Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Remembering the Remarkable Queen Anne of Romania

Queen Anne looking after King Michael
Picture taken at the Elisabeta Palace in Bucharest

Today marks three years since the death of Queen Anne of Romania. After many years of declining health, the Queen died Monday, 1 August 2016, in hospital at Morges, Switzerland, at the age of ninety-two. Himself suffering from cancer, her ninety-four-year old husband King Michael had been visiting her every day.

In 1943, Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma volunteered for military service in the French Army. She served in Algeria, Morocco, Italy, Luxembourg and in liberated Germany, as an ambulance driver. Anne received the French Croix de guerre for her wartime service. In 1944, with the support of several political parties, King Michael of Romania removed (in an event known as King Michael’s Coup) the government of Ion Antonescu, which had aligned Romania with Nazi Germany, after the Axis front in northeastern Romania collapsed in the face of a successful Soviet offensive. The Romanian Army declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Soviet Red Army on the Moldavian front, an event viewed as decisive in the Allied advances against the Axis powers in the European theatre of World War II. It has been suggested that the coup may have shortened World War II by six months, thus saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

Michael and Anne met at London in November 1947. Sixteen days after meeting, Michael proposed to Anne while the couple were out on a drive in Lausanne. She initially declined, but later accepted after taking long walks and drives with him. They married at Athens on 10 June 1948: their union would last sixty-eight years.

In an interview that Queen Anne gave to Romanian TV in the 2000s, she said: "Je suis comme je suis...You can take me or leave me, as they say in English." The interviewer Eugenia Vodă quickly responded: "Well, then, we take you!"


Monday, July 29, 2019

On This Day In History: Prince Hans Adam of Liechtenstein Marries Countess Marie Kinsky

Today, Prince Hans Adam II and Princess Marie Agläe of Liechtenstein celebrate fifty-two years of marriage.

The then Hereditary Prince Hans Adam of Liechtenstein (b.1945) and Countess Marie Agläe Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (b.1940) were wed at St Florin's in Vaduz on 30 July 1967. Hans Adam is the eldest son of Prince Franz Joseph II of Liechtenstein (1906–1989) and his wife Princess Georgina (née von Wilczek ;1921–1989). Marie Agläe is the daughter of Count Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (1908–1969) and his wife Countess Henriette Caroline (née Ledebur-Wicheln; 1910–2001). Hans Adam and Marie Agläe are second cousins once removed through their descent from Fürst Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (1834-1904) and his wife Princess Maria Josepha of Liechtenstein (1835-1905).

Fürst Ferdinand Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau

Among the guests were a plethora of the European Gotha. Attendees included Archduke Otto of Austria, the Duke of Bragança, Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and her sisters-in-law Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark and Princess Sofía of Spain, Prince Michael and Princess Marina of Greece, the Count and Countess of Paris, Prince Jacques d'Orléans and siblings Princess Chantal and Prince Thibault, Duke Philipp and Duchess Rosa of Württemberg as well as Duke Carl and Duchess Diane of Württemberg. Members of the Bourbon-Parma, Hannover, Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Mecklenburg, Schwarzenberg, Thurn and Taxis, and Orsini families were also present.

Countess Marie Agläe is escorted by her father Count Ferdinand
(left to right) Princess Sofía of Spain and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark 
The Count and Countess of Paris followed by Prince Michael and Princess Marina of Greece
as well as Duchess Diane of Württemberg 
Queen Anne-Marie of the Hellenes arrives on the arm of Prince Heinrich of Liechtenstein
Inside St Florin's
Hans Adam and Marie Agläe

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Archduke Franz Ferdinand's Grandson, Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg, Has Passed Away

Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg

Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg has passed away at the age of ninety. He was a grandson of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (1863-1914) and Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg (1868-1914; née Chotek von Chotkowa). Georg Friedrich's death was announced on 26 July 2019 by his youngest son Maximilian.

Duke Maximilian and Duchess Elisabeth of Hohenberg
Georg Friedrich Maximilian Jaroslav Petrus Canisius Markus Hubertus, Duke of Hohenberg, was born on 25 April 1929 at Artstetten as the second child and second son of Duke Maximilian of Hohenberg (1902-1962) and Countess Elisabeth von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee (1904-1993). Duke Maximilian of Hohenberg, Georg Friedrich's father, was the second child and first son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Georg Friedrich had one older brother, Franz Ferdinand (1927-1977; married to Princess Elisabeth of Luxembourg), and four younger siblings: Albrecht (b.1931), Johannes (1933-2003), Peter (1936-2017), and Gerhard (1941-2019).
Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg

In 1960, Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg married Princess Eleonore of Auersperg-Breunner (b.1928). The couple have three children: Duke Nikolaus (b.1961), Princess Henriette (b.1962), and Prince Maximilian (b.1970). The eldest son of the deceased, Nikolaus, who is married to Countess Marie Elisabeth von Westphalen zu Fürstenberg (b.1963), will now become the head of the Ducal Family of Hohenberg.
Duke Nikolaus of Hohenberg, the eldest son of Georg Friedrich
Duke Nikolaus and Duchess Marie Elisabeth of Hohenberg with their children Karl, Johanna, Teresa, and Sophie
Prince Maximilian of Hohenberg, the youngest son of Georg Friedrich
Prince Maximilian and Princess Emilia of Hohenberg with their children Nikolaus, Luisa, and Leopold

Duke Georg Friedrich of Hohenberg found his calling as a diplomat. He was appointed as the Austrian Ambassador to several countries during his tenure. The duke's last post was as Ambassador of the Austrian Republic to the Vatican.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Death of the Head of the Princely House of Bismarck

Aged eighty-eight, Fürst Ferdinand von Bismarck has passed away following complications experienced during a surgery. Ferdinand was the great-grandson of Otto von Bismarck, former German Chancellor. The late fürst is survived by his wife, Fürstin Elisabeth (b.1939; née Lippens), and by three children: the new Fürst Carl-Eduard (b.1961), Count Gregor (b.1964), and Countess Vanessa (b.1971). Ferdinand was predeceased by one son, Count Gottfried (1962-2007).

Born on 22 November 1930 at London, Ferdinand was the eldest son of Fürst Otto von Bismarck (1897-1975) and Fürstin Ann-Mari (1907-1999; née Tengbom). Ferdinand had one older sister, Countess Mari Ann (1929-1981), as well as four younger siblings: Count Carl Alexander (1935-1992), Count Maximilian (b.1947), Countess Gunilla (b.1949), and Count Eduard (b.1951).

Fürst Ferdinand von Bismarck spent his early years in Sweden, his mother's homeland. He then attended Schloß Salem and went on to study economics and law. Ferdinand was the Deputy Chairman of the Von Bismarck Family Association.

Source: Bunte


The Family Ties Between The Queen and Her Prime Ministers

Since her reign began in 1952, HM The Queen has seen fourteen Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom come and go. However distantly, a number of this politicians are somehow or another related to the queen. Below we will see the familial connections between Queen Elizabeth II and a number of these leaders in British politics.

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874-1965) served as the British Prime Minister from 1940-1945 and again from 1951-1955. Churchill was the first of the queen's prime ministers. HM and Winston Churchill are seventh cousins once removed through their common descent from William Russell, Lord Russell (1639-1683) and Rachel Wriothesley (1637-1723. See link.

Sir Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon (1897-1977), served as the second of the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom under HM The Queen. Eden was in office from 1955-1957. Sir Anthony Eden and Queen Elizabeth are ninth cousins by virtue of their both being descendants of Edward Villiers (d.1626) and Barbara St John (1592-1672). See link.

Sir Alexander "Alec" Frederick Douglas-Home (1903-1995) was the fourth Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under HM The Queen. Douglas-Home held the post from 1963-1964. Sir Alec Douglas-Home and Queen Elizabeth II are sixth cousins through their common descent from Thomas Lyon, Earl of Strathmore (1704-1753), and Jean Nicholson (1713-1778). See link.

Anthony "Tony" Charles Lynton Blair (b.1953) was the tenth British Prime Minister to serve Queen Elizabeth II; Mr Blair was also the first prime minister to be born during the current monarch's reign. Blair was prime minister from 1997-2007. Tony Blair and HM The Queen are twelfth cousins owing to their mutual descent from George Leslie, 4th Earl of Rothes (d.1558) and Agnes Somerville. See link.

David William Donald Cameron (b.1966) served as the twelfth Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010-2016 during Queen Elizabeth's reign. Cameron was also the second prime minister to be born during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. David Cameron and The Queen are fifth cousins three times removed through their common descent from King George III (1738-1820) and Queen Charlotte (1744-1818; née Mecklenburg-Strelitz). See link.

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (b.1964) became the fourteenth and most recent Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on 23 July 2019. Mr Johnson and HM The Queen share a common descent from Duke Friedrich II Eugen of Württemberg (1732-1797) and Margravine Sophie Dorothea of Brandenburg-Schwedt (1736-1798). Through this line, Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Johnson are fifth cousins twice removed. See link.

HM The Queen is related to Prime Ministers Churchill, Eden, Douglas-Home, and Blair through her maternal ancestors via HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (1900-2002; née Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon). Queen Elizabeth is related to Prime Ministers Cameron and Johnson through her paternal ancestors via HM King George VI (1895-1952). Six - nearly half - of the fourteen prime ministers to serve as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 1952 are related to their Sovereign. 

Nicholas and Alina-Maria of Romania Attend A Noble Wedding At Schloß Hardenberg

Nicholas and Alina-Maria of Romania Attend A Noble Wedding At Schloß Hardenberg
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Alina Maria de Roumanie (@alinamariaderoumanie) on 

This past weekend, Nicholas and Alina-Maria of Romania were guests at the wedding of Countess Pauline von Hardenberg and Mr Gregor Roy Chowdhury. The celebrations took place at Schloß Hardenberg, the family home of the bride.

Countess Pauline von Hardenberg (b.1982) is the eldest daughter of Count Carl von Hardenberg (b.1955) and Countess Marie Sabine (b.1953; née von Jagow). Gregor Roy Chowdhury is a son of Mr Shuvendu Basu Roy Chowdhury (b.1942) and Countess Katalin Mikes de Zabola (b.1944). Gregor's maternal grandparents, the late Count Sándor Mikes de Zabola (1905-1945) and Countess Eva Mikes de Zabola (1905-1978), were third cousins once removed through their common descent from Count Sámuel Bethlen de Bethlen (1762-1810).

Pauline von Hardenberg is a photographer. Previously an investment banker in London, Gregor Roy Chowdhury now helps manage his family home at Mikes Castle together with his brother Alexander. Nicholas and Alina-Maria are close friends of Mr Roy Chowdhury and the Mikes de Zabola family.

For further news and articles about Europe's Gotha families, join Eurohistory!

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Royal Hellenic Dynasty: The History of the Greek Royal Family in Pictures and the Written Word

A Book Review by Coryne Hall of The Royal Hellenic Dynasty (co-authored by Prince Michael of Greece, Mrs Helen Helmis-Markesinis and Arturo E. Beéche)


[Note: This book review by Coryne Hall was originally published in Volume 10.5, Issue LIX of the European Royal History Journal of October 2007.]

A few years ago a wonderful picture book of the Greek Royal family was published under the title "Helleniki Dynazteia." The photographs came from the collection of Mrs Helen Helmis-Markesinis, whose aunt was close to Queen Frederica and also to a lady-in-waiting at the court of King George II. This current book is an English-language edition of the Greek book. The original captions have been translated and expanded by Prince Michael and Arturo Beéche and doubtful identifications have been clarified, but the integrity of the original book has been retained.

The photographs run chronologically, starting with King George I of Greece and following the ups and downs of the Greek Royal family through exile and restoration. The wider family is not forgotten either, especially the King's Danish and Russian relations. There are some real gems and it is a problem to pick out just a few favourites. There is a most unusual picture of King George and Queen Olga out riding; a gorgeous childhood photo of Prince Alexander and Princess Helen; and a later one of Princess Helen in traditional Macedonian costume. Other pictures include Queen Sofía of Spain, King Michael of Romania, Princess Marina and, of course, the Duke of Edinburgh. It is particularly poignant to see images of Princess Katherine (Lady Katherine Brandram), whose death was announced recently.

Picture books are always popular but this one is a particular delight. It is beautifully laid out and it is obvious that a lot of thought has gone into the production of the work. The photographs, in a word, are marvellous. Many of the images are rare (some are even signed) and the captions are extremely informative. Apparently, Mrs Helmis-Markesinis has enough royal photographs for several volumes and it is to be hoped that more picture books in this vein will be published.

For anyone interested in the Greek Royal family and their relations, this is a book quite simply not to be missed!



One can purchase The Royal Hellenic Dynasty by either ordering directly from Eurohistory or by visiting Amazon: 

Grand Duke George of Russia Visits San Francisco

This month, Grand Duke George of Russia visited San Francisco along with his girlfriend Rebecca Bettarini and their dog Zhong, an imperially-minded Japanese Chin. Amongst the sites they saw were the icon Golden Gate Bridge. The Romanoff trio earlier paid a trip to Los Angeles.
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Georgyi M. Romanoff Романов (@grand_duke_george_of_russia) on

Emanuele Filiberto and Clotilde of Savoy: Victims of a Paris Robbery

Reports have emerged that the 15th arrondissement pied-à-terre in Paris of the Prince and Princess of Venice has been robbed. The burglary occurred on Friday, 19 July; the break-in was discovered later that day when Clotilde Courau returned home. Police are actively investigating the case. Jewels belonging to the family were stolen: a commentator stated that the value of these items is at least in the range of €500.000. None of the family was home when the robbery occurred.
For further news and articles about Europe's Gotha families, join Eurohistory!

Prince Felix Of Denmark Turns 17

HH Prince Felix of Denmark Photograph (c) Steen Brogaard
Today Prince Felix of Denmark celebrates his seventeenth birthday.
Felix was born at Copenhagen on 22 July 2002 as the second son of Prince Joachim of Denmark and his first wife Princess Alexandra (née Manley), who had married in 1995. Prince Felix joined an elder brother, Prince Nikolai (b.1999). Felix's parents divorced in 2005; both Felix and his brother were then raised cooperatively by their father and mother, who received joint custody of the children. 
Prince Felix is currently eighth in the line of succession to the Danish throne. He began attending the Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium in August 2018.
For further news and articles about Europe's Gotha families, join Eurohistory!

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Genevieve Arnault: The Last Queen of Iraq?

Genevieve Arnault in 1962.
On 22 June 1937, Genevieve Arnault was born at Paris as the only child of Henri Arnault (1902-?), a chemist, and his wife Leonie Ness (1915-1990), an actress turned businesswoman. The family did not fare particularly well during World War II. When the Germans overtook France, Mr Arnault was eventually arrested by the Nazis because he had a gun permit. After this, young Genevieve was imprisoned at Auschwitz for a period. Genevieve's mother joined the French Resistance. When the war ended, her parents (both of whom survived) sent their daughter to a Swiss educational institution whose aim was to help young persons who had experienced severe traumatised during the conflict. 
Genevieve and Faisal.
Photo from LIFE Magazine.
Based on news reports, Genevieve Arnault first met King Faisal II of Iraq (b.Baghdad 2 May 1935), two years her senior, in 1948 at Switzerland. By now living in Paris again, Genevieve was vacationing in the country. Faisal was enjoying a break from his studies at the Harrow School in London by taking advantage of the Swiss Alps to indulge in his fondness for skiing. The thirteen year-old Iraqi king and the ten year-old French girl met at a party. Whether it was love at first sight is impossible to know, but the bond between the two children lasted for the rest of their lives. 
King Faisal II of Iraq in 1944.
In 1948, Mr. and Mrs. Arnault were living at 1 rue Deleau, Neuilly-sur-Seine. Henry Arnault was a chemical engineer, and Lony Arnault worked as an administrator for the French Red Cross. Having attended the Louvre in 1937, Lony later became an architect and engineer who went on to forge a successful career in France, Iraq, and the United States.  The Arnaults frequently traveled to America for business purposes, and they often brought their daughter along for the journey. Records exist of Genevieve traveling from France to New York in both 1948 and 1949. In Autumn 1952, the seventeen year-old King Faisal II of Iraq made a trip to the United States, where he met with President Harry Truman and Hollywood actors. It was also during this voyage that the king became reacquainted with Mademoiselle Arnault at a garden party in Greenwich, Connecticut. Feelings of a more romantic nature were kindled between the pair during this encounter.
Mrs. Lony Arnault greeting U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Henry Cabot Lodge with Iraqi diplomat Abdulkarim Al-Gailani in the background, 1957.


In 1956, Lony Arnault and Genevieve moved to Baghdad. They retained their residence on East 70th Street, New York City. Mrs. Arnault had been given permission by King Faisal II to direct the construction of a government housing project in his capital. During an interview in January 1957, Lony Arnault remarked: "It is natural that youth should prevail in a country that has a 21 year-old king." Questioned about an existing romance between her daughter and the Iraqi monarch, Mrs. Arnault stated: "The king and my daughter played tennis and rode horseback together before his coronation in 1953. Now, their meetings are rarer; he's pretty busy." Despite Mrs. Arnault's claims to the reporter, it is difficult to deny that there was in fact a close relationship blossoming between King Faisal and Genevieve Arnault.
King Faisal II of Iraq and Genevieve Arnault.
Per subsequent press reports, shortly before midnight on 22 June 1957, King Faisal II of Iraq and Mlle. Genevieve Arnault were married in a Muslim ceremony at Baghdad. The bride had turned twenty on the day of her wedding, which was not announced to the public. They honeymooned at a royal residence in Iraq. Genevieve would recall: "I liked best those private moments when he would forget he was the king." The couple were not to enjoy a fairy-tale ending. On 14 July 1958, Iraqi revolutionaries assassinated a fair number of the members of the country's royal family at the Rihab Palace: King Faisal II, his uncle Crown Prince 'Abd al-Ilah (1913-1958), his great-aunt Princess Nafeesa (1886-1958), his aunt Princess Abadiya (1907-1958), and several servants were among the individuals who were gunned down in the courtyard of the royal palace. On 15 April 1965, the United States District Court S. D. New York wrote the following in its ruling on the case Republic of Iraq v. First National City Bank
On April 23, 1964, the Surrogate's Court entered an intermediate decree on the final accounting of defendant as administrator. Citation in this proceeding had been served upon plaintiff, but plaintiff failed to appear or participate in it. This intermediate decree determined that Al Malika Genevieve Al Iraq (also known as Genevieve Arnault), was duly married to King Faisal II on June 22, 1957, and was his lawful surviving spouse, that Prince Zeid Ibn Hussein, the great-uncle of King Faisal II, was his nearest living male heir, and that pursuant to a certain stipulation of settlement, the net estate of King Faisal II should be distributed, two-thirds to Al Malika Genevieve Al Iraq, and one-third to Prince Zeid.

On December 14, 1964, the Surrogate's Court entered its final decree in the accounting proceeding. It charged defendant as administrator with $134,950.65 in the first instance, and credited it with the payment of administrative expenses and various miscellaneous items aggregating $18,249.08, leaving a balance on hand of $116,701.57. The decree settled and allowed the administrator's account and directed the administrator to pay various additional fees and commissions and to distribute the final net balance, amounting to $110,562.47 to Al Malika Genevieve Al Iraq and Prince Zeid Ibn Hussein, $73,708.31 to the former, and $36,854.16 to the latter. Defendant has not as yet made this distribution.
Genevieve al-Malika al-Iraq.
On 7 May 1971, Genevieve Arnault married Walter H. Jackson at Galveston, Texas. The couple had two sons and subsequently divorced.
Genevieve Arnault Al-Iraq Jackson (1937-2010)

In 1984, Genevieve moved to Port Jervis, New York. She taught herself how to paint and took classes at the Arts Student League in Manhattan. Two days before her seventy-third birthday, she died at Port Jervis on 20 June 2010 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.


Milford gathering recalls former queen of Iraq (briefly) who later graced the area

Republic of Iraq v. First National City Bank

Friday, July 19, 2019

Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia: The Prince and His Pasta

In 2016, Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia (a.k.a. HRH The Prince of Venice, grandson of King Umberto II of Italy) has been operating a food truck in Los Angeles. This year, Emanuele Filiberto will be expanding his culinary offerings by stationing a food truck in Venice, California. “After discovering the L.A. food trucks,” says Prince Emanuele Filiberto, “I saw a need for high-quality Italian food [made] with fresh handmade pasta, and sauces. I also desired [to provide] a great customer experience.” One that was new, a purveyor preparing pasta with top-quality on the spot. “The idea was to have the best ingredients from Italy and Southern California, locally sourced organic vegetables, cage-free eggs, and free-range meats from California farms, paired with Italian flour, olive oils, and truffles.”
Reviews of the prince's food truck are quite positive - you can check out Yelp reviews for yourself!
When in Los Angeles, give the Prince of Venice's food truck a try: Prince of Venice Food Truck
For further news and articles about Europe's Gotha families, join Eurohistory!

Operation London Bridge: The Plans In Place For What Will Happen When The Queen Dies

"London Bridge Is Down"
When HM The Queen draws her last breath, an elaborate plan that was created fifty years ago and is periodically practiced will kick into place. Operation London Bridge has been a codename referring to the plan for what will happen in the days after the death of HM The Queen. The plan was originally formulated in the 1960s and has been updated several times each year since then. Operation London Bridge involves planning from government departments, the Church of England, Metropolitan Police Service, British Armed Forces, media, and Royal Parks of London. Some key decisions relating to the plan were made by HM The Queen, although some can only be made by her successor after her death.
For further news and articles about Europe's Gotha families, join Eurohistory!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

From Tyranny To Freedom: The Sometimes Stranger than Fiction Life of a Noble and Notable Lady

From Tyranny To Freedom: 

The Sometimes Stranger than Fiction Life of a Noble and Notable Lady


Countess Viktoria-Luise of Solms-Baruth (1921-2003) led one of the most extraordinary lives imaginable.

Born to an extremely well-connected German noble family, her godmother and namesake was Viktoria-Luise’s maternal great-aunt, Auguste Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, the last German Empress and first wife of Wilhelm II. Viktoria-Luise was raised in a Germany reeling from the aftermath of defeat in World War I and she grew into adulthood during the dark days of the Third Reich. Her family was firmly against the Nazi regime, and eventually her father (and some other family members) was jailed because of his opposition to the insanely horrific policies of Adolf Hitler.

On the cusp of her 21st birthday, Viktoria-Luise wed her first cousin (their mothers were sisters) Prince Friedrich Josias of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. This union was of short duration due to the total incompatibility of their characters, but before divorcing the couple did have one child, Andreas, who his mother referred to as “my little prince.” Today Prince Andreas is the Head of the Ducal House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Now in his golden years, the Prince recently released his own compilation of memoirs (I did it my way). From what this reviewer has read and heard, Andreas seems to be much loved by the people of Coburg, the town of his ancestors which he has called home since he returned to Germany in the 1960s.

Not long after the defeat of the Axis Powers, a charming American army officer named Richard Whitten entered the scene. He and Viktoria-Luise fell in love and eventually married. This marriage brought much happiness and much change into Viktoria-Luise’s life. After living for a few years in Europe, the couple and their small children (Andreas and the couple’s young daughter, Victoria) moved to America.

The last chapters of this collection of reminiscences unfold as Viktoria-Luise (at times, quite hilariously) tells the reader of her adaption to life as a “normal” housewife in the United States. In addition to the different culture, she was faced with so many new responsibilities and situations, but she certainly learned how to “fit in” with the way of life in this country—all the while remaining conscious of her heritage and retaining close ties to all of her numerous royal and noble relatives in Europe. The book comes to a close in the 1950s; perhaps the author intended to share more, but simply ran out of earthly time.

If I recall correctly, these memoirs were written when Viktoria-Luise was an elderly lady living in Louisiana. Her personality jumps off the pages as when one reads her book. She is candid, funny (her sense of humor and self-deprecation made me burst into laughter several times), honest and “sharp as a tack.” It is almost as though you are sitting with her in her living room listening to her speak.

From Tyranny to Freedom—Memoirs of My Life is truly a top favorite on my shelf.

Read Viktoria-Luise's story and you will not fail to be charmed by this amazing woman.

Countess Viktoria-Luise of Solms-Baruth
One can purchase From Tyranny to Freedom—Memoirs of My Life by either ordering directly from Eurohistory or by visiting Amazon: 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Marital History of Hereditary Prince Johannes of Schwarzenberg

The Marital History of the Hereditary Prince of Schwarzenberg

Hereditary Prince Johannes of Schwarzenberg
Nadia Weiss

In the Autumn of 2006, a grand wedding was planned for Hereditary Prince Johannes "Aki" of Schwarzenberg (b.1967), only son of Fürst Karel of Schwarzenberg (b.1937) and his wife Therese (b.1940; née Countess zu Hardegg auf Glatz und im Machlande). Karel of Schwarzenberg was for some time the Czech Foreign Minister. Aki's bride-to-be was Nadia Weiss (b.1975), a society journalist who had studied psychology at university. Aki and Nadia's marriage was to take place in August 2006 at Meran. 350 guests were invited.

Fürstin Therese of Schwarzenberg

Unexpectedly (to the public), the week after the wedding was supposed to have taken place, Fürstin Therese of Schwarzenberg announced that the union of her son had been indefinitely postponed. According to German magazine Bunte, Hereditary Prince Aki had discovered that Nadia had been in a relationship with another man for seventeen months, at the very same time that she was in a relationship with Aki and had become his fiancée. Needless to say, the couple went their separate ways.

Aki Schwarzenberg and Diana Orgoványi-Hanstein

Four years later in 2010, happy news arrived from the Princely House of Schwarzenberg in the form of the upcoming marriage of Hereditary Prince Aki to artist Diana Orgoványi-Hanstein (b.1971), the daughter of Attila Orgoványi-Hanstein (d.1987) and Britta Winternitz (1941-2015). Diana's paternal grandmother was Baroness Maximiliane von Berg (1908-?), and through this connection Diana was a great-great granddaughter of August Thyssen (1842-1926), of the well-known Thyssen family. Hereditary Prince Aki and Diana had known one another for twenty years, but their romance had begun over the year and a half before their engagement.

Hereditary Prince Johannes and Princess Diana of Schwarzenberg after their wedding

Aki of Schwarzenberg and Diana Orgoványi-Hanstein were wed on 20 March 2010 at Neuberg an der Mürz, Styria. Diana's mother Britta helped immensely in the planning of the wedding and celebrations. Diana decided to wear a dirndl, while Aki wore Styrian costume for the event. Amongst the guests were members of the Furstenberg, Hohenlohe-Oehringen, and Reuß families. The Schwarzenberg/Orgoványi-Hanstein union ended in divorce after several years; the couple did not have children.

Hereditary Prince Johannes and Princess Francesca of Schwarzenberg at their marriage

In 2017, the upcoming nuptials were announced between Hereditary Prince Aki to Francesca Riario-Sforza (b.1974) of that old Italian noble family. Francesca studied sociology and works as a scriptwriter and editor. The bride's parents are Paolo Riario Sforza (b.1935) and Maria Gaia La Greca. Aki and Francesca were married at Murau, Styria, on 8 April 2017. As the couple do not have children, the eventual heir to the Schwarzenberg properties would be Hereditary Prince Aki's first cousin, Prince Ferdinand (b.1989).

Johannes and Francesca of Schwarzenberg
For further news and articles about Europe's Gotha families, join Eurohistory!

Featured Post

The Plantagenet Family Tree: The Intriguing History of England's Plantagenet Dynasty Kings

The Plantagenet Family Tree: A Royal History The Plantagenet family was one of the most powerful royal dynasties in European history, rul...

Popular Posts