Friday, September 30, 2022

Portrait of a Marriage: Princess Charlotte of Monaco and Count Pierre de Polignac

Princess Charlotte of Monaco weds Count Pierre de Polignac
On 2 February 1920 in Paris, the engagement was announced between Count Pierre de Polignac and Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Duchess of Valentinois. This union between the French nobleman and the Monegasque royal was destined to secure the future of the Grimaldi dynasty.

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Count Pierre Marie Xavier Raphaël Antoine Melchior de Polignac was born on 24 October 1895 at the Château de Kerscamp. Pierre was the fourth son and seventh child of Count Maxence de Polignac and Suzanne de la Torre y Mier. Pierre served in the French Armed Forces during World War I. He became a friend of Marcel Proust and Jean Cocteau.

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Charlotte Louise Juliette de Monaco was born on 30 September 1898 at Constantine, French Algeria. Charlotte was the only child of Prince Louis of Monaco and Marie Juliette Louvet. In 1919, Prince Louis formally adopted Charlotte in Paris, and she was recognised as his legitimate daughter as a consequence of this adoption. Charlotte was transformed from being simply "Mademoiselle Charlotte Grimaldi de Monaco" into "Her Serene Highness Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Duchess of Valentinois."

The Hereditary Prince Albert and Hereditary Princess Mary of Monaco
Charlotte's father Louis (1870-1949) was the only son of Prince Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922) and Lady Mary Victoria Hamilton (1850-1922), who married in 1869 and whose marriage was annulled in 1880. Prince Albert was the only child of Prince Charles III of Monaco (1818-1889) and Countess Antoinette de Mérode (1828-1864). Lady Mary was the only daughter of William Hamilton (1811-1863), the 11th Duke of Hamilton, and Princess Marie Amelie of Baden (1817-1888).

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On 19 March 1920, Princess Charlotte of Monaco and Count Pierre de Polignac were married in a civil ceremony at Monte Carlo. The couple were joined in matrimony in a Roman Catholic service the following day, 20 March. The day before the civil wedding, on 18 March, Pierre de Polignac took the Grimaldi surname and became a Monegasque citizen. By virtue of marrying Charlotte, Pierre was titled as the Duke of Valentinois. Alas, this alliance between Charlotte and Pierre was not destined to end "happily ever after" for the parties involved. 

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The Duke and Duchess of Valentinois welcomed their first child within nine months of their union. Princess Antoinette Louise Alberte Suzanne of Monaco was born on 28 December 1920 at Paris. Almost three years later, Charlotte and Pierre produced their second child and only son: Prince Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand of Monaco arrived at the Princely Palace in Monte Carlo on 31 May 1923. After the birth of their second and last child, Pierre and Charlotte's marriage foundered.

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In March 1930, Princess Charlotte and Prince Pierre legally separated after a decade of not-so-wedded bliss. Former French president Raymond Poincaré acted as a mediator for the princely couple. Charlotte left her husband in favour of her lover, the Italian doctor Pietro Dalmazzo. In her case for a separation, Charlotte sought a division of the couple's marital property. In his followup to his wife's lawsuit, Pierre cited Charlotte's lover Dr Dalmazzo as a factor in the breakdown of the marriage. Pierre temporarily placed his children, Antoinette and Rainier, in the custody of Princess Henriette of Belgium, Duchess of Vendome. This infuriated Pierre's father-in-law Prince Louis II. In February 1933, the divorce between Hereditary Princess Charlotte of Monaco and Prince Pierre was officially announced by the princely palace in Monte Carlo. In a letter to her father, the princess wrote: "All I ask is to be permitted to seek a peaceful life for myself. For reasons which have been clear for three years, I ask you to dissolve my marital ties and to grant me an absolute divorce." The dissolution of the couple's marriage "led to unofficial indications of displeasure from the Vatican." As a condition of receiving the divorce, and in a stipulation that was only ratified years later, Charlotte gave up her succession rights so that her son Rainier would be the immediate heir of his grandpa Louis.

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On 9 May 1949, Prince Louis II of Monaco passed away at the age of seventy-eight. He was succeeded by his grandson, who became Prince Rainier III. Both Charlotte and Pierre attended the celebrations that marked their son's succession to the Monegasque throne. By this time, Charlotte had taken up residence at her family's Château de Marchais outside of Paris. Pierre was also a resident of his country of birth. 

Prince Rainier, Princess Charlotte, Prince Pierre, and Princess Antoinette of Monaco in 1956.
The wedding of Prince Rainier was the last public occasion to reunite his parents. Charlotte and Pierre both attended the union of their son to the American actress Grace Patricia Kelly in April 1956. Rainier's nephew Baron Christian de Massy, the only son of Princess Antoinette, recounted the acrimonious goings-on between his grandparents during this family event in his memoirs:
Some time after, when I was older, Aunt Grace told me that the royal wedding day and the whole period that preceded it were among the worst ordeals she had ever known. At the various official and unofficial occasions, the lunches, the dinners, and the other family gatherings, she was miserably aware of the tension that existed in most of the family, and especially between Charlotte and Polignac, who even carried on vicious arguments right in front of her and Uncle Rainier. At one point she heard Polignac say, in a deliberate slight to Charlotte, and referring to her illegitimate birth, "At least my son married a real princess!" Grace had naturally dreamed that her new parents-in-law would be pleasant and compatible; the fact that her mother-in-law was less than welcoming to her and that Mamou despised her own [ex-]husband was very painful to Grace, for whom family links were of primary importance. One of her first wishes was to make the difficult, quarrelling Grimaldis a family as united as hers. She now understood that this was impossible.
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Several months after Rainier's wedding, in July 1956, Pierre underwent a 2 1/2 hour operation for a stomach ulcer in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On 10 November 1964, Prince Pierre of Monaco died of cancer at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine. The prince had been an active patron of the arts. He was sixty-nine years-old. Rainier and Antoinette were at their father's bedside when he passed away. Pierre's former wife survived him by over a decade. Princess Charlotte of Monaco died on 15 November 1977 at the Château de Marchais. The princess had taken to rehabilitating ex-convicts on her estate. She was seventy-nine years-old. Both Charlotte and Pierre are buried at the Chapelle de la Paix in Monte Carlo. 

Charlotte and Pierre.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Prince Ferfried of Hohenzollern (1943-2022)

During the evening of 26 September/27 September, Prince Ferfried of Hohenzollern died at Großhadern Clinic in Munich. He was seventy-nine years-old. The late prince was an uncle of Fürst Karl Friedrich of Hohenzollern.

Prince Ferfried with his parents.
Photo (c) Seeger-Presse.

Born on 14 April 1943 at Schloß Umkirch, Prince Ferfried Maximilian Pius Meinrad Maria Hubert Michael Justinus of Hohenzollern was the seventh and youngest child of Fürst Friedrich of Hohenzollern (1891-1965) and Princess Margarethe of Saxony (1900-1962), who wed in 1920. Ferfried joined three older sisters and three older brothers: the twins Princess Benedikta (1921-2011; married Count Heinrich von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldsee) and Princess Maria Adelgunde (1921-2006; married 1st Prince Konstantin of Bavaria; married 2nd Werner Hess; married 3rd Hans Huber), Princess Maria Theresia (1922-2004), Fürst Friedrich Wilhelm (1924-2010; married Princess Margarita of Leiningen), Prince Franz Josef (1926-1996; married 1st Princess Maria Ferdnanda of Thurn and Taxis; married 2nd Princess Diane of Bourbon-Parma), and Prince Johann Georg (1932-2016; married Princess Birgitta of Sweden).

Prince Ferfried and Princess Angela on their wedding day, 1968.
Photo (c) Seeger-Presse.
Prince Ferfried and his second wife Eliane, 1985.
Photo (c) Seeger-Presse.

Prince Ferfried of Hohenzollern was married three times, each union was considered morganatic. On 21 September 1968 at Schloß Sigmaringen, the prince married Angela von Morgen (1942-2019). Ferfried and Angela had two daughters, Princess Valerie (b.1969; married Peter Brenske) and Princess Stephanie (b.1971; married 1st Count Hieronymus Wolff Metternich zur Gracht; married 2nd Martin Haag), before divorcing in 1973. In 1977, Prince Ferfried remarried to Eliane Etter (b.1947); the couple had two children, Princess Henriette (b.1978) and Prince Moritz (b.1980), after which the pair divorced in 1987. Lastly, and most notoriously, Prince Ferfried married model Maja Meinert (b.1971) in 1999 - the prince and mannequin divorced in 2007.

May the Prince Rest in Peace.

Luxembourg Hereditary Grand Ducal Pair Expecting Second Child!

Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie.
Photo (c) Maison Grand Ducal / Sophie Margue.

This morning the Grand Ducal Court is pleased to announce that Hereditary Grand Duchess Stéphanie of Luxembourg is expecting her second child. She and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, who wed in 2012, welcomed their first child and son, Prince Charles, in 2020. The hereditary grand ducal couple anticipate their new arrival to be born in April 2023. 

Our congratulations to the Grand Ducal House on this happy news!

Monday, September 26, 2022

A Princely Engagement: Prince Johann Wenzel of Liechtenstein and Countess Felicitas von Hartig

Feli and Wenzel.
Photo (c) Prince Johann Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein.
This image may be not reproduced without his permission.

Prince Johann Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein and Countess Felicitas von Hartig are engaged! The kind couple shared the details of their engagement with royal reporters and writers, including me. This was very sweet of them.

The happy couple!
Photo (c) Prince Johann Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein.
This image may be not reproduced without his permission.

From Prince Wenzel: "We are happy to announce that we got engaged on 25th of August 2022 during wonderful holidays in Sicily."

Photo (c) Prince Johann Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein.
This image may be not reproduced without his permission.
Countess Felicitas von Hartig, born on 10 April 1994, studied law in Vienna, Austria (Magistra Iuris). Now the countess is working for the Austrian Ministry of the Interior and is finishing her Art History degree on the side. She is the daughter of Count Lukas von Hartig (b.1964) and Countess Claudia von Hartig (b.1965; née Edle von Toperczer), who wed in 1993.

Photo (c) Prince Johann Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein.
This image may be not reproduced without his permission.
Prince Johann-Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein, born 16 March 1993, studied Politics and Economy in Montreal, Canada followed by one year at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, United Kingdom, and two additional years with the Coldstream Guards. He finished his Masters in Agribusiness Management. Now the prince works with his father in Austria for the family business „Liechtenstein’sche Forst- und Gutsverwaltung“. Johann-Wenzel is the son of Prince Gundakar von und zu Liechtenstein (b.1949) and Princess Marie von und zu Liechtenstein (b.1959; née Princess d'Orléans), who wed in 1989. Prince Johann Wenzel is a great-grandson of the late Prince Henri and Princess Isabelle, Count and Countess of Paris.

Photo (c) Prince Johann Wenzel von und zu Liechtenstein.
This image may be not reproduced without his permission.
Johann Wenzel and Felicitas met at a party in 2012. The couple met again after many years in 2017 in London while Countess Felicitas was completing an internship at Sotheby’s and Prince Johann-Wenzel was fulfilling his service with the Coldstream Guards. After both having lived in Paris and Lisbon, the couple now live in Vienna.

The wedding is planned for summer 2023.

Our congratulations to Johann Wenzel and Felicitas on their engagement!

Monday, September 19, 2022

Thank You, Ma'am.


"Thus it hath pleased Almighty God to take out of this transitory life unto His Divine Mercy the late Most High, Most Mighty, and Most Excellent Monarch, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, and Sovereign of the Most Noble Order of the Garter."

- The Garter King of Arms

Rest in Peace, Your Majesty.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The Late Queen's Royal Grandchildren Pay Tribute to Their Grandmother

HM The Queen.

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September, her children and grandchildren have shared poignant memories of their grandmother, who also happened to be the Monarch. The homages given by Her Majesty's royal grandchildren (HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of Sussex, HRH Princess Beatrice, and HRH Princess Beatrice) have been publicly released and are provided below.

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The Tribute of HRH The Prince of Wales

The now Prince of Wales with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Max Mumby / Indigo.

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The Tribute of HRH The Duke of Sussex

Queen Elizabeth and her grandson the Duke of Sussex.
Photo (c) Getty Images / WPA Pool.


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The Tribute of TRH Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

The Queen with her granddaughter Princess Beatrice.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Chris Radburn / PA Images.
The Queen with her granddaughter Princess Eugenie.

Friday, September 16, 2022

The Familial Ties of King Charles III to the Crowned Heads of Europe

A portrait of King Charles III as Prince of Wales by artist Susan Crawford.
Copyright of the Royal Collection Trust.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom is a cousin to all of the other nine European hereditary monarchs.

Philippe and Charles.
Photo (c) Getty Images / John Thys.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and King Philippe of Belgium (b.1960) are third cousins once removed. Both are descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark (1818-1906) and Queen Louise (1817-1898; née Hesse-Kassel). 

King Christian IX of Denmark -> King George I of Greece -> Prince Andrew of Greece -> Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

King Christian IX of Denmark -> King Frederik VIII of Denmark -> Princess Ingeborg of Denmark -> Princess Astrid of Sweden -> King Albert II of Belgium -> King Philippe of Belgium

Charles and Margrethe.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark (b.1940) are third cousins. Both are descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark (1818-1906) and Queen Louise (1817-1898; née Hesse-Kassel). 

King Christian IX of Denmark -> King George I of Greece -> Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark -> Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

King Christian IX of Denmark -> King Frederik VIII of Denmark -> King Christian X of Denmark -> King Frederik IX of Denmark -> Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

Hans Adam, Marie Aglae, Diana, and Charles.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein (b.1945) are fifth cousins. Both are descendants of Hereditary Prince Karl Ludwig of Baden (1755-1801) and Hereditary Princess Amalie Friederike (1754-1832; née Hessen-Darmstadt). 

Hereditary Prince Karl Ludwig of Baden -> Princess Wilhemine of Baden -> Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine -> Prince Louis of Battenberg -> Princess Alice of Battenberg -> Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

Hereditary Prince Karl Ludwig of Baden -> Princess Karoline of Baden -> Princess Sophie of Bavaria -> Archduke Karl Ludwig of Bavaria -> Archduchess Elisabeth of Austria -> Prince Franz Josef II of Liechtenstein -> Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein 

Camilla, Charles, and Henri.
Photo (c) AGE Fotostock.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg (b.1960) are third cousins once removed. Both are descendants of King Christian IX of Denmark (1818-1906) and Queen Louise (1817-1898; née Hesse-Kassel). 

King Christian IX of Denmark -> King George I of Greece -> Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark -> Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

King Christian IX of Denmark -> King Frederik VIII of Denmark -> Princess Ingeborg of Denmark -> Princess Astrid of Sweden -> Princess Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium -> Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg

Charles and Albert.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and Prince Albert II of Monaco (b.1958) are fifth cousins once removed. Both are descendants of Hereditary Prince Karl Ludwig of Baden (1755-1801) and Hereditary Princess Amalie Friederike (1754-1832; née Hessen-Darmstadt). 

Hereditary Prince Karl Ludwig of Baden -> Princess Wilhemine of Baden -> Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine -> Prince Louis of Battenberg -> Princess Alice of Battenberg -> Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

Hereditary Prince Karl Ludwig of Baden -> Grand Duke Karl Ludwig of Baden -> Princess Marie Elisabeth of Baden -> Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton -> Prince Louis II of Monaco -> Princess Charlotte of Monaco -> Prince Rainier III of Monaco -> Prince Albert II of Monaco

Charles and Willem-Alexander with Máxima.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (b.1968) are fifth cousins. Both are descendants of Emperor Paul of Russia (1751-1804) and Empress Maria (1759-1828; née Württemberg). 

Emperor Paul of Russia -> Emperor Nicholas I of Russia -> Grand Duke Konstantin of Russia -> Grand Duchess Olga of Russia -> Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark -> Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

Emperor Paul of Russia -> Grand Duchess Anna of Russia -> King Willem III of the Netherlands -> Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands -> Queen Juliana of the Netherlands -> Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands -> King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands

Charles and Harald.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and King Harald V of Norway (b.1937) are second cousins once removed. Both are descendants of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom (1841-1910) and Queen Alexandra (1844-1925; née Denmark). 

King Edward VII of the United Kingdom -> King George V -> King George VI -> Queen Elizabeth II -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

King Edward VII of the United Kingdom -> Princess Maud  -> King Olav V of Norway -> King Harald V of Norway

Charles and Felipe.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and King Felipe VI of Spain (b.1968) are second cousins once removed. Both are descendants of King George I of Greece (1845-1913) and Queen Olga (1851-1926; née Russia). 

King George I of Greece -> Prince Andrew of Greece -> Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

King George I of Greece -> King Constantine I of Greece -> King Paul of Greece -> Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark -> King Felipe VI of Spain

Carl Gustaf and Charles.

King Charles III of the United Kingdom (b.1948) and King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (b.1946) are third cousins once removed, three times over. Both are descendants of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (1819-1901) and Prince Consort Albert (1819-1861; née Saxe-Coburg and Gotha). One of their lines of descent is as follows:

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom -> King Edward VII -> King George V -> King George VI -> Queen Elizabeth II -> King Charles III of the United Kingdom

Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom -> Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught -> Princess Margaret of Connaught -> Hereditary Prince Carl Gustaf of Sweden -> King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Prince of Prussia Sends Condolences to British Royal Family on Passing of The Queen

HI&RH Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia with HM The late Queen.
In a letter of condolence to the British King Charles III, the head of the House of Hohenzollern, Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, expressed his family's deep sadness at the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The thoughts and prayers of the members of the House of Hohenzollern are with King Charles, Queen Camilla and the entire British royal family, the prince said.

With her unique personality, her cordiality and her strong sense of duty, which always put the common good above individual interests, Her Majesty was a role model for him personally, according to Prince Georg Friedrich. His grandfather, Prince Louis Ferdinand (1907-1994), always related to him with the greatest respect his conversations with Queen Elizabeth, who, like few others, campaigned for Anglo-German reconciliation after World War II. He himself is deeply grateful to have been able to meet Her Majesty in person, as the head of the House of Hohenzollern. Prince Georg Friedrich and Princess Sophie last met with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during their state visit to Germany in June 2015.

As a sign of respect from his family, Prince Georg Friedrich has ordered that on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral, the British flag be flown at half-mast from the flag tower of Hohenzollern Castle, the family's ancestral seat. It is the first time the family has honored a foreign head of state in this way.

Georg Friedrich Prince of Prussia (b.1976), as well as Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) and her husband, Prince Philip (1921-2021, is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria (1819-1901). The German Empress Victoria (1840-1901), mother of Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941), was the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria.

Source: https://www.preussen.de

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Royal Relations Pay Tribute to HM The Late Queen Elizabeth II

The Belgian, Danish, Dutch, Luxembourgish, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish monarchs have all sent their messages of condolence to King Charles III on the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II. The Pope has also sent his condolences. Messages have also been sent from the royal houses of Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, as well as from the imperial houses of Brazil, Iran, and Russia.

The message from King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium:

The message from Queen Margarethe II of Denmark:

The message from Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg:

The message from King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands:

The message from King Harald V of Norway:

The message from King Felipe VI of Spain:

The message from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden:

The message from Pope Francis:

The message from Prince Bertrand of Brazil:

The message from King Simeon II of Bulgaria:

The message from Crown Prince Reza of Iran:

The message from Custodian of the Crown Margareta of Romania:

The message from Grand Duchess Maria of Russia:


The message from Crown Prince Alexander II of Serbia: