Friday, August 30, 2019

Noble Couplings That Were Not To Be: Hereditary Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Elvire Pasté de Rochefort

Noble Couplings That Were Not To Be: 
Hereditary Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Elvire Pasté de Rochefort
Princess Benedikte of Denmark, Fürst Richard of S-W-B, Elvire Pasté de Rochefort, Prince Gustav of S-W-B
On 16 August 2000, the Danish royal house announced the betrothal between Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (b.12 January 1969; eldest of three children and only son of Fürst Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Princess Benedikte of Denmark) and Elvire Pasté de Rochefort (b.Paris 13 March 1968). Elvire is one of two children of Hervé Pasté de Rochefort and his wife Hélène Rodocanachi. The wedding between the pair was to take place in Paris in Spring of 2001. 
During a press conference in late August 2000 at Schloss Berleburg, Gustav and Elvire recalled that they first met at a wedding two years prior. Elvire was his dinner partner. The engaged couple revealed that it was not love at first sight. Elvire said that Gustav proposed to her on 23 July 2000. After their wedding, the couple planned to live in London for several years before moving to Schloss Berleburg.
On 25 November 2000, it was announced that the religious wedding of Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and his fiancée, Elvire Pasté de Rochefort, would take place at the Église de Saint Louis, Hôtel des Invalides, in Paris on 12 May 2001. A few months later, in March 2001, the news broke that the marriage of Gustav and Elvire had been postponed because of practical problems (logistics, accomodation, security). The union was expected to still occur in Paris at a later date.
Finally, in July 2001, Elvire and Gustav confirmed that their engagement had been called off. On 30 April 2005, Elvire Pasté de Rochefort married Christophe Clamageran. For many years, Prince Gustav of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg and Carina Axelsson have been in a relationship.
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The Bonapartes Visit Corsica To Commemorate 250th Anniversary Of Napoléon

Prince Charles Napoléon and his son Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon Photo (c) PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / AFP
The Prince Napoléon and his fiancée Countess Olympia Arco-Zinneberg were in Ajaccio two weeks ago for the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Napoléon I of the French. Prince Jean-Christophe was also joined by his father, Prince Charles. Of the visit, the Prince Napoléon stated: "It is a great pleasure to be here, just a few steps from the Bonaparte house and the imperial chapel where my family members rest, including my grandfather."
Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon and fiancée Countess Olympia Arco-Zinneberg
Olympia Arco-Zinneberg and Jean-Christophe Napoléon
Jean-Christophe Napoléon and Olympia Arco-Zinneberg are scheduled to wed at Paris in October.
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Thursday, August 29, 2019

The Birthday of Queen Anne-Marie of Greece

Today Queen Anne-Marie of Greece celebrates her seventieth-third birthday.
Princess Anne-Marie Dagmar Ingrid of Denmark was born on 30 August 1946 at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen as the third and last daughter of the then Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark and his wife Ingrid (née Sweden). Anne-Marie's grandfather King Christian X was still on the Danish throne when his granddaughter was born; however, he was not to last until her first birthday. Christian X died on 20 April 1947 and was succeeded by Anne-Marie's father, King Frederick IX.
In 1959, thirteen year-old Anne-Marie of Denmark and her third cousin nineteen year-old Crown Prince Constantine of Greece met during a state visit in Copenhagen paid by Constantine's parent's King Paul of Greece and his wife Frederica (née Hannover) to King Frederick and Queen Ingrid. Two years later, in 1961, Crown Prince Constantine returned to Denmark and declared his intention of marrying Anne-Marie to her parents. When Frederick IX was told by Constantine of the plan, the Danish king locked his future son-in-law in the royal loo, while going off to fetch Queen Ingrid to tell her about the man who wanted to marry their youngest daughter!
Owing to Anne-Marie's age, the union needed to wait some years. It was not until July 1964 that the engagement of King Constantine II of Greece and Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark was announced. In the intervening years, Constantine's older sister Sophia had married Juan Carlos of Spain in 1962, and his father Paul had died in 1963 - at which time Constantine became king.
The couple were wed in great splendour at Athens on 18 September 1964. The new Queen of Greece converted from Lutheranism to Greek Orthodoxy. She wore a wedding gown by Danish designer Jørgen Bender.
In the first twenty-two years of their marriage, King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie had five children: Princess Alexia (b.1965), Crown Prince Pavlos (b.1967), Prince Nikolaos (b.1969), Princess Theodora (b.1983), and Prince Philippos (b.1986). The king and queen left Greece in 1967 after the king attempted a counter-coup against an authoritarian regime; however; they returned to the country to live in 2013.
The King and Queen of Greece frequently attend royal events around Europe. Unfortunately, King Constantine has suffered from ill-health for some time now. Yet, he has an able supporter in his wife, who has been by his side through the sorrows and joys of the nearly fifty-five years that they have been married.
We wish Her Majesty a very Happy Birthday!
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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Prince Nikolai of Denmark Celebrates His 20th Birthday

Today His Highness Prince Nikolai celebrates his twentieth birthday. 🇩🇰 The Danish Royal Court released three news pictures of the prince. Photos © Steen Brogaard
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Monday, August 26, 2019

The Formerly Secret 1963 CIA Report On The Greek Royal Family

Over the decades, the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States has compiled many reports and dossiers on various royal families around the world. In 1963, the CIA was focused on the Royal Family of Greece: in particular, on King Paul, his wife Queen Frederica, and their son Crown Prince Constantine. The report, which is available at the link below, offers fascinating insight into how a foreign intelligence agency viewed the actions of these three key members of the Greek Royal Family, and how the royals' actions were consequential in the Greek political scene at the time. Link: The Monarchy and Stability in Greece
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Thursday, August 22, 2019

King Juan Carlos of Spain To Undergo Heart Surgery On Saturday

HM King Juan Carlos of Spain will undergo heart surgery on Saturday, 24 August. The announcement was made today by the royal palace. It is reported that doctors noticed the need for the operation during a routine check up in June: the exact cause for this surgery has not been released, understandably.
King Juan Carlos has had a plethora of operations over the decades to deal with various ailments. In 1954, the then-Infante Juan Carlos underwent an appendectomy after being diagnosed with appendicitis. In 1981, the king required surgery after injuries he sustained while colliding with a glass door. In 1985, Juan Carlos had surgery on his right knee. In 2001, the king underwent a procedure to correct varicose veins on his right left. In 2010, Juan Carlos was in hospital for an operation to remove a benign tumour on his right lung. In 2011, the king had surgery on the Achilles tendon of his left foot as well as having a right knee replacement. In 2012, Juan Carlos had a right hip replacement after suffering a dislocation in that hip; he then underwent a left hip replacement as well. In 2013, the king had back surgery after experiencing a herniated disc; he also had a further operation on his left hip. Last year, King Juan Carlos had an additional surgery on his right knee.
Embed from Getty Images
Due to these health problems, it is no wonder that King Juan Carlos made the decision to withdraw from public duties earlier this year. For quite some years, the Juan Carlos has required a cane to walk - with extra assistance being necessary at times. The heart surgery of the eighty-one year-old king emeritus will take place at a private hospital in a suburb of Madrid.
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70th Birthday of the Head of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg

HH Duke Christoph of Schleswig-Holstein was born on 22 August 1949 at Schloß Louisenlund, Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein. Christoph was the second child and first son of Duke Peter of Schleswig-Holstein (1922-1980) and Princess Marie Alix of Schaumburg-Lippe (b.1923). Christoph had joined an older sister, Princess Marita (b.1948), and was followed by a younger brother, Prince Alexander (b.1953), and a younger sister, Princess Ingeborg (b.1956).
Duke Christoph and Duchess Elisabeth
In 1981, Duke Christoph married Princess Elisabeth of Lippe-Weissenfeld (b.1957), the second daughter of Prince Dr Alfred of Lippe-Weissenfeld (b.1922) and his wife Irmgard (b.1929; née Baroness Wagner von Wehrborn). The Duke and Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein have four children: Princess Sophie (b.1983), Hereditary Prince Friedrich Ferdinand (b.1985), Prince Constantin (b.1986), and Prince Leopold (b.1991). 
Duke Christoph of Schleswig-Holstein
Christoph of Schleswig-Holstein studied agricultural engineering and obtained a degree in that field. Since 1980, Christoph heads the board of the family foundation that owns the dynasty's ancestral home, Glücksburg Castle. The duke resides in Grünholz near Schwansen where he has business interests in agriculture, forestry and real estate. Christoph is the owner of the Grünholz and Bienebek estates and is one of the largest landowners of Schleswig-Holstein.
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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Princess Kalina of Bulgaria And Family Considering Move To Bulgaria

Princess Kalina of Bulgaria and her husband Kitín Muñoz are weighing a move from their home in Morroco to the home of the princess's father, King Simeon II.
Along with their son Simeon Hassan, Princess Kalina and Mr Muñoz have made their home in Morocco for the past ten years. Among the reasons that the couple have reportedly cited for a prospective relocation to Bulgaria is to allow the princess and her son to be closer to their father and grandfather, respectively. King Simeon and Queen Margarita have a residence in Sofia.
Kalina of Bulgaria and Kitín Muñoz were married at Tsarska Bistritsa in the Rila Mountains of Bulgaria on 26 October 2002. Almost five years later, on 14 March 2007, the pair welcomed their only child Simeon Hassan, who was born at Sofia, Bulgaria.
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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia Interviewed by California News Station

The Crown Prince and Princess of Serbia were interviewed by KTVU Channel 2 recently during a visit to Oakland, California. Alexander and Katherine were invited to the area by Steve Wozniak, one of the co-founders of Apple, after Mr Wozniak had paid a trip to Belgrade. During their stay, Crown Prince Alexander and his wife attended Comic-Con.
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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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Thursday, August 1, 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!"
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