Monday, February 28, 2022

Princess Mary weds her Viscount

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 February 28, 1922

Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, was married to Viscount Lascelles today in Westminister Abbey, reports the New York  Times. The wedding was a "happy combination of family party and of the religious ceremonial and secular pomp befitting the giving in marriage of a King's and Emperor's daughter."

The wedding was said to be "lovely" and a "great occasion, according to those who attended.  

Even "more remarkable were the scenes" outside Westminster Abbey, where Princess Mary received a "more wonderful tribute of appreciation, affection, and good-will" from hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people who had lined the wedding route from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey and back to the Palace.

As Princess Mary and her husband left on their honeymoon the "demonstration was far more extraordinarily still."  

The 24-year-old Princess is very popular but her personality is "as great as it may be. was hardly enough to account for the heartiness and universality of London's  greetings and good wishes."   This was perhaps "the first real and general awakening" of the British population after the "dark and dismal years of the war."

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 The Times wrote: "It was an amazing big crowd and an amazingly good-humored one."

For a late February day in London, the weather was "magnificent" with blue skies and a sun that shone brilliantly.

More than 2000 guests were invited to the wedding, and the first guests arrived before 9 a..m, but by 10, all but "a few of the most important personages in the realm" were in their seats.  

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The guest list included members of the Diplomatic Corp,  government officials, and the peerage.

One of the "most observed persons" on the Abbey was Lady Diana Duff Cooper, who was sitting in the press area.   As Lady Diana Manners, she had "personally undergone the experience of being a popular bride."  She was representing the Daily Mail.

Lord Lascelles' younger brother, the Hon. Edward Lascelles was one of the first guests to arrive.  He was followed by Lord Lascelles' brother, the Hon. Edward Lascelles, and then the bridegroom's parents, the Earl and Countess of Harewood.

The Lascelles family was seated on the left of the sacrarium leaving members of the Royal Family to sit on the right.  Lord Lascelles and his best man, Sir Victor Mackenzie, were next to arrive, both dressed in the uniform of the Grenadier Guards.  The bridegroom "looked much younger than his age, 39 years, would indicate, and in fact, altogether better than his photographs."' 

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Members of the Royal Family began to arrive at 11:00 a.m: the Princess Royal, Princess Christian, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, the Earl and Countess of Athlone, Lady Patricia Ramsay, Princess Helena Victoria, Princess Marie Louise, the Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke, Lord Leopold Mountbatten, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge, and others, all of whom were received at the West Door by the Dean of Westminster.   They waited at the west end of the Abbey for "the formation of the procession.

Queen Alexandra and Princess Victoria were the next to arrive.  She presented "a truly wonderful appearance for a woman her age."  By the end of the ceremony, she did begin to show "some signs of fatigue." She was quickly followed by Queen Mary, "an impressive and truly regal figure in her gown of white, covered with gold embroidery."  She wore the blue ribbon of the Order of the Garter and "diamonds which scintillated like living things."   

The Queen was described by the Times as looking "radiant."  She arrived with her sons, the Duke of York and the Princes Henry and George.   The procession began, passing through the nave to the sacrarium as the organist played Hubert Parry's Bridal March.

The Queen walked with the Duke of York on her right and Prince George on her left.  Queen Alexandra was escorted by Prince Henry.  Members of the clergy including the Archbishop of Canterbury "followed from the west end, having robed in the Jerusalem Chamber.

Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, who is married to Queen Mary's brother,  Alexander, the Earl of Athlone, "attracted many eyes" as did Lady Patricia Ramsay, who as Princess Patricia of Connaught, married in the abbey in February 1919.  Lady Patricia was not accompanied by her husband, Captain the Hon. Alexander Ramsay of Mar.

There was a "burst of cheering" when King George V and Princess Mary arrived on time at the steps of the sacrarium.  The bride and her father traveled from the Palace in the Irish Coach.

 Princess Mary's English-made wedding gown was described as "dainty."  The bridesmaids' dresses were made by London couturiers.  The Princess was attended by eight bridesmaids, including by three first cousins, Princess Maud, the younger daughter of Princess Louise, Princess Royal and the late Duke of Fife, Lady May Cambridge, the only daughter of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, and the Earl of Athlone and Lady Victoria Mary of Cambridge, the daughter of the Marquess of Cambridge.

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 Lady Rachel Cavendish, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, "whom gossip a matchmaking mamma hopes to see become the bride of her eldest son, the Prince of Wales," was one of the bridesmaids.  Another was Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the daughter of the Earl of Strathmore who, according to rumors, "has fixed the attentions of the Duke of York."

Lady Mary Thynne, daughter of the Marquess of Bath, Lady Doris Gordon Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond, and Lady Diana Bridgeman, daughter of the Earl of Bradford, were the other bridesmaids.  The Earl of Bradford is Lord-in-Waiting to the King.

Princess Mary stood for a moment, "apparently very self-collected, a charming figure of  English girlhood, as she arranged and rearranged the pearl necklace whose reluctance to hang just right was, perhaps not wholly disagreeable during that trying moment."

The king gave his daughter a "tender smile" as they started "up the long, long nave to where a gleam of gold showed where the altar stood."   Princess Maud and Lady Mary Cambridge, "by right of their cousinship, headed the silvery procession of the bridesmaids."  The two youngest bridesmaids, Lady May Cambridge, and Lady Diana Bridgeman had silver ribbons tied in their long hair, "falling beneath the filmy softening of their veils."

The processional hymn, Lead Us, Heavenly Father, was chosen by the Princess herself and sung by the Abbey Choir.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was the officiant and he was assisted by the Archbishop of York, the Dean of Westminster, and the Precentor of Westminster Abbey.

Lord Lascelles's response to the question of whether he "would have this woman as his wedded wife to love her, comfort her, honor her and keep her in sickness and in health did not carry far." Princess Mary's responses came as a "musical murmur, faint but distinct."   When asked who "giveth this woman in marriage", the King "inclined his head but did not speak."

After the conclusion of the service, the  Register was signed in  Edward the Confessor's Chapel. After the newlyweds emerged from the chapel, it was noted that the Princess "looked neither pale nor shy now."  There was a flush in her cheeks, "which caused her complexion to be likened to an English wild rose."

The newlyweds followed by the eight bridesmaids walked slowly to the west door and "very soon those within the Abbey heard roar after roar of cheers from the multitude outside."

There were "dense crowds of cheering people" on the return trip to the Palace, where the wedding breakfast took place.   The crowd continued to grow in the courtyard outside the Palace and down the Mall. 

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 Finally, they were rewarded when the balcony door opened, and Princess Mary and Lord Lascelles stepped out. 

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 They moved to the front of the balcony, where the Princess "bowed many times.  She was a "delightful picture in her bridal dress," and her "shyness was easy to gather from her movements, as was the confidence that seemed to come from the presence from her husband."

  They were soon joined by the King and Queen and Queen Alexandra, and the "shouts and wavings increased in volume."    The bride and groom and her parents and grandmother remained outside for some minutes, "acknowledging the crowd's magnificent greeting," before the balcony doors opened and the royal party went inside to attend the wedding the breakfast.

 The wedding breakfast was served at 1 p.m. in the State Dining Room and Supper Room in Buckingham Palace.  The former was "set apart for the Royal Family and members and near relations of the bridegroom's family. " In addition, a "privileged few of the more intimate friends of the Court circle, numbering 61 in all," who were seat at 6 round tables, decorated with a fairylike arrangement of pink and white flowers."    The two flowers were white lilac and pink tulips.

At the principal table, King George sat with Princess Mary on his right and Lord Lascelles on the other side of his new bride, and with Queen Mary on his right.  The Earl of Harewood sat next to Queen Mary and Queen Alexandra was seated next to him.  The other guests at the main table were the Dowager Countess of Bradford and Prince Henry.   All of the tables were decorated with "white lilac and pink tulips."

The menu

The guest list for the wedding breakfast included the Duke of York, Prince Henry, Prince George, Prince Nicolas of Romania, the Princess Royal and Princess Maud, Princess Victoria, Princess Christian, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Princess Beatrice, the Duchess of Albany,  Infante Alfonso and Princess Beatrice of Spain, Lady Patricia Ramsay, Princess Alice and the Earl of Athlone, Viscount Trematon and Lady May Cambridge, Grand Duchess Xenia, Grand Duchess George, and Princess Nina, Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise, the Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke, Lord Leopold Mountbatten, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge, the Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven, the Earl of Eltham, Lord Frederick Cambridge, the Lady Mary Cambridge, and  Lieut-Colonel Evelyn and the Lady Helena Gibbs,  the Earl and Countess of Harewood, the Earl and Countess of Desart, the Dowager Countess of Bradford, the Viscount and Viscountess Boyne, the Lady Mary Kenyon Slaney, Constance, Lady Wenlock, Major the Hon. Edward and Mrs. Lascelles, the Hon. Mrs. George Lascelles, the Hon. William and Mrs. Lascelles, Mr. Francis and the Lady Susan Sutton, and Mr. Robert and the Lady Mary Doyne.

Princess Mary used her husband's sword for the theoretical cutting of the wedding cake, which was actually done with a silver cake knife.  The wedding cake was cut in the Blue Drawing Room.   

The Princess changed into her traveling dress, which was a "simply designed gown of hyacinth-blue charmeuse.  She and her husband proceeded to the Main Hall where Queen Mary and other members of the Royal Family, except for the King and the three princes, were waiting.  The bride and bridegroom "passed through a however of rose leaves and tiny silver horseshoes.  There was a "touching simplicity" in the affectionate leaving between Mary and her only daughter,

The King and his sons were waiting outside in the courtyard, "also armed with rose leaves and diminutive horseshoes," as they said their goodbyes to Mary and Lord Lascelles. The newlyweds were being escorted to Paddington Station to board a train for Weston Park, Shnifal, Salop, which is the home of the Earl and Countess of Bradford.

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The members of the Royal Family who were present for the wedding were Queen Alexandra, and Princess Victoria, the Duke of York, Prince Henry, Prince George,  the Princess Royal, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Princess Christian, and her two daughters,  Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise, Lady Patricia Ramsay, the Duchess of Albany, Princess Beatrice,  Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone and the Earl of Athlone, the Marquess and Marchioness of Cambridge, the Marquess and Marchioness of Carisbrooke and Lord Leopold Mountbatten.

The Prince of Wales was on an official tour of India and was unable to attend his wedding.

The only foreign royals at the wedding were family members, including Infanta Beatrice of Spain, Grand Duke Michael of Russia and Countess Torby, Grand Duchess George of Russia, and her two daughters, Princess Xenia and Princess Nina, Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna of Russa.

Grand Duke Michael's daughter, Lady Zia, and her husband, Major Harold Wernher, were also guests at the wedding.

Princess Mary, Viscountess Lascelles' gown was made from striped silver lamé, cut with a square neck, and made princess fashion, was veiled and fairylike white trellised marquisette, embroidered with a raised design of English roses and foliage worked in with tiny diamonds and pearls, and girdled with silver cord studded with three ropes of pearls." reported The Times, which added the "transparent embroidered sleeves were of three-quarter length, and a trail of orange blossoms with silver stems drooped from the waist down the left side of the dress.  The unlined train of silver and Duchesse satin was embroidered with Indian silver in designs symbolical of the Empire and edged with a silver picot braid."

Quen Mary had given her daughter a gift of Honiton lace which covered the gown "on the shoulders and fell in a double cascade of drapery on either side of its whole length."    The bride's veil was of "silk tulle edged with pearls" and held  by a "graceful tiara of orange buds lightly arranged in triple rows."

On her way to the Abbey, Princess Mary wore a Russian ermine pelerine wrap.

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Prince Adalbert will travel to America, Expected to end affair with actress

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 February 24, 1912

The Washington Post reports today that it "has been announced repeatedly, then doubted, and then reaffirmed, that a German squadron will be sent to American waters this summer."  This event emphasizes Kaiser Wilhelm II's "high regard" for the United States.

It is also understood that the Kaiser's third son, Prince Adalbert, the "sailor prince," will be on one of the warships.  The 28-year-old prince is a bachelor and his "prospective arrival" will "provoke a certain fluttering of hearts in New York,  Newport, and other cities which the squadron would visit naturally."

Unfortunately for "Uncle Sam's daughters" the Prince is "deeply in love -- indeed -- it is now said that it is to hear him from his inamorata, Paula Frieden, a captivating actress."    This romance is perhaps the primary reason for Wilhelm II's determination to send Adalbert to America.   The "deeply religious" Empress Auguste Viktoria is "reported to be shocked and grieved" by her son's affair and agrees with her husband's "attempt to separate their son from his enchantress."

Paula Frieden is said to be a "very pretty and fascinating woman of 25 years."  She was only 15 years old when she made her stage debut.  She was "playing a small part in an obscure theatre" when Prince Adalbert saw her and "became infatuated with her."

The prince apparently persuaded the young actress to "leave the floodlights."  He installed her in a villa in Kiel, where he has been stationed for several years.   Their relationship has been the source of tattle, which "was carried to Berlin" and Prince Adalbert's parents, whose displeasure soon reached Prince Adalbert.

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

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Prince Josef Emanuel's wedding to take place in March.

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Prince Josef Emanuel of Liechtenstein and Claudia Echavarria will marry in the bride's hometown, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, according to the Spanish magazine, Vanitas.

The marriage is set for the final weekend in March. Although not confirmed, it is possible that the religious wedding will take place at the Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, the most historic church in Cartagena.  

Royal Musings was the first to report that Prince-Josef-Emanuel, the only son of Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein), got engaged last July.  He proposed to Claudia, who is known as Cloclo, at Schloss Waldstein on July 17.  The proposal took place at the reception following the wedding of Princess Therese of Liechtenstein and Count Cajetan of Toerring-Jettenbach.

Prince Josef-Emanuel's two sisters, Princesses Anunciata and Astrid were both married in September to Emanuele Musini and Rafe Worthington, respectively.

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 The three siblings are the grandchildren of the late Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine of Luxembourg and the late Prince Franz Josef and Princess Gina of Liechtenstein.

Day 2: The Duchess of Cambridge in Denmark

 From the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Twitter account"

"Yesterday was all about understanding the very earliest stages of a child’s development here in Denmark.

 Today we move on to learn about the next stage of their life, focusing on children’s mental health and wellbeing."

The Duchess' first stop was the Stenurten Forest Kindergarten, which "uses the power of nature and the outdoors to: 

• Help build children’s self-awareness

• Strengthen relationships with others 

• Understand their value in society."

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The Duchess then joined Crown Princess Mary, the wife of the heir to the Danish throne, Crown Prince Frederik, for a walk across the courtyard to the Christian IX Palace, for a brief meeting and photo op with Queen Margrethe II, who is celebrating her Golden Jubilee.

"Joining The Queen of Denmark and The Crown Princess to celebrate a Jubilee year for both the United Kingdom and Denmark – a Golden Jubilee here in Denmark, and Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee back in the UK."
Crown Princess Mary and the Duchess of Cambridge visited the Danner Crisis Centre, which is supported by the Mary Foundation.

The shelter "helps women exposed to violence and their children."

Grand Ducal Palace's statement on end of Prince Louis' engagement

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The official announcement from the Grand Ducal Palace earlier today

"We have decided not to continue our romantic relationship while remaining deeply attached by friendship and tenderness. With these words, Prince Louis and Madame Scarlett-Lauren Sirgue expressed their desire to put an end to their engagement. "In reflecting together on the commitment we wanted to make, we ended up admitting that we have visions that differ too much".

The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess welcome the maturity of this decision."

Prince Louis' mother, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa tweeted  "With all my heart with our dear son Louis and our dear Scarlett whom we love. The whole family is by your side.    We are thinking about you."

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The Duchess of Cambridge in Denmark

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The Duchess of Cambridge is in Denmark for a series of official engagements.  She will also meet with Queen Margrethe II and Crown Princess Mary, who is the Australian-born wife of Crown Prince Frederik, the heir to the Danish throne.

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The Duchess will spend 2 days in Denmark to "highlight her Early Years Foundation and honor Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee year," according to People magazine.

After she was met by British Ambassador Emma Hopkins, the Duchess was driven to the University of Copenhagen where she met "world-leading researchers running the Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project (CIMHP).

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 According to the CIMHP website, the project "seeks to promote the mental well-being of infants and their parents."

The Duke and Duchess of  Cambridge's Twitter account noted: "Nationwide family programmes in Denmark give all parents information and support for their infant’s social and emotional needs."

 The Copenhagen Infant Mental Health Project aims to promote the mental wellbeing of parents and their children - and the relationship between them.

This is the Duchess of Cambridge's first overseas solo visit since 2017 when she visited Luxembourg.  This is her second visit to Denmark. In 2011, she and the Duke of Cambridge were in Denmark for official events with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess.

The Duchess of Cambridge is in Denmark to promote the  Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.  

The second stop on this tour was to the  LEGO Foundation PlayLab, where the Duchess had a bit of fun as she declined to take the stairs to the first floor.  She chose instead to go down the slide, giggling all the way down and landing right in front of the cameras.  

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The Danish and British Royal families descend from King Christian IX of Denmark and Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Christian IX - Alexandra  - George V - George VI - Elizabeth II - Charles - William

Christian IX - George I - Andrew - Philip - Charles -William

Victoria - Edward VII - George V -George VI - Elizabeth II - Charles  - William

Victoria - Alice - Victoria - Alice - Philip - Charles - William

Prince Louis and Scarlett-Lauren Sirgue end engagement

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 Prince Louis of Luxembourg and Miss Scarlett-Lauren Sigue announced today that they have ended their engagement.   They made the announcement in an interview with the French magazine, Point de Vue.

"We have decided not to continue our romantic relationship while remaining attached by friendship and tenderness.  It is a decision that we have taken by mutual agreement, after careful consideration.  We remain strongly bound by great respect and genuine admiration for each other,:" according to their interview.

"We have been in love with each other for the past four years. We always have tried to be completely honest with each other. Even when this honesty hurts us like today, we are more than ever convinced it is crucial."

Prince Louis added: "We are not going to get married," adding that he and Scarlett-Lauren faced "fundamental differences of opinion which led to this decision."

The couple's engagement was announced by the Grand Ducal Palace on April 6, 2021.  They dated for four years before Scarlett-Lauren, a French lawyer, said yes.

She told Point de Vue: "'Thinking about things a lot and getting to the bottom of it, we eventually admitted that as a family, as parents, our visions are too divergent. Our ambitions in life are too different."

The Grand Ducal Palace has not yet confirmed the end of the engagement.

Prince Louis has two sons, Prince Gabriel and Prince Noah, from his first marriage to Tessy Antony.  

Sunday, February 20, 2022

A royal Bavarian restaurant in Austin


@ Chad Wadsworth.

[Update:  June 5, 2023  from the restaurant's Instagram account

As of today, Koko's will be suspending service at 4715 East 5th Street for the summer for maintenance and renovations. Stay tuned, stay cool, and watch this space for more info.]

A few days ago, a friend who lives in Austin messaged me about a restaurant she and her husband were planning to visit.  The restaurant is called Koko's Bavarian and is owned by (in partnership) HRH Prince Konstantin of Bavaria.  My friend wanted to know if this prince was a real prince.   My response: yes. he is.

HRH Prince Konstantin Eugen Alexander Max-Emanuel Maria Ludwig Ferdinand Leopold of Bavaria is the 5th and youngest child of  TRH Prince Leopold and Princess Ursula of Bavaria.  He was named for his grandfather, HRH Konstantin Leopold Ludwig Adalbert Georg Thadeus Josef Petrus Johannes Antonius Franz von Assisi Assumption et omnes sancti of Bavaria (1920-1969).  

The 35-year-old prince, who is called Koko, told Tribeza, a local Austin publication: “A traditional beer hall is all about food and, naturally, the beer. Among the locals in Bavaria, it is seen as an extension to your own home, so the beer hall has a familiar, cozy, and easygoing vibe as well. I think Austin resonates that welcoming vibe, too. Just like a beer hall in Bavaria, all are welcome in Austin … The aim of Koko’s Bavarian is to stay true to the roots and culture of Bavaria while retaining the Austin spirit.”

The restaurant opened late last year.  My friend says the food and beer are both good.

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Saturday, February 19, 2022

A third child for Elmerice and Alexander Fairfax


Frederick Louis Orlando Fairfax is the third child of Archduchess Elemerice of Austria and Alexander Fairfax.

Archduchess Elmerice Karoline Sidonie Elisasbeth von Habsburg-Lothringen is the 5th child and only daughter of Archduke Christoph of Austria and Ebba von Mohrenschildt.  Alexander Thomas Digby Fairfax is the eldest son of the Hon. Hugh Fairfax and his wife, Victoria Neave.  Hugh is the younger brother of Nicholas, the 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron. 

Frederick and his older brother and sister have a unique ancestry that includes descent from Empress Maria Theresia of Austria (1717-1780).  Archduchess Elmerice's line of descent is through Maria Theresia's son, Emperor Leopold II (1742-1797), whose third child, Archduke Ferdinand (1769-1824) became Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1790.  She also has ancestral lines through Bourbon-Parma and Bourbon-Two-Sicilies.

Through their father, Alexander Hugh Digby Fairfax, they have American ancestry largely due to the heiress Catherine Culpeper whose marriage the 5th Lord Fairfax led to the establishment of a Fairfax dynasty in what is now northern Virginia.  Some descendants chose to stay and become a part of the American story, others were Loyalists and made the decision to return to England.   Numerous branches of the Fairfax family are American, but eventually, the 

Through his father, Frederick (and his siblings) has American ancestry.  In 1627, King Charles I created the title Lord Fairfax of Cameron (Peerage of Scotland) for Sir Thomas Fairfax (1560-1640),  a member of Parliament who served Queen Elizabeth I as a diplomat. He met with King James VI of Scotland on several occasions.   

The 2nd and 3rd Lords Fairfax (Ferdinando (1584-1848) and Thomas (1612-1671) fought for Parliament.  When the 3rd Lord died in 1671, the title passed to his first cousin, Henry Fairfax (1631-1688).

Henry's son, Thomas (1657-1710) married Catherine Culpeper, the daughter of Thomas Culpeper, 2nd Baron Culpeper, the Governor of Virginia.  Culpeper County in Virginia is named for Lord Culpeper.

Thomas, the 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1692-1781) inherited his mother's considerable property in Virginia. When he died, his title and the American estates were inherited by his younger brother, Robert (1707-1793).   

Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron

Fairfax County is named for the 6th Lord.

The size of the Culpeper properties was 5,282,000 acres, a really large chunk of what is now Northern Virginia, including where I live.  Robert succeeded in 1781, near the end of the American Revolution.  His inheritance has been confiscated by the Virginia Act of 1779.   Lord Fairfax did receive £13,758 in 1792 due to an Act of Parliament to aid American Loyalists.  

Lord Fairfax died in 1793 at Leeds Castle in Kent.  The title was in abeyance, until 1798 when Robert's first cousin once removed, Bryan Fairfax (1736-1846) traveled to London. He was the first American-born Lord Fairfax of Cameron.  He was the grandson of Reverend the Hon. Henry Fairfax, second son of the 4th Lord Fairfax.

The peerage was confirmed by the House of Lords in 1800.  The 8th Lord grew up at Belvoir, an estate between Dogue Creek and Accotink Creek along the Potomac.  This estate had been acquired by Colonel William Fairfax (1691-1757), a first cousin of the 6th Lord.  Colonel Fairfax was hired by his cousin to be the Land Agent for Lord Fairfax's substantial property on Virginia's Northern Neck.  William was a tobacco planter and served in the House of Burgesses.   He married twice and had three children, George William, Anne, and Sarah by his first wife, and a daughter and three sons, including Bryan, by his second wife.     

Anne Fairfax married Lawrence Washington, and they settled in a new home, Mount Vernon, on Little Hunting Creek.   William hired Lawrence's younger half-brother, George, to survey his property in Shenandoah.  He was also a surrogate father to George Washington, who formed close friendships with two of William's sons, George William (1724-1787) and Bryan.  

When William died in 1757, he left Belvoir and a plantation in Springfield to George William and Bryan inherited another plantation, Towlston Grange. 

 He married the very attractive, Sally Cary, a member of one of Virginia's most prominent families.  There was certainly a close relationship between Sally Fairfax and the future President, but historians cannot assume that the relationship was consummated.  But their correspondence proved there was an affection between Sally and George Washington who married Martha Dandridge Custis not long afterward.  

Although George William was a Loyalist, he and his wife remained close friends with the Washingtons even after they moved to England in 1773.

 George William was a Loyalist who returned to England before the start of the war.   Washington agreed to look after George William's properties and agreed to find a renter for Belvoir.  George William and his wife never returned to Virginia.  He died in 1787, and his estates were inherited by his half-brother.

Bryan, 8th Lord Fairfax

Bryan, too, had conflicted loyalties, and would not sign loyalty oaths for the Americans or the British.  His correspondence with Washington, whom he visited Valley Forge,  shows the depth of friendship between the two men and Washington's understanding and acceptance of his friend's views of the changing political landscape.  Washington wrote: "The difference in our political Sentiments never made any change in my friendship for you, and the favorable Sentiments I ever entertained of your hon'r, leaves me without a doubt that you would say any thing, or do any thing injurious to the cause we are engaged in after having pledged your word to the contrary."

Bryan became an Anglican priest. He married Sally Cary's younger sister, Elizabeth.  They had seven children, including Thomas, 9th Lord Fairfax (1762-1846), and Ferdinando, whose godparents were George and Martha Washington.  After the death of Elizabeth, he married Jennie Dennison and they had one daughter.

The 8th Lord Fairfax never used his title.  He ceded several properties to his children.  Belvoir Manor was destroyed by fire in 1783.  The estate was owned by Ferdinando Fairfax, but he did not live on the property and it fell into disrepair.  In August 1812  British forces burned down Washington, D.C. as the naval forces headed down the Potomac which led to Alexandria's surrender and entering a heated battle with Americans that led to the further destruction of the Belvoir estate.  Ferdinando died in 1820, and the Belvoir property was sold. The property was acquired by the US Army in 1917 and is now known as Fort Belvoir.

Between 1760 and his death in 1802,  the 8th Lord Fairfax lived in several homes in what is now Fairfax County:  Greenhill, now Telegraph Road,  Towlston Grange in Falls Church, and, finally Mount Eagle, south of Hunting Creek and Alexandria.  Only Towlston Grange remains extant.  Mount Eagle was torn down in 1968 for development, which includes the Montebello condominiums and the Huntington Metro.

Another plantation, Springfield, is now a residential area and several shopping malls. 

Thomas. 9th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1762-1846) succeeded his father in 1802.  He and his family lived at Vaucluse in Alexandria and Ash Grove.  The former estate was destroyed during the Civil War, and in its place,  Fort Worth was built to assist in defense of Washington, D.C.   The family buried their silver before leaving Vaucluse, and, yes, the silver was retrieved after the war.  Ash Grove is one of the few 18th-century houses left in Fairfax County.  It is now owned by Fairfax County.

The peerage was inherited by Thomas's grandson, Charles Snowdon Fairfax (1829-1869), who decided to head to California for the gold rush and eventually settled there.  The town of Fairfax, California is named for the 10th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, who became a Democratic politician.  He and his wife did not have any children so the peerage was inherited by his younger brother, John (1830-1900).   He remained in Virginia.  He died at his country home, Northampton, in Prince George's County.

Bryan nor his son or grandsons used their title as they considered themselves American,  The Times (October 3)  reported John's death in 1900, referring to him as the 11th Lord Fairfax.  The Times' obituary was based on information from the New York Herald.  He had studied medicine, but never practiced, although he "styled himself simply Dr. Fairfax).   His son Albert was living in New York when his father died.   

 Albert Kirby Fairfax (1879-1939) was invited to the Coronation of Edward VII in 1902.  He decided to remain in England and establish his right to the peerage as the  12th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.   The process to establish his right to the title Lord Fairfax of Cameron began on  February 6, 1908.  King Edward referred to the House of Lords the petition "of Albert Kirby Fairfax, claiming to be Lord Fairfax of Cameron, in the peerage of Scotland, that his Majesty will cause his right to the title and dignity of Lord Fairfax of Cameron, to be declared and established."   Parliament officially recognized Albert as the 12th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.

This was a formality "necessary for the legal use of the title," according to the Washington Post, adding  that Lord Fairfax's claims have "never been questioned in England."

 He was naturalized in1906 and settled in the United Kingdom working in finance and serving in the House of Lords.  He often attended Anglo-American events, celebrating Washington's Birthday, Independence Day and Thanksgiving.   In July 1939, the Times reported that he was ill at his London home, and his condition was "satisfactory."  His health, however, deteriorated, and the day after the first report, he was described as very weak.  He died on October 4, 1939, at his home in Thorpe-le-Soken.  Lord Fairfax was 69 years old.   

Albert was succeeded by his son, Thomas Bryan McKelvie Fairfax (1923-1964), who inherited Northampton, the family property in Prince George's County, Maryland.   The 13th Lord Fairfax sold the estate in 1959.

The present Lord Fairfax is Thomas' eldest son, Nicholas (1956).   He has visited Fairfax County on three occasions.  

His first visit was in 1986 when he joked: "I'm pleased to come and visit my subjects."  He also said that Virginia's confiscation of the Fairfax lands in 1790 was "water under the bridge."  Chief Circuit Judge Barnard F. Jennings said: "Growing up in Virginia, we've always heard about Lord Fairfax. The family is almost as much a part of our history as George Washington."

In 1989, he helped to unveil a sign marking the site of Belvoir Manor, the home of Col. William Fairfax.  He and his wife, Annabel, returned in 1992 to celebrate Virginia's 250th anniversary.   The couple said they enjoyed visiting Fairfax County, but while having tea at Woodlawn Manor,  Lord Fairfax acknowledged that he had no plans to reclaim the 5.3 million acres that once belonged to his family.

"Not much of a chance," noting that the Pentagon is too close for a Fairfax invasion, he told the Washington Post.

Alexander Fairfax is the co-founder and CMO at HUQ Industries.   

Elmerice is a contemporary art consultant who divides her time between London and Vienna.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Mail Call

 Here is a selection of Christmas and thank you cards that I have received in the last few months. 

@Royal Palace

@Royal Palace