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

Monday, February 26, 2024

1960 - Princess Margaret engaged

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HRH The Princess Margaret, daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, got engaged on February 26, 1960, to Mr. Antony Armstrong-Jones

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The couple married on May 6, 1960, at Westminister Abbey.  Twenty-two days later, on May 28th, Armstrong-Jones' former mistress, Camilla Fry gave birth to a daughter.  DNA would prove that the future Earl of Snowdon was the father of Polly Fry.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Death of Duke Alexander Eugen of Württemberg (1933-2024)


HRH Duke Alexander Eugen Philipp Albrecht Ferdinand Maria Joseph Ivan Rilsky Johannes-Joseph vom Kreuz of Württemberg was the fourth of five children of HRH Duke Albrecht Eugen Maria Philipp Carl Joseph Fortunatus (1895-1954) and HRH Princess Nadezhda of Bulgaria (1899-1958).

He died in Munich on February 18, 2024.  He was 90 years old.

Alexander never married.  He is survived by his younger sister, Duchess Sophie of Württemberg, and his nephew, Patrick, de La Lanne-Mirlees.   Patrick is the natural son of Alexander's older sister, Duchess Margarete, and Robin de La Lanne-Mirlees.

The Duke was 90 years old. He spent his childhood at Schloss Lindach and Schloss Altshausen.  He trained as an archivist at the State Archives in Stuttgart before studying history, art history, and archeology at Tübingen, Bonn, and Munich universities.  He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy.

During his long career, he worked in libraries, at the auction house, Christie's, the Bavarian National Museum, and the Bavarian Administration of State Palaces and Gardens.

Duke Alexander Eugen's areas of expertise included art history, jewelry, genealogy, heraldry, and orders. He also enjoyed music.

[Biographical information is from Das Haus Württemberg Ein Biographisches Lexikon:  Kohlhammer:1997]


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Duchess said to be prostrated by husband's death

February 22, 1920

The Duchess of Oporto is said to be "prostrated by her husband's death on Saturday," according to a special cable to the New York Times.

The American-born duchess, who was born Nevada Stoody in 1870, has been by her husband's bedside at their home, the Palazzo Reale, in Naples, ever since her husband suffered a stroke three months ago. His "paralysis was so great that he was unable to follow what was going on around him," but the Duchess refused to believe that his illness "meant a fatal ending."

Infante Afonso, Duke of Oporto, died in Naples Italy, on February 21.  He was 54 years old.   The Duke was the younger son of the late King Luis I of Portugal and Princess Maria Pia of Savoy.

The Duke of Oporto's nephew, the exiled king Manoel, has been staying on the Riviera for the last three weeks, and has not "shown a great deal of sympathy with his uncle," and he has not made any inquiries "as to his health."

The Duke, a younger brother of the late King Carlos, who was assassinated in 1908, was a very popular member of the Portuguese royal family. Many believe that if the Duke had succeeded to the throne in 1908, the revolution "which came in 1910 would have been averted."

Before the Duke's illness became acute, he and his wife had planned to visit America. It was also understood "that it has been her earnest wish to make her reception into the Roman Catholic church widely known." She converted to Catholicism in a formal ceremony in Rome, shortly after her marriage. 

 The Braganzas are one of "the most prominent Catholic families in Europe."  

The Duke was Nevada's fourth husband.  Her first marriage to Lee Albert Agnew took place in 1897 and ended in divorce in 1905.  She and Agnew, the father of her only child, Lee Albert Agnew, Jr.,  have remained friends.  The day after she was divorced from Agnew, she married 71-year-old William Hayes Chapman.  He died in 1907 and left her more than $8 million dollars.

In 1909, she married Philip Henry Van Volkenburgh, Jr.  This marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1914.   Nevada van Volkenburgh met the Duke of Oporto during a visit to Rome, where they were married in a civil ceremony on November 23, 1917.  Dom Afonso's marriage to the thrice-married Nevada was treated as morganatic and other members of the Portuguese royal family including the exiled King Manoel II do not consider Afonso's widow as a member of the royal family.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

A QVD marriage: Ellen Lascelles marries Channtel McPherson

@Ellen Lascelles/Instagram

This past weekend in the Byron Bay (Australia) Hinterland, Ellen Lascelles married Channtel McPherson in a "fun-filled ceremony," according to the Daily Mail.    

The couple announced their engagement in January 2023.

The 40-year-old Ellen is the elder daughter of the Hon. Jeremy Lascelles and his first wife, Julie Baylis.  Jeremy, a music executive who does not use the Hon. is the third and youngest son of the late George, 7th Earl of Harewood, and his first wife, Marion Stein.  

She has two children Jack Marley Hermans (March 21, 2016) and Penny Moon Hermans (March 1, 2018) from a previous relationship with Australian Michael Hermans.    Channtel is the mother of one daughter, Raff.

Ellen said she and Channtel "surrounded ourselves with almost all of our favorite people in the world and the funniest, hottest most-loved filled day I could ever imagine."   

Penny and Raff "were just a couple of little dream girls dressed in white."

Ellen is a great-granddaughter of Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, the only daughter of King George V and Queen Mary.

The Daily Mail says the "Royal family celebrated its first lesbian wedding."   Ellen Lascelles is a descendant of George V in the female.  She is not a member of the Royal Family.  Her father is not a member of the Royal Family.  Her Uncle David, the 8th Earl of Harewood, was not invited to the Coronation.  Lord Harewood is the grandson of the late Princess Royal, who died in 1965.

Note to the Daily Mail.  There is no such thing as a lesbian wedding.  The couple was married in a civil ceremony, according to Australian law.  Marriage is between two people, whether the same sex or male and female.  No difference.  Marriage is marriage.  Love is Love.

The present Earl and his brothers are second cousins to King Charles III but do not have a close relationship with the King and other members of the Royal Family.

Victoria -  Edward VII - George V - Mary - George - Jeremy - Ellen

Monday, February 19, 2024

Princess Ira von Fürstenberg (1940-2024)

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 HSH Princess Ira von Fürstenberg died in Rome on February 19. She was 83 years old.   The princess was "endowed with great charm" and "one of the noble sexy icons of the 60s," according to Il Messaggero's obituary.  

The Princess was married twice, first to HSH Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1924-2003), and after their divorce, she wed a Brazilian industrialist Francisco "Baby" Pignatelli (1916-1977).  Both marriages were dissolved by divorce.

Princess Virginia Carolina Theresa Pancrazia Galdina von Fürtstenberg was born in Rome on April 17, 1940, one of three children and the only daughter of Prince Tassilo von Fürstenberg and Clara Agnell, the daughter of Edoardo Agnelli, whose father Giovanni founded Fiat, the Italian auto company.

Her paternal grandparents were Prince Karl Emil von Fürstenberg and Countess Mária Matild Georgina Festetics von Tolna, the daughter of Prince Tassilo Festetics von Tolna and Lady Mary Victoria Douglas Hamilton, the daughter of William, 11th Duke of Hamilton, and Princess Marie Amelie of Baden.   Lady Mary's first husband, was Albert I, Prince of Monaco.  Their great-great-grandson is the present Prince of Monaco, Albert II.

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 At the age of 15, Princess Ira was married to 31-year-old HSH Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, a member of the Spanish Catholic branch of the German princely house.  Alfonso was one of the founders of the Marbella Club.

Their wedding took place in Venice on September 15, 1955, and was a Life Magazine cover story.

 They had two sons, Prince Christoph "Kiko"  Victorio Egon Humberto (1956-2006) and Prince Hubertus "Hubi" Rudolph (1959) before the marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1960 and annulled nine years later.

The reason for the divorce was the princess' affair with Francisco Pignatari, who was known as Baby due to a reputation for being a playboy. They married on January 12, 1961, in Reno, Nevada.   Three years later, in January 1964, the couple were granted a Las Vegas divorce.    

Ira had met the "legendary playboy" in Cortina, Italy in December 1959.  When he learned about his wife's infidelity, he filed a charge for adultery and custody of the couple's two young sons.  In 1960, adultery was a criminal offense for the "adulteress and for the accomplice."  The punishment was prison.  

Prince Alfonso dropped the adultery charge in exchange for custody of Prince Christian and Prince Hubertus. 

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Princess Ira was only 25 years old when her second marriage ended.  Thanks to the Italian producer, Dino de Laurentis, she began a new career as a B actress in Italian films.  All told, she made 28 movies.

In 1987, Prince Rainier III of Monaco's office issued a statement denying rumors that he and Princess Ira were about to marry.  "For the past few days, the media has announced the remarriage of Prince Rainier of Monaco."This information is completely false and without foundation."   The Monagesque sovereign and Princess Ira were second cousins.

In June 2023, Princess Ira "talks taste" in an interview with the Financial Times.   She spoke about style and taste.  "For me, style is about wearing the right thing at the right moment, which can be difficult.  Many people overdress or dress down.  It's difficult to find that middle way."

She said the best gift she received "is probably an apartment in Rome that was given to me by a lover."

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Princess Ira is survived by her younger son, Prince Hubertus, a skier who has represented Mexico in the Winter Olympics, and her younger brother, Prince Sebastian. (1950.   Her elder son, Kiko, died in a Bangkok jail after "allegedly altering his expired visa" to return to his home in Hawaii.  The prince had been visiting a Thai weight loss spa.   

Her brother, Prince Egon, a designer, died in 2004.  His first wife was Diane Halfin, better known as the designer Diane von Fürstenberg.   Princess Ira was a first cousin of the late Prince Karl of Schwarzenberg.  His mother was her maternal aunt, Princess Antonie of Fürstenberg.

Last week Diane von Fürstenberg spoke with her former sister-in-law.  She told WWD: "When I first met Egon, she was the famous sister. She had gotten married in Venice and was a movie star. She was the big sister and the aunt to my children,  She was part of Italy's jet set.  She was very gregarious.  She was a lot of fun and loved to laugh.  She never complained:"

The princess also had American ancestry.  Her maternal grandmother, Donna Virginia Bourbon del Monte dei principi di San Faustino, was the daughter of Carlo Bourbon del Monte, Prince di San Faustino, and Jane Allen Campbell, the Montclair, New Jersey-born daughter of George W. Campbell and Virginia Watson.   George Campbell's father, Ludlow, made his fortune as a linseed oil trader.

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 In 2019, Nicholas Foulkes authored a biography of the princess: Princess Ira: The Life and Times of a Princess.

Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton - Louis II - Charlotte - Rainier III
                                                -   Maria - Tassilo - Ira

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Mail Call


The latest in responses.  

HI & RH Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia

@cour grand ducale/Lola Velasco