Saturday, March 2, 2024

King Harald returning to Norway

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 From the Norwegian Palace Press office

"His Majesty the King will shortly be on his way to Langkawi airport for medical repatriation. Her Majesty the Queen will travel with the King. 

 When the King arrives in Norway, he will be admitted to the National Hospital. The king will be on sick leave for two weeks. 

During this period, the Crown Prince will be regent and take over the King's constitutional duties."

Can Queen Camilla do an investiture? Yes, she can.

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In a recent article by Rebecca English, the Daily Mail's Royal Correspondent, "Currently only 'blood' royals hand out gongs. This is limited to the King, the Prince of Wales, and Princess Anne."  One source who spoke to Rebecca said: 'In my opinion, they should be performed by members of the Royal Family in direct line of succession."

Memo to Rebecca: don't use this source again.

Where was the research for this article, apart from speaking to unnamed sources?  Why didn't the reporter take time to search the Court Circular?  All of the major British newspapers are digitally available through Gale.  British public libraries have access to The Times and other newspapers.  Surely, the Daily Mail newsroom has subscriptions to several of Gale's publications, which includes the historical Daily Mail.   Rebecca's Newspapers is doing a disservice to its reporters if it does not offer these sources as well as Nexis, Factica, and the Proquest databases, which include US newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and the Washington Post.

I understand the Mail closed its news library some years ago (another disservice).  But a good reporter should be able to do research (no, not Google, which is a search engine, not a research engine.)

Being in line to the throne and a blood royal are not requirements for doing the Investitures on behalf of the King.  Most investitures are carried by the sovereign.  The Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal have many "I dub thee" in the past few years.  

The Times  February 17, 1954

The Times February 17, 1954

Queen Camilla can also do Investitures!  Yes, SHE CAN!    There is a precedent.  Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother carried out at least 50 Investiture ceremonies from February 16, 1954, through the late 1980s.   These engagements were carried out on "behalf of the Queen."   The Queen Mother was the consort of King George VI. She did not do Investitures during her husband's reign.  She was, however, a consort of a sovereign.   As is Camilla.

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In the early years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign,  her uncle, the Duke of Gloucester stepped on occasion.  So did the Duke of Edinburgh, but the Queen Mother did more than 50 (probably more but I lost count) investitures. By the late 1980s, it was the Prince of Wales (now King Charles III) who filled in for his mother.

On occasion, the late Queen's first cousin, the Duke of Kent, also did Investitures on her behalf.

The Times  July 16, 1958

In February 1960, the Duke of Edinburgh stepped in for the Queen Mother who was to fill in for the Queen, who was in her final days of her third pregnancy.

February 15, 1960

October 12, 1963

There is precedence for a consort of the Sovereign (Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh, to carry out Investitures on behalf of the Sovereign.  If the Princess of Wales is allowed to hand out the Orders and Knighthoods, she will be establishing a new precedent for the spouse of an Heir Apparent.

If you appreciated my research, you could buy me a peppermint latte.

Remembering Don Fernando Gómez-Acebo

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 Family and friends paid their respects to Don Fernando Gómez-Acebo, the youngest child of the late Infanta Pilar of Spain, who died yesterday who died yesterday in a Madrid hospital.

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Among those who were spotted paying their respects were Infanta Elena of Spain, Pedro Lopez-Quesada (husband of Princess Cristina of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies), Beltran and Bruno Gómez-Acebo (brothers of Fernando), Simoneta Gómez-Acebo (sister of Fernando), Maria Zurita de Borbón (daughter of Infanta Margarita of Spain), and Monica Martin Luque (Fernando's first wife).

an Update on King Harald

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From the Norwegian Royal Press office

"His Majesty the King has today had a temporary pacemaker inserted at the Sultanah Maliha Hospital in Langkawi.

The pacemaker was implanted because of a low heart rate. The decision was made this morning, and the operation was successful. According to the conditions, the king is doing well but still needs rest. The operation will make the journey home safer, says the King's anesthesiologist Bjørn Bendz.

The medical transport home will probably take place within a couple of days."

Friday, March 1, 2024

QVD: Fernando Gómez-Acebo de Borbón (1974-2024)

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 March 1, 2024

Don Fernando Humberto Gómez-Acebo de Borbón died today  in Madrid.  He was 49 years old. The cause of death was chronic respiratory failure, which was "complicated by influenza and Covid."  He had been battling respiratory issues for some time, and in recent months, his health began to decline.  In January, he underwent a tracheostomy, to relieve his bronchial issues.  

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 It has been reported in the Spanish media that Fernando's first cousin, King Felipe VI, visited him in the hospital last night.

Don Fernando was born at the Sanatorio de Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Madrid on September 30, 1974. He was the fifth and youngest child of HRH Infanta Doña María del Pilar Alfonsa Juana Victoria Luisa Ignacia y Todos los Santos of Spain, Duchess of Badajoz (1936-2020)  and Don Luis Gómez-Acebo y Duque de Estrada, 2nd Viscount of La Torre (1934-1991).  Infanta Pilar was the eldest child of HRH Infante Don Juan Carlos Teresa Silverio Alfonso of Spain, Count of Barcelona (1913-1993), and HRH María de las Mercedes Cristina Genara Isabel Luisa Carolina Victoria y Todos los Santos of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies (1910-2000). 

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The Count of Barcelona was the third son and heir of King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

Don Fernando's health problems have worried his family for some time.  To his family and friends, he was known as Coco.  Although he tried to maintain a low profile, his "love affairs" were fodder for the Spanish gossip columnists.   

He was married twice.  

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 His first marriage to Mónica Martin Luque took place on November 26, 2006, at the Real Monasterio de la Encarnacion in the presence of the entire Spanish royal family as he was the nephew of King Juan Carlos I.  The couple separated two years later and divorced in 2013.  They remained good friends.  "The fact that we had separated does not mean we get along badly," Mónica Martin Luque told a reporter.

 Don Fernando married for a second time on May 31, 2016.  This marriage was in a civil ceremony at the City Hall in Paleo Faliro in Greece where he wed Greek journalist and businesswoman, Nadia Halamandari.  

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 Five days after the wedding,  Nadia gave birth to the couple's son, Nicolás in an Athens clinic.  The couple separated within a year, as it was difficult for Fernando and Nadia to maintain a long-distance marriage, as Nadia helped run her father's business, in Greece, and Fernando was back living in his family's home in Puerta de Hierro in Madrid.   It has not been confirmed if the couple were divorced.

In 2017,  Don Fernando denied rumors of a divorce.  He told El Mundo "It's not the best situation we can be in, but hey, it is what it is.  Life is like that and it's not drama nor are we doing to tear our clothes off.  We are three hours away by plane and I go to Greece many times."

Don Fernando is survived by his widow, Nadia, and their son, Nicolás, and his siblings, Doña Simoneta  Gómez-Acebo y Borbón, Don Juan Filiberto Gómez-Acebo y Borbón, 3rd Viscount of La Torre, Don Bruno Alejandro Gómez-Acebo y Borbón and Don Luis Beltrán  Gómez-Acebo y Borbón and numerous nieces and nephews.

His body has been taken to the Tanatorio de La Paz Mortuary in Tres Canto, a Madrid suburb, where his family and friends will pay their respects.  

Don Fernando was a descendant of Queen Victoria.

Victoria - Beatrice - Victoria Eugenie - Juan - Pilar - Fernando

More Photos from Constantine's memorial service in London

Crown Prince Pavlos  all photos @Katrina Warne

These photos were taken by a good friend, Katrina Warne.  She told me there were only five "royal watchers", including herself and Ken Stone, and five photographers.  Thank you, Katrina, for letting me use your photos!

"We were expecting the Royals to come out the front entrance, but they must have made their way from inside into a side garden. We saw Crown Prince Pavlos and Prince Nikolaos being interviewed in the garden. The cars moved from the front of the cathedral around the corner and we ran around the corner to see Queen Anne Marie & the family emerge from a side gate."

Prince Nikolaos

Matthew Kumar and Princess Theodora & Prince Nikolaos (with phone)

 all photos @Katrina Warne

Tom Kingston Inquest

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 An inquest into the death of Thomas Kingston, the husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor,  opened today in Gloucestershire.  The 45-year-old financier took his own life, according to Katy Skerrett, senior coroner for Gloucestershire.   He died from a gunshot wound to his head.

The coroner said Tom had lunch with his parents, Martin and Jill Kingston at their home in Kemble.  After lunch, Martin took the family dogs for a walk.   

When Martin Kingston returned from the walk, he discovered  his son was "not in the house."   Mrs. Martin went in search of her son before his father "forced entry into an outbuilding," according to the coroner. 

Thomas Kingston was found dead "with a catastrophic head injury."  A gun was found near his body.

The cause of death was a single gunshot to the head.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

James Ogilvy celebrates a Leap Year Birthday


@Cecil Beaton   Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection

Princess Alexandra gave birth to her first child, a son, on February 29, 1964.   The birth occurred at the family home, Thatched House Lodge, Richmond Park, Surrey.   This was the first of four royal births in 1964.  The others were Prince Edward,  Lady Helen Windsor, and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones.

On March 4th,  Queen Elizabeth II, who was expecting her fourth child, drove to Richmond Park to visit Princess Alexandra and her infant son.   Six days later, she gave birth to Prince Edward.

  The former editor of Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, Cyril Hankinson noted in the Sunday Times (March 1, 1964) that the birth announcement meant "that for the first time a princess has an untitled son."  
The yet unnamed infant would be styled as Master Ogilvy.

This was not a correct statement. Princess Patricia of Connaught, who was styled as Lady Patricia Ramsay after her wedding to the Hon. Alexander Ramsay, younger son of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie,  gave birth to a son,  Alexander Ramsay, who did not have a title.   He was Master Alexander Ramsay.

Princess Alexandra's husband, the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, was a younger of the 12th Earl of Airlie.   They married at Westminister Abbey on April 23, 1963.

There was a "distinctly Scottish flavour" to the baby's name, James Robert Bruce, announced on March 24.  

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 James Robert Bruce Ogilvy was baptized in the Private Chapel at Buckingham Palace on May 11, 1964.  His godparents were the Queen,  The Duchess of Kent (Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent stood proxy), Prince Michael of Kent (Duke of Gloucester stood proxy) the Right Hon. Sir Robert Menzies (the Earl of Airlie stood proxy), Lord Ogilvy, the Hon. Peregrine Fairfax and Hon. Lady Rowley).

The Duchess of Kent was unable to attend the baptism as she was recovering from the birth of her second child, Lady Helen, who was born on April 28th.   The fourth royal baby was Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon's second child, born on May 1.

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James and Julia Ogilvy June 3, 2022  St Paul's Cathedral @Marlene A Eilers Koenig

Update on King Harald of Norway

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 "His Majesty The King's personal physician reports that His Majesty is improving. King Harald is still undergoing treatment at the hospital.

As reported yesterday, His Majesty will remain at the hospital for a few more days, and he is being well taken care of there.

The aim is for His Majesty to be able to return to Norway by plane in a few days. The Norwegian Government is facilitating the transportation, and the Norwegian Armed Forces are responsible for the practical arrangements for his return to Norway."

The 87-year-old King Harald V was taken to a hospital in Malaysia after becoming ill with an infection.  The King was on vacation in Langkawi.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre  told the media: "We get worried when our king gets ill and is admitted to hospital, whether in Norway or abroad.”

Princess Beatrice DID NOT step in for the Princess of Wales

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The British tabloids are at it again.   Daily Mail headline screamed, "Princess Beatrice champions one of Kate Middleton's favourite causes: Royal attends student mental health roundtable in London."    

The Mail and other newspapers pushed a story that Beatrice was filling in for Catherine.  She was supporting one of her charities.

Princess Beatrice is not championing one of the Princess of Wales's favorite causes.  This is one of Beatrice's patronages.  She is one of the co-founders of Big Change.  The organization was founded in 2012 by the princess with Holly Branson, Isabella Branson, Phil Nevin, Sam Branson, and Sam Richardson.  

This organization is not affiliated with the Princess of Wales.  

Princess Beatrice is also a trustee of the organization.   She does not use her title and is styled as Beatrice York.

Princess Beatrice does not carry out official engagements.  This means the Big Change event will not be included in the Court Circular.  Beatrice and her younger sister, Princess Eugenie are not included in the official charities and patronages database.  

In November 2022, I wrote an article that advocated for Beatrice and Eugenie to become part-time working royals.  This is unlikely to happen, however.

What is worse is the number of gullible people who fall for tabloid nonsense!

A second service for King Constantine II


Members of the Greek Royal Family attended a memorial service at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Divine Wisdom, Aghia Sophia in London on February 28.   The photos were taken by Ken Stone.  He is the copyright holder.    Thank you for letting me use the photos.

Prince Philippos and Princess Nina  @all photos Ken Stone

Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie Chantal

Prince Philippos

Queen Anne Marie

Queen Anne Marie and Prince Philippos

Crown Prince Pavlos, Crown Princess Marie Chantal and Princess Maria Olympia

Princess Tatiana, the wife of Prince Nikolaos

Prince Nikolaos and Princess Alexia

Crown Prince Pavlos and Prince Nikolaos

Leaving the cathedral - Several of Constantine and Anne Marie's grandchildren: Princess Maria Olympia, Prince Achileas-Andreas, Prince Odysseas-Kimon and Prince Aristides-Stavros are in this photo

Princess Alexia and Carlos Morales are on the left

Princess Theodora, talking with Princess Nina. Theodora's fiance, Matthew Kumar, is behind Nina

the Cathedral @all photos Ken Stone

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

More guests at Constantine's memorial service


@ Captain Nicholas Brandram
Sophie Voelcker, Nicholas Brandram, and Alexia Hicks

The memorial service for King Constantine II took place yesterday at St. George's Chapel.  Among the guests were the three children of the late Paul Brandram, the son of Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, and Richard Brandram.  In the United Kingdom, Katherine was styled as the Lady Katherine Brandram with the rank and title of a daughter of a duke.

Sophie, Nicholas, and Alexia were accompanied by their spouses, Humphrey, Sophie, and Will.

The late King Constantine II was Paul Brandram's best man at his first marriage to Jennifer Steele


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Remembering King Constantine II of the Hellenes

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 Earlier today at Windsor Castle, a memorial service for the late King Constantine II of the Hellenes was held at St. George's Chapel.  King Charles II expressed his regrets that he could not attend due to his cancer treatment.  Shortly before the service began, the Prince of Wales released a statement that he would not be able to attend due to "personal reasons."

William, who is one of Constantine's godchildren, was scheduled to read at the service, but canceled at the last minute due to "personal reasons."  Another godchild, Lady Gabriella Windsor, also did not attend the service.  It was announced several hours after the service that her husband died suddenly on February 25 in Gloucestershire.

[Prince Constantijn, younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, was on the guest list but did not attend the service.  There were reports that he had "logistical problems" in getting to Windsor.]

Queen Camilla and Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes led the mourners which included members of the British, Greek, Spanish, Danish, and other royal families. 

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The Guest list included:

Queen Camilla

The Princess Royal and Sir Tim Laurence

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Tindall

The Duke of York

Princess Beatrice and Mr. Edo Mapelli Mozzi

Sarah, Duchess of York

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester

The Duke of Kent

Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy

Prince and Princess Michael of Kent

The Earl and Countess of St. Andrews

The Lady Helen Taylor

Mr. and Mrs. James Ogilvy

Ms. Marina Ogilvy

Mr. Daniel and the Lady Sarah Chatto

The Marquess and Marchioness of Milford Haven

The Countess Mountbatten of Burma

Mr. Thomas and Lady Alexandra Hooper

Mr. and Mrs. David Flint Wood (India Hicks) and their son Amory Flint Wood (a godson of King Constantine II)

Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes

Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie Chantal of the Hellenes

and four of their five children: Princess Maria-Olympia, Prince Achileas-Andreas, Prince Odysseas-Kimon & Prince Aristides-Stavros of Greece and Denmark

Prince Nikolaos and Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark

Prince Philippos and Princess Nina of Greece and Denmark

Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark and Mr. Carlos Morales y Quintana

Princess Theodora of the Hellenes and Mr. Matthew Kumar

Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark

Princess Tatiana Radziwill, Mrs. Fruchaud and Dr. Jean Fruchaud

Princess Benedikte of Denmark

Princess Alexandra of Greece with her son, Darius Mirzayantz

The Prince and Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg

Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille and Princess Alexandra, Countess  Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille

The King and Queen of Spain

King Juan Carlos  and Queen Sofia of Spain

Infanta Elena of Spain

Infanta Cristina of Spain and her son Juan Valentin Urdangarin y de Borbon

The Margrave and Margravine of Baden

The Landgrave of Hesse

The Hereditary Prince of Hanover (a godson of the late King)

The Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

Prince Alexander of Schleswig-Holstein

Count Hans Veit of Toerring-Jettenbach 

Archduchess Helen of Austria

Queen Noor of Jordan

Prince Hassan and Princess Sarvath of Jordan

Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katharine of Serbia

Prince Kyril of Bulgaria

Princess Alexandra of Fürstenberg and Dax Miller

Nicholas  and Sophie Brandram

Humphrey and Sophie Voelcker

Will and Alexia Hicks

Kate Brandram

King Constantine II of the Hellenes died in Athens on January 10, 2023


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Thomas Kingston - Husband of Lady Ella Windsor (1978-2024)

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Thomas Kingston, the husband of Lady Gabriella Windsor, has died, Buckingham Palace has announced.  He was 46 years old and was found dead on Sunday evening at his parents' home,  Kemble House, in Kemble, near Cirencester, in Gloucestershire.  

The son of Willliam Martin Kingston and Jill Mary Bache, Thomas Henry Robin Kingston was born on June 22, 1978, in  Evesham.

Mr. Kingston was a financier, who served as a director of Devonport Capital since 2017.  He received a bachelor's degree in economic history from Bristol University and was a qualified Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).  He began his career in the Foreign Office.  In 2003 he was the project manager for a "Government-sponsored conflict resolution project in Iraq."   He joined Schroder's Asset Management in London three years later, working with the institutional equities team.  In 2012 Tom moved to Voltan Capital Management, co-managing the firm's frontier market fund.

@Lady Gabriella Kingston

Mr. Kingston married Lady Gabriella at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 18, 2019.  Lady Gabriella is the daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.  The couple did not have children.

The announcement from Buckingham Palace was released several hours after King Constantine II's memorial service at St. George's Chapel.  Lady Ella's parents attended the late king's memorial service.

On Valentine's Day, Mr. Kingston and Lady Ella were among the guests at the Celebration of Shakespeare at Grosvenor House, hosted by Queen Camilla.   A few days later, they attended an event at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  

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King Charles III and Queen Camilla have sent their "most heartfelt thoughts and prayers” to Lady Gabriella and Thomas' family.

Mr. Kingston is survived by his widow, Lady Gabriella, his parents, Martin Kingston, KC and Jill Mary Kingston, and two sisters, Joanna Connolly and Emma Murray.

all 5 photos  June 3, 2022  St Paul's  @Marlene A Eilers Koenig