Monday, March 21, 2022

Grand Duke George of Russia Recovering From Surgery

The following communiqué has been released by the Russian Imperial Chancellery:

2022-03-21 Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich underwent surgery

On Sunday, March 20, 2022, H.I.H.  Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich was hospitalized and urgently operated on due to an abdominal hernia.

The operation was successful.  In the following days, His Imperial Highness will be discharged from the clinic and return home.

We wish the Grand Duke a full and fast recovery.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Dowager Countess of Paris Not To Be Buried Beside Husband

Micaela and Henri on holiday in Spain, 1997.
Photo (c) Getty Images / Dusko Despotovic.
The funeral of Princess Micaela d'Orléans, Dowager Countess of Paris, will take place at the Église Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois in Paris on Tuesday, 22 March 2022 at 10 o'clock. 

The remains Princess Micaela will not be buried beside her husband, the late Prince Henri, Count of Paris, at Dreux. The Dowager Countess of Paris will be laid to rest at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, with her siblings and mother.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The 90th Birthday of Dowager Fürstin Wilhelmine von Khevenhüller-Metsch

Wilhemine.

Today, Dowager Fürstin Wilhelmine von Khevenhüller-Metsch celebrates her ninetieth birthday!

Wilhelmine's parents: Lazarus and Franziska.

Born on 16 March 1932 at Naklo, Countess Marie Wilhelmina Josefina Theresia Franziska Georgia Henckel von Donnersmarck was the third child and second daughter of Count Lazarus "Lazy" Henckel von Donnersmarck (1902-1991) and Countess Franziska von Eltz (1905-1997), who wed in 1927. Wilhemine had four siblings: Count Carl Josef (1928-2008; married 1stly to Princess Marie Adelaide Pss of Luxemburg; married 2ndly to Claire Regina Barclay-Hoess), Countess Elisabeth (b.1929; married Count Ernst von Waldstein-Wartenberg), Count Heinrich (1935-2005), and Count Winfried (b.1938; married Christine von Arnim). 

Wilhemine and Maximilian on their wedding day.
Photo (c) Keystone Press Agency/Keystone USA via ZUMAPRESS.com.

On 19 January 1956 at Munich, Countess Wilhelmine Henckel von Donnersmarck married Count (later Fürst) Maximilian "Max" von Khevenhüller-Metsch (1919-2010). The couple had met the previous year. They honeymooned in Paris before settling in Madrid, were Max lived. Max and Wilhelmine had six children: Fürst Johannes (1956-2020; married Donna Camilla Borghese dei Principi di Nettuno), Count Bartholomäus (b.1958; married Cristina Sanchez de Movellán y Garcia Ogara), Count Karl (b.1959; married Lelia Gailly de Taurines), Count Georg (b.1960; married Countess Stephanie zu Castell-Castell), and Countess Melanie (b.1967; married Count Hubertus von Waldburg zu Wolfegg und Waldersee), and Countess Isabel (b.1972; married Count Florian von Hartig).

Our best wishes to the Dowager Fürstin on her birthday!

Monday, March 14, 2022

The Passing of the Dowager Countess of Paris (1938-2022)

Henri and Micaëla

HRH Princess Micaëla d'Orléans, Dowager Countess of Paris, died on Sunday, 13 March, in the French capital. She was eighty-three years-old.

The Dowager Countess of Paris was born doña Micaëla Ana María Cousiño y Quiñones de León on 30 April 1938 at Vichy, France. Her parents were Luis Maximiliano Cousiño y Sébire (1895-1970) and his wife doña Antonia Quiñones de Léon y Bañuelos (1895-1982), 4th Marquesa of San Carlos and Grandee of Spain; the couple had married at Paris on 9 June 1922. The Marquesa of San Carlos and her husband were divorced in the late 1940s after having had seven children. Nearly fifteen years separated their first child, don Juan Luis (1923-2017), from their last, doña Micaëla (b.1938).

doña Antonia Quiñones de Léon y Bañuelos, IV marquesa de San Carlos, in 1929

Doña Micaëla Cousiño y Quiñones de León married firstly in a civil ceremony on 12 June 1961 at Saint-Cloud to Jean Marie Maurice Bœuf (b.1934). The couple had one son, Alexis Francis-Bœuf (b.1964). The marriage of Micaëla and Jean ended in divorce in 1966.

Alexis Francis-Bœf with his stepfather and mother, the Count and Countess of Paris, in 2017

Micaëla began her career on the radio in France. Her first husband Jean Bœuf was an employee of Télévision Française. Later, Micaëla worked for an advertising group both in Madrid and in Paris. From 1978 until May 1981, she was responsible for the communications of the minister and the senior directors at the cabinet of minister Raymond Barre.

The Count of Clermont and the Princess of Joinville

On 21 January 1973, Micaëla Cousiño met Prince Henri d'Orléans, Count of Clermont, the eldest son of the Count and Countess of Paris. Henri had been married since 1957 to Duchess Marie-Thérèse of Württemberg and they had five children; however, the couple's union had deteriorated over time. When Henri and Micaëla encountered one another, it was love at first sight. Their devotion to one another was to stand the test of adversity and time. 

Henri and Micaëla

In 1984, the Count of Clermont and his wife Marie-Thérèse, who was granted the title Duchess of Montpensier by her father-in-law, were civilly divorced. Prince Henri d'Orléans and doña Micaëla Cousiño y Quiñones de León contracted a civil marriage at Bordeaux on 31 October 1984; this action greatly displeased the groom's father, who sought to disinherit his son for a number of years. However, the Count of Paris and the Count of Clermont were reconciled in 1991; at this time, the Count of Paris granted his daughter-in-law Micaëla the title Princess of Joinville.  

The civil marriage of Prince Henri d'Orléans and doña Micaëla Cousiño in 1984

Point de Vue covers the reconciliation of father and son in 1991

In 1999, the Count of Paris died and was succeeded by his eldest son Henri as Head of House France. Henri assumed the title Count of Paris; however, Micaëla chose to remain titled as Princess of Joinville from 1999 until 2003, when her mother-in-law passed away. The "new" Count of Paris and his first wife the Duchess of Montpensier received a religious annulment in 2008 from the Vatican. In light of this, Henri and Micaëla, the Count and Countess of Paris, were joined in a Roman Catholic ceremony on 26 September 2009 at Biarritz.

The Count and Countess of Paris after their religious wedding in 2009
Photograph (c) Alamy

The Count and Countess of Paris with Empress Farah of Iran

After thirty-four years of marriage to his second wife, the Count of Paris died on 21 January 2019 in Paris. His death came exactly forty-six years after he crossed paths with the woman who was to be his partner for the rest of his life. The Countess of Paris was unable to attend the funeral of her husband due to poor health.

The Dowager Countess of Paris

Saturday, March 12, 2022

The American Scion of the Dukes of St Albans Killed in Action During WWI

Lieutenant Sydney Beauclerk.
The birth announcement of Sydney Beauclerk.
The Herald and News of Randolph, Vermont, 17 October 1895.

Born on 10 October 1895 at Irasburgh, Vermont, Sydney (or Sidney) Wentworth Beauclerk was the first child and only son of Dr. Wentworth Preston Beauclerk (1875-1921) and Jenny May Hayward (1873-1959), who wed in 1894. Sydney's father Wentworth Beauclerk was a surgeon and physician; his mother Jenny was a housewife. When he was seventeen, Sydney was joined by a younger sister, Barbara Beauclerk (1913-1985; married Joseph John Betz). 

Lord William Beauclerk, later 8th Duke of St. Albans.
A portrait by George Romney.

Sydney's paternal great-grandfather was Lord Charles Beauclerk (1813-1861), one of the younger children of William, 8th Duke of St. Albans (1766-1825). 

The military registration of Sydney Beauclerk.

On 5 June 1917, Sydney joined the United States military at the age of twenty-one. He was described as being of medium height and build, with blue eyes and fair hair. A business student in Syracuse, New York, before his enlistment, Sydney became a skilled pilot during his training. On 25 September 1917, Sydney departed New York to fight in World War I. He was killed in action on 29 October 1918 at Champigneulles, France. A fellow serviceman, Lieutenant Holden, wrote to Sydney's parents in order to give them a more detailed account of their son's military career:

25 Nov. 1918

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Beauclerk,

Inasmuch as I am a personal friend of your son, Sidney, and having had the pleasure of working with the same squadron to which he as attached and consequently being thoroughly acquainted with his work from the time he left the States up to and including the day he was taken from us, I feel greatly honoured no matter how sad the existing circumstances may be, to be able to inform his parents of his record and the work which he did for you, and the cause which it was his opportunity to represent.

It is not necessary to explain Doc's work during his period of training, so I shall simply give you the details from the day he joined the Squadron.

A few days previous to the St. Michel attack, Doc. joined the Squadron and his work during this drive was wonderful. He was one of those reliable flyers whom one loves to work with and no matter what the weather conditions might be, and no matter how dangerous a mission had to be carried out, Doc. was always found to be ready. His work in this drive made him one of the most reliable and trustworthy men in the Squadron and everyone considered it a real pleasure to fly with him.

At the conclusion of this drive the Squadron was transferred into the Argonne sector and his work there won him much praise, not only from the members of his Squadron but from the commanding officers of the Squadron, group and corps.

On the 29th of October Doc was sent up with a formation of six planes, whose mission was to take photographs of a certain sector over which our infantry was to advance the following morning. It was a mighty important mission for it was necessary to know just what sort of territory our troops had to contend with, and consequently only the best men of the squadron were chosen to do the work. Our formation was attacked by overwhelming odds but in spite of this and with due thanks to your son, the mission was a success, although the cost was unrepairable. Doc gave his life in the fulfilment of his duty. Rather than have the plan shot down, which was taking the pictures and consequently causing hundreds of deaths which our infantry would have suffered had this mission been a failure, Doc. took the bullets himself, which were meant for our photographic plane and in doing so met his end.

The war is over and in a few months we are coming home, but even so, the 12th Squadron will never forget Doc Beauclerk.

He went down like a true American and even though we cannot bring him back to you, we know as a Squadron that the name of Beauclerk shall ever be an honour to the American nation. May the fact that Doc gave his life for the benefit of others, ever be a comfort to you in time of need. He fought to the end and even though mortally wounded he landed his machine in such a way as to save his observer's life.

So you see my friends that during it all his thoughts were for others, and in doing so he has acted just as I know you would want him to do. 

May his sacrifice be an inspiration to others.

On the following morning the infantry made their all famous attack which had a direct bearing upon the close of the war and they found the grave of your son from which we gather that the Boche buried Doc with military honours. 

Upon his cross is written these words

Here is an American Flyer

Lt. S. W. Beauclerk, Jr.

Killed Oct. 29, 1918

According to the map his grave is about 200 yards west of the village of Champigneulles. This town is about five miles east of Grandpre and 50 miles north of the city of Bar-le-duc.

Now, in closing let me say that at some future date I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you and then, perhaps I will be able to explain Doc's work far better than I can under the present circumstances.

May our Father in Heaven comfort you all for in giving your son to the cause of righteousness, you as a Mother and Father are giving to all mankind your very all in all. God bless you both.

Most sincerely,

K. H. Holden,

12th Aero Squadron,

4th Army Corps.

The grave of Sydney Beauclerk.
Photo (c) Findagrave.com.

At the time of his birth in 1895, Sydney Beauclerk was eighth in the line of succession to the Dukedom of St. Albans. Had he not been killed in action at the age of twenty-three, it is quite likely that 1st Lieutenant Sydney Beauclerk would have become duke. Beauclerk is buried at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France.

For more on the life of Lt. Sydney Beauclerk, please read this article: https://www.cowhampshireblog.com/2016/11/06/new-hampshire-wwi-military-1lt-sydney-wentworth-beauclerk-of-concord-nh-1895-1918/

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Fifty Years Since the Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cádiz

The Duke and Duchess of Cádiz.
The couple during their religious wedding.
The groom's mother and the bride's grandfather were their witnesses.
Carmen and Alfonso.

On 8 March 1972, Don Alfonso de Borbón y Dampierre, Duke of Cádiz, and Doña María del Carmen Martínez-Bordiú y Franco were married at the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid. The groom was the eldest son of Infante Jaime of Spain, Duke of Segovia, and Emanuela de Dampierre. The bride was the eldest child of Don Cristóbal Martínez-Bordiú y Ortega, 10th Marquis of Villaverde, and Doña María del Carmen Franco y Polo, 1st Duchess of Franco. The engagement of Don Alfonso and Doña Carmen was announced in December 1971.

Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofía of Spain with their children.
Princess Désirée of Sweden.
The Duchess of Alba.
Infante Jaime of Spain and the Begum Aga Khan with Francisco Franco.

Among the blue-blooded guests were Prince Juan Carlos and Princess Sofía of Spain with their three children, Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace of Monaco, Prince Bertil of Sweden, Princess Christina of Sweden, Princess Désirée of Sweden, the Begum Aga Khan, and the Duchess of Alba. Other attendees included Imelda Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines, and Juan Perón, the former President of Argentina.

The Duke and Duchess of Cádiz had two children: Don Francisco de Asís de Borbón y Martinez-Bordiu (1972-1984) and Don Luis Alfonso de Borbón y Martinez-Bordiu (b.1974). On 5 February 1984, Alfonso and his sons Francisco and Luis Alfonso were involved in a motor vehicle accident near Pamplona which left the Duke of Cádiz and his sons with severe injuries; Francisco, only eleven years-old, succumbed to his injuries two days after the accident. Don Alfonso and Doña Carmen separated in 1979; they were civilly divorced in 1982 after a decade of marriage. In 1986, the couple was granted an annulment by the Vatican.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

A Ruritanian Idea from the 1990s: King Edward of Estonia

Prince Edward in 1994.
Photo (c) Heptagon/Shutterstock.

In July 1994, the Estonian Royalist Party (Eesti Rojalistlik Partei / ERP) sent a letter to Buckingham Palace requesting that Prince Edward, the youngest child of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accept their invitation to become King of Estonia. At the time, the party had 8% of the seats in the Estonian Parliament. Estonia had gained independence in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The man behind this eccentric request was Kalle Kulbok, the head of the Royalist Party. In an interview, Mr Kulbok stated: "A British royal on the throne of Estonia would link us closely with Britain, a democracy we would like to emulate. It above all would be a great protection against future Russian attempts to conquer us again." The Estonian would-be-kingmaker went on to elucidate the virtues of Prince Edward that would endear the royal to the people of Estonia: "Estonians admire youth, which is free of Soviet corruption. Prince Edward is young and we are a very young nation ruled by a very young government. We like Prince Edward's artistic interests, which fit very well with Estonia's. I can also promise that Estonian newspapers are a lot nicer and more respectful than the English media." As it turns out, Kalle Kulbok had confided his dreams of a Kingdom of Estonia to the well-known historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore. Mr Kulbok entrusted the letter of the Royalist Party to Mr Sebag-Montefiore to be delivered to Buckingham Palace, which the latter kindly (and likely with a large dose of amusement) did.

When reports of this letter emerged, a spokesperson of the Estonian Embassy to the UK offered some clarification to the British people: "Estonians think very kindly of your royal family. But the Estonian Royalist Party is our equivalent of your raving loony party. They do not represent the government in any way." A Buckingham Palace spokesperson anonymously confided: "It is a charming but unlikely idea."