Tuesday, July 14, 2020

A Russian Imperial Marriage On The Horizon: Rebecca Bettarini Converts to Russian Orthodoxy

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini
Between 11-13 July 2020, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini visited St. Petersburg. On 12 July, the feast day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the couple attended the Divine Liturgy in the Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The Liturgy was served by His Eminence Metropolitan Varsonofii of St. Petersburg, along with other clergy.

Rebecca Virginia Bettarini converts to Russian Orthodoxy and takes the name Victoria Romanovna
Before the Liturgy began, Archpriest Alexander Tkachenko performed the rite of Chrismation for Rebecca Bettarini, the Director of the Russian Imperial Foundation, who in Holy Orthodoxy took the name Victoria Romanovna.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia takes Holy Communion
Victoria Romanovna Bettarini takes Holy Communion
Grand Duke George of Russia and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini then took Holy Communion. His Eminence Metropolitan Varsonofii afterward presented Victoria Romanovna an icon of her Heavenly patron, the Holy Martyr Victoria of Rome.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini visit the New Mausoleum
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini visit the New Mausoleum
Thereafter, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, Victoria Romanovna Bettarini, and those accompanying them went to the New Mausoleum at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul, where Archpriest Alexander Tkachenko and Protodeacon Andrei Levin served a Litiya, or commemorative service, for Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich and Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, and Grand Duke Alexander Vladimirovich (all of whom, except for the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, are buried in the New Mausoleum).

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini at the Church of St. Martin the Confessor
In preparation for being received into Holy Orthodoxy, Ms. Rebecca Bettarini received religious instruction under the direction of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America. The day before their arrival in St. Petersburg, Grand Duke George and Ms. Rebecca Bettarini visited the Church of St. Martin the Confessor in Moscow, where her final session preparing her for Chrismation and Confession took place.

Victoria Romanovna Bettarini
Victoria Romanovna (Rebecca Virginia) Bettarini is the daughter of His Excellency Roberto Bettarini (b.Taranto 5 May 1947) and Carla Virginia Cacciatore. Mr Bettarini an Italian diplomat who has served as the Italian Ambassador to Zaire, Iraq, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Rebecca Bettarini attended the Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli in Rome, where she received a bachelor's degree in political science. She then went on to attain a master's degree in development economics and international development from the Società Italiana Organizzazione Internazionale in Rome. Rebecca Bettarini serves as the Director of the Russian Imperial Foundation.

The Romanovs and Bettarinis in Moscow, March 2020.
In March 2020, Grand Duke George of Russia and Rebecca Bettarini attended services in Moscow to celebrate George's thirty-ninth birthday. The pair were joined by their parents: Prince Franz Wilhelm (Michael Pavlovich) of Prussia with his second wife Princess Nadia and Mr. Roberto Bettarini and his wife Carla.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini have been in a relationship for almost a decade. An engagement has not been announced.

The Duke of Noto and Lady Charlotte Lindesay-Bethune to Marry in Palermo in 2021

Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Lady Charlotte Lindesay-Bethune
Prince Jaime of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Noto, and Lady Charlotte Diana Lindesay-Bethune will marry in Palermo in September 2021. Their union will take place ninety years after the 1931 nuptials of the Count and Countess of Paris, the groom's great-grandparents, and in the same location.

Jaime and Charlotte with Gianfranco Miccichè
The president of the Sicilian regional assembly, Gianfranco Miccichè, recently met with Jaime and Charlotte. Miccichè stated: « I am very happy to host in this wonderful Royal Palace, which was also the home of the Bourbons of the Two Sicilies, the wedding reception of a descendant of the dynasty. »

The wedding of the eldest child of Prince Pedro, Duke of Calabria, and the youngest child of the 16th Earl of Lindsay will be celebrated in the Cathedral of Palermo. The wedding reception will take place at the the Palazzo dei Normanni.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Twins for Prince Christian and Princess Alessandra of Hannover: Nicolás and Sofía

On 7 July 2020, Prince Nicolás and Princess Sofía of Hannover were born in a hospital on the outskirts of Madrid. The twins were born to Prince Christian of Hannover and his wife Princess Alessandra. The pregnancy was announced in March of this year.

Embed from Getty Images

Prince Christian of Hannover (b.Hildesheim 1 June 1985) is the second son of Prince Ernst August of Hannover and his former wife Princess Chantal (née Hochuli). Princess Alessandra of Hannover (b.Lima 21 March 1988) is the daughter of Felipe de Osma Berckemeyer and his wife Elizabeth Foy Vásquez. Christian of Hannover and Alessandra de Osma were civilly married on 24 November 2017 in London; the couple celebrated their religious wedding at Lima, Peru, on 16 March 2018.

Welcome to Prince Nicolás and Princess Sofía!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Grand Ducal House of Hesse Starts selling on Amazon in mid-August 2020!

Today AMAZON informed us that the page for our latest book, The Grand Ducal House of Hesse, is ready.

You will be able to purchase the book on Amazon starting on August 15, 2020!


The Grand Ducal House of Hesse is 336-pages long and is illustrated with well over 400 unique images that help bring the story of the grand ducal family alive!

The book is priced at $48.95 plus shipping ($9.00 in the USA; $39.00 overseas). All our shipping is done through US Priority Mail and is insured!

To order the book directly, you can reach us at:

Eurohistory & Kensington House Books

6300 Kensington Avenue
East Richmond Heights, CA 94805
Email: eurohistory@comcast.net or aebeeche@mac.com
Phone: 510.236.1730

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The Past and Present State of the Ducal House of Saxe-Meiningen

Today, the Ducal House of Saxe-Meiningen dances on the brink of extinction. Depending on one's point of view, there are either one, two, or three male members of the family (each of different generations) who can carry on the dynasty into the future. The current extant branch of the family descends from Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen, the fifth child of Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen.

Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen
Princess Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningen
The announcement of the death of Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen in 1914

On 30 June 1901, at Köln, Prince Bernhard Friedrich Julius Heinrich of Saxe-Meiningen was born as the sixth and last child of Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Meiningen (1861-1914) and the former Countess Adelheid zur Lippe-Biesterfeld (1870-1948), whom he had married in 1889.

Grand Duchess Feodora of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Princess Adalbert (Adelheid) of Prussia
Prince Georg of Saxe-Meiningen
Princess Luise of Saxe-Meiningen

Bernhard had followed five older siblings: Princess Feodora (1890-1972; married Grand Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach), Princess Adelheid (1891-1971; married Prince Adalbert of Prussia), Prince Georg (1892-1946; married Countess Klara-Maria von Korff gt Schmissing-Kerssenbrock), Prince Ernst Leopold (1895-1914), and Princess Luise (1899-1985; married Baron Götz von Wangenheim).

On 25 April 1931, at Eichenhof im Riesengebirge, Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen married Margot Grössler (Breslau 22 Jan 1911-Bad Sackingen 2 May 1998). The couple had two children: Princess Feodora (b.Schloß Pitzelstettin 27 May 1932; married Burkhard Kippenberg) and Prince Friedrich Ernst.

Article on the arrest of Prince Bernhard and Princess Margot of Saxe-Meiningen.
The Winnipeg Tribune, 21 October 1933.
In October 1933, Prince Bernhard was arrested as a member of the Nazi Party in Austria. By December, it was reported that he was to be held at Wöllersdorf, Austria, after being sentenced to a six week imprisonment. His wife, Margot, was placed under house arrest last the couple's residence, Schloß Pitzelstettin, as the result of a letter that she sent to a correspondent in Germany that was "full of invective against Austria." In January 1934, Bernhard and Margot fled to Italy, where they perhaps felt more comfortable as that country was already under the rule of Benito Mussolini.

"Charming Nazi Princess Escapes While Dollfuss Plans Christmas Truce."
The Winnipeg Tribune, 11 December 1933.
Bernhard and Margot flee to Italy.
The Evening Sun, 14 December 1933.
Bernhard and Margot divorced in 1947. The following year, on 11 August 1948, Prince Bernhard married Baroness Wera Schäffer von Bernstein (Frankfurt 10 August 1914-24 October 1994), daughter of Baron Friedrich "Fritz" Schäffer von Bernstein and Emma Carola von Passavant. Bernhard and Wera had three children: Princess Marie Eleonore "Ellen" (b.1950; married Peter Eric Rosden), Prince Konrad (b.1952), and Princess Almut (b.1959; married Eberhard von Braunschweig).

HH Duke Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen
Prince Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen died on 4 October 1984 at Bad Krozingen. He was eighty-three years-old. Bernhard had been the titular Duke of Saxe-Meiningen since the death of his brother Georg in 1946, due to the fact that Georg's only surviving son Friedrich-Alfred had become a Roman Catholic monk and renounced his dynastic rights in favour of his uncle.


HH Prince Friedrich Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen
Prince Friedrich-Ernst "Friedel" Georg Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen was born at Meiningen on 21 January 1935. The young prince spent his early childhood in the family home on Bernhardstrasse in Meiningen and at his grandparents' manor in Silesia. His love for animals and plants also developed here.

Friedrich-Ernst was able to fully enjoy the last almost full moon of his lifetime over the Swiss Jura, the Rhine Valley and his forest park - in an incredible night mood - forgetting the exertion and the pain. However, the end of World War II and the following years were filled with losses that were just as formative: the loss of his homeland with the escape from Silesia, the departure from Meiningen, the divorce of his parents.

The prince decided to leave school early in order to learn the profession of a hotel manager, to work on his own abroad when he was young. During this time, his need for a harmonious environment, which he did not always find in his life, was accentuated even more.

At the age of twenty-four, he took his chances and utilised his linguistic skills and sales talent and moved into the paper industry as a sales manager. Friedrich-Ernst then made a career in the steel industry at the age of twenty-six. The prince eventually went to work for the Thyssen group.

On 3 March 1962 at Schweiherdingen, Prince Friedrich-Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen married Ehrengard von Massow (b.Stralsund 25 Oct 1933). Ehrengard was the daughter of Helmut Robert von Massow (1900-1967) and Ursula von Buch-Tornow. The couple divorced in 1973.

Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Prince Friedrich Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen with the latter's parents Bernhard and Margot.

Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Prince Friedrich Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen on their wedding day
In 1977, Friedrich-Ernst married Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in a civil ceremony on 11 June 1977 at Coburg; the couple celebrated their religious wedding on 12 June 1977 in Coburg. Princess Beatrice (b.Bern 15 Jul 1951) is the daughter of Prince Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1918-1998) and his second wife Denyse Henriette von Muralt (1923-1984). Friedel and Beatrice had two children: Princess Marie Alexandra "Alix" Elisabeth Beatrice (b.Heilbronn 5 July 1978) and Prince Friedrich Constantin. Friedel and Beatrice separated but never divorced.

Princess Feodora zu Leitungen, Fürstin zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg
Friedrich-Ernst and Beatrice were third cousins once removed. The couple both descended from Fürst Ernst zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1794-1860) and Princess Feodora zu Leiningen (1807-1872). Feodora was the daughter of Fürst Emich Carl zu Leiningen (1763-1814) and Princess Viktoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1786-1861). Four years after the death of her first husband, Princess Viktoria married Prince Edward, Duke of Kent: they became the parents of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819-1901). Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha is a descendant of Queen Victoria, as well as of her older half-sister Princess Feodora: her paternal grandparents, the last reigning Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha were a grandson of Queen Victoria and a great-granddaughter of her half-sister Feodora.

Benno Widmer, ex-husband of Princess Marie-Alix of Saxe-Meiningen
On 17 July 2002 at Gravedona, Italy, Princess Marie-Alix of Saxe-Meiningen was religiously wed to Benno Beat Christian Widmer (b.Basel 17 July 1971). Two years later, the couple contracted a civil marriage on 26 April 2004 at Basel. Marie-Alix is an attorney, as was her husband Benno. The pair divorced in 2009. They did not have children. Princess Marie-Alix has had a most extraordinary career: A Princess, a Poisoning and an Oil Fortune -The Bizarre Corruption Scandal at Bilfinger.

Death announcement of Prince Friedrich-Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen
After a long illness, Prince Friedrich-Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen died on Tuesday, 13 July 2004. He was sixty-nine years-old. A memorial service was held on Thursday, 22 July 2004.


Prince Friedrich Constantin of Saxe-Meiningen in 2018
Prince Friedrich Constantin Hendric of Saxe-Meiningen was born on 3 June 1980 at Heilbronn as the second child and only son of Prince Friedrich Ernst of Saxe-Meiningen and Princess Beatrice of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Constantin of Saxe-Meiningen, Sophia Lupus, and their son Michael.
This image may not be reproduced.
In the Summer of 2015, Prince Constantin of Saxe-Meiningen and Sophia Lupus (b.1995) welcomed the arrival of a son. Sophia is the daughter of Nothart Rohlfs and Sabine Lupus. Their only son, Michael, was born on 26 July 2015 in Switzerland.

Prince Konrad of Saxe-Meiningen
The Head of the Saxe-Meiningen dynasty is considered to be Prince Konrad, the half-brother of Prince Friedrich-Ernst and the uncle of Prince Constantin. A banker, Konrad has never married. At various times, the prince has indicated that he intends for his heir to be his nephew Constantin. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Spanish Royals Attend Mass in Memory of Those Lost to COVID-19

The King and Queen of Spain with the Princess of Asturias and the Infanta Sofía
Photo (c) Casa de S.M. el Rey
Today, King Felipe VI of Spain, his wife Queen Letizia, and their daughters, Leonor and Sofía, attended a official mass held for the victims of the novel coronavirus at the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid. The Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo also attended the service.

The Spanish Royal Family
Photo (c) Casa de S.M. el Rey
The global pandemic has led to 28,388 Spaniards losing their lives. Carlos Osoro Sierra, the Archbishop of Madrid, officiated during the mass.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Eduard Habsburg, Hungarian Ambassador to the Vatican, Visits the Heart of Archduke Otto in Hungary

Archduke Eduard praying in front of the heart of Archduke Otto
Photograph (c) Eduard Habsburg
Archduke Eduard of Austria recently paid his respects to his late cousin, Archduke Otto (1912-2011). Eduard visited the crypt of the Abbey of Pannonhalma in Hungary, where Otto's heart is interred. According to Eduard, Otto made the choice for the urn holding his heart to be buried separately from his body because Otto considered that the Benedictine fathers from the Abbey of Pannonhalma had shaped his heart in the Roman Catholic faith when Otto was a child.

The resting place of the heart of Archduke Otto
Photograph (c) Eduard Habsburg
The Latin phrase "Cor mundum crea in me, Deus" is carved into the marble above Archduke Otto's heart. In English, the words are "O God, create in me a clean heart." The body of the archduke was buried at the Kapuzinergruft in Vienna.

The burial place of Crown Princess Stéphanie of Austria-Hungary
Photograph (c) Eduard Habsburg
Archduke Otto is not the only Habsburg to rest in repose at the Abbey of Pannonhalma. Crown Princess Stéphanie of Austria-Hungary, Princess of Belgium, was buried there after her death. The princess was the daughter of King Léopold II of Belgium and Queen Marie-Henriette (born Archduchess of Austria).

Since 2015, Archduke Eduard of Austria is the Ambassador of Hungary to the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta. Eduard (born 1967) is the son of Archduke Michael of Austria (born 1942) and Princess Christiana of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (born 1940). Archduke Eduard recently celebrated his silver wedding anniversary with his wife Archduchess Maria Theresia (née von Gudenus). Eduard and Maria Theresia have six children; they live in Rome.