Wednesday, May 29, 2019

On This Day In History: The Death of Prince Ludwig, The Last of the Hesse and by Rhine

Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duchess Eleonore, and Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus and Prince Ludwig


The Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine with their two sons


Eleonore with Georg Donatus and Ludwig

Prince Ludwig Hermann Alexander Chlodwig of Hesse and by Rhine was born on 20 November 1908 as the second son of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine (25 November 1868–9 October 1937) and his second wife Grand Duchess Eleonore (17 September 1871–16 November 1937; née Solms-Hohensolms-Lich). Ludwig joined an older brother, Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus (8 November 1906–16 November 1937). From his father's first marriage to Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1876-1936), Ludwig had one half sister, Princess Elisabeth (1895-1903), who he never met as a result of her untimely death.

Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine

Together with his brother Georg Donatus, who was two years older, Prince Ludwig grew up alternately at Schloß Wolfsgarten and the Neuen Palais in Darmstadt. At the time of the First World War, he began to be privately tutored. Ludwig, in the family circle called "Lu," was like his brother almost entirely educated at home. Ludwig finished his primary studies in 1926. Then Ludwig went on to study archeology and art history with a specialisation in ornamentation at the Universities of Darmstadt, Lausanne and Munich.

Announcement of the Hesse/Geddes engagement on 17 July 1937


Prince Ludwig and his fiancée the Hon. Margaret Geddes


Report on the death of Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine on 10 October 1937

After graduating, the trained art historian served as an attaché at the German Embassy in London. In Upper Bavaria, Ludwig met Margaret Campbell Geddes (18 March 1913-26 January 1997), the daughter of British diplomat and professor Sir Auckland Campbell Geddes (1879-1954) and American Isabella Gamble Ross (1881-1962). After having met in 1936, Ludwig and Margaret announced their engagement on 16 July 1937. The wedding was postponed after Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig died on 9 October 1937. At this point, it was decided that Ludwig and Margaret should marry on 20 November 1937, the groom's twenty-ninth birthday.

However, further tragedy was to intervene. On 16 November, Eleonore, along with her son Georg Donatus, his pregnant wife Cecilie and his two sons, went to London by plane in order to attend Ludwig's wedding. The plane crashed near Oostende in Belgium and all the passengers were killed. The only one of Georg Donatus and Cecilie's children not aboard the flight was their daughter Johanna.

In London, it was decided that Prince Ludwig and Margaret Geddes should marry without delay in the face of this loss. The couple were married on 17 October 1937, a day after the plane crash, in quiet wedding ceremony at St Peter's Church, Eaton Square. Ludwig's best man was Lord Louis Mountbatten. The wedding was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Princess Olga of Yugoslavia (née Greece), Countess Elisabeth of Törring-Jettenbach (née Greece), the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, Lady Louis Mountbatten, and Mr and Mrs von Ribbentrop. After the marriage, Ludwig and Margaret traveled to Ostend to see the remains of the groom's family. Ludwig never completely recovered from the death of his family; it was later remarked that "a disciplined sadness marked him."
Princess Johanna of Hesse and by Rhine
Prince Ludwig and Princess Margaret with their niece/adopted daughter Princess Johanna

After the accident, Prince Ludwig and Princess Margaret adopted Johanna, their orphaned niece, and planned to raise her as their own daughter. Sadly, Johanna developed meningitis and died twenty months later at the age of two and a half on 14 June 1939. The little girl's maternal grandmother, Princess Alice of Greece (née Battenberg), said later that the unconscious Johanna so closely resembled her mother at the same age that it felt like losing her daughter Cecilie all over again. Following Johanna's death, she was buried with her parents and brothers at the Rosenhöhe.

Peter Pears, Prince Louis of Hesse and by Rhine, Princess Margaret of Hesse and by Rhine, and Benjamin Britten
Lu and Peg of Hesse
Prince Ludwig and Princess Margaret "Peg" were never able to have children of their own. After the end of World War II, the couple engaged in the reconstruction of Darmstadt, supporting such institutions as Alice Hospital, the Eleonorenheim and the Red Cross. As a lover of classical music, the prince promoted the Ansbach Festival and the Aldeburgh Festival. As a friend of the British musician Benjamin Britten, Ludwig translated his lyrics and invited the English composer come to Wolfsgarten, where parts of Britten's opera Death in Venice were created.
Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine in later life
Lu and Peg of Hesse with The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh 
In 1964, Ludwig became of the godfathers of Prince Edward, youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Ludwig died in 1968 at the age of 59 years. The funeral service took place on 6 June 1968 at Darmstadt in the presence of the European royals and aristocrats. Ludwig is buried together with his wife Margaret (1913-1997) in a simple grave at the Rosenhöhe, in the immediate vicinity of his parents and his brother's family.

The late Landgraf Moritz of Hesse as a young man

In 1960, Prince Ludwig adopted Prince/Landgraf Moritz of Hesse-Kassel (1926-2013), in whose person the two separate lines of the House of Hesse were reunited from the first time since 1567 after Prince Ludwig's death in 1968.

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein Turns Fifty!

Today HSH Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein celebrates his fiftieth birthday. The prince was born on 16 May 1969 at St Gallen, Switzerland, and named Maximilian Nikolaus Maria; he is the second son of Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein (b.1945) and Countess Marie Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (b.1940), who married in 1967. Maximilian followed elder brother Hereditary Prince Alois (b.1968) and was joined by two younger siblings, Prince Constantin (b.1972) and Princess Tatjana (b.1973).

Princes Constantin, Alois, and Maximilian of Liechtenstein in 1979
Prince Hans-Adam, Princess Marie, and their four children.

Maximilian attended the Gymnasium Grammar School at Vaduz. Afterwards, the prince studied at the European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, Germany, and graduated from this institution in 1993. In 1998 Maximilian received an MBA from the Harvard Business School at Boston, Massachusetts.

In December 1999, the Princely Family announced the engagement between Prince Maximilian and Miss Angela Gisela Davis (b.Bocas del Toro, Panama 3 February 1958), the daughter of Javier Francisco Brown and Silvia Maritza Burke. At the time, Maximilian was working between London and Hamburg for a venture capital firm. A fashion designer, Angela studied at the Parsons School of Design, where she received the Oscar de la Renta Prize. For a time, she created her own line of clothes under the label "A. Davis"; she then went on to work as the design director for the Adrienne Vittadini fashion firm. 
Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein marries Angela Gisela Brown
(l to r) Hereditary Princess Sophie, Prince Constantin, Princess Angela and Prince Maximilian, Princess Tatjana, and Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein.
The couple were civilly married at Vaduz on 21 January 2000. This was followed by their religious wedding, which took place on 29 January in New York City at the Church of St. Vicente Ferrer: the bride designed the wedding gown herself. Princess Angela wore the Kinsky Honeysuckle Tiara. The marriage was historic in the sense that it brought the first person of Afro-Panamanian ancestry into one of the European reigning families. 
Prince Maximilian and Princess Angela with their son Prince Alfonso
On 18 May 2001, Maximilian and Angela welcomed the arrival of their only child, Prince Alfons Constantin Maria, born at London. Alfons is currently sixth in the line of succession to the Liechtensteiner throne, after his father. Prince Alfons attended the Munich International School and is to graduate from Wellington College this year. 
Since 2006, Prince Maximilian has worked as the CEO of the LGT Group (the Liechtenstein Global Trust). The LGT Group has over 2,000 employees around the world and locations on five continents. 

Monday, May 13, 2019

On This Day In History: The Death of Lady Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton, British Aristocrat Turned European Princess

On 14 May 1922, the Princess of Festetics von Tolna died at Budapest, aged seventy-one. The princess was a first cousin of Queen Carola of Saxony, Queen Stephanie of Portugal, King Carol I of Romania, and Princess Marie, Countess of Flanders. Her Serene Highness was also a third cousin of Emperor Napoléon III of the French.

William, 11th Duke of Hamilton

Princess Marie Amélie of Baden

The Hungarian princess had begun life as Lady Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton: she was born at the family home, Hamilton Palace, in Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 11 December 1850 as the daughter of William Hamilton, 11th Duke of Hamilton (1811-1863), and Princess Marie Amélie of Baden (1817-1888), who had wed in 1843. Mary Victoria followed two brothers: William Douglas-Hamilton, eventual 12th Duke of Hamilton (1845-1895), and Charles Douglas-Hamilton, 7th Earl of Selkirk (1847-1886). Mary's paternal grandparents were Alexander Hamilton, 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852), and Susan Euphemia Beckford (1786-1859); her maternal grandparents were Grand Duke Karl of Baden (1786-1818) and Stéphanie de Beauharnais (1789-1860), a second cousin to Eugène de Beauharnais and Hortense de Beauharnais, the stepchildren of Emperor Napoléon I of the French.

The report of the marriage of Prince Albert of Monaco and Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton
Photograph (c) The Standard

The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Monaco shortly after their wedding
On 21 September 1869, Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton married Hereditary Prince Albert of Monaco (1848-1922) at the Château de Marchais, a Grimaldi residence in France. The pair had met for the first time a month before, in August 1869, when they attended a ball hosted by Emperor Napoléon III and Empress Eugénie in Paris. A strictly arranged union, the couple were matched together by the groom's grandmother Marie Caroline Gibert de Lametz (1793-1879), a former French actress and the wife of Prince Florestan I of Monaco (1785-1856) as well as mother of Prince Charles III of Monaco (1818-1889), father of Prince Albert. 
Hereditary Princess Mary and her son Prince Louis of Monaco
Albert and Mary of Monaco produced their only child, a son and heir, the year after their marriage. Prince Louis of Monaco was born on 12 July 1870 at Baden, in the grand duchy from which his maternal grandmother hailed. The marital bonds between Albert and Mary were tenuous, and did not last. The Scottish-born princess was not fond of the Mediterranean climate or the Monegasque court, and Albert had a tendency to be cold and distant: this resulted in Mary leaving Monte Carlo and the principality permanently not long after her son was born. The union of the Hereditary Prince and Princess of Monaco was annulled in 1880 following a long separation. 
Prince Tasziló Festetics von Tolna
After the annulment was granted, Mary swiftly remarried to Hungarian nobleman Count Tasziló Festetics von Tolna (1850-1933). Prince Louis of Monaco was raised in Baden by his maternal grandmother and did not see his father until he was eleven years-old. At that point in time, Louis returned to Monaco to be trained for his future royal duties. The future Louis II of Monaco was joined by four half-siblings: Mária Matild (1881-1953), György (1882-1941), Alexandra Olga (1884-1963), and Karola (1888-1951). Tasziló was created Prince Festetics von Tolna in 1911 by Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary. 
Prince György Festetics von Tolna (1882-1941)
Princess Alexandra "Alex" Festetics von Tolna (1884-1963)

On 26 June 1922, Prince Albert I of Monaco, the ex-husband of the late Princess of Festetics von Tolna, died one month after his first wife. Albert was succeeded by the couple's only child as Prince Louis II of Monaco. Louis II reigned until 1949, when he passed away at Monte Carlo at the age of seventy-eight on 9 May 1949. Prince Louis was succeeded by his only grandson, Prince Rainier III (1923-2005), who was the child of Louis' legitimised daughter Princess Charlotte (1898-1977) and her former husband Count Pierre de Polignac (1895-1964). 
Prince Albert I of Monaco in the 1910s
Prince Louis II of Monaco

Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Duchess of Valentinois
Through her first marriage, Lady Mary Hamilton-Douglas is the great-great-grandmother of Prince Albert II of Monaco (b.1958). Through her second marriage, Mary is the great-grandmother of fashion designer Prince Egon of Fürstenberg, socialite and actress Princess Ira of Fürstenberg and the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Karel Schwarzenberg. Mary's second marriage was a happy one and lasted over forty years. Mary is buried beside her second husband Tasziló at the mausoleum of Festetics Palace. 
Festetics Palace

Lady Mary Victoria Douglas-Hamilton

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Twenty-Fourth Wedding Anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Bragança

On 13 May 1995, Dom Duarte Pio João Miguel Gabriel Rafael de Bragança (b.1945), the Head of the Royal House of Portugal, married Dona Isabel Inês Castro Curvello de Herédia (b.1966). Duarte was the son of Dom Duarte Nuño (1907-1976), Duke of Bragança, and Princess Maria Francisca of Orléans-Bragança (1914-1968); Isabel was the daughter of Dom Jorge de Herédia and Dona Raquel Leonor Pinheiro de Castro Curvello. The Duke and Duchess of Bragança were wed at Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, Lisbon. Theirs was the first Portuguese royal marriage to be held in the country since that of the eventual King Carlos I of Portugal (1863-1908) and Queen Amélie (1865-1952; née Orléans) in 1886.

A "royal mob" observes the bullfight on 11 May at the Campo Pequeno arena.
The celebrations surrounding the wedding of D. Duarte and D. Isabel's marriage were truly of magnificent proportions. Royal guests began arriving on Thursday, 11 May, in Lisbon - that evening, a bullfight was held that had the Duke of Bragança and dona Isabel surrounded by the Hereditary Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg on their left and the Countess of Paris ("Tante Bebelle" to the duke, whose late mother Maria Francisca was the sister of Isabelle, Countess of Paris). Bourbons, Habsburgs and Savoys were also in the crowd to watch the bullfight at the arena of Campo Pequeno. 
Dom Duarte and Dona Isabel at the welcome dinner on 12 May at Queluz Palace.
On Friday, 12 May, guests attended a welcome dinner hosted at Queluz Palace. The evening began with a tea served at the Palace Hotel, followed by an exhibition held by the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art and afterwards a group of Timorese people interpreted diverse typical dances with motifs related to marriage and maternity. There was also a concert performed by several student musical groups, at the end of which the dinner was served, in the Rooms of Glasses and Music of the Palace.


The royal wedding occurred on the following day, 13 May; it was broadcast live on Portuguese television. Dom Duarte had stated that "I would feel more comfortable with a quiet wedding, but I realize that a lot of people want to celebrate with us." Dona Isabel noted: "I want my wedding to be above all a religious ceremony. These are not suitable times for great parties, with so many needy people." However, owing to the 3,000 person guest-list, it was inevitable that the Bragança nuptials would be on a grand scale. The bride's wedding gown was designed by Portuguese couturier Laurinda Farmhouse and her hair was done by Alexandre of Paris.
The Duke of Bragança arrived at Jerónimos Monastery at 3:55pm with his brother Dom Miguel. Shortly thereafter, Dona Isabel arrived on the arm of her father, Dom Jorge de Herédia. The religious ceremony was conducted by His Beatitude the Patriarch Cardinal of Lisbon, D. António Ribeiro. There was a sense that the wedding of the Head of the Royal House of Portugal and his Consort was a semi-state occasion, owing to the attendance of the Portuguese President Mário Soares with his wife as well as of Prime Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva with his wife. Of course, the Gotha was also out in full force to witness the wedding of one of their most amiable cousins to the splendid young woman who had accepted his hand in marriage. 
Here pictured in profile: Princess Teresa of Orléans-Bragança, Queen Mother Giovanna of Bulgaria, Queen Margarita of Bulgaria, Archduke Otto of Austria, Hereditary Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Prince Philippe of Belgium, and Infanta Margarita of Spain.
Dom Duarte arrives with his brother Dom Miguel
Dona Isabel arrives on the arm of her father
A view of the Roman Catholic wedding at Jerónimos Monastery

After the religious ceremony, the newly married Duke and Duchess of Bragança exited the Monastery and greeted their fellow countryman and other spectators who had gathered outside to join in the celebrations of the special day. 




Eurohistory wishes TRH the Duke and Duchess of Bragança a very Happy Anniversary! 

Dr. Nelly Auersperg (1928-2023), Cancer Researcher and Grandniece of "The Woman in Gold"

  At the age of ninety-four, Dr. Nelly Auersperg passed away on 15 January. Nelly's father Viktor. Born on 13 December 1928 ...