Thursday, August 31, 2023

Another soon-to-be QVD

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Viola Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga and her husband, violinist Charlie Siem, are expecting their first child.  This will be the second grandchild of Princess Bianca of Savoy-Aosta and Count Giberto Arrivabene-Valenti-Gonzaga.   Viola's younger sister, Vera, and husband, Briano dei Conti Martinoni Caleppio became the parents of a son, Dardo who was born on June 5 in Milan.

Viola and Charlie Siem were married on April 22, 2023.

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Victoria - Victoria - Sophie - Irene -Amedeo - Bianca - Viola

Monday, August 28, 2023

Another Countly engagement


 Just a few days ago, I reported the engagement of Countess Hemma von Khevenhüller-Metsch and Count Vincent von Matuschka.  And now the family is celebrating another engagement as Hemma's first cousin, Count Franz Christoph recently popped the question to the Belgian Countess Tatiana de Liedkerke.

Hemma and Franz Christoph and their future spouses live and work in London.


Count Maria Franz Christoph Karl is the second of four children of Count Maria Karl Maximilian Georg Hubertus von Khevenhüller-Metsch and Leila Gailly de Taurines.  He was born in Mistelbach on March 26, 1995. 

Franz Christoph received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Hult International Business School, located in Cambridge, Mass., in August 2020.  He is a Business Development Executive at Darktrace, a British cybersecurity firm.

Countess Tatiana is the second of three children of Count Michel de Liedekerke and his first wife, Countess Irina Christiana Maria zu Stolberg-Stolberg, the youngest of three children of Count Wilhelm zu Stolberg-Stolberg and Princess Irene von Isenberg-Birstein.  She was born in Brussels on September 15, 1997. She and her siblings were raised in London, where her father works in finance. Count Michel is a Director of Clerville Investment Management Ltd.  

Irina's older sister, Countess Isabel-Juliana is the wife of Léopold, 13th Duke of Arenberg..  

She attended UCL where she earned a BA in International Relations and German and spent a year abroad in Berlin, studying social sciences and German at Humboldt University.  

In September 2022, she received a Master of Science in Climate Change, Management and Finance from the Imperial College Business School.  She is an Associate Consultant for Climate Change and Carbon Markets at Hamerkop Climate Impacts Ltd.

She is a graduate of Ampleforth College, a Roman Catholic boarding school in England.

According to her company profile, Tatiana's "interests lie in scaling carbon finance to enable mitigation projects that also improve the resilience of vulnerable communities and ecosystems."

She is fluent in English, French, and German, and has "volunteered in a refugee camp in Calais and a homeless housing organization."

Archduke Josef Albrecht marries Countess Sophie


Archduke Josef Albrecht of Austria and Countess Sophie von Schaesberg were married on August 26, 2023, at St. Johannes Baptist church in Sünching Bavaria

More than five hundred guests attended the "big. colorful family celebration," Countess Sophie, wearing a wedding gown designed by Lorenzo Capile, and her father arrived at church in a carriage shortly before noon.  The wedding ceremony took just over an hour, and at 1:12 p.m. Josef Albrecht and Sophie emerged from the church as husband and wife.   

The couple with their family and guests walked several hundred feet from the church to Sünching Castle for the reception. Sophie's maternal grandfather owns the castle, which he inherited from his grandmother, Countess Seinsheim in 1958.   He lives in the castle with his wife and daughter, Antoinette.

Josef Albrecht, 29, and Sophie, 25, met at a birthday party in Portugal in 2019.  He proposed to Sophie in late 2021 at a Pittsburgh Steelers- Chicago Bears football game.  The Archduke used to play American football.

The bride was given away by her father, Johannes, Count von Schaesberg.  Her sister, Countess Marie-Dorothee von Schaesberg, and Archduke Josef Albrecht's brother Archduke Paul, were the witnesses to the wedding.

Sophie's mother, Baroness Antoinette von Hoenning-O'Carroll, and the Count of Schaesberg are divorced.  Their marriage was annulled in 2011.   Archduke Josef Albrecht is the eldest son of Archduke Josef Karl of Austria and Princess Margarete of Hohenberg.

The five hundred wedding guests included Princess Luisa of Belgium,  Lord Downpatrick, the Duke and Duchess of Braganza and their son, Infante Afonso, the Prince of Thurn und Taxis and his mother, Princess Gloria, the Hereditary Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, Archduke Michael and Archduchess Christina of Austria, the Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, Prince and Princess Dominic of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, Archduchess Maria of Austria (widow of the late Archduke  István of Austria, Prince and Princess Wenzel of Liechtenstein,  Count Paul von Schönborn with his family, the Duke of Croy and his children, Count and Countess Drechsel, the Prince and Princess of Oettingen-Wallerstein,  Princess Reuss, Theodor Ritter Mautner Markhoff and his wife, Marie Antoinette, Archduke Karl of Austria with his wife, Christian, and his three children (from his first marriage), Archduke Ferdinand, Archduchess Eleonore and Archduchess Gloria,  The Duke of Württemberg, the Princess of Castell-Rüdenhausen, the Margrave and Margravine of Meissen and German actor Alexander Held.

The bridesmaids and best men were Clara Jebsen, Countess Marie Dorothee von Schaesberg, Emanuel Mendez de Vigo, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, Archduke Frederic of Austria, Baron Johannes Gemmingen Hornberg and Archduke Paul of Austria.  The bride's flower girls and pages were Flora Hagen, Laszlo delle Piane, Sophie Reitzenstein, Count Carl Louis and Count Nikolai von Schaesberg, Constantin, Sophia, and Lucia Yep.

Baron Franz-Ferdinand von Feilitzsch and The Duke of Württemberg 

Archduke Karl and his wife, Christian

The Prince of Thurn und Taxis

Alexander Held, a German actor

the Margrave and Margrave of Meissen

Princess Albrecht of Hohenberg, grandmother of the groom,  Antoinette Countess of Schaesberg and Archduke Josef Karl of Austria

The Prince and Princess of Oettingen Wallerstein

The Prince of Thurn und Taxis with his mother and sister

Father Dichgans is the son of Countess Eleonore of Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchberg and Josef Dichgans.  His maternal grandmother was Princess Eleonore of Bavaria

Archduke Karl of Austria and his wife Christian

The Prince of Thurn und Taxis

Count and Countess von Drechsel

The Prince of Beira with his sister, Infanta Maria Francisca, and her fiance Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins.

The Duke of Croy with his daughter

The couple will be spending their honeymoon in the United States.  Afterward, they will divide their time between Schloss Sünching and Budapest, where the Archduke works in commodities trade.  Sophie recently completed a computer science degree in Madrid and has plans to work in IT.

The copyright belongs to a friend.   Thank you for allowing me to use the photos. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Hear me out: Beatrice & Eugenie should become working royals!

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 King Charles III and Queen Camilla are at Balmoral until after September 8.  This week other members of the Royal Family are heading to Scotland to spend time together.  Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands and children are already at the castle.  The Prince and Princess of Wales will arrive by the weekend.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal and her family will also be at Balmoral in the coming weeks.

On October 19, Russell Myers, the Mirror's Royal Correspondent wrote: "The King will tell the Prince and Princess of Wales of his intention to carve out precise roles for them as well as himself and Queen Camilla."   The focus will be on the Commonwealth.

A source told Myers: “His Majesty is very clear. The Commonwealth must be at the very heart of his reign. He sees it as his utmost duty to fulfill the sincere wish of his late mother, that one of his central roles must be to ensure not only the survival but the robustness (of the organization).”

The King will lay out plans for the next year. He wants to highlight  the Princess of Wales' "star quality."

Tours, which take months to plan, will be announced later this year.  One can assume that the first tours will be to Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will continue to carry out engagements.

But what about the bread-and-butter engagements in the United Kingdom, which have included visiting local communities and supporting local organizations? This does not mean unveiling plaques every other week, but members of the Royal Family need to be seen outside London more often, not just a quick visit here or there.

The Prince and Princess of Wales will be at the forefront of the King's plan.  William is the next in line and will have a much shorter apprenticeship than his father.

There are now eleven working royals: the King and Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy.   The latter two royals are now in their late eighties.  The duke will celebrate his 88th birthday in October.  Alexandra will turn eighty-seven on Christmas Day.

The Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra continue to carry out a limited number of engagements, although both are in poor health.  They are conscious of their duty to the Crown, but their retirement as working royals is inevitable.

Why not replace them with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie?  In the late 1990s, the Way Ahead group, which included senior royals and advisers, devised a plan to slim down the royal family.  One of the ideas that received approval was that the York princesses would not become working royals.  The two princesses have their own patronages, but they are not included in the Royal Family's patronages database and they do not have their own pages on the Royal Family's official website.

 Princess Beatrice is one of the Counsellors of State, replacing Charles when he succeeded to the throne.  It is a position in name only as the King supported legislation that added the Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal to the Counsellors of State (for their lifetimes). Because of this legislation, Beatrice won't be asked to serve as a Counsellor. 

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In 2012, Beatrice accompanied the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to York for the annual Maundy Thursday service.    Princess Eugenie accompanied her grandmother to the Maundy Thursday service at St. George's Chapel in 2019.

In 2013, the British Government sent the two Princesses to Berlin and Hanover for the GREAT initiative promoting the UK abroad. 

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The two princesses have attended numerous state events, such as Thanksgiving services and Queen Elizabeth's funeral, but have not been invited to gala events such as a State Dinner.   

For several years, the two princesses rode in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour and appeared on the balcony with other members of the Royal Family.  The last time they took part in the Trooping was in 2019.   

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[The Way Ahead group had also advocated for removing the Princesses' royal titles and having them styled as daughters of a duke.  This idea was shelved but implemented in 1999 when Prince Edward married.  His children, according to the official announcement released the morning of his marriage, included this statement:  The Queen has also decided, with the agreement of The Prince Edward and Miss Rhys-Jones, that any children they might have should not be given the style of His or Her Royal Highness, but will have courtesy titles as sons or daughters of an Earl."]

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to head west across the Pond to find fame and fortune left a void in the royal ranks.  As the heir to the throne, William's plate will be filled with more patronages.  In the not-so-distant future, some of the late Queen Elizabeth II's patronages will be passed to working members of the Royal Family.  Elizabeth II was patron of nearly six hundred organizations, many of which were inherited from her father, King George VI.  It is unlikely that all the patronages will pass to the King and other members of the Royal Family.

Had Harry and Meghan remained as working royals, they too would be adding to their patronage portfolios.  After his father became king, Harry's role would have increased, but always as a support to his father and older brother.  He and Meghan would have continued to focus on diverse issues.   

Harry may have been the King's first appointment to the Most Noble Order of the Garter.   

Harry and Meghan would have retained their 24-hour security as senior working royals.  After the king's accession, the Sovereign Grant would have covered their working expenses.   

It would be a good move for Beatrice and Eugenie to become part-time working royals, doing 5-10 engagements per month.    Most working royals have police protection only when they are carrying out engagements.  The PPOs protecting the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra could be reassigned to the York Princesses.

The Princesses could share a private secretary and a small office with Buckingham Palace staff.  The Sovereign Grant would cover the costs. I cannot crunch numbers but the expenses would be far less than for a full-time working royal.

Their engagements would be based in the United Kingdom, and they would not undertake foreign engagements.

Beatrice and her husband Edo Mapelli Mozzi have two homes, an apartment in St. James's Palace and a £3.5 million farmhouse in the Cotswolds, which they bought in 2022.   They pay fair market value rent for the St. James's Palace apartment, which Beatrice shared with Princess Eugenie before they both married.

Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, and their two sons, August, and Ernest, live in Ivy Cottage on the Kensington Palace.   Jack works in marketing, sales, and promotion for the Costa Terra Golf and Ocean Club in Comporta.

The two princesses often stay with their parents, the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.  

Both princesses have jobs.  Since 2016, Princess Beatrice has been the Vice President, Partnerships & Strategy at Afiniti, a software company, where Prince Harry's childhood friend, Thomas "Skippy" Inskip, is the Chief Commercial Officer.   

[The link for Beatrice's page on Afiniti's website no longer works.]

Princess Eugenie is an Associate Director at Hauser & Wirth, a Swiss contemporary art gallery.  She is based at their London gallery. She is also the co-founder with Julia de Boinville of the Anti-Slavery Collective.

The two Princesses would be delighted to step in and take on several official engagements each month.  This will help the King and the Prince and Princess of Wales.   The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester will continue their work;  the presence of two younger Princesses of the Blood can help to relieve the burden of an increasing number of royal engagements.  

They will have a seamless entry into royal duties if given the opportunity by the King because Beatrice and Eugenie know the ropes.

If his daughters become working royals, the Duke of York will remain an out-of-sight, out-of-mind pariah.  He won't be able to tag along.  And that's how it should be. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Duke Philipp & Duchess Marie of Württemberg Getting a Divorce


Engagement  - August 1, 1990

HRH Duke Philipp of Württemberg and his estranged wife, HRH Duchess Marie of Württemberg (nee Duchess in Bavaria) have begun the legal process to end their civil marriage which took place on June 28, 1991, at Schloss Altshausen.   Their religious wedding was on July 27, 1991, at Tegernsee.   In Germany, the civil ceremony is the legal wedding.

Duke Philipp. 58, is the fourth of six children of the late HRH Carl, Duke of Württemberg, and HRH Princess Diane of Orléans.  Duchess Marie, 54, is the second of five daughters of Duke Max in Bavaria and Countess Elizabeth Douglas.  They have four children: Duchess Sophie (1994), Duchess Pauline (1997), Duke Carl Theodor (1999), and Duchess Anna (2007).

They have one grandchild, Olympia Andigné who is the daughter of Duchess Sophie and her husband Maximilian de Andigné.

The couple has been living apart for some years.  I wrote about the confirmation of their separation in January.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Countess Hemma von Khevenhüller-Metsch to marry Count Vincent von Matuschka

Another noble wedding is to be planned.  

Countess Hemma Marie Louise Franziska von Khevenhüller-Metsch and Count Vincenz von Matuschka are engaged to be married.

Countess Hemma is the eldest of four daughters of Count Georg Christoph Heinrich Hubertus von Khevenhüller-Metsch and Countess Stephanie zu Castell-Castell.  She was born in Vienna on July 17, 1994.

The bride-to-be is the Head of Events & Client Development for Thaddeus Ropac, an Austrian gallerist "who specializes in international art."  Ropac has galleries in London, Paris, Salzburg, and Seoul.  The countess is based at the London Gallery.  Before joining Ropac in November 2021, Hemma worked in Christie's press office for two years.   She has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Parsons Paris -- the New School, specializing in Art History, Theory & Criticism.

Count Vincent Wilhelm Alexander Victor von Matuschka was born on January 17, 1993, in Düsseldorf. He is the eldest child of Count Wilhelm Nikolaus Pius von Matuschka and the late Maria-Luisa von Voss.

@University of London

A mixed-media artist and painter, Vincent studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London and received a Master of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths.  Most of his work "aims to break conventional expectations by confronting the audience with contrasts and humour" 

 The couple lives in London. Vincent's younger brother, Caspar, is engaged to marry Countess Leonie zu Waldburg-Zeil.

 Count Vincent's great-grandfather, Count Michael Maria Anton Wolfgang von Matuschka was a German politician who took part in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to kill Adolf Hitler.  He was arrested by the Gestapo and executed by hanging on September 14, 1944. 

Thursday, August 17, 2023



Celeste Reynolds Leiningen

HSH Princess Tatiana of Leiningen and her husband, Clayton Reynolds are the parents of a daughter, Celeste Ines Myrna Reynolds Leiningen, who was born on August 13, 2023, at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.  This is the second child for Tatiana and Clayton. Their first child August Rhodes Robert Reynolds Leiningen was born on June 14, 2021, at the same hospital.

Celeste is the third grandchildren of TSH Prince Hermann and Princess Deborah of Leiningen - and another great-grandchild for HRH Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria.

Victoria - Alfred - Victoria - Melita - Maria - Karl  - Hermann - Tatiana - Celeste

Juliet and Simon Rood are the parents of a daughter, Xanthe Victoria Ingrid, who was born on August 2, 2023.  Xanthe is the first daughter and third child.  She has two older brothers, Albert (Albie) and Edmund (Edo).

She is the second daughter of the Hon. Katharine Nicolson, Mistress of Saltoun, and Captain. Mark Nicolson.

Xanthe's names honor her heritage.  Juliet's brother, Alexander Ramsay is known as Xander.  Victoria is Juliet's second name, also one of the names of her great-grandmother, Lady Patricia Ramsay (nee HRH Princess Patricia of Connaught.)  Ingrid honors the late Queen Ingrid of Denmark who was one of the Hon. Katharine Nicolson's godparents.  Ingrid was Lady Patricia's niece.

Juliet's marriage was the last to receive approval from Queen Elizabeth II, according to the Royal Marriages Ac.  In 2013, the RMA was superseded by the Succession to the Crown Act.

Victoria - Arthur - Patricia - Alexander - Katharine - Juliet - Xanthe 

It was also reported that HH Prince Constantin of Schleswig-Holstein and Countess Sophie von der Schulenberg had their first child, Prince Tassilo, approximately three weeks ago. The couple and their newborn son attended the wedding of Immanuel Jebsen and Donata von Behr in Denmark on August 12.  In February, I wrote that the couple was engaged and expecting their first child in the summer of 2023 but did not expect to marry until 2024.  it is not known if they married in a civil ceremony before the birth of their son.

Christoph is the second son of Duke Christoph of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Elisabeth zur Lippe-Weissenfeld.

Victoria - Alfred - Alexandra - Marie Melita - Peter - Christoph - Constantin - Tassilo

Monday, August 14, 2023

Queen Adelaide

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 "You will do William good."  The words of comfort to Princess Adelaide of Saxe- Meiningen came in a letter from her mother-in-law Queen Charlotte shortly after Adelaide's marriage to her son, Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews.

Even King George III's formidable consort knew that the delicate task of restoring respect to the Royal Family's name rested with the young new Duchess of Clarence.  None of George III's sons had spotless reputations.  Nor for that matter did their wives. There was no question that the Prince Regent would ever reconcile with his wife, Caroline, even after their only child, Charlotte, had died in childbirth.  The Duke of York's wife preferred the company of her dogs to her husband. The reputation of the Duchess of Cumberland was considered so scandalous that Queen Charlotte refused to allow her daughter-in-law at court, even though Frederica was also her niece.

The Duchess of Clarence was a breath of fresh air for the House of Hanover.

Princess Amalie Adelheid Luise Therese of Saxe-Meiningen, Duchess of Saxony, was born at Meiningen on 13 August 1792.  Her birth brought immense joy to her parents, Duke Georg I of Saxe-Meiningen, and his wife, Princess Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.  The Duke and Duchess had been married for ten years and had almost given up hope of ever having a child.  Two years later, a second daughter, Ida, was born.  In 1800, the family's happiness was made complete when the much-wanted heir, Bernhard, was born.

Bernhard was only three years when his father died and he became the sovereign of the tiny duchy, north of Coburg and nestled deep in the Thuringian mountains.  Duchess Luise Eleonore was named Regent until Bernhard reached his eighteenth birthday.

Duke Georg had believed strongly in providing formal education for his daughters and insisted that Adelaide and Ida were taught Greek and Latin.  Reading the classics was a part of the princesses' formal education, although, for early 19th-century German princesses, this was not a normal or traditional education.

But even bluestocking princesses had few opportunities to avail themselves, apart from a marriage to a German prince from one of the neighboring duchies. When Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach came to Meiningen in search of a wife, Duchess Luise Eleonore hoped that he would choose the elder and plain Adelaide.  But it was the younger and prettier Princess Ida who accepted the prince's offer of marriage, which took place in May 1816.  Adelaide was delighted by her sister's engagement.  As she approached her 25th birthday, she knew that her own chance of marriage was diminishing quickly.  What she did not know was that her mother and a family friend were conducting secret negotiations with King George III's third son, Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence.

The engagement between Prince William and Princess Adelaide was announced on 19 April 1818. If Adelaide had any apprehensions about her future life, she did not show it.  This well-read princess was no doubt aware of the dissolute nature of George III's sons.

The Duke of Clarence, at 52, was "the least educated of the British princes," while his future wife was described as a "small well-bred, excellent little woman."  Adelaide also had "a sense of duty [which] was one of the wonders of the age."
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William had little to offer a wife except for the possibility of becoming Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and Hanover.  The third eldest of George III's sons, William, never expected to remain so close to the throne.  He had in fact chosen a career in the Royal Navy and was created Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews only after he threatened to stand for Parliament unless his father conferred on him a royal dukedom.

The death of George III's only legitimate grandchild, Princess Charlotte, in childbirth in 1817, meant that Prince William was again in third place in the succession.

“Sailor Bill" or "Silly Billy" as William was known in the then tabloid press had enjoyed a series of love affairs before he settled down to comparative domesticity at Bushy Park with the actress Dorothy Jordan, who presented him with ten FitzClarences in fifteen years.  Supporting his mistress, their five sons, and five daughters, as well as Dorothy's children from previous relationships, was a costly endeavor.  To make ends meet, he would need to make a sacrifice, and that sacrifice was Dorothy Jordan, who after 20 years of living with William, was deserted by her royal lover. William needed a more permanent alliance.  In 1813, he began a serious search for a wife, preferably beautiful, young, and rich.

The deaths of Princess Charlotte and her stillborn son made William's search for a wife even more urgent.

Of George III's seven sons who were still alive in 1817, only three were legally married.  The Duke of York, who was now second in line, had no children by his wife.  Fourth in line was Edward, Duke of Kent, then living a contented life with his longtime mistress, Julie St. Laurent.  A glimmer of hope for the succession rested with the Duchess of Cumberland who expected a child early in the year, but in January the duchess gave birth to a stillborn daughter, and at age 39, Frederica was not expected to bear another child.

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Realizing a contentious situation could be created by a throne without young heirs, Parliament ordered the unmarried royal dukes to marry at once or lose their allowances.

Every proposal William made to several singularly eligible heiresses was politely declined.  With `the desire of the Prince Regent', William even tried to woo the widowed Grand Duchess Catherine of Oldenburg, a sister of the Russian Emperor Alexander I declined the proposal stating that a son of George III was not good enough for his sister, while Catherine thought William vulgar.

William's cousin, Princess Sophia of Gloucester, was also considered, but she was already in her forties and past the age of childbearing.

The Duke of Kent, who thought nothing of abandoning his paramour for the sake of his creditors, was also now looking for a wife. But George III's youngest son, Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, wanted no part of the marital sweepstakes, although he offered his help in finding a bride for William.

The Duke of Cambridge, who served as his father's Viceroy in Hanover, decided that Princess Augusta of Hesse-Cassel would be the perfect bride for his brother.  Cupid's arrow struck Adolphus instead and the confirmed bachelor found himself falling in love with the attractive princess.  They were married in April 1818 with William's blessing.

Finding a wife was proving to be a daunting task. Several German princesses turned down William's proposal before Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen accepted it.  Instead of an attractive, young heiress he had hoped to marry, the Duke of Clarence was now engaged to a plain and poor princess from a provincial German duchy.

According to tradition, William could not be present when Adelaide arrived in England.  The Prince Regent, standing in for the incapacitated George III, welcomed the princess to her new country.  Also present was William's eldest son, George, who was two years younger than Adelaide. He described his future stepmother as "the best and most charming woman in the world."

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Adelaide was also presented to William's aging mother, Queen Charlotte.  For years, the queen had suffered degradation and humility caused by her children's outrageous behavior and was extremely pleased by her son's choice of a bride.  This felicitous welcome by Queen Charlotte and other members of the family came as a surprise to Adelaide.

The couple was married in a double ceremony at Kew Palace on 13 July 1818 in the presence of the approving Queen Charlotte.  To counter criticism of fiscal irresponsibility, the Duke of Kent was married at the same time to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Saalfeld.  The Prince Regent gave away both brides, and the program for the ceremony was printed in both English and German because the two new Royal duchesses spoke little English.

Although Adelaide came to love all things English, she always spoke the language with a distinct German accent and would prefer to converse in her native tongue.

Adelaide may not have shared Dorothy Jordan's vivacious beauty, but she made a deep impression on the Duke of Clarence, and she succeeded in making an honest man out of him.  She cleaned up his language and even made him more considerate of others.

The couple's first home was in Hanover because it was less expensive to live there than in London.  William had to swallow his pride when they settled in the Fürstenhof where he would have to yield seniority to his younger brother, the Duke of Cambridge, who was Viceroy.

It came as no surprise that the three new royal duchesses were all pregnant in the first months of 1819. What was unexpected was the announcement that the Duchess of Cumberland was also enceinte.

The Duchess of Cambridge led off the race for an heir when she gave birth to a son, George, on 26 March 1819 in Hanover. 

Adelaide's pregnancy had not gone well. Early in the year, she caught a cold that soon developed into pleurisy. The day after the birth of Prince George of Cambridge, she was delivered prematurely of a daughter.

Princess Charlotte Augusta Louisa of Clarence lived for only seven hours and was buried next to the body of King George I in the royal crypt.  Prince George of Cambridge's place in the succession was soon superseded by the birth of a princess, Alexandrina Victoria, to the Duchess of Kent on the 24th of May at Kensington Palace.  Three days later, the Duchess of Cumberland gave birth to a son, George, in Berlin.  (This youngest prince was destined to become the last King of Hanover.  Because of Salic law, which barred females from succession, Queen Victoria was unable to succeed to the Hanover throne.  This crown passed to the next in line, the Queen's uncle, the Duke of Cumberland.)

The succession was again secure.  It was hoped that more babies would soon join the nurseries. The Duchess of Cambridge obliged by presenting the nation with two princesses, Augusta in 1822 and Mary Adelaide in 1833.  Both Drina of Kent and George of Cumberland were destined to be only children.

Adelaide and William were saddened by the death of their daughter. By late summer of 1818, Adelaide was again pregnant, but during a trip to Calais in September, she suffered a miscarriage.

In January 1820, the deaths of the Duke of Kent and King George III altered the succession. The Duke of Clarence was now second in line behind the Duke of York.  The fatherless Kent princess was third in succession.

Childbearing proved to be difficult for Adelaide as she was burdened with ill health.  On 10 December 1820, she again gave birth prematurely to a daughter, who was named Elizabeth Georgiana Adelaide.   The little princess was a delight to her parents and the hope for Britain, but on 4 March 1821, Elizabeth died "from an entanglement of the bowels."

  Over the next few years, there were several rumors of another royal birth, but a miscarriage of twins on 8 April 1882 was the Duchess of Clarence's final pregnancy. Unable to provide her husband with an heir, she gave her love to William's children and grandchildren, although she was often forced to mediate the petty squabbles that erupted between William and the FitzClarences.  She adored her nieces and nephews, especially Princess Luise of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, who suffered from a spinal disease.  Luise lived with her aunt and uncle until her death at age 14 in 1832.

William was desolated by his wife's inability to bear children. "I want to express my feelings at these repeated misfortunes to this beloved and superior woman," he wrote to George IV.

Adelaide was especially fond of the fatherless Kent princess, little Drina.  "My children are dead, but yours lives, and She is mine too," Adelaide wrote to the widowed Duchess of Kent soon after Elizabeth's death.  The estrangement between the Duke and Duchess of Clarence and the Duchess of Kent over the latter's insistence that Drina should be named as William's heir was yet to come.

The relationship between the two Royal Duchesses was still cordial when Adelaide arranged the marriage between her cousin Prince Ernst of Hohenlohe-Langenburg and the Duchess of Kent's elder daughter, Princess Feodora of Leiningen.  The couple was married at Kensington Palace in February 1828.  George IV offered to give the bride away, but when he failed to turn up for the ceremony, William stepped in.

By 1830 the friendship between the two women, born in neighboring German duchies, had deteriorated.  Determined to push for her daughter's status, the Duchess of Kent wanted William to proclaim Victoria as heiress presumptive.  The King declined. 

Young Victoria was not permitted to visit her aunt and uncle because her mother did not want her to be sullied by meeting William's illegitimate children.

In 1827 William was named Lord High Admiral and the couple moved from Clarence House to Admiralty House where the Duchess proved to be a popular hostess.

Only three years later, on June 26, 1830, George IV died, and William was proclaimed King.

King William IV and Queen Adelaide moved to Buckingham Palace.  During the first years of William's reign, Adelaide's popularity reached a zenith.  Her gentle manner and stabilizing effect on her husband pleased William's subjects.

"What a fortunate country this is to have such a queen.  She will be a saving angel for this country."     
But the domesticity of the royal couple sitting by the fire, Adelaide knitting, and William napping and nodding "Exactly so, Ma'am," was not the scene in most of Britain's homes.  The Reform movement, which had its origins in Europe, had now spread to England. Adelaide, who feared reform, was convinced that the movement would mean the end of the monarchy.  She was encouraged in her beliefs by the Lord Chamberlain, Lord Howe, a fervent anti-reformer.

"We may think, we must think, we must not speak," the Duchess of Cambridge cautioned her sister-in-law in response to growing criticism of the Queen's comments.

Invective continued to flow.  One evening as she returned to the Palace from a concert, Adelaide was almost torn from her carriage by an angry mob.  Political cartoons depicted the queen and Lord Howe as lovers, although the accusation was without merit.

An editorial in The Times stated that "a foreigner is not a very competent judge of English liberties and politics are not the field of female enterprise. " Another newspaper, with an equally derisive editorial, labeled Adelaide as "a nasty German Frau."

Adelaide did have her supporters.  One such group circulated a petition, "Appeal to the Honest Feelings on behalf of the Queen of England."  But after a long struggle in Parliament, the Reform Bill became law in 1832.  Lord Howe was dismissed from the court.  The Queen was furious.  "I have trusted in and built firmly on the king's love for me.  But unfortunately, he has not been able to resist the representation of his Ministers and yielded, and I fear it will be the beginning of too much evil," she wrote in her diary.

The queen's main concern remained with her family.  She was heartbroken when her niece Luise died, and she was deeply frustrated by the Duchess of Kent who would not allow Victoria to visit Buckingham Palace.  Both Adelaide and William had enjoyed Victoria's presence.

  Adelaide continued to suffer from ill health.  Following a visit to Meiningen in April 1837, she nearly died. The Duchess of Cambridge was asked to hold a drawing room for her.  William prayed that his wife would survive this illness.  Adelaide did recover, but soon afterward, William's own health began to decline.  He was determined to live long enough to celebrate Princess Victoria's eighteenth birthday on 24 May, when she would be free to reign without a Regent.  Less than a month later, on 20 June 1837, King William IV died in his wife's arms.

Victoria was now Queen and one of her first actions was to write a letter of condolence to her aunt Adelaide.

The Dowager queen soon withdrew from public life.  She moved into Marlborough House where William's children and grandchildren were welcome guests.  She visited Germany often to spend time with her family, but she preferred to travel further south to Italy where she could avoid the cold, damp British winters.  By tradition, Adelaide, as the Queen Dowager, was not present when Victoria was Crowned, but she was an honored guest at Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in February 1840.  And she was delighted when nine months later, Queen Victoria gave birth to her first child, the Princess Royal, who was christened Victoria Mary Adelaide Louisa.  The baby's third Christian name was given in honor of Adelaide being named one of the godparents.

Queen Adelaide died at the home of the Marquess of Abercorn, Bentley Priory, on 2 December 1849.  "She is a great loss to both of us," Queen Victoria wrote shortly afterward.  "And an irreparable one to hundreds and hundreds."  The Queen, who was pregnant with Prince Arthur, was unable to attend her beloved aunt's funeral.  Prince Albert led the many mourners, and two of William's sons served as pallbearers.  Most of Adelaide's possessions were sold at auction, although Marlborough House was given to Victoria's eldest son, the Prince of Wales.

But Adelaide's most priceless possession, the marble statue of her infant daughter, Elizabeth, was left to Victoria, which was a poignant reminder to the young queen of a cousin who might have been in her place.

If you liked this article, I would love a latte   Thanks

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Countess Camilla von Drechsel marries Nicolaus Berlin


Countess Camilla with her father, Count Maximilian von Drechsel

Nicolaus Berlin and Countess Camilla von Drechsel were married on June 24, 2023, at St Quirinius Church in Tegernsee.   Nicolaus is the son of Tilo Berlin and Countess Filippa von Goesss and Camila is the daughter of Count Maximilian von Drechsel and Franziska Monforts v. Hobe.  The bride is a descendant of King Maximilian I of Bavaria.

A reception followed at the bride's family home in Gmund-am-Tegernsee.  The best men were Cecil Prinz von Croy, Johannes de Waal, Count Moritz von Drechsel and Pedro dos Santos Ribeiro.  The bride was attended by Princess Alexandra of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, Helena Constantino, Laura Berlin, Countess Milana von Drechsel, and several flower girls and page boys, Leopold Constantino, Count Albert von Hoyos, Filippa von Oppenheim Ribeiro, and Clementine Kruis.

The groom's uncle, Count Moritz von Goess is married to Duchess Fleur of Württemberg.

Princess Flamina of Hohenzollern and her husband Baron Károly von Stipsicz de Ternova

Countess Sigweis and Count Stephan von Niepperg

Duchess Marie of Württemberg (2nd from left, Countess and Count of Waldburg zu Zeil)

Duchess Marie of Württemberg, and the Prince and Princess of Waldburg zu Zeil

Tilo Berlin and Countess Filippa von Goess, parents of the groom.

Count Zeno, Countess Livia, Duchess Fleur (nee Württemberg) Count Moritz and Countess Flamnia von Goess

Duchess Anna in Bavaria with her husband, Andreas von Maltzan and Countess Nicola von Keglevich

Duchess Anna in Bavaria with her husband, Andreas von Maltzan

The Prince and Princess of Quadt

Countess Franziska von Drechsel, mother of the bride and her son, Philipp

Prince August and Princess Mia of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

Prince Constantin of Liechtenstein

I have had these photos since late June, but the photographer asked me to delay publication until she gave me the okay.  She was waiting for the official publication of the photos before allowing me and another blogger to publish her photos.  I wanted to do it last week, but I was still catching up with other things.  

The photographer is the copyright holder.

Monday, August 7, 2023

21 million and counting

  As I try to find new rhythms and patterns in retirement, I did not notice that I have now reached twenty-one million (really) visitors in the past two months.  I'm not sure when it happened, but it did happen.

I am amazed and honored by the number of readers, even when it is a slow royal news day (past or present) or I have been caught up in other things (life) that prevent me from posting.    I thank you sincerely - and Harper and Fleur are chuffed by these numbers.

When the summer is over (pool, baseball), wildlife photography, I will have more time to write ... and finish several blog posts that are in draft form at present.  

Harper and I will make sure you keep busy

Are you writing about me?

You can type and scratch my tummy at the same time

many thanks