Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Princess Ingrid Alexandra: new office and new portraits


Ida Bjørvik, The Royal Court

HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway will reach her majority on January 21st when she celebrates her 18th birthday.  In anticipation of this event, the Princess, who is second in line to the throne, has already received her own office.

Ida Bjørvik, The Royal Court

Two new portraits of Princess Ingrid Alexandra were released by the Norwegian court earlier today.

HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra is the elder of two children of TRH Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.  She has a younger brother, Prince Sverre Magnus, who is not styled as HRH.

The Norwegian Royal House consists of HM King Harold V, HM Queen Sonja, HRH Crown Prince Haakon, HRH Crown Princess Mette Marit, and HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra.  


The king's family includes Prince Sverre Magnus, Princess Martha Louise, Maud Angelica Behn, Leah Isadora Behn, Emma Tallulah Behn, and Princess Astrid, Mrs. Ferner.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Duke of York gives up military affiliations and royal patronages


 Andrew will also not use HRH in any official capacity, according to the Palace.

Queen Sophie is dead

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January 13, 1932

By special cable to the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune Press Service

Former Queen Sophie of the Hellenes died earlier tonight at the age of 61 at Professor Noorden's clinic in Frankfurt-am-Main.   She died after a "lingering illness from cancer."   Queen Sophie underwent an operation on November 21.

Her daughters and her younger son, Paul, were at her bedside when she died.

Princess Sophie Dorothea Ulrika Alice of Prussia was born on June 14, 1870, at Potsdam, the second youngest child of Friedrich III and his British wife, Victoria, eldest child of Queen Victoria.

Emperor Friedrich succumbed to throat cancer only 88 days after succeeding his father in 1888.   A year later, Sophie was married to then Crown Prince Constantine of the Hellenes.  They had met when Constantine was attending a German military school.    She was seen to have "good prospects for a brilliant royal career, as she was the most masterful of the former Kaiser's four sisters."

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Two years after her marriage, she aroused Kaiser Wilhelm's displeasure when she converted from Lutheranism to the Greek Orthodox church.  Sophie and Constantine had six children: George, Alexander, Paul, Irene, Katherine, and Helen, the estranged wife of King Carol II of Romania.  Helen "was her favorite daughter."

Sophie was the queen of the Hellenes on two occasions.  Constantine's first reign lasted from 1913 until 1917 when the king "was excluded from the throne by the allied powers."   Sophie's second son, Alexander, was named as king, and he reigned until his death on October 25, 1920.

Constantine returned to the throne shortly afterward.  He reigned until September 27, 1922, when he abdicated and was succeeded by his eldest son, George II,  who "was forced to leave Greece," on December 18, 1923.

unrequited love for a future Empress

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January 13, 1890

"A member of the suite of one of the best known of our Princes tells a romantic story" about the late Empress Augusta, widow of Wilhelm I, according to a report in the Chicago Daily Tribune. The report was based on a letter that was first published in Berlin.

Augusta, who was born a Princess of Saxe-Weimar, where she was "hedged about with all the straightlaced etiquette the small German principality affected." At age seventeen, the princess was very much into romance and had "learned by heart the stories" of the glittering and romantic court of Louis XIV of France. She was so well-read that "she was prepared to fall in love" with the first man who would "appeal to her sense of beauty." But the "rigid surveillance" of her parents made the meeting of young men nearly impossible.

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 Before this "romantic spirit had lived long enough to die," Princess Augusta fell in love with a French nobleman of "long lineage" who had stopped in Weimar "in the progress of a long jaunt from Auvergne."

The nobleman stayed at Weimar for several weeks and became a "favorite of the Grand Duke." The Frenchman was "accomplished, handsome and a daredevil." It was at a court ball where the nobleman was permitted to partner the princess, and they "indulged in love at first sight."

Their love soon developed into "indiscretion, which took the form of secret meetings in the palace grounds." The princess' maid and her lover's valet served as the conduits who passed on the correspondence and arranged the meetings. The maid, "whether through carelessness or spite, lost one of the nobleman's letters. The letter was found by Augusta's mother before the maid "could recover it."

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 The letter was full of passion and eloquence, "burning with the love song of the smitten Parisian and filled with all those pretty words that came with the Grand Monarch."

The letter also includes words referring to elopement and "pictured the ideal life of love on the pastoral lands of the new America."
Augusta's parents were "consumed with rage," and their indignation in "unstinted volume."

The Ducal Chamberlain challenged the young Frenchman to a duel, and "the lover fell, mortally wounded." As he fell to the ground, the nobleman tore open his tunic, and "there, pressed against his heart, was a handkerchief" belonging to Augusta.


 The Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar was so "affected by this incident" that she "silently placed the handkerchief on the breast of the young man" in his coffin, and the handkerchief was buried with him. His body "was covered with roses, strewn upon him by the devoted Augusta, and she, from swoons and sobs, became hysterical and almost crazed."

For weeks, Augusta cried and moped around the palace. Her parents became concerned about her health, and were "convinced that her sorrow must have relief or she would have become insane." The solution, they thought, was a marriage, and the groom would be Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. Augusta gave "her indifferent consent, to the marriage. Wilhelm also saw the marriage with "equal unimportance," as he too was heartbroken over a lost love.

Augusta and Wilhelm accepted that this marriage was arranged by their parents. It was not a marriage based on love or affection. The couple was always polite to each other, they respected each other, but there was no love between them. Empress Augusta "preferred French books, ideas, dress, and sentiment." She considered French to be her favorite language.

In a letter to his sister, Charlotte (Empress Alexandra), the wife of Nicholas I of Russia, Wilhelm said of Augusta: "the Princess is nice and clever, but she leaves me cold."

It was not a surprise that Carl Friedrich and his wife, Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna of Russia would consider Wilhelm as a husband for Augusta. The marriage was also encouraged by Wilhelm's father.

Wilhelm's brother, Karl, was married to Augusta's older sister, Marie.
The marriage took place in the chapel at Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin on June 11, 1829.

Augusta was never comfortable at the Prussian court. In October 1831, she gave birth to a son, the future Friedrich III. A second child, a daughter, Luise, was born seven years later. Augusta suffered several miscarriages but by the mid-1840s, the prince and princess were living largely separate lives. The princess was a manic depressive, an illness her husband could not understand, and he sought comfort from mistresses. Augusta was well-educated and instilled in her son the need for a liberal Germany. She and Queen Victoria corresponded often, and it is no surprise that Victoria's eldest daughter, Victoria, married Augusta's son, Friedrich, in 1858.

Prince Wilhelm was the second son of King Friedrich Wilhelm III. It was only due to the childless marriage of his brother, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, that Wilhelm succeeded in 1861 as King of Prussia. It was during the Franco-Prussian war in January 1871, when Wilhelm was proclaimed as German Emperor.

Empress Augusta died on January 7th in Berlin.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume has COVID-19

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 From the Grand Ducal Press office:

Following a positive self-test, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince has placed himself in self-isolation.

A subsequent PCR test confirmed the positive result and His Royal Highness remains in segregation, in accordance with the provisions of the law amended of July 17, 2020, on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

His Royal Highness is presently symptom-free and is in good health. He will resume his duties after the period of solitary confinement.

 I used Google Translate as the original release was in French.

Other European royals who have recently tested positive include Guillaume's father, HRH The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, King Carl XVI and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria, and her husband, Prince Daniel of Sweden, and King Constantine II of the Hellenes.

All are vaccinated and their cases are mild.

Monday, January 10, 2022

HI & RH Archduchess Margherita of Austria, Princess of Savoy-Aosta (1930-2022)

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HI & RH Archduchess Margherita of Austria died today in Basel, Switzerland.  She was 91 years.  She was the mother of Archduke Lorenz, who is married to Princess Astrid of Belgium, the only daughter of King Albert II and Queen Paola.

Margherita was born HRH Princess Margherita Isabella Maria Vittoria Emanuella Elena Gennara of Savoy Aosta in Royal Palace at Capodimonte, Italy on April 7, 1930.   She was the elder of two daughters of HRH Prince Amedeo Umberto Isabella Luigi Filippo Giuseppe, Duke of Aosta (1898-1942) and HRH Princess Anne d'Orleans (1906-1986).  

The infant princess's names were entered into the special register for "princes of the blood royal" on April 8 in the presence of the Duchess of Guise and former Queen Amelie of Portugal.  Her baptism took place in Capodimonte's chapel on May 28.   Princess Helene, Duchess of Aosta, the baby's paternal grandmother, held Margherita as Cardinal Acalesi performed the baptismal rite.  The Duchess of Aosta stood in as the proxy for her sister, the Duchess of Guise.  King Vittorio Emanuele was the godfather and he attended the ceremony with his wife, Queen Elena,  and their daughter Princess Mafalda and her husband, Prince Philipp of Hesse.

The Duke and Duchess of Aosta  Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Amedeo and Anne were first cousins, as Amedeo's mother, HRH Princess Helene of Orleans, and Anne's father, Prince Jean, Duke of Guise were siblings. 

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

In September 1937, the Duke of Aosta and his mother paid a private visit to England, where the duke, as commander of the Aquila Air Force, visited several RAF bases.  Helene visited Queen Mary at Marlborough House, once the home of her "dear friend," Queen Alexandra,  the mother of the Duke of Clarence, who was in love with Helene and wanted to marry her.    After her son left London, Helene remained at Almond's Hotel with seven-year-old Margherita.  The Dowager Duchess and her granddaughter spent three weeks together in London before returning to Naples on board the Orcades.

She and her younger sister, Princess Maria Cristina spent their childhood at Miramar Castle and at Caserta.  In 1937, the Duke of Aosta was appointed Viceroy of Ethiopia and he and Anne spent three years there until the Duke was taken as a prisoner of war by the British and taken to Nairobi.

Margherita and Cristina remained in Italy with their grandmother.  Their favorite moments with Helene were at the seaside, especially in warm weather.   Christmas 1939 was spent at Capodimonte.   The two young princesses stayed in Queen Amelie's apartment.  Helene also made sure that Margherita and Cristina wrote letters to their parents.

The Duchess of Aosta was back in Italy with her two daughters, when her husband, was arrested by the British and sent to a Nairobi prison, where died on March 3, 1942.  Italy's capitulation in September 1943 to the Allies set in motion a German plan to "order the arrest and deportation" of members of the Italian royal family.  The king's youngest daughter, Princess Maria, and her husband, Prince Luigi of Bourbon-Parma were arrested and with their young children were taken to Oldenburg.  One week after Maria's arrest,  her older sister, Princess Mafalda returned home for the funeral of her brother-in-law, King Boris III of Bulgaria who had died under mysterious circumstances on August 28.  She and her children took refuge in the Vatican, but the Princess left the safety of the Vatican after receiving a message that her husband wanted to meet her at the German embassy. It was a ruse  Mafalda was arrested and sent to Buchenwald.  

Other members of the Italian royal family gathered in Brindisi.  Margherita's aunt, HRH Princess Irene of Greece, who married Prince Aimone of Savoy-Aosta in 1939, was living in Turin and expecting her first child.  Aimone had succeeded as the Duke of Aosta after Amedeo's death.   Turin was being bombed by the Allies.  The 39-year-old Duchess of Aosta gave birth three weeks early on September 27, 1943, to a son, who was named Amedeo after his late uncle.

Helene had remained in Naples when the Allies landed, but the Germans still controlled half of Italy.  After the Allies had liberated Rome,  the two Duchesses of Aosta (Anne and Irene) and their children fled to Pavia, where the SS wanted to arrest Irene and send her and her infant son to Germany as hostages.  Anne, who was trying to care for two frightened young girls, managed to persuade the Nazis to let them stay together. On July 26, 1944,  two SS men arrived with orders for the two women and their children to be ready an hour.  With great courage, Anne pressed the men to produce a warrant, which they did not have, and which allowed the women several hours to prepare for the journey to the Hotel Regina in Milan, "a waiting station for those destined for Nazi prisons or concentration camps."

    From Milan they were driven to Innsbruck, Austria, and placed under arrest at a hotel near the train station, often bombed by the Allies.  Several days later,  as "diplomatic internees," the two women and the three children were taken to the Hotel Ifen in Hirschberg, Austria, about 50 miles from Lake Constance.  

    Margherita arrived at the hotel without shoes or socks.  A priest gave her a pair of his shoes and a pair of stockings was loaned by André Francois--Poncet, the former French ambassador to Germany, who was also an internee.

    A few weeks later, a truck arrived with drunks and suitcases filled with clothes and other items that the Germans had packed after the two duchesses had been taken to Milan.  The truck also included flour and oil, and "soaps, chocolates, and handkerchiefs" which Anne gave as gifts to other prisoners.  The prisoners were finally liberated in early May 1945.   Anne and Irene and the children arrived in Switzerland on May 6 and stayed with their uncle, Prince Vittorio Emanuele, Count of Turin, the only member of the Italian royal family who had not embraced fascism. 

Finally, on July 7, the family was able to return to Italy. They drove to Milan and then were flown by an American plane to Naples where Helene and the Duke of Aosta were waiting.  The family stayed in Naples for the rest of the summer, and in October, Anne and her two daughters returned to their apartment in the Pitti Palace in Florence.

They remained in Italy for less than a year.  On May 9, 1946, King Vittorio Emanuele abdicated and he and Queen Elena went into exile.  Their only son, Umberto succeeded to the throne, but his reign was brief as Italian citizens voted on June 2 to abolish the monarchy and the rest of the Royal family, with the exception of the Dowager Duchess of Aosta, also went into exile.

Anne and her daughters and the Count of Turin flew to Belgium, where the count died a few months later.   The duchess and the two princesses, now in their late teens, lived in Belgium for more than a year before moving to Switzerland.

                                                    Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

In 1952, the Princess was reported to be on the verge of an engagement with King Baudouin of the Belgians.  The Associated Press reported on May 29 that members of both families were already in Rome for a "preliminary 'get-acquainted' gathering."  An engagement announcement was expected to follow.

The king was expected to meet Princess Margherita at the "walled-secluded Villa Sparta," outside Florence, the home of the former Queen Helen of Romania.    He left in "semi-secret" by train.  Although his destination was said to be Rome, the Belgian Embassy stated: "He is definitely not coming to Rome," but acknowledged "somewhere else in Italy.

The embassy spokesman would not confirm if the king's destination was Florence.

Princess Margherita and her younger sister, Princess Maria Cristina arrived in Rome the night before.

It only took 24 hours for the engagement reports to be denied.  It was on May 30, 1953, that the Belgian ambassador to Italy, Baron Joseph von der Elst "declared that the King was too young to think about marriage yet."

The Grand Marshal of the Belgian court released a statement that the King was not engaged to Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta.

A  family friend, who spoke with the princess before she left Rome today,  "After all this public attention, of course, there won't be any announcement.  Just the same the King did not come to Italy sightseeing," the friend told the Associated Press.

Princess Margherita would soon meet her future husband, HI & RH Archduke Robert Karl Ludwig Maximilian Michael Maria Anton  Franz Ferdinand Joseph Otto Hubert Georg Pius Johannes of Austria (1915-1996) third child and second son of Emperor Karl I of Austria and HRH Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma.

Their civil marriage in Bourg-en-Bresse, France on December 28, 1953, was followed a day later by the Roman Catholic wedding at Brou, France.  

The civil marriage, required by French law, took place at City Hall. The bride and groom and their witnesses sat in a "semi-circle on Louis XV chairs" before the mayor.   Archduke Robert's witnesses were his two brothers, Archduke Karl Ludwig and Archduke Rudolf, both of whom traveled from the United States where they work.   

The princess's two witnesses were her cousins,. HRH Prince Filiberto, Duke of Genoa, and HRH Prince Adalberto, Duke of Bergamo.

No reigning royal families were present for the religious service although "many of Europe's displaced royalty attended the wedding, including the groom's mother, former Empress Zita and the bride's cousin, former King Umberto and his wife, Queen Marie-José of Italy.   

The Italian queen was born a princess of Belgium and was the aunt of King Baudouin, Margherita's putative suitor.

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 The couple had five children: Archduchess Maria Beatrix, Countess von Arco-Zinneberg (1954),  Archduke Lorenz (HRH Prince Lorenz of Belgium (1955),  Archduke Gerhard (1957),  Archduke Martin (1959) and Archduchess Isabella (1960).

Archduchess Margherita with her son, Archduke Martin, and 2 of her Arco-Zinneberg granddaughters at the wedding of Prince Jean, now the Count of Paris, and Philomena de Tornos y Steinhart in 2009  @Ulrike Bartsch

The Archduchess is survived by her five children, nineteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by her sister, HRH Princess Maria Cristina (Princess Casimir of Bourbon-Two Sicilies), and two nephews and nieces 

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Sunday, January 9, 2022

A new Princess of Hanover


The Times  January 17, 1848

HRH Princess Friederike Sophie Marie Henriette Amelie Therese of Hannover was the second of three children of then Crown Prince Georg of Hanover and his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Altenburg,    She was born in Hanover on January 9, 1848.  

Crown Prince Georg was the only child of King Ernst August of Hanover, the fifth son of George III.  When his brother, King William IV died on June 30, 1837,  Ernst August, then known as Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale.   He was second in line to the British throne behind his niece, Victoria, who succeeded William as Queen of the United Kingdom.  Because Hanover's succession was based on Salic law (males only), the Duke of Cumberland became King of Hanover.

Frederica is one of my favorite princesses.  She has been the subject of several posts.  Lily certainly had a mind of her own and was a favorite of Queen Victoria, her first cousin once removed.

King Constantine hospitalized again -With Covid

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King Constantine II of the Hellenes is suffering a mild case of Covid-19 and is being treated in University Hospital in Athens, according to CNN's Greek news.  After getting a positive test, he was admitted to the hospital on January 8.

The former sovereign is fully vaccinated and "his health condition remains good."


Saturday, January 8, 2022

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates her 40th birthday

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The three photos were taken in Kew Gardens in London in November by Italian photographer Paolo Roversi  These portraits will enter the permanent Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, of which The Duchess is Patron.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten engaged to Alick Dru

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 Lady Tatiana Mountbatten and Alick Dru are engaged to marry.  The announcement was made on Lady Tatiana's Instagram account. The couple got engaged in Verbier, Switzerland. 

all three photos courtesy of Lady Tatiana Mountbatten

Lady Tatiana Helen Georgia is the daughter of George Ivar Louis Mountbatten, the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, and his first wife, Sarah Georgina Walker.   Alexander Bernard Molyneux Dru is the son of Auberon Alexander Bernard Dru and Catherine Margaret Norden, who were married in West Somerset in 1989.

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 The bride-to-be is a descendant of Queen Victoria.  She was born at the Portland Hospital in London on April 16, 1990, and has a younger brother, Henry, Earl of Medina, who is the heir apparent to the Milford Haven Marquessate.  Her paternal grandfather, David, 3rd Marquess, was a first cousin of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and served as Philip's best man when he married the future Queen Elizabeth II in 1947.

The Duke of Cambridge and Lady Tatiana are 3rd and 5th  cousins.  Both relationships are through Victoria.  The third cousin relationship is through Victoria's third child, Princess Alice:

Alice - Victoria - Alice - Philip - Charles - William 

Alice- Victoria  George - David -George - Tatiana

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Queen Victoria - Alice - Victoria - George - David - George - Tatiana

She made her debut in 2007.   Since 2019, she has been the brand ambassador for Crofton & Hall, described as  "quintessentially British fashion". That same year she was banned from driving as she had three speeding convictions within ten days in her 4x4 Porsche Macan.  She appeared in court to state that a driving ban would have a "significant hardship" as she runs an equestrian business and would have no other way to drive to her business, which is an hour from her London home.  Her lawyer told the court that she would have to "beg, borrow and steal" to be able to get to her business.  "The defendant is self-employed as a professional horse trainer.  Of course, she is the author of her own misfortune and she must bear the circumstances.  But there is a knock-on effect."

Lady Tatiana was fined 450 pounds and was unable to drive for 6 months. She also had to pay £85 in court costs.

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Lady Tatiana lived in Denmark for five years and speaks Danish, Swedish, and German.  "But I can only talk about horses," she told Tatler in August 2017.  Two years earlier, she said that she was not aiming for the Olympics, "but I do want to start competing at World Cup level." 

Her first love is horses.  The Millfield-educated Lady Tatiana, who is known as Tatty,  runs her own "smart horse yard"  "I spend every day doing what I love more than anything in the world: riding horses."  She is also a professional dressage rider." 

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 Alexander"Alick" Dru was born on August 25, 1991.

Times  August 28, 1991

  He was educated at Eton and went on to attend Oxford University where he received a degree in history in 2014.  His father, Bernard is the youngest of four children (and only son) of  Major Alexander Dru and Gabriel Mary Hermione Herbert, the eldest child of the Hon. Aubrey Nigel Henry Molyneux Herbert and Hon. Mary Gertrude Vesey, the only child of the 4th Viscount de Vesci.  

Aubrey was the son of Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, and his second wife, Elizabeth Catherine Howard.

Alick and two friends of Oxford founded Tripr, a social travel app, for "travellers [who] would want to meet other travellers, as well as their friends."    He is now the founder of a Stealth Startup.

Bernard and Catherine run Bernard Dru Oak Ltd, which produces and installs high-quality oak flooring, "sustainably sourced" from woodlands in the Haddeo Valley.    They live in Bickham Manor in Timberscome, Somerset.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Red Aunts may be kicked out, too

January 6, 1948

The Romanian government has ordered the "remnants of the country's royalty to follow King Michael in exile," reports the New York Times, even though the two principal remaining representatives -- Princesses Elisabetha and Ileana -- collaborated so closely with the Russians that they became known as the King's 'Red Aunts.'"

Princess Elisabetha, 52, is the former Queen of Greece.  She divorced the late King George II, in 1935.  Princess Ileana is married to Archduke Anton of Austria, and the mother of six children, who are with her in Romania.

Only several days ago, Premier Petru Groza told reporters that the two princesses were free to remain in Romania, but it now appears that the Communists "decided that the Princesses must go and told them to liquidate their assets."

The two princesses are now in negotiations for the sale of their properties and "industrial investments."  It is also not sure how many of the Princesses' staffs will be allowed to leave them with them.  It is "understood that passports for a list approved by the Government will be issued on Thursday," and a special train "bearing the last of Rumania's royal family" will depart, "perhaps on Saturday.

The two princesses are sisters of former King Carol.  Princess Ileana's husband has been accused of "having collaborated with the Germans, although he has never been tried."

The New York Times reporter, who is in Bucharest, also notes that the Rumanian people have not yet been told by "the press and radio" that Michael has abdicated and is now out of the country.  But the Bucharest newspapers are continuing to "report scenes of wild rejoicing throughout the country over the proclamation of what is officially described as the 'Popular Republic.'"  

The reporter also notes in his dispatch that "any evidence of great rejoicing, or even fervent enthusiasm, seems to have escaped" his notice.  He added that it is becoming "more clear that any centers of resistance if such exist in this Communist-dominated nation, are afraid to manifest their opposition."

Michael denies he abdicated for love

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January 6, 1948

Former King Michael of Romania is resting in a Lausanne hotel suite, while his aides "unpacked a relatively small amount of royal baggage which included nine cases of gin."

United Press reports that Michael issued a statement, "denying he had abdicated for love, that he brought with him refugees from Romania, or that he had a personal fortune of $1,000,000."

King Michael and his mother, Queen Helen, left Romania with four big trunks, and about 40 pieces of luggage, "hardly more than an American actress carries for a summer vacation."   He was also able to bring with him three American cards, a jeep, and a motorcycle.

He has apparently told "his sweetheart," Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma, to stay in Copenhagen until he is "able to settle" in Lausanne. 

He released a written statement to the press to clear up several misconceptions:

"Firstly, it is not true the ex-king of Romania left his country to be free to marry and enjoy life.

"Secondly, it is not true, as propaganda claims, the ex-King left Romania with a special train overloaded with baggage and valuable goods.  Aside from 15 trunks, solely a small amount of hand baggage has been brought along.

"Thirdly, it is not true that he left Romania with more than 70 refugees.  In the ex-king's party are only eight persons who are official functionaries of his household.  There are, furthermore, four servants and two Greek families who were allowed by authorities to go along in order to be repatriated. The rest of the party consists of trained personnel.

"Fourthly, it is not true the ex-King took $1,000,000 with him."

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Mary will wear Victoria's veil

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 January 5, 1922

Princess Mary will wear Queen Victoria's bridal veil when she marries Viscount Lascelles, eldest son of the Earl of Harewood, in February, reports the Associated Press.  She is the first princess to wed an Englishman since the reign of Henry VIII.  

In 1919, Princess Patricia of Connaught wed the Hon. Alexander Ramsay of Mar, a Scotsman.

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 The bridal veil was worn by Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in February 1840.  The Queen lent the veil to her future daughter-in-law, Princess Alexandra of Denmark,  in 1863 when she married Victoria's eldest son, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales.

The veil "is of a very handsome design though many modern brides would look upon it as being somewhat old-fashioned." 

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Following her wedding, Princess Mary will be styled as HRH The Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles.  She and her husband will reside at Goldsborough Hall in Yorkshire, a wedding present from the Earl and Countess of Harewood.

There will be no "court life" at the princess' new home nor will she have ladies in waiting in attendance at Goldsborough.

Rumors are Rife: King Alexander will wed Princess Marie

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 January 5, 1922

King Alexander of Yugoslavia today left Belgrade as he has accepted an invitation from King Ferdinand and Queen Marie to join them at Sinaia for the Orthodox Christmas celebrations, reports the Associated Press.  

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 The Yugoslav press is "emphasizing the political importance" of the King's visit, stating that it "is destined to strengthen the friendship between Yugoslavia and Romania."

However, it is not lost on the Belgrade newspapers that the King might possibly announce his engagement to Princess Marie, the second daughter of King Ferdinand.

Queen Mary's nephew seen as Dutch consort

January 5, 1922

The Earl of Athlone and his wife, Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, were given a "prominent appearance" at Queen Wilhelmina's official New Year's reception, giving rise to the "apparently well-founded rumor" that Lord Athlone's son, Viscount Trematon, is "regarded as a "probable candidate for Princess Juliana's hand."

The New York Times reports that Lord Athlone and Princess Alice and their children are staying with Queen Wilhelmina, "where the young people are brought together frequently."

Although Crown Princess Juliana is 11 years old, there is already "considerable speculation" about her future husband," but no names have been mentioned until now.   Lord Trematon is 15. 

The Athlones stood next to the Queen at the reception, where Princess Juliana made her first official appearance.   Queen Mother Emma hosted a luncheon for the Athlones, which was also attended by Queen Wilhelmina, Prince Hendrik.   The Athlones' two children, Lady May Cambridge, and Lord Trematon, were also invited along with Princess Juliana.

There is "no doubt" that the Dutch would welcome a "rapprochement with England and the English royal family."

Lord Athlone is a younger brother of Queen Mary, consort of George V.  His wife, Princess Alice, is the daughter of the late Duke of Albany, and a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

[The New York Times' correspondent appears to have missed the true connection between the Athlones and the Dutch royal house.  Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Alice were first cousins, as their mothers were sisters. Alice was close to her Dutch cousins.)

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Psst I am not four ..not even close


My secret is out.  The rescue group said I was about 4 years old.  Mommy was told, perhaps a little younger.  Not a little younger, actually.  I am a baby, moving toward a toddler.  Mommy looked at my medical records when I had my special surgery in early December before I was made available for adoption.  The vet who did the surgery stated I was 1 year six months old.  Perhaps.  So mommy decided my birthday would be May 24, 2020, as my full name is Fleur Victoria.

Mommy took me to the family vet for an examination.  I needed a few tests.  I do not have Feline Leukemia or Feline AIDS and no parasites in the poop.

The vet says I am a cutie patootie but I am not 18 months old.  More like a year old.  The vet says I don't have my upper molars and I still have a kitten face.  A friend of Mommy says I am "stinkin' cute."

Mommy asked the vet to give me a new birthday.  The vet said how about December 25.  I am now an official Christmas kitty.   I was born on December 25, 2020.  It is in my official record now.  

Mommy thinks I am Purrfect. Harper likes me too.  I like him as well.

And, oh, I like baseball, especially the Washington Nationals.

Harper and I are Nats Kitties

Much Love,

Fleur Victoria Koenig, also known as Flurry and Flurrball

Yes, I am a cutie patootie and STINKIN' CUTE!

Grand Duke Henri and King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia tests positive for Covid

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This is a Google translation of a press release I received today.

"Following a self-test carried out today which turned out to be positive, His Royal Highness the Grand Duke placed himself this morning in self-isolation in accordance with the provisions provided for by the Directorate of Health.

A PCR test carried out subsequently confirmed this result and the Head of State is in isolation, in accordance with the provisions of the amended law of July 17, 2020, on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Grand Duke is currently showing mild symptoms and will continue to perform his duties."

"Suite à un auto-test effectué ce jour qui s'est avéré positif, Son Altesse Royale le Grand-Duc s'est placé ce matin en auto-isolement conformément aux dispositions prévues par la Direction de la Santé.

Un test PCR effectué par la suite a confirmé ce résultat et le Chef d’État est en isolement, conformément aux dispositions prévues par la loi modifiée du 17 juillet 2020 sur les mesures de lutte contre la pandémie COVID-19.

Le Grand-Duc présente actuellement des légers symptômes et continuera à exercer ses functions."

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 and from the Swedish court

"King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, who are fully vaccinated with three syringes, have mild symptoms and feel well under the circumstances.   

The Royal couple have isolated themselves in their home in accordance with current rules of conduct and infection tracking is ongoing."

Monday, January 3, 2022

A Princess talks about mental health

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 So who was the first British royal to speak about Mental health?   The Duke of Cambridge?  The late Diana, Princess of Wales?  The Duke of Sussex?   No to all three.  No, not the Duchess of Cambridge.

 The answer is HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught  (1891-1959) was the first member of the British Royal Family to speak in public about the need for mental health treatment.     The Princess, a granddaughter of King Edward VII, had become president of the Mental Aftercare Association in 1940.   

Now known as Together for Mental Wellbeing, is the oldest mental health charity in the United Kingdom.  It was founded in 1879 by Rev Henry Hawkins, the hospital chaplain at an asylum in Middlesex. The original name was The After-care Association for Poor and Friendless Female Convalescents on Leaving Asylums for the Insane and later adopted the name the Mental Aftercare Association. 

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Princess Arthur was born Lady Alexandra Victoria Alberta Edwina Louise Duff, the elder of two daughters of Princess Louise, the Princess Royal, eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and Alexander Duff, 6th Earl of Fife, who was created Duke of Fife and Marquess of Macduff on his marriage by Queen Victoria.   

Princess Louise gave birth to a second daughter, Lady Maud in 1893.   There would be no further issue, which meant that the Fife dukedom would become extinct when Alexander died.  But in 1900, Queen Victoria recreated the Dukedom allowing for Alexander's daughters and their male descendants to inherit the peerage.  The Marquessate of Macduff became the Earldom of Macduff, which would be the courtesy title used by the heir apparent to the dukedom.   Five years later, King Edward VII bestowed the title Princess Royal on Princess Louise and he issued a Letters Patent giving the title of Princess and the style of highness to Lady Alexandra and Lady Maud.   

The Duke of Fife died in 1912 and he was succeeded by his elder daughter as the 2nd Duchess of Fife.  In October 1913, she married her mother's first cousin, HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught (1883-1938), only son of HRH Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. 

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 The couple had one son, HH Prince Alistair Arthur of Connaught (1914-1943).  As a great-grandson in the male line, Prince Alistair lost his princely title and style in 1917, when his father's first cousin, King George V issued a Letters Patent limiting the style of HRH and title of Prince or Princess to the children of the sovereign & grandchildren in the male line.  (The eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales was also given the HRH and the princely title.)   The HH (His/Her Highness was dropped.) 

Princess Arthur was a registered nurse and her training began during the first world war.  She did not merely open hospitals.  During the 1920s and 1930s, Princess Arthur, who was known as Nurse Marjorie, worked in several London hospitals.  She also ran her own nursing home, but it was closed in the 1940s due to her own health.  She suffered from severe arthritis and was largely confined to her own home until she died in 1959.

Princess Arthur took over the presidency of the Mental Aftercare Association at a time when more attention was being paid to mental health treatment.  An article in the British Medical Journal in April 1941, noted that the association was providing care for diversified care that included cottage housing to assist patients through the "difficult transition from hospital to everyday life."

The Princess spoke at the association's annual meeting on March 23, 1943, where she urged "early treatment of mental patients."  She was sure "that precious time was lost by the failure to realize that a great number of the minor bodily disturbances so common in these difficult times were really the symptoms of an early mental disorder," reported the Times on March 24.

Mr. G. Sargood, the chairman of the Mental Hospitals Committee, said that "public opinion would have to be created that would regard mental disorders in exactly the same way as they regarded any other illness, and not as something to hide and be ashamed of."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other British and European royals have spoken put against the stigma of mental health. 

But it was HRH Princess Arthur of Connaught, Duchess of Fife, the great-great-granddaughter of King William IV, and the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria who was the first British royal to speak out for the support and treatment of mental health patients.

If you want to read more about Princess Arthur:







if you liked this, perhaps you can buy me a cup of coffee

Sunday, January 2, 2022

A countly engagement


@Touton Specialities

Countess Philippa von Neipperg said yes on New Year's eve to Count Philipp von Brockdorff. 

Maria Philippa Franziska Nathalie Stephanie is the fourth of five children of Count Maria Stephan-Christoph Heinrich Alfred Emmeran von Neipperg and Baroness Sigwies von Stotzingen.  She was born Talence on February 23, 1991.  Her sister, Caroline is married to Count Philippe von Limburg-Stirum.  

Count Stephan-Christoph is the younger brother of Hereditary Count Karl Eugen von Neipperg who is married to Archduchess Andrea of Austria.  He took over the family's wine-making Bordeaux estates from his father in the early 1970s.

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The bride-to-be is fluent in French, German, and English.  She received a Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics and IT from Université Paris Dauphine in 2011.  She also has two master's degrees, the first in Economics, specializing in Financial Engineering, from the Technische Universität Berlin (2013)  and the second in 2015 in international affairs from Université Paris Dauphine.

Countess Philippa is employed with Touton Specialities, GmbH in Hamburg, a specialty coffee company, where she works in Sourcing and Sales.

Count Philipp is the eldest son and third of five children of Count Bertram Joachim von Brockdorff and Renata  Maria Constance Beate von Samson-Himmelstjerna. He is the managing director of PS Project Systems NAWARO Kletkamp GmbH.



An Imperial engagement

 HI & RH Archduke Joseph Albrecht Alexander Karl Franz Maria Joachim Anna of Austria and Countess Sophie Maria Isabelle Alberta Johanna Henriette von Schaesberg are engaged to be married.

Archduke Joseph, who was born in Hannover on July 26, 1994. is the second of four children, but the eldest son of HI & RH Archduke Joseph Karl Maria Arpád Stephan Pius Ignatius Aloysius Cyrillus of Austria and HSH  Princess Margarete Elisabeth Juliana Maria of Hohenberg.

The groom's mother is the eldest of four children of the late HSH Prince Albrecht Philipp Leopold Josef Andreas Hubertus Maria of Hohenberg and Countess Leontine von Cassis-Faraone.   Prince Albrecht was the third son of the late HH Duke Maximilian Karl Franz Michael Hubert Anton Ignatius Joseph Maria of Hohenberg, the eldest son of the late HI & RH Archduke Franz Ferdinand Karl Ludwig Joseph of Austria and Countess Sophie Chotek von Chotkowa, who was created Duchess of Hohenberg by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1905.  Franz Ferdinand was heir presumptive to the thrones of Austria and Hungary.  His marriage was morganatic and his wife and children and did not share his imperial rank and did not have succession rights to the throne.  He and his wife were killed at Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, by a Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Prinzip.  

Princess Margarete married Archduke Joseph in Vienna in January 1991.  Archduke Joseph is the third of eight children and eldest surviving son of HI & RH Archduke Joseph Arpád Benedikt Ferdinand Franz Maria Gabriel and HSH Princess Maria Princess zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg 

Franz Ferdinand's assassination was one of the catalysts that led to the first world war.

The bride-to-be is the elder of two daughters of  Johannes Friedrich Walter Alfred Josef Maria Count von Schaesberg and his first wife Baroness Antoinette von Hoenning O'Carroll.  She was born in Regensburg on December 12, 1997.

Antoinette's maternal first cousins include the late Alexandra Miloradovich, who married Rudolph, Duke of Croy, and Johanna Raitz von Frentz, the wife of Prince Heinrich XIV Reuss.   She grew up at Schloss Sunching, in Bavaria, the family home that belonged to Antoinette's grandmother, Countess Gabriele von Seinsheim, who married Baron Johann Ludwig von Hoenning O'Carroll.  Their son, Zdenko, married Princess Margarete Lobkowicz.   She died in 1948.  Two years later,  Zdenko married Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria.

Countess Sophie's paternal grandparents were  Heinrich Wilhelm Viktor Walter Hubertus Maria Count von Schaesberg and Princess Margarethe von Croy, who was a first cousin to the late Duke Carl of Croy, the father of the present duke, who married Alexandra Miloradovich.