Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mail Call


I cannot believe Maria-Stella has had her First Communion - the same day as the baptism of her little sister, Cecilia,   What a sweet memory.

Crown Prince Wilhelm ready to be king

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 March 31, 1946

Crown Prince Wilhelm, the heir to the Hohenzollern dynasty, says he is ready to "serve his fatherland if Germany ever wants a king," reports the Associated Press.

The 65-year-old eldest son of the late Kaiser Wilhelm II, who died in exile in 1941, said: "The best political system in the world is the English Parliament, with a constitutional monarchy. If that were adopted for Germany, it would mean the restoration of the House of Hohenzollern."

The reporter responded: "You mean the restoration of your oldest living son, Louis Ferdinand?"

The former Crown prince offered a gentle correction: "Myself or my son."

He has forsaken his 180-room castle for a "plebian, but snug villa" in Hechingen. Wilhelm "laughed lightly" when the reporter mentioned that a monarchical party had already been launched in Bavaria with support for Crown Prince Rupprecht.

"Oh, that," Wilhelm said.  "Rupprecht is a very decent man.  A lot of people believe in him."

A week ago, the former Crown Prince met with Dr. James K Pollock, a professor at the University of Michigan, who is the number 2 political advisor to the American Military Government in Germany.   Pollock reported what was said in the interview to Lt. Gen Lucius Clay, deputy U.S. commander in Germany,  Robert Murphy, the US Ambassador, and the State Department.   Pollock's report has not been published,

Wilhelm and AP's correspondent discussed the political situation within Germany.  

"The Germans at the moment do not know their own mind.  They talk of democracy, and of course, that is a bad joke.  For the moment I am keeping quiet in the background.  No visits from the German political leaders, who seem to talk so much eyewash these days."

He is not keen on the Russians.  "These ghastly Russians are sitting on my property in Eastern Germany.  My castle on a hill here is not productive -- most of the rooms are not even furnished, and it took so much fuel to heat a few that I moved into town to be sure of having a hot bath at least once a fortnight.

He also used the word ghastly to describe German beer and German divisions. "Beer is ghastly -- fit only for plants.   

"It is ghastly for Germany to be so divided as she is.  One occupation power would have been much better than four, and Germany must always be united, Germany cannot live without the Ruhr.

"The Russians have become such imperialists...I am glad you have an atomic bomb in your trousers."   

Wilhelm admitted to the reporter that he missed "his horses and golf a great deal" after he had to leave Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam toward the end of the war.    He added that he recently completed his memoirs:

"Yes, I have been writing.  It is called 'Thirty-Five years of German History, 1910-1945.  It is my effort to see the problem as a whole."

The reporter asked if he could see the manuscript.  Wilhelm produced a Manila folder that the reporter described as a "terse effort. Thirty-five years have been wrapped into 37 pages."

Carol asks to be crowned without Helen

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 March 31, 1931

King Carol II of Romania has expressed the wish to be crowned as King of Romania without Princess Helen, reports the Associated Press.

After renouncing his rights to the throne and living in exile for five years, Carol returned to Romania last June 6.  He was proclaimed king a month later.  His young son, Michael, who had succeeded King Ferdinand in 1927 was demoted to Crown Prince.  

Carol had proclaimed Helen as his queen but she has refused to consent to his request for an annulment of their divorce.  

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Victoria Romanovna Bettarini chooses her wedding tiara


All photos by Photos by David Niviere  for Point de Vue

Victoria Romanovna Bettarini will be wearing a Chaumet tiara for her October wedding in St. Petersburg.

She will marry HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich on October 1, 2021, at St Isaac's Cathedral.    Victoria Romanovna has kindly allowed me to use her interview with the French magazine, Point de Vue, and the photographs.   The interview was translated into English.

How did you choose your tiara?

Stephane Berne and the CEO of Chaumet, Jean-Marc Mansvelt, welcomed me to this extraordinary Hôtel Particulier at 12 place Vendôme, and from there we talked a lot about what I hoped this tiara would symbolize for Russia, for France, and for Europe. I wanted to be able to wear a tiara on this day that had deep historical significance. This was why I chose to pay tribute not only to Russia but also to the jewelry from a house with 240 years of history such as Chaumet. The choice was very fast, I immediately found exactly what I was looking for.

Which type of tiara attracted you?

I chose a breathtaking tiara -- because it balances lightness in construction with the extraordinary stones, it is both classic and contemporary, sumptuous and simple. It suits the wedding dress perfectly and reflects my own personality very well.

Why did you choose Chaumet?

Maison Chaumet created many masterpieces for the Russian Imperial House [in the past]. In particular, George's great-great-grandmother [Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna) one of the house's most important clients by 1899. The “Waterfall” tiara that the house created for her remains today a mythical and extraordinary piece, which unfortunately disappeared during the revolution. It must also be remembered that Chaumet created a sensation during The Red Cross Exhibition of 1901 in Saint Petersburg, following which [Joseph] Chaumet was decorated with the Imperial Order of Saint Anna.

Why this particular one?

The choice was hard because they had majestic tiaras. But I wanted to choose a tiara that had never been worn, and which would be both a tribute to Russian culture, as well as a tribute to the firm’s fine jewelry. This is why I wanted to choose a tiara created with the "fil couteau” or “knife-edge" technique, which is one of the specialties of Maison Chaumet. In its form, the tiara pays homage not only to a Russian kokoshnik [the traditional form for Russian tiaras], but also its shape is inspired by ships’ sails, and for me, this seemed like an homage not only to George’s Great-grandfather [the grand duke Kyrill] who was chief of Naval staff but also to the City of Saint Petersburg.

What does Grand Duke George think of it?

He thinks it is just perfect in its symbolism, but also that it looks great on me.

Did you choose it together?

No, because that same day the Grand Duke was participating in an official engagement at the French Senate for a ceremony as part of the bicentenary of the Emperor Napoleon.

What does it mean to you?

I think it is important to pay tribute to the history of Russia, a great European empire that over the centuries has repeatedly helped determine the fate of Europe and the world. This cultural exchange, with links between Russia, France, and Europe is part of a long historical tradition.

How did you feel when you tried it on for the first time?

I immediately felt that it was the right choice, and it made me realize that the finesse of this wonderful knowledge and craftsmanship is the result of a passion and mastery of the art  [of jewelry making] over generations.

What were the reactions to the announcement of your engagement?

It is very touching to see the interest aroused by the announcement of our upcoming marriage, which will be the first marriage of the son of the head of the Imperial House in St Petersburg since before the revolution.

How are you going to occupy the months leading up to your wedding scheduled for October 1 in St. Petersburg?

The organization of this wedding is already consuming us, we are prepared for a lot of work, we have a lot of choices and decisions to be made, and a lot of protocol work awaits us! Fortunately, we can count on the help of the Chancellery as well as the support of the Russian authorities for the organization.

What style of wedding are you hoping for?

It will be an Orthodox wedding in the finest traditions of both Russia and the Imperial Family.

Have you imagined your future dress?

I found that finding the dress was not as easy as I thought it was!  After a long search, I found what I was looking for. A dress that is imposing but soft, with a contemporary fabric but a very classic style.  A dress that will stand out from others, but very traditional at the same time.

What would you like for the reception?

The reception will take place in a historic palace in Saint Petersburg. We hope to be able to open many of the most beautiful palaces in the city to show our guests the grandeur and beauty of the “Venice of the North”, imagined by Peter the Great and which is still so beautiful and symbolic today.

Thank you Victoria Romanova for allowing me to publish your interview withPoint de Vue and to use the stunning photos as well, which were taken by David Niviere

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

It is a boy for Zara and Mike

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Zara Tindall gave birth to her third child, a son, on March 21.  The baby was born on the bathroom floor at the Tindalls' home on the Gatcombe Park estate in Minchinhampton.

In his podcast, The Good, Bad, and the Rugby, Mike Tindall announced that Zara gave birth on the bathroom floor of their home.  Lucas Philip Tindall was born around 6 p.m,, "arriving very quickly," according to the happy father.   

"A little baby boy has arrived at our house."

He added: "it was running to the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get the mat on the floor, towels down, brace, brace, brace."   The midwife was going to meet the couple at the hospital but headed straight to Gatcombe when she got the call that Zara was in advanced labor.  A second midwife arrived just "as the head arrived."

Lucas weighed 8lb. 4ozs.  Mother and baby are doing fine.

Lucas is the fifth grandchild and first grandson of Princess Anne and her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips.

Shortly after Mike's podcast, Buckingham Palace released a statement: "The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh are delighted with the news and look forward to meeting their 10th Great Grandchild when circumstances allow."

Mike Tindall told reporters told CNN that his wife "was a warrior, as always, they always are.  We can never judge a woman in terms of what they go have to go through at childbirth."

Zara's close friend Dolly Maude was at their home and "recognized that we wouldn't have got to the hospital in time,.

The couple's two daughters, Mia, 7, and 2-year-old Lena, were not at home when Zara gave birth.   Tindall told People magazine that his wife had "contractions through the night -- she hadn't slept well the night before so we had someone take the kids for the day."

Lucas's middle name honors Zara's 99-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, and Mike's father, Philip Tindall.

Mike said he has already introduced his son to sports.  "The best thing about being at home ... was as soon as he was wrapped up, it was skin on skin, TV room, golf on.  This is what me and you are doing!"

Lucas is currently 22nd in line to the throne.  he will move down a notch after the Duchess of Sussex gives birth to her second child, a daughter, sometime this summer.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Suspended sentence for Ernst August

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In a Wels, Austria courtroom, Judge Teresa Bergthaler asked Prince Ernst August of Hanover to temporarily remove his mask so she could see his facial expressions, reports Focus, an Austrian newspaper.   As titles have been forbidden in Austria since 1919, she addressed Ernst August as Herr Hannover.

At the start of the trial, Ernst August offered an apology. "I take responsibility, I deeply regret what happened and I am ready to pay for the damage."

The trial lasted nearly seven hours as ten witnesses were called to the stand.   Prince Ernst August received ten months probation for his verbal and physical attacks on police officers while he was drunk.   The judge reassured him that he would not be going to jail.

The prosecution did not make a statement.   Ernst August's lawyers wanted an acquittal.   The judgment is not final. 

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The Prince left the courtroom after the verdict, as a former cancer patient, he has a "justified fear" of Covid-19.

twenty seats in the courtroom were reserved for the media, most of whom came from Germany.  The prosecution dismissed the defense's claim that there was "prejudice" in the press coverage, stating that the investigations were carried out with complete objectivity.

Ernst August's problems began in the summer of 2020, when he made an emergency call to the police, claiming he was ill and felt threatened.  The police arrived and were witnesses to his aggressive behavior against the couple who was in charge of his housekeeping.  The heavily intoxicated Ernst August then turned his anger on the police.

According to the witnesses, Ernst August hit one police officer in the face and then tried to attack another officer with a knife which was knocked out of his hands.  He also made death threats against several of the officers, saying he would send mercenaries to kill them and their families.

Further threats were made when the police tried to enforce the gun ban and take away his guns.  Several weeks later, he threatened a female police officer with a baseball bat.  The officer, a single mother, feared for her safety and the safety of her children.  

"I have never had anything to do with a party that threatened me with death so often." referring to numerous calls that the prince made to the police station.

The defense made several references to the prince's apology.  His lawyer emphasized that Ernst August was in an "exceptional situation" because he had undergone an operation for cancer and his conflict with his elder son.   "He felt abandoned," claimed his lawyers.

Although some may see the suspended sentence as a slap on the wrist, the judge also banned Prince Ernst August from living in his Auerbach, near Grünau home for the next three years.  He is also banned from visiting other buildings that belong to the Herzog von Cumberland Foundation, nor can he have contact with the administrators of these buildings.  He also cannot have alcohol and must under psychotherapy.

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Prince Ernst August called the judge's decision "impossible and unthinkable."  He has resided in the former hunting lodge for over 50 years.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Ernst August faces three years in jail

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March 21, 2021

Prince Ernst August of Hanover is scheduled to appear in court for trial in Wels, Austria, this week.  He could be sentenced to three years in jail.

The 67-year-old prince is accused of negligence, "by putting himself in a state of insanity with alcohol and medication," reports the Nachrichten, an Austrian newspaper.  He allegedly attacked a police officer and threatened another office and several employees.  If he had not been under the influence of alcohol and drugs, he would have been charged with "resisting state authority, grievous bodily harm, dangerous threats, property damage, and coercion."

During the evening of July 15, police were called to Ernst August's hunting lodge in Grünau, where he became violent and attacked a police officer.  

The public prosecutor's office states that one of the major issues is the enforcement of a provisional gun and the need to have Ernst August committed.   The prince, according to one of the original news reports, made the call to the police because he felt threatened by his housekeeping couple.   Medical officials recommended that he be reprimanded to a hospital for further treatment.

Ernst August claimed that he had been beaten by police officers.  His complaints again the police force and the provisional gun ban are "pending at the Regional Administrative Courts of Upper Austria."

Five days after the first attack, Ernst August faced more charges when he was accused of threatening a policewoman with a baseball bat.   He took a taxi to the local police station to report the police violence.  As the officers who were named in his complaint were not at the station when he arrived, the prince left "without achieving anything."  

 He was on his way home when he met with two policewomen and spoke to them from the taxi.   According to the police report,  Ernst August made verbal violent threats against one of the policewomen.  He had brought a baseball bat with him, and it was lying on the floor of the taxi next to him.

A third complaint was filed against Prince Ernst August on September 7.  He was said to have broken a window in a house that belonged to a member of the Herzog von Cumberland foundation.  The complaint also noted that Ernst August allegedly tried to force the couple and their daughter from the building.

He was arrested for this incident and jailed for two days.

His lawyer, Malte Berlin, complains that Ernst August, who is "exposed to massive media prejudice" will not receive a fair trial.  Berlin said that Ernst August does not "personally want to contribute."

The German celebrity magazine Bunte has speculated that Ernst August's defense strategy will claim that he obtained the alcohol from the housekeeping couple although they knew he was not permitted to consume it.

More than ten witnesses and a psychiatric expert will be called into the trial.  The trial will be postponed if Ernst August does not appear. He does not have to answer the judge's questions about his income, assets, and debts, but should he be sentenced to a fine, the court will make inquiries into his financial situation.

The court has received a number of media requests from the German press.  Due to COVID-19,  there will be a limited number of people allowed into the court so the journalists must register in advance.  Their cell phones and laptops will not be allowed in the courtroom to avoid live updates.;art4,3368329

Friday, March 19, 2021

No Trooping the Colour or Garter Day this year.

June 2019   al photos @Marlene A Eilers Koenig

No trip to England for me in 2021 -- and Garter Day was scheduled for June 14, my birthday.   A muted Trooping may be held at Windsor Castle, as it was last year.


Thursday, March 18, 2021

New QVDS on the way

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HRH the Hereditary Princess of Hanover and HSH The Hereditary Princess of Leiningen are expecting babies later this year.

Princess Ekaterina is married to HRH Hereditary Prince Ernst August of Hanover, elder son of HRH Prince Ernst August of Hanover and his first wife, Chantal Hochuli.   The Hereditary Princess of Leiningen was born Viktoria Luise Prinzessin von Preussen, only daughter of  the late HRH Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, eldest son of the late HI & RH Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, and his second wife, Ehrengard von Reden.

This will be the third child for the former Ekaterina Malysheva, 34, and her 37-year-old husband.   They are the parents of HRH Princess Elisabeth, born in  February 2018, and HRH Prince Welf August, who turned two on March 14.


The Hereditary Princess of Leiningen gave birth to a daughter, HSH Princess Alexandra, on February 28, 2020.  The Princess and her husband are both 38 years old.

The Hereditary Princes of Hanover and Leiningen are first cousins. They are descendants of Queen Victoria as is the Hereditary Princess of Leiningen.

Victoria - Victoria - Wilhelm - Viktoria Luise - Ernst August - Ernst August - Ernst August

Victoria - Victoria Wilhelm -Viktoria Luise - Ernst August - Alexandra - Ferdinand

Victoria - Alfred - Victoria Melita - Maria - Emich - Ferdinand

Victoria - Victoria - Wilhelm -Wilhelm - Louis Ferdinand  - Friedrich Wilhelm - Viktoria Luise

Victoria - Alfred - Victoria Melita - Kira - Friedrich Wilhelm - Viktoria Luise

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Empress Zita of Austria (1892-1989)


Former Empress Zita of Austria, widow of Karl I, last Emperor Austria, died in her apartment in Zizers, Switzerland on March 14, 1989.  She was 96 years old.

She was born HRH Princess Zita Maria delle Grazie Adelgonda Micaela Raffaela Gabriella Giuseppina Antonia Luisa Agnese of Bourbon-Parma, on May 9, 1892 at Villa Pianore in Lucca, Italy, the fifth of 12 children of former Duke Roberto I of Parma and his second wife, Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal.   (Roberto's first wife,  Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies died after giving birth to her twelfth child who was stillborn.)

It was at Villa Wartholz. the home of Zita's maternal aunt, Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, where she met Maria Theresa's step-grandson, Archduke Karl, the second in line to the throne after his uncle, Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose marriage to Countess Sophie von Chotek was morganatic.  This meant that Sophie and their three children were not entitled to imperial titles.  Sophie was styled as the Duchess of Hohenberg.   Their children were not in line to the thrones of Austria and Hungary.

Maria Theresa was the third wife of Archduke Karl, a younger brother of Emperor Franz Josef.

Zita and Archduke Karl were married at Schloss Schwarzau on October 21, 1911.  A year later, she gave birth to a son Archduke Otto.  She and Karl would have seven more children.  Their last child, Archduchess Elisabeth, was born nearly two months after the death of Emperor Karl on May 1, 1922.

Karl and Zita's lives were changed inexorably on June 28, 1914, when Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated by a Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Prinzip, during an official visit to Sarajevo.  Karl was now the heir presumptive to his great-uncle Franz Josef.    Austria-Hungary soon found itself at war, allied with Germany against the Entente (the United Kingdom, France and Russia, and eventually, the United States.)

Emperor Franz Josef was 86 years old when he died on November 21, 1916.   Karl was now the Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, and Zita, his devoted consort.

The Austrian monarchy came to an end on November 11, 1918, with the establishment of a republic the following day.  By March 1919, Karl and Zita, and their children went into exile.  The family was living in Madeira when Karl succumbed to bronchitis and died on April 1, 1922.   He was 34 years old.  Zita, pregnant with their eighth child, was only 29 when she was widowed.

all images: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection

The Austrian government permitted Zita's funeral to take place in Vienna with one caveat: her family would have to pay all costs.  The funeral took place on April 1, 1989.  

I was working for the Associated Press in New York when Zita died.  I spoke with Roland Prinz's AP's Vienna Bureau chief.  He told me he was going to the funeral.   After the funeral, he sent me his ticket and the program/liturgy for the funeral.  Zita's Mass card and a commemorative card were tucked inside the booklet.

Cover of the service booklet

Friday, March 12, 2021

Mail call


The final card is the Christmas card from King Simeon and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel - Covid postive

 Photo: Raphael Stecksén, The Royal Court of Sweden

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and her husband, Prince Daniel, have tested positive for Covid-19,  according to a Swedish royal court release.

"The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel display mild symptoms, but are feeling well considering the circumstances, "  said the Swedish Court in a statement.  The couple is in quarantine with their two children, Princess Estelle, and Prince Oscar. 

Last November,  Victoria's brother, Prince Carl Philip, and his wife, Princess Sofia, tested positive for Covid and were also "feeling well under the circumstances."

Victoria, 43 is the eldest child of King Carl XVI and Queen Silvia.

The full statement:

"On Wednesday 10 March, Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel isolated themselves after the Crown Princess experienced cold symptoms. Today, the Crown Princess Couple tested positive for covid-19.

The Crown Princess and Prince Daniel are doing well under the circumstances with only mild symptoms. Immediately after the symptoms of illness appeared, The Crown Princess, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle and Prince Oscar were quarantined at home.

Contact tracing is initiated under the supervision of the Physician to His Majesty The King.

The Crown Princess Couple did not attend today's memorial service at Drottningholm Palace Chapel, which is aired tonight at 6.45 pm on SVT1. Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia took the Crown Princess Couple's seats at the memorial service.

The Name Day celebration of The Crown Princess at the Royal Palace, which would have taken place tomorrow 12 March, is cancelled. "