Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Prince Maurice of Battenberg


It was at Balmoral Castle where Princess Beatrice, youngest of Queen Victoria’s nine children, gave birth to her fourth and last child, a son, on October 3, 1891.  In a letter to her granddaughter, Princess Louis of Battenberg (nee Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine), a few days before the birth, Queen Victoria wrote that “Auntie” was doing well in the final days of her pregnancy, and has been “well & active doing everything, but since Sunday it may be any day & we hope this week.”

It was 6:45 a.m. when Beatrice “gave birth to a Prince,” and, according to the Court Circular’s announcement, “both are going on admirably.”

The Court Circular also noted that the new prince was “Her Majesty’s 34th grandchild and 12th grandson.”   

Queen Victoria and Prince Henry of Battenberg were present for the birth.

Daily bulletins regarding the condition of the Princess and her infant son were published in the Court Circular.  Two days after the birth, it was reported that “Her Royal Highness (Princess Henry of Battenberg) and the Infant Prince are making very satisfactory progress.”  The bulletin was signed by John Williams, MD, and James Reid, MD.

The Home Secretary was at Balmoral, as it was the “custom for the birth of a member of the Royal Family;” and he “communicated officially” to the Lord Mayor of London that the Princess’s accouchement and the birth of a son.  A copy of the official letter was “at once posted on the wall of Mansion House.”

A 21-gun salute was fired by the Royal Artillery at St. James’s Park in honor of the birth of the infant Prince.

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 Princess Beatrice was married in 1885 to Prince Henry of Battenberg, one of four sons of Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine and his morganatic wife, Julie von Hauke.    In 1858, Alexander’s brother, Grand Duke Ludwig III of Hesse and By Rhine raised Julie and her children to the Princely title of Battenberg with the rank of Serene Highness. (Queen Victoria bestowed the HRH on Prince Henry on the occasion of his marriage to Princess Beatrice.)

The couple’s first child, Prince Alexander Albert, was born at Windsor Castle on November 3, 1886.  He was born with the rank of Serene Highness, but on December 13 of that year, Queen Victoria issued a Royal Warrant, granting Beatrice's children the rank of His/Her Highness.  Eleven months after the birth of Alexander, Beatrice gave birth at Balmoral on October 24, to a daughter, Victoria Eugenie Ena Julia.   A second son, Prince Leopold Arthur Louis was born at Windsor Castle, on May 21, 1889.   It was soon discovered that Prince Leopold was a hemophiliac, having inherited the gene from his mother.

The final medical bulletin was issued on October 11 from Balmoral.  “Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice (Princess Henry of Battenberg) is convalescent, and the infant Prince is quite well.  No further bulletins will be issued.”

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“Dear Auntie seems to get better & stronger each time tho’ I hope she will stop for many reasons – she is moving abt. now & has sat up since Saturday.  She never has had a single drawback.  The baby (who out to have been a girl) is a big fine strong Child & dark.” 

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The Queen did not express her reasons to her granddaughter, who was not only Beatrice’s niece but also her sister-in-law, as she was married to Prince Henry of Battenberg’s older brother, Prince Louis.

She may have been concerned about reports in the “gutter press” about the growing size of Beatrice’s family.

The baptism of Prince and Princess Henry’s son took place at Balmoral on November 1.  Queen Victoria invited “guests, together with the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Household in waiting and the principal servants and tenants on the Balmoral, Albergeldie and Birkhall estate” to attend the service, in the castle’s drawing room.

The Queen entered the drawing room at 1:00 p.m., accompanied by Prince and Princess Henry and their two eldest children, Prince Alexander Albert, nearly five, and four-year-old, Princess Victoria Eugenie, and Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein.

They were followed by Princess Christian (Princess Helena) of Schleswig-Holstein, Queen Victoria’s third daughter, who represented one of the infant prince’s godmothers, Her Grand Ducal Highness the Princess of Leiningen.  The other godparents were the Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine, the Dukes of Clarence & Avondale, Prince Franz Joseph of Battenberg, and the Duchess of Connaught, none of whom were present for the ceremony.  The Queen represented the Duchess of Connaught.

The service was led by the Very. Rev. James Cameron Lees, D.D., Dean of the Thistle and of the Chapel Royal of Scotland, and the Chaplain to the Queen.

The ceremony opened with the baptismal hymn “Lord Jesu Christ, our Lord most dear,” sung by the Aberdeen Madrigal choir.  During the singing of the hymn, the Acting Master of the Household, Major-General T. Dennehy, “conducted the infant Prince, who was carried by his nurse,” and attended by Princess Beatrice’s lady-in-waiting, Miss Minnie Cochrane, “to the places assigned to them.”

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Miss Cochrane carefully handed the baby to Queen Victoria, who held him at the baptismal font as the “Holy Sacrament of Baptism was administered.”   The baby was named Maurice (Prince Henry’s second name, in honor of Julie von Hauke’s father, Moritz), Victor (for Queen Victoria), and Donald (in honor of Maurice’s birth in Scotland.)

After Maurice was received into the church, the choir sang another hymn, “O Father, Thou who has created all,” written by the English composer, Arthur Sullivan.

The newly baptized Prince Maurice was handed back to his nurse, and taken to the nursery, as the Queen and her guests went to the Drawing Room, where the luncheon was served.  The servants and tenants who attended the service were invited to have lunch in the ballroom.

Prince Maurice and his three older siblings grew up in a “privileged, protected world,” coddled by servants, nannies, and cousins.   Princess Beatrice was not particularly maternal, and most of her time was spent with her mother’s companion, while her four children were raised mainly by nannies.   Maurice was only four when his father, Prince Henry, died of fever while serving in the Ashanti campaign.   Beatrice’s biographer, Matthew Dennison, wrote that Beatrice submitted to Henry’s death “without complaint to the loss of all that had made her life happiest.”   

Princess Beatrice left the court for a month, to “grieve alone,” resisting Victoria’s view that Henry’s death was a “shared tragedy, our great sorrow.”    Following the funeral and burial at Whippingham, Beatrice and her four children left the Isle of Wight on February 13 for Cimiez in the South of France.  Her sister, Louise, and her mother joined her in March.   

Henry was the “joy of my life, whom I never cease to miss, however, many years have passed by, since he was taken from me,” Beatrice wrote in 1926.   

When Maurice and his siblings joined their grandmother for tea at Osborne, Victoria wrote in her journal: “little Maurice is a delightful child.”

On January 22, 1901, Beatrice was freed from her nearly lifelong duties as her mother’s companion and secretary, when her mother died, and her eldest brother, Edward succeeded to the throne.  Beatrice and her children were with her mother during Victoria’s final hours. Leopold “played his violin, offering soothing music,” but 9-year-old Maurice “cried so loudly” that he was taken from the room.  Victoria’s death did not mean that Beatrice would be providing her own children with a “permanent loving presence.”  She did not have the parenting skills or the ability to deal with her children, especially the three eldest, all of whom were described as “lazy and unfocused.”

Only young Maurice, who resembled his father, was “too young to give trouble.  As a child, he grew close to his cousin, Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein.   As she was 21 years older than her first cousin, Helena Victoria ‘Thora’ was more like a fun aunt, playing games with Maurice.   When her oldest brother, Prince Christian Victor, died of enteric fever in October 1900, while serving in South Africa, Maurice offered comfort, “promising one day” to serve in Christian Victor’s regiment, the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

One of Victoria’s devoted Maids of Honour, Marie Mallet (nee Adeane) saw little Maurice often.  In November 1896, she wrote in her diary: “I took Victor [her son] to the Royal Nursery where he had an excellent lunch with the two little Princes Maurice and Leopold who was most kind to him, giving him toys and other treasures.”

At age 12, Maurice was sent to Locker’s Park, a boarding school at Hemel Hempstead. He relished school life, was popular with classmates, and was called ‘Plumpy.’   While his mother and his older siblings spent six months in Egypt, he divided his holidays with his uncle, Prince Louis of Battenberg, and his family or with his cousin, Thora.  

The news that Prince Leopold had become ill in Egypt caused concern for Prince Maurice.  His cousin, Princess Irene, who was married to another first cousin, Prince Henry of Prussia, was visiting London, and Maurice was “Careful not to tell Irene a word about Leo.”  He was only 12 years old, but the young Maurice understood the seriousness of his brother’s illness.  He did not want to upset Irene with news of Leopold’s health as he knew her eldest son, Prince Waldemar, was also a hemophiliac.

He transferred to Wellington College in 1905, and four years later, he was sent to Sandhurst.

It was at school where Maurice began to experience life outside the royal cocoon, where the only playmates he had were his three siblings, several cousins, and children at court, including Victor Mallet. Before being sent to boarding school, Maurice and his older brothers were taught by governesses, “first in French, then German and finally English.”

In 1905, Princess Victoria Eugenie, known as Ena, was the chosen bride of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.  He was determined to marry the radiant Ena, a Protestant princess, although his mother, Queen Maria Cristina wanted him to marry a Roman Catholic princess.  Alfonso was deeply in love with Ena and remained persistent in his desire.  After eight months of holding out, Maria Cristina gave in.  She wrote to Princess Beatrice and asked for an “unofficial approach” to be made to King Edward VII.

This was done in January 1906, when Beatrice and her family were present at Windsor Castle for the official visit of King George I of the Hellenes.  Ena watched as her mother took the king into a small drawing room, where Beatrice gave her brother the news of Alfonso’s proposal.  Ena, sensing what was about to happen, “went out to the terrace to hide her excitement.”  She was soon joined by her uncle who “patted her check,” and gave his approval to her marriage.

The engagement was officially announced several weeks later after Ena’s conversion to the Roman Catholic Church and traveling to Spain to meet Queen Maria Cristina.   

In early May, King Alfonso XIII came to England for an official visit, where Maurice and his brother, Leopold, got to know their future brother-in-law, as they accompanied him on several engagements.

On the evening of May 23, 1906, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra gave a farewell dinner in honor of Princess Victoria Eugenie.   Prince Maurice and his brothers were among the guests at the formal dinner.    The following day, Ena and her family left for Spain.  They were accompanied by King Edward VII to Victoria Station.  Thirteen-year-old Maurice witnessed the enthusiastic welcome that his sister received when she entered Madrid.  The cheering crowds gave no hint of what was to come on Alfonso and Ena’s wedding on May 31, when an assassin threw a bomb, disguised as a bouquet, at Alfonso and Ena’s carriage as they rode back to the palace.   More than 100 people were injured, and 24 were killed in the attack.  Neither the king nor his new bride sustained serious injuries, although Ena’s veil was singed and her wedding gown was covered in bloodstains.

One can only imagine how Maurice reacted to the attack, perhaps thankful that his sister and her husband were all right, albeit shaken up by the event.  He and his brothers and Princess Beatrice were seated in the middle of St. Jeronimo Church, behind “the rows of princes attending the wedding as representatives of Europe’s crowned heads.”

Before returning to London, Prince Maurice and Prince Leopold traveled to Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, to visit their widowed aunt, the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Duchess of Edinburgh), presumably to provide all the details about Ena’s wedding. 

Two years later, Alfonso and Ena returned to England, where they spent time at Osborne.  Princess Beatrice hosted a garden party for more than 200 guests in honor of the King and Queen.  Maurice was present for the family occasions and accompanied the king and queen on their engagements.

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Maurice emerged from his teenage years with a reputation for being “reckless,” having become “passionate about driving.”   He loved to drive fast, which lead to two speeding tickets in 1910 and 1914, respectively.  In October 1911, Prince Maurice crashed into another car, causing serious damage to both cars.   No one was hurt, including Prince Leopold, who was in the car with his brother.   

When he was summoned to the Felham Police Court on May 25, 1914, for driving a “motor car along Hampton Court Road, Hampton, on May 8,” at the rate of 34 miles per hour. It was noted in court at the time of being pulled over, Prince Maurice told the police officer: “You fellows are always out trapping on race days.”  

He was a first cousin of King George V, but that did not prevent Prince Maurice from being fined £3.00 for his speeding conviction.  His address was listed as Kensington Palace.

Although Prince Maurice was destined for a military career, there was a report in the New York Times in 1910 that Sir Thomas Lipton had taken the young Prince “into his employ.”  Sir Thomas was made aware of Prince Maurice’s “promising business capacity” by King Alfonso, when the king was a guest on Sir Thomas’ yacht, Erin.   However, the employment appears to have been brief, as there were no further reports of Maurice’s alleged business acumen. 

Unlike his older brothers, he was a “stronger character,” and was very protective of the hemophiliac Prince Leopold.   He did not forget his promise to his cousin, Princess Helena Victoria.   He joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and in March 1911, received the rank of second lieutenant.  This announcement was made in the London Gazette, after passing out from Sandhurst.  He was promoted to lieutenant in February 1914.

Maurice celebrated his 21st birthday on October 3, 1913.  He was a handsome young man, popular in London society, often attending balls and other social events.   He loved to fly, and in April 1914, “made a flight a Bournemouth with the late Gustave Hamel, in which he ‘twice looped the loop.’”

He was also a Freemason and served as the Master of the Twelve Brothers Lodge No 785 in Southampton, and was a member of the Old Wellingtonian Lodge, No. 3404 in London.

Great Britain’s entry into what would become the first world war changed everything.  There would be no more balls, no more opportunities to meet eligible young women.   A week after the war began, Maurice left England for France with the 1st Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps on August 12.  

This was followed by a ten-day march toward Mons.   It was not a successful march and the British troops were forced into a dangerous retreat, as he wrote to his mother: “I shall always look back on that forced march as a nightmare.”

Maurice wrote to his mother that the “retreat was a nightmare.”  It would only get worse.  He wrote to King George that “no words can describe how unpleasant that retreat was. Nothing but march, march, and fight rearguard actions all the time.”

By September 5, the British and French troops managed to halt the German advance.  The news continued to be good: German troops were being pushed back.   It would not last.  Five days later, Maurice’s battalion, as the advance guard, met a German column in retreat.  After a two-and-a-half battle, the Germans surrendered.    Several of Maurice’s soldiers were killed.  He had a “lucky escape,” as a bullet went right through his cap.

The fighting increased.  On the 14th, Prince Maurice learned that his brother, Alexander, had been wounded in battle.    As September turned into October, the nights became older and longer in the trenches.  “The thing we all fear and hate is the German artillery.  It must be admitted that they are really good,” Maurice wrote to King George.

[It is unlikely that Prince Maurice was told of the death of Prince Maximilian of Hesse, the son of his son, Princess Margarete of Prussia, the youngest sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II.  Only a few miles from where Prince Maurice was based, Prince Max was killed on October 13.  He was an officer with the Prussian 1st Life Hussars.]  

As the battles continued, and the British and French armies made advancements, Maurice believed that he and his troops would be moving toward Belgium.  The 36-hour journey on a cattle truck brought the prince and his soldiers to Hazebrouck on October 17.   Prince Maurice went on ahead to arrange accommodation, but after expecting to receive orders to move to Lille, they were ordered to Ypres.   

As Prince Maurice’s King’s Royal Rifle Corps marched toward Ypres, they realized they were “heavily outnumbered” by German troops.

The march came to a halt.  Two days later, the Germans began a “concentrated bombardment and attack” on Ypres.  The 1st KRRC battalion remained in the background until October 26, when they were ordered to “attack in the area of Polygon Wood.”   The troops came under heavy fire, forcing the battalion to stop and move to Zonnebeke.   Several hours later, the battle resumed, and Prince Maurice led his men toward the Kleiburg Spur “when a shell burst near him.”

Prince Maurice of Battenberg died from his wounds on October 27, 1914, less than a month after being mentioned in the dispatches for “gallantry.”  He was 23 years old.   

Britain's National Archives has the war diaries for the 1st Battalion. On October 27, 1914, the war diary recorded:  "During the advance eastwards from the ridge the battalion came under terrific shell fire as well as rifle fire… Poor [Prince] Maurice was killed outright just on top of the ridge."

King George commanded that the Court “wear mourning for three weeks for Prince Maurice.”   After they were informed of Maurice’s death, George and Mary were driven to Kensington Palace to offer consolation to the grieving Princess Beatrice.   Lord Tennyson received a telegram from Princess Henry of Battenberg, Governor of the Isle of Wight.  

“I am telegraphing you as my deputy on the island to tell you that I have just heard of the death of my beloved son Maurice, who died of wounds received in action yesterday.  Beatrice.”

 Lord Tennyson responded to the telegram, assuring Princess Beatrice of “the deepest sympathy of the whole island in her loss of a brave and noble son.”

Maurice’s first cousin, Prince Arthur of Connaught, was in St. Omer, France, as the aide-de-camp to Sir John French.  He was able to visit Ypres and see where Maurice was killed.  Lord Kitchener offered to make arrangements to bring Maurice’s body back to England for burial, but Princess Beatrice declined. She believed her son should lie with his fallen comrades.

Prince Maurice was buried at Ypres on October 30.  Prince Arthur, the only son of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, attended the funeral.  He wrote to his mother about the funeral.  It “was most impressive in its way, as there was a very heavy attack going and the parson’s voice was nearly drowned by the noise of the guns, and the German shells kept creeping nearer and nearer.”

Queen Victoria Eugenia, King Alfonso, and other members of the Spanish royal family attended a memorial service in the royal palace’s chapel on October 31.   Protestant churches throughout Spain also held memorial services in honor of Ena’s youngest brother.  Ena felt her brother’s death keenly.  She wrote to Queen Mary in 1915: “It is very hard to be away from my old home at such a time as this and especially so since Maurice’s death when I know Mama is so sad and needs me so much. I would give anything to be able to go to her but that I fear will not be possible for a long time to come.”

King George, Queen Mary, and Queen Alexandra were among the members of the British Royal Family to attend a private memorial service at the Chapel Royal, St. James’s Palace on November 5.  Empress Eugenie of France also attended, along with the Prime Minister and two Field Marshals, Kitchener and Grenfell.   The Archbishop of Canterbury presided at the service and gave the benediction.

It is not known if Princess Beatrice ever visited her son’s grave, as there are no news reports nor is the topic mentioned by her biographers.   Less than a month after the Armistice, King George V, the Prince of Wales, and Prince Albert paid an official visit to Ypres on December 9, 1918.  They attended a short service at Lille, before traveling to Ypres, where the King visited two cemeteries.  At the second cemetery, he stopped at a “cross marking the last resting place of Prince Maurice of Battenberg.”

King George returned to Ypres on May 11, 1922.  The first grave he visited was Prince Maurice’s, represented by a “plain wooden cross, but is planted with beautiful flowers and bore a large wreath presented by the town of Ypres.”   A year later, in April 1923, the Prince of Wales, traveling incognito, visited the Belgian battlefields and graves, including the Communal Cemetery in Ypres, where he paid his respects at Prince Maurice’s grave.

On May 6, 1923, after an official visit to Belgium, King Alfonso and Queen Ena left Brussels by train to return to Spain.  The Royal train stopped at Ypres, where Queen Ena got out and was taken to her brother’s grave.  It was her first visit to Maurice’s final resting place.

There may be a sense of the absurd with the fact that Prince Maurice, the youngest of Queen Victoria's youngest grandchildren, died in a battle fighting the enemy, the armies of his first cousin, Queen Victoria's eldest grandchild, Kaiser Wilhelm II.

It is unlikely that Wilhelm would have understood or appreciated Maurice's epitaph: "Those who shared with Prince Maurice of Battenberg, the perils and glories, the happiness and the miseries of life at ‘the front", will retain memories of his pluck, his lovable nature, and his good comradeship.  For all, he had a cheery, kindly word, and all had a kindly word for him."

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a coffee.  Thanks!

First photo of Prince Alexander Romanoff

HSH Princess Victoria 


Monday, October 24, 2022

Prince Ferdinand of Schwarzenberg to Marry Marie Friling


HSH Prince Ferdinand of Schwarzenberg is engaged to marry Marie Friling  The couple lives in Prague.

Miss Friling is the daughter of  Belgian-born Antoine Friling and Nicole von Oswald.    ​Antoine is a founding partner of Praxis Private Office with offices in Antwerp and Buenos Aires and of F&S Investment Office.   He is also a member of the Board of Directors of SIPEF, a Belgian agribusiness group.

Marie's mother, Nicole is the daughter Johann-Christoph von Oswald and Baroness Johanna Mayr von Melnhof.  She married Antoine Friling in 1985 at Attersee, Austria.  Marie,  who was born on November 10, 1992, is the third of four children.  She has an older sister, Charlotte, and an older brother, Christoph, and a younger brother, Alexandre.

Through her mother, Marie is a descendant of Archduke Johann Baptist of Austria (1782-1859) and Anne Marie  Plochl (1804-1885).  This marriage was morganatic.  Johann was the younger brother of Emperor Franz I.  They were grandsons of Empress Maria Theresia.  Franz gave the title Baroness von Brandhofen to Anna shortly after her marriage.  In 1850, she was elevated to a countess when Emperor Franz Josef gave her the title Countess of Meran.  The title of Count or Countess of Meran continues with Johann and Anna's male line descendants. 

Archduke Johann and Countess Anna had one son, Count Franz Ludwig Johann Baptist von Meran (1839-1891).  He married in 1862 to Countess Theresa von Lamberg,

Maria Theresa - Leopold II -- Johann Baptist -- Count Franz von Meran  -- Count Johann von Meran -- Countess Maria Anna von Meran  -- Baroness Johanna Mayr von Melnhof -- Nicole von Oswald -- Marie Friling.

The future princess works in the fashion industry.  For nearly 5 years, she was the co-owner and CEO of Thelma & Louise, a women's clothing brand based in Antwerp.  The business was closed down in May 2022.

HSH Prince Ferdinand Karl Friedrich Johann Nepomuk Jakob Alexius was born in Zurich on November 17, 1989.  He is the younger and only surviving child of the late HSH Prince  Friedrich Karl Joseph Johannes von Nepomuk Antonius Bartholomäus Felix Judas Thaddäus Conrad von Parzham (1940-2014) and Regula Brigitta Schlegel.   Ferdinand's older sister, Princess Marie-Helene died in 2019 at the of 33.

He has a BA in European Studies and a MA in Arts and Heritage Policy from Maastricht University.  The Prince is the head of Region at Porsche Central and Eastern Europe.   The Prince is the nephew of  HSH Karl Johannes, the 12th Prince of Schwarzenberg, and the second in line of succession.   The Prince of Schwarzenberg's only son the Hereditary Prince Johannes of Schwarzenberg, 55, has been married twice but does not have any children.  

Prince Ferdinand and Miss Friling have several ancestral lines in common.

The date of the wedding has not been announced.  

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Stirring the pot!

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Oh, that title: Royal Executive Editor at Yahoo Life.  Highfalutin and presumptuous.

The headline of the Royal Executive Editor's latest article shows that he cares only about his agenda and does not want to provide accurate information.  This is not a surprise as the writer lied about his age and provided a fake Ralph Waldo Emerson quote for his book,

This editor is also known for changing his story about the Duchess of Sussex and the People magazine article that interviewed five friends about the letter to her father.  On Good Morning America, he claimed Meghan did not know that her friends were interviewed by the magazine. In a later interview, he said he was aware that Meghan knew her friends had spoken to a People Magazine reporter. 

It would have been better for the REE to have been upfront and honest, but one can assume it was not the narrative that he had been given.

The REE's article is titled "Zara and Mike Tindall regularly cash in on their royal status -- so why aren't the usual critics outraged?"

 The only people who are outraged are your "fans."  

Now, of course, the REE is aware of the difference between Zara and Mike and "the various business of a certain royal couple in California."

He is referring to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Has the California couple murmured something about Cousin Zara in the Royal Executive Editor's 41-year-old ears?   If this is the case, the Duke of Sussex should know the difference.

 One couple is not royal.  The other couple is royal.  But these facts do not suit the narrative the REE wants to tell the world -- those who read his weekly articles.  As is already known, facts sometimes get in the REE's way

He writes: "Cashing in on royal status is usually a trigger to dedicated royalists and media outlets, many of whom have spent two years complaining about the various business antics of a certain royal couple in California, so I find it peculiar that this recent news about the Tindalls’ various royal cash-ins come and go without even a sound from the most sensitive of columnists."

The REE knows the answer to why there is no criticism of Zara and Mike. The late Princess Margaret provided the answer when she said: "My children are not royal; they just happen to have the Queen for their aunt."

Zara is not royal; she just happens to have the King for her uncle.  

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Princess Margaret's former husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones received the title Earl of Snowdon shortly before Margaret gave birth to their first child, David, in November 1961. David was styled as Viscount Linley until his father's death.

The 2nd Earl of Snowdon and his younger sister, Lady Sarah Chatto are children of a princess, and grandchildren of King George VI.   They are not royal.  Lord Snowdon is a peer of the realm and Lady Sarah has the rank and title of the daughter of an earl.

Lord Snowdon has run a successful bespoke design business, Linley, since 1985.  With his second cousin, Patrick, the Earl of Lichfield, David opened Deals, a chain of "upmarket burger bars" in 1988.  The chain was sold ten years later.

[A noted society photographer, Lord Lichfield was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's nephew.]

David's father, Tony, was a successful photographer when he met Princess Margaret.  Although he did accompany his wife on some of her engagements, he knew he had to keep working as well.  He was hired as a photographer by The Times, and he conceived the Snowdon Aviary at London Zoo.

Lord Snowdon called the late Queen "Aunt Lilibet."   Zara Tindall calls the present King "Uncle Charles."

Where is the REE's hypocritical outrage against Lord Snowdon, who has been in business since 1985, and has made a comfortable income from his design skills?

Zara is a successful equestrian.  As a member of Team GB, she won a Silver Medal in the team three-day eventing competition at the London Olympics. Both of her parents, HRH The Princess Royal and Captain Mark Phillips were Olympians, as well.

Her achievements come from talent and challenging work, and not from her royal "connections."  

Zara Tindall and her older brother, Peter Phillips, are not royal. They are grandchildren of the sovereign in the female line which means they take their rank from their father, not their mother.  This fact is something a Royal Executive Editor should know.

 Yes, Zara has royal connections (family).  The REE also has royal connections (not family.)

Zara's husband, Mike Tindall, is a former member of England's Rugby Team that won the 2003 World Cup, He played rugby for Bath and Gloucester between 2000-2011. He received his MBE in 2003 for services to rugby.  Zara received a MBE in the 2007 New Year's Honours List for services to Equestrianism.  In August 2006, she won the Gold Medal in the three-day eventing competition at the World Equestrian Games.  She also helped Team GB win the Silver Medal in the team competition.

 REE must not know a lot about successful athletes because it is common knowledge that prominent and successful athletes can make millions through endorsements even after their athletic careers are over.  He may be shocked by this. 

The Princess Royal's home, Gatcombe Park, hosts the Festival of British Evening in early August.  Gatcombe Park is privately owned by the Princess Royal.  Both of her children have homes on the estate.

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Before I started writing this post, I pulled Zara Tindall's clip files.  I have 2 files (1981-2009) and (2010+). There have been numerous articles on her sponsorship deals. Being an equestrian and running an equestrian business is expensive.  These deals help cover these costs, as well as develop an investment plan.  She gets the deals because she is a successful equestrian.  She cannot capitalize on her title because she does not have one.  

In November 1973, Mark Phillips and Princess Anne were interviewed before their wedding.  Newspapers reported that Mark might get an earldom.  He denied this in the interview, stating that he had not been offered a peerage and did not want one.  

Zara and Mike get these deals because companies see them as good investments because of their successes as athletes, not because Zara is the niece of the king.

The REE has overlooked this and one other important fact.  Harry and Meghan are using their titles with Netflix, Spotify, and Better Up.  This has caused concern and criticism at the Palace and in the press. 

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 When Prince Edward (now the Earl of Wessex) headed Ardent Productions, he used the name Edward Windsor in the credits.  

Before his older brother, Prince William of Gloucester was killed in an aviation accident in August 1972, Prince Richard of Gloucester was a professional architect. He received his degree from Cambridge, wrote two books, and was employed by a London architecture firm.  He did not use his title but was known professionally as Richard Gloucester.

As the younger son of the Duke of Gloucester, Richard was not expected to be a full-time royal.  William's death brought profound changes to Richard and his new wife, Birgitte's lives.  He was now the heir to his father's dukedom, and as his father was ill, Richard and Birgitte were fast-tracked into full-time working royals.

Due to decisions made in the late 1990s by the Way Ahead Group, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, the daughters of the Duke of York, would not be working royals.  They were also expected to have jobs.   Beatrice is the Vice President, Partnerships & Strategy at Afiniti. Her younger sister, Eugenie, is a director at Hauser & Wirth's London gallery.

Neither princess uses their titles in their job. They are known as Beatrice York and Eugenie York on their firms' websites and on their personnel LinkedIn pages.

Lady Rose Gilman, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, has worked as an art assistant in films and TV. She is listed in the credits as Rose Windsor.

There are Peers of the realm who also do not use their titles in their careers. Harry's uncle, Earl Spencer has authored several books.  Lord Spencer uses Charles Spencer as his pen name.  The present Earl of Harewood, a great-grandson of George V, worked in film production when he was the heir, with the courtesy title Viscount Lascelles.  He was credited as David Lascelles, not as Lord Lascelles.   

A recent book by Lord Harewood, A Hare-Marked Moon: From Bhutan to Yorkshire: The Story of an English Stupa, lists David Lascelles as the author.

The late film producer Lord Brabourne was credited as John Brabourne.

The 8th Marquess of Exeter lives in Oregon.  He is professionally known as Michael Cecil.

The American-born 5th Earl of Wharncliffe lives in Maine.  He is known as Richard Wortley and does not  officially use the triple-barreled surname Montagu-Stuart-Wortley,

I do not advocate or support an Act of Parliament that would strip Harry of his title. The last time Parliament passed such an act was in 1917 with the Titles Deprivation, which removed four peerages from three British princes and an Austrian national who supported and fought for Germany during the first world war.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not working royals and are committed to helping others through the Archewell Foundation.  To do this, they must have deals that will provide them with enough money to afford a big house in Montecito and support the causes that are most important to them.

There are who say that Sussexes snagged the Netflix and Spotify deals because of their titles.  This is my observation and not a criticism.

My suggestion would be to not use the titles professionally but follow what Uncle Edward did when he worked in the entertainment business. Harry and Meghan could use Windsor (Mountbatten-Windor is a mouthful - and a longer name to type) or Sussex as a professional surname.  This change would bring an end to the criticism that they are capitalizing on their royal titles.

It would also show that the couple is serious about separating their business commitments from their position within the Royal Family, which is the son and daughter-in-law of King Charles III.

If Queen Elizabeth II's death certificate includes a surname (Windsor), Harry and Meghan can use a surname in their careers.

Several years ago, I authored an article on working royals for BBC History Extra.

If you liked this article, perhaps you can buy me a coffee or a margarita!

Friday, October 21, 2022

It is a boy for Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria


The little Prince was born in Moscow and he weighed 5.9 lbs.

Prince Alexander is a double descendant of Queen Victoria

Victoria - Alfred - Victoria Melita - Wladimir - Maria - George - Alexander

Victoria - Victoria - Wilhelm II - Joachim - Karl Franz Joseph - Franz Wilhelm - George - Alexander 

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Sibylla weds her Swedish prince

all images: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

October 20, 1932

Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha were married today in Coburg in "the most colorful wedding Germany has witnessed in many years.

The city came to a standstill as local citizens came out to watch the wedding procession.

Princess Sibylla was radiant as she arrived at St. Moritz church with her father, Carl Eduard, the former reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She wore a white silk gown, "a myrtle wreath and a costly heirloom veil." The bride was attended by eight bridesmaids, all of whom also wore white, except for blue shoes and blue headbands. Sibylla's train, which had been owned by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, was carried by her 13-year-old brother, Prince Friedrich Josias, and Countess Dagmar Bernadotte af Wisborg, a cousin of the groom.

A reception followed the Lutheran ceremony at the Congress Hall in the Veste, a medieval castle that sits high on a hill above Coburg.

German president Hindenburg sent his congratulations, as did Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm II sent the bride and groom a coffee service.

The bride's father received a congratulatory telegram from Adolf Hitler, where he expressed admiration for Carl Eduard's "courageous attitude toward our sorely tried people." Carl Eduard, a grandson of Queen Victoria, and a British prince by birth was stripped of his British titles, including his peerage, Duke of Albany, in 1918 by the British Parliament. This was due to the prince who served with the German military during the first world war.

Duke Carl Eduard was committed to the National Socialism cause. Nazi flags fluttered next to Swedish flags on the wedding day, and German officials, including the Burgermeister, wore Nazi uniforms to the wedding.

The couple will spend their honeymoon in Italy.

The bride and groom, who are second cousins, are both descendants of Queen Victoria. Gustaf Adolf's late mother, Princess Margaret of Connaught, and Sibylla's father were first cousins.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

10 years already?


all four photos © Maison du Grand-Duc / Sophie Margue

The Grand Ducal Palace has released four new photos of the Hereditary Grand Duke and Hereditary Grand Duchess of Luxembourg who are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary (civil wedding) today.

They were married in a religious ceremony on October 20,2012 at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg.  The couple are the parents of a son, Prince Charles, who was born in May 2020.   They are expecting a second child in April 2023.

Civil marriage for Sibylla and Gustaf Adolf

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October 19, 1932

Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden were married today in a civil ceremony at the Veste castle in Coburg, reports the New York Times.

The civil ceremony is required by German law, and was conducted with the" same simplicity as for non-royalty."

The witnesses were the bride's father, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and the groom's father, the Crown Prince of Sweden.  All of the men, including the groom, wore morning suits, while the bride wore a "wine red dress with a long train."

Coburg's mayor Herr Schwede officiated at the ceremony. Although there were rumors that he would wear his Nazi uniform, he chose instead to wear a cutaway, with "the Iron Cross pinned on it." 

Before getting on with the wedding, the mayor gave "a little speech: where he spoke on the defense of the Veste by the Swedes during the Thirty Years War, which he thought was a "good omen for the marriage."

The register was signed on a table that belonged to Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the father of Prince Albert, who married his first cousin Queen Victoria, in 1840.  The bride and groom are descendants of Victoria and Albert.

The entire ceremony took about twenty minutes.  Afterward, the wedding party headed to the St. Moritz Church, for a wedding rehearsal.

Coburg streets are festively decorated with the colors of Sweden and Coburg.  Nearly the entire population came out this evening to celebrate in the illuminated streets, as the bridal couple attended an event at the State Theater. 

The Prince and Princess and their guests watched a torchlight procession that included German dancers, members of Turnverein clubs, marching band, Nazi stormtroopers, and a choir singing German folk songs.

The religious wedding, according to the rites of the Lutheran church, will take place tomorrow. 

The bridesmaids and the ushers will be Princess Ingrid of Sweden (sister of the groom), Grand Duchess Kira of Russia, Princess Feodora and Princess Caroline of Denmark, Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein, Countess Dagmar Bernadotte, Princes Wilhelm and Alexander of Prussia (grandsons of former Kaiser Wilhelm II), Princess Bertil, Sigvard and Carl Johan of Sweden (brothers of the groom), and Prince Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the bride's youngest brother.

The mayor gave an "enthusiastic welcome: to the Duke of Connaught.  Former Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria was also "greeted enthusiastically."

Hereditary Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla also paid a call to "the highest ranking royal in Coburg," the former King Ferdinand of Bulgaria. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Schenk von Stauffenberg - Mooser wedding


Count and Countess Philipp Schenk von Stauffenberg

Count Philipp Schenk v. Stauffenberg and Maira Tolardo-Mooser were married on October 15 at the Dom Cathedral in Bamberg.  The officiant was Vitus Count von Waldburg zu Zeil und Hohenems,, a Roman Catholic priest.

 Born in 1990, Philipp is the son of Count Christoph Schenk von Stauffenberg and Countess Monika of Waldburg-Zeil.  Maira, born in 1991, is the daughter of Bertram Mooser and Nancy Tolardo.

The reception was held at Schloss Jägersburg in Eggolsheim.

The photos were taken by a friend of mine .. and I am grateful to this person for allowing me to use them.


Countess Marie Gabrielle of Arco-Zinneberg and Victor Bergmann, who is married to Princess Gisela of Liechtenstein

Count Franz Schenk von Stauffenberg

The Hereditary Prince of Waldburg-Wolfegg and the Hereditary Count of Königsegg-Aulendorf

Wilhelm, Duke of Württemberg

Duchess Amelie of Württemberg and her fiancé, Baron Franz-Ferdinand von Feilitzsch

The Prince and Princess of Waldburg-Zeil and Duchess Marie of Württemberg

 Erich Prince von Waldburg Zeil with his wife Mathilde and his sister, Maria Gabriele and her husband, Count Bernard Monseignat

The Prince of Oettingen-Wallerstein

The Princess of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg with her daughter Amelie and Alexandra Princess of Hohenzollern

Guy Moy de Son


The last three photos are of Counts Franz, Alexander, and Johannes of Schonborn-Wiesentheid.

Friday, October 14, 2022

The Little Princes -DNA test?

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 The Daily Mail is reporting that King Charles III may give his support to  DNA testing on the bones that may belong to the two sons of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville: King Edward V (1470-1483) and Prince Richard, Duke of York (1473-1483).  The two boys, the elder the rightful king of England, were most likely murdered on the orders of their uncle, Richard III.

What will be needed is the mDNA (mitochondrial DNA) passed through the female line, most likely through a descendant of King Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth's daughters.

They had four surviving daughters:

* Elizabeth of York: (1466-1503)

*    Cecily of York (1469-1507)

*    Anne of York (1475-1511)

*    Katherine of York (1479-1527)

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 Elizabeth married Henry VII.  They had two surviving daughters: Margaret (1489-1541) and Mary (1496-1533)   

Margaret's first husband was King James IV of Scotland. 

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 They had one surviving child, James V, who had one legitimate child, Mary, Queen of Scots.   Margaret's second husband was Archibald Angus, 6th Earl of Angus.  One child, a daughter, Margaret Douglas (1515-1577) married Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox.  This marriage produced two sons:  Henry, Lord Darnley (who married his first cousin, Mary, Queen of Scots), and Charles, 1st Earl of Lennox, the father of one daughter, Lady Arbella Stuart, by his wife, Elizabeth Cavendish, the daughter of Bess of Hardwick.  Lady Arbella was married to William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset (a great-grandson of Princess Mary, Elizabeth of York's younger daughter.)

Princess Mary was married twice.  Her first marriage to King Louis XII of France lasted less than a year.  Her second marriage to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk was a love match.  

The couple had two daughters:  Lady Frances (1517-1559) and Lady Eleanor (1519-1547).  

Lady Frances married Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk.  This marriage produced three surviving daughters: Lady Jane (1537-1554), Lady Katherine (1540-1568), and Lady Mary (1545-1578).

Lady Jane succeeded her cousin Edward VI as Queen Jane.  Her reign lasted for nine days.   All three sisters married but the only sister to have descendants is Lady Katherine (by her second marriage to Edward Seymour (1st Earl of Hertford).  The couple had two sons, Edward and Thomas. Edward's line is extant.  Thomas's marriage was childless.  Edward's descendants will not have the same mDNA as the Princes in the Tower due to male line descent from Katherine.

Lady Frances's only child by her second marriage to Adrian Stokes was a stillborn daughter, who was named Elizabeth.

This portrait is either Eleanor or her daughter, Lady Margaret

Lady Eleanor Brandon was the wife of Henry Clifford, the 2nd Earl of Cumberland.  They had one daughter, Margaret, who married Henry Stanley, 4th Earl of Stanley.  Four sons, no daughters.  The second son Ferdinando, 5th Earl of Stanley, was the father of three daughters.

Cecily of York had two daughters, Elizabeth and Anne by her 2nd marriage to John Welles, 1st Viscount Welles, who was the maternal half-brother of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII.  Both girls died in childhood.  

According to several sources, Cecily's third marriage to  Thomas Kyme produced a daughter, Margaret (1503-1532), who married John Weatherby.  Her biography in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography states that "There is disagreement over whether Cecily and Kyme also had children. The claim that they did seems to derive entirely from the later tradition that misidentifies Kyme as a gentleman of the Isle of Wight, and it is likely that the marriage was childless."

The third sister, Anne of York married in 1494/1495, to Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, later 2nd Duke of Norfolk (uncle of Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard).  Anne died young, and the couple had no surviving children.

Katherine of York was the first wife of William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon. They had one daughter, Lady Margaret Courtenay (c1499-before 1526) who was the first wife of Henry Somerset, 2nd Earl of Worcester.  This marriage was childless.  

There are no surviving matrilineal lines of descent for the four married daughters of Edward VI and Elizabeth Woodville.    

Elizabeth Woodville was the daughter of Richard Woodville and Jacquetta of Luxembourg.  She had seven sisters, Anne, Jacquetta, Mary, Joan, Margaret, Martha, and Catherine.  All married English nobles.

Elizabeth Roberts, a British opera singer, is a matrilineal descendant of Margaret Woodville and her husband, Thomas Fitzalan, the 10th earl of Arundel.  The couple had two sons, William, the 11th Earl of Arundel and Edward, and two daughters, Margaret and Joan.  Margaret married John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln who was the son of John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk] and Elizabeth of York, who was the sixth child of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville.

John de la Pole was the nephew of Edward IV and Richard III.  This marriage was childless.

The younger daughter, Joan, was the first wife of George Nevill, 5th Baron Bergavenny.  They had two daughters, Elizabeth (who married Henry Daubeney, 1st Earl of Bridgewater) and Jane (the wife of Henry Pole, 1st Baron Montagu.

Elizabeth's marriage was childless.  Joan was the mother of two sons and two daughters, Catherine and Winifred.  Catherine married Francis, the 2nd Earl of Huntington.  They had eleven children, including five daughters.   Winifred was married twice.  She had two sons and one daughter by her second marriage to Sir Thomas Barrington.,Westminster%20Abbey%20where%20they%20remain.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take place on ..

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Saturday, May 6, 2023