Saturday, December 31, 2022

Duke of Aosta Announces Return to Italy in NYE Address


Prince Aimone and Princess Olga of Savoy with the Honour Guard at the Basilica of Superga, 2022.
Photo (c) Casa Reale di Savoia.

Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Aosta, will be relocating to Italy early this year. In a recorded speech to members of the Unione Monarchica Italiana (Italian Monarchist Union) on 31 December, Prince Aimone, who has lived in Russia for decades, stated that he and his wife Princess Olga, as well as their three children, will be returning to live in Italy with their home being in Milan. The Duke of Aosta noted:

For me personally, next year [2023] will be a very important year because after living for almost 30 years in Russia, I will come back to Italy. My family will already be in Milan in January, so we will have more occasions to meet and organise monarchist events that you all already do, but now with my support and the support of my family. So really best wishes to you! May 2023 be a year of peace, since 2022 has been a tough year, may the international situation be more peaceful, and may Italy not suffer too many consequences because of the rising energy prices and all the problems we are facing, and that the government is trying to face. Hopefully, we will all overcome this together. I wish you and your families a Happy New Year. Thank you. Viva l'Italia!

The 2022 Christmas Card of the Savoy children.
From left to right: Prince Amedeo, Princess Isabella, and Prince Umberto.
Photo (c) Casa Reale di Savoia.

When Prince Aimone of Savoy and Princess Olga of Greece wed in 2008, their civil marriage was held in Moscow at the Italian embassy. Though the couple's two sons, Prince Umberto and Prince Amedeo, and their daughter, Princess Isabella, were all born in France, the family has made its home in the Russian capital up until now. Prince Aimone is the CEO of Pirelli Tyre's Nordic division, and since 2019 the prince has served as the Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to Russia. 

Source: Youtube - Saluto di fine anno di S.A.R. il Principe Aimone di Savoia

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Margrave Max of Baden (1933-2022)

Margrave Max of Baden at the funeral of his first cousin Fürst Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
Max and Valerie of Baden at the memorial service of Kraft of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, 2004.
Yesterday, 29 December, Margrave Max of Baden died at Schloß Salem in Germany. The margrave was eighty-nine years-old. Margrave Max of Baden was a nephew of the Duke of Edinburgh, a second cousin of King Michael of Romania, a second cousin of King Constantine II of the Hellenes, and a second cousin of Duke Amedeo of Aosta.
Theodora and Berthold.
Margrave Berthold and Margravine Theodora with Prince Max and Princess Margarita.
Born on 3 July 1933 at Salem, Hereditary Prince Maximilian "Max" Andreas Friedrich Gustav Ernst August Bernhard of Baden was the first son and second child of Margrave Berthold of Baden (1903-1963) and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark (1906-1969), who wed in 1931. Max joined an older sister, Princess Margarita (1932-2013; married Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia) and he was followed by a younger brother Prince Ludwig (b.1937; married Princess Marianne von Auersperg-Breunner). After the end of the Second World War, Max attended the Gordonstoun boarding school in Scotland, under the administration of Dr. Kurt Hahn. At Gordonstoun, he was brought up according to the educational principles of the Salem school founded in 1919 by his grandfather, Prince Max of Baden. Max, his brother Ludwig, and his cousin Karl of Hesse attended the 1960 wedding of Princess Margaret to Antony Armstrong-Jones.
Archduchess Valerie of Austria and Margrave Max of Baden, 1966.
On 23 September 1966 at Salem, Margrave Max of Baden civilly married Archduchess Valerie of Austria. The couple celebrated their religious wedding on 30 September 1966 at Schloß Salem. Valerie was the ninth child and seventh daughter of Archduke Hubert Salvator of Austria (1894-1971) and his wife Princess Rosemary zu Salm-Salm (1904-2001). Margrave Max of Baden was a nephew of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Margrave Max and Margravine Valerie of Baden, 1987. Photograph (c) Getty Images / Slim Aarons.
Margrave Max and Margravine Valerie of Baden had four children: Princess Marie Louise (b.1969; married Richard Baker), Hereditary Prince Bernhard (b.1970; married Stephanie Anne Kaul), Prince Leopold (b.1971), and Prince Michael (b.1976; married Christina Höhne). The late Margrave of Baden is survived by his wife, his four children, and his four grandchildren.
Valerie and Max of Baden at the wedding of Hereditary Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, 2003.
Valerie and Max of Baden in the 1960s. Photograph (c) Seeger-Presse.
The Margrave and Margravine of Baden with Duchess Donata of Oldenburg at the wedding of Duke Paul of Oldenburg in 2001. Photograph (c) Seeger-Presse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Romanov Christenings Over the Generations

Grand Duchess Maria holding her grandson Prince Alexander at home before his christening.

Two weeks ago, on 6 December 2022, Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff was christened at the Transfiguration Church within the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour complex in Moscow. He is the first of his family line to be baptized in Russia (or a territory that formerly comprised the Russian Empire) since his great-grandfather Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich in 1917. 

The Christening of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, 1981

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia was baptised on Wednesday, 6 May 1981, at Madrid. Archbishop Antony Sinkevitch of Los Angeles officiated over the service. Grand Duke George received as his godparents King Constantine II of Greece (represented by Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich) and Helene Kirby, Countess Dvinskaya.
The baptism of the eventual heir of the Imperial House of Russia was attended by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain, King Simeon II of Bulgaria, Princess Magdalena of Prussia (widow of Prince Hubertus), Infante Luís Alfonso of Spain, Princess Marisol of Bavaria, Prince Bagrat Bagration-Mukhransky, and Prince Georg-Dietrich von Schoenaich-Carolath.

The Christening of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, 1954

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna was baptised on Wednesday, 3 February 1954, at Madrid, Spain. The Confessor of Grand Duke Vladimir and Grand Duchess Leonida, Father Hegumen Panteleimon, officiated over the service. Grand Duchess Maria received as her godparents Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia (represented by Prince Nicholas of Romania) and Queen Ioanna of Bulgaria (née Princess Giovanna of Savoy). 

Among the family members who were present for the christening of the grand duchess were the following: Helene Kirby, Prince Louis Ferdinand and Princess Kira of Prussia, Prince George and Princess Elena Bagration, Prince Irakly Bagration, Infante Fernando of Spain, Infante Luis of Spain, Infante Jose Eugenio of Spain and his wife (née Marisol Mesia y de Lesseps), the Dowager Duchess of Montpensier (née Maria Isabel González de Olañeta y Ibarreta Marquesa de Valdeterrazo), Princess Nicholas of Romania (née Dumitrescu-Doletti), Archduchess Ileana of Austria, and Princess Maria Luisa of Bulgaria. 

Several representatives of the Spanish government were also in attendance: don Fernando Suárez de Tangil y Angulo, Conde de Vallellano, Minister of Public Works; Señora de Martín-Artajo, wife of Foreign Minister don Alberto Martín-Artajo Álvarez; and doña Maria del Carmen Casanueva Navarro, wife of don Raimundo Fernández-Cuesta y Merelo, Secretary General of Movimiento Nacional. 

The diplomatic corps were also well represented: the Prince de Ligne, Belgian Ambassador to Spain, and the Princess de Ligne (née Philippine de Noailles); Mr Rubens Ferreira de Mello, Brazilian Ambassador to Spain, with Senhora Ferreira de Mello; Georgi Kyosievanov, former Bulgarian Prime Minister, and Madame Kyosievanov; Mr Collin, Danish Ambassador to Spain; Graaf Willem van Rechteren-Limpurg, Dutch Ambassador to Spain, with Gravin Fay Esmé van Rechteren-Limpurg (née Baroness van Heemstra); Jacques Meyrier, French Ambassador to Spain, with Madame Meyrier; Prince Adalbert of Bavaria, German Ambassador to Spain, with Princess Adalbert of Bavaria (née Gräfin Augusta von Seefried auf Buttenheim); Mr Kimon Diamantopoulos, Greek Ambassador to Spain, with Mrs Diamantopoulos (née Alberta Kirchhof); Ferenc Marosi, Representative of the Hungarian Government-in-Exile, with Mrs Marosi; don Francesco Maria Marchese Taliani de Marchio, Italian Ambassador to Spain, with the Marchesa Taliani di Marchio (née Archduchess Maria Margarethe of Austria); Mr Winter, Swedish Ambassador to Spain, with Mrs Winter; and Mr Lucovic, Representative of King Peter of Yugoslavia.

The Christening of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, 1917

Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich was christened on Tuesday, 18 September 1917, at Haikko near Borgo, Finland. Protopresbyter Alexander Dernoff, Head of the Court Clergy and Dean of the Cathedrals of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and of the Annunciation in the Kremlin of Moscow, officiated over the service. Grand Duke Vladimir received as his godparents Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia (his paternal uncle) and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia (née Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin; his paternal grandmother). 

In his memoirs, In the Service of the Imperial House of Russia 1917-1941, Commander H.G. Graf, a loyal aide to Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodovorna, recalled the events surrounding their only son's christening: 

"The baptism of Prince Vladimir Kirillovich took place on September 18, 1917, at Haiko. The parents wanted all the customary christening formalities of the Imperial family to be observed. They considered this precaution to be important so as to avoid future complications relative to the rights of Vladimir Kirillovich to the throne. With great difficulties, the Archpresbyter Father Alexander Dernov, head of the Court's clergy, was invited from Petrograd. He was also the father superior of the cathedral of the Winter Palace in Petrograd and the further superior of the 'Blagovestshenskii' (Annunciation) Cathedral in the Kremlin. He arrived with the cantor of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Petrograd. They brought everything that was needed for the christening ceremony. The christening was recorded in the Book of Births of Members of the Imperial House which Archpresbyter Dernov had also brought with him."

Monday, December 19, 2022

Godmother of Prince Alexander Romanoff Shares Her Memories of His Christening


Two weeks ago today on 6 October, HSH Prince Alexander Georgievich Romanoff was christened at the Transfiguration Church within the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour complex in Moscow. Prince Alexander is the first child of HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and HSH Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanoff. Madame Oxana Girko, one of the godmothers of Prince Alexander, was kind enough to share with me her recollections of her godson's christening, as well as what the Romanoff dynasty means to her on a personal level.

I feel very honoured and blessed to have been chosen as a godmother of HSH Prince Alexander Romanoff. The Imperial Family of Russia has been always an example of dignity, and the highest personal qualities are exhibited by each member of the family. I hope that the imperial family will continue to carry out charitable works and good deeds within the former Empire, which included Russia, Ukraine, and many other nowadays independent countries, bringing peace, prosperity, stability, spirituality, and positive values for the people, regardless of whether the imperial family is on the throne or not. 


Oxana Girko and Grand Duchess Maria.


The imperial family has steadfastly been an example of important family values for the nation. And this is what I feel is truly vital, especially in our modern times. My ancestors were very close to the Romanoff dynasty during the time of the Russian Empire. And I believe that it is very significant that after the 1917 Revolution, after a few generations, our life paths have come together again. It is a sign of a healing and reconciliation for our world in many ways. I am very grateful to HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, who decided to return with her family to Russia, in spite of the political difficulties of the 1990s. She is a strong, wise person who exhibits the best qualities of the Romanoff dynasty's DNA.


A proud grandmother: Grand Duchess Maria and her grandson Prince Alexander.


I personally admire HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna as a person who finds a kind word for every human being that she meets, who connects with and brings together amazing people around her, and who is beautiful and sage. I believe that even her name is a sign from God: the same name as the Holy Mother... The Romanoff dynasty made the Russian Empire one of strongest countries in the world in many aspects: science, culture, etc.


Grand Duke George of Russia and Princess Victoria Romanoff together with Oxana Girko and her husband Oleg Novachuk attend a soirée for the Assembly of the Russian Nobility in France (ANFR), Paris, 10 December 2021.
Photo (c) Alamy / David Nivière.


Today, the Romanoff dynasty helps to foster the traditions of the Orthodox religious institutions of the countries comprising the former Russian Empire, giving aid at different levels. HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna raised her son, the HIH Grand Duke George Michailovich, in the same traditions in which she herself was raised: with love for the Russian Empire and all those peoples who comprised it, with a dedication of following historic traditions, and with a strong desire to care for and assist its peoples. HIH Grand Duke George Mikhailovich has been blessed by God: he met his love match in HSH Princess Victoria Romanovna, who is not only a beautiful and intelligent woman, but Princess Victoria has also been interested in Russian history and culture from her early childhood.


Princess Olga of Savoy, Duchess of Aosta, and Oxana Girko share an amusing moment during the christening of their godson, Prince Alexander.


Now the imperial family helps people through their charitable foundations. The Romanoff dynasty's goals are to help the sick and those suffering from food shortages, to encourage the endeavors of the creative intelligentsia, and to support many other projects of a spiritual and creative nature. I am blessed by God to have His Serene Highness Prince Alexander Georgievich as my godson. All my prayers are directed to the blessings of God on our planet, to all the peoples of the world, and, in particular, the peoples of the former Russian Empire, for the healing of all historical painful periods, for the restoration of peace and health, the well-being of people and creative processes in the entire global society.
Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria witness the christening of their son.
By becoming parents to our own children, God helps us understand the importance of building a healthy and sustainable future for our descendants, and by allowing us to be godparents, God blesses us with an even higher level of love and responsibility to the generation of our relatives and godchildren. At his christening ceremony, HSH Prince Alexander was very calm: all the godmothers and godfathers emphasized and noted this quality of the newborn Prince Alexander.


Prince Alexander at the baptismal font.


All of us, Prince Alexander's godparents and his family, rejoiced in the health and peace of mind that manifested itself through this calm behavior of the Prince, despite his baptism into holy water on a cold Winter day. Little Prince Alexander has been blessed by God, and all believers could see and rejoice at this miracle. As Father Michael from Australia, who led the baptism ceremony in English for foreign guests attending the ceremony, said: "Baptism is an opportunity for a person to become a Saint. Prince Alexander Georgievich has been blessed by God with this great opportunity. Let us rejoice and always help to do the will of God on our Planet through our earthly deeds and thoughts."
My upmost thanks to Oxana Girko for her generosity in giving her remembrances about this special and happy event in the life of her godson Prince Alexander Romanoff.
May God Bless Prince Alexander and the Imperial House of Russia!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

A Marriage in the Royal Family of Georgia

On 19 November 2022, at Benahavís, Málaga, Spain, Prince Ugo Bagration-Mukhransky civilly married Niki "Nekia" Lane.

Ugo with his nephew and godson Giorgi.

Born on 14 February 1985 at Madrid, Prince Gourami "Ugo" Bagration-Mukhransky is the only child of Prince George "Jorge" Bagration-Mukhransky (1944-2008) and his second wife Princess Nuria (b.1953; née Llopis Oliart), who wed in 1982. Prince Ugo is a Sales Associate and Luxury Property Specialist with Berkshire Hathaway. 

Our best wishes to the couple!

Engagement of Infanta Maria Francisca, Duchess of Coimbra!

Duarte and Maria Francisca.
Duarte and Isabel, the Duke and Duchess of Braganza, have announced the engagement of their only daughter a Infanta Maria Francisca to Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins in a communiqué this morning:
Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Bragança are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Her Highness Infanta Maria Francisca of Bragança, Duchess of Coimbra, and Mr Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins. Her Highness and Mr Duarte de Sousa Araújo Martins became engaged in Timor, earlier this month.  Infanta Maria Francisca informed Their Royal Highnesses the Dukes of Bragança and other close members of her family. More details regarding the wedding day will be announced in due course. Sintra 15 December 2022
Our congratulations to Maria Francisca and Duarte!  

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Princess Abigail Kawānanakoa (1926-2022): The Last of the Aliʻi and Descendant of Hawaiian Kings


Princess Abigail in front of a portrait of Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani.

On Monday morning, the death of Princess Abigail Kawānanakoa on Sunday, 11 December, was announced in the Hawaiian language in front of the Iolani Palace in Honolulu:
With profound sadness, the Kawananakoa Family, the Hale O Na Alii O Hawaii and Iolani Palace announces the passing of Her Royal Highness, Princess Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawananakoa at 6:45 p.m.

We join each other in a period of mourning. Please allow the Kawananakoa Family this time.

Services for the Princess are being coordinated; when plans are finalized, they will be shared. We place before you this manao with mournful aloha.
Abigail's mother: Princess Lydia Kawānanakoa.

Born on 23 April 1926 in Honolulu, Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike (known as Kekaulike or "Kekau" in her youth and Abigail as an adult) was the only child of Princess Helen Lydia Kamakaʻeha Liliʻuokalani Kawānanakoa (1905-1969), named after the last Queen of Hawaii, and her first husband William Jeremiah Ellerbrock (1902-1953). Princess Lydia Kawānanakoa and William J. Ellerbrock were married on 17 January 1925, the thirty-second anniversary of the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the dethronement of Queen Liliʻuokalani, at the Catholic Mission in Honolulu. It was reported at the time of their marriage by The Honolulu Star-Bulletin that the Lydia and William, then a salesman at the Royal Hawaiian Sales Company, had been privately engaged for about a month prior to their union. The arrival of their daughter Abigail was published in The Honolulu Advertiser on 26 April 1926: "Mr. and Mrs. William J. Ellerbrock of Kahala announce the birth of their first child, a daughter, at Kauikeolani Children's hospital, on Friday of last week, the baby being named Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike. Mrs. Ellerbrock was Miss Lydia Liliuokalani Kawānanakoa, daughter of Princess Kawānanakoa and of the late Prince David Kawānanakoa.

Princess Lydia.

In June 1927, when Abigail was one, her mother Lydia filed for divorce from her father William. The Honolulu Advertiser managed to locate the legal filings in July, and the story was rather sensational due to the heritage of the bride and the briefness of the marriage. The newspaper reported on 3 July 1927: "Miss Lydia Liliʻuokalani Kawānanakoa Ellerbrock, daughter of Princess Kawānanakoa, has instituted in the local circuit courts proceedings for divorce from her husband, William Jerry Ellerbrock, alleging non-support. The divorce papers, it is understood, were forwarded immediately after filing to the mainland for service on Ellerbrock, who left Honolulu for San Francisco several weeks ago, the day after Mrs. Ellerbrock returned from the coast city. Ellerbrock is still on the mainland, it was learned yesterday.... The divorce suit was filed in the office of the chief clerk of the local circuit court on June 10, last, and up to yesterday it was surrounded by the utmost secrecy. The law firm of Thompson, Cathcart & Beebe appears on record as counsel of Mrs. Ellerbrock. Entry of the suit appears on page 169, Vol. 18, Case No. 11,499, in the following manner - 'Lydia Kamakaena vs. John. Non-support. June 10 - Filed and issued for service libel, motion, affidavit, order and divorce summons.' In this manner the names of the parties in the suit were withheld from the public until the true facts were unearthed yesterday morning by The Advertiser." The marriage of Princess Liliʻuokalani Kawānanakoa and William J. Ellerbrock was dissolved by a decree of absolute divorce on 19 July 1927 at Honolulu, granted by Judge John R. Desha in the court of domestic relations. Liliʻuokalani received custody of their daughter Abigail.

Abigail's grandmother and adoptive mother, Princess Abigail Campbell Kawānanakoa.

On 23 November 1931, Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa was legally adopted by her maternal grandmother Princess Abigail Kawānanakoa. The Honolulu Advertiser noted: "By decree of the governor of Hawaii, the child's family name was changed some time ago from Ellerbrock to Kawānanakoa." The young Abigail had been raised by her grandmother since her infancy. Abigail's mother Princess Liliʻuokalani consented to her daughter being adopted by her mother; Abigail's father, William Ellerbrock, was reported to have voluntarily surrendered Abigail to her mother Lydia on 15 May 1927, and he had not been in any way a part of his daughter's life since then. Both Princess Lydia and Princess Abigail, the young Abigail's mother and adoptive mother/grandmother stated that they were "wholly unaware of the present residence" of Mr. Ellerbrock. 

Abigail during her time as a pupil at Punahou Academy, October 1939.
Princess Lydia (Mrs. Clark Lee) and her daughter Abigail leave for Shanghai, June 1940.
From 1938 until 1940, Abigail attended the Punahou Academy in Honolulu, where she excelled as a member of the swim team and broke several records. In July 1940, Abigail went to live with her mother Lydia and her (second) stepfather Clark Lee in Shanghai, China, where Mr. Lee was a correspondent for the Associated Press. While there, Abigail attended the Shanghai American School, which she was forced to leave in December 1940 owing to the United States evacuating its citizens from the country. Abigail then returned to Punahou Academy, from which she graduated in 1943. Abigail then went on to attend a Roman Catholic college in California. She returned to Hawaii in the waning days of World War II. On 12 April 1945 at 1:55pm, Abigail's adoptive mother and maternal grandmother Princess Abigail Wahiʻikaʻahuʻula Campbell Kawānanakoa died at the Queen's Hospital in Honolulu, aged sixty-three. 

Princess Lydia.
Abigail's mother Princess Lydia Kawānanakoa died on 19 May 1969 at her home in the Waiʻalae-Kahala neighborhood of Honolulu. Liliʻuokalani was sixty-three. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin of 20 May 1969 described the princess as such: "She was the daughter of Prince David Kawānanakoa and Abigail Wahiʻikaʻahuʻula Campbell, and might have been queen of the islands had Hawaii remained a monarchy. She was held in great respect and affection by her people. With her regal bearing, soft voice, and innate grace and charm, she carried out the traditions of her royal family." Princess Liliʻuokalani was often asked by Governor John A. Burns of Hawaii to represent the native Hawaiian people at state functions. Indeed, at the urging of Governor Burns, Princess Lydia founded the Friends of Iolani Palace charitable organisation in 1966; she remained the president of the Friends of Iolani Palace until her passing. The ashes of the princess were buried in the Oahu Cemetery on 22 May 1969 in a private service conducted by Bishop E. Lani Hanchett of the Episcopal Diocese of Honolulu. In his eulogy of Lydia to her family and friends present, these including her only child Abigail, the bishop said of the departed: "Help us to think of her as no further from us than Thy Presence with us, and while our minds follow her to Thy Presence, let a portion of her loving spirit rest upon us. We gratefully recall all that she was and all that she stood for - this child of Hawaii and daughter of royalty, her love for her land and her concern for her people. We give thanks for all that she has done to preserve the culture and traditions of Old Hawaii, and for her efforts in behalf of people with Hawaiian ancestry.

Abigail unveils a portrait of her grandmother Princess Abigail at the Iolani Palace, 1949.

Abigail Kawānanakoa, who lived a largely private life, gave an insightful interview with journalist Pierre Bowman of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, published on 23 July 1985. When asked about her adoption by her grandmother, Abigail stated: "It was a strictly Hawaiian arrangement. The eldest child always went to grandmother." She further gave insight into the comfortable life she had been able to lead as a result of being an heir to the Campbell Estate: "I've had the good fortune of not ever wanting for anything. I've been exposed to the finest. And somewhere I developed a discerning attitude and I appreciate beauty, generosity and sincerity." Abigail grew up in her grandmother's home with three first cousins, the children of Abigail's aunt Princess Kapiʻolani: Edward A. Kawānanakoa (1924-1997), Virginia Poʻomaikelani Kawānanakoa (1926-1998), Esther Kapiʻolani Kawānanakoa (b.1928). In the interview, Abigail recalled the children's upbringing by their grandmother Princess Abigail: "We had a pretty strict household. Grandmother never let us forget our heritage. She tried to expose us to everything. Was it special? Oh, yes, yes, yes. Grandmother carried the title princess, the last with the title that was official. Americans cannot carry titles, you know. We were just of the royal family, which had become very Anglicized. As all kids, we just wanted to be like everybody else. But we arrived at school every morning with a chauffeur in livery, and with a governess. And they picked us up. Once a week we were given some money to stop at Kress store - with a maid or the governess. Grandmother had to give in to Japanese maids. The fancy English nannies she imported only lasted three weeks." Abigail was then asked if this implied that she and her cousins were rather rambunctious. "Collectively, we could be very naughty. We were raised more as siblings than as cousins. We'd try to run away from our governess. And the Pensacola place [Princess Abigail's residence] had about six acres - so it was a possibility." She remembered that watching her grandmother in action was her earliest education. "We used to watch her directing things. Like setting up a luau table. In those days you sat, as if in a dining room. And you were served on china. There were no straddling a wooden sawhorse and tucking in your elbows. And there was the finest entertainment. Iolani Luahine. Flora Hayes. The Beamer children. Lena Machado.

Abigail Kawānanakoa on the grounds of Iolani Palace, 1985.

It was her family's dedication to the native Hawaiian people and the preservation of their culture and history that eventually drew Abigail into what became her life's mission. She became the President of the Friends of Iolani Palace organisation. Abigail recalled in the 1985 interview: "My mother started it. John Burns gave her the authority to handle it. It was a rather accepted fact that I'd pick up what our heritage demanded. This is my obligation. I must do this. It is with pleasure that I do it. It was my turn when my mother died." Abigail went on to address how she felt that native Hawaiins needed to be given more independence and chances to thrive within the state that had replaced their country: "We need some land - and not Hawaiian Homes. We need an area of our lives that's controlled and governed by Hawaiians. That is where we should be considered different from ordinary citizens... I have a lot of faith in OHA (Office of Hawaiian Affairs). I was advised it would take OHA maybe eight or 10 years before it's a viable force. They are going about it in a correct way. But Hawaiians hands are still tied. They're beholden to the state government for everything. Eventually, they should be autonomous. They should not have to beg for money. Land should be given us, to be administered by a body such as OHA. It should never be at the whim of a government or legislature. Then it's a political situation - as it always has been... I have thought about it for years, trying to find a solution for the important aspects of integration and separation. This is why I said I can relate to the Hawaiian. Many Hawaiians do not talk directly. It's not because they're circuitous. It's the only way they know how. The Hawaiian language - in hula and male - is innuendo and subtlety. Ask a Hawaiian what's wrong and he'll never tell you what exactly. That's why we haven't been more militant. But where are they going to put us? And that includes me. I am a part of this. They are my people - and I am their's. Many people do not realize who I am. They're not educated to it. I don't resent that. I hope I'll be able to see what I can do to benefit the plight of Hawaiians. I don't want to do more than I can, and I do not want to make a stand as the last of a royal one and not have clout. I am so sorry Hawaiians had to become militant to be heard. I am so sorry that George Helm had to lose his life to be heard. I am so sorry Hawaiians have had to resort to militancy to make a point. But all they're saying is give us the justice we deserve.

Abigail in front of Iolani Palace, 1990.

Princess Abigail Kawānanakoa, who eventually began using the title of princess, devoted her philanthropic work to supporting Hawaiian history, culture, and autonomy. 

Abigail and Veronica.

On 1 October 2017, Princess Abigail married her partner of twenty years, Veronica Gail Worth, in Honolulu. The last years of the princess's life were marred by a legal controversy over control of her fortune. She is survived by her wife, Veronica, and by many cousins.

May the Princess Rest In Peace.


The Ancestry of Abigail Kawānanakoa

1. Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Ellerbrock, surname changed to Kawānanakoa (Honolulu 23 April 1926-Honolulu 11 December 2022)
m. Honolulu 1 October 2017 to Veronica Gail Worth (b.September 1953)


2. William Jeremiah Ellerbrock (Honolulu 30 January 1902-Contra Costa, California 27 December 1953)
m. Honolulu 17 January 1925 (divorced Honolulu 19 July 1927)
3. Princess Helen Lydia Kamakaʻeha Liliʻuokalani Kawānanakoa (Honolulu 22 July 1905-Honolulu 19 May 1969)


4. Wilhelm "William" Theodor Heinrich Ellerbrock (Bremen 30 January 1862-San Francisco 30 June 1952)
m. Honolulu 30 May 1891
5. Emma Luise Minna Wieber (Germany 31 July 1875-Alameda, California 17 December 1948)

6. Prince David Laʻamea Kahalepouli Kinoiki Kawānanakoa (Honolulu 19 February 1868-San Francisco, California 2 June 1908)
m. San Francisco, California 6 January 1902
7. Abigail Wahiʻikaʻahuʻula Campbell (Honolulu 1 January 1882-Honolulu 12 April 1945)

Sunday, December 11, 2022

The French Imperial Family Welcomes Birth of a Prince!


The Prince and Princess Napoléon

According to Frédéric de Natal, Princess Olympia Napoléon (b.1988; née Countess von Arco-Zinneberg) gave birth to a son, Prince Louis Charles Riprand Victor Jérôme Marie Napoleon, on 7 December in Paris. Prince Louis is the first child for Prince Jean-Christophe Napoléon (b.1986) and Princess Olympia, who married in 2019. The arrival of Prince Louis secures the continuity of the Bonaparte dynasty for another generation. Below you can see the prince's ancestry back to his great-grandparents, as this family tree created by my friend (and royal genealogist and historian) Theodore Harvey shows:

Thursday, December 8, 2022

The 98th Birthday of Maria von Hanau: A Hungarian Refugee to the US Who Became A Princess


Princess Maria.

Maria Madelaine (de) Kossaczky was born on 9 December 1924 at Budapest, Hungary, as the only child of Major General Árpád Vitéz Kossaczky (Szeleste, Austria-Hungary 9 April 1886-Miami, Florida 24 June 1967) and Ilona Wallner (Nagyszombat, Austria-Hungary 16 November 1891-Greenwich, Connecticut 3 December 1983). Árpád and Ilona were married on 10 November 1919 at Trnava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). Their daughter Maria arrived five years later.

Major General Árpád Kossaczky fought in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I. In the 1950s, he recalled his time in the military on the Russian front, with regards to the conditions of the Russian soldiers: "Some of them cannot read or write." Kossaczky was firmly anti-Communist, and he founded a publishing and printing house in Budapest, which he ran until 1941. 

In Budapest, Maria attended Pázmány Péter Catholic University, and she then continued her studies at the University of Innsbruck (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck), where she focused on art history. In November 1949, Maria came to the United States as a displaced person in thanks to sponsorship from the Pi Beta Phi sorority. After arriving in the States, Maria enrolled at the University of Texas (UT), where she studied languages - her original intention had been to study interior design. While at UT, Maria worked as a teaching fellow in the German language department. Maria received a master's degree in German from the University of Texas. She went on to teach French, German, and European history at San Antonio College. 

Reunited: Maria with her mother and father in 1951.
Photo (c) Neal Douglass Photos.

Through the sponsorship of friends, Maria's parents were able to immigrate to the United States in 1951. They had previously fled Hungary for Germany in 1945, and then relocated from Germany to Austria, where they lived in the French Zone. The Texan press covered the reunion of Maria and her parents when they arrived in April 1951. Maria's mother Ilona remarked after seeing her daughter, who had adapted to being a college student, "poised and self-assured," in Texas: "In disposition, she is the same, but when I look at her and hear her talk I must tell myself she is Maria." 

Maria walks down the aisle with her father Major General Kossaczky.

Friedrich Wilhelm and Maria exchange wedding bands.

Princess Maria, pictured after throwing her bouquet, with Countess Rose Fugger von Babenhausen, a first cousin of Maria's husband.

Maria and Friedrich Wilhelm drink from the Kossaczsky silver wine goblet and its smaller cup. 

On 5 June 1954, Maria Madelaine de Kossaczky married Prince Friedrich Wilhelm von Hanau, Count von Schaumburg, at 11:00am during a nuptial mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Austin, Texas. Princess Maria's wedding outfit was thusly described by The Austin American of 8 June 1954: "She was attired in a gown of off-white peau de soie, designed with scooped neckline, Venetian point lace inlay, long pointed sleeves, Empire waistline, a bell-skirt with a long train... Her only jewelry was a pair of diamond earrings given her by her mother, which once were worn by her grandmother in Hungary." The maid of honour was Countess Andrea Széchényi von Sárvár-Felsövidék; the bridesmaids were Miss Jane Markman Wray, Miss Eugenia Hill, Miss Jo Jo Oefinger, Miss Emily Ann Finch, and Countess Rose Fugger von Babenhausen. The bestman was Mayor Andrew Wessling of Alamo City; the groomsmen were Dr Rudoph Winkelbauer, Lieutenant George Price, Mr August Clemens, Mr Jack Hebdon, and Mr Robert Schupbach. The Reverend Andrew J. Mulreany officiated over the wedding, which was followed by a reception at the home of Mr and Mrs Robert B. Thrasher of Grove House. During the reception, which was attended by 150 guests, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and Princess Maria von Hanau shared a toast from a silver goblet brought over by her parents. Her mother Ilona, who wore a mauve dress and a diamond pendant, explained, "My husband and I drank from it at our wedding also." The couple then departed for a week's honeymoon, after which they settled in an apartment in San Antonio.

Friedrich Wilhelm in 1953.

Born on 3 December 1927 at Horowitz, Czechoslovakia, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich von Hanau was the fourth children and third son of Fürst Heinrich von Hanau (1900-1971) and Countess Maria Theresia Fugger von Babenhausen (1899-1994). In 1952, Friedrich Wilhelm came to the USA and settled in Texas. The prince took a job with the Southern Steel Company, and he was taking night classes at San Antonio College in geology. Friedrich Wilhelm went on to become the senior vice president of BMW North America. 

On 5 June 1956 (their second anniversary) at San Antonio, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm and Princess Maria welcomed the arrival of their only child, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Christoph von Hanau, Count of Schaumburg. Prince Christoph married Candace McDowell on 13 June 1987 at the Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine of Siena in Riverside, Connecticut. Over time, Friedrich Wilhelm and Maria were blessed with two grandchildren, Princess Victoria (b.1990) and Prince Maximilian (b.1993).

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm von Hanau died on 4 June 2016 at his home in San Antonio. His wife Princess Maria and his son Prince Christoph were by his bedside. Princess Maria was left a widow after almost precisely sixty-two years of marriage.

Our best wishes to Princess Maria on her birthday!

Featured Post

The Plantagenet Family Tree: The Intriguing History of England's Plantagenet Dynasty Kings

The Plantagenet Family Tree: A Royal History The Plantagenet family was one of the most powerful royal dynasties in European history, rul...

Popular Posts