Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Death of Princess Christina of The Netherlands (1947 - 2019)

Aged seventy-two, Princess Christina of The Netherlands died on Friday, 16 August 2019, at Noordeinde Palace, Den Haag, The Netherlands. She had been suffering from bone cancer. In June 2018, it was announced that the princess had been diagnosed with the illness in November 2017.


Princess Christina, known then as Princess Marijke, was born on 18 February 1947, at Soestdijk Palace, Baarn, The Netherlands. Her mother was the then Princess Juliana, only child and heir presumptive of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. At the time of her birth, she was fifth in the line of succession to her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina. Her father was Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld, a son of Prince Bernhard of Lippe and his wife, Baroness Armgard von Cramm.

Christina has three older sisters: Princess Beatrix, Princess Irene and Princess Margriet. At the age of twenty-one, Christina moved to Canada to study classical music in Montreal. After a few years, she accepted a teaching position at a Montessori school in New York City. It was there that she met her future husband.
Princess Christina and Jorge Pérez y Guillermo were married on 28 June 1975. Their civil wedding took place at Baarn and was followed by a religious ecumenical ceremony in the Cathedral of Saint Martin, Utrecht. Jorge Guillermo was a Roman Catholic and an exile from Cuba. Christina gave up her dynastic rights upon her marriage. 
The couple had three children: Bernardo Federico Tomas Guillermo (b.1977), Nicolás Daniel Mauricio Guillermo (b.1979), and Juliana Edina Antonia Guillermo (b.1981). Christina and Jorge divorced in 1996. Princess Christina retained a residence in Italy as well as in The Netherlands. Per her wishes, she will be cremated.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The 80th Birthday of Princess Irene of The Netherlands

Crown Princess Juliana with her daughter Princess Irene

On 5 August 1939, Crown Princess Juliana of the Netherlands gave birth to her second daughter at Soestdijk Palace. Crown Princess Juliana had married Prince Bernhard of Lippe-Biesterfeld in 1937. The little princess was named Irene Emma Elisabeth, and at her birth she was third in the line of succession to the Dutch throne after her mother and her elder sister Princess Beatrix (b.1938). Irene was joined by two younger sisters, Princess Margriet (b.1943) and Princess Christina (b.1947).
During the Second World War, the Dutch Royal Family, with Irene's maternal grandmother Queen Wilhelmina at the forefront, was compelled to leave their country for the United Kingdom in the face of Nazi occupation. Princess Irene was christened at Buckingham Palace, where one of her godmothers was Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. As the London Blitz began to take place, it was decided that the Dutch royals would be safer in the Americas, and they duly took up residence in Canada. After the end of the war, the Royal Family returned to The Netherlands.


Princess Irene went on to attend the University of Utrecht. Thereafter, she moved to Madrid to study Spanish. The princess became proficient enough in the language to become an interpreter. It was during her studies in Madrid that Irene met her future husband, Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma. In 1963, Irene left the Dutch Reformed Church and became a Roman Catholic. In February 1964, the engagement between the princess and Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma became known. The match was heavily opposed by the bride's parents and the Dutch government. Concerned about the situation, Queen Juliana did her utmost to deter the union from taking place; however, the queen's efforts were not successful. Irene gave up her right of succession to the throne of The Netherlands before her marriage.
On 29 April 1964, Princess Irene of the Netherlands married Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon-Parma at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. No member of Irene's family attended the ceremony, although they did watch the event at the home of Princess Irene's paternal grandmother Armgard - a power outage in the country prevented the Dutch royals from seeing the end of the service. 
The baptism of Prince Carlos, the first child of Prince Carlos Hugo and Princess Irene
Carlos Hugo and Irene of Bourbon-Parma with their four children
Princess Irene of Bourbon-Parma
Carlos Hugo and Irene would eventually have four children: Prince Carlos (b.1970), the twins Prince Jaime and Princess Margarita (b.1972), and Princess Carolina (b.1974). Irene and Carlos Hugo became intensely involved in the Carlist movement in Spain; however, once Franco died in 1975 and Juan Carlos became King, the movement rather fractured and so did the couple's married. They divorced in 1981.

Princess Irene has for some decades been an advocate for nature conservation. Through her four children, she is now a grandmother of ten. Her ex-husband Carlos Hugo passed away in 2010.

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Golden Wedding Anniversary of the Duke and Duchess d'Orléans

On 3 August 1969, Prince Jacques d'Orléans (b.25 June 1941) religiously wed Gersende de Sabran-Pontevès (b.29 July 1942) at Ansouis. The couple's civil marriage had occurred the prior day. Jacques was the eighth child of the late Count and Countess of Paris. Gersende was the only daughter of Foulques de Sabran-Pontevès (1908-1973), 7th Duc de Sabran, and Roselyne Manca-Amat de Vallombrosa (1910-1988). Gersende wore a wedding gown by Yves Saint Laurent.


Jacques d'Orléans and Gersende de Sabran-Pontevès had first met in the Spring of 1968 at the bride's family home, Château d'Ansouis. A petite blonde and a talented pianist, Gersende seems to have quickly attracted the attentions of the Orléans prince. The Count and Countess of Paris then invited Gersende to vacation with their family at Cintra.

The engagement of Prince Jacques d'Orléans and Mademoiselle Gersende de Sabran-Pontevès was announced on 5 October 1968. The father of the fiancé granted his son the title "Duc d'Orléans."
The Duke and Duchess d'Orléans have three children: Princess Diane (b.1970), Prince Charles-Louis (b.1972), and Prince Foulques (b.1974).
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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 ...