Friday, April 30, 2021

Don't drop it, Your Majesty!

@Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

I took this photo in the mid-80s in New York City when King Carl XVI Gustaf visited Orrefors, the Swedish crystal company.

A Prince for Sweden

 April 30, 1946

Hereditary Princess Sibylla of Sweden gave birth to a son today at Haga Palace, in Solna, Sweden, reports the Associated Press.

King Gustav V "rejoiced" at the news of the birth of his great-grandson, the first direct male heir to be born in 40 years.

An 84 naval guns salute announced the birth of a prince, who is third in line to the throne after his grandfather, Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, and his father, Hereditary Prince Gustav Adolf.

King Gustav. recently recovered from influenza, made his first appearance since Easter as he was driven in the rain to Haga Palace to see his new great-grandson.

The new prince's names and ducal title were announced in a brief session of the King's Cabinet Council:  Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus, Duke of Jämtland.

The New York Times reports "the whole of Sweden received the news with extreme joy" as the new prince assures the Bernadotte succession.  The Swedish succession is males only, which means the Hereditary Prince and his wife have four daughters,  Princess Margaretha, Princess Birgitta, Princess Desiree, and Princess Christina cannot succeed to the throne.

All but one of the Hereditary Prince's brothers lost their rights to the throne when they married commoners.  Prince Bertil remains unmarried.

The current line of succession in Sweden is as follows:  Crown Prince Gustav Adolf, 63, Hereditary Gustav Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, 40,  Prince Carl Gustav, Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland 34, Prince Wilhelm, Duke of Södermanland, 61 (younger son of the King),  Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland, 85 (younger brother of the King),  and Prince Eugen, Duke of Närke, 80, (the youngest brother of the King.

Prince Eugen, a gifted artist, is unmarried.  Lennart and Carl, the only sons of Prince Wilhelm and Prince Carl ceased to have dynastic rights when they married commoners.

All images  Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

Thursday, April 29, 2021

British princesses thank American youth

Embed from Getty Images

 April 29, 1941

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret's letter to the young people of the United States thanking them for their "aid to British children" was made public by Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, reports the New York Times.

Mrs. Roosevelt is the national chairman of the "Young America Wants to Help" organization.   She is the former Belle Wyatt Willard who married Kermit Roosevelt, the second son of the late President Theodore Roosevelt, in 1914.  


Here is the text of the Princesses' letter

Happy anniversary - William and Catherine

Embed from Getty Images

  Embed from Getty Images 

Kensington Palace has released two new photos of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary today

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Mail call

@Anne Duchastel

This card arrived a few days ago

Friday, April 23, 2021

A new QVD


The newest QVD is  Frederick William Paul Hicks,  the second child of Alexia and Will Hicks.  Alexia is the daughter of the late Paul Brandram, the only child of HRH Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark.Freddie was born in the Portland Hospital in London.

Freddie has an older sister, Theodora Katherine Anne, who was born at the Portland Hospital on March 6, 2019.

Victoria - Victoria - Sophie -Katherine - Paul - Alexia - Freddie

Thursday, April 22, 2021

HRH Duchess Helene of Württemberg (1929-2021)


Margravine Helene and her husband Markgrave Federico in 2010
 @Stefan Sohn

HRH Duchess Helene Christina Rosa Margareta Albertine Philippine Amélie Therese Josephine Antonia Alix Patrine Paula Pia of Württemberg died on April 22, 2021 at Altshausen.  She was 91 years old.

The Duchess was the eldest of six children of the late HRH Philipp Duke of Württemberg (1893-1975) and his second wife, Archduchess Rosa of Austria (1906-1985).  Her first name honored her father's first wife and her mother's sister, Archduchess Helene (1903-1924), who died a week after giving birth to a daughter, Duchess Marie Christine.

Helene married Markgraf Federico Palavicini on August 23, 1961, at Friedrichshafen,  The civil wedding took place a day earlier in Altshausen.

She is survived by her four children: Maria Cristina Pallavicini (1963), Antonietta Pallavicini (1964), Gabriella Pallavicini Walter (1965), and Gian Carlo Markgraf Pallavicini  (1967), three grandsons, Tassilo and Casimir Bartram, Lucca Walter,  Helena and Florentine Pallavicini and her estranged husband.

Maria Cristina is divorced from Jens Bartram.  Gian-Carlo married Pauline Haniel in 2016.  They are the parents of Helena (2018) and Florentine (2020.)  Due to Covid-19. Duchess Helene was unable to meet her youngest granddaughter in person.  

She is also survived by her siblings  HRH Princess Marie Christine of Liechtenstein, HRH Princess Elisabeth of Bourbon-Two Sicilies,  HRH Princess Marie Therese, Duchess of Montpensier and HRH Carl, Duke of Württemberg.

Monday, April 19, 2021

When Queen Sonja met Walter Mondale

All photos by Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

 Former Vice President Walter Mondale died today at the age of 93.   On October 9, 1991, he was one of the guests at the welcome of three Viking Ships at the Washington D.C., Harbor.

The three ships were recreating Leif Erickson Day .. the Icelandic-Norwegian explorer who "discovered" America nearly 500 years before King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel sponsored Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World.   

Queen Sonja of Norway and then Icelandic President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir were the guests of honor.   I was covering the event for a Britsh magazine.  Much to the amusement of the press, the Secret Service tried to deny entry to one of the VIPs.  

Walter Mondale, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir & Queen Sonja

We kept telling the agents, all of whom appeared very young, that the man they were questioning was a prominent Norwegian American Walter Mondale.  I recognized him as did other members of the press.

One of the agents turned to me afterward and said thank you.   I responded with something like: you should be able to identify the former Vice President.

It was not until 2008 when Congress passed legislation that extended Secret Service protection for former Vice Presidents for six months after leaving office.

Mondale served as Jimmy Carter's Vice President (1977-1981).  He lost the 1984 Presidential election to Ronald Reagan.  

Walter Mondale was 93.

Price Philip's parents: Alice and Andrew

All images in this post are from the Marlene A.Eilers Koenig Collectyion

In her journal, for February 25, 1885, Queen Victoria described the birth of her fourth great-grandchild, a daughter. 

"Woke before 7. Hearing that Victoria had had a bad night, I got up & went over to see her.  She was very suffering. I had some breakfast, & then went back remaining with dear Victoria on & off, till at length, at 20 m to 5 in the afternoon, the child, a little girl, was born. The relief was great for poor Victoria had had such a long hard time, which always makes me anxious. How strange & indeed affecting, it was, to see her lying in the same room & in the same bed, in which she herself was born.  Good Ludwig was most helpful & attentive, hardly leaving Victoria for a moment. The Baby is very small, thin & dark. I held it for a few moments in my arms.  It is curious that it should be born on dear Alice's 2nd birthday, which Helen specially came to spend here. As all was going well with dear Victoria, & the evening very fine, I took a short drive with Ly Southampton & Horatia S.  On coming in, went again to Victoria, who had rested & was quite composed & happy.  Ludwig was radiant..."

Ludwig was of course, Prince Louis.  The little Princess celebrating her 2nd birthday was Princess Alice of Albany,  the daughter of the late Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, and his wife,  Princess Helen of Waldeck und Pyrmont.   Alice and Princess Victoria were first cousins, both granddaughters of Queen Victoria.

Princess Alice 

Princess Alice died on December 14, 1878, the same day as her father, Prince Albert.   The Prince Consort's death in 1861 was attributed to typhoid fever.  Alice succumbed to diphtheria, a month after the disease also took the life of her youngest daughter, Marie.

Princess Victoria, the eldest child of Queen Victoria's third child, Princess Alice, and Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and By Rhine, had married her father's first cousin, Prince Louis of Battenberg.  This was not a dynastic marriage but a love match.   Prince Louis' father, Prince Alexander of Hesse and By Rhine's marriage to a Polish Countess Julie von Hauke was a morganatic marriage.  This meant Alexander's rank and titles could not be shared with his wife or children.

Julie was given the title Princess of Battenberg with the style of Serene Highness, a rank shared by her children.  Victoria was a Grand Ducal Highness.  

Louis and Victoria knew each other since childhood.  The Queen had invited Victoria and her sister, Ella, to join her at Balmoral in the spring of 1883.  Ella told her father: "If Victoria does not go to Scotland she will become engaged to Louis Battenberg."

Prince Louis declined an invitation to attend his first cousin, Emperor Alexander II's Coronation, which took place in May 1883.   Alexander's mother,  Marie Alexandrovna, was the sister of Grand Duke Ludwig IV and Prince Alexander. 

The engagement between Victoria and Louis was announced that June.   Louis, already a naturalized British subject and an officer in the Royal Navy, and Victoria were married in Darmstadt on April 30, 1884.

The birth took place in the Tapestry Room in Windsor Castle, the same room where the infant princess' mother, Victoria, was born in 1863.    The new parents and their infant daughter returned to Darmstadt at the end of March.

Queen Victoria arrived in Darmstadt on April 23.  She would be present for the Confirmation of her grandson, Hereditary Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig. This ceremony was  held in the early afternoon.  After a lunch held in the Neues Palais Dining room, the Queen rested until shortly before 4 p.m., when the family again gathered in the Dining room for the baptism of Prince and Princess Louis's first child.   The infant princess was given the names Victoria Alice Elisabeth Julia Marie.

Queen Victoria, Princess Beatrice,  Princess Victoria, and Princess Alice

The godparents included Queen Victoria, Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and By Rhine, Prince Alexander of Hesse and By Rhine, Princess Julie of Battenberg, Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Russia, and Countess Marie of Erbach-Schönburg.   In other words, little Alice's great-grandmother, her three surviving grandparents, and her maternal and paternal aunts, respectively.

Alice's early years were spent in Darmstadt, Schloss Heiligenberg, London, and Malta. as her father moved up the ladder in the Royal Navy.   She was four years old when Victoria gave birth to a second daughter, Louise (1889-1965).   Another four-year interval followed when George was born (1892-1937).  A fourth child, Louis, known as Dickie, was born in June 1900.

It was her paternal grandmother Princess Julie who noticed that Alice was having problems hearing and took her to a specialist who diagnosed congenital deafness.   Alice did learn to speak and lipread in English, German, and Greek.

In July 1893, she was one of Princess May of Teck's bridesmaids at her wedding to the future King George V, the son of King Edward VII, who succeeded his mother, Queen Victoria, in January 1901.

Edward's Coronation was scheduled to take in June 1902.  Among the royal guests were Crown Prince Constantine and Crown Princess Sophie of Greece,  accompanied by two of Constantine's brothers,  Prince George and Prince Andrew, then only 20.   Sophie was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, while Constantine and his brothers were the nephews of Queen Alexandra, whose younger brother, Wilhelm, had been elected King of the Hellenes in 1863.  He took the name George as his regnal name.

It was during this family gathering that Princess Alice met and fell in love with Prince Andrew.

King Edward was ill with peritonitis and underwent emergency surgery, thus postponing the Coronation until August.   Alice and her mother returned to Darmstadt in early July, awaiting word of the new Coronation date.   It was also apparent that Alice was "much in love" with Andrew.   Victoria acknowledged that Andrew would be her son-in-law.

Alice and Victoria returned to London in August for the rescheduled Coronation, which took place on August 9.   In the carriage procession to Abbey,  Princess Victoria and Princess Alice were in the same carriage as Prince Andrew and his brother George.


Andrew and Alice had a few days in London to get to know each other before Alice and her mother returned to Germany.   The couple would not see each other for ten months due to Andrew's military service in Greece and the Battenbergs moved to London in January 1903 as Prince Louis had been appointed Director of Naval Intelligence.

Their engagement was announced on May 10, 1903, two days after Andrew arrived in London.  The wedding date was set for October 7 in Darmstadt.   The Princess of Wales' formidable Aunt Augusta was not impressed when she learned that Queen Alexandra would be attending the wedding.

"Why?" she wondered in a letter to May. "There is surely no reason for it, a Battenberg, daughter of an illegitimate father, he the fourth son of a newly baked King!

Oh, the irony of Augusta's words especially to May, whose father, Duke Franz, was the scion of a morganatic as well.

The couple was married in a civil ceremony on October 6.  Two religious ceremonies, Lutheran and Orthodox, took place the next day.  The Protestant service took place in the chapel in the Alte Schloss.  The Russian Orthodox wedding was celebrated at the Russian chapel at the  Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt.

Hugo Vickers notes in his excellent biography, Alice, Princess Andrew of Greece,  King Edward VII wanted the couple to have a fourth ceremony at the British Legation as Alice was a British subject, but "the young couple demurred."

Alice and Andrew were the parents of four daughters:  Margarita (1905-1981), Theodora  (1906-1969), Cecile (1911-1937), and Sophie (1914-2001), and one son, Philip (1921-2021).

Prince Andrew (1882-1944) was estranged from his wife and family when he died in Monaco. 

All images Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Princess Alice died on December 5, 1969, at Buckingham Palace.  She was originally interred in the Royal Crypt at St. George's Chapel until her wish to be buried at Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem could be fulfilled until August 3, 1988, when Alice's remains were brought to the church and buried in a crypt under the church.

In October 1994,  Alice's two surviving children, Princess Sophie and Prince Philip traveled to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem as Alice had been named as Righteous Among Nations as she hid the Cohen family, who were Jewish,  in her Athens home during the German occupation.

Prince Philip told the New York Times at the time:   "I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special. She was a person with a deep religious faith, and she would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress."

During this next week, I will post on Philip's four sisters.  I have selected photos from my collection to use in the posts.

If you liked this post ... I would love a latte


the Queen and Philip at Mount Vernon

@Marlene A Eilers Koenig

I took this photo on May 16, 1991, when HM the Queen and HRH The Prince Philip. Duke of Edinburgh visited Mount Vernon,  George Washington's home.  I was a member of the British press for the Queen's visit, but I slipped away from the group to head straight to Washington's tomb, where the Queen was scheduled to lay a wreath. 

I was already at the front of the roped-off area for the press when the other reporters and photographers.  One of the British photographers asked me how I got here so fast.  I smiled and said, I know a short cut and explained that I lived literally up the street from Mount Vernon (8.5 miles to be exact and often rode my bike on the trail to Mount Vernon.

The royal visit ended with the Queen unveiling a plaque commemorating her visit to Mount Vernon's new wharf where she and Prince Philip boarded a barge, which took the royal couple back to Washington, D.C.   

I said goodbye to the other reporters and got into my car and drove home.   A few minutes ride.  At the time, I lived in an apartment complex on the Potomac River so I had a great view on our back lawn to watch and wave as the barge headed up the river toward Georgetown.   

@Marlene A Eilers Koenig  - taken in July 2020

Friday, April 16, 2021

Another Lovely photo


@HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

Mike Tindall, the husband of Zara Phillips, is sharing this photo of the late Duke of Edinburgh with one of his great-grandchildren, Mia Tindall on his Instagram account.  

The photo was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge.

An Imperial Monogram


Grand Duke George of Russia and his fiancee, Rebecca Bettarini have released their monogram.

Courtesy of Rebecca Bettarini