Friday, August 16, 2019

The Death of Princess Christina of The Netherlands (1947 - 2019)

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Aged seventy-two, Princess Christina of The Netherlands died on Friday, 16 August 2019, at Noordeinde Palace, Den Haag, The Netherlands. She had been suffering from bone cancer. In June 2018, it was announced that the princess had been diagnosed with the illness in November 2017.

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Princess Christina, known then as Princess Marijke, was born on 18 February 1947, at Soestdijk Palace, Baarn, The Netherlands. Her mother was the then Princess Juliana, only child and heir presumptive of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. At the time of her birth, she was fifth in the line of succession to her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina. Her father was Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, a son of Prince Bernhard of Lippe and his wife, Baroness Armgard von Cramm.

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Christina has three older sisters: Princess Beatrix, Princess Irene and Princess Margriet. At the age of twenty-one, Christina moved to Canada to study classical music in Montreal. After a few years, she accepted a teaching position at a Montessori school in New York City. It was there that she met her future husband.

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Princess Christina and Jorge Pérez y Guillermo were married on 28 June 1975. Their civil wedding took place at Baarn and was followed by a religious ecumenical ceremony in the Cathedral of Saint Martin, Utrecht. Jorge Guillermo was a Roman Catholic and an exile from Cuba. Christina gave up her dynastic rights upon her marriage. 

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The couple had three children: Bernardo Federico Tomas Guillermo (b.1977), Nicolás Daniel Mauricio Guillermo (b.1979), and Juliana Edina Antonia Guillermo (b.1981). Christina and Jorge divorced in 1996. Princess Christina retained a residence in Italy as well as in The Netherlands. Per her wishes, she will be cremated.

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Monday, August 5, 2019

The 80th Birthday of Princess Irene of The Netherlands

Crown Princess Juliana with her daughter Princess Irene

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On 5 August 1939, Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands gave birth to her second daughter at Soestdijk Palace. Crown Princess Juliana had married Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld in 1937. The little princess was named Irene Emma Elisabeth, and at her birth she was third in the line of succession to the Dutch throne after her mother and her elder sister Princess Beatrix (b.1938). Irene was joined by two younger sisters, Princess Margriet (b.1943) and Princess Christina (b.1947).

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During the Second World War, the Dutch Royal Family, with Irene's maternal grandmother Queen Wilhelmina at the forefront, was compelled to leave their country for the United Kingdom in the face of Nazi occupation. Princess Irene was christened at Buckingham Palace, where one of her godmothers was Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. As the London Blitz began to take place, it was decided that the Dutch royals would be safer in the Americas, and they duly took up residence in Canada. After the end of the war, the Royal Family returned to The Netherlands.

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Princess Irene went on to attend the University of Utrecht. Thereafter, she moved to Madrid to study Spanish. The princess became proficient enough in the language to become an interpreter. It was during her studies in Madrid that Irene met her future husband, Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma. In 1963, Irene left the Dutch Reformed Church and became a Roman Catholic. In February 1964, the engagement between the princess and Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma became known. The match was heavily opposed by the bride's parents and the Dutch government. Concerned about the situation, Queen Juliana did her utmost to deter the union from taking place; however, the queen's efforts were not successful. Irene gave up her right of succession to the throne of The Netherlands before her marriage.

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On 29 April 1964, Princess Irene of the Netherlands married Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. No member of Irene's family attended the ceremony, although they did watch the event at the home of Princess Irene's paternal grandmother Armgard - a power outage in the country prevented the Dutch royals from seeing the end of the service. 

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The baptism of Prince Carlos, the first child of Prince Carlos Hugo and Princess Irene
Carlos Hugo and Irene of Bourbon-Parma with their four children
Princess Irene of Bourbon-Parma
Carlos Hugo and Irene would eventually have four children: Prince Carlos (b.1970), the twins Prince Jaime and Princess Margarita (b.1972), and Princess Carolina (b.1974). Irene and Carlos Hugo became intensely involved in the Carlist movement in Spain; however, once Franco died in 1975 and Juan Carlos became King, the movement rather fractured and so did the couple's married. They divorced in 1981.


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Princess Irene has for some decades been an advocate for nature conservation. Through her four children, she is now a grandmother of ten. Her ex-husband Carlos Hugo passed away in 2010.


Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Golden Wedding Anniversary of the Duke and Duchess d'Orléans



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On 3 August 1969, Prince Jacques d'Orléans (b.25 June 1941) religiously wed Gersende de Sabran-Pontevès (b.29 July 1942) at Ansouis. The couple's civil marriage had occurred the prior day. Jacques was the eighth child of the late Count and Countess of Paris. Gersende was the only daughter of Foulques de Sabran-Pontevès (1908-1973), 7th Duc de Sabran, and Roselyne Manca-Amat de Vallombrosa (1910-1988). Gersende wore a wedding gown by Yves Saint Laurent.

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Jacques d'Orléans and Gersende de Sabran-Pontevès had first met in the Spring of 1968 at the bride's family home, Château d'Ansouis. A petite blonde and a talented pianist, Gersende seems to have quickly attracted the attentions of the Orléans prince. The Count and Countess of Paris then invited Gersende to vacation with their family at Cintra.

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The engagement of Prince Jacques d'Orléans and Mademoiselle Gersende de Sabran-Pontevès was announced on 5 October 1968. The father of the fiancé granted his son the title "Duc d'Orléans."

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The Duke and Duchess d'Orléans have three children: Princess Diane (b.1970), Prince Charles-Louis (b.1972), and Prince Foulques (b.1974).

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Thursday, August 1, 2019

Remembering the Remarkable Queen Anne of Romania

Queen Anne looking after King Michael
Picture taken at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest
Today marks three years since the death of Queen Anne of Romania. After many years of declining health, the Queen died Monday, 1 August 2016, in hospital at Morges, Switzerland, at the age of ninety-two. Himself suffering from cancer, her ninety-four-year old husband King Michael had been visiting her every day.

In 1943, Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma volunteered for military service in the French Army. She served in Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Luxembourg and in liberated Germany, as an ambulance driver. Anne received the French Croix de guerre for her wartime service. In 1944, with the support of several political parties, King Michael of Romania removed (in an event known as King Michael’s Coup) the government of Ion Antonescu, which had aligned Romania with Nazi Germany, after the Axis front in northeastern Romania collapsed in the face of a successful Soviet offensive. The Romanian Army declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Soviet Red Army on the Moldavian front, an event viewed as decisive in the Allied advances against the Axis powers in the European theatre of World War II. It has been suggested that the coup may have shortened World War II by six months, thus saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

Michael and Anne met at London in November 1947. Sixteen days after meeting, Michael proposed to Anne while the couple were out on a drive in Lausanne. She initially declined, but later accepted after taking long walks and drives with him. They married at Athens on 10 June 1948: their union would last sixty-eight years.

In an interview that Queen Anne gave to Romanian TV in the 2000s, she said: "Je suis comme je suis...You can take me or leave me, as they say in English." The interviewer Eugenia Vodă quickly responded: "Well, then, we take you!"

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

On This Day In History: Prince Hans Adam of Liechtenstein Marries Countess Marie Kinsky

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Today, Prince Hans Adam II and Princess Marie Agläe of Liechtenstein celebrate fifty-two years of marriage.

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The then Hereditary Prince Hans Adam of Liechtenstein (b.1945) and Countess Marie Agläe Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (b.1940) were wed at St Florin's in Vaduz on 30 July 1967. Hans Adam is the eldest son of Prince Franz Joseph II of Liechtenstein (1906–1989) and his wife Princess Georgina (née von Wilczek ;1921–1989). Marie Agläe is the daughter of Count Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (1908–1969) and his wife Countess Henriette Caroline (née Ledebur-Wicheln; 1910–2001). Hans Adam and Marie Agläe are second cousins once removed through their descent from Fürst Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (1834-1904) and his wife Princess Maria Josepha of Liechtenstein (1835-1905).

Fürst Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau
Among the guests were a plethora of the European Gotha. Attendees included Archduke Otto of Austria, the Duke of Bragança, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and her sisters-in-law Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark and Princess Sofía of Spain, Prince Michael and Princess Marina of Greece, the Count and Countess of Paris, Prince Jacques d'Orléans and siblings Princess Chantal and Prince Thibault, Duke Philipp and Duchess Rosa of Württemberg as well as Duke Carl and Duchess Diane of Württemberg. Members of the Bourbon-Parma, Hannover, Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Mecklenburg, Schwarzenberg, Thurn and Taxis, and Orsini families were also present.

Countess Marie Agläe is escorted by her father Count Ferdinand
(left to right) Princess Sofía of Spain and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark 
The Count and Countess of Paris followed by Prince Michael and Princess Marina of Greece
as well as Duchess Diane of Württemberg 
Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes arrives on the arm of Prince Heinrich of Liechtenstein
Inside St Florin's
Hans Adam and Marie Agläe

Friday, July 26, 2019

Archduke Franz Ferdinand's Grandson, Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg, Has Passed Away

Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg
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Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg has passed away at the age of ninety. He was a grandson of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863-1914) and Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg (1868-1914; née Chotek von Chotkowa). Georg Friedrich's death was announced on 26 July 2019 by his youngest son Maximilian.

Duke Maximilian and Duchess Elisabeth of Hohenberg
Georg Friedrich Maximilian Jaroslav Petrus Canisius Markus Hubertus, Duke of Hohenberg, was born on 25 April 1929 at Artstetten as the second child and second son of Duke Maximilian of Hohenberg (1902-1962) and Countess Elisabeth von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee (1904-1993). Duke Maximilian of Hohenberg, Georg Friedrich's father, was the second child and first son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Georg Friedrich had one older brother, Franz Ferdinand (1927-1977; married to Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg), and four younger siblings: Albrecht (b.1931), Johannes (1933-2003), Peter (1936-2017), and Gerhard (1941-2019).

Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg
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In 1960, Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg married Princess Eleonore of Auersperg-Breunner (b.1928). The couple have three children: Duke Nikolaus (b.1961), Princess Henriette (b.1962), and Prince Maximilian (b.1970). The eldest son of the deceased, Nikolaus, who is married to Countess Marie Elisabeth von Westphalen zu Fürstenberg (b.1963), will now become the head of the Ducal Family of Hohenberg.

Duke Nikolaus of Hohenberg, the eldest son of Georg Friedrich
Duke Nikolaus and Duchess Marie Elisabeth of Hohenberg with their children Karl, Johanna, Teresa, and Sophie
Prince Maximilian of Hohenberg, the youngest son of Georg Friedrich
Prince Maximilian and Princess Emilia of Hohenberg with their children Nikolaus, Luisa, and Leopold
Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg found his calling as a diplomat. He was appointed as the Austrian Ambassador to several countries during his tenure. The duke's last post was as Ambassador of the Austrian Republic to the Vatican.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Death of the Head of the Princely House of Bismarck

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Aged eighty-eight, Fürst Ferdinand von Bismarck has passed away following complications experienced during a surgery. Ferdinand was the great-grandson of Otto von Bismarck, former German Chancellor. The late fürst is survived by his wife, Fürstin Elisabeth (b.1939; née Lippens), and by three children: the new Fürst Carl-Eduard (b.1961), Count Gregor (b.1964), and Countess Vanessa (b.1971). Ferdinand was predeceased by one son, Count Gottfried (1962-2007).

Born on 22 November 1930 at London, Ferdinand was the eldest son of Fürst Otto von Bismarck (1897-1975) and Fürstin Ann-Mari (1907-1999; née Tengbom). Ferdinand had one older sister, Countess Mari Ann (1929-1981), as well as four younger siblings: Count Carl Alexander (1935-1992), Count Maximilian (b.1947), Countess Gunilla (b.1949), and Count Eduard (b.1951).

Fürst Ferdinand von Bismarck spent his early years in Sweden, his mother's homeland. He then attended Schloß Salem and went on to study economics and law. Ferdinand was the Deputy Chairman of the Von Bismarck Family Association.

Source: Bunte

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