Friday, January 19, 2018

A thank you from the Count of Paris and family

Today's mail - a card from the Count of Paris and his family (his former wife and their four surviving children on the recent death of Prince Francois

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Nicholas and Alina will marry in Romania

Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills and Alina-Maria Binder will have their religious ceremony in Romania in the next few months. 

The couple became engaged last summer during holiday and were married in a civil ceremony not long afterward. 

The religious wedding was confirmed by a priest who spoke for sometime time Nicholas.  The priest advised the couple to marry as "soon as possible.  God's Blessing on them.  He will marry a wonderful girl."

The priest also confirmed that the religious wedding will take place in Romania.

According to Stirle Kanal D,  King Michael gave his consent to the marriage last year.

Nicholas Medforth Mills will not be making any public statements during the three months of mourning after King Michael's death.   His lawyer, Radu Enache, said that Nicholas is following the the Royal House regarding not making public appearances  for three months.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Nicholas Medford-Mills planning to move back to Romania

Nicholas de Roumanie Medforth-Mills and his wife, Alina, joined Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Crown, Prince Radu and Princess Marie, at a religious service marking the 40th day since the death of King Michael.

The Romanian Orthodox service was shown on Romanian television.  Many witnessed the "first sign of peace" between Nicholas and his aunt, Margareta, who warmly embraced her nephew and kissed him on his cheek.

Princess Marie was also seen offering a hug to Nicholas, whose wife, Alina, curtseyed to Margareta as she moved toward Nicholas.

In the presence of clergy,  Nicholas said that he plans to move back to Romania in the spring, but must solve work issues in England before he can return to Romania.   He said he would like to establish his home in Curtea de Arges.   He said he was fond of the city and its people and plans on settling down in the historic town.

Relatively recent mail

Last day of a four day weekend.  I am making some progress on the massive pile on my desk.  I am trying to make progress but my work is hampered by a certain cat named Harper.

 I found several lovely thank you cards in the pile - and are now going into their respective albums

Princess Eliane de Merode and the Hon. Charles Astor, only son of Lord and Lady Astor of Hever, married in France on June 17, 2017

I have blocked a part of the message.  

HH Duchess Fleur of Württemberg celebrated her 40th birthday on November 4.  She is married to Count Moritz von Goess.  They have three children: Count Zeno, Countess Flaminia, and Countess Livia 

Prince Ludwig of Baden, the youngest of three children of Berthold, Margrave of Baden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Romanian Royal family to move out of Elisabeta Palace

Embed from Getty Images

Margareta, Crown Custodian, and her husband, Prince Radu, will leave the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest on February 5.  The lease between King Michael and the Romanian government expired when he died on December 5.  The agreement allowed for his family to remain in the home for sixty days.

The Royal House has released a statement regarding the use of the Elisabeta Palace.

"No offer from RA-APPS was received at Her Majesty's House to rent the Elisabeta Palace. They have not begun talks between Her Majesty the Crown Custodian's House and RA-APPS on this subject. After February 5, 2018, Her Majesty Margareta, Crown Custodian, will act in accordance with the law in force. Her Majesty hopes that the partnership with the state institutions will continue so that the activities of the Royal Family in support of Romania's fundamental interests will take place in the future, as it has been for 20 years. Her Majesty Margareta, the Crown Custodians, reaffirms her commitment to carry on the commitment of her father, King Michael, to the Crown and to the nation, now and in the future."

RA-APPS is the government department in charge of the lease.  I used Google to translate the statement as the Royal House has not (yet) released an English translation.

On Thursday, the Romanian government offered a  "negative opinion on the draft law" that would continue the status of the royal house.  Among other things, the bill would extend the lease to the Royal family for 49 years.

The Romanian government's view is a "consultant one."  It is the Romanian Parliament that will decide on the matter.   Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said that the Royal house was willing to pay "any rent," but asked for a grace period of one year.  "Meaning, we (the Royal House) stay here for free for one year and then we will see.  This doesn't work!  The Justice Ministry has given a negative opinion on this using the unconstitutional criterion."

I understand that they reclaimed everything on which they claimed ownership. They came with the list, it was a negotiation back then and they received them. Have you taken Peles, Savarsin? I don't know them all, with some groves, forests, some domains. Are we still reclaiming? We had an epiphany, we remembered owning a train station? All right, do the papers, we'll see - if you owned it or not?," Tudose also said.

Margareta's office did not state where the royal family would live after February.  It is possible that they could rent another home in Bucharest.  Savarsin, which King Michael purchased in the mid-1940s, is in Arad county, about seven hours by car from Bucharest.  The High Court of Cessation and Justice returned the estate in 2000 to the King.  Peles and Pelesor, both of which were built privately by King Carol I, who left the estate to his nephew and successor, King Ferdinand.  Before Ferdinand died in 1927, he changed his will and left the Sinaia estate to his grandson, Michael, bypassing Michael's father, Carol.

The Elisabeta Palace, after years of disuse, became the official home of King Michael and his family in 2001.

Romanian sisters

@ Casa Regale

This photo was taken on Christmas eve at Savrasin.

Margareta, Custodian of the Crown, Irina Walker, Princess Marie, Princess Helen and Princess Sophie.

In the front:  Alma.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Michael calls off wedding for now.

Embed from Getty Images

January 10, 1948

Former King Michael of Romania has called off plans for marriage with Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma, at least "for the immediate future," reports the Associated Press.

The 24-year-old Princess was on her way from Copenhagen to Switzerland to see Michael when she announced that she would be going to Luxembourg instead.  Prince Felix, the consort of Grand Duchess Charlotte, is Princess Anne's paternal uncle.

Michael's spokesman Jacques Vergotti explained that a "love entanglement" at this time could be used by the Romanian Communists to destroy Michael's hopes of "eventually returning to his throne.

A dispatch from Luxembourg stated that the princess and her mother, Princess Margaretha, spent the afternoon at the Grand Ducal Palace.

The new Romanian Communist government is trying to give the impression that Michael is an "unstable playboy following in the footsteps of his father, the former King Carol II," who abdicated in 1940.

Princess Anne, looking pale and tired, got off the train at Liege, Belgium, in mid-journey from Copenhagen.  She and her mother got into a car and drove to Luxembourg "for an undetermined period and have a little rest."  The princess does not expect Michael to join her in Luxembourg.

"I have no definite plans yet.  I might want to go to Paris but this is not certain.  You see we have been having such a lot of troubles and changings that no settlement could have been made up to now.

Earlier, as she began her journey from Copenhagen, she told reporters that perhaps Michael might have a ring for her when she arrived in Switzerland, adding that their engagement was "not official, although everybody seems to know about it."

Major Vergotti acknowledged that the former king "really loves Anne," and he expected Michael may "eventually" marry her.   He added that Michael's unofficial engagement was "another reason" why the king was forced to abdicated.

The Romanian Government did not want to see an "upsurge in the King's popularity, which would have followed a royal wedding, making it more difficult to force him off the throne.   Now, a wedding would "give a wrong impression/"

Vergotti added that the King is concerned about family members still in the country and friends for whom he is "making efforts to obtain exist visas."
The king arrived in Switzerland "with very little money," and is negotiations with the government for the sale of some of the royal property.

Queen Marie has relapse

Embed from Getty Images

January 10,  1938

Dowager Queen Marie of Romania's health has in the last 48 hours "taken a turn for the worse, " according to the New York Times.

She was planning a trip to Merano in northern Italy, but is still in Bucharest, attended by her doctors.

Her daughter, Queen Marie of Yugoslavia, left for home four days ago, which indicated that the Dowager queen was doing better.

It appears now that her condition has changed within the last two days.

Palace officials have refused to give out any information regarding Queen Marie's health.

Empress Alexandra under strain

Embed from Getty Images

January 10, 1908

Emperor Nicholas II's "handsome consort is an object of such universal sympathy and good will, especially in America, where she is popularly believed to have exerted all of her influence over the emperor in behalf of liberalism and against the reactionary advice of his other relatives," the Marquise de Fontenoy writes today in her column, published in the Chicago Daily Tribune.

Many of Empress Alexandra's international supporters will be "grieved to learn that she has become a nervous wreck."  She is suffering from "melancholia to such a degree that her reason is unhinged."

Russian and foreign specialists have been "called into consultation" and all agree that the "only hope for a cure" is for the Empress to leave Russia and go abroad to "almost entirely different surroundings of a soothing and quieting order, free from every care and anxiety."

Alexandra is "passionately devoted" to her husband and children, especially her three-year-old son Alexis, the heir to the throne.   She has great fear for the safely of her husband and son and believes they are in "hourly acute danger at the hands of revolutionists and nihilists."  This fear has "contributed greatly to her present state of health."

She believes that her presence by their sides "affords to them a certain amount of protection," as she is reminded of the assassination of her husband's uncle, Grand Duke Serge (who was her brother-in-law) who was the subject of many threats, but the would-be assassins would not throw their bombs if Serge's wife, Grand Duchess Elisabeth was with him.

Her doctors believe that is is "imperative" for the Empress to leave Russia to "recover her health of mind and of body."   But it is also certain that her mental state would become "more pronounced and possibly incurable if she is parted from her husband and children."   She will only leave Russia if she is accompanied by her husband and children.

Nicholas may "yield to her wishes" and travel with her and the children to Germany or England. 

If Nicholas does choose to accompany Alexandra, he will most certainly name his younger brother, Grand Duke Michael, as regent.   Michael is fond of his brother and will do everything in the best interests of the Emperor with "loyalty and without any thought of serving his own acquisition of the throne."

The Empress has been away from the "public view" for some time.  At first it was suggested that she was recovering from a "stubborn case" of influenza, but it soon became apparent that her mental health issues could no longer be concealed.   She is unable to take part in the "festivities of the St. Petersburg season" due to her current health issues. 

It has been suggested that the Empress is suffering from "pronounced melancholia and of a complete nervous breakdown."

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

80 Years ago today - the wedding of Princess Friederike of Hanover & Crown Prince Paul of the Hellenes

All images  Marlene A Eilers Koenig collection

January 9, 1938 - HRH Princess Friederike Luise Thyra Victoria Margarita Sophia Olga Cecilia Isabella Christa of Hanover, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland married Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece, Prince of Denmark, heir presumptive to the Greek throne.

Although the weather was "bitter" the crowds began gathering at 7 a.m., "when the whole nation appeared to be represented to witness" the wedding of the popular Diadoch (Paul) and Princess Friederike, the only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg.   According to The Times, the wedding "afforded an opportunity for a display of pageantry and pomp rarely witnessed in Athens."

The process from the palace to the Cathedral included 20 carriages and the cavalry.  The Diadoch and his sister, Princess Irene, were in one carriage.  Prince Paul, the Prince Regent of Yugoslavia, and his wife, Olga, sat in another carriage, and the Duke and Duchess of Kent were in a third carriage.   The mother of the bride, the Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who was born Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, only daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II,  was in the final carriage, which was followed by "an escort of the cavalry."  King George II's carriage was followed by the State coach, "drawn by six richly caparisoned white horses," which contained the bride and her father, the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

Princess Friederike's gown was of "white embroidered with silver; her veil was held in place by a diamond-studded diadem and flowers."

The ceremony was conducted by the Archbishop of Athens.  The golden crowns were used at weddings of members of the Greek royal family.  The best men and the crown bearers were the groom's uncle, Prince George of Greece and Denmark, his nephew, Crown Prince Michael of Romania,  Grand Duke Dimitri of Russia and the bride's brothers. 

The wedding rings were "fashioned from gold coins from the reign of Alexander the Great."

Princess Friederike, 20, was attended by three bridesmaids, Princess Katherine of Greece and Denmark, the groom's youngest sister, and Princesses Cecilie and Herzeleide of Prussia, first cousins of the bride.

The newlyweds left the cathedral "amid enthusiastic cheering and loudly voiced wishes from the crowd for their long life and happiness."  They returned to the palace in the State coach, where the Lutheran wedding ceremony took place.

The bride carried a "spray of orange blossoms" from her maternal grandfather's Doorn orangery and a sprig of myrtle given to her by the Duchess of Kent, who was born Princess Marina of Greece, from Queen Victoria's myrtle bush at Osborne on the Isle of Wight.

Both the bride and groom are descendants of Queen Victoria.   Princess Frederike received the assent from Britain's King George VI in accordance with the Royal Marriage Act.

The 35-year-old Crown Prince Paul and Princess Friederike, who is 20 years old, became engaged late last year.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Adding to my postcard collection

I treated myself to seven old royal postcards as a Christmas treat.

Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska (1892-1930) and Archduke Franz Carl (1893-1918) were the eldest of ten children of Archduke Franz Salvator, a member of the Tuscan branch of the Habsburg family, and Archduchess Marie Valerie, youngest child of Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth.   Ella married Count Georg of Waldburg-Zeil.  She died of pneumonia.  Franz Carl succumbed to the Spanish flu.   This photo was taken in 1908.

Princess Editha of Bavaria (1924-2013) was the third child of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria and Princess Antonia of Luxembourg

Archduchess Gabriele (1887-1954) and Archduchess Maria Alice (1893-1962) were the 6th and 8th of nine children of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen and Princess Isabella of Croy.  Gabriele never married.  Maria Alice married Baron Friedrich Waldbott von Bassenheim.

Archduchess Mathilde (1906-1991) and Archduke Clemens (1904-1974) were the youngest surviving children of Archduchess Marie Valerie.   Mathilde married Ernst Hefel, an Austrian politician in 1947 as his second wife.  Clemen's marriage to Countess Elisabeth Rességuier de Miremont was unequal, according to the then house laws.   After his marriage, he was styled as Prince of Altenburg

Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria was the second child of Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen and Princess Isabella of Croy.  She married Prince Elias of Bourbon-Parma, Duke of Parma, in 1903.  He was the youngest son of Duke Roberto I and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies.  They had eight children, but only one, Princess Alicia (1917-2017) married.   She married Infante Alfonso, Duke of Calabria -- grandparents of Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria.  Maria Anna is posing with her eldest child, Princess Elisabetta (1904-1983).  Image is from 1913

This was one of a series of photographs taken to commemorate Friederike's engagement to Crown Prince Paul of the Hellenes.

Ernst August, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his mother, the Duchess of Cumberland (Princess Thyra of Denmark.)

Friday, January 5, 2018

Michael arrives in Switzerland

January 5, 1948

Michael, the King of Romania, who abdicated his throne for "political reasons and political reasons only," arrived early today by train in Lausanne, Switzerland, reports the Associated Press.

The former king was greeted by "shouts of 'Down with Communism' and 'Long live freedom,'"  but he chose to make no public statement upon his arrival. He appeared surprised by the support, but he did not smile.

His secretary, Mircea Ionitziu, said he would not answer any questions about a possible marriage between Michael and Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma.

He did state that "negotiations are still in progress with the Romanian government on the disposition of Michael's property."  He added that the royal party had brought "very little money" to Switzerland and that the King's Romanian properties are being "administered temporarily" by Dr. Ion Popescu, the former comptroller of one of the royal estates.

The spokesman stated that Michael's plans were "very indefinite," but the "Romanian government has given the King the possibility to return to Romania with part of his entourage."

King Michael will stay at a lakeside hotel, where he stayed with his mother, Queen Helen, in early December.  He is expected to make a full statement "in a few days."

Michael was able to make a telephone call to Princess Anne, who is in Copenhagen.  They were able to speak for about 10 minutes and the King "seemed elated" by the conversation.

Duke of Genoa engaged

January 5, 1938

Prince Ferdinando of Savoy, Duke of Genoa, is engaged to marry Countess Maria Luigia Alliaga Gandolfi dei Conti di Ricaldone, reports the Associated Press.

King Vittorio Emanuele has given his consent to the Duke, who is his second cousin.  The 58-year-old Duke of Genoa is an admiral in the "command of the Italian Fleet in the upper Adriatic area.

Countess Maria Luigia, 38, is described as a "famous Turinese beauty."  She and her sister, Alina, and her brother, Camillo, are the last descendants of an old Turinese noble family with close ties to the House of Savoy.

80th birthday luncheon for King Juan Carlos

@ Casareal

King Felipe V and Queen Letizia hosted a birthday luncheon at Zarzuela Palace for Felipe's father, King Juan Carlos' 80th birthday. The palace released a family photo.

From L-R King Felipe V, Queen Letizia, Victoria Federica de Marichalar y Borbon, King Juan Carlos,  Queen Sofia, Infanta Elena and Felipe de Marichalar.   King Felipe's two daughters,  Leonor, the Princess of Asturias, and Infanta Sofia are in the front row,

Infanta Cristina nor her four children were at luncheon.  Was she invited?  Did she decline the invitation?  No idea.   This was a private family event and the palace's press office declined to provide any information apart from the release of the photo.

The guest included Juan Carlos' younger sister, Infanta Margarita and her husband, Carlos Zurita, and their two children, Alfonso and Maria,  Princess Christina of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies and her husband, Pedro Lopez-Quesada,  the Duke and Duchess of Calabria and their son, Juan (a godson of King Juan Carlos),  Bruno Gomez-Acebo, a son of King Juan Carlo's older sister, Infanta Pilar, and his wife, Barbara Cano, Manuel Morales y Borbon-Dos Sicilias and his wife, Emma Ruiz.  It is understood that other family members and godchildren of King Juan Carlos were also at the party.

King Juan Carlos - 80 years old today

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Personal photos of Juan Carlos

I think this may be my favorite photo that I have taken:  the king embraces Opera singer Placido Domingo as the Queen looks on.   In NYC in 1987

Lunch with Senators,  I believe on the left is Sen Richard Lugar.  1991

at the InterAmerican Bank 1991

gala event at National Gallery of Art

The woman in Green is Georgette Mosbacher, the wife of the Commerce Secretary, Robert Mosbacher.
Honorary degrees for the king and queen at Georgetown in 1995

I took these photos in New York City (1987) and Washington, D.C. (1991  1995).

I own the copyright for all these photos.

A son for the Prince of Asturias

Embed from Getty Images 

 January 5, 1938

Doña Maria de la Mercedes, the Princess of Asturias, gave birth to a son today at the Anglo-American Hospital in Rome, reports the Associated Press.   The infant is second in line to the "non-existent throne of Spain."   The baby's father,  Don Juan, the Prince of Asturias,  and grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, were at the hospital when the child was born.

Mother and son are said to be "doing well."  Although the baby's name was not announced, he will have the title Infant of Spain.

Don Juan is the third son of King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie.  He has two elder brothers, Alfonso and Jaime, both of whom renounced their rights of succession in 1933. Don Alfonso,  now the Count of Covadonga, married a commoner and Don Jaime, the Duke of Segovia,  who is deaf and mute, renounced his rights due to his handicap.   The renunciation applies to the two men's descendants as well.

In October 1935 Don Juan married Princess Maria de las Mercedes of Bourbon-Two-Sicilies.   They have one daughter, Infanta Doña Pilar, who was born on July 30, 1936.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Queen Helen of Romania taken by her son

From my collection

Queen Mother Helen of Romania taken by her son, King Michael