Sunday, July 31, 2022

Duke Eugen Eberhard of Württemberg (1930-2022)

 HRH Duke Eugen Eberhard Albrecht Maria Joseph Ivan Rilsky Robert Ulrich Philipp Odo Carl Hubert of Württemberg was born on November 2, 1930 in Carlsruhe, Upper Silesia (now Pokój, Poland), the third of five children of HRH Duke Albrecht Eugen Maria Philipp Carl Joseph Fortunatus of Württemberg (1895-1954) and HRH Princess Nadezhda Klementine Maria Pia Majella of Bulgaria (1899-1958).

Duke Albrecht was the second son of Albrecht Maria Alexander Philipp Joseph, Duke of Württemberg and Archduchess Margarete Sophie Marie Annunciata Theresia Caroline Luise Josephe Johanna of Austria.   Princess Nadezhda was King Ferdinand of Bulgaria's fourth and youngest child and his first wife, Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma.  Marie Louise died the day after giving birth to her daughter.

Duke Eugen Eberhard married Archduchess Alexandra of Austria in Mondsee, Austria, on September 2, 1962.  Alexandra is the daughter of Archduke Anton of Austria and Princess Ileana of Romania.  This marriage ended in divorce in 1972 and was annulled a year later.  

The couple had no children.  Duke Eugen Eberhard never remarried.

He is survived by his brother, Duke Alexander, and sister, Duchess Sophie of Württemberg, his nephew Patrick de La Lanne-Mirrlees, and his family.  Mr. de La Lanne-Mirrlees is the natural son of Duke Eugen's late sister, Duchess Margarete and  Robin de La Lanne-Mirrlees.  

Duke Eugen Eberhard's surviving first cousins include King Simeon of Bulgaria and Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria.  Another first cousin, Carl. Duke of Württemberg died on June 7, 2022.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Princess Mary of Hanover

These photos of Princess Mary of Hanover (1849-1904) probably provide a clue to what her life was like. The youngest child of King Georg V and Queen Marie of Hannover, Mary shared many similarities with other youngest daughters, including her second cousin, Victoria of Wales. Marriages are discussed but never agreed upon. Eventually, the suitors drop away, and the youngest daughter is largely confined as her mother's helpmate, a glorified servant, always at the mother's beck and call. 

Such was the case of Princess Mary of Hanover. In 1866, the Hanover royal family was forced into exile after Bismarck annexed Hanover into the kingdom of Prussia. This action was largely due to the King of Hanover's decision to side with the Austrians in the Austro-Prussian war.

The family moved to their home in Gmunden, Austria, but there were also visits to Britain, as the Hanovers were also British princes and princesses. Although von Bismarck controlled the bulk of the Hanover fortune - the Guelph fund - the Hanovers were not short of cash due to investments outside the country.

In 1875, Prince Arthur, Queen Victoria's favorite son, was visiting a selection of German courts, where there might be an eligible princess. He traveled onto Gmunden, where he would stay to meet the Hanovers. King Georg and his elder daughter, Frederica, known as Lily, were away, but Queen Marie, Crown Prince Ernst August, and Princess Mary were at home."Mary is quite charming, so handsome and unaffected & so unselfish, I feel quite sure that you would like her," Prince Arthur wrote to his mother. This letter was unlike earlier letters to his mother. Arthur appeared to be smitten. His ADC wrote to Victoria that he thought that Mary resembled Arthur's sister, Louise. Queen Victoria believed that Arthur's visit would lead to "decided results."

Unfortunately, for Prince Arthur, the desired results did not happen. Princess Mary had been on the top of Victoria's list. Several months earlier, Arthur had dined with the king and queen of Hanover in Paris, but pursuing Mary might prove to be a delicate operation.

In May 1875, Arthur returned to Paris to meet again with the Hanovers and Princess Mary although he found he was unable to spend time with her. One evening, at dinner with the Duke de Monpensier, Prince Arthur struck up a conversation with the duke's attractive daughter, Christina, who sat opposite Princess Mary, who had remained silent throughout the meal. Yet Victoria was assured that Arthur still preferred the Hanoverian princess.

The Hanovers came to London at the end of May. A perfect time to announce an engagement. But when the family was ready to return to Gmunden, Queen Marie confided to Victoria that Princess Mary did not want to marry Arthur. Victoria was "grieved" by the announcement, and could not believe that Mary did not want to marry Arthur.

While Arthur's ADC tried to find out why by contacting members of the Hanoverian household, Victoria wrote to Queen Marie, who responded that Mary could not reciprocate Arthur's feelings. The king and queen would respect their daughter's wishes. But as it turned out there was more to the story. Mary would not marry a man unless they were well suited. Mary's brother, Ernst August, let it be known that several years earlier Mary had an affair with a man she could not marry, and she still needed time to get over it. There were various views about why the relationship did not take off, but a family confidante of the Hanovers believed that if Mary had remained in London for one more week, the engagement would have been announced. But Arthur was not about to give up.

In early 1877, he met once more with the King of Hanover, hoping for a positive response. King Georg told him that Arthur would have to guarantee that if Mary married him, she would not have any contact with his uncle the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, or with his brother-in-law, Crown Prince Friedrich of Germany. The agreement was made to "hardly ever," and Georg wrote to Mary, telling her of this solution.

Mary responded, diplomatically, that as she did not love Arthur, she could not marry him. Queen Victoria could not understand why Mary would refuse such a great marriage. She called the Hanoverian royal family "really stupid."

Her cousin, Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck considered the rejection as an insult, and wished that Arthur had chosen Lily instead of "that selfish idiot."Arthur took a more relaxed attitude. He wrote to Victoria: "Poor Mary, she is so conscientious that I have no doubt she has passed a very anxious time quite as much as I."

Princess Mary never married. She remained with her mother (King Georg died in 1878) at Gmunden, where she died in 1904 at the age of fifty-four. The German court announced eight days of mourning for a princess whose hatred of the Prussians was well-known.

While Arthur was trying to court Mary, another princess hoped that he would pay attention to her. Princess Thyra of Denmark, youngest sister of the Princess of Wales, was very much in love with Arthur, although he did not learn of this until several years later. In 1878, Thyra married Mary's brother, Ernst August, who was styled as the Duke of Cumberland.

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Princess Illa leaves fiance at the altar

The proposed marriage between Princess Eulalie of Thurn und Taxis, a member of the Bohemian branch of the princely family, and Prince Raphael Rainer, the fourth son of the head of the house, Albert, the 8th Prince of Thurn und Taxis,  seemed to be an excellent dynastic alliance.

The princess, the eldest child of Prince Friedrich and Princess Eleonore (nee de Ligne), was raised at Schloss Biskuptiz, in what is now the Czech Republic. Although she was officially styled as Princess Eulalia, she was called Illa by everyone in her family.

An introduction between Illa and Raphael Rainer was made in Baden-Baden. The prince's younger brother, Philipp Ernst, was also invited. Several informal family conferences were held, and "the wisdom of an alliance" between Illa and Raphael seemed clear. She showed "a certain preference" for Raphael. This led to an official engagement. But when everyone gathered in Regensburg on January 31, 1929, to celebrate the marriage between Illa and Raphael. Illa, however, had second thoughts about this marriage. She went to see her future father-in-law and told him she could not marry Raphael.

It was not until the next day that further details were leaked. It appeared that she was not in love with Raphael but with his younger brother, Philipp Ernst. Illa told her family that she had not been sure about her feelings until the week leading up to her wedding when everyone was staying at the family's castle in Regensburg. During that week, as she prepared for her wedding, she would see Philipp Ernst daily, and as the wedding drew closer, she knew that she would not be able to marry his brother. She did not love Raphael. She loved Philipp Ernst, and he was in love with her.

Illa told Prince Albert that it would be wrong to marry Raphael when she was in love with Philipp. She was a devout Catholic, and she wanted a true marriage. Albert called a family conference that included Illa's father, and all agreed to cancel the wedding. It was said that Illa's sincere motives came from a "deep religious conviction" that led her to confess her love for Philipp Ernst.

It was a mature decision for the 20-year-old Princess.

 On May 7, 1929, Illa's engagement to Prince Philipp Ernst of Thurn and Taxis was announced. May 7 was also Philip's 21st birthday, the day he reached his majority.

Their marriage took place at Schloss Taxis on September 8, 1929. The couple had three children, Albert (1930-2021), Margarete (1933-2019), and Antonia (1936). Albert married Baroness Alexandra von der Ropp in 1962. The marriage is considered unequal by Thurn und Taxis family law. The couple has no children.

Philipp Ernst, Ila and Albert

Neither Margarete nor Antonia ever married.  

Illa's father, Friedrich, was murdered on May 10, 1945, at Schloss Biskupitz (now known as Biskupice.)

The jilted Prince Raphael Rainer married his second cousin, Princess Margarete (Rita) of Thurn und Taxis in Regensberg on May 24, 1932.   They had one son, Max Emanuel (1935-2020).  Prince Max also married morganatically.

Prince Raphael Rainer (1906-1993) and Prince Philipp 1908-1964) were the seventh and eighth children of  Albert, Prince of Thurn und Taxis and Archduchess Margarete of Austria.  

Princess Eulalia (1908-1993) was the eldest of three children of Prince Friedrich of Thurn und Taxis and Princess Eleonore de Ligne.  Her sister-in-law, Princess Margarete (1913-1997) was the only child of Prince Friedrich of Thurn und Taxis and Princess Pauline of Metternich-Winneburg.   Margarete and her husband were second cousins.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

A lovely Mail Call


The Duchess of Cornwall's 75th birthday response.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten weds Alick Dru

Lady Tatiana Mountbatten arrives at Winchester Cathedral with her father, Lord Milford Haven
All photos @Ken Stone

 Lady Tatiana Mountbatten married Alexander "Alick" Dru on July 23, 2022, in Winchester Cathedral.  The bride is the daughter of George, the 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, and his first wife, Sarah Walker, who is now married to Lord Spencer of Alresford.

First and foremost, my thanks to Ken for allowing me to use his photos.   He is the copyright holder.   These photos may not be reproduced anywhere (including social media or blogs) without the permission of the copyright holder.

Although the bride and groom's family and friends came out the cathedral's front door, the newly married couple did not.   They chose, apparently, to use another door to leave Winchester Cathedral.  They probably sold exclusive rights to their wedding to a magazine, perhaps Hello, Vogue, or Horse and Hound.    The bride is a professional equestrian.

Lady Tatiana is a descendant of Queen Victoria through the late queen's third child and second daughter, Princess Alice who married Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse and By Rhine. Their eldest child, Princess Victoria married her father's first cousin, Prince Louis of Battenberg, the scion of a morganatic marriage between Prince Alexander of Hesse and By Rhine and Countess Julie von Hauke.   

Prince Louis of Battenberg was a naturalized Briton and spent his entire career in the Royal Navy.   In 1917, he stopped using his German titles, adopted the surname Mountbatten and was created Marquess of Milford Haven, Earl of Medina, and Viscount Alderney.

Victoria and Louis had four children: Alice, Louise, George, and Louis.  George succeeded his father as the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven in 1921.  He was married to Countess Nada Torby, the daughter of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia and Countess Sophie von Merenberg.   They had two children, Lady Tatiana Mountbatten, who was mentally disabled, and David, who became the 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven when his father died from cancer in 1938.

David and his first cousin, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark were childhood friends.  Philip's mother, Alice, married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.   Prince Philip asked David to be his best man when he married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947.

The friendship between the two cousins ended shortly after the wedding due to David's behavior.  His first marriage to Romaine Pierce ended in divorce in 1954.   He remarried in 1960 to Janet Bryce.  They had two sons: George and Lord Ivar.   

David was only 50 years old when he suffered a fatal heart attack in Liverpool Street in April 1970.  He was succeeded by his then eight-year-old son, George, Earl of Medina.

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

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

Lady Tatiana and the Duke of Cambridge are third cousins.

Alexander Dru is the son of Bernard Dru, 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.

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

the groomsmen

Lady Tatiana's brother, the Earl of Medina, and mother, Lady Spencer.

Lady Tatiana and her father, Lord Milford Haven

Lady Tatiana's gown was designed by Suzanne Neville.

Looks like the official photographer trying to organize a photo

The Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven.  Lady Milford Haven's son Henry Wentworth-Stanley from her first marriage is married to Cressida Bonas.

Cressida Bonas (Mrs.  Harry Wenthworth-Stanley) is expecting  her first child

Friday, July 22, 2022

A Countly engagement


Countess Luisa Maria  of Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg and Count Lorenz Maria Thomas Paul of von  Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee are engaged to be married.

Count Lorenz, who was born on March 8, 1992, is the third and youngest child of Count Franz Willibald Ignatius Omnes Sancti von  Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee and Countess Veronika von Hoyos, Baroness zu Stichsenstein.  His older sister, Countess Clara is married to Prince Alexander of Schonburg-Hartenstein.

Luisa was born in Vienna on June 27, 991, and is the eldest of five children of Count Maximilian Rudolf of Trautmansdorff-Weinsberg and  Lidia Rossi di Montelera.    She has a Master of Science in  Supervision, Coaching & Organisational Development from the Sigmund Freud Private University in Vienna and a BA in  International Relations and Affairs from the European University, Barcelona/Munich.

Luisa's mother, Lidia is the daughter of Count Ernesto Rossi di Montelera and Emanuela San Martino d'Aglie, whose sister, Giovanna was the first wife of  Don Alvaro-Jaime de Orléans-Borbón y Parodi Delfino, a grandson of Princess Beatrice of Edinburgh.

Emanuela and Giovanna's mother was Donna Maria Cristina Ruffo di Calabria, whose younger sister is Queen Paola of the Belgians, the consort of King Albert II.   

Lida's younger sister, Antonella is married to Count Alois von Walsburg-Zeil.

Luisa  is currently the Co-Head at Seitenwechsel, "a program which enables teaching professionals in Austria to spend one year as full-time employees in a company, to gather business know-how and bring it back into the classroom."

Count Lorenz is a standup comedian and actor.  He is involved with Clement Thurns, with a production company called Ardoo.

Day 15 - June 14 Dukes Lane and a few ducks too

I love being able to spend my birthday in England and do something royal.   I am off to Waterloo station to catch a train to Brookwood, Surrey, where my friend Katrina will pick me up.   Our first stop is her home in Brookwood for a quick cold drink before getting back into the car to drive to 

  Today is the first day of Ascot so Katrina and I head to Duke's  Lane to watch the Ascot carriage as the carriages make their way to Royal Ascot.  We settle in a good viewing area.  Each of us has brought food to share - a mini-picnic.  

I am still not good at taking photos of people in carriages!

drivers of the cars always have puppets to entertain the crowd as the cars drive by

the first carriage: the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Peter Phillips

Camilla  -wave to us -- there is no one on the other side except for a policewoman. 

The second carriage: the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent

The third carriage : The Princess Royal , The Lord de Mauley,  Mr. William Nunneley and Mrs. William Nunneley

Fourth carriage:  Lady Alexandra and  Tom Hooper, the Earl and Countess of Hopetoun

As the carriages make their way to Royal Ascot,  the cars and the puppets follow

Katrina asks me if I want to see Virginia Water.  Yes, please.   We had planned to visit Virginia Water in 2019  as a part of our trip to Savill Gardens, Cumberland, the Prince Albert Statue, the Guards Polo Grounds, and the Cumberland Obelisk.  But plans were abandoned when the rain started.  After seeing the Obelisk, we headed back to the Savill Gardens parking lot and got out of the rain.  

No rain today.  Virginia Water, which is manmade and probably named for Queen Elizabeth I, is at the southernmost end of Windsor Great Park.   Fort Belevedere and Coworth Park are not too far away.  Windsor Castle is eight miles north of Virginia Water.

Cascade Waterfall

Lepis Magna Ruins

the Lepis Magna ruins 

Male Great crested grebe

Helping build a nest

Mrs. Great Crested Grebe on the nest ... I bet the eggs have hatched by now

I wanted to do that too  .. it was hot

Virginia Water is free to enter, but parking is not.  There are also several cafes and souvenir shops.  We headed back to Katrina's home for a cup of tea and a time to sit down and chat.   Our final stop was Pirbright in Surrey as Katrina had made a dinner reservation at the White Hart pub.

First things first, park the car and walk to the Duck Pond which is a part of the village green.


No idea what this bird/duck is

Egyptian goslings

don't you get any closer to my babies!! 

A  lovely place for a birthday dinner.

my birthday dinner  -

And then it was time for Katrina to drive me back to the Brookwood Station.  Thanks and hugs.  I had a great time today .. well, actually, the entire two weeks catching up with friends: Mark, Ed,  Lauren, Michael and Alison,  Ilana, Coryne, Alexander,  and Katrina and Sissi.

Air BnBs are amazing.  Read the reviews, look at the photos, and where it is located.  I knew I wanted to stay somewhere different.  In 2019, I stayed in Battersea in an Air BnB.  Walthamstow is lovely.  My hosts, Fabien and Damien, and their pup, Tayto, were awesome.    I realized that I had run out of cereal and thought about going to get breakfast before the car came to take me to Paddington.  Damien said they had several open boxes of cereal.  Help yourself.  Very kind.  I used up the rest of my milk and ate breakfast outside, sitting on a lounge chair in their garden overlooking the water.  I also did a quick walk to the Walthamstow Wetlands.

British Airways sent me an email stating my flight was delayed for 2 hours.  I decided not to change the car pickup. time, which turned out to be the right decision.

Damien carried my suitcase downstairs and put it by the door.  Fabien recommended GETT, a black taxi app.  Perfect.  The driver was right on time.   I hugged both Damien and Fabien, a final pat for Tayto, and then got the car for the ride to Paddington Station.

Shortly before I left,  the cleaning lady arrived.  A new guest, booked for two months, was arriving the day I after left.  

Thank you to the royal reporter Victoria Murphy who recommended several restaurants in Walthamstow, unfortunately, both were closed during the days that I was planning to eat in Walthamstow. 

This was the sunset over the Walthamstow Wetlands on June 14.

The Gett driver and I chatted all the way to Paddington.  He pointed out different neighborhoods, recommending  Primrose Hill for my next visit.   After arriving at the taxi stand, I got a luggage cart (£1) to bring my bags into the elevator and down to the Heathrow Express.   A quick 15-minute ride to Terminal 5.  

Checked in, and handed over the suitcase, praying it was under the weight limit.  It was!  By 2 ounces.   Phew!  The BA check-in lady laughed as she slapped a HEAVY sticker on the case. 

Placed my carry bag onto the luggage carrier and headed toward security.  OMG  This is where I let my guard down and took off my mask because it was so crowded.  It took more than two hours to get through the line.  BA staff would ask if people had flights before 3:30 p.m.   These people were pulled from the crowd and taken to the front of the security line.

I was in the South line, and BA took a number of us to the North line, saying it was moving faster.

Dear British Airways  -- please describe faster.  Thank you.   

COVID-19 is largely responsible.  Fewer workers, the virus on the rise, which has led to long lines throughout European airports. Heathrow is not an exception.  Patience is important.

Finally, free and into the main area of Terminal 5.  This place looks very familiar as I had a six-hour layover here in October, traveling from Bucharest to Washington, D.C.

I headed first to Gordon Ramsay's for lunch, which included a very refreshing Camden Ale. I also picked up a few things at Smith's and Boots (more things stuffed into my carry bag) and settled down in a chair with a cup of coffee and a book to read.


Eventually, it was time to gather my things and head down to the escalator to the train to the departure area.    Captain Nigel announced there would be a further delay as one of the jetties was too amorous with the plane and would not let go!  It took time to break them up.

I walked into my home close to midnight.  Cats were happy to see me.   I rested the next day.  Unpack, do laundry, open mail, and go to the grocery store.  On Friday, I had two baseball games, the first a day game - and it was 97 degrees.  By the evening, I noticed I had a minor sore throat.   Another game on Saturday.  That evening, I felt warm (low-grade fever) and I still had a sore throat.   Before going to bed, I took a rapid test.  Negative.   Went to bed, and woke up feeling good on Sunday.  A friend was taking me out to brunch as a belated birthday treat and then the Nats game.    

The fever returned Sunday night (100F) and I was achy and tired and my throat hurt.   The fever was gone in the morning.  I pulled out another Rapid Test.   Woosh . went Positive.  Oh no.

Called my doctor and we chatted.  A mild case.  Five days of quarantine,  take Mucinex DM, Zinc, and rest.  I was fatigued.  I could resume normal life on Days 6-10 but had to wear a mask outside and inside.  Okay.  
Day 11 took another test.  Negative.

I am fully vaccinated and double boosted,  Grateful, and thankful for science.

Thank you for enjoying my vacation!

Virginia Water

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