Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Joint Monogram Issued for Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna Ahead of Wedding

The joint monogram of the imperial couple.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian Imperial House has issued the joint monogram of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and the future Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanova ahead of their upcoming nuptials in October. The monogram is headed by the Russian imperial crown; below the crown is the Cyrillic letter Г for George and the Cyrillic letter В for Victoria appearing beneath. After the imperial marriage, we can expect that this monogram will appear at the top of any communications from the grand duke and princess.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.
Photograph taken by Lodovico Colli di Felizzano.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.
Photograph taken by Lodovico Colli di Felizzano.

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Prince and Princess of Prussia Remember Empress Auguste Viktoria 100 Years After Her Death


Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia depart the Antique Temple, April 2021.

Last Sunday, 11 April 2021, Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia commemorated a century since the death of German Empress Auguste Viktoria, who died on 11 April 1921 at Huis Doorn, The Netherlands. The head of the German imperial house and his wife laid a wreath at the resting place of the empress at the Antique Temple in Potsdam. A religious service was also held to mark the life of the empress. The funeral of Auguste Viktoria, the great-great-grandmother of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and the first wife of German Emperor Wilhelm II, took place one hundred years ago today on 19 April 1921. 

The tomb of Empress Auguste Viktoria with the wreath from the imperial couple in the forefront.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Greek Royal Family and the Island of Corfu Bids Adieu to Their Prince

The memorial service for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on Corfu.
Photograph (c) Leonidas Corfu.

On Saturday, 17 April, the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, took place at St George's Chapel, Windsor. At the same time, a memorial service was held for Prince Philip at Saint Spyridon Church on Corfu, the Greek island where Philip was born in 1921. His Grace Nektarios, Bishop of Corfu and Paxoi, officiated over the ceremony and called to mind Prince Philip's birth and baptism on Corfu as well as the Duke of Edinburgh's ties to the the monks of Mount Athos. A wreath from King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, bearing their royal monograms, was placed in front of a portrait of the late Prince Philip.

The wreath sent by King Konstantine II and Queen Anna-Maria of Greece.
Photograph (c) Leonidas Corfu.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Nine Surviving Nephews and Nieces of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The family of the Duke of Edinburgh: Prince Andrew, Princess Alice, Princess Margarita, Princess Theodora, Princess Cecilie, Princess Sophie, and Prince Philip.

In addition to his British family, the late Duke of Edinburgh leaves behind many close relatives on the Continent. Prince Philip was the youngest of five siblings, the elder four of whom were sisters. The eldest sister Margarita married Gottfried zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg. The next eldest sister Theodora married Berthold of Baden. The third sister Cecilie married Georg Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine. The fourth sister Sophie married Christoph of Hesse; after being widowed, Sophie married Georg Wilhelm of Hannover. From the five marriages of his four sisters, the Duke of Edinburgh is survived by six nephews and three nieces. 

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Margrave Max of Baden at the funeral of his first cousin Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Born on 3 July 1933 at Salem, Margrave Max of Baden was the first son and second child of Margrave Berthold of Baden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. Max, his brother Ludwig, and his cousin Karl of Hesse attended the 1960 wedding of Princess Margaret to Antony Armstrong-Jones. In 1966, Margrave Max married Archduchess Valerie of Austria (b.1940). Margrave Max and Margravine Valerie of Baden have four children, three sons and one daughter: Princess Marie Louise (b.1969), Hereditary Prince Bernhard (b.1970), Prince Leopold (b.1971), and Prince Michael (b.1976). In 1999, Princess Marie Louise married Richard Baker (b.1936). In 2001, Hereditary Prince Bernhard married Stephanie Kaul (b.1966). In 2015, Prince Michael married Christine Höhne. 

Prince Ludwig of Baden at the funeral of his first cousin Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Born on 16 March 1937 at Karlsruhe, Prince Ludwig of Baden was the second son and third and final child of Margrave Berthold of Baden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. In 1967, Prince Ludwig married Princess Marianne von Auersperg-Breunner (b.1943). Prince Ludwig and Princess Marianne have three children: Princess Sophie (b.1975), Prince Berthold (b.1976), and Princess Aglaë (b.1981). In 2019, Princess Aglaë married Wolf von Trotha (b.1974)

Prince Andreas zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg at the funeral of his brother Fürst Kraft.

Born on 24 November 1938 at Schwäbisch-Hall, Prince Andreas zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg was the second son and third child of Fürst Gottfried zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark. In 1968, Prince Andreas married Princess Luise von Schönburg-Waldenburg (b.1943). Prince Andreas and Princess Luise have two daughters: Princess Katharina (b.1972) and Princess Tatjana (b.1975). In 2002, Princess Katharina married Prince Nikolaus zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (b.1970). In 2010, Princess Tatjana married Hubertus Stephan (1970-2018).

Princess Dorothea of Hesse and her husband Prince Friedrich zu Windisch-Grätz.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Gamma-Keystone.

Born on 24 July 1934 at Schloß Parker, Princess Dorothea of Hesse was the second daughter and second child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. In 1959, Princess Dorothea married Prince Friedrich zu Windisch-Grätz (1917-2002). Dorothea's wedding was attended by her grandmother Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark (née Battenberg) as well as by King Umberto II of Italy. Princess Dorothea and Prince Friedrich had two daughters: Princess Marina (b.1960) and Princess Clarissa (b.1966). In 1985, Princess Clarissa married Eric de Waele (b.1962). In 1988, Princess Marina married Gyula Jakabffy (b.1962).

Prince Karl of Hesse with his daughter Princess Irina at her wedding, 1999.
Photograph (c) Seeger-Presse

Born on 27 March 1937 at Berlin, Prince Karl of Hesse was the first son and third child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. In 1966, Prince Karl married Countess Yvonne Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchysziget u.Szapár (b.1944). Prince Karl and Princess Yvonne have two children: Prince Christoph (b.1969) and Princess Irina (b.1971). In 1999, Princess Irina married Count Alexander von Schönburg-Glauchau (b.1969), the brother of Fürstin Gloria von Thurn und Taxis.

Prince Rainier of Hesse.

Born on 18 November 1938 at Kronberg, Prince Rainier of Hesse was the second son and fourth child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. Prince Rainier has never married and has no children. The prince is an historian.

Princess Clarissa of Hesse, her mother Princess Sophie, and her stepfather Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover arrive in London for the wedding of Princess Alexandra of Kent, 1963.
Photograph (c) Alamy.

Born on 6 February 1944 at Kronberg, Princess Clarissa of Hesse was the third daughter and fifth and last child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. Clarissa was a bridesmaid at the 1960 wedding of her cousin Lady Pamela Mountbatten to David Hicks. Princess Clarissa of Hesse was also an attendant to Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark at Anne-Marie's 1964 wedding to King Constantine II of Greece. In 1971, Princess Clarissa married Claude Jean Derrien (b.1948); the couple divorced in 1976. Clarissa of Hesse has one daughter, Johanna (b.1980).

Prince Georg of Hannover and his mother Princess Sophie in 1996
Photograph (c) Seeger-Presse

Born on 9 December 1949 at Salem, Prince Georg of Hannover was the second son of Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover (1915-2006) and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark (1914-2001). In 1973, Georg of Hannover married Victoria Ann Bee (b.1951), the daughter of Robert Bee (1920-1994) and Countess Eleonore Fugger von Babenhausen (1925-1992), who married in 1946 and divorced in 1959. In 1961, Victoria's mother Eleonore took as her second husband Prince Burchard of Prussia (1917-1988), son of Prince Oskar of Prussia (1888-1958) and his wife Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz (1888-1973; created Countess von Ruppin in 1914; recognised as Princess of Prussia in 1920). Victoria of Hannover's mother Eleonore was thus married to the first cousin (Prince Burchard of Prussia) of Victoria's father-in-law Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover. Prince Georg and Princess Victoria of Hannover have two daughters: Princess Vera (b.1976) and Princess Nora (b.1979). In 2006, Princess Vera married Manuel Dmoch (b.1977). Princess Nora is married to Christian Falk (b.1972).

The first visit of the now Prince of Wales to Germany in 1963.
Left to right: Princess Sophie, Prince Charles, Princess Frederica, Prince Georg Wilhelm, and Prince Georg.
Photograph (c) Alamy.

Born on 15 October 1954 at Salem, Princess Frederica of Hannover was the only daughter and third and last child of Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. Together with her elder half-sister Clarissa, Frederica was a bridesmaid at the 1960 wedding of Lady Pamela Mountbatten to David Hicks. In 1979, Princess Frederica married Canadian Jerry William Cyr (b.1951). Princess Frederica and Jerry Cyr have two children: Julia (b.1982) and Jean-Paul (b.1985).  

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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was predeceased by seven nephews and five nieces. Among Princess Margarita's children, the following nephews and nieces passed away before their uncle: an unnamed Princess zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (b.and d.1933), Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1935-2004), Princess Beatrix (1936-1997), Prince Albrecht (1994-1992), and Prince Rupprecht (1944-1978). Among Princess Theodora's children, the following niece passed away before her uncle: Princess Margarita of Baden (1932-2013; married Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia). Among Princess Cecilie's children, the following nephews and niece passed away before their uncle: Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine (1931-1937), Prince Alexander (1933-1937), Princess Johanna (1936-1939), and an unnamed Prince(ss) of Hesse and by Rhine (b.and d.1937). Among Princess Sophie's children, the following niece and nephew passed away before their uncle: Princess Christina of Hesse (1933-2011; married Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia) and Prince Welf of Hannover (1947-1981).

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sisters of Prince Philip to be Represented by Family at Duke's Funeral

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the funeral of his nephew Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

It has recently been reported that the sisters of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will be represented at his funeral on Saturday by three individuals. This is being done at the express wish of the late Duke of Edinburgh. The family of Princess Margarita, the eldest sister, will be represented by her grandson Fürst Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg. The family of Princess Theodora will be represented by her grandson Hereditary Prince Bernhard of Baden. The families of Princess Cecilie and Princess Sophie will be represented by Landgrave Donatus of Hesse. The three German princes flew to the United Kingdom over the weekend and are currently in quarantine owing to coronavirus precautions. 

Fürst Philipp and Fürstin Saskia zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg on their wedding day.

Born in 1970, Fürst Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg is the only son of Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1935-2004) and his first wife Princess Charlotte of Croÿ (b.1938). Philipp is the grandson of Fürst Gottfried zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1897-1960) and Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark (1905-1981), the eldest sister of Prince Philip. In 2003, then Hereditary Prince Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg married Saskia Binder; the couple have two sons and one daughter. 

Hereditary Prince Bernhard and Hereditary Princess Stephanie of Baden at the Hesse/Faber nuptials.

Born in 1970, Hereditary Prince Bernhard of Baden is the son of Margrave Max of Baden (b.1933) and Archduchess Valerie of Austria (b.1941). Bernhard is the grandson of Margrave Berthold of Baden (1906-1963) and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark (1906-1969), the second eldest sister of Prince Philip. In 2001, Hereditary Prince Bernard of Baden married Stephanie Kaul; the couple have three sons.

Landgrave Donatus and Landgravine Floria of Hesse at their wedding.

Born in 1966, Landgrave Donatus of Hesse is the son of Landgrave Moritz of Hesse (1926-2013) and Princess Tatjana zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (b.1940). Donatus's father Moritz was adopted by Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine, the brother-in-law of Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark (1911-1937), who married Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine. Donatus's uncle Prince Christoph of Hesse was the first husband of Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark (1914-2001). In 2003, then Hereditary Prince Donatus of Hesse married Countess Floria von Faber-Castell; the couple have two sons and one daughter.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Death of the 13th Duke de Brissac

François de Cossé-Brissac, XIII Duc de Brissac.

On Tuesday, 6 April 2021, the 13th Duke de Brissac passed away at the age of ninety-two. Surrounded by his family, the duke died at his manor La Roche in Charcé-Saint-Ellier. The late duke was particularly passionate about horse breeding, and he served as a municipal councillor in Brissac.

Pierre de Cossé, Duke de Brissac.
May de Cossé (née Schneider), Duchess de Brissac.

Born on 29 February 1929 at the château de la Verrerie, Eugène Marie Timoléon François de Cossé-Brissac was the eldest son of Pierre de Cossé-Brissac (1900-1993), 12th Duke de Brissac, and Marie-Zélie "May" Antoinette Eugénie Schneider (1902-1999). François had three siblings: Marie-Pierre (b.1925; married 1stly Simon Nora; married 2ndly Maurice Herzog; married 3rdly Christian Schmidt), Gilles (1935-2002), and Elvire (b.1939). 

The Duke and Duchess de Brissac with Sir Roger Moore and his wife. 
The Duke and Duchess de Brissac attend the Christmas dinner at the British Embassy to Paris, 2009.
Photograph (c) Getty Images / Bertrand Rindoff Petroff.

In 1958, François de Cossé-Brissac married Jacqueline de Contades (b.1940), the daughter of André de Contades and Marguerite "Daisy" Thome. Jacqueline was a friend of her husband's younger sister Elvire. François and Jacqueline had five children, three daughters and two sons: Agnès (b.1960; married Bruno van den Broek d'Obrenan), Charles-André (b.1962), Angélique (b.1965; married Vicomte Stanislas de Rougé), Marie-Antoinette (b.1968; married Philippe Leclerq), and Pierre-Emmanuel (b.1974; married Marie-Astrid Larue).

The late Duke de Brissac with his eldest son Marquis Charles-André de Cossé-Brissac.

The 14th Duke de Brissac is the eldest son and heir of François: Charles-André de Cossé-Brissac. In 1993, Charles-André married Countess Larissa Széchényi de Sárvár-Felsövidek (b.1967). The new Duke and Duchess de Brissac have four children, three daughters and one son: Laszlo (b.1994), Irina (b.1996), Délia (b.1998; engaged to Prince Marc von Croÿ), and Annabel (b.2002). 

May the Duke de Brissac Rest in Peace.

Monday, April 12, 2021

An Interview with Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1913-1999)

Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

In the fall of 1998, Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies gave an interview to Giuseppe Scammacca. This interview was published in the now defunct French-language magazine Bourbons. Below one can read an English translation of the interview of the princess.

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Your Royal Highness is one of the great nieces of the last Neapolitan sovereign, His Majesty Francesco II. What kind of memories did the Duke of Calabria, the father of Your Royal Highness, impart to you of the king?

Naturally, my father, but also my grandfather [the Count of Caserta] often spoke to me of Francesco II, as well as to my three sisters. The idea that we had as children was that the king was a man struck by sorrows and the trials of life. Probably due to various betrayals that he endured... I remember very well my great-aunt, the Queen Sophia. She was a severe woman; I was so afraid of her.

Can you provide us with a description of the Duke of Calabria, your father?

My father followed the family's traditions, notably in reorganising the Constantinian Order of which he was Grand Master for a long time. He also pursued a military career in the Spanish army of his cousin King Alfonso XIII; I believe that I remember that he was a very talented engineering officer. He fought in Spanish Morocco. 

One of my saddest memoirs: the death in his youth of his son (my brother), the Duke of Noto, the presumptive heir. He died from the Spanish flu that ravaged Europe during the First World War.

Called to God in 1960, the Duke of Calabria was by right His Majesty King Ferdinando III. How did he carry out this dignity far from the land that had witnessed his birth?

To tell the truth, my father was not born in Naples but in Rome, at the Palazzo Farnese. However, he only lived there for a year, since he, like his entire family, had to leave the new Italy after September 1870; this exile did not end until 1938, on the occasion of my sister Lucia's marriage to Prince Eugenio of Savoy-Genoa, Duke of Ancona. I remember that my father spent a lot of his time, when he lived in Bavaria, to constitute and reorganise archives relating to the royal family and therefore to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Unfortunately, part of these documents was destroyed during the bombing of Munich during World War II. He donated what was left of the archives to the city of Naples.

What can you tell us about your father's stay in Spain?

I have often been told of the military feats of my grandfather, who had been the Chief of Staff in the Carlist armies who fought for King Carlos VII of Spain, Duke of Madrid. In 1874, when the Duke of Madrid had to take refuge in France, my grandfather rode alongside him when they arrived in Pau. This is where the daughter of the Carlist King, Princess Alicia, was born.

As a Capetian princess, how do you view the House of Bourbon?

Personally, I feel first of all Neapolitan and Sicilian; moreover, when I travel to the old kingdom, I see everywhere the proof of the moral, cultural and spiritual heritage that my family left there. But I was just talking about Pau; that's where Henri VI started out. So I am also French at heart, as I am undoubtedly Spanish and Parmesan. Indeed, the Bourbons reigned everywhere, until America. It's amazing, isn't it?

You yourself have experienced exile. How did you feel when you went through this ordeal?

Sadness; in particular, that of not being able to know the countries and the friends that our parents wanted to tell us about. Of course, my mother, my sisters and I could cross the north of Italy to get from Munich to Cannes... But remember that we were always watched, accompanied on the train by plainclothes police. And, it was not until 1938 that my father was able to return to Italy. However, since the end of World War II, we were finally free. It is all the more strange that my Bavarian cousins have never suffered this kind of annoyance ... and have always lived in their homeland.

You return from time to time to the lands that constituted the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. What are your feelings there?

I am at home there! And I have so many friends there!

Exactly, what is the attitude of the Italians and, more precisely, of the Neapolitans and the Sicilians towards you?

As I just told you, grand and loving are the feelings of the people I meet. All still speak - and I will even say more and more - of my ancestors whom they consider as the image of the continuity of the moral and political values which embodied the history of our kingdom. Moreover, I am invited to the many events organised by cultural groups and movements that want to seriously study the true history of the nineteenth century.

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The Duchess of Calabria with her youngest child Princess Urraca.
Born on 14 July 1913 at Schloß Nymphenburg in Munich, Princess Urraca Maria Isabella Carolina Aldegonda of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was the sixth and youngest child of Prince Ferdinand Pius of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria and his wife Princess Maria Ludwiga Theresia of Bavaria. Urraca chose not to celebrate her birthday, remarking: "How can a Bourbon celebrate on the day of the storming of the Bastille?" The princess had five older siblings: Princess Maria Antonietta (1898–1957); Princess Maria Cristina (1899–1985; married Manuel Sotomayor-Luna, Vice President of Ecuador); Prince Ruggiero, Duke of Noto (1901–1914), Princess Barbara (1902–1927; married Count Franz Xaver zu Stolberg-Wernigerode), and Princess Lucia (1908–2001; married Prince Eugenio of Savoy, Duke of Ancona). The Duke and Duchess of Calabria lived with their children at Villa Amsee just outside Lindau.

Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Princess Michael of Kent, Venice, 1990.
Photograph (c) Marcellino Radogna.
As the daughter of the head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Urraca regularly represented her family at royal and aristocratic functions and charitable events.

Press report on the 1957 accident.
On the night of 10 January 1957, Urraca was driving her eldest sister Maria Antonietta to her home in Lindau, Germany, when their automobile collided with a truck that had skid on ice near Winterthur, Switzerland. Maria Antonietta was killed in the accident and Urraca was seriously injured. After several months in hospital, Princess Urraca recovered.

The grave of Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.
On 3 May 1999 at Sigmaringen, Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies died at the age of eighty-five.  Princess Urraca never married although she did have a suitor for her hand at some point. The princess was buried at Rieden in the same cemetery as her parents and two of her siblings: Prince Ruggiero, Duke of Noto, and Princess Maria Antonietta. Urraca's burial site was marked with a simple wooden cross affixed with a small brass plaque bearing her name, until it was replaced by a large cross-shaped headstone with a similar small brass plaque.