Thursday, January 7, 2021

The Golden Wedding Anniversary of Prince Wilhelm and Princess Ilona of Schaumburg-Lippe


Prince Wilhelm and Princess Ilona at the wedding of their son in 2009.
Photograph (c) dpa picture alliance archive / Alamy Stock Photo.

Today, Prince Wilhelm and Princess Ilona of Schaumburg-Lippe celebrate fifty years of marriage.

Princess Ilona of Schaumburg-Lippe.

On 7 January 1971, Prince Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe and Ilona Hentschel von Gilgenheimb celebrated their religious wedding at Munich. The couple were civilly married in the Bavarian capital on 14 December 1970. Born in 1939, Wilhelm was the eldest son and child of Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe (1898-1974) and his wife Princess Feodora (1910-1975; née Princess of Denmark). Born in 1940, Ilona was the daughter of Georg-Alfred Hentschel von Gilgenheimb (1911-1948) and his wife Baroness Rosemarie (1918-2000; née von Wietzlow; later Countess zu Solms-Baruth). 

Left to right: newlyweds Princess Lena and Prince Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe, Queen Margarethe II of Denmark, Princess Ilona and Prince Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe, 2009.
Photograph (c) dpa picture alliance archive / Alamy Stock Photo.

Prince Wilhelm and Princess Ilona of Schaumburg-Lippe have two children: Prince Christian (b.1971; married Lena Giese) and Princess Désirée (b.1974; married Michael Iuel). The prince and princess have three grandchildren. Prince Wilhelm is a second cousin of Queen Margarethe II of Denmark, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, and King Harald V of Norway.

Princess Ilona and Prince Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe, 2014.
Photograph © PPE / Christophersen.

Our congratulations to Prince Wilhelm and Princess Ilona on their anniversary!


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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

After Insurrection in District of Columbia, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece Advises Removal of US President


Wednesday, 6 January 2021, will not be a day that is fondly remembered by citizens and residents of the United States of America. On this date, the current occupant of the Presidency of the United States presided over a rally in the morning/early afternoon, during which he called for his supporters to "march" to Capitol Hill if the U.S. Congress voted to recognise the results of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. As a result, supporters of Donald J. Trump, who was impeached last year, ended up storming Capitol Hill: this resulted in the disruption of the business of the Senate and House of Representatives, the assault of Capitol Hill police officers by Trump-supporting rioters, and the vandalism of the American capitol buildings. These series of awful events have been widely reported, both in the United States and around the world, as an attempted coup d'état. World leaders from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, Norway, and Spain, have condemned the attack on the democratic institutions of the United States.

HM The Queen with HRH Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece.

As a result, on Wednesday evening, Crown Prince Pavlos of Greece issued a statement on Twitter calling for the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution to be invoked. The crown prince is well-versed in the consequences of successful coups in democratic countries, as it was one such insurrection that cost Pavlos' father, King Constantine II, his throne and the continuation of the Greek constitutional monarchy. The message of the Crown Prince of Greece is as follows: "When a President accepts and Encourages such behaviour by the public he should no longer be president and the 25th amendment should be invoked. This is an embarrassment to democracy and to the Republic of the United States of America."

On Thursday morning, 7 January, Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece issued a similar message via her Twitter account: "I'm not normally political here, but the events that we have seen today in Washington DC are what the 25th amendment was designed for. The President has disgraced the highest office and the Democracy it stands for.

God Bless the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Greece for their support of democracy during a turbulent time.

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Duke of Segorbe Expels the Duchess of Medinaceli, Plus Four Other Relatives, from Family Foundation

Don Ignacio de Medina y Fernández de Córdoba, Duke of Segorbe.

Ignacio, Duke of Segorbe, recently expelled his great-niece Victoria, Duchess of Medinaceli, as well as two nephews and two nieces from the board of trustees of the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli, which was created in 1978 by Ignacio's late mother, Victoria Eugenia, Duchess of Medinaceli.  Ignacio has moved to separates himself from his great-niece and nieces and nephews who have been "critical" of his management in his role as president of the foundation, which seeks to protect the family's heritage and properties. 

Princess Victoria zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Duchess of Medinaceli.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Europa Press Entertainment.

Don Rafael de Medina y Abascal, Duke of Feria, and his brother Don Luis de Medina y Abascal.

Owing to Segorbe's actions, his five relatives who now no longer have seats on the foundation's board are trustees are as follows: Princess Victoria zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Duchess of Medinaceli (b.1997); Doña Victoria Francisca de Medina y Conradi, Duchess of Santiesteban del Puerto (b.1986); Doña Casilda de Medina y Conradi, Marchioness of Solera (b.1989); Don Rafael de Medina y Abascal, Duke of Feria (b.1978); and Don Luis de Medina y Abascal (b.1980). Victoria Medinaceli is the granddaughter of Ignacio's late sister Ana, Victoria Francisca and Casilda are the daughters of Ignacio's late brother Luis, and Rafael and Luis are the sons of Ignacio's late brother Rafael. Ignacio Segorbe was the only one of his mother's four children to survive her passing. 

Doña Victoria Eugenia Fernández de Córdoba y Fernández de Henestrosa, Duchess of Medinaceli.

The elimination of Princess Victoria of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Duchess of Medinaceli, and her four first cousins once removed is likely to case legal problems. In her will, their respective great-grandmother and grandmother Victoria Eugenia, who died in 2013 at the age of ninety-six, stipulated that all four of her children, and their descendants after them, should be given positions on the Fundación Casa Ducal de Medinaceli's board of trustees. As mentioned before, the foundation controls a vast array of assets: castles, churches, gardens, hospitals, and palaces. Thus, this recent development will assuredly have to be resolved in court.

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Sunday, January 3, 2021

Lady Mary Cecilia Colman (1932-2021), First Cousin of the Queen


The Prince of Wales with his first cousin once removed Lady Mary Cecilia Colman, 2002.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/PA Images.

Lady Mary Cecilia Colman died on Saturday, 2 January 2021 at the age of eighty-eight. She was a maternal first cousin of HM The Queen. Born on 30 January 1932, Mary Cecilia Bowes-Lyon was the first child of Captain Michael Bowes-Lyon (1893-1953) and his wife Elizabeth (1899-1959; née Cator). Mary Cecilia was a granddaughter of Claude, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and his wife Nina Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck. One of Mary Cecilia's paternal aunt's was the Queen Mother. In 1951, Mary Cecilia Bowes-Lyon married Sir Timothy Colman, KG (b.1929). Lady Mary Cecilia Colman is survived by her husband, by her five children, by her ten grandchildren, and by her sixteen great-grandchildren.

The obituary of Lady Mary Cecilia Colman.

May Lady Mary Cecilia Rest in Peace.

40 Years Since the Passing of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone

Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, in 1963.
Photograph © Yevonde Portrait Archive / Mary Evans Picture Library.

Forty years ago today, HRH Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, died in her sleep on 3 January 1981 at London. She was ninety-seven years-old. The princess was a first cousin of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and the last surviving grandchild of Queen Victoria.

The Countess of Athlone curtsies to the Queen; Princess Margaret stands behind them.
Photograph © Rex Photos.

HM Queen Elizabeth II learned the news of the princess' death ''with great sadness." The Countess of Athlone lived through the reigns of six British monarchs: those of Queen Victoria (her grandmother), King Edward VII (her uncle), King George V (her cousin and brother-in-law), King Edward VIII (her first cousin once removed and nephew), King George VI (her first cousin once removed and nephew), and Queen Elizabeth II (her first cousin twice removed and great-niece).

The Duke and Duchess of Albany with their daughter Princess Alice.
Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London.

Princess Alice of Albany was born on 25 February 1883 at Windsor Castle to the Duke and Duchess of Albany. Her father Prince Leopold was the youngest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Prince Consort. Her mother Princess Helena was a daughter of Fürst Georg Victor of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Princess Helena of Nassau. Alice's younger brother, Prince Charles Edward (later Duke Carl Eduard of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), was born on 19 July 1884 after the death of their father. 

Prince Alexander of Teck and Princess Alice of Albany on their wedding day.
Photograph © Royal Collection Trust.

In 1904, Princess Alice of Albany married her second cousin once-removed Prince Alexander of Teck (1874-1957), the brother of Princess Mary, then Princess of Wales and later Queen Mary as the wife of King George V. Prince and Princess Alexander of Teck had three children: Princess May of Teck (1906-1994; later Lady May Cambridge; married Sir Henry Abel Smith), Prince Rupert of Teck (1907-1928; later Viscount Trematon; a haemophiliac), and Prince Maurice of Teck (1910-1910). In 1917, Prince Alexander relinquished his German princely title and was created the Earl of Athlone by his brother-in-law the King. 

Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, 1941.

Between 1924 and 1930, the princess accompanied her husband while the Earl of Athlone carried out his responsibilities as the Governor-General of South Africa. Thereafter, from 1940 until 1946, Princess Alice served as the Canadian viceregal consort while the Earl of Athlone undertook his duties as the Governor-General of Canada. King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth were very happy with Alice's activities. The king remarked to Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King that his cousin was "so lively and helpful." The queen later remembered of Alice's time in Canada: "She had such get-up-and-go. She was always very straight, very strong-willed, with a great natural dignity."

Princess Anne and Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, in London, 1969.

Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, is buried at Frogmore, Windsor. 


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Friday, January 1, 2021

Repose of a Royal Relict: The Death of Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia (1926-2020)

The late Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia.

On 13 December 2020, HRH Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia died in Palm Springs, California. The widow of Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia, the princess was ninety-four years-old. She had lived in Palm Springs for many decades. Born on 26 August 1926 at Vrnjacka-Banja, Serbia, Milica "Mitzi" Anđelković was the only daughter of Milan Anđelković and Eva Jovanović. Mitzi had a brother, Milan. Her parents eventually divorced. Sometime in the 1940s, Milica Anđelković married a Mr Smiljanic. After World War II, Mitzi Anđelković fled Yugoslavia for the United States as the Communists under Tito took power.

King Peter II of Yugoslavia and Mrs Mitzi Lowe.

In 1955, Milica Anđelković married Dr Franklin P Lowe (b.2 April 1922). The couple had two children and lived in California. At some point in the 1950s, Mitzi Lowe also met King Peter II of Yugoslavia, who became friends with Mitzi and her husband Frank. It is believed that Mitzi looked after the king when he was ill, which he often was due to complications from alcoholism and depression. When King Peter II died in 1970, Mitzi Lowe was the executor of his will. Prince Tomislav writes in his memoirs that Mitzi first met Prince Andrej at the funeral of his brother the King. Dr Frank Lowe and Mrs Mitzi Lowe were divorced on 18 March 1974. By the end of the year, both had remarried. 

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Palm Springs, 1983.

On 30 March 1974, Mitzi Lowe married Prince Andrej "Andy" of Yugoslavia (b.Bled 28 Jun 1929) in Palm Springs. Andrej's brother Tomislav tried to prevent Andrej from marrying that "problematic woman," as Tomislav called her, but the prince could not prevent the marriage. Andrej was the youngest son of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia (1888-1934) and Queen Marie (1900-1961; née Princess of Romania). From 1956 until their divorce in 1962, the prince was married to Princess Christina "Christa" of Hesse (1933-2011), the daughter of Prince Christoph of Hesse and Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark, a sister of the Duke of Edinburgh. From 1963 until their divorce in 1972, Prince Andrej was married to Princess Kira zu Leiningen (1930-2005), the daughter of Fürst Karl zu Leiningen and Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia. After the marriage, Mitzi was styled and titled as HRH Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia. 

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Palm Springs, 1984.

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria were active on the social scene in California and visited Serbian communities abroad. In a November 1984 visit to Australia, the prince elaborated on his life in the United States: "Palm Springs is an extraordinary little town. In summer it has a small population with semi-retired and professional people, former USA presidents. In winter, many more people arrive." Princess Eva Maria added: "We are there for six to seven months a year and we have black-tie dinners - very formal - six to seven balls a year and lots of parties." At the time it was noted that Prince Andrej was retired, but open to getting involved in business activities again if the right opportunity presented itself. In the past, he had worked as a consultant at ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., in Costa Mesa, California.

Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia in Sydney, 1984.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives

What seemed to be a good opportunity presented itself to Andrej in the form of Comparator Systems Corporation, an electronics company founded in 1976. Around 1986, the prince took the position as Head of International Marketing at the company. In a 1997 exposé on Comparator and its fallout by Orange Coast Magazine, Princess Eva Maria cooperated fully. After all, it was widely believed that her husband's role at the company, and the subsequent things that he learned about its dire financial position, had contributed to his early death. 

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Sydney, February 1990.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives.

Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia died by apparent suicide in the form of carbon monoxide poisoning inside his black Mercedes-Benz on 6 May 1990; the car was parked in the garage at the Comparator offices in Irvine, California, and the lifeless prince's body was discovered by the company's corporate secretary. Regarding her husband's passing at the age of sixty, Eva Maria recalled: "It was a terribly, terribly shocking tragedy." Andrej's attraction to Comparator was rooted in the innovative patent technology that the company was marketing: a fingerprint scanner, which would allow businesse to be able to tell whether the person whose finger was scanned was actually the individual they claimed to be. The princess elaborated: "He [Andrej] believed that the product was a good thing for security, hotels, banks and things like that. And he was always fascinated by anything mechanical, any gadgetry." Comparator's CEO Robert Rogers was charismatic, polite, and convincing; in the 1970s, however, Rogers was reprimanded by stock regulators for the unlawful issuing of securities. When Robert Rogers met Prince Andrej, he was certain that having a bonafide royal prince associated with the company would be an immense asset. Despite the apparently wonderful product on hand, Comparator's sales were not remarkable, and the company appeared to be struggling. Prince Andrej went on a business trip with the company's CEO to Switzerland and returned home in a depressed state. Andrej's wife remembered her husband confiding: "They didn't have any money so I paid the hotel bills with a credit card." This trip was a warning of what was to come. "Cars would be repossessed, telephones would be disconnected. This was when my husband came to the rescue," Eva Maria stated. When Eva Maria would raise her concerns about Comparator with her husband, Andrej would reply: "You just don't understand these things." In 1989, Andrej loaned the company $60,000 from a certificate of deposit which the couple possessed. For most of his time as the Head of International Marketing, Andrej as well as a good deal of the other twenty employees of Comparator had been compensated by being given stock in the company. However, by May 1990, Andrej wanted to recoup the money he had lent. On 5 May, Andrej and Eva Maria were being visited by Andrej's son Prince Karl Vladimir, who was visiting his father from Europe. On that day, the prince told his wife that he needed to go to the Irvine office in order to meet with Robert Rogers; Andrej phoned Eva Maria several times to confirm that he was expecting the meeting to occur that day. When the prince did not arrive back in Palm Springs for dinner, his wife became worried. It was early in the morning of 6 May 1990 that Summer Churchill, the company's corporate secretary, found the prince's body. Ms Churchill recalled: "He was sitting there slumped over. I reached in to find a carotid artery. There was no carotid. So I knew he was dead."

Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Sydney, 1984.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives.

Although the princess did not think that the prince was suicidal, she did feel that when he found out about the true state of affairs at the company in which he was so invested that he might have thought there was no other solution but to take his life. Regardless, Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia would never forgive herself for the fate that befell her husband. "In a way part of this is my fault. I should have put my foot down and I didn't. Whenever I think of my husband, I blame myself." Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia was initially buried in the United States. In 2013, his remains were reburied at the Karageorgevich dynasty's mausoleum at Oplenac.

Prince Andrej and Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia in Sydney, 1990.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Fairfax Media Archives.

In the thirty years since her husband's death, Princess Eva Maria of Yugoslavia lived a very private life. It is not known where the princess was buried.

May Princess Eva Maria Rest in Peace.


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Christmas and New Year Message from Grand Duchess Maria of Russia

2021-01-01 New Year’s and Christmas Greetings from the Head of the House of Romanoff

Dear Countrymen! Dear Friends,

I wish you all a Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!

The traditional greeting we give each on New Year’s for good health takes on a special meaning this year.

In the year that has just ended, the entire world was struck by disaster—the spread of the coronavirus, which has led to the untimely deaths of many people close and dear to us.

We will always remember them and offer our support and condolences to everyone who has lost family and friends.

We also know that even more lives were saved thanks to the selfless and tireless work of doctors, nurses, and volunteers.

To them we offer our deepest thanks and the solemn bow of our head.

During the coming holidays and throughout the next year, we should all exercise good judgment and take preventative measures to keep ourselves safe.

Now, as effective means of combating coronavirus are being developed and improved, it would be especially tragic to fall victim to this illness.

It would be like being killed by the last bullet at the end of a war.

Therefore, let us be rational and attentive to ourselves and to each other.

We must not lose faith in God’s mercy.

We must not allow decency in our interactions with others to be destroyed under the pretext of fighting the pandemic.

But we must also remember the words of Christ our Savior: “Do not tempt the Lord thy God.”

One’s attitude about the pandemic should be determined not by some or other ideology, but by the simple duty each of us has as a human being and as a citizen—by the sense of responsibility we have to ourselves and to others.

I and my son and heir, Grand Duke George of Russia, hope that you may all celebrate the New Year and Christmas in joy, confidence in your strength, and in the firm hope for a better future. I wish you all health and happiness in the coming year!

May the Lord protect Russia and all her sons and daughters around the world!

H.I.H. The Grand Duchess Maria of Russia
Head of the Imperial House of Russia


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