Friday, July 9, 2021

Join Historian Rick Hutto for a Talk on the Great-Grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales!

On Wednesday, 14 July, historian and author Richard Jay Hutto (who is also a dear friend) will be giving a webinar about Frances Ellen Work (1857-1947), an American socialite who became the maternal great-grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997). The webinar is titled "Frances Ellen Work: Uncovering Princess Diana’s American Roots." Please see below for more information about what will surely be a fun and informative talk!
Contrary to popular belief, Meghan Markle was not the first American woman to join the lineage of Britain’s royal family — that distinction goes to Frances Ellen Work (1857-1947), the beautiful and tempestuous American heiress who was the great-great-grandmother of Princess Diana. But who was this early American socialite, and what earned her a spot in "The 400," Caroline Schermerhorn Astor's elite social circle? From family inheritance drama, to a manipulative father, to a highly-public divorce, this is the tumultuous story of one of the most prominent women of the American Gilded Age and Royal Society.

Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the life and legacy of Frances Ellen Work, Princess Diana’s beautiful and wealthy American great-great grandmother.

Led by author and Gilded Age historian Richard Jay Hutto, our experience surrounding Princess Diana's royal lineage will include:

- A look at how Frances Work’s father leveraged the family fortune to bend the will of his daughters and grandchildren, including 15 codicils specifying what they must do in order to inherit it
- The story of how Frances, in a desperate attempt to escape her father’s domination, was tricked into marrying her horse trainer who falsely claimed to be a Hungarian count
- Why Frances’s former husband sued her for bigamy and used British law to shield himself while serving as an elected Member of Parliament
- A discussion of the interconnecting lives of her twin sonswho were High Society favorites
- Hear how Frances’ sister — the “good daughter” — volunteered in France to escape the scandal of her husband’s misdeeds

Afterward, we'll have a Q&A with Rick — any and all questions about Princess Diana's American Family are welcomed and encouraged!

To register for "Frances Ellen Work: Uncovering Princess Diana’s American Roots," please visit this link:  New York Adventure Club

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Marriage for the Duc d'Ayen, Heir of the Duc de Noailles

Emmanuel and Letizia in 2019.
Photograph (c) Getty Images/Henri Tullio.

Emmanuel de Noailles, Duc d'Ayen, and Letizia Bemberg recently married in France. The couple have two sons, Raphaël and Felix. 

Emmanuel de Noailles.

Born in Washington, DC, on 14 February 1983, Emmanuel Paul Louis Marie de Noailles, Duc d’Ayen, is the only son of Hélie de Noailles, 10th Duc de Noailles, and Nadèje Gonin. Emmanuel's paternal grandparents are François de Noailles, 9th Duc de Noailles, and Charlotte de Caumont La Force. Emmanuel's maternal grandparents are Louis Gonin and Blandine de la Forest de Divonne. 

Letizia Bemberg.

Letizia Bemberg is the daughter of Peter Bemberg and Gwendoline Levié-Ffoulke. Letizia's paternal grandparents are Eduardo Pedro Federico Bemberg and Georgia Betty Hatch. Letizia's maternal grandparents are Jean Jérôme Levié-Ffoulke and Etheldreda Buhan.

Our congratulations to the Duc and Duchesse d'Ayen on their marriage!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Princess Charlotte of Bourbon-Parma Engaged to Guatemalan Diplomat

Recently, Princess Charlotte of Bourbon-Parma became engaged to Javier Valladares Urruela. 

Charlotte at the Bal des débutantes, 2011.

Princess Charlotte is the daughter of Prince Charles Emmanuel of Bourbon-Parma (b.1961) and his wife Constance de Ravinel (b.1970). Charlotte's paternal grandparents are Prince Michel of Bourbon-Parma (1926-2018) and Princess Yolande de Broglie-Revel (1928-2014). Charlotte's maternal grandparents are Baron Yves de Ravinel and his wife Countess Alexe de Castellane.

Javier Valladares Urruela with his father Acisclo Valladares Molina.

Javier Valladares Urruela is the son of Acisclo Valladares Molina (b.1946), Guatemalan Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and his wife Marina Raquel Urruela Prado. Javier's paternal grandparents are Luis Valladares Aycinena (1904-1983), Guatemalan Ambassador to the Holy See, and María Molina Rubio (1910-2012). Javier's maternal grandparents are Federico Adolfo Urruela Vásquez (1918-1957) and Julia Marina Prado Rossbach (1922-2015). Javier Valladares Urruela has served as the Third Secretary at the Guatemalan Embassy to France.

Our congratulations to Javier and Charlotte on their engagement!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

A Right Royal Quiz: Who Am I?

A Gotha Quiz: Who Am I?

By Darren Shelton for the European Royal History Journal.

My maternal grandfather at one time was mooted as heir to a throne he did not inherit, although in time he was to become a reigning sovereign on his brother's death. I was born to a well-known mother who was a considerable heiress, and whose inheritance was hard won over cousins with a greater claim. My father was plucked from obscurity. With my siblings, we ruled in the major capitals of the world. Married twice, I was unlucky in love. My first wife, the treasure of my heart, loved another and despised my presence. My second wife, a political match, loved me to distraction, while I could not stand her. Deprived of children who lived, I spent my life being a progressive free thinker. Who am I, and who were my wives?

The answer will be revealed on Thursday.


I am Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and my wives, Princess Isabella of Parma and Princess Maria Josepha of Bavaria. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

A Marriage in the Imperial Family of Brazil

The newlyweds.

On Saturday, 3 July 2021, Prince D. Pedro Alberto de Orleans e Bragança (b.1988) married Alessandra Haegler Fragoso Pires (b.1994) at the Imperial Church of Nossa Senhora da Glória do Outeiro in Rio de Janeiro. The presiding priest was Prince Alessandro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, the son of Prince Casimiro and Princess Maria Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The couple's wedding had originally been scheduled for last year; however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had to be postponed. Sadly, at an engagement party for Pedro Alberto and Alessandra in 2020, several members of the couples' families contracted the novel coronavirus.

Prince Alberto and Princess Maritza with their children Prince Pedro Alberto and Princess Maria Beatriz in 1999.
Photograph (c) Getty Images / Yann Gamblin.
Prince D. Alberto and Princess D. Maritza de Orleans e Bragança.

Pedro Alberto is the son of Prince D. Alberto de Orleans e Bragança (b.1957) and Princess D. Maritza de Orleans e Bragança (b.1961; née Ribas Bokel). Pedro Alberto is a grandson of Prince D. Pedro Henrique of Brazil (1909-1981) and Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria (1914-2011).

Prince D. Pedro Alberto and Princess D. Alessandra in 2018.
Photograph (c) Denise Andrade.

Alessandra is the daughter of Rafael Fragoso Pires and Bettina Alessandra Haegler.

Our congratulations to Prince Pedro Alberto and Princess Alessandra on their marriage!

Note: Many thanks to our dear friend Hein Bruins, royal genealogist and researcher, for the information about this wedding.

Friday, July 2, 2021

A Further Look Into This Year's Russian Imperial Wedding!

The wedding invitation to the first imperial marriage in Russia in over a century.
Photograph (c) Russian Imperial Chancellery.

Invitations have been sent out to the one thousand guests for the wedding of Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and Victoria Romanovna Bettarini. The couple will celebrate their religious marriage on Friday, 1 October 2021, in Saint Petersburg. Their engagement was announced in January of this year.

The invitations to the imperial wedding.

The invitations to the imperial wedding were made in Moscow. They were created using old printing machines and techniques. An imperial coat of arms that survived the 1917 Revolution was used to emboss the invitations.  

The engaged couple.
Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia is the only child of Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, Head of the Imperial House, and Prince Franz Wilhelm of Prussia. Victoria Romanovna (Rebecca Virginia) Bettarini is the only child of Ambassador Roberto Bettarini and Carla Virginia Cacciatore. 

The Embassy of Italy in Moscow.
It is possible that Grand Duke George Mikhailovich and Victoria Romanovna will celebrate their civil wedding at the Italian embassy in Moscow. This would be most fitting, as Victoria's father Roberto Bettinari was an Italian ambassador to several countries over many years. In 2009, Prince Aimone of Savoy and Princess Olga of Greece, both cousins of Grand Duke George, held their civil marriage at the embassy.

Saint Isaac's Cathedral.

On Friday, 1 October, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and Princess Victoria Romanovna Romanoff will celebrate their religious wedding at Saint Isaac's Cathedral. The ceremony will begin at noon. Princess Victoria will be wearing a Chaumet diadem; Grand Duke George and Princess Victoria will exchange Fabergé wedding bands. The cathedral is a state museum; however, special dispensation has been given by the government for Saint Isaac's Cathedral to be used in a religious capacity for this special event. There is a possibility that the imperial wedding will be televised live in Russia.

The Trans-Siberian Railway.
For their honeymoon, the couple are interested in a wide-ranging trip around Russia. This could be done via train, specifically the Trans-Siberian railway. The couple would very much like to visit Mongolia as well. However, the plans for the honeymoon will likely not be finalised until September.

Saint Basil's Cathedral.
Grand Duke George of Russia and Princess Victoria Romanoff will likely take up residence at their home in Moscow. The couple moved to the Russian capital in 2020.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

On This Day: The Marriage of Prince Aimone of Savoy and Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark

Aimone and Irene.

On 1 July 1939 at Florence, Prince Aimone of Savoy, Duke of Spoleto, married Princess Irene of Greece and Denmark. The groom was thirty-nine years-old; the bride was thirty-four. Their wedding took place at the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Among the guests were King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy and his wife Queen Elena, King George II of Greece, Queen Helen of Romania, the Prince and Princess of Piedmont, the Dowager Duchess of Aosta, and the Duke and Duchess of Kent.