  His mother, Princess Amalie, was the younger sister of Adelaide's father, Georg, the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.

The Duchess of Clarence and the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg are also first cousins.  

Although it was initially reported that the King would give the bride away, it was his brother, the "florid fatherly Uncle William of Clarence," who took the bride's arm and 

The Duchess of Kent hosted a "splendid early dinner" in honor of the newlyweds.  The royal guests left for their respective residences at 6 p.m.

Princess Feodora, 20, and her 38-year-old husband, Prince Ernst left the King's Palace at 8 p.m, in a new carriage for Prince Leopold's home, Claremont, where they will spend their honeymoon.  

The King gave Feodora a "superb present in diamonds," and other members of the royal family also presented her with jewelry. 

The new Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg has been living in England with her mother and younger half-sister for the past nine years.  She and her brother, Carl, are the Duchess of Kent's children from her first marriage to the late Prince of Leiningen.   In  1818,  the former Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg and Saafeld, a sister of Prince Leopold, widower of the late Princess Charlotte, married the Duke of Kent.   

The Duke, the fourth son of the late King George III, died in January 1820 eight months after the birth of his daughter, Princess Alexandrina Victoria.

Four days before the wedding, the Duchess gave a "grand assembly at her residence to a "numerous assemblage of relatives and friends. The celebration began at nine p.m.  The palace's Great Hall was "brilliantly illuminated."   The band of the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards was stationed "in the orange shrubbery, surrounded by a variety of other trees, plants, and flowers."

The band played different pieces of music throughout the evening and struck up God Save the King for the arrival of each member of the Royal Family.  The Duke and Duchess of Clarence, Princess Sophia, Prince Leopold, Princess Sophia Matilda,  the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Prince and Princess Lieven, Prince and Princess Esterhazy, Prince and Princess Polignac, Foreign Ambassadors, the Lord Chancellor, members of the Cabinet, the Speaker of the House, the Bishop of London as well as members of the peerage, including eleven Dukes.

Princess Feodora's eight-year-old half-sister, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, was too young to attend the ball.

A new QVD Welcome to the world, Jerrine Lee


Congratulations to Saygan Habsburg Libtow and her husband Mike Libtow on the birth of their daughter Jerrine Lee Libtow.  Jerrine was born earlier today at her parents' home in Webberville, Michigan. 

all three photos: @Saygan Habsburg Libtow

New mom and Jeri are doing well.  Big brother Wulferic,9,  slept through the birth.   As you can see from the photo, Wulf already adores his baby sister.  

Mom was in labor for less than three hours.  

Jerrine weighed 9 lbs 10ozs and is 22.5 inches long.  Her first name honors her late grandmother, Jerrine Habsburg, the wife of Archduke Stefan of Austria, who was better known as Stefan Habsburg, who worked for General Motors for many years and was a naturalized American citizen.

These photos cannot be reproduced elsewhere without the permission of the copyright holder

Saygan's two dogs, Remy, a coonhound, and Mabel, a pit bull mix, are also happy to have a new little sister.  According to the new mom, Remy won't leave Jerrine's side.

Victoria - Alfred - Marie - Ileana -Stefan - Christopher - Saygan - Jerrine

Birthdays of the Royal Family (1835)

I found this article in the Sunday Times (October 4, 1835) while researching the Duchess of Cumberland for an upcoming blog post (or rather several posts).  This list features the birthdays of all but one member of the Royal Family alive in 1835.

The order of names is a mixture of precedence and birthdates. 

King William IV and Queen Adelaide followed by the other surviving children of the late King George III:   Augusta Sophia (1868-1840),  Elizabeth (1770-1840, the widow of Friedrich, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, the Duke of Cumberland (1771-1851), the Duke of Sussex (1773-1843), Duke of Cambridge (1774-1850), Princess Mary, the widowed Duchess of Gloucester (1776-1857), Princess Sophia (1777-1848), Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester (1773-1844), the Duchess of Cumberland (1778-1843), the Duchess of Kent (1786-1861), the Duchess of Cambridge (1797-1851), Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent (1819-1901), Prince George Frederick of Cumberland (1819-1878), Prince George William of Cambridge (1819-1904) and Princess Augusta Caroline of Cambridge (1822-1916).

The youngest of the three Cambridge children, Princess Mary Adelaide, is not included, on this list even though she was born on November 27, 1833.  She died in 1897.

Princess Mary married her first cousin, Prince William, Duke of Gloucester & Edinburgh (1776-1834) in 1816.  He was the son of Prince William, Duke of Gloucester & Edinburgh, younger brother of George III, who in 1766 married Maria Walpole, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Walpole and Dorothy Clement.  Her grandfather was Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford.  Walpole is considered the first British Prime Minister.  The Duke and Maria Walpole, the widow of the 2nd Earl of Waldegrave married in secret.  King George III did not find out about his brother's marriage until September 1772, five months after Parliament passed the Royal Marriages Act, which required the Sovereign's permission to marry.  

The Gloucester marriage was considered valid as it took place before the Act was promulgated.   Maria, who spent her childhood at Frogmore House, was never received at her brother-in-law's court.    

  Embed from Getty Images

Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester was considered a candidate for the future William IV, but she had no interest in her first cousin.  

Three of the four young people on the list celebrated their 16th birthdays in 1835, two years away from reaching their majority.  Princess Augusta was was 13 years old.  

Embed from Getty Images 

 What became of the four first cousins?  In 1843, Augusta married her first maternal first cousin, Friedrich Wilhelm, the future Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.  Fritz was also Prince George of Cumberland's first cousin, as his father and the Duchess of Cumberland were siblings.

In 1835, Prince George of Cumberland was third in line to the British throne behind his first cousin, Alexandrina Victoria, and his father, Prince Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale.

Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent was heiress presumptive to the British throne.  William IV was also King of Hanover.  When he died in June 1837, one month after Victoria reached her majority,  she succeeded to the British throne.  Uncle Cumberland won the second prize, the throne of Hanover as women could not inherit that kingdom.  Her first cousin,  Prince George of Cumberland, got a new title: Crown Prince of Hanover, as heir apparent to his father, King Ernst August.  

In 1851, Georg succeeded his father as King Georg V of Hanover.  After siding with Austria in the Austro-Prussian war in 1866,  Georg and his family were forced into exile as Prussia annexed the former kingdom of Hanover.  The family remained members of the British royal family.   Georg's only son, Ernst August, Duke of Cumberland, married Princess Thyra of Denmark, whose older sisters, Alexandra and Dagmar married Edward VII and Alexander III, respectively.

 Embed from Getty Images 

 Prince George William succeeded his father as the Duke of Cambridge.  He married an actress, Sarah Fairbrother in 1847.  This marriage was in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act, which meant that the marriage was not valid in England.  The couple had three sons, two of who were born before the wedding.  

Sarah was never entitled to be styled as HRH The Duchess of Cambridge and their three sons had the surname FitzGeorge and no succession rights to the throne or the Cambridge dukedom.   The Duke was the second member of the Royal Marriage to not seek permission to wed.  His uncle, Prince Augustus, Duke of Sussex, married twice in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act

Embed from Getty Images

Augusta's little sister, Mary Adelaide, who was not included on this birthday list, grew up to be the chunkey monkey of British princesses.  It was not easy to find a husband for Mary Adelaide. She was 32 when in 1866, she married  Prince Franz, Duke of Teck, a morganatic scion of the royal house of Württemberg.   A year later, on May 26, 1867, she gave birth to her first of four children and only daughter, Princess Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes of Teck.  This princess was known as May.  Queen Victoria encourage marriage between her grandson, Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (1864-1892), the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, eldest son of Queen Victoria.

Eddy proposed to May on December 3, 1891.  She said yes, of course.  The wedding was scheduled to take place on February 27, 1892.  

Along with other members of the Royal Family, the Duke of Clarence attended the funeral of Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the son of Queen Victoria's older sister Feodora, where he caught a chill that quickly turned to pneumonia.  The Duke of Clarence and Avondale died at Sandringham House on January 14, 1892.   May was at her fiance's bedside when he died.  In July 1893, she married Eddy's younger brother, Prince George, Duke of York (1865-1936).  

In 1835,  William IV was on the throne for 5 years.  In 1910, Prince George, Duke of York (styled as the Prince of Wales since November 1901) succeeded his father, Edward VII, and was known as King George V.   

George V was the grandson of Queen Victoria, the niece of William IV.  He married Princess May of Teck, whose mother, Princess Mary Adelaide, was also a niece of William IV.  

The present head of the House of Hanover,  Prince Ernst August (1954) is a great-great-grandson, of King Georg V of Hanover (George of Cumberland), another nephew of William IV.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Delphine joins other Belgium royals at memorial mass

Embed from Getty Images

 Princess Delphine and her husband, James O'Hara joined other members of the Belgian royal family today at the annual memorial service for deceased members of the royal family.   All of Belgium's late sovereigns and their wives are buried in the Royal Crypt at the Church of Notre Dame at Laeken.  Delphine, the daughter of King Albert II, joined King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Princess Astrid, and her daughter, Princess Laetitia-Maria, and King Albert II and Queen Paola for the service.

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

Death of a QVD : Mechtilde Bauscher


HSH Princess Mechtilde Alexandra of Leiningen was the 5th child of HIH Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia (1907-1951) and HSH Friedrich Karl Eduard Erwin, 6th Prince of Leiningen (1898-1946).  She married November 24 (civil) and November 25, 1961, at Amorbach to Karl-Anton Bauscher (1931).  

Marlene Eilers Koenig Collection

Princess Mechtilde was a lovely woman, kind, and always helping when answering my questions for my books on Queen Victoria's Descendants.  She was also a descendant of Emperor Alexander II of Russia

Victoria - Alfred - Victoria Melita - Maria Kirillovna - Mechtilde

Alexander II - Maria Alexandrovna - Victoria Melita - Maria Kirillovna -Mechtilde

Alexander II  - Wladimir - Kirill - Maria Kirillovna - Mechtilde 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

New to my collection


Just added these four postcards to my collection.  The card of Friederike and her parents is part of a series.  Another one of the series appears in this post

Mail Call


This is the wedding of Kinga Edle von Poschinger and Antonius von Schierstädt.

I wrote about their wedding last fall.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

a new QVD in a few months



TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced earlier today that the Duchess is expecting a second child. 

"We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child," stated their spokesman.

The due date was not included in the announcement.

This will be the second child for the Duke and Duchess.  Their first child, Archie Harrison, was born on May 6, 2019, at the Portland Hospital in London.  Last July, the Duchess suffered a miscarriage, which she wrote about for the New York Times in November.

The new baby will be 8th in line to the British throne. 

Several news outlets have been reporting that the late Diana, Princess of Wales' second pregnancy (Harry) was announced on February 14, 1984.  This is incorrect. 

Buckingham Palace announced on February 13, 1984, that the Princess of Wales was expecting a second child.  The BBC broadcast the news at noon.  British newspapers put the pregnancy on their front page on February 14.  The Associated Press' wire story would have followed the BBC's announcement within a few minutes. (I was a news librarian with the AP in 1984).   A noon announcement in the United Kingdom meant that Americans living on the East Coast would have heard the news soon after 8 a.m., if they were watching one of network morning news programs or CNN, which began broadcasting in June 1980.

Notice the February 13th dateline for the New York Times and the Washington Post.

People Magazine (February 27, 1984) refers to the "Valentine's eve announcement."   I also have the Daily Telegraph's article (February 14, 1984) titled "September Baby for Princess."   The lead paragraph states: "After months of speculation, the Prince and Princess of Wales announced YESTERDAY that they are expecting their second child late in September."

This will be the second of three births in the royal family this year.   Princess Eugenie, who is married to Jack Brooksbank, gave birth to a son on February 9.   Zara Tindall, the daughter of Princess Anne, is due to give birth to her third child within the next few months.

Eugenie, Harry, and Zara are first cousins, which makes their children second cousins.   Baby Sussex will be Queen Elizabeth II's tenth great-grandchild unless Baby Tindall arrives first.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Mail Call


More cards are trickling in.  The card from the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall was posted on January 29.