Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe Postpones His Marriage Amid Pandemic


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Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe has announced that he and his fiancée Mahkameh Navabi, a concert pianist of Iranian extraction, have decided to postpone their religious marriage. This was scheduled to take place in September 2020.

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In an article with Spiegel, Alexander said: "The decision to cancel our religious wedding and the associated festivities was not an easy one for us. But it goes without saying that we have to behave responsibly." Hundreds of guests had been invited to the Schaumburg-Lippe wedding.

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Alexander and Mahkameh still plan on having their civil ceremony in September. The couple's religious wedding will take place in 2021. The prince and his partner have been dating since 2016.

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This will be the third marriage of Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe. From 1993 to 2002, Alexander was married to Princess Lilly zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg; the prince and princess had one child: Hereditary Prince Heinrich-Donatus (b.1994). From 2007 to 2018, Alexander was married to Dr Nadja Anna Zsoeks; the couple had two daughters: Princess Friederike (b.2008) and Princess Philomena (b.2011). Alexander's son Donatus will act as his father's best man when the Fürst marries his intended.

Source: Schaumburg-Lippe sagt Hochzeit ab

A New Baby Borghese: The Son and Heir of House Borghese Descends from Many Royal Houses

Don Scipione Borghese and Donna Barbara Massimo

After seven years of marriage and twenty-six years of partnership, Don Scipione Borghese and his wife Donna Barbara Massimo have welcomed the arrival of their first child: Don Camillo. The little boy was born at Rome on Wednesday, 22 April 2020. Camillo's father is forty-nine, and his mother is fifty-four years-old.

Don Scipione Borghese was born on 19 November 1970 at Rome as the second child and only son of Don Camillo Borghese (1927-2011) and Rosana Nucci (1933-1981), who married in 1958. Scipione has one older sister, Donna Flaminia Borghese (b.1959). In 2013, Don Scipione Borghese married Donna Barbara Massimo of the Princes Arsoli. The couple began dating in 1994, and they became engaged in 2007.

Donna Barbara Massimo was born on 4 June 1965 at Rome. Her parents are the late Don Filippo Massimo (1938-2008), Prince of Arsoli, and Maria Luigia Capparella (b.1942), who married in 1962 and separated in 1978. Barbara has one older brother, Don Fabrizio Massimo (b.1963), Prince of Arsoli.

Barbara's paternal grandmother was Princess Maria Adelaide of Savoy-Genoa (1904-1979), who in 1935 married Don Leone Massimo (1896-1979), Prince of Arsoli. Through his mother, the newborn Don Camillo Borghese is a descendant of King Carlo Alberto I of Sardinia, King Johann of Saxony, King Ludwig I of Bavaria, King Carlos IV of Spain, and King Francesco I of The Two Sicilies. Uniting two historic families, Camillo also descends from many of the ancient noble dynasties of Rome.

Source: Nobiltà, nato a Roma l'erede del principe Scipione Borghese e Barbara Massimo

For a more detailed look into the illustrious ancestry of little Don Camillo Borghese, please visit this page: The Heirs of Europe: Borghese

Sunday, April 26, 2020

A Right Royal Soirée In São Paolo: Braganzas, Bourbons, and Savoys Gather For a Small Family Reunion

The Duke of Bragança, Prince Imperial Bertrand of Brazil, Count Alberto Farini, Prince Luiz Philippe of Orléans and Bragança, and Prince Casimir of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.
Photograph (c) Pró Monarquia.

On 11 March 2020, before the world was completely changed by the coronavirus pandemic, Prince Casimir of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and his wife Princess Maria Cristina organised a gathering for family members at their home in São Paolo. Prince Casimir is the son of the late Prince Gabriele of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1897-1975) and his second wife Princess Cecilia Lubomirska (1907-2001). In 1967, Casimir married Princess Maria Cristina of Savoy-Aosta, the daughter of Prince Amedeo of Savoy (1898-1942), Duke of Aosta, and Princess Anne d'Orléans (1906-1986).

Princess Maria Cristina of Savoy-Aosta, Luce Frioli, Sophia Frioli, and Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa.
Photograph (c) Pró Monarquia.

Many cousins of Prince Casimir and Princess Maria Cristina attended the small soirée at their residence. Among those present were Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Bragança and Head of the Royal House of Portugal, as well his daughter the Infanta Maria Francisca of Portugal, Duchess of Coimbra. Prince Imperial Dom Bertrand of Brazil, who also lives in São Paolo, was at the dinner as well as his nephew Prince Luiz Philippe of Orléans and Bragança, who is a Federal Deputy in the Brazilian Congress. In addition, Bertrand's niece Princess Maria da Glória of Orléans and Bragança was also a guest. Casimir and Maria Cristina have always remained close to their Brazilian cousins.

Three Generations of the Women of the Savoy-Genoa Branch of the Italian Royal Family:
Countess Luce Frioli, Countess Sophia Frioli, and Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa.
Photograph (c) Rinnovamento nella Tradizione - Croce Reale.

Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa, her daughter Countess Luce di Savoia Genova Frioli di Rezzano, and her granddaughter Sophia di Savoia Genova Frioli di Rezzano, who all live in the city, joined their cousins at this reunion. Maria Isabella is the only child of the last Duke and Duchess of Genoa: Prince Eugenio of Savoy-Genoa (1906-1996) and Princess Lucia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1908-2001). After the end of the World War II, Eugenio and Lucia moved to Brazil with their daughter to make a new life. In 1971, Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa married Alberto Frioli, Count di Rezzano; the couple had four children: Vittorio (b.1972), Maria Cristina (1973-1973), Carlo Alberto (b.1974), and Marie Luce (b.1978). Maria Isabella has maintained close ties with her many royal relations in South America and Europe.

Among others: The Duke of Bragança with his daughter the Duchess of Coimbra, and then, on the far right, Prince Luis Alfonso of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans and Bragança.
Photograph (c) Pró Monarquia.

Prince Luis Alfonso of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, the eldest son of Prince Casimir and Princess Maria Cristina, joined in the dinner hosted by his parents. The prince lives in São Paolo together with his second wife and three children.

Duarte and Francisca of Portugal.
Photograph (c) Pró Monarquia.

The Duke of Bragança and his daughter had been in Brazil on a trip to celebrate Infanta Maria Francisca's graduation from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa. Father and daughter visited the Amazon rainforest and then were able to spend time with their relatives in São Paolo, before returning to Portugal.

Casimir and Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies had planned on going to Italy to celebrate the ninetieth birthday of Maria Cristina's sister, Archduchess Margherita of Austria-Este. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the couple were unable to do so and have stayed at their residence in Brazil.

Source: Pró Monarquia

Saturday, April 25, 2020

EUROHISTORY EXCLUSIVE: An Interview with HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia

Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia arrive at the wedding of Crown Prince Leka and Crown Princess Elia of Albania at the Royal Palace in Tirana on 8 October 2016.
Photograph (c) Seth B. Leonard.

Earlier this month, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia agreed to answer some questions for the readers of Eurohistory. I would like to thank Teodora Miljković, the Head of Public Relations and Protocol for the Royal House of Serbia, for contacting me in order to arrange this interview. Naturally, I am also grateful to His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, who was the first royal to be interviewed by the European Royal History Journal in the late 1990s, for his participation - especially during this difficult time for the world and for Serbia.

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SBL: How do you and your family plan to celebrate your seventy-fifth birthday? Your father, King Peter II, only lived to be forty-seven. Your grandfather, King Alexander I, had his life cut short at the age of forty-five. It is an important milestone. What lessons or morals do you feel you can draw from your father and grandfather at this stage of your life?

CPA: I am not sure that the present situation would permit any form of solemn or social celebration of my 75th birthday. Anyway, I can draw much from examples of my ancestors that when the nation is in trouble, one’s own priorities must step back.





SBL: What are some of the most important life lessons that you have learned? What are some of your guiding principles and values?

CPA: I am not quite certain that the process of my experience so far is really to be valued as definitive. Our world is one of quick changes. We try our best to understand those changes and to draw adequate conclusions. Only after a certain lapse of time we can evaluate the consequences. On the other hand, one has one’s own principles and beliefs which are impossible to change. I know mine.

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SBL: How has your Orthodox faith sustained you during your life? What is your earliest memory of what it meant to you to be a member of the Serbian Orthodox Church? What does it mean to you to be a member of the Serbian Orthodox Church presently living in Serbia?

CPA: It is really impossible to define something that is part of your personality and spirit since the time when your memories were born. I respect all religions and faiths, and consequently I do expect that everybody respects my right and privilege to be Orthodox Christian. We Serbs are traditionally closely related with the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is a feeling of common destiny, not of enmity. We had, and still have, many Serbs that are not Orthodox Christians, and that is their heritage which they treasure, and we respect that. It is not an impediment, however, to feel and behave as a good Serbian!



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SBL: Are there any recollections of your parents, King Peter II and Queen Alexandra, that you could share with us? The King and Queen had a difficult life in exile, and, as their only child, you surely were one of the strongest factors that held them together during all of the challenging experiences that they faced.

CPA: I love and treasure the memory of my parents. Sadly, at times they were not happy people, nor sometimes a happy couple. However, they were my mother and father, and my memory of them shall always be a happy one. They lived in a difficult time, a tragic time, and were the victims of such times. They were betrayed by their allies and their enemies, in a similar way and measure. But I loved them very much, and they were deserving of my love.



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SBL: Princess Aspasia of Greece, your maternal grandmother, was a very strong lady. As the widow of King Alexander I of Greece, she brought up your mother as a single parent. What role did Princess Aspasia play in your upbringing? What was she like as a person?

CPA: Princess Aspasia, as you mention, was a very strong person. She was like a mother to me. She was a character and portrayed real authority, and I remember her as such. She was dignified, and yet it was up to her to bring on the most difficult decisions that anyone had to imagine or to live through. A formidable woman who was so good to me.



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SBL: Did you ever have occasion to meet your paternal grandmother Queen Marie of Yugoslavia? Your paternal grandmother was the daughter of King Ferdinand of Romania and his wife Queen Marie, who was born a Princess of the United Kingdom. If you were able to meet Queen Marie, what impression did she make upon you?

CPA: Of course, I did meet her on many occasions. She also was a sort of a walking monument. She had both strong supporters and formidable enemies, and she – sometimes – chose a sort of seclusion to defend herself. After the untimely death of her consort, King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, she felt a little lost in the world, but she was a fighter, and she died as one.




SBL: Your godmother is Queen Elizabeth II. You have always had a close relationship with her and the British royal family. What impact has Her Majesty had on you? What is it like to have the Queen as a godmother?

CPA: It is both a privilege and luck! She is a unique person in the world that represents the history of the World, the present times, and a promise for the future. She is a liaison between times, and a pillar of staunch and sturdy commitment that one’s destiny is not only a private relation with the time and nation, but an essential institution that keeps different worlds together. There are many that understand this very well, and also some that never will understand anything. That is the world, and The Queen knows and understands that. I always enjoy very much meeting her.

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SBL: This year, you and Crown Princess Katherine will celebrate your thirty-fifth wedding anniversary. What are some of the fondest memories that you have shared during your long marriage?

CPA: Yes! We are together 35 years. A long time, and a short time! A time of love, and a time of temptations. Our fondest memories keep us together, and they are our private treasure. I am very grateful for the care and love my wife has given me, and for her great patience.

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SBL: How are your sons doing during this time? Hereditary Prince Peter as well as Prince Philip and your daughter-in-law Princess Danica live in the United Kingdom. Prince Alexander lives in the United States. How do you all keep in touch? What are you proudest about when you think about each of your sons?

CPA: Keeping in touch, not only communications-wise, but also in sense of keeping the sense of family unity, filial piety and fatherly love, is easy in form and difficult in essence today. The fact that our lives are organized in different places and that my sons are now independent men, with their own destinies, professions and temptations, is a very complicated issue. However, many families experienced such situations. I can only say this: I love my sons and my grandson very much, and their family happiness and security in life and in pursuit of the way they chose and within families they have, or will have, is my greatest hope and trust.



SBL: In February of this year, your grandson Prince Stefan turned two years old. What are your dreams and hopes for your grandson? How does it feel being in the role of grandfather?

CPA: He is a beautiful child, Stefan is also very sweet and full of humour. He has the good looks of his mother, and the shining spirit of his father, and I am sure that God will bless him with all the good fortune and goodness of character that he possesses and deserves. I pray for that.


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SBL: As the Head of the Serbian Royal Family, you possess close genealogical ties to all of the crowned heads of Europe. Naturally, you are also the cousin of the heads of currently non-reigning families. How do you all stay in contact with each other? 


CPA: Well, we are all one family, and we share our good and bad times. Each of us is a different story and each of us has a different destiny, but we are branches of the same tree, and fortunes, positive or adversary, of each one touches everybody else.



The Royal Palace in Belgrade.

SBL:  Due to this worldwide public health emergency, you and the Crown Princess have had to shelter-in-place at your residence, the Royal Palace in Belgrade. What does a “typical” day look like now for both of you? Are there things that you both have discovered a newfound appreciation for while you stay at home?

CPA: This is an incredible experience we lacked so far. We are learning new information on a daily basis to see what is coming and rousing up the force to fight this evil virus. My wife and I praise our government, doctors, nurses and medical staff for putting their lives in danger to save lives. I am proud of my wife and her hard work and devotion in helping and providing our healthcare system with urgently needed equipment and contacts. She is very dedicated working with her foundations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Greece and Serbia.



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SBL: The novel coronavirus has led to millions of people around the world having their existences upended and changed drastically. Among other cousins of Your Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales contracted the virus, from which he has recovered. As of 14 April, there have been 4,465 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Serbia, and ninety-four Serbians have lost their lives due to this virus. In the face of this pandemic, what is your message to the people of your country?

CPA: Keep one’s head up and endure! Be strong and look forward to a bright future. Above all follow carefully the government directives and keep safe.

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SBL: When COVID-19 is contained, and less of a public health threat, what are some aspects of life that you believe many of us will not take for granted? Things we might have not valued before all of this, but which self-isolation may have caused us to value much more than we had previously?

CPA: Let us not surmise, let us have patience to see what is coming and the strength to fight the adverse situation. We will rebuild the economy and we will win and survive. 

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May God Bless Serbia, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and all members of the Royal House of Serbia!

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To learn more about Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Katherine, please visit their website: Royal Family of Serbia

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Friday, April 24, 2020

Traces of the Princes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha: Johannes Heinrich, Mathilde, and Johannes Albert

A happy family.

Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Princess Mathilde of Saxony.

Here we catch glimpses of the family life of Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Innsbruck 28 March 1931 - 14 April 2010), Princess Dr. Mathilde of Saxony (Bamberg 17 January 1936 - Sistrans, Austria 18 March 2018), and their only child Prince Johannes Albert (Innsbruck 17 November 1969 - Ortler 21 August 1987). The family were photographed in 1972 by Georg Fruhstorfer at their home in Innsbruck, Austria. The blonde-haired Prince Johannes Albert, the short-lived heir to the Royal Saxon House, was three years-old at the time.

Johannes Heinrich, Johannes Albert, and Mathilde.
Mathilde and Johannes Albert.
The princess and her little prince.

Johannes Heinrich and Mathilde were married civilly at Munich on 15 October 1968 and religiously at Kloster Andechs on 12 November 1968. This was the second marriage of the prince and the first marriage of the princess.

Prince Rainer of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Prince Johannes Heinrich was the son of Prince Rainer of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his first wife Johanna Károlyi de Károly-Patty. Johannes Heinrich became a successful businessman. In 1957, Johannes Heinrich married Baroness Marie-Gabrielle von Fürstenberg (1921-2007), who was a talented artist. The couple had one child, Princess Felicitas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (b.1958). Johannes Heinrich and Marie-Gabrielle divorced in 1968.

Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony and Princess Elisabeth-Therese of Thurn and Taxis
The Royal Family of Saxony in the 1940s.
Left to right: Margrave Friedrich Christian, Prince Maria Emanuel, Margravine Elisabeth-Therese, Princess Mathilde, and Prince Albert.

Princess Mathilde was the daughter of Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony, eventual Margrave of Meißen, and Princess Elisabeth-Therese of Thurn and Taxis. Princess Mathilde finished her primary studies in Bregenz, Austria, and then went on to receive her doctorate in medicine while studying at university in Munich. Mathilde had four older siblings: Prince Maria Emanuel (1926-2012), Princess Maria Josepha (1928-2018), Princess Maria Anna (1929-2012), and Prince Albert (1934-2012).

Mathilde of Saxony and her son Johannes Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

The tragic death of their son Johannes Albert in a mountaineering accident at the age of seventeen threw his parents into deep despair. The strain on their relationship as a result of their only child's passing was too much to bear. Prince Johannes Heinrich and Princess Mathilde divorced in 1993, but the couple remained close towards the end of their lives.

Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha died in April 2010. He was survived by his partner Rosemarie Steinhauser and his daughter Princess Felicitas. Princess Mathilde of Saxony passed away in March 2018.

More can be read about their fascinating family and extended relations in The Coburgs of Europe (2013) by Arturo E. Beéche.

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Ancestry of Prince Johannes Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

1. Prince Johannes Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1969-1987)

Parents

2. Prince Johannes Heinrich of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1931-2010)
m. 1968 (div. 1993)
3. Princess Mathilde of Saxony (1936-2018)

Grandparents

4. Prince Rainer of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1900-~1945)
m. 1930 (div. 1935)
5. Johanna Károlyi de Károly-Patty (1906-1992)
6. Prince Friedrich Christian of Saxony, Margrave of Meißen (1893-1968)
m. 1923
7. Princess Elisabeth-Therese von Thurn und Taxis (1903-1976)

Great-Grandparents


8. Prince August Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1867-1922)
m. 1894
9. Archduchess Carolina of Austria-Tuscany (1869-1945)
10. Heinrich Károlyi de Károly-Patty (b.1868)
m.
11. Paula Gamon
12. King Friedrich August III of Saxony (1865-1932)
m. 1891 (div. 1903)
13. Archduchess Luisa of Austria-Tuscany (1870-1947)
14. Fürst Albrecht von Thurn und Taxis (1867-1952)
m. 1890
15. Archduchess Margarethe of Austria (1870-1955)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Death of "Frau Doktor" Hildegard, The Dowager Fürstin zu Stolberg-Roßla (1922-2020)



Recently, HSH Fürstin Hildegard zu Stolberg-Roßla passed away at the age of ninety-seven in the MathildenHospital at Büdingen. The princess had been admitted to hospital due to a broken bone. Due to her fragile state of health, the Fürstin zu Stolberg-Roßla was not able to recover. Mayor Ulrike Pfeiffer-Pantring of Ortenberg once said of the late princess: "Fürstin Hildegard, you are the perfect mix of nobility and democracy for us."

On 5 October 1922, Hildegard Anna Sauerbier was born at Hanau as the daughter of Oskar Sauerbier and Sofie Klaus. Hildegard's father Oskar was a dentist. Perhaps due to this early exposure to medicine, Hildegard went on to become an obstetrician herself. Her practice was centred in Ortenberg. The "Frau Doktor" was popular amongst the inhabitants of her city: she would often made house calls, her professional knowledge was highly valued, and she was viewed as a trailblazer for women seeking to enter the medical field. In addition to her medical career, Fürstin Hildegard was a talented gymnast and diver in her youth.

Dr. Hildegard Sauerbier married Fürst Johann Martin zu Stolberg-Roßla (b.Roßla 6 October 1917) on 27 January 1967 in a civil ceremony at Ortenberg; the following day, on 28 January, the couple wed in a religious ceremony at the Kloster Engeltal near Altenstadt, Hesse. The bride was forty-four and the groom was forty-nine. Johann Martin was a son of Fürst Christoph Martin zu Stolberg-Roßla (1888-1949) and Princess Ida Reuß (1891-1977). Through his father, Johann Martin was a nephew of Princess Elisabeth zu Stolberg-Roßla (1885-1969), who married Duke Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Schwerin as his second wife. More notably, through his mother Ida, Johann Martin was a nephew of Princess Hermine Reuß (1887-1947), who married as her second husband German Emperor Wilhelm II. In 1945, Empress Hermine briefly resided with her sister Ida, brother-in-law Christoph Martin, and nieces and nephews at Schloß Roßla.

Hildegard and Johann Martin did not have children. Hildegard's husband, the 4th Fürst zu Stolberg-Roßla, was killed in an automobile accident on 10 December 1982 at Frankfurt.

According to his wishes, Johann Martin was eventually succeeded as Fürst zu Stolberg-Roßla by his distant cousin Prince Alexander zu Stolberg-Wernigerode (b.1967), the son of Prince Elger zu Stolberg-Wernigerode (b.1935) and Baroness Maria Karin von Düring (1934-2018). In 2001, Fürst Alexander zu Stolberg-Roßla married Caroline Jansen. The new princely couple always maintained a close relationship with Hildegard.

Owing to the current pandemic, the funeral of the Dowager Fürstin zu Stolberg-Roßla will take place in the strictest family intimacy. In time, it is hoped that a larger celebration of Hildegard's life will be possible.

Rest In Peace, Princess!

Source: Ortenberg trauert um Hildegard Fürstin zu Stolberg-Roßla

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Sheltering-In-Place, Orthodox Royals Celebrate Pascha and Send Messages of Hope to Their Countrymen


This Sunday, 19 April, royal families who are members of the Eastern Orthodox faith celebrated Pascha. The hope held by Christian believers derived from the Resurrection of the Lord is extremely important and a source of solace and comfort, especially during a time such as this. A number of royals shared their wishes for a Blessed Easter on social media.

Georgia

Prince Davit and Prince Giorgi of Georgia.
Photograph (c) Royal House of Georgia

On Facebook, Prince Davit of Georgia shared an image together with his son Prince Giorgi, the eventual heir of both the Bagration-Gruzinsky and Bagration-Mukhransky royal branches. In the background, one can see a picture of Davit's great-grandfather Prince George, his grandfather Prince Irakli, and his father Prince Jorge. Davit is a first cousin once removed of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, through her mother Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna, who was the aunt of Davit's father.

Greece

Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece were joined by their children for Easter this year. His Royal Highness shared an image of the family together on Instagram.


Romania

From their home in Bucharest, Prince Nicholas and Princess Alina-Maria of Romania shared an Easter message with fellow Romanians via YouTube. Out of respect for the guidelines of public health officials, the couple have self-quarantined since early March. 


Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia
Photograph (c) Russian Imperial House
From her home in Madrid, the Head of the Russian Imperial House send Paschal greetings to Russians at home and abroad. Grand Duchess Maria recently recovered from a mild case of the coronavirus. The statement from Her Imperial Highness was as follows:
The Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and her son and heir, H.I.H. The Tsesarevich and Grand Duke George of Russia, extend their warmest greetings to their countrymen on the Bright Feast of the Resurrection of Christ, and thank all those who have sent them Paschal greetings. Their Imperial Highnesses are saddened deeply that the spread of the coronavirus has required government authorities to impose restrictions on laity attending the Divine Services, especially during Holy Week and Pascha. They urge all of the faithful flock of the Russian Orthodox Church to accept and understand the reasons for these measures, and, most importantly, to have confidence in the instructions issued by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the entire Hierarchy of the Church, who are guided in these decisions solely by concern for the flock entrusted to them by God. In former times, our ancestors had to live through even more deadly epidemics and resort to similarly harsh and difficult restrictions on their lives. But the holy ascetics of the Russian Land, its pious rulers, and other prominent leaders of our homeland taught us through word and example to avoid despair and fear, to remain calm and rational, to be mindful of our own needs and of those around us, and above all not to tempt the Lord, but to try in all things to fulfill His commandments, even in the circumstances we find ourselves in today, for all things happen according to His will. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and the Tsesarevich and Grand Duke George of Russia fervently pray that the Risen Lord, the Saviour Jesus Christ, will grant us strength of body and spirit, and will enable us to pass through these trials, preserving and multiplying our Faith, Hope, and Love. TRULY CHRIST IS RISEN!!

Serbia

Prince Philip and Princess Danica of Serbia with their son Prince Stefan
Photograph (c) Princ Filip i Princeza Danica Karađorđević

From their residence in London, Prince Philip and Princess Danica celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord along with their son Prince Stefan. Prince Philip released this message to Serbians via Facebook:
Although this year the greatest Christian holiday, the Resurrection of Christ, we celebrate in unnatural and difficult circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, I wish all Orthodox Christians to be filled with joy, love and hope, which paint this holiday over the holidays. 
Regardless of the circumstances, we will always celebrate the Resurrection of Christ as a holiday of hope, faith, love and joy. 
God's grace and love are continually with us, and Christ's Resurrection will always be that light towards which we will walk in gloomy times, faced with the greatest trials and tribulations, because He is our hope and our Savior. 
In these Easter days, more than ever we pray for the strength of our country and all its citizens, begging the Lord to protect and preserve all of us. 
Christ Is Risen!

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia Has Recovered From Coronavirus


Yesterday, 18 April 2020, the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House released a communiqué which informed the public that HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia has recovered from a mild case of COVID-19.

The grand duchess, who is sixty-six years-old, tested positive for the novel coronavirus at the end of March. She was able to recover at her residence in Madrid, where she had been following the quarantine measures enacted by Spanish authorities since the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, 17 April, Her Imperial Highness took a follow-up test which showed that she no longer had COVID-19.

Grand Duke George of Russia, the only child and heir of Grand Duchess Maria, has been in Moscow since the beginning of the pandemic. He is in good health and is observing the stay-at-home orders issued by the Russian government.

Today, Grand Duchess Maria of Russia took the opportunity to wish all Russians around the world a Blessed Easter. She had a scheduled visit to her homeland in May 2020, but this has been indefinitely postponed, out of necessity.

Here is the full statement from the Russian Imperial House:

The Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, has recovered from coronavirus. 
From the very beginning of this pandemic, the Grand Duchess has strictly complied with all quarantine measures mandated by governmental authorities and public health officials in the Kingdom of Spain. Toward the end of March, however, Her Imperial Highness began experiencing several mild flu-like symptoms that persisted for several days, and so was tested for COVID-19. The test returned positive. By God’s mercy, the Grand Duchess has fully recovered and has now developed a full immunity to this virus. The Grand Duchess received the results of her follow-up tests on Great and Holy Friday, April 17. 
At present, the Head of the Imperial House of Russia is out of danger, but she continues to observe the quarantine regime in accordance with the procedure established by governmental and public health authorities in Spain. The Grand Duchess’s visit to Russia, which was originally planned for May 2020, has been postponed indefinitely. 
Her Imperial Highness congratulates all her countrymen the world over on the Bright Feast of the Resurrection of Christ. She wishes good health for everyone and prays for a quick and complete end to this global disaster. 
The Grand Duchess’s son and heir, H.I.H. The Tsesarevich and Grand Duke George of Russia, is in Moscow and continues to follow carefully the stay-at-home orders issued by authorities in Russia. He remains in good health. 
Their Imperial Highnesses continue working and advising in the many social and cultural activities of the institutions and organizations associated with the Imperial House of Russia, using the various means of remote telecommunications at their disposal.

God Save The Grand Duchess!

The Death of the First Cousin of the Fürst: Prince Georg-Friedrich zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1936-2020)



On Thursday, 16 April 2020, Prince Georg-Friedrich zu Waldeck und Pyrmont passed away at the age of eighty-three. The prince was a first cousin of the head of the princely family, Fürst Wittekind zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (b.1936).

The death notice of Prince Georg-Friedrich zu Waldeck und Pyrmont

His Serene Highness Prince Georg-Friedrich Nikolaus zu Waldeck und Pyrmont was born on 22 November 1936 at Hannover as the second child of Prince Georg zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1902-1971) and Countess Ingeborg von Platen Hallermund (1902-1991). Georg-Friedrich had one older brother and three younger siblings: Prince Josias (b.1935), Princess Rixa (b.1939), Prince Volkwin (b.1940), Prince Christian-Peter (b.1945).

Fürst Georg II zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1789-1845)
Fürstin Emma zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1802-1858; née Princess of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym)
Georg-Friedrich's parents-in-law: Fürst Wolff-Heinrich and Fürstin Irma zu Stolberg-Stolberg
The commemorative coin celebrating the marriage of Fürst Wolff Heinrich and Irma zu Stolberg-Stolberg.

On August 1961, Prince Georg-Friedrich married Princess Irmgard Sixtina Juliana zu Stolberg-Stolberg (b.4 November 1933). Sixtina was the daughter of Fürst Wolff-Heinrich zu Stolberg-Stolberg (1903-1972) and Irma Erfert (1910-1994). Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina were third cousins; they both were great-great-grandchildren of Fürst Georg II zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1789-1845) and Princess Emma of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym (1802-1858).

Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina had three children: Princess Henriette (b.1963), Princess Isabelle (b.1965), and Prince Philipp (b.1967).

Princess Henriette zu Waldeck und Pyrmont with her husband Count Hermann zu Castell-Rüdenhausen as well as Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.

In August 1989, Princess Christine Henriette Bathildis zu Waldeck und Pyrmont married Count Hermann zu Castell-Rüdenhausen (b.1963). The couple have three children: Countess Annabell (b.1991), Countess Cecily (b.1992), and Count Casimir (b.1994). Hermann is a younger brother of the late Countess Donata zu Castell-Rüdenhausen (1950-2015), wife of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1944-1977) and Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg (1936-2017). Henriette, who studied geography at university, is thus an aunt-by-marriage of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, the Head of House Prussia.

Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina's second daughter Princess Marie Isabelle zu Waldeck und Pyrmont has made her career as an employment and occupational therapist. In December 1989, Isabelle changed her surname to be simply "Waldeck." She has one son, Constantin.

Philipp-Heinrich, the only son of Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina, has never married and has no children. He is currently fourteenth in the line of succession to the Head of the Princely House of Waldeck and Pyrmont.

Georg-Friedrich's widow Princess Sixtina zu Waldeck und Pyrmont, Princess zu Stolberg-Stolberg, lives in Bad Arolsen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Eighty Years of DAISY: The Birthday of the Magnificent Queen Margrethe II of Denmark


Baby Princess Margrethe of Denmark.

On 16 April 1940, Crown Princess Ingrid of Denmark gave birth to her first child. Ingrid and her husband Crown Prince Frederik were delighted with the arrival of their daughter. The newborn princess was given the names Margrethe Alexandrine Thorhildur (Þórhildur) Ingrid at her christening on 14 May. Princess Margrethe's godparents were King Christian X of Denmark, Hereditary Prince Knud of Denmark, Prince Axel of Denmark, King Gustaf V of Sweden, Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten, and Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn. In her family, Margrethe has become known as Daisy. When the then-Crown Princess Ingrid gave birth to Princess Margrethe in 1940, the jeweller Georg Jensen presented her with a special version of the DAISY jewellery line to commemorate the royal birth.

Princess Margaret of Sweden, born Princess of the United Kingdom.
Margaret was Margrethe II's maternal grandmother.
Queen Alexandrine of Denmark, born Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Alexandrine was Margrethe II's paternal grandmother.
Queen Ingrid of Denmark, born Princess of Sweden.
Ingrid was Margrethe II's mother.

The future Danish queen was named Margrethe after her late maternal grandmother, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden (née Princess Margaret of Connaught); Alexandrine after her paternal grandmother Queen Alexandrine of Denmark (née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin), and Ingrid after her mother, who was born a Princess of Sweden. Margrethe, as the grandchild of the King of Iceland, was also given the name Þórhildur.

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In time, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Ingrid welcomed two more daughters: Princess Benedikte (b.1944) and Princess Anne-Marie (b.1946). In the 1980s, Queen Margrethe II recalled: "My sister Benedikte and I are very different. And furthermore, when we were children and teenagers, we were not always very good friends. We often went our separate ways during our summer stays at Gråsten. In fact, ours was probably the classic situation for siblings. I was four when Benedikte was born and until then I had been the centre of attention. When I started school in 46, Benedikte was only two and Anne Marie newborn - to me they were still 'the little ones.' ... There were more than enough differences. But now our relationship has changed very much, we understand one another, respect one another, tolerate one another, we really like one another. What happened was that one of my sister's friends - whom I also liked and enjoyed talking to - (I think it was the first time I realised that it was just as easy to talk to someone my sister's age as my own) - this friend said straight out: 'It's simply too bad that you two can't be good friends - you ought to be ashamed of yourselves!' And she taught each of us that we must work things out between us, and so we did. She did us a real service. She is still a very close friend of ours. Understandably."

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On 20 April 1947, Margrethe's grandfather King Christian X of Denmark died at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. Ill from pneumonia, the king was seventy-six years-old. Christian's granddaughter remembered learning of his passing: "One morning my mother came and woke us and said that my grandfather was dead. We had known all along that my grandfather was very old and ill, but we were children, so it did not make a strong impression, apart from the fact that I found all the attention that suddenly grew up around us rather trying. It was unpleasant, although it was nothing compared to the interest taken in us later. Oh dear: people stared and talked, and too many photographs were taken." Christian X was succeeded by his eldest son, who became King Frederik IX.

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After a referendum in 1953, the Act of Succession of 27 March 1953 was adopted. It changed the act of succession so that it became possible for a woman to inherit the throne in the event that she has no older or younger brothers. As the King Frederick IX had three daughters and no sons, this meant that Princess Margrethe became the heir presumptive to the throne, instead of her uncle Hereditary Prince Knud. Again, the future Danish queen gave her recollections of this event: "During the winter of 1952-53, talk about an amendment to the Constitution and a new Law of Succession began to reach my ears. My parents had done what they could to leave me in peace for as long as possible. The actual Law was entirely the work of the politicians, my parents had not had anything to do with it, but acceded to the wishes of the public and the government. They then began discussing it with me. I have no recollection of how they began, but I clearly remember them saying: 'You must remember that it is not for your sake that this law is being passed. Because no-one knows what you are like or what you will become. It is in the hope that your father and mother, as good parents, can prepare you for the position.' And it was the right way to view it, but I was very worried when anyone walked about it in the period up to 1953." Not unsurprisingly, the change in the law of succession led to an estrangement between King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid on the one side and Hereditary Prince Knud and Hereditary Princess Caroline-Mathilde on the other side. 

Princess Margrethe of Denmark in 1966.

Margrethe was educated at the private N. Zahle's School in Copenhagen, from which she graduated in 1959. The princess then spent a year at North Foreland Lodge, an only-girls boarding school in Hampshire, England. She later studied prehistoric archaeology at Girton College, Cambridge, during 1960–1961, political science at Aarhus University between 1961-1962. Margrethe attended the Sorbonne in 1963, and then went on to study at the London School of Economics in 1965.


While a student at the London School of Economics, Margrethe of Denmark met a debonair French diplomat. The couple first made their acquaintance at a dinner arranged by mutual friends in 1965. The princess noted that, "apart from the fact that I found him very likeable, I did not really take much notice of Henri de Monpezat. He was just a young man I met occasionally, and in fact I believe it was he who noticed me, and not so much the other way round. We met once again, in April 66, at the wedding of a mutual friend. And then things started happening quickly." The couple shared English and French as common languages, and chose to communicate in French. In September 1966, King Frederik and Queen Ingrid announced the engagement of Princess Margrethe to Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, the third secretary of the French embassy at London. Henri was a son of André de Laborde de Monpezat (1907 - 1998) and Renée Doursenot (1908 - 2001). 




On 10 June 1967, Princess Margrethe of Denmark and Henri de Laborde de Monpezat were married at the Holmen Church in Copenhagen. Among other guests, the wedding was attended by the following members of the European Gotha: King Baudioun and Queen Fabiola of Belgium; Queen Juliana and Prince Bernard of The Netherlands; Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus of The Netherlands; King Olav V of Norway; Crown Prince Harald of Norway; King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden; Princess Sibylla of Sweden with her daughters the Princesses Margrethe, Brigitta, Christina, and Désirée; Prince Bertil of Sweden; Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte of Luxembourg; Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent; Prince Louis Ferdinand and Princess Kira of Prussia; and Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofía of Spain. Two family members who were not able to attend were King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece. Owing to the recent coup by a military junta, the Danish government advised King Frederik and Queen Ingrid that it would be best if their youngest daughter and her husband were not present for Margrethe's happy day. 

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Very swiftly, Princess Margrethe and Prince Henrik (as he became titled) set about founding a family. The pair welcomed their first son, Prince Frederik, on 26 May 1968. One year later, the arrival of Prince Joachim on 7 June 1969 completed the family of four. Margrethe recalls that the brothers have always gotten along very well. She believes this is partly due to Joachim never having feelings of jealousy towards Frederik in regards to Frederik's future role.

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On 14 January 1972, King Frederik IX of Denmark died at the Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen. The king had not been ill during the Christmas season of 1971. However, right as 1971 ended 1972 was to begin, the king's health quickly deteriorated, and he was admitted to hospital. Margrethe remembered how she felt in the year or so before her father's passing: "I was married. We were a happy couple with two healthy sons, ready to meet whatever the future would bring. The anxiety I had felt as a young girl, about how I would manage when my father was no longer here, had eased. We knew that time was running out. My father was not the type who lives to a very old age." Frederik IX was seventy-two when he died. Ten days after his death, the king was buried at Roskilde Cathedral. Queen Margrethe mused that although her father had never been a man full of "big words," he had often calmly and compassionately reminded her younger self that she would able to manage when the time came to take the throne. Although in deep mourning for her father, the new Queen constantly reminded herself: "Pull yourself together and show Father that you can manage." Queen Ingrid acted as a pillar for her daughter - a source of strength even though Ingrid herself was processing the loss of her husband. Queen Ingrid greatly assisted her daughter in planning King Frederik's funeral. The new queen recalled: "I have no idea how my mother managed it all, she must have 'worked on adrenaline' - I suppose we all did that. I caught a massive cold between my father's death and the funeral - all my reserves had been used up. But I got over it."


In between her father's death and funeral, Margrethe succeeded to the throne. On 15 January 1972, the former Princess Margrethe was proclaimed Queen Margrethe II of Denmark from the balcony at Christiansborg Palace. Her Majesty vividly calls to mind the scene: "It was an exceptional moment when I stepped out onto the balcony at Christiansborg. It was bitterly cold, but I only remember this as a minor detail. What has stamped itself on my memory is that so many people were gathered there on such a day in January. Later, when people have said how difficult it must have been to appear in public in the midst of such deep personal sorrow, I can only say that - in fact - it was a great consolation. The 15th of January 1972 had been my purpose in life since the age of thirteen. I could now confirm what I had promised at eighteen. Here I am, I am yours! My task now is in my country, for my country, for the Danes." The new Danish queen was thirty-one years-old at the time of her succession. Her husband Prince Henrik was thirty-seven; Crown Prince Frederik was three and Prince Joachim was two.

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In family life, Prince Henrik took the lead with regards to teaching their children. The Queen was involved with the process, but she recognised that her husband was more of a "teacher" than she was. Her Majesty remarked that "some women are good with small children and others are not. I am not terribly good with small children, but your relationship with your children has to begin at that end of the scale - we can't just take them over at twenty-one, can we?" Margrethe felt that Henrik was more strict and consistent than she was with the small princes. As they grew up and became older, the one bit of advice that the Queen did proffer to her sons concerned their private lives. "I have emphasised that they must be absolutely convinced - and I think the boys appreciate my view - that when they marry, it is to be married and stay married. Their marriages must endure. We cannot do what other people do - and I am in no way passing a moral judgement on other people's private lives. In our lives it is extremely important that we stay together, because we only have one another." The over fifty years of marriage that the Queen and Prince Consort had together is a testament to this belief: the couple knew that they were unique individuals with their own interests, and, at the same time, they shared a deep love and affection for one another.

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In 1995, Prince Joachim of Denmark married Alexandra Manley. The couple had two sons: Prince Nikolai (b.1999) and Prince Felix (b.2002). After a decade of marriage, Joachim and Alexandra divorced in 2005. In 2008, Prince Joachim married Marie Cavallier. The pair welcomed two children: Prince Henrik (b.2009) and Princess Athena (b.2012).

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In 2004, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark married the Australian-born Mary Donaldson. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess have welcomed four children: Prince Christian (b.2005), Princess Isabella (b.2007), and the twins, Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine (b.2011).

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On 7 November 2000, Queen Margrethe's mother Queen Ingrid passed away at the age of ninety. Her Majesty had an acute appreciation of her mother and the life that Ingrid had lived. "My mother did not have a very happy childhood either. She lost her mother when she was only ten years old. She was a very mature little girl, as one can see from photographs taken of her long before her mother died. A serious little lady. A very thoughtful child from an early age, even during her happy years. She could not have been the giggler I was. She soon became an intermediary between her brothers and her father - their relationship was also a problematic one on occasion. So she was used to having to mediate.... I resemble both my parents in an odd mixture. I have inherited so much which I recognise from my mother, and so much from my father. My father was more spontaneous than mother, my mother is far more reflective, and I am both. I am quite capable of analysing something carefully and so is my mother... My mother definitely thinks before she speaks." Queen Ingrid of Denmark was laid to rest with her husband at Roskilde Cathedral. Ingrid was survived by her three daughters and her ten grandchildren, in addition to her great-grandchildren.


To fast forward a bit, Queen Margrethe II celebrated her Ruby Jubilee in January 2012. Her Majesty had been on the Danish throne for forty-years, and the Danes came out to celebrate their queen in fantastic form. The queen's jubilee was marked by a carriage procession as well as a gala banquet at Christiansborg Palace. Queen Margrethe II will mark her Golden Jubilee in 2022 in an event which all royal watchers hope will pay tribute to this remarkable royal lady.

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Six years later, on 13 February 2018, Prince Consort Henrik of Denmark died at Fredensborg Palace at the age of eighty-three. During the many decades that the prince served at the side of the queen, he sometimes left a curious impression on the public, both in Denmark and abroad, that might have led one to think that the royal couple's union was one of constant strain. However, twenty years into their marriage, Margrethe was keen to elaborate on the special bond that the couple shared. "To me, marriage is my fixed point, and my husband is my fixed anchor, the person I trust and who supports me in everything I do. If you feel this, it does not matter whether you are both at home, or one of you is away travelling, whether you spend holidays together, or whether you are both so busy that there is scarcely time to meet for meals. We still feel that we are close to one another. I have always felt that those closest to me are with me constantly.... We are very happy together because we accept each other's outlook, we can discuss and tease each other. We have probably both changed somewhat, we have bent towards one another, though we are both more independent than when we first met. We have become the individuals we really are. It is very important to allow each other room to grow." These words of the queen shed some light into how successful the match between the Danish princess and the minor French diplomat was in actuality. They were "two individuals" united in "one marriage." That union was their fixed place, their safe haven.

Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik, and Prince Christian on 14 April.
Photographer Per Morten Abrahamsen.
Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik, and Prince Christian on 14 April.
Photographer Per Morten Abrahamsen.
Queen Margrethe, Crown Prince Frederik, and Prince Christian on 14 April.
Photographer Per Morten Abrahamsen.
Today, 16 April 2020, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark celebrates her eightieth birthday. Grand plans had been made to commemorate this event, but due to the current COVID-19 pandemic all festivities have been cancelled. The Royal House has issued a series of lovely photographs of the Queen with Crown Prince Frederik and his eldest son Prince Christian. In lieu of public celebrations, Queen Margrethe simply requested that in light of her birthday, she would like for Danes to send flowers to the elderly in the country. The communiqué of Her Majesty is as follows:
In light of the serious situation for many Danes with reference to the spread of the coronavirus, Her Majesty The Queen has a special request in connection with the upcoming 80th birthday on 16 April. 
Each year on her birthday, The Queen receives flowers from near and far. This year, The Queen is calling for people to send a bouquet instead to one of the many older fellow citizens having difficulty at this time. 
Another tradition changed this year is the opportunity to show up in person at Det Gule Palæ and write a congratulatory note. Instead, starting 14 April, a congratulations register will be set up on the Royal Danish House’s website www.kongehuset.dk, where it will be possible to send personal good wishes to The Queen.

Queen Margrethe II at Fredensborg Palace on 15 April.
Photographer Per Morten Abrahamsen.

Having attained the age of eighty, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has reigned as monarch for forty-eight years. Her Majesty is many things: a queen, a widow, a sister, an aunt, a mother, and a grandmother. Margrethe is an artist, a writer, and a costume designer. The queen is a polyglot: she speaks Danish, French, English, Swedish, and German - she also speaks a few amount of Faroese. She is fond of dachshunds; she is a chain-smoker; she is talented in the craft of découpage. Margrethe is the first Danish queen-regnant since Margrethe I, who reigned from 1375-1412. Above all, Margrethe II is the Queen of Denmark; the head of a large national family that encompasses all those who live within the Danish nation. She is the only person who could have led her country in such a dignified and able manner since she succeeded her father many, many years ago.

Queen Margrethe II at Fredensborg Palace on 15 April.
Photographer Per Morten Abrahamsen.
We wish Her Majesty The Queen many happy returns of the day!

NOTE: Queen Margrethe II of Denmark's recollections of her life were taken from the publication Queen in Denmark by Anne Wolden-Ræthinge, which was based on a series of interviews with Her Majesty.