Thursday, April 29, 2021

The 60th Birthday of Prince Heinrich of Hannover

Today, Prince Heinrich of Hannover turns sixty years-old!

Prince Ernst August and Princess Ortrud of Hannover with their six children, 1963.
Photograph (c) Prince Heinrich of Hannover.

Born on 29 April 1961 at Hannover, Prince Heinrich Julius Christian Otto Friedrich Franz Anton Günter of Hannover was the third son and sixth and last child of Prince Ernst August of Hannover (1914-1987) and Princess Ortrud of Schleswig-Holstein (1925-1980), who married in 1951. Heinrich had five older siblings: Princess Marie (b.1954; married Count Michael von Hochberg), Prince Ernst August (b.1954; married 1st Chantal Hochuli; married 2nd Princess Caroline of Monaco), Prince Ludwig Rudolph (1955-1988; married Countess Isabella von Thurn und Valsassina-Como-Vercelli), Princess Olga (b.1958), and Princess Alexandra (b.1959; married Fürst Alexander zu Leiningen). From his father Ernst August's earlier relationship with Baroness Maria Anna von Humboldt-Dachroeden (1916-2003; ex-wife of Prince Hubertus of Prussia), Heinrich has an older half-brother Christian Freiherr von Humboldt-Dachroeden (b.1943).

The wedding of Prince Heinrich and Princess Thyra of Hannover, 1999.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Franziska Krug

In 1999, Prince Heinrich of Hannover married Thuringian aristocrat Thyra von Westernhagen (b.14 August 1973), the daughter of Burghard von Westernhagen and Uta Maria von Pape. The couple have three children: Prince Albert (b.1999), Princess Eugenia (b.2001), and Prince Julius (b.2006). From an earlier relationship with Desirée Nick (b.1960), Heinrich has a son: Oscar Prinz von Hannover (b.1996; né Nick). 

Princess Thyra, Prince Heinrich, and their son Prince Albert of Hannover attend the 2017 wedding of Heinrich's nephew Hereditary Prince Ernst August and Ekaterina Malysheva.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Gisela Schober.
Prince Heinrich of Hanover founded, owns and manages the publishing company MatrixMedia Verlag in Göttingen.


Many happy returns to Prince Heinrich!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Archduke Leo Stefan of Austria (1928-2020)

Death notice of Leo Habsburg, Archduke of Austria.

On Monday, 3 February 2020, Archduke Leo Stefan of Austria died at Lochen am See, Austria. He was ninety-one years-old. Leo Stefan was buried on Saturday, 8 February 2020, at the Pfarrkirche Lochen am See. The archduke belonged to the Teschen line of the Austrian imperial family.

Archduke Leo Karl of Austria.
Countess Marie Clotilde von Montjoye-Vaufrey et de la Roche.

Born on 12 June 1928 at Zywiec in Poland, Leo-Stefan Maria Carl Wolfgang Rudolf Fidelis Habsburg was the eldest son and fourth child of Archduke Leo Karl of Austria (1893-1939) and Countess Marie Clotilde "Maja" von Montjoye-Vaufrey et de la Roche (1893-1978). The 1922 marriage of Leo Karl and Maja was considered to be morganatic; therefore, their children did not bear the titles of their father's dynasty. This situation was reversed by Archduke Otto and his son Archduke Karl, Heads of the Imperial House of Austria, who decreed that male-line descendants of archdukes who had contracted morganatic marriages would be upgraded to the title of Count(ess) von Habsburg and, later, to the title of Archduke/Archduchess of Austria. 

The five children of Archduke Leo Karl of Austria and Countess Maja von Montjoye-Vaufrey.

Leo Stefan had three older siblings: Maria Desiderata (1923-1988; married and divorced Count Wolfgang von Hartig), Mechthildis (1924-2000; married Count and Marchese Manfred Piatti), Elisabeth (1927-2014). Leo Stefan had one younger brother, Hugo (1930-1981; married Eleonore Kristen). 

Archduke Leo Stefan of Austria.
In 1962, Archduke Leo Stefan of Austria married Gabriela Kunert (1935-1975). The couple had three children: Isabella (b.1962; married and divorced Andreas Fehr), Albrecht (b.1963; married and divorced Nadja Würfel; married Carmen Eckstein), and Karl Stefan (b.1967). Leo Stefan and Gabriela divorced in 1969. In 1973, Archduke Leo Stefan married Heidi Aigner (b.1942). The couple had four children: Philipp (b.1974), Anna (b.1977), Valerie (b.1982), and Leo (b.1985). 

Archduke Leo Stefan was survived by his wife Heidi, his seven children, and his six grandchildren (Jessica, Corvinus, Leon, Elias, Julia, and Samuel).

Sunday, April 25, 2021

King Gyanendra and Queen Komal of Nepal, Along with Daughter, Hospitalised with Coronavirus

King Gyanendra and Queen Komal of Nepal as well as their daughter Princess Prerana have been admitted to hospital after contracting Covid-19. The seventy-three year-old king and seventy year-old queen were diagnosed with coronavirus on 20 April. Gyanendra, Komal, and their daughter Prerana were admitted to Norvic International Hospital in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu on Saturday, 24 April, for treatment. The royal couple and the princess tested positive for the virus on their return from India after participating in the Maha Kumbh at Haridwar. The condition of the king and queen is reported to be stable.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Duchess Helene of Württemberg, Markgräfin Pallavicini (1929-2021)

Duchess Helene of Württemberg.
On Thursday, 22 April 2021, Duchess Helene of Württemberg died at Althausen. She was ninety-one years-old. The duchess was born on 29 June 1929 at Stuttgart as the first child of Duke Philipp of Württemberg (1893-1975) and his second wife Archduchess Rosa of Austria-Tuscany (1906-1983). Philipp was previously married to Rosa's sister Archduchess Helena of Austria-Tuscany (1903-1924), who died a few days after giving birth to the couple's only child, Duchess Marie Christine (b.1924). In addition to her older half-sister, Duchess Helene was joined by five younger siblings: Duke Ludwig (1930-2019), Duchess Elisabeth (b.1933), Duchess Marie Thérèse (b.1934), Head of House Württemberg Duke Carl (b.1936), and Duchess Marie Antoinette (1937-2004).

Wedding of Duchess Helene of Württemberg and Markgraf Federico Pallavicini.
On 22 August 1961 at Althausen, Helene civilly married Marchese Federico Pallavicini (b.1924). The following day the couple were wed in a religious ceremony at Friedrichshafen. The groom had previously been married to Countess Maria Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau (1924-1960); Federico and Maria married in 1945 and divorced in 1949 after having had one son, Alexander (b.1946).

Markgräfin Helene and Markgraf Federico Pallavicini in 1997.
The Württemberg siblings in 2006: (left to right) Markgräfin Helene Pallavicini, Princess Marie Christine of Liechtenstein, Duke Carl of Württemberg, Princess Elisabeth of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and Duke Ludwig of Württemberg.
Duchess Helene of Württemberg is survived by her husband Markgraf Federico Pallavicini; their four children; Markgräfin Maria Cristina (b.1963), Markgräfin Antoinetta (b.1964), Markgräfin Gabriela (b.1965; married Ricardo Walter), and Markgraf Gian-Carlo (b.1967; married Pauline Haniel); and by five grandchildren, three grandsons and two granddaughters.

May She Rest in Peace.

Friday, April 23, 2021

The Woman Who is Last in Line of Succession to the British Throne

Karin Vogel in 2011.
Photograph (c) Schweriner Volkszeitung.

Since her birth on 4 February 1973, Karin Vogel has held a unique distinction: she is the last person in the line of succession to the British throne. In April 2011, ahead of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, there were articles in BBC America, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal about the almost five thousand people in line to the throne. Ms. Vogel was mentioned in these pieces due to her special position: she is at the very end, the dynastic caboose, the British throne's omega. It would take a world disaster of dystopian proportions for Ms. Vogel to ever become Her Majesty Queen Karin of the United Kingdom. 

Karin Vogel is the daughter of Ilse Vogel (b.31 March 1930; née von der Trenck) and the late Dr. Wolfram Vogel (24 February 1926-7 May 2020), who married at Sulzfeld, Germany, on 12 April 1962. Karin has two older brothers: Martin (b.1963) and Klaus (b.1964). Martin Vogel is married to Ramona and has a son, Felix. Klaus Vogel and his wife Janice (née Heppell) have two children, Lorenz and Victoria. Klaus and Janice live in the village of Bösensell, Senden, where the couple are members of the charitable Die Johanniter organisation (Saint John Accident Assistance). Karin Vogel, the youngest of the siblings, is unmarried and is a healthcare professional; she lives in Rostock. The Vogel family, headed by matriarch Ilse and followed by her three children and three grandchildren, are the seven individuals who would be the final hope for the British monarchy - if ever the approximately six thousand relatives ahead of them were to suddenly disappear.

Karin Vogel, 2011.

When she was profiled a decade ago, Ms. Vogel quipped: "I can lean back and relax. It is really very comforting that one doesn’t have to worry about Great Britain." Indeed, Karin Vogel was at the time, and surely remains, very devoted to her work. She found her vocation as a therapist who specialises in counselling elderly people with chronic pain issues. Karin's interesting genealogical position stems from the 1701 Act of Settlement, which, according to the website of the British royal family, "was designed to secure the Protestant succession to the throne, and to strengthen the guarantees for ensuring a parliamentary system of government... According to the 1701 Act, succession to the throne went to Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover (James I's granddaughter) and her Protestant heirs. However, Sophia died before Queen Anne, therefore the succession passed to her son, George, Elector of Hanover, who in 1714 became King George I. The act was later extended to Scotland as a result of the Treaty of Union enacted in the Acts of Union of 1707." Karin Vogel is a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Electress Sophia of Hanover.

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Princess Sophia of the Palatinate (1630-1714); m.1658 Elector Ernst August of Hannover (1629-1698)
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King George I of Great Britain (1660-1727); m.1682 (div. 1694) Duchess Sophie Dorothea of Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1666-1726)
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Princess Sophia Dorothea of Great Britain (1687-1757); m.1706 King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia (1688-1740)
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Princess Sophie of Prussia (1719-1765); m.1734 Margrave Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg-Schwedt (1700-1771)
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Princess Friederike of Brandenburg-Schwedt (1736-1798); m.1753 Duke Friedrich II of Württemberg (1732-1797)
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Duke Alexander of Württemberg (1771-1833); m.1798 Princess Antoinette of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1779-1824)
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Duke Ernst of Württemberg (1807-1868); m.1860 Natalie Eischborn (1836-1905)
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Alexandra von Grünhof (1861-1933); m.1883 Robert von Keudell (1824-1903)
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Hedwig von Keudell (1891-?); m.1918 Karl von der Trenck (1881-1963)
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Ilse von der Trenck (b.1930); m.1962 Wolfram Vogel (1926-2020)
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Karin Vogel (b.1973)

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Joint Monogram Issued for Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna Ahead of Wedding

The joint monogram of the imperial couple.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian Imperial House has issued the joint monogram of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and the future Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanova ahead of their upcoming nuptials in October. The monogram is headed by the Russian imperial crown; below the crown is the Cyrillic letter Г for George and the Cyrillic letter В for Victoria appearing beneath. After the imperial marriage, we can expect that this monogram will appear at the top of any communications from the grand duke and princess.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.
Photograph taken by Lodovico Colli di Felizzano.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.
Photograph taken by Lodovico Colli di Felizzano.

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Prince and Princess of Prussia Remember Empress Auguste Viktoria 100 Years After Her Death


Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia depart the Antique Temple, April 2021.

Last Sunday, 11 April 2021, Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie of Prussia commemorated a century since the death of German Empress Auguste Viktoria, who died on 11 April 1921 at Huis Doorn, The Netherlands. The head of the German imperial house and his wife laid a wreath at the resting place of the empress at the Antique Temple in Potsdam. A religious service was also held to mark the life of the empress. The funeral of Auguste Viktoria, the great-great-grandmother of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia and the first wife of German Emperor Wilhelm II, took place one hundred years ago today on 19 April 1921. 

The tomb of Empress Auguste Viktoria with the wreath from the imperial couple in the forefront.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Greek Royal Family and the Island of Corfu Bids Adieu to Their Prince

The memorial service for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on Corfu.
Photograph (c) Leonidas Corfu.

On Saturday, 17 April, the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, took place at St George's Chapel, Windsor. At the same time, a memorial service was held for Prince Philip at Saint Spyridon Church on Corfu, the Greek island where Philip was born in 1921. His Grace Nektarios, Bishop of Corfu and Paxoi, officiated over the ceremony and called to mind Prince Philip's birth and baptism on Corfu as well as the Duke of Edinburgh's ties to the the monks of Mount Athos. A wreath from King Constantine II and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece, bearing their royal monograms, was placed in front of a portrait of the late Prince Philip.

The wreath sent by King Konstantine II and Queen Anna-Maria of Greece.
Photograph (c) Leonidas Corfu.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Nine Surviving Nephews and Nieces of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The family of the Duke of Edinburgh: Prince Andrew, Princess Alice, Princess Margarita, Princess Theodora, Princess Cecilie, Princess Sophie, and Prince Philip.

In addition to his British family, the late Duke of Edinburgh leaves behind many close relatives on the Continent. Prince Philip was the youngest of five siblings, the elder four of whom were sisters. The eldest sister Margarita married Gottfried zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg. The next eldest sister Theodora married Berthold of Baden. The third sister Cecilie married Georg Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine. The fourth sister Sophie married Christoph of Hesse; after being widowed, Sophie married Georg Wilhelm of Hannover. From the five marriages of his four sisters, the Duke of Edinburgh is survived by six nephews and three nieces. 

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Margrave Max of Baden at the funeral of his first cousin Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Born on 3 July 1933 at Salem, Margrave Max of Baden was the first son and second child of Margrave Berthold of Baden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. Max, his brother Ludwig, and his cousin Karl of Hesse attended the 1960 wedding of Princess Margaret to Antony Armstrong-Jones. In 1966, Margrave Max married Archduchess Valerie of Austria (b.1940). Margrave Max and Margravine Valerie of Baden have four children, three sons and one daughter: Princess Marie Louise (b.1969), Hereditary Prince Bernhard (b.1970), Prince Leopold (b.1971), and Prince Michael (b.1976). In 1999, Princess Marie Louise married Richard Baker (b.1936). In 2001, Hereditary Prince Bernhard married Stephanie Kaul (b.1966). In 2015, Prince Michael married Christine Höhne. 

Prince Ludwig of Baden at the funeral of his first cousin Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

Born on 16 March 1937 at Karlsruhe, Prince Ludwig of Baden was the second son and third and final child of Margrave Berthold of Baden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. In 1967, Prince Ludwig married Princess Marianne von Auersperg-Breunner (b.1943). Prince Ludwig and Princess Marianne have three children: Princess Sophie (b.1975), Prince Berthold (b.1976), and Princess Aglaë (b.1981). In 2019, Princess Aglaë married Wolf von Trotha (b.1974)

Prince Andreas zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg at the funeral of his brother Fürst Kraft.

Born on 24 November 1938 at Schwäbisch-Hall, Prince Andreas zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg was the second son and third child of Fürst Gottfried zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg and Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark. In 1968, Prince Andreas married Princess Luise von Schönburg-Waldenburg (b.1943). Prince Andreas and Princess Luise have two daughters: Princess Katharina (b.1972) and Princess Tatjana (b.1975). In 2002, Princess Katharina married Prince Nikolaus zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (b.1970). In 2010, Princess Tatjana married Hubertus Stephan (1970-2018).

Princess Dorothea of Hesse and her husband Prince Friedrich zu Windisch-Grätz.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Gamma-Keystone.

Born on 24 July 1934 at Schloß Parker, Princess Dorothea of Hesse was the second daughter and second child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. In 1959, Princess Dorothea married Prince Friedrich zu Windisch-Grätz (1917-2002). Dorothea's wedding was attended by her grandmother Princess Alice of Greece and Denmark (née Battenberg) as well as by King Umberto II of Italy. Princess Dorothea and Prince Friedrich had two daughters: Princess Marina (b.1960) and Princess Clarissa (b.1966). In 1985, Princess Clarissa married Eric de Waele (b.1962). In 1988, Princess Marina married Gyula Jakabffy (b.1962).

Prince Karl of Hesse with his daughter Princess Irina at her wedding, 1999.
Photograph (c) Seeger-Presse

Born on 27 March 1937 at Berlin, Prince Karl of Hesse was the first son and third child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. In 1966, Prince Karl married Countess Yvonne Szapáry von Muraszombath, Széchysziget u.Szapár (b.1944). Prince Karl and Princess Yvonne have two children: Prince Christoph (b.1969) and Princess Irina (b.1971). In 1999, Princess Irina married Count Alexander von Schönburg-Glauchau (b.1969), the brother of Fürstin Gloria von Thurn und Taxis.

Prince Rainier of Hesse.

Born on 18 November 1938 at Kronberg, Prince Rainier of Hesse was the second son and fourth child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. Prince Rainier has never married and has no children. The prince is an historian.

Princess Clarissa of Hesse, her mother Princess Sophie, and her stepfather Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover arrive in London for the wedding of Princess Alexandra of Kent, 1963.
Photograph (c) Alamy.

Born on 6 February 1944 at Kronberg, Princess Clarissa of Hesse was the third daughter and fifth and last child of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. Clarissa was a bridesmaid at the 1960 wedding of her cousin Lady Pamela Mountbatten to David Hicks. Princess Clarissa of Hesse was also an attendant to Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark at Anne-Marie's 1964 wedding to King Constantine II of Greece. In 1971, Princess Clarissa married Claude Jean Derrien (b.1948); the couple divorced in 1976. Clarissa of Hesse has one daughter, Johanna (b.1980).

Prince Georg of Hannover and his mother Princess Sophie in 1996
Photograph (c) Seeger-Presse

Born on 9 December 1949 at Salem, Prince Georg of Hannover was the second son of Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover (1915-2006) and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark (1914-2001). In 1973, Georg of Hannover married Victoria Ann Bee (b.1951), the daughter of Robert Bee (1920-1994) and Countess Eleonore Fugger von Babenhausen (1925-1992), who married in 1946 and divorced in 1959. In 1961, Victoria's mother Eleonore took as her second husband Prince Burchard of Prussia (1917-1988), son of Prince Oskar of Prussia (1888-1958) and his wife Countess Ina Marie von Bassewitz (1888-1973; created Countess von Ruppin in 1914; recognised as Princess of Prussia in 1920). Victoria of Hannover's mother Eleonore was thus married to the first cousin (Prince Burchard of Prussia) of Victoria's father-in-law Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover. Prince Georg and Princess Victoria of Hannover have two daughters: Princess Vera (b.1976) and Princess Nora (b.1979). In 2006, Princess Vera married Manuel Dmoch (b.1977). Princess Nora is married to Christian Falk (b.1972).

The first visit of the now Prince of Wales to Germany in 1963.
Left to right: Princess Sophie, Prince Charles, Princess Frederica, Prince Georg Wilhelm, and Prince Georg.
Photograph (c) Alamy.

Born on 15 October 1954 at Salem, Princess Frederica of Hannover was the only daughter and third and last child of Prince Georg Wilhelm of Hannover and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark. Together with her elder half-sister Clarissa, Frederica was a bridesmaid at the 1960 wedding of Lady Pamela Mountbatten to David Hicks. In 1979, Princess Frederica married Canadian Jerry William Cyr (b.1951). Princess Frederica and Jerry Cyr have two children: Julia (b.1982) and Jean-Paul (b.1985).  

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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was predeceased by seven nephews and five nieces. Among Princess Margarita's children, the following nephews and nieces passed away before their uncle: an unnamed Princess zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (b.and d.1933), Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1935-2004), Princess Beatrix (1936-1997), Prince Albrecht (1994-1992), and Prince Rupprecht (1944-1978). Among Princess Theodora's children, the following niece passed away before her uncle: Princess Margarita of Baden (1932-2013; married Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia). Among Princess Cecilie's children, the following nephews and niece passed away before their uncle: Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine (1931-1937), Prince Alexander (1933-1937), Princess Johanna (1936-1939), and an unnamed Prince(ss) of Hesse and by Rhine (b.and d.1937). Among Princess Sophie's children, the following niece and nephew passed away before their uncle: Princess Christina of Hesse (1933-2011; married Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia) and Prince Welf of Hannover (1947-1981).

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sisters of Prince Philip to be Represented by Family at Duke's Funeral

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the funeral of his nephew Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

It has recently been reported that the sisters of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, will be represented at his funeral on Saturday by three individuals. This is being done at the express wish of the late Duke of Edinburgh. The family of Princess Margarita, the eldest sister, will be represented by her grandson Fürst Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg. The family of Princess Theodora will be represented by her grandson Hereditary Prince Bernhard of Baden. The families of Princess Cecilie and Princess Sophie will be represented by Landgrave Donatus of Hesse. The three German princes flew to the United Kingdom over the weekend and are currently in quarantine owing to coronavirus precautions. 

Fürst Philipp and Fürstin Saskia zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg on their wedding day.

Born in 1970, Fürst Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg is the only son of Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1935-2004) and his first wife Princess Charlotte of Croÿ (b.1938). Philipp is the grandson of Fürst Gottfried zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1897-1960) and Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark (1905-1981), the eldest sister of Prince Philip. In 2003, then Hereditary Prince Philipp zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg married Saskia Binder; the couple have two sons and one daughter. 

Hereditary Prince Bernhard and Hereditary Princess Stephanie of Baden at the Hesse/Faber nuptials.

Born in 1970, Hereditary Prince Bernhard of Baden is the son of Margrave Max of Baden (b.1933) and Archduchess Valerie of Austria (b.1941). Bernhard is the grandson of Margrave Berthold of Baden (1906-1963) and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark (1906-1969), the second eldest sister of Prince Philip. In 2001, Hereditary Prince Bernard of Baden married Stephanie Kaul; the couple have three sons.

Landgrave Donatus and Landgravine Floria of Hesse at their wedding.

Born in 1966, Landgrave Donatus of Hesse is the son of Landgrave Moritz of Hesse (1926-2013) and Princess Tatjana zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (b.1940). Donatus's father Moritz was adopted by Prince Ludwig of Hesse and by Rhine, the brother-in-law of Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark (1911-1937), who married Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus of Hesse and by Rhine. Donatus's uncle Prince Christoph of Hesse was the first husband of Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark (1914-2001). In 2003, then Hereditary Prince Donatus of Hesse married Countess Floria von Faber-Castell; the couple have two sons and one daughter.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Death of the 13th Duke de Brissac

François de Cossé-Brissac, XIII Duc de Brissac.

On Tuesday, 6 April 2021, the 13th Duke de Brissac passed away at the age of ninety-two. Surrounded by his family, the duke died at his manor La Roche in Charcé-Saint-Ellier. The late duke was particularly passionate about horse breeding, and he served as a municipal councillor in Brissac.

Pierre de Cossé, Duke de Brissac.
May de Cossé (née Schneider), Duchess de Brissac.

Born on 29 February 1929 at the château de la Verrerie, Eugène Marie Timoléon François de Cossé-Brissac was the eldest son of Pierre de Cossé-Brissac (1900-1993), 12th Duke de Brissac, and Marie-Zélie "May" Antoinette Eugénie Schneider (1902-1999). François had three siblings: Marie-Pierre (b.1925; married 1stly Simon Nora; married 2ndly Maurice Herzog; married 3rdly Christian Schmidt), Gilles (1935-2002), and Elvire (b.1939). 

The Duke and Duchess de Brissac with Sir Roger Moore and his wife. 
The Duke and Duchess de Brissac attend the Christmas dinner at the British Embassy to Paris, 2009.
Photograph (c) Getty Images / Bertrand Rindoff Petroff.

In 1958, François de Cossé-Brissac married Jacqueline de Contades (b.1940), the daughter of André de Contades and Marguerite "Daisy" Thome. Jacqueline was a friend of her husband's younger sister Elvire. François and Jacqueline had five children, three daughters and two sons: Agnès (b.1960; married Bruno van den Broek d'Obrenan), Charles-André (b.1962), Angélique (b.1965; married Vicomte Stanislas de Rougé), Marie-Antoinette (b.1968; married Philippe Leclerq), and Pierre-Emmanuel (b.1974; married Marie-Astrid Larue).

The late Duke de Brissac with his eldest son Marquis Charles-André de Cossé-Brissac.

The 14th Duke de Brissac is the eldest son and heir of François: Charles-André de Cossé-Brissac. In 1993, Charles-André married Countess Larissa Széchényi de Sárvár-Felsövidek (b.1967). The new Duke and Duchess de Brissac have four children, three daughters and one son: Laszlo (b.1994), Irina (b.1996), Délia (b.1998; engaged to Prince Marc von Croÿ), and Annabel (b.2002). 

May the Duke de Brissac Rest in Peace.

Monday, April 12, 2021

An Interview with Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1913-1999)

Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.

In the fall of 1998, Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies gave an interview to Giuseppe Scammacca. This interview was published in the now defunct French-language magazine Bourbons. Below one can read an English translation of the interview of the princess.

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Your Royal Highness is one of the great nieces of the last Neapolitan sovereign, His Majesty Francesco II. What kind of memories did the Duke of Calabria, the father of Your Royal Highness, impart to you of the king?

Naturally, my father, but also my grandfather [the Count of Caserta] often spoke to me of Francesco II, as well as to my three sisters. The idea that we had as children was that the king was a man struck by sorrows and the trials of life. Probably due to various betrayals that he endured... I remember very well my great-aunt, the Queen Sophia. She was a severe woman; I was so afraid of her.

Can you provide us with a description of the Duke of Calabria, your father?

My father followed the family's traditions, notably in reorganising the Constantinian Order of which he was Grand Master for a long time. He also pursued a military career in the Spanish army of his cousin King Alfonso XIII; I believe that I remember that he was a very talented engineering officer. He fought in Spanish Morocco. 

One of my saddest memoirs: the death in his youth of his son (my brother), the Duke of Noto, the presumptive heir. He died from the Spanish flu that ravaged Europe during the First World War.

Called to God in 1960, the Duke of Calabria was by right His Majesty King Ferdinando III. How did he carry out this dignity far from the land that had witnessed his birth?

To tell the truth, my father was not born in Naples but in Rome, at the Palazzo Farnese. However, he only lived there for a year, since he, like his entire family, had to leave the new Italy after September 1870; this exile did not end until 1938, on the occasion of my sister Lucia's marriage to Prince Eugenio of Savoy-Genoa, Duke of Ancona. I remember that my father spent a lot of his time, when he lived in Bavaria, to constitute and reorganise archives relating to the royal family and therefore to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Unfortunately, part of these documents was destroyed during the bombing of Munich during World War II. He donated what was left of the archives to the city of Naples.

What can you tell us about your father's stay in Spain?

I have often been told of the military feats of my grandfather, who had been the Chief of Staff in the Carlist armies who fought for King Carlos VII of Spain, Duke of Madrid. In 1874, when the Duke of Madrid had to take refuge in France, my grandfather rode alongside him when they arrived in Pau. This is where the daughter of the Carlist King, Princess Alicia, was born.

As a Capetian princess, how do you view the House of Bourbon?

Personally, I feel first of all Neapolitan and Sicilian; moreover, when I travel to the old kingdom, I see everywhere the proof of the moral, cultural and spiritual heritage that my family left there. But I was just talking about Pau; that's where Henri VI started out. So I am also French at heart, as I am undoubtedly Spanish and Parmesan. Indeed, the Bourbons reigned everywhere, until America. It's amazing, isn't it?

You yourself have experienced exile. How did you feel when you went through this ordeal?

Sadness; in particular, that of not being able to know the countries and the friends that our parents wanted to tell us about. Of course, my mother, my sisters and I could cross the north of Italy to get from Munich to Cannes... But remember that we were always watched, accompanied on the train by plainclothes police. And, it was not until 1938 that my father was able to return to Italy. However, since the end of World War II, we were finally free. It is all the more strange that my Bavarian cousins have never suffered this kind of annoyance ... and have always lived in their homeland.

You return from time to time to the lands that constituted the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. What are your feelings there?

I am at home there! And I have so many friends there!

Exactly, what is the attitude of the Italians and, more precisely, of the Neapolitans and the Sicilians towards you?

As I just told you, grand and loving are the feelings of the people I meet. All still speak - and I will even say more and more - of my ancestors whom they consider as the image of the continuity of the moral and political values which embodied the history of our kingdom. Moreover, I am invited to the many events organised by cultural groups and movements that want to seriously study the true history of the nineteenth century.

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The Duchess of Calabria with her youngest child Princess Urraca.
Born on 14 July 1913 at Schloß Nymphenburg in Munich, Princess Urraca Maria Isabella Carolina Aldegonda of Bourbon-Two Sicilies was the sixth and youngest child of Prince Ferdinand Pius of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria and his wife Princess Maria Ludwiga Theresia of Bavaria. Urraca chose not to celebrate her birthday, remarking: "How can a Bourbon celebrate on the day of the storming of the Bastille?" The princess had five older siblings: Princess Maria Antonietta (1898–1957); Princess Maria Cristina (1899–1985; married Manuel Sotomayor-Luna, Vice President of Ecuador); Prince Ruggiero, Duke of Noto (1901–1914), Princess Barbara (1902–1927; married Count Franz Xaver zu Stolberg-Wernigerode), and Princess Lucia (1908–2001; married Prince Eugenio of Savoy, Duke of Ancona). The Duke and Duchess of Calabria lived with their children at Villa Amsee just outside Lindau.

Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Princess Michael of Kent, Venice, 1990.
Photograph (c) Marcellino Radogna.
As the daughter of the head of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Urraca regularly represented her family at royal and aristocratic functions and charitable events.

Press report on the 1957 accident.
On the night of 10 January 1957, Urraca was driving her eldest sister Maria Antonietta to her home in Lindau, Germany, when their automobile collided with a truck that had skid on ice near Winterthur, Switzerland. Maria Antonietta was killed in the accident and Urraca was seriously injured. After several months in hospital, Princess Urraca recovered.

The grave of Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.
On 3 May 1999 at Sigmaringen, Princess Urraca of Bourbon-Two Sicilies died at the age of eighty-five.  Princess Urraca never married although she did have a suitor for her hand at some point. The princess was buried at Rieden in the same cemetery as her parents and two of her siblings: Prince Ruggiero, Duke of Noto, and Princess Maria Antonietta. Urraca's burial site was marked with a simple wooden cross affixed with a small brass plaque bearing her name, until it was replaced by a large cross-shaped headstone with a similar small brass plaque.