Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Royal Romance: Twenty Years of Marriage for the Duke and Duchess of Calabria

The Duke and Duchess of Calabria at the Royal Palace in Madrid, 2019.
Photograph (c) Bekia.

Today, Prince Pedro and Princess Sofía of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke and Duchess of Calabria, celebrate their twentieth anniversary!

Doña Sofía arrives at the wedding with her father Don José Manuel Landaluce.
The Duke of Noto arrives at the wedding.
On 30 March 2001, Prince Pedro, Duke of Noto, and Doña Sofía Landaluce y Melgarejo were married in the chapel at the Real Club Puerto de Hierro in Madrid. Father Marco Álvarez de Toledo y Marone, a grandson of Infanta Cristina of Spain, officiated at the religious ceremony. Don José Manuel Landaluce acted as the godfather for the couple; Princess Anne, Duchess of Calabria, acted as godmother. Among others, the wedding was attended by the Prince of Asturias (now King Felipe VI of Spain), Infanta Elena and her husband Don Jaime, and Infanta Margarita and her husband Dr Carlos Zurita.
Pedro and Sofía.
Born in 1968, Prince Pedro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Noto, was the only son of Infante Carlos of Spain, Prince of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and his wife Princess Anne d'Orléans. Pedro's paternal grandparents were Infante Alfonso of Spain, Prince of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and his wife Princess Alicia of Bourbon-Parma. Pedro's maternal grandparents were Prince Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris, and his wife Princess Isabelle of Orléans-Bragança. Born in 1973, Doña Sofía Landaluce y Melgarejo was the daughter of Don José Manuel Landaluce y Dominguez and his wife Doña Blanca Melgarejo y Gonzales. Sofía's paternal grandparents were Don Francisco Landaluce y Asensio and Doña Manuela Dominguez. Sofía's maternal grandparents were Don Carlos Melgarejo y Tordesillas (a son of the 5th Duke de San Fernando de Quiroga) and Doña Emilia Gonzáles y Gonzáles de Jonte. The marriage of the Duke of Noto and Doña Sofía Landaluce y Melgarejo was the crowning of a loving relationship of almost ten years, which had began in 1991. Pedro and Sofía had known one another since they were teenagers. A strong bond formed between them formed: their romance commenced when Pedro was twenty-three and Sofía was eighteen. In 1993, the couple welcomed the arrival of their first child, a son: Jaime (now Duke of Noto). Pedro's father Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria, hoped for a royal bride for his only son and heir; therefore, paternal and dynastic approval for the couple to marry was not immediately forthcoming. 

Pedro and Sofía with their son Jaime.
Despite the lack of approval, Pedro and Sofía maintained their relationship. Sofía focused on raising their son Jaime, and Pedro regularly spent time with his beloved and their child. Over the years, Sofía won over her eventual father-in-law Carlos. The dedication of Pedro and Sofía to one another and their child, as well as their desire to be married, was ultimately victorious. Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria, served as one of the witnesses to the couple when they married in 2001.

The Duke and Duchess of Calabria with their children, 2015.

After their marriage, the Duke and Duchess of Noto had a further six children: Prince Juan (b.2003), Prince Pablo (b.2004), Prince Pedro (b.2007), Princess Sofia (b.2008), Princess Blanca (b.2011), and Princess Maria (b.2015). Although the children of the Notos were initially not considered to be dynasts, the Duke of Calabria decided after 2004 that the children of his son and daughter-in-law should, in fact (and rightfully so), be styled as Royal Highnesses and Prince(ss) of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 

The Duke and Duchess of Calabria arrive at the funeral of Infanta Alicia, 2017.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Europa Press Entertainment.

In 2015, Pedro's father Infante Carlos passed away. Prince Pedro succeeded as the Head of the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies; he and his wife Sofía became titled as Duke and Duchess of Calabria. In 2020, the couple announced the engagement of their eldest son Prince Jaime, Duke of Noto, to Lady Charlotte Lindesay-Bethune. The wedding was originally scheduled for Summer 2021; however, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the marriage has had to be delayed.

The Duke and Duchess of Calabria.

Our congratulations to Prince Pedro and Princess Sofía, Duke and Duchess of Calabria, on their 20th wedding anniversary!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Princess Leopoldine von Lobkowicz, Countess Jan Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz (1926-2021)

Princess Leopoldine von Lobkowicz, Countess Jan Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz.
Photograph courtesy her family via Community Funeral Homes.

Aged ninety-four, Princess Leopoldina "Leo" von Lobkowicz, Countess Jan Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz, passed away on 18 March 2021 at Haliburton Hospital, Ontario, Canada.

Prince Leopold von Lobkowicz and his wife Princess Franziska von Montenuovo.

Born on 14 November 1926 at Unterberkovic, Princess Leopoldine Bertha Marie Franziska Ida Balthasar Leonhardine von Lobkowicz was the third of four daughters of Prince Leopold von Lobkowicz (1888-1933) and Princess Franziska "Fanny" von Montenuovo (1893-1972), who married in 1918. Leopoldine had three sisters: Princess Maria Julia (1919-2008; married Prince Johann von Thurn und Taxis), Princess Amalie (1921-2013; married Prince Franz zu Schwarzenberg), and Princess Rosa (1929-1997).

A young Count Jan Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz, future husband of Princess Leo Lobkowicz.

On 22 August 1945, Princess Leopoldine von Lobkowicz married Count Jan "Jenda" Nepomuk Maxmilian Ladislav Vojtěch Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz (1911-1996), the only son of Count Jan Josef Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz (1870-1947) and Countess Rosa von und zu Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg (1879-1967). Through his father, Count Jan was a first cousin of Princess Isabelle of Orléans and Bragança, the Countess of Paris. Princess Leopoldine and Count Jan were fourth cousins once removed: both being descendants of Count Lájós Cavriani, Baron zu Unter-Waltersdorf (1739-1799) and Countess Johanna von Kolowrat-Novohradsky (d.1826). Leopoldine and Jan had five children: Count Jan "John" (b.1946), Countess Zdislava (b.1947), Countess Helen (1948-2011), Countess Margaret (b.1952), and Count Charles (1955-1980). The family escaped from communist Czechoslovakia and arrived in Canada in 1951.

Princess Fanny von Lobkowicz with her daughter Leopoldina.

Countess Leopoldine Dobrzensky von Dobrzenicz was a great-great-granddaughter of Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, Duchess of Parma, one-time Empress of the French, and her second husband Count Adam von Neipperg.

May Leopoldina Rest in Peace.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Russian Imperial Wedding: Victoria Romanovna On Choosing Her Wedding Tiara!

Victoria Romanovna wearing the Lacis Tiara.
Photograph (c) David Nivière.

On Thursday, Victoria Romanovna (Rebecca) Bettarini was kind enough to send photographs by noted French photographer David Nivière as well as the full English translation of an interview which appeared in an abbreviated form in Point de Vue. In the interview, Victoria Romanovna tells of the process behind picking her bridal diadem in addition to giving some further insight into the preparations for the first imperial wedding in Russia in over a century.

An Interview with Victoria Romanovna

Victoria Romanovna enters Maison Chaumet in Paris.
Photograph (c) David Nivière.

How did you choose your tiara?

A: Stephane Bern and the CEO of Chaumet, Jean Marc Mansvelt, welcomed me to this extraordinary Hôtel particulier at 12 place Vendôme, and from there we talked a lot about what I hoped this tiara would symbolize for Russia, for France, and for Europe. I wanted to be able to wear a tiara on this day that had deep historical significance. This was why I chose to pay tribute not only to Russia, but also to jewelry from a house with 240 years of history such as Chaumet. The choice was very fast, I immediately found exactly what I was looking for.

Victoria Romanovna reviewing the Chaumet tiara collection.
Photograph (c) David Nivière.

Q: Which type of tiara attracted you?

A: I chose a tiara which is breathtaking -- because it balances lightness in construction with the extraordinary stones, it is both classic and contemporary, sumptuous and simple. It suits the wedding dress perfectly, and reflects my own personality very well.

Q: Why did you choose Chaumet?

A: Maison Chaumet created many masterpieces for the Russian Imperial House [in the past]. In particular, George's great-great-grandmother [Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna] one of the house's most important clients by 1899. The “Waterfall” tiara that the house created for her remains today a mythical and extraordinary piece, which unfortunately disappeared during the revolution. It must also be remembered that Chaumet created a sensation during The Red Cross Exhibition of 1901 in Saint Petersburg, following which [Joseph] Chaumet was decorated with the Imperial Order of Saint Anna.

The Chaumet Lacis Tiara which will be worn by Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanoff.
Photograph (c) David Nivière.

Q: Why this particular one?

A: The choice was hard because they had majestic tiaras. But I wanted to choose a tiara that had never been worn, and which would be both a tribute to Russian culture, as well as a tribute to the firm’s fine jewelry. This is why I wanted to choose a tiara created with the "fil couteau” or “knife edge" technique, which is one of the specialties of Maison Chaumet. In its form, the tiara pays homage not only to a Russian kokoshnik [the traditional form for Russian tiaras], but in addition its shape is inspired by ships’ sails, and for me this seemed like an homage not only to George’s great-grandfather [Grand Duke Kirill] who was chief of Naval staff, but also to the City of Saint Petersburg.

Q: What does Grand Duke George think of it?

A: He thinks it is just perfect in it’s symbolism, but also that it looks great on me.

Q: Did you choose it together?

A: No, because that same day the Grand Duke was participating in an official engagement at the French Senate for a ceremony as part of the bicentenary of the Emperor Napoleon.

The Chaumet Lacis Tiara which will be worn by Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanoff.
Photograph (c) David Nivière.

Q: What does it [the tiara] mean to you?

A: I think it is important to pay tribute to the history of Russia, a great European empire which over the centuries has repeatedly help determine the fate of Europe and the world. This cultural exchange, with links between Russia, France, and Europe is part of a long historical tradition.

Victoria Romanovna wearing her chosen wedding diadem, the Lacis Tiara, at Maison Chaumet.
Photograph (c) David Nivière.

Q: How did you feel when you tried it on for the first time?

A: I immediately felt that it was the right choice, and it made me realize that the finesse of this wonderful knowledge and craftsmanship is the result of a passion and mastery of the art [of jewelry making] over generations.

Q: What were the reactions to the announcement of your engagement?

A: It is very touching to see the interest aroused by the announcement of our upcoming marriage, which will be the first marriage of the son of the head of the Imperial House in St Petersburg since before the revolution.

Q: How are you going to occupy the months leading up to your wedding scheduled for October 1 in St. Petersburg?

A: The organisation of this wedding is already consuming us, we are prepared for a lot of work, we have a lot of choices and decisions to be made, and a lot of protocol work awaits us! Fortunately, we can count on the help of the Chancellery as well as the support of the Russian authorities for the organisation.

Q: What style of wedding are you hoping for?

A: It will be an Orthodox wedding in the finest traditions of both Russia and the Imperial Family.

Q: Have you imagined your future dress?

A: I found that finding the dress was not as easy as I thought it was! After a long search, I found what I was looking for. A dress that is imposing but soft, with a contemporary fabric but a very classic style. A dress that will stand out from others, but very traditional at the same time.

Q: What would you like for the reception?

A: The reception will take place in a historic palace in Saint Petersburg. We hope to be able to open many of the most beautiful palaces in the city to show our guests the grandeur and beauty of the “Venice of the North”, imagined by Peter the Great and which is still so beautiful and symbolic today.


Again, one wishes to express one's thanks to the Russian Imperial Chancellery and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini for providing the photographs taken by Monsieur David Nivière as well as the English translation of the full interview given by Rebecca Victoria Romanovna Bettarini to Point de Vue

For more coverage from Eurohistory on the upcoming Russian imperial wedding, please feel free to read the following articles:

The Chaumet Lacis Tiara for the Russian Imperial Wedding in October! (17 March 2021)

The Betrothal Ceremony of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini (25 January 2021)

An Imperial Engagement: HIH Grand Duke George of Russia and Nob. Rebecca Virginia Bettarini (20 January 2021)

Friday, March 26, 2021

100 Years Since Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary Returned to Hungary: A YouTube Talk by Archduke Eduard

On Friday, 26 March, (Today!) Archduke Eduard of Austria (aka Eduard Habsburg), the Hungarian Ambassador to the Vatican, will be giving a talk via YouTube on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the return of the Blessed Karl, Emperor of Austria-Hungary, to the Kingdom of Hungary.

On his Twitter, Archduke Eduard posted this message:

Want to see me talk about Blessed Karl? Then join me on Friday evening 21h (that's Sat morning for you in Australia) for a rosary & a conference on the Centenary of the Emperor's return to Hungary in March, 1921.

For those of us in the Eastern United States, the discussion will begin at 4:00pm. 

The YouTube link for the Archduke's talk is as follows: When Blessed Karl returned to Hungary.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

A Century Since the Birth of Princess Alexandra of Greece, Future Queen of Yugoslavia

Queen Sophia of Greece with her granddaughter Alexandra, April 1921.

On 25 March 1921, Aspasia Manos gave birth to a daughter at Athens. The infant was named Alexandra. Her father, the late King Alexander I of the Hellenes, had died on 25 October 1920.

A lithograph of King Alexander I of the Hellenes and Aspasia Manos, circa 1918.

In 1915, Prince Alexander of Greece, son of King Constantine I of the Hellenes and his wife Queen Sophia (born Princess of Prussia), met Aspasia Manos, daughter of Colonel Petros Manos and his first wife Maria Argyropoulos. After a time, the couple became secretly engaged. This was necessary owing to the fact that the Greek royal family expected its members to marry other royals: this was a check mark that Mademoiselle Manos did not tick. In 1917, Alexander was compelled to become the King of the Hellenes after his father King Constantine was forced off the throne and his older brother Crown Prince George was not considered malleable by the then Greek government. Save for the new king, the entire Greek royal family was forced to go into exile. Aspasia was Alexander's sole support on the home front. The couple secretly married on 17 November 1919. 

Aspasia Manos and King Alexander I of the Hellenes.
Photograph (c) Alamy.

Alexander and Aspasia were just shy of marking their first wedding anniversary when the king died as the result of a tragic accident. Aspasia was four months pregnant when her husband passed away. Five months after Alexander's death, Aspasia gave birth to their only child, who was named Alexandra in honour of her father. Alexandra's grandfather King Constantine I and her great-grandmother Queen Dowager Olga served as her godfather and godmother. In July 1922, Alexandra was retroactively recognised as Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark, albeit with the caveat that she was not to be considered a Greek dynast. In September 1922, Alexandra's mother Aspasia was also given the style and title Her Royal Highness Princess Aspasia of Greece and Denmark. 

Princess Aspasia and her daughter Princess Alexandra.

After the overthrow of monarchy in 1924, Princess Aspasia and her daughter Alexandra followed the royal family into exile. For a period, mother and daughter lived in Fiesole, Italy, with Alexandra's grandmother Queen Dowager Sophia, who was very fond of her granddaughter. In 1927, Aspasia and Alexandra briefly relocated to the United Kingdom, and then returned to Italy after Aspasia purchased the villa The Garden of Eden in Venice. Aspasia and Alexandra remained in Venice until the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in 1940, which necessitated the princesses leaving Fascist Italy, the enemy of their homeland. After periods in Egypt and South Africa, Aspasia and Alexandra moved to the United Kingdom.

King Peter II and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia with their son Crown Prince Alexander.

In 1942, Princess Alexandra of Greece and Denmark met King Peter II of Yugoslavia in London. Two years later, the couple were married in the British capital with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth as guests. In 1945, King Peter and Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia welcomed the arrival of their only child, Crown Prince Alexander. 

The last King and Queen of Yugoslavia, Paris, 1967.

King Peter II of Yugoslavia died in 1970, aged only forty-seven. For much of her life, Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia suffered from mental health difficulties; she was ably looked after by her mother Princess Aspasia, who passed away in 1972. Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia's health remained precarious. She spent her later years in a British nursing home. On 30 January 1993, Queen Alexandra of Yugoslavia passed away at Burgess Hill, West Sussex. Alexandra was seventy-one years-old. The queen was survived by her son Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and her three grandsons.

The 25th Birthday of Dom Afonso, Prince of Beira

The Prince of Beira.
On 25 March 1996, Dom Afonso de Santa Maria Miguel Gabriel Rafael de Bragança was born at Lisbon. Afonso is the eldest son of Infante Dom Duarte Pio, Duke of Bragança, and Dª. Isabel Inês Castro Curvello of Herédia. As his father's heir, he has the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince of Beira. However, he is not considered an infant of Portugal, as this title is traditionally reserved for younger royal children, the result of a royal warrant issued in 1455 by King Afonso V of Portugal, to commemorate the birth of the future João II. Dom Afonso is the first in line to the throne of Portugal.

The Duke and Duchess of Braganza with their son Afonso.
Photograph (c) Homem Cardoso.
Afonso was baptised in the Cathedral of Braga on 1 June 1996. The ceremony was celebrated by the Archbishop of Braga, Dom Eurico Dias Nogueira. The Prince of Beira's godparents are Dom Afonso de Herédia, the brother of the Duchess of Braganza, and Princess Elena Sofia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. 

Dom Afonso, Prince of Beira.
Afonso studied at St. Julian's School on the Portuguese Riviera, Planalto College in Lisbon, and The Oratory School, a Catholic public school in England. He also studied Political Science and International Relations at the Portuguese Catholic University at the Institute of Political Studies in Lisbon. The Prince of Beira has now completed his studies at the Catholic University and is doing an internship at the Portuguese-American Chamber of Commerce. He also completed the course and training, and today he is a firefighter in the Royal Association of Volunteer Firefighters of Lisbon. This association of firefighters was founded by Infante Dom Afonso, brother of King Dom Carlos.

The Duchess of Bragança with her children (left to right) Dom Afonso, Dona Francisca, and Dom Diniz.
In August 2018, Afonso joined as an intern in the Department of Social and Pre-Hospital Emergency, in the Volunteer Fire Department of Lisbon, following in the footsteps of Dom Afonso, Duke of Porto, who was Honorary Commander of this same brigade.

The Duke of Bragança with his children (left to right) Dom Diniz, Dom Afonso, and Dona Francisca.
Through his father's connections to Timor, Afonso was appointed Honorary Liurai in September 2014, when he and his family visited the country to participate in the second senate session of the Liural Association, which represents the descendants of the island's tribal kings. The Prince of Beira is also the patron of the Prince of Beira Biomedical Sciences Award.

Dom Afonso, Prince of Beira.

Many happy returns of the day to the Prince of Beira!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

30 Years Since the Passing of Nicholas Phillips, Master of Luton Hoo

Nicholas Phillips.
Photograph by Lord Litchfield.

A little over thirty years ago, the last guardian of Luton Hoo passed away. Nicholas Phillips was found dead in his car in the garage of Luton Hoo on 1 March 1991. Mr Phillips was only forty-three years old.

The wedding of Harold Phillips and Georgina Wernher.

Born on 23 August 1947 at London, Nicholas "Nicky" Harold Phillips was the only son of Lieutenant Colonel Harold "Bunnie" Phillips (1909–1980) and his wife Georgina "Gina" Wernher (1919-2011; later Lady Kennard), who wed in 1944. Nicholas had four sisters: Alexandra "Sacha" (1946-2018; later Duchess of Abercorn), Fiona (b.1951), Marita (b.1954), and Natalia (b.1959; later Duchess of Westminster). Nicholas Phillips was the maternal grandson of Major-General Sir Harold Augustus Wernher, 3rd Baronet, and his wife Countess Anastasia "Zia" de Torby. Through his grandmother Zia, Nicholas was the great-grandson of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia and his wife Countess Sophie von Merenberg. Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, served as Nicholas' godfather at his christening.

Nicky and Lucy Phillips, 1984.
Photograph (c) Desmond O'Neill Features Ltd: www.donfeatures.com.

On 18 October 1975 at Salzburg, Nicholas Phillips married Countess Marie Lucie "Lucy" Czernin von Chudenitz (b.Graz 16 May 1941), the daughter of Count Paul Czernin von Chudenitz and his wife Baroness Elisabeth von Gudenus. Nicholas and Lucy had two children: Charlotte Sonia Maria Phillips (b.Paris 22 December 1976) and Edward Phillips (b.London 2 November 1981; married Marina Wilson). 

Nicky and Lucy Phillips at Luton Hoo.

After learning of Nicholas' death, the Hon. Jeremy Soames, a grandson of British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, wrote: 

Nicholas Phillips's many friends will be deeply shocked and saddened by the news of his tragic death. His natural reserve belied a thoroughly cultured, astute, and generous mind.

Following university in Switzerland and a period as a banker in Paris, Nicky returned to England and immersed himself in his family's business interests. The international approach he inherited from his grandparents and cultivated in his own lifetime, added an extra dimension.

His meticulous running of his family's estate at Luton Hoo and his ability to enhance its appeal and access to the local community has set a fine example for others in privileged positions to follows. A respected racehorse breeder, he directed a considerable amount of energy towards the administration of British racing. It was typical of Nicky that he should wish to make a contribution to a sport which had provided him and his family with so much pleasure.

He enjoyed and appreciated the many treasures which his family had accumulated, but his real pleasure came from sharing the with his many friends and the community around Luton Hoo. His unaffected generosity will be widely remembered. 

May his memory be a blessing. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Leiningen Expecting Second Child

The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Leiningen on their wedding day.
Photograph (c) Micky Goeler.

As reported by Bunte, Hereditary Prince Ferdinand zu Leiningen and his wife Hereditary Princess Viktoria Luise (née Prinzessin von Preussen) are expecting their second child. The couple married in 2017. They are the parents of a daughter Princess Alexandra (b.2020).

Monday, March 22, 2021

Dowager Countess of Paris At Mass in Memory of Husband Over Weekend

The Dowager Countess of Paris, 20 March 2021.
Photograph (c) F. Monmarche.

On Saturday, 20 March 2021, Princess Micaëla d'Orléans, Dowager Countess of Paris attended a Mass in memory of her late husband, Prince Henri d'Orléans, Count of Paris, at the Church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois. After thirty-four years of marriage, the Count of Paris died on 21 January 2019 in Paris. His death came exactly forty-six years after he crossed paths with the woman who was to be his partner for the rest of his life. The Countess of Paris was unable to attend the funeral of her husband due to poor health; however, Princess Micaëla did attend a recent requiem mass in memory of her spouse.

Friday, March 19, 2021

An Insightful Interview of Sorts with Sculptor Boris of Bulgaria

Boris Saxe Coburg Gotta with the "Pivotal" sculpture.
Photograph (c) Boris Saxe Coburg Gotha

Earlier this week, London-based sculptor Boris Saxe Coburg Gotha (also known as Prince Boris of Bulgaria) gave an AMA (Ask Me Anything) segment on his Instagram. The questions posed to him and the answers he provided are given below for the reader to learn more about Boris's career, interests, and life.


Q: How did you get inspired to start a business of such unique sculptures?

A: It started for charity! But I enjoy puzzling concepts and making pieces that challenge the viewer. 

Q: Who are the artists that inspire you or that you admire the most?

A: I love Richard Serra, Kandinsky, Miró, Donald Judd, Rusha, and Russian de-constructivism. But I take inspiration from anything and everything. I love science, engineering, and design, so there's many more areas of inspiration and interest. 

Q: How's the Covid situation in London? 

A: Better, we can now walk in the park with one person [while] maintaining social distance. The vaccine is being rolled out very quickly.

Q: How has art and your work helped you during the Covid lockdowns? 

A: It's kept me busy and more motivated. It also helped me develop and grow. It's been an amazing journey so far!

Q: What song can't you get enough of these days?

A: The Business by Tiësto. This song has been stuck! Not my usual genre, but for some reason [I cannot stop listening to it].

Q: As someone who wears glasses and wears a mask, how do you avoid your glasses fogging up?

A: I can't! It's a constant problem for people who wear glasses!

Q: Which one of your pieces is your favourite so far?

A: I really loved making this one [the "Passion" sculpture]! I want to try out more concepts around this. I'm also working on some text art works with lights. But I am most proud of the one I did to raise money for charity!

Q: Do you make sculptures in bronze or steel?

A: Not yet, but I would love to make this one out of bronze or steel! I am open for commissions! 

Q: What is your next project? Are you planning on designing furniture, for instance?

A: I have many projects in mind. It's hard to materialise them as I don't have a proper studio. There is a table concept that I'd love to produce!

Q: Do you have some sort of record of where your sculptures go?

A: Yes! I keep track of everything! There are sculptures from Peru to Bulgaria, from the Middle East to Spain!

Q: What is the first place you'll visit when there are no restrictions?

A: I'm not sure, but I can't wait to travel and see friends!

Q: What time of day do you find you're most creative?

A: Always at night. I had the idea for this table [that I made] in the middle of the night, and spent the whole night and day making it!

Q: Aside from making modern sculpture, what are your other interests?

A: There are too many! I'm a very curious person and I'm interested in a lot, but here are just a few things: engineering, photography and photogrammetry, Formula One, Sim driving, opals and gemstones, technology and phones, playing the drums, philosophy, geology and zoology. I could go [on] for ages.

Q: What's your favourite food or meal?

A: I love all kinds of food. I love trying new things, but if I had to choose one cuisine it would be Mediterranean or Japanese. 


Boris Saxe Coburg Gotha studied at the University of Arts London from 2016-2019; there he earned a BFA in Fine Art Sculpture. He was previously educated at the Lycée Français Molière in Villanueva de la Cañada near Madrid. Boris lives in London. 

Born in 1997, Prince Boris of Bulgaria is the son of Crown Princess Miriam of Bulgaria, a jewellery designer better known as Miriam de Ungria, and the late Crown Prince Kardam of Bulgaria. Boris is a grandson of King Simeon II of Bulgaria and his wife Queen Margarita. Boris has one brother, Prince Beltran.

During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Boris Saxe Coburg Gotha raised £1,280 for the National Health Service. On his fundraiser's webpage, he gave the following statement for his desire to help in some way:

I wanted to first and foremost thank everyone in the NHS, whether you are a nurse, doctor or volunteer, for all your relentless efforts in containing this Virus.

As we begin to see the loosening of restrictions, the return to normality, we look back at how this crisis has affected everyone. One way or another everyone has seen a change in their life or will have to adapt to the times to come. The NHS has seen the worst side of this pandemic but it is far from over. The NHS Charities Together supports over 250 charities under their umbrella, from staff, to equipment and anything in between. Their Covid relief campaign has raised over £100 Million and they continue to gather more and more donations. https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ClapForOurCarers

With this fundraiser I aim to contribute to their efforts. Please share with all your friends and donate anything you can. Just Giving is truly a great platform. Alternatively you can donate directly to the Covid Relief with the link above. This campaign is aiming to collect £1000 through donations. As an artist I wanted to use my platform and art for the better good and at the end of the campaign my sculpture will go to the highest donor.

To learn more about the works of Boris Saxe Coburg Gotha, please see his website: BSCG.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Ernst August & Ekaterina of Hannover Expecting Third Child

The Hereditary Prince and Princess of Hannover on their wedding day.

Hereditary Prince Ernst August of Hannover and his wife Ekaterina are expecting their third child, Bunte has reported. The couple married in 2017. Ernst August and Ekaterina have two children: Princess Elisabeth (b.2018) and Prince Welf August (b.2019). 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Chaumet Lacis Tiara for the Russian Imperial Wedding in October!


The Chaumet Lacis Tiara.
Photograph (c) Chaumet.

In news that will delight royal jewellery watchers, the future Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanoff will be wearing a magnificent tiara created by Maison Chaumet when she marries Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia. Grand Duke George is the son of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, head of the Russian Imperial House, and Prince Franz-Wilhelm of Prussia. Victoria Romanovna Bettarini is the daughter of Ambassador and Sigra. Roberto Bettarini. Maison Chaumet has crafted exceptional tiaras, jewels, and timepieces at the very heart of the place Vendôme since 1780. The High Jewellery savoir-faire of the Maison has been passed down through generations of jewellers for almost 240 years. The bride-to-be of the heir to the Imperial House of Russia recently joined Jérôme Carron and David Nivière of Point de Vue when she visited Chaumet's Parisian headquarters to select her nuptial diadem. Victoria was presented with eleven tiaras, one of which was the Chaumet Bourbon-Parma Tiara, from which to made her choice. After consideration, Victoria Romanovna decided upon a piece that has never been worn before: the Lacis Tiara. 

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and the future Princess Victoria Romanovna.
Photograph (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery.

Maison Chaumet provides this description of the tiara:

Lacis tiara in white gold, set with one oval-cut D VVS1 diamond of 5.02 carats, one pear-shaped D VVS2 diamond of 2.21 carats and brilliant-cut diamonds.

A subtle interplay of light and transparency is orchestrated by the crossing of fils couteau mountings, an iconic virtuosity of the Maison which seems to render the metal structure invisible in order to let the stones sparkle.

Recalling the stone latticework and mashrabiyas of contemporary architecture, with its white gold interlacing Lacis delineates symmetrical and delicate jewellery while also suggesting maze of narrow streets. This modern reinterpretation of diamond mesh, an historic Chaumet signature, is especially striking in the form of a light tiara, a secret watch, and rings and bracelets with airy volumes.
The Lacis tiara took over 800 hours of work by Chaumet’s jewellers, polishers and gem-setters to create. The tiara's creation was completed in July 2020. The tiara is made of white gold and over 438 brilliant diamonds of varying sizes.

Source: Chaumet Lacis tiara

The Lacis Tiara.
Photograph (c) Chaumet.
A side view of the Lacis Tiara.
Photograph (c) Chaumet.

In Point de Vue, Rebecca Victoria Romanovna Bettarini notes that she was particularly drawn to this piece as its shape recalls a kokoshnik, the traditional Russian headdress. The Lacis tiara was created by Benoît Verhulle, the Chaumet chef d'atelier. It will be a worthy addition to this historic Russian imperial wedding.


Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna Senior and the Chaumet Waterfall Tiara.

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, wife of Grand Duke Vladimir (the brother of Tsar Alexander III and the uncle of Tsar Nicholas II), was certainly the Russian imperial client most in contact with Joseph Chaumet. The grand duchess's first major acquisition, in 1899, was a “waterfall” tiara typical of the jeweller’s designs: three clusters ended in dangling briolette-cut diamonds that gave the illusion of drops of water about to fall. Indeed, the Waterfall Tiara was intended as a gift from Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich to his wife on the occasion of their silver wedding anniversary. It is worth noting that Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna is the great-great-grandmother of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich.

Princess Irina Alexandrovna Yusupov wearing her Chaumet Sunburst Tiara.

Another notable Romanov client of Chaumet was Princess Irina Alexandrovna of Russia, Princess Yusupov, who arranged for all of the jewels she received for her wedding to be designed and created by the jewellery firm.


For an English-language translation of the Point de Vue article, please see The Russian Legitimist

For an English-language interview with Monsieur Benoît Verhulle of Maison Chaumet, please see “The Chaumet method is to say that we will succeed."

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Little Known Daughter-In-Law of King Peter I of Serbia: Radmila Radonjić

Former Crown Prince George of Serbia and his wife Radmila.

On 4 July 1907 at Njeguši, Montenegro, Radmila Radonjić was born into a notable Montenegrin family. In 1947, she married the former Crown Prince George of Serbia (1887-1972), eldest son of King Peter I of Serbia (1844-1921) and Princess Zorka of Montenegro (1864-1890). Radmila later recounted how she encountered her future husband and how their relationship progressed: "I met my husband during the war. He came regularly to see my relatives in Dedinje. These were only short visits. Our feelings for one another came later, only in 1946, because we met again after the war. Then our wedding took place, without the usual ceremonies. It was a civil marriage. The prince did not allow any parades and ceremonies." Radmila and George religiously wed in 1955. The couple did not have children. 

Radmila Radonjić.

Radmila was widowed when Prince George of Serbia died at Belgrade on 17 October 1972. The prince, aged eighty-four, had been ill with an heart ailment for some period. His passing was briefly noted in the Yugoslavian press by the national news agency Tanjug (Танјуг): "Đorđe Karađorđević, born in 1887, was the first Serbian heir to the throne up to 1909, when he renounced all rights of succession. He was a brave fighter in the Balkan wars and in the First World War." In his old age, Belgrade residents remembered that Prince George was a frequent visit to Hunter's Café near the British embassy. The prince would dress in an old suite and a Basque beret, sitting for hours while drinking either brandy or Turkish coffee and chatting with friends. Prince George outlived all of his siblings: his sister Princess Jelena, who married Prince Ioann Konstantinovich of Russia, died in 1962; and his brother King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, who married Princess Marie of Romania, was assassinated in 1934. George of Serbia was buried at the Royal Mausoleum at Saint George's Church in Oplenac.

Prince Karl Vladimir of Yugoslavia and Radmila Radonjić in the 1990s.

Radmila Karageorgevich survived her husband by over two decades. She gave additional insights into her life with her late husband Prince George: "Never respecting the rules of the royal court, which, by the way, he considered a stupid fabrication, George did not even find it necessary to inform about his marriage to the king in exile [his nephew King Peter II]. Even less did he consider to ask or expect the king's approval of his marriage, as required by court rules. Our life in the prince's villa at Dedinje went on as usual. Since George was educated up in military schools from an early age, he knew how to follow an established order. Almost every day, we went fishing, on the Sava or at Ritopek behind Vinča.

Radmila's grave at Oplenac.

At the age of eighty-six, Radmila Karageorgevich died at Belgrade on 5 September 1993. In a similar manner to her husband, who had survived all of his siblings, Radmila outlived all of her royal in-laws. Her sister-in-law Princess Jelena's husband Prince Ioann Konstantinovich of Russia was murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918 during the Russian Revolution, and her brother-in-law King Alexander of Serbia's wife Queen Marie passed away in 1960. Radmila Radonjić Karageorgevich, who in a different world might have been Crown Princess of Serbia, was buried next to her husband at Oplenac.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Max-Emanuel Prinz von Thurn und Taxis (1965-2021), The “Prosecco Prince”


Max-Emanuel von Thurn und Taxis.

On Sunday, 14 March, Max-Emanuel Prinz von Thurn und Taxis died after suffering a heart attack. The prince had recently been diagnosed with Covid-19; however, the virus was not the cause of his death. Max-Emanuel, the founder of Prinz Max Thurn und Taxis Sparkling Wines, was fifty-five years-old. 

Max-Emanuel's grandparents: Prince Alexander and Princess Marie Valerie von Thurn und Taxis.

Born on 8 June 1965 at Vienna, Max-Emanuel Karl Lamoral Prinz von Thurn und Taxis was the eldest of the three sons of Lamoral Prinz von Thurn und Taxis (1937-2010) and Dorothea Hornberg (1942-1999), who married in 1961 and divorced in 1978. Max-Emanuel was a grandson of Prince Alexander von Thurn und Taxis (1906-1992) and his wife Countess Marie Valerie von Mazzuchelli (1913-2001). Max-Emanuel had two younger brothers, Stefan (1967-2005) and Andreas (b.1970). 

Max-Emanuel's wife, Carine Prinzessin von Thurn und Taxis, 1987.

On 14 March 1986, Max-Emanuel von Thurn und Taxis married Carine (or Karine) Lackner (b.1962). Before marriage, Carine was the owner of a Viennese restaurant called Carine's Club. Before that, Ms. Lackner had been a fashion model. Max and Carine were divorced on 10 March 1989. Carine reverted to her maiden name - although Max did offer to let her continue using her married name - and launched a company in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The late Max-Emanuel was fondly remembered by Carine, who was struck that Max died thirty-five years to the day after they married.

Max-Emanuel, a member of a non-dynastic branch of the Thurn und Taxis family, was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus last week. According to friends of the “Prosecco Prince,” he was experiencing only mild symptoms, such as shortness of breath, before his condition rapidly deteriorated over the weekend. However, he was ultimately the victim of a fatal heart attack.

The late Max-Emanuel (1965-2021) was a sixth cousin once removed of Fürst Albert (b.1983), the Head of the Princely House.

May Max-Emanuel Rest In Peace.