Friday, June 29, 2012

The death of the Prince Reuss

Heinrich IV, Prince Reuss died on June 20 at his home in Ernstbrunn, Austria.  He was 93 years old.

"My beloved father, the Prince Reuss, 93 years old, died surrounded by his children and grandchildren, said his son, Heinrich XIV, who succeeds his father as the head of the Princely House of Reuss.

Much of the family property was in Gera, which was a part of East Germany.  After the collapse of the German Democratic Republic in 1990, the Prince Reuss was able to reclaim the family estate, including land and forestry operations.  He was able to make the claim because of his Austrian birth.

http://www.tlz.de/startseite/detail/-/specific/Der-letzte-Fuerst-Reuss-ist-mit-fast-93-Jahren-verstorben-1993574247

Prince Heinrich IV was born on October 26, 1919 at Schloss Ernstbrunn.  He was the eldest son of Heinrich XXXIX, Prince Reuss, and Countess Antonia zu Castell-Castell. 

On June 10, 1954  Prince Reuss married Princess Marie Luise of Salm-Horstmar.  He is survived by his wife and their four children,  Heinrich XIV,  Princess Johanetta, a Lutheran pastor, Princess Caroline (the wife of Baron Carl Philipp Hohenbühel) and Princess Esperance, Countess Johannes Kinsky von Wchinitz.

Prince Heinrich XIV's only son, Prince Heinrich XXIX is now the heir.  He was born in 1997.


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Grand Duchess Marie Anne ill

June 29, 1942

Dowager Grand Duchess Marie Anne of Luxembourg, mother of Grand Duchess Charlotte,  entered Doctors Hospital in New York City, earlier today, according to the New York Times.

The widow of Guillaume IV will undergo "a minor operation."  She was to have been the guest of honor at luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria hosted by the women's International Exposition of Arts and Industries.  The luncheon has been rescheduled for July.

After she recovers, the Duchess will be leave the hospital and join Grand Duchess Charlotte's family in Canada.

Franz Ferdinand's wife asks Pope for help

June 29, 1912

The Duchess of Hohenberg, the morganatic wife of Archduke Franz Ferdinand  of Austria, heir to the throne, has "petitioned the Pope to endeavor to obtain for her the full rank accorded to her husband."

The Chicago Daily Tribune reports that Emperor Franz Joseph will be "approached by the Pope on the matter."

The Duchess has been "systematically snubbed by the ladies of the imperial family", due to her inferior rank.  At court functions, she is required to walk at "the extreme end" of a very long procession of about thirty archdukes and archduchesses.  Her husband walks behind the Emperor, with the most senioer Archduchess on his arm.

One of the most clever and accomplished of women in Austria, the Duchess has a lot of influence over husband,  and she knows he would not tolerate her situation, and she would gain "fuller rights" after Franz Ferdinand succeeds to the throne.

She has gained the sympathy of Kaiser Wilhelm II.  When the Duchess of  Hohenberg accompanied her husband to Germany for an official visit, the Emperor accorded her the "full honors as the wife of the heir to the Austrian throne," and escorted her to dinner.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Helene Vacaresco extracts her revenge

June 28, 1892

The Romanian aristocrat whose "love affair" with Crown Prince Ferdinand "caused such a disturbance in Romanian politics a short time ago" has now taken her revenge, according to the New York Times, which based its report on an article in the Independence Belge, based in Brussels.

Helene Vacarescu has been sending to Princess Marie of Edinburgh, the Crown Prince's fiancee, "every two or three days a love letter written to her by the Crown Prince during their courtship."

Queen Elisabeth of Romania, the wife of King Carol, has "vainly entreated" Miss Vacarescu to surrender the correspondence."  Helene has refused her request, and continues to send the letters to Princess Marie. 

A well-educated young woman, Helene had written her first book in 1886, which had caught the attention of Queen Elisabeth, who wrote under the nom de plume, Carmen Sylva.  The queen invited Helene to Bucharest, where the two women became close friends.  Helene became a second daughter to the queen, whose only daughter, Princess Marie, had died in 1874.

Although the  Romanian Constitution did not permit the heir to marry a Romanian,  Queen Elisabeth encouraged a romance between Helene and Crown Prince Ferdinand.

Ferdinand fell in love with Helene, and wanted to marry her.  But a marriage was out of the question. When King Carol found out about his wife's intrigues, she was packed off to her maternal home at Neuwied for two years, and Helene was sent into exile to Paris. 

The Crown Prince was obliged to find a royal bride, and he settled on Princess Marie of Edinburgh, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Marie's father, has requested the Romanian government to interfere in the matter."

London eager to see Spanish king

June 28, 1926

The British public are "showing unusual interest" in the arrival of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, reports the New York Times.  He arrives in London on Wednesday, and will be accompanied by Queen Victoria Eugenia, and two of their children, Alfonso, the Prince of Asturias, and Infanta Beatriz.

It jas been several years since the king's last visit to England.  He used to make "almost annual" visits to the country.

On Saturday, the Spanish royal family will join King George V and Queen Mary at the Royal Air Force exhibit at Hendon.  The Duke of York, Prince and Princess Arthur of Connaught and Prince Chichibu of Japan will also be present.

The King will receive an honorary degree from Oxford University of July 5.  The next day, the king and queen will attend a banquet hosted by the Spanish Ambassador.  The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York will be among the more than 200 "other distinguished guests."

TThe King and Queen and their children will stay at a London hotel, and not at Kensington Palace, as first announced.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A fine for Princess Eleonore

June 27, 1898

Princess Eleonore of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn has been sentenced to "thirty days imprisonment and a fine of 300 marks," as a punishment for being found guilty of libeling her former brother-in-law, Count Königsmarck.

The Marquise de Fontenoy reports that the the count's divorce "attracted so much attention in Germany" a year.

The Princess, who is a Sayn-Wittgenstein by birth and by marriage, is an "elderly woman of over 50," who has no children, and is "renowned for the sharpness of her tongue and for her mischief-making propensities."

Princess Eleonore claimed that her sister's husband, Count Karl, had been "unduly intimate with Countess S___," said to be Empress Augusta's favorite  maid-of-honor.

But there was not "a shadow of truth" in the princess's accusations.  Her sister is a said to be an "extremely jealous woman," and made her husband's life "such a burden," that he had not other alternative but to leave her and divorce her.    He was granted a divorce on the grounds of "mutual antipathy," after more than thirty years of marrige.

Princess Eleonore and her sister are half-English as their mother, now nearly 90, is the daughter of an English baronet, Sir George Pigott.  Apparently, there were all "sorts of obstacles" to Miss Pigott's marriage as her fiance's family claimed the marriage would be unequal.  But everything was "satisfactorily adjusted" when Miss Pigott "comprised a number of former Kings of Ireland among her ancestors."

The princess was born Countess Eleonore of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn on March 31, 1840.  She is the second wife of Prince Otto of Say-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.  His first wife was her youngest sister, Elisabeth, who died in 1883.

Salisbury Anne Pigott married Count Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn in  1838.  They had four daughters; Eleonore, Leontine, who married Count Karl von Königsmarck, Alice, and Elisabeth.

Queen's mother seriously ill

June 27, 1898

The Vienna correspondent for the The Daily Telegraph reports today:  "The Archduchess Elisabeth, mother of the Queen Regent of Spain, likes seriously ill at Madrid in consequence of the present excitement."

It's official: Carol and Helen are divorced

June 27, 1928


The divorce of former Crown Prince Carol of Romania and Princess Helen of Greece became "final today," reports the Associated Press.  Carol, who renounced his rights when he ran off to Paris to be with Elena Lupescu, had five days to appeal the divorce, which was granted on June 21.  

The appeal time expired at midnight.  Princess Helen, who is the mother of young King Michael, is now a free women.

A royal baby: Princess Mary is pregnant

June 27, 1922


Princess Mary, the only daughter of George V, is said to "be expecting a visit rom the stork," according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.   The princess and her husband, Lord Lascelles are "living quietly" at their London home, Chesterfield House, and are "avoiding dances and functions."

The Princess and Lord Lascelles, heir apparent to the Harewood earldom, were married in February of this year.   This will be the first granchild for King George V and Queen Mary.

Alfonso determined to marry his princess

June 27, 1908

Prince Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon is a very determined young man.  Earlier today he told a reporter for the Los Angeles Times that "I will marry Beatrice if I have to quit Spain, leave her army,  and forfeit my princely privileges.  No sacrifice is too great for me to make for her sake, although I hope she may yet become reconciled to the Catholic church."

Alfonso, a first cousin of King Alfonso XIII, is in love with Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.  She is a first cousin of Queen Victoria Eugenia. 

It seems that the question of religion is "the only barrier" to a marriage between Alfonso, the son of Infanta Eulalia, and Princess Beatrice.  Infanta Eulalia and her husband, Prince Antonio, Duke of Galliera, have "stoutly opposed" the marriage, but Prince Alfonso appears to have "won his mother over to his cause."   

Infanta Eulalia recently arrived in Madrid from her home in Paris, met with her nephew, King Alfonso and told him that "he better induce the Pope to grant a dispensation, as Alfonso and Beatrice are determined to get married anyway."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Victoria visits Aunt Adelaide

June 26, 1837

Queen Victoria left Kensington Palace this morning for Windsor Castle. She left with an escort of Hussars, according to the Court Circular.

She spent about an hour with her widowed aunt, the Dowager Queen Adelaide, and then returned to Kensington Palace. 

Princess Augusta continues her visit to her sister, the Duchess of Gloucester, at Gloucester House.

A son for the Duchess of Kent

June 26, 1962

The Duchess of Kent gave birth today to a son, according to the New York Times.

The infant, who weighed six pounds, is tenth in line to the British throne.  The former Katharine Worsley married the Duke of Kent, the 26-year-old first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, in June 1961.

The Duchess "was safely delivered" of a son at 3 p.m, at Coppins, the family home in Iver, Bucks.  The Court Circular reports that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh "have received with great pleasure the news that The Duchess of Kent gave birth to a son this afternoon."
The baby's name has not been announced.  He will be styled as the Earl of St. Andrews.

Princess Alexis Karageorgevich is dead

June 26, 1938


Princess Alexis Karageorgevich died today at Cannes.  She was 77 years old, reports the New York Times.

The princess was born Myra Abigail Pankhurst, the daughter of John Pankhurst of New York.  She married Prince Alexis, whose father, George, was a first cousin of the late King Peter of Serbia in the Russian Church in Paris on June 11, 1913.  The late Myron T. Herrick, the then American Ambassador to France, and Prince Arsene Karageorgevich, were the witnesses to the marriage.  Prince Arsene was the younger brother of King Peter.

Prince Alexis died in 1920.  The
The Princess was previously married to Huger Pratt of New York City.  For the last decade, she lived at the Villa Florentina in Cannes.  It was at her home where her granddaughter, Atalanta Mercati, married writer Michael Arlen.

The Princess was known as Daria.  Prince Alexis was her third husband.  Her first husband was Herbert Wright, by whom she had one daughter, Harriet, who is 1901, married Count Alexander Mercati. Her second husband was the very wealthy Thomas Huger Pratt, who not long after Daria had won the Bronze Medal in Ladies' Golf at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/pr/daria-pratt-1.html

Queen of Belgium near death

June 26, 1902


An Antwerp, Belgium, newspaper has published a telegram from Brussels that Queen Marie Henriette, who suffers from heart disease, is "sinking rapidly, from the Chicago Daily Tribune.

The Queen is "aware of her approaching end," according to the dispatch.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Victoria's first days as Queen

June 25, 1837

Queen Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent attended Divine Service today at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace.  The Dean of Chester officiated. 

The Duke of Sussex visited the King of Hanover earlier today.  The King dined this evening with his sisters, Princess Augusta, and the Duchess of Gloucester at Gloucester House.  At 10 p.m.,  His Majesty "having taken leave of his Royal Sisters," left London in one of the Duchess of Gloucester's carriages for Depford, where the King "embarked in a Government steam packed for the Continent."

The remains of the late King William IV will like in State in the Waterloo Chamber at Windsor Castle from July 7 through July 8.   The Queen Dowager's personal furniture has been removed from the Castle to a new residence at Bushy Park, according to the Court Circular.

Prince Andrew: terror in the royal gardens

June 25, 1962

Prince Andrew, the 28-month old son, of Queen Elizabeth II, is described as "a toddler who likes to dig up the royal flowers," reports the Associated Press.

A friend of the royal family says of the young prince: "He's a sweet and extremely active baby, and he likes gardening - much to the alarm of the palace gardeners."

His Royal Highness Princess Andrew Albert Christian Edward, is enjoying "his first-ever active summer in the open."  Recently his mother gave him a "small spade, fork and rake," to play with outside.   According to the AP's report, "he went for the spade.  Then he went for the royal flowers."

Palace gardeners and Andrew's nurse had to intervene to keep the little prince for doing further damage.

The young prince has blue eyes and light-hair, and resembles his father, Prince Philip.  He spends a lot of time with two canine companions, Whiskey and Sherry, corgis who belong his mother.  Andrew is also said to enjoy a pink elephant that was made for him by his elder brother, Prince Charles.  But his favorite toy is said to be a "beat up teddy" that had been handed down from Prince Charles to Princess, and now to Prince Andrew.

His grandmother recently said to a friend:  "He's very active, especially when he sees a bouncing ball. I'm sure he'll be a football player."

Princess Mary to train as nurse

June 25, 1918

Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V, will being this week "a course of regular training" as a nurse at the Children's Hospital on Great Ormond Street, according to the New York Times.

She will be assigned to the Alexandra ward.  Princess Mary will be at the hospital twice a week, and "will undertake the usual work of a probationer" in order to become more efficient "in the care of children."

The death of Robin de la Lanne

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2164294/Dashing-Scottish-aristocrat-bed-hopping-ways-inspiration-James-Bond-dies-aged-87.html

He had a relationship with Duchess Margarethe of Württemberg that led to the birth of a natural child, Patrick Francis de la Lanne.  Patrick was born in San Francisco in 1962.  He is the mayor of Delmenhorst, Germany.

Patrick was not raised by his mother, but by a foster mother, Charlotte Zauzber, who died in  2007.

Patrick is listed twice in the California Birth Index as Patrick Francis and Francis Patrick, giving the impression of twins.  This is incorrect.  Margarethe gave birth to one son. 

http://royalmusingsblogspotcom.blogspot.com/2008/10/german-mayor-has-royal-connections.html

Friday, June 22, 2012

The new queen of Hanover

The new Queen consort of Hanover was born at the Altes Palais at Hanover on March 3, 1778.  Friederike Luise Caroline Sophie Charlotte Alexandrine was the fifth daughter of Karl II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and his first wife, Princess Friederike of Hesse and By Rhine.  Her father's sister, Charlotte, was the wife of George III.

After the deaths of their mother and their stepmother in childbirth,  Friederike and her older sisters, Charlotte, Therese and Luise, were sent to live with their maternal grandmother, Maria Luise, the Dowager Princess Georg of Hesse and by Rhine.

As the Mecklenburg-Strelitz Princesses approached the age of marriage,  they were taken to the theatre in Frankfurt-am-Main, where King Friedrich Wilhelm II was waiting to meet Friederike and Luise.  He was delighted with the two sisters, and soon their father started the process of arranging marriages between his two daughters and the Prussian king's sons, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and Prince Louis.

The engagements were announced at Darmstadt on April 24, 1793.  Princess Luise and the Crown Prince of Prussia were married on Christmas Eve at the Royal Palace in Berlin.  Two days later, Friederike and Prince Louis were married in the same chapel. 

princess Luise's marriage was a success, and a love match.  Sadly, for Friederike,  her husband preferred his mistresses to his wife.

Friederike gave birth to the couple's first son, Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig, on October 30, 1794.  He married Princess Luise of Anhalt-Bernburg in 1817.  He died in on July 27, 1863.

A second son, Karl, was born a year later on September 26, 1795, but he lived only until April 6, 1798.

A daughter, Princess Friederike Wilhelmina Luise Amalia, was born on September 30, 1796.  She married in 1818 to Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt.

Prince Louis died on December 23, 1796, having contracted diphtheria.  Less than a year later,  Friederike became "unofficially engaged" to her first cousin, Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge.  The Duke asked his father for permission, but George III, reportedly under pressure from his wife, Charlotte, who did not like her niece, would not agree to the marriage.

The young widow was not lonely for long.  She began a relationship with Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Solms-Braunfels that led to a pregnancy.  The Prince, who was born in 1770, acknowledged that he was the father.  A marriage was hastily arranged, and the pregnant princess and her lover were married on December 10, 1798. 

In order to avoid further scandal, the newlyweds moved to Ansbach, where two months later, Friederike gave birth to a daughter, Sophia, who lived for only eight months.

In September 1800,  Friederike gave birth to a son, Friedrich Wilhelm, who lived for only three days.   Another son, Wilhelm, was born on December 13, 1801.  He married in 1831 to Countess Maria Kinsky.  He died in 1868.   A daughter Auguste was born on July 25, 1804.  She married Albert, the Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt in 1827.  She died in October 1865. 

Friederike gave birth to a stillborn daughter in 1805.   Two years later, in March 1807, she had another son, Alexander, who in 1863 married Princess Luise of Landsberg-Velen.

Although her marriage to the Prince of Solms-Braunfel was also not happy, and the prince quickly fell back into his bad habits of drinking and living a dissipated lifestyle,  she gave birth to one more child on July 27, 1812, who was named Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Carl Alfred Alexander.   He was Karl.   New Braunfels, Texas, is named for him.   After a morganatic marriage with Stephanie Beyrich, which ended in divorce in 1841,  Carl married Princess Josephine of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg.    He died in 1875.

Due to a serious problem with drinking, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm was forced to resign his military posts.  Friederike had asked her brother-in-law, King Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia to restore her widow's pension, but he refused.  She had to rely on her own small income to keep family together.

It was her brother-in-law, the Prince of Solms-Braunfel, who recommended that she divorce his brother.  He gave his full approval for the action, but the request was turned down by his brother and Princess Friederike, although they lived largely separate lives.

Enter Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, 5th son of King George III, and Friederike's first cousin.  It was during a visit to his uncle, Duke Carl, in May 1813, when he met and fell in love with his cousin, Princess Friederike.


Friederike's father decided that a marriage between his daughter and the Duke of Cumberland would be good for everyone.  Friederike sought permission to divorce her husband from the King of Prussia, who, along with everyone else, including her husband, agreed to the divorce. 

Friederike's husband obliged everyone by dying rather suddenly on April 13,1814.  By August, Friederike and Ernest Augustus were engagement,  This was followed by approval of the British Parliament. 

Once the approval was obtained, the couple were married at Neustrelitz on May 29, 1815.   A second wedding took place at Carlton House in London on August 29, 1815.

Queen Charlotte, however, remained adamant in her opposition to her niece.  She refused to attend the wedding, and did not want her son and daughter-in-law to live in England. 

The new Duchess of Cumberland gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Frederica, in January 1817.  A year later, in April, she gave birth to another stillborn daughter.

On May 27, 1819, at the age of 41, the Duchess gave birth to a healthy son, George,  who was known as Prince George of Cumberland, until June 20, 1837, when he became Georg, the Crown Prince of Hanover. 

George of Cumberland was born three days after the birth of the May princess,  Alexandrina Victoria of Kent. 

Lüneburg, &c. (born Princess of Mecklenburg, &c. His Majesty the King, the Royal Family, and all faithful subjects are hereby plunged the deepest affliction.
"After being confined to her bed for three months, Her Majesty expired from a decay of strength, constantly attended by the King, the Crown Prince, and the Duchess of Anhalt Dessau.  Her Majesty will be ever remembered as a mother and a Queen."

Although the Queen of Hanover died on June 29, it was not until July 2nd, when "despatches were brought by a messenger to town on Saturday night, conveying the mournful intelligence of the demise of Her Majesty the Queen of Hanover, aunt of Her Majesty.  This melancholy intelligence was forwarded to the Queen, and was notified yesterday [July 4] afternoon to all the members of the Royal Family in town."

The Queen and Prince Albert were visited yesterday at Buckingham Palace by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, who was accompanied by the Princesses Augusta and Mary of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex and Prince George of Cambridge.   Later in that afternoon, Prince Albert visited Princess Sophia and the Duke of Sussex at their apartments in Kensington Palace.  The King and Queen of the Belgians visited the Duchess of Cambridge at Cambridge House and Princess Sophia and the Duke of Sussex at Kensington Palace.

Queen Victoria ordered the Court to go into mourning on July 6.

Duke of Cumberland takes oaths as a peer

June 22 1837

The Duke of Cumberland took the oaths as a Peer of Parliament earlier today,  But according to The Times, he will not "leave his proxy with any noble lord." 

This action was not unexpected, as the Duke, who succeeded his brother, William IV, as King of Hanover, will be leaving shortly for his new kingdom. His decision is "consistent with what is due to his Hanoverian subjects and his own dignity."

Tonight the King of Hanover visited Queen Victoria today at Kensington Palace.  

Princess Augusta is staying with her sister, Mary, the Duchess of Gloucester at Gloucester House. They also visited the Queen at Kensington Palace earlier today, as did the Duke of Sussex.



The new Queen of Hanover, Queen Frederika, and the new Crown Prince Georg, will also be leaving for Hanover.  The Queen also has seven children by her first two husbands.  She also has several grandchildren, "the progeny o her son, Prince Friedrich of Prussia," and two daughters, the Duchess of Anhalt Dessau and Princess Albert of Schwarzburg.

Tonight the King of Hanover visited Queen Victoria today at Kensington Palace.  

Princess Augusta is staying with her sister, Mary, the Duchess of Gloucester at Gloucester House.  They also visited the Queen at Kensington Palace earlier today, as did the Duke of Sussex.

Royal Marriage: Saxony-Anhalt

June 22, 1962

Prince Maria Emanuel of Saxony, 36, and Princess Anastasia Luise of Anhalt, 21, were married today in a civil ceremony at Vevey, France, reports the Associated Press.

The prince is a grandson of the last reigning King of Saxony. 

The civil marriage is required by Swiss law.  The couple will be married in a Roman Catholic service tomorrow, "uniting two of Germany's ancient princely houses."

King arrives too soon, is incognito for now



June 22, 1942

The Associated Press reports today that "protocol and wartime censorship" combined to may King Peter II of Yugoslavia, the "living impersonation of the 'little man who wasn't there.'"
The 19-year-old King arrived yesterday in Washington, D.C., with his Foreign Minister M. Nintchich.

Wartime traveling, especially from London, is difficult, so Peter arrived ahead of schedule.  So for the moment, he's not official, and he is incognito, having "gone into the country until Wednesday" when he will receive a formal welcome from a State Department representative.

The King has been invited to spend the night at the White House, and President and Mrs. Roosevelt will host a state dinner, "formal but with wartime modesty."

The President will "get a firsthand account of the fight the Yugoslav nation put up against the German invasion.  Peter was caught in the middle of it, until his government was forced to flee to London in April 1941.  It is likely that the young monarch will plead the cause of the Yugoslav freedom fighters, as they are in desperate need of food and weapons.

Another boy for Queen Ena

June 22, 1908


Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain gave birth tonight to a second son at the royal family's summer palace at La Granja.  The Queen and her infant son are both doing well, according to the royal physicians, who "were hastily summoned" earlier this afternoon.  The Dowager Queen Maria Cristina, Infanta Isabel and Premier Maura were all "immediately advised and proceeded at once to the palace in automobiles."

King Alfonso XIII was "radiant with joy" when he announced the birth of his seconds son to several people who were waiting outside the birth room.  Other members of the Royal Family arrived about thirty minutes after the birth, and they all offered their congratulations to the King on the birth of a son, "who doubly secures the succession to the throne."

The Minister of Justice, Marquis Figueroa arrived ten minutes before the birth, "just in time to perform the formalities of witnessing, which pertains to his office."

Queen Victoria Eugenia, the former Princess Ena of Battenberg, and King Alfonso XIII were married in Madrid on May 31, 1906. Their first son, Alfonso, Prince of Asturias, was born in May 1907. 

The names of the newest member of the Spanish royal family were not announced.

Maria Cristina asks Pope to pick Alfonso's bride

June 22, 1902

According to the Rome correspondent of the Daily Express, Queen Maria Cristina of Spain "has asked the Pope to suggest an eligible bride" for her son, King Alfonso XIII.  The correspondent reports that the Pontiff has recommended a Bavarian princess or an Austrian archduchess."

The Dowager Queen of Spain was born Archduchess Marie Christina of Austria.

Luxembourg succession rules officially changed

The Grand Ducal Court in Luxembourg announced today that the succession rules for the House of Luxembourg-Nassau, which were amended by Grand Duke Henri's decree, will be published in the the Memorial.

The Memorial is Luxembourg's official publication for official decrees and legislation.

The changes to the succession were announced last year, but the House of Nassau's family pact also had to be changed.  Luxembourg's succession law was semi-salic, meaning all the men came before the women.  The new decree, which effect Grand Duke Henri's descendants, allows for the succession of the first born regardless of sex.

Princess Alexandra moves up in the succession after her two older brothers, Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Prince Felix.  Prince Louis and his two children do not have dynastic rights. 

Thus, if the future Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie's first child is a girl, she will be second in line to the throne, even if she has younger brothers.

The thrones of Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Denmark are governed by gender equality laws. Male primogeniture is on the books  United Kingdom, Spain and Monaco, although there are plans to change the law in the United Kingdom (and in the countries where the British sovereign is also the sovereign in that country.)  There were plans to change the law in Spain although no legislation has ever been introduced and passed to make the change.  A moot point at the moment as the Prince of Asturias is the father of two daughters. 

Liechtenstein remains the only European monarchy where the succession law remains semi-salic, where all the men, even one's third cousin three times removed, is ahead of all the eligible Liechtenstein princesses.

http://www.wort.lu/en/view/gender-equality-in-luxembourg-throne-succession-rights-4fe4891ae4b0c152a04deb4c


http://www.lessentiel.lu/fr/news/luxembourg/story/Qui-succedera-a-Marie-Adela-de-et-Charlotte--13709736

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The facts about William's inheritance

It never ceases to amaze me that journalists, even those who write for the broadsheets, fail to do adequate research when they sit down at their computers and write their articles.   This is a sad commentary on the lack of good research skills, and the closure of so many news libraries staffed with professional librarians.   I was a news librarian for many years, starting out with the Associated Press in New York City, before moving to the Washington, D.C, area in 1989, where I headed CNN's D.C., bureau library.  I also worked for NPR and was the Daily Telegraph's researcher in their D.C., bureau. (One of my favorite jobs.)  

Today is Prince William of Wales's 30th birthday.  Due to a change made by the executors of the late Diana, Princess of Wales's estate,  William (and Harry) receives his full inheritance at the age of 30. Both brothers received interest from the estate when they each turned 25 years old.  William is expected to inherit about £10 million.  The other half goes to his brother, Prince Harry, when he turns 30 in 2014.

The actual value of the inheritance is not known because investments, even princely investments, are private.

Diana's will made made on June 1, 1993, three years before she and Charles were divorced.  The will was made about a year after the death of her father, Lord Spencer.  She received £5 million from his estate. 

The  Prince and Princess of Wales were divorced in 1996.  At the time of the divorce, she received a settlement of approximately £17 million.   This meant that at the time of her death in August 1997, she was worth about £22 million. 

However, Diana never changed or updated her will.  In the year between the divorce and her death, she did nothing to further protect that money.  She could have established a trust for her two sons, for example.  The only thing she did was to write a codicil to her will, removing Patrick Jephson as one of the two executors, and replacing him with her eldest sister, Lady Sarah.  The other executor was her mother, The Hon. Mrs. Frances Shand Kydd. 

Of course, Diana did not expect to die young, but, even so, she should have been advised to protect her sons' inheritance.  Of course, she would have had to use some of that money for her own expenses, but a good percentage of the divorce settlement would have been invested for the future.

Diana's death opened the door for several financial problems regarding her estate.  The first was, of course, taxes.   Nearly half of Diana's estate was lost to taxes, although this did not need to happen.  Why? 

The Prince of Wales had the legal right to take back the £17 million after Diana had died.   I believe this was due to the fact that Diana had died within a time frame of receiving that money. 

This is the law in the United Kingdom.  Charles, not as the Prince of Wales, but as a British citizen, had this legal right to have the money restored to him (he could have invested it for his sons.)  William and Harry would have had to pay tax only on the rest of the estate, including the £5 million that Diana had inherited from her father.

Former Prime Minister John Major was appointed as guardian for the two princes' interests.   I suspect that he (and perhaps) others advised the Prince of Wales to not take back the £17 million, even though he was legally entitled to do.  Why?  The press, especially the tabloids, would have been all over Charles for this action ... even though he had the legal right to do so, and, in doing so, he could have protected his sons' inheritance. 


It was the final executors of the Will who changed the age of inheritance from age 25 to 30.  This does not appear in Diana's will nor in the codicil. 
Of course, William and Harry were never going to miss the 40% paid in inheritance taxes. The balance has been, one assumes, carefully invested, since 1997, which gives the two princes nice nest eggs.

Diana's will also includes other anomalies, including "SHOULD any child of mine be under age at the date of the death of the survivor of myself and my husband I APPOINT my mother and my brother EARL SPENCER to be the guardians of that child and I express the wish that should I predecease my husband he will consult with my mother with regard to the upbringing education and welfare of our children."

The late Diana, Princess of Wales not in a position to decide the custody of her minor children.  Neither she nor her husband had legal custody of their minor children.  The Sovereign has legal custody of the minor royal grandchildren.  This is due to a law passed during the reign of George I.  It should be noted that the custody was not an issue in the divorces of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York.  (This is known as the Grand Opinion of 1717.)

All of this - from Diana's will to the legal issues concerning Charles's ability to have the divorce settlement returned to him -- was reported in the press after Diana's death and throughout the discussions of the Will.  None of this is new. 

Reporters do not need to Google this information.  British and American newspapers have been available in electronic databases since the 1980s, with some US publications going on line in the late 1970s.  Therefore, there are no excuses for good reporters to not research the facts before writing their articles.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1997-11-24/news/9711240024_1_princess-diana-prince-charles-kensington-palace 

(and there are many other excellent articles in British and American newspapers.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Victoria writes in her diary

"Tuesday, 20th June 1837

I was awoke at 6 o'clock by Mamma, who told me that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were here, and wished to see me. I got out of bed and went into my sitting-room (only in my dressing-gown) and alone, and saw them. Lord Conyngham  then acquainted me that my poor Uncle, the King, was no more, and had expired at 12 minutes past 2 this morning, and consequently that I am Queen. Lord Conyngham knelt down and kissed my hand, at the same time delivering to me the official announcement of the poor King's demise. The Archbishop then told me that the Queen was desirous that he should come and tell me the details of the last moments of my poor good Uncle; he said that he had directed his mind to religion, and had died in a perfectly happy, quiet state of mind, and was quite prepared for his death. He added that the King s sufferings at the last were not very great but that there was a good deal of uneasiness. Lord Conyngham, whom I charged to express my feelings of condolence and sorrow to the poor Queen, returned directly to Windsor. I then went to my room and dressed.
Since it has pleased Providence to place me in this station, I shall do my utmost to fulfill my duty towards my country; I am very young and perhaps in many, though not in all things, inexperienced, but I am sure that very few have more real good-will and more real desire to do what is fit and right than I have.
Breakfasted, during which time good, faithful Stockmar came and talked to me. Wrote a letter to dear Uncle Leopold  and a few words to dear good Feodore. Received a letter from Lord Melbourne in which he said he would wait upon me at a little before 9. At 9 came Lord Melbourne, whom I saw in my room, and of course quite alone, as I shall always do all my Ministers. He kissed my hand, and I then acquainted him that it had long been my intention to retain him and the rest of the present Ministry at the head of affairs, and that it could not be in better hands than his. He again then kissed my hand. He then read to me the Declaration which I was to read to the Council, which he wrote himself, and which is a very fine one. I then talked with him some little time longer, after which he left me. He was in full dress. I like him very much and feel confidence in him. He is a very straightforward, honest, clever and good man. I then wrote a letter to the Queen. At about 11 Lord Melbourne came again to me, and spoke to me upon various subjects. At about half-past 11 I went downstairs and held a Council in the red saloon.


 
I went in of course quite alone and remained seated the whole time. My two Uncles, the Dukes of Cumberland and Sussex, and Lord Melbourne conducted me. The Declaration, the various forms, the swearing in of the Privy Councillors of which there were a great number present, and the reception of some of the Lords of the Council, previous to the Council, in an adjacent room (likewise alone) I subjoin here. I was not at all nervous and had the satisfaction of hearing that people were satisfied with what I had done and how I had done it. Received after this, audiences of Lord Melbourne, Lord John Russell, Lord Albemarle, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, all in my room and alone. Saw Stockmar. Saw Clark, whom I named my Physician. Saw Mary. Wrote to Uncle Ernest. Saw Ernest Hohenlohe, who brought me a kind and very feeling letter from the poor Queen. I feel very much for her, and really feel that the poor good King was always so kind personally to me, that I should be ungrateful were I not to recollect it and feel grieved at his death. The poor Queen is wonderfully composed now, I hear.
Wrote my journal. Took my dinner upstairs alone. Went downstairs. Saw Stockmar. At about twenty minutes to 9 came Lord Melbourne and remained till near 10. I had a very important and a very comfortable conversation with him. Each time I see him I feel more confidence in him; I find him very kind in his manner too. Saw Stockmar. Went down and said good-night to Mamma, etc. My dear Lehzen  will always remain with me as my friend, but will take no situation about me, and I think she is right."

the young Victoria

June 20, 1837

The new Queen Victoria was born at Kensington Palace on May 24, 1819.  She is the only child of the late HRH Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, fourth son of the late King George III, and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. 

The Times noted today that "some expectation was excited that our young Queen Victoria -- may her name be an augury of triumphant fortune! -- would ave been proclaimed the rightful Sovereign of these realms in the course of the day."


I, for one, can imagine that tongues are already wagging in anticipation of who will the new Queen marry! 

The Dowager Queen Adelaide

June 20, 1837

The Times has "great pleasure in learning that Her Majesty Queen Adelaide sustains the cruel bereavements which she has experienced with Christian resignation and piety.  She mourns, but not as one having no hopes; on the contrary, her grief, though violent, is tempered by the recollection that the sufferings of her departed consort, which occasionally were most acute are terminated."

Queen Adelaide remains at Windsor Castle, and has "no intention of leaving, " nor has she been "requested to leave the princely pile in which the mortal remains of her dead husband are now deposited."

Two of the late King's "beloved daughters have felt, rightly or wrongly it is not for us to say," that Windsor Castle was a "place in which they were no longer likely to be welcome visitants, and have in consequence abandoned it."
The late King's eldest son, the Earl of Munster, who is Governor of the Castle, has an official residence there, and he has already announced his "intention of staying till the funeral rites over over."  His younger brothers "have intimated their intention" to follow his example.

The marriage between the then Prince William, Duke of Clarence, and Princess Adelheid Luise Therese Caroline Amalia, daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, took place on July 11, 1818.  Princess Adelaide has been "strongly recommended" to William by his mother Queen Charlotte.
They spent the first year of their marriage in Hanover, due to the financial constraints of the Duke's parliamentary allowance.  They returned to England in late 1819.

On March 21, 1819, the Queen gave birth to a daughter, Princess Charlotte, who lived for only a few hours.  In December 1820,  she gave birth prematurely to a daughter, who was named Elizabeth.  The little princess died three months later on March 4, 1821.   On three other occasions, "twice in 1818, and, again in 1821, the Duchess had the misfortune to be prematurely confined."

The Duke of Clarence succeeded his older brother, George IV, on June 26, 1839.  He also succeeded as King of Hanover.  This crown passed to Prince Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, as Salic law (males only) applies to the Hanover throne.

Other news regarding Victoria's ascension to the throne

June 20, 1837

The new heir presumptive to the throne, the Duke of Cumberland, now the King of Hanover, spent last night at Windsor Castle, and returned to his apartments at St. James's Palace at 8 o'clock.   The Duke of Cumberland was also the first person to take "the oath of allegiance" to the new Queen, who is only 18 years old.

Her Royal Highness Princess Augusta, "despatched a page express from the palace at 11 o'clock to Windsor, to inquire into the state of the Queen Dowager."

A note was placed on the door of the New National Gallery at Trafalgar Square: "In consequence of the lamented demise of the King, the Exhibition will remain closed until further notice."    Theatres and other public amusements were also ordered to be closed.

New Queen Proclaimed

June 20, 1837

The young Queen Victoria entered the Privy Council meeting at Kensington Palace at 11 o'clock. She was accompanied by her mother, the Duchess of Kent and members of her household.  According to The Times, she "took her seat on a throne which had been erected for the occasion."

After she was seated, the Lord Chancellor administered the "usual oaths," to the queen, that "she would govern the kingdom, according to the laws and customs, afford security to the Church of Scotland," etc.

The Cabinet Ministers moved toward the throne, knelt before Victoria, and "took oaths of allegiance and supremacy.  They then "tendered to the Queen the seals of their respective offices, which Her Majesty was most graciously pleased to return, and they severally kissed hands on their re-appointment."

A proclamation was ordered, "proclaiming Her Majesty, with the usual ceremonies, as Queen Alexandrina Victoria I."

The new Queen's first statement

from the Times:  At the Court of Kensington, this 20th day of June, 1837; present, The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council.  Her Majesty being this day present in Council, was pleased to make the following, viz.: -

"The severe and afflicting loss which the nation has sustained by the death of His Majesty, my beloved uncle, has devolved upon me the duty of administering the government of this empire.  This awful responsibility is imposed  upon me so suddenly, and at so early a period of my life, that I should feel myself utter oppressed by the burden were I not sustained by the hope that Divine Providence, which has called upon me to this work, will give me strength for the performance of its, and that I shall find in the purity of my intentions,and in my zeal for the public welfare, that support and those resources which usually belong to a more mature age and to longer experience.

"I place my firm reliance upon the wisdom of Parliament, and upon the loyalty and affection of my people.  I esteem it also a peculiar advantage, that I succeed to a Sovereign whose constant regards for the rights and liberties of his subjects, and whose desires to promote the amelioration of the laws and institutions of the country, have rendered his name the object of general attachment and veneration.

"Educated in England, under the tender and enlightened care of a most affectionate mother, I have learned from my infancy to respect and love the constitution of my native country.

"It will be my unceasing study to maintain the reformed religion as by law established, securing at the same time to all the full enjoyment of religious liberty; and I shall steadily protect the rights and promote the utmost of my power the happiness and welfare, of all classes of my subjects."

A new Queen for Britain

June 20, 1837

The London Gazette is reporting the following:  "On Tuesday morning, June 2o inst., at 12 minutes past 2 o'clock, our late most gracious Sovereign King William IV, expired at his Castle of Windsor, in the 72nd year of his age and the seventh year of his reign.  This event has caused one universal feeling of regret and sorrow  to his late Majesty's faithful and attached subjects, to whom he was endeared by the deep interest in their welfare which he invariably manifested as as by the manly virtues which marked and adorned his character.
Upon the intimation of this distressing event, the Lords of the Privy Council assembled this day at Kensington Palace, and gave orders for proclaiming her present Majesty, who made a most gracious declaration to them, and caused all the Lords and others of the late King's Privy Council, who were then present, to be sworn of Her Majesty's Privy Council.
Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy our late Sovereign Lord King William IV., of blessed and glorious memory, by whose ceased the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland is solely and rightfully come to the high and mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria, saving the rights of any issue of his late Majesty King William IV, which may be born of his late Majesty's consort -- we, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and temporal of this real, being here assisted with these of his late Majesty's Privy Council, with numbers of other principal Gentlemen of Quality, with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and citizens of London, do now hereby, with one voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim that the high and mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria, is now, by the death of our late Sovereign, of happy memory, become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lady Victoria, by the Grace of God, Queen of the united Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, saving as aforesaid. To whom, saving as aforesaid, we do acknowledge all faith and constant obedience with all hearty and humble affection, beseeching God, by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Princess Victoria with long and happy years to reign over us.

Given at the Court of Kensington, this 20th day of June 1837.  God Save the Queen."

Two days of celebration for Guillaume's wedding

The Grand Ducal court today has released the itinerary for the wedding of Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy.

The civil marriage will take place at the Luxembourg Town hall on Friday October 19 at 3:30 p.m.   This will be followed by a gala dinner at the Grand Ducal Palace, starting at 7:30 p.m. 

The religious wedding will be celebrated on Saturday, October 20, at Luxembourg-Ville's Notre Dame Cathedral.  The service will begin at 11:00 a.m..  A wedding reception will be held at the Grand Ducal Palace at 1 p.m.

http://www.wort.lu/en/view/two-days-of-wedding-festivities-for-guillaume-and-stephanie-4fe198b1e4b061d3bee25329

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Princess Irina Yussopova weds Russian count

June 19, 1938

Princess Irina Yussopova, daughter of Prince Felix Yussopov, was married today in Rome to Count Nicholas Sheremetev, according to the Associated Press.   The princess is the granddaughter of Grand Duchess Xenia of Russia, sister of Nicholas II of Russia, who was killed with his family at Ekaterinburg in July 1918. 

The Princess was given away by her grandmother, Grand Duchess Xenia,  at the wedding ceremony, held  according to the rites of the Russian Orthodox church.  The groom, with his parents, waited for the bride "on the steps of the Russia church.

The ceremony, which lasted for one hour, was attended by Grand Duchess Militza of Russia, sister of Queen Elena of Italy,  Princess Marie of Greece, and members of exiled Russian nobility.

Princess Irina, 23, met her future husband three years ago in Paris "while he was driving a taxi cab.  He is now an employee of the Russian government.

The princess's parents, who live in Paris, did not attend the wedding.

Queen Olga of Greece dead at 75


June 19, 1926

Former Queen Olga of Greece died today at her home, the Villa Anastasia, in Rome, reports the Associated Press.  She was 75 years old.   Her life "was embittered of late years by the numerous tragedies that has struck down her royal family." 

She "lived in the strictest privacy" in Rome, in her home which was filled with "the past glories of her life were kept alive" by the paintings and furniture from her palace in Athens.  Queen Olga was tragically resigned "to the fate that had befallen her family."  

In the final years of her life, the former Dowager Queen was visited "occasionally" by her son, Prince Andrew, her daughter-in-law, former Queen Sophie, and other close relatives.

She became a widow in March 1913, when her husband, King George I, was assassinated at Saloniki.   She lived to see her grandson, King Alexander, die from the affects of a monkey bite in 1920, and to see her eldest son, King Constantine, abdicate in 1922, which was followed by the established of the Greek Republic two years later.

Queen Olga suffered from enteritis.  Her condition was not deemed serious at first, but due to her age, it soon became apparent that the queen was not going to survive.  Her family was "summoned to the modest villa where she had found refuge."

Her son Prince Christopher, and two granddaughters, Princess Helen and Princess Irene, quickly arrived from Florence, and were at her bedside when she died "early this morning."   She spent her final days reading and "occasionally receiving old friends to whom she bitterly lamented the dispersal of her family throughout Europe through the upheaval that swept Greece after the World War."    Queen Elena of Italy and her daughter, Princess Mafalda, were frequent visitors to Olga's villa.

Queen Olga was born Grand Duchess Olga Constantinovna of Russia, the daughter of Grand Duke Constantine Nicolaievitch.  On October 15, 1867, Grand Duchess Olga married Prince Vilhelm of Denmark, the soon-to-be elected King of the Hellenes.  Olga was only 16 when she married.  

The couple had five sons and three daughters, one of whom died in infancy.  Queen Olga's two other surviving sons, Prince Nicholas and Prince Andrew, and her grandson, King George II, are now en route from Paris to Rome.

The death of the King of Saxony

June 19, 1902

King Albert of Saxony died at 8 p.m. tonight, according to press reports.  He had been ill for "some time."  Earlier today, it was announced officially that the king had appointed his younger brother, Prince Georg, as regent.  As Albert had no children, Georg now succeeds as King of Saxony.

The king died at Susyl-le-Nort.  All "modern scientific appliances" could not save his wife.   The queen, doctors and "members of his court were unceasingly active on his behalf."

The king will be mourned by all of Germany.  King Albert was born in 1828.  He was the eldest son of King Johann and Queen Amalie of Saxony.  His mother was the daughter of King Maximilian I of Bavaria.

He succeeded to the throne in 1873.   Twenty years earlier, the then Crown Prince Albert married Princess Carola of Vasa, daughter of Prince Gustav Vasa.  Their marriage was childless. 

The new King Georg's daughter, eldest daughter, Princess Mathilde, has been "devoted to the king" during his final illness.

Princess Beatrice greets torch at Harewood House

Princess Beatrice of York joined the Earl of Harewood in welcoming the Olympic torch at Harewood House.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/torch-relay/9341679/London-2012-Olympics-Princess-Beatrice-greets-Olympic-flame-as-torch-relay-visits-stately-home.html

http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/princess-beatrice-greets-olympic-torch-in-leeds-latest-1-4657875
Princess Beatrice and Lord Harewood are second cousins once removed.  Lord Harewood's father, George, and Queen Elizabeth II were first cousins.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The marriage of Prince Georg Lobkowicz

Prince Jiri (George) Lobkowicz, 55, married Czech opera singer, Zdenka Belas, at Horin Castle on June 16. As the Prince's first marriage was dissolved by divorce, he and Zdenka celebrated their civil wedding with a service of blessing.  The couple's civil wedding took place a day earlier.  They returned to Melnik castle by carriage for the wedding reception.

http://www.tyden.cz/rubriky/lide/ceske-celebrity/pohadkova-svatba-prince-lobkowicze-na-zamek-v-kocare_237678.html


The newlyweds are the parents of a son, Robert, who was born in December 2011.

Ena has a temper tantrum

June 18, 1898

Little Princess Ena of Battenberg, daughter of Princess Beatrice, and granddaughter of Queen Victoria, is a "young miss with a will of her own, as well as a little temper."

The Los Angeles Times reports that the princess, in a fit of temper, kicked a footman's shins at lunch.  The reason for her tantrum was her desire for a second helping of pudding.  She was sitting at the same table as her grandmother, the Queen who "objected with grandmotherly solicitude" to a second helping for Ena. 

This did not please the ten-year-old princess, who decided to vent her anger by kicking a footman.  This action was detected immediately by her mother, who and was bidden by Princess Beatrice "to withdraw from the room."

As Ena reached the door, she turned around, stared at her grandmother and responded with a shocking statement: "Well, I don't care, anyway, and you're a horrid, fussy old thing, anyway."

Peter and Alexandra: no wedding during war

June 18, 1942

Princess Alexandra of Greece told the Press Association tonight that "she could not contemplate marriage" with King Peter of Yugoslavia "while such dreadful conditions prevailed in her country."

King Peter's office put out a similar statement on the King's behalf.

The announcements were made after the British press reported that King Peter and Princess Alexandra were about to announce their engagement.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Archduchesses Elisabeth and Maria Magdalena visit Bucharest


credit: HRH Prince Radu of Romania
In late May, Archduchess Maria Magdalene and Archduchess Elisabeth, two daughters of the late Princess Ileana of Romania, visited Bucharest and were guests of honor at a dinner hosted by Crown Princess Margarita and her husband, Prince Radu.

Archduchess Maria Magdalene was accompanied by her husband, Baron Hans Ulrich von Holzhausen.

A young archduchess becomes less worldly

June 15, 1888

Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria, daughter of Archduke Karl Ludwig,  was recently installed as the Abbess of Community of Nobile Ladies of the Hradschin in Prague.  The new abbess is, according the Chicago Daily Tribune, is 18 years old.    She "enjoyed the ceremony of retiring from the world."

The young archduchess was "robed in black with an ermine mantle.  During the ceremony, "the ring and insignia of her rank were turned over to her," with little pomp or ceremony. 

But if she gets tired of "the secluded life," she can change her mind, as the rules of this convent are not strict.The order was founded during the rain of Empress Maria Theresia, as a "retreat for noble unmarried ladies."  It is a place where they can go away "if they get tired" or if the meet a prospective husband who does not please them."

Queen Maria Cristina of Spain, mother of the "teething King of Spain, was the abbess of this order before she was betrothed to King Alfonso XII.

Archduchess Margarete Sophie Marie Annunciata Theresia Caroline Luise Josephe Johanna was born at Arstetten on May 13, 1870.  She was the third eldest child and only daughter of Archduke Karl Ludwig and his second wife, Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 

She was named for her father's first wife, Princess Margarethe of Saxony, and her paternal grandmother, Princess Sophie of Bavaria.
[Note:  In 1893, Margarete married Duke Albrecht of Württemberg.  They had seven children.  Margarete died 1902.]

A busy day for King George of Greece

June 15, 1942

King George II of the Hellenes today had a very busy day in Washington, D.C., according to the New York Times.  He addressed the House and Senate, spent some time with Crown Princess Martha of Norway, and took time out of his busy schedule to receive a Greek-born peanut vendor at the White House.

The King wire the uniform of a Field Marshall of the Greek Army.   He "emphasized to both houses of Congress his hopes that the suffering of this war would result in a new and more equal order," where all nations would "play their part in keeping the piece."

The King said: "The preservation of freedom is not the obligation of any single people in any one part of the world; it is an obligation of all peace-loving peoples throughout the world. The simple truth is the base-rock of international understanding and the cornerstone for cooperation between free men in the world to come."

King George read the same speech to both houses.  "Greece proved by its stand that no price is too high to pay for human freedom and international decency.  Today, when more than ever victory is clearly discernible on the flaming horizon, she is determined to contribute whatever she can toward that victory.  Knowing the boundless resources which the American people are placing in motion for the common effort, I feel duty bound to speak with great modesty of my country's contribution to the same cause. However, small that contribution may appear in contrast with everything you are doing, it is everything we have."

Royal engagement announcement - forthcoming

June 15, 1932

The Associated Press is reporting that the marshall of the Swedish court tomorrow will announce the engagement of Hereditary Prince Gustav Adolf of Sweden and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The Hereditary Prince, second in line to the throne, is the eldest son of Crown Prince Gustav Adolf and his late wife, the British-born Princess Margaret of Connaught.   Princess Sibylla is the elder daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

The young couple, who are second cousins, first met last year in England when both attended the wedding of Princess Sibylla's first cousin, Lady May Cambridge.

Totally skeptical of this report

Wort, one of Luxembourg's daily newspapers, is reporting that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be attending the wedding of the Hereditary Grand Duke and Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy.

I am skeptical of this report for several reasons.  I do not believe that the guest list has been set in stone.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge may be among those who receive invitations but it is the ultimate decision to send a representative will the Queen.   In 1981,  the Duke of Edinburgh represented the Queen at the wedding of Guillaume's parents. 

Guillaume is the heir to Luxembourg throne.  William is second in line to the British throne. Guillaume did not attend William's wedding.  His parents attend William's wedding.   It is more likely that the Queen will send the Prince of Wales to represent her.

On another level, Guillaume's wedding will be a good opportunity for William and Catherine to meet many of their European cousins.   The presence of the Cambridges will also mean more press because the British and most of the European press will be more interested in what Kate is wearing than in the bride!


However, the British never confirm attendance at foreign royal events until largely the last minute so we won't know who will be attending from the British royal family until a few days before Guillaume's wedding in October.
but Guillaume is the heir to the throne.

http://www.wort.lu/en/view/wills-and-kate-headed-for-luxembourg-4fdb0c19e4b0c152a04dd7e3?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

The glowing stars of the Wessexes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/9332015/Theyre-the-new-Firm-favourites-the-Earl-and-Countess-of-Wessex.html

Mr. Wilson does get it wrong regarding the Dukedom of Edinburgh.  Prince Edward will not inherit his father's dukedom.  The 1947 Letters Patent that created the title provides for male primogeniture for the succession.  This means Charles is the heir apparent to the present peerage.  If the Duke dies before the Queen, Charles succeeds to his father's peerages.  

Prince Edward will be given a new dukedom after the death of his father and the succession of Charles III.

British royals riding high

Interesting article.  However, the writer gets it wrong: Charles cannot surrender his claim to the throne.  Only an act of Parliament can change the succession.  Edward VIII was able to abdicate only after Parliament passed an act of Abdication.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/9333954/Diamond-Jubilee-satisfaction-with-the-Queen-and-Prince-Charles-has-never-been-so-high.html

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Charles wears 43-year-old pair of shoes

(and you thought Anne was frugal)

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG9332856/Prince-Charles-Fashion-Icon-Me.html

Swedish royal engagement to be announced shortly

June 14, 1932

Hereditary Prince Gustav Adolf, the eldest son of the Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, is expected to announce his engagement to Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on Thursday, the birthday of King Gustav V, reports the Associated Press.

Yesterday morning, Prince Gustav drove away from his father's summer residence to catch the ferry boat to Denmark,  and it is believed that he has gone to Coburg to see Princess Sibylla.

Prince Gustav Adolf has denied all reports of an engagement, but has told reporters to "wait and see."

This royal romance began in England where Prince Gustav Adolf met Princess Sibylla at the wedding of her first cousin, Lady May Cambridge to Henry Abel Smith.  The relationship strengthened with the young German princess returned to England to meet with Gustav Adolf's sister, Princess Ingrid.

Princess Sibylla, 24, is "blond and pretty.  She is a second cousin of Prince Gustav Adolf. Her father is Duke Carl Eduard of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  He is a grandson of the late Queen Victoria and Gustav Adolf's mother, the late Princess Margaret of Connaught, was a granddaughter of Victoria.

Zita: not living in poverty

June 14, 1922

A "high personage" who lives near the castle owned by former Empress Zita of Austria, near Viareggio, has told the New York Times:

"Much has been written and said about ex-Empress Zita, which is absolutely false  It is not true that Zita ever found herself in such restricted financial conditions as many European papers have colorfully stated.  She left Vienna, in all comfort, with all her jewels, which represent several millions.  Her reluctance to part with them is understandable, this being the reason why her brother Sixtus has sometimes come to her aid.

"It is most true that in Madeira the family lived most modestly in a house the extreme dampness of which was the primary cause of Charles's illness and death. He always had weak lungs.

"Zita has no definite project and at one time thought of asking for permission to live her with her mother, trusting in the chivalry of the Italian people and the hospitality of the Government, which would have had nothing to say against such a plan.  But she gave up this project. She has never thought of going to Switzerland, still less to Hungary, where, having once been Queen, she could not have lived as a simple individual, and where her presence would have caused disturbances and plots.  She therefore willingly accepted the invitation of the King of Spain and has no intention of leaving that country.

"Zita does not personally interest herself in political affairs.  She has entrusted that part to the brother of her husband, Archduke Max, who keeps in contact with the Hungarian royalists.  But for the moment nothing is being plotted; it is a period of patience and waiting."

The New York Times believes that the "high personage" is her cousin, Don Jaime, Duke of Madrid.  He lives for most of the year in the Villa del Borboni, which is located in a pine forest the surrounds Zita's castle.    The entire area was once owned by the Dukes of Parma.  Zita inherited the castle from her father, Duke Roberto.  Don Jaime inherited his home from his mother, who was Duke Roberto's sister, who was the first wife of the late Duke of Madrid, Don Carlos, Carlist pretender to the Spanish throne.

Oh no! Does this mean more QVDs?

Oh dear.  A new scandal for King Juan Carlos.   This scandal has a name: Ingrid Sartiau and Albert Sola Jimenez. 

Ingrid, 46, is a Belgian national, who believes she is a natural daughter of King Juan Carlos.  Albert Sola Jimenez, who was born in 1956 in  Barcelona, claims he is Juan Carlos' son.  According to press reports in Spain and in Belgium, Ingrid and Albert are half-siblings, and share a common parent.  They underwent DNA testing, which allegedly proved a 91% compatibility that they share one parent.

Sola was abandoned at a Barcelona maternity clinic in 1956.  In the 1980s, he hired a private detective, who discovered "a series of irregularities in his case."   He learned he came from a "major Catalan bourgeois family."

Ingrid and her husband, who is French, have two children, ages 20 and 22.

http://www.rtl.be/info/monde/europe/885309/juan-carlos-d-espagne-a-une-fille-cachee-belge

Ingrid's mother, Lilian, who now lives in Destelbergen, Belgium, is said to have had a relationship with Juan Carlos in the late 1950s through 1966, when Ingrid was born.   She allegedly met Juan Carlos in France, when she worked as a governess for members of the princely family of Merode.  After she became pregnant,  Lilian returned to Destelbergen in Belgium, where Ingrid was born.

The DNA tests allegedly prove that Ingrid and Albert have a common parent.  The DNA tests do not prove that Juan Carlos is the father of these two adults.

For DNA testing in the United States the probability of parenthood must be at least 99.5% or greater. 

It should be noted that there have been no comments from Zarzuela regarding these press stories.  Moreover, Juan Carlos has not made any statements or acknowledgement of any alleged natural children.

In the late 1980s, the German media alleged that Juan Carlos was the father of Dr. Paola di Robilant, the natural daughter of Olghina di Robilant.    Olghina and Juan Carlos were apparently a couple in the late 1950s, but there Olghina has stated emphatically that he is not the father of Paola, who was born in 1959.   Dr di Robilant is the head of the Italian department at the Cheltenham Ladies' College, a private boarding school in England.  She received her Ph.D from Columbia University.

I must add that Olghina di Robilant contacted me directly some years ago, and told me Juan Carlos is not Paola's father.  She has also repeated this statement in interviews in the Italian and Spanish media.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In the royal dog house

Zarzuela Palace has confirmed the Royal Family will spend a week's vacation at the Palace of Marivent in Palma de Mallorca, but without Infanta Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, and their four children.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will be joined by the Prince and Princess of Asturias and their two daughters.  Infanta Elena and her son and daughter are also expected to be in Mallorca.

If I were Infanta Cristina, I would be booking now for a week's vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, or Duck on the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  Reservations go fast.

http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2012/06/13/baleares/1339606089.html

Princess Pilar passes first Special Olympics test

Princess Ursula says her daughter, Princess Pilar, "is terribly nervous, but so am I."

Yesterday, Princess Pilar, 33, completed the first round of competition for the Special Olympics.  The equestrian events took place at Thann.   The princess, who is the daughter of Prince Leopold of Bavaria,  rode Zwergi, a horse "designed specifically for the therapeutic riding."

Her very proud mom noted: "For Pilar, riding is simply the greatest."

Princess Pilar suffers from  autism and other mental disabilities due to an anesthesia error when she was born.  She needs "strict supervision."   But for her parents,  Pilar "is just our daughter and she is integrated into normal family life," said Princess Ursula.

Princess Pilar now lives in a special facility at Steinhöring.  Princess Ursula admits that the decision to move her daughter "was pretty hard for me."   Princess Pilar lives in a room with furniture from her home.

Along with horse riding, Princess Pilar enjoys painting and dancing.  The final results of the competition will be known tomorrow, when Pilar and her family will learn if she will be able to compete in the Special Olympics.

http://www.bild.de/regional/muenchen/deutsche-royals/pilar-von-bayern-meistert-ihre-reitpruefung-24302674.bild.html

Kira: the press "write" their diary

June 13, 1938

The newly married Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia and Grand Duchess Kira of Russia "disclosed today that they had hit upon a labor-saving way to keep a diary of their round-the-world honeymoon trip."

The couple are currently in Chicago. According to the Associated Press, the Princess was asked how she and her husband "liked being interviewed every place they want."

"Oh, we like it.  You have no idea how much work it saves us," Kira said.

One reporter, obviously puzzled by the comment, responded: "Work?"

"Yes, work,"  the princess replied.  "We want a diary of our trip, and if it weren't for the photographers and reporters just think of the work and time we would have to take writing down our impressions.
"As it is we just tell them to the reporters -- and then clip the newspapers."

Amelie elopes with chauffeur

June 13, 1908

There are now "ten different versions" published about the Princess Amelie of Fürstenberg's love affairs, according to the Los Angeles Times, but "the news of her having left her mother's house only leaked yesterday."

No one can "excuse the fact," or even change it, but "the annals of the illustrious family of Fürstenberg" with include the statement that Princess Amelie, "undisputed beauty of three carnivals of Vienna," has run off with a chauffeur.

The Princess is said to "beautiful almost beyond description."  She is "tall and willowy, graceful and stately."  Her figure and form "are incomparable.  Her face has "all the refinement of the old races she springs from," and she prefers unconventional dress, never "according to fashion."  She never wears any ornaments, and her hair has been dyed a "magnificent reddish blonde."

Princess Amelie has "refused partners, or accepted them just as she liked, without considering their birthrights," and spent time with "any one she liked," as she was indulged by her mother "who has been just the same in the days of her youth."

On May 24, Princess Amelie left Berlin with her lover.  They boarded a Northern Railway train for London.  She turned eighteen on March 17, so her family hopes that they can "argue her out her plans" to marry.

Prince Alois - and veto powers

A real political-cum-royal situation

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/06/11/uk-liechtenstein-prince-idUKBRE85A0C220120611

More of the Diamond Jubilee

Hampton Court

On the Mall before the concert

getting ready to watch the concert

fireworks over Buckingham Palace

Ready for bed

early Tuesday morning

around 4 am, walking through St. James's Park with a cup of tea

going down to meet the queen

taken with my little camera


next for London

near the Tower -- supported by the Prince of Wales' trust

the saddest picture

on the train from Battersea Park ...after the Flotilla.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

So you want to go to a Diamond Jubilee

the window of an eye glasses shop
Back at home, safe, sound, and drying out!  It rained a lot in London last week.  I returned home to azure blue skies and 90 degree temperatures.  I don't do jet lag well, especially when returning home.  I adapt easier to putting my watch ahead five hours. It is more difficult for me to turn the watch back five hours without the feeling of being exhausted.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that I ran myself ragged in the past week, thanks to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The British do pomp and circumstance better than anyone else.

The journey to London begins on the afternoon of May 30 when a friend picks me up at my office to drive me to National Airport.  I board a USAir flight to Philadelphia and then onto another plane for the overnight flight to Heathrow.  In Philadelphia, I change into comfy casual Washington Nationals clothes, and head for the airport sports bar for a snack and a cold beer.  The Phillies game is on TV, and  they are playing the Mets.  The Mets are my first love as I grew up at Shea Stadium.

The Washington Nationals are in first place in the National League East. The Phillies are in the same division, but they are in last place. Cheering for the Mets, while wearing Nats clothes in a Philadelphia airport sports bar .... ah, sweet satisfaction.  I believe the Mets won the game.

 I arrived at Heathrow at 10 a.m., on May 31.  After getting my suitcase, I make my way to the exit, where I spot a Jubilee welcome desk  I sign the guest book, and am handed a flag.  Afterward I head to the Heathrow Express to London to check in for one night at the Doubletree at Victoria Station.

After a quick shower and a change of clothes, I walk over to Buckingham Palace.  London is well-decorated with bunting and flags.  Many store windows on Kensington High Street and Oxford Street are decorated as well.
getting ready for the concert on the Victoria Memorial

The area around Buckingham Palace is a hive of activity as workmen are constructing the stage on Victoria Memorial for the concert on Sunday night.  I start walking down the Mall, looking for the right place for Monday night, when I plan to camp out to get a good space for Tuesday's procession. 

As I continue to walk, I notice a car with police outriders leaving the Palace and turning into Clarence House.  The Princess Royal is in the car.   Perhaps she is visiting her brother, the Prince of Wales, to ask him how much he wants to contribute to Mummy's gift. 

Decided to have dinner at the Shakespeare Pub near Victoria Station. The beer was good, so was the dessert, but do not try the Wiltshire ham.  The ham was definitely off.  The waitress told me the ham was fresh "yesterday."  Time to order another beer.  I did not get charged for the main dish.

Kensington Palace

the first nine descendants of Queen Victoria
Most of Friday was spent at Kensington Palace, which recently had undergone a major renovation, including new gardens, a new entrance, and a fab exhibit, Victoria Revealed, on the life of Queen Victoria.  This exhibit is permanent, but there is a also an exhibition on Victoria's Jubilee - Jubilee a View from the Crowd- which runs until November.

http://www.hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace/

Visitors can now enter the Palace through the golden front gates.  This leads to the new visitors' entrance, gift shop and cafe.  The weather was still nice on Friday.  I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and a piece of chocolate cake before going back to see the Victoria exhibit for a second time before leaving to head back to the hotel, get my suitcase, and get the tube to Liverpool Street where I caught the train to Harlow.  I would spend the rest of my vacation with my dear friends, Paul and Toni, their daughter Sophie, and their pets, Mysty and Lucy.  Two good programs on Friday, one featuring the Prince of Wales honoring his mother (with footage seen for the first time), and Alan Titchmarsh's Elizabeth: Queen, Wife, Mother.

at the Hampton Court Garde Party .. I made the Crown

Grand Duchess Xenia as Queen Anne




Ah! Pimm's
I spent Saturday at Hampton Court Palace at the Jubilee Garden Party, held in the palace gardens.  The event was free, and the date for the party was June 3, 1953, the day after Elizabeth II's Coronation. (1952 was a year of mourning.)  People were encouraged to wear clothes from the 50s and bring a picnic basket.  I sampled some of the food for sale and drank several glasses of Pimm's. Lovely.

A band played throughout the day, and there were activities for families, including making your own bunting and crown.   One of the highlights was the Queens' pageant, where interpreters playing the residents of the Grace and Favour homes at Hampton Court, who, in turn, played the Queens from Mathilda to Queen Victoria.  One "resident" was cast as Britannia.

In other words: characters playing characters.  Lady Manning was cast as Lady Jane Gray.  Rosemary Kennedy played Victoria, and Grand Duchess Xenia of Russia portrayed Queen Anne.   Lady Baden-Powell, founder of the Girl Guides, inspected several Brownie troops.
Hampton Court

The Jubilee Garden Party was a wonderful way to kick off the Jubilee for me.

Up early on Sunday to come into London for the Flotilla.  I had ordered two tickets for the party at Battersea Park, but my friend could not go.  I made a young woman very happy when I gave her my extra ticket. 

Train to Liverpool Street. Tube to Victoria and another train (one stop) to Battersea Park.  70,000 tickets were sold for the event.  Not as well prepared as I would have thought.  Plenty of port-a-loos, but not enough food vendors.  People were standing in line for 90 minutes and longer just to get coffee. I had not brought any food, as I expected to be able to purchase something, but I changed my mind because I preferred not to lose my good viewing space by the wall to watch the flotilla.  Several kind people shared their sandwiches with me.  Lots of kind people that day.

It was amazing to watch the flotilla - and I stayed to the bitter end despite the rain.  Many people left after the queen passed by, and others started to leave when the rain started.   I was not going to leave until it was over, until the last boat, which featured the London Symphony Orchestra, passed by.  

I had hoped to get something to eat afterward, as the party at Battersea Park continued, but it was raining hard, and I decided it was time to leave and head back to Harlow.  A long queue to enter the Battersea Park station.  The woman behind me offered free sandwiches to those of us who might have been hungry. Thanks to the rain, her picnic ended early, so she decided to share her homemade sandwiches with others in the line  I was very grateful, and said thank you .. several times.

At Victoria Station, I bought a very large hot vanilla latte, which I drank very slowly.  Ah .. warmth.   Due to the number of people entering the station to get on the Tube,  police had to close down the entrance to the Tube for about 20 minutes, as people were allowed to get off the trains and leave the station.   A good way to maintain crowd control.  Eventually, I was able to get on the subway to Liverpool Street, and then a train home.



Monday was another early day.  Monday and Tuesday were bank holidays, which meant my friends were off from work.  They planned to watch the festivities on television.  Not me.  I was going to spend Monday night on the Mall ... and I did not expect to be alone. I had brought with me an inflatable floatie (for pools), emergency sleeping bag, and Mylar blankets.  My friends gave me a few few large garbage bags (bin liners) as well.  Paul drove me to the train for the 30 minute ride to London.  I headed first to Oxford Street to Marks & Spencer where I bought the cutest t-shirt: a corgi wearing a crown.  In the Food Halls, I stocked up on water, sandwiches, fruit, tea cakes (Mallomars) and a small bag of salted crisps (Chips). 

As Green Park was closed, we were directed to head toward St. James's Park via St. James's Place.  My bag was inspected as I entered the Mall, which was filling up fast.  I had not realized that there were television screens up and down the Mall, where people could watch the concert at Buckingham Palace.  I had not realized that this was going to happen ... a nice bonus for Monday night.  I found a nice space on the Mall across from Clarence House.  My neighbors were a nice mom and daughter, who were also spending the night.  They had an extra blanket which they offered for me to use.  I put it under the floatie. I shared my tea cakes with people around me.   Wish I had some right now.

Large screens were also set up in Hyde Park and in other cities around the United Kingdom.  I was about 500 feet away from the back end of the Victoria Memorial ... and Sir Paul McCartney.

Eventually, the police stopped admitting people to the Mall and to St. James' Park. As afternoon turned to dusk, the area took on an atmostophere of joy, happiness ... and let's party!   The British can match the Americans for flag waving, patriotism, and celebrating the red, white and blue!

I don't think anyone on the Mall sat down for the concert as we were all up and about, dancing to the music, and giving shouts when the hosts acknowledged the crowd on the Mall.  After the concert was over,  those who were staying the night were advised to move into St. James's Park.  A group of us, including my neighbors, the mom and her daughter, decided to move closer to Buckingham Palace .  We were now on the other side of Clarence House, still on the St. James's Park side.  We had to move away from the street as the double barriers were put up during the night.  At first the police would not allow us to move back closer to the barriers (so we could protect our turf to be in the front for the procession), but eventually, we were able to move toward the barrier.  All told, the police had us move about five times .. from the barriers to the park to the sidewalk, and finally were we wanted to be.

Many people had pitched tents in the park or on the sidewalk.  It was a bit cold, and I probably should have brought another blanket.  There was no way to get any sleep with all the noise going on as the television sets were taken down and removed.  Although all of the food vendors closed down after the concert, St. James's Park left open one of the park's cafes.  At four a.m., I walked down to use the loo (ah warmth) and get a cup of tea at the cafe.  Hot dogs were also available and other snacks.  I walked around the park, noticing that the London Eye was lit in red,white and blue.  St. James's Park is my favorite park, and I enjoyed the emerging daylight as more people were making their way to the barriers for the procession.

The food vendors also reopened in time for breakfast.  At the Fine Chicken vendor, I had a nice bacon butty for breakfast. We were right next to the BBC's area, and we were often asked to cheer on cue.  Seriously, the crowd did not need any encouragement when it came to cheering.  We cheered everyone from the terrorist police to the regular police to the pooper scoopers.  I was interviewed several times by the BBC (token American), and my body hidden underneath the blankets was filmed by ITN.

By the time the Queen left the palace (she was sitting on our side in the car), the crowd was about 20 deep and grew even larger in time for the procession.  More than one million people were on the Mall for the procession. 

The Service of Thanksgiving was played on an intercom system.  At the end of the service, when the National Anthem was played, we all stood up and sang along.   I know all the words to the first verse, too. 

Everyone commented on how fast the carriages past by us as the skies opened once again.  But no one was deterred by the rain.  After the Queen was in Buckingham Palace, the police led the crowd up the Mall and toward the front of the Palace.  We stood there in the rain, shouting "We Want the Queen,"  "God Save the Queen" was sung many times, and there were the usual calls of "Hip, Hip, Hooray."   

When the Queen stepped out onto the balcony, she was apparently taken back by the magnitude of the crowd.  The cheers and the singing grew ever louder.  I managed to get one good balcony shot.  My camera battery had died (thanks to spending the night outside), but thanks to a neat trick of keeping the battery in my bra, I was able to squeeze that one shot out of a dead battery!

The balcony appearance lasted for about twenty minutes, I think.  Eventually, the balcony doors closed, and it was time for the crowd to start going home.  I had hoped to get through Green Park, but it was still closed.  We were directed to walk up Constitution Hill to get to Victoria Station, which meant walking around the back of Buckingham Palace, turning left on Duke of Wellington Place and another left on Buckingham Palace Road toward Victoria Station.  

It was now after 4 p.m.  The rain continued to fall, and, suffice to say, my personality had morphed from mere grumpy to downright crabby.  All I wanted was a nice cup of coffee to perk me up as I had not slept in more than 24 hours. 

Eventually got on the train for Harlow, and I asked the person sitting across from me to make sure I got off at Harlow as I was soooooo ready to fall asleep.  A hot bath was my reward (and a yummy dinner) for surviving sleeping outside and the rain. 

It was back to work on Wednesday for my friends.  I slept until 9, and caught a local bus to the train station.  Picked up the papers to read on the train.  I decided to head to Greenwich, which meant catching the Central Line at Liverpool Station (one stop to Bank) and then catch the Docklands Light Railway to the Cutty Stark station in Greenwich.  I spent the morning at the National Maritime Museum where I saw a small exhibit on the Titanic (based on Walter Lord's book A Night to Remember) and the very fabulous Royal River Power, Pageantry & Thames exhibit.  This special exhibit costs £11.00, and runs through September 9.  

http://www.rmg.co.uk/visit/events/royal-river


The rest of the museum is free.   I found a delightful pub, the Admiral Hardy, for lunch, where I had a superb jacketed potato (smothered in ham and cheese) and a good local beer. 

It rained for most of the day.  I headed back into Central London by catching the Jubilee Line at Canary Wharf.  Tea at Fortnum &Mason, followed by shopping and a nice walk.   In the evening, I met several friends for dinner at Bella Italia in Leicester Square.  My favorite place to eat in London.

I spent the last day in London, walking around and doing shopping.  Yes, it rained.  I got off the Tube at the Tower and walked around St. Katherine's Dock, where I saw the royal barge (Spirit of Chartwell).  The next stop is the National Portrait Gallery to view special exhibitions on Queen Elizabeth II and on Princess Charlotte of Wales and Queen Victoria.

After excursions to Piccadilly and Oxford Street, I got on the Jubilee line and headed to Stratford in East London.  I wanted to visit the Westfield Shopping Centre, the largest shopping mall in Europe, and the Official Shopping Centre of London 2012. 

The Olympic Stadium and several other venues are in Stratford.   There is a viewing area on the top floors of the John Lewis department store at the mall.  John Lewis is also one of the stores that sells the official Olympic merchandise. I bought a Team GB T-shirt.  The mall also features a Waitrose, Marks & Sparks, bowling alleys, a cinema, food courts and restaurants, and plenty of shops to browse!

I had hoped to catch a train to Harlow from Stratford Regional, but I would have had to wait more than an hour.  Discovered a train leaving for Hereford, with the first stop at Tottenham Hale, where I can catch plenty of trains to Harlow.

Paul brought home fish and chips for dinner.  Yum!  Watched a special on Prince William (who celebrates his 30th birthday on June 21) before making sure everything is in the suitcase. 

Up at 6 on Friday morning.  It's teeming with rain.  Paul drives me to Heathrow.  Plenty of traffic until Potters Bar, and then no problems.  Check in, go through security, get the latest Hello and the papers, a coffee and a yogurt at Cafe Nero, and the last stop before heading to the gate is Duty free where I buy two bottles of Pimms.   After going through Immigration at Philadelphia, I get my suitcase, which has to be checked in again.   Duty Free liquids must now go into the main suitcase before the suitcase is handed back to be rechecked in for the next flight.  (The bottles made it safely.)

Back through security and a long walk to the next terminal, where I will board a flight to D.C.  The sun is shining brightly.   Home by 7:30 p.m.  Buddy and Edison greet me right away.  Sienna gives me that "where's my pressie" look before walking out of the room, nose in the air.  Turn on TV, collapse on couch, and watch the Nationals beat the Red Sox.  By the time the game was over, all three cats were on the couch with me.