Friday, June 23, 2017

Who are those people in the Ascot carriages

During the five  days of Royal Ascot. The Queen and her guests board carriages on the Long Walk at Windsor. The carriages wend their way down the Long Walk/Dukes Lane to Ascot. A friend and I had tickets for one day of Duke Lane last year -- it rained so the carriages were closed. Bummer.

Other members of the Royal Family and friends are asked to join the Queen in the carriage procession.    Many times, some of the guests are largely unknown to the general public (or even the press), but royal historians are more in the know!

On the first day of Royal Ascot, in the first carriage.  the Queen was accompanied by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh,  the Duke of York and Lord Vestey.

Lord Vestey, 76, is the Master of the Horse.   He was 13-years-old when  he succeeded his grandfather as the 3rd Baron Vestey.   The family estate is Stowell Park in Gloucestershire.  He is a great-grandson of Dame Nellie Melba  (Helen Porter Mitchell.)  the Australian opera singer.   Peach Melba and Melba toast are named for  her.

Second carriage:   TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall,  TRH  the Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York

 Third carriage:  TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and TRH The Earl and Countess of Wessex

Fourth carriage:  Mr. and Mrs Peter Phillips and  Lord Fellowes and Lady Jane Fellowes.

Peter Phillips is the only son of HRH The Princess Royal.  Lord Fellowes, a life peer, is the former Private Secretary to HM The Queen.  His wife, Lady Jane is the second of three daughters of the late 8th Earl Spencer and the Hon. Frances Roche Burke.  Her younger sister, Lady Diana, married the Prince of Wales. Thus, she is a maternal aunt of the Duke of Cambridge.

Day Two:

First carriage:   HM The Queen.  TRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and Lord Fellowes.   The Duke of Edinburgh, suffering from an infection, had been taken to the hospital after the first day of Royal Ascot.

Second carriage:   TRH the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.   TRH Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.  The Duke and Prince Michael are the queen's first cousins.

Third carriage:  HRH Princess Alexandra, the Hon. Lady Ogilvy, James Swartz, and the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. James Tollemache.    Princess Alexandra is the Queen's first cousin, sister of Prince Michael of Kent.

Mr. Swartz is a consumer advocate for toys, and a yachtsman.
James Tollemache attended Eton with the Duke of Cambridge and is the younger son of the 4th Baron Tollemache.  He is married to Princess Florence von Preussen, daughter of HRH Prince Nicholas of Prussia and his former wife, Hon. Victoria Mancroft.

Florence, who is known as Flossie, is a descendant of Queen Victoria through her eldest child,  Princess Victoria, who married the future Friedrich III.  Flossie is a great-granddaughter of Vicky and Fritz's eldest Kaiser Wilhelm II.  Her father, Prince Friedrich, was the fourth son of Crown Prince Wilhelm,  the Kaiser's eldest son.  Friedrich married Lady Brigid Guinness, daughter of the Earl of Iveagh.   (Her sister, Lady Honor, married Chips Channon.)

Flossie was due to give birth to a second child in June.

Fourth carriage: Lord and Lady Vestey and Mr. and Mrs. Jake Warren.   Jake is the son of the Queen's racing manager, John Warren, who is married to Lady Caroline Herbert, daughter of the late 7th Earl of Carnarvon, who was one of the Queen's closest friends and her racing manager before Mr. Warren.

John Warren is a bloodstock agent, and runs the Highclere Stud, at Highclere Castle (aka Downtown Abbey), with his son, Jake, described as one of Prince Harry's best friends.  Jake is married to Zoe Stewart.

Day Three:

First carriage:  HM The Queen,  HRH The Duke of York.  Mr. John Warren and Mr. Edward Young.   Mr. Young is the Queen's Deputy Private Secretary

Second carriage:  HRH The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Tim Laurence and TRH Princess Beatrice and Eugenie of York.

Third carriage:  The Earl and Countess of Snowdon and Captain and Mrs. David Bowes-Lyon.   Lord Snowdon is the son of the late HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon and the 1st Earl of Snowdon.  He is the nephew of the Queen.

Fourth carriage:  Mr and Mrs. Charles Butter and the Hon Peter and Hon. Mrs Stanley.

 Charles Butter is a lifelong friend of Prince Andrew, but the family ties go back for several generations.  Charles' mother, Myra Wernher, is the youngest child of the late Countess Zia Torby and Sir Harold Wernher, BT.    Zia was one of three children of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia and his morganatic wife, Countess Sophie von Merenberg, who was the eldest daughter of Prince Nikolaus of Nassau and Natalya Alexandrovna Pushkina, daughter of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

Countess Sophie of Merenberg married Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia, son of Grand Duke Michael Nicolaivich of Russia, son of Emperor Nicholas I,  and Princess Cacilie of Baden.   Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich's siblings included Grand Duchess Anastasia, wife of Grand Duke Franz Friedrich III of Mecklenburg (their children included Duchess Cecilie, wife of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, and Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, consort of King Christian X, grandparents of Queen Margrethe II).

Shortly after her marriage, Sophie's paternal uncle,  Grand Duke Adolphe of Luxembourg created her and children as Countesses and Count Torby.

They had three children:  Anastasia, known as Zia, Nadejeda (Nada) and Michael.   Several months after her marriage to Major-General Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Bt, George V granted Zia the style and precedence of a daughter of an earl by Royal Warrant.  This followed the precedence established in 1906 when Countess Valda Gleichen married Percy Machell.  Countess Valda was a daughter of Prince Victor zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Lady Laura Seymour.  Prince Victor was a son of Queen Victoria's older half sister, Feodore.

Zia's sister, Nada, married the former Prince George of Battenberg, who was styled as Earl of Medina in July 1917 after his father, Prince Louis of Battenberg, was created Marquess of Milford Haven.  George's older sister, Alice, married Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.  Alice had four daughters and a son, Prince Philip.

George succeeded as the 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven in 1921.

Lady Zia had her husband had three children: Alex, Georgina, known as Gina and Myra.  These three children were a part of a social circle that included Nada's two children, Tatiana and David,  Patricia and Pamela Mountbatten (children of George's younger brother, Lord Louis and his wife, the Hon. Edwina Ashley), Prince Philip and two young British princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret Rose.

Although Lord Milford Haven was Philip's guardian, the young prince spent more with Lady Zia and Sir Harold and their family.  Their son, Alex, who was killed in the second world war, was very much a mentor and older brother to Philip.

Lady Zia was a successful breeder and racehorse owner, and became a close friend of Princess Elizabeth.  Her husband owned several estates, including Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire, which Sir Harold's father, Sir Julius, purchased in 1903.  Sir Julius had made his fortune in the South African diamond mines.
(In 1891,  the Duke of Clarence, son of Prince of Wales, and grandson of Queen Victoria, proposed to Princess Mary of Teck at Luton Hoo.)

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip often spent their wedding anniversary at Luton Hoo.   The estate was inherited by Lady Zia's grandson, Nicholas Phillips in 1977.   After his untimely death in 1991, the estate was sold.  It is now the Luton Hotel, Golf and Spa.

Lady Zia had hoped that her daughters would make grand marriages.  Gina married Harold "Bunny Phillips," who had been the lover of Lady Louis Mountbatten.   Myra married Sir David Butter, a Scots landowner.    Charles is their youngest child.  He has four older sisters.

The grand marriages were made by several of Lady Zia's grandchildren.  Charles' sisters including the Countess of Dalhousie and Princess Alexander Galitzine.   His maternal first cousins include the Duchess of Abercorn and the Dowager Duchess of Westminster.   Charles is married to Agnieszksa Szeluk and they have two children, Julia and Henry.

Charles' Aunt Gina was one of the Queen's closest friends, and godmother of Prince Andrew.

The Hon. Peter Stanley is the younger brother of the Earl of Derby.  He manages the Hatchfield stud farm.   He is married to the Hon. Frances Caroline Burke Roche, a first cousin of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Day 4:

First carriage:  HM The Queen.  Captain David Bowes-Lyon, Mr, Erik Penser.  and Mr. Thomas van Straubenzee.

Captain David Bowes-Lyon is a second cousin once removed of the Queen.   Their common ancester is Claude, the 13th Earl of Strathmore.  The Queen is the granddaughter of the 14th Earl, and David is the great grandson of the 14th Earl's younger brother, the Hon. Francis Bowes-Lyon.   In 1976, David married Harriet Colville, daughter of Sir John Colville, private secretary to Princess Elizabeth (1947-1949.)   Harriet is a goddaughter of the Queen.  Since 1990, she has been a lady-in-waiting.

Erik Penser is a Swedish financier and racehorse owner who lives at Compton Beauchamp.  Thomas van Straubenzee is a life long friend of the Duke of Cambridge, and one of Princess Charlotte of Cambridge's godparents.  He was briefly married to Lady Melissa Percy, daughter of the 12th Duke of Northumberland.

Second carriage.  The Hon. Peter and Mrs. Stanley.  Mr. John and Lady Carolyn Warren

Third carriage   Mr. John Gosden,  Rachel Hood, and Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Wingfield Digby.   John Gosden is a racehorse trainer, with more than 2000 winners.  He is married to Rachel Hood, who is licensed to practice law in the USA and in the UK.  She is a thoroughbred racehorse owner.

Nicholas Wingfield Digby is the High Sheriff for Suffolk.  He is a veterinarian who works with racing stables, including Highclere.  He also served as Veterinary Surgeon to the Royal Studs.  He is married to Delia Mary Dewey, daughter of Sir Anthony Dewey, 3rd Baronet.

Fourth Carriage.  Wing Commander Sam Fletcher,  Mrs. David Bowes Lyon and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Butter.   Wing Commander Sam Fletcher is one of the Queen's equerry.

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