Saturday, April 30, 2022

Dynastic Legal Issues Regarding Recent Serbian Renunciation

On Saturday, 30 April, the press office of the Royal Palace in Belgrade released a statement from Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia regarding the renunciation of his eldest son, Prince Peter:

Concerning the withdrawal of my oldest son Prince Peter from the line of succession, I wish him all the best for the future, good health, and happiness. I appreciate his honesty regarding the tough decision he made.

This issue was brought to me quickly, while I am abroad, due to previous obligations. Unfortunately, such a crucial and important procedure was not followed properly, in accordance with the tradition and rules of the Royal Family, and the Family Rulebook, which was written in the time of the Kingdom, and which all members of the Royal Family need to follow. This occurrence and procedure did not take place at the Royal Palace, in Serbia, with my presence and authority as the Head of the Royal Family, with the blessing of our Holy Church and with Crown Council participation in the process, but in a foreign country, without a good reason for performing such important matter away from our homeland.

The Royal Family of Serbia will continue to serve the people with dedication, honesty, and loyalty, which is the obligation and duty for us.

As previously reported on Thursday, 28 April, Hereditary Prince Peter of Serbia renounced his rights of succession in a ceremony in Seville on 27 April. If enacted, this would make his brother Prince Philip the new heir to Crown Prince Alexander. On Saturday, Prince Philip and his wife Princess Danica visited Oplenac, the mausoleum of the Serbian royal family, where they paid tribute to the prince's ancestors. 

According to the Family Book of Rules of 5 April 1930, which govern the Royal House of Karađorđević and its members, there are several technical problems with Prince Peter's renunciation. Article 3 states: "The Ruling King is the head and protector of all the members of The Royal House. The King determines the rank of all the members of The Royal House." Furthermore, Article 5 reads: "Without the special approval and consent of the King no member of The Royal House is allowed to commit any act or deed of the public importance, nor to make any permanent commitments to anyone. The King takes care, by all means, that with no exception The Royal House is always governed by the rules and considerations of honour, order and exemplary behaviour, worthy of the Royal House." When reading this dynastic text, it is worth noting that when there is a reference to the King, then the current holder of that position is the Head of the Royal House, i.e. Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, as he would be monarch if Serbia was currently a monarchy.

The statement of the Crown Prince does not directly address whether or not the renunciation of Prince Peter has been accepted in its current form. The first portion of the communiqué seems to hint that the renunciation has possibly been accepted by the Head of House, while the second portion goes on to point out the issues with the renunciation which could render it invalid, as noted above. With time, more clarity will likely be given on the situation. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

The 85th Birthday of the Duke de Sabran

The duke and duchess de Sabran.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Bertrand Rindoff Petroff.


Today, the 8th Duc de Sabran celebrates his eighty-fifth birthday!


Born on 30 April 1937 at Villecresnes, Charles Élzéar Marie Joseph Adrien de Sabran-Pontevès was the first child of Foulques, 7th Duc de Sabran (1908-1973) and Roselyne Manca-Amat de Vallambrosa (1910-1988). Roselyne, duchesse de Sabran, was a close friend of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco. Élzéar had four younger siblings: Jean Henri (1939-2017; married Marie Isabelle Decazes de Glücksbierg), Géraud (1940-1941), Gersende (b.1942; married Prince Jacques, Duc d'Orléans), and Vicomte Géraud de Sabran (b.1943; married Stéphanette Fabre). Élzéar became the 8th duc de Sabran following the death of his father in 1973. Élzéar found his career in business and is the owner of the Château d'Ansouis.

Élzéar and Dewi Sukarno with her daughter Kartika, December 1977.
Photo (c) Reginald Davis of The Australian Women's Weekly.

In December 1977, Élzéar de Sabran-Pontevès alluded to his upcoming engagement to Naoko Nemoto (b.1940; aka Ratna Sari Dewi Sukarno), one of the wives and subsequent widows of Sukarno, the first President of Indonesia. The French duke and the widow of the Indonesian leader had been seeing one another since 1975. Élzéar was forty years-old and described as being "very good looking and rather shy" as well as having "the figure of an athlete and a young man's exuberance." It was stated that the couple would officially announce their betrothal early in 1978. Élzéar, by then Duc de Sabran, commented: "It has been impossible for Dewi and me to get any time together. We simply never get away from people. That is why we are leaving Paris and taking a holiday visiting Japan and the places Dewi knows and loves. It will be nice for me to see these places. Dewi knows my world well - and apparently likes it. Now I must know hers. It will be a quiet visit. I am fascinated by the Orient, and I want to see as much as I can on this holiday. I am not a member of the jet set. I do not travel a lot. When I travel, I would rather see a lot of the country and learn something of its culture." The duke shared that he and Madame Sukarno shared a passion for historical preservation, particularly of the Château d'Ansouis. "I take care of the outside, and Dewi has been in charge of the restoration of the first and second floors. We love d'Ansouis. It is part of my life and something to return to. There is nothing new, nothing brash at d'Ansouis. Nothing we have not lived with for generations." For reasons unknown, the Duc de Sabran and Madame Dewi Sukarno never married. 

The duke and duchess de Sabran, 2001.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Bertrand Rindoff Petroff.

In 1997, the Duc de Sabran married Dubravka "Douchka" Cizmek (b.1946) at Versailles. The couple were religiously married at the Château d'Ansouis in 1999. Élzéar and Dubravka, Duke and Duchess de Sabran, welcomed the arrival of their only child, a daughter Delphine, in 2001.

Our best wishes to the Duke on his birthday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Prince Peter of Serbia Renounces Succession Rights

Hereditary Prince Philip and his older brother Prince Peter during the renunciation.


On 27 April at Casa Pilatos in Seville, Prince Peter of Serbia renounced his right of succession to the Headship of the Royal House. Among others, Peter’s act of renunciation was witnessed by his mother the Duchess of Segorbe, his stepfather the Duke of Segorbe, his brother Prince Philip and his sister-in-law Princess Danica. Prince Peter has given up his dynastic rights as well as those of any children he may have in future. Philip and Danica, who live in Belgrade, are the new Hereditary Prince and Princess of Serbia.

Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and Princess Maria da Glória of Orléans-Braganza on their wedding day.
Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia can be seen to the far right of the photograph.
The Royal Wedding of the Karageorgevich and Orléans-Braganza.
(left to right): Prince Juan Carlos of Spain, the Count of Paris, Princess Sofía of Spain with her children (Infante Felipe, Infanta Cristina, and Infanta Elena), the Countess of Barcelona, Princess Maria da Glória, Prince Alexander, Princess Anne, King Constantine of Greece (with his children Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Alexia in the front), Infante Alfonso of Spain, and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
The newlyweds: Crown Prince Alexander and Crown Princess Maria da Glória of Serbia.
The Chicago Tribune of 6 February 1980 heralds Prince Peter's arrival.

On 5 February 1980, the prince was born at Chicago, Illinois, as the first child of Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (b.1945) and Princess Maria da Glória of Orléans-Braganza (b.1946). Alexander and Maria da Glória had married in 1972. Their infant son's name paid tribute to both the father and mother's fathers: King Peter II of Yugoslavia (1923 - 1970) and Prince Pedro Gastão of Orléans-Braganza (1913 - 2007). At his christening, Prince Peter received his cousin Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia (1924 - 2016), the only surviving son of Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia and Princess Olga (née Greece and Denmark), as his godfather.


Peter was followed by two younger brothers: the fraternal twin princes Philip and Alexander (b.1982). In 1985, the marriage of Crown Prince Alexander and Princess Maria da Glória ended in divorce. By the end of 1985, Peter and his brothers had gained a new stepmother and stepfather. In September 1985, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia married Katherine Clairy Batis (b.1945) at the Orthodox Church in London. In October 1985, Princess Maria da Glória married don Ignacio de Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, 19th Duke of Segorbe (b.1947). Peter gained two sisters from his mother's second marriage: Sol (b.1986) and Luna (b.1988).

 Prince Peter of Serbia
Prince Peter graduated from The King’s School Canterbury in England. There the prince obtained three A levels in Art, French and Spanish. Peter then completed an art foundation course at the Camberwell College of Arts in London. The hereditary prince then pursued studies in graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design. It is in this field that Prince Peter currently works as a graphic design professional.

Prince Peter of Serbia lives in Spain. Although all three reside in different countries, Peter is very close to his brothers Philip and Alexander.

Karađorđević Renunciation: Prince Mihailo Expresses Support for New Heir

Prince Mihailo and Hereditary Prince Philip with their families.

On his Instagram, Prince Mihailo of Serbia, a son of Prince Tomislav and a grandson of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, has issued a statement showing his support for his first cousins once removed, the former Hereditary Prince Peter and the new Hereditary Prince Philip :

I fully support the decision of my cousin Peter to transfer his duties, rights and obligations to Filip. I deeply believe that Filip will give an exceptional contribution to our country, our people and our society with his life in Serbia and his efforts. Over the past years, I have had the opportunity to be convinced of Filip's sincere intentions and true concern for the progress of our people, in Serbia and abroad. Ljubica and I will continue, as before, to give our support to Filip and Danica in order to work together for the common good and progress.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Orthodox Christian Royals Celebrate the Resurrection of Christ

On Sunday, members of the Orthodox Christian royal families of Europe celebrated Pascha. 
Crown Princess Elia of Albania with her father and brother.
King Simeon II of Bulgaria.
Prince Philip and Princess Danica with their son Prince Stefan.


Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia.


Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and his wife Princess Victoria.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

A Femme Fatale: Belina de Valdeterrazo, Duchess of Montpensier

Born on 22 April 1895 at Madrid, Doña María Isabel "Belina" Josefina Teodora Magdalena González de Olañeta y Ibarreta was the only child of Don Ulpiano González de Olañeta y González de Ocampo (1847-1928), II Marqués de Valdeterrazo, and Doña Isabel Eugenia de Ibarretea y Uhagon (1856-1930), who wed in 1891. In Spain, and particularly Madrid, Isabel was known as "Belina Valdeterrazo."

Antonio González y González.
Belina's paternal grandparents were Don Antonio González y González, I Marqués de Valdeterrazo, and Doña María Josefa de Olañeta y Ocampo. Her maternal grandparents were Don Adolfo de Ibarretea and Doña Isabel de Uhagon y Vedia. 
The wedding of Ferdinand and Belina, 1921.
The Duke and Duchess of Montpensier in Paris, 1922.
Photo (c) Maurice-Louis Branger / Roger-Viollet / Granger.

On 20 August 1921 at Randan, Doña Isabel "Belina" González de Olañeta y Ibarreta, Vizcondesa de los Antrines, married Prince Ferdinand d'Orléans, Duke of Montpensier. The Duke of Montpensier was the youngest child of Prince Philippe d'Orléans, Count of Paris, and Infanta Maria Isabel of Spain. Their wedding was heavily attended by Ferdinand's family, particularly his sisters: Queen Marie Amélie of Portugal; Princess Hélène, Duchess of Aosta; and Princess Isabelle, Duchess of Guise, with her husband (and first cousin) Prince Jean, Duke of Guise, and their children Prince Henri and the Princesses Isabelle, Françoise, and Anne. Belina's parents were also present for the wedding of their only child. Shortly after their marriage, Belina apparently isolated Ferdinand from his family.

Prince Ferdinand.
Slightly after more than two years of marriage, the Duchess of Montpensier was left a widow. Prince Ferdinand, Duke of Montpensier, died at the age of thirty-nine at the Château de Randan on 30 January 1924. The cause of his passing was a drug overdose. The duke had long struggled with substance abuse. It has been alleged by some that Belina knew of his drug issue and that she weaponised this to her advantage. The Duchess of Montpensier is believed, by some family members of the duke, to have withheld drugs from her husband until Ferdinand made a will leaving his fortune to her. Ferdinand's previous heir had been his brother, the Duke d'Orléans and Head of the Royal House of France at the time. Whether or not this is true, upon the Duke of Montpensier's death, it was discovered that he had left all of his worldly possessions, including the Château de Randan, to Belina. Prince Ferdinand was buried at Dreux.
The ruins of Randan.
On 25 July 1925, the Château de Randan caught fire and the treasures it contained inside were consumed by the flames. Madame Adélaïde, a sister of King Louis-Philippe, had overseen the restoration of the ancient castle. The Dowager Duchess of Montpensier had only recently decided to reopen the château after having left it following the death of her husband. Belina had been in residence at Randan for only two days before a fire broke out at 5am in the Chinese room of the château. The duchess, along with a friend, were able to easily leave Randan. Belina even directed firefighters once they arrived on the scene; it took them nearly fifteen hours to put out the blaze. 
José María de Huarte.

On 12 October 1948 at Vitoria, the Dowager Duchess of Montpensier secretly married José María de Huarte y Jáuregui (1898-1969). In 1949, the duchess changed her will and left half of the inheritance she had received from the Duke of Montpensier to her second husband, Huarte, and the other half to one Socorro Uhagon y Mazas; three executors were named: José María de Huarte y Jáuregui, his brother Angel de Huarte y Jáuregui and the Marqués de Goicorrotea.

Belina in 1952, Madrid.

Doña Isabel González de Olañeta y Ibarreta, III Marquésa de Valdeterrazo, died of a heart attack on 11 July 1958 at her home in Madrid. She was sixty-three years-old. Prince Michael of Greece recalls being with his grandmother the Duchess of Guise (who had been Belina's sister-in-law) when the duchess received news of Belina's death. The Duchess of Guise quipped: "Well, Bellina has died due to her heart. I did not know she had one.

To read Prince Michael of Greece's recollections, please check out his post: Tante Bellina

30 Years Since the Death of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia

Today marks the passage of thirty years since the death of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia.

The grand duke in Miami.

In January 1992, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich received an invitation to give a speech at the Northern Trust Bank of Florida, located in Miami. The address was to be given by the grand duke following a breakfast and before around 1,500 guests from the business community. Northern Trust Bank had asked His Imperial Highness to speak about "The Imperial Family and the Future of the Russians." The grand duke initially declined the invitation, but later accepted as he felt that it was important for the United States and Europe to invest in former Soviet states, as well as to provide them economic assistance to assist their transition out of Communism. The grand duke decided that it was his patriotic duty as a Russian to agree to the trip given the large number of influential business persons who would be in attendance. Therefore, preparations for this transatlantic visit were made. Grand Duke Vladimir and his wife Grand Duchess Leonida arrived in Miami on Monday, 20 April. The couple were accompanied by their friends, Prince Nicholas and Princess Nelly Ouroussoff, who flew in from Paris; the princess acted as a lady-in-waiting to the grand duchess during the trip. Brien Horan, the attorney of the grand duke, arrived on the evening of 20 April in Miami from Connecticut. The small imperial entourage stayed at the Omni International Hotel.  

Grand Duke Vladimir speaking with reporters, 21 April 1992.

On the morning of Tuesday, 21 April, Grand Duke Vladimir and Grand Duchess Leonida were joined by Prince and Princess Ouroussoff and Mr Horan in their suite for a working breakfast. They discussed the itinerary for the trip and caught up on personal news. At 10:15am, grand ducal couple and their retinue left the Omni and got into a limousine to take them to the Northern Trust Bank, where they arrived at 10:40am. A press conference was on the schedule for the grand duke this morning. Two journalists from the Miami Herald and Miami Today interviewed the grand duke. Grand Duke Vladimir told them: "I am now happier now than I ever was before because of the possibility of being in contact with my homeland. To be on one's own soil with one's own people is the greatest thing one can ask in life." The grand duke then walked into an adjourning conference room at 11:00am to meet with the other gathered journalists. The press conference commenced; the first several questions were posed to Grand Duke Vladimir in Spanish, which he answered in the same language, as it was one of the five languages in which he was fluent. The grand duke stated: "What I hope is that the youth of Russia, who have suffered so long under the yoke of Communism, will return to the monarchy. I hope that they will join together for a brighter future for all Russians." Reporter Ariel Remos of the Diario Las Americas recalled that the grand duke was speaking on the current situation in Russia: "These young people who live under the communist yoke think naturally of what Russia was before, and look for the possibility to unite again the prosperous past with a future that will be prosperous also." Seconds after giving this reply, Grand Duke Vladimir slumped over, unconscious; he was then moved from his chair to the floor and CPR commenced. It was about 11:20am. 

Paramedics take Grand Duke Vladimir to a waiting ambulance. His wife, Grand Duchess Leonida, can be seen at the left.

An emergency crew arrived to transport the grand duke to hospital. His Imperial Highness was transported to Mercy Hospital. Dr Jose Centurion worked for almost two hours attempting, ultimately unsuccessfully, to revive the grand duke. Sister Elizabeth Worley, the chairman of Mercy Hospital's board of trustees, provided Grand Duchess Leonida with some comfort by keeping journalists at bay. An Orthodox priest was called to the hospital to administer the last rites. Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich of Russia, Head of the Imperial House, was pronounced dead at 1:54pm. A rupture of an artery in his abdomen was the cause of death. The grand duke was seventy-four years-old.

Prince Nicholas Ouroussoff delivers the grand duke's speech. Photo (c) Marice Cohn Band.

Just widowed, Grand Duchess Leonida Georgievna made the decision that Prince Ouroussoff should deliver her husband's speech the following day. This had, after all, been the reason that the grand duke had for making this trip to the United States of America: to make its people and those who might read his speech more aware of the situation in Russia and the needs of its people after the fall of Communism. On Wednesday, 22 April, Grand Duchess Leonida joined Mr Brien Horan and Prince Ouroussoff at 8:00am. Mr Horan introduced the prince to the over one thousand guests. They had originally hoped to hear his words directly from the grand duke, who had written the address some days beforehand. This particular segment of the grand duke's words were particularly poignant: "My wife, my daughter, and my grandson and I are Russians. We wish to participate and contribute in any way possible, whether official or unofficial, public or private, to the progress of our country. We all thank God that our country has been delivered from communism, and we are also grateful that this long and involuntary exile is ending." Prince  Ouroussoff was overcome with emotion several times while delivering the address of his late friend.

Monday, April 18, 2022

The 30th Birthday of Princess Sophie Napoléon!

Princess Sophie and companion attend the wedding of her brother Prince Jean-Christophe, 2019.

Today, Princess Sophie Napoléon celebrates her thirtieth birthday!

Prince Charles with his daughter Princess Sophie. Photo (c) Getty Images / Benoit Gysembergh.
Princess Jeanne Françoise, Prince Charles, and their daughter Princess Sophie. Photo (c) Getty Images / Benoit Gysembergh.

Born on 18 April 1992 at Paris, Princess Sophie Cathérine Napoléon is the first daughter of Prince Charles Napoléon (b.1950) and his second wife Jeanne Françoise Valliccionni (b.1958), who married in 1996. Sophie has two older siblings from her father's first marriage to Princess Béatrice of Bourbon-Two Sicilies: Princess Caroline (b.1980; married Eric Quérénet-Onfroy de Breville) and Prince Jean-Christophe (b.1986; married Countess Olympia of Arco-Zinneberg). Sophie has one younger sister, Princess Anh ( Vietnam 1998), whom the family adopted when Anh was a baby. 

Our best wishes to the Princess on her birthday!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

An Engagement in the Princely House of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg

Hereditary Prince Ludwig zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg has recently become engaged to Helene von Pezold.
Born in 1994, Prince Ludwig Hubertus Alfred-Ernst Sebastian Carl Roman zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg is the third child and only son of Fürst Ludwig zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (b.1951) and Countess Elisabeth von Waldburg-Wolfegg-Waldsee (b.1962). Ludwig has two older sisters: Princess Sophie (married to Count Constantn Fugger von Babenhausen) and Princess Amelie (married to Benedikt Schmid von Schmidfelden).
Born in 1995, Helene von Pezold is the third of four daughters of Kilian von Pezold (b.1964) and Countess Christina zu Solms-Laubach (b.1962). Helene's sisters are Johanna, Sophia, and Pauline. 
Ludwig and Helene are third cousins once removed. Their common ancestors are Prince Alfred zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (1855-1925) and Countess Pauline von Reichenbach-Lessonitz (1858-1927).
Our congratulations to the happy couple on their engagement!


Saturday, April 16, 2022

Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany (1933-2022)

Count Reinhart and Archduchess Immaculata at the wedding of their youngest son in 2000.  Photo (c) Seeger-Press.
Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany, Countess von und zu Hoensbroech died on 2 April 2022 at Engelskirchen, Germany. She was eighty-eight years-old. Maria Immaculata was buried at Schloß Kellenberg on 9 April.
The wedding of Archduke Theodor Salvator and Countess Maria Theresa, 1926.

Born on 7 December 1933 at Schloß Wallsee, Archduchess Maria Immakulata (Immaculata) Mathilde Elisabeth Gabriele Walburga Huberta of Austria-Tuscany was the third child and second daughter of Archduke Theodor Salvator (1899-1978) and Countess Maria Theresa von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg (1901-1967), who wed in 1926. Schloß Wallsee had been inherited by Archduke Theodor Salvator from his mother Archduchess Marie Valerie, the daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. 

Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria-Tuscany, Princess Theresa of Bavaria, Countess Maria Immaculata von und zu Hoensbroech, and Archduke Karl Salvator.

Maria Immaculata had three siblings: Archduke Franz Salvator (1927-2012; married twice), Archduchess Theresa (b.1931; married Prince Rasso of Bavaria), and Archduke Karl Salvator (b.1936; married Edith Wenzl Baroness von Sternbach).

Maria Immaculata and Reinhart with their seven children.

On 14 May 1959 at Koslar, Archduchess Maria Immaculata of Austria-Tuscany civilly married Count Reinhart von und zu Hoensbroech (1926-2005), the fourth child and second son of Count Lothar von und zu Hoensbroech (1889-1951) and Baroness Helene de Loë (1896-1933). Maria Immaculata and Reinhart celebrated their religious marriage on 9 June 1959 at Schloß Wallsee. The couple went on to have seven children: Countess Alexandra (b.1960), Count Branco (b.1961; married Baroness Assunta von Lüninck), Countess Consuelo (b.1962; married Count Alexandre d'Hemricourt de Grünne), Countess Donata (b.1963; married Count Friedrich-August von Plettenberg), Countess Elena (b.1965; married Baron Georg von Holzhausen, one of the sons of Archduchess Maria Magdalena of Austria-Tuscany, a second cousin of Archduchess Maria Immaculata), Count Florian (b.1969; married Princess Desiree of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach), and Countess Gloria (b.1974). 


The couple raised their family at Schloß Kellenberg, the ancestral home of Count Reinhart. For many decades, Reinhart oversaw the castle and its estate; he was an accomplished forester. In April 1992, a fire almost completely destroyed the main part of the castle. Schloß Kellenberg was sold by the family in 2009. Together, Reinhart and Maria Immaculata enjoyed vacationing to locales which were not overwhelmed by tourists. In 2004, Archduchess Maria Immaculata attended the wedding of the Prince of Asturias (now King Felipe VI of Spain).

Archduchess Maria Immaculata and Count Reinhart at the wedding of Hereditary Prince Carl Christian von Wrede and Countess Katalin Bethlen de Bethlen, 2003. Photo (c) Seeger-Press / Minka Reddig.
Maria Immaculata was widowed on 8 June 2005 when her husband Reinhart died at the age of seventy-eight. The couple had been married forty-five years, and would have celebrated their forty-sixth anniversary the day after Count Reinhart passed away following a short illness. Now, Maria Immaculata has rejoined her husband.
Maria Immaculata with Pastor Stefan Bäuerle at Schloß Kellenberg, 2009. Photo (c) Jagodzinska.
May Maria Immaculata Rest in Peace.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

A Romanian Royal Birth!

The happy family.
Photo (c) Felicia Simion.

Prince Nicholas of Romania and his wife Alina-Maria have welcomed the arrival of their first son and second child, Michael (Mihai). Michael was born at Polizu Hospital in Bucharest at 2:05am on Friday, 15 April. On 5 December 2021, Nicholas of Romania announced that his wife Alina-Maria was expecting their second child in Spring 2022. Their first child and daughter, Maria Alexandra, was born on 7 November 2020.


Nicholas of Romania (b.1985) and Alina-Maria Binder (b.1988) were civilly married on 6 October 2017 in the United Kingdom and religiously married on 30 September 2018 at Sinaia. Nicholas is the son of Princess Helen of Romania and the late Dr. Robin Medforth-Mills. Alina is the daughter of Heinz Binder and Rodica Iancu. Nicholas and Alina live in Bucharest with their family. 
King Michael of Romania and his grandson Nicholas.
Michael of Romania (b.2022) is a great-grandson of King Michael of Romania (1921-2017) and Queen Anne (1923-2016; born Princess of Bourbon-Parma). Michael is a double descendant of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. 

Our Congratulations to Nicolae and Alina-Maria on this extremely happy news! Long life to Mihai!

Saturday, April 9, 2022

The 60th Birthday of Duchess Caroline of Oldenburg

Duchess Caroline of Oldenburg in 2013.
Today, Duchess Caroline of Oldenburg celebrates her sixtieth birthday.

Born on 10 April 1962 at Kiel, Countess Caroline zu Rantzau was the youngest child and second daughter of Count Christian zu Rantzau (1924-2002) and Héloise von Lettow-Vorbeck (1923-2018), who wed in 1954. Caroline's paternal uncle Count Kuno zu Rantzau and maternal aunt Ursula von Lettow-Vorbeck had married in 1953.

In 1987, Caroline married Duke Christian of Oldenburg (b.1955), the eldest son of Duke Anton Günther of Oldenburg (1923-2014) and Princess Ameli zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (1923-2016). Duke Christian and Duchess Caroline of Oldenburg have four children: Duke Alexander (b.1990), Duke Philipp (b.1991), Duke Anton (b.1993), and Duchess Katharina (b.1997). 

Many happy returns to the Duchess of Oldenburg on her birthday!

Family Gather in Madeira to Commemorate the Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria

The descendants of Blessed Karl of Austria, April 2022.
Last weekend, at least one hundred descendants of Emperor Karl I of Austria-Hungary gathered on the island of Madeira. The emperor died on Madeira on 1 April 1922. He was only thirty-four years-old. In 2004, Emperor Karl was beautified by Pope John Paul II.
The imperial family in the Cathedral of Funchal. Front row: Archduke Karl, Archduchess Anna Gabriele, Archduke Georg, and Archduchess Maria Beatrix. Photo (c) Duarte Gomes.
Archduke Karl and Archduke Georg with their aunt Archduchess Anna Gabriele. Photo (c) Duarte Gomes.
Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece. Photo (c) Duarte Gomes.
On 1 April 2022, a Mass was held at the Church of Our Lady of the Mount in Funchal. The church was packed with a large number of descendants of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita. Among those present were Archduke Karl, Head of the Imperial House and a grandson of the emperor, as well as Archduchess Anna Gabriele, a daughter-in-law of the late emperor, and Dom Duarte, Duke of Braganza and Head of the Royal House of Portugal. 
Father László Erffa, the Bishop of Funchal, Father Paul Habsburg, and Father Johannes Habsburg. Photo (c) Duarte Gomes.
In the homily for the Eucharist, the Bishop of Funchal, Dom Nuno Brás, stated: "Faithfulness to God and to the commitments that God had entrusted to him at the time of his coronation as Apostolic King of Hungary, always led and enlightened him [Karl] in the understanding of reality and in the search for paths that would lead to a happy life for all. As ruler of the Empire, looking for new ways to respond to new needs; he did so as a believer, living on the basis of faith” And that's what the Servant of God Zita recognised, when questioned by a journalist about how she and Karl found the strength to overcome the persecution and betrayal they were subjected to, she replied: 'Without faith, it would have been impossible.' In these days, once again marked by a war that invades our Europe, we must look to the example of this Holy Emperor. [An emperor who] sought to make peace; but also an Emperor who ‘breathed’ an inner peace that could only come from God."
On 15 March, Dom Nuno Brás reflected on the life and example of the Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria. In his writing, the Bishop of Funchal recalled to readers the three core tenants of the beliefs and faith of the emperor:
First, the primacy of God. In personal life, be it interior, in the secret of conscience, or public, in the attitudes and words that someone addresses to everyone; and, above all, the primacy of God in political life, in the organization of society and in the laws that regulate its way of life. Throughout his life, this was Karl's secret: God and his will, sought after, known and lived as far as our strength and abilities allow. Then the primacy of the person. The person is seen not as a means to an end, not as another insignificant number, but as someone dear and loved by God for himself, with a unique dignity that cannot be compared to the mere consideration of one in the midst of an anonymous mass. Finally, the primacy of peace. It may seem strange, but the fact is that at the beginning of the 20th century (and even today), many defended war as a means of human progress: from the partisans of the class struggle to the defenders of savage individualism that does not look at nothing or anyone to achieve your purposes. In front of these and against them, Karl, since he arrived at the head of the Empire, always tried seriously and with all his strength to find ways to peace in Europe and in the world.
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