Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beatrice von Preussen: designer

While all the focus is on her younger sister, Florence's forthcoming marriage,  Princess Beatrice von Preussen lives in Brighton, where she designs earthenware pots and other things.  Her designs are fun and practical.  I really love the Garden Flowers vase.  The kitchen jar is also rather nice.

Postage free in the UK, but not sure if she sells to overseas customers.

http://www.beatricevonpreussen.com/home/

Monday, December 30, 2013

Princess Florence: Girls with Pearls

 
Princess Florence von Preussen was only 17 when she appeared in Country Life as the girl with pearls, although she did not wear pearls for the shoot.

Country Life also featured an article on the descendants of Queen Victoria in March 29, 2001 issue.  I provided assistance for this article.

Prussian engagement: Florrie to marry Hon. James Tollemache



all three photos: Marlene A. Eilers-Koenig collection
Princess Florence "Florrie" von Preussen is engaged to marry the Hon. James Henry Timothy Tollemache, younger son of Timothy John Edward Tollemache, 5th Baron Tollemache, and his wife, Alexandra Dorothy Jean (nee Meynell).

The official announcement will appear in the Daily Telegraph on January 1.  The announcement was placed by Victoria von Preussen.

"The Hon J.H.T. Tollemache and Princess Florence von Preussen

The engagement is announced between James, younger son of Lord and Lady Tollemache, of Helmingham, Suffolk, and Florence, second daughter of Prince Nicholas von Preussen, of Kensington, London, and Victoria, Princess von Preussen, of East Coker, Somerset."

Florrie is the second of four children of Prince Nicholas of Prussia and his former wife, the Hon. Victoria Mancroft.

Prince Nicholas is the eldest of five children of the late Prince Friedrich of Prussia, fourth son of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (eldest son of Kaiser Wilhelm II) and the late Lady Brigid Guinness, youngest daughter of the 2nd Earl of Iveagh, a member of the very wealthy Guinness family.  (Prince Friedrich's marriage to Lady Brigid is equal according to the house rules, but Nicholas's marriage to the daughter of a Baron is considered unequal, thus Florrie and her siblings are not royal highnesses.  They are British nationals, and have the surname von Preussen.)

The 30-year-old  works as  a window stylist at "OKA, the smart furniture store owned by Viscountess Astor, mother of Samantha Cameron."

The couple were first reported to be dating last September when they appeared together at a party in Leicestershire. "Everyone was shocked when they learned Florrie and James were going out as they are such old friends, but they really are very sweet together,"  one friend told the Daily Mail.
James works in finance.  The wedding may take place in May in Somerset.

Flossie's paternal aunt, Princess Antonia, is the wife of the Marquess of Douro, heir apparent, to the Duke of Wellington.

She has one older sister, Princess Beatrice, and two younger siblings, Princess Augusta and Prince Friedrich.

Previous relationship for Princess Florence include investment banker and tax exile Nat Rothschild,  the Hon. Jake Astor (half brother of Samantha Cameron).  She dated Rothschild for four years, but the relationship was fraught with difficulties from the start as Nat, son of Lord Rothschild,  lived in Geneva.  Flossie gave up a nursery teacher job at the pre-prep Garden House in Chelsea to travel with Rothschild. After they broke up, many believed former boyfriend, Jake Astor, would fill the breach.  One of Jake's chums told the Daily Mail in 2011: "We've put all money on them getting back together."

Family and friends also believed that Flossie and Nat, 12 years her senior, would settled down and marry.  In July 2010, the princess and her mother, Victoria, flew to Corfu and stayed at  Lord Rothschild's villa, Kanonas, to discuss "dowries and trousseaus." 

According to a friend, "Nat adores Florrie and wants to marry her, although they are not officially engaged. But a marriage of such magnitude takes a certain amount of unromantic negotiation."

Florrie dated Jake Astor, and remained faithful to him during his two years in America, where he studied at the Wharton School of Business.  On the day he returned home to London, Jake "dumped" Florence.  Shortly afterward, in the late spring of 2009, she was introduced to Nat Rothschild.

Tatler profiled the three von Preussen sisters in the July 2006 issue. , Florrie, 22,  was described as "the party girl with a dirty laugh and a heartbreak smile who gets cross that everyone thinks she's the youngest."

A year earlier,  Florrie was the "Babe of the month" in the August 2005 issue of Tatler.   She said her most embarrassing moment was when she attended a ball in Germany where "everyone kept curtsying to me."   Only 21, she said her ambition was "to live the Ralph Lauren life style.  I love it."

James was born on August 28, 1980 at St. Thomas' Hospital in London. He is attended Eton with Prince William, and his older brother, Edward, is a godson of the Prince of Wales.




http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2530973/James-Blunt-marry-Duke-Wellingtons-girl-Couple-got-engaged-Christmas.html

http://www.tatler.com/bystander/events/2013/september/princesses-in-london#/11690/image/1


Thursday, December 26, 2013

King Michael's Christmas message

credit:  HRH Prince Radu of Romania



A Christmas message from King Michael of Romania

http://www.romaniaregala.ro/jurnal/the-message-of-his-majesty-king-michael-i-at-christmas-2013/


http://www.romaniaregala.ro/jurnal/bradul-si-masa-de-craciun-2013-castelul-regal-savarsin/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk5tmb52Buw    Lovely video. 

A Baronial engagement

Photo by Marlene A Eilers-Koenig

Baron Axel de Samboucy de Sorgue, eldest son of Baron Francois-Savier de Samboucy-de Sorgue and HRH Princess Chantal of France, is engaged to marry Mademoiselle  Charlotte Paul-Reynaud.   She is the daughter of Serge Paul-Reynaud and his wife, Marie France Champagne.

Miss Paul-Reynaud was born in 1979.

A boy for the Fürstenbergs

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
 
 
Hereditary Princess Jeanette of Furstenberg gave birth to a son, Tassilo Heinrich Christian, on Christmas Eve.

The former Jeanette Griesel married Hereditary Prince Christian of Furstenberg in September 2009.   This is the couple's first child.

Hereditary Prince Christian is the elder son of the Prince and Princess of Furstenberg

http://www.suedkurier.de/region/schwarzwald-baar-heuberg/donaueschingen/Baby-des-Erbprinzenpaares-ist-da;art372512,6566041

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!




To all my musers (I think I just made up a word) ... Celebrate the Joy of Christmas - the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ ...

Friday, December 20, 2013

An Imperial Divorce




Archduke Sigismund of Austria, Grand Duke of Tuscany, announced recently that he and his wife, the former Elyssa Edmonstone, were divorced on June 25, 2013.

Infanta Elena of Spain: 50 years old




All four photos: Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection

Infanta Elena of Spain, eldest child of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia celebrates the Big 5-0 today!

Bagration vs Bagration: an arranged marriage ... with consequences

The Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church played a major role in arranging a marriage Princess Anna Bagration-Gruzinsky, daughter of Prince Nuzgar, dynastic heir to a throne that ceased to exist in 1801, and Prince David Bagration-Mukhransky. 

Patriarch Ilia II supports the idea of a constitutional monarchy in Georgia, which, according to one report, "the idea was greeted with joy by a large part of Georgian society."

Ilia II's plan to arrange a marriage for Princess Anna, already divorced for two years from her first husband, began in earnest in the mid-2000s.  He soon found the perfect candidate: Prince David Bagration, a member of the Mukhranksy branch of the family, whose family had lived in Spain for many years.  David had come from Spain to live in Tbilisi, stating his claim as heir to the long-defunct throne.

The Patriarch put his plan into action, offering his idea for Anna's marriage, by meeting with Anna and her parents.  After he returned from the funeral of the Russian Patriarch Alexey II in 2008, he met with Prince Nuzgar and Prince David, and arranged the wedding for February 2008.

The marriage was doomed from the start with reports of discord and separation within weeks of wedding.   The couple were divorced, but were persuaded to reconcile -- a civil marriage took place in Spain -- and in 2011,  Anna gave birth to a son George.

The couple settled in Spain, but were unable to resolve their differences.

According to the Georgian-language Telegraph,  Prince David took the initiative to end the marriage without consultations with Anna and her family.

Princess Anna and Prince George are now back in Georgia, and living with her parents.


http://www.georgianews.ge/society/25730-georgian-royal-family-divorce.html

http://tinyurl.com/n2auf7t  (Hit the translate button)


http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2013/12/bagration-vs-bagration-gloves-are-off.html

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bagration vs Bagration: the gloves are off

Talk about a messy divorce.  The dueling Bagration lines (heirs to the former kingdom of Georgia) may need a larger linen closet to air their dirty laundry.

In response to his former son-in-law, Prince David's statement on December 15th,  Prince Nuzgar has made it clear that David has been a very naughty boy.

"The House of Mukhrani, a noble Georgian house, recently made the following announcement in December of 2013 :
'With much regret, I announce the end of my marriage with Anna Bagrationi, which I thank for the wonderful son we have in common, H.R.H.Giorgi Bagration Bagrationi, declared as future heir of the Bagrationi Dynasty by His Holiness Patriarch of All Georgia Illia II in the day of His Baptism on November 3, 2013, who like his Father, Grandfather and ancestors, will hold the title of Prince of Mukhrani.'

 
Rumor says the divorce is because of adultery on the part of David with an actress, but the relationship was stormy from the beginning. Prince David first abandoned HRH Princess Anna after he refused to sign an agreement to follow the Ancient Sovereign Succession Rules of the Royal House, which would enable any child born of the couple to be heirs. The Patriarch convinced Princess Anna to follow David back to Spain, but here David again abandoned her and the Patriarch of Georgia supported her for many years pleading with her not to come back to Georgia. Therefore, the announcement was not unexpected. The wrongs committed against Anna were intolerable. 
This sad news of a failed marriage, however, is further blighted by the fact that His Holiness the Patriarch of All Georgia never declared Prince Giorgi Bagration Bagrationi was the heir to the Royal House of Georgia on the day of his Baptism as proclaimed in the above announcement by Prince David. Prince David's websites often misinform rather than report facts. (See http://www.nobility-royalty.com/id100.htm for more examples.)"
 

 The Official Website of the Royal House of Georgia:


I have corrected the misspellings in the statement.

The original story:  http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-royal-divorce-bagration-vs-bagration.html

The succession according to Prince Nuzgar:  http://theroyalhouseofgeorgia.org/downloads/Appendix_of_Additional_Information.pdf

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Greek sovereigns expected to leave for Bucharest

December 18, 1923

The Associated Press is reporting that King George II and Queen Elisabeth of the Hellenes will leave for Bucharest tomorrow, "making the first stage of a of a journey on a specially chartered Greek steamer."

The Greek premier and other government officials have "signed the letter requesting the King leave Greece after they had been interviewed by the military and naval delegations" and other officials in the provinces. 

All of the varying political groups have "urged the removal of the dynasty.  The premier has also received petitions from "officers and men" in the Athens garrison also asking for the removal of King George.

The letter to the king was "couched in rather stern language" and intimated that his departure by evening "at the latest was imperative."

King George, in his reply, stated he would adhere to the suggestions, "made under pressure from the army and navy and the Democratic Party."

The sovereign maintained his position that he had "kept aloof from politics."

He will receive 1,000,000 drachmas, and will also be put on the civil list for a pension of 1,500,000 drachmas.

Earlier today, Queen Elisabeth received a "selection of Court ladies, bidding them farewell."

The supporters for a republic were busy in Athens "laying the groundwork for the move to oust the royal house."   There were shouts of "Down with the King," and anti-royalist demonstrations throughout the city.

The British government will not take any action as the "result of the Greek request for the departure of King George."   Britain regards the matter as a "domestic concern for Greece."

Today's "sensational events" in Athens have shattered Queen Marie of Romania's dream "of a powerful Balkan Federation whose members would be dominated by herself or her children."

Queen Elisabeth is Queen Marie's eldest daughter.
King George II is the eldest son of the late King Constantine, who died last year.  He was born in July 1890.  He married Princess Elisabeth of Romania on February 27, 1921, several weeks before George's sister, Princess Helen, married Elisabeth's eldest brother, Crown Prince Carol.

The dynasty is being blamed for all of Greece's woes.

The official resolution denouncing the monarchy reads as follows:

(1) "The gulf dividing the Hellenes  is due to the Glucksburg dynasty.

(2) That the same dynasty prevented Greece from making a timely entry into the late war on the side of her natural allies for the sake of its family relationships, inside of the opinion expressed by the people in the elections of 1915;

(3) That owing to King Constantine's personal insistence on the adoption of a treacherous policy in violating the treaty with Serbia, Greece was dishonored;

(4) That the surrender to the Germans and the Bulgars of Fort Rupel in East Macedonia with one army corps resulted in the deaths of 80,000 people;

(5) That King Constantine's return, in spite of the allied note of Nov. 20, 1920, and his knowledge of the consequences, resulted in the Asia minor calamity;

(6) That the honor of the army and nation was sacrificed in the Asia Minor for the sake of an ignominious crown;

(7) that the same dynasty through the present King engineered the recent fratricidal movement endangering the nation simply to strengthen its tottering throne.  Seeing that the maintenance of the Glucksburg dynasty is a national stigma which should be blotted out, the officers of the army and navy have unanimously decided that the forfeiture of the crown by this dynasty is a national necessity."

The King is not abdicating, but it is believed that "he will never return to Greece.  The Assembly is refusing to "establish a republic," and it is believed that "a new King will be elected."

Wilhelm's plea for former Tsar!

December 18, 1917

Kaiser Wilhelm II has asked Russian armistice delegates "to ascertain the probable fate of former Emperor Nicholas II and his family, according to a Chicago Daily Tribune dispatch.

The commissioners have asked members of the former imperial family "as to their desires," and they replied "that they would like to go abroad."

The commissioners have agreed "in principle to the wishes of Nicholas and his family" but the matter cannot be settled until presented to the constituent assembly.

Do I have any readers in Monaco?

Oh, I do want to get this .....


http://www.rivieratimes.com/index.php/monaco-article/items/new-photo-of-princely-couple-now-available.html

Charlotte has a boy

Charlotte Casiraghi, eldest daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco, gave birth on December 17 to a son, Raphael.

The birth took place at the Princess Grace Hospital in Monaco.  Proud papa is French comedian Gad Elmaleh.

The couple are not married.  Raphael won't have dynastic rights unless mom and dad tie the knot in a civil ceremony.

http://www.monacomatin.mc/monaco/charlotte-casiraghi-et-gad-elmaleh-parents-dun-petit-raphael.1556378.html#


http://www.rivieratimes.com/index.php/monaco-article/items/charlotte-casiraghi-gives-birth-to-a-son1.html



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Princess Marie Adelaide to wed Silesian count

December 17, 1957

The Grand Ducal Court in Luxembourg "formally announced" the engagement of Princess Marie-Adelaide, daughter of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, to Silesian count Karl Josef Henckel von Donnersmarck.

The announcement did not include a date for the wedding, but "court sources" state that the marriage will take place in the spring of 1958 at Luxembourg's Cathedral.

Princess Marie Adelaide, 33, is the second of Grand Duchess Charlotte's four daughters, and the last to marry. 

She is also the daughter of Prince Consort Felix, who was born a Prince of Bourbon-Parma.

Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen - Cancer?

December 17, 1903

The Princess of Saxe-Meiningen, who has been ill for
some time," is said to be suffering from cancer," reports the New York Times.

The report is based on a dispatch from a Berlin newspaper.   The Princess Charlotte is the eldest sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II. 

The physicians' verdict has created "consternation" at the Court in Berlin, and has had a "bad effect" upon Wilhelm's recovery. 

A royal Divorce: Bagration vs Bagration

Prince David Bagration, heir to the throne of Georgia, and his wife, Princess  Anna Bagration, have divorced.  An announcement was made on the Georgian royal house's official website.

The couple were married in 2009.  Their only son, a son, Prince George, was born in 2011. 


There have been reports of marital discord for some time.  The rumors have turned out to be true.  Princess Anna filed the charges for divorce on the grounds of adultery, as Georgian actress Shorena Begashvili confessed to having an affair with Prince David.

The official statement from Prince David, which was posted on December 15.

"With much regret, I announce the end of my marriage with Anna Bagrationi, which I thank for the wonderful son we have in common, H.R.H.Giorgi Bagration Bagrationi,declared as future heir of the Bagrationi Dynasty by His Holiness Patriarch of All Georgia Illia II in the day of His Baptism on November 3, 2013 , who like his Father, Grandfather and ancestors ,will hold the tittle of Prince of Mukhrani."
Davit Batonishvili


http://www.rainews.it/dl/rainews/articoli/divorzio-reale-in-georgia-problema-di-infedelta-coniugale-86791834-22da-4a5c-b877-189917363397.html

The baptism of Archduchess Maria Stella

The baptism of Archduchess Maria Stella of Austria, first born child of Archduke Imre and his American-born wife, Kathleen (nee Walker) took place on December 14 in the local Roman Catholic church near Schloss Fischbach.
@cour grand-ducale

Monday, December 16, 2013

Miss Maud Windsor - baptismal ceremony

Miss Maud Elizabeth Daphne Marina Windsor was baptized today in a private ceremony at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.

The infant is the first child of Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor, and the first grandchild of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Lady Frederick continues to use her maiden name, Sophie Winkleman, professionally, as she is an actress.

Maud was born on August 15 in Los Angeles, where Lord Frederick works as a financial adviser.

Lord Frederick told Hello magazine:  "It's also a beautiful, elegant name and it was always our first choice. Elizabeth is a tribute the Queen, Daphne is Sophie's grandmother, who she was very close to and Marina is my paternal grandmother."

Surprisingly,  Maud wore the royal christening gown, which was also worn by Prince George, Savannah and Isla Phillips, and Lord Severn, son of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The gown was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II to replace the original christening gown first worn in 1841 by Queen Victoria's first child, Princess Victoria. 

The Earl of Wessex's daughter, Lady Louise, was the last to wear the original gown.

Prince Michael and his two children, Lord Frederick and Lady Gabriella, wore the original gown for their baptisms.

None of the other great-grandchildren of the late Prince George, Duke of Kent, wore the original baptismal gown.  This was noted at the time of Lord Downpatrick's baptism. 

The names of the godparents have not been released.   I won't be surprised if Hello! has a nice spread.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Queen Mary helps her family

December 13, 1913

There is much talk in London's "social and political worlds" about Queen Mary and her difficult talks of "solving the problems of how to deal with her poor relations."

According to the New York Times,  the Teck family, to which Queen Mary is a member, "is among the poorest in Europe, along with the grand ducal family of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, "form a big contingent who look to their solitary well-to-relative to help them keep their heads above water."

Queen Mary's greatest burden is her brother, Prince Alexander of Teck and his wife and family.  After King George succeeded to the throne in 1910, Queen Mary gave her brother "a set of rooms in Windsor Castle" and provided him with an allowance of $5000 a year.  This arrangement now "does not answer very well."

The rooms are apparently not big enough for the Prince and his wife and their three children, as they now also need a nursery and a schoolroom.    Queen Mary "solved the problem" by giving her brother
two rooms in an old vicarage at Windsor," which will be used as a schoolroom and the nursery.  The three children now live with their nurse.

Unfortunately,  the Prince and Princess cannot make ends meet on the Queen Mary's annual gift.  The Teck establishment is small.  They employ two maids, a butler and the children's nurse.  Their living expenses and staff wages do not exceed $4000 per year.

Prince Alexander has a private annual income of about $2,500, and his wife's receives $500 per annum.  This leaves the couple with about $4,000 per year, but the sum is "quite insufficient to meet their travelling expenses, the Princess's dress bills, and the hotel bills when in London."

Prince Alexander has several options to increase his income.  He could make a "substantial salary" as an agent for one of London's largest firms of stockbrokers. He also could earn  money by "introducing people into society" or receiving commissions from London jewelers or other businesses.

Queen Mary is adamantly against her brother working.  Her word "among her own family is law."

Mary prefers for her family to "keep up appearances out of her own pocket," but the burden is becoming "increasingly heavier."

Not long ago, Queen Mary had to pay a high hotel bill and a "modiste's account for her sister-in-law," and it is becoming obvious to the Court that the the queen will either have to allow Prince Alexander to find a job and support his family, or send "the family to live in retirement in Germany."

Prince Alexander and his family are not the only relatives who are a financial burden on the queen.  The house of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is "practically dependent on the bounty of the English royal house."

The old Duke has an allowance of $50,000 per year, which is paid not by the king but by the State.     The money is not sufficient for the family's needs.  The hereditary grand duke is said to be a "young man of extremely expensive habits."  During a recent visit to England, Queen Mary had to "replenish" the young man's "purse on more than one occasion."  She also paid his gambling debts.

The Queen's "poor relations" cost her about $50,000 per year, and there is growing concern by members of  the late King Edward's family about the royal bounty given to the "impoverished princelings," especially as Queen Mary herself was a "very poorly dowered bride."

King Edward made it clear that the "Tecks and their relatives" could not look to him for help. It was his policy to "discourage the presence in England of impecunious royalties."

Queen Mary has surrounded herself "with her own relations," but she is now realizing that the costs are more than she bargained for.  An exodus of Mary's poorer relations" is expected, and will happen when the Prince of Wales begins to "exercise the authority and influence" as the heir apparent."

[I have my doubts about some of the facts in this article.  Princess Alexander of Teck was a British princess by birth, a royal highness: Princess Alice of Albany, a first cousin of King George.   They did live in the Henry III Tower in the first years of their marriage.  In 1913, they had two, not three children: Princess May and Prince Rupert.  A second son, Maurice, died in infancy in 1910. A lot of time was spent at Alice's childhood home, Claremont, in Esher, the residence of her widowed mother, the Duchess of Albany.   The article also neglected to mention that the Dowager Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a British princess,  Augusta of Cambridge,  Queen Mary's aunt.   The two were very close. 

Augusta, who died in December 1916, received £3000 a year from the British government. This was the arrangement made in her marital treaty.  She married her first cousin, Hereditary Grand Duke Friedrich Wilhelm of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1843.  Their surviving son, Adolf Friedrich, succeeded his father in 1904.   The Mecklenburg-Strelitz grand ducal family was one of the wealthiest royal families in Europe. 

Adolf Friedrich V died in 1914, and was succeeded by his only son, Adolf Friedrich VI, who committed suicide in 1918.  The younger Adolf Friedrich left his entire fortune of 30 million marks to the Duke Christian Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, the younger son of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, if he moved to Neustrelitz and succeeded as Grand Duke, otherwise, the inheritance would drop to 3 million marks.  

Thus, the Strelitz family was not in dire straits.  Augusta stopped receiving the annuity in the summer of 1914, just before the outbreak of the first world war.]

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Princess Marie Louise to wed

December 12, 1953

Queen Giovanna of Bulgaria today announced the engagement of her daughter, Princess Marie Louise, to Louis Jan "Jack" Roosmale Nepveu, reports the Associated Press.

The marriage will take place early next year in Madrid.

The Pretoria-born Mr. Nepveu is employed by the Spanish edition of the Reader's Digest. 

Princess Marie Louise was born in Sofia in 1933. She is the elder child of the late King Boris III and the former Princess Giovanna of Italy.  She and her family moved from Cairo to Spain in 1951.

[The marriage did not take place.  Nepveu died on April 9, 2013, in Marbella, Spain.  He was survived by his wife, Monique Louis-Dreyfus. He was born at Pretoria on August 8, 1928.]

Belgian king very grave

December 12, 1909

King Leopold II of the Belgians suffered a "sudden relapse" earlier today, and his condition is described as "very grave," reports the New York Times.

The Belgian sovereign has been "seriously ill" for two weeks, but appeared to be convalescing until today.

An official bulletin has been released by the palace in Brussels.  "The rheumatic pain s have disappeared, but the King is suffering from a disquieting affection of the abdomen."

It is understood that the King is suffering from an obstruction of the intestines, along with "dropsy of the legs."

His doctors have visited him several times during the day.  The king's secretary reported that the "King was somewhat better than in the morning,:" and he was in less pain.

The king's pulse was said to be "satisfactory," and he does not have a fever.   He also has been seen by two specialists who have pointed out the "gravity of the situation," but they do not see the king's condition as "desperate."

The Belgian cabinet met this afternoon to "prepare for any eventuality."  King Leopold is in "possession of all his faculties."  He has given his secretary a "few final instructions.

Prince Albert, the King's nephew and heir presumptive, has been at the king's bedside, along with his wife, Elisabeth, and the Belgian premier.  King Leopold's youngest daughter, Princess Clementine, is expected to arrive later tonight.

The King's doctors and the Archbishop of Mechlin will also remain with the king.  Leopold is expected receive the last sacrament tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A third date for Princess Margaret

December 11, 1953

Princess Margaret and her widowed aunt, the Duchess of Kent, went to see a play tonight and then dinner, reports the Associated Press.  Queen Elizabeth's younger sister was with Mark Bonham Carter, "active in London society," and the Duchess was escorted by Philip Hay, her private secretary.

This was Bonham Carter's third date "in as many nights" with Margaret.  Last night, they were at the ballet at Sadler's Wells, and the night before, they attended a Boy Scout benefit show."

Alfonso comes to Ducky's rescue

December 11, 1913


King Alfonso XIII of Spain has proved to be a "friend in need" to Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, wife of Grand Duke Kirill of Russia, the New York Times is reporting from Paris.

The King, accompanied by his equerry, drove out to the Bois de Boulogne this morning to "engage in the new fashionable pastime," known as "Le Footing, "which is a "brisk walk" along the broad avenues.

The king out of his car at the Allée de Longchamp, and began his walk at a "vigorous pace."  He had not gotten very far when he caught sight "of a laduy looking into the dark words" with an "expression of distress on her face."

The lady in question was Grand Duchess Victoria, one of Queen Victoria Eugenie's first cousins.

The king hurried to Victoria's side.  "How do you do, Duchess," he said, raising his hat.  "Have you lost anything?  I thought you looked anxious."

Grand Duchess Victoria was in tears as she "bowed and touch the King's hand."

I have lost my little dog, Sire.  He is a fox terrier.  He was here a moment ago.  I am so afraid he has wandered into the woods and got lost."

"Where was he went you last saw him?  What do you call him,"  Alfonso asked.

"His name is Vic, but please, Sire, do not trouble," the Grand Duchess responded.

Victoria gasped as the king "sent out a piercing whistle," which echoed through the woods.

"You try that alley," the king called to his equerry.  "I will see if he is down here"

The king called out several times, "Vic! Vic! Vic!," and then whistled a few more times.

The equerry also tried to whistle, but the King "far out shrilled him," with "trills and staccato passages."  As "little dogs" scampered out of the avenue to greet him, the king appeared to be a "modern Pied Piper of Hamelin."

Finally, Vic, the errant terrier, "completely indifferent" to the anxiety he caused, ran out of the woods, and "jumped upon the King, who laughted triumphantly."

Grand Duchess Victoria was overjoyed to be reunited with her dog.

A new QVD

News from Coburg:

The American-born Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is expecting her first child in the Spring.

American investment banker Kelly Jeanne Rondesvedt married Hereditary Prince Hubertus in May 2009.  She will celebrate her 39th birthday on January 10. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bavarian princess does not want to be Empress of Austria

December 9, 1893

It has been largely assumed that Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austrian throne, would marry Princess Elisabeth of Bavaria, eldest child of Prince Leopold of Bavaria and Archduchess Gisela of Austria, daughter of Emperor Franz Josef.

According to the Vienna correspondent of the London Daily News -- and reported by the New York Times,  Princess Elizabeth has "frustrated" the plans of her grandfather, who was very much in favor of the marriage.

About a year ago, the young princess began to "look approvingly upon a handsome young Lieutenant, Baron S."

The "young officer" often rode past her windows, and then he was able to obtain a room "with windows facing Prince Leopold's palace.


They saw each other at court balls, during the Winter, and often danced together.  In the Spring, "lawn tennis  brought them more together still."

Earlier this year, the Baron was transferred to a regiment in Alsace, and many assumed the romance would be over.  Elisabeth spent some time this past summer with her grandfather at his villa in Ischl.  She used her "time well"," managing to get the Emperor to promise to make the Baron a prince, "to give him some landed property," and to allow them to "marry if their love was proof against time."

Princess Elisabeth is 19-years-old, "perfectly natural, and very sweet tempered."   That she prefers a marriage with a man she loves to the "certainty of an imperial throne will not alienate the sympathies" of her family, who love the princess for "her natural graces.

[News traveled slowly as Princess Elisabeth was already married when the story was published.  On November 2, she eloped to Genoa, Italy, with Count Otto von Seefried von Buttenheim.

Prince Otto was not only of a lower rank than his wife, he was a Lutheran.  After the secret wedding, he wrote to Prince and Princess Leopold, telling them that he and Elisabeth had to choose between eloping or taking their lives in a suicide pact.   They chose to marry, despite knowing that the family would not have approved of the marriage.]

Irene passes Spanish test

December 9, 1963

Princess Irene, the second daughter of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, today passed a an examination as "an interpreter in Spanish."   She took the  test at Amsterdam university, reports the Associated Press.

The 24 princess will be "sworn in later as an official interpreter."

A six pence for a princess

December 9, 1953


A Kent antiques firm today presented Princess Anne, 3, a "392 year old crooked sixpence," reports Reuters.  Her older brother, five-year-old Prince Charless, was given a groat (a four penny coin.)

Both coins were minted during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

King Haakon in England

December 9, 1909

King Haakon of Norway arrived at Buckingham Palace earlier this evening, reports the New York Times.  He will "accompany" his wife, Queen Maud, and their son, Crown Prince Olav, back to Norway.

They expect to leave England on December 16.  

Queen Maud is King Edward VII's youngest daughter.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Archduchess Elisabeth shoots actress



The Chicago Daily Tribune reports today on the "latest royal scandal," this time involving Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria and her husband, Prince Otto of Windisch-Graetz, and a French actress.

Archduchess Elisabeth, the only child of the late Crown Prince Rudolf and Princess Stephanie of Belgium, married Prince Otto last year.

According to the story,  Prince Otto was "entertaining the actress" in his apartment, where he "was discovered" by his wife, who "shot and seriously wounded" the actress.

The archduchess was about to shoot her husband, but "lost her courage just as at the critical moment."

Prince Otto is said to be "quite a young man, with an "immensely wealthy" wife."

The shooting took place at the palace in Prague, which belongs to Prince Otto's family.  He had been "secretly paying assiduous attention" to the actress, who is well known to "half the gilded youth of Prague."

The archduchess, who is 20 years old, learned of her husband's perfidy, when she was informed that he was "entertaining the actress" in his rooms.  She reached for a "small gold mounted revolver," which Prince Otto had given to her for "her own protection at an hour of possible peril."

She made her way to her husband's rooms, only to find his devoted valet standing guard outside the door.  He remained obstinate to her entreaties to open the door.   When he refused to budge, the archduchess pulled out her revolver, and began firing "wildly" at the valet, who then fled the ante-chamber.

Elisabeth opened the door, and stood before the couple, "revolver in hand."   Prince Otto moved toward his wife, who cried "beast," and shot the actress "in the breast."

The woman fell to the floor as Otto "seized his wife" and struggled for the gun.  She broke down and was led crying from the room.

The actress was treated by a doctor.  Her wound is serious, but not "mortal. She was taken to her apartment in Prague.

"Strenuous efforts" were made to keep the news of the shooting out of the newspapers, but this proved to be impossible.   Archduchess Elisabeth was "generally commended by the more straight laced members of high society."

She will not face any legal charges for her "punishment of the actress."

Archduchess Elisabeth is said to be Emperor Franz Josef's favorite granddaughter, was determined to marry the now 30-year-old Prince Otto.   They met a "grand ball," and fell in love.   The prince is a member of a very wealthy mediatized princely family, but at the time of their meeting, he was a "simple lieutenant in the First Regiment of Uhlans."

Franz Josef was opposed to the marriage, but the very "determined" Elisabeth told him that she would marry the "man she loved" or she would go to a convent and become a nun.

The Emperor gave it, and the wedding was "celebrated in a magnificent way" after Archduchess Elisabeth renounced her right to the throne.

Franz Josef gave the bride "securities valued at $1,000,000, a yearly allowance of $250,000, jewels worth $1,000,000, a golden dinner service, and several residences."

Elisabeth was only 6 years old when her father, Crown Prince Rudolf, and his mistress, Marie Vetsera, were found dead at the imperial hunting lodge at Mayerling. 

She was considered one of the "most desirable catches" among Europe's eligible young women.  She was once reported engaged to the young king of Spain, but she told her grandfather that she would not "marrying into any reigning house."

Prince Otto is now "unanimously detested" now that his wickedness toward his wife" is public knowledge.   Everyone believes that Elisabeth's love for him "will triumph," and they will reconcile.


a royal photographer

http://www.ouest-france.fr/lartiste-et-princesse-sophie-de-roumanie-bogard-ce-week-end-1752969


A nice article about Princess Sophie of Romania ... a truly gifted landscape photographer.






Thursday, December 5, 2013

Haakon and Mette-Marit out and about

Here is a link to a photograph released earlier today by the Kronprinsparets Fond (the Crown Prince and Crown Princess's Foundation)

http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/artikkel.php?artid=10148475

Crown Princess Mette Marit may be returning from her sick leave in two weeks. 

I really, really doubt the rumors of alleged infidelity with supermarket chief Ole Robert Reitan (reported in German press) or marital discord.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Son" of Clarence wanted $3,000

December 4, 1929

Clarence Guy Gordon Haddon, who says he is the illegitimate son of the late Duke of Clarence, brother of King George V, " has been remanded to jail, reports the Associated Press.

Haddon, who is jobless, wrote to the king saying he "was forced to wash his own dirty linen in a backroom 'and that of the royal family in public for a living.'"

His statement and extract from letters were read at a preliminary hearing today in a London court at  Haddon's hearing.  He has been charged with an attempt to extort money from King George.

Haddon, who is 43 years old, will learn on December 12 whether he will stand trial.

He wrote that he would have been "satisfied" with £600 ($3000) a year, and "enough ready money to start a modern boarding house."

"I don't want a great fortune in life, but only a comfortable living," he wrote in his letter. "It would only have taken a year's income from my late father to have made me the happiest and most contented man in the British Empire. It would have meant so little to the royal family.

"The blessing of God would have been on their household for years, whereas now I will be a byword to the world and so will the name of the royal family.

"Within a few days I have having made sandwich boards giving the particulars of my case.  I shall personally carry this board about the streets of London to secure justice."

In his opening statement, the prosecutor declared: "There is absolutely no evidence to support his assertion."




Prince Carol to visit America

December 4, 1923

Crown Prince Carol of Romania is "planning to tour the United States" next year, perhaps in the spring or early summer,  according to the New York Times.

The report from Bucharest is based on unofficial sources.

The Crown Prince's mother, Queen Marie has been hoping to visit America since the end of the war, but she now feels that the trip would be too costly "in view of the royal finances and the depreciation of Rumania's currency."

Much to my surprise

People in Belgium read my blog  ...


Prince Amedeo of Belgium is in a serious relationship with an Italian woman Lili Rosboch von Wolkenstein , according to the Belgian newspapers.  One paper describes Prince Amedeo, along with Prince Harry, as one of the most charming princes who are not yet married.

This article cites a blog post: 

http://www.lameuse.be/872897/article/actualite/belgique/2013-12-03/le-prince-amedeo-fils-aine-de-la-princesse-astrid-et-du-prince-lorenz-aurait-tro

Let's just say I am most surprised by this, as the journalist did not contact me.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Maxima to be regent

The Dutch Parliament today approved legislation that names Queen Maxima as regent for her eldest daughter,  Princess Amalia, the Princess of Orange.

This legislation will be valid only if King Willem-Alexander dies before Amalia reaches her eighteenth birthday.

Queen Maxima will also retain parental authority over her three daughters, and will be assisted by a five  member Board of Directors: the Vice President of the Council of State, the President of the Supreme Court, the President of the Audit Chamber, and two other members designated by the royal family.

If Queen Maxima dies before Willem-Alexander (and if he dies before Amalia's eighteenth birthday,  Prince Constantijn will become the Regent.

Queen Emma, the consort of Willem III, was named regent for her minor daughter, Wilhelmina, who was only eight years old when she succeeded to the throne in 1890.  She reached her majority in 1898.
http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2013/12/03/koningin-maxima-door-parlement-benoemd-tot-regentes/

The Calvi di Bergolo children

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig collection
A nice portrait of the four children of Princess Jolanda of Italy and her husband, Count Giorgio Calvi di Bergolo:

Countesses Maria Ludovica, Vittorio and Guia with their younger brother, Pier Francisco.  This image is from about 1936-37.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Princess Johann Georg of Schönaich-Carolath and her son, Hans

Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection
A new addition to my collection:  Princess Johann Georg of Schönaich-Carolath and her son, Hans Georg.  The original photograph was taken  in Greiz, the capital of Reuss, as the Princess was born Princess Hermine Reuss.

Princess Hermine married Prince Johann Georg in January 1907.  Hans Georg was born ten months later.    Johann Georg died in 1920.  This postcard was certainly published before or in the early days of World War I, as Hans Georg is still a child. 

Princess Hermine and her sisters and their families often appeared on postcards published in Greiz.

Margaret due in April

December 2, 1963

Princess Margaret is expecting her second child in late April, according to announcement made by Kensington Palace.

The child will be seventh in line to the throne after Queen Elizabeth's fourth child, which is due earlier, Princess Margaret herself, and her two year old son, Viscount Linley.

Princess Alexandra and the Duchess of Kent are also expecting babies next year.

Princess Margaret, 33,  married to society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in May 1960.  Shortly before the birth of their first child,  Armstrong-Jones was created Earl of Snowdon.

"The Princess and Lord Snowdon are delighted," said the Princess' press secretary Major John Griffin.

Princess Grace complimented by Labour supporting newspaper


Both images from the Marlene A. Eilers Koenig Collection
December 2, 1957

Princess Grace of Monaco "received high praise" from the Daily Mirror, a "hard-boiled tabloid" that likes to "prick bubbles of pomposity and frequently lectures royalty -- including Britain's -- in -plain language," according to the Associated Press.

However, the Labour supporting Daily Mirror has succumbed to the charms of Princess Grace, the American-born wife of Prince Rainier of Monaco. 

The paper approves "heartily" for her "modesty of her demeanor" during her private visit to London.

The newspaper's editor opined: "Her Serene Highness is her with her husband, His Serene Highness Rainier III, Sovereign Prince of Monaco.  Exalted titles. 
"But there is nothing high falutin or flamboyant about Princess Grace.

"She was Grace Kelly, the film start.  What a change from other film stars who parade themselves around, seeking every opportunity to catch the public eye.

"With her husband, Princess Grace is here for a quiet holiday.  No fuss.  No flashy display.  When they lunched with the Queen, they slipped into the palace almost unnoticed."

The Mirror also noted that the Monegasque couple "do their Christmas shopping quietly, like sensible people.

"No hitting the night spots. No painting the town red. Modest restaurants and off-beat places for them. Just an unassuming couple on holiday.

"It's grand to have Princess Grace and her husband in London.   We hope they will come again."


Belgian heir would like to be master of a tramp steamer



Embed from Getty Images
December 2, 1933

Crown Prince Leopold of the Belgians is "so fond of travel and adventure that he finds routine work rather irksome," reports the New York Times.

The 37-year old heir to the throne is married to Princess Astrid of Sweden.  He has one brother, Prince Charles, and his only sister, Marie José, is the wife of Crown Prince Umberto of Italy.  His official duties are "almost as arduous as those of the Prince of Wales."

If he had not been "destined for a throne,"  Prince Leopold once said he would have chosen to be a "master of a tramp steamer that journeyed the world over."

Leopold has traveled to Africa twice, and "studied conditions in the Belgian Congo."   His English is said to be "perfect."  In the first years of his marriage,  Prince Leopold did not speak English, and Princess Astrid spoke only a little French, so they "made English their common tongue."

Nicholas II has escaped: latest rumor

December 2, 1917

Former Emperor Nicholas II has "fled from the convent near Tobolsk," where he has been imprisoned and has made "his escape through Harbin" and is now in Japan, according to the latest rumor.

The New York Times reports that the rumor reached London from Zurich via Paris, but there is no confirmation to the story.

The Prince of Liechtenstein on leadership

A very interesting interview-cum-profile:

The Prince of Liechtenstein, leadership and business

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/191ef6fc-5135-11e3-b499-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2mLt69XVg