Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A Century Since the Birth of Archduchess Elisabeth, Posthumous Child of Emperor Karl of Austria

A young Elisabeth with her mother and siblings, 1928.
One hundred years ago today marks the birth of Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, the youngest child of the Blessed Emperor Karl of Austria and his wife Empress Zita.
The wedding of Archduke Karl of Austria and Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma, 1911.

Archduchess Elisabeth Charlotte Alphonsa Christina Theresia Antonia Josepha Roberta Ottonia Franziska Isabella Pia Marcus d'Aviano of Austria was born at El Pardo on 31 May 1922. Her father Emperor Karl had fallen ill and died from pneumonia on 1 April 1922, almost two months before Elisabeth was born. After his death, Empress Zita was invited by King Alfonso XIII of Spain to live in Spain. This was the reason that Elisabeth was born at the Royal Palace of El Pardo. The archduchess was named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph; the name had been chosen by Elisabeth's father before his passing: it was almost as if he was certain that his next child would be a girl. 

The eight children of Emperor Karl and Empress Zita standing in order of birth.

Elisabeth joined seven older siblings: Archduke Otto (1912-2011; married Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen), Archduchess Adelheid (1914-1971), Archduke Robert (1915-1996; married Princess Margherita of Savoy-Aosta), Archduke Felix (1916-2011; married Princess Anna-Eugénie von Arenberg), Archduke Carl Ludwig (1918-2007; married Princess Yolande de Ligne), Archduke Rudolph (1919-2010; married 1st Countess Xenia Tschernyschev-Besobrasow; married 2nd Fürstin Anna Gabriele von Wrede), and Archduchess Charlotte (1921-1989; married Duke Georg Alexander of Mecklenburg). 

Empress Zita and Archduchess Elisabeth are reunited with Archduke Felix and Archduke Otto in New York, July 1940.

Empress Zita and her eight children resided in Spain until 1929; they then relocated to Belgium. In 1940, Empress Zita left Belgium and took her children to the Americas in order to escape the horrors of World War II. The family arrived in the United States, where they spent time at Royalston, Massachusetts, in the home of Calvin Bullock. The family later settled in Quebec, Canada, at the Villa Saint Joseph. While in Quebec, Archduchess Elisabeth attended the Sillery convent.

Archduchess Elisabeth and Prince Heinrich on their wedding day, 1949.

On 12 September 1949 at Lignières, Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria religiously married Prince Heinrich of Liechtenstein (1916-1991), the son of Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein and Princess Theresia Maria zu Oettingen-Oettingen. The newlyweds honeymooned in the South of France. Elisabeth and Heinrich had five children: Prince Vincenz (1950-2008; married 1st Hélène de Cossé-Brissac; married 2nd Roberta Valeri Manera), Prince Michael (b.1951; married Hildegard Berta Peters), Princess Charlotte (b.1953; married Pieter Kenyon Fleming-Voltelyn van der Byl), Prince Christoph (b.1956), and Prince Karl (b.1957)

Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria, Princess Heinrich of Liechtenstein, died on 6 January 1993 at Waldstein, Bavaria. She was seventy years-old.

Monday, May 30, 2022

The Current State of the Princely House of Kohary

King Simeon II and Queen Margarita of Bulgaria with Princess Marie-Louise.

On 5 May 2015, King Simeon II issued an ukase from Vrana Palace. In this document, the king ceded the title of Fürstin von Kohary, with the style of Highness, to his sister Princess Marie Louise of Bulgaria. 

Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Princess Maria Antonia von Kohary.

In the ukase, His Majesty made reference to his and his sister's descent from Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and his wife Princess Maria Antonia von Kohary. Maria Antonia was the only surviving child of Count Ferenc József Koháry de Csábrág et Szitnya and his wife Countess Maria Antonia von Waldstein-Wartenberg. On 15 November 1815, Ferenc József was granted the title Fürst von Kohary by the Emperor of Austria. Two weeks later, on 30 November 1815, Ferenc József's daughter Maria Antonia married Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, son of Duke Franz of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Countess Augusta Reuß zu Ebersdorf. 

The wedding of Princess Maria Luisa and Bronislaw Chrobok.
Photo (c) King Simeon II.

His Majesty decreed that the title is hereditary to the descendants of Princess Marie Louise by her second marriage to Bronisław Chrobok, whom she married in 1969. The princess and Mr Chrobok have two children: Alexandra-Nadejda Chrobok (b.1970) and Pawel (Paul) Alastair Antoni Chrobok (b.1972). In 2001, Alexandra Chrobok married Jorge Champalimaud Raposo de Magalhães (b.1970); the couple have three children: Louis Raposo de Magalhães, Jeanne Raposo de Magalhães and Clémentine Raposo de Magalhães. Pawel Chrobok married Ariana Oliver Mas; the couple have two children: Maya Chrobok (b.2015) and Alexander-Ferdinand Chrobok (b.2017). As a result of this ukase, Alexandra Chrobok became Her Highness Alexandra Chrobok, Princess von Kohary, and Pawel Chrobok became His Highness Pawel Chrobok, Prince von Kohary. The grandchildren of Princess Marie Louise by her second marriage presumably also already bear the style and title His/Her Highness Prince(ss) von Kohary. 

Source: https://www.kingsimeon.bg/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Nie_Simeon-II_Kohary.pdf

Sunday, May 29, 2022

The 2022 Royal Versailles Ball

Prince Jean-Christophe and Princess Olympia Napoléon.

Last Saturday, 21 May, the Royal Versailles Ball was held at the Palace of Versailles. The Royal Versailles Ball celebrates the historic state visit between Queen Victoria and Emperor Napoléon III in 1855 at Versailles. The Royal Versailles Ball is held to raise money to support UNICEF, Street Child and LEWA Wildlife Conservancy. UNICEF has been vaccinating, educating and protecting children since 1946, Street Child works to provide educational opportunities for vulnerable children in war torn countries and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy protects species through community conservation and education.

Professor Kate Williams and Marcus Gibbs.
  Photo (c) Rowben Lantion/BFA.com.

Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma.
Photo (c) Rowben Lantion/BFA.com.
Sir Rodney Williams, Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda, and Lady Williams.
Photo (c) Rowben Lantion/BFA.com.

The Marquess and Marchioness of Reading.
Photo (c) Rowben Lantion/BFA.com.

The Duke of Fife.
Photo (c) Rowben Lantion/BFA.com.

Clara Marzloff and Prince Boris of Bulgaria.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The 80th Birthday of Princess Marie-Cécile of Prussia

Princess Marie-Cécile, 1992.

Today Princess Marie-Cécile of Prussia celebrates her eightieth birthday!

Prince Louis Ferdinand and Princess Kira of Prussia with their children.

Born on 28 May 1942 at Cadinen, Germany, Princess Marie-Cécile Kira Viktoria Luise of Prussia was the first daughter and third child of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1907-1994) and Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia (1909-1967). Marie-Cécile had six siblings: Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (1939-2015), Prince Michael (1940-2014), Princess Kira (1943-2004), Prince Louis Ferdinand (1944-1977; married Countess Donata zu Castell-Rüdenhausen), Prince Christian-Sigismund (b.1946; married Countess Nina zu Reventlow), and Princess Xenia (1949-1992).

Crown Prince Wilhelm.
Crown Princess Cecilie.
Grand Duke Kirill.
Grand Duchess Victoria.

The paternal grandparents of Princess Marie-Cécile were Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (1882-1951) and Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1886-1956). Her maternal grandparents were Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia (1876-1938) and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1876-1936).

Princess Marie-Cécile of Prussia, Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg, and Princess Kira of Prussia.

On 3 December 1965 at Berlin, Princess Marie-Cécile of Prussia civilly married Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg (1936-2017), the sixth child and fourth son of Hereditary Grand Duke Nikolaus of Oldenburg and Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont. The couple celebrated their religious marriage the following day on 4 December. Marie-Cécile and Friedrich August had three children: Duke Paul-Wladimir (b.1969), Duchess Rixa (b.1970), and Duchess Bibiane (b.1974). Marie-Cécile and Friedrich August divorced on 23 November 1989. In 1991, Friedrich August married Marie-Cécile's widowed sister-in-law Princess Donata. 

Princess Marie-Cécile and her nephew Prince Georg Friedrich attend the funeral of their brother/uncle Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, 2015.
Photo (c) AGE Fotostock.

Our best wishes to the Princess on her birthday!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Letter from Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, to Lady Harcourt

Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh.
Picture (c) National Portrait Gallery, London.

The following are the contents of a letter written by the Princess Mary, daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte, to Lady Harcourt in 1816. The princess elaborates on how she has decided to wed her first cousin, the Duke of Gloucester. Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, and Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester, were married for eighteen years before the death of the duke; the couple did not have children.

My very dear Lady Harcourt,

I found your most kind and affectionate note on my table late night on my return from Windsor. I never could doubt all your kind feelings on hearing of my intended marriage; and I am unhappy I did not write myself to you, as I look upon you quite as a 2nd mother, & respect you as such; but the real truth is, that, though the Q. and Prince gave their consent on Saturday, & felt satisfied all was settled, I was not quite so myself untill last night. However, I started a subject to the D. of Gloucester that required a very decided answer, before I could make up my mine to change my intention. I got a satisfactory answer last night through the D. of York, therefore I can now say we compleatly understand each other. When I see you I will explain this.

I don't know what other people feel when going to be married, but as yet I have done nothing but cry. I have been half killed with the kindness of the Queen and all my Brothers & Sisters, & such a day as I passed at Windsor yesterday is more than I can describe. That dear Castle, which contains all I value in this world; that dear place, in which I have passed so many happy days; that spot in which my most valuable & respectable Father is incircled. That, Alass, I am not to receive his Blessing and approbation, with those of all the rest of the family, half kills me; and the idea of heaving that House at Moments half breaks my heart. But the D. of Gloucester has so kindly entered into all my feelings, so faithfully promised that I shall be as much with my family as possible, and is so convinced how it is in my power to do my duty as his wife, as well as to do my duty at Windsor (to a certain degree), that it makes me thank God.

His house is so near, only 3 miles, as to admit of all this.

Yours affectionally,


Source: The Royal Dukes and Princesses of the Family of George III: A View of Court Life and Manners for Seventy Years, 1760-1830 (Volume 2) by Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald, 1882. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Braganzas attend Independence Day Celebrations for East Timor

The Duchess of Coimbra and the Duke of Bragança.
Over the weekend, the Head of the Royal House of Portugal and his daughter traveled to East Timor to commemorate the twenty years of independence of East Timor. Dom Duarte Pio and Infanta Maria Francesca were present in Dili for the celebrations. The Duke of Braganza was a major supporter and campaigner for the independence of East Timor (Timor-Leste), a former Portuguese colony that was annexed by Indonesia in 1975. The country received its independence on 20 May 2002.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Prince Raphaël d'Orléans Baptized in Mallorca

The Duke of Calabria with his godson Prince Raphaël.

On 30 April 2022, Prince Raphaël Léopold Pedro François Marie d'Orléans was baptised at Mallorca. The little prince, who was born on 4 September 2021, is the third child of Prince François and Princess Theresa, Count and Countess of Dreux. Prince Raphaël received as his godparents: Prince Pedro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria, Princess Marie-Hélène von Ysenburg und Büdingen, and Regina von Bernewitz. 

For many more photos and information, please visit these articles:

Baptême du prince Raphaël d’Orléans à Palma de Majorque : Pedro de Bourbon-Siciles fier de son filleul

Les invités du baptême du prince Raphaël d’Orléans réunis autour d’une paella à Majorque

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Passing of Princess Sixtina of Waldeck-Pyrmont (1933-2022)

The obituary of the princess.

Princess Sixtina of Waldeck-Pyrmont died on 18 May 2022. She was eighty-eight years-old.

Sixtina's parents: Fürst Wolff-Heinrich and Fürstin Irma zu Stolberg.
The commemorative coin celebrating the marriage of Fürst Wolff Heinrich and Fürstin Irma zu Stolberg.
Princess Irma with her two eldest children: Princess Sixtina and Prince Johann.

Born at Stolberg on 4 November 1933, Princess Irmgard Sixtina Juliana zu Stolberg was the first child of Fürst Wolff-Heinrich zu Stolberg (1903-1972) and his wife Fürstin Irma (1910-1994; née Erfert), who wed in 1932. Sixtina was joined by three younger siblings: Prince Johann (1935-1964), Fürst Jost-Christian (b.1940; married Sylvianne Janssens van der Maelen), and Princess Sophie Charlotte (b.1943; married Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm zu Wied). 

Fürst Georg II zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1789-1845)
Fürstin Emma zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1802-1858; née Princess of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym)

On August 1961, Princess Sixtina married Prince Georg-Friedrich of Waldeck-Pyrmont (1936-2020), the second child of Prince Georg zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1902-1971) and Countess Ingeborg von Platen Hallermund (1902-1991). Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina were third cousins; they both were great-great-grandchildren of Fürst Georg II zu Waldeck und Pyrmont (1789-1845) and Princess Emma of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym (1802-1858). Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina had three children: Princess Henriette (b.1963), Princess Isabelle (b.1965), and Prince Philipp (b.1967).

Princess Henriette zu Waldeck und Pyrmont with her husband Count Hermann zu Castell-Rüdenhausen as well as Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis.
Photograph (c) Presse-Foto-Seeger.

In August 1989, Princess Christine Henriette Bathildis zu Waldeck und Pyrmont married Count Hermann zu Castell-Rüdenhausen (b.1963). The couple have three children: Countess Annabell (b.1991), Countess Cecily (b.1992), and Count Casimir (b.1994). Hermann is a younger brother of the late Countess Donata zu Castell-Rüdenhausen (1950-2015), wife of Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1944-1977) and Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg (1936-2017). Henriette, who studied geography at university, is thus an aunt-by-marriage of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, the Head of House Prussia.

Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina's second daughter Princess Marie Isabelle zu Waldeck und Pyrmont has made her career as an employment and occupational therapist. In December 1989, Isabelle changed her surname to be simply "Waldeck." She has one son, Constantin.

Philipp-Heinrich, the only son of Georg-Friedrich and Sixtina, has never married and has no children. He is currently fourteenth in the line of succession to the Head of the Princely House of Waldeck and Pyrmont.

May the Princess Rest in Peace.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Russian Imperial Couple Expect First Child in the Fall!

Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria.
Photo (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Imperial House of Russia has announced that Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanoff are expecting their first child in the fall of this year. The princess is in excellent health and will be continuing her charitable activities full-time. Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria married last year in Saint Petersburg; the couple lives in Moscow. Their baby will be the first grandchild for Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, Head of the Imperial House, and Prince Franz-Wilhelm of Prussia, the parents of Grand Duke George, as well as for Ambassador Roberto Bettarini and Carla Virginia Cacciatore, the parents of Princess Victoria.

Our congratulations to Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria on this most joyous news! May God grant the Princess a safe pregnancy!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Archduchess Helen of Austria Turns 85!

Archduchess Helen of Austria.

Today Archduchess Helen of Austria (née Toerring-Jettenbach) celebrates her eighty-fifth birthday!

The christening of Archduchess Helen in 1937. Holding her is her grandmother and namesake, Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia.

Countess Helen zu Toerring-Jettenbach was born at Schloß Winhöring on 20 May 1937. She was the second child of Count Carl Theodor zu Toerring-Jettenbach and of his wife, Princess Elisabeth of Greece, herself the middle daughter of Prince Nicholas of Greece (1872-1938) and Grand Duchess Helen Vladimirovna of Russia (1882-1957). Count Carl Theodor Toerring-Jettenbach's parents were Count Hans Veit zu Toerring-Jettenbach (1862-1929) and his wife Duchess Sophie in Bavaria (1875-1957), herself the daughter of Karl Theodor, Duke in Bavaria (a brother of Empress Elisabeth of Austria) and of his second wife Infanta Maria José of Portugal, a daughter of King Miguel I of Portugal.

Interestingly, this Portuguese ancestry connects Helen to a plethora of royal personages. Maria José's siblings included: The Duke of Braganza (whose descendants include the present holder of the title, Dom Duarte, as well as descendants in the houses of Liechtenstein and Thurn und Taxis); Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria (last wife of Archduke Karl Ludwig [1833-1896], a brother of Emperor Franz Joseph as well as the great-grandfather of Archduke Ferdinand, Helen's late husband); Grand Duchess Maria Anna of Luxembourg (who married Grand Duke Guillaume IV and who was the mother of six daughters, among them Grand Duchesses Marie Adelaide and Charlotte, as well as Crown Princess Antonia of Bavaria); and Duchess Maria Antonia of Parma (who was the second wife of Duke Robert, by whom she had twelve children, among them: Prince Felix of Luxembourg, Empress Zita of Austria and Duke Francesco Xaverio of Parma, to name a few).

Helen passed the war years in Bavaria, where her family felt protected from the atrocities consuming Europe. Her father's opposition to the National Socialists and her mother's outright and intense dislike for Hitler and his cronies made it imperative that then family remain in semi-isolation, while living quietly. The fact that Princess Elisabeth's sisters (Olga of Yugoslavia and Marina of Kent) were married into families that opposed Nazi Germany during the war only made life more fragile for the Toerring-Jettenbachs.

With peace in 1945 also came an opportunity for the family of Countess Helen to renew long-lost connections to their royal relations outside Germany. Visits to Athens to see Grand Duchess Helen and other members of the Greek royal family were soon arranged, while others traveled to Bavaria to reconnect with the Toerring-Jettenbachs. Luckily, Schloß Winhöring was unscathed by the ravages of war and the bombings that Munich underwent.

Princess Elisabeth of Greece (Countess zu Toerring-Jettenbach) with her children Hereditary Count Hans Veit and Countess Helen – Schloß Winhöring, c. 1944.

Tragedy, however was also around the corner. In 1955 Princess Elisabeth succumbed, quite rapidly, to a malady that she had been fighting against. The previous year the family of Grand Duchess Helen, a widow since 1938, suffered a sad blow when Prince Nicholas of Yugoslavia, second son of Princess Olga and Prince Regent Paul, died in a car crash in England.

Princess Olga of Yugoslavia, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, Countess Helen zu Toerring-Jettenbach and Princess Marina, The Duchess of Kent.

Archduchess Helen on her wedding day.

However, as life always does, great loss is oftentimes replaced by deep happiness. Such was the case in 1956 when Countess Helen married a longtime family friend, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria (1918-2004), eldest son of Archduke Maximilian (1895-1952) and of his wife Princess Franziska zu Hohelonhe-Schillingsfürst (1897-1989). Ferdinand and Helen were to be married for nearly five decades.

The couple were blessed with three very attractive and delightful children: Elisabeth (1957-1983), Sophie (b. 1959) and Maximilian (b. 1961). They were raised in various European countries as Archduke Ferdinand's business obligations demanded relocation every so often. However, throughout the family remained much attached to London, Munich and Salzburg, where Ferdinand's mother lived. They also retained countless links to most of their royal relations across the continent, particularly with King Constantine II of the Hellenes and Queen Sophie of Spain, as well as with Helen's first cousins of Yugoslavia and Kent.

Archduchess Helen with her eldest daughter, the late Archduchess Elisabeth.

In October 1982, Helen's eldest daughter, Elisabeth, married an Australian gentleman by the name of James Litchfield. The couple settled in faraway Australia and hoped for a long life together. Sadly, it was not to be as Archduchess Elisabeth passed away quite suddenly at Myalla, Cooma, Australia, on 18 May 1983.

In the meantime, Archduchess Sophie, who can easily be argued is one of the most strikingly beautiful royals, was making a name for herself as both a top model and an humanitarian devoted to orphaned children. After several attempts at finding a soul mate, Sophie married Fürst Hugo zu Windish-Grätz in 1990. The couple settled in Italy, where Furst Hugo has vast interests as well as playing an important role within the Vatican's administrative structure. Hugo has also served as Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

The baptism of Archduke Nikolaus: Prince Alexis, Princess Larissa, Archduchess Helen with baby Nikolaus and Hereditary Prince Maximilian.

Hugo and Sophie had three children: Hereditary Prince Maximilian (b. 1990), Prince Alexis (1991-2010) and Princess Larissa (b. 1996). The death of their son Alexis was a deeply sad tragedy for the boy's parents and his grandmother Helen. Christian fortitude and a deep belief in Catholic principles allowed the family to find the strength to overcome this immensely challenging loss.

The family's benjamin, Archduke Maximilian settled in Madrid, where he works in the medical device field. Maximilian Heinrich Ferdinand of Austria was born in Boulogne-sur-Seine in 1961. In 2005 he married Maya Al-Askari, a lovely lady whose family proudly claims descent from the Prophet Mohammed. Max and Maya have been blessed with three children: Archduke Nikolaus (b. 2005), Archduke Constantin (b. 2007) and Archduchess Katharina (b. 2010). All children were born in Madrid, where Max has lived for the better part of the last quarter century.

Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Helen of Austria.

In 2004, Archduchess Helen lost her husband, who succumbed to a long malady. 

Today, on Archduchess Helen's 85th birthday, we at Eurohistory, wish her the very best and may God continue keeping a watchful eye over the life of a truly lovely lady...