Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Threats against Queen Victoria

April 15, 1884

It has now transpired that Queen Victoria received "several anonymous letters threatening their life during her journey to Darmstadt," were received at Windsor Castle prior to departure, according to a World cable from London to the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The threats left to the adoption of the "extraordinary measures" for the protection of Queen Victoria and her daughter, Princess Beatrice, who traveled to Darmstadt aboard her special train. 

Various safeguards were put into place including maintaining a "continuous control," and watching the track for "obstructions." 

The carriages "immediately in the front and rear" of the Queen's private carriage were filled "with Constables from Scotland Yard," and a detective should next to the engine driver on "each of the locomotives."

Queen Victoria will travel to Darmstadt to attend the wedding of her granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse and By Rhine, who will marry Prince Louis of Battenberg on April 30.

Princess Victoria is the eldest child of the late Princess Alice, Queen Victoria's third child, who married in 1862 to the Grand Duke of Hesse and By Rhine.

Prince William returns to the USA

April 15, 1964

Prince William of Gloucester, 22, returned to the United States today, "to continue his studies at Stanford University," according to Reuters.

Prince William is the elder of two sons of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and is a first cousin to Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Colloredo-Mansfeld in the processing of annuling marriage

Prince Joseph of Colloredo-Mansfield, head of one of "the great houses of the Austrian nobility, is in the procession of arranging an annulment of his recent marriage, reports the Marquise de Fontenoy.

The proceedings are "unprecedented" and "sufficiently rare" to receive such attention.  Last year, he married Lucy Sophie Jonquet,  a widow, believed to be an "Englishwoman by birth.  They married at Paris last April, and spent the "remainder of the spring in the Riviera," and then traveled to Prague, where the prince has a palace.  He and his wife gave many parties and were often also "entertained a great deal."

A problem arose when it became time to present his wife at court.  Questions were raised about her lineage.  Wives of Austrian and Hungarian nobles must "prove to the satisfaction of the grand chamberlain in Vienna" that they are of "aristocratic parentage," on both sides, and be free of "bourgeois and plebeian strains" in order to be accepted at court.

The new Princess of Colloredo-Mansfield was unable to satisfy the court's requirements. She could not even prove that her parents were noble.   According to the Colloredo-Mansfeld family statutes, no male member of the house can marry a woman who does not belong to a "sovereign house or a mediatized family" without the consent of the adult male members of the house.

The marriage was approved because the Prince gave the impression that his bride was of "noble English birth.    This has proven to be false, and now the union will be viewed as "invalid," and the prince has begun proceedings to have the marriage annulled, due to the marriage having been "contracted in defiance of the laws of the house."

In Austria, the family statutes of the mediatized families "carry much weight" and are "acknowledged by national tribunals."   The marriage is expected to be annulled on the grounds that the princess did not "possess the necessary qualifications  of birth and lineage," as required by the house of Colloredo-Mansfield.

[Note: the marriage was dissolved by divorce in 1925.]

A Catholic wedding for Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis

Princess Maria Theresia of Thurn und Taxis will have a Roman Catholic wedding, according to her mother, Princess Gloria.

The London-based Princess Maria Theresa is engaged to marry fellow artist, British-born Hugo Wilson.

In a recent interview,  Princess Gloria, a devout Roman Catholic, told a reporter: "As far as I know, my daughter's fiancé is having catechism lessons and will become a Catholic."

Her faith intensified after the death of her husband.  "I try to attend the Holy Mass daily.  All over the world.  I was just in Vietnam. The Mass was in Vietnamese.  I had to smile, but it was funny to hear the prayers in a very  different language was downright funny."


Princess Benedikte to celebrate 70th birthday

The Danish weekly magazine, Billed-Bladet, will commemorate Princess Benedikte's 70th birthday with a special issue out this week.  She will be interviewed in next week's issue.  The special issue is said to have a nice display of photos of Princess Benedikte from birth to present.

Unfortunately, this magazine is not sold in the United States or Canada.  The magazine is available for sale in Denmark (of course) and the other Scandinavian countries, including Iceland.  I have heard reports of the magazine in London but not at Selfridge's on Oxford Street, which has a large international selection.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Former girlfriend of King Michael enters convent

April 14, 1948

The former "longtime" girlfriend of King Michael of Romania, has entered the Convent de Liarri, near Cassino, reports the Chicago Tribune Service.

Mariella Lotti, a blonde Italian actress, made this decision following the former King's announcement of his engagement to Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.

Miss Lotti first met Michael in 1939 when she was in Bucharest "as a member of an Italian theatrical company."  She left the troupe, and decided to remain in Bucharest.  She and Michael were "seen together constantly."  

She returned to Italy after the start of the second world war, and she wrote to "the King daily."

[Mariella Lotti made her film debut in 1939, and continued to appear in films until 1954.  She died in 2006.  The story of her romance with Michael was baseless, according to  CBS reporter Don Hollenbeck.  At the time, he appeared on a program called CBS Views the Press.  The original story about Lotti appeared in the New York Journal-American, a daily newspaper (which ceased publication in 1966.)

Hollenbeck "dispatched" another CBS reporter, Peter Tompkins, to Rome to find out more about this story.  He reported that Signorina Lotti was currently at work on a movie, 'Guarany,' for Universalia, and would soon be heading to Brazil for location shots.   Lotti told the reporter that she was not entering a convent.  She also stated she never "had a love affair with King Michael."

Hollenbeck chastised the Journal-American: "While the facts may often spoil a good story, outright fiction really ought to be labeled as such."]

Prince Michael of Prussia's funeral

Prince Michael and his first wife, Jutta Jörn

all photos: Marlene A Eilers Koenig Collection
Nearly 100 people, mostly family and friends, attended the funeral on Friday of Prince Michael of Prussia, who died on April 3 at the age of 74.  

The black and white Hohenzollern flag was draped across the coffin, which was also covered with a wreath of roses from his widow, Birgitte, and his two daughters, Micaela and Nataly.  Another wreath, in the shape of a cross, was given by Michael's nephew, Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, and his wife, Princess Sophie.

Although no guest list was released,  it is believed that Prince Michael's surviving siblings, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Princess Marie Cecile and Prince Christian Sigismund were among the mourners, along with Michael's numerous nieces and nephews.

Hechigen mayor Dorothea Bachmann also attended the service as a guest of the family.

A reception in the castle's Grafensaal was held after the funeral.  A traditional potato soup was served.


Crown Prince Alexander's statement on "rehabilitation of the rehabilitated" Queen Maria

@ Crown Prince Alexander
Rehabilitation of the rehabilitated – Crown Prince Alexander’ statement


Belgrade, April 14, 2014 - The position of HRH Crown Prince Alexander on today’s rehabilitation of HM Queen Maria is that it was already done in 2001 and confirmed in 2011, therefore it was not legally required to run a specific process of rehabilitation in 2013 and 2014.

The facts relating to the rehabilitation of the Royal Family members are the following:

1. By Decree of the Presidency of the Presidium of the National Assembly of FNRY from 1947, the Karadjordjevic family members, including HM Queen Maria, were stripped of their citizenship and their property was confiscated.

2. By the Act of 2001 on the abolition of the Decree on confiscation of the property and revoking of the citizenship from 1947, the Decree was declared null and void.

3. By the Act of 2011, Article 5, paragraph 5, legal rehabilitation was established for the Karadjordjevic Family who were striped of  citizenship and dispossessed of property by the decree from 1947.

Thus, it was in 2001 that legal rehabilitation of Karadjordjevic family members was carried out, which was confirmed by the law of 2011.

New Belgian Royals Magazine - Theresa von Einsiedel interview

I understand the latest issue of the Belgian royals magazine, Royals, has an interview with Theresa von Einsiedel, who will marry Prince Francois d'Orléans in July.  I am desperate to get a copy of that interview.   Thanks.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Help me identify this royal monogram!

This is a small crystal wine glass - with a monogram that I don't recognize.  A Crown above what looks like two Ws.   Any assistance will be appreciated.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Grand Duchesses rebel against arranged marriages

April 11, 1914

There will be "much sympathy" in America for the young Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana of Russia, who, according to reports from St. Petersburg, are "manifesting a pronounced objection" to marriages arranged for them by "statesmen and diplomats.

Grand Duchess Olga was to have become the "consort" of either Crown Prince Boris of Bulgaria or Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, while her younger sister, Tatiana was "selected" to be the bride of Prince Carol of Romania, the eldest son of Crown Prince Ferdinand.

These two young royals have been "afforded the opportunity of looking over the suitors for their hands."    A dispatch to the Chicago Daily Tribune notes that the two grand duchesses have given "expression to the most unvarnished disapproval of the swains."  They will "absolutely refuse to sacrifice their future happiness" to an arranged marriage and "lifelong misery,: all for "considerations of policy."

Grand Duchess Olga and Grand Duchess Tatiana were encouraged by the example of the "lovely" Princess Elizabeth of Romania, sister of Prince Carol, who announced "her resolve" in refusing the hand of Crown Prince George of Greece.

At first she appeared to support the planned marriage, but after the recent visit of Crown Prince George to Bucharest,  Elisabeth lost all interest.  The meeting appears to have had the "effect of destroying her illusions" concerning Prince George.  She has made it clear she will not consider him as a "future husband."

There is no longer a real need to force young royal into repugnant marriages without considering their own views.   History has shown that such arranged marriages rarely ever "strengthen the bond of amity" between the two countries.

When Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna married Prince Wilhelm of Sweden in 1908, many assumed that there would be a "radical change" between the two nations.  Unfortunately, the marriage collapsed.  Maria Pavlovna found her life in Sweden to be intolerable.  She left her young son and her husband, and returned to live in Russia, and the marriage was dissolved.

As the two eldest daughters of Emperor Nicholas II,  Olga and Tatiana are aware of their important position, and they know they will marry well.  They have made it known that they will have a say in the discussions of their marriages.

Opening of Richmond Park

April 11, 1904

King Edward VII has "advantage" of the death of the "old Duke of Cambridge" to open the "whole of Richmond park to the public.   The Marquise de Fontenoy reports that the late duke was "jealous of his rights" as the park's ranger, and King Edward and Queen Alexandra were "too much attached to him" to subject him to any annoyance."

But now that the duke has died,  the king sees no reason to further "delay the fulfillment to open up the park to the people.

Only a small portion of Richmond Park was accessible to the public.  Most of the "picturesque parts" were "shut off for the preservation of game," and the shooting was restricted to the "friends and cronies" of the late duke, as well as to "favored members" of his household. 

During the years when Princess Frederica of Hanover lived at Hampton Court, a "portion of the shooting" was reserved for her husband, Baron Pawel von Rammingen.  He was very "keen" about the "trespass upon his prerogatives in the matter."

King Edward has now ordered that the "preservation of game" has been discontinued and the park "thrown open" to all the people with "as little delay as possible.  Deer will be transferred to Windsor and Balmoral and the birds, if caught, will be sent to "the coverts at Sandringham."

It is expected that Richmond Park will be completely open by August 1.

The late Duke of Cambridge died on March 17.  He was a first cousin of the late Queen Victoria.  The Princess of Wales is his niece, as her mother, the late Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, was his youngest sister.

No details about Prince Michael's funeral

There will be no details nor photographs of the funeral of the late Prince Michael of Prussia, according the Prussian royal family's official spokeswoman.  "Please understand, the family would like to keep this to themselves."

A funeral was held earlier today at the chapel at Burg Hohenzollern for the late Prince Michael of Prussia.

Prince Michael, second son of the late Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, died on April 3 at a hospital in Sindelfingen.

No guest list for the funeral was released by the family, it is understood that Prince Georg Friedrich, head of the former imperial house, and his wife, Princess Sophie, were among the mourners.


Belgian Palace denies (again) suicide attempt repoirts

Belgian palace spokesman Pierre-Emananuel De Bauw has released a statement regarding the rumors of an alleged suicide attempt by Prince Laurent.

Once again, the official statement offers an emphatic denial of the rumors that Prince Laurent was hospitalized because he attempted suicide.  These reports have been published in newspapers in Belgium, the Netherlands, and most, notably, in the Daily Mail, a British tabloid with a large circulation.

De Bauw said: "The rumors are absolutely not true.  These rumors violate the prince's privacy.  From the start, we have asked to respect Prince Laurent's privacy.  The rumor mill has to really stop because the rumors are hurting the prince."

Hindsight between 20/20, the moral of the story is that the palace should have issued  a brief statement on the day Prince Laurent entered the hospital, which would have nipped in the bud most of the rumors.  Unfortunately, the ill-timed release of Queen Paola's statement about her "vulnerable son," and the subsequent firing of the head of King Albert's household only exasperated the situation. 


British royals heading to Hanover for 300th anniversary of Personal Union

Several members of the British royal family will be traveling to Hanover this year to take part in events commemorating the 300th anniversary of the accession of George I and the establishment of the Hanoverian dynasty in the United Kingdom. 

Prince Michael of Kent, younger brother of the Duke and Kent, and a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, will attend the opening of "Der Weg zur Krone" (Path to the Crown) at Schloss Marienburg on April 30. 

The Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II's second son, will visit Hanover on  June 4, and will be the guest of honor at a garden party held at Schloss Herrenhausen to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's birthday.