Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Opinion: Margarita of Romania Must Bring Peace, Reconciliation, & Unity to Her Family

Princess Margarita of Romania Must Bring Unity to Her Family or Face Failure as the Head of the Royal House.

By Seth B. Leonard

[Note: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author alone.]

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On 7 November 2017, King Michael of Romania lay dying in his residence at Aubonne, Switzerland. Members of the king's family traveled to his Swiss home to be by his side. Of Michael's five daughters, all but one (Irina) was able to visit him. Of the king's five grandchildren, only one (Nicholas) attempted to see his grandfather.

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Alas, Michael's eldest daughter Margarita was present at the residence, and, for reasons known only to her, she behaved in a most hawkish manner towards her nephew. Those present at the Aubonne residence denied Nicholas the opportunity to say goodbye to his grandfather. Margarita was the guardian of her father and had become a Swiss citizen in June 2017. Following Nicholas' rebuffed hope of seeing his grandfather, Margarita's press office in Bucharest issued a statement alleging that her nephew had "physically and verbally assaulted staff." It was announced that Margarita had filed a complaint with the Swiss police against her nephew and godson. To this day, Margarita continues her frivolous legal suit against her nephew, despite the fact that the three main witnesses in the case have withdrawn their initial statements supporting Margarita's accusations. Nicholas' response to this devastating event was very simple and heartfelt: "I am deeply saddened, and I do not understand the aggressiveness of the Royal House in doing everything possible to prevent me see from seeing my grandfather and to discredit my image. I am not going to enter into this dirty game. I will choose to respect my grandfather in these difficult moments, because it is necessary, and Christian. I came as the grandson of the King, and I just wanted to see him." However, this cold behaviour from the household at Elisabeta Palace had been experienced by other members of the Romanian royal family as well.

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On 2 March 2016, Margarita of Romania assumed the title of Custodian of the Romanian Crown and announced that she would officially be taking over her father's duties. In actuality, the princess had been acting in this capacity for some years. In this same communiqué, the public relations team at Elisabeta Palace, headquarters for Princess Margarita and her husband Radu, finally made public that King Michael was suffering from cancer. In fact, His Majesty had already received this diagnosis in 2015. The Custodian of the Crown's staff in Bucharest has not always been completely truthful when Romanians desired news of the wellbeing and health of their king and queen.

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As aforementioned, it was clear by March 2016 that King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania were both in ill health. At this point, one of the couple's grandchildren took to a public forum to comment on the issues that were faced by family members who were not in favour with the Custodian of the Crown and her consort. Angelica de Roumanie Kreuger, the only daughter of Princess Irina of Romania, wrote: "I'm sure as long as his grandchildren from Irina are allowed to visit they will. I know the king has meet [sic] his first great-grand child but so far no others." The same day, Angelica left the following insightful comment: "I'm sure if the royal family was more family oriented then the family would be closer." When I posited that Queen Anne seemed to have been the unifying force trying to keep the family together, her granddaughter replied: "Yes, unfortunately the daughters didn't get along for many years. Just sad that it made the grandchildren so distant. Hopefully the family will find a way to keep together for the next generation." These comments from Angelica Kreuger made it clear that a number of the family members of King Michael and Queen Anne were kept from seeing their loved ones.

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On 1 August 2016, Queen Anne of Romania passed away at Morges, Switzerland. She was ninety-two years-old. In poor health for some years, and dealing with dementia, the ultimate cause of the queen's death was lung cancer, according to several private sources close to the royal household. However, Elisabeta Palace made no mention of the queen's illness. Indeed, they made a concerted effort to quash sources who knew of Queen Anne's cancer in an attempt to keep this knowledge from the Romanian public. [Like her cousin Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, Queen Anne of Romania was an inveterate smoker and quite fond of Marlboros. Anne once endearingly quipped: "The only way I could ever stop smoking is if they hypnotized me into thinking I had never had a cigarette in my life."]

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The Custodian of the Romanian Crown does not appear to have extended an invitation to all of her sisters, nieces, and nephews to be present to bid farewell to the last Romanian Queen, who was born a Princess of Bourbon-Parma. To illustrate this point, Anne's granddaughter Angelica Kreuger again weighed in on the situation: "I'm sure in this horrible time Irina and her children will likely not attend to spare and [add] more stress to the family. [This is] due to past issues, since grief can make unresolved issues come to light. Right now, people need to realize that this woman wasn't just a Queen, she was a mother and grandmother. While the country grieves for their loss of a Queen the family grieves for the family. Anne's loss will be felt in everyone who knew her. A little light has dimmed in the world, but it is our duty as people to keep her light bright and remember what she stood for. Especially in this world, we live to make it brighter, not darker." Given this commentary, it should not come as a surprise that neither Princess Irina nor her two children were guests at the funeral of Queen Anne of Romania on 13 August 2016 at Bucharest.

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Aged ninety-six, King Michael of Romania died on 5 December 2017 at Aubonne, Switzerland. His funeral was held in Bucharest on 16 December. All five of his daughters were in attendance: the Princesses Margarita, Helen, Irina, Sophie, and Marie. Of his five grandchildren, only two were present: Nicholas of Romania with his wife, Alina-Maria, as well as his sister Karina. The Custodian of the Crown again made a public point of sidelining her family. When King Michael's coffin was transported from Bucharest to Curtea de Argeş aboard the Royal Train, Margarita did not allow her nephew and his wife to be onboard the train with the rest of the family. However, the princess managed to make space for her brother-in-law, Dr. Dan Duda.

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The rapid disintegration of the Romanian royal family is rather mind-boggling. In 2007, King Michael of Romania introduced the Fundamental Rules: this act abolished Salic succession and allowed for his five daughters and five grandchildren to become dynasts and to succeed, should their time ever arrive, as Head of the Royal House. In April 2010, in accordance with His Majesty's express wishes, the King witnessed his grandson take up his role as HRH Prince Nicholas of Romania during a ceremony in Bucharest. During his time as an active member of the royal family, Prince Nicholas carried out hundreds of engagements on behalf of the Romanian royal house.

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The first signs of turbulence arrived on 29 October 2014, when Princess Irina of Romania and her two children were unceremoniously stripped of their place in the line of succession. In January 2015, Princess Marie of Romania relocated from her home in the United States to her father's country, and she eventually began public engagements. On 10 August 2015, Prince Nicholas of Romania was suddenly stripped of his position. The royal house thus lost its most popular and viable hope for the future. In the fall of 2018, Princess Sophie of Romania and her daughter Elisabeta left their home in France so that Sophie could take up a supporting role in Casa Regala. By the end of 2019, anonymous sources confirmed that Princess Marie had stepped back from her role as an active member of the royal house. At this point, the Custodian of the Crown has whittled down the royal house to one other member, her Princess Sophie. Yet, even Sophie's position is not without difficulty, as sources have alleged that her daughter Elisabeta is having difficulties adjusting to life in Romania. Last, but not least, Princess Helen of Romania has always maintained her residence in the United Kingdom, and there has been no indication that Helen ever intends to be a part of Romanian public life. Despite being Margarita's direct heiress, Helen only appears in the country for certain family events and, otherwise, rarely travels to Romania.

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Many might think that 2020 has been another annus horribilis for the British royal family. Arguably, 2020 could prove to be the ultimate horrible year for the Romanian royals. If Princess Margarita finds herself incapable of unifying her family, then she is likely to go down in royal history as an abject failure as a Head of a Royal House. It is the duty of the Custodian of the Romanian Crown to guarantee the future of the dynasty. In the spirit of Christian reconciliation, it is her responsibility to bring together her sisters, her nephews, and her nieces, in order that they can all strive to perpetuate the legacy of the Kings and Queen of Romania into future generations. Margarita of Romania must embrace the maxim, "Duty first, self second." If the Margarita is unable to adapt her behaviour, then her tenure as Head of the Romanian Royal House will not be looked upon kindly by history.

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At the thirtieth birthday party for Prince Nicholas in April 2015, his aunt Margarita gave this toast in tribute to Nicholas' dedication to Romania: "Both Prince Radu and I are very proud of Nicolae, who is like our spiritual son (…) The country hasn’t adopted him much yet, but he already adopted Romania, even if he wasn’t born here. And this is just wonderful." Chapter III, Article 11 of the Fundamental Rules of the Romanian Royal House reads: "The Head of the Royal House of Romania governs the family as a good parent." The Custodian of the Crown needs to start acting like a caring godmother, sister, and aunt if she is to honour the legacy of King Michael and Queen Anne. Nihil sine Deo.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Princess Traute of Lippe Celebrates Her 95th Birthday!

Princess Traute of Lippe.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.
Today, 16 February 2020, Princess Traute of Lippe marks her ninety-fifth birthday.

Princess Traute and Prince Armin of Lippe in 1997.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.
The princess was born Traute Becker on 16 February 1925 at Hänigsen, Germany. She was the daughter of Gustav Becker (1893-1963) and Charlotte Meyer (1893-1978), who had married in 1922.

Prince Armin and Princess Traute of Lippe in 1997.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.
Armin's parents: Fürst Leopold IV zur Lippe and Fürstin Anna.
In March 1953, Traute Becker married Prince Armin of Lippe (Detmold 18 August 1924-Detmold 20 August 2015). Armin was the only son of Fürst Leopold IV of Lippe (1871-1949) and his second wife Princess Anna zu Isenburg und Büdingen in Büdingen (1886-1980), who wed in 1922. Six years after their wedding, Traute and Armin welcomed their only child, a son: Hereditary Prince Stephan (b.Detmold 24 May 1959).

Princess Traute and Prince Armin of Lippe with son Prince Stephan, daughter-in-law Princess Maria, and their three grandsons: Prince Bernhard, Prince Heinrich, and Prince Wilhelm. (January 2000)
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.
In October 1994, Traute's son Prince Stephan of Lippe married Countess Maria zu Solms-Laubach. Born in 1968, Princess Maria of Lippe is the daughter of Count Otto zu Solms-Laubach (1926-1973) and Princess Madeleine zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (b.1936), who married in 1958. Stephan and Maria gave Traute and Armin five grandchildren: Bernhard (b.1995), Heinrich (b.1997), Wilhelm (b.1999), Luise (b.2001), and Mathilde (b.2003). Traute's son Stephan succeeded as the Head of House Lippe in 2015 when Prince Armin passed away.

Princess Traute of Lippe lives in Detmold. We wish the Princess many happy returns of the day!

Alexander von Preußen Marries Jenny von Rumohr On Saint Valentine's Day

Note: Thank you to my friend Hein Bruins of Hein's Royal Genealogy Page for providing this information!

Valentine's Day newlyweds: Alexander von Preußen and Jenny von Rumohr
On Friday, 14 February 2020, Alexander Prinz von Preußen, eldest son of Prince Adalbert of Prussia and Eva Maria Kudicke, was married in a civil ceremony at Munich to Jenny von Rumohr, the elder daughter of Joachim von Rumohr and Baroness Amélie von Holzing-Berstett.

14 June 1981: The wedding of Prince Adalbert of Prussia and Eva Maria Kudicke
Photograph (c) Alamy / Wolfgang Kühn
Born on 3 October 1984, Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm Victor Marcus Prinz von Preußen is the eldest of the three sons of Prince Adalbert of Prussia (b.1948) and Eva Maria Kudicke (b.1951). Adalbert and Eva Maria married in 1981. Their three sons are Alexander and the twins Christian and Philipp (b.1986). Alex von Preußen is a Senior Director at Holtzbrinck Digital in Munich. In 2006, the prince graduated from Bocconi University, where he studied international economics. He then went on to receive his masters in International Business from Maastricht University in 2009.

Jenny von Rumohr
Born on 15 December 1985, Jenny Charlotte von Rumohr is the elder of the two daughters of Joachim von Rumohr (b.1950) and Baroness Amélie von Holzing-Berstett (b.1959). Joachim and Amélie married in 1983. The couple's daughters are Jenny and Elena (b.1987). Jenny von Rumohr is the Head of the Migration Office for Bavaria and Thuringia at the nonprofit organisation Malteser Deutschland GmbH. She received a bachelors in European studies from Maastricht University in 2008. Jenny then went on to receive her masters in International Peace and Security from King's College London.

Margrave Friedrich VII Magnus of Baden-Durlach
Princess Augusta Maria of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, Margravine of Baden-Durlach
Alex von Preußen and Jenny von Rumohr are very distantly related: the couple are tenth cousins, to be precise. Alex and Jenny both descend from Margrave Friedrich VII Magnus of Baden-Durlach (1647-1709) and Princess Augusta Maria of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (1649-1728). Alex von Preußen is a descendant of Friedrich and Augusta's daughter Margravine Katharina of Baden-Durlach (1677-1746), who married Count Johann Friedrich von Leiningen (1661-1722). Jenny von Rumohr is a descendant of Friedrich and Augusta's son Margrave Karl III Wilhelm of Baden-Durlach (1679-1738), who married Duchess Magdalene Wilhelmine of Württemberg (1677-1742).

Christmas and New Year Greetings from Romania!


Each year, many of us send Christmas cards to cherished family and friends. Oftentimes, for those of us who are royal enthusiasts, we also mail letters containing good wishes to royals around the world whom we admire. This year, my favourite over-the-seas Christmas card came from Nicholas and Alina-Maria of Romania. They are a very kind couple - dedicated to charitable endeavours and devoted to their country. Nicholas is the grandson of King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania. Nicholas and Alina married in 2018 at Sinaia in what was the first royal wedding in Romania since that of Princess Ileana, the great-great-aunt of Nicholas, in 1931. Last year, Nicholas and Alina founded the Asociatia Principele Nicolae (Prince Nicholas Association), a nonprofit organisation that aims to continue the mission started by his ancestors, the kings and queens of Romania. Nicholas and Alina are focused in furthering historical and ecological projects. I hope that 2020 brings Nicholas and Alina all the best: they certainly deserve it!

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To learn more about the Prince Nicholas Association, you can visit this link: Asociatia Principele Nicolae

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Gone Too Soon: Doña Cristina de Borbón y Hardenberg (1975-2020), a Cousin of the Spanish King

Doña Cristina de Borbón y Hardenberg (1975-2020)

Doña Cristina de Borbón y Hardenberg
Doña Cristina de Borbón y Hardenberg died on Thursday, 13 February 2020, at Madrid. She had been admitted to the Puerto de Hierro hospital following an accident which led to her passing. Cristina was forty-four years-old. She was surrounded by her immediate family as she left this world. In addition to her parents, Cristina was extremely close to her sister Olivia, her brother Francisco, and their children. She will be terribly missed by all who knew her.

Announcement of the birth of doña Cristina de Borbón y Hardenberg in September of 1975.
Born at Madrid on 2 September 1975, doña Cristina Elena de Borbón y Hardenberg was the middle child of Francisco, Duke of Seville, and his first wife Countess Beatrice von Hardenberg. Cristina's parents had married in 1973. Cristina had one sister, Olivia (b.1974), and one brother, Francisco (b.1979).

Cristina and her mum Beatrice
Initially, Cristina studied Communications at the College for International Studies in Madrid. She then switched her focus to tourism and hospitality. Cristina moved to New York City, and enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education. After finishing studies there, Cristina interned at a number of high-end restaurants. She went on to found her own catering company in Spain. A great lover of humankind's best friend, Cristina was particularly fond of pugs.

Left to right: Countess Beatrice von Hardenberg, Hans Clarin, Cristina de Borbón, Count Hubertus von Hardenberg, Countess Christa von Hardenberg, Olivia de Borbón, with Princess Maria Josepha zu Fürstenberg in the front. (1997)
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger
Cristina was the paternal granddaughter of Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Borbón (1912-1995) and Enriqueta Escasany y Miquel (1925-1962). Cristina's maternal grandparents were Count Günther von Hardenberg (1918-1985) and Princess Maria Josepha zu Fürstenberg (1922-2008). Cristina was a fifth cousin of King Felipe VI of Spain.


Several of Cristina's friends gave brief comments to the press outside the funeral home: "[She was] a great girl, so young... She was heavenly, she was super sweet, good, very fragile. A marvellous person." Another friend said, "I will remember her as one of the best people that I have ever known." Luis Alfonso de Borbón and his wife Margarita also visited Tanatorio Parque de San Isidro, where Cristina is resting in peace.



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A post shared by Cristina De Borbon (@chunicriz75) on
May her memory be a blessing.

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Ancestry of Doña Cristina de Borbón y Hardenberg

1. Doña Cristina Elena de Borbón y Hardenberg (Madrid 2 September 1975-Madrid 13 February 2020)

Parents

2. Don Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Escasany, 5. Duque de Sevilla (b.Madrid 16 November 1943)
who married at Baden on 7 July 1973 (divorced 1989)
3. Countess Beatrice von Hardenberg (b.Donaueschingen 28 June 1947)

Grandparents

4. Don Francisco de Paula de Borbón y de Borbón (Santander 16 November 1912-Madrid 15 November 1995)
who married at Madrid on 4 November 1941
5. Doña Enriqueta Escasany y Miguel (Malaga 13 October 1925-Madrid 16 May 1962)
6. Count Günther von Hardenberg (14 February 1918-Baden 19 January 1985)
who married at Donaueschingen on 27 February 1943
7. Princess Maria Josepha zu Fürstenberg (Werenwag 23 April 1922-7 July 2008)

Great-Grandparents

8. Don Francisco de Borbón y La Torre (Madrid 16 January 1882-Madrid 6 December 1952)
who married on 21 August 1907
9. Doña Enriqueta de Borbón y Parade, IV. Duquesa de Sevilla (Madrid 28 June 1885-Valencia 5 November 1968)
10. Don Ignacio Escasany y Auzeill (d.Madrid 14 November 1973)
who married
11. Enriqueta de Miguel y Mas, 2. Marquesa de Pobla de Claramunt
12. Count Eberhard von Hardenberg (Charlottenburg 26 September 1889-Überlingen 30 April 1983)
who married at Wernigerode on 23 September 1913
13. Christa Maria von Dülong (Magdeburg 24 December 1893-Baden 28 October 1983)
14. Prince Maximilian Egon zu Fürstenberg (Praha [modern day Prague], Bohemia 31 March 1896-Donaueschingen 6 April 1959)
who married at Wechselburg on 18 January 1921
15. Countess Wilhemine von Schönburg-Glauchau (Glauchau 17 October 1902-Biberach an der Riss 25 September 1964)

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Most Recent QVD Marriage: A Valentine's Day Wedding for a Prinz von Preußen

Note: A big thank you to my dear friend Hein Bruins of Hein's Royal Genealogy Page for providing this information.

Valentine's Day newlyweds: Alexander von Preußen and his wife
Today, 14 February 2020, Prince Alexander of Prussia was married in a civil ceremony. The name of his wife is not yet known. Alexander's branch of the Prussian royal family is very private.

Princess Eva Maria, Princess Marie Antoinette, and Prince Adalbert of Prussia in 1997.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger
Born on 3 October 1984, Alexander is the eldest of the three sons of Prince Adalbert of Prussia (b.1948) and Eva Maria Kudicke (b.1951). Adalbert and Eva Maria married in 1981. Their children are Prince Alexander and the twin Princes Christian and Philipp (b.3 July 1986). Alex von Preußen is a Senior Director at Holtzbrinck Digital in Munich. The prince studied economics at Bocconi University and then went on to receive his masters in International Business from Maastricht University in Belgium.

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Prince Alexander of Prussia's paternal grandparents were Prince Wilhelm Viktor of Prussia (1919-1989) and Countess Marie Antoinette Hoyos (1920-2004). Alexander's paternal great-grandparents were Prince Adalbert of Prussia (1884-1948) and Princess Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningen (1891-1971). Prince Alexander is a great-great-grandson of German Emperor Wilhelm II.

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Through his descent from Wilhelm II, Alexander von Preußen (b.1984) is a great-great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819-1901).

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Book Your Place at the Royal Gatherings in London 2020: April 18-19!


Dear All,

This year’s Royal Gatherings in London will take place on 18th & 19th April 2020.

As usual it will take place in the auction room of Spink at 67-69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4ET.

Here is the list of who will be speaking at the conference :-

Hugo Vickers -- Departing Dukes: Windsor (1936) & Sussex (2020)
Susan Symons -- Schlößer in South Germany
Martyn Downer -- Sir Howard Elphinstone: "The Queen's Knight"
Coryne Hall -- Sixty Years of Mutual Mistrust: Queen Victoria's relationship with the Romanovs and Russia
Seth B. Leonard -- At Peace at Last: Royal Reburials
Gert-Juergen -- Schloß Glücksburg and the House of Glücksburg
Colin Parrish -- Princess Elizabeth: The Artistic Daughter of George III
Seth B. Leonard -- Children of Umberto II and Marie José
Bobby Golden -- English Royal Funerals
Arturo Beeche -- Louis XIV's Legitimated Sons

To book your place please email me at aebeeche@mac.com.

The cost in Sterling is £140 to include lectures plus tea & coffee.

Whilst in London, you might also want to take the opportunity to see the exhibition “George IV: Art & Spectacle” at The Queen’s Gallery next to Buckingham Palace.

Best wishes,

Arturo

_____
Arturo Beéche, Publisher
The EuroHistory Journal
Kensington House Books
6300 Kensington Avenue
East Richmond Heights CA 94805-1618
Phone: 510-236-1730
aebeeche@mac.com