Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Royal Death: Infanta Luisa

April 18, 1958

Princess Luisa of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Infanta of Spain,  died today in Seville, Spain, following an operation for an abdominal cyst, reports the Associated Press.  She was 76 years old.

The Infanta was the mother of Princess Maria de las Mercedes, the Countess of Barcelona, the wife of Infante Don Juan of Spain, Count of Barcelona, the pretender to the Spanish throne. 

Luisa was born Princess Louise of Orléans, on February 24, 1882 at Cannes, France, daughter of Philippe, Count of Paris and Princess Marie Isabelle of Orléans, daughter of Antoine, Duke of Montpensier and Infanta Luisa, Fernanda of Spain.

She married Infante Carlos, Prince of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies, at Wood Norton, Evesham, Worcestershire, on November 16, 1907.   Carlos was the widower of  Mercedes, Princess of Asturias, the eldest sister of King Alfonso XIII.

The newly married couple settled in Madrid, where they had four children: Carlos (1908-1936), who was killed in the Spanish civil war, fighting for the Nationalists;  Princess Maria de los Dolores (1909),  the wife of Carlos Chia Ossorio (her first husband, prince August Czartoryski died in 1946);  Princess Maria de las Mercedes (1910), who is married to the Count of Barcelona; and Princess Maria de la Esperanza, the wife of Prince Pedro Gastao of Orleans-Braganza. She is also survived by two stepchildren: Prince Alfonso (1901) and Princess Isabel Alfonso (1904), Countess Jan Zamoyski.

The Countess of Barcelona and Princess Esperanza were at their mother's bedside when she died.

Pecking order - Philip in third place in precedence

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April 18, 1948

King George VI has issued an order of Precedence at court.   His new son-in-law, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh is the "third man of importance" below the King at court functions, unless "Philip is escorting Princess Elizabeth," reports the Chicago Tribune.

The Duke of Edinburgh's position at court ranks below the King's two brothers,  the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Windsor,   But for "joint precedence" list, Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Duke of Edinburgh are directly after King George and Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary are at the top of the precedence for women, followed by Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret,  the Princess Royal (Mary), the Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of Kent.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Barbara Bush - and the Queen and Prince Philip

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Mrs. Bush

President and Mrs. Bush welcome the Queen and Prince Philip to the White House.  

all five photos @Marlene A. Eilers Koenig

I took these photos of Barbara Bush in May 1991 during the State visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II

a lovely thank you

A thank you from the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Hannover on the occasion of the birth of their first child, Princess Elisabeth.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Countess Marie-Thérèse von Waldburg zu Zeil und Hohenems (1965-2018)

It is with great sadness that I write about the death of Countess Marie-Thérèse Margit Viola Hanna Daisy Antonia von Waldburg zu Zeil und Hohenems who died at Kempfenhausen after a long illness, believed to be multiple sclerosis  She was 52 years old.

She was born at Vienna on July 23, 1965, the daughter of Count Franz Nemes de Hidvég et Oltszem and Countess Maria Antonia Thun von Hohenstein.

Count Vitus von Waldburg zu Zeil und Hohenems

Countess Marie-Thérèse married H Ill H Count Vitus  Franziskus Rupert Benedict Josef Wunibald Maria von Waldburg zu Zeil und Hohenems at the Maria Treu church in Vienna on April 28, 1990.  The civil marriage had taken place a month earlier on March 9 at Kitzbühel.

The family lived in Stuttgart for several years before moving to Bad Wurzach, a small town in southern Germany.

Marie-Thérèse and her husband were the parents of four children: Countess Marie-Valerie Thérèse Benedikta Antonia Josefa Walburga (1991), Count Benedikt Vitus Franz Josef Nikolaus Maria Wunibald (1992), Count Antonius Vitus Sebastian Georg Leo Willibald Maria (1995) and Countess Maria-Leopoldina Thérèse Aloisa Gertrud Viola Walburga (1998).

Countess Marie-Valerie married Baron Hubertus Riesdel zu Eisenbach in 2017.

The family are devout Catholics and their faith has been the source of great comfort through Marie-Thérèse's illness.  She was a member of the Order of the Starry Cross.

Count Vitus, a member of the Order of Malta, was ordained as a deacon in the Catholic church in 2010.  The ceremony took place in Wurzach in the present of the Count's family and friends.  Georg, Prince of Waldburg zu Zeil was among those were present for the ordination.

He has served in several positions.  In 2016,  Count Vitus joined the pastoral care staff at a hospital in Wangen.

Countess Marie-Thérèse is survived by her husband, their four children, her mother, Countess Maria Antonia, and her three siblings,  Countess Helene, Countess Marie-Gabriella and Count Albert and their families.

The funeral will take place on April 14 at the Wallfahrtskirche Mariä Himmelfahrt in Maria-Thann.

Point de Vue

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Archduke Imre to speak at Christendom College in Virginia

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From Christendom College's website:

"His Imperial and Royal Highness Imre of Habsburg-Lorraine will deliver an exclusive talk to the Christendom community on Thursday, April 12, titled: “100 Years Later: Quo Vadis Europa?” The talk will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the college’s St. Lawrence Commons.

Archduke Imre will be on campus with his wife, Her Imperial and Royal Highness Kathleen of Habsburg-Lorraine, for the event. Archduke Imre is the eldest son of Archduke Carl Christian of Austria, and the great-grandson of Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria, who was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II.

Archduke Imre is noted for his lectures on his great-grandfather, who was the only political leader to support Benedict XV’s peace efforts during World War I."

Christendom College, a liberal arts Catholic school, is located in Front Royal, Virginia.

A romance for Princess Luisa Maria of Belgium

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HRH Princess Luisa Maria of Belgium is -- for want of a better phrase -- is in a serious relationship with HSH Prince Karl-Ilias of Auersperg-Breunner.  They have been dating since 2015.

Both are students at Montreal's McGill University, where both are expected to graduated later this spring.

Princess Luisa Maria Anna Martine Pilar, 22, is  the fourth of five children of Princess Astrid of Belgium and her husband, Prince Lorenz (Archduke Lorenz of Austria).    Prince Karl-Ilias Nikolaus Gobertus Maria of Auersperg-Bruenner, 22, is the eldest of three children of HSH Prince Karl  Georg Adolf Maria Gobertus of Auersperg-Breunner and his Greek wife, Demetra Lalouinis.

Karl-Ilias and his younger siblings were born in London, where their father has worked in finance.

The elder Prince Karl is currently an executive director with Lombard Odier, a private Swiss bank, based in their London office.  Previous to this position he served in executive positions with J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse.   He is the third of five children of HSH Prince Karl Marie Gobertus of Auersperg-Breunner and Countess Friederike von Starhemberg.  His eldest paternal aunt, Princess Eleonore of Auersperg-Breunner is the wife of Duke Georg of Hohenberg, a grandson of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Countess Sophie Chotek, while his youngest paternal aunt, Princess Marianne of Auersperg-Bruenner is married to Prince Ludwig of Baden, the youngest of three children of Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark and Berthold, Margrave of Baden.

One of Karl's uncles, Prince Heinrich, is married to the late Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria

  Princess Karl is better known by her maiden name, Demetra Lalounis.  Her father Ilias founded Lalouinis jewelry firm, a favorite of Jackie Onassis.

Karl-Ilias attended St. Philip's School in South Kensington in London and Wellington College boarding school.

Princess Luisa Maria is 9th in line to the Belgium throne.  She is not expected to have an official role as a member of the Belgium royal family.  The princess will have her own career.  She attended the Sevenoaks school in Kent.   She is studying economics and political science at McGill.

In March, the princess was invited to an event in Montreal during the state visit of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.   Luisa Maria was also present when her aunt paid a visit to the school the following day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The marriage of Leo Graf Czernin von Chudenitz and Marie Trotzky

The marriage of Count Leo  Czernin von Chudenitz and Marie Trotzky, which took place last September.

Count Leo is the son of Count Karl Eugen Czernin v. Chudenitz and Countess Fiona von Rechberg und Rothenlöwen zu Hohenrechberg,  Marie Trotzky is the daughter of Sergei Sergeievitch Trotzky and  Princess Felicitas of Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha.

The Reign in Spain ...

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Easter Sunday is the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is the most important day in the Christian calendar.

Easter is also a day when families spend time together, first at church, then perhaps a lovely lunch.  Unfortunately, a video of what many have described as a tense situation between Queen Sofia and her daughter-in-law, Queen Letizia, has gone viral.

Shortly before the family would leave the church, they stopped to greet other people.  Queen Sofia pulled her two granddaughters, Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia toward her for a photograph.  Queen Letizia walked in front of them to shake the hand of someone she knew.  She turned around, said something, and pulled Leonor away.  Queen Sofia tried to pull her two granddaughters toward her, but Leonor pushed her away as well.

King Juan Carlos, his gait unsteady even with the aid of a cane, was perplexed by the scene.  King Felipe VI spoke to his wife and to his mother, perhaps trying to diffuse the situation.

Queen Sofia is a much loved Queen Consort.  She has carried out her duties professionally and with elan.  But, privately, she has suffered much heartache.
Her marriage in 1961 to Juan Carlos was carefully encouraged and arranged.

Sofia was the first queen consort since 1931 when King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia went into exile.  Francisco Franco would bring back the monarchy on his own terms and he toyed, sometimes rather cruelly, with Juan Carlos and his father, Juan, the Count of Barcelona.  In 1975, the Generalissimo died and Juan Carlos became king.

Sofia, the eldest child of King Paul I of the Hellenes and his wife, Frederica of Hannover, was perfectly suited to be a queen.   She gave birth to three children, Elena (1963), Cristina (1965) and Felipe (1968), who was named as Prince of Asturias after his father became king.

For years the foreign press, notably the Germans and French, reported on rumors about Juan Carlos' infidelities.   It took decades before the Spanish press summoned the courage to write about the king's mistresses.
 One can only imagine and sympathize with Sofia's private and public humiliation.  There have been unsubstantiated reports that Sofia had every intention of leaving her husband.

She stayed, as a wife, mother, grandmother.  Her children, especially her son, were at the forefront of her life. Nothing -- not even Juan Carlos' behavior -- would detract her from her focus: preparing the Prince of the Asturias for the throne.

Felipe succeeded to the throne following the abdication of King Juan Carlos in June 2014.

Queen Sofia is devoted to her three children and her eight grandchildren. But she has been saddened by events in her children's lives.   Infanta Elena's marriage ended in divorce and Infanta Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, were charged with tax fraud and corruption in the Noos Institute case.  In early 2017, Cristina was acquitted of corruption charges but her husband was found guilty on several counts including fraud and tax evasion.  He was sentenced to six years and three months in jail although arrangements are still being made for Urdangarin to be sent to prison.

The Queen has been supportive of Infanta Cristina and there have been reports in the Spanish media that she has been pushing Felipe to allow Cristina and her four children back into the family.  She may have been acquitted of charges, but few people see Cristina as innocent in not knowing what her husband was doing.  There is no doubt in my mind that Letizia (and Felipe) want to keep Cristina away from royal life.  Neither she nor her older sister, Infanta Elena, have carried out official engagements since Felipe's succession.  They remain members of the King's family, but are no longer members of the Royal Family. 

This also happened when Juan Carlos came to the throne.  His two sisters, Infanta Pilar and Infanta Margarita, were not included as members of the Royal Family, but were members of the King's family.  Unlike the present king's sisters,  Pilar and Margarita lost their succession rights when they married as they married under the old rules.  Their children do not have dynastic rights.

Elena and Cristina and their children remain in line to the throne.

Sofia has lived in Spain for nearly 57 years, but none of her close friends are Spanish.  She has never gotten close to members of Spain's aristocracy.  Her two closest friends are her sister, Princess Irene, who lives in Madrid, and her cousin, Princess Tatiana Radziwill and her husband, Dr. Jean Henri Fruchaud.   Tatiana is the daughter of the late Princess Eugenie of Greece and Denmark and Prince Dominik Radziwill.

Her family, especially her children, are everything to her.

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The Queen certainly hoped that her son would make a grand royal marriage.  Princess Tatiana of Liechtenstein moved to Madrid, ostensibly to study, but the real goal, according to the late Infanta Maria Cristina of Spain, was to get to know Felipe.  Maria Cristina, the younger daughter of King Alfonso XIII, confirmed this in a letter to me.   Other noblewomen, including Countess Caroline of Waldburg zu Wolfbegg und Waldsee, were also "pushed" toward Felipe, but he was having none of it.  It is said that he wanted to marry Isabel Sartorius, the daughter of Vicente Sartorius y Cabeza de Vaca, 4th Marquis de Mariño, and Isabel Zorraquín y de Corral.  Isabel's parents were divorced and her mother married Peruvian politician Manuel de Ulloa.

Isabel joined her mother in Lima, but it was not a satisfying experience for mother or daughter.  Ulloa, according to Isabel's autobiography, mistreated her mother and turned into a cocaine addict.  It was Isabel who sneaked out of the house to meet with her mother's dealers and purchase the cocaine.

Isabel's mother spent years in clinics, eventually being cured of her drug addiction.  She divorced de Ulloa, who then married Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.   Isabel's father also remarried.  His second wife was Princess Nora of Liechtenstein, who is Princess Tatiana's aunt.

Despite her noble birth,  Isabel Sartorius was not considered suitable for Felipe.  She would admit years later that she suffered from co-dependency issues that evolved from her concern for her mother and she underwent treatment for it,  She has never married but in 1997, she gave birth to a daughter, Mencia, the result of her relationship with Javier de Soto y Fitzjames-Stuart, Count of Montalvo.

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Felipe had several long-term relationships, before meeting Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a journalist, whose first marriage (a civil ceremony only) had ended in divorce.

Other girlfriends had not been accepted by his parents, and Letizia, well-educated, but a commoner, was no different.  This time, however, Felipe put his foot down and made it clear to his parents that he loved Letizia and would marry her.

Juan Carlos was especially not pleased with Felipe's choice, but Sofia was determined to accept Letizia into the family.  She would later acknowledge that she has little in common with Letizia.  She also regrets that she does not get to see her granddaughters as often as she would like.

This was the first time in four years that King Juan Carlos attended the Easter mass with his family.

Leonor, 12, having a pre-teen mood, not only pushed her grandmother away.  She also pushed her mother's hand, perhaps not wanting to smile for anyone.

Perhaps Queen Letizia thought it inappropriate to snap a photo inside the church before everyone gathered outside for a group photo.

Crown Princess Marie Chantal of Greece, the wife of Crown Prince Pavlos, who is Felipe's first cousin,  got into a heated discussion on Twitter.   In response to a comment made by a Spanish journalist,  Marie Chantal said "No grandmother deserves that type of treatment! Wow she’s shown her true colours."

Queen Sofia and Pavlos' father, King Constantine II, are siblings.  The Queen remains close to her Greek family.  Although Felipe and Pavlos were roommates at Georgetown University in the mid-1990s,  they don't see each other as often as before.  Felipe did attend Pavlos' 50th birthday party last July but came without Letizia.

Marie Chantal, whose family is worth billions, and Letizia don't have a lot in common, apart from their marriages to first cousins.  They do not move in the same social circles. 

The exchange of comments is telling about how Marie Chantal thinks about her husband's cousin's wife. 

The video has evoked a torrent of criticism, especially toward Letizia. Watch the video carefully.  Queen Sofia is not happy that she missed out on a photo opp with her granddaughters, but Letizia is their mother, and she has every right to decide when it is appropriate or not to have a photo taken.

Queen Letizia has spoken of her respect and admiration for her mother-in-law and they have carried out engagements together.  She is happily married.  She has a husband who loves her and who is a devoted father to their two daughters.

Look also at Leonor, who may have been having a mini-meltdown in church.  Grandma wants a photo but Mom has something else on her mind. 

In the second link, the royal family gathers for another family snap.  Queen Sofia gives Leonor a kiss. Letizia appears to be wiping the kiss away.  She does the same thing to Infanta Sofia.  More likely, she was wiping away the lipstick so it would not appear in the photos.

There are probably several different versions to what actually happened on Easter Sunday.

The tension was certainly heady and palpable.  Letizia was being a mom, trying to make sure her daughters were behaving.  Queen Sofia's face showed the pain and sadness of being rebuffed, but within minutes, everyone was once again smiling before the cameras,

We don't know the aftermath after everyone returned to the Marivent Palace.  We do not know if the two queens talked about the incident or not.

We also do not need to know what actually happened.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A lovely thank you

Getting this card is such a joy.  The marriage last September of the Hereditary Prince (Ferdinand) of Leiningen and Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia was the first marriage between two descendants since 1981 when Ferdinand's parents, Prince Andreas of Leiningen and Princess Alexandra of Hanover were married.

A lovely photograph --- and that historic tiara!!!!!!

BULLETIN: Duke of Edinburgh admitted to hospital

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The Duke of  Edinburgh has been admitted to the King Edward VII hospital in London, where he will undergo hip surgery tomorrow.

The 96-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II has been sidelined for several weeks with a hip injury.  He was unable to accompany the Queen to the Maundy Thursday and Easter Services at St. George's Chapel.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Romanian Royal family sues Ministry of Enviromment

Four months after the death of the late King Michael, his five daughters led by Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Crown has filed suit against the Ministry of the Environment, demanding more than one million lei in compensation for not being permitted to develop a part of the King's forest land.

Romania had returned 140,000 hectares of forest land near Săvârșin, the King's country home.   

In 2015, the late king filed four lawsuits against the Ministry of the Environment, but two of his complaints were rejected.   Michael was not pleased that he could not use or develop 1,255 hectares of forest in the Săvârşin area, land that was given to the Royal House by law.

The forest is located in a  protected area.  

The Ministry of the Environment acknowledged that the king was entitled to financial compensation but without a ruling from the European Commission,  the King could not receive the compensation.

Margareta and her four younger sisters,  Princess Helen, Irina Walker,  Princess Sophie and Princess Marie will continue the legal battle that their father began three years ago in another attempt to be able to use their own property.

Easter at Windsor

Queen Elizabeth II attended Easter Service earlier today at St. George's Chapel, Windsor.  She was joined by the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York and her fiance, Jack Brooksbank, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and Lord Severn, the Princess Royal, Peter and Autumn Phillips and Zara Tindall.   The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived after the Queen due to traffic issues.

These photos were taken by a good friend, Katrina Warne.  She is the copyright holder.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Yes, Prince Harry is a commoner, according to Common Law.

Wow,  people are getting their knickers in a twist over my statement in a recent interview that Prince Harry is a commoner.   Yes, HRH Prince Henry of Wales' legal status is that of a commoner.

What do you mean by this, Marlene?   Harry is royal. He's a prince.  He's not a commoner. 

In the United Kingdom,  the law is based on English COMMON law -- from where we get the word Commoner.  The only people in the UK who are not commoners are Peers of the Realm (not their children) and the Sovereign.

That leaves everyone else, including princes and princesses, who have not been created peers of the realm.  So, yes, Harry is a prince, a royal highness, and yes, a commoner.  He's not a peer of the realm.

A royal style and title (HRH Prince or Princess) are at the behest of the Sovereign.

Parliament legislates.  Succession to the throne is by legislation.  Queen Elizabeth II cannot change the succession.  She cannot bypass Charles and give the throne to William.  She cannot abdicate without Parliament passing an Act of Abdication.  Edward VIII abdicated after Parliament's legislation, which he signed, thus, giving up his throne.

Parliament does not legislate titles.  Parliament has not passed legislation that gives all members of the Royal House a special legal status.

Yes, Prince Harry has many privileges and responsibilities as a member of the British royal family.  But being royal is not in itself a legal status as is a peer of the realm.

Yes,  in terms of precedence and rank,  Harry, as a grandson of the sovereign, has a higher precedence, than the Duke of Norfolk, the premier duke in the Peerage of England.

[The four main peerages in order of precedence are England, Scotland, Great Britain (1707) and United Kingdom (1800).   The creation of Irish peerages ended at the end of the 19th century.]

But in law, the Duke of Norfolk is a peer, not a commoner.   Children of peers, including the heirs, are commoners as they bear courtesy titles.  Nobility is not a legal status.   Harry's mother, Lady Diana Spencer, was the daughter of an earl.  She carried the courtesy title of an earl's daughter, but she was a commoner -- in law.   Her father was a peer of the realm.

It is expected that Harry will be given a dukedom on his wedding day.  He will become a peer of the realm.  He will no longer be a commoner and subjected to COMMON law.

The Dukedoms of Gloucester and Kent, in the peerage of the United Kingdom, are currently held by royal princes, Richard and Edward, grandsons of King George V, and first cousins of the Queen.  Because of their royal rank,  they have a higher precedence than the Duke of Norfolk,  but when their titles pass to their sons, Alexander, the Earl of Ulster, and George, the Earl of St. Andrews,  the dukedoms will cease to be royal and the new Dukes' precedence will be near the bottom of the list of Dukes, way below the Duke of Norfolk, a title in the peerage of England.   Lord Ulster and Lord St. Andrews are commoners.  When they succeed to their dukedoms, they will become peers of the realm and cease to be common.

The Sovereign cannot be a peer.

It is important to remember that commoner refers to COMMON law and is not a reflection on anyone.   Princess Elizabeth was a commoner until she succeeded her father.  Her husband became a peer of the realm the day before their wedding in November 1947.

The Princess Royal, Prince Harry,  Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie,  Princess Alexandra and Prince Michael are in the eyes of the law: commoners.  The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent are peers of the realm.

Being royal may give one a special status in the United Kingdom as a member of the Royal House.  But the legal status of royals who are not peers is exactly the same as Mr. Smith.

Just remember, we are talking about the law.  There is no doubt in my mind that far too many people are confused by the use of the word commoner ... we are talking about the law - and only the law in the United Kingdom.

There are no British laws that give a special legal status to someone who is an HRH and a Prince of Princess.   There are a lot of perks to being royal, but common law is common law.

Here is a good example -- several in fact -- of the legal status of a member of the royal house who is not a peer of the realm.

In March 2001,  Princess Anne was convicted of speeding in her Bentley, driving at 93mph in a 70 mph zone in Gloucestershire.  She was fined £400 and had to pay £30 in court costs.  She was also given five penalty points on her driver's license.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman stated that the Princess Royal "accepted that she was subjected to the normal rule of law."    It did not matter that she was the daughter of the sovereign, a princess.  What mattered was that her position as a princess did not provide her with any special status.

 This was not the first time that the Princess had been in trouble due to speeding issues.  In 1990, she was fined £150 and banned from driving for one month due to two speeding offenses.

In November 2000, Princess Anne appeared before an East Berkshire magistrates' court in Slough -- in the case of Regina versus Laurence.  As in Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise Laurence and not as HRH The Princess Royal.  She pleaded guilty to "being in charge of a dog which caused injury in a public place under section 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991."

The Princess became the first member of the of the royal family "in modern times," according to the Guardian, to acquire a criminal record.    She was fined £500, as well as paying compensation of £250 to each of the young boys who were bitten by her dog, Dotty, and the £148 court costs.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Death of the Duchess of Vendome

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March 29, 1948

The Duchess of Vendome, sister of the late King Albert of the Belgians, has died at Sierre in the Canton of the Valais, Switzerland, according to the New York Times.

She was 77 years old

The Duchess was born Princess Henriette of Belgium on November 30, 1870, the daughter of Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders, and Princess Marie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.  She was the younger of twins.  Her older sister, Princess Josephine Marie died at age six weeks.

Princess Henriette married at Brussels on February 12, 1896 to Prince Emnanuel of Orléans, Duke of Vendome.  He died in February 1931.   Their marriage was the "outcome of a romantic courtship on the Italian lakes.

Henriette was "famed for her enthusiasm for hunting and her skillful marksmanship.  In 1907, at Amerois, Belgium,  she "added to her popularity by bringing down a ferocious stag that was reported to have killed a woman."

The Duchess inherited one third of her father's large fortune.

She is survived by three of her four children,  Princess Marie Louise, who is married to an American Walter Kingland,  Princess Genevieve, the wife of the Marquise de Chaponay-Morance and Prince Charles Philippe, Duke of Nemours,  who is also married to an American, Marguerite Watson, and two grandchildren:  Prince Gaetano of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, the only child of Princess Marie Louise's first marriage to Prince Philippe of Bourbon-Two Siciliies, which ended in divorce in 1925,  and Henryanne de Chaponay-Morance.

  The late Duchess's second daughter, Princess Sophie, died in 1928.   A grandson Pierre de Chapanoy-Morance was killed in action at age 18 in 1943.  Prince Gaetano is married to Briton Olivia Yarrow, who is expecting their first child in April.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Oh, what a Hanover

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Prince Ernst August, the 64-year-old head of the house of Hanover, planned to create a scene at the wedding of his younger son, Prince Christian, last week in Lima, Peru.

The weekly German magazine, Bunte, is reporting that the week before Ernst August boarded the plane for Lima, he spent a week with a "dark-haired beauty in a luxury resort in Kenya," where witnesses stated he "consumed bottles of wine and champagne." 

Prince Ernst August has battled the bottle for some years now. He has been hospitalized on several occasions and has been treated for pancreatitis.

He is in a battle with his elder son, Hereditary Prince Ernst August, over property that he had turned over to his son in 2004.  Ernst August has tried to blackmail the younger Ernst August by saying that he will not recognize his marriage until he returns the property, including Schloss Marienburg, and the properties in Austria, which are run by a Liechtenstein-based board set up in the early 1960s, by Ernst August's father.

His actions backfired quickly.  On the eve of the wedding,  Prince Ernst August organized a dinner at the Osaka restaurant in Lima.  According to Bunte, Princess Caroline backs her stepson in the inheritance dispute.   She asked her children to not attend the dinner so Princess Alexandra of Hannover, 18, and her boyfriend, Ben-Sylvester Strautmann and Pierre Casiraghi, 30,  did not go to the dinner.  Andrea Casiraghi arrived in Lima the next day.

Hereditary Prince Ernst August and his mother, Chantal, also did not go to the dinner.

Prince Ernst August apparently drank too much that evening,  He apparently created a drunken scene at the hotel later that evening.

The following day at the San Pedro church, where Prince Christian and Alessandra de Osma were married,  Prince Ernst August's strange behavior gathered further interest.  He flashed the V sign, giving the impression that he would be victorious in his fight with his elder son.

There were also questions about seating in the church.  In the front pew, Chantal sat a few places from her former husband, who, according to protocol, was placed near the altar.   He should have walked down the aisle with his former wife, but instead, arrived at the last minute with his entourage, and walked directly into the church, leaving the groom to escort his mother.

The wedding dinner was held at the Casa Berckemeyer.  Prince Ernst August arrived at 7:30 p.m,  and stayed for only 90 minutes.  He had a bandage on one hand and, again, according to Bunte, his pants were soaked.

Prince Ernst did not attend the wedding banquet on the following evening.  There were reports about food poisoning and an alcohol collapse.  Prince Ernst August had been admitted to a local clinic and was described as "very critical" by the doctors.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Crown from the Crowd

Have you snapped a member of the British royal family? Here is your chance to see the photo (perhaps) published in a new book, The Crown from the Crowd.  The details are located in the press release.

You can submit your images via until midnight April 2nd.

This link includes fourteen submissions.  Check number 14.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Princess Helene marries Stanislas Fougeron

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Princess Helene of Yugoslavia married Stanislas Fougeron in a civil ceremony in Paris on March 12.

It was the Princess' 55th birthday.  Stanislas Fourgeron was born in 1975 and is the son of Hervé Fougeron and  Marie Christine de Conny de Lafay.

The couple's religious wedding will take place on September 15 at Château de Villeprévost, Tillay-le-Péneux.

Guests at the wedding included the bride's mother, Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Parma (nee Savoy), her twin brother, Prince Serge and his wife, Princess Eleonora, her son, Leopold Gaubert, and her first cousins, Prince Emmanule Filiberto of Savoy and Princess Tania of Bourbon-Parma.

Helene's daughters, Milena and Natasia, did not attend the wedding.

Helene's first marriage, a civil ceremony,  to Thierry Gaubert was dissolved by divorce.

According to Linkedin,  Mr. Fourgeron works for Xerox in Paris.

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Princess Helene and Mr Fougeron have been together since at least 2016.

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Prince Ernst August placed in a coma after too much drinking

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Prince Ernst August of Hanover has been placed in a medically induced coma and is in critical condition at Clinica Delgado in Lima, Peru.

The 64-year-old head of the house of Hanover became ill on Saturday at the Pedro de Osma Museum, where his younger son's Prince Christian's post-wedding party was being held.  On Friday, Prince Christian married Peruvian  Alessandra de Osma.  Original news stories reported that food poisoning was to blame for Prince Ernst August's admittance to the hospital.

It is now clear that the Prince became ill after drinking too much alcohol. Alcohol abuse has been a serious problem for Prince Ernst August for many years.

In June 2000, the prince caused great offense when he urinated against the wall of the Turkish pavilion wat Expo 2000 in Hannover.  Not long afterward, he checked into a private clinic which specialized in detoxification.

The day before the funeral of his father-in-law, Prince Rainier III of Monaco,  Prince Ernst August was rushed to the Princess Grace hospital suffering from an attack of pancreatitis. He was lucky to survive.

"His state of health is serious and requires permanent medical care," a Monegasque statement said at the times.

After two weeks,  Prince Ernst August was released from the hospital and was transferred to a clinic in Austria.   Hello magazine interviewed the then 51-year-old prince at the Austrian clinic.

He was asked how his illness changed his life.  "Normally one looks after others, friends and family. I didn't bother looking after myself. For 35 years, my lifestyle was more than heavy.  I am now 51, and I shouldn't have behaved like a 28-year-old, though I kept doing so.   But from now on, that's going to change.  Only now I have realised the real danger.  I could have died.  And I have no wish for that to happen yet.  My daughter [Alexandra] is only 5.  I want to last at least another year."

Change is difficult.   Prince Ernst August's desire for a healthier lifestyle did not last long.   A 2009 Tatler profile describe Ernst August with a "gargantuan drinking problem."

The Prince is in the midst of a financial battle with his elder son, Hereditary Prince Ernst August, who married last July.   Papa won't recognize his elder son's marriage as dynastic until the younger Prince Ernst August returns property that Papa gave him some years ago.

According to the German magazine, Bunte,  Prince Ernst August was planning to use his younger son's wedding as a "PR show in the inheritance dispute with his older son," but his plan backfired.

The newly married Prince Christian left the wedding party to see his father in the hospital.  His stepbrother, Pierre Casiraghi, the younger son of Prince Ernst August's estranged wife, Princess Caroline of Monaco, stayed overnight at the hospital.

Prince Ernst August's lawyer told RTL that Ernst August and several other guests "suffered food poisoning, which is not unusual in South America."

There are conflicting reports about the current condition of Prince Ernst August and it is not known if he remains in Lima or has since returned to Germany.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Prince Christian of Hannover marries Alessandra de Osma

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HRH Princes Christian of Hanover, younger son of HRH Prince Ernst August and his first wife, Chantal, Hochuli, was married today in a Catholic ceremony in Lima, Peru, to Alessandra "Sassa" de Osma.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York were among the guests at the wedding.

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Prince Ernst August, the head of the royal house of Hanover, is one of the guests at the wedding. He did not attend the wedding of his elder son, HRH Prince Ernst August, to Ekaterina Malysheva, on July 8, 2017, due to a family dispute.

The younger Prince Ernst August has traveled to Lima for the wedding.  His wife, Hereditary Princess Ekaterina, has remained home in Hanover as she gave birth to a daughter,  Princess Elisabeth, on February 22.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Queen approves Prince Harry's marriage

At a Privy Council meeting on March 14,  Queen Elizabeth II gave her formal consent to the marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Crown Princess Victoria's name day

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden celebrated her Name Day today outside in the courtyard at the Royal Palace.  She was accompanied by her husband, Prince Daniel. and their six-year-old daughter, Princess Estelle.

A friend of mine, Sofia Svanholm, decided to take the day off from work and take a few pictures - and say hello to the Crown Princess

all photos @ Sofia Svanholm

A new princess gets her names

@Erik Simander/TT

At the Council of State meeting  earlier today,. King Carl XVI Gustaf announced the names and duchy for his newest granddaughter.  The new princess has been named Adrienne Josephine Alice. She is the Duchess of Blekinge.

Princess Madeleine gave birth on March 9th at the Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm to a princess.

The Council Meeting was followed by a Te Deum at the Slottskyrkan.  This service was attended by the King and Queen, Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel, Princess Estelle and Christopher O'Neill, who is married to Princess Madeleine.

Henrik Garlöv/
Josephine is one of Madeleine's four Christian names and honors
Joséphine de Beauharnais (1807-1876), the daughter of Eugen, Duke of Leuchtenberg and Princess Augusta Bavaria.  In 1823, she married Crown Prince Oscar of Sweden and Norway, who succeeded as King Oscar I in 1844.

Josephine is also the first name of Christopher O'Neill's paternal grandmother, Josephine Cesario.

Alice is the first name of Queen Silvia's mother, Alice Sommerlath.

According to Swedish royal genealogist (and a good friend of mine), Ted Rosvall, three descendants of Dagmar von Arbin, have the name Adrienne.    Dagmar, who was born Countess Dagmar Bernadotte af Wisborg, is the daughter of Count Carl Bernadotte af Wisborg and Baroness Marianne de Geer.   Count Carl was the son of Prince Oscar Bernadotte and Ebba Munck. 

Dagmar's daughter, Madeleine von Arbin is married to Baron Gerhard de Geer af Finspang. Their eldest daughter is named Jana Adrienne and their second daughter is named Adrienne Ebba Sophie.

Baroness Jana de Geer is married to Johann Gummeson.  They have a daughter, Adrienne Maria Madeleine Gummeson de Geer.

Dagmar von Arbin will celebrate her 102nd birthday on April 10.

The name Adrienne also appears in the Empress Josephine (consort of Napoleon) family as her great-great-grandmother was named  Adrienne Dyel de Graville.   Queen Josefina of Sweden, consort of King Oscar I, was her granddaughter.

Swedish magazine, Sevensk Dam reports that the name Adrienne is a favorite of Queen Silvia.   In the 1990s,  Adrienne Riddez met the Queen at a charity event.  The Queen allegedly told her "Oh, your name is Adrienne, it's such a beautiful name. I was considering for Madeleine."

The palace has not confirmed the story, but Adrienne Riddez made the comment on Facebook, and then clarified that the story was true.   None of the articles about this, including the one in Svenska Dam, identify Adrienne Riddez is.   According to, there is only one Adrienne (Louise Isabelle) Riddez in Sweden.  She is 32-year-old Lutheran pastor.