Sunday, January 30, 2022

Princess Elisabeth of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1933-2022)

Princess Elisabeth of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke Carl of Württemberg, and Princess Marie-Thérèse d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier in 2000.
Photo (c) Seeger-Press.

According to the Annuario della Nobiltà Italiana, Princess Elisabeth of Bourbon-Two Sicilies died on Saturday, 29 January, at the age of eighty-eight.

The Royal Family of Württemberg gather in 1973 to celebrate the 80th birthday of Duke Philipp.
Photo (c) William Mead Lalor Collection.
The Württemberg siblings in 2006: (left to right) Margravine Helene Pallavicini, Princess Marie Christine of Liechtenstein, Duke Carl of Württemberg, Princess Elisabeth of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, and Duke Ludwig of Württemberg.
Duchess Elisabeth Maria Margarethe Alix Helene Rosa Philippine Christine Josepha Therese vom Kinde Jesu of Württemberg was born at Stuttgart on 2 February 1933 as the second daughter and third child of Duke Philipp of Württemberg (1893-1975) and his second wife Archduchess Rosa of Austria-Tuscany (1906-1983), who wed in 1928. Elisabeth had an older half-sister, Duchess Marie Christine (b.1924; married Prince Georg of Liechtenstein) from her father's first marriage to Archduchess Helena of Austria-Tuscany (1903-1924), the sister of Elisabeth's mother. Elisabeth had five full siblings: Duchess Helene (1929-2021; married Markgraf Federico Pallavicini), Duke Philipp (1930-2019; married twice), Duchess Marie-Thérèse (b.1934; married Prince Henri d'Orléans, Count of Clermont), Duke Carl (b.1936; married Princess Diane d'Orléans), and Duchess Marie Antoinette (1937-2004). 
A young Prince Antonio.
The wedding of Prince Antonio of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg.

Prince Antonio of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and Duchess Elisabeth of Württemberg on the cover of Bunte
Princess Elisabeth and Prince Antonio with their son Prince Francesco, 1960.
In July 1958, Duchess Elisabeth married Prince Antoine (Antonio) of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1929-2019), the only child of Prince Gabriele of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1897-1975) and his first wife Princess Malgorzata Czartoryski (1902-1929). Elisabeth and Antonio had four children: Prince Francesco (b.1960; married Countess Alexandra von Schönborn-Wiesentheid), Princess Maria Carolina (b.1962; married Andreas Baumbach), Prince Gennaro (b.1966), and Princess Annunziata (b.1973; married Count Carl Fredrik Creutz).
Prince Antonio and Princess Elisabeth at the wedding of their niece Duchess Fleur.
Schloß Altshausen, 2003.
Prince Jean d'Orléans with his aunts Princess Elisabeth and Princess Marie-Christine at the wedding of Duchess Fleur.
Schloß Altshausen, 2003.
Prince Antonio and Princess Elisabeth with Margravine Helene at the wedding of Duchess Fleur.
Schloß Altshausen, 2003.

Princess Elisabeth is survived by her four children and by seven grandchildren.

May the Princess Rest In Peace.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Princess Mafalda of Bulgaria Engaged to Long-Time Boyfriend

Princess Mafalda of Bulgaria attends the Emporio Armani fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 on September 19, 2019 in Milan, Italy.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Daniele Venturelli / WireImage.

Yesterday in Hola, it was announced that Princess Mafalda of Bulgaria is engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Marc Camille Abousleiman, a London banker. The couple plan to celebrate their union with a civil marriage in May 2022 in Mallorca.

Born on 27 July 1994 at London, Princess Mafalda-Cecilia of Bulgaria is the eldest child of Prince Kyrill of Bulgaria, Prince of Preslav (b.1964) and his wife Princess Rosario (b.1968; née Nadal y Fuster-Puigdorfila), who married in 1989 and have been separated for many years. The princess has two younger siblings: Princess Olimpia (b.1995) and Prince Tassilo (b.2002). Mafalda is the paternal granddaughter of King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria. 

Born in June 1994, Marc Camille Abousleiman is the younger son of the Camille Abousleiman (b.15 June 1959), an attorney, and Marie-Christine Riachi (b.10 January 1962). Marc's father served as Minister of Labor for Lebanon in 2019, resigned in October 2020, but continued in a caretaker capacity until January 2021. Marc's paternal grandparents are the late Chaker Abousleiman (d.18 October 2000), a politician and attorney, and his wife Leila Gedeon. 

Our congratulations to Mafalda and Marc on their engagement!


Friday, January 21, 2022

Niece of Tongan King Recalls Nightmare of Tsunami Fallout

Maxar closeup satellite imagery shows the ash covered homes and buildings on January 18, 2022, after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano eruption on January 14th , 2022 in Tongatapu, Tonga.
Photo (c) Maxar via Getty Images.


On Thursday, 20 January, the Honourable Frederica Tuita shared a gripping account on her social media of her experience during the 2022 Hunga Tonga eruption and the resulting tsunami. On last Thursday, 14 January 2022, there was a sizeable explosion on Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai, an uninhabited volcanic island of the Tongan archipelago. Hunga Tonga is forty miles north of Tongatapu, the Tonga's main island. The eruption caused tsunamis in Tonga, Fiji, American Samoa, and Vanuatu. Following is Frederica's recollection of the what it was like on the main island: 

All praise and glory to the highest and most holy; our Heavenly Father for seeing Tonga through the volcanic eruption which not only shook heaven and earth but shook the very core of everyone who was here in the Kingdom that day. 

The volcanic ash has settled into every crevice our lives and we still sleep in fear of another eruption. Yet through the ash, panic and chaos, I saw hope. In the rush to evacuate with my parents to the villa (His Late Majesty King George V's residence located on the highest point nearest town), I was separated from my children. I decided to try and cheer everyone up around me which in turn kept me from worrying about my children (who I later confirmed were safe at home with my eldest sister and her son). The power all over Tonga was out and we were using phones and candles to see. While I was sitting in the villa dining room I looked outside and saw it, through the dark was a stream of vehicles coming up the villa driveway. Their Majesties had kept the gates open for anyone seeking refuge from the tsunami wave and volcanic ash rain. The entire estate had vehicles parked in it from back to front. Families gathered on the porch and we welcomed children and elderly into the dining room; the look of relief as grandmothers closed their eyes sitting on soft seats brought us all comfort. I sat with my phone light on Elizabeth Kite and Melemanu Bloomfield and watched them tearing large black and purple pieces of material left from Baroness Tuputupu and Lord Ma'afu's funerals for everyone coming in; almost all of them didnt have masks and the air was thick with dust and sulfur. As more people came in, I decided to free up my chair for them and found a spot on the floor near my parents and Her Majesty the Queen (HMQ) at the entrance hallway. Even from the hallway I could hear people and children coughing, mothers patting their children's backs and shushing softly to comfort them. 

As we sat there waiting for any news, an army truck turned in with bottled drinking water. Her Majesty excused herself as she saw to the distribution of water, startling those sitting outside who looked up then took a second look to confirm it was HMQ standing before them. Late into the night I could hear a child wake up crying, perhaps surprised to find themselves in a strange place. 

All our senses were on high alert; I didn't want to believe there was a little less sulfur in the air so I asked my mother and HMQ if they thought there was less sulfur in the air, they agreed. The air in the house was still, we opened the door just a little but the air brought with it ash and dust that I could feel hitting my face. We closed the door but not before I whispered to my mother's police security, "if the police drive out and go past my home, please let me know so I can hitch a ride? I need to see my kids". She said yes and I had more reason to stay awake and wait. 

Before leaving their home, my father had grabbed his radio; at the villa he found a wooden chest and sat on it with his radio on his lap. He would turn the radio on from time to time so we could listen for any news of the volcano. We all had a mixture of feelings until mother turned to us and said, "si'i 'aonga pe 'ene langa e?". She was referring to His Late Majesty King George V, not many not even I knew that he had built the villa for reasons such as this. The drive way is long enough for so many vehicles to park along; safe on higher ground. I took another look at the families coming in with all the facilities available to them, turned to my mother and said, "Yes mum, 'aonga lahi 'aupito 'ene maa'imoa kihe kakai".  

Suddenly my cousin Laite walked in and told me the ash rain had eased up and the police van was able take me home. I bid HMQ and my parents goodbye and made my way through the thick layer of ash on the ground to the vehicle. As we drove on the road, no other vehicle was moving, everyone had been told to find shelter, anyone found driving around by police were instructed to park there. Everything was covered in at least 3 inches of ash. The road was dark and the island was completely still with uncertainty lingering in the air. We turned into my home and relief washed over me as I saw candle light shining out from inside. As I walked up I greeted my sister and husband who had sought safety there and walked inside to all 3 of my children running towards me. I knelt down and embraced them all at once, this was all the sustenance I needed. With my daughter and sons safely in my arms, I was ready for the sun to rise and help light the way to the Kingdom's recovery.

The Honourable Frederica Tuita Filipe, 2016.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Amanda Edwards.

The Hon. Frederica Tuita is the third of four daughters of Princess Royal Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu, The Lady Tuita, and her husband Siosaʻia, The 9th Lord Tuita. In 2013, Frederica Tuita married Johnny Filipe; the couple have three children. Frederica's uncle is King Tupou VI of Tonga; her late uncle was King George V of Tonga. 


If you would like to donate to help the Tongan people recover, here are a few helpful links:

GoFundMe - Tonga Tsunami relief by Pita Taufatofua
Friends of Tonga - Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai Volcanic Eruptions and Tsunami Disaster Relief

Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Diamond Wedding Anniversary of King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria

Queen Margarita and King Simeon II on their religious wedding day.

Today, Their Majesties King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria celebrate sixty years of marriage!

Simeon and Margarita discuss their engagement, 1961.
The engagement ring.

The engagement of the couple was announced on 10 August 1961 by the Simeon's mother Giovanna: "Her Majesty the Queen Mother of Bulgaria is pleased to announce the engagement of her son Simeon, King of the Bulgarians, with Señorita Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela." That day at noon, the King and his fiancée held a press conference at the royal residence on the Avenida del Valle. The couple disclosed that Simeon had met Margarita some years before at a party in Madrid; however, it was about a year and a half before their engagement that their relationship had turned from a friendship into a romance. Margarita was given a ring with a large ruby set by diamonds by her fiancé. Queen Mother Giovanna gave her future daughter-in-law a platinum brooch set with three emeralds surrounded by diamonds. 

Margarita and Simeon after their civil wedding.

On Saturday, 20 January 1962, King Simeon II of Bulgaria and doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela were civilly married at the town hall in Lausanne, Switzerland. Colonel Georges Guentchjeff was the witness for King Simeon; don Jose Luis Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela was the witness for his sister. It was later revealed by the king's sister that the couple had also held an intimate Roman Catholic wedding in Madrid beforehand. King Simeon was naturally of the Bulgarian Orthodox faith; while Queen Margarita was of the Roman Catholic faith, which she retained after their union.

The newly married King and Queen of Bulgaria.
Queen Mother Giovanna and Princess Marie Louise are in the background.

A day later, on Sunday, 21 January, the couple celebrated their religious marriage at the Russian Orthodox Church of Saint Megalomartyr Barbara in Vevey, Switzerland. The ceremony was conducted by Metropolit Andrey of New York, Head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Exile, Bishop Antony, Head of the Orthodox Church in Switzerland, and Father Igor Troyanov of Saint Barbara's Church. The nuptials of the king and queen was attended by 400 guests. Aside from King Simeon and Queen Margarita, the royal attendees present were the following: Queen Mother Giovanna of Bulgaria, Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria and Prince Karl Vladimir zu Leiningen, Queen Mother Geraldine of Albania, Archduke Andreas Salvator of Austria, Prince Ludwig of Baden, Prince Irakly Bagration-Mukhransky, Prince and Princess Viggo, Count and Countess of Rosenborg, King Farouk of Egypt and his daughter Princess Fawzia, Princess Zahra Khanzadi Sultana of Egypt and her daughter Princess Sabiha Fazila Khanum Sultana, Prince Michael of Greece, Landgrave Philipp of Hesse and his son Hereditary Prince Moritz, Fürst Emich zu Leiningen, Duke Christian Ludwig and Duchess Barbara of Mecklenburg, Princess Marie Clotilde Napoléon, the Duke of Parma, Prince Louis Ferdinand and Princess Kira of Prussia with their son Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia, and Prince Tomislav and Princess Margarita of Yugoslavia. Other noble guests from Spain and Europe included: Prince Dimitri Romanoff, the Marchioness of Winchester, the Duque and Duquesa de Almenara Alta, the Marquesa de Zurgena, Gräfin Viktoria zu Solms-Rödelheim und Assenheim and her son Erbgraf Markwalt zu Solms-Rödelheim und Assenheim, Conte Calvi di Bergolo, the Condesa de Alba de Liste, the Vizconde de Tuy, the Duquesa de Andria, and Conte Carlo Colonna.

Queen Margarita.

In February 1962, Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria, who was living in Oakville, Canada, with her first husband, granted an interview to Stasia Evasuk of The Ottawa Journal about the royal wedding. The princess shared her recollections: "The wedding went off smoothly. I can't tell you where Simeon and his bride are honeymooning. They'll live in Madrid where my mother has her official residence since the Communists are still in power in Bulgaria. I've known the bride for years. I met her in Spain where I lived for seven years with my brother and mother before my marriage. She has no close relatives. Everyone in her family was killed by anti-Franco forces in the Spanish civil war except her and her brother. They were saved by a nanny. The night before the wedding there was a reception for 400 guests at the Lausanne Palace Hotel. I enjoyed seeing old friends I hadn't seen for a long time. [On the wedding day,] my mother wore a deep purple silk dress with a matching velvet coat and I wore a pink and brocaded gold dress with matching silk coat. The bride wore a long white silk gown embroidered with pearls. She looked simply beautiful." Queen Margarita of Bulgaria wore the Bulgarian Fleur-de-Lis Tiara.

The King and Queen with their children and grandchildren, 2007.
Photo (c) HM King Simeon.

King Simeon and Quen Margarita have five children: Crown Prince Kardam, Prince of Tirnovo (1962-2015; married Miriam Ungria y López); Prince Kyrill, Prince of Preslav (b.1964; married Rosario Nadal y Fuster-Puigdorfila); Prince Kubrat, Prince of Panagjuriste (b.1965; married Carla-Maria Royo-Villanova y Urrestarazu); Prince Konstantin-Assen, Prince of Vidin (b.1967; married Maria Garcia de la Rasilla y Gortazar); and Princess Kalina (b.1972; married Antonio "Kitin" Muñoz Valcárcel). The King and Queen of the Bulgarians have eleven grandchildren. The royal couple live at Vrana Palace.

Our best wishes to Their Majesties on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding Anniversary!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

"A Festival of Failure": Spanish Press Weighs in on Demise of Royal Marriage(s)


On Wednesday, Lecturas magazine ran as its cover a photo of Infanta Cristina next to a recent picture of her husband Iñaki Urdangarin holding hands with another woman (later identified by Lecturas as Ainhoa Armentia) on the beach in Bidart, France. The headline blared: "EXCLUSIVE: WHILE INFANTA CRISTINA LIVES IN SWITZERLAND, IÑAKI WITH ANOTHER WOMAN." The well-known journalist Pilar Eyre broke the story; Ms. Eyre has sometimes provided sensational scoops about the royal family. This news was swiftly echoed in the rest of the press. The Catalan digital newspaper El Nacional summarised their report with two poignant lines: "The marriages of the Bourbons are cool: only one seems to have resisted separations and extramarital affairs, that of King Felipe and [Queen] Letizia. The rest is a festival of failure: that of [King] Juan Carlos and [Queen] Sofía, that of [Infanta] Elena and Jaime de Marichalar and now that of [Infanta] Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin." It should be noted that Infanta Cristina and her husband have not formally separated.

Elena and Jaime, 1995.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Thierry Orban.

On 18 March 1995 at Seville, Infanta Elena of Spain, Duchess of Lugo, married don Jaime de Marichalar y Sáenz de Tejada. The couple had met in 1987 while she was studying in Paris. Infanta Elena and don Jaime have two children: don Froilán de Marichalar y Borbón (b.1998) and doña Victoria Federica de Marichalar y Borbón (b.2000). Infanta Elena and don Jaime separated in 2007; their marriage was dissolved by divorce in 2010.

Cristina and Iñaki on their wedding day, 1997.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Carsten Rehder / picture alliance.

On 4 October 1997 at Barcelona, Infanta Cristina of Spain, then Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, married don Iñaki Urdangarin Liebaert. The couple either met in 1992 or (as is the more common version) at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Infanta Cristina and Iñaki have four children: don Juan Urdangarin y Borbón (b.1999), don Pablo Urdangarin y Borbón (b.2000), don Miguel Urdangarin y Borbón (b.2002), and doña Irene Urdangarin y Borbón (b.2005). Iñaki became embroiled in the Nóos case, which began in 2010 and is still ongoing. As a result of his involvement in the scandal, Iñaki was sentenced to almost six years imprisonment in 2018. Since 2013, Infanta Cristina and her minor children have lived in Switzerland although the infanta often visits Spain to see her family.

Felipe and Letizia, 2004.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Ian Waldie.
On 22 May 2004 at Madrid, the then Prince of Asturias married Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. The Prince and Princess of Asturias have two children: Infanta Leonor (b.2005) and Infanta Sofía (b.2007). In 2014, the Prince of Asturias succeeded his father King Juan Carlos I and became King Felipe VI of Spain. King Felipe and Queen Letizia will celebrate twenty years of marriage in 2024. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Princess Birgitta of Sweden's 85th Birthday!

Princess Birgitta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1999.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Gianni Ferrari.

Today, Princess Birgitta of Sweden celebrates her eighty-fifth birthday.

Princess Sibylle of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden on their wedding day at Coburg, 1932.
Princess Birgitta at a little over one month old.
Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla with their eldest daughter Princess Margaretha and their infant daughter Princess Birgitta, Haga, April 1937.

Born on 19 January 1937 at Haga, Princess Birgitta Ingeborg Alice of Sweden was the second daughter and child of Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten (1906-1947), and Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1908-1972), who married in 1932. Birgitta's paternal grandparents were King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden (1882-1973) and his first wife Princess Margaret of Connaught (1882-1920). Her maternal grandparents were Duke Carl Eduard of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1884-1954) and his wife Princess  Viktoria Adelheid of Schleswig-Holstein (1885-1970).

Princess Margaretha, Princess Birgitta, Princess Désirée, and Princess Christina of Sweden, 1945.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Hulton Deutsch.
Six month old Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden, the future King, 1946.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Bettmann.

Prince Gustaf Adolf and Princess Sibylla of Sweden had five children, four daughters and one son: Princess Margaretha (b.1934), Princess Birgitta (b.1937), Princess Désirée (b.1938), Princess Christina (b.1943), and Prince Carl Gustaf (b.1946). In January 1947, Prince Gustaf Adolf was killed when the Royal Dutch Airlines DS-3 aircraft on which the prince was a passenger crashed in Copenhagen shortly after its take-off for Stockholm. The prince had been a hunting guest of Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. American soprano Grace Moore was one of the other twenty-plus victims of the plane crash.

Princess Birgitta in 1960.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Rolls Press / Popperfoto.

In the late 1950s, Princess Birgitta was a student at the Kungliga Gymnastiska Centralinstitutet (Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences) in Stockholm. Through her studies at the school, the princess became a trained gymnast and also an instructor in the sport. In 1958, Birgitta taught gymnastics to students at the Broms School in Stockholm. 

Princess Birgitta and Prince Johann Georg when their engagement was announced, 1960.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Keystone.

On 15 December 1960, the Swedish royal court announced the engagement of Princess Birgitta of Sweden and Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern (1932-2016). The prince and princess met in 1959 at a cocktail party during a skiing holiday in Germany. Johann Georg was the son of Fürst Friedrich of Hohenzollern (1891-1965) and Princess Margrethe of Saxony (1900-1962). Birgitta and Johann Georg were fifth cousins; both were descendants of Duke Franz of Sachsen-Saalfeld-Coburg and his second wife Countess Auguste Reuss zu Lobenstein und Ebersdorf. 

The wedding day of Birgitta and Johann Georg, 1961.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Keystone-France.

On 25 May 1961, Princess Birgitta and Prince Johann Georg took part in their civil marriage at the Royal Palace in Stockholm; Mayor Yngve Kristensson joined the prince and princess in matrimony. The simple ceremony lasted for only two minutes, but it was attended by 750 guests and televised. On 30 May, the couple celebrated their religious wedding at Sigmaringen, which was presided over by Father Benedict Rith.  

Prince Johann Georg and Princess Birgitta with their three children: Prince Carl Christian, Princess Désirée, and baby Prince Hubertus, 1966.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Keystone-France.

Princess Birgitta and Prince Johann Georg had three children: Prince Carl Christian (b.1962; married Nicole Neschitsch), Princess Désirée (b.1963; married firstly to Hereditary Count Heinrich zu Ortenburg; married secondly to Eckbert von Bohlen und Halbach), and Prince Hubertus (b.1966; married Ute Maria König). Princess Birgitta has five grandchildren.

Princess Birgitta and Prince Johann Georg at the celebration of the prince's 50th birthday, 1982.
Photo (c) Getty Images / United Archives.
Princess Birgitta and Prince Johann Georg eventually quietly separated, though never legally, and they never divorced. Princess Birgitta preferred the warmer climate of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, where she could pursue her interest in golf; while Prince Johann Georg, an art historian, continued to reside in Germany. 
Princess Birgitta departing the funeral of her husband, 2016.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Picture Alliance.


Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern died on 2 March 2016, aged eighty-three. Johann Georg and Birgitta had been married for fifty-four years. The princess remains close to her family in Sweden. Princess Birgitta attended the 2010 wedding of her niece Crown Princess Victoria to Daniel Westling, the 2013 wedding of her niece Princess Madeleine to Christopher O'Neill, and the 2015 wedding of her nephew Prince Carl Philip to Sofia Hellqvist.
Our congratulations to Princess Birgitta on her birthday!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

The 70th Birthday of King Fuad II of Egypt

His Majesty King Fuad.
Photo (c) Fouad II, Official Site.

Today, HM King Fuad II of Egypt celebrates his seventieth birthday!

The infant prince in the Cairo's Abdeen Palace.
King Farouk and Queen Narriman of Egypt with their son Prince Fuad.

Born on 16 January 1952 at Cairo, Prince Ahmad Fuad of Egypt was the first and only child of King Farouk of Egypt (1920-1965) and his second wife Queen Narriman (1933-2005; née Sadiq), who had married in 1951. From his father's first marriage to Queen Farida (1921-1988; née Safinaz Zulficar), the little prince had three older sisters: Princess Ferial (1938-2009), Princess Fawzia (1940-2005), and Princess Fadia (1943-2002). The three sisters and their younger brother remained very close to one another.

Queen Narriman and King Farouk of Egypt with their son King Fuad II while in exile at Capri, 1953.

Following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, King Farouk abdicated on 26 July in favour of his six month old son, who became King Fuad II of Egypt. Fuad was never crowned, and he left with his parents and sisters for exile in Europe. A regency was established and headed by Prince Muhammad Abdel Moneim. Owing to the political situation in the country, the infant king's reign was to be very brief. On 18 June 1953, King Fuad II was deposed, the monarchy was abolished, and Egypt became a republic. The marriage of Fuad's parents had deteriorated rather quickly; King Farouk and Queen Narriman divorced in 1954. One of the conditions of the divorce, which was sought by the queen, was that she would have to give up custody of her son. This proved a great source of pain to Narriman, who returned to Egypt. In 1954, Queen Narriman married Dr. Adham al-Nakib, who had been King Farouk's personal doctor. The couple had one son, Akram, and divorced in 1961. King Farouk died in 1965 at the age of forty-five, having never remarried. 

The religious wedding of King Fuad II of Egypt, 1977.
King Fuad with his son Prince Muhammed Ali, 1979.

On 16 April 1976 at Paris, King Fuad II of Egypt civilly married Dominique-France Loeb-Picard (b.1948; upon her conversion to Islam she adopted the name Fadila), the daughter of David-Robert Loeb and Paule-Madeleine Picard. The couple were religiously married at Monte Carlo on 5 October 1977 in the presence of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. King Fuad and Queen Fadila had three children: Prince Muhammad Ali (b.1979; married Princess Noal Zaher of Afghanistan), Princess Fawzia-Latifa (b.1982; married Sylvain Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Renaudeau), and Prince Fakhruddin (b.1987). Fuad and Fadila's marriage had faltered by the mid-1990s; the couple separated in 2002. King Fuad filed for divorce in 2006 and Fadila appealed his petition. The couple were finally granted a divorce in 2008.

King Fuad with his daughter-in-law Princess Noal Zaher and his son Prince Muhammed Ali on the occasion of their wedding, 2013.
Photo (c) Fouad II, Official Site.
King Fuad with his two eldest children, their spouses, and his grandchildren, 2021.
Photo (c) Fouad II, Official Site.

The last King of Egypt lives in Switzerland. King Fuad has four grandchildren. In 2013, the king's eldest son Prince Muhammed Ali, Prince of the Sa'id, married Princess Noal Zaher Shah of Afghanistan, the daughter of Prince Muhammed Daoud Khan and Princess Fatima Begum. Prince Muhammed Ali and Princess Noal Zaher have two children, twins: Prince Fouad Zaher Hassan and Princess Farah-Noor of Egypt (b.2017). In 2019, the king's daughter Princess Fawzia-Latifa married Sylvain Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Renaudeau; the couple have two children, a son Naël Renaudeau (b.2019), and a daughter, Dounia Renaudeau (b.2021). King Fuad is a close family friend to the Albanian Royal House and the Russian Imperial House, among others.

The king with his son, daughter-in-law, and their children, 2019.
Photo (c) Fouad II, Official Site.

Our congratulations to His Majesty on his birthday!

Friday, January 14, 2022

The Serbian Twins Turn 40: the Birthday of Prince Philip and Prince Alexander!

Prince Alexander and Prince Philip.
Photograph courtesy of the Royal Family of Serbia.


Today, Prince Philip and Prince Alexander of Serbia celebrate their fortieth birthdays!

The birth of the twin princes is noted in the Chicago Tribune of 25 January 1982.
Princess Maria da Gloria holding Prince Alexander and Prince Philip while Prince Peter looks on, 1982.

Born on 15 January 1982 at Fairfax, Virginia, the fraternal twin princes Philip and Alexander were the second and third children of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (b.1945) and his wife Princess Maria da Gloria of Orléans-Braganza (b.1946). The paternal grandparents of the princes are King Peter II of Yugoslavia (1923-1970) and Queen Alexandra (1921-1993; née Princess of Greece). Their maternal grandparents are Prince Pedro Gastão of Orléans-Braganza (1913-2007) and Princess Esperanza of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1914-2005).

Princess Maria da Gloria and Crown Prince Alexander on their wedding day, 1972.

Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Maria da Gloria married on 1 July 1972 at Villamanrique de la Condesa. The couple were fourth cousins, both being descendants of Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife Princess Mária Antónia von Koháry. Alexander and Maria da Gloria met in Portugal while both where on holiday with family. The prince and princess found that they could best converse in French. Even after the princess became fluent in English, Alexander and Maria da Gloria continued to speak in French between one another. 

Prince Alexander and Princess Maria da Gloria with their eldest son Prince Peter, 1982.
The couple were on vacation in Fort Meyers, Florida.
Photo (c) News-Press / Acey Harper.

The couple welcomed the arrival of their first child, Hereditary Prince Peter, on 5 February 1980 in Chicago, Illinois. Shortly thereafter, Prince Alexander and Princess Maria da Gloria moved to Virginia, where they purchased a home. It was in Virginia that they welcomed the arrival of their twins. 

Princess Alicia, Duchess of Calabria, and King Constantine II of the Hellenes with Prince Philip and Prince Alexander during their baptism. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofía of Spain as well as Queen Anne-Marie of Greece watch the ceremony.

Prince Philip and Prince Alexander of Serbia were baptised at Villamanrique, Spain, in July 1982; their parents had been married at the same place a decade earlier. When their mother was asked who she and her husband had chosen to be the princes' godparents, Princess Maria da Gloria responded: "They are the same for the two children. Because we had only thought of one child and we asked our cousin King Constantine [of Greece] and my cousin Anita of Bourbon-Sicilies [Duchess of Calabria] to be the godfather and godmother. When the twins arrived, we did not want to ask those we had chosen to share these responsibilities, but they [the King of Greece and the Duchess of Calabria] are so wonderful that they insisted on remaining godfather and godmother of the two children. This is why Philip and Alexander have the same godfather and the same godmother."

Prince Philip and Princess Danica surrounded by family and friends on their wedding day, 2017.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Milica Radicevic.


Prince Philip and Princess Danica with their son Prince Stefan, 2018.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Srdjan Stevanovic.

Prince Philip of Serbia graduated from University College London (UCL) with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Humanities and following that he worked for Landsbanki in the City of London. On 7 October 2017 at Belgrade, Prince Philip married Danica Marinkovic (b.1986). Prince Philip and Princess Danica had their first child, Prince Stefan of Serbia, in 2018. The family live in Belgrade.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden and Prince Alexander of Serbia at the wedding of Prince Philip, 2017.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Milica Radicevic.

Prince Alexander of Serbia attended the University of San Francisco and graduated with a Communication Studies Degree with Emphasis on Public Relations and Journalism. The prince lives in the United States.

Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and his three sons (left to right): Hereditary Prince Peter, Prince Philip, and Prince Alexander.

Our best wishes to Prince Philip and Prince Alexander on their birthday!

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