Thursday, December 31, 2020

Christmas and New Year Message from Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

2021-01-01 New Year’s and Christmas Greetings from the Head of the House of Romanoff

Dear Countrymen! Dear Friends,

I wish you all a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!

The traditional greeting we give each on New Year’s for good health takes on a special meaning this year.

In the year that has just ended, the entire world was struck by disaster—the spread of the coronavirus, which has led to the untimely deaths of many people close and dear to us.

We will always remember them and offer our support and condolences to everyone who has lost family and friends.

We also know that even more lives were saved thanks to the selfless and tireless work of doctors, nurses, and volunteers.

To them we offer our deepest thanks and the solemn bow of our head.

During the coming holidays and throughout the next year, we should all exercise good judgment and take preventative measures to keep ourselves safe.

Now, as effective means of combating coronavirus are being developed and improved, it would be especially tragic to fall victim to this illness.

It would be like being killed by the last bullet at the end of a war.

Therefore, let us be rational and attentive to ourselves and to each other.

We must not lose faith in God’s mercy.

We must not allow decency in our interactions with others to be destroyed under the pretext of fighting the pandemic.

But we must also remember the words of Christ our Savior: “Do not tempt the Lord thy God.”

One’s attitude about the pandemic should be determined not by some or other ideology, but by the simple duty each of us has as a human being and as a citizen—by the sense of responsibility we have to ourselves and to others.

I and my son and heir, Grand Duke George of Russia, hope that you may all celebrate the New Year and Christmas in joy, confidence in your strength, and in the firm hope for a better future. I wish you all health and happiness in the coming year!

May the Lord protect Russia and all her sons and daughters around the world!

H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia
Head of the Imperial House of Russia


Repose of a Royal Relict: The Death of Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia (1926-2020)

The late Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia.

On 13 December 2020, HRH Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia died in Palm Springs, California. The widow of Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia, the princess was ninety-four years-old. She had lived in Palm Springs for many decades. Born on 26 August 1926 at Vrnjacka-Banja, Serbia, Milica "Mitzi" Anđelković was the only daughter of Milan Anđelković and Eva Jovanović. Mitzi had a brother, Milan. Her parents eventually divorced. Sometime in the 1940s, Milica Anđelković married a Mr Smiljanic. After World War II, Mitzi Anđelković fled Yugoslavia for the United States as the Communists under Tito took power.

King Peter II of Yugoslavia and Mrs Mitzi Lowe.

In 1955, Milica Anđelković married Dr Franklin P Lowe (b.2 April 1922). The couple had two children and lived in California. At some point in the 1950s, Mitzi Lowe also met King Peter II of Yugoslavia, who became friends with Mitzi and her husband Frank. It is believed that Mitzi looked after the king when he was ill, which he often was due to complications from alcoholism and depression. When King Peter II died in 1970, Mitzi Lowe was the executor of his will. Prince Tomislav writes in his memoirs that Mitzi first met Prince Andrej at the funeral of his brother the King. Dr Frank Lowe and Mrs Mitzi Lowe were divorced on 18 March 1974. By the end of the year, both had remarried. 

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Palm Springs, 1983.

On 30 March 1974, Mitzi Lowe married Prince Andrej "Andy" of Yugoslavia (b.Bled 28 Jun 1929) in Palm Springs. Andrej's brother Tomislav tried to prevent Andrej from marrying that "problematic woman," as Tomislav called her, but the prince could not prevent the marriage. Andrej was the youngest son of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia (1888-1934) and Queen Marie (1900-1961; née Princess of Romania). From 1956 until their divorce in 1962, the prince was married to Princess Christina "Christa" of Hesse (1933-2011), the daughter of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, a sister of the Duke of Edinburgh. From 1963 until their divorce in 1972, Prince Andrej was married to Princess Kira zu Leiningen (1930-2005), the daughter of Fürst Karl zu Leiningen and Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia. After the marriage, Mitzi was styled and titled as HRH Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia. 

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Palm Springs, 1984.

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria were active on the social scene in California and visited Serbian communities abroad. In a November 1984 visit to Australia, the prince elaborated on his life in the United States: "Palm Springs is an extraordinary little town. In summer it has a small population with semi-retired and professional people, former USA presidents. In winter, many more people arrive." Princess Eva Maria added: "We are there for six to seven months a year and we have black-tie dinners - very formal - six to seven balls a year and lots of parties." At the time it was noted that Prince Andrej was retired, but open to getting involved in business activities again if the right opportunity presented itself. In the past, he had worked as a consultant at ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., in Costa Mesa, California.

Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia in Sydney, 1984.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives

What seemed to be a good opportunity presented itself to Andrej in the form of Comparator Systems Corporation, an electronics company founded in 1976. Around 1986, the prince took the position as Head of International Marketing at the company. In a 1997 exposé on Comparator and its fallout by Orange Coast Magazine, Princess Eva Maria cooperated fully. After all, it was widely believed that her husband's role at the company, and the subsequent things that he learned about its dire financial position, had contributed to his early death. 

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Sydney, February 1990.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives.

Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia died by apparent suicide in the form of carbon monoxide poisoning inside his black Mercedes-Benz on 6 May 1990; the car was parked in the garage at the Comparator offices in Irvine, California, and the lifeless prince's body was discovered by the company's corporate secretary. Regarding her husband's passing at the age of sixty, Eva Maria recalled: "It was a terribly, terribly shocking tragedy." Andrej's attraction to Comparator was rooted in the innovative patent technology that the company was marketing: a fingerprint scanner, which would allow businesse to be able to tell whether the person whose finger was scanned was actually the individual they claimed to be. The princess elaborated: "He [Andrej] believed that the product was a good thing for security, hotels, banks and things like that. And he was always fascinated by anything mechanical, any gadgetry." Comparator's CEO Robert Rogers was charismatic, polite, and convincing; in the 1970s, however, Rogers was reprimanded by stock regulators for the unlawful issuing of securities. When Robert Rogers met Prince Andrej, he was certain that having a bonafide royal prince associated with the company would be an immense asset. Despite the apparently wonderful product on hand, Comparator's sales were not remarkable, and the company appeared to be struggling. Prince Andrej went on a business trip with the company's CEO to Switzerland and returned home in a depressed state. Andrej's wife remembered her husband confiding: "They didn't have any money so I paid the hotel bills with a credit card." This trip was a warning of what was to come. "Cars would be repossessed, telephones would be disconnected. This was when my husband came to the rescue," Eva Maria stated. When Eva Maria would raise her concerns about Comparator with her husband, Andrej would reply: "You just don't understand these things." In 1989, Andrej loaned the company $60,000 from a certificate of deposit which the couple possessed. For most of his time as the Head of International Marketing, Andrej as well as a good deal of the other twenty employees of Comparator had been compensated by being given stock in the company. However, by May 1990, Andrej wanted to recoup the money he had lent. On 5 May, Andrej and Eva Maria were being visited by Andrej's son Prince Karl Vladimir, who was visiting his father from Europe. On that day, the prince told his wife that he needed to go to the Irvine office in order to meet with Robert Rogers; Andrej phoned Eva Maria several times to confirm that he was expecting the meeting to occur that day. When the prince did not arrive back in Palm Springs for dinner, his wife became worried. It was early in the morning of 6 May 1990 that Summer Churchill, the company's corporate secretary, found the prince's body. Ms Churchill recalled: "He was sitting there slumped over. I reached in to find a carotid artery. There was no carotid. So I knew he was dead."

Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Sydney, 1984.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives.

Although the princess did not think that the prince was suicidal, she did feel that when he found out about the true state of affairs at the company in which he was so invested that he might have thought there was no other solution but to take his life. Regardless, Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia would never forgive herself for the fate that befell her husband. "In a way part of this is my fault. I should have put my foot down and I didn't. Whenever I think of my husband, I blame myself." Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia was initially buried in the United States. In 2013, his remains were reburied at the Karageorgevich dynasty's mausoleum at Oplenac.

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Sydney, 1990.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives.

In the thirty years since her husband's death, Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia lived a very private life. It is not known where the princess was buried.


May Princess Eva Maria Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Remarriage for Prince David Bagration-Mukhransky

Prince Davit and Princess Irina Bagration-Mukhransky of Georgia.

Sometime during 2020, Prince David Bagration-Mukhransky (b.1976) married Irina Begashvili. Today, the Facebook page of the Georgian Royal Family wishing its followers a Happy New Year; it referred to “Crown Prince David of Georgia” and “Irina, Crown Princess of Georgia.” Naturally, the message did not mention when exactly David and Irina wed.

Prince Davit and Princess Ana at the baptism of their son Prince Giorgi, 2013.

From 2009-2013, David was married to Princess Anna Bagration-Gruzinsky (b.1976): the couple had one child, Prince Giorgi Bagration-Bagrationi (b.2011). 

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark Delivers New Year Speech

Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year Address 2020.

Tonight, we see another turn of the year. We look ahead and we look back.

We look ahead with confidence and expectation, and we look back – did the year turn out the way we had hoped?

No! – The year 2020 brought us what nobody had imagined.

In February, the coronavirus hit Europe, and in early March large sections of Danish society had to go into lockdown. The pandemic has changed all of society: it has changed our everyday lives, we have had to do a great many things differently: avoid contact, keep a distance, stay at home, work in other ways than we are used to.

We faced a disease which nobody knew and which we had no medicines against. It was alarming and it proved necessary to carry through wide-ranging restrictions on our daily lives. Crowded streets became deserted. Many, not least elderly people, had to do without their close contact with family and friends.

It was with great concern that we watched the numbers of people who were infected and hospitalised, and the numbers of deaths, which soon showed up. It was serious. We understood that.

It took its toll on everybody, but forced by the serious circumstances, new ideas emerged on how we could live with the crisis and get through it. People met on the net, they worked from home, they went for a stroll in nature where it was possible, and perhaps they experienced spring more keenly than ever before.

When summer approached, the pressure eased. We still could not go abroad, but then we stayed at home. We took walks through the green beech forest, we went to the beach – the fine Danish beach – we rediscovered or experienced, perhaps for the first time, how many wonderful and diverse places there are in Denmark – sometimes “just round the corner”.

I think that many have had an eye-opening experience regarding our lovely nature and the calm it can give us in situations when we are under pressure. The climate has benefited during the crisis – this is worth paying attention to, and it is important that we continue to take good care of nature.

In autumn, the coronavirus returned – more swiftly than expected and with renewed strength. New restrictions were necessary, but fortunately not so far-reaching as we have seen in other places in Europe where curfews have been imposed. Nevertheless, companies have been forced into bankruptcy and many have lost their jobs. Through no fault of their own, many have seen their life’s work fall to the ground. This has affected me very much.

The period we have been through has given us all food for thought. What is it that really matters to us, as a society, as human beings? What lessons have we learned? And what can we take with us? When we have lost something or have had to do without something, we learn to appreciate what we have. We have experienced how much our contact with other people means, how important the close ties are to all of us, and how essential trust is – in each other – and in the society we are all part of.

The crisis has led to changes, both at personal and societal levels. Let us assure each other that, on the other side of the crisis, we will remember what we have been through. Let us take the good lessons learned with us and let us try to organise our lives in accordance with them.

We hope that things will soon move in the right direction, but we have not reached that point yet, and ahead of us lie a few more winter months. We must continue to live with restrictions, and it has not been much fun, especially during Christmas time. However, let us not lose heart, let us continue to practice caution and consideration when socialising with others. It is a source of joy and encouragement that the vaccine is now a reality and that vaccination has started.

Tonight, I bring a special thank you to the many who right from the beginning stood on the front line in the fight against corona. They are the many healthcare professionals at hospitals who from day one did everything to combat the disease, even before we had the full overview and knowledge of the danger facing us. They did not count the hours or the days. They relieved the suffering caused by COVID-19, they researched exhaustively to understand the unknown disease. I also send a deeply felt thank you to the many who from the outset have worked hard in the effort to test us and curb the spread of the virus.

I also wish to express my thanks to the staff at our many nursing homes and drop-in-centres, who care for and brighten the lives of nursing home residents and drop-in-centre users who cannot keep up close contact with their next of kin.

Also, many children and young people have experienced a loneliness during the corona crisis they had hardly imagined. Not to be able to meet at school or in their spare time has proved a restriction which I believe did not become lighter as time went by, especially when summer came, and the infection rate slowed. No doubt it has been frustrating not to be able to gather in large groups and to see one music festival after another being cancelled. I understand that very well, but we must see this through.

Much has been cancelled during the corona crisis. It has not been possible to hold weddings, confirmations and special birthdays as planned. Nor could my own eightieth birthday be celebrated the way we had planned it. But I have never been celebrated so overwhelmingly and so warmly as this year. That birthday will remain the most memorable in my recollection. I wish to thank you for that with all my heart.

This year, we were to have celebrated the centenary of the Reunification of South Jutland with Denmark. Like others, I had looked forward to the days of commemoration in July, but the corona epidemic made it impossible. We will now look forward to the coming summer in the hope that we can meet then.

Tonight, my thoughts go to the Danes in South Schleswig. Also for people in South Schleswig, this has been a difficult year with a partially closed border. I hope that the new year will bring us back to the close contact we are used to, and which is of so great importance on both sides of the border. I send my warmest New Year greetings to everybody.

The corona epidemic has also impacted on life in Greenland in the Faroe Islands. Thanks to a great effort and good understanding, both societies have been able to limit the outbreak of the disease. Nevertheless, the epidemic has been an expensive acquaintance. The tourist industry, which in recent years has come to mean more and more for both societies, has almost ground to a halt – leading to huge economic losses.

Next summer, it is my hope to be able to visit both the Faroe Islands and Greenland once again.

I look forward to my revisit to the Faroe Islands – the wonderful islands and the proud people in the North Atlantic. I look forward to witnessing the rapid development which Faroese society has experienced since my latest visit in 2016.

The year 2021 is the centenary of the first-ever visit by a King to Greenland when Christian X and Queen Alexandrine together with their two grown sons, my father Crown Prince Frederik and Prince Knud, sailed to Nuuk, then Godthåb. At the same time, it is the tercentenary of Hans Egede’s arrival in Greenland, a landmark year for both Greenland and Denmark. I look forward to revisiting Greenland and to once again meeting Greenlanders both in Nuuk and in many other places.

I hope that 2021 will be a good year. I wish everybody in the Faroe Islands and Greenland a happy New Year.

Also this year, many Danes have been posted to various places throughout the world where there is unrest and conflict. The efforts they make are noticed internationally. They have also been affected by the corona crisis. I send my thanks and my best New Year wishes to them and their relatives at home.

Tonight, my thoughts also go to everybody in the defence and the emergency management services. They have experienced much restructuring and have had to take on new tasks, but they have performed them responsibly and cheerfully. I wish to thank them for that, and I wish everybody a happy New Year.

I send my New Year wishes to the police with a thank you for their effort in the past year. They have faced many challenges in addition to the usual ones. It has not been easy, but we have much to thank them for – they contribute to ensuring that life in Denmark can be safe and secure.

Tonight, my thoughts go the Danes abroad and to the many with Danish roots who feel a deep connection with Denmark. This year they must have felt more cut off from the old country than usual, but I want them to know that they are in our minds. I send my warmest New Year wishes wherever in the world they are.

I have just celebrated Christmas with Prince Joachim and Princess Marie and the children. It has been a joy being together again and seeing how well Prince Joachim has recovered from his disease last summer. The many warm greetings and wishes that he has received have moved him and us all deeply.

I have also seen Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary together with their children during the days of Christmas. They have had a busy year, and their many tasks have had to be performed in untraditional ways. It is a constant joy to see how well they do.

Tonight, we bid farewell to a strange year. We will not forget 2020. This year has been a trial by fire, but we have shown that when it comes to the crunch we can stand together, and we manage to find moments of light, in spite of deprivation and uncertainty.

We are now entering 2021. I hope the new year will be a year that brings us many joys and where we continue to remember to be there for each other.

Together with all my family, I wish everybody a heartfelt happy New Year.

God bless you all


Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lady Pamela Hicks, First Cousin of Prince Philip, Receives Covid-19 Vaccine

Photograph courtesy of India Hicks.

Lady Pamela Hicks (b.1929; née Mountbatten) received the Covid-19 vaccine today in the village in which she lives at Oxfordshire. The ninety-one year-old is the only surviving daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (born Prince Louis of Battenberg) and his wife the Edwina Ashley. Lady Pamela is a first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921).

At her Instagram where the picture was posted, Lady Pamela's daughter India Hicks wrote:
Today my mother received the vaccine, from her local doctor, in the local village, all via the NHS.
I asked her if I could post this image, because it gives me a sense of hope. She absolutely agreed. We all need a slither of hope right now, most especially for everyone tightly locked down again in England.
As my mother often quotes 'Face the sun and the shadows will fall behind you’
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Lady Pamela Hicks, First Cousin of Prince Philip, Receives Covid-19 Vaccine

Photograph courtesy of India Hicks.
Lady Pamela Hicks (b.1929; née Mountbatten) received the Covid-19 vaccine today in the village in which she lives at Oxfordshire. The ninety-one year-old is the only surviving daughter of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (born Prince Louis of Battenberg) and his wife the Edwina Ashley. Lady Pamela is a first cousin of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (b.1921).
At her Instagram where the picture was posted, Lady Pamela's daughter India Hicks wrote:
Today my mother received the vaccine, from her local doctor, in the local village, all via the NHS. . I asked her if I could post this image, because it gives me a sense of hope. She absolutely agreed. We all need a slither of hope right now, most especially for everyone tightly locked down again in England. . As my mother often quotes 'Face the sun and the shadows will fall behind you’
For further news and articles about Europe's imperial, royal, and noble families, join Eurohistory:

Belated News of a New Prinzessin von Preußen!



On 28 April 2020, Mafalda Luise Prinzessin von Preußen was born as the first child of Alexander Prinz von Preußen and his wife Jenny Prinzessin von Preußen (née von Ruhmor). Alexander Prinz von Preußen, eldest son of Prince Adalbert of Prussia and Eva Maria Kudicke, was civilly married at Munich on Valentine's Day, 14 February 2020, to Jenny von Rumohr, the elder daughter of Joachim von Rumohr and Baroness Amélie von Holzing-Berstett.

14 June 1981: The wedding of Prince Adalbert of Prussia and Eva Maria Kudicke
Photograph (c) Alamy / Wolfgang Kühn
Born on 3 October 1984, Alexander Friedrich Wilhelm Victor Marcus Prinz von Preußen is the eldest of the three sons of Prince Adalbert of Prussia (b.1948) and Eva Maria Kudicke (b.1951). Adalbert and Eva Maria married in 1981. Their three sons are Alexander and the twins Christian and Philipp (b.1986). Alex von Preußen is a Senior Director at Holtzbrinck Digital in Munich. In 2006, the prince graduated from Bocconi University, where he studied international economics. He then went on to receive his masters in International Business from Maastricht University in 2009.

Jenny von Preußen
Born on 15 December 1985, Jenny Charlotte von Rumohr is the elder of the two daughters of Joachim von Rumohr (b.1950) and Baroness Amélie von Holzing-Berstett (b.1959). Joachim and Amélie married in 1983. The couple's daughters are Jenny and Elena (b.1987). Jenny von Rumohr is the Head of the Migration Office for Bavaria and Thuringia at the nonprofit organisation Malteser Deutschland GmbH. She received a bachelors in European studies from Maastricht University in 2008. Jenny then went on to receive her masters in International Peace and Security from King's College London.

Margrave Friedrich VII Magnus of Baden-Durlach
Princess Augusta Maria of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, Margravine of Baden-Durlach
Alex von Preußen and Jenny von Rumohr are very distantly related: the couple are tenth cousins, to be exact. Alex and Jenny both descend from Margrave Friedrich VII Magnus of Baden-Durlach (1647-1709) and Princess Augusta Maria of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (1649-1728). Alex von Preußen is a descendant of Friedrich and Augusta's daughter Margravine Katharina of Baden-Durlach (1677-1746), who married Count Johann Friedrich von Leiningen (1661-1722). Jenny von Rumohr is a descendant of Friedrich and Augusta's son Margrave Karl III Wilhelm of Baden-Durlach (1679-1738), who married Duchess Magdalene Wilhelmine of Württemberg (1677-1742).


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Monday, December 28, 2020

Christmas Messages from Savoys Emphasise Hope for Italians in New Year

Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta and Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa, 1955.
On the occasion of Christmas and the New Year, both Duke Amedeo of Savoy, Head of the Royal House, and his cousin Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa have issued messages to Italians in Italy and abroad. Amedeo and Maria Isabella are close friends as well as third cousins once removed. Both born in 1943, Amedeo is the only child of Prince Aimone of Savoy-Aosta (1900-1948) and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark (1904-1974); Maria Isabella is the only child of Prince Eugenio of Savoy-Genoa (1906-1996) and Princess Lucia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1908-2001).
You can read their messages to the Italian people below.

Message from H.R.H. Prince Amedeo of Savoy on the Occasion of Christmas 2020 and for the New Year 2021.

Dear Italians, 

A year is drawing to a close that has certainly been the most difficult through which our generations have lived. A year of serious suffering and grief that have affected many families everywhere as well as our social lives and the connective tissue of our national identity. This pandemic, which treacherously affects those large and small and not only our nation but the whole world, has taken us by surprise, unprepared, and, therefore, most vulnerable. Only thanks to the generous selflessness of all the health personnel, including many who have been personally affected themselves, has it been possible to partially contain this virus. All this has generated an unprecedented economic crisis that has severely hit large sectors of production and trade, with serious effects on employment, without sparing artisans and freelancers. 
We have been pummelled by information disseminated in an incorrect and contradictory form that has generated confusion, anxiety, and anguish, with serious consequences also on a psychological level. I am thinking of the young people who, due to physical distancing, are deprived of that joy, freedom and human contacts, indispensable for their growth and formation; to the many elderly people who, in need of attention, moral and material support, have remained isolated, confused and deprived of any contact with their loved ones. We Italians have experienced other moments of serious difficulties which we have faced with intelligence and determination, such as in the aftermath of the war, when an entire people were able to resume the path of civil progress and widespread prosperity from underneath the rubble. This recovery will be long and difficult, both as regards public health and the economic situation. An extraordinary commitment of the institutions will be necessary to return to growth and create appropriate aid for those in difficulty. 
Parliament must return to being a force of lucid legislative capacity, so that it can pass laws that do not create those confusions and injustices that make the governmental institutions unpopular. It will be essential to invest in safeguarding the hydrogeological structure of the country so that climate change is appropriate addressed and combated. The commitment must be urgent to adapt the road, railway, and port infrastructures of Italy in order to look to the future with a long-term competitive perspective which, also in relation to our geographical position in the Mediterranean, makes Italy a privileged gateway to Europe, Africa, and the Middle and Far East. I would like to end my thoughts by sharing the wonderful news of the return to their families of our fishermen from Mazara del Vallo. 
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a New Year that will bring us trust and hope to be able to look serenely at the future of our children and grandchildren. 
Amedeo of Savoy,
San Rocco, 
24 December 2020 

Message from H.R.H. Princess Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa on the Occasion of Christmas and the New Year.

Dearest friends,

May an affectionate wish for peace, harmony, and serenity reach you all and your families during this Holy Christmas.

It was a difficult year for all of humanity; the serious losses of family members, friends and acquaintances. The pandemic, social unrest, serious crises and economic difficulties have severely affected our daily lives.

The word crisis in ancient Greek meant "change." It is therefore our duty to keep alive hope and commitment to one another, so that the crises of our recent days will end swiftly and may instead become forces of change aimed at amelioration for all, at social growth, and at development, in order to achieve social peace, and to guarantee and ensure a better future for us all.

With trust in the hope that Our Lord will protect and enlighten us and guide our steps during the New Year 2021 and towards new and more peaceful life, I offer my best wishes.

Maria Isabella of Savoy-Genoa
São Paulo, Brazil
25 December 2020

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Sunday, December 27, 2020

The 1969 Thurn and Taxis Marriage That Ended with Protestors and Press Conferences


Prince Max Emanuel and Countess Anna Maria on their wedding day. Photograph (c) Getty Images / Hans Gregor.
The wedding card of Prince Max Emanuel and Princess Anna Maria von Thurn und Taxis.

Prince Max Emanuel "Nini" von Thurn und Taxis (1935-2020) and Countess Anna Maria "Mirzl" von Pocci (1944-2008) married civilly at Schwangau on 20 May 1969. The couple celebrated their religious union two days later on 22 May 1969 in a ceremony at Saint Coloman's Church; Father Emmeram of Thurn and Taxis, the uncle of the groom, presided over their Roman Catholic nuptials. The wedding festivities were attended by nearly three thousand guests. The prince was the son of Prince Raphael Ranier von Thurn und Taxis (1906-1993) and his wife and second cousin Princess Margarete "Rita" (1913-1997; née Princess von Thurn und Taxis). The countess was the daughter of Count Konrad von Pocci (1904-1985) and his first wife Countess Anna-Elisabeth (1908-1964; née Hartmann). The von Pocci comital family was not considered up to snuff for the Thurn und Taxis dynasty, and the marriage was deemed morganatic.

Photograph (c) Interfoto / Friedrich Rauch
Photograph (c) Interfoto / Friedrich Rauch
Photograph (c) Interfoto / Friedrich Rauch

The wedded bliss of Max Emanuel and Anna Maria was of short duration. In April 1970, Anna Maria left her husband and took refuge at the Hohenschwangau home of her lover Walter Stanner. Mr Stanner was an innkeeper, wild-game dealer, and the local chairman of the Jung Union Deutschlands (Young Union of Germany) of the CSU (Christian Social Union in Bavaria). Max Emanuel's father Raphael was a district counsellor in Bavaria and also belonged to the CSU. Quite bizarrely, looking back from the lenses of today, a number of protestors positioned themselves outside of the residence. The signs that the protestors carried bore such slogans as: "Adulteress Out!" and "We want justice for our Nini!" and "Mirzl, what is the new price of french fries?" Police were on hand to guarantee that the situation did not escalate beyond the demonstrations.

Prince Max Emanuel and his mother Princess Margarete von Thurn und Taxis. Photograph (c) Keystone Press / Alamy.
Countess Anna Maria von Pocci and Walter Stanner. Photograph (c) Keystone Press / Alamy.

The union of Prince Max Emanuel and Princess Anna Maria von Thurn und Taxis was dissolved by divorce on 6 July 1970. A penalty of DM 100,000 prohibited both parties from discussing the specific issues that caused the breakdown of the marriage. Nonetheless, shortly after the divorce, both sides held duelling press conferences. Prince Max Emanuel and his mother Princess Margarete gave their point of view at the Munich hotel Bayerischer Hof. When asked of his future marital plans, the prince responded: "I've had it for awhile." Countess Anna Maria and Walter Stanner, an innkeeper and restauranteur, held their press conference at a Munich biergarten. They announced that they intended to marry in September 1970, after which time the countess would help her new husband with his restaurant. Shortly before the TnT/Pocci press conferences, Walter Stanner was visited by the local chairman of the CSU. During an interview with Der Spiegel in June 1970, Stanner stated: "The chairman came to coffee and said it was a delicate matter. I should voluntarily quit the party because of the princess story." Indeed, there was a motion in the party to eject Stanner owing to "party-damaging behaviour." Stanner countered the chairman's proposal by noting: "my private life has nothing to do with my political activity." Stanner rejected the request to voluntary resign his CSU membership and stated that, since an arbitral tribunal was already entrusted with the case - if necessary, it would "go to the Federal Constitutional Court." Stanner then speculated, perhaps correctly, that the driving force behind the move to eject him from the CSU was Prince Raphael von Thurn und Taxis, the father of the abandoned Prince Max, "who plays a certain role in the matter." As mentioned above, Prince Raphael was a CSU district councillor. Stanner went on to say that "in the family's [Thurn und Taxis'] 1,000-year history, it has never happened to them that a princess leaves one of their own for a commoner."

Prince Max Emanuel and Princess Christa of Thurn and Taxis. Photograph (c) dpa / Alamy.
Countess Anna Maria von Pocci.

The Roman Catholic Church granted an annulment to the Thurn Taxis/Pocci marriage in 1972. Despite the fallout from this coupling, it is fair to say that the couple lived happily ever after, just not together. On 6 November 1970, Countess Anna Maria von Pocci married Walter Stanner (1940-2003). The couple did not have children and divorced in 1997. The countess, a third cousin once removed of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, died in December 2008. In March 1973, Prince Max Emanuel von Thurn und Taxis married Christa Heinle (b.1941); the couple had two sons. The prince, a first cousin of Fürst Johannes von Thurn und Taxis, died in March 2020; he was survived by his wife Princess Christa.

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New Addition to the Georgian Royal Family Expected in 2021!

Prince Juan and Princess Kristine Bagration-Mukhransky. Photograph courtesy of Prince Juan.

Prince Juan Bagration-Mukhransky and his wife Princess Kristine have released the joyous news that they are expecting their first child in early 2021. The couple live in Tbilisi. The latest member of the Bagration dynasty will be a great-great-great-grandchild of King Alfonso XII of Spain.

Prince Juan and Princess Kristine. Photograph courtesy of Princess Kristine.
Kristine and Juan. Photograph courtesy of Princess Kristine Bagration.

Born at Madrid in 1977, Prince Juan Jorge is the son of the late Prince Bagrat Bagration-Mukhransky (1949-2017) and his first wife Doña Maria del Carmen Ulloa y Suelves (b.1953). Juan has one sibling, Princess Inès (b.1980; married George Gvishiani). In 2003, Prince Juan married Floriane del Rio y Thorn; the couple later divorced. Prince Juan is a grandson of Prince Irakly Bagration (1909-1977) and his second wife Infanta María de las Mercedes of Spain (1911-1953). The prince studied at the Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil. Prince Juan is the founder of the Georgian Foundation, a non-profit that seeks to promote Georgian culture. 

Prince Juan and Princess Kristine at their civil wedding in 2014.
The 2018 religious wedding of Prince Juan and Princess Kristine.

Born at Tbilisi in 1989, Princess Kristine Bagration-Mukhransky is the daughter of Temur Dzidziguri and Lali Vashakidze, a veterinarian. Princess Kristine is a sociologist and a former model. Prince Juan Bagaration and Kristine Dzidziguri married civilly on 10 May 2014 at Ronda, Málaga, Spain. The prince and princess celebrated their religious wedding on 3 June 2018 at Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtskheta, Georgia. Prince Charles-Henri Lobkowicz, a fifth cousin of the groom, acted as Prince Juan's best man. 

The Prince and Princess Bagration-Mukhransky. Photograph courtesy of Princess Kristine.

Our congratulations to Prince Juan and Princess Kristine on this happy news!

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Saturday, December 26, 2020

A Recent Marriage and Birth in the Princely Families of Germany

On 19 December 2020, Princess Teresa zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg married Alexander de Cruce Grubb Villiers-Stuart.

Prince Johannes and Princess Bettina with their daughters Princess Teresa and Princess Helena.
Photograph (c) PPE Agency.
Alexander de Cruce Grubb Villiers-Stuart.
Photograph (c) Twitter.

Born in 1988 at Munich, Princess Teresa Elisabeth Marina Franziska zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg is the eldest daughter of Prince Johannes zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (b.1953) and his wife Princess Bettina (b.1959; née von Molo). Born in 1984 in Ireland, Alexander Henry de Cruce Grubb Villiers-Stuart is the son of Nicholas de Cruce Grubb and his wife Barbara Villiers-Stuart (b.1955). 

Our congratulations to Teresa and Alexander!
The new parents: Philipp and Alessandra von Thurn und Taxis on their wedding day.
Photograph (c) Schneider-Press/Frank Rollitz
On the same day as the wedding above, a birth occurred in the House of Thurn and Taxis. Tassilo Max Emanuel Albert Emmeram Antonius Maria Lamoral Prinz von Thurn und Taxis was born on 19 December 2020. Tassilo is the first child of Philipp Prinz von Thurn und Taxis (b.1975) and his wife Alessandra (b.1984; née Caspari). Philipp and Alessandra married in 2019; their wedding was attended by the groom's cousins Fürst Albert and Princess Maria Elisabeth. The newborn Tassilo (b.2020) is the grandson of Prince Max Emanuel von Thurn und Taxis (1935-2020), a first cousin of the late Fürst Johannes, and his wife Princess Christa (b.1941; née Heinle). 
Our congratulations to Philipp and Alessandra on the arrival of Tassilo!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

A Royal Portuguese Christmas in the USA


To dear Willie from his loving sister —Maria Antonia. — Christmas 1938

Infanta Maria Antónia of Portugal (1903-1973) in a signed photo to her brother-in-law William Astor Chanler, Jr. (1904-2002).

Infanta Maria Antónia of Portugal married Sidney Ashley Chanler in 1934.

You can read more about the Infanta and her family here:

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Christmas with the Count and Countess of Paris

The Royal Family of France. Photograph (c) ddp/abaca press.
On 8 December, the Count and Countess of Paris and their five children posed for a lovely Christmas photo-session at Montreal de l'Aude, near Carcassonne, France. The family will be celebrating their first Christmas at this new home. The Count and Countess of Paris departed Dreux earlier this year.
Prince Gaston. Photograph (c) ddp/abaca press. 

Princess Antoniette. Photograph (c) ddp/abaca press.
Princess Louise-Marguerite. Photograph (c) newscom.
Prince Joseph. Photograph (c) newscom.
Princess Jacinthe. Photograph (c) newscom.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Members of the Gotha Born On Christmas Day

Grand Duchess Adelheid of Luxembourg.
On 25 December 1833, Princess Adelheid of Anhalt was born at Dessau to Prince Friedrich August of Anhalt and his wife Princess Marie Luise Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel. In 1851, Adelheid became the second wife of Duke Adolphe of Nassau, who became the Grand Duke of Luxembourg in 1890. The widowed Dowager Grand Duchess Adelheid of Luxembourg died at Schloß Königstein on 24 November 1916. She is the ancestress of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.
Prince Viggo, Count of Rosenborg.
On 25 December 1893, Prince Viggo of Denmark was born at Copenhagen to Prince Valdemar of Denmark and his wife Princess Marie d'Orléans. In 1924, Viggo married American Eleanor Green. The couple did not have children. Prince Viggo, Count of Rosenborg, died on 4 January 1970 at Ebeltoft, Denmark.
Princess Françoise of Greece.
On 25 December 1902, Princess Françoise d'Orléans was born at Paris to Prince Jean d'Orléans, Duc de Guise and his wife Princess Isabelle of Orléans. In 1929, Françoise became the second wife of Prince Christopher of Greece. Princess Françoise of Greece died on 25 February 1953 at Paris. She is the mother of the writer Prince Michael of Greece, and the grandmother of Princess Olga of Savoy, Duchess of Aosta.
The Duchess of Gloucester.
On 25 December 1901, Lady Alice Christabel Montagu-Douglas-Scott was born at London to John Montagu Douglas Scott, Earl of Dalkeith (later Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry), and his wife Lady Margaret Alice "Molly" Bridgeman. In 1935, Alice married Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, died on 29 October 2004 at Kensington Palace. She is the mother of the current Duke of Gloucester.
Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy.
On 25 December 1936, Princess Alexandra of Kent was born at London to Prince George, Duke of Kent, and his wife Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. In 1963, Alexandra married Angus Ogilvy. The princess is a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. 
Prince Wolfgang of Liechtenstein.
On 25 December 1934, Prince Wolfgang von und zu Liechtenstein was born at Graz to Prince Karl Alois von und zu Liechtenstein and his wife Princess Elizabeth von Urach. In 1970, Wolfgang married Countess Gabriele Basselet de la Rosée. The prince is a cousin of Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein. 
The grave of Princess Sophie zur Lippe-Weißenfeld. Photograph (c) Mardam.
On 25 December 1886, Princess Marie Sophie Elisabeth zur Lippe-Weißenfeld was born at Martinswaldau to Prince Kurt zur Lippe-Weißenfeld and his wife Sophie von Klengel. Sophie never married. The princess died on 18 February 1946.
Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven.
Photograph (c) RVD - Jeroen van der Meyde.
On 25 December 1969, Prince Bernhard of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven was born at Utrecht to Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband Pieter van Vollenhoven. In 2000, Bernhard married Annette Sekrève. The prince is a maternal first cousin of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands.
Princess Herzeleide Biron von Curland.
On 25 December 1918, Princess Herzeleide of Prussia was born at Bristow to Prince Oskar of Prussia and his wife Countess Ina-Marie von Bassewitz. In 1938, Herzeleide married Prince Karl Biron von Curland. The princess died on 22 March 1989 at Munich. The princes was a granddaughter of German Emperor Wilhelm II.
Princess Hermine von Schönburg-Waldenburg. Photograph (c) Mardam.
On 25 December 1840, Princess Hermine Reuß zu Greiz was born at Greiz to Fürst Heinrich XX Reuß zu Greiz and his second wife Landgravine Karoline of Hesse-Homburg. In 1862, Hermine married Prince Hugo von Schönburg-Waldenburg. The princess died on 4 January 1890 at Droyssig.
Fürst Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe.
On 25 December 1958, Prince Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe was born at Düsseldorf to Fürst Philipp-Ernst zu Schaumburg-Lippe and his wife Baroness Eva-Benita von Tiele-Winckler. In 1993, Alexander firstly married Princess Marie Luise zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. In 2007, Alexander secondly married Nadja Anna Zsoeks. In 2020, Alexander married Makhameh Navabi. The fürst has one son and two daughters. Alexander is the Head of House Schaumburg-Lippe.
Hereditary Prince Carl-Anton zu Waldeck und Pyrmont and his father Fürst Wittekind.
On 25 December 1991, Hereditary Prince Carl-Anton zu Waldeck und Pyrmont was born at Arolsen to Fürst Wittekind zu Waldeck und Pyrmont and his wife Countess Cecilie von Goëß-Saurau. 
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