Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Princess Danica of Serbia Sends Message on Orthodox New Year

Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia.
Photograph (c) Jakov Simovic.

Today Princess Danica of Serbia issued a message to the Serbian people on the occasion of Orthodox New Year, which is celebrated tomorrow. Danica is the wife of Prince Philip of Serbia and the daughter-in-law of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia. Following are the words of the princess:

There were difficult times, and we have known better days. 2020 has been a year full of challenges in adapting to a whole new lifestyle. We helped those who needed it most, but we need to do this more often; we honored and admired health workers and doctors who saved lives day and night, but we need to support them even more and to create safer and better working conditions for them; we advocated for responsible spending, and so we should continue to do, spending on what is necessary for us; we supported small producers and artisans, but it is important that we continue to support and buy local in the future; we supported the arts and artists, but it is very important that culture continues to thrive. We cared for our loved ones, fought to preserve our integrity, to stay mentally strong and to protect ourselves from illness. For some of us, this was hard and the disease was stronger, while some of us have been able to remain well. We were together, with our families. We did not travel, but instead we shared love selflessly, reminded ourselves that solidarity is most important in difficult moments, and we Serbs know that very well. And finally, let us congratulate ourselves on patience and endurance and continue to celebrate Life, preserve our health, and cultivate hope for a better tomorrow, which with the New Year is surely coming to us. Happy Serbian New Year to all of you! 


King Philippe’s Car Caught Up in Brussels Demonstration

Photograph (c) EPA-EFE.

On Wednesday evening, a group of about 500 people turned up to demonstrate outside the police station on rue de Brabant in Brussels. The group were demanding answers from authorities in regards to the death in police custody on Monday of Ibrahima Barrie, who was only twenty-three years-old. According to royal reporter Wim Dehandschutter, the Mercedes-Benz carrying King Philippe of the Belgians temporarily got stuck in the midst of the demonstration. After a brief delay, the king was able to make his way home, and the protestors (and wider Belgian public) are continuing to press for clarity as to why Mr Barrie died shortly after his arrest.


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Monday, January 11, 2021

A Review – RECOLLECTIONS: The Memoirs of Victoria Milford Haven

 “Recollections” – Victoria, Marchioness of Milford Haven, formerly Princess Louis of Battenberg.” Annotated and expanded by Arturo E. Beéche & Ilana D. Miller. (, 270 pages, illustrated throughout.


Victoria Milford Haven will be very familiar to our reader as the maternal grandmother of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The eldest daughter of Princess Alice of Great Britain and Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse, she and her siblings Ella, Irene, Alix and Ernie grew up under the eye of their grandmother Queen Victoria after their mother’s tragic death in 1878. Tragedy was never far behind for the Hesse family, Victoria also losing two of her siblings, Frittie and May, in childhood.

These memoirs, written for her children and grandchildren for private publication, have now been made available to everyone, not just the few lucky historians who were fortunate enough to be able to consult them in the archives. They cover the years 1863 to 1914, Victoria not wishing to go further and cover the tragedies beyond, which she realised her family would know only too well anyway.  She expressed herself bored with the whole process and credits Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden (lady-in-waiting and close friend of her sister Empress Alexandra) for keeping her up to the mark. Thank goodness the Baroness did! 

An introduction by the editors gives a resumé of the Princess’s life up to the outbreak of war in 1914, giving a greater understanding of the people and things that Victoria glosses over (or omits altogether). Then we come to the actual memoirs. Victoria comes over as very independent, pragmatic, a convinced socialist and, in her younger days a tomboy, in stark contrast to her sister Ella to whom she remained close.

“My mother’s death was an irreparable loss to us all and left a great gap in our lives,” she wrote in something of an understatement. The children then came under the watchful eye of Queen Victoria and were also fond of their Uncle Leopold, the Duke of Albany. Later, there is a touching sketch of Queen Victoria’s character, outlining what the Queen meant to Victoria Milford Haven. 

Although Queen Victoria did not frown on the Battenbergs, the issue of a morganatic marriage, it is a little surprising to learn that at first ,she was not pleased about Victoria’s engagement to Prince Louis, even though he had spent a large part of his life in England and was serving in the Royal Navy. She probably would have opposed it more had she known that the wedding would lead to her daughter Beatrice’s marriage to Louis’s brother! Louis and Victoria lived for large parts of the time in Malta, and it was interesting to read about the life of a naval wife on the island. 

I loved the account of kangaroos, ostrich, and a zebra kept at Frogmore (who knew!) and the short account of the drawbacks of steam driver motor cars (I wonder what she would have made of electric ones). 

With two sisters married in Russia (Ella to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Alix to Tsar Nicholas II), trips to that country figure largely. There is an account of the 1896 coronation and the tragedy of Khodynka which followed, Sergei’s assassination in 1905 and his funeral (and a photograph of what was left of his carriage after the bomb explosion), visits to Ella’s Moscow convent and, more fully, the journey she and her daughter Louise made in 1914. This included trips to Perm and Ekaterinburg, both of which would form places of confinement for members of the Romanov family and would figure largely in the tragedies to come. The trip was curtailed hurriedly on the outbreak of war, Victoria leaving her jewels in Russia for safekeeping. She never saw Ella and Alix (or her jewels) again.  On the way back to England they saw the Dowager Empress and her daughter on the border between Finland and Sweden and here Victoria makes a mistake. The daughter was Xenia, not Olga.

Victoria mistakes the odd name or date, and these errors are expertly corrected in footnotes by the editors, who give full explanations of events which are only glossed over in the memoirs. They also have identified people who Victoria’s family would have known well, but we are less familiar with.  

An epilogue brings the story up to date as the tragedies unfold – the murders of Ella, Alix and the latter’s husband and family in Russia, the death of her brother Ernie followed by that of his elder son and family in the Hesse air crash of 1937, the death of Louis in 1921, and of her elder son Georgie. 

Throughout all this, Victoria Milford Haven kept going and, as the editors point out, she always did her duty.

The hundreds of photographs, as always in Eurohistory books, are excellent and mostly sourced from the vast Eurohistory collection. I particularly like the one of Prince Franz Joseph of Battenberg’s wife Anna of Montenegro in her ‘bright red little motor car.’

The result is a gorgeous book which gives us an insider’s account of life inside the royal family, from the court of Hesse to the court of Queen Victoria and beyond.


Coryne Hall


Clients can purchase their copy at our website at or they can purchase the book on AMAZON !

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Expanded and annotated by Ilana D. Miller and Arturo E. Beéche the book contains the memoirs of one of the most intriguing and exceptional granddaughters of Queen Victoria: Victoria, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven. 

Copies being autographed by Mr. Beéche


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Saturday, January 9, 2021

A Wittelsbach Turns Ninety: Princess Theresa of Bavaria

Prince Rasso and Princess Theresa of Bavaria in 2001.

On 9 January 1931, Archduchess Theresa Monika Valerie Elisabeth Ludovika Walburga Anna of Austria was born at Schloß Wallsee. The archduchess was the second child and first daughter of Archduke Theodor Salvator of Austria (1899-1978) and his wife Archduchess Maria Theresa (1901-1967; née Countess von Waldburg zu Zeil u.Trauchburg), who had married in 1926. Theresa of Austria had three siblings: Archduke Franz Salvator (1927-2012; married 1stly Princess Anna Amelie von Schönburg-Waldenburg; married 2ndly Hedwig von Lichem-Löwenburg), Archduchess Maria Immakulata (b.1933; married Count Reinhart von und zu Hoensbroech), and Archduke Carl Salvator (b.1936; married Baroness Edith Wenzl von Sternbach). 

Prince Rasso and Princess Theresa of Bavaria shortly after their wedding, 1955.
Photograph (c) Alamy/Keystone Press.

On 17 October 1955 at Schloß Wallsee, Archduchess Theresa of Austria married Prince Rasso of Bavaria (1926-2011), the youngest child of Prince Franz of Bavaria (1875-1957) and his wife Princess Isabella (1890-1982; née Croÿ). Prince Rasso and Princess Theresa had seven children: Princess Maria-Theresia (b.1956; married Count Thomas Kornis von Göncz-Ruszka), Prince Franz-Josef (b.1957), Princess Elisabeth (b.1959; married Count Andreas von Kuefstein), Prince Wolfgang (b.1960; married 1stly Countess Beatrice zu Lodron-Laterano und Castelromano; married 2ndly Tatiana Marie Eames), Princess Benedikta (b.1961; married Baron Rudolf von Freyberg-Eisenberg-Allmendingen), Prince Christoph (b.1962; married Countess Gudila von Plettenberg), and Princess Gisela (b.1964; married Prince Alexander of Saxony, Margrave of Meißen). 

Prince Rasso and Princess Theresa of Bavaria surrounded by family members at a memorial of the death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, June 2011.
Photograph (c) Alamy.

In September 2011, Princess Theresa was widowed when her husband Rasso died at the age of eighty-five.

Prince Rasso of Bavaria and Archduchess Theresa of Austria on their wedding day.
Photograph (c) Alamy.

We wish Princess Theresa of Bavaria a very happy birthday!


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The 75th Birthday of Princess Chantal d'Orléans, Artist and Aunt of the Count of Paris

Princess Jeanne Chantal Alice Clothilde Marie d'Orléans was born at Pamplona, Spain, on 9 January 1946. Chantal was the tenth child and sixth daughter of Prince Henri d'Orléans (1909-1999), Count of Paris, and his wife Princess Isabelle (1911-2003; née Orléans-Bragança). Chantal was baptized on 21 January 1946 at Saint Nicholas Church in Pamplona, Spain. Five years later she began school in Lisbon, later continuing her studies at "La Providence", a private school near Eu. In the meantime her father was completing the restoration of the Cœur Volant, the vast residence in Louveciennes that he had purchased upon returning to France after the abolition of the law of exile. Later on, and once settled at Louveciennes Chantal was instructed by private tutors, followed by attendance at a private school on rue Saint-Dominique in Paris. She finished her secondary studies at a boarding-school in Gouvieux in the Oise region of France. In 1965 Princess Chantal acted as godmother to her nephew Prince Jean, the second of her brother the late Count of Paris. In the meantime, Chantal and her younger brother Thibaut lived in an apartment in Neuilly at the end of the 1960s and while they attended school in Paris. She possessed a talent for painting and the plastic arts, which led to her attending the Estienne School in Paris, a renowned art center in the French capital.

Princess Chantal on her wedding day with her parents, the Count and Countess of Paris.

Princess Chantal became engaged to François-Xavier de Sambucy de Sorgue (b.1943), a member of a noble family originally from Bologna, Italy. The Sambucy de Sorgues established themselves in Rouergue in the XIV century. The family also had contact with the Orléans as François-Xavier's great-uncle, Father Gaston de Sambucy de Sorgue, was the priest who officiated over the burial ceremony, in the Royal Chapel at St Louis de Dreux, for the Duchess d'Orléans, King Louis-Philippe's mother. Anyhow, François-Xavier and Chantal were married at the Royal Chapel at Dreux on 28 July 1972. She wore a splendid wedding gown designed by renowned couturier Balmain, as well as a diadem by Mellerio, a gift from her in-laws. The couple have three children: Axel (b.1976), Alexandre (b.1978), and Kildine (b.1979). 

Princess Chantal d'Orléans.

Princess Chantal and her husband have been among the luminaries of Parisian social life. In 1994, she published a book titled Princess and Citizen. You can visit Princess Chantal's website pertaining to her artistic work here: Chantal d'Orléans

François-Xavier de Sambucy de Morgue and Princess Chantal.

Our best wishes to Princess Chantal on her birthday!


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Count Jan Bernadotte, the Much-Married Cousin of Sweden's King, Turns 80

Count Jan Bernadotte af Wisborg.

On 9 January 1941, Count Carl Johan "Jan" Gustaf Vilhelm Bernadotte af Wisborg was born at Stockholm. He was the son of Count Lennart Bernadotte af Wisborg (1909-2004; born Prince Lennart of Sweden) and his first wife Karin Nissvandt (1911-1991). Count Jan's paternal grandparents were Prince Wilhelm of Sweden (1884-1965), Duke of Södermanland, and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia (1890-1958). Count Jan Bernadotte is the second cousin of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

Count Jan Benadotte and his first wife Gunilla Stampe.
Count Jan Bernadotte and his second wife Anna Skarne.
Photograph (c) Getty Images.
Count Jan Bernadotte and his seventh and current wife Gunilla Stenfors.
Photograph (c) Svenskdam.

The count is well-known to royal genealogists for his reputation as the "Elizabeth Taylor" of the Gotha. Jan has been married seven times. From 1965 until their divorce in 1967, Jan Bernadotte was the husband of Gunilla Stampe (1941-2010). From 1967 until their divorce in 1970, Jan was the spouse of Anna Skarne (b.1944). From 1972 until 1974, the count was married to Annegret Thomssen (b.1938). From 1974 until 1987, Jan was married to Maritta Berg (1953-2001). From 1993 until their divorce in 2004, Jan Bernadotte was the husband of Gabrielle Kick (b.1949; née Hess). From 2004 until their divorce in 2011, the count was married to Christiane Grandmontagne (b.1944), a former partner of Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia. Finally, in 2012, Count Jan Bernadotte wed Gunilla Stenfors (b.1957), a teacher. 

Count Jan Bernadotte.

Count Jan Bernadotte has four children, two daughters and two sons. From his second marriage to Anna Skarne, Jan has a daughter, Countess Sophia Magdalena Bernadotte af Wisborg (b.1968). From his third marriage to Annegret Thomssen, Jan has a daughter, Countess Cia-Rosemarie Bernadotte af Wisborg (b.1972). From his fourth marriage to Maritta Berg, Jan has two sons, Count Alexander Wilhelm Bernadotte af Wisborg (b.1977) and Count Stephan Bernadotte af Wisborg (b.1980).

Our best regards to Count Jan on his birthday!


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Friday, January 8, 2021

Vincent and Josephine: The Danish Twins Turn Ten!

Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine of Denmark.
Photograph (c) Franne Voigt.

On 8 January 2011, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik welcomed the arrival of their youngest two children: twins, a girl and a boy. Today, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine of Denmark celebrate their tenth birthday. The twins joined two older siblings: Prince Christian (b.2005) and Princess Isabella (b.2007). Vincent and Josephine are the grandchildren of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and her late husband Prince Consort Henrik. 

The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark with their children Vincent and Josephine, 2011.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Julian Parker.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark with Crown Prince Frederik (on his 50th birthday) and Crown Princess Mary with their children, 2018.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Patrick van Katwijk.

Prince Vincent Frederik Minik Alexander of Denmark, Count of Monpezat, and Princess Josephine Sophia Ivalo Mathilda of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, were born at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. Vincent was born at 10:30am, and Josephine arrived at 10:56am. Prince Vincent is fourth in the line of succession to the Danish throne; Princess Josephine is fifth in the line of succession. The Danish twins were baptised on 14 April 2011. The little prince received as his godparents: King Felipe VI of Spain, Fürst Gustav zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, John Stuart Donaldson, Count Michael Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Bille, Baroness Helle Reedtz-Thott and Caroline Heering. The little princess received as her godparents: Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Carlo of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (Duke of Castro), Patricia Bailey, Count Bendt Wedell, Birgitte Handwerk, and Josephine Rechner. 

Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark with Princess Josephine and Prince Vincent on the twin's first day of school, 2017.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/AFP Contributor.

In August 2017, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine began school at Tranegårdsskolen in Gentofte. 

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