Thursday, March 29, 2012

French Artists Shows His Royal Collages

French artist Guillaume Pelloux has been working on a series of royal photos in intricate collages.

Here are two samples of his artwork: Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and Tsar Nicholas and Empress Alexandra of Russia.

Check it out...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Book by Eurohistory: Dear Ellen!

It is with much pleasure that we can announce that Mr. Beeche's new book, DEAR ELLEN – The Royal Courts of Europe Through the Photo Albums of Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia, will begin mailing to pre-orders on Monday.

We received shipping confirmation earlier this morning and anticipate the delivery to take place without disruption on Monday, when the freight company scheduled delivery!

In 144 glossy pages the book contains 350+ rare images from the private collections of Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna and several of her descendants.

Dear Ellen catalogues the life of Grand Duchess Helen and her husband, Prince Nicholas of Greece. It also includes chapters of their children, Nicholas and Helen's siblings, and their uncles, aunts and first cousins. Doing so, the book provides the reader a clear picture of the amazing galaxy of royalty in which the couple moved. Helen, for example, was a first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, Grand Duke Friedrich Franz IV of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Crown Princess Cecilie of Prussia and Queen Juliana of The Netherlands. One of her first cousins, Princess Woiszlawa Reuß, is still alive. All these connections are amply covered in the book with amazing photos!

Here is a link from where to download the order form:

Video of the Funeral of King George Tupou V of Tonga

Thousands of people, including international dignitaries, have turned up to farewell King George Tupou V of Tonga, who ushered in democracy to the South Pacific island nation.
The royal was buried at the end of a two-hour solemn state funeral ceremony that mixed Tongan traditions with Christian hymn singing.

The body of the King was put into the Royal tomb by the Nima Tapu - the sacred hands - who are the only people allowed on the tombs.

Continue reading...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Funeral of the King of Tonga

The people of Tonga and the Royal Family attended the funeral of King Tupou V. Foreign royal guests included Prince and Princess Hitachi of Japan and the Duke of Gloucester.

First Official Photos of Swedish Crown Princess Victoria with Husband and Daughter

The Royal Palace has released official photos of Crown Princess Victoria, Prince Daniel and their daughter Princess Estelle of Sweden.

Lovely and very tender image!

English Royals Visit the Vasa

Admiring the Vasa warship, which sank on its maiden voyage in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1628, Camilla told King Carl XVI Gustaf: "It's pretty impressive. It's unbelievable.
"It is very nice. Perhaps we could borrow it for the jubilee pageant. It would be very nice going down the Thames."
The Vasa, now housed in a custom-built museum, was salvaged in 1961.

Thirty people died when it sank after filling up with water after sailing just 1200 metres down the harbour.
More than a million people visit the tourist attraction in the centre of Stockholm each year – but most are not allowed on board.

After leaving the museum, the pair put on white coats for a visit to the Salta Kvarn mill and bakery in Jarna.
They put on hats while being shown inside the building, with Queen Silvia protecting her hair with a hairnet. The headgear seemed to give Camilla the giggles, as did tasting some of the raw sourdough in the bakery.

The couple were also given some of the finished product to try by head baker Manfred Enoksson.

Charles and Camilla said their goodbyes to the Swedish royals at the bakery, with the Duchess curtsying after kissing Queen Silvia.

They are now travelling to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the final leg of their eight-day tour of Scandinavia to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Dutch Royals Lose Last Political Rights

THE DUTCH monarchy has been stripped of its last remaining political power – the entitlement to become actively involved in the formation of coalition governments – in a landmark decision by parliament which will be noted by royal families all over Europe.
In a low-key vote, the minority coalition government of Liberals and Christian Democrats, supported by the fundamentalist Christian Unity party, was overrun by an unlikely coalition of Labour, the Freedom Party, the Socialists, social democrats D66, the Greens and the animal rights party.

Those in favour of reducing Queen Beatrix (74) and her successors to a purely ceremonial monarchy needed only a straight majority, but they took 91 of the 150 votes in what was described as “a rout” by Christian Unity leader Arie Slob. “The anti-monarchists have co-operated in supporting a bad idea and this is the historic but unfortunate outcome,” he said.

The decision will make a substantial difference to the way Dutch coalitions are formed. Up to now, and as recently as 2010, the monarch appointed a go-between – an informateur – who brought the parties together, set the talks in motion, and reported back to the queen and the caretaker prime minister. Parliament will now appoint one of its members to orchestrate the talks, which will be held without reference to the monarch, until a workable coalition has emerged, a programme for government is agreed and a prime minister-designate chosen. At that point, as in the UK, the monarch will rubber-stamp the outcome.

Despite opposition from the prime minister, Mark Rutte, the decision in principle to “modernise” the monarchy was taken by the opposition parties following a debate last September. A text agreeable to all sides emerged last week – though the process may have been delayed due to the skiing accident in February that left Prince Friso (43) in a coma.
The change was prompted by suggestions the queen might soon abdicate in favour of her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (44).

However, there were also suggestions that during the formation of the current government, Queen Beatrix had “made every effort” to keep Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders out of a position of influence in the deal-making process.

The decision on the monarchy was overshadowed by a row that saw staunch Wilders supporter Hero Brinkman, an MP since 2006, leave to form his own political party on Wednesday, following disagreement over the Freedom Party’s anti-immigrant website.
This might have been a mere sideshow except that it raises the spectre of a general election – leaving the coalition without a workable majority, even with the support of the Freedom Party, as difficult talks aimed at finding €19 billion in budget cuts continue.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Prince of Wales in Sweden

HRH The Prince of Wales, accompanied by his wife, is now in Sweden, next step on the couple's Scandinavian journey.

The visiting English royals were met at Stockholm Airport by Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and brought to lunch at the Royal Palace, where Queen Silvia awaited them. This was followed by afternoon visits to youth centers. At night a gala dinner will be hosted by Their Swedish Majesties in honor of theor visiting English cousins.

Upcoming Wedding in the Royal House of Bavaria

Princess Philippa of Bavaria, the daughter of Prince Leopold, will marry on 12 May 2012 and the festivities are scheduled to take place at Schloß Hohenschwangau, one of the family's picturesque castles.

It has been two years since the last Bavarian royal wedding. Two years ago  Princess Augusta, daughter of Prince Ludwig, was married to Prince Ferdinand zur Lippe-Weißenfeld. Now Princess Philippa of Bavaria, 31, an interior designer, will marry film producer, Christian Dienst, 34.

Daughter of Prince Leopold and Princess Ursula, she is getting married in the romantic church of Wies in Steingaden. The marriage will be blessed by Abbot Johannes Eckert, from the Benedictine abbey of St. Boniface of Andechs. Prince Leopold is delighted: "It has always been my wish to see one of my children marry in the Church of Wies. It's beautiful."

The Prince is joyful as well: "We cannot impose in-laws, but we are very lucky. Christian is very affectionate, very considerate towards Philippa and has a good character. We wish a lot of grandchildren."

He hopes that the young couple enjoy in their union as much happiness as he has himself with his wife Ursula. "We've been together 43 years and never get bored. We always have something to say to the other and share a joyful life." 

Prince Leopold of Bavaria is considered a precursor of marriages that do not conform to old practices and ancient family rules, he does not care that his future son-in-law is a commoner. "I was first Wittelsbach to marry a commoner. They all love her today in the family. It is no longer important that a prince and princess marry. We are not so old fashioned. The important thing is that couples love each other. "

After the religious ceremony, the wedding festivities are scheduled to take place at Schloß Hohenschwangau, which once served as the summer residence of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The pre-party will be held at the Hotel Lisl, opposite the castle. 

Princess Philippa was born in Starnberg, Bavaria, in 1981. She has three siblings: Manuel, who in 2005 married Princess Anna of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg; Maria del Pilar (b. 1978) and Konstantin (b. 1986). Prince Leopold has worked for many years as the public face of famed Bavarian motor company BMW. He is an avid enthusiast of race-car driving, a passion he shares with his good friends King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden and Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Superbly Talented Photographer: Prince Tinko Czetwertynski

Tinko Czetwertynski, scion of two prominent Polish princely families, has developed into a talented career photographer. His work has brought Tinko to many of the world's most beautiful locales and his talents as an up-and-coming photographer can be better appreciated through his professional website. His work has graced the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair and many other prominent magazines.

Earlier this month Tinko married Princess Paola Maria de Bourbon Sapieha, the daughter of Princess Maria Cristina of Orléans-Braganca and her former husband, Prince Jan Sapieha-Rozánski. Paola Maria's maternal grandparents were both well-remembered and much loved: Prince dom Pedroa Gastão d'Orléans-Bragança and Princess doña María de la Esperanza of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Pedro Gastão's sinlings included the late Countess of Paris and the late Duchess of Bragança; while doña Esperanza's siblings included the late Countess of Barcelona and the late Infante don Alfonso, claimant to the throne of the Two Sicilies.

Tinko and Paola Maria spend their time between Brazil, where her family owns various estates, and Europe, where both have lived and studied.

Paola Maria de Bourbon
To view more of Tinko's excellent photography, visit his website:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seventieth Anniversary of the Death of the 3rd Duke of Aosta

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the death (3 March 1942), among his soldiers, of the Viceroy of Ethiopia: HRR Prince Amedeo of Savoy, third Duke of Aosta, Hero of Amba Alagi. The Italian Monarchist Union flag bows to the memory of his exemplary figure and will remember him with a series of initiatives that will document his civilian and military virtues. HRH Prince Amedeo, present Duke of Aosta, traveled to Kenya, where his uncle is buried, to attended a solemn religious ceremony in the Third Duke of Aosta's memory. Honour and glory to one of the most beautiful characters in the history of Italy.

The Council of Senators of the Kingdom bowed to the memory of HRH Prince Amedeo of Savoy, on the 70th of his death (Nairobi, March 3, 1942), and pointed to his shining example. Amedeo was born in Turin on 21 October 1898 as the oldest son of Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, 2nd Duke of Aosta, and his wife, the former Princess Hélène d'Orléans, herself the daughter of the Count of Paris, claimant to the French throne. Amedeo had one brother, Prince Aimone, Duke of Spoleto, 4th Duke of Aosta, King of Croatia, who was the father of the current Duke of Aosta, Amedeo, thus named after his late uncle.
The 3rd Duke of Aosta was a national hero. He earned three Military Valour decorations during the Great War, led memorable travels throughout Africa, and performed high responsibilities at the top of the Armed Forces during the reign of his cousin Vittorio Emanuele III. Aosta personified an outstanding model of fidelity to the Monarchy and Italy.

Amedeo was Viceroy of Ethiopia. At the beginning of the war (1940) Amedeo held the general command of the Italian Armed Forces in East Africa. From the outbreak of the conflict, Amedeo believed Italy lacked the resources to sustain a conflict of this size. After putting a valiant defense against overwhelming enemy forces, Amedeo was forced to capitulate in May 1941. Once relieved of his powers, Amedeo was placed under arrest by the English. He died the following year while still in captivity.
Historians argue about what role he played before and during the war, a role that would have likely prevented Italy from facing and "unconditional surrender" in 1943. 
Prince Amedeo married in Naples (5 November 1927) Princess Anne d'Orléans (1906-1986), third daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Guise. Anne and Amedeo were first cousins through their maternal lines as their mothers were sisters, both daughters of the Count and Countess of Paris. Amedeo and Anne were the parents of two daughters: Margherita (b. 1930), who in 1953 married Archduke Robert of Austria-Este, the second son of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita of Austria; and Maria Cristina (b. 1933), who in 1967 married Prince Casimiro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 
Among Amedeo and Anne's grandchildren are: Archduke Lorenz, who is married to Princess Astrid of Belgium, daughter of King Albert II and Queen Paola of the Belgians; Maria Beatrice, who is married to Count Riprand von Arco-Zinneberg; and Martin, who married Princess Katharina of Isenburg, herself the sister of Fürstin Isabelle of Wied and Princess Sophie of Prussia. 

The Duchess of Aosta, Anne, survived her husband by forty-four years. She passed away in Sorrento, Italy, in 1986.

The Wales Visit to Norway

King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway hosted a gala dinner for their visiting English cousins, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Charles, along with his wife Camilla, are on a multi-day trip through Scandinavia.

Also present at the gala dinner in Oslo were Crown Prince Haakon and Princess Mette Marit, Princess Martha Louise and Princess Astrid of Norway.

Swedish Royal Baptism

The Royal Palace in Stockholm announced that the baptism of HRH Princess Estelle of Sweden will be celebrated at the royal chapel in Stockholm on 22 May 2012.

No word yet on how many godparents the future Queen of Sweden will have.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kensington Palace to Open After £12 million Restoration

As discreet work continues on Apartment 1A, the new four-storey home for Prince William, Kate and cocker spaniel Lupo, there’s a more obvious bustle in the public half of Kensington Palace.

A £12 million, two-year refurbishment is due to be finished this week.
Upstairs, curators and textile conservators are taking delivery of fragile dresses and objects to display in the newly refitted rooms, while downstairs staff try on their red Jaeger-designed uniforms, shrubs are being planted, paths laid, and the shop and café kitted out ready for opening.
Opening up is what this project is all about.

Overgrown trees and shrubs that obscured the building and many of the high-security fences have been removed. The palace is once again connected with the park that surrounds it.

Read more:

Monday, March 19, 2012

+ Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein (1929-2012)

Rosegg mourns for one of the most deserving persons of the community. Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein Has passed away over the weekend at the age of 82. The solemn requiem will take place next Saturday, 24 March, held at 2pm in the church at Rosegg. Subsequently, the remains of the prince will be laid to rest in the local cemetery.

"Decades ago, Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein moved his timber operations from the Karawanken to Rosegg. In the aftermath, he and his family, who are among us not only highly respected but also very popular citizens, turned into an essential economic factor for the community, "recalled yesterday the Mayor Franz Richau.

The prince and his three sons revitalized the castle, which has been owned by the Liechtensteins since 1831, and made it accessible to the public through a wax museum and the labyrinth, both of which being very popular with visitors. Distinctively associated with the name of Liechtenstein is also Rosegg Castle, which annually attracts visitors 70,000-80,000. "Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein has laid the foundation for a thriving business in our community and created many jobs created," the mayor said.

"The big name now lives on in his sons. One of them is a doctor, another entered the diplomatic service. And  the youngest son, Prince Emanuel, is now in charge of the family business that will continue successfully in Rosegg," explained the mayor.
Prince Alexander's family:
Alexander of Liechtenstein married at Schloß Bronnbach Princess Josephine zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (b. 1937). Her siblings made particularly impressive marriages, among them: Maria, who married Archduke Joseph Arpad of Austria; Christiana, who married Archduke Michael of Austria; Aloys-Konstantin, who succeeded their father as Fürst and married Princess Anastasia of Prussia; and Lioba, who married the Fürst zu Oettingen-Oettingen und Oettingen-Wallerstein.

Prince Alexander and Princess Josephine had three sons: 
1. Prince Christian (b. 1961), who in 1989 married Countess Marie-Christine von Waldburg-Zeil-Hohenems (b. 1962), by whom he has four children: Carolina (b. 1990), Augustinus (b. 1992), Johannes Maria (b. 1995, and Ludmilla (b. 2001).
2h) Prince Stefan (b. 1961), who in 1988 married Countess Florentine von Thun und Hohenstein (b. 1963, by whom he has four children: Lukas (b. 1990), Konrad (b.1992), Anna Maria (b. 1994) and Rita (b. 1999).

3. Prince Emanuel (b. 1964), who in 1995 married Countess Alexandra Kálnoky de Köröspatak (b. 1966), by whom he has three children: Polixena (b. 1996), Josef (b. 1998) and Ilona (b. 2001)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

+ King Tupou V of Tonga (1948-2012)

Known to English speakers as George Tupou V, the king inherited a febrile atmosphere on the death in 2006 of his father, Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, who had steadfastly resisted constitutional reform for 41 years. With an elite appointed by royal decree securing large chunks of the country’s wealth, resentment had grown among many amongst Tonga’s disfranchised poor.

Within two months of Tupou IV’s death, mobs set parts of the capital Nuku’alofa ablaze and looted cars and shops. Eight people died in rioting which was widely blamed on the slow pace of democratic reform. Such was the impact of the violence that the new king delayed his coronation ceremony, calling instead for a rebuilding of “mutual responsibility”.
It was not until late July 2008 that the framework for the transfer of power to a democratically elected parliament had been established. Though the royal house still retained some ceremonial authority (such as the power to commute sentences) Tonga had in effect become a constitutional, rather than absolute, monarchy. Three days later, on August 1, Siaosi Tupou was finally crowned king at an elaborate five day ceremony attended by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Earlier, in a traditional ceremony, his sovereignty over Tonga’s 170 islands was recognised by 200 nobles, who slaughtered pigs and offered kava, a hallucinogenic drink, in his honour.

He was born on May 4 1948, the eldest son of Taufa’ahau Tupou IV and Queen Halaevalu Mata’aho. Respect for the king his father was drummed into him from an early age. “We were always encouraged not to be beastly children and not to misbehave in public,” he said later.

Continue reading... 

Habsburgs Head to Madeira to Commemorate the Emperor Karl

A sizable contingent of Habsburgs, accompanied by members of the League of Prayers for the Emperor Karl of Austria, are headed to Madeira.

While on the Portuguese island the Habsburg family will commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Emperor Karl's death, as well as his 125th birthday anniversary.

In 1916 Karl became Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary on the death of his great-uncle, Emperor Franz Josef. He was forced off the dual throne as the empire collapse at the end of the Great War.

Born on 17 August 1887, Karl was the first sons of Archduke Otto of Austria (1865-1906) and of his wife, the former Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony(1867-1944), herself a granddaughter of Queen Maria II of Portugal.

Then Archduke Karl married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma (1892-1989) on 21 October 1911. Their wedding took place at her family's vast residence, Schloß Frohsdorf (sold many years later and now a women's prison), and was attended by many important personalities, among them Emperor Franz Joseph, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, King Friedrich August III of Saxony and the Duke of Madrid, Carlist claimant to the Spanish throne.

Karl and Zita were to become the parents of eight children born between 1912 and 1922. Their last surviving child, Archduke Felix, only died last year.

After making unsuccessful attempts to regain the Hungarian throne, Karl, accompanied by his wife and their children, was sent to exile on the island of the Madeira, in the Azores. While there, the damp climate took a terrible toll on the exiled Emperor and his already weakened constitution was irreparably compromised. He died from complications on 1 April 1922.

The Empress Zita survived him until 14 March 1989. She rests inside the Capuchin Crypt in Vienna, while her husband's remains rest in Madeira.

Emperor Karl was a devout Catholic and a ruler with a deep sense of social justice, as well as a clear perspective of what it meant to lead a life dedicated to his Catholic faith and principles. For these and other aspects of his life, he was beatified in 2004 by the late Pope John Paul II.

Buckingham Palace to Close During Olympic games

Each year during the summer, Buckingham Palace hosts a major exhibition that draws the crowds and also allows the replenishing of "funds" to the royal building coffers. This year, the palace will be closed to the public during the Olympic Games in London since Queen Elizabeth wishes to receive her guests. For security reasons, it is not possible until the palace is open to the public at the same time.

Prince Harry Meets Brazilian Royals

During his official visit to Brazil, Prince Harry, third in the line of succession to the throne of England, attended several events and receptions, among them a party at the Morro da Urca in Rio de Janeiro, traditional and refined meeting point where members of the Imperial Family of Brazil were waiting, along with authorities, members of Rio society and other personalities.

While meeting the English prince, Princess Maria Beatriz de Orleans e Braganca, daughter of Prince Albert and Princess Don Dona Maritza de Orleans e Braganca, and niece, therefore, of Dom Luiz, Head of the Imperial House of Brazil, and in the company of her friend Maria Teresa Frering, gave a history lesson to Prince Harry about the Empire of Brazil. The Prince was delighted and said he plans to return to Brazil soon. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Princely Wedding: Paola Orléans-Bragança Sapieha and Tinko Czetwertynski

 From our friend Astrid Bodstein in Brazil, we received last January news of the engagement of Princess Paoloa d'Orléans-Bragança Sapieha and Prince Constantin Czetwertynski, both scions of prominent Polish princely families with vast European connections.

Now we receive news that the couple had a private civil wedding celebrated in Brussels and only attended by their closest family members and intimate circle of friends.

Paola, a model, and Constantin, also known as "Tinko", a photographer, plan to divide their time between Brazil, where Paola was raised, and Paris, where Tinko has lived for some time.  Prince Tinko was born and raised in Brussels.

Princess Paola and Prince Tinko plan to have a large party next year in Petropolis and Paraty, two Braziians locations with deep connections to Paola's family.

Paola is the daughter of Princess Maria Cristina d'Orléans-Bragança, and her former husband, Prince Jan Pawel Sapieha-Rozanski. Paola's maternal grandparents were both paragons of royal virtue, discretion and elegance: Prince dom Pedro Gastão d'Orléans-Bragança, the oldest brother of the late Countess of Paris and the late Duchess of Bragança, and Princess María de la Esperanza of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, whose siblings include, among others: the late Countess of Barcelona, Princess Dolores Czartoryski and the Infante don Alfonso of Spain, claimant to the royal throne of the Two Sicilies.

Prince Constantin is the younger son of Prince Michael Swiatolpolk-Czetwertynski and his first wife, Kristina Sigurdsson.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Prince Harry Sits Down for Interview


+ Princess Maria Anna of Saxony (1929-2012)

It is with much sadness that we communicate the passing of Princess Maria Anna of Saxony (1929-2012).

Princess Maria Anna of Saxony was born on 13 December 1929 at Bad Wörishofen, a spa town in South-Western Bavaria. She was the middle of five children of Margrave Friedrich Christian of Meissen (1893-1968) and of his wife Elisabeth (1903-1976), née a princess of Thurn und Taxis. Although Friedrich Christian was the second son of King Friedrich August III of Saxony, he was his father's heir as the family's eldest son, Crown Prince Georg, took holy orders and died killed by the Nazis in 1943. Georg left no descendants.

At the fall of the Saxon monarchy in 1918, the family of King Friedrich August III was allowed to stay in some of their many residences. The settlement received from the state included, among some amazing properties, two particularly beautiful castles, Schloß Warwitz and Schloß Moritzburg. Friedrich August III continued living at Schloß Sibyllenort, a privately owned property, where he died in 1932, while his third son, Ernst Heinrich, was charged with managing the Moritzburg estate.

However, Prince Ernst Friedrich and his family (he had married Princess Sophie of Luxembourg) claimed Munich as their main residence. In fact, all of Ernst Heinrich's three sons were born in Munich, while his wife also died there in 1941. After the end of the Second World War they migrated to Ireland and later to Canada. Of the three sons, only one married, but this alliance was a morganatic one.

Schloß Sibyllenort was inherited by the Saxon royal family from the last Duke of Oels, Duke Wilhelm of Brünswick-Lüneburg. The Saxons used it as a summer residence, even after the death of King Friedrich August III. During the Second World War, the German Air Force requisitioned Sibyllenort and used it as a depot. It was blown up in early 1945 and the ensuing fire consumed nearly the totality of the vast structure. The region was given to Poland after the war and the remaining ruins of Schloß Sibyllenort were demolished by the Communists in the 1970s and during the 1980s. Today only the park and a carriage house remain of what once was one of the most beautiful examples of Gothix revival architecture in that part of the German Empire.

When it came to choosing a bride, Friedrich Christian settled on a distant cousin, Princess Elisabeth of Thurn und Taxis. She was the only daughter of Fürst Albrecht of Turn und Taxis (1867-1952) and of his wife Margarethe (1870-1955), née Archduchess of Austria. She was the daughter of Archduke Joseph Karl of Austria and Princess Clotilde of Saxe-Coburg & Gothe, herself the eldest daughter of Prince August of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha and of his wife Princess Clementine d'Orléans, herself the youngest daughter of King Louis Philippe and Queen Marie Amelie of the French.

Friedrich Christian's own ancestry was no less impressive. King Friedrich August III was once married to Archduchess Louisa of Austria-Tuscany, a tortured soul who left many a scandal in her wake and got herself thrown out of the Imperial House and banned from Vienna. Friedrich August III's parents were King Gerog I of Saxony (1832-1904) and his wife Infanta Maria Anna of Portugal (1843-1884), herself the daughter of Queen Maria II of Portugal and her Saxe-Coburg & Gotha husband, King Consort Ferdinand, who was the eldest brother of Prince August. Friedrich August III's siblings included Maria Josepha, who married Archduke Otto of Austria and was the mother of Emperor Karl I of Austria.

Friedrich Christian and Elisabeth married in 1923 at Regensburg, seat of the Thurn und Taxis dynasty. As mentioned before, they were the parents of five children: Maria Emanuel (b. 1926), who in 1968 succeeded his father as Margrave of Meissen; Maria Josepha (b. 1928); Maria Anna; Albert (b. 1934); and Mathilde (b. 1936), who in 1968 married her cousin Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha (1931-2010).

Princess Maria Anna met the man who would be her husband, Roberto de Afif (1916-1978), after the end of the Second World War. Afif, whose family claimed an ancient Lebanese princely title (Princes of Gessaphe), was a wealthy Mexican citizen with excellent connections. His sister Alexandra was married to Prince Karl Anton of Hohenzollern, a first cousin of Princess Maria Anna's. Afif and Maria Anna were married in Paris in 1953 and eventually settled in Mexico City, where two of their sons were born, Friedrich Wilhelm and Karl August, in 1955 and 1958 respectively. The eldest son, Alexander, was born in Munich in 1954.

Margrave Maria Emanuel's marriage to Princess Anastasia of Anhalt produced no children. His brother Albrecht is also childless. Saxony followed Semi-Salic Law, allowing the succession to pass to a male through a princess of the royal house. Hence, Maria Emanuel looked to his youngest sister, Mathilde, when it came time to clarify succession matters. Mathilde and Johannes Heinrich were the parents of one son, Johannes, who was initially named by his uncle as the family's heir. Unfortunately, the young prince died in a tragic climbing accident a few months before his 18th birthday, his death robbing the parents of their only son and depriving the Saxon Royal Family of an unquestioned heir.

Faced with this complication, Maria Emmanuel had several candidates in mind, but he waited to see which of them would marry in accordance with them laws of his House. He looked toward his sister Maria Anna and her own sons. The eldest, Alexander, had made a splendid marriage to Princess Gisela of Bavaria, by whom he would eventually father three sons and a daughter. Thus, with the family's agreement, Maria Emmanuel adopted his nephew Alexander and declared that the Saxon succession would pass through his sister Maria Anna to his nephew Alexander and from him to his sons, all of unquestioned royal blood.

Prince Albrecht, Meissen's only brother, later changed his mind and tried to spoil matters by recanting his agreement to his older brother's succession formula. However, no other royal family in Germany, or abroad, pays much attention to either Albrecht or his rather vocal, and meddlesome, wife.

Princess Maria Anna lived in Mexico for many decades. Her husband Roberto died there in 1978, after which time she began thinking in settling in Munich, to be closer to her family. The move took place and she lived in the Bavarian capital for a very long time. Maria Anna was, as are her sisters, a rather private person and she was only rarely seen attending royal events. She delighted in the company of her sisters and looked, with much satisfaction, toward the arrival of grandchildren. Her sons gave her eight grandchildren, the eldest being Prince Georg of Saxony, born in 1988, firstborn son of Prince Alexander and Princess Gisela.

A few years ago, Maria Anna's health began to give much concern. A fatal illness set in and in spite of valiant efforts to fight against it, the Princess succumbed to her malady on 13 March 2012.

She is survived by her three sons, two-daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren, as well as by her four siblings. A Requiem Mass is scheduled in Munich on 24 March.

May She Rest in Peace...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Castle of the Counts Andrassy Burns Down – Slovakia

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Two Slovak children were suspected of burning down a large gothic castle in eastern Slovakia when their experimentation with smoking went wrong, police said on Sunday.
Police were investigating two boys on suspicion that they set grass at the foot of the Krasna Horka castle on fire on Saturday when they tried to light up cigarettes, said Jana Mesarova, police spokeswoman for the eastern Slovak region of Kosice. Children under the age of 15 cannot be prosecuted in Slovakia.

 "A unit sent to the site found that two local boys aged 11 and 12 were trying to light up a cigarette and because of careless use of safety matches, they set grass at the castle hill on fire," Mesarova said.

The castle subsequently caught fire and emergency services deployed 84 fire-fighters to the scene.

The Slovak National Museum wrote on its Facebook page that damage to the castle was extensive but about 90 percent of historical collections were saved, including contemporary photographs of furnished castle premises from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, oil paintings and various ornaments.

"The castle's roof burned down completely, as well as the new exhibition in the gothic palace and the bell tower. Three bells melted," the museum said.

The castle, near the UNESCO-protected Domica Cave, dates back to the early 14th century.
(Reporting by Martin Santa and Jan Lopatka; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)


The Republican Bourbon – Infante Enrique, Duke of Sevilla

Infante don Enrique María de Borbón, grandson of King Carlos IV and Fernando VII's nephew, would go down in history with the nickname of the "Republican Bourbon." He would lose his status as Infante of Spain and would be banished to La Coruña for his radical opposition to the reign of his first cousin Queen Isabel II. He had the audacity of calling in 1848 for  Spanish citizens to bear arms against his cousin and sister-in-law and proclaim the Republic. Enrique, who was also created Duke of Sevilla, scandalized the royal houses of Europe that same year when celebrating the fall of the French crown with these exalted words: "The Republic stands strong, high and bright over the ruins of the monarchy ... To arms, citizens!"

 Infante don Enrique of Spain

The most amazing and less known fact about the Republican Bourbon is the close relationship he maintained in the 1840's, during his exile in La Coruña, with Galician nationalist revolutionaries, whose epicenter was in the progressive circle hosted by Juana de Vega, Countess of Espoz and Mina. This intellectual salon gathered at her residence on the Royal Street in La Coruña, where the Duke of Sevilla was a regular participant. His involvement came to the point of becoming one of the key figures of the so-called Revolution of 1846, historically regarded as the birth of Galician nationalism. Infante Enrique was one of the godfathers of the Galician uprising of 1846 in which the leader Antolin Faraldo reclaimed the independence of Galicia, forty years before Manuel Murguia, father of the Galician Academy, proclaimed in the pages of the newspaper La Region Gallega, that Galicia was a nation.

Francisco Tettamancy, leader of the Galician League of La Coruña, received an emotional letter in the spring of 1904, shortly after the inauguration of the monument to the martyrs of Carral and which commemorated the execution of the progressive leaders of the revolt of , today considered the birth of Galician nationalism. "Upon returning from abroad, where I went looking for health for my body and peace for my soul," the letter reads, "I read about the dedication of the monument to the Martyrs of Carral. (...) How should I not be moved to tears at the thought of those sad memories, since the soul, the center of national expansion was my unfortunate father, who felt so much love for Spain and for that noble land of Galicia." Hard to believe it is that this song to the freedoms of an emerging Galicia is signed by none other than General Francisco de Borbón, who was making a reference to the participation in the Galician revolt of 1846 of his late father, Enrique Maria de Bourbon-grandson Carlos IV and Fernando VII's nephew. "Great, very great was the emotion I felt," writes General Francisco Maria de Bourbon to Tettamancy on the monument to the martyrs of Carral – "when I see that nobles and the most worthy Galician patriots have agreed at celebrate the memory of those brave hearts who knew how to protest against the excesses of men who cruelly abused power."

During his exile in Galicia from 1842, Infante Enrique connected in La Coruña with the active liberal and republican movement in Galicia. This connection was provided by the Countess of Espoz y Mina,  Juana de Vega, whom he met during her time as a nanny and lady of the bedchamber of Queen Isabel II. Juana's residence in the Calle Real of la Coruña was the epicenter of the conspiracy against the conservative government of Narvaez. Juana de Vega acted as "courier" with the exiles in other European countries and especially with Genral Espartero, Narvaez enemy.

Historian Manuel Seijoso has said that the newspaper La Correspondencia Gallega published an article which documents the presence of Enrique de Borbón and his vessel, the Manzanares, anchored in the island of Tambo, and the attendance of the Infnte dressed in civilian clothes, accompanied by Jose Maria Santos, president of the liberal group of Pontevedra and future leader of revolutionary junta, to a meeting of conspirators. Narvaez's spies believe the Infante was one of the ringleaders of the revolutionary movement in Galicia. wit this in mind, the Government deported the INfante Enrique to France. This measure and the abortion of the uprising in La Coruña and Ferrol were key to derailing the Galician uprising of 1846.

The government blocked the port of Vigo with a fleet to prevent the arrival of a ship from England with arms and ammunition for the rebels. It was speculated by the press that the exiled Infante Enrique was on board.

From his exile in Bayonne, Infante Enrique remained in constant communication with Espartero, in exile in England, and although some say they had traveled back to Spain, it is now known that neither left their country of exile. "Although some authors question the participation of the Infante Enrique in the Galician uprising of 1846, the letter sent by his son to Tettamancy, or reading of the accounts of the rebels, they publicly demonstrating their commitment and loyalty to the Infante. This allows us to understand that originally he was the person intended to lead the uprising, together or alternately with Espartero," said Manuel Seijoso, who has documented in detail everything about the revolution of 1846 and the role played in it by the Duke of Seville.

The Galician revolt ultimately failed and its leaders were executed in Carral – condemned in a summary judgment held both i La Coruña or Santiago for fear of the actions of rebel sympathizers. This was achieved after a decisive battle between Colonel Solis – leader of the rebels – and General Concha Cacheiras. Government troops, more numerous than those of Solis, defeated the rebels on April 23, and then sacked Compostela. Murguia recalled that during short spring of 1846 hoped only emerged during a 24 day period of hope against the government of Narvaez. This revolutionary spring was supported by the middle and petty bourgeoisie, the universities and many professional people who were attracted to the republican ideal.

Paradoxically, the Bourbons owe their continuity on the Spanish throne to the tragic climax of the frenetic life of the Infante Enrique. He died in 1870 in a duel with Prince Antoine Marie d'Orleans, Duke of Montpensier, and youngest son of the late King of the French, Louis Philippe. Montpensier was greatly responsible for financing the opposition against his sister-in-law Isabel II, for after all the Frenchman wanted the throne for himself and his wife, who would the pass it to their branch of the royal family.  Enrique's death destroyed Montpensier's hopes of ever reaching the throne. Spaniards, once and for all, realized that Antoine's pernicious hand was responsible for much of the political instability consuming the nation. The violent death of the Infante Enrique, who had nominated himself as King consort in an effort to democratize the Spanish monarchy with the support of Masonry,and who even came to be regarded as a candidate for president, closed the door to Orleans.

Infante Enrique was one of the suitors proposed to marry the young Queen Isabel II, but was dismissed for being too liberal, especially after his statement that his selection would democratize the Spanish Crown. The candidate finally chosen was Infante Francisco de Asís, Duke of Cadiz, a rather dull and easily manageable person, with clear homosexual tendencies. To the Spanish people he was known as "king custard" and in the taverns across the country it was said that on his wedding night he wore more lace than his wife the queen.

Logically, and with these conditions, the marriage soon faces deep and serious challenges.  The royal; couple became estranged, each retreating to seek support among their own palace cliques. It all led to a further weakening of the monarchical institution. The royal prestige hit bottom in Spain with this couple and the problem was compounded by a succession of lovers who are going through the apartments of the queen, one of them being the ambitious General Serrano himself.

The deterioration of the Crown gives wings to the social and political unrest that spread across the country, inspired by the revolutions that convulsed Europe and cause the fall of the restored French monarchy.

The Republican Bourbon, who in life railed against the royalist establishment, finally managed to decisively influence the succession to the Spanish crown with his death in 1870. Criticism against Enrique written by Montpensier in a newspaper resulted in a duel to the death that some Masons tried in vain to prevent. Montpensier was known to be an expert marksman. Some of Enrique's friends and supporters believed that by challenging Montpensier, the Infante was about to commit suicide. Nothing, however, could be done to prevent the Infante from meeting Montpensier in the field of honor.

Infante Enrique of Spain was killed by a bullet fired in Carabanchel by the Duke of Montpensier. His death was seized by General Prim to destroy the candidacy of the Duke of Montpensier to the vacant Spanish throne. The elected monarch, at the request of Prim, was Amadeo I of Savoy, son of the Italian king Victor Emmanuel II. Amadeo departed for Spain on December 27. That same day Prim had a parliamentary session. in the evening of the fateful day, he went out for a carriage ride. On the Calle del Turco Prim met his fate. A assailant awaited him and shot the dictator, who died of his wounds three days later, but only after learning the landing of Amadeo on Spanish soil.

Antoine d'Orleans, Dike of Montpensier

The Duke of Montpensier was later rewarded for his long years of conspiracy to install his dynasty in Spain. King Alfonso XII, after the Bourbon restoration that followed the brief First Republic, married his daughter Maria de las Mercedes de Orleans. But fate cut short the ambitious plans of a man who stopped at nothing to achieve their purpose: Maria de las Mercedes died six months after the wedding, she was only 18 years old.

Galdós recalled in 1909 in one of his episodes – Tragic Spain – that the violence of 1870 – "beginning with the death in battle of Enrique de Borbon and ending with the shameful attack by bandits on Prim guided by the Republicans but paid with gold from Cuban slave traders " – as premonition of a revolutionary outbreak in Spain.

The celebrated lawyer Pedrol Rius concluded in a 1960 report that, the author of the assassination of Prim – the man who established the constitutional monarchy – was "the Republican Paul y Angulo," and also presents reasonable claims, although difficult to prove, that point to the Duke of Montpensier, uncle and father-in-law of Alfonso XII, as well as executioner of the Republican Bourbon, as an instigator of the conspiracy.

These episodes still surface today.Not long ago Henri d'Orleans, Count of Paris, starred in a controversy with King Juan Carlos by arguing that current Spanish Bourbons are illegitimate. The Count of Paris, a descendant of the Duke of Montpensier, who shot the Republican Infante, has argued that Alfonso XII was the son of one of the many lovers of Queen Isabel II, voicing in public what has always been discussed in private.

Montpensier died in 1890, leaving behind a massive fortune that was divided among his two surviving children, Infanta Isabel, Countess of Paris, and Infante Antonio, Duke of Galliera. His descendants, to this day, continue living in Spain where they own considerable properties in Andalucía and maintain close contact with the Royal House.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

+ Ana Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, Countess of Ofalía (1940-2012)

Born on May 2, 1940, daughter of Doña Victoria Eugenia Fernández de Córdoba, XVIII Duchess of Medinaceli, and don Rafael Medina y Vilallonga. She bore the title of Countess of Ofalía and Marchioness of Navahermosa as eldest daughter of the House of Medinaceli.

She studied in England, St Mary's Shaftesbury, and in Lausanne, Switzerland. Of her marriage with Prince Maximilian von Hohenlohe-Langenburg she leaves three sons: Marco, Pablo and Flavia, and seven grandchildren.

Since the establishment of the Duchy of Medinaceli Foundation, she has served on the board of the same, as spokesperson of the family collective voice.

The Mass for her eternal rest and subsequent burial was held on Thursday March 8 at 1:00pm  in the crypt of the Hospital San Juan Bautista de Toledo, the pantheon of the Duchy of Medinaceli.

The Duchy of Medinaceli has its origin in the first-born offspring of Infante Fernando, known by the nickname "de la Cerda," eldest son and successor of King Alfonso X, the Wise, King of Castile and Leon. When Fernando predeceased his father, leaving two small children, his brother Infante Sancho rebelled.
The minority of the two young children of Fernando, known as the Infantes de la Cerda, opened a complex probate litigation that led to a long and intermittent civil war for which the oldest of the brother, Alfonso, according to the will of the king, his grandfather, was called king of Castile and Leon.

However, Alfonso's uncle Sancho was not having any of it. Sancho overthrew his nephew and installed his branch on the throne of Castille and Leon. Alfonso refused to accept his uncle's actions and rose against Sancho IV and his son and grandson. Even in his sixties Alfonso de la Cerda was recognized as the legitimate king. 

In exchange for a loose collection of territories known as "domains of the  recompensa," according to the chronicle of King Alfonso XI, his cousin "resigned and renounced all rights and claims to the the kingdoms of Castile and Leon" thus becoming known in Spanish history as "the disinherited".

La House of de la Cerda, known since the mid-fourteenth century by holding the vast County of Medinaceli, on the border of the kingdom of Castile with Aragon, has the representation of the legitimate eldest branch of the ancient kings of Castile and Leon. They have never questioned the royal claim and rights of their distant Bourbon cousins.

Throughout the fifteenth century the territorial base of the house grew through swaps and acquisitions, but basically doing so around Soria and Alcarrian of Medinaceli and Cogolludo. Particularly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, matrimonial alliances with big aristocratic houses of the various Spanish kingdoms led to a tremendous territorial expansion throughout Spain.

Due to subsequent deaths without issue, many of these the product of the persecution by King Peter, the bulk of the "estates of the recompensa" and the line representing the most disinherited of the Royal House of Castile and Leon went to his granddaughter, Isabel of la Cerda. In 1370, the Señora of Puerto de Santa Maria married Bernardo de Bearn, created Count of Medinaceli in his own right in 1368. Isabel received as gifts that county, holding it in her own right as Countess of Medinaceli. Thereafter, the House would be known by the name of the county near the town of Soria and the preponderance of the maternal line would be reflected in the fact that her offspring avoided using the name and arms of Foix, Bernardo's legacy. The Medinacelis from then onward would only use the arms of the lineage of la Cerda.

The youngest offspring of the Infantes de la Cerda, Fernando, for his marriage to Dona Juana de Lara, was perpetuated in the House of Lara and returned to the throne of Castile by marriage of a granddaughter of the former, Juana Manuel, to Enrique II . This marriage was used by the House Trastámara to legitimize their rights both to the Crown of Castile-Leon and the lordship of Biscay

On October 31, 1479, the Catholic Kings elevated the County of Medinaceli to the rank of duchy in the person of Count Don Luis de la Cerda, also elevating to a county the Medinaceli lands in the Port of Santa Maria, near Seville. Subsequently, in 1530, Emperor Charles V gave the Duke of Medinaceli, Juan de la Cerda, the title of Marquis of Cogolludo to distinguish the firstborn of his house.

If until the sixteenth century the House of Medinaceli had been growing continuously due to the incorporation of small territories, from the second quarter of the seventeenth century onward growth was the result of successive excellent dynastic marriages which, aided by chance inheritance, caused the confrontation, not necessarily sought, with the royal houses of Castile, Aragon and Portugal. The progressive concentration of land around the House of Medinaceli runs parallel with the progressive formation of Spain as a political unit.

We confine ourselves here to evoke the awe that such asset accumulation aroused among contemporaries, as appears, among other evidence, the description that Don Luis de Salazar did in the late seventeenth century, the ninth Duke of Medina, "is possessed of so many big states that are difficult to find in Europe as a vassal of a great power. The Medinaceli, suddenly, had become too powerful for the King of Spain's comfort.

King Felipe V became rather weary of the power concentrated in the hands of the a the Duke of Medinaceli, Don Luis de la Cerda y Aragon, who was arrested on royal orders. He died in prison in Pamplona in 1711, without having a clear idea of ​​the crimes he was accused and without being able to secure the succession of his House. He was the last male of the lineage of "la Cerda." The next Duke of Medinaceli was a son of Luis' sister, doña Feliche. Luis' nephew, don Nicolás Fernández de Córdoba and de la Cerda, Marquis of Priego and Duke of Feria, succeeded also as new Duke of Medinaceli.  

Since then the House of Medinaceli is preserved in the same family. They gained further territorial power with the addition of extensive estates in the provinces of Córdoba, and Badajoz. The growth of the family's power continued unabated.  In the eighteenth century two other houses would be added to the Medincaeli conglomerate, making the holder of the ducal title one of the most titled aristocrats in Europe, a dignified rival to the House of Alba.

The late Countes of Ofalía

In the XX century the bulk of the Medinaceli estates was inherited by doña Victoria Eugenia Fernández de Ceordoba, namesake of Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain. She had four children: Ana, Countess of Ofalía, Luis, Duke of Santiésteban del Puerto, Rafael, Duke of Feria, and Ignacio, Duke of Segorbe. The youngest child of the duchess is thus the oinly one surviving his mother. In 1985 he married Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Bragança, former wife of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, as well as first cousin of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

The XVIII Duchess of Medinaceli resides in her magnificent palace, La casa de Pilatos, in Seville, Spain. She is approaching her ninety-fifth birthday and is in very weak health.

The Coat of Arms of the Dukes of Medinaceli