Friday, October 26, 2012

Exhibition: The Art of Cartier

Since 1983, Cartier has assembled jewellery, watches, clocks and other precious objects into the Cartier Collection. Sourced from private individuals, retailers or at auction, the more than 1,450 objects in this growing collection have been selected according to criteria of style but also the materials used and the techniques employed. Dating from the 1860s for the oldest items to the late 1990s, they are a material reminder of Cartier’s 165-year history and, more widely, European decorative arts and society from the end of the 19th century. Since a first major presentation in 1989 at the Petit Palais in Paris, the Collection has been shown at internationally renowned museums. For this new exhibition the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza has carefully selected more than 400 pieces representing six themes which illustrate the stylistic evolution of Cartier. The exhibition also includes prestigious private loans from the Spanish Royal Family and the Palace of Monaco. Enlargements of sketchbook pages, preparatory and production drawings from Cartier’s Archives are projected onto the walls as a reminder of the creative process that brought each of these pieces to life. These Archives are today conserved in three centres —Paris, London, and New York— and trace the life of every item, from its inception in the workshops to the day of its sale. In addition to drawings and sketches, they conserve life¬size black-and-white photographs, very rare autochromes, and plaster casts.

This exhibition is being hosted at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. It will be open between 24 October 2012 – 17 February 2013.

Bucharest Honors King Michael

(Reuters) - Romania renamed a square in central Bucharest after former King Michael to celebrate his 91st birthday on Thursday, 65 years after Soviet-backed communists forced him to abdicate.
Although a return to monarchy is not on the public agenda in the EU member state, Romanian politicians are divided over their attitudes towards Michael.
While right-wing President Traian Basescu has criticized the former king for leaving the throne and last year did not attend Michael's first speech in parliament since his 1947 abdication, a leftist government showed support for the former monarch.
"Let's send him the warmest birthday wishes and sincere congratulations for what he did for Romania throughout history," said Prime Minister Victor Ponta, who is favored to win a December election against Basescu's rightist allies.
"King Michael I is a living symbol of Romania," Ponta said on his Facebook page.

King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Interview with Princess Madeleine and Mr.O'Neill

Interview with Princess Madeleine and Christopher O'Neill
Drottningholm palace Wednesday October 24, 2012

How does it feel to be engaged?
Princess Madeleine: We are both extremely happy and delighted. It is a very special day for us. 

When and how did Christopher propose? 
Princess Madeleine: Chris proposed to me at the beginning of October. It was a very romantic and intimate proposal, but more details about the proposal we want to keep to ourselves.

Christopher, were you nervous? Had you planned this for a long time?
I had been thinking about proposing for a while, but I wanted to wait until the right moment. But I have been sure all along that Madeleine was the one I wanted to marry.

Where did you meet the first time? 
Princess Madeleine: We met through mutual friends. For me it started with a great friendship. We share the same humor and we have a lot of fun together. Christopher opened up my heart, he is my soul mate.
Christopher, when did you know Princess Madeleine was the right one?
From the very outset, I immediately felt something special with Madeleine.

What was your first impression of Christopher?
Princess Madeleine: I appreciate Chris for his warmth and his humour. He has a very big heart and he manages to make everyone in his presence feel good. Christopher is a very thoughtful and generous person. 

Christopher, have you asked the King´s permission for Princess Madeleine's hand?
Yes, I met with The King and I asked His Majesty´s permission to marry Princess Madeleine.

What was the King´s response?
Christopher O'Neill: The King and The Queen were both happy, and touched as well, I think.
Christopher, do you know any Swedish?
I can say some Swedish phrases and am in the process of taking lessons so that I may speak fluently in due course.

Princess Madeleine, how do you feel about Christopher´s family?
I appreciate Christopher´s family very much. They have always been very nice to me and welcomed me with open arms. Christopher has a lovely family!

Christopher, how do you feel about Princess Madeleine´s family?
I know the Swedish royal family very well. They have been extremely welcoming to me and I felt part of the family right from the very beginning. Madeleine´s family is very warm and we have a very good time when we all see each other.

Talking about family, will you start planning for a family right away?
Princess Madeleine: Of course we look forward to getting married and someday building our own family.

Where will you live?
Princess Madeleine: For the time being we will continue to live in New York due to both of our current obligations. However, we will not exclude the possibility of moving to Sweden in due course. 
Christopher, what do you think about Sweden? 
Sweden is fantastic. It is such a beautiful country with very friendly people. I have mostly just been to Stockholm and Öland but I hope I will have the opportunity to visit Sweden a little more often now.
Lastly and most importantly, when is the big day?
Princess Madeleine: We will have to get back to you regarding that. The wedding will take place in Sweden sometime during the summer of 2013.

Sweden: Princess Madeleine Engaged!

The Swedish Royal court has announced the engagement of Princess Madeleine, youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia.

Princess Madeleine's fiancé is Mr. Christopher O'Neill, a New York financier. He was born on 27th June 1974 in London, England where he grew up with his parents, Eva Maria and Paul O’Neill. He is a dual citizen of both the United States of America and the United Kingdom and has five half-sisters: Tatjana, Natascha, Stephanie, Annalisa and Karen.

Christopher attended boarding school at the Institut auf dem Rosenberg in St. Gallen, Switzerland before obtaining a Bachelor degree in International Relations from Boston University. In addition, Christopher has a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia Business School in New York.

Having spent the past 16 years within the field of finance, working for financial firms such as NM Rothschild & Sons and Steinberg Asset management, Christopher is now a Partner and Head of Research at Noster Capital - an investment firm with offices in London and New York City.

Since his youth, Christopher has enjoyed a wide variety of sports and outdoor activities, such as downhill skiing, tennis and golf. Among his other passions are music, literature and Chelsea Football Club.

Paul O’Neill originally moved to London from his native New York in the 1960s to establish the European headquarters of Oppenheimer & Co – a New York-based investment bank. Paul O’Neill passed away in December 2004. His mother, Eva Maria O’Neill, is involved in numerous charitable organizations, with a particular focus on the cultural preservation of Salzburg, Austria.

Born in 1982, Madeleine was previously engaged to a Swede. That ended when the press discovered he had been untrue to the beautiful princess. Since then, Madeleine has been living in New York, where she also works. Since 2010 she has worked at the World Childhood Foundation.

Christopher asked for Madeleine's hand in marriage and the King consented and notified the government. Approval was granted, but no date has yet been set for the wedding ceremony.

Photos: ©

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Harewood House Sale

Christie’s is pleased to announce Harewood: Collecting in the Royal Tradition, two auctions of works primarily selected from outside the core collections at Harewood House. These feature many works with the royal provenance of H.R.H. The Princess Mary, Princess Royal and Countess of Harewood (1897–1965) (pictured right), only daughter of H.M. King George V and H.M. Queen Mary. The first sale will take place at Christie’s King Street, London, on Wednesday 5 December 2012; providing insight into Collecting in the Royal Tradition. It will comprise Chinese works of art, Fabergé, objets de vertu and examples of the work of Matthew Boulton, the celebrated English maker of 18th century ormolu objets de luxe. This auction will be followed by ‘The Attic Sale’ at Christie’s South Kensington on Sunday 9 December; presenting a fascinating array of diverse works from Harewood’s crowded storerooms – few of which have ever been on public display - including furniture, pictures, porcelain, textiles and silver. These sales are part of the arrangements following the death in 2011 of George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood. During Lord Harewood’s fifty four year stewardship, Harewood House was transformed from a superb but very private house into one of the best known and most welcoming stately homes open to the public.

Princess Mary, The Princess Royal

The Archduke Joseph Diamond Up for Auction

Undoubtedly one of the rarest and most famous diamonds in the world, the legendary Archduke Joseph Diamond is distinguished by an impressive size of 76.02 carats, perfect colour, and Internally Flawless clarity. Its origins trace to the ancient Golconda mines in India, the source of the world’s most coveted historic diamonds which are celebrated for their superior luminousness and transparency.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond is further distinguished by its noble provenance, which, together with its superior quality, places it amongst an elite group of historic gems that includes the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond, part of the British Crown Jewels. First recorded as the property of the Archduke Joseph August of Austria, Palatine of Hungary (1872-1962), it is believed that the Archduke passed the diamond to his son, the Archduke Joseph Francis (1895-1957), who deposited the stone into a vault of the Hungarian General Credit Bank in 1933. Three years later, it was sold to an anonymous buyer and placed in a vault where it remained during World War II.

 Archduke Joseph August of Austria

Archduke Joseph Franz and Archduchess Anna Monica of Austria

Undoubtedly one of the rarest and most famous diamonds in the world, the legendary Archduke Joseph Diamond is distinguished by an impressive size of 76.02 carats, perfect colour, and Internally Flawless clarity. Its origins trace to the ancient Golconda mines in India, the source of the world’s most coveted historic diamonds which are celebrated for their superior luminousness and transparency.

The Archduke Joseph Diamond is further distinguished by its noble provenance, which, together with its superior quality, places it amongst an elite group of historic gems that includes the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond, part of the British Crown Jewels. First recorded as the property of the Archduke Joseph August of Austria, Palatine of Hungary (1872-1962), it is believed that the Archduke passed the diamond to his son, the Archduke Joseph Francis (1895-1957), who deposited the stone into a vault of the Hungarian General Credit Bank in 1933. Three years later, it was sold to an anonymous buyer and placed in a vault where it remained during World War II.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ROYAL GATHERINGS – Who is in the Picture, Volume I: 1859-1914

After a very intense three months of researching photos and writing stories around the selections, we are happy to announce that ROYAL GATHERINGS – Who is in the Picture, Volume I: 1859-1914 was mailed to the printers earlier yesterday!

This book is the product of the collaboration between Ilana D. Miller, author of The Four Graces – Queen Victoria's Hessian Granddaughters ( and Arturo E. Beéche, Founder of Eurohistory and author of DEAR ELLEN – Royal Europe Through the Private Photo Albums of Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia.  (

The thirty-eight royal gatherings chosen for this book constitute one chapter a piece, and include:

Chapter I – King Francesco II and Queen Marie Sophie of The Two Sicilies
Chapter II – Tsar Alexander II of Russia and His Children             
Chapter III – King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark
Chapter IV – Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and His Brothers
Chapter V – The Orléans in Exile
Chapter VI – Queen Victoria’s Children
Chapter VII – Prince August of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha and His Family
Chapter VIII – The Engagement of King Ludwig II of Bavaria
Chapter IX – Queen Isabel II of Spain and Her Daughters
Chapter X – The Queen of Greece and Her Sons
Chapter XI – The Countess of Flanders and Her Children
Chapter XII – Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse & by Rhine and Her Children
Chapter XIII – A Royal Gathering in Karlsbad
Chapter XIV – The Princes of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Chapter XV – The Princes of Battenberg at Osborne House
Chapter XVI – A Summer Gathering at Fredensborg Palace
Chapter XVII – The Family of Future King Ludwig III of Bavaria
Chapter XVIII – A Prussian Royal Wedding
Chapter XIX – Emperor Pedro II of Brazil and His Family
Chapter XX – The Sons of Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany
Chapter XXI – The Romanovs Gather at Krasnoe Selo
Chapter XXII – A Coburg – Tuscan Engagement
Chapter XXIII – Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
Chapter XXIV – A Princely Gathering in Weimar
Chapter XXV – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands Comes of Age
Chapter XXVI – A Royal Gathering at Schloß Friedrichshof
Chapter XXVII – The Wedding of the Princess of Asturias
Chapter XXVIII – The Countess of Paris and Her Daughters
Chapter XXIX – The Family of the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Chapter XXX – The Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and His Family
Chapter XXXI – The Children of King Ferdinand of Bulgaria
Chapter XXXII– King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy and His Family
Chapter XXXIII – The Baptism of Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden
Chapter XXXIV – The Crown Prince of Prussia Visits Romania
Chapter XXXV – The Austria – Bourbon-Parma Royal Wedding
Chapter XXXVI – The King of Montenegro and His Family
Chapter XXXVII – The Wedding of King Manoel II of Portugal
Chapter XXXVIII – The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

Family Tree – A European Royal Galaxy

The book, in glossy pages and landscape form, also includes more than 250 unique photographs of many of those royal personages featured in the thirty-nine gatherings. It is 172-pages long and includes a double-page Family Tree that includes most of the characters who attended the gatherings.

This is the second joint effort by Ilana and Arturo. We hope that many more will come!

ROYAL GATHERINGS is expected at in about a month. Eurohistory subscribers will get an advance order form inside Issue LXXXVIII and Issue LXXXIX, which mail next week.

We hope you order the book. Following on the success of  DEAR ELLEN
and The Four Graces we feel confident that you all will!

Enjoy the reading...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Prince Paul Deserves More Than Rehabilitation

It’s good that Serbia has made peace with the memory of the Yugoslav Regent, Prince Paul, laid to rest among his ancestors at Oplenac earlier this month, in the presence of the President no less.

After years of official denigration as a pro-Nazi stooge and traitor, burial with full state honours marks a welcome change of heart.

But it doesn’t go far enough. Court rehabilitations and church services are one thing, but will they now rewrite the texts in the history books, and when will a real effort be made to change people’s minds?

Why no streets, squares and theatres named after a man who not only was no traitor but was arguably the most progressive leader Yugoslavia ever had?

Consider his record. For a few short years, between 1934 and 1941, Yugoslavia had at its head a well-intentioned highly educated and culturally sophisticated leader, a Renaissance prince if ever there was.

He was also an instinctive constitutionalist under whose all too brief period in power the apparatus of police repression more or less disappeared, elections became genuine popular contests and politicians campaigned from the hustings instead of having to smuggle out messages to cowed supporters from prison cells.

During those short years Yugoslavia was simply a better place than it had been before, or would later become. For a while it showed every sign of maturing into a modern European state, one anchored firmly into the family of western democracies, a state in which the national question – the question that had bedevilled Yugoslavia’s development since its creation – showed some hope of being resolved through civilised give and take.

One can only imagine how different it might all have been had Paul enjoyed a few more years in power. Just possibly, Yugoslavia could have remained outside direct engagement in the Second World War. In that case there would have been no Serbian-Croatian civil war, no 1.7 million war dead, no massacre of Yugoslav Jewry and no Communist takeover.

Fast forward to today and Yugoslavia might still exist under a constitutional monarchy much like Britain’s and with an average national income like Austria’s.

The Croatian, Slovene and various other “questions” would of course have bubbled on, but perhaps more like the Catalan question in Spain, the Quebec question in Canada or the Flemish question in Belgium - something that politicians argue about on talk shows.

Tragically, we’ll never know because the Regent’s reforming plans ran up against two huge, insurmountable obstacles, one at home, another abroad. Abroad, Nazi Germany pressed on relentlessly, demanding ever-closer ties, constantly limiting Yugoslavia’s freedom of manoeuvre.

And at home the Regent collided with the Serbian establishment – the threefold pillar of Church, Army and Radical Party, an arrangement that had run Serbia since the coup of 1903 and which tried to continue the same system in the expanded Yugoslavia after 1918. 

While Alexander was alive those forces still had the whip hand. He, after all, was one of them, body and soul. But Paul they didn’t care for and the antipathy was mutual.

They didn’t like his cosmopolitan outlook. More to the point, they didn’t like the concordat with the Catholic Church that he tried and failed to engineer in the mid-1930s. And they didn’t like the autonomous Croatian banovina that he forced through in 1939. They wanted to battle on in Croatia with Alexander’s tried and trusted methods - prisons, police batons, rigged elections and the rest of it.

As we all know, they got their way – for all of five minutes – in April 1941, before bringing the house crashing down.

The paradox of the Serbian conspirators of ’41 is that they finally destroyed what they had sought to restore. Like the aristocrats who plotted against Louis XVI they were too blinkered to notice that they were busily sawing off the branch on which they themselves sat.

There was, in fact, no way back to Alexander’s Yugoslavia. That route lay blocked. Instead, they inadvertently handed the baton to the opportunists waiting in the wings - Soviet-style Communists who had no intention of putting up with any of the compromises that Paul had tolerated.

Ironically, those old-style Church-and-Army Serb nationalists could have got much, or most, of what they wanted under the Regent, for the unspoken implication of the banovina settlement was that what didn’t go to autonomous Croatia would remain with Serbia. It’s hard to see how an independent Macedonia, Bosnia or Kosovo could have emerged in those circumstances.

So, perhaps, Macedonians, Bosnian Muslims and Kosovars might feel a little relief that Paul did not remain at the helm of Yugoslavia. For the rest, however, and for the Serbs above all, his deposition was surely a disaster.

Prince Paul and Princess Olga with Princes Alexander and Nicholas.

 Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia.

Princess Olga of Yugoslavia. 

Princess Olga and Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eurohistory – Issue LXXXVIII off to the printer!

Our latest issue, LXXXVIII (August 2012), is off to the printer on Monday morning!

In it subscribers will find the following articles:

Page:       Title:

3. Obituary: The Margrave of Meißen
Maria Emanuel of Saxony,
by Arturo E. Beéche.

9. A Sign of The Times –
The Thunderer and the Marriage of
Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia
and The Princess Royal,
by Paul Brighton.

14. In the Footsteps of Queen Victoria
at Kensington Palace,
by Elisabeth de Guitaut.

17. What’s in a Photo – An
Austrian Royal Visit to the
Court of Spain,
by Ilana D. Miller.

23. Grandson of Archduke Otto of
Austria Marries German Princess,
by Edwina Tash.

24. The Golden Wedding Anniversary
of King Christian IX and Queen
Louise of Denmark,
by Coryne Hall.

30. The Counts of Gleichen (Part I),
                The Unknown Royal Cousins,
                by Marlene Eilers-Koenig.

37. Book Reviews.

39. Royal News.

Issue LXXXIX (October 2012) is now on preparation and will mail together with Issue LXXXVIII before the end of this current month.

This allows us to be able to mail the last issue of 2012, Issue XC by early December, thus completing our 15th year of publication...while we look forward to an even better 16th year!

Luxembourg Royal Wedding

Busy with other projects, I have been unable to pay much attention to the royal wedding in Luxembourg.

However, a promise to our readers, we will have coverage both here in the blog and in Issue LXXXIX of Eurohistory.

For now...enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

UK: Exhibition "British Royal Portraits"

Shortly after photographer Mario Testino went to England from his native Peru in 1976, he took his first photograph of British royalty, an impromptu shot of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and her grandson, Prince Edward, as they passed by crowds gathered in London’s streets to celebrate the marriage of HRH the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. It was the first of many photographs Testino has taken of members of the House of Windsor during the course of his significant career. “Mario Testino: British Royal Portraits” showcases images of the royal family, from Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Charles, to their sons, William and Harry, and, most recently, the engagement portraits of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This will be the first US showing of many of these photographs.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Saxony: + Prince Albert of Saxony (1934-2012)

HRH Prince Albert of Saxony, youngest son of Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony, Margrave of Meißen, and of his wife the former Princess Elisabeth Helene of Thurn und Taxis, passed away at hospital in Munich on Saturday, October 6.

The Prince had resided in the Bavarian capital for decades. He was a respected historian and professor, as well as author of several books on the history of his family, the Wettins.

He remained unmarried until middle age when in 1980 he wed Ms. Elmira Henke, a lady of Polish extraction who was four years his senior. Obviously, the marriage was morganatic and would remain childless.

Albert's older brother, Maria Emanuel, succeeded their father as Margrave of Meißen and Head of House in 1968. He had married in 1963 Princess Anastasia of Anhalt, but the couple remained childless. Given that the Saxon royal family was running out of male dynasts, for after all Maria Emanuel and Albert's first cousins (Timo, Dedo and Gero) did not leave any dynastic heirs, a solution had tobe found to secure the dynasty from becoming extinct.

Several years ago under the guidance of the Margrave of Meißen, who passed away earlier this summer, the Wettins gathered and discussed the future of the dynasty. They all agreed that upon the Margrave's death, their nephew Prince Alexander (whom the Margrave of Meißen adopted), would succeed him as Head of House with the venerable title of Margrave of Meißen. Prince Albert and his wife, along with the Margrave and Margravine, and their sisters Maria Josepha, Maria Anna and Mathilde, as well as their first cousins Princes Dedo and Gero and the widow of Prince Timo, all signed the Family Pact guaranteeing a smooth succession. Consequently, Prince Alexander of Saxe-Gessaphe became a full member of the Royal Family with the title of Prince of Saxony, extended as well to his wife and their children. Signing the agreement was voluntary and all its signatories were bound by it.

Several years later, and led by Prince Albert and his wife, who tried to manipulate matters, some of the signatories (Albert, Elmira and Dedo and Gero) questioned the Family Pact and announced that they would most likely support the late Prince Timo's morganatic son, Rüdiger Prinz von Sachsen to become the Margrave of Meißen. This decision violated their signature of the Family Pact and plunged the family into endless bickering. Rüdiger, not an easy person to start with, fanned the flames and tried desperately to have himself and his three sons elevated to the princely rank. The Margrave of Meißen would not have it – perhaps among his reasons foor standing against the rebellion from within was Rüdiger checkered past, which included a stint in jail that lasted several years.

When Maria Emanuel died, Prince Alexander (who married Princess Gisela of Bavaria) assumed Headship of House. Supported by the Family Pact Alexander thus became the Margrave of Meißen. Rüdiger and his supporters protested outside the Cathedral in Dresden where Maria Emanuel's funeral mass was taking place. It was a shameful scene that marred somewhat the solemn events of the day. Luckily, Margrave Alexander and his uncle Prince Albert, who had taken to calling himself Margrave, met before the funeral of the late Maria Emanuel and Albert abandoned his claim to the title.

Perhaps, the matter will now forever rest. Prince Albert died childless, as mentioned before. He recognized his nephew Alexander as the family's heir. He abandoned the use of the title of Margrave of Meißen and accepted that Alexander was Head of House Saxony. Hopefully this sad chapter is now closed and the family can mourn in peace and look toward a brighter future.

May He Rest in Peace...

 The late Prince Albert of Saxony with his wife Princess Elmira.

From left: The Margrave of Meißen, Prince Maria Emanuel,
the Margravine of Meißen, Princess Mathilde and Prince Albert.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Serbia – More News on the Reburial of Prince Paul



Belgrade, 6 October 2012 - Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II, Crown Princess Katherine, their sons, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Philip, Prince Alexander (son) and Princess Elizabeth (daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga), other members of Kradjordjevic Royal Family, together with H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of Serbia, Arhierarchs and clergy of the Serbian Orthodox Church, representatives of Parliament of Serbia, Serbian Army, members of other Royal Families, and a great number of citizens from all over Serbia, Republika Srpska and abroad, representatives of diplomatic corps, paid final respect to TRH Prince Paul, Princess Olga, and their son Prince Nicholas, who were buried at St. George church in Oplenac today.

The coffins with the remains of TRH Prince Paul, Princess Olga and Prince Nicholas, covered with Serbian flags and Karadjordjevic insignia were brought into the church with a salute from the Serbian Army Guard. Then the Holy Liturgy for the dead and Requiem was served by Their Graces Bishop Pahomije of Vranje and Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, with the clergy of Sumadija diocese.

At the church service there were also present TRH Prince Nicholas of Greece, Prince Michael of Kent, Princess Barbara, Princess Linda, Prince George, Prince Michael, Prince Vladimir and Princess Brigitta, Mrs. Catherine Oxenberg and Mr. Nicholas Balfour (grandchildren of Prince Paul and Princess Olga).

After the Liturgy and the Requiem, and the laying wreaths took place, H.E. President of Serbia Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, HRH Princess Elizabeth and HRH Crown Prince Alexander II, delivered speeches before the reburial.

President of Serbia, H.E. Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, said that Serbia was releaved of a great burden today. “We 
are burying them at the Holy Serbian land, at the church built by King Peter I”, President has stressed out.

HRH Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Prince Paul and Princess Olga, said that a great injustice has been rectified, and a deep wound has been healed, and thanked President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolic for his support in bringing back to Serbia her beloved ones.

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander emphasized in his speech: “This is a historic moment for our family, but also very important event for our nation. My late father, King Peter II, who is unfortunately still buried abroad, always spoke with kindness and affection about Prince Paul and Princess Olga. I have dearest memories of meetings with them from my youth. Let us all pray to God at this solemn and sad event today for unity and prosperity of our Serbia, at the bier of this great statesman and patriot”.

TRH Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Hereditary Prince Peter and Prince Philip will host a reception on this solemn occasion for the Family, high officials, church dignitaries, members of foreign royal families from aborad and ambassadors at the White Palace at 8 pm this evening.

 Princess Barbara of Yugoslavia and Catherine Oxenberg.

 Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia.

 Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.

 Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine.

 Crown Prince Alexander, the President of Serbia, Catherine
Oxenberg and Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.

©Website of the Serbian Royal Family

Friday, October 5, 2012

Serbia – Reburial of Yugoslav Royals

For years Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia worked tirelessly to gain two goals that were dear to her heart: the rehabilitation of her father, Prince Regent Paul, and the return of her family's earthly remains to the former Yugoslavia.

She was indefatigable in her quest. The first success took place last year when Prince Regent Paul was officially rehabilitated and his image as a patriot restored.

The second goal was equally challenging. She faced some governmental recalcitrance, as well as opposition from some surprising quarters. Both were eventually overcome, the Serbian Orthodox Church providing Princess Elizabeth with its support.

The remains of Prince Regent Paul, Princess Olga and their son Prince Nicholas were exhumed last week from a cemetery in Lausanne, where they rested next to the grave of Queen Mother Helen of Romania. Besides being first cousins, Olga and Helen were also dear, loving friends. Their lives were bound by deep bonds of affection and the sharing of countless challenges and tragedies, ranging from exile to loss of personal property and untimely family loss.

The descendants of Prince Regent Paul and Princess Olga are now in Serbia attending the reburial of their loved ones. With Princess Elizabeth are two of her children (Catherine Oxenberg and Nicholas Balfour), while her brother Prince Alexander is accompanied by his wife Princess Barbara and their son Dushan, as well as by Prince Michel, Alexander's son from his first marriage to Princess Maria Pia of Savoy. With them are their cousins, including: Archduchess Helen of Austria, Prince Michael of Kent, Count Hans Veit zu Toerring-Jettenbach and members of their respective families.

Other members of the Serbian Royal Family present include: Crown Prince Alexander, Crown Princess Katherine, Prince Vladimir, Prince George, Princess Linda, Princess Birgitta, as well as ministers from the Serbian government, members of the diplomatic corps, religious and other officials.

Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia (©Eurohistory).

Princess Olga, Prince Alexander, princess Elizabeth
and Prince Nicholas of Yugoslavia (©Eurohistory).

Princess Olga of Yugoslavia (©Eurohistory).

Prussia: New Royal Baby Expected

A German magazine has reported that HIRH Prince Georg Friedrich, Head of House Prussia, and his wife the former Princess Sophie of Isenburg are expecting their first child!

No due date was announced.

Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia (©Eurohistory).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

+ Princess Maria Christina of Altenburg (1923-2012)

Princess Maria Christina of Altenburg passed away earlier today in Poland.

Born at Zywiec (Saybusch) on 8 December 1923, Maria Christina was the second child of Archduke Karl Albrecht of Austria and of his wife, Swedish noblewoman Alice Ankracrona. The marriage was considered unequal and the Head of the Imperial House later granted Alice the title of Princess of Altenburg, a princely name inherited by her children.

After the fall of the Habsburg Empire, part of the former realm went to form the new Poland. Considerable Habsburg-Teschen lands were located within the borders of the new country. These properties belonged to Archduke Karl Stephan of Austria, a brother of the immensely wealthy Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen, as well as of Queen Mother María Cristina of Spain. Karl Stephan's children were first cousins of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, a family relation that the Spanish Royal House surely has forgotten about by now. Karl Stephan's half-sister, Maria Theresa, was the last Queen of Bavaria as consort of King Ludwig III, who also lost his throne in the debacle that followed the end of the Great War.

Karl Albrecht and Alice were the parents of four children. Prince Karl-Stefan was born in 1921. Maria Christina followed him. Then came Karl-Albrecht, who was born at Zywiec in 1926 and died there two years later. Finally, in 1931 Alice gave birth to her last child, Renata, who was born at Zywiec. Karl-Stefan married his first cousin Marie-Louise af Petersens in 1952. They had two children, but these offspring never married. Princess Renata married Eduardo de Zulueta y Dato, a Spanish diplomat she met while he served as Embassy Secretary in Stockholm. He later served as Spain's ambassador to the United Nations, Luxembourg and Algeria. Renata and Eduardo had four children, of whom three survive with descendants.

Archduke Karl Albrecht of Austria owned many businesses in the new Poland, including the vast estate at Saybusch with its forests and a renowned brewery. His children, the Princes of Altenburg were to inherit the estate, known in Polish as Zywiec. Unfortunately, the tragic events leading to Germany's invasion of Poland in 1939 and the onset of war destroyed the family finances. WBy the time the Soviets overran Poland, Karl Albrecht and his family had fled.

The Altenburgs were to live in Sweden for some time and before Maria Christina eventually settled in Switzerland. Princess Maria Christina lived there until she was able to return to a free Poland and take up residence in an apartment granted to her by the authorities managing Zywiec, the property having been expropriated by the Communists after 1945. Several years ago the Altenburgs were able to reach a settlement with the Polish state and this restored a small portion of their formerly vast domains. Heineken International purchased the brewery several years ago.

In 1993 she was able to reclaim Polish nationality and eight years later she moved permanently to Zywiec. While she lived at Zywiec, Maria Christina was treated with great respect and admiration. She represented the spirit of resistance that has inspired Poland to do away with the shackles of state-sponsored terror consequence of decades under Communist rule.

She will be laid to rest next week in theFamily Crypt at Zywiec.

May She Rest in Peace...

©Pawel Sowa/AG