Monday, February 27, 2023

Traute Prinzessin zur Lippe (1925-2023)

Traute Princess zur Lippe died at Schloss Detmold on February 25, 2023.  She was 98 years.  The Princess was the widow of HSH Armin Leopold Ernst Bruno Heinrich Willa August Prince zur Lippe, (1924-2015).

Marie Elisabeth Traute Becker was born in Hänigsen on February 16, 1925, the daughter of Gustav Becker and Charlotte Meyer.  She married Prince Arnim, in a civil ceremony in Göttingen on March 27, 1953. The religious took place at Celle on March 29, 1953.

Following the death of his father, Prince Arnim succeeded as head of the house of Lippe.  He inherited the family fortune and estates including Schloss Detmold.

Princess Traute gave birth to the couple's only child, Stephan Leopold Justus Richard in Detmold on May 24, 1959.  

The Princess is survived by her son, Stephan, Prince zur Lippe and his wife, Maria, born Countess zu Solms-Laubach, and their five children:  Prince Bernhard (1995), Prince Heinrich (1997), Prince Wilhelm (1999), Princess Luise (2001) and Princess Mathilde (2003).

She had Ph.D in biology and was particularly committed to the fine arts, the Princess Pauline Foundation, the city of Detmold, and the Lippe district."

Christmas 2021  The first year Princess Traute did not send out a separate card.  She was not on the 2022 card

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Princess Clarissa zu Fürstenberg to marry Briton

 HSH Princess Clarissa Anna Lucia Katherina Teresa Alexandra Maria, the eldest child of HSH Prince Maximilian Joachim Alfred Egon Karl Hubertus Maria Leo zu Fürstenberg and Baroness Diana von Berlichingen, will marry Alexander Cass Saint at Schloss Werenwag in Beuron, on September 16, 2023. 

Schloss Werenwag is the bride's family home.

Alexander Cass Saint was born in November 1994 in West Sussex, England.  He is a financier based in Herrliberg, Switzerland.   Princess Clarissa, 30, is the director of the CZF interior designer firm in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

the marriage of Clarissa's parents in May 1992

Friday, February 24, 2023

A countly engagement : Waldburg-Zeil-Matuschka



A new engagement to announce.  Countess Leonie von Waldburg zu Zeil-Hohenems is to marry Count Caspar von Matuschka.  The couple announced their engagement recently.

Countess Leonie Alexandrine Walburga Marie is the third of four daughters of Count Franz Clemens Maria Josef Willibald von Wladburg zu Zeil-Hohenems and Countess Stefanie von Blankenstein.  She was born in Hohenems on August 22, 1997.  Her godparents are King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Princess Maria of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

Count Caspar Heinrich Michael Rüdiger is the second son of Count Wilhelm Nikolaus Franziskus Pius von Matuschka and Marie-Louise von Voss.  He was born in Dusseldorf on June 10, 1994.

In January 2023, Leonie received her Master of Art in Product Sustainability Management from the Milano Fashion Institute.  She is currently an Intern in Retail Content Training at Bottega Veneta in Milan.


Count Caspar is based in Dublin, Ireland, where he is involved with business development at Slack. He has a Bachelor's degree from CESA's School of Management before earning a second BA in Sociology, Politics & Economics from Zeppelin University.  He earned a Master of Science in Management from the University of Edinburgh's Business School.

The date and place of the wedding have not been announced. 

Countess Leonie's older sister, Countess Tatjana, married Philipp Eisl in October 2021.

In other noble news, HSH Princess Clarissa Anna Lucia Katherina Teresa Alexandra Maria, the eldest child of HSH Prince Maximilian Joachim Alfred Egon Karl Hubertus Maria Leo zu Fürstenberg and Baroness Diana von Berlichingen, will marry Alexander Cass Saint at Schloss Werenwag in Beuron, on September 16, 2023. 

Schloss Werenwag is the bride's family home.

Alexander Cass Saint was born in November 1994 in West Sussex, England.  He is a financier based in Herrliberg, Switzerland.   Princess Clarissa, 30, is the director of the CZF interior designer firm in Küsnacht, Switzerland.

Prince Constantin zu Schleswig-Holstein and Countess Sophie von der Schulenberg will marry next year.  They are expecting their first child in the summer of 2023.

UPDATE: HERE IT IS Where is the Letters Patent for the new Prince of Wales, Your Majesty?

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February 6, 2023

In his Accession Speech on September 9, 2022, King Charles III announced he was creating his elder son,  William, the Duke of Cornwall, as Prince of Wales & Earl of Chester.  "Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty. With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations."

It is usual for the official Letters Patent that creates the titles Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester for the heir apparent to be published in the London Gazette.  As of today, no there has been no official announcement.  

The London Gazette was first published in 1665.  The first Prince of Wales born after this date was James Francis Edward, the eldest son of James II and his second wife, Maria Beatrice of Modena.  The prince was born on June 10, 1688, and was named Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester circa July 4, 1688.  The Gazette references the birth of the prince and the use of the title Prince of Wales, but not an official announcement, such as a Letters Patent.   

James II had other things on his mind.  There were questions about the birth of the Prince, who was baptized in the Roman Catholic faith.  There was a genuine fear of a Catholic dynasty.  
Three years earlier, the king had suspended the Parliaments of England and Scotland, further alienating the Protestant majority.  The birth of the prince and the charge of seditious libel against seven Protestant bishops (who were acquitted) led to anti-Catholic riots.  James II's reign was near collapse after religious leaders, politicians and soldiers called for the Prince of Orange to take military action to save the Protestant faith.   Prince William was married to James II's elder daughter, Princess Mary (by his first wife, Anne Hyde.)   William was also James II's nephew as his mother, Mary,  was James's sister.

By the end of December 1688,  James II with his wife and infant son fled to France, allowing for the Convention Parliament, which met in January 1689, to declare that James II had abdicated and the throne would be offered jointly to the Prince and Princess of Orange, who would reign as King William III and Queen Mary.

The next Prince of Wales was Prince George Augustus, the son of King George I, who succeeded his second cousin, Queen Anne in  1714.   He was named Prince of Wales And Earl of Chester on September 27,  1714.

[James I - Elizabeth - Sophie - George I.   James I - Charles I - James II - Anne.]

King George I died on June 11, 1727.   He was succeeded by his son, King George II, who named his eldest son,  Prince Frederick Louis as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on January 27, 1728.

The Prince of Wales died on March 31, 1751, leaving his eldest son, George, as the heir apparent.  King George II's Letters Patent created his grandson as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on April 20, 1751.
 The new Prince of Wales did not become the Duke of Cornwall because that title is reserved for the eldest son of the sovereign.  

George III became king on October 25, 1760.  His first son, George Augustus Frederick was born on August 12, 1762.  Five days later,  he was named Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

George III died on January 29, 1820.  The Prince of Wales became King George IV.  He had no sons, and his only daughter, Princess Charlotte died after giving birth to a stillborn son in November 1817.  He died on June 26, 1830.  The next king was his brother, the Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV.  He died on June 20, 1837, and the throne passed to his niece, Princess Victoria of Kent.   

Her first son and second child, Prince Albert Edward was born on November 9, 1841.  His creation as  Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester was announced on December 8, 1841.

Queen Victoria died on January 22,1901 and the Prince of Wales became King Edward VII.  His only surviving son, George Frederick Ernst Albert was named Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on November 9, 1901.

Edward VII reigned until May 6, 1910.  The Prince of Wales ascended the throne as King George V.  He named his eldest son, Prince Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on June 23, 1910.   He succeeded to the throne as King Edward VIII on January 20, 1936, and was succeeded by his brother, Prince Albert, Duke of York.  Bertie chose to be styled as King George VI.  He was the father of two daughters, Princess Elizabeth, the heiress presumptive, and Princess Margaret.

Princess Elizabeth succeeded her father on February 6, 1952, as Queen Elizabeth II.    It was not until July 26, 1958, that the queen named her nine and half-year-old son, Prince Charles, the Duke of Cornwall, as Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.

William was named Prince of Wales the day after the death of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the ascension of his father as King Charles III.  

William is the Prince of Wales, but it is far past the time for a formal declaration with the publication of the Letters Patent in the Gazette.

A Letters Patent has been published since 1714.  The tradition needs to continue, Your Majesty.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Princess Marie comments on rumors of move to DC

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 In an interview with Paris Match magazine,  Princess Marie of Denmark won't confirm the rumors about Prince Joachim's transfer to Washington, D.C.  His military assignment ends in September.

Paris Match's reporter asked: "So the possible departure for Washington mentioned in the Danish press is only a rumor?

Princess Marie's response: Nothing has been confirmed, nothing has been announced, so it's not from us.  There are always changes, after the end of something there is a new beginning somewhere."

The princess was also asked about the loss of the princely titles for Prince Joachim's four children.  Nikolai, Felix, Henrik, and Athena.   

Nikolai and Felix are the children from Joachim's first marriage to Alexandra Manley.

"We are a close-knit family and we are doing very well.  THANKS."

On January 1, 2023, the four children ceased to be HH Prince or Princess of Denmark.  They are now styled as Count or Countess de Montpezat.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parma announces separation from husband

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Princess Margarita of Bourbon-Parma, the eldest daughter of Princess Irene of the Netherlands and Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma, and her husband Tjalling ten Cate have separated, according to a press release.  

"Some time ago we decided together and in friendship to separate.  After a wonderful time of more than sixteen years together, in which we shared joys and sorrows, each of us will now go our own way.  At the same time, we will always walk a path together as friends and loving parents to our two beautiful daughters."

The 50-year-old princess, who is King Willem-Alexander's first cousin, and Tjalling ten Cate, 47, were married on May 3, 2008.  Four months later, she gave birth to the couple's first child, Julia.   The couple's younger daughter, Paola was born in 2011.

The statement was released to the ANP news agency.  Princess Margarita and Mr. ten Cate will not answer further questions, and asked for "time and rest to get used to the new situation."

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 This will be the second divorce for Princess Margarita.  She was married to Edwin de Roy van Zuydewijn from 2001-2008.  In 2003, the Princess and her former husband accused the Dutch royal house and Netherland's General Security and Intelligence Service, AIVD, "of eavesdropping and thwarting the businessman in several interviews."   Their accusations led to an estrangement between the Princess and her family,  

Their claims proved to be false.  It was only after her divorce from De Roy van Zuydewijn that Margarita was slowly welcomed back into the family.   In an interview last year, she said: "Of course, I hurt so many people by standing behind him'. But also about the changed family relationships: 'A more honest way of talking has emerged."

Princess Margarita lives in Wassenaar with her two daughters.  She designs jewelry and enjoys equestrian sports.  Last week, she and her mother, Princess Irene, were among the guests at Princess Margriet's 80th birthday celebrations in Apeldorn.

Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg's civil wedding details


 @Maison du Grand-Duc / Sophie Margue

The civil marriage of HRH Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg and Mr. Nicolas Bagary will take place on April 22, 2023, at the Town Hall in Luxembourg-Ville.   

The Bridge and groom and the Grand Ducal family will arrive at the Place Guillaume at 3:00 p.m.   The civil wedding will be at 3:30 p.m., n the presence of their families.   Following the ceremony, Princess Alexandra and Mr. Bagory, accompanied by members of the Grand Ducal family will greet the crowd at the Place Guillaume.

The Royal Family will return to the Grand Ducal Palace via the Rue de la Reine.  A reception will be held at the Grand Ducal at 6:00p.m., "in the presence of the families of the bride and groom, representatives of the national authorities, and the couple's guests."

The press release gave few details about the religious wedding apart from the following paragraph:

" Princess Alexandra and Mr. Bagory wish to keep their Religious Wedding as private as possible. For this reason, no press coverage and no photography will be allowed inside the Saint Trophyme church in Bormes-les-Mimosas. No press supervision or accreditation will be provided for this purpose. 

However, if you are going to wait outside the church, we would be grateful if you could inform us beforehand.""

Friday, February 17, 2023

Mail Call

 These are the most recent cards that I have received --- since January, but still nothing from the United Kingdom.  

Thursday, February 16, 2023

the Crown Princess of Italy and Princess Konrad at Bayreuth

 This image shows Crown Princess Marie Jose of Italy and Princess Konrad of Bavaria at the opening of the Bayreuth festival in 1930.   Princess Konrad was born Princess Maria Bona Margherita Albertina Vittoria of Savoy (1896-1971).  She was the third of six children of Prince Tommaso, Duke of Genoa, and Princess Isabelle of Bavaria.  

Princess Bona married her second cousin, Prince Konrad of Bavaria (1883-1969), in January 1921.  Konrad was the youngest son of Prince Leopold of Bavaria and Archduchess Gisela of Austria, the eldest daughter of Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria.

Crown Princess Marie-José Charlotte Sophie Amélie Henriette Gabrielle of Italy (1906-2001) was the only daughter of King Albert I of the Belgians and Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, who was the niece of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.   She married Crown Prince Umberto of Italy (1904-1983) in January 1930.   

Princess Bona's maternal aunt, Queen Margherita was the consort of King Umberto I.  Their son, King Vittorio Emanuele, was Bona's first cousin.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Princess Marie Gabrielle's death announcement


The Grand Ducal court erred when it sent out the announcement of HRH Princess Marie Gabrielle of Luxembourg.  The announcement stated she died on February 10.   According to her family's death notice, which was placed in a local Danish newspaper, the princess died on February 9, 2023.

The princess, who was the widow of Count Knud Holstein-Ledreborg, died at Ledreborg.

The funeral will take place on February 18 at Ledreborg.  Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, who is the late princess' nephew and godson, will be attending the funeral.

Queen Camilla will wear Queen Mary’s crown


Friday, February 10, 2023

Princess Marie Gabrielle of Luxembourg, Countess of Holstein-Ledreborg (1925-2023)


HRH Princess Marie Gabrielle was the last surviving child of the late HRH Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg and HRH Prince Felix of Bourbon-Parma.   She married Danish Count Knud of Holstein-Ledreborg (1919-2001) in 1951.   They were first introduced in 1946 at the silver wedding anniversary celebrations of Prince Rene and Princess Margrethe of Bourbon-Parma.  Prince Rene was Prince Felix's brother.   Princess Margrethe was the daughter of Prince Valdemar of Denmark.

The princess died earlier today at the age of 97.

She is survived by six of her seven daughters: Countess Monica (1952), Countess Lydia (1955), Countess Veronica (1956), Countess Silvia (1958), Countess Tatiana (1961 and Countess Antonia (1962).

Her fifth daughter, Countess Camilla (1959) died in 2010.   

The Princess is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   Her nephew, Grand Duke Henri, is one of her godchildren.

Victoria Luise to wed Cumberland's son

February 10,1913

The engagement of Princess Victoria Luise of Prussia and Prince Ernst August, the son, and heir of the Duke of Cumberland, was announced this morning. The announcement "means the termination of the long-standing feud between the houses of Hohenzollern and Cumberland."

The young couple was the guests of honor at a luncheon hosted by the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Baden at their castle in Karlsruhe. The Grand Duchess is Kaiser Wilhelm II's aunt, the former Princess Luise of Prussia.

Prince Max, the eventual heir to the Grand Ducal throne, is married to Ernst August's sister, Marie Louise.

Others at the luncheon included Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria, Prince Oskar, and members of the grand ducal family of Baden.

Prince Ernst August became heir to the Cumberland dukedom last May following the death of his elder brother, Prince Georg Wilhelm. The Prince was driving to the funeral of his uncle King Frederik VIII of Denmark.

The young couple met for the first time in Potsdam early last summer when Prince Ernst August "came to thank the Kaiser for his sympathy on the occasion of the death of Prince Georg." The car accident had occurred on Prussian territory.

It was love at first sight for Victoria Luise and Prince Ernst August and they "have ever since kept up a correspondence, besides meeting frequently."

This wedding may have "high political significance," but "it is insisted that genuine affection is primarily responsible for it."

The German press has greeted the "impending reconciliation between the Hohenzollerns and the Cumberlands with universal satisfaction."
The internecine fight began in 1866 when Prussia invaded Hannover, and the Hannover royal family was forced into exile. The Duke of Cumberland is the son of the late King Georg V of Hannover.

He is also a British peer as the Hannover royal family are also princes and princesses of Great Britain and Ireland.

There are rumors now circulating in Berlin that Victoria Luise's brother, Prince Oskar, will marry Ernst August's sister, Princess Olga.

The Princess has been mentioned, "in connection with several eligible young men who have been received at the Imperial Palace in Berlin." Last year, shortly before the Princess' 20th birthday, the Kaiser made an announcement that Victoria Luise would have to leave the court season to take a rest cure, as she was suffering from "an affliction of the throat. Throughout Court circles, it was rumored that princess was actually "suffering from an attack of nerves," as her father had forbidden her to marry Count Georg Fugger von Babenhausen, a Lieutenant of the Gardes du Corps at Potsdam, and "a descendant of an ancient Bavarian family which was one of the wealthiest in Europe."

Prince Ernst August is considered a member of the British royal family, so he will need to seek King George V's permission to marry. The Prince is also the king's first cousin, as their mothers are sisters.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Is Princess Beatrice about to remarry?

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February 7, 1899

Princess Beatrice of Battenberg may be planning a second marriage, according to the Marquise de Fontenoy's latest dispatch.  Nothing else is "being talked about in English court circles," and the official announcement will be made shortly.

The man is a foreigner, like her late husband, Prince Henry, and "like him, too, not of royal birth."   Princess Beatrice is expected to marry Count Albert von Mensdorff,-Pouilly now the Chargé d'Affaires of Austria-Hungary to the Court of St. James.  He is the younger brother and heir to Prince Hugo of Dietrichstein, who is not a mediatized Prince, "but merely an ordinary Austrian noble."

Count Albert and Princess Beatrice are cousins, as his grandfather married a Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and his father,  Alexander Prince von Dietrichstein zu Nikolsburg, was the Prince Consort's favorite cousin and "intimate crony."

The count has spent his entire diplomatic career in England, and is "one of the most popular members of London society."  He is often invited to Sandringham and is a frequent guest of Queen Victoria.

 He has spent most of the winter at Osborne with the Queen and drives out "almost daily" with the Queen and Princess Beatrice, or with the Queen alone or Princess Beatrice alone.

Queen Victoria is very fond of the count, "feeling sadly in want of some male relative to remain by her side, to adapt himself to her whims and requirements."  In other words, a replacement for the much lamented "Liko" - Prince Henry of Battenberg, "whose full value at court was never thoroughly appreciated until after his sudden and premature death."

There is one slight obstacle to a proposed marriage.  Count Albert is Roman Catholic.  Beatrice cannot marry a Roman Catholic without losing her place in the succession.   The Count "would readily consent to become a convert to the Church of England" for the sake of "so grand an alliance."  He also would become a British naturalized subject, following the standard set by the Prince Consort, Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, and Prince Henry.

In Europe, the marriage would be regarded as morganatic, as was the marriage of Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry.  But Princess Beatrice has never lived abroad, her children by Prince Henry, like those of the Duke of Teck, "only rank as morganatic issue at foreign courts."

It is also possible that Queen Victoria could raise her new son-in-law to the rank of duke after his marriage to Princess Beatrice.

On February 22, 1804, Princess Sophie of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld married Count Emmanuel de Pouilly, who was created Count of Mensdorff-Pouilly in 1818.  Sophie was the sister of Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, King Leopold I of Belgium, and Victoire, Duchess of Kent.   Count Albert Viktor Julius Joseph Michael von Mensdorff-Pouilly was born September 5, 1861, at Lemberg, the third child of Alexander Count von Mensdorff-Pouilly and Countess Alexandrine von Dietrichstein-Proskau-Leslie. 

Count Alexander was the fourth child of Count Emmanuel and Princess Sophie.

Count Albert and Princess Beatrice are second cousins.

Ernst I - Victoire - Victoria - Beatrice
Ernst I - Ernst II -  Albert -Beatrice
Ernst I -  Sophie - Alexander -Albert 

[Count Albert was close to his British cousins.  Both Edward VII and George V were fond of him.  It is unlikely that there was any truth to the Marquise's story.  In 1904,  Count Albert was named ambassador of the Dual Monarchy (Austria & Hungary to the Court of St. St James at the request of King Edward VII.

This appointment ruffled feathers in Vienna, as more senior diplomats were denied the ambassadorship.   Others, including Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir presumptive to the throne, did not trust the Count because he was alleged to be Anglophilic.  This mistrust was apparent in the weeks after Franz Ferdinand's assassination as Count Albert was left out of many of Vienna's discussions during the July Crisis.  The Count believed that Britain would not take up arms but on August 12, 1914,  Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary.  Count Albert returned to Vienna shortly afterward.
His papers reveal the Ambassador "as a faithful interpreter of the views of the British government to his own Government."  The events in "the weeks before the outbreak of war in 1914 must have placed Mensdorff in a position of great delicacy," according to his obituary in The Times.    

The war was a "severe personal blow" for the count as it "meant the rupture of many long-standing relationships." He was a "devoted servant" of the Habsburg monarchy.  After returning to Austria, he "used his influence to induce the Austro-Hungarian Government to consider every possibility of peace."
In December 1917 he met with General Smuts in Geneva to discuss peace, but this discussion as well as others, including meeting with representatives from the Triple Entente, led nowhere."  

With his "long diplomatic experience and moderate counsels,"  Count Albert represented Austria in the League of Nations.  He also resumed frequent visits to England, where he had lived for more than 20 years."  This had given him "an insight into English life ...and he always remained a sincere admirer of British institutions."

Count Albert Viktor Julius Joseph Michae von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein never married.  He was 83 years old when he died in Vienna on June 15, 1945.  He was 83 years old.]

If you liked this article, perhaps you can treat me to a vanilla latte:

Monday, February 6, 2023

Princess Marie Louise celebrates 90th birthday in Bulgaria


When Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria gave birth to her first child, Marie Louise, on January 13, 1933, it was assumed that the infant, who was named for her paternal grandmother, Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma, would be baptized in the Roman Catholic church.  This was the agreement that was made in 1930 when then Princess Giovanna of Italy, the third daughter of King Vittorio Emanuele of Italy, and Princess Elena of Montenegro.  

Mother and daughter were reported to be "doing well." Marie Louise's birth was announced with a twenty-one-gun salute.  After hearing the first shot, teachers "instantly suspended" all classes, and children were sent home for a "day's holiday," according to the New York Times.  

Within an hour of the salute, cheering crowds gathered outside the palace.

Pope Pius XI gave his approval for the Roman Catholic Princess Giovanna to marry King Boris III in a Catholic Ceremony after Boris agreed to raise their children Catholic.  The Pope was none too happy when Giovanna and Boris had a second wedding in the Orthodox church after her arrival in Bulgaria.

There was an outcry when Marie Louise was baptized into the Orthodox church although she did not have succession rights to the throne.   The baptism took place the day after her birth.  Queen Giovanna did not attend the ceremony as she was recovering from the birth.  She was not told about the baptism until after it took place.  

According to the New York Times, Marie Louise was baptized at 10:00 a.m.  King Boris did not even wait for the arrival of his mother-in-law, Queen Elena of Italy, who arrived that evening when she learned that her granddaughter was already an "Orthodox Princess."    A Princess of Montenegro by birth, Elena was raised in the Orthodox faith but converted to Roman Catholicism shortly before her marriage to King Vittorio Emanuele III in 1896

"I have no ill feeling against Bulgaria.  Orthodox baptism is a religious question. There will be no sanctions or ex-communication against Giovanna, who is quite innocent in the whole affair.  King Boris ruled and she obeyed.  The king will explain to the Vatican on his next visit to Rome."

 Marie Louise's younger brother, King Simeon, was also baptized in the Orthodox church following his birth in 1937.  

There was a precedent for this.  Marie Louise's grandfather, Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was elected Prince of Bulgaria in July 1887.  In April 1893, he married Princess Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma, in what many describe as a marriage of convenience.  As a Sovereign Prince, Ferdinand needed an heir.  In January 1894, the new Princess of Bulgaria gave birth to a son, who was named Boris.  The infant Prince was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, the faith of both his parents.  There was a lot of pressure placed on Ferdinand by the Bulgarian government, the Orthodox church, and the Bulgarian people, all of whom wanted the Crown Prince to be raised in the Orthodox family.  

In February 1896, the two-year-old heir apparent was received into the Orthodox church.  Contrary to what many have reported, Boris did not undergo a second baptism as the Orthodox Church recognized the Roman Catholic baptismal service.  He was confirmed in the Orthodox church.  Confirmation usually takes place during baptismal service.  Nicholas II was asked to be Boris's godfather, but he declined. 

 Boris' conversion led to family discourse, especially with the Princess's family and Emperor Franz Josef of Austria.

For his decision, the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated Ferdinand.   He and his first wife would have three more children, Kyril, Eudoxia, and Nadezhda, all of whom were raised Roman Catholics.  Princess Marie Louise, worn out after giving birth to four children in five years and suffering from pneumonia, died 24 hours after giving birth to her youngest child.

Life would be different for the Princess of Bulgaria's granddaughter, Marie Louise, who was raised with her younger brother in a loving home with parents who were devoted to their family and to Bulgaria.   Boris succeeded as king following his father's abdication in 1918.   The rise of National Socialism in Germany and its determination to reshape Europe proved difficult for Boris as he tried to remain neutral during the second world war.  He resisted pressure from Germany to join them in the war against the Soviet Union, but Bulgaria did declare war on Great Britain and the US in December 1941.  

After returning to Sofia from a visit to Hitler in August 1943, Boris suffered a heart attack and died on August 28, He was 49 years old.  There were rumors that Hitler poisoned the King because he had told the German dictator that he would not send Bulgarian troops to the Eastern Front.  He also stood up to Hitler by refusing to allow Bulgarian Jews to be arrested and sent to concentration camps. 

 In a 2019 interview with a Bulgarian newspaper, Princess Marie Louise acknowledged the number of theories and fabrications regarding her father's death.  But she does not believe that either the Germans or the British were involved in his death. "The British had no point in killing him because my father was trying to make a turn to the West."  She is convinced that the East had killed her father, which had everything to gain from Boris' death.

Simeon was only six years old when he succeeded to the throne.   The regency for the young king included King Boris' younger brother, Prince Kyril.

In September 1944, Soviet troops marched into Bulgaria and occupied the country, thus ending the country's neutral government.  

Bulgaria joined the Allies, and within weeks, a coup d'état led to the installation of a pro-Soviet government.  It was only a matter of time before the Communists would take control of the tiny Balkan nation.

Pro-Soviet officials replaced the regency.  Along with the entire Bulgarian government, journalists, military officials, and politicians, Prince Kyril, and the other regents were arrested and executed in February 1945. More than 100 people were executed and thrown into a mass grave.

Queen Giovanna and her two children remained at Varna Palace until September 15, 1946, when a Soviet-controlled referendum led to the end of the monarchy.  The following day the royal family went into exile, first to Alexandria Egypt, joining King Vittorio Emanuele and Queen Elena of Italy (Giovanna's parents) already in exile.  

In Alexandria, Princess Marie Louise was a pupil at the Sacred Heart School, a private Roman Catholic school.

In 1951, Francisco Franco granted Queen Giovanna and her two children asylum in Spain.

Princess Marie Louise studied nursing at the Spanish Red Cross's nursing school. She has been married twice, first in 1957 to Prince Karl of Leiningen.   This marriage ended in divorce.   In 1969, she married Polish-born Bronislaw Chrobok, a financier.  They lived in Canada for several years before moving to New Jersey.   She has two sons, Prince Boris and Prince Hermann of Leiningen from her first marriage and a son and a daughter, Prince Pawel and Princess Alexandra de Kohary, and eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.

In 2010 King Simeon II inherited the Kohary title, from his second cousin once removed Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Kohary.  Two years later, he established absolute primogeniture for the Kohary inheritance and ceded the title to his older sister, Marie Louise as the Princess of Kohary, and her two children by her second marriage and their descendants.

The actual Kohary estates no longer belong to the family.

Princess Marie Louise was the first member of the Royal Family to return to Bulgaria.  Her first visit was in May 1991, when she made a private visit to the country.  It was announced that the princess would pay respects at her father's grave, visit several cities and meet with members of the public at a concert hall in Sofia.

More than 1000 monarchists were waiting at the airport when Princess Marie Louise stepped out of the Balkan Airlines flight from Madrid.

"I am so moved that I can hardly speak.  I never expected this," the Princess told reporters.  "I am very happy and very touched by the reception, "her arms overflowing with flowers."   "After 45 years, I came just to see my motherland."

  It was noted that the Princess spoke "flawless Bulgarian."

More than 15,000 Bulgarians cheered the princess when she attended a soccer game on May 9, 1991.  When she arrived in Sofia's town center, a "crowd of about 50,000 were ready to welcome her, chanting "We want Simon, we want our king!"

After spending a week in Bulgaria, Princess Marie Louise returned to Spain where she and King Simeon held a news conference attended by Spanish and international journalists.

"I have had no meetings - neither official nor secret with members of the Bulgarian government. Mine was a private visit to Bulgaria," the Princess said.  I met with people from all circles. I was impressed by the broad-mindedness and the freedom of views I found there. Maybe certain circles were upset, but I had no problems, no obstacles.  On the contrary.  I will remember that trip for a feeling of tolerance, for a conviction of democracy in Bulgaria, is become a fact.

"My trip was not just a nostalgic pilgrimage.  We want to help, to prove we can all work together for Bulgaria's overcoming her difficulties."

Two years later, Queen Giovanna, accompanied by her daughter, returned to Bulgaria, where both "received a warm welcome."   King Simeon's first visit to Bulgaria in more than 50 years took place in May 1996.

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For three decades now, Princess Marie Louise spends a part of each year in Bulgaria.   Her most recent visit was in January when she celebrated her 90th birthday.  Her eldest son, Prince Boris, picked her up at her home and drove to the airport for the flight to Sofia.  They were joined in Bulgaria by her three other children, Prince Herman, Princess Alexandra, and Prince Pawel, who flew from Canada, Portugal, and San Francisco respectively.

Several of the Princess' grandchildren were also present for celebrations.   

Te Deum service was held at Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia in honor of Princess Marie Louise, who was accompanied by King Simeon and her children and grandchildren.  They were joined by Simeon's only daughter, Princess Kalina, her husband Kitin-Muñoz, and their son Simeon-Hasan.

Queen Margarita was unable to attend the festivities as she had to remain in Madrid, where she is recovering from hip surgery.  

King Simeon issued a statement extending congratulations to everyone born on January 13:

“On the day my beloved sister turns 90, I want to send my best wishes and congratulations to everyone celebrating their birthday today! However, especially those who are also celebrating their 90th anniversary! For many years to come!"

Princess Marie-Louise spoke to several reporters:  "Every year I come to Bulgaria, unfortunately, due to COVID-19 I couldn’t come recently, but it is a great joy for this holiday and for my 90th birthday, which is no longer a joke”.  

Her previous visit to Bulgaria was in 2019 when she attended the commencement ceremonies at the American University.   The Princess has been a member of the university's board of trustees for the past 24 years.

all the images are from the collection of HRH Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria and are used with her permission

She told me: "My greatest wish was to celebrate my 90th birthday in my own home, my own country with my children."

The princess said she was incredibly sad that her husband, who is in poor health was unable to accompany her, but said he was thrilled that she was able to spend her birthday in Bulgaria.

After spending several days in her beloved homeland, the Princess returned home to the United States.  She plans to return to Bulgaria in May for the American University's commencement ceremony.