27 May 2016

Christening of Prince Oscar of Sweden

Photo: Hans Garlöw/Kungahuset.se. In the middle Crown Princess Victoria with Prince Oscar in her arms, Prince Daniel and Princess Estelle. To the left the sponsors Hans Åström, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. To the right Princess Madeleine carrying Princess Leonore and beside her the last of the five sponsors, Oscar Magnuson. 

The christening of Prince Oscar of Sweden, who was born on 2 March this year, took place at the Palace Church in Stockholm today. Sponsors of the little prince were Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Oscar Magnuson (first cousin of Crown Princess Victoria) and Hans Åström (first cousin of Prince Daniel).

Archbishop Antje Jackelén, assisted by Bishop and Chief Court Chaplain Johan Dalman and Court Chaplain and Rector of the Royal Court Parish Michael Bjerkhagen officiated the ceremony.

The program of the christening ceremony can be viewed here.

Among the guests at the church ceremony and reception were:

The Swedish Royal Family
    • King Carl Gustaf
    • Queen Silvia
    • Crown Princess Victoria
    • Prince Daniel
    • Princess Estelle
    • Prince Carl Philip
    • Princess Sofia
    • Princess Madeleine
    • Christopher O'Neill
    • Princess Leonore
    • Prince Nicolas
    HM The King's family
    • Princess Margaretha, Mrs. Ambler
    • Baroness Christina Louise De Geer and Baron Hans De Geer
    • Princess Christina Mrs. Magnuson and Tord Magnuson
    • Gustaf Magnuson and Vicky Magnuson
    • Oscar Magnuson and Emma Magnuson
    • Victor Magnuson and Frida Bergström
    • Countess Marianne Bernadotte af Wisborg
    • Count Bertil Bernadotte af Wisborg amd Countess Jill Bernadotte af Wisborg
    • Dagmar von Arbin
    HM The Queen's family
    • Ralf de Toledo Sommerlath and Charlotte de Toledo Sommerlath
    • Thomas de Toledo Sommerlath and Bettina Aussems
    • Walther L. Sommerlath
    • Patrick Sommerlath and Maline Sommerlath
    • Leopold Lundén Sommerlath
    • Chloé Sommerlath
    • Anaïs Sommerlath
    Other foreign royal guests
    • Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
    • Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
    In addition Prince Daniel's parents Olle and Ewa Westling, his siblings and their families and other family members, as well as representatives of Riksdagen (the Parliament), the leaders of the polical parties, the Government and the church, other authorities, including the governors of Stockholm, Skåne and Västra Götaland and finally representatives of the corps diplomatique. For a full guest list, go here.

    The arms of Prince Oscar of Sweden. (The image is taken from the Swedish National Archives' press photo section, where the photos and images are free of use.)

    The arms and monogram of Prince Oscar were also published in connection with the christening. The four quarters of the arms show the lesser coat of arms of Sweden (field 1 and 4), the arms of Folkunga (field 2) and in field 3 the arms of Skåne (Scania) (Prince Oscar is also Duke of Skåne), while the inescutcheon shows the arms of the House of Bernadotte. The arms are crowned by the princes crown. The arms are drawn by the heraldic artist Henrik Dahlström, the Swedish National Archives. The monogram consists of the initial O and a prince crown above.

    26 May 2016

    From the archives: John Frisvold, d. Canada 1931. Any heirs?

    John Frisvold er avgått ved døden i Canada i februar 1931, ca. 63 år gammel. Han antas å være født i Romsdalen. Han efterlater sig midler i Canada. Mulige arvinger bedes melde sig til Utenriksdepartementets arve- og rettskontor.

    While looking for something completely different, I came over a paragraph in Aftenposten 13 September 1934, by which the readers were informed that a John Frisvold had died in Canada in February 1931, around 63 years old. He was assumed to have been born in Romsdalen (i.e. Møre and Romsdal county). According to the short article, he left behind capital in Canada. Possible heirs were asked to contact the Inheritance and Law Office of the Foreign Ministry of Norway.

    I hope the inheritance case was solved in the end. Maybe someone searching for genealogical information about the Frisvold family will sooner or later find the newspaper paragraph useful. I searched for the name of John Frisvold at Ancestry.com and found that he died in Milestone, Saskatchewan in 1931. According to Findagrave.com, he is buried at the Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery in Milestone, which is a town in the southeast of the province of Saskatchewan.

    If the information in Aftenposten is correct, John Frisvold was born around 1868. So far I haven't found anyone who fits the picture when searching for variations of the name at the Norwegian Digital Archives, but I must admit that I haven't put my heart and soul in this little project. There are, however, Frisvold farms in Nesset in Romsdal. Another possibility could be Lom, which of couse is in Oppland county, but not that far from Romsdal.


    23 May 2016

    Romania-insider.com: Romania’s Royal Family wants tax exemption for their Savarsin Castle

    The English-speaking Internet news service Romania-insider.com published an interesting article about the Romanian royal family on 19 May 2016:

    Romania’s Royal Family wants tax exemption for their Savarsin Castle

    Certainly it is the king's legal right to ask for tax excemption for his property in Savarsin, but if it is really the wisest thing to do, is another.


    28 April 2016

    Genealogen no. 1, 2016

    The latest issue of Genealogen, the newsletter of Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening (The Norwegian Genealogical Society) has just arrived. The society celebrates its 90th anniversary this year (on 26 October 2016), which is commented on in chairman Rune Nedrud's column. Nedrud is also the editor-in-chief of the newsletter, assisted by Carsten Berg Høgenhoff. The newsletter comes out twice a year, just like the society's other periodical, Norsk Slektshistorisk Tidsskrift.

    The photo on the front page, taken by Høgenhoff, shows the viking ship Saga Oseberg in front of the Oslo opera house. Høgenhoff has also taken a similar photo of the Saga Oseberg viking ship and Akershus Fortress and City Hall which was used for the front cover of Genealogica & Heraldica. Influence on Genealogy and Heraldry of Major Events in the History of a Nation. Proceedings of the XXXIst International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences. Oslo 2014, which was published by Slektshistorisk Forlag (owned by Norsk Slektshistorisk Forening) in late 2015. A short presentation of the book, including its contents, can be found on Slektshistoriewiki, the Norwegian genealogy wiki. The Proceedings are reviewed in Genealogen no. 1, 2016 by the historian Tor Weidling. The congress itself is also commented on in an article by Hans Cappelen.

    In the latest issue you can also find among others the following articles:
    • Setesveiner i Fosen («Setesveins in Fosen») by Per Ola Sollie (for an explanation of «setesvein», go to Wikipedia).
    • Rederfamilien Halvorsen («The shipping family Halvorsen») by (the late) Marie Nilssen and Michael Hopstock
    • Jon Simensson Kattevøl – «rundbrenneren» fra Vang («Jon Simensson Kattevøl – «the Casanova» of Vang») by Harald Flaten
    • Fra Brandenburg gjennom Skandinavia og Baltikum til Russland og Storbritannia («From Brandenburg through Scandinavia and the Baltics to Russia and Great Britain» by Elin Galtung Lihaug. The article is based on the lecture the author held at the above-mentioned congress. The article covers among others the von Grabow, Galtung, Pusjkin and Battenberg/Mountbatten families.
    I made two contributions this time – reviews of the following titles (book review heading first):
    • «Dahleslekta i Isfjorden»: 
      • Valved, Jostein (red.). Dahleslekta i Isfjorden. Anna og Ole I. Dahle, etterslekt og aner, Oslo: klarahytta.wordpress.com, 2015. ISBN: 979-82-303-2934-4. 
    • «Ny serie med håndbøker i kortform: Släktforskning i Norden»:
      • Nedrud, Rune. Släktforskning i Norge. Grundprinciper och användning av källor, Solna: Sveriges Släktforskarförbund, 2015. ISBN: 978-91-87676-91-8.
      • Christensen, Gitte/Tobiasen, Kathrine. Släktforskning i Danmark. Grundprinciper och källanvändning, Solna: Sveriges Släktforskarförbund, 2015. ISBN: 978-91-87676-92-5.
      • Winter, Ritva. Släktforskning i Finland. Grundprinciper och källanvändning, Solna: Sveriges Släktforskarförbund, 2015. ISBN: 978-91-87676-93-2.
    In the first article I review a book on the Dahle family from Isfjorden in Rauma, Møre og Romsdal county. In the second article I comment on a series of genealogy handbooks covering Norway, Finland and Denmark, published by The Federation of Swedish Genealogical Societies.

    You will also find information about among others the next general meeting, which will take place in Trondheim on 21 May. I left the committee last year, but will of course be present at the meeting. 3 lectures will be held before the the formalities begin.

    Updated on Friday 29 April 2016 at 08:40 (second last paragraph added).


    25 April 2016

    Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal, Vol. 18.6, December 2015

    I received the last issue of volume 18 of Eurohistory. The European Royal History Journal during the first week of April, but haven't found the time to comment on it before now. The birth and naming ot the new Prince of Sweden were «more urgent news» and had to come first. I just don't have enough time for blogging, even if I would have loved to write more articles than I do at present. Anyway, returning to ERHJ, Vol. 18.6 is the last bimontly issue, as from Volume 19 it will be published quarterly, as explained in my previous ERHJ article.

    The man on the front cover is most likely Grand Duke (of Grand Prince if you like) Konstantin Konstantinovich (1858–1915), who is the topic for one of Coryne Hall's contributions, A Most Accomplished Man. I say most likely, because the magazine doesn't mention it. But judging from other pictures it must be him.

    The Konstantin Konstantinovic article starts on page 14. The first article of the present issue is written by Ilana D. Miller, who continues the «Who Is In the Photograph» series, this time with A Gathering in Coburg, showing a photo of Princess Sibylla of Sweden, née Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the Earl of Athlone and his wife Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. As usual we are not only told the story of the people in the first picture, but also get details about their immediate relations. There is not only one photograph in the article, but 8 more, including a portrait of Princess Sibylla's father, Duke Carl Eduard.

    Janet Ashton has on several occasions written about royals and WW1. This thime she has chosen the later King Alexander of Yugoslavia as a topic for her article Losing some battles but starting to win a war. Crown Prince Alexander and Serbia's Defeat and Exile.

    The historian Diana Mandache, known among others for her books Later Chapters of My Life: The Lost Memoir of Queen Marie of Romania (2004) and Dearest Missy (2011), then tries to explain why Nicholas Medforth-Mills was excluded from the succession to the Romanian throne (i.e. if you think it is up to King Michael personally to change the succession law) in the article HRH Prince Nicholas of Romania. The Lost Prince of Romania. I am afraid I am no wiser after reading it. It is rather sad that the former king has made such a mess of everything.

    I have to smile every time I hear the name of Princess Augusta of Cambridge, later Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1822–1916), because I cannot help thinking of her famous remark «A Revolutionary Throne» about Queen Maud in connection with King Haakon VII of Norway's election in 1905 and coronation the year after. Marlene Eilers Koenig has written a nice and long portrait of the British-born Grand Duchess, with many details about the political debate concerning the personal annuity she was to receive after her father's death.

    Issue 18.6 also includes two obituaries: Prince Friederich Wilhelm of Prussia (1939–2015) and Duchess Donata of Oldenburg (1950–2015), both written by the publisher and editor, Arturo E. Beéche.

    I was also pleased to find several book reviews. The first one is actually called «A Reader's Review», where Martijn Arts has given his thoughs on the Eurohistory publication I did it my way... The Memoirs of Prince Andreas of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was launched at the Royal Gatherings in the Hague in November 2015 (ISBN 9781944207007) with the author, Prince Andreas, present. Because the book is published by Beéche, who is also editor of the magazine, he has wisely chosen a person who is not in the publisher's «inner circle» to review the book. The other review is written by Coryne Hall and covers another Eurohistory publication, Royal Exiles in Cannes. The Bourbons of the Two-Sicilies of the Villa Marie-Thérèse by David McIntosh and Arturo E. Beéche (2015, ISBN 9781944207014).

    Regarding the memoirs of Prince Andreas, it could be mentioned that they are now also published in German: I did it my way – Die Lebensrinnerungen von Prinz Andreas von Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha, ISBN 9781944207069. The publisher is yet again Eurohistory.com,* cf. the Amazon.com entry, but at the Eurohistory Facebook page we were recently told that Prince Andreas and Arturo E. Béeche have established a new company, Prinz von Coburg Verlag, based in Coburg, Germany and owned 50–50 by the said gentlemen. According to the FB page, the company plans «to republish all of Eurohistory’s titles, or at least most of them, in German and market them in the countries where the language is predominant». It seems to be a wise move, as Eurohistory will expand into new markets and get more than one string to it's bow. The local newspaper of Coburg, Neue Presse, wrote, by the way, a large article about the book last Friday, 22 April 2016, Ein tiefer Blick ins Innerste, but it is behind a payment wall.

    Finally we get the Royal News section, this time with news from the Imperial, Royal or Princely houses of Albania, Bavaria, Bourbon, Liechtenstein, Savoy (Italy), Auersperg-Trautson, Croy, Leiningen, Waldburg of Zeil and Trauchburg and Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

    The publisher of The European Royal History Royal can be reached at erhj [at] eurohistory.com.

    For earlier articles on the magazine, please go here.

    * Postscript Sunday 1 May 2016 at 21:30: Arturo Beéche has explained in a message today that the German version of Prince Andreas' memoirs was published before he and Beéche formed the Verlag and therefore the edition came out under the Eurohistory logo. Every further cooperation will come out under both logos, Eurohistory and Prinz von Coburg Verlag.

    Updated on Sunday 1 May 2016 at 21:30 (postscript added).


    21 April 2016

    HRH Prince Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland

    Many «royalty watchers» seem to have been taken by surprise when the name of the newborn son of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden was announced in the Council of State at the Royal Palace in Stockholm today: Alexander Erik Hubertus Bertil. Not like the «bombshell» created when Princess Estelle's name was announced back in 2012, however.

    Even though the name Alexander, which will be in daily use, is new to the royal family of Sweden, it is at least an often-used name in royal Europe. There are plenty of examples from Russia, Germany (including Prince Carl Philip's second cousin Prince Alexander of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha). Serbia as well as the Netherlands, and even Denmark. Olav of Norway was named Alexander before he became Crown Prince of Norway, remember. The parents of the 2 days' old prince might tell later why they chose Alexander. Most likely they were not thinking about any royal name bearers in particular, but just happened to like the name. It is a rather common name in Sweden, as it as of 1 January 2016 ranks as no. 28 on the list of the most popular male names, according to the Statistics Sweden.  As many as 77 817 men have Alexander as one of their given names, while 35 771 have Alexander as their call name. The numbers for the alternative spelling Aleksander are 1262 and 658 respectively.

    I was pleased to see Erik as one of the other given names. Several kings have bore the name, as well as King Gustaf V's youngest son Erik Gustaf Ludvig Albert, Duke of Västmanland (1899–1918). Erik is also the name of Princess Sofia's father Erik Oscar Hellqvist. King Carl Gustaf's fourth given name is Hubertus, which explains the young Prince Alexander's third name. King Carl Gustaf got Hubertus from his maternal uncle Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1909–1943). Bertil of course comes from the king's uncle and Prince Carl Philip's sponsor Prince Bertil (1912–1997).

    An interesting point, as made by Robert Warholm at the Facebook group Kungligt forum today, is that the three princes Nicolas (Paul Gustaf), Oscar (Carl Olof) and Alexander (Erik Hubertus Bertil) all have got one of their names from their grandfather King Carl Gustaf Folke Hubertus. So maybe we can expect Folke as one of the given names if another prince comes along?

    Prince Alexander was also assigned the duchy of Södermanland (Sudermania). The last duke of Södermanland was Prince Wilhelm (1884–1965), second son of King Gustaf V (and the elder brother of Prince Erik mentioned above).

    The current line of succession to the throne of Sweden is as follows:
    1. Crown Princess Victoria (1977)
    2. Princess Estelle (2012)
    3. Prince Oscar (2016)
    4. Prince Carl Philip (1979)
    5. Prince Alexander (2016)
    6. Princess Madeleine (1982)
    7. Princess Leonore (2014)
    8. Prince Nicolas (2015)

    19 April 2016

    Sweden: Royal birth

    The Marshal of the Realm announced tonight that Princess Sofia, wife of Prince Carl Philip, had given birth at Danderyd Hospital in Danderyd municipality, Stockholm County, earlier in the evening:
    The Marshal of the Realm is delighted to announce that HRH Princess Sofia gave birth to a healthy child on April 19 at 6.25 p.m. at Danderyd hospital.

    Both mother and child are in good health.

    Svante Lindqvist  Marshal of the Realm
    More details, like the gender, length and weight, were left to the press conference which Prince Carl Philip held at 21.30.

    At the press conference the proud father could inform that he and Princess Sofia had become parents to a boy, who was born at 18.28, weighed 3595 grams and was 49 cm long. In the press statement released soon after the gender was announced, the time of birth was still given as 18.25, but Prince Carl Philip said loud and clear that the time was 18.28. Not that 3 minutes' difference is that important, but for the record... Midwife Anna Ståhl and birth doctor Sophia Brismar Wendel assisted at the birth. They also assisted at the birth of Prince Nicolas (the son of Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neill) in 2015.

    The newborn prince is no. 5 in the line of succession to the Swedish throne, after his father Carl Philip, but before his aunt Princess Madeleine. The prince is King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia's third grandson and fifth grandchild.

    Prince Carl Philip married Sofia Hellqvist on 13 June 2015. The pregnancy was announced on 15 October 2015.

    As far as I understand it, and as mentioned by Aftonbladet, the Council of State, in which the name of the prince and his dukedom, will be announced on Wednesday 20 April 2016 (to be confirmed).*

    The Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven sent his congratulations soon after the birth was announced:
    – Mina varmaste gratulationer till prinsessan Sofia och prins Carl Philip som i dag har blivit föräldrar. Jag önskar dem all lycka, säger statsminister Stefan Löfven.
    (– My warmest congratulations to Princess Sofia and Prince Carl Philip who today have become parents. I wish them all happiness, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven says.)
    * Postscript 19 April 2016 at 23:50: After my article above was published, it was announced that the Konselj (Council of State) will take place on Thursday 21 April 2016 at 11.15 a.m.