Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Aristocratic Wedding

From the Daily Mail:

Snow and Duke’s girl wed in secret

Just four months after I revealed their clandestine romance, TV historian Dan Snow and glamorous heiress Lady Edwina Grosvenor have secretly married.

The couple — he is the son of former Newsnight presenter Peter Snow, she is the daughter of Britain’s richest ­landowner, the Duke of Westminster — began dating just over a year ago. They were married in Liverpool, close to ­Edwina’s family home.

English landed aristocrats

More than a third of Britain's land is still in the hands of a tiny group of aristocrats, according to the most extensive ownership survey in nearly 140 years.

In a shock to those who believed the landed gentry were a dying breed, blue-blooded owners still control vast swathes of the country within their inherited estates.

A group of 36,000 individuals "only 0.6 per cent of the population" own 50 per cent of rural land.

The Making of a Modern Prince

Christopher Wilson says:

If there seemed to be more than a hint of déjà vu over last week’s royal wedding announcement, it was intentional. The re-emergence of Princess Diana’s engagement ring, the toe-curling television interview, the pink-cheeked hint of babies to come – it was all so spookily redolent of events 30 years ago.

Prince William will have been cool with that. A huge dollop of royalty’s appeal is its ability to re-fashion old habits, old ceremonials, and make them look almost (but not quite) new, and for a man who prefers his chinos, he seemed willing enough to scrub up nicely for the day, if looking perhaps a little too like his father and mother all those years ago.

For more click on the link below!

Palace Visits Raise Money for Charity

Palace visits raise money for charity

As every year, guided visits to the Duke's palace raised money this summer season to the tune of € 23,848.75 for charity.

The Middleton Fortune

Kate Middleton's journey from ordinary middle class girl to future princess has all the elements of a romantic fairytale. Kate's great great grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton built a huge fortune which he left to his family when he died in 1921.

By Jason Lewis, Investigations Editor 8:30PM GMT 27 Nov 2010

But Ms Middleton's rise to the ranks of the aristocracy would not have been possible without the hard-headed foresight of a Victorian industrialist and philanthropist.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some find him tough...I honestly find him endearing even though he called me "peculiar!"

Several years ago when I met the Duke of Edinburgh at a private event in Germany, he thought that a Costa Rican who wrote books about European royalty and was an expert on the Gotha, was "most peculiar!"

To that statement, I replied, "Indeed Sir..."

I know I'm peculiar...The Duke of Edinburgh was not telling me anything I did not know and in fact gave an anecdote I will forever share with my readers and friends!

I happen to be a big fan of Prince Philip's...

Anyone who at nearly ninety-years of age does as much as His Royal Highness deserves our admiration!

Support on the rise for the Swedish Monarchy

Let's be frank...November was an ingrate month for HM King Carl XVI Gustaf...but it seems support for the monarchy in Sweden remains strong!

Oh Poor King Edward VIII...eight decades later, still no respect!

Portrait of a very immature king: Yacht steward's scathing assessment of Edward VIII during abdication crisis

Is Queen Camilla coming...

Prince Charles has for the first time said his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, could become queen if he were to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.


UK bishop suspended for Prince William wedding slur

Reuters reports:

The Church of England has suspended the bishop who called Prince William and fiancee Kate Middleton "shallow celebrities" and suggested their marriage would only last seven years.


Read on:

Henri of Luxembourg – Ten Years on the Grand Ducal Throne

A nice book was published in Luxembourg to commemorate the first decade of Grand Duke Henri's ascension to the Grand Ducal Throne.

Henri succeeded his father, Grand Duke Jean (b. 1921), who had succeeded his mother Grand Duchess Charlotte in 1964. She ruled the Grand Duchy from 1919 to 1964, but survived until the 1980s.

As Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri broke with tradition when choosing a commoner as his wife, Ms. María Teresa Mestre, whose family was exiled from Cuba since the Castroist revolution enshrined Communism on the largest island in the Caribbean. The couple remains devoted to one another and are the parents of five children, among them hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, who remains unmarried. will carry this new book, which promises to be very interesting!

The Bismarck Mess

The descendants of Germany's "Iron Chancellor" Otto von Bismarck were at the center of a scandal yesterday, following revelations that police had been called to the family's country seat to end an alleged fight between the legendary statesman's great-great-grandson, Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck, and his 71-year-old mother, Princess Elisabeth von Bismarck.

 Nothing like a little acting out when Mummy has a houseful of guests...

A worthy association: The Louis-Philippe Museum at the Château d'Eu

From the website of The Association of Friends of the Château d'Eu...a marvelous site every royal watcher ought to visit!

Situated on the very edge of Normandy, the construction of the present Château of Eu was begun in 1578 by Henri of Guise and Catherine of Cleves, before being completed in 1665 by the Grande Mademoiselle, King Louis XIV’s first cousin. In the 18th Century it was in turn the property of the Duke of Maine and the Duke of Penthièvre before becoming the Summer Palace of King Louis-Philippe in the 19th century. Following the creation of the Entente Cordiale between France and Great Britain, the French sovereign invited Queen Victoria of England to Eu on official visits in 1843 and 1845.
As the residence of the Princes of Orleans until the beginning of the 20th century, the Château underwent a period of extensive renovation during the Third French Republic between 1872 and 1886. These building works were supervised by the famous architect Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc.
Although partly destroyed by fore in 1902, the Château was purchased and restored from 1905 onwards by the Brazilian Imperial Family - the Orleans-Braganzas. It was at Eu that lived the eldest daughter of Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, Isabel of Braganza, and her husband, Prince Gaston of Orleans, Count of Eu as well as King Louis-Philippe’s grandson.
In 1954 the Château of Eu was acquired by the Dom Pedro II Historical Study Society which in turn sold it in 1962 to the local government authority – the Département of Seine-Maritime.
In 1964 the town of Eu purchased the château which after 1973 would house the mayor’s office and the Louis-Philippe Museum.

The Museum nowadays

The rooms of the Louis-Philippe Museum are mainly devoted to the King and his family. The setting is most appropriate as the site and collections recall the golden age of the Château when it was the Summer Palace and favourite residence of the last King of France. Visitors can also admire the major building works carried out by Eugène Viollet-Le-Duc at the end of the 19th century. Part of the collections of the Brazilian Family are also on show including anthropology, portraits, the Imperial Library of 22,000 volumes as well as the royal carriage which once belonged to King John V of Portugal. This vehicle dates from 1727, which makes it the oldest French-made carriage on exhibition in France.
The Galerie des Guise may be considered the most splendid room in the Château. Thanks to the purchase in 2000 of 145 historical paintings which originally formed part of the collections of the Grande Mademoiselle and of Louis-Philippe at Eu, this gallery is in the process of being restored to its original state and we are looking forward to its completion. This is already the case for the panelled ceiling which had been badly damaged by the fire in 1902. The Galerie des Guise is a key element for both the architecture of and the history of the Château and it would provide Louis-Philippe with a direct model for the Museum of French History which he established at Versailles.
A part of the former royal domain has remained in private hands and still belongs to the Orleans Family whose members regularly stay at Eu. This is the case for Prince Jacques of Orleans, Duke of Orleans and Prince Michel of Orleans, Count of Evreux : both sons and heirs of Princess Isabelle of Orleans-Braganza, Countess of Paris (1911-2003), who was grand-daughter of Prince Gaston of Orleans, Count of Eu and also Founder-President of the Association of the Friends of the Louis-Philippe Museum at the Château of Eu.

The Duke d'Anjou lends his support to the rebuilders of Château de Saint Cloud

HRH Prince Charles-Philippe d’Orléans, Duke d’Anjou, has given his name and support to the association formed to lobby for the rebuilding of the Château de Saint Cloud. 

The Château de Saint-Cloud was a royal residence in France, built on a magnificent site overlooking the River Seine at Saint-Cloud in Hauts-de-Seine about 10KM west of Paris. Today it is a large park on the outskirts of the capital and is owned by the state, but the area as a whole has had a large part to play in the history of the country. The castle's grounds are part of today's Parc de Saint-Cloud.

The château was built expanded in the XVII century by Prince Philipp of France, Duke d'Orléans, the infamous brother of King Louis XIV. He had purchased the land in 1658 and began building a magnificent pleasure palace on it. Philippe continued building until his death in 1701, at which time Saint-Cloud passed to his son, the future regent of France. It was finally enlarged by Queen Marie Antoinette in the 1780s. Saint-Cloud was popular with Emperors Napole I and Napoleon III, but it was destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War. The ruins were finally razed to the ground in 1891 and what remains today is a magnificent park overlooking Paris.

The gardens around the now-gone edifice were created by the eminent French park designer and architect André Le Nôtre, and although beautiful then, remain a magnificent legacy today.

As the German armies laid siege to Paris, the château was overtaken by the Prussians, who setup their general headquarters in it. The park and château enjoying a privileged view overlooking Paris, the Prussians also setup up heavy artillery which they proceeded to use when bombarding the French capital. In retaliation, the French set the sights of their cannon on the Prussians and returned fire. One of the shells landed on the château and set off a massive fire that consumed the beautiful structure. The date was October 13, 1870. Luckily, the furnishings were previously removed on order by Empress Eugenie, thus saving a considerable share of the national patrimony from the consuming and unforgiving fire.

HRH The Duke of Noto and the Order of Malta

Last October 6, at a ceremony celebrated in Rome, HRH Prince don Pedro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, became a member of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights Hospitalers of  Malta.

Don Pedro, a dynamic prince with a very open and welcoming personality, is the only son, among five children, of HRH the Infante don Carlos of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria, claimant to the throne of the Two Sicilies. Don Pedro's ancestry is a fine example of what old dynastic alliances once were. His four grandparents were members from various branches of the Bourbon Dynasyty: Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Bourbon-Parma, (Bourbon-) Orléans and (Bourbon-) Orléans-Bragança.

The heir to this amazing legacy married doña Sofía Landaluce, a Spanish aristocrat, granddaughter of a duke and Grandee of Spain. With doña Sofía, don Pedro formed a family now blessed with five children, plus one on the way. The couple lives in Madrid and don Pedro works in his family's various endeavors and businesses, besides functioning as one of the higher officials within the Constantinian Order of Saint George.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Birthday of Prince Gaston d'Orléans

HRH Prince Gaston d'Orléans, firstborn child of the Dukes of Vendôme, Jean and Philomena, was born on November 19, 2009.

The baby boy is expected to, eventually, succeed his father as Count of Paris, one hopes many decades from now, and this ascend the role of Head of House France in due time.

Archduke Otto of Austria's 98th birthday!

Just a week ago HIRH Archduke Otto, the last Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, celebrated his 98th birthday.

It seems amazing that just eight years ago I was in Vienna attending the celebrations for Archduke Otto's 90th birthday. Back then I had the opportunity to sit with him and dialogue about his role in efforts to unify Europe, among many other topics.

Also while in Vienna I got to spend time with some other contemporaries of the Archduke, among them his brothers Carl Ludwig and Otto, as well as Fürstin Tatiana Metternich, all three now deceased, sadly.

Archduke Otto, eldest child of then Archduke Karl and his Bourbon-Parma wife, Zita, was born on 20 November 1912 at Villa Wartholtz in Reichenau. Seven other children eventually joined the imperial nursery: Adelheid, Robert, Felix, Carl Ludwig, Rudolf, Charlotte and Elisabeth. All, with the exception of Otto and Felix, have now joined their parents in eternal rest.

Archduke Otto was married to the former Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen in 1951. Their wedding took place in Nancy, France. The couple had seven children, all alive today. Archduchess Regina passed away earlier this year and was temporarily buried in Thüringen, pending transfer to a final resting place where she will lay next to her husband of nearly sixty years.

Since the passing of his wife, Archduke Otto, who is in frail health, has remained away from the public eye. He continues living in his family residence in Bavaria.

Had the empire survived the cataclysmic end of the Great War, Archduke Otto would most likely be in the 88th year of his reign, the longest ever headship of house in any European Monarchy.

He is nothing short of an amazing man...and I am truly honored to have been able to meet him on several opportunities and spend time discussing myriad topics. These meetings are memories I will treasure until the day destiny takes me from this world.

Fifty Years Since the Death of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna passed away on November 24, 1960.

Her life was immortalized by Ian Vorrres in his excellent book, The Last Grand Duchess. Last year Olga's great-grandson, Paul Kulikovsky, with the cooperation of two friends, Karen Roth-Nichols and Sue Woolmans, wrote a very interesting book based on the Grand Duchess's diaries.

Following is a link to an interesting piece authored by Canadian bookseller, Paul Gilbert. I very much enjoyed the piece, which was quite well done.

Bulgarian Royal Property

Still at issue is the fate of the property illegally confiscated by the Communists after the ouster of King Simeon II in 1946.

This particular article, although from July 2010, is well worth reading since not much has been mentioned about this topic since then.

King Simeon the 2010 recipient of the Otto von Habsburg Prize

This prize, given every year by the Spanish branch of the Paneuropa Organization, the oldest unification movement in Europe. The prize, a coveted award named after the Austrian Crown Prince, Archduke Otto, who led the organization for over thirty years, recognizes the efforts of public figures who have most contributed toward a united Europe. 

His Majesty King Simeon II of Bulgaria was awarded the prize for his support of a united Europe, as well as for his leadership and efforts, while serving as Bulgarian Prime Minister, in implementing the necessary changes his country needed before joining the European Union.

For reading, in Spanish, can be found by clicking the link below:

A financial windfall from the Wales/Middleton wedding

Economic experts are forecasting that the wedding of HRH The Prince William of Wales and Ms.. Catherine Middleton will translate to nearly $620 million in new tourism revenue for the battered British economy.

Reason alone to enjoy and support monarchy!

The King's Speech – a MUST-SEE film we all need to support!

The much-touted film, The King's Speech, starring the multi-talented Collin Firth, supported by the equally superb Helena Bonham-Carter, opened in limited release in Los Angeles and New York this week.

The film tells us about the story of King George VI of Great Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

One review tells us that this film: "Tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. After his brother abdicates, George ('Bertie') reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued by a dreaded stutter and considered unfit to be king, Bertie engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist named Lionel Logue. Through a set of unexpected techniques, and as a result of an unlikely friendship, Bertie is able to find his voice and boldly lead the country through war."

The film is being touted as a serious contender for the Oscar!

Diplomatic Reception at the Royal palace, Bucharest, Romania

Crown Princess Margarita of Romania, supported by her husband Prince Radu, welcome the diplomatic corps accredited to Bucharest to the traditional yearly reception.

On November 22 King don Juan Carlos reached a milestone...

On November 22, 1975, King don Juan Carlos of Spain began what has become one of the most successful reigns in his country's history.

The 35th anniversary of the start of His Majesty's reign passed quietly, without much fanfare.

No one can deny that don Juan Carlos is perhaps among the Spanish kingdom's best monarchs and one can but hope that the King, whose health of late has been source of much unease, remains on the throne for many more years.

Prince Roland Bonaparte's home restored and reopened

The magnificent former residence of Prince Roland Bonaparte (1858-1924), French erudite, herbologist, scientist and explorer, is soon to open as a luxury hotel. With magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower and located near the Trocadèro, the Shangri-La Hotel promises to become a favored destination who can afford the surely to be astronomical prices for a nightly rate.

Prince Roland was married to Marie-Félix Blanc, daughter of Louis Franc, the force behind the Casino de Montecarlo, as well as one of the richest heiress in the France of her time. Roland and Marie-Félix married in 1880. Two years later she gave birth to a daughter, Princess Marie, who was to be the couple's only child. Marie-Félix's happiness in motherhood was fleeting. Death took her barely two months after the birth of her daughter, an event from which she never recovered.

Princess Marie-Félix Bonaparte left behind an incalculable fortune, most of which was controlled by her husband Prince Roland. In 1907 their daughter married Prince George of Greece and Denmark, thus securing this intriguing son of a king, brother of a king, uncle to monarchs, nephew of empresses and queens, lover of an uncle, a life of immense pleasure and privilege. Prince George and Princess Marie were the parents of two children: Peter and Eugenie. Prince Peter (1908-1908) married morganatically, causing his stickler of a father a much unwanted disillusion. Princess Eugenie (1910-1989) married twice. Her first husband was Prince Dominic Radziwill (1911-1976), by whom she had two children: Tatiana and Jerzy. Eugenie's second husband was Prince Raymundo della Torre e Tasso, Duke of Castel Duino (1907-1986), by whom she had one son: Carlo Alessandro, current owner of Castle Duino, near Trieste.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Major Russian Imperial Auction

A major Russian Imperial sale is taking place at a famed European auction house before year's end.

A new Head of House Hohenzollern

As readers of The European Royal History Journal may recall, the Fürst of Hohenzollern passed away last September 16.

He was succeeded as Head of House buy his eldest son, Karl Friedrich, who was born in 1952.

Attached is a link to a short biography of the new Fürst of Hohenzollern!

Newest tiara in House Spain

Ansorena, the royal jeweler in Madrid, sent a gorgeous tiara to the Zarzuela Palace in 2006. It was made for the Princess of Asturias, doña Letizia, and the diadem is made of diamonds and pearls. A central fleur-de-lis is surrounded by pearls, which "veer round in the shape of half moon." Apparently it was a great surprise for the Princess, who has yet to wear it in public. The Princess Diadem has 450 diamonds and five couples of perfect Australian pearls, chosen from among 3000 gems.

The Prince and Princess of Asturias visit Peru

From the Huffington Post:

Spain's Princess Letizia continued to take Peru on Wednesday, visiting citizens in Lima.
For the occasion, she wore an animal print dress -- although, don't ask us what animal. Looks like a jazzed up leopard to us. She matched it with a cardigan, a belt, a clutch and a pair strappy, high-heeled sandals.

HM The Queen Visits Abu Dhabi

The Huffington Post reports:

Queen Elizabeth II visited the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday wearing a hat-and-scarf combo.

While we've seen the Queen sport countless headpieces and the occasional babushka-style scarf, we're digging this configuration. It's modest, easy to assemble, great for inclement weather, vaguely beekeeper-esque...and it's probably only a matter of time before the Elizabeth Scarf Hat hits Urban Outfitters.

Whether one likes it or not, the outfit, Her Majesty yet again masterfully shows us how a good job is done...I admire her enormously!

Hohenlohe-Langenburg birth

Fürst Philipp and Fürstin Saskia zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg welcomed the arrival of their third child, first daughter, on November 23, 2010.

The birth of "Marita Saskia Friedelind Charlotte Beatrix" took place at the Caritas-Krankenhaus, Bad Mergentheim, Germany.

Princess Marita joins her two brothers, Max Leopold and Gustav.

BBC Interview with Prince William of wales and his fiancée

Below is a link to the BBC interview with Prince William of Wales and Ms. Catherine Middleton.

Videos from the wedding of the Duke of Parma, Brussels, 11.20.2020

The Duke of Parma, don Carlos Javier of Bourbon-Parma, married Ms Anne-Marie Gualthérie van Weezel on Novermber 20, 2010.

The ceremony was attended by the Dutch Royal Family en-force, along with Prince Jean and Princess Diane of Luxembourg, the Duke of Bragança and Princesses Maria Teresa, Maria des Neiges and Maria Cecilia of Bourbon-Parma, aunts of the groom.

Enjoy the videos:


The Grand Dukes, Volume I now published... and Kensington House Book's latest contribution to royal studies on the Romanov Dynasty was published earlier this month.

The book, the first volume in a two-volume series, contains the biographies of eighteen Russian Grand Dukes, all sons of Russia's Tsars from Paul I to Nicholas II. Along with amazingly insightful biographies, the book regales readers with nearly 100 beautiful photos of the Imperial Family.

The Grand Dukes, Volume 1 can be purchased through our website at:

or at

Of course we ship worldwide!

ERHJ LXXVI begins mailing on 11/30/2010

ERHJ Issue LXXVI will begin mailing on November 30!

Inside our latest issue readers will find articles on the following:

1. The Duke of Parma, Carlos Hugo (1930-2010)
2. What's In a Photo: A Royal Wedding at Langenburg (1931)

3. Obituary: Hereditary Grand Duchess Elisabeth of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach

4. Wedding Bells at Spetses: Prince Nicholas of Greece marries Tatiana Blatnik

5. The Other Victoria – Queen Victoria of Sweden (née Baden)

6. Obituary: The Fürst of Hohenzollern

7. Dora Coburg – The Life and Times of Princess Dorothea of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha

8. Book Reviwes

9. Royal Commemorative China – Series 17

10. Royal News

We will begin mailing ERHJ LXXVI by the end of this coming week!

Enjoy and as always, many thanks!